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DarthQuack
02-04-2007, 07:56 PM
Obviously I don't expect everyone to answer this with numbers, but I thought I'd share.

Credit card debt, $900
Car payments, $3000
School loans, $11000

Do you classify these as debts? I guess I do. Kind of a sidebar on this is paying rent. Dumping so much money in a place you can't even own has just been horrible. I've been in apartments since I graduated college back in 2002, and I easily dropped close to $17000 when I could have just lived home and saved towards money for a house. I don't understand how people are getting buy these days. Are they just making so much money? I don't know, I guess this is just a thread about having debt and wanting a house.

Kidhuman
02-04-2007, 08:09 PM
I would say 98% of people on the forums are in some sort of debt. I know I am and an working on getting out of it. Gonna take awhile, but it pays off in the long run.

Slicker
02-04-2007, 08:10 PM
The only one I'd classify as "debt" is the CC's. A car is kinda necessary and not many people can straight out buy one and the school loans are a means to an end. I classify debt as being money I used that didn't need to be.


My debts are as follows:

Car: I owe about $7,000 (probably less actually)
CC's: Not quite sure but it's under $3,000

I could easily pay the cards off in under a year but since I don't pay interest (I switch them over when the 0% interest offers run out) I'm not really losing anything and I'm gaining because I'm making constant payments and not missing any.

Luuuuuuke
02-04-2007, 08:56 PM
Having been in debt as a freshman in college, I know how oppressive it feels. I'm lucky in that I have not been in debt in many years. I'm able to pay off my entire credit card balance ever month, no matter how large it is. I'm not affluent, but I have a good paying job and a home and my wife and my little girl act as a sanity check for me because all joking aside, collecting action figures can become a "plastic addiction."

If you're in debt because you have to pay rent or make car payments, that's one thing. But just speaking in a general way, no one should fall into debt because of toys. That's a self-inflicted wound right there.

And a car is a necessity for a lot of people, and so you can debate whether having to pay a car constitutes debt. But if you're blowing money on other things and it's making paying your car very difficult if not nearly impossible, then that's debt.

The thing about toys(and I'm not saying this thread is about toy debt) is that people rarely have debt that's directly tied to toys. No one says, I can't pay my toy debt. Usually they can't make another payment, but something like toy expenditures is the catalyst for why they can't make those payments.

That and the fact that a lot of us spend money we really don't have. I'm surprised by Kidhuman's estimate that 98 percent of the people on the forum are in some sort of debt. I'm not, so I'm either among a tiny percentage that is not in debt, or 98% is too high. I have to believe that's a bit high; if not, that's pretty disturbing.

Technically anyone who uses credit cards is in debt. We're going to have to pay for that money we spend at some point. But that's a low threshold definition of debt.

Jargo
02-04-2007, 09:17 PM
I aint got no debts. I've never been tempted to overuse the credit card or take a loan or any of that. if I want something I save til I can afford it and if it means going without for a while I just fall back on survival tactics.
Mostly I use the credit card to pay for stuff online when the money is sitting in the bank ready to be transfered the second the bill comes in. I never spend money I don't actually have.

DarthQuack
02-04-2007, 09:19 PM
I actually remember the night of the Episode 3 midnight madness, I was in an AIM chat with some other forum members and I had forgotten about totally, and I remember that I had gotten a new credit card that I hadn't activated yet....I'm sure you can see where this is going.....so I activated it and went to Wal-Mart and came home with 32 figures at 2am, got up at 6am and went to Target for Vader.....I had paid that whole credit card off once, but didn't tear it up when I had the chance to. Thankfully my CC limits aren't high at all. But I'm finally "growing up" and budgeting myself a lot better.

mtriv73
02-04-2007, 09:24 PM
We have a mortgage but no car payments, no student loans, and we pay all the credit cards off every month. The only reasons my wife and I have credit cards in the first place is checks take 5 times as long to process at check-out counters and they all give me cash back on anything we buy. I try to be really careful with our credit since we'll be needing a bigger house in the next few years. Unfortunately, anything I would consider moving into in this area is at least $550,000 right now. That may not be much for a house by California standards, but its a heck of a lot of money for me and I want to get the lowest rate I can.

figrin bran
02-04-2007, 09:25 PM
debt free as of 2 months ago!!!!

though by Luuuuuke's definition, i'm in debt every month w. credit cards, though i always pay off the balance.

kool-aid killer
02-04-2007, 11:25 PM
Im in debt, though my biggest tab is my car payment, at a little under $900 that i should have paid off by May of this year. Aside from that, ive got my credit card and thats about it.

Rocketboy
02-04-2007, 11:36 PM
I made some mistakes when Iwas younger and I've got about $3,000 of debt (not including student loans) that I'm working to get rid of.
I'm really cracking down on my spending and paying off as much as possible every month.
The wife and I are really looking to start buying a house, and that debt really needs to disappear so we can get moving on that.

JimJamBonds
02-05-2007, 01:34 AM
What about debt's to society?

CaptainSolo1138
02-05-2007, 07:57 AM
As of right now, we have small chunks of debt here and there. The biggest pain in the butt is credit cards (only about $3,000 total, but the monthly payments don't do carp to the balance). Other than that, we have the car payment and our wedding loan. But, thanks to the beans, we're paying everything except the wedding loan off with taxes this year (with enough leftover to go on vacation). Between the two of us we have about $50,000 in student loans, but with her deference and my being in school still we aren't even thinking about those yet.

Jargo
02-05-2007, 07:06 PM
what do you class as a debt to society then JJB?

2-1B
02-05-2007, 07:12 PM
I owe what your gods would call a Life Debt.

(Wookiee, not Gungan)

bobafrett
02-05-2007, 07:22 PM
I had a lot of C.C. debt. I talked about it in another thread here, so I won't mention how much it was, nor what I did about it. Today I have about $450 in cc debt, just paid my car off last month, and I was having to pay $825 a month in rent. Now that my girlfriend has moved in, it should take some of the burden off. I hated being in debt to anyone or any company.

Blue2th
02-05-2007, 08:16 PM
Don't owe on anything except the house. I try to add a little above the required payment to chip away at the principal. Of course, I paid off my truck many years ago, but that means it's old (1993) Good thing it's a Toyota or I would be making car payments again ( I hate that!) I pretty much gave my X all the expensive foo-foo furniture I bought her when she moved out, so I'm a little thin on the furniture. Oh well. Plenty of toys though :ninja: I would like to buy a Plasma TV, but I'm saving for it instead of doing the credit thing. Since our buddies in Congress changed the Credit laws, you could be late on your gas bill, and all of a sudden, your CC rate changes with no warning. Nope, now I don't even use a CC unless it's absolutely necessary.

UKWildcat
02-05-2007, 08:47 PM
Debt free for me. :)

LusiferSam
02-05-2007, 09:05 PM
I'm pretty much debt free. My credit card (my only source of debt) will have about $150 on this month.

JimJamBonds
02-06-2007, 12:49 AM
what do you class as a debt to society then JJB?

My continual existence.

El Chuxter
02-06-2007, 12:51 AM
I am in debt to Joan Jett. For, as you probably already know, the musical stylings of Joan Jett have been known to make the Amish mosh.

bigbarada
02-06-2007, 12:58 AM
Completely debt free here, not even a single credit card.

bobafrett
02-06-2007, 07:09 PM
I got upset about an hour ago. I was supposed to go in this Friday to get some orthotics put in my shoes. Today the company that makes them said I hadn't reached my $1,000 deductable, and that I would have to pay for them in full before I had them made. I asked how much they were, and they said $432.00. I told them I didn't have that kind of money on me. I asked them if there was anyway I could finance them. The lady at the other end replied "no." then added "could you stop in and make a payment?". I was sure that I read about there being financing available. I told her I didn't have that much money on me. She asked "Should I go ahead and cancel the order then?" and I said "Yes, I only get a paycheck of $532.00 this next payday, and I barely have two dimes on me at the moment". I was so upset, I went and called Marionjoy to cancel the appointment I had Friday.

I really needed to get these to start correcting 30+ years of walking with a limp, which has caused my spinal column to curve, and the my feet and legs to ache.

I read through the paperwork that I signed, and it says right on there that they have financing available, I can't figure out why they told me they didn't have it. I called back, and I'm waiting for the "female dog" who called me the first time, to let me know why she told me that they didn't have financing possible.

I give, and I give from my heart, why can't they do the same and make it possible to fix my problem?

Tycho
02-06-2007, 08:30 PM
I completely sympathize with you BobaFrett. That's cruel in light of how this constitutes a medical service for you. I hope it's just an incompetent employee that doesn't know what she's talking about. Please ask to consult her supervisor if you get stuck with her giving you a run-around again. Also, do not cancel your order if you can reverse that. It could take longer to get the product you need NOW if you do have to go through the customizing / ordering process again.

Anyway, let us know what happens and I wish you the best of luck.

Old Fossil
02-06-2007, 08:37 PM
My wife and I are in debt up to our eyeballs... although my pickup has been paid off for years now, we still have her car payment every month. We bought our house 2 years ago and already have a good chunk of equity in it, but are still iearly into our 30 year mortgage. Our student loan amount is so large I almost can't believe it. We have several credit cards, too, which all have balances.

Even with all that -- and the fact that we don't make a ton of money between the two of us -- the bills get paid on time, with some left over. My daughter's college fund is growing.

Buying a home was one of the best things we ever did. Though it put us deeper into debt, it is a good debt to have. Nothing appreciates in value like real estate*, especially in our area after Katrina, and when improvements are continuously being made to the property.

*Except, maybe, VOTC Stomrtroopers.:razz: (Only kidding.)

decadentdave
02-06-2007, 08:46 PM
Just read Bobafrett's post. Like you I live paycheck to paycheck and yes, I am in debt. I have been living in debt since I was 18 and it has been a way of life for me. I have never filled for bankruptcy even though I should have before they changed the laws last year.

Anyway, you should be able to get financing for health and medical through Care Credit. They charge zero percent interest if you pay off the balance within 12 months. Since your out-of-pocket expenses are more than $300 you should be able to qualify for it. I had to apply for some dental work and they approved me instantly for $3000 credit. If I were you I would go to carecredit.com and apply.

I have problems with my feet because I am on them all day at my second job and I just had to get insoles for my shoes which helped my foot problems but I am also suffering from knee problems and I have tendonitus in my elbow that I got from raquetball which I have not gone to the doctor for because I just can't afford the medical bills so I live with it. I always have the Care Credit card in case of dire emergencies though.

Tycho
02-06-2007, 09:26 PM
Right there in DecadentDave's post is a case for national healthcare access.

We should be able to fix problems before they get worse, like Dave's elbow for example.

It's really good that Old Fossil has made a priority saving for his daughter's college fund. I used to set those up. Growth in a 529 plan is tax free. (A 529 plan is just the government's tax code label for it - it could be any fund, any company, you just file paperwork to make it tax free - then it can only be used for your daughter's education though).

However, if you can save anywhere from $100-200 a month for her since she was born, by age 18, provided you only have 1 child you're saving for, she should have $150,000 for college (translation - no student loan debt to be burdened with! - thumbsup!)

I made a post about Princeton being $43,000 a year or about $172,000 for a bachelor's degree. I said it didn't seem worth it - only a member's only college club for the rich unless your daughter has a specific program she wants to be in at Princeton and can compete to be chosen as an assistant for a particular professor on a particular field study. However, my California State school experience cost:

$2,000 a year (about half each semester)
and about $2,500 or $5,000 a year for both semester's boarding
and about $1,500 or $3,000 a year for both semester's food
Plus textbook expenses ($500 or so per semester tops)

Rounding things DOWNWARD to maybe $10,000 a year or $40,000 for a bachelor's degree for one child with NO loans and not necessitating that they work while in school (being able to intern, often for free, helps them make career connections for their graduation).

Then there's money left for grad school beyond their 4 year degree, or continuing education any time during their lifetime I think. If I recall correctly, they can transfer their own unused funds to their children's fund one day (your grandkids) and thus it is a powerful option.

I know that times are tough for you and your wife, Old Fossil, but your post shows you to be a great parent and also demonstrates how your family can climb social ladders in America. You and your wife may never be "The Hiltons," but your grandkids might.

I remind people that say white folks have all this priviledge, that they've had the opportunities for longer than minorities, and their families have gained class status gains in this financial manner.

You have to hold that gain as a value (apparently you might, Old Fossil), as to want your kids and grand-kids to be even better-off than you are.

Then you do get people out there who are jealous of their own kids. It's really unfortunate. But it happens.

stillakid
02-02-2008, 04:17 PM
I've been sifting through receipts from 2007 for the past couple of days. I loath doing this every year. :hurt:

Has anyone come up with a reasonable justification to write-off Star Wars purchases? I can do books and DVDs...stuff like that, but so far not the toys. :(

Tycho
02-02-2008, 04:20 PM
I'm saying it's part of my military security expense to staff and equip a clone army. :D

Oh c'mon. We know that excuse works up at the top.

jamesbondo07
02-02-2008, 05:02 PM
I am debt free except for our house. My wife and I were lucky because we have no school loans. Our parents were able to put us through college.

Deoxyribonucleic
02-02-2008, 05:27 PM
I've been sifting through receipts from 2007 for the past couple of days. I loath doing this every year. :hurt:

Has anyone come up with a reasonable justification to write-off Star Wars purchases? I can do books and DVDs...stuff like that, but so far not the toys. :(

How about you are planning on doing a documentary on Kenner/Hasbro since they acquired the Star Wars line back in 77' and how they changed the toy business forever. You need to get some samples of each figure because it is going to be a very in-depth documentary.

This is not a bad idea to really do a documentary like this. You got the skillz my man, you should take this up, how fun would that be :thumbsup: I'll travel with you, set up the interviews and carry your equipment. :love:

DarthQuack
02-02-2008, 05:34 PM
I should be getting around $1200 back from taxes which I'll use to pay off my car and be one debt down, and then I'm either going to save more or work more towards knocking out my school loans.

stillakid
02-02-2008, 05:39 PM
and carry your equipment. :love:

You mean the camera and lights, right? :sur:

Deoxyribonucleic
02-02-2008, 06:00 PM
You mean the camera and lights, right? :sur:

Which ever :whip:

Exhaust Port
02-02-2008, 06:49 PM
Other than the mortgage I have $6000 on a home depot credit card, most of which is 0% for another 9 months and $1500 on another which has the same deal. I just paid off my main CC for the first time since we started wedding planning last year. (glad that's behind us). The plan is to have the HD CC paid off in 3 months and finish off the $1500 balance CC on schedule to take advantage of the 0% APR. Still being new to home ownership there are plenty of purchases needed/wanted in the next few years. I like to plan $300 each month for future Same As Cash offers we come across. Once we reach that budget limit we wait until something is paid off before we do another SAC offer. It's worked pretty good so far and really hasn't cost us anything since we pay off stuff before the term limits are exceeded and don't get hit with the retroactive interest.

There is such a thing as good debt and that is something like a mortgage since you are building equity. I'm OK with Same As Cash deals as well as it frees up money to be used in other avenues that garner a return (ie keep it in a savings account that gives you interest). I try to push myself to save for retirement so I'd rather drag out payments over 12 months for something while putting the difference I saved into a 401k or Roth IRA.

I spent about a decade living paycheck to paycheck so I understand the delicate balance each month. I guess now that I have some extra money those earlier years make me a bit nervous about not having savings or too much financial obligations to CC. Still I don't think CC's are bad. I put every purchase I can on a CC. First, I don't like carrying cash. Second, most CC's offer some sort of Cash Back or other rebate. My current card gives me 1% cash back on all purchases. It doesn't seem like much but it gives me about $150 back each year. Free money. My wife's Discover card lets here double her money back when cashing it in on gift cards to certain stores/restaurants. Awesome. With these last 9 months being an exception I pay off the CC each month.

From what I've found among people who are truly doing well is they know how to make the most of their money. I don't believe in starving yourself into wealth but there are definitely methods to make the money you do earn work better. I always ask folks I work with what they do to earn their living (make the most of their earning potential at work and what they do, if anything, outside of work). The last guy I worked with did $2000/month of sales on eBay. He sold of all things files (those things you stick paper in). Amazing.

Now the one HUGE variable that can derail even the best planning is your health. With the state of our health care system it wouldn't take much to put someone in a financial bind. One of my best friends has been hit with a still unknown illness. It isn't debilitating but has meant he can't work his normal job. He now answers phones for nearly minimum wage as he tries to figure out what is ailing him. Without warning he was handed a $45,000 a year pay cut. It's heartbreaking to listen to his struggles now.

Slicker
02-02-2008, 11:33 PM
I should actually be debt free come this fall. My truck is about paid off and I have about $1,500 in CC debt that'll probably be gone come late spring/early summer. I could pay the CC's off now but I need to save money for furniture or in case something dire comes up. I don't wanna be caught with my pants down (unless Da Ox' is around...) if something comes up.

Mad Slanted Powers
02-03-2008, 12:19 AM
My only debt is my house. I pay off my credit cards each month. One thing that helped me a lot was staying with my parents for so long. I think that is one thing that more people could do to alleviate this debt problem, or keep it from happening in the first place. Now, I wouldn't necessarily recommend staying there until 33 like I did. I spent more money than I should have. Not an extravagant amount, though. I also wasn't quite as motivated to get out as most people. Some people are in such a hurry to move out of the house that they don't think about the reality of the situation.

When you are young and just starting out working a low wage job, it can be hard to save money to get ahead while trying to pay rent and bills. On top of that, it is a time when you are free from your parents for the first time, so you might be more inclined to blow some money having fun with your friends and buying things you've always wanted. Unless you have the discipline and have learned good money management skills, it is a recipe for getting yourself into debt that can be a lifelong struggle to get out of.

If you were to just be patient and stay at home a couple more years, you could be off to a better start. You can avoid a lot of expenses while living with your parents, so that money you are earning at your entry level job won't be used up just covering the basic necessities. You needn't be a total freeloader though. Eventually, I started paying a small amount of rent to my parents, and I paid the part of the phone bill that covered all of my internet dial-up. If I had worked during college and found work earlier after college, I could have moved out of there a lot sooner.

As it was, I waited until I had saved up enough to put 20% down on a new house. I was kind of lucky with that. I ended up not getting the original house I wanted, and thus ended up paying more for a slightly bigger one in the same development and that cost me a lot more. However, the prices went up a lot more after I bought, and I got a good interest rate. However, it is an ARM that is due at the end of the year. The interest rates have come back down again, so I might not be paying that much more, and I might be able to lock in a good rate this time. I'm also making a lot more than when I bought the house, so an increase in a house payment will make it seem like it was when I bought the house. I'll just have to try a little harder to keep expenses down so I can continue to put money away for retirement.

Rocketboy
02-03-2008, 12:31 AM
My two big debts are my student loans and the house (only 29 years left on that one!).
I have a few smaller ones, like my Target card, but those ain't too bad.

TeeEye7
02-03-2008, 12:41 AM
In debt?

Of course....I'm a white, middle class American! :duh!:

Slicker
02-03-2008, 01:52 AM
I see a lot of you putting but me personally I don't consider a house to be debt. I realize that it's a bill in the sense that you have to pay every month but do you consider a 401(k) to be debt because you pay on it every month? I've always thought of a house as an investment.

El Chuxter
02-03-2008, 02:14 AM
How exactly can one write off Star Wars books and DVDs?

I'm not trying to pass judgment here, but isn't that asking for serious trouble in the off chance you get audited?

stillakid
02-03-2008, 02:37 AM
How exactly can one write off Star Wars books and DVDs?

I'm not trying to pass judgment here, but isn't that asking for serious trouble in the off chance you get audited?

Anything film or television related is "continuing education." And, in fact, it really is while also being a hobby at the same time. I can also write-off any electronics purchases, like my HD set, and movie tickets and DVDs as they are all industry related.

Mad Slanted Powers
02-03-2008, 02:57 AM
I see a lot of you putting but me personally I don't consider a house to be debt. I realize that it's a bill in the sense that you have to pay every month but do you consider a 401(k) to be debt because you pay on it every month? I've always thought of a house as an investment.

You are partly correct. However, with the house, you are in possession of something that is not fully paid for. Your investment is only the equity you put into it and what profit you can get when you sell it. If you stop making payments, you could lose the house. I don't know, but do they give you your equity back if they foreclose on your house?

Rocketboy
02-03-2008, 10:08 AM
Anything film or television related is "continuing education." And, in fact, it really is while also being a hobby at the same time. I can also write-off any electronics purchases, like my HD set, and movie tickets and DVDs as they are all industry related.Sounds like a load of bullsh*t to me. Books or videos about your area of work, which are meant for educational purposes, I can understand, but that sounds like taking advantage of a loophole.

Can Stephen King write off any printed materials, like Harry Potter books, Playboy, or a book of crossword puzzles , ect as "industry related?"

stillakid
02-03-2008, 10:47 AM
Sounds like a load of bullsh*t to me. Books or videos about your area of work, which are meant for educational purposes, I can understand, but that sounds like taking advantage of a loophole.

Can Stephen King write off any printed materials, like Harry Potter books, Playboy, or a book of crossword puzzles , ect as "industry related?"

I don't know. You'll have to ask his CPA.

Maybe it's a loophole, maybe not, but the fact is that film/television is my industry and anything I can do to continue learning about what other people have done and are doing is valuable and necessary. You only feel that it's bullsh** because it also happens to overlap into my "hobby." But when someone turns a hobby/interest into an actual paying career, is there ever really a line that can be drawn?

The book for 2007 is SCULPTING A GALAXY, which was A) very expensive and B) quite worth the expense in terms of educational value (for me professionally) and "coolness" (for me personally). I happen to be writing books ABOUT the behind the scenes work in the movie/tv business so this is actually all very valuable and justifiable. So please put your self-righteous judgmental attitude away for awhile until you learn what you are commenting about. Thanks! :love:

Rocketboy
02-03-2008, 10:56 AM
You only feel that it's bullsh** because it also happens to overlap into my "hobby." No, I feel it is bullsh*t because I feel you are taking advantage of it.


But when someone turns a hobby/interest into an actual paying career, is there ever really a line that can be drawn? Yes, I'm sure there is, like I said: "Books or videos about your area of work, which are meant for educational purposes, I can understand."
How can every season of "Murder She Wrote" be educational and beneficial to your career?


So please put your self-righteous judgmental attitude away for awhile until you learn what you are commenting about. Thanks! :love::rolleyes:

Lowly Bantha Cleaner
02-03-2008, 02:16 PM
Paid off my undergraduate student loans a week ago tonight, and aside from a car payment which I have deducted from my savings every month, I am debt free. At 27, I may be the only guy I know in my circle of friends, that does not have any outstanding payment or debt.

Some tips that I recommend for staying out of debt:

1) Stay at home as long as you can - I know that may not be a hit with the ladies, but the fact that I did not launch into a monthly payment for an apartment I would pay to never own, or a house that I wouldn't need until I started a family, meant I wasn't paying a good % of my paycheck to those things.

2) 1 or 2 credit cards, do you really need more? Credit card companies like to pollute the environment by sending credit card offers in the mail on a weekly basis. I know a lot of young people who accept these offers, run up debts, don't make payments, and then open another card. Blame the companies too for perpetuating this hard to overcome problem.

3) Don't set your sights on the Lamborghini just yet. A lot of people I graduated high school with went out and bought sports cars or pimp-mobiles at 18, even though they were working minimum wage jobs or at school. Cars almost always depreciate in value and aren't a good investment tool. If you have heart set out on that Aston-Martin, then wait until it is financially feasible for you to obtain it. I was quite content to drive a 1994 Chevy Cavalier up until 2004.

4) Budget a certain % of your check into your savings/checkings/ investments and don't deviate from it. It is easily to spend your check before you receive it, but put aside a certain amount as savings so that you can use it when you really need it.

5) You can live without certain amenities in life. Do you really need HDTV? Can you sacrifice texting on your cellphone? Will you survive without the latest video game system? Does your body really need cancer sticks? The answer is easy, especially if you cannot afford all of the luxuries of life. Sacrifice them and save money.

Mad Slanted Powers
02-03-2008, 02:33 PM
Sound advice there LBC. I certainly followed step 1 to the extreme. I have more than two credit cards but only use two. One that I don't use is a Circuit City Visa I got when I bought my TV there with 18 months to pay it off interest free. The other is a Home Depot card. I got a discount when I opened an account, and used it to buy an electric edger for my lawn. The two that I use are both MasterCard. I would probably be better off canceling one and replacing it with an American Express card, because they don't take Visa or MC at Costco.

On #3, I bought my car from my sister in 1995. It is a 1990 Honda Civic that is still running. Hopefully it keeps running for a while because a car payment will make things more difficult. Luckily, I live less than two miles from work, so I could walk if I had to. I don't because I'd have to get up a half hour earlier and I'd be kind of sweaty when I got to work.

On #4, I recently opened a couple online savings accounts that are paying good interest compared to what my regular savings and checking accounts get. So, I have started putting $100 a month into each. I may have to take some back out later in the year if I want to put the max into my IRA. I'll have to see what my situation is then. I'm not much of a budgeter because I never know what may come up and some bills like the gas bill fluctuate with the season. I mainly like to compare year to year to see if I did better, and month to month to see if my overall savings has gone up or down.

bobafrett
02-03-2008, 02:56 PM
I'm going to use my tax refund to pay for my upcoming wedding. The only thing I can write off is the mileage on my car during the pizza deliveries. I still get to use my son for the EIC or Earned Income Credit, which should get me a decent refund. Last year it came to around $1,700.00.

JON9000
02-04-2008, 06:47 PM
Think long and hard before going to graduate school.

jjreason
02-04-2008, 07:08 PM
I have my mortgage, 2 credit lines (much cheaper interest than credit cards) and one credit card. I owe balances on each one, but the equity I have in my house is more than quadruple what I owe on the three above noted credit items.

So I ask you (because I really don't know anymore) am I in debt?

stillakid
02-05-2008, 10:54 AM
I have my mortgage, 2 credit lines (much cheaper interest than credit cards) and one credit card. I owe balances on each one, but the equity I have in my house is more than quadruple what I owe on the three above noted credit items.

So I ask you (because I really don't know anymore) am I in debt?

Hmm, good philosphy question. I'd have to go with "on paper, no, you're not in debt because according to the numbers, you are ahead." However, I'd also say that "yes you are in debt" because the equity is really just fantasy money until you decide to sell that asset. So until you do that or have no other bills to actually pay off, then you are indeed in debt.

Blue2th
02-05-2008, 11:20 AM
Hmm, good philosphy question. I'd have to go with "on paper, no, you're not in debt because according to the numbers, you are ahead." However, I'd also say that "yes you are in debt" because the equity is really just fantasy money until you decide to sell that asset. So until you do that or have no other bills to actually pay off, then you are indeed in debt.
No matter if you pay your house off. You will still have to pay the property tax.
Depending on the area, and how they value your home, you could be paying a very high price. With increased value comes increased equity of the property, and a higher accessed value of it, if value is going up. (some are going down in depressed areas)
I met a couple who just moved from San Diego to Albuquerque, who even though they had their house payed off, property taxes as well as the huge cost of living increase was eating them alive finacially, thus they had to move. (I would kill to live in SD)
Of course now they've got this huge amount of mulah$$ to do whatever they want here.
I am meeting lots of people here from California lately. You would not belive how congested Albuquerque is getting now.
Of course this means my house, unlike most of the U.S. equity and value is still moving upward, and eventually I will sell and do the same thing. Other than SD I can't think of another place climate wise that compares to the Duke City. Californians and others are finding out that Alb. is much better place than Phoenix or Tucson for desert climate.
I am hoping the tax man here doesn't decide to dramatically increase property taxes here, as I've heard some want to do.

jjreason
02-05-2008, 06:18 PM
It's bound to happen. As soon as a place becomes popular and the real estate market takes off, property taxes WILL rise. Why? Because the politicians can vote themselves a healthy raise with the proceeds, and because most people will only resort to bit*hing about such increases rather than moving to avoid paying them. I've never lived anywhere where my property taxes DIDN'T go up every year. :rolleyes:

I agree with your assessment, Stilla, and you saw my attempt at humor. I'm up to my eyeballs in debt - we're hand to mouth because of all the expenses, but I'd rather pay too much for a nice, comfortable place to live, good food to eat and lots of things for my family to enjoy (okay, by that I mainly mean Star Wars stuff for me - j/k :D ) than skimp on housing and groceries to save for a rainy day. My funeral I guess.

Neuroleptic
02-05-2008, 07:46 PM
NOPE! I am not in debt! And I am happy!

DarthQuack
05-15-2008, 10:37 AM
One less thing in debt am I....just paid off the last $522.84 on my car...I didn't feel like waiting a couple more months, so I just blew the whole wad. It feels nice to have one less payment. Now with my car money I could sock it at the $9k I have left in school loans or start saving it. Any thoughts?

mtriv73
05-15-2008, 10:47 AM
It depends on the interest rate of your school loans (which should be tax deductible.) If it's a low rate, you're better off investing the money in a mutual fund or something that could potentially have a payoff higher than your interest rate on the loan. Don't put it in a savings account, the interest paid on most of those is so miniscule that it's not even worth it.

jedi master sal
05-15-2008, 11:29 AM
One less thing in debt am I....just paid off the last $522.84 on my car...I didn't feel like waiting a couple more months, so I just blew the whole wad. It feels nice to have one less payment. Now with my car money I could sock it at the $9k I have left in school loans or start saving it. Any thoughts?

If you've got a 401K at your work, you might consider that too. Depending on your employer's contribution level as well as your maximum percentage allow to give.

For example:
I give 4% towards my 401K. IIRC, I'm allow to boost this up a percentage point per year up to either 8 or 12 percent total.

Since I'm a vested employee (for us that's three years), my employer contributes 150% to my 100%. However that is on the portion I keep with TIAA-CREF which is an educational 401K plan. Since I work for a University they contribute 1.5 to my 1. However, I am allowed to diversify with Vanguard. Any portion of my 401K I move to Vanguard,my employer contributes 1 to 1. I don't get as much, initially, but by diversifying, I don't have my eggs all in one basket. As well, some of the Vanguard choices are high yield (albeit riskier).

So I keep watch of which portion is yeilding me the most amount and move my monies into those sections accordingly. I get a quarterly assessment which shows these amounts and at that time move allotments around as I deem neccessary.

So you may find it better to put this into your 401K (if you've got one). You won't see the money now, but it's nice to know it will be there later. Especially with the flucuating economy. Just be sure to diversify to protect your ASSets.

-Sal

DarthQuack
05-15-2008, 12:18 PM
Yea, I've been doing a 401k now for over 5 years contributing 5% right now, so I could bump that up to 10% and the company matches 66% so that's looking good around 10k. I've always saved that way, even if I can't save normally in a savings account...

jedi master sal
05-15-2008, 01:44 PM
Yea, I've been doing a 401k now for over 5 years contributing 5% right now, so I could bump that up to 10% and the company matches 66% so that's looking good around 10k. I've always saved that way, even if I can't save normally in a savings account...

Cool. Well then hopefully my suggestion has helped.

I'm surprised with how fast my 401K has shot up. Of course it does help with my employer's contributions, but still, I am amazed with how quickly it's growing and without to much thought or effort on my part, other than what I already described above.

CaptainSolo1138
05-15-2008, 03:42 PM
Sal is going to trade his 401(k) for AT-TEs.

jedi master sal
05-15-2008, 05:00 PM
Sal is going to trade his 401(k) for AT-TEs.

Nope, trading in the Rebate check for those, the Falcon, and a few Homing spider droids. Some of my refund will go to figures.

The 401K is staying intact for as long as possible, hopefully retirement if I make it to that age...

Exhaust Port
05-15-2008, 06:41 PM
One less thing in debt am I....just paid off the last $522.84 on my car...I didn't feel like waiting a couple more months, so I just blew the whole wad. It feels nice to have one less payment. Now with my car money I could sock it at the $9k I have left in school loans or start saving it. Any thoughts?

I would suggest throwing any extra money in a Roth IRA. The Roth is an excellent companion to a 401(k) for retirement. All the earnings are tax free when you withdraw from it at retirement vs. the 401(k) where you'll have to pay taxes on it when you take it out. Basically the Roth IRA will give you a lump of cash to use in retirement for smaller items and the 401(k) earnings will come in handy for larger items which you're willing to take the tax hit on.

Either way I always see saving for retirement as something that grows with time vs. paying down loan debt which only decreases with time. That $100 in savings will have far greater impact over time than throwing that into some outstanding debt now.

JEDIpartner
05-15-2008, 08:32 PM
Nope... I only allow about $120 of frivolous purchases on my credit at any given time.

Mad Slanted Powers
05-15-2008, 09:26 PM
My employer doesn't contribute to the 401k, so I am only putting 2% in. I was putting 1% in for quite a while, and might go back to that when my mortgage rate adjusts (I'll probably be refinancing, but either way the payment will probably be going up).

I've been putting money into a Roth IRA through Vanguard for nearly 10 years. I started with the Total Stock Index, then added a GNMA bond fund, and now have money in a Prime Money Market fund. I have been putting the max in, though I skipped 2005. I couldn't quite afford it that year. It might be kind of tight to put the max in this year unless I get something from the Exxon Valdez settlement.

At the end of last year, I also set up a couple of online savings accounts. I have money put into each of those automatically each month. The rates aren't great, but better than my checking account. If I can get by with what I have in my regular accounts, then I can let those two grow.

bobafrett
05-17-2008, 01:04 AM
I started several months ago contributing 1% of my paycheck to my 401(k). I like it so much, I may bump it up to 2%. I'm not allowed to discuss what I make per hour, but it isn't much. I used to have $3,000.00 invested in a Vangaurd account, it payed decent interest, but sadly I had to use the money to stay above water at one time in my life.

Exhaust Port
05-17-2008, 10:18 AM
The nice thing about 401(k) contributions is that they are pre-tax so each 1% you increase your contributions actually don't decrease your take home pay a full 1%. I usually wait until I get a pay raise then increase my contributions then so I don't actually notice the pay loss.

Bel-Cam Jos
05-18-2008, 10:39 AM
Just make sure if you switch jobs that your 401(k) is moved properly to the right kind of account. When I left, the bank put in a non-IRA or -Roth (or something, I still don't know actually what happened) and it was tough to get it right for a time.

As to the thread's question, thank goodness no. I am a miser (read: cheap) in most financial matters, and I seldom splurge on anything. Savings is pretty decent (no stocks, just savings bonds, CDs, various other accounts, collectibles :rolleyes: ), as is my job. No longer have a car payment (just waiting on DMV to send me my non-lienholder title :pleased: ), and I drive just 10 miles round trip to-and-from work (so gas fees are lower). :fingerscrossed: