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Old 05-08-2013, 07:25 PM  
DA_T_84 DA_T_84 is offline
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How Fast Can I Become Debt-Free?

The answer was 10 months.

Today I paid off the car; last month the credit card (it ballooned up to 2k after necessary flights and the holidays). I got a new job 6 weeks ago, as I mentioned in another thread, and it has been a Godsend.

Thanks for the thoughtful advice in this thread.

My next objective is to save my ass off. What are some good goals to shoot for? How many seperate piles should I be creating? (House, ring, future kids, retirement, etc..)

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Old 05-08-2013, 08:17 PM   #46
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Originally Posted by Dante84 View Post
I am not handy. When you are young, you are either the guy holding the screwdriver or the flashlight. I was always a "flashlight holder" growing up. I am painfully self-aware.

I think you have to be pretty savvy to flip homes in Texas, as the property tax is just nasty. Also, in this market, I'd be happy to hold on to the homes and rent them out. I just need to get into a spot where I can buy my first.
I was the same way when I bought my first house when I was 24. 16 years later I can fix just about anything around the house. Google and Youtube are great for finding out how to fix things around the house youself. I just bought a foreclosure for cash 3 weeks ago and have no house payment now. I've had to fix a few minor things with the home but it's amazing what you can fix with a few hand tools and a 12v Dewalt drill. Just keep saving, don't piss away a lot of money on booze and women and keep your nose clean and you'll start saving money quick. 401K plans are great as well if your employer offers one.
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Old 05-08-2013, 08:18 PM   #47
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If you can tie your shoes you can do almost everything to fix up a house.

Iowanian give great advice. My first house was small and built in the 50's. I figured out how to roof and side it myself, then finish the basement. Anything can be done if you research it.

10 years later I was the general contractor on my own house, doing some of the work myself.

ps. I should admit I don't do major plumbing. Changing out toilets, sinks, and faucets is about t.
And good grief is google a godsend. YouTube has made it even better. My washer spin cycle stopped working. Googled it. It was the lid shut sensor. Found a video on how to replace, ordered the part , and fixed it myself for $40.

I'm fairly handy, but I'm considered the pretty boy idiot who can't fix shit in my family (both my brothers can tear apart an engine or any piece of machinery and build houses for a living though).
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Old 05-08-2013, 08:19 PM   #48
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The earlier the better... adding a couple of years in contributions in your 20s can make a huge difference at retirement....... at least that's the one thing I learned in Finance.
I don't remember the exact figure but Money magazine stated that if you invested 5k a year into a retirement fund from the ages of 25-35, that your total at age 65 would be almost the same if you didn't start until you were 35 and invested until 65!

It is hard to catch up so start as soon as you can! I take that advice and do 401k through work plus 2-3k into a Roth IRA that I self fund. Hopefully once I get a little more settled, I can max out that Roth each year.
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Old 05-08-2013, 08:26 PM   #49
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couple things, some of these might be Q because I didn't read everyone's responses:

1) you could use the 'snowball method' and pay off the smallest balances 1st, and keep putting the payments you 'wouldve made' into the remaining debt....here-->http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Debt-snowball_method

basically pick a number that wors for you to pay off debt per month, like $1000, and pay off the smallest balances 1st (make minimum payment on all but one smallest debt)...and do not lower from the 1000$ as your debts are eliminated one by one

it isn't the absolute fastest but it works, and i think would be very effective for you given you have low debt, it will be fast

2) once you are paid off....take a number that works for you and have your credit union automatically deduct it, and never even think about it...start with 10-15% of your income...raise it when you get raises and as you see fit

3) for what to do with savings see : http://www.clarkhoward.com/categorie...inance-credit/ , listen to clark howard on the radio...great show

http://www.clarkhoward.com/s/podcast/clarkshow/


You are doing great man! Keep it up, very good work.
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Old 05-08-2013, 08:26 PM   #50
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I don't know what it is, but you have a skill or knowledge that you can turn into an extra $100+/week.

That is enough to make a difference in what you're trying to do.
I am in the final stages of going to work for a temp agency that focuses on servicing home builders. It will be a weekend gig, and it will allow me to rub elbows with different HB's in the area and at the same time make 10 bucks an hour.

That extra income should help in the short term, though I am not looking forward to 7-day work weeks
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Old 05-08-2013, 08:28 PM   #51
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Not at all a good plan unless the savings are there. Rent is fixed expenditure since maintenance on the property is covered. Buy a house with no savings and when something happens, than is your dime and it comes unexpectedly. You can't plan for that. Renting is smart until your get a sizable savings to make sure you can afford maintenance that comes with home ownership. Too many young people jump into housing purchases and have to scrape by for years simply due to mortgage and unexpected maintenance costs.

Renting is not throwing money away. Foreclosing on a house is throwing money away and ask the thousands who did it.
I guess it depends on how fast you can save up once you put money down and close... and it was kind of ridiculous how much I spent right after closing, too, so there's that.

I like Iowanian's idea, even for someone who doesn't care to fix up a house... a good inspector will tell you all you need to know about a house, and a mortgage payment on an older home isn't going to run you more than a decent apartment (around here, anyway). Put 20% down to avoid a couple thousand in PMI, be ready to spend some money on small stuff, and it doesn't hurt to have some put away just in case.... then even if you sell in a few years for the same price, at least you get your down payment plus some back, and you come out ahead vs renting.... and with any luck, you'll have saved some money for those few years, too, so you're not just pouring the net proceeds into the next house.
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Old 05-08-2013, 08:31 PM   #52
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My first house I was way over my head. I made a lot of dumb mistakes trying to save money and do things myself instead of asking for help....like cutting drywall in half so I could hang it on the ceiling myself.

Best luck I had was making buddies in that community with a carpenter...could help me and tell me how to fix things when I got into a pickle.....like putting in a front door with a crooked jam.
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Old 05-08-2013, 08:35 PM   #53
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Put 20% down to avoid a couple thousand in PMI, be ready to spend some money on small stuff, and it doesn't hurt to have some put away just in case....
But too many are in the OPs case where they have no savings but think they should buy a house! They come no where close to 20% down. Renting is the best option to build an emergency fund, which can be followed by saving for a down payment for a house. To many idiots with no savings who lose a job and then can't pay the mortgage. Easier to break a rental lease then a mortgage!
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Old 05-08-2013, 09:09 PM   #54
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But too many are in the OPs case where they have no savings but think they should buy a house! They come no where close to 20% down. Renting is the best option to build an emergency fund, which can be followed by saving for a down payment for a house. To many idiots with no savings who lose a job and then can't pay the mortgage. Easier to break a rental lease then a mortgage!
True, it's not something to jump into without a plan.... hell, I knew smart people who jumped into a house a few years ago since it was so easy during the housing boom. Even with 20% down + some extra cash and even an emergency fund, you have to know how fast you can recover from all of the up front costs, and be certain that you can put away a decent amount every month for the unexpected. And you should also have a pretty good feeling that you'll want to live there for at least a few years, and some rent vs buy calculators will tell you that you don't break even for 7+ years.

That said, it is a great time to buy....
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Old 05-08-2013, 09:17 PM   #55
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Old 05-08-2013, 09:24 PM   #56
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Old 05-08-2013, 09:37 PM   #57
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Old 05-08-2013, 09:37 PM   #58
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But too many are in the OPs case where they have no savings but think they should buy a house! They come no where close to 20% down. Renting is the best option to build an emergency fund, which can be followed by saving for a down payment for a house. To many idiots with no savings who lose a job and then can't pay the mortgage. Easier to break a rental lease then a mortgage!


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Old 05-08-2013, 09:40 PM   #59
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Old 05-08-2013, 09:55 PM   #60
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That said, it is a great time to buy....
Hoping around this time next year me and the soon to be wife will be ready! We are both 27 years old and have been renting for quite a while, especially needing to with my schooling. Financially I feel we are pretty good but as you said, still tough to make a perfect determination. No sign that interest rates will be rising and hopefully plenty of options a year from now.
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