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Opinion Community What are you doing / changing in 2020 to improve your financial circumstances? Share ideas.

DunDunDunpachi

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Apr 18, 2018
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Big or small, conceptualize your goals here.

I am trying to pay off all of my smaller credit-card debts. I am investing more time and money into my garden so that I spend less money on food.

Does anyone have opinions on using home equity (I have 6 years in my house and my bank keeps bugging me to do it) to pay off credit cards?

What other things are GAFers trying this year to make that money situation a little bit less stressful?

💸
 
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Thaedolus

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Jun 9, 2004
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-Budget with wife and check in on it every month, we use the every dollar app even though I think Dave Ramsey is a douche

-Don’t carry credit card debt unless absolutely necessary, like you’re going to be on the streets if you don’t necessary

-Funnel all money into any debt you have that’s not a mortgage (e.g. for us it’s her grad school loan)

-Drive a beater. Nobody cares. If it runs and gets you somewhere safely, it’s fine. Don’t take out a loan for a dumb vehicle

-Git gud at your job and find a better job. Our gross increased by 40% in the last two months because we aren’t complacent, even though our needs were already met.

-Don’t have kids. Ok do, but daycare is damn expensive holy shit...
 

bitbydeath

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Nov 25, 2015
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I’m halfway through the second draft of my book so would be great to finish that.
 

Daxter32jak

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Feb 25, 2017
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Just take them to chipotle. No guac
Lol, I once told a girl (on the third date btw, and after we hooked up on the first date) let’s grab chipotle and her response was “this p***y is worth more than chipotle”

I haven’t heard from her since
 

haxan7

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Lol, I once told a girl (on the third date btw, and after we hooked up on the first date) let’s grab chipotle and her response was “this p***y is worth more than chipotle”

I haven’t heard from her since
She wanted to find the next tool to prove her self worth to her.
 

Daxter32jak

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Feb 25, 2017
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She wanted to find the next tool to prove her self worth to her.
100%

And what i find most funny is when the bill arrives after she’s ordered 3-5 drinks along with her entree (while I just have my burger) they won’t even pretend to pull out their card they’ll happily ignore it and look at their phone

:🤦:
 
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Lrnex

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Dec 24, 2019
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I’ll be hitting the 2-year mark at my job in the Fall -want to be able to say I have 2 years experience with the job title and then looking to jump ship for something way better.

Ideally I want to have a more solid plan in place to relocate out of the mid-west around that time too. Sorta unrelated, but if anyone has ever done a cross-country move without a support structure in place in your new city, I’d appreciate any advice on how you made it work.

I’m at this point where I’m just really sick of renting. I have the means to buy now, but really don’t want to get a mortgage and lock myself down in this area that I don’t want to be in anymore. I just feel stuck and feel like if I keep waiting around I’ll get complacent and never leave.
 
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Oct 26, 2018
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Nothing special from my end. I already have an excel sheet that ballparks my income vs expenses, and estimated investment gains.

I'd suggest anyone who doesn't do this to do it.

Even the simplest thing like this monthly budget:

How much money you make every two pay stubs (net pay) per month = $5000 total net pay

List all your mandatory expenses = car loan, insurance, rent, utility bills, student loan etc......

List all your subjective expenses that can move up or down, or be completely zero sometimes = food bills, is it time to buy some new clothes etc..... But since this is a monthly budget, you got to do your best and ballpark the avg monthly amount

At the end of the month what do you have left? If you have a positive, great. If you're in the red, you're sinking.

Don't forget weird one-time expenses like: Xmas shopping bills might build up in Dec, annual trip, property taxes. Again, these things are usually one-time lump payments. So do your best and do a monthly split how much it is if it was spread out monthly

Conversely, don't forget to add the one-time annual bonus you might get if your job gives you one. Same as above, estimate a monthly amount. If I make an annual bonus of $10,000 per year in net pay. I would put that as $800 per month to income.... (assuming it's reasonable to assume its around that much every year)

As a bonus, you actually get 26 pay periods per year not 24 (2 times per month), so as a buffer the above math excludes two extra pay stubs. Which you can treat as rainy day funds. If you are really teeter tottering on breaking even doing a monthly budget, exclude these two extra pay stubs as your monthly income so it shakes out as a bonus. Just don't use it up when you get it. It seems often times an extra pay stub comes in June or July, and another in Nov.
 
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rykomatsu

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Jan 2, 2008
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I want to try to up my savings to $50k/year. After paying off my home, I no longer have a mortgage, but admittedly, the extra cashflow I have been poor in managing and have been spending more than saving.

Going back to old way of life when I had a mortgage will let me hit the goal...let's see how this goes...
 
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haxan7

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Well that's the easy part. I do things people want, but the trick is, I don't do them out of the kindness of my heart. I withhold my deeds until they pay me cash money.
Is there anything you won’t do for money?
 

lock2k

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Jun 13, 2018
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I want a new job because mine pays peanuts for what I do. Having a shitty job + wife and child is fucking expensive.
 

ksdixon

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the missus says she's going to cook more home meals. and you know, fresh chips are so much tastier than frozen chips. that alone will make it more palatable to eat-in rather than order take-out. so that'll save us some money.

cancelling netflix.
cancelling youtube premium.
 
Oct 26, 2018
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the missus says she's going to cook more home meals. and you know, fresh chips are so much tastier than frozen chips. that alone will make it more palatable to eat-in rather than order take-out. so that'll save us some money.

cancelling netflix.
cancelling youtube premium.
Big savings come from downgrading a TV package. 12 months x $40 downgrading = ~$500 of savings.

I think even the biggest TV watcher could slim down to a basic or lower end package. If it means someone misses out on some TV shows, do it if money is that tight.

I like watching sports, but I don't need every TSN and Sportsnet channel. The ones on basic cable is good enough. I miss some games, but who cares. I also do Reddit streams for games not on TV.

When I first started making decent money, at one time I had a VIP cable package, movies and the $30/mth sports packs. Add in internet (which was crappy at the time) and my monthly TV/internet bill was like $200.

Now in 2020, I have a low tier cable TV pack with 4k channels + unlimited internet for about $100. I make more money now, but who cares. I'll save the $100.
 
Dec 14, 2008
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Big savings come from downgrading a TV package. 12 months x $40 downgrading = ~$500 of savings.

I think even the biggest TV watcher could slim down to a basic or lower end package. If it means someone misses out on some TV shows, do it if money is that tight.

I like watching sports, but I don't need every TSN and Sportsnet channel. The ones on basic cable is good enough. I miss some games, but who cares. I also do Reddit streams for games not on TV.

When I first started making decent money, at one time I had a VIP cable package, movies and the $30/mth sports packs. Add in internet (which was crappy at the time) and my monthly TV/internet bill was like $200.

Now in 2020, I have a low tier cable TV pack with 4k channels + unlimited internet for about $100. I make more money now, but who cares. I'll save the $100.
You know what's even bigger savings? Just cutting the cord. Although I admit for serious sports watchers this isn't an option and the cable companies know it. Everyone else should have canceled their Comcast cable 10 years ago now though.
 
Oct 26, 2018
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You know what's even bigger savings? Just cutting the cord. Although I admit for serious sports watchers this isn't an option and the cable companies know it. Everyone else should have canceled their Comcast cable 10 years ago now though.
Lots of people I know mention that. Get one of those doo-dads from a shady electronics store. Get shitloads of streamed content for like $15 per month.

But for me, my main concern is sports. And every one of them says getting good live feeds can be hit or miss. Similar to your note about sports.

I also have a 4k TV does that soap opera effect, which I like. I don't know if an internet feed would screw up with the fast motion feature.
 
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ksdixon

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Outside of RE3 Remake in April, The Last Of Us 2 in May, PS Plus renewal in June and a PlayStation 5 in Oct/Nov, I'm going to try to not spend any additional money on gaming. I have the backlog to keep me going for sure.
 

hariseldon

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Aug 22, 2018
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Tbh my finances are going ok - salary way above average, wife doing the same, because we both put effort into getting good at what we do. We’re reaping the benefits of our past efforts but we won’t rest on our laurels, because there’s always more to learn. To that end we’re getting the mortgage paid quickly (12 years instead of the standard 25) with a view to early semi retirement.

Got some side hustles on the go. Bitcoin trading paid for a big chunk of my new kitchen, I’m working on getting back to game development to see if that can generate anything, and building a small online application that might make a few quid if it turns out that other people also find it useful.
 
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hariseldon

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Lol, I once told a girl (on the third date btw, and after we hooked up on the first date) let’s grab chipotle and her response was “this p***y is worth more than chipotle”

I haven’t heard from her since
Sounds like you had a lucky escape. If she views it as a transactional exercise then she’s clearly a hooker so go elsewhere.
 
May 26, 2011
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Going back to tracking family finances and figuring out how much to allocate towards saving/investing

Did it for awhile back when i was independent contractor and just a couple. Stopped once i got a staff job, had 2 kids, got a dog, and moved the fam across country
 

Gashtronomy

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Apr 19, 2019
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  • Mugging more old women; biddies these days have a lot more money than they used to
  • Throwing a 6 month sick note in at work for climate related anxiety
  • Working on the side as a therapist for those with narcolepsy. When they fall asleep I change the clocks and charge them an hour.
  • Working on the side as a therapist for people with Dementia, it's the same schtick as narcolepsy, but rolled in with Point 1
  • Pretending to be a female and Selling my poo-in-a-box to Japanese business men. Then I say i'm a man and blackmail them so that I don't tell their friends/family.
It will be a busy year, for sure.
 

teh_pwn

"Saturated fat causes heart disease as much as Brawndo is what plants crave."
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Both wife and I are each maxing the 19.5k contribution limit for 401k. Other than that just focusing on loans, +500/mo principal on house.
 
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haxan7

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  • Mugging more old women; biddies these days have a lot more money than they used to
  • Throwing a 6 month sick note in at work for climate related anxiety
  • Working on the side as a therapist for those with narcolepsy. When they fall asleep I change the clocks and charge them an hour.
  • Working on the side as a therapist for people with Dementia, it's the same schtick as narcolepsy, but rolled in with Point 1
  • Pretending to be a female and Selling my poo-in-a-box to Japanese business men. Then I say i'm a man and blackmail them so that I don't tell their friends/family.
It will be a busy year, for sure.
PM me if serious about selling your poop
 

Elektro_Demon

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Nov 9, 2019
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I have zero debt, live with my parents and I have some savings in my bank account.
But I'm very unhappy at my current job, so I plan to give my 2 weeks notice and then just chill out for a month or 2. Then find a better job.
 

hariseldon

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Aug 22, 2018
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I have zero debt, live with my parents and I have some savings in my bank account.
But I'm very unhappy at my current job, so I plan to give my 2 weeks notice and then just chill out for a month or 2. Then find a better job.
Pro tip: It's easier to get a job when you already have one. What's your plan if you quit your job and then fail to find a job?
 
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Elektro_Demon

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Pro tip: It's easier to get a job when you already have one. What's your plan if you quit your job and then fail to find a job?
I tried that and I failed. I always got the job and then decided that I won't leave my current job because the pay is higher.
I did that 3 times. So I'm not gonna do that anymore. I need to quit my job and then look for another one. Otherwise I'll keep doing what I do and keep rejecting new jobs.
I'm fucked up in the head, I know.
But if I fail to find a new job, I'll just sit on my ass till I burn through my savings. After that, if it comes to that, I'll mooch off of my parents. But let's hope it doesn't come to that.
 
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hariseldon

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I tried that and I failed. I always got the job and then decided that I won't leave my current job because the pay is higher.
I did that 3 times. So I'm not gonna do that anymore. I need to quit my job and then look for another one. Otherwise I'll keep doing what I do and keep rejecting new jobs.
I'm fucked up in the head, I know.
But if I fail to find a new job, I'll just sit on my ass till I burn through my savings. After that, if it comes to that, I'll mooch off of my parents. But let's hope it doesn't come to that.
Ouch. You really do need to figure out what you want to do. A few years ago I took a pay cut to swap to a different technology because I knew the long term pay prospects were better. The end result is that I'm now earning about 1.5x what I'd have earned if I'd maxed out the other path. You're in the luxurious position of living with your parents so you can make those strategic calls which become much harder once you have a mortgage and kids. I suggest that what you need is a plan, and the discipline to carry out that plan. Expecting to rely on your parents.. well that's just not cool in my book. It's a long way from taking responsibility for your own life and your own choices. You say you're fucked up in the head, I say that's an excuse for weakness of character, you are perfectly capable of making good decisions, and good decisions tend to breed more good decisions. Think on.
 
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Super Mario

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Nov 12, 2016
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Big savings come from downgrading a TV package. 12 months x $40 downgrading = ~$500 of savings.

I think even the biggest TV watcher could slim down to a basic or lower end package. If it means someone misses out on some TV shows, do it if money is that tight
I saved myself $700 a year by switching from a big cable provider to streaming. I'm not willing to cut the cord completely. It's good enough for me to have the content that I want, at the cheapest price.

I feel like I have done decently well for myself. I save, but saving more would probably be my biggest incentive. I really need to up my 401k or roth. In the past year, I have finally decided I no longer need the newest phone. I have a Galaxy Note 8, which is no slouch. I really don't need anything newer, especially when phones are $1000 now. Add that to no longer needing new cars each year. I also spent a LOT less at the clubs than I used to. I could probably chalk that up to being older now, but to make myself feel better, I'll call it financial strategy.