Debt & Friendships

So one of my friends told me he has $30k in credit card debt. This is the same one who recently financed close to $30k for a new car and has a TCO of almost $1600/mo. He makes a good chunk more than I do annually but wow. Considering the average credit card is about 13% interest, he’s paying close to $4k in interest each year. My friend also tends to spend rather extravagantly compared to my $10-25 dinners out.

I value our friendship, but it makes for an interesting point.

Don’t take money advice from broke people. Especially if they’re going further into debt to impress people they don’t like. Don’t take fitness advice from fat people. They may be good intentioned but the fact that they haven’t been able to make the plan work for them is proof that maybe they aren’t the people to go to for sound advice.

Started cutting back some carbs in my diet yesterday. Eating a whole sweet potato instead of the 1.5-2 servings of oatmeal/cereal I would normally have because it never really filled me up. Understanding more and more that all calories aren’t created equal. And certain foods have way more calories than I would’ve ever imagined. My ‘Wheat Belly’ has really made me start thinking about the impact of what I eat on my body.

Off to go enjoy the outdoors now…

iPhone 6 – Yes I Pre-Ordered One

Flashback to 2012, I purchased the then-new iPhone 5. Why did I upgrade?

  • The device was able to store twice the amount of files as my iPhone 4. 16gb vs 8. Was running into issues not being able to keep enough of my music files on it.
  • Crack-prone. Broke the screen on it twice. Once while taking my bag out of the trunk on the way to work. Again while at a bar, tipsy and a friend slapped it out of my hand.
  • Slow – Moving from single core to dual core. iPhone 5 was and still feels way more responsive than the old phone. It’s rare the the 5 slows down other than when I’m running out of space.
  • Screen size – Bigger is better when trying to fit a lot of information into such a small form factor as a phone. As long as it still is the size of a phone and not an iPad.

What are my reasons for wanting to upgrade this time?

  • Size of screen. A slight bump up would be nice. A friend of mine has a 5.2″ phone and I thought that was too big. How can you sit down with form-hugging dress pants, have that huge bulge in your pocket and act like it isn’t bothersome. Even worse with a case… So no Plus for me.
  • Timing – I have an unlimited grandfathered plan with at&t. The phone I picked out, the 64gb $299 plus a $40 activation fee. My old phone should get close to $180 from Gazelle. I can tolerate an extra $150 for a phone. Buying the phone I want out of pocket from T-Mobile would be $749.91 vs $299 for a 2 year contract. Then the 5gb plan (equiv of my ‘unlimited’) would be $70/mo plus ~20% in fees / taxes. So round that to $84. I pay $87 now. Not a huge amount of savings. $Also 450 over 2 years is an additional $18.75 a month extra.
  • Newness – I use my phone probably over $100 times a day each and every day. I got the battery replaced for free recently as part of a recall program. I would like something more cutting edge and able to use more modern technologies like H.265 encoding / decoding. The Pay system I’m not so jazzed about. Just because it takes out the process of consciously thinking about payment decisions. A beep and cha ching your account is debited. I use this with one of my credit cards and it can be scary. One could argue the phone is actually safer than that. A malicious person couldn’t just beep your phone and have your credit card number.
  • Camera – I take a lot of pictures with my phone. Better image quality is a huge plus. The 5S was already much improved. The 6 offers some nice touches that will make it easier to take great pics and video.

Other than that I didn’t really need a new phone. It’s definitely a want and most of the things I’ve been complaining about are ‘first-world problems’. Think we’re all guilty, I see folks make the biggest deal out of the smallest issue and I just want to tell them to get a grip…

Last but not least the world / internet can be a vile place. I won’t go into detail, but it sickens me how some can profit off violence or exposing people in the worst possible manner. Some things cannot be unseen… A certain level of ignorance does bring about bliss.

Month 29 Update – Sallie Mae – 28,473.08 NMAC – $16,482.84 Total = 44,955.92

Making progress:

Down to $28,473.08 on Sallie Mae. Last month I was at 29,377.51. I will be under 28k in no time at all. I may not make my target of paying this off before my 33rd birthday, but I am ramping things up quite a bit. Thanks heavily to the budget my bf and a friend helped me put together. I know it’s irony that two people who don’t have blogs about getting out of debt helped me stay on path.

 month29update 

I got a bonus at work this week. I wasn’t expecting much, but including my retirement contribution over it was a couple hundred more than I had otherwise so not complaining. My bf also got his bonus and wrote me a check out for $1000 (415 went toward home repairs) toward my debt pay down efforts / long term savings. He didn’t have to do that and I’m quite appreciative. For September staying on target for the $1k toward Sallie Mae goal I set some months back. Might go over actually. If I paid $452 for the month, then add $500 I was given plus $500 extra I intended to pay anyway.

Month 29  Auto Loan Update - Nissan Motor Acceptance Corporation

Month 29 Auto Loan Update – Nissan Motor Acceptance Corporation

month29autoloan

 

The idea of having debt outside the mortgage until 2019 is quite unsettling. Even though it’s 0%, if I were to lose my job tomorrow I’d still owe that money to NMAC.

Also want to cover my retirement as of now:

$4206 in my 401k
$445 in Roth

$4651 total. 14 months ago I didn’t have a penny in retirement. I differ with Dave Ramsey’s philosophy of not putting any money toward retirement when paying off debt. Especially if you waited until your 30s (or later) like me to start the process going. You can’t turn back the years or offset a company match you might have made. I’m still paying extra toward it.

Earlier this month I had this strong desire to get a fancy road bike saying I work hard and deserve it. The one I wanted was about $500. It was also Labor Day so sales were in full effect. I talked myself out of it after getting the electricity bill in the mail and remembering I already have both a road bike and a mountain bike. I also tend not to ride when it’s above 90 degrees. These numbers need to keep going down, not up…

Therapy

I started seeing a therapist to address issues I’ve been having with Social Anxiety and some depression.
She charged $125 for our first visit, each one thereafter is $100. A little expensive yes but I think it’s worth it. I was in denial for the longest time.
What I haven’t mentioned on this blog is that I’ve spend over a year looking for friends online and the past 3 trying to make friends in general (with mixed luck).

Labor day weekend was particularly hard for me. One part because my mouth has been hurting and two because I felt such an intense feeling of loneliness. I laid in bed most of the day yesterday, only going out to walk the dog. On social media I saw friends post pictures having fun on the water, at barbecues, etc. I was wallowing in misery inside the house wishing someone would just ask me to do anything.

Today was much better though. Got a decent amount of sleep. Actually took a lunch break at work. Immediately after work I walked / sprinted 3.67 miles for an hour at a pace of 16:21 min/mi. Then I went shopping at Tom Thumb. Boyfriend made some delish matzo ball soup.

Last week our plumber came and fixed the downstairs shower. $250 later you can actually take a shower in warm water instead of ice cold. Bf wants to redo our bathroom upstairs and to do that we need one functional bathroom. Tomorrow a new handyman is supposed to take a look at some work we need done to the house. Minor work, like fixing doors that don’t close all the way, hanging closet that is dangling from the wall and sliding closet doors that don’t actually slide but instead get stuck and frustrate the hell out of me when all I wanted to do was pick out a pair of pants…

The old handyman I tried to have come by on two different occasions and no followup on his end. On top of that, the work he did to fix our showers didn’t hold up. So money down the drain figuratively speaking. Hopefully the local guy I found online is better.

So I’ve learned a few things about myself the last week:

  1. I have to take a break at work. If I don’t, I feel like I’m losing my sanity. Start to tread work and literally feel like a slave to money / the job.
  2. Plan things with friends. Things don’t happen with a plan for me. They used to, but not here. Not with early-stage friendships.
  3. I don’t like being alone. While I am introverted, the feeling of being by myself really takes a toll after a while. Especially on the weekends. I dreaded the weekends / not going into work for the longest time because of that.
  4. I need exercise. Without even maintaining my health, I start to feel down pretty quick.
  5. I don’t need to eat meat all the time. Could go 85% vegetarian and not really care. It can be significantly cheaper as well depending on how you plan it. Not to mention I feel more energetic without having to digest a huge portion of meat.

That’s my random post of the day. Hope you enjoyed. 😛