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Thread: My story so far
11-02-2011, 12:51 AM #1
My story so far
This is my first post but I've been lurking for a while. I've gained inspiration and ideas from many and felt I'd share my current journey.
I was lucky to find a good paying job at age 19, a job I thought I'd have for life. When I was entering my 8th year with the company I had to take medical leave for a surgery then the night before I was to return to work, after filling out and having doctors fill out dozens of pages of paperwork at my bosses request, I was called after close of business and told I would not be needed with the company any longer.
I used my savings to pay down my $10,000+ medical bills and my unemployment payments didn't even cover my cobra and rent, let alone any of the other bills. During my years making good money I bought everything I could ever want - thousands of DVDs, CDs, records, TV's, eating out daily and going out to bars at night - living above my means and charging unnecessary items on credit cards.
My fiancee also had a decent paying job during this time.
Then last year we found out she was pregnant and all of a sudden all the things I bought, wasted money on - seemed like such meaningless junk. I sold 70% of my belongings and paid off 2 credit cards off and a couple medical bills with the money and put a couple thousand in savings for an emergency fund.
Which brings me to the point of this post. I wanted a stress free job where I could enjoy my son and not worry about work - I took a minimum wage job with a company - making less then I've made since High School - but with less stress then I've had since High School. My fiancee opted to not return to her job after pregnancy due to long hours and took a minimum wage job at the same company working part time so she can be with our son.
Everything I've read online are a bunch of people saying how impossible it is to live on minimum wage, I just wanted to say - we are living it and we are doing fine with no help. I've got 1 Medical Bill and 2 Credit Cards left, I plan to be debt free by the summer in time for my sons 1st Birthday, the best gift I can think to give is living in a financially stable household. With our bills we still manage to put $300 into savings at least a month and $25 a week towards a college fund. We have plans to purchase our first house (currently living in a 1 bedroom apartment) next year putting 30 percent down cash - all on minimum wage. It is possible. Its our choice, we are not lazy - we are just enjoying life and our family and being smart with our money.
Instead of buying things, I now write them down in a notebook for the future - when I do buy something, it messes with my mind, even buying a CD for $13 - it feels like I'm making a thousand dollar decision. I wish I felt that years ago, live and learn. If only I'd read Walden in High School.
Sorry for the rambling - Bob Dylan is speaking to me in the background on my $20 CD Boombox that I got when I sold my $5000 stero system.
- 11-02-2011, 02:24 AM #2
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Wow! That's amazing! Good for you! And you still put $300 a month in savings! Now that's something else. My oldest makes just above minimum wage and he does not bring home enough to rent an apartment and pay utilities in our area. I don't know what you're doing but keep on doing it!11-02-2011, 06:31 AM #3
HI and WELCOME.
With our bills we still manage to put $300 into savings at least a month and $25 a week towards a college fund.
This is roughly 100 per week total.
You have cheap rent ?
Live close to work ?
And you are working opposite shifts so you don't have day care ?
You want to share some of your frugal tips here ?--------My signature--------
The economy is now uncharted waters... grab a oar and start rowing. ~~
Put the frog in pot, turn up the heat real slow, and the frog doesn't hop out. And by the time he realizes, he should , it's too late... think about it.11-02-2011, 07:33 AM #4
Welcome to the family first of all. CONGRATULATIONS on your sucess keep up the great job.11-02-2011, 08:59 AM #5
Wow, that's so inspirational. You have such a positive attitude. Your son has been blessed with very wise parents. That is worth more than all the money in the world. Looking forward to more of your posts.11-02-2011, 09:26 AM #6
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Congrats (on both the little one, and how life is working out for you) and thank you for your story.
(I'm also an Anthony that goes by Tony)11-02-2011, 09:45 AM #7
I'm so glad you posted here on our forum. Your story is an inspiration to all. Like others have suggested, please share the details of how you got from where you were, to where you are now. You are an example of life's serious problems happening to someone, who then reacts with positive and productive choices in dealing with their challenges. I commend you for selling off 70% of your 'stuff', and for wisely alocating that money.11-02-2011, 09:50 AM #8
You are a living breathing example of how NOT to let excuses like 'I'm only making minimum wage' or 'we just had a baby' act as crutches. Your new baby could not have a better example to learn from!11-02-2011, 07:43 PM #9
Wow. I wouldlove to see the numbers on this. Here min. wage is $8.50 and I figure that you would have less than a thousand to live on after your savings and college fund. Tell us!!11-02-2011, 07:52 PM #10
Wow, you must be in a lower cost of living area. I don't think I could even rent an apartment here on minimum wage.11-02-2011, 08:13 PM #11
Both of our parents have pretty open schedules and are able to watch him at any time.
Rent - $499 (includes trash and water)
Utilities - $40
Car Insurance (1 car) - $75
Debt Payments - $70 (2 Credit Cards min payment, since I just paid off a card, I'll begin throwing snowballs at the next smallest)*
Medical Bill - $50 ($600 left)
Cable / Internet - $80 (I want to get rid of cable soon, that will save an extra $40 / month)
Phone - $75 (2 Cell Phones)
Grocery - $100 ($25 a week)
Gas - $40 (we live within 5 miles of work and even closer to both of our parents)
Diapers - $0 - between what we got at our baby shower and last month when pampers was closing out certain Quantity boxes - I was able to buy enough diapers to last the next 3 months)
College Fund - $100
We have gift cards that we have saved and have been using on Formula, we wont have to pay out of pocket for months. We got a lot of gift cards for the baby shower and took some items back that we didn't need or had doubles of and got gift cards. For Birthdays/Christmas we get gift cards and will be using them for the same.
take home between her and I is around $1400 a month, sometimes a little more depending on her hours.
Our fun includes getting a pizza every Friday from a local pizzeria - which offers weekly coupons, the pizza comes to $7.99 - this and my extra payments towards debt come out of earnings made selling my material items.
Of course as our son gets older we will have a lot more expenses BUT that is why we are living so tight now so we don't have to worry and will have money set aside.
We have been looking at nice houses in good neighborhoods - we have been looking at 2-3 bedroom's for between $30,000-$40,000 - we would love to put 30% down in cash and pay off a house within 5-7 years. I love looking at these small houses, I always wanted a huge house, now all I want is a house in a good school district that I can afford. I've become obsessed with small houses and simple living - I'm 28, I guess its not too late to start over.
I was never taught how to manage money - my family is mostly made of consumers, just passed down from generation to generation. I look forward to teaching my child the difference between want and need.
The reason I wanted to share is I always see and hear people complaining about how broke they are and how they aren't making anything - come on, if the biggest money waster ever can turn it around, anyone can. It is crazy that we have more money in savings now that we make nothing then we did when we made nearly triple what we do now.11-02-2011, 09:03 PM #12
Wow, awesome job.
Houses for $30k? Holy cow, our down payment was twice that. Just confirming what a crazy high cost of living place we live in.
I think I spend $25 a week on produce alone . Would love to know how you keep to that.11-02-2011, 09:11 PM #13
11-02-2011, 09:41 PM #14
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11-02-2011, 10:03 PM #15
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Wow! $30,000-$40,000 for a house? You can't even buy an empty lot with a smidge of an acre for that around here. Seriously, not even an empty lot. My niece and her husband moved almost 2 hours away to find a home for $30,000, a serious fixer upper in a very economically depressed, but very safe mountain area. Like brennasmom, we live in a very high cost of living area.
I'd say that where you live is definitely a huge plus for you as is having grandparents for child care. What a wonderful blessing!
Keep on doing what your doing and you'll be in a house in no time. Love that you plan on having it paid for in 5-7 years. I hope all your dreams come true.
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