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Discussion Starter #1
Some background... I'm up to my ears in student loan debt, over $100k and couldn't afford to finish a degree after the school gave me the shaft on scheduling and billing. I dropped out after $21k in fraudulent charges billed directly to my student loans without my notification or approval. I was withholding $15.5k in somewhat legitimate charges through shady means on their part, contingent upon settling the $21k in fraudulent charges. I paid this recently as they were extorting me and threatening to destroy my credit. Working on settlement with this, which I don't expect to go anywhere at which point I'll take it to court.

In any event, I need more income. I've been looking for a replacement day job without too much success at finding anything higher paying that is within a reasonable commute. I'm still looking, but am also looking for second/third shift jobs as well.

The best I've found so far is night work at a loading dock. 6 hours a night at $8.50/hr and ends at a convenient time to eat, change, and go to my day job. Unfortunately it's 27 miles away, has a $5 bridge toll involved (that will go to $6 next year I think) and may be considered in city limits so would have a 3.5% city wage tax on top of regular taxes. Since it's getting to be winter I wouldn't be able to ride my bike and would be driving my truck soon, which would cost around $18 in gas round trip vs. maybe $2-$3 on the bike. So with those costs in mind, after state+fed+city tax+bridge toll, I would be looking at $10.41 in my pocket for a 6 hour shift. That's $2706.60/yr... Factor in riding my bike up to half the time and this job would get me $2706.60-$4656.60/yr. That could all go to my student loan debt.

The other consideration is with this pay plus my day job it would put me dangerously close to the next tax bracket. Next year after a raise I would likely end up with less money overall when big government takes more in the next tax bracket.

I'm not sure if this is worth it. It's time I would be spending sleeping, but can shift sleeping to after my day job. I've done third shift work before and can acclimate to it after a week or two. The pay is just so darn low. I'm trying to get my act together and pay off this debt so I can move on with my life. I am two weeks quit smoking, which saves $2400/yr, and have been riding my bike more to save on gas. Maybe I'm just trying to take this to an unreasonable extreme? Or does every little bit really count? What would you guys recommend? Find something better paying or closer to home for a second job? Skip the second job altogether? Hold out for a better day job? Do the night shift until loans paid off? ???
 

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Personally... it doesn't sound like you'd have much left over after all is said and done. If it were me, I'd spend that time looking at ways to cut costs around home/ looking for better job. Why wear yourself out to only come out with that little bit at the end of the year. Plus wear and tear on your vehicle.. more maintenance, possible more repairs. Just saying, if it were me, I'd use that time to my best advantange cutting costs everywhere else, reading every single money saving book I could get my hands on, and looking for the better paying one.

For what it's worth, anyways, my 2 cents.
 

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That really is a tough one to answer. I will say that if you can find a part-time job that would work for you do it. How about something like delivering newspapers to the boxes on the street?

Quitting smoking is a great start!! As an ex-smoker I can tell you you will see the difference financially and physically.

Have you looked at you budget to see if you can cut out the same amount of money each year?

There is so much to consider. Will say that even though it is difficult to work a second job it is easier when you are younger.

Hope you can get some help on figuring which way to proceed. You are thinking ahead which is a good start.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thinking this through... My net gain from a week at this job (30 hours) would be about an hour of overtime at my current job. I can squeeze an hour or two of overtime most weeks without raising eyebrows.

What got me started was the same company had another job available in the same town I work in now that was 12-8 so perfect timing... Could have pocketed some decent money as that position was $11/hr. So would have been a full extra 40 hours at crap pay, but basically no extra costs. Unfortunately the position was filled.

I think I'll scrap this job and keep looking for a better job or a decent second job.

Aside from that I don't have much to cut on the expenses side. Smoking was the big one and I cut that. Feeling great about it and haven't even been tempted. I stopped going out to eat or to bars for the most part. Just a once a week burger and beer at a cheaper place with my buddies that has been a tradition for about 7 years. I do McDonalds once or twice a week for two dollar doubles so $4.28/wk on that. I could cut that and probably feel healthier.

I drive an old pickup and have started riding my '71 Honda more lately to save on gas. Neither cost much and both are very reliable. I recently changed insurance on the truck which saved me $400/yr. The bike costs $90/yr to insure. I do have an old '80s ski boat. I have around $10k into that but if I had to sell I could get $12k pretty quick, I already turned down $11k. I wakeboard, it's my one true passion in life. I won't be without a boat but would sell this and get an cheaper ski boat if I had to and probably end up with about $9k in my pocket. The guys I ride with are great and usually take care of gas, which is 30-40 gallons/day 2-4 times/month April-October. No big costs there aside from the actual price of the boat and $400/yr insurance.

At the moment I'm living with my parents for free, though getting ready to buy my first house. As much as I appreciate having a free place to stay it's been driving me nuts. Trying to get costs in line for all the bills. I'm comfortable with heat at 55*, don't use air conditioning, don't have a TV since last one broke a year ago, have a wireless internet card from work so don't need internet, and don't need or use most things everyone else considers necessities. I also have one friend on the same page as me about luxuries who will likely be renting a room when I move on a house. With all this student loan debt (my only debt) I'm nervous not about mortgage costs as houses are cheap and interest is low, but rather property taxes here are insane, around $6k for everything in my cheapo house budget. Even with that, renting is not much cheaper and I've hated living in apartments. Renting a house is more expensive that buying, for anything I've seen. Unfortunately buying a house means the huge payments on my debt are gonna drop a bit unless I find more income to stay on a faster repayment schedule.

I would love to relocate but there aren't many jobs in my field where I want to be. I would gladly take a lower paying job in my field or another field (I was a mechanic, back in the day) but can't justify the risk of living my dream with this huge debt. Goal is to knock out the debt, save up an appreciable amount of money, hopefully whatever house I buy will appreciate in that time, then find a job down south, buy a lake house, and live a simple life on a lake.
 

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How much more are yopu going to eat because you are doing six hours of hard labor. Not worth it my opinion.
What do you do as a full time job? Try to do something different so you have a change.
Have you looked at working with mentally disabled adults? Often on weekend it means community outings ....movies, dinner, fast food, parks, fairs etc . If you want to work third shift then you could to some cleaning, maybe some cooking, possibly showering and breakfast. And about four hours of quiet TV.
For now you might look at getting a holiday temp job. You can do almost anything for two months.
 

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Don't worry about taxes though. Your income is taxed in layers...like a rainbow. First layer (purple) is tax-free, (personal deductions etc). Next layer(indigo) is taxed at 4%. Next layer(blue) is taxed at 6%. Next layer(indigo) is taxed at 4%. Next layer(green) is taxed at 8%. If you add a layer---yellow, it will be taxed at the higher rate but all of the layers below it stay the same. I made up the numbers but the principal is the same. You will be getting a smaller precentage of your raise but still more money than before.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Good points Kita. Whenever I've pulled all nighters in the past for school or mechanic work I've been fine (I'm still young)... But I eat like a horse to keep going!

I currently work in IT. I like my job for the most part, but I'm underpaid for the national median for what I do and especially for the median in this state. I might try to find something closer to home to do just for the holidays, even if the pay is crap. It would be kind of like a no obligation proof of concept that a second/third shift job can still work for me. An ideal second job would be something easy but in my field, like second/third shift helpdesk type work that might pay $16-$22/hr depending on what and where. Something like that would let me get out of this debt pretty quick.

Thanks for the tips on taxes... That would change the numbers if I did get bumped to the next tax bracket, since only a couple thousand at most would be taxed at that higher rate. The other side of the tax equation is if I make too much more I can only deduct half of my student loan interest paid instead of all of it. I'm not sure how much that would affect taxes paid vs. my current situation... As with a lower paying night shift job it wouldn't be likely to bump me very far past that cutoff point.
 

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Are student loans your only debt? Have you worked out a budget accounting for each and every penny? That is the best place to start because generally its easier to cut expenses than earn extra. Quitting smoking and allocating those $'s to debt makes good sense (without even getting into the health issues!).

Right now with the economy pretty much in the dumpster the fact you have a job is great. A lot of us are underpaid which is part and parcel of the economy. Still its a lot better to be working and underpaid than not working!!

Health wise -- phyical, emotional and mental -- two jobs over the long haul can do a lot of damage. If you could find a weekend job so you aren't working so many hours each day, might be easier than two jobs each day. There is also the danger of making mistakes in your regular job due to fatigue and getting fired which would not help your situation at all.
 

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From what you have described, I would come to the same solution. Pass on this particular job and keep looking for something else closer and/or better paying. Cut expenses where you can. Maybe look for jobs you can do around the neighborhood like shoveling driveways and sidewalks, yard work in the summer, manual labor for an hourly wage. This would cut out any travel expense.
 

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Better bet: Study up on barkeeping. You can take a class for $700 in most places. It's even usually scheduled to work around a first shift job.

A job at a nice hotel bar has some perks.
  • Good hourly - $10 sometimes plus tips
  • Places close at midnight sometimes
  • Much better clientel and security
  • Able to work receptions and banquets for $150 + tips for 3 hours work
  • Cons: May need a few dress clothes for receptions - tux like for females too

Some of the hotels offer all employees benefits too.
 

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If you need more income, but are concerned about too many taxes, maybe you need to find a way to start your own small business. Any expenses incurred are deductible and part of your housing may be deductible as a home office. Plus, if you can find something that allows you to invest the time up front, but will roll along with you later, you will continue to reap the benefits later. Things like that do exist. You just have to find them and be smart about not falling for schemes.
 
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