32 – Reflections on Life

So currently my blog is called Debt Free 32 – ONE MAN’S MISSION TO GET RID OF 45159.35 OF DEBT.
I may be renaming it in the near future. The style of this post is more raw from the heart vs my standard super logical approach. I’m turning 32 in less than 2 weeks.


What thoughts are associated with 32?
Reflection for one. Relationships, loved ones lost at an early age. Completion of High School, each of my three college degrees, the incredible amount of progress I’ve made over the years with my personal fitness. Moving 1500 miles away to Dallas without a clue of fully knowing what to expect. Six months of applying to jobs  in a career where my passion was dead but just did because I that’s what I spent a half decade doing. Surely nothing wrong with that strategy right?+ Struggles with paying back a debilitating amount of Student Loan debt proportional to my income, five figures of interest accruing over the years. Interviews where I had a sinking feeling in my stomach that this job is going to be like torture. An MBA graduate at 24 there I was interviewing for a job paying $36k with no room for advancement and trying to sound jazzed about it. Almost getting a job paying over $50k a year only to have the HR people tell me they weren’t hiring for the next 3 months.

Then…. I reached a tipping point. NO LONGER would I let debt paralyze me. I’m intelligent,  maybe limited at times anxiety and overanalyzing situations where people are busy or don’t connect with me…. but…. Other people my age have been able to get out of debt. A long time watcher of the Suze Orman show since the early 2000s I saw their stories each week along with people who had a much deeper hole to get out of. I only had $47k of student loan debt. Some people have six figures and work as a barista at Starbucks. One guy on Suze’s show went to school to become a pilot. Things didn’t work out and he had $200k of debt making less than $20 per hour.

What advice would I give to myself? Move. GTFO Long Island. Too expensive to live, staying with your parents because you can’t afford to be on your own is not good for your emotional and mental health. Being in place where your neighbors stare at you 60% of the time going in and out of the house is crazy. Having shootings just a mile away from where you live and gas stations robbed at gunpoint is crazy. Seeing your folks pay $9k/yr in taxes on each of two houses each year is crazy. The amount of stress most people have and all the gang activity is crazy. DON’T be status quo. DON’T get stuck working that job you only took as a temporary measure. DON’T be the 30 year old guy who works at the video store and still lives with mom and dad because they never strived for anything else in life.

As far as things TO DO. DO invest in yourself both mind and body. DO make friends of the caliber you think will enhance your life not take away from it. DO invest at an EARLY AGE. DO be a contrarian and value investor, the media uses people as pawns in ways, when the stock market is tanking that’s the best time to invest (I would’ve doubled my money if I followed this advice). DO diversify and avoid expensive fees from financial advisors. DO listen to people smarter than you who have turned their lives around.

Last but not least…. 32 is still really young. I was chatting with someone on a dating app who is… Wait for it…. 57 years of age. Great guy, in awesome shape, established and very handsome. Just practically a guy who is probably going to retire in the next 5 years vs me having 30 left. If he was in his 40s sure but technically he is older than my mom and almost as old as my dad were he still living.

Ric Edelman has predicted many of us who are alive now will live to over 140 year due to advances in science and medicine. I don’t know about that but even if we shift closer to 100… Still a long time.
My main message to my readers / friends who read this is….

Embrace life. Don’t get stuck so much in thoughts that you forget to enjoy all the wonderful experiences out there. Many things are temporary in life including debt. Keep calm, smile, enjoy being single or with that special man or woman in your life. Be happy for who and what you are.

That’s all I got for now. Happy Sunday! 🙂

Month 39 Update – Navient $15,787.87, NMAC $13,689.14 401k – $9,137 – Roth IRA -2745.85

It’s crazy to think that I’ve been at this for 39 Months.

Naiveté Month 39 Update
Navient Month 39 Update

Broke $2k in my Betterment account finally:

Betterment 07/06/2015
Betterment 07/06/2015

This month I came to the realization of two things:
1) I can save a good chunk of money taking lunch with me to work
2) I don’t want to trade my car in, the used car market is not very appealing. I had honestly been considering a used Honda CR-Z for about $12k with only about 40k miles and a ‘Lifetime” Powertrain warranty. I just hit 12k on this car and it still drives like new. There are a few small door dings that I plan to get fixed eventually. After finding red paint on my side panel and a few weeks ago on my driver’s side door, I decided to park away from the inconsiderate guy who drives a van with the bumper hanging halfway off his car.

Hitting 12k miles on my Nissan
Hitting 12k miles on my Nissan

NMAC – Car Loan Payoff Amount: $13,689.14
Navient – $15,787.87
Credit Card: $1,357.57
Total Debt: $30,834.58

401k: $9,137
Betterment Roth IRA: $2007.40
Brokerage House Roth IRA: $738.45
Total Retirement: $11,882.85

I did have an unplanned expense with the car this month, again… A nail in my tire, right in a spot that wasn’t reparable. $195.38 for parts, labor and tax. I’m not sure if this was one of the tires that I got replaced back in November.

Nail in car tire
Nail in car tire

I did a staycation recently, probably the worst vacation experience since splitting with my ex. I got strep, the above nail in my tire. Chills, splitting headache. The following weeks were not very enjoyable either. More drama in the dating scene. The guy I liked I felt was starting to lose attraction to me. Combine that with an issue involving a $500 fine for a dog the owner said he could have at his condo, a $300 fine where they towed his car the last day he was there, time spent not paying rent because of being stubborn and it going down as an eviction on his record, corporate housing / being borderline homeless. Then a schedule that was opposite of mine. I had a little bit of heart but at the same time I’m not ready for someone I just met to move in with me.

Putting myself out there in the dating scene but I keeping my guard up until I find someone deserving of my time and affection. There is a guy I do like from a personality / physical standpoint…but he pays for half his mom’s rent, can barely pay his own bills and has a massive chunk of student loan debt. Interest is accruing and his job situation is kind of spotty. In 4 years I’d like to have enough money set aside to buy a home. His financial situation is dire and I don’t think that would happen. I hate to make everything about money but it was one of the reasons why my parents divorced, why I am paying student loans still after graduating 7 years ago… It’s important to get right.

I have a lot more to write including a bit of an intervention / beatdown with some of the FIRE (Financial Independence and Early Retirement) community. All my doing, I need someone to model after. Student ready, teacher present. At an interesting point though, my interest on the student loan is under $700 per year. That’s huge progress. When I first started this blog it was $1785. My temporary goal right now is to get rid of credit card debt and restore my (~$300) emergency fund. That may take 2 months. Putting aside a little each week and praying nothing major happens. It stresses me out and serves as a reminder life is a journey not a sprint…