Staying the Course – A Tale of Money & Things

When I bought my car, I pulled a Bruce Hornsby, said to myself..There are Gonna Be Some Changes made. For anyone born after 1990, here’s the video.

So some of the changes:

  • Only ate out once this week, lunch and dinner included. Went out with a friend, spent $10.82 for dinner. Feel healthier since I eat salad at least once a day and have a ton less guilt. Do need to go food shopping soon though. Savings: Lunch – $40/wk Dinner – $80/week (some weeks it’s more but being conservative)  = $480/mo combined. Still leaving room to eat out on weekends, or go out occasionally and be frugal. 
  • Using Toll Road sparingly. I use a combination of the George Bush Tollway and Dallas North Tollway to get to work in the morning. It it $1.25 each way, I typically only take it to work in the morning and take the side roads back. Due to less overall traffic I end up losing less than 5 minutes commute time. Savings = 6.25/wk $25/mo
  • Strongly considering getting rid of one of the DVRs. There are 2 of us and 3 tvs. The tv in one of my rooms is only used about once a month. My Chromecast or computer can be used to watch video on it. Savings = $8/mo
  • Spotify – It’s $10/mo and causes me to go over the 5Gb of ‘unlimited’ data usage on my phone every single month without exception. XM Radio subscription in car is good for 3 months. I could sign up online but have read horrible things about SiriusXM’s customer service. It is integrated with my car’s stereo, but not sure I’d rather stream or do FM radio..
  • Cancelled Apple Developer Membership. I’d love to be a developer, but I lack the free time to reach the level of knowledge required to become one. There are also plenty of free courses online that I can use to get familiar with the basics, then reassess. Savings = $99/yr 8.25/mo.

All in all that’s about $530 in savings. Just need to make these changes now, less deliberation, more doing. That’s the Home Depot way. Ok I swear I haven’t lost it..

Talked to my friend who bought a fancy coupe recently. I was literally blown away by what he told me. His car gets 20mpg and his drive to and back from work is 30 miles each way plus an additional 250 miles a week in personal travel. So about 100/wk in gas He pays $100/mo in tolls, car payment is $600/mo. Total overhead (insurance, gas, tolls, car note) for his car is $1600/mo, not including depreciation or maintenance. Already in 3 months he put 10k in mileage on a brand new car.  He tried to trade it in upon realizing what a huge financial mistake he made but would only get half of what it was sold for. I couldn’t offer much words of wisdom and it wasn’t the right time / place for I told you so.

Moral of the story is sometimes people have fancy things but a whole lot of stress to keep those things. I could’ve made a similar decision to get a fancy sports car that wasn’t great on gas and not so practical for carrying passengers. Also my new car purchase didn’t boost my overhead much. Insurance went up $5 for 6 months and my payment is under 10% of my net income.

Suze Orman was right: People First, Then Money, Then Things, Now You Stay Safe. People meaning yourself because at the end of the day you are your biggest supporter or biggest enemy to financial security.

Saving 20% on My Cell Phone Bill and $5 on FIOS

Looks like I’m now eligible for 20% off my AT&T wireless phone thanks to where I work. It’s $20/mo but my bill should be much closer to $80 instead of over $100 for unlimited data. Say $20/mo savings * 12 = $240/yr. I upgrade to a new phone every two years and it runs around $199. So basically 2 months free, a new phone every time I upgrade or 4-6 tanks of gas… and a whopping $5/mo on my FIOS bill. Still thinking about other ways to lower that one and what I’m willing to give up. Just sharing my gratitude.. 🙂

Budget / Loan Payment Breakdown

As promised, I decided to make a budget. I used the example No More Harvard Debt Provided and catered it to my own lifestyle.

I just had a holy shit, aha moment. I’m basically shelling out every dollar of my take-home pay and putting it toward my bills. I need to change something stat. Time to reflect and figure out where I really want to spend money and which areas I can cut back.

Debt Free 32 Budget
Debt Free 32 Budget

Payment Summary

Event Amount Term Period
Loan $37,665.00 1
Payment $1,000.00 40 Monthly
Payment $497.66 1

Payment Schedule

Event Loan Payment Interest Principal Balance
Loan 1 $37,665.00 $0.00 $0.00 $37,665.00
Payment 1 $1,000.00 $133.40 $866.60 $36,798.40
Payment 2 $1,000.00 $130.33 $869.67 $35,928.73
Payment 3 $1,000.00 $127.25 $872.75 $35,055.98
Payment 4 $1,000.00 $124.16 $875.84 $34,180.14
Payment 5 $1,000.00 $121.05 $878.95 $33,301.19
Payment 6 $1,000.00 $117.94 $882.06 $32,419.13
Payment 7 $1,000.00 $114.82 $885.18 $31,533.95
Payment 8 $1,000.00 $111.68 $888.32 $30,645.63
Payment 9 $1,000.00 $108.54 $891.46 $29,754.17
Payment 10 $1,000.00 $105.38 $894.62 $28,859.55
Payment 11 $1,000.00 $102.21 $897.79 $27,961.76
Payment 12 $1,000.00 $99.03 $900.97 $27,060.79
Payment 13 $1,000.00 $95.84 $904.16 $26,156.63
Payment 14 $1,000.00 $92.64 $907.36 $25,249.27
Payment 15 $1,000.00 $89.42 $910.58 $24,338.69
Payment 16 $1,000.00 $86.20 $913.80 $23,424.89
Payment 17 $1,000.00 $82.96 $917.04 $22,507.85
Payment 18 $1,000.00 $79.72 $920.28 $21,587.57
Payment 19 $1,000.00 $76.46 $923.54 $20,664.03
Payment 20 $1,000.00 $73.19 $926.81 $19,737.22
Payment 21 $1,000.00 $69.90 $930.10 $18,807.12
Payment 22 $1,000.00 $66.61 $933.39 $17,873.73
Payment 23 $1,000.00 $63.30 $936.70 $16,937.03
Payment 24 $1,000.00 $59.99 $940.01 $15,997.02
Payment 25 $1,000.00 $56.66 $943.34 $15,053.68
Payment 26 $1,000.00 $53.32 $946.68 $14,107.00
Payment 27 $1,000.00 $49.96 $950.04 $13,156.96
Payment 28 $1,000.00 $46.60 $953.40 $12,203.56
Payment 29 $1,000.00 $43.22 $956.78 $11,246.78
Payment 30 $1,000.00 $39.83 $960.17 $10,286.61
Payment 31 $1,000.00 $36.43 $963.57 $9,323.04
Payment 32 $1,000.00 $33.02 $966.98 $8,356.06
Payment 33 $1,000.00 $29.59 $970.41 $7,385.65
Payment 34 $1,000.00 $26.16 $973.84 $6,411.81
Payment 35 $1,000.00 $22.71 $977.29 $5,434.52
Payment 36 $1,000.00 $19.25 $980.75 $4,453.77
Payment 37 $1,000.00 $15.77 $984.23 $3,469.54
Payment 38 $1,000.00 $12.29 $987.71 $2,481.83
Payment 39 $1,000.00 $8.79 $991.21 $1,490.62
Payment 40 $1,000.00 $5.28 $994.72 $495.90
Payment 41 $497.66 $1.76 $495.90 $0.00
Grand Total $37,665.00 $40,497.66 $2,832.66 $37,665.00 $0.00
This amortization schedule is powered by: copyrightTimeValue Software