Debt...

JHDK

Release Robin's Bra
Oct 11, 2008
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It does help quite a bit, and if you don't trust yourself, then you are smart enough to know you aren't ready for one yet. They are nice to have for emergencies and on line purchases. You have more protection than using your bank card. The banks like to see how you do managing your finances. Properly managing your plastic is a good sign for them. Having cards that are always totally payed off, is good, but it doesn't raise your rating (they like to know if they lend you money for something that you'll let them make a couple of bucks along the way.)

It sounds like you're doing all right.

thanks. i keep 1k banked at all times for car issues or whatever comes up. when i bought the house they had to check my credit score and i think it was around 620 or so and thats without ever really having credit. i bet its a bit down from that now. ive always paid for my cars in cash....5k was the most ever....way to go used autos! good post hectic. gave me some thoughts.
 

ProperModulation

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Oct 11, 2008
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thanks. i keep 1k banked at all times for car issues or whatever comes up. when i bought the house they had to check my credit score and i think it was around 620 or so and thats without ever really having credit. i bet its a bit down from that now.

That's what I thought after we bought our house. Then when we got our credit checked for the car last year, both our scores had jumped. I think mine went from around 790 to 825 or so, and the wife had a similar jump. That surprised the heck out of me.

Good deal on keeping some extra cash handy, especially now that you're a homeowner. I do the same thing in my checking account. I basically treat $3K as $0. It's there in case of an emergency and I've been doing it for so long that I honestly feel broke when my balance gets close to that false floor. I do the same with our joint account (although not $3k!) by slightly overestimating our bills then letting the excess funds build up over time. That "extra" cash comes in handy once or twice a year when repairs come up or we feel like going to Vegas or something. It may seem kinda nerdy, but I have a spreadsheet that projects my income and expenses for the full year, and I keep it updated with paychecks and expenses every week. It has really helped me budget and see how purchases right now affect my bank account 6 months down the road.
 

ProperModulation

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Are you guys posting FICO or Vantage scores?

credit scores are a scam. i think i am mixing up numbers from our car purchase and our house refinance. the car purchase numbers were way high and i didn't really believe them (although it got us their best financing so i wasn't going to argue). That score could not have been FICO. my score during our refi was an average of the score from the three bureaus which was about 15-20 points lower about 4 months later.
 

Markz

Member
Jan 8, 2009
330
1
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Northern NJ
42 yrs old, Divorced, single w/ 1 daughter
0 dollars in debt
Don't own a home
Automobile is clear
No credit cards to speak of

I need to build up cash reserves though.
 

Brad Bishop

Member
Dec 3, 2008
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Just to add to it:

To me this statement:
"Don't ever have a credit card or a balance or be in debt!"
is as dumb as:
"15 months and 0% interest with no payments due for 12 months! We'll worry about that next year!"

are about on par.

Credit is a tool. It's neither good nor evil. It's like saying, "if you never use a knife then you'll never be cut..." Ok, I suppose that's true - still kind of dumb. Similarly, the opposite end of the spectrum is: "I can use this knife however I like - I really don't need to pay attention!" is also kind of dumb.

Yes, if you never ever borrow money or have a credit card then that's great. You can make the argument that you should pay for your car with all cash, too. I'd say for most folks that's more idealistic than realistic - but still, it makes a point. When you've spent your life never establishing a credit history (or, conversely, establishing a really bad one) and it comes time to buy something really big (like a house or start a business) suddenly, you're both (guy who never borrowed and a guy who stupidly borrowed) in a very similar boat.

Now, all that said, if living your life debt-free (never carrying a balance on anything) is your comfort zone, that's fine with me. It's far better than the guy who's careless and ends up in bankruptcy. Still, it's very like never using a tool because you think it might hurt you instead of learning how to use a tool properly.
 

JHDK

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I didn't want to start a new thread so this is as close as I could find.

How often (or how many days/month) do you guys go w/o spending any money?

Since I've been sober I've written down everything I spend every day. Down to the penny. There are plenty of days where I spend $5 or less but not too many days where it's $0. So far this month it's only been 4 days. I'm going to try to make it 5 tomorrow and shoot for 10 on the month.
 

goreds2

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Oct 14, 2008
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Especially with the world situation now, I can go a few days without spending anything. I credit college for learning how to make every penny count.

On a side note to go with this thread (maybe I did make this comment here in this thread back in the day), I am debt free except for the house. That’s why I keep my vehicles as long as possible. I have no credit cards but I do have a credit card. Yes, I listen to Dave Ramsey.
 
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IdRatherBeSkiing

Sherbet is NOT and NEVER WILL BE ice cream.
Oct 11, 2008
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I have some cash in my wallet but never spend it. Everything goes on credit and then paid when I get home. Since I work for a bank, no service charges for bill payments. I have a spreadsheet for planning 10 weeks out. Since covid, I am doing better than before since I am eating at home more (cooking) and not commuting. I am paying down some of my debts.
 
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HecticArt

Administrator
Oct 19, 2008
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I can go a few days without spending anything.
I rarely go out for lunch and usually have a protein bar at my desk. I drive a lot less and there's no entertainment stuff to do these days, so it's easier to hang on to cash.

I hit the grocery store once, maybe twice a week, and on the weekend, we'll usually order in instead of going out.
Especially with the world situation now, I can go a few days without spending anything. I credit college for learning how to make every penny count.
I credit my college debt for learning how to make every penny count. I was really broke when I graduated and it took forever to pay off the loans.
I am debt free except for the house. That’s why I keep my vehicles as long as possible.
Same here. I fought so hard to pay off my college debt and it bugs when I owe for something if I don't have to. More than anything, I hate paying all of that interest. I also started pretty late saving for retirement, so I always think of that when I consider spending on something big like a car or home improvement if I don't need to.
 
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IdRatherBeSkiing

Sherbet is NOT and NEVER WILL BE ice cream.
Oct 11, 2008
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I can go a few days without spending anything.
I rarely go out for lunch and usually have a protein bar at my desk. I drive a lot less and there's no entertainment stuff to do these days, so it's easier to hang on to cash.
Since I have been working from home I rarely buy lunches or breakfasts. Saving $$$$. That was from my splurge budget. Allowed me to splurge on the Apple Watch toy a while back.
 

HecticArt

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I haven't done much of that this year. Early in the pandemic I bought an acoustic guitar for about $400, and a ukulele for about $175.
That's pretty much been it.

Once the covid thing is over and there's more confidence in the economy, I'll feel more comfortable using a little less discretion with my discretionary spending.
 
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sadchild

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I keep fresh produce in the house all the time (we all try to have 2-3 veg and 2-3 fruit servings a day) so I'm at a grocery store 2x/week. So I don't go more than a few days before spending.

As for debt, I have the house (which will be paid off in five years) and the wife's car (three years left I think), that's it. We have 2 credit cards but pay the full balance every month. On one card, we put stuff on it to get 'points' that add up to getting a check from the bank. So a couple times a year the bank pays US a couple hundred dollars to have the credit card, and they rarely get any $ from us.
 
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scotchandcigar

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Regarding the original topic of this thread, I've previously mentioned some of the life circumstances that have steered me towards my debt reality. Let me summarize:
- Growing up, my dad instilled upon me (beat me over the head), on a daily basis, that I needed to do well in school, so I can buy an expensive house, drive an expensive car, travel the world, wear expensive watches, and generally have/want a lot of "stuff".
- My ex-wife blew most of our money, and got me disowned from my family. When we divorced, she cleaned me out, with the exception of the house (that she trashed), and half of my 401k. Then there were the legal expenses for our year-long custody fight (which I won).
- My (now) wife had a similar divorce experience (except she didn't get the house or a 401k), plus she became a single mom to her ex's cousins, without receiving any financial support.

We raised 4 girls from nothing; it cost more to fix my house than all the equity I ever had. But we needed to provide a normal upbringing for the kids. That meant putting them in nice clothes, taking them on vacations, having something reliable to transport them around in. So debt came along with that.

But I grew my 401k, I have a company pension; and with both of us working hard, we've enjoyed a decent life, we have equity, and we have retirement income. We also still have debt, but that's just how it went. We're very happy in our little corner of the planet.
 

JHDK

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I keep fresh produce in the house all the time (we all try to have 2-3 veg and 2-3 fruit servings a day) so I'm at a grocery store 2x/week. So I don't go more than a few days before spending.

I totally hear that. I try to keep fresh fruit and veg at my place all the time too. I like clementines and bananas and watermelon and cantaloupe and pineapple. Bananas are super cheap. A thing of 6 of them is only like $0.75. Clementines are way more expensive at like $4.50 for a bag.

At Walmart they offer the fruit that expires the same day for way cheaper prices so I try for that. What is usually $6 or 7 goes for $4. And that stuff stays good for a few days.

So I'm in your camp, I find myself at the store every few days for fruit.
 
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JHDK

Release Robin's Bra
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Regarding the original topic of this thread, I've previously mentioned some of the life circumstances that have steered me towards my debt reality. Let me summarize:
- Growing up, my dad instilled upon me (beat me over the head), on a daily basis, that I needed to do well in school, so I can buy an expensive house, drive an expensive car, travel the world, wear expensive watches, and generally have/want a lot of "stuff".
- My ex-wife blew most of our money, and got me disowned from my family. When we divorced, she cleaned me out, with the exception of the house (that she trashed), and half of my 401k. Then there were the legal expenses for our year-long custody fight (which I won).
- My (now) wife had a similar divorce experience (except she didn't get the house or a 401k), plus she became a single mom to her ex's cousins, without receiving any financial support.

We raised 4 girls from nothing; it cost more to fix my house than all the equity I ever had. But we needed to provide a normal upbringing for the kids. That meant putting them in nice clothes, taking them on vacations, having something reliable to transport them around in. So debt came along with that.

But I grew my 401k, I have a company pension; and with both of us working hard, we've enjoyed a decent life, we have equity, and we have retirement income. We also still have debt, but that's just how it went. We're very happy in our little corner of the planet.

Dude. There is a ton to unpack there.

Safe to say you have made a great life for yourself (despite hardship) that you should be proud of as a father and a man. Way to go Scotch.

Oh and anyone who's station in life allows for a pantry window has clearly won.
 
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scotchandcigar

arrogant bastard
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Dude. There is a ton to unpack there.

Safe to say you have made a great life for yourself (despite hardship) that you should be proud of as a father and a man. Way to go Scotch.

Oh and anyone who's station in life allows for a pantry window has clearly won.
Thanks. Everything I mentioned here has been discussed elsewhere. I think I outlined my first marriage in some thread, earlier this year.

I may have also mentioned my family dynamics, where my brother, the troubled middle child, was protected by my mother. My dad had a small business in electronics assembly, and I was supposed to go into the business when I finished college. But my brother couldn't get a job in his field (as a school music director), and so he was working with my dad, and my mom convinced my dad that I should stay out of the business for a while, and get a job on my own.

I did that, and a year later, my dad died, and my brother got the business. He did really well for a few years, but he eventually drove it into the ground. Among the siblings, I'm the only one that made it on my own, although I had no other choice.

So there's that.
 

JHDK

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Thanks. Everything I mentioned here has been discussed elsewhere. I think I outlined my first marriage in some thread, earlier this year.

I may have also mentioned my family dynamics, where my brother, the troubled middle child, was protected by my mother. My dad had a small business in electronics assembly, and I was supposed to go into the business when I finished college. But my brother couldn't get a job in his field (as a school music director), and so he was working with my dad, and my mom convinced my dad that I should stay out of the business for a while, and get a job on my own.

I did that, and a year later, my dad died, and my brother got the business. He did really well for a few years, but he eventually drove it into the ground. Among the siblings, I'm the only one that made it on my own, although I had no other choice.

So there's that.

If we are throwing out honesty here, I can match you.

I am an only child and really my upbringing was great. My parents were sweet and loving and provided me with everything I could ever want.

You mention the troubled child on your side Scotch...my dad's brother was that. Klaas. He unfortunately was never able to get over what happened to him during the war. I sometimes imagine I'd be like that if it happened to me, the concentration camp for 4 years and all that. There is talk that he was sexually abused by guards but who knows really? What is a fact is that it fucked him up and he died in his 50's of addiction. I remember my dad going back to The Netherlands for his funeral when I was like 8 or so.

Meanwhile, back in Philly, I had a mom who dealt with abuse issues growing up herself and as previously mentioned an old man who went though atrocities but they were both the best to me. I don't know how anyone could ask for a better childhood.

These days I feel guilty and that's a big reason why I havent started my own family. The whole American Dream thing as I see it is to make life better for your kids...Right now I'm not in a position to do that. At best I could give my kids a lateral move.

And my parents are still helping me. My mom's been dead since 08 and my dad since 19 yet they set it up so I get a little extra every month, and I get a kinda giant payout when I'm 40. Those two have been a constant in my life, even after their deaths and I am eternally grateful.

Among the siblings, I'm the only one that made it on my own

I guess my ramblings are to say I'm still trying to accomplish that. I'm overall happy with where I am in life right now but I could be doing better. And hopefully with time I will.