Logan! So good to see you here - just like the old days! But sorry you're having a rough time. Debt is tough, no question. And realizing that you are your own worst enemy is just...discouraging. I used to have credit cards that I "kept off the books," so that I wouldn't have to acknowledge how much money I was spending (and, I'll be honest - how frivolously I was spending). Then, I "took out a loan from savings" so that, again, I didn't have to acknowledge how much I was spending. It was a bad, bad cycle. What helped me was to be totally honest with myself about my spending. No more secret spending which led, ultimately, to no more "loans," which led, after a long time, to having a balanced spending plan. It was no fun, at all, but I learned a lot about myself? I became a better person? Maybe? Or maybe not. Mostly I just have less stress now.
Nothing very exciting. After a job change, salary is a little lower, so I'm adjusting for a bit. August: $3494 September: $4414
@Mae I can't find the citation, but the benefit formula for determining distribution is higher for lower wage workers than for those with higher income. The range is something like a 5% return on contributions for those in the lowest bracket, compared with 0.5% for the highest bracket. Here are the CBO's findings: http://goo.gl/cO1Lmn
@jfruh Also not regressive when higher earners pay income taxes on the benefit, but lower income earners don't.
@jfruh It's not regressive when those who pay the most into the system get the least out of it. And it's not regressive when lower income workers receive an earned income tax credit to offset the FICA tax.
@que_si It always bugs me that mint includes the car in net worth, especially since they don't update the depreciation attached to the Kelley Blue Book value.
@Josh Michtom@facebook A church-run food pantry in my neighborhood is always happy to receive food donations, but they also suggest donations of kitchen equipment or even time to teach people to cook. It's hard to live on rice and beans when you don't have the pan to cook them in!
Nothing terribly exciting this month. Still saving for a down payment on a house: July 2014: $2448 August: $3494
@TheDoctorsCompanion It does depend on what you're comfortable with. When I was paying off my last student loan, I decided to take a huge chunk of my savings and apply it to the loans. I was left with 1K in savings, but I was willing to take the risk of little liquidity because it meant just a couple of months to reach the final payoff for the loans. So for me, the decision rested on how long I was wiling to live with such little savings.
@The Dauphine A consult with an attorney might be helpful to see if there are any options to help your mom qualify. Most legal aid organizations have elder law boards that could also help.