On Interview With a Person Who Paid Off $48,000 in Student Loans in Four Years

Marnie! I have a bunch of your prints hanging in my dining room. I didn't realize why your name was familiar until the very end, but I'm glad this is all working out.

Posted on February 18, 2014 at 4:53 pm 0

On I Bought a House When I Was 21

@angelinha Forgot to specify that the $220 leftover would be if I were living on just 20% of my income, as would be the case if I were saving so much. So those costs don't include anything besides food and transit.

Posted on January 28, 2014 at 8:16 pm 1

On I Bought a House When I Was 21

@EmmaP What do you *eat*, though? Or pay for transit? I just did the math on my take-home and even if I ate very frugally for one at $60/month and only took public transit with a monthly pass, I would have $220 left over for everything else like housing/utilities/cat food.

Posted on January 28, 2014 at 5:56 pm 0

On I Bought a House When I Was 21

@Human Centipaul Sure, but I don't think that "I lived in a crappy apartment saving money and then I too became a slumlord, yay!" is a very satisfying narrative. I'm curious about her ongoing investment in the property, assuming she makes one.

Posted on January 28, 2014 at 4:12 pm 1

On I Bought a House When I Was 21

Wait, but did you fix the ruined ceiling, etc.? How much did that cost?

Posted on January 28, 2014 at 2:21 pm 2

On Have You Considered a Career in Municipal Clerking?

Library assistants, yeah, sure. Actual librarian jobs, not so much.

Posted on December 13, 2013 at 12:32 pm 0

On Commuting to Work and Not Feeling Miserable About It

@BillfoldMonkey Thanks. I was fine, but it still makes me shaky to think about that intersection. They've started doing construction that blocks off the sidewalk there now, so it's even more dangerous, and I can't find a route that avoids it. Biking! Woo! I've never biked in winter, and I don't think my tiny Italian racing tires can take it. But it sounds fun, apart from slush.

Posted on October 9, 2013 at 2:29 pm 0

On Commuting to Work and Not Feeling Miserable About It

Even better: my 25-minute bike ride to/from work instead of a 45-minute walk-and-train combo. I've never driven in my life so I can't compare those, but biking clears my mind and gets in exercise that I otherwise don't have time for. (Not that I've been biking since I fell in traffic a few months ago, but I wish I were.)

Posted on October 9, 2013 at 11:51 am 2

On I'd Totally Save Money If It Didn't Feel Impossible

Oh hey, this is my life exactly. Except that gym money goes to utilities instead (because I can't find a gym that's closer than 30 minutes away from me) and I /am/ able to save 15% of my income thanks to a generous matching plan from my employer. But not for long, since that fund gets tapped out if I have surprise bills.

Posted on October 9, 2013 at 11:47 am 0

On How Much Should I Be Saving For Retirement?

@Kthompson The way you stopped spending so much money and started saving sounds great, and it's something to be proud of. But you're really lucky, and $40k/year isn't actually that little money. (That's what my field pays, on average, to someone with a graduate degree in a major city, for example.) What's frustrating to me personally is that so many methods of saving money & growing what you have require enough extra money on hand that you can afford to experiment with it. I make enough that I can throw in 5% to my work-provided retirement plan, for example, which matches and supplements my contribution so that I'm putting 15% before taxes into my retirement. But because of that, I'm living mostly paycheck to paycheck while paying off student loans and occasionally buying enough low-key meals out that I don't hate my life. I don't have any extra money to put into investments or specialty funds. I know that this will get easier as I go on with my career. Hopefully my next job will pay me a little more so that if I keep the same lifestyle, I can afford to save more. But when you CAN'T cut anymore, or when you come from a background where already the generations before you can't retire, I don't think it's whining to question this system or express frustration. Especially when so many people frame these difficulties as moral failings.

Posted on September 26, 2013 at 12:42 pm 2