I'm so screwed, give me some inspiration / advice

Discussion in 'Trip Planning' started by dan0, Jan 19, 2011.

  1. dan0

    dan0 just going with it.

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    Cliff notes: Fed up with my life, job, bills, etc. want to just ride my motorcycle. In way too deep have no way out, looking for inspiration / ideas.

    The long version: In a couple months I’ll be turning 30 and I need to turn my life around. On the surface things would seem OK, I have a decent job (just to have one nowadays is good), I commute in to work with friends and save on gas money, I have a decent house that is a two family with a great tenant, I have an ATV, a motorcycle, a jet ski, a van, and borrowing a car from my parents. I’m in good health, rarely get sick, etc.

    But, I’m up to my neck in debt, I hate my job, and I hate all the bullshit that comes along with owning a house right now. I have no money in savings. I somehow manage to make all my monthly payments on time, between getting some help from my parents, selling off possessions, going without necessary amenities, or putting a little something on a credit card.

    Let’s start with the debt, I got my first credit card right after graduating high school, $1000 limit and by the time I came back from my first year of college it was at the max, I have been in debt ever since. Back in 2008 when I bought my house I was nearly free down to $5000 in debt. But between trying to keep my same lifestyle and spending money on the house to get it ready for a tenant, not to mention income expected from a tenant that wasn’t coming in brought my total debt skyrocketing again. Right now it’s about $30,000, plus student loan from college ($10k), plus money owed eventually to my parents for them bailing me out a couple times ($7k), and then the mortgage on the house ($154k). I’ve generally good picking cards / credit offers but I have also royally screwed up a few times as well. Example being Home Depot, I needed to buy thing for the house, but income was tight so not all the offers got paid off in the no interest time period. Last year being the worst, total interest paid last year was over $1000. The balance that remains is at 25.99%. Everything else is near it’s limit. So after doing this credit dance for the past 10 years I am at my end with it all.

    Next up the job, I went to school and studied information technology. Graduated in 2003 right when the IT field went to shit, so all during school when they were “promising” 50k out of school none of that materialized for me. I was an average student with average drive (3.0GPA). Whereas one of my friends who is a workaholic did get picked up by IBM and is still with them today. I was not ambitious and a little while after graduation (March 2004) settled into a service advisor position at the local VW dealership. At the time I was a VW nut and in the beginning it was great, I was working with a bunch of my friends, customers were 75% normal, 25% weird or assholes. Within a year there things started to turn. First the dealership’s hours included a full day on Saturday (closed Sunday and Monday) which was normally when I would spend the whole day with my girlfriend until her second job at a restaurant at around 5pm. She would also occasionally work Sundays, so in the past I always had Sundays to myself. With the job that changed so Sundays were a toss up, I missed things I wanted to do just to hang out, etc. We broke up right before Christmas. I never dated anyone else and due to the money issue above haven’t since. The job wasn’t the only reason but it was a big part. Other things with the job changed too, some of my friends I worked with left. An advisor was fired and not replaced putting more strain on myself and the other advisor, being able to take a lunch break disappeared. Customers became more of a pain and demanding.

    That job finally ended in March of 2009 when I was fired the day after my birthday. I had not had a good birthday the day before and I came into work on Tuesday with the shop foreman / dispatcher out sick another day along with the other advisor no where to be seen. He did come in around 8:30am but he was in sorry shape, horrible cough that had him up all night and barely any voice left. Around 9:30am a customer came in for an appointment that was not on the schedule and I did not even know if we could do the work (they had an Audi, we are VW and some things ARE different). I went to the dealership owner who was in the shop playing around (small dealership, owner is also general manager and a salesman, plus he plays around in the shop) to ask him he he set this up and if he wanted a repair order written or whether it was just a back door deal. He replied to write a repair order, so I turned and walked away to get it done. He made a comment as I was walking away, “I can’t do your job for you.” That upset me, because my job is dealing with VW customers who have appointments, so before I reached the door from the shop to the service desk I punched a hole in a wall. Things were normal for about an hour until I got called up to his office. He said he was tired of my attitude to customers (unmerited I was always nice to customers) and fired me. Given the state of the other advisor and not another person in service I ended up staying until about 3:30pm before leaving. When I told the other advisor he said he would understand if I left, I just didn’t feel right leaving him like that.

    So with that job done I was unemployed for 3 months, I did not have any luck finding a IT related job in the meantime so I ended up taking a service receptionist position that my friend helped me line up at another VW dealership. The idea was appealing at first, answer phones and some other tasks, and I get to pass the buck to the a service advisor if a customer I was talking needed more attention. But unfortunately that has not turned out so well because my past as an service advisor has had me doing a lot more than I want to and a lot more headaches. Also back when I started in VW customers were 75% normal and 25% assholes, now that has flipped. That has had me so fed up that in September one day I just walked out. Came back an hour later talked to the boss quick and went home for the rest of the day. I was refreshed for about a month until it happened again. This time the boss was out, I never told him but he found out a couple days later, was “disappointed” I didn’t tell him.

    I hate going to work everyday, I hate every time I have to answer the phone (which is a lot being a receptionist), and I was never one to enjoy dressing formally. I would love a job where I can work a normal 8 hours in casual clothes and go home, well or win the lotto and not have to work. Whenever I look for IT jobs, everything starts out at help desk work with is dealing with people and something I can’t stand doing anymore. And even if I did want to make the jump the beginning salaries are less than what I barely get by on now.

    My house has been good for the most part but I just don’t want to deal with anymore issues. I was dropped by my first insurance company for some BS reasons, taxes go up, new insurance policy has gone up $100 each year for the past two years. I can barely afford my heating oil to heat the house. I bought right near the collapse of the housing market so I’m about 90% there is no way can sell for what I owe on the house.

    So I desperately want to get on my bike and ride away, but can’t and there is no end in sight. What the fuck am I supposed to do now???
    #1
  2. SilkMoneyLove

    SilkMoneyLove Long timer

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    You get angry because you are trapped, however, your trapping is your own doing. That isn't very encouraging, I know, but the good news is that you can undo it. It took you time to get into the mess and it will take time to get out.

    BTW - Never blow up at work. Never punch walls, scream or whatever, the customers can see and hear you. The boss had to fire you for punching the wall. They can't let aggressive behavior go unchecked in the workplace.

    Solutions = Make a realistic budget and stick to it. You need a place to live, so keep the house (you would lose too much anyway sellingit). How many cars do you have? Get rid of everything else except your cheapest motorcycle and your Van. here is why, if the van needs work, you still need to get around and get to work. Get rid of cable TV and make your own food. Not saying you eat at McDonalds everyday, but the little stuff adds up.

    Also, tell your parents of your plans to sell stuff and structure your loan. Even if it is a 10 year loan, let them know you are going to pay them back and start by writing a check each month. Treat their loan like a regular bill too.

    As for dating. Go on cheap dates. Go look at nice scenery or take her for a ride on the bike and then go home and make tacos together. If she isn't into that, then she isn't into you. Just because money is tight doesn't mean you can't try and score :evil

    there is a How to live cheaply thread here. Check it out for ideas. You just have to dig out. There is no magic bullet.

    I forgot to add, another plus of being honest to the ladies about sticking to your budget is that you seem responsible, and once they are in your home and you two are making tacos, shit man, they are 20 feet from your bedroom.
    #2
  3. henrymartin

    henrymartin Mr. Tourguide

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    You know, you may not want to hear this, but a lot of people are in the same spot. Both of my houses are not worth what I owe, my in-laws' house is worth about 30% of what they owe on it, everyone I know has credit card debt and student loans, and most people could think of something better to do than their current job.

    The responsible (and boring) thing is to stick it up, work it out, and deal with it. Things will turn around. Credit card companies can be talked to, housing will eventually stabilize, and so forth.

    The fun thing (irresponsible) would be to say "to hell with it" and walk away. Let the house be foreclosed on, declare bankruptcy, and ride on. This, however, will ruin your credit for many, many years. Aside from that, there is no free beer in the world and someone, somewhere, will pay the price. People who just get up and walk away, leaving banks and credit card companies in the hole raise the cost for everyone else. (no, no one wants to hear it). There is no magical write-off and the companies are in the biz to make money, so they just pass the cost on to everyone else. Part of the reason we are in this mess is investors walking away from real estate deals (among many, many other things), which then resulted in foreclosures, which then lowered the values across the board.
    #3
  4. Gooch

    Gooch Been here awhile

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    Debt is where they want you, buddy. Staying there is good business for everyone but you.

    That's not the advice.

    Here's the advice:

    You can not afford to live the way you think you should be living. But the fact is that the picture in your head of the way you should be living (house, cars, bikes, atv, pwc's, big screen, etc., etc.) is not your idea. It is the picture of life put in your head by an entire society designed to sell you shit. You need to stop owning that idea and craft for yourself a picture that a) satisfies your true self and b) fits inside your paycheck -- whatever paltry amount that might be.

    That also goes for your work and the place it has in your life.

    Easy to say, hard to do.

    The rest is just details.

    Our entire world is designed to make us spend money. They claim it buys you friends, excitement, life. They are liars. You need money. You needn't spend it for fun.

    Get rid of all the shit you do not need -- which is a lot of it. Keep one reliable mode of transportation and one inspiring piece of gear. That doesn't have to be the bike, though I suspect it might be since you're on this site. Could be your skis, could be the hang-glider. I don't know. Whatever. You need something that gets you out and reminds you what's good about living. For me for a while it was nothing but hiking boots. I couldn't keep a bike, couldn't afford a lift ticket.

    Cancel the cable, absolutely. Not only is it outrageously priced but people who watch a lot of TV are less happy than those who do not, on average. That goes for the xbox, too. When you need a good veg session, rent a video (if you decide to keep the TV at all, that is).

    Make a grocery budget. If you can afford it, give yourself one or two nights a week where you blow some dosh on a meal out. Other than that, it's making your meals and drinking your beer at home or with friends. Like the man said, it adds up.

    Make a bills budget. Pay a bit off each month -- my strategy has been to concentrate on the biggest debt and try to pay it off the fastest while keeping all the others on hold with minimum payments.

    No more credit cards. Put yourself on a cash basis for a while.

    Shit, there's tons of other advice I could give you. But the most important thing by far is to give up on the idea that you need anything other than clothes and food.

    As to work, there's plenty of options. If you want to stay in IT, try looking at large non-profits. They need the help, business casual is usually about the most they'll ask of you. They often pay a bit less than corporateworld but the trade-off is that usually it's a 9-5, M-F job with decent benefits.

    I'll stop there for now. Discipline. But first, re-think.
    #4
  5. DougZ73

    DougZ73 Fading off.........

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    I got the jist of the post with in the first couple paragraphs..so I did not read it all in detail, but my advice will still stand.

    Big picture..welcome to life. It can and does suck, for almost all of us. Some more, some less. You could poll 100 people, and I doubt you would get more than 3 that think there life is perfect.

    My overall life philosophy is: Nothing I can do, but deal. Deal with the good, deal with the bad, and deal with what ever comes in between. No real other choice in the matter(s)...but to deal.

    Next: Change what you realistically can. To some extent, you control your own destiny. Obviously, if one is having money issues, it is not as easy as snapping your fingers and all of a sudden having a fat bank account..we all know it does not work like that. But, don't get overwhelmed by the big picture and think there is nothing you can do. Every mountain started as a pebble.

    Along that thought process, realize if it took years to get into debt, it may very well takes years to get out of debt. One has to realize and accept that. We all want a magic solution that happens over night, but unfortunately, life does not work that way..not for the majority of us anyway.

    Debt: Normal method is pay off the lower balances first, and then once paid off, parlay that payment into the next lowest one, and so on. It is a tried and true method. BUT, with the crazy high interest rate HD card and things like that....you should try to pay that off as quickly as possible since that high interest rate is just makng most of your payments go to the interest and not the balance.

    Student loan: If like most..its a fixed interest rate. No need to rush to pay it off. Your other debt can more use the higher payments.

    Work: Again, most of us do not like our jobs...such is life...deal. The ones that truly do love their jobs..no matter what their salary...they are the lucky ones.

    Anger: Been there done that..I have(had) a nice German temper. Right now, look back and think about everytime you had a tantrum. Did anything get better from it? Obviously the answer is No. Remember that fact,. the next time life start pissing you off. ( I know, easier said than done..trust me, I know)

    At some point, things will look better..and be better. You will look back on this time, and know you made it through it, and know you are better for it now.

    You will also realize the bigger picture in life...that none of this shit matters. Money, debt, jobs, etc...none of it matters. You come into life with none of it, and you go out, with none of it. You will find that the only thing that matters in this life are the people you meet, relationships you make, and the love that you share and is shared with you from others. That is the stuff that does go with you when this life ends.

    I wish you good luck, and the knowledge, that it will get better....sooner or later, it will get better.
    #5
  6. SilkMoneyLove

    SilkMoneyLove Long timer

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    Gooch has the right idea/mindset.

    And yes, they do call it work for a reason, and it sucks. However, the more years you spend at a place, the higher the paycheck (usually).

    Maybe set a goal of getting out of credit card/short term loan debt to do a cross country trip? Get out of debt, save for a few months and take a month off and ride. Just throwing out ideas to get your mind going on motivational goals. That makes the savings more fun and then when you do go, you know you have earned it, because you saved for it.
    #6
  7. Gooch

    Gooch Been here awhile

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    IT Jobs near 06790.

    Never hurts to keep your resume out there, either. If you haven't had someone go over your material with you (someone who knows something about HR and preferably something about your desired field), find someone who will. It's a cliche that's a cliche because it's true: the resume is your handshake. Crappy resume, no nookie.
    #7
  8. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

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    it's all in the attitude:

    sell atv, jet ski, van, motorcycle and other shit you have and pay off your credit card asap!!!

    credit debt is very depressing and is more depressing then selling your toys. trust me i did it. i was sad to see some things go, but i forgot about them in a week and was happy to see a lower # on my cc statement every month after.

    cancel the card even before you pay it off. if you can't pay in cash it doesn't happen.

    you have any extra rooms in your house? office space etc. rent it out to and use that $ to pay down cc debt. hell rent the whole thing and live w/ your parents till things are better.

    eat out less is none. get ride of cable. share internet wifi espense w/ neighbor.

    get another job if you can.

    then save up a few bucks here and there and buy a real cheap bike as it will make you happy. give the car back to your parents. they should see the change and maybe they'll let you sell it and pay down your mortgage.
    #8
  9. ErikY.

    ErikY. Here, Now.

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    I tell clients "At some point in your life, you will decide that your life sucks. Hopefully at another point, you will believe that everything that ever happened or will happen to you is your responsibility. At another point, you may realize that it is entirely up to you who you think you are (think ie: create) and you start treating yourself as if you deserve a good life.

    Change is always difficult.

    Research says that your idea to be happy (whatever that is ie: stuff/chicks/fame/one with the universe) is very common; we all have it. Some get it. Why don;t you have it? How do people run ultramarathons barefoot or race DAKAR, and you don't? They are no different than you- they have wishes/desires/functioning bodies to live in.
    They get it by..... planning. Scheduling. Writing out what they will do to get it.
    Thinking of a plan and holding it in your brain makes people 4 times more likely to succeed. WRITING the plan down and not staying focused on the past or too far in the future.... 10 times more likely to succeed. This means writing down the big goals, and deciding what you have to do today in that light. Don't stay focused on the big dream- your willpower only has so much stamina and will collapse. Plan daily only 1 week ahead, and update weekly.
    Think of the unpleasant things you have to do, and do them first!

    That's stuff based on lots of years of change anaylsis. Use it or try continuing by being buried in anxiety and a million thoughts per day, with "willpower".

    You are probably a good guy- start believing it and treat yourself accordingly. :deal

    Best wishes,
    Erik
    #9
  10. lhendrik

    lhendrik Truffle Rustler

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    Trolling for love? Not here dude. Time to grow up. Good Luck with that. Do you really think just riding your motorcycle is the answer? Nope, wherever you ride, each morning you will wake up and still be you, and with even less money.
    #10
  11. dan0

    dan0 just going with it.

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    Stay tuned tonight for a more detailed reply to your responses, but for now need to finish up some work before I leave at 4:30pm.

    And I would like to say Thank You for the replies so far. Part of what helps me get through the day is hearing I'm not alone in my situation. Also just writing it out helps. It's tough to talk to my parents sometimes, they have their own problems too and I don't want to drag them down more thanI already have.

    So I wouldn't exactly say I was "trolling for love" just some encouragement, but a slap in the face is needed too sometmes so it's appreciated too.
    #11
  12. mikejet

    mikejet KlrKid

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    Every piece of advice given here so far is true. You caused it, You need to fix it. It`s not going to change by itself, and the longer you wait, the worse it will get.I have days ( hell,sometimes weeks ) when I want to just ride away from all the crap. IT WILL FOLLOW YOU. Man Up. Commit yourself to paying what YOU owe. You will be happy again. Then when you do take off on that ride it will be that much sweeter.
    #12
  13. maiden.jade

    maiden.jade Been here awhile

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    Everyone else before me has already given you some very good advice so I'm not going to repeat. One thing for sure, you need to evaluate your financial management skills.

    A friend of mine is similar to your financial situation -- $68K in student loan and $23K in credit card debts plus a car loan. She finally gave up paying tons and tons of interest and filed for bankruptcy.

    No, I'm not suggesting that you file for bankruptcy. Just like her, you seem to have difficulties with good financial decisions and management. It's a skill to be learned.

    Running away from your financial debts, like what she did, is never a good idea. When your credit score is screwed, everything you buy or the loans you get will cost more than what it is worth unless you intend to buy everything in cash.

    My neighbor may have bought a house cheaper than mine but her interest is so high (9% down from 11%) that in the long run, she is paying more for her house than me (which is 4.5%).
    #13
  14. maiden.jade

    maiden.jade Been here awhile

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    Maybe this should go under Life Planning, not Trip. :lol3
    #14
  15. dan0

    dan0 just going with it.

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    Well I can't take a trip until I deal with all this, so it kinda fits. It's like the pre-planning.
    #15
  16. Lone Rider

    Lone Rider Registered User

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    This whole post is good. :thumb

    Getcha a plan - where and what you want to be 'x' year/s away . Without a plan you're rudderless.

    What he typed about cable (actually, all TV) is very true.
    You have $50 payments, $100 payments, on and on, for all kinds of little BS. Get rid of those.

    Food: If you don't think you can eat well on $300 a month, you're very wrong. Think. Start stashing bucks, and that can come from saving in many areas..
    #16
  17. East Coast Rider

    East Coast Rider Just Me...

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    Hang in there.

    -Sell off all that is unecessary & use the cash earned to pay off CC debt. Smallest balances go first...personally, I'd sell the van and keep the most economical bike you have.

    -Make a budget, then stick to it.

    -Shop for groceries (buy store brand when possible)...eat HEALTHY. You'll feel better. Make your own lunch, don't eat out for lunch (that alone can save 50-75.00 a week!) I usually eat all three meals for a total of about 6-8 bucks a day when I am disciplined enough not to go out to eat. My grocery budget is about 75 bucks every two weeks....give or take ten bucks.

    -Drop your gym membership (if you have one). Work out at home.

    Make a budget, then stick to it.
    Make a budget, then stick to it.
    Make a budget, then stick to it.

    On top of paying off bills, I stick a little bit of $$ each week into a second acct (only 35.00)...it is my emergency fund.

    Good luck, Dan-o!!
    #17
  18. maiden.jade

    maiden.jade Been here awhile

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    Hang in there, you'll survive the brutal financial stress eventually.

    If I were you, I'll rent out the whole house for higher income and move in with your parents (hopefully, free rent) where you only need to use your money for food. Or you work out a deal with your parents to pay them rent by yard work, washing their cars, or any work around the house that they may be too old to handle. If there's a basement in their house, live in it so you'll be less intrusive in their lives. In the western society, it seems like be a shame to still live with your parents at your age. But who cares about what others think at a time like this. Survival is more important than worry about others' opinions.

    JUST HANG IN THERE!!! :D
    #18
  19. dan0

    dan0 just going with it.

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    I got into this mess by always thinking if I could afford the payment not the item itself. It's always been my my problem.

    I can't sell the van my parents bought it off of me and then gave it back to me two weeks ago. So I atleast till consider them the controlling interest in it.

    I am borrowing my Mother's car right now because she has some leg/hip issues stopping her from driving a manual transmission. It gets double the fuel economy of the van which makes a big difference for the 1-2 days during the week I make my 100mile round trip commute. She wants it back and it's her car so it can't be sold.

    I am already living pretty low, I know I could probably cut a little more but I need some sanity.

    Thermostat is set at 55 degrees.

    Gym membership never had one

    Xbox, etc. sold it 5 years ago

    TV sitting up in the attic, I had cable for about 4 months then I got fired and it was the first to go.

    I have internet ($50 a month and Netflix $10)

    ATV haven't used since July and I owe more than it's worth so I'm stuck a little while longer.

    Jet ski has been for sale since October but obviously now isn't prime buying time in the Northeast.

    I was never a bar person, I may go to a bar twice a year.

    I spend about $120 in groceries per MONTH, plus some snacks at the convenience store a couple times a week ($5-7). Unfortunately it is the one thing that goes on a CC, so the balance only drops $25-50 a month instead of more.

    I order pizza on Mondays $12.25

    I go out to dinner with my parents on Fridays (they buy)

    I luckily commute 4 days a week with friends and have bartered off my chip in to gas ($20) for an R/C car, batteries, and car storage in my garage so I haven't had to pay that since October.

    From when I was fired (March 2009) up until August of last year I didn't have health insurance until my Mother and Aunt shamed me into getting it. Lowest plan $145 a month. I don't go to the doctor it saved me $100 between exam and small discount when I needed glasses in September. I did have health insurance the whole time I was at my previous job (just under 5 years) NEVER went to the doctor, same scenario with glasses, saved a little bit.

    Basically during the week I go to work, come home, eat something, browse forums, watch something on Netflix, sleep, and repeat. Weekends are not very different.

    I will try to plan better, right now all my planning goes into making sure I can pay all my bills on time, most bills get rounded up ($155 becomes $175) unless it's crunch time and I need gas or something else or to have a little buffer.

    My savings account has $248 in it. I started a Roth IRA and put a measly $10 in a week (I had a 401k with my old job but needed it when I was unemployed and after it's gone). I also put $10 into a spare account, and $10 into an account for re-payment to my parents.

    I would get out to ride my bike on the weekends but something is wrong with it and I need to get it fixed before I put anymore miles on it.

    Sorry for all the rambling, thanks again for the ideas. I just need to get it out every once in a while.
    #19
  20. perterra

    perterra -. --- .--. .

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    Been there, no fun but I came out better for it. Gettin good advice, though I must say for a long time my lunch out consisted of a taco bell bean burrito with sour cream and a water. $1.34. :lol3

    Sell the shit and dont look back, best advice I can think of.
    #20