Roommate Situation Sorted

Day 166 | $61,994 paid | $28,723 till freedom

When Sarah told me a week or so ago that this is her last month of living in the house, I marked Feb 20th on my calendar as the day to post up a Craigslist ad and start screening out the weirdos in the hopes of finding a clean and neat and normal roommate. A few days ago, I told (er, texted) Patrick to let me know if he knew anybody looking for a room. I didn’t think anything would come of it, but yesterday he told me that he knew somebody from his college who was moving to Austin in March to intern at the same place as he. I got the name and number and gave the guy, Sam, a call.

An automated voice picked up and told me to wait for a “videophone connection” or something to that effect. It dawned on me that Patrick’s friend was also deaf. And that’s totally cool–having Patrick here has been great. He’s clean, neat, and normal–exactly what I want in a roommate!

I worked through an interpreter to sign Sam up for March 10th through the end of June. He’ll be sending me a check for $910 (pro-rated for March + last month’s rent + security deposit) near the end of this month, and he’s already digitally signed the contract.

I feel good about this not only financially, but on another level, too: it indicates that Patrick is happy enough here to recommend it to his friend. So while things didn’t work out with Sarah, it’s not indicative that there’s something wrong with the house or the way I run things around here.

Back on Facebook
Yep, I’m back. I reactivated my account, deleted all of my albums, all of the hundreds of posts on my wall (except a few choice ones from back in the day), left all of my groups, went offline on the chat application, turned off all of my other applications, and published the following status update:

Six weeks later, and I’m back! I didn’t miss FB at all, but I do want to be part of the global directory. Cell and email are listed–don’t hesitate to use them or message me on here.

That’s all factual. I didn’t miss it, and I do want to be reachable–I hate it when somebody sends me an email about something one of my former classmates is doing (e.g., attending Davos, appearing in a news article, etc.) and I can’t find their email address to send them a congratulatory note.

I rejoined on Monday, and since then, I’ve spent about fifteen minutes on the site. That’s far, far better than the hour or so I was spending on it every day up until my exit six weeks ago.

Moderation–that’s really what it all boils down to. Will I be able to demonstrate it? Sometimes quitting something cold turkey is easier than trying to do something in moderation. Going cold turkey on Facebook for awhile was good for me, and probably easier than scaling back would have been. I needed to turn it off and just be without it for a bit. Now I’ve seen what my life is like without it and I prefer it that way, but I also want to make myself accessible, so I’m rejoining in hopes that I can moderate my usage. So far, so good. But it’s a slippery slope. Look at one article on a news feed, then another, and sooner or later, I’ve spent ten minutes on the site looking at other people’s lives and not living mine. Blech.

Speaking of Facebook
The other day, Stan did me another solid and sent me an article on PEhub.com abou an interview with Richard Watts, an HBS  grad running a wealth management practice in Santa Ana, California. Watts is intimately involved with his clients’ personal lives as he helps them manage their immense fortunes of $100M+. As the Facebook IPO ushers in a new group of multi-millionaires who are used to living middle-class to upper-middle-class lifestyles, Watts has a few key pieces of advice to offer up that I’ve paraphrased below.

  • The wants of clients with newfound millions turn into needs as the comparison peer group changes. The 100-foot boat that brought so much initial happiness is no longer big enough compared to the Joneses’ 200-foot boat.
  • Entering a new class of wealth opens up all kinds of opportunities to spend money on extravagant activities. It’s easy for clients to go overboard and spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on a hobby to the point that they lose touch with the reasons they were so fond of that hobby in the first place.
  • Parents shouldn’t give their children elaborate gifts. They take away the lessons the child would have learned if he had been forced to buy his own car, as well as the ensuing satisfaction of achieving the goal on his/her own. “There is really no child that gains from having things gifted to him or her.”

The key take-away from the article is simple yet arresting: “Live like you don’t have the money. It will ruin your family if you don’t.”

New Hobby
I believe I’ve found a new favorite hobby: Reading the personals in the back of Harvard Magazine. I was flipping through the latest issue the other day and stumbled upon a veritable treasure trove. From the Jan-Feb issue of 2012, I bring you the ladies of Harvard:

SLENDER, SEXY PROFESSOR AND POET, outgoing and warm. Seriously pretty; engaged in literature, politics, and outdoor life. Irreverent academic; major fan of high-end art–with a weakness for TV Shows about perilous sea voyages and high adventure in the Arctic. Tortola for sailing, hiking in Vermont, biking by the  Charles. Unsystematic passion for wildlife: any old bird will do. Paris walks, Patmos, NYC, hidden (and flagrant) New England. Favorites include: DeKooning’s Wild Women, Tolstoy on tape, Cullen Murphy’s Are We Rome?; Rialto, West Side Lounge, sushi outdoors at Mac’s Shack in Wellfleet. Looking for a future of kisses and conversation with some like-minded guy, 55-70. Boston area; ?@gmail.com.

Passionate photographer, former Silicon Valley CEO, current director public boards. Slim, athletic, really attractive, fit. Casual elegance, lively smile, generous heart, irreverent wit. Excellent traveler, true friend, creative, innovative, charitable, open. Adventurous, fun and funny, never full of herself. Easy-going, curious, model–finds writing this somewhat over the top. Movie-goer, animal-lover, news-junkie, lousy dancer, hiker (New Zealand, Basque Country, Marin County–probably would do Machu Picchu–too precipitous). Favorites: books on iPad, Stanford continuing ed and basketball games, cashmere sweaters, great restaurants with friends, walking my Border Collie, African safaris, rafting/camping Alaska, photographing wild animals everywhere, revisiting Europe. Seeks active, articulate man 56 to fit 70, prefers Northern CA man but open–intelligence, street smarts, financially stable. ?@gmail.com, 650-***-****.

Too good to resist: striking natural beauty–sexy, sophisticated and completely real at the same time. Slender, lean, really cute. Adventurous, curious, artist, low-key humanitarian, trailblazer. Fun, athletic. Not a false note. Light of heart, open with unassuming playful smile. Nature outdoors-lover. Appreciator of beauty, creativity, spontaneity; delights in exploration, discovery, Maine Coast, Cinque Terre, Whistler. Passionately loves skiing, hiking, sailing, New England, photography, architecture. Great cook, great conversationalist but not both at once unless you’re up for mojitos in your coq au vin. Crazy about making a difference, giving back…youth at risk, local agriculture, teaching art. Seeking adventurous, verbal, secure man, 45-60, values generosity, authenticity. 617-***-****. ?@yahoo.com

Smart and beautiful, intellectually curious and athletic. Consultant/educator–tall and slim with natural radiance, warm demeanor, genuineness of character. Adventurous yet calm, listens well. Expressive, affectionate, divorced, 5’8″. Laughs easily, thinks deeply, politically liberal. Interested in social change, literature, politics, nature, beauty. Midwestern roots, international outlook, lived in Spain. Actively enjoys skiing, hiking Rockies or Whites, Mozart sonatas (but can’t play despite years of lessons), Sunday Times, snuggling at home. Comfortable having tapas in Barcelona or roughing it in the backcountry. Seeks healthy/active man, 60s-mid-70s–warmth and intellect bent. Boston area. ?@aol.com. 781-***-****.

Class, class, class. I would literally date any one of these women if I were older, but I seriously doubt that I could afford them. Maybe what we actually have here is a potential sugar mama opportunity??

If I ever go on Match.com or eHarmony any time soon, I’m recruiting these ladies to write my entire bio–they have some serious talent in the personals-writing department.

This one’s a bit bizarre/funny:

Professional, loving Jewish-Italian family, Brookline, MA, with mature, beautiful and accomplished daughter age 21 seeks applicants for position of son-in-law. Must be at least 21, family and career oriented with great expectations. No political tests though occupants of Zuccotti Park need not apply. Applicants and/or parents send resume to ?@hotmail.com.

And the fellas…

Male executive, Yale degree, thoughtful, accomplished, fit, very youthful late 60′s seeks nice, sensitive, warm widow (or other single) comfortable with ideas who finds humor in whimsy and banter. NY metro area; often in Boston. Likes travel; advance apologies if schedule prevents timely response. ?@gmail.com

Ivy League alumnus, mid-30s seeking an interesting/intelligent woman to have a baby with. ?@gmail.com.

It’s funny to see how different in language, tone, and length the male personals are from the female ones.

Groceries Receipt

I was complaining about my groceries spend the other day, and Nate said I should post a receipt for analysis. So here you go.  I still had some milk, potatoes, and vegetables in my fridge left over from last week, so this isn’t even a typical week’s receipt, and yet multiplied by four weeks in a month it comes to $340, well over my goal of $280/month.

Looking at this more closely, I should stop complaining and just take my budget up. I don’t want to switch to a Ramen Noodles diet, private brand cereal really doesn’t taste as good, store brand shave gel really doesn’t work as well, and I like Axe and breath mints too much to not buy them.

BTW, give Axe Music a sniff next time you’re in your local grocery store. Holy moly. Some dude sprayed it in the locker room a few months ago and I had to ask him what kind it was. Sort of awkward, but well worth it.

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51 Comments

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51 responses to “Roommate Situation Sorted

  1. Kellogg MBA

    Dude you paid $12 for a colossal cookie? What kind-t-f-c?

  2. AnaD

    Haha~ maybe you SHOULD try to date those women –it’d add some additional drama to your blog-turned-movie! ;-)

    Looking at your receipt, my suggestions would be:
    (1.) to keep an eye out for [cereal] coupons (“Buy 4 boxes of Kellogg’s cereal, get 1 free” “Buy 3 Axe products, get $2 off”), and use those as often as possible. No, I’m not advocating ‘extreme couponing’ :) –just looking through the bi-monthly grocery mailbox-inserts & focusing on taking advantage of things you *normally* buy that are on sale. (Also, sometimes places like Walgreens, Rite Aid, etc. have the same or similar promos [maybe w/o needing a coupon].)
    (2.) watch what you’re spending on meat ~two ways: buying a different cut could save you a lot (for example, just 2 days ago, I bought chicken quarters [breast meat + drumstick] for $0.69/lb. vs. boneless skinless breast for $1.99/lb.). Also, when meat is on sale, buy a lot of it & freeze what you won’t need that week.
    (3.) try to get your personal care products at Wal-mart instead of your grocery store (provided you have a WM relatively nearby?). I just bought facewash there for $1/$1.50 less than I would’ve paid had I gotten it at the grocery store; and my contact lens solution is cheaper at WM than at CVS by a couple bucks. ~Makes sense though: WM specializes in home supplies, grocery stores specialize in…groceries. Though they offer home supplies (just like many WMs offer groceries), the price of such is often higher b/c you’re paying for the convenience of getting it all in one place.

    Hope that helps~!

    • Haha…I’m emailing them tomorrow ;)

      Thanks for taking the time to type all of that out–I’ll keep my eyes open for the coupons. It makes complete sense…but between that and the changing of stores, it sounds like a little incremental work. If I didn’t have line of sight to paying my debt off in June, I would definitely take more drastic measures, but right now…I’m just sort of “coasting by” (if you can call it that) with my current level of frugality.

    • Emily

      I’d have to agree with the comments about meat. I buy off-brand chicken breast (about 10-12 in a large freezer bag) for roughly $6-7. Actually, anything that freezes well, I’ll buy in bulk once a month and then make smaller trips to the grocery as needed to buy the fresh stuff. I still wouldn’t rave about my grocery list though – I’m having trouble slimming it down too. I’m a one-stop shopper who won’t clip coupons haha.

  3. Sarah

    OMG was that third bullet point regarding FB about Westlake? I grew up in Westlake and feel that the kids who got brand new cars on their 16th bday never had to learn important life lessons and are struggling today with finances, drugs, etc. Sad.

    SxSW is next month I bet some of your HBS friends will be in town. Have you considered letting them stay at your place? You could charge a small fee to sleep on your couch. Someone might be interested since hotels are $$$$ and sold out. Here is a website listing free SxSW parties: http://www.austin360.com/music/sxsw-music/sxsw-side-parties-database-2012sxsw-side-parties-database-2012-2118417.html
    I bet even some of your readers might be in town so you should start wearing a Harvard shirt to the clubs next month so they could find you and buy you a drink. I’d totally buy you a drink since you’ve provided so much entertainment these past few months :)

    • Sarah

      Also I love how the receipt says Happy Valentines day. Must be another holiday you are happy to not have a gf on so you don’t have to spend $ on a gift/dinner.

    • Haha, I cut the sleeves off the only Harvard shirt I own (it was free at an on-campus job fair) and it’s my gym shirt. That aside, great idea! Thanks :)

      And, YES, I’ll be spending $0 on Valentine’s Day, and Happy Valentine’s Day text messages are included in my data plan. (Wait, all text messages are included in my plan…funny how that works :) )

  4. Sarah L

    ^Lol, Sarah. Eh? ;)

  5. Susan in San Antonio

    Look, groceries are going to be a lifelong challenge – might as well learn now how to reduce the expense. HEB features yellow manufacturer coupons near the relevant items – they usually have some sort of coupon on the cereal aisle, and I bet Axe coupons as well sometimes. The HEB stores I shop also post a lot of yellow coupons on a bulletin board near one of the entry points to the store. HEB runs weekly “meal deal” specials, which could be a great way to save on your meat and cheese purchases. Their sales run Wednesday through Wednesday; pick up a sale flyer when you go in the store and see what fits into your normal grocery-buying pattern. (Didn’t your mom do that? Based on your description of your parents lifestyle, I bet she did – and does!) Actually, your mother is probably the best source of advice about groceries.

    The comment about purchasing personal care items at Wal-Mart is right on. You might ask around whether any of your married friends have a Costco membership and would take you shopping. I buy a 6 lb. bag of high-quality frozen chicken breasts at Costco for $16.99 – you can bake or grill them without thawing them

  6. Have you read the Millionaire Next Door by Stanley and Danko. It’s a pretty easy read and will expand on most of those points you mentioned. It was written back in 1996, but the points are still very true. (And it will go remind you that your fellow HBS graduates are not nearly as successful as you were thinking . . . no matter what their salary.)

    • Not yet, but I’m planning on. It seems like there are a few people who read this blog that rave about it.

    • Susan

      Or read the more up-to-date “Stop Acting Rich” by Stanley. I’ve read both and my husband has read the latter The book helped him better understand how (and better yet, why) he can be in the top 5% of income earners in San Antonio, yet we drive our 10-year-old 4Runner to Costco and park amidst the Range Rovers, BMWs, Mercedes, etc. Stanley would call many of those vehicle owners “aspirationals” – people who aspire to be wealthy and believe that acquiring the trappings of affluence is equivalent to building wealth.

  7. Cheryl

    HI NMHD, thought of you when I was at the grocery store today. My bill was $80 so I am close to you in monthly grocery cost-and this is take to work lunches too. I get all personal care items at a WalMart priced store. Keeping groceries under $300 per month unless I start eating crap is going to be very difficult. I have decided this is the cost, its not like I am unemployed so not going eat the ramen-noodles-with-eggs-starving-student-diet since I have a good job and I can cut costs if I need to elsewhere.

    Great commentary on FB. I also think Millionaire next door is a very worthwhile read.

  8. Nate

    Can you cut out the protein bars? They seem expensive for what is essentially a high calorie granola/candy bar. Can you substitute eggs? tofu? or another high protein low cost snack food?
    Instead of buying expensive chicken breast, how about buying a whole chicken and cut it up? Or frozen pieces?
    It looks like you buy frozen dinners as well. Salisbury steak? Beef patty? and fried chicken? Usually these are overpriced.
    Boxed cereal is easy to make each morning but it is pricey. Not to mention the price of milk. How about switching to oatmeal, grits, rice, or mush. You can add whatever flavorings you like. Oatmeal made in the crockpot is one of my husband’s favorite breakfasts.
    Good luck in reducing your grocery bill. It is an area where I struggle as well.

  9. AJ

    Hi! I’ve been reading your blog since the beginning and thoroughly enjoyed it since I am dealing with a similar student loan situation. It’s interesting that the last one-third of your payment is spread out over the last half of the 10 months. Good luck! Although I don’t completely agree with all of your decisions, I thank you for sharing your story.

    • Hey, I’m glad you like it! The timing of the payments–that’s what happens when you completely drain your savings account and sell off most of your major assets at the beginning…the rest of the paydown has to be relatively organic.

  10. I keep thinking about this line since reading your post a few days ago:
    “Live like you don’t have the money. It will ruin your family if you don’t.”
    It reminds me of when I was little and thought everyone I knew with a lot of money was miserable. We do not have ‘Facebook wealth’ or anything close to it. But I do spending a lot of time thinking about how we want to raise our kids and the messages we will send them about money. The Millionaire Next Door provides some great guidance.

    On another note, never assume you cannot afford to date someone. Maybe they are self-financed :-)

  11. Jenn

    Plan out your meals for the week
    Make a shopping list
    Only buy whats on your list
    Budget = 280 / 4 weeks = 70 week
    Add up what you are getting as you go
    Pick and choose if you go over and save the rest till next week

    You won’t notice what you are missing!

  12. Bridget :-)

    When I go grocery shopping I don’t use a cart or a basket. I can only buy what I can carry, and although that can be precarious at times it keeps my costs down. A silly method but I’m absolutely certain it has saved me money. :-)

  13. Those protein bars are $1.75 a piece, but you can get them for $1.475 a piece with Amazon subscribe and save (with free shipping): http://amzn.to/xMvlcz It’s worth it for things like that, if you know what you want, and know you want them regularly.

  14. Kate

    First of all, I have read every post up to now in the span of the last day or so when I saw the link to it on Forbes. Awesome and witty. Second, you can get GREAT deals on stuff from Amazon. I think I personally keep them in business. If you are a prime member, you get free 2-day shipping and if you subscribe to auto deliveries (i.e. vitamins, diapers [in my case, for my daughter], etc), you save an additional 15%. Third, you could make your own spaghetti sauce for much cheaper by buying the tomato sauce and adding spices. Plus if you get it at Costco/Sam’s you could buy enough sauce for a month for the price you just paid for 2 jars.

  15. Vasanta

    I think, I lived the life you are talking about. Its not even about how you accomplish that, its like a work out, you can lose as much fat as you want. while I was studying my Masters. It was not Harvard, it was not even any big uni, its a run of the mill in India, but it was my Harvard. I came from a lower middle class family, a girl (Indians don’t believe in investing on girl’s education) and I took study loan from bank. The loan incurred interest from the day after I took it. Meaning, my 3 years study accumulated interest on loan while I was not even repaying my loan. I was studying full time. No job. Those 3 years, all I did was saving from my expense. I don’t have to tell you what my family had to sacrifice to pay my monthly expenses. I wash/wore the same 2-3 dresses to the college repeated until they showed signs of death, I would never buy a new something unless the existing one died (of course UG are exceptions). My uncle gifted a watch, he lend me INR 500 every month, a friend’s friend let me stay in their out house for no rent. I would never use bus but walk to college. I would take away (parcel) food for lunch from a near by canteen and eat half and keep half for dinner. In the Indian heat, sometime the curry would go lil stale. For that I had to boil it in the after noon. I could never think of a boy friend, as it would be added expense, how?? I have to buy new clothes, shoes, makeup, and so on.. to be attractive and be able to spend when I go out with a guy.. I though its a waste. This is all during the year 2000. I was studying IT, and the dotcom bubble left thousands jobless. So I got out of the uni, for finding no job. I did odd jobs, night shifts and so on. I paid off my loan of INR. 1,00,000 in about 2 years time. I found a low maintenance boy friend who still loved me. The IT industry picked up by 2003-2004. I got handsome salary. After my loan was cleared, I thought it was time to party. So for the next 6-8 years I lived life King size. No looking back. I gave money to every relative, family members who were in trouble. I got married and moved abroad. Now again, I am back to simple living as I am in my mid 30s, married and leading a happy life, I dont see why should i fancy myself with expensive things. I donate money to world vision. I also have some social activities planned underway.

  16. Pathik

    Amateur!! Come to Mumbai and see how students manage their lives. Atleast you have food to eat and a place to crash. I am not even talking about foreign studies. What you have mentioned here is routine in some places.

  17. Dear NMHD:

    I’ve come across your name quite a bit in Harvard and Socialite circles, though we’ve never had the pleasure of meeting.

    I find your articles cerebrally titillating!
    Would you consider adding a social share plug-in after each article. I would love to post direct links to particular articles for my followers to enjoy.

    Best wishes for your continued success!

    Sincerely,
    Kitty Wolfe

  18. duke magilacuddy

    Dude- I did what you’re doing before the internet. :) A couple tips- your income tax return and escrow account are too high. Take that money, divide by 12 months, that interest, money to invest should be all yours. Consider a refinance, adjust your W4. Consider Apple computers. Or at least run Linux Red Hat on your PC if you’re not doing so now. I’ve put my kid through college (USC, although UT Austin was 1st choice in his junior year of HS), my wife has never worked outside the home since we’ve been married (22 years, thank you), despite that she has a MA in International Business, minor in accounting. My 401k is healthy again, and I’m planning to retire at 59.5 years old. Keep up the good work!

  19. skinnygoat

    Hey mon. I’m very impressed with the feat you carried out. I have a good job and owe only $11,000 that I took out as a personal loan at 5% that I have to pay off before November 2012. Problem is that I have other financial obligations like family, etc.. I am definitely going to get roommates and maybe even sell my car which I have already paid off. Maybe take the train for a while.
    Many people do not realize that we do not need these luxuries that have been brainwashed into our skulls by the commercial world. Sacrifices have to be made in order to get something done.
    Much respect to you.
    -Ras

  20. Dorothea Carthon

    Congratulations to you! You very much deserve everything you have accomplished and everything you are going to get! Hard hard work pays off! Now you can be a lender and not a borrower! ; )

  21. Greg

    Young Man: You have my vote to be our next Secretary of the Treasury. You are one amazing and accomplished dude. As one 60 year old getting back on my feet so to speak, I am impressed. A happy and long prosperous life! Be well always.

  22. c.o.u.p.o.n.s … I know, I know, I know… but, consider this… I saved $120 last week and spent $110- with minimal effort (psychotic coupon crazy lady with beehive hair, I am not. Married to student loans- I am.)

  23. mikky

    Ever heard of Dave Ramsey? radio host and author, The Total Money Makeover, and Financial Peace….sounds like you figured out what he has been telling people to do for years…(short of the Flask) lol great job stay debt free and build wealth.

  24. Grandma Tamie

    Your family should be very proud of you. You have accomplished what most people only dream of. Good for you! You should look into balancing the USA government, maybe even run for President on day. Why not, you are smart, you have ambition, drive and you do what is right! Best of luck to you in your forever. Grandma Tamie in East Wenatchee, Washington.

  25. Guest

    Great story–Congratulations!

    My kids, who are about your age, won’t give up their California lifestyle, but I’m glad to know some young people are willing to do whatever is necessary to take control of their financial future!

  26. AC

    Just saw your video, came here via yahoo, have to say, amazing work and best part of it all was the “surprisingly felt good” moments you mentioned. A major accomplishment, while I am a student and don’t have any debt, I might just lighten my own load and sell of junk I don’t need and try some new things. Thanks for the inspiration!

  27. sheryld

    Thanks for sharing how you paid off your debt. I am compelled to do the same by the end of the year. I spend way too much money on stuff I don’t need. Thanks again!!

  28. don

    okay… also have around 90k in student loan debt from undergrad and my masters. Now done w/ my masters and a year later can only find a job making $15/hour w/ no health insurance and they can only give me part time work. I have two roommates and never eat out, never drink alcohol and use a bike and the bus. I have not been able to put a dollar towards student loan debt yet.

    any ideas? drowning…

  29. Melissa Pannell

    LOVE this!!! Simply genius! This is very inspiring. Thank you for sharing :)

  30. Denny

    Congratulations! It is refreshing to see someone like yourself do what you did. I hope you spend some of your energy and time helping others. You could really make a difference. Again congratulations!

  31. Zaneta

    I commend you on your success with this debt endeavor. I too have tried a few times to find a way to decrease the debt of my student loans, but have been unsuccessful in this. I’m not sure if you would have any suggestions.
    I do not even have a 401k, I’m self-employed. I make a mere 30,000 a year on good years and have very little left in my place to sell. I eat out maybe once a month and spend $20 or less. I cook everything at home. I only pay for internet and don’t have cable. I am so happy that you were able to find a way to get through this. I only wish that it were possible for everyone.

  32. NIKI

    WOW!!!!! THATS ALL I REALLY HAVE TO SAY ABOUT YOU. YOU INSPIRE ME TO THINK REALISTIC.THIS MAKES A WHOLE LOT OF SENSE MAY GOD BLESS YOU I LOVE THIS……..

  33. This is one of the greatest things i’ve read. It gives me hope for clearing up my meager 3,000 in medical and credit card debt. I would like to get in touch with you if possible. Crashoverride250@gmail.com

    Jamal

  34. Brenda Ott

    Good read! I forwarded your story to my daughter who is a first year teacher in Bryan/College Station. I told her to ask you if you still needed a roommate! She loves Austin and you are like-minded. :)

  35. Jake McGuire

    No sense in putting your life on-hold for 10 months (or 7 months, whatever). Missing weddings and not going home for xmas is part of ‘life’. I’m sure it’s nice to be debt free but you’re never going to have those particular opportunities again. No one gets out of here alive – better jump on the ‘moments’ while you can and not be side-tracked by some myopic vision of a debt free existence… in my humble opinion, of course.

  36. DL

    where is a will there is a way – good job!

    • The guy makes $300,000 a year. He could have had it paid of in 5 months without really trying. This story pathetic. Give us a good story. Maybe if the guy made $100,000 a year, then he would had to suffer.

      • Comment boards are awash with inaccuacies regarding my salary, but this is the first time my salary has been so grossly miscalculated directly on my blog. My pre-tax salary was $103k when I started the blog, and I got a $6k raise when I got the promo for $109k base.

        What makes you think I make $300k? My income in March was so high because I got three paychecks (a paycheck every two weeks, so two months are going to have three paychecks because of the math), and my end-of-year bonus, which was about 16% of my salary after tax.

  37. Somewhere I read in your blog that I though you made around 300k, the low 6 figures. My bad, you should take my post down.

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