Join Early Retirement Today
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Hello!!! 33yrs old and not a clue in North NJ
Old 04-19-2014, 06:23 AM   #1
Confused about dryer sheets
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 2
Hello!!! 33yrs old and not a clue in North NJ

Hi I'm new to this site and forums. A buddy of mine told me about ER a few years ago but just like my own retirement plans I put it off for much too long.

I am currently married with one child and one on the way (any day now). We have a house that we purchased in 2010. we both have 401ks with our jobs about 35K in total. We have about 10k saved but no way near the amount we would need for emergencies.

I personally have over 65K in debt between student loans (from grad school) and CC's. We currently net 120K per year and our living expenses have varied between 90 to 110 per year.

Being that there are so many areas that I need to address, I realize that nothing is too impossible and I'm looking for advice, threads and any links on how I can ramp up plans for retirement, start college planning for my two little ones and any ways that I could invest.

We are looking to relocate from north jersey to somewhere in the south for a potential for lower cost of living. However we also realize that we need to further game plan out personal finances or we will wind up in the same position in our new locations. Your guidance is greatly appreciated!!!

RobbyMcd is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 04-19-2014, 08:04 AM   #2
Full time employment: Posting here.
BTravlin's Avatar
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 994
Welcome to ER! Spend some time reading here and you'll learn plenty in a hurry. The first item of business for you is to beef up your emergency fund. Next, knock out the CC debt first and then go after the student loan debt. Looks like you have $10-20k per year to apply toward debt payment and then savings. If you haven't done so already, put together a budget with cash flow so you can see exactly where your money is going. This will help you eliminate wasteful spending and free up more cash for debt payment and savings.

Good luck to you and your family!

Wherever you go, there you are.
(In other words, no whining!)
BTravlin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-19-2014, 10:28 AM   #3
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
nash031's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Coronado
Posts: 1,742
Welcome! I think the best jumping off point is the Bogleheads Wiki. Even if you elect another investment strategy, the points they make about reducing expenses, increasing savings, emergency funds, etc. are good for everyone.


Start with the "Getting Started" link.
nash031 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-19-2014, 02:56 PM   #4
Dryer sheet aficionado
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 25
Step 1 is to put together a budget - list all of your expenses and figure out what you can cut out. I bet you can trim 20% easily if you're willing to make sacrifices.

Also when you say you "net" 120k/year, do you truly mean net after taxes, or do you really mean gross, before taxes?

Finally - congrats on taking control of the situation and asking questions. That alone will make a huge difference if you put good advice into action.
mchas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-19-2014, 10:25 PM   #5
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
pb4uski's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Vermont & Sarasota, FL
Posts: 22,035
Welcome Robby! You sound overwhelmed - but remember, the only way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time.

Take a long view of prioritizing saving for retirement and reducing debt. Assuming the CCs are high interest that should be a top priority. Building more of an emergency fund is a close second. Until you can knock down those two limit your 401k savings to what you need to save to maximize any match.

Backburner college savings for now. Time will come for that later.

Do a through budget of income, taxes, expenses debt reduction and savings so you can set realistic goals of when to have the CC debt paid off and the emergency fund built up.
If something cannot endure laughter.... it cannot endure.
Patience is the art of concealing your impatience.
Slow and steady wins the race.

Retired Jan 2012 at age 56...60/35/5 AA
pb4uski is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-20-2014, 05:03 AM   #6
Full time employment: Posting here.
racy's Avatar
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 575
Originally Posted by RobbyMcd View Post
.... We currently net 120K per year and our living expenses have varied between 90 to 110 per year. ...
Hi Rob,
As others have said, develop a budget. I'll go a bit further: you're spending too much! (Sorry, if this sounds harsh). Closely examine needs vs wants. Until you get rid of the CC debt forget about new cars, vacations, and other luxuries (Starbucks, premium TV channels, expensive nights out, etc). Google 'how to cut monthly expenses'. Good luck!
The Big Lebowski: Are you employed, sir?
The Dude: Employed?
racy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-20-2014, 05:31 AM   #7
Recycles dryer sheets
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Twin Cities
Posts: 491
Robby - It's great that you are interested in planning your financial future.

I think you would benefit by reading some of the articles here - Mr. Money Mustache

It's a website by a guy who advocates a much simpler, less consumer driven lifestyle and how that money freedom brings happiness and a much earlier retirement. There are thousands who follow him and there's a very active forum of like minded people.
Fishingmn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-20-2014, 09:23 AM   #8
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
walkinwood's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Denver
Posts: 2,948
We lived in NJ during our working years and the first few years of ER.

The advantage of working there is the abundance of jobs and the relatively high salaries. Moving to a lower CoL area may result in lower salaries as well. We felt that we were well served by working & saving in NJ and then moving to a lower CoL area.

I second the Mr Money Mustache suggestion. He can be an opinionated windbag sometimes, but read it and take what works for you.

All the best.
walkinwood is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-20-2014, 10:34 AM   #9
Recycles dryer sheets
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 424
Welcome Robby…You're only 33 so do not worry too much about what you should've/could've done. You've lots of time ahead of you to steer ER in right direction. First step is to be debt free. CC, Car and Student loan must be paid asap. 90-110K expense is too much…downsize and LBYM. As your career picks up in future, you may be able to buy a nice house again but goal for now should be to save as much as possible. Two kids…keep in mind that 529 plan after you pay of your debt. My daughter is entering PharmD college this fall and I'll have to pay the full cost(26K in state college near my home). Not even a merit scholarship of any kind after getting 2170 in SAT…how weird is that
retire2020 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-25-2014, 08:50 PM   #10
Confused about dryer sheets
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 2
Thank you all for the great advice and info!!!
RobbyMcd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-26-2014, 07:12 AM   #11
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Golden sunsets's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 1,253
Robby; in addition to setting up a budget, I suggest that you start tracking your expenses in detail. You could use a program or a website like, but I prefer to do it myself on an excel spreadsheet. There is something about reviewing your checking account transactions and credit card transactions in detail monthly that helps you to understand where all of the money is going. I'd also suggest you check out Dave Ramsey's radio show and archive podcasts. His philosophy on debt reduction and wealth building is empowering and motivating.

Also start reading personal finance books and blogs. Try "Get Rich Slowly". With some luck, you'll become addicted to the cause and it will become easier.

One final suggestion-bring your wife on board for this journey. If you aren't both of the same mind, it will become more difficult.

Golden sunsets is offline   Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Hi - I'm a new person w/o a clue evenstarjm Hi, I am... 17 08-28-2006 12:52 PM
Getting a clue about giving to charity. Nords Other topics 3 06-27-2006 01:40 PM
@ age 25 I had no clue what "retire" even meant mickeyd FIRE and Money 1 06-24-2006 11:26 AM
No retiremant Plan? Don't have a clue where to begin? This may help you. mickeyd Young Dreamers 0 03-16-2006 10:52 AM
Anyone Got a Clue on Oil? JPatrick FIRE and Money 33 07-16-2005 07:23 PM

» Quick Links

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:07 AM.
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.