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Posts by ItsBasilThyme

I used to agonize over that stuff too. Honestly, I don't think the guilt helped me save more or pay debt faster, it just made me miserable in the process. I would swear off ALL SPENDING RIGHT NOW but it never lasted and then I felt even worse.I read somewhere that a good mix when you are above basic needs income-wise was 50% take home to needs, 30% to wants, 20% to savings and debt. We roughly follow that now and I feel much better about it and I think we're actually...
I agree that not inflating your lifestyle is really the key. We live in a very HCOL area, so even though our mortgage is large, we have a 980 sq ft home that hasn't been remodeled since it was built in the 50s. Sometimes I wish we had done what our friends do and buy large 3/2 homes in the nice neighborhoods, but we're happier knowing we can save a chunk every month. For discretionary money, I like to keep our bills down and spend money on non-recurring things instead....
We have a very similar financial situation. We live in a high cost of living area and have about 500k in mortgage debt and just under 100k in student loan debt. No credit card or car loan debt. It's hard to decide what to prioritize putting extra money to. What I've decided is that even though it feels good to me, putting extra to the mortgage makes no sense. The interest rate is low, it's tax deductible, and that tax deduction also allows us to itemize which lets us...
If you're looking at 1mil+ properties, mountain view is really nice. Cupertino supposedly has really good schools if that is something you're looking for, but the train doesn't go out there (if he wants that option for commuting). Lots of people love palo alto, but I've never really been a fan. It seems like you pay so much for a town that isn't any better than mountain view or other areas. The general "rule" that I heard when I moved here was that east of 101 was the...
What area will you be working in and what price range?
We live in a HCOL area (sf peninsula) and stayed with the 2.5x annual income rule. It was hard because a lot of our friends out here were telling us that no one stuck to that rule here - everyone does 30% monthly gross because it's so expensive. Honestly, I'm so glad I didn't listen to my friends. We're comfortably saving, and have enough room in our budget for most realistic emergencies. If we had done 30% of our gross, our house payment would have been something like...
In my old neighborhood, we used to get tons of hand-delivered stuff from the local realtors. Mostly they just left notes/stopped in to ask if you were thinking of selling/blah blah blah. The best was one particular realtor who would drop off reusable grocery bags with her name/contact info on it. You would walk into the neighborhood grocery store and half the shoppers had a bag with that lady's name on it. Sometimes she'd leave a little notepad and pen with her...
I had figured more like $10,000 take home pay, after insurances and maxing out retirement contributions. Thats absolutely plenty to pay a 33% gross mortgage payment ($6500). I just often hear people say that people who make $250k+ can afford like, 45-50% gross. That's just not feasible, since that would mean a mortgage payment of $9500-$10500/month.
I always wonder how true this is. I mean, if you make $250k per year, you're paying a significant amount of taxes. You have a higher marginal rate, plus many of your deductions are reduced or taken away. Plus your second biggest expense is probably 401k, and the recommended amount for that is based on a percent of your income, not a dollar value. It seems to me like 33% of gross pay is still the maximum you could pay for a house for most people, especially since many young...
It really depends on how much you're planning to reduce your 401k payments, I think. Most people recommend a minimum of 10% each. If you're talking about reducing contributions to 3-4%, that's probably a really bad idea. Especially since it sounds like you can't afford the house otherwise, so you'd have that reduction for the next 30 years? I get that the stock market is depressing right now, but unless you already have the majority of your retirement savings in place,...
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