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High income/high debt thread - Page 6

post #101 of 118
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by LoveOurBabies View Post

No longer high income :shy but erigeron, I'm thinking that if you think you'll be better off with full time work, then don't feel bad about wanting it. Physically being there for your little girl isn't the only way to show her you love her.. ensuring her future is secure by being financially sound, is also just as loving. 

I don't really want to work full-time, though, that's the thing. Currently I float which means I work whatever location and day is necessary. I never know what my schedule will be in advance and it drives me crazy... depending on how on the ball the schedulers are I might know anywhere from a day to a month in advance. I have certain days blocked off since I'm only part-time, and I have a fixed weekend schedule. Other than that I can't plan ahead for anything. If I went full-time it would be that only more so, up until such time as I got a permanent assignment, which could take God knows how long. Or I could look for a different job, which might be marginally better. But really I don't want to work full-time. I enjoy the extra time at home to get stuff done, relax, play, have play dates... But I know it's not the smartest approach financially.


I want to enjoy my life though. Not have it be just a giant slog towards debt repayment. If I chose to work more right now that's what it would feel like; I've worked more during the summer when my husband is working less, and the schedule drives me bonkers. 

post #102 of 118

I just wanted to say that we are in the same boat.  We have about $200,000 in debt with our student loans and mortgage and income is just shy of $100,000 per year.  We both work full time and send baby to daycare.  That part really sucks, but the thought of both of us retiring within the next 10 years and being with our kids all of the time is totally worth it.


I skipped most of the other posts, but wanted to say that we have been investing in a Vanguard account with really good returns and started making money right away.  We also have a little side business that will be our full-time gig once we "retire".  We have been living really frugally, by a budget for a few months.  I am ready to take it further and really tighten it up.  


Some of my goals are to not eat out at all, never set heat above 60, no driving other than commuting and buying nothing new until this debt is gone.


Good luck, and I am glad there are some others like us.

post #103 of 118

Finding this thread is a godsend. On paper, you would think we are doing just fine, but when we subtract student loan payments, childcare, and many expenses that are coming up (old cars, old house, parking fees for my downtown job, glasses for my kid) we are living paycheck to paycheck. We have a home but our mortgage payment is reasonable (no real reason to move out, because we'd pay about the same for a rental without the benefits of, you know, having a house!). Credit card debt low but we can't make progress on it. Getting ready to email my parents and say that we can't do any Christmas gifts this year... we'll be lucky to afford gas for our one trip home per year over Thanksgiving.



post #104 of 118

Thank you for this thread!  It's all good but the stress of debt does what it does.  I have an excellent job and income but for a multitude of reasons have a TON of debt.  I'm grateful for my job and hope that doesn't change... as it would be pretty problematic at this point in the game.

I'm subbing for now so that I can stay looped in and will come back with more in time.  I DO have credit card debt that is not easy to pay down (high lines / high balances) but setting some goals.  I got some fresh ideas reading through this thread - thank you thank you!!!

post #105 of 118


post #106 of 118

Hi ladies!

This thread is perfect for me! I am new to this site, just starting second trimester of first (much-wanted, 2 yrs TTC) pregnancy. I am 31 and my husband is 36. 

I am a part time psychiatrist who just finished residency and started a private practice this year, and my husband is a psychologist. Together our income is about $175K. So I always feel that we shouldn't have money problems. 


BUT. . . .stupid 23 year old me decided that it was a great idea to take out over $200K in student loans, to do med school as well as a fun, but now useless, MPH degree. If I could only look back and shake myself!. . . .I would tell myself to go to social work school instead (2 years only), or work first and save up money to help pay for med school. . .but hindsight is 20/20.


I sooo relate to the OP who works part time and knows that $ could be so much better if you worked full time, but feeling that it's not worth it. I grapple with that every day! If I had just taken a 'normal' psychiatrist job (doing 15 minute med checks, or working in a hospital and seeing patients for 5 min each) I could easily be making $200K a year and I would not be posting on this thread. 


However I realized in the process of my medical training that I am just not cut out to be a 'mainstream' physician. I hated a lot of the training but was relieved when I finally found psychiatry. Even in psychiatry though, there was only so much I could take.


So after my training was done, I set up my private practice. I share an office condo with 2 other like minded folks, one psychiatrist and one psychologist, but I only work about 30 hours per week (only see about 20 patient hours and the rest is paperwork). 

Great job, but I'm only on track to make $75K/year at the most with my current hours, and that's after this first year is done and my overhead is largely paid down.


So why don't I get a 'normal' doctor job? Well, it is a combination of my strong beliefs about good care (I don't believe you can even do a 'simple' med check in less than 30 minutes) and my own anxious personality which even if I kept the same model of care and worked full time, would cause me to quickly burn out. I am very sensitive and emotionally attuned which I think makes me a good therapist, but makes me just DONE after seeing 4-5 patients per day. I don't know how my collegues in my office see 8 or 9 a day, and I DEFINITELY don't know how people in 'normal' (non-therapy, medication-oriented psychiatry) offices see 20 or 25 people a day! 


Anyway, that's my long winded explanation of why I'm singlehandedly making us struggle. 

What's more, I would love to cut back even further, maybe to 15 patient hours per week, after the baby comes in May. . .so I might be lucky to make $60K, and pay another $10K for part time childcare. Don't get me wrong. I'm so grateful to be in a field where that is an option! I realize that netting $50K is GREAT money for the hours worked!


But, I just so often feel silly. Silly that we still live in a townhome even though all our friends are in real houses. . .silly that because of my debt, when we DO buy a freestanding house (hopefully in the next 3 years??) it will likely be a $200K house, not the 'grand house' that people probably think we are saving for. Silly for personally not feeling able to work full time and pay back more of MY OWN debts. . .silly that compared to every other doctor I know, my earnings are so small. Silly that because charity is VERY important to us as Christians, we write fairly substantial checks each month to others while our own debt looms. (I suppose we could stop the charity for now but my student debt is just soo huge. . .it's not as if we're going to pay it off in a year or 2. I don't want to have to wait 20 years to give to others/God in a real way.) 


We are on the 25 year repayment plan for the student loan, but hoping that once the young-children season of our lives is over, that we can get it paid down in 15 years or so if I can build up the stamina to work more hours once  the kid(s) are in school. 


Anyway. I really apologize if anything I have said is offensive to anyone living on less. It is just a vent and I usually don't have an 'appropriate' place to share these kinds of details but I figured this thread was calling my name. Thanks for letting me join! I look forward to reading any tips for cutting back, or any comisseration. :)

post #107 of 118
Thread Starter 

Glad to have you, and I totally sympathize. I would burn out a lot faster if I worked more, too, that's for sure.


I am so fed up with my job, though. My employer keeps pulling shenanigans that make me really frustrated and upset. It would be so nice to find a different one, but I still don't want to work full-time right now. Aargh. 


I think we are going to make it under $400k in debt by the end of 2013. That is pretty exciting. And then I'm going to go on mat leave and put everything in forbearance... I can't get them paid that far ahead. :( Taking unpaid mat leave also falls into the category of decisions that seem best for me and my family in the non-financial sense but financially is challenging. I wish I didn't have to keep deciding between making more money and having a sane, balanced life.


In attempts at bill reduction, we got smart phones. The phones themselves were spendy but our monthly bill will actually be less because we are now on a prepaid plan. We break even after 15-20 months depending on which plan my husband gets. But I got some extra hours this month which defrays the cost of the phones so we shouldn't have to dip into savings, and so that means our monthly outlay will be a little less each month... though not enough less that I think we're going to see a big effect on our budget... and it turned out our escrow account was underfunded at closing and we have to pay $50/month extra this year to make up the shortfall, which wipes out the amount that I've saved by making changes to the bills. Next I am going to work on switching electricity suppliers to reduce our electric bill. 

post #108 of 118

Glad for the existence of this thread. The student loans are staggering in my family, as it sounds many of the posters here are familiar with! Remember hearing "education debt is good debt"? Yeah me too. I'm not so sure about that. Both my husband and I are hammered with them. We are both newly out of training and making an impressive sounding income (him far more than me, because I work part time to be home with kiddo and because his medical specialty is just that way) but we are going to have a negative net worth for what feels like forever. This morning I'm looking into consolidating my loans, which I should have done quite a while ago but I've been distracted :) Speaking of which my toddler has maxed out on my being on the computer and I have to stop the loan info collecting process without having gotten nearly as far as I planned. Typical. 



post #109 of 118
Thread Starter 

^^^Well, I'd rather have 200k in education debt than 200k in credit card debt (or, probably, 100k in credit card debt for that matter), so I suppose that's what "good debt" means. But yeah, I know what you mean. 


I don't want to consolidate any more because right now I can afford the payments on the one loan that isn't consolidated (the other two are) and since it's in standard repayment it'll be paid off a lot faster than the other two. I'm saving consolidation as an option up my sleeve if I ever need it later. They are at a fixed interest rate so consolidation won't make a difference as far as that goes. And I'm playing with the "pay individual balances" feature to work on paying it off sub-loan by sub-loan. I know in the long run it probably won't make much difference, but I'd like to see each individual loan get wiped out in turn since it will take me so long to pay off the entire thing. The smallest one is around 3k so I am putting my extra money towards that, then after that two of them are 7k each, and so on. Also as I pay them off the payment due each month will decrease a bit, which will be nice if we get a tight month. 

post #110 of 118
My partner and I pay about 1200 per month in student debt plus 1200 per month on a mortgage. We have a single car that we share that we don't owe anything on. I think our incomes are right in the middle (around 50k). We r both self employed so that brings its own challenges but I like working for myself. Our house has a suite that we renovated and now rent out for $700 per month. I don't trust banks at all and can't see myself ever trusting one with my retirement plan. We bought this house this year and will move in 2017 to another income property that we will live in for a minimum of a year (to avoid capital gains) before moving into our actual house after that.
Then by the time we are in our mid sixties both houses will pay off and we'll be able to generate 3500 per month in passive income, at least. The house we bought this spring required some work as that's all we could afford, so we got a 10k line of credit. We put at least 300 of the tenants rent to pay that down (200 we save for property taxes and 200 goes to daycare). The line of credit should be paid pretty quick and then all the money we put towards the line of credit will instead go to saving our next down payment. As we are both self employed and pay a business rental every month we may also buy some kind of commercial property in the medium term. Obviously in order for this plan to work the house has to be paid by the time we want to retire so we have a strict irrevocable rule that there's no borrowing from our equity. I currently have 7k saved but that's for my may leave as we r self employed and I don't qualify for any benefits. I don't worry at all about a few dollars here or there because I've actually been very poor before and I don't ever want to live like that again. I probably eat out more than I should and I buy higher quality food, but other than that there's no area where I have expensive taste and I'm content with my standard of living and feel that I've reached a nice balance. Also, I hate student loans and think its a total scam, super unethical. Like, "of you want a decent job you have to get a degree but if you want a degree you have to pay 1/4 of your salary to the banks" f--k that those dirty bastards. Always trying to keep the poor down. Making money off stocks is for the rich, the rest of us just give them padding. Unless you know how to day trade, if course!
post #111 of 118

I know . . .i am NEVER going to advise our kid(s) to take out student loans! Maybe up to $50K or something, total. but none of this 'my student debt is bigger than my mortgage' crap that we are currently living in!

it IS kind of a scam. 


anyway, happy thanksgiving to everyone! 

post #112 of 118
But then how will they pay for the education? I guess maybe if you have enough to help them? Then our generation has to pay for the education twice! Such a scam.

Originally I wanted 2 income properties as I thought we could will one to each of our two children but now I realize that by the time we die they may be quite old and may need more support before then. We have resp's already that we contribute the max to each year but as I that'll be enough. I think in reality we would have to have an additional income property that had a fair bit of equity in it by the time they start university (plus appreciation value) that we'd be willing to sell to help find their schooling. I can't really see another way.
post #113 of 118
My grand pa raised 4 kids on his single salary as a produce manger at a grocery store by owing and renting out multiple properties. He was very careful and did quite well as a result. My partner and I are both attorneys and our incomes are the lowest they'll ever be as we've really just started. Still, perhaps because of my profession or maybe die to general propensity, I really don't trust others with my money, not banks and not governments, certainly not after 2008.
post #114 of 118
Originally Posted by Viola P View Post

But then how will they pay for the education? I guess maybe if you have enough to help them? Then our generation has to pay for the education twice! Such a way.

There are ways to get an education without tang on enormous amounts of debt. "Debt free u" is a good book with lots of ideas. It is a scam. People need to think differently about college today.
post #115 of 118
Studies show that the sense of gratification is absolutely VITAL to your motivation. I would attack the student loans. Don't think about the house for now. That comes much later. You have to pay to live anyway.

I highly suggest Dave Ramsey's program. My DH & I are on our second round (once you take the class once, you can come back for free). Amazing things happen every time we take it.

The first time: we paid off every CC & paid for my second birth in cash & were even able to give my fabulous (MSF) OB a $700 tip. (I promise, he earned it!)

This time, we were able to totally say goodbye to CC forever (we had picked up little cards like Old Navy here & there, duh!) & save the 5G we need to put in a HVAC unit, in just a few months. We had been spinning our wheels on that one for almost 9 months.

It is great for getting a couple on the same page too: before we got into DR, we would *always* fight when money or CC came up, because honestly CC debt makes me see *red* where I find a lot of men are way more comfortable with it.

People in your situation call DR every day Ergion! They pay off BIG student loans in amazingly short amounts of time. He has an App where you could listen to just those calls, he also is on the Radio & IHeartRadio (App) every day. The class is mainly for moral support, structure AND to get your DH on the same page as you: it is couple focused.

I promise the class would really help y'all. We are looking forward to being debt free except the house in just 4 months!
post #116 of 118
Thread Starter 

Aaaaand we are officially below 400k in debt. Whee! :energy


Dinah, I'll look into Dave Ramsey. I think it might help my husband and me get on the same page. 


I am just trying not to think about what is going to happen when I go on mat leave. We won't be able to pay on the two biggest student loans--not without depleting savings, and it doesn't seem like the right thing to do. We saved money to cover living expenses during the leave, but would have had to save twice as much to cover the loan payments. 

post #117 of 118
post #118 of 118
Originally Posted by erigeron View Post

Aaaaand we are officially below 400k in debt. Whee! :energy


Congratulations!!  Try not to think too hard about how Mat leave will change your finances.  Its just a temporary blip in the plan, and a joyous reason for it too (as opposed to needing a new roof or major car repairs).



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