So post number two. It’s been some time while I considered my second topic. Today I will talk about the background to the majority of my current problems in life, and the current solution I have devised to get back on track.
My background, due to the situation today’s US Military faces with reductions in size due to a shift in policy I decided to separate early from the military. While I could argue the pros and cons of this decision this isn’t the post for that, additionally I stand by my decision to get out. This decision has put me into a situation where any issues I may have had are now full grown problems and obstacles in my life. The obstacles I face now are finding a job, managing my current financial situation, and finding a place to live until I find a new job.
My problems explained. Because I am getting out of the military I am losing out on the benefit of a steady paycheck, I am pushed into a situation where now I must find a new job, and manage my debt. Due to a number of poor financial decisions and my own inability to say no, I have managed to accumulate an impressive $15,000+ in debt since August 2012. Through various short term loans, credit cards, and missed payments on utilities and bills I am no longer staying afloat. Currently I pay roughly 110% of my paycheck trying to stay current and catch up at the sametime. My last problem is that my lease expires in 1 week. Starting in February I will have two options. Option one is go month to month and take a $300 increase in rental costs on top of what I already owe (and I am facing an eviction so this is probably a bad choice.) Option two is find a new place to live that allows me to consolidate payments and reduce my debt while I still can. This brings me to getting my life back on track.
My solution for these three major problems and all the smaller problems that come along with them is this. First job hunt daily. While I currently do not have internet in my apartment (saving costs and I can’t afford it). Go to the library for a few hours a day and put in a serious effort to submit 2-3 applications a day. During week days I am able to do some searching at work which saves time and travel. The second issue is my finances and is much more complex. The solution I have devised here combines with the solution for finding a new place to live. First (actually this weekend), pack my belongings minus what I need to live on the road. The reason for this is two fold. The first is I anticipate moving in the near future, being prepared to move will cut down on the amount of time needed to vacate my apartment when the time comes. The second reason is part of my solution to combine expenses and bills. Rather than pay a bill for utilities and a bill for rent, and a bill for cable and internet I can combine these costs by moving to an extended stay hotel. In the area where I live it will cost me roughly $1050+taxes (not counting discounts) to stay in a hotel and roughly $40 for two months at a storage until. All said and done not counting the cost of a moving truck it would cost me about $1100 to move to a hotel. When I calculate my estimated rent plus utilities plus internet costs at a month to month rate the total cost comes down to roughly $1300 with discounts. Additionally with the hotel, I’d have to make payments every two weeks making the bill roughly $550 bi-weekly. So it’s cheaper and more manageable to move to a hotel. Next, with current deductions from my paycheck that goes toward paying off loans I am looking at $600+ in deductions towards loans that I do not have to worry about paying out of the remainder. This is a significant percentage of my paycheck and all said and done a hotel plus deductions combine to a rough total of almost $1200 per month. This gives me a little left over to purchase food and gas for my car as well as paying off the utilities company, Comcast, getting an oil change, registering my vehicle, and knocking out the smaller expenses and reducing the number of bills I have to pay quickly. The next part of reducing my debt is selling back the vacation days I have saved up. Even though I will not get the full value of the days when I sell back the vacation days I will be able to apply that amount directly to my debt reducing it by (if I’m lucky) $1400+. The third part of the plan is to file my taxes now. W2s came out last week and while I am still in I need to take advantage of filing my taxes for free, any return I get will get put into travel costs for when I move. My fourth and final strategy for reducing debt is to call in any and all insurance policies I have on my loans. There are a few that I was smart and purchased insurance on. If all the insurance policies pay off I’ll drop my debt by almost $4500. All said and done my debt reduction plan if successful will reduce my debt from $15,000 to roughly $9,000. While still scary and a lot. This is greatly reduced and much more manageable. Finally once I get my date of separation from the military if I have not found a job I will move back to Texas and move in with my family. essentially cutting all costs and allowing me to job hunt and pay off my debt using unemployment.
So finally in conclusion my plan to get back on track is to find a job, reduce my debt as much as possible in as short a time as possible. Consolidate and reduce the number of bills I have to pay, move to a hotel and reduce my cost of living plus consolidating living expenses, and finally moving back in with my parents if I have not found a job by the time I get out. I know this was a long post, but I am hoping this will set me up to discuss how my plans are progressing and changing.