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Could use a lot of advice

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  • #16
    Good Luck to you. Lots of good advice in this thread. I agree with the others that you need to "Dave Ramsey" the credit card debt. Start expense tracking. I do this even though I have a significant net worth. You will find places to cut. Do not be embarrassed. You have plenty of time to get out of this mess.

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    • #17
      Adding to the chorus of "good luck" and "you got this" assuming you do most/all of the actionable things written above.

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      • #18
        Did you rent a 2 br apartment? 3k is a lot in rent - there aren’t too many places where you can’t find cheaper rent than this. Could you live further away/cheaper for a couple years? If you want the dream job you’ll need to make sacrifices. This might be a good case for taking a Dave Ramsay course actually. I’d look for extra shifts/moonlighting and wife needs a job (even temp work anything will help!!). Y’all will be fine if you can keep spending low.

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        • #19
          thread is closed until OP responds.

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          • #20
            OP (FinanciallyIlliterateDoc) is back and thread re-opened.

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            • Tim
              Tim commented
              Editing a comment
              Is there a response?

            • Peds
              Peds commented
              Editing a comment
              I was told to open it for one....

          • #21
            OMG. At least you are realizing your goof ups early in your attending career. You will be fine if you bust your tail over the next year or two and stop spending.
            I realized my mistake quickly but was too chicken to get out in time and finally when I did the damage was close to seven figures.
            You will be fine.

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            • #22
              First, apologies for the delay in my response. I read most of the responses before my absence, but then life got in the way. Don't want to bore you with the details, but had some family issues come up and that kept me occupied/on the road.

              That leads me to the second thing -- that family issue required money and travel. I was still paid as I took vacation time off work, but due to this, I paid minimum payment on all CCs for the last month. Am now back and will implement your advice/Dave Ramsey method for CC bills starting today.

              Some of you mentioned the HCOL area. The closest I could live to work that would make a dent in monthly rent would be 43 miles away which with traffic and the fact that I wouldn't be on the highway most of the time would mean about a 2-hr commute each way during rush hour. Now what I could do is change my work hours so that I don't have to travel during rush hour, but I haven't talked to my boss about this yet.

              I have read everything you guys suggested and also applied for moonlighting opportunities. I am speaking to a locums company as we speak regarding weekend work. I also have some night work I could do at my hospital but pay isn't good (around $150/hr). The locums work is more, but work is harder and in a system/EMR I need to learn which I will.

              Re: emergency fund -- we have 10K in the emergency funds which we dipped into for the family problem, but have now replenished with my last paycheck. That isn't quite 2 months of living expenses so I suppose I should add a bit more to the fund.

              I looked into life insurance. I can get 1.5 million in term life for $500/month. Is this a good price? One of my colleagues said he pays $200/month but I'm told due to my pre-existing health condition, this is the cheapest I would qualify for. I haven't signed anything yet.

              Thank you all again.

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              • #23
                I would stay on PSLF and get that forgiven. Then I would not save for retirement or emergency fund or anything until that CC debt is paid. Live like a resident until you have no more CC debt.

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                • #24
                  Your situation is not that unusual, except for the 100k cc debt. Focus on getting that paid off over the next 2-3 years, and by then, you will almost have your student debt gone as well.

                  Then catch up on taxable/pretax retirement contributions, you should be well on your way by the time you are 40.

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                  • #25
                    Regarding $6k/yr for $1.5M life insurance I pay less than half that for more than double the benefit. Can’t comment on your health factors though

                    contact one of the independent agents vetted here

                    https://www.whitecoatinvestor.com/websites-2/insurance/

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                    • #26
                      Originally posted by FinanciallyIlliterateDoc View Post
                      I have read everything you guys suggested and also applied for moonlighting opportunities. I am speaking to a locums company as we speak regarding weekend work. I also have some night work I could do at my hospital but pay isn't good (around $150/hr). The locums work is more, but work is harder and in a system/EMR I need to learn which I will.
                      You are scoffing at $150 an hour when your main gig pays approximately half that? I’m not sure you’re in the position to be that picky.

                      Originally posted by FinanciallyIlliterateDoc View Post
                      I looked into life insurance. I can get 1.5 million in term life for $500/month. Is this a good price? One of my colleagues said he pays $200/month but I'm told due to my pre-existing health condition, this is the cheapest I would qualify for. I haven't signed anything yet.
                      No, that’s a seriously terrible price. For reference I have a staggered policy and the 30-year $2M portion of it costs me $100 a month. But I can’t speak to your pre-existing condition so maybe that is in fact a good price for you in your situation.

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                      • #27
                        I'm not scoffing at $150/hour. I'm just saying that I can get more with locums, so I choose locums work instead.

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                        • Tim
                          Tim commented
                          Editing a comment
                          Sense of urgency counts. What is your January schedule? You get the point. “Going to” counts for zero. Both you and the spouse need to spend as much time work and throw every $100-500 at that CC debt the day it comes in. You might get a credit union personal loan to lower the interest. It’s time to attack it. You can’t afford to wait. Upgrade pay without missing a weekend. Way out of hand. Fight your way out.

                      • #28
                        I would go into total survival mode with debt like that. I'm talking....

                        take a private job in north dakota, rent a shack and drive a beater
                        moonlight like crazy and tell the wife to get off her behind and get a job
                        live off the bare essentials (do you like rice, beans and ramen noodles? learn to)
                        restrict spending to only stuff that keeps you alive or getting evicted (no cable tv, no eating out, no vacations, no iphones, etc)
                        no more kids (a huge money sink and they're overrated anyway)
                        do you like doing all your shopping at Walmart? learn to

                        I was in a similar situation about 5 years ago, not quite as bad though. Lots of debt, a crap academic salary, 0 in retirement. Aside from the north dakota thing, I did all this. It was painful. Not to brag, but I'm debt free, paid off my home, and net worth is growing. I'm retiring in no more than 10 years and leaving this #&*show behind.

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                        • #29
                          Originally posted by ronnieD View Post
                          I would go into total survival mode with debt like that. I'm talking....

                          take a private job in north dakota, rent a shack and drive a beater
                          moonlight like crazy and tell the wife to get off her behind and get a job
                          live off the bare essentials (do you like rice, beans and ramen noodles? learn to)
                          restrict spending to only stuff that keeps you alive or getting evicted (no cable tv, no eating out, no vacations, no iphones, etc)
                          no more kids (a huge money sink and they're overrated anyway)
                          do you like doing all your shopping at Walmart? learn to

                          I was in a similar situation about 5 years ago, not quite as bad though. Lots of debt, a crap academic salary, 0 in retirement. Aside from the north dakota thing, I did all this. It was painful. Not to brag, but I'm debt free, paid off my home, and net worth is growing. I'm retiring in no more than 10 years and leaving this #&*show behind.
                          I love stories like this. People who were almost exactly where you are, illiterate doc, and turned things around. Do not despair but be resolved to change things around. I am very glad to hear that you decided to go after moonlighting. Sometimes i hear people share similar stories due to similar circumstances but for whatever reason refuse to moonlight/work overtime. I have very little patience for that.

                          Great advice overall. But i would push back on not saving anything towards retirement. I would make sure to at least save something in your tax advantaged account (403(b) since you are in academics?) at least up to the match. Makes no sense not to save that especially if you are being offered money to match what you contribute. You cannot afford to leave money on the table since you are not making that much (side note, i already really do not understand the appeal of academic medicine but then one chooses to go into it still even after accruing SO MUCH DEBT?)

                          You got this illiterate. Before you know it, you will change your name to literate and write a guest post about how if you could do it, anyone else can.

                          Bonne chance.

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                          • #30
                            Sorry but imo you lost the right to take the job you love over the job that earns you much more when you made poor choices...especially given that you have a wife and kid depending on your income.

                            Is there not a job that makes much more that you like enough that you can be happy for 2 years and clean all this up..meanwhile gaining more experience that will help you with your future teaching career? There will be teaching positions in two years.

                            If you have double the earning potential that you do now, I think you need to suck it up for 2 years and go do it.

                            Worst case, it’s not like $200k is chump change or anything. You should be able to clear $100k in CC debt in 18-24 months even...maybe sooner depending on your wife’s earnings. Dave Ramsey will for sure lay out a VERY good plan for you there if you follow what he has to say.

                            Also your language and self talk is very defeatist and gloomy. Take a look at who you hang around with and see if they are contributing to this. Get into a circle of friends that lift you up a little more. You got a lot of great encouragement in this post but I think you’ll benefit from daily in person live encouragement. Friends that call you out when you talk and think negatively about yourself. Friends that inspire you and lift you up just by being role models.

                            I think recognition that this is a mistake and eagerness to fix it is more important than the specific steps you take. I think you should give yourself credit for getting there.

                            glgl

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