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Advice for 24 y/o making around 30k a year

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JamieWPS
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Advice for 24 y/o making around 30k a year  Reply with quote  

Hello guys, so as the title states Im not sure where to head from here. I'm 24, I work two jobs and bring in about 225-300 a week at one and the other is about 222-275 a week. I've been able to save $1,000 a month for July and and June and am on track of reaching my Emergency Fund of $4,000 around the middle of September.

I try to keep my bills to a minimum but this is about what I pay average(I have one roommate so some things are low):
Rent - $175
Water $20
Electric - $50
Internet - $50
Food - $150
Gas - $75
Auto Insurance - $135
Cell Phone - $55

I work from home for both of my jobs so I could probably get away with buying a bike and dropping the gas and auto insurance bills. I'm a student with right now about $20k in student loan debt and another 2 years left on my degree. I also have a Credit Card but I pay off my balance every month or if it's large like it is now at $500, I'll pay $250 for August and $250 for September while not taking on any more on the CC. *The CC is not something Im using for bills so I have enough to cover my expenses each month while still savings. It's actually a Wal*Mart CC and I got it to build my credit rating up more.

My goals are varied, I'm still young in my career and not 100% where I want to end up. The goal I always come back to though is buying some land. I would like to have some land to eventually build a home and be able to produce as much of my own food as possible and become as sustainable as I can as far as food and power go.

I have not started contributing to my 401(k) or anything yet and neither companies provide benefits or company match. If you were in my shoes, what is the first thing you guys would start doing?

*Edited for clarification on the CC
Post Mon Jul 29, 2013 2:36 am
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coaster
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Do I sure wish I was in your shoes!! Laughing

That amount you're saving is absolutely fantastic. Well done!!

What's your degree program; what's your career goal; and what kind of loans?

~Tim~
Post Mon Jul 29, 2013 3:45 am
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oldguy
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quote:
so I could probably get away with buying a bike and dropping the gas and auto insurance bills.


lol - you've identified one of the root causes of financial failure in this country, and at a young age too. Very Happy
In addition to transport, Cars have become a status marker - you see lots of houses with a pair of late-model cars in the driveway. Each of them is depreciating at $4000/yr, using $2000/yr gas, $1200, ins, $300/yr for tires/batts/oil/wash. That's about $15,000/yr out-of-pocket, it represents nearly $20,000/yr of the families gross income.
If, instead, that $20k/yr of pretax money was put into a pair of 401k's (tax deferred plus a match) and invested at 8% to 12% that would represent about 4 million dollars over a 30 year career.
And that's why millionaires drive older cars.

What is your field of study?
Post Mon Jul 29, 2013 11:00 am
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clydewolf
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Re: Advice for 24 y/o making around 30k a year  Reply with quote  

quote:
Originally posted by JamieWPS
Hello guys, so as the title states Im not sure where to head from here. I'm 24, I work two jobs and bring in about 225-300 a week at one and the other is about 222-275 a week. I've been able to save $1,000 a month for July and and June and am on track of reaching my Emergency Fund of $4,000 around the middle of September.

That is a good savings ambition.

Since you do not participate in a 401k, Consider putting that savings amount into a ROTH IRA. There is no immediate tax benefit for that ROTH IRA Contribution. Your 2013 ROTH IRA contribution can be as much as $5,500. And if you really needed that money in the near future you can take your annual contribution amounts at any time without tax or penalty. Although it is best when you leave your retirement savings for retirement.
quote:

I work from home for both of my jobs so I could probably get away with buying a bike and dropping the gas and auto insurance bills.

Are you self employed on either job?
Post Mon Jul 29, 2013 1:54 pm
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littleroc02us
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If I were to go back to your age and be in your situation, I would concentrate on paying for school and nothing else, not even retirement. School loans are debilitating and make it hard to gain traction on your investment career, so after you fund your EF, I'd take that 1k a month if that's what you net and put it towards your school debt. Don't worry about retirement right now, you only need 30 years to fully invest. Freeing up cash flow monthly should be your goal once you graduate, try not to get yourself too much in debt otherwise you'll be over leveraged.

I think your doing well at managing your debts and school at the same time, I worked a 3 part time jobs and was in the Marine corps reserves in school to help pay the bills. Good luck!

Risk comes from not knowing what you're doing. (Warren Buffet)
Post Mon Jul 29, 2013 2:34 pm
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JamieWPS
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quote:
Originally posted by coaster
Do I sure wish I was in your shoes!! Laughing

That amount you're saving is absolutely fantastic. Well done!!

What's your degree program; what's your career goal; and what kind of loans?


Degree: Network Administration and Security

Goal: I'd like to work in the private sector doing offensive security. However, I really enjoy working from home and the ability to settle anywhere and there are jobs out there that allow remote work doing security stuff, so I may lean towards those more in the future.

Loans: I'm honestly not sure if they're all federal or private but I know some is through Sallie Mae/Dept of Education which I guess would be Federal and some of them are through Ed Financial which I guess could be private.

quote:
Originally posted by oldguy

What is your field of study?

Network Administration and Security. Also, going back to the bike real quick, it'd be nice for in town stuff. However I live in a town of around 2,000 people so there isn't a lot of things to do and no public transportation. I may look into an older car that gets awesome gas mileage and can get liability on to use for trips to the closet big town, go see my parents and family, etc.

quote:
Originally posted by clydewolf

Are you self employed on either job?

No, I tried the self employment thing a couple years ago and made decent money but had absolute no time to do anything else so decided it wasn't for me.
Post Mon Jul 29, 2013 2:34 pm
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oldguy
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quote:
Network Administration and Security


Would it be best to get an Academic Degree - say a BS in Physics, Math, Engineering - in addition to the AA in Network & Security? Seems like it would be applicable to way more things, particularly in management and senior positions?
Post Mon Jul 29, 2013 3:07 pm
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JamieWPS
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quote:
Originally posted by oldguy
quote:
Network Administration and Security


Would it be best to get an Academic Degree - say a BS in Physics, Math, Engineering - in addition to the AA in Network & Security? Seems like it would be applicable to way more things, particularly in management and senior positions?


Well, my degree program is already a Bachelors which I have two years left on. I may go for my Masters at some point but really I could get finished with my degree and probably land a decent gig with it and my current experience if I moved to the west or east coast. Im not sure if I'd want to move into a management positions. In things like network security, degrees are good but a lot of people are self taught and that can go further than a degree from what others in the industry have told me.
Post Mon Jul 29, 2013 4:56 pm
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oldguy
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quote:
degrees are good but a lot of people are self taught and that can go further than a degree from what others in the industry have told me.


Maybe - but are the people telling you that the ones w/o degrees? Very Happy

Here is what I meant - an academic BS degree is classic education that has been around for centuries - eg, John Napier discovered the natural log base 'e' (2.718) in the 1500's. Yet it is continually in use today by electronics engineers in circuit design. And by finance people (the rule of 72 is e^.72). Same with differential equations - they go back to the days when it was discovered that the Solar system is heliocentric rather than geocentric. (Kepler discovered the principal of constant angular velocity to define the ellipical orbits). And so on. Even the Greeks helped - today they are unable to balance a budget in their little nation but a few centuries ago they discovered the pythagorian theorem, lol.

Your program is a specific skill - and as you say, it probably will provide work for your era. But that is not always the case - eg, the COBAL experts of the 1960's, the FORTRAN experts of the 1950s - their skills have been obsoleted. We can't know if Network Admin & Security will be replaced by an as-yet unknown entity. But we CAN know that the designers of that new magic entity will use calulus to optimize the design.
Post Mon Jul 29, 2013 6:07 pm
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littleroc02us
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quote:
Originally posted by JamieWPS

Well, my degree program is already a Bachelors which I have two years left on. I may go for my Masters at some point but really I could get finished with my degree and probably land a decent gig with it and my current experience if I moved to the west or east coast.


I work in the IT industry for a major industry, I know you stated you want to go in the Private, but I don't know anyone who has a Master's in Network Admin or Security, most of the people around me in various positions from the bottom up to Server OPS, to security only have a Bachelors degree at the most. From what I've seen most of these guys have worked their way up into leadership roles.

Risk comes from not knowing what you're doing. (Warren Buffet)
Post Mon Jul 29, 2013 7:14 pm
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JamieWPS
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quote:
Originally posted by oldguy
Maybe - but are the people telling you that the ones w/o degrees? Very Happy

I understand what you're saying in the first section but I just dont think I'd be comfortable going for a general academic degree. My area may seem specific but it's also pretty specialized COBAL and FORTRAN developers faded out because as hardware and technology advanced those languages didnt evolve as others did. In Network Security we have two things that will always been a factor, human curiosity and human error and considering the fact we already have a shortage of security experts I don't see security being replaced, ever.

quote:
Originally posted by littleroc02us

I work in the IT industry for a major industry, I know you stated you want to go in the Private, but I don't know anyone who has a Master's in Network Admin or Security, most of the people around me in various positions from the bottom up to Server OPS, to security only have a Bachelors degree at the most. From what I've seen most of these guys have worked their way up into leadership roles.

My Masters would focus more on Forensics and Information Assurance, there are certification type programs out there but I think a Masters could definitely help. The schools I'm looking at work in conjunction with agencies like the NSA, CIA, DHS, and others which I think could put me in a good position to get my foot in the door.
Post Mon Jul 29, 2013 11:56 pm
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Benstoke
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I also have a Credit Card but I pay off my balance every month or if it's large like it is now at $500, I'll pay $250 for August and $250 for September while not taking on any more on the CC 650-968 dumps. The CC is not something Im using for bills so I have enough to cover my expenses each month while still savings. It's actually a Wal 700-001 dumps. Mart CC and I got it to build my credit rating up more 700-020 dumps.
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