Submitted by dannyj611 t3_zy9x4j in personalfinance

My partner and I have been trying to get a hold of our budget for a while now, and we're doing okay. The one main thing that is EATING our budget is my car. Between car payment (476 but I pay 550), insurance (103), and gas (~120), it can eat up around 800 a month. I live in Pittsburgh, PA. The public transit isn't that great, so a car is almost necessary. I live in a walkable neighborhood so getting essentials is relatively easy, but I fear my social life will tank bc I cannot easily see my friends or do things. I've looked into refinancing my car loan, but the rates right now are ATROCIOUS and wouldn't save me a lot. That also means that buying and financing a lessor car wouldn't make much difference.

Here is a simple breakdown of my budget as a whole:

Rent: 1330 Gas (apartment): 50 Mobile Phone: 151 Internet: 123 Electric: 200 Insurance: 103

Car Loan: 550

Subscriptions: 45

Gas: 120 groceries: 200 Eating Out: 200 Shopping: 200 Laundry: 50

(these are funded when there is a little extra) Coffee: 50 Date Night: 100 Haircuts: 30 Car Maintenance: 25

Any advice would be most appreciated!

NOTE: My partner and I are trying to make a move out of the country by June 2023 so my main directive is to save as much as we can for that hopeful move



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retroPencil t1_j24llj6 wrote

> but I fear my social life will tank bc I cannot easily see my friends or do things

Is this the only thing you are afraid of? Not "being able to get to work?" If you don't need a car to work, just get rid of the car and use rideshare. Can you really spend $800 worth of uber in a month?


alwayslookingout t1_j259029 wrote

OP has his priorities all out of whack. Spending over 1/3 of his rent on a car payment (half after taking into account insurance/fuel) is clearly not as important as having a great social life.


Chuckdatass t1_j25aq9a wrote

Also he is moving to a different country in 6 months. So I’m not sure why he is so concerned about cultivating the social circle he is about to ditch completely


megamigit23 t1_j26zs2q wrote

that is a great point. but ig he maybe sees it as enjoying his time left before possibly never seeing longtime friends again? thats understandable.


rallytoad t1_j27y0oq wrote

Not to mention Pittsburgh has pretty decent public transit. Bus only roads, bus only lanes, light rail, etc.

Lived in Pittsburgh briefly and the buses were cheap and frequent enough that you'd get where you needed to pretty easily. Cabs were cheap as well if you didn't want to wait.

OP is looking to justify to himself keeping an expensive car that he doesn't need and can't afford.


dannyj611 OP t1_j25gvjq wrote

Yeah my car payment is crazy. I got the car shortly after I started my first “adult” job after college as a present to myself. At the time I was living at home and could afford it. I had done some napkin math when I had to move out of my aunts house and I could still swing it then.


samewinesko t1_j275dz3 wrote

Unfortunately this is super common. Buy that 2006 Honda, people!!


No_Leader1154 t1_j27jl0h wrote

My first car: a beater I bought for $1500, sold for $1700. My second car: bought from an old man’s estate sale for $8500, sold after driving it to death for $9200. I now ride a brand new motorcycle I bought for $6500, fill up for $11 every two weeks, and we just bought my partner a newer SUV. I’ve been driving for 14 years. Point is, you gotta learn to crawl before you can walk.


YLUP2 t1_j26mina wrote

You can, but you won’t. That’s the beauty of not having a car payment hanging over your head. You won’t allow yourself to pay that much for Lyft/Uber. I don’t have a car and the most I can spend is $300. After that I sit my ass home or take the bus.


TypicaIAnalysis t1_j26rkym wrote

That would be less than 5 trips where i live rip


YLUP2 t1_j26tijo wrote

Lol it’s not a lot of trips (2/week) but I wfh & live in the DC metro area so it’s very walkable & public transport is great. The grocery stores, gym and shops are a 5-15 minute walk. The bus is ever closer and comes every 5 minutes during the day.


No2reddituser t1_j27n9i4 wrote

Just for the record, Pittsburgh and the surrounding suburbs don't have anything like the DC metro.

Around Pittsburgh, unless you live in the city and don't care about traveling beyond city limits, you're driving.


YLUP2 t1_j27q7ct wrote

I know, you have to drive in most cities in this country. I was originally responding to the comment about spending $800/month on Uber.


megamigit23 t1_j26zwt7 wrote

and if he's moving outta the country anyways, might as well start looking at selling the car.


28carslater t1_j27cp2t wrote

I just bought and fixed a loaded Buick in Pgh for less than what you spend in a year @ $300/mo inc. $115/yr more insurance.


YLUP2 t1_j27rr6k wrote

Yes, in most cases owning a car is more efficient in the long run. The point is I don’t HAVE to spend even $100 if I don’t want to (the bus is $1 and I can walk to downtown for entertainment/shopping) I’m saving to buy a car in cash next year. The prices were too high this year and I would’ve ended up with a high month payment like OP. I don’t know enough about cars to take the risk of buying a cheap car privately (see this post)


28carslater t1_j27sk6d wrote

As an auto enthusiast and former wholesaler I could talk for hours on the subject of used cars, but the best advice I can give you is here.

The next best advice I can give is as a rule don't buy GM after 2010, though before some of the car models make surprisingly good beaters hence the Buick (its an '07).


ChicagoFlappyPenguin t1_j26df68 wrote

Yup. Set yourself a reasonable Uber/transportation budget for each month. Use it when needed, try transit/walking/etc otherwise and watch the money pile up.


RedYellowPurpleGreen t1_j27bshx wrote

How often are you going out with friends? Uber would probably be more cost effective.


epoisses_lover t1_j28k25j wrote

Invite friends over to your place to hang out. Cheaper anyway hahah and no need to drive


xtrachubbykoala t1_j24my94 wrote

If you're planning to move out of the country in 6 months, why not sell the car now? It will be inconvenient, but you could probably get your transportation expenses down to $250 a month by ubering. That would save you $550. That's another $3,300 for your move.

You don't mention if you need a car for commuting, but if you don't I would encourage you, even more, to get rid of it.

You might also save money by not going out so much with friends. If it's only for 6 months, I think you'll be okay. It will be an interesting experiment for you.

Good luck!


BLion_777_Squeeze t1_j27bmgc wrote

I agree on cutting any cost for a move. Means car must go at some point. Leaving so if Uber or Lyft works to save do. Great advice.


rallytoad t1_j27y5hx wrote

Also transit in Pittsburgh isn't bad unlike what OP claims especially if you are staying in the city proper.


Werewolfdad t1_j24ky9v wrote

>bc I cannot easily see my friends or do things.

Spending $800/month so you can 'do things' suggests your priorities are out of whack especially given how small the other line items in your budget are


Celtictussle t1_j275x0d wrote

90% of the personal finance sub is people basically complaining about their out of whack priorities, and then complaining about the common sense solutions everyone proposes.


Werewolfdad t1_j276wbd wrote

Man, if this isn't the truest thing I've read in a while


RedshiftOnPandy t1_j2697yj wrote

I guarantee uber costs for the odd times you want to see friends will be significantly less than 800 as well


sonnyfab t1_j24kx4o wrote

It really seems like you can live just fine without a car... You can incorporate into your budget Ubering to meet up with your friends a couple of times a month.


chocobridges t1_j2565dh wrote

I live in Pittsburgh too and all of your bills look atrocious. Like why are you paying $123 for internet?!? We've never paid more than $65 (both Verizon and Comcast) the five years we lived here.

Your gas and electric combined is really high too. We have a 1500 sqft house and never spend that much. I lived in a luxury apartment where we paid $1200 and our comfort billing never went over $40.

So many of our friends lived in super connected neighborhoods for $600 month. The only reason I did the luxury apartment was to have in-unit washer dryer (you're paying $50 for laundry?!?!?) since my husband was short on time so he did laundry when we hung out.


minnehaha123 t1_j26bp0f wrote

Wait, you can get a luxury apt for $1200/mo?


chocobridges t1_j26cq2x wrote

Yeah, we checked recently it's still the same price. Obviously not the best views or anything but parking, facilities, and unit washer/dryer was worth it.


minnehaha123 t1_j274qgr wrote

Wow. I guess I’ll stop complaining. My daughter renting a 1500sf house here for $2800. Just a regular one story house on a street in a subdivision


28carslater t1_j278gxd wrote

Pgh "luxury" is probably not in same vernacular as actual luxury enjoyed in real cities.


MadameTree t1_j26jn6v wrote

I'm from Pittsburgh too and those numbers seem out of date.


28carslater t1_j278m2q wrote

Renting within the City has gotten kind of dumb, despite the overall suckiness of said city compared to the surrounding boroughs.


chocobridges t1_j26mdxc wrote

We checked the price of our old apartment recently. It's the same. But yeah the rental market has definitely increased. But that doesn't mean that deals don't exist especially if it's only for 6 months.


megamigit23 t1_j2700cp wrote

for real!! $50/month for laundry is insane


Admirable_Wallaby_96 t1_j271zyg wrote

I wouldn't be surprised by monthly cost if hes using a laundry service. Drops off his laundry, has someone else wash and fold. Drives to laundromat to pick up laundry.


dannyj611 OP t1_j25hjin wrote

When I moved into my last apartment, the only thing that was available was Xfinity and I was sucked into the highest plan bc I was a dumb 22 year old who didn’t know anything.

My gas payment is part of my rent, so I can’t do much about it. My electric budget is from my old apartment bc EVERYTHING was electric so my bill was higher.

I moved from my old apartment to this one to be in a more walkable neighborhood. The rent was comparable but I lost in unit laundry :/ so now the laundromat


chocobridges t1_j25ofiy wrote

1300 is still a lot for a walkable neighborhood.

You're not willing to give up your car or shop for housing so you don't have a lot to work with.


Fantastic_Regret_854 t1_j28km48 wrote

You moved to be somewhere walkable but won’t get rid of the car you state you can’t afford?


12thMemory t1_j24rs4n wrote

Ditch the car and Uber when needed.

If you are moving to another country in 6 months what are you spending $200 a month shopping for? Most of what you own you will most likely sell/toss and buy again over there.

If you eat out less and skip date nights, you can save an additional $1,800 before you move. You could also make date night a time when you both cook a meal from scratch together and curl up on the sofa to watch a movie from one of the $45 subscriptions you pay for.


rallytoad t1_j27xtiz wrote

Not to mention that public transit in Pittsburgh is actually pretty good. It has bus only roads, bus only lanes, light rail, etc. Pittsburgh has to be in the top 10th percentile for efficient public transit. Obviously this depends specifically on where OP lives but honestly transit in Pittsburgh is pretty good and ditching the car is an obvious no-brainer, he's just used to "needing" the car.


dannyj611 OP t1_j25hpe0 wrote

The “shopping” item is for things that aren’t groceries, so it’s a wide category


12thMemory t1_j26pwqi wrote

Again, what are you spending that money on? You need food to eat but what are those other incidentals you acquiring for $200 a month? If it is things you want, are you planning on taking them with you to another county or will you need to find a way to get rid of it before you leave? If you don’t plan of taking it with you, don’t buy it.

The reality is you probably already own everything you will need for the next six months. The things you don’t have (but have need of) can probably be borrowed from family, friends, or nice neighbors. If you simply want it, then skip it.


billsjets t1_j27dv7k wrote

Depends on what it’s for. My budget has about $70/p for misc house products. Toilet paper, paper towels, soap, cleaning product, toothpaste, floss, etc etc.

Could be that.


Sightofthestars t1_j259m42 wrote

If you can't afford the car, why are you paying an extra 75 a month? Shop around on insurance rates.

Your prospective regarding NEEDING a car for your social life is silly. Invite people over. Ask for rides, sit at home and enjoy your self


holysoles t1_j279zpc wrote

Seconding this, friends are usually more than willing to help out (drive you one way, uber back, etc)


sephiroth3650 t1_j25h9tl wrote

Quick thoughts:

  • You already know that your car loan is the killer. You need a car. You probably don't need THAT car. A 4 year loan on a $15k car will come out to about $350 per month. And if your car is worth more than you owe, you could push the purchase price up with a larger down payment.
  • Your cell phone bill seems high. Your home Internet bill seems high.
  • What is your income? How tight is your budget? If you're having issues balancing things, then maybe you don't have $50 for coffee.
  • You made a very telling comment. You said you lived in an area that might not necessitate a car. You said you could cover essentials by walking locally. Does this include work? But your comment of "but I fear my social life will tank" is the telling comment. I'm not saying you should be a total shut in....but are you allocating around $800 per month for a car just to maintain a healthy social life?

megamigit23 t1_j2709re wrote

$50 for coffee is even a lot. assuming $5 per coffee, thats 10x a month or once every 3 days. if you need coffee that badly, make it at home for 30 cents


ohmissfiggy t1_j27os5s wrote

If they are moving out of country in six months, she can have a $5000 car or even less and have little to no car payment. I mean she really just needs it for social activities, right?


honey-smile t1_j24l3n1 wrote

Four things are really high in your budget -

  1. Phone
  2. Electric
  3. Eating out
  4. Internet

Shop around/take steps to reduce usage. There’s cheaper options there that can likely save you a few hundred a month. r/frugal is a good place to look.

If you don’t need the car for commuting/daily tasks like groceries then I would sell it. Get an electric bike or something. You can host more things at your house, ask friends to pick you up, or Uber. It would likely all still be cheaper than your current payment + insurance and gas.


Huge_butthole69420 t1_j25cgjd wrote

>Mobile Phone: 151

I assume you owe money on a phone? You want to free up cash flow... Pay off the phone and just pay the normal payment on your car note until you do...

>Eating Out: 200 Shopping: 200

What? cut these out and you gain $400 extra in cash flow per month... Or you bump your grocery budget up to 300 and free up 300...

A budget is an outline of how to properly spend your money... It is giving yourself permission to spend on what you deem necessary. The goal when you have debt like your car should be to throw as much as possible at that debt to get it gone, or continue paying the bill and invest more than you're paying for the car. A budget is only as good as the person making it. Live like you are broke until you don't owe anything on the car.

Or just sell the stupid car.


BennetHB t1_j26c5gv wrote

>I fear my social life will tank

It'll tank even worse if you are homeless and broke.


>My partner and I are trying to make a move out of the country by June 2023 so my main directive is to save as much as we can for that hopeful move

Actually it seems like your main directive is to spend cash hanging out with friends. Otherwise this wouldn't even be an issue, you wouldn't even have a car.


bowoodchintz t1_j2569nj wrote

Your “ social life” is costing you $800 a month. Sorry but it’s time to grow up and make tough decisions. You cannot afford that car.


whisky_in_your_water t1_j25lnzi wrote

> I fear my social life will tank bc I cannot easily see my friends or do things

How often do you go out? An Uber/Lyft is usually $15-20, so do you go out more than 20 times/month? Because that's how many Uber/Lfyt rides you could get for $800/month.

I'm guessing you go out like once/week, so you're looking at <$200/month with Uber/Lyft intead of the car, assuming you go to destinations nearby (restaurants, friends' houses, etc).

> Mobile Phone: 151

That's really expensive. I don't know what coverage looks like in Philidelphia, but you can get unlimited data w/ Mint Mobile (T-mobile service) for $30/month. $151/month is $1800/year, $30/month is $360/year. If you switched to Mint, you could buy a new flagship phone every year. If this is for both of you, you could buy a flagship phone every other year.

I personally spend a lot less ($10 for Tello w/ 1GB data; $200 phone every 2-3 years) because I don't need unlimited or the latest phone. Everyone is different, but definitely reevaluate this.

> Internet: 123

That's horrendous, what are you getting for that?

$125 is gigabit in my area, and we don't get that because we don't need it, despite me working at home. We instead spend $55 for 50/10 internet, which is plenty for us (we stream, work, play games, etc).

Reevaluate this as well, you can probably save 50% or so.

> groceries: 200 Eating Out: 200

This seems really low, so good job. The USDA puts a couple at ~$600/month for food on the thrifty plan.

> NOTE: My partner and I are trying to make a move out of the country by June 2023 so my main directive is to save as much as we can for that hopeful move

Then absolutely get rid of the car. The used car market is dropping and will continue to drop over the next year, so you're going to get less and less for it the longer you wait.

If you can get rid of the car and make adjustments as per above, you can probably save ~$1k/month:

  • car - $800 - (550+103+120+25)
  • phone - $100 - get Mint for you and your partner; I doubt you'll need unlimited, so consider the 4GB plan @$15/month; there's no contract, so cancel when you move
  • internet - $50 - call to ask for promos or switch to a lower tier internet

Then subtract whatever you expect to pay for Uber.


28carslater t1_j27d8ck wrote

>Then absolutely get rid of the car. The used car market is dropping and will continue to drop over the next year, so you're going to get less and less for it the longer you wait.

Just like real estate is dropping, eh? Also like real estate, dropping 3% after rising 30% isn't really "dropping" (BONUS: You're not supposed to pay over MSRP for any automobile that's not a niche or exotic model, ever, so back to MSRP prices is not a "drop" either).


whisky_in_your_water t1_j27hf6l wrote

They're unlikely to drop relative to pre-2020 levels, but they should get pretty close.

I'm talking specifically about used cars here, and you can see in the Manheim wholesale used car index that the wholesale market has already dropped considerably over the last few months, and it's likely to continue dropping. The used market hasn't dropped much, but that's likely to happen as inventory builds up and dealerships need to liquidate their inventory. If Carvana and similar companies go under, that's another flood of used cars hitting the market.

The situation for new cars has gotten better as well, with production numbers improving and prices coming back down to MSRP. Supply is starting to match demand, but it'll probably take longer for the new car market than the used car market simply because new cars didn't experience nearly as much price inflation as used cars, they just had limited availability (i.e. you'd get on a wait-list for months).

Both are improving, and time will tell if that continues or if we have another supply chain disruption.


28carslater t1_j27ovjm wrote

Prior to my career in IT I was an automotive wholesaler, I could talk to you for hours about automotive valuations and auction data. I can also tell you in April of 2020 Manheim registered to my knowledge the only double digit average drop ever at 11%, which then rebounded and went three points over March 2020 by the end of May. If you had told me prior to 2020 this would happen I wouldn't believe you, because such a swing industry wide is stunning. I was still working part time in 2008 when the world fell apart, I don't recall we saw such monthly swings as an industry then but if we did it was the last time prior to April 2020.

In 2014 I argued on average the block as a whole was 30% higher than it should be, and every year after it rose causing the banks to predict a drop scheduled after 2017 when 2012-15 lease inventory would start to hit CPO remarketing. My absolute favorite part of this is Morgan Stanley was famously predicting an extreme bear case of -50% by 2021 :D

Then I was skeptical but like many I chat with in and outside of the industry we saw a +/- 10% decline coming which never came. Looking at the chart in the article the pricing was in the 125 range in 2017, in the link you provided the chart now is 202.6 in six years down from 230s or more than 100% higher in a short time. Before the world blew up the second time this century, it looks to have been around 140 which was already higher than the predicted bull case by 15 points. Now that dealers are all sitting on inventory in the 200-230 range period (depending on when acquired since 2021), you think there will be a 60 point drop which would literally bankrupt most of the used industry who would then be 30%+ negative on their inventory sunk costs? I'd like everything to return to the mean as well because none of the valuations since March 2020 of anything are real but I don't see it happening. Just like we didn't see any drop as predicted in 2017, dealers will employ the same wholesale and retail tactics to keep the used market stable.

On Carvana et al this is the only major variable I see and perhaps the implosion of the VC used car companies may trigger something unexpected, but Hertz started dumping its inventory into a rising market and didn't trigger a pullback at all. I asked around a little when Hertz was going on, the liquidation company purposely was not releasing inventory as it sold as you would think but only in small chunks and held back everything else until those chunks cleared. If Carvana went Ch 7 I would expect more of the same, in my view something unexpected and uncontrolled would have to happen to trigger a major market shift in the short to mid term.


whisky_in_your_water t1_j27scq8 wrote

> major market shift

That really is the main unknown here. The used car market was pretty good prior to COVID, but disruptions in supply chain for new cars saw drastically reduced supply. So it's not that analysts were wrong, it's just that analysts didn't foresee the COVID pandemic and the global economic response that ensued.

As rates rise, parts become more available, and employment outlook gets more uncertain, people will buy fewer cars. That's just how demand works. So dealerships are going to be forced to either cut prices or sit on inventory.

> Hertz

With a rising market, there's a lot of demand to soak up that supply. When there isn't enough new stock coming in, people will buy what's available.

We're in a falling market, so if Carvana dumps a bunch of supply, it's absolutely going to shake things up. Dealerships would be able to buy cars at a steep discount, so they can afford to take losses on some of their inventory if they make profit from those liquidated cars. If your basis is 10% more than market value and you can buy cars at 20% under market value, you'll still make a profit if you sell at a 1:1 ratio, or break even if you sell 2:1 old vs new stock.

I'm only worried about dealerships if demand dries up before they can get through the old stock (e.g. unemployment jumps). As long as we continue this measured market correction where unemployment remains low, I think they'll be fine, they'll just make their money more from financing than sales price.


BrutalBodyShots t1_j24ksg1 wrote

What about downgrading the car? I don't know what type of car this is / what the value of it is, but if you could unload it and come away with funds for a cheaper car you could save a ton of monthly payments, probably insurance, etc. If you're planning on moving out of the country in 6 months I would plan on starting to downsize on expenses now.


TheRealNap0le0n t1_j25sagv wrote

$400 between eating out and shopping would make a huge dent in saving and/or paying off the car faster.

Neither of which are essential


Synaps4 t1_j24kkz4 wrote

I don't suppose you have the savings to buy a cheap car and then resell when you move in 6mo? A 7-10 yr old car would cost about 10k but would lose very little value over 6mo and you could get your money back at the end.


Heavy-Presence-7358 t1_j24z9vf wrote

You should calculate and see if using uber/lyft would save you money as opposed to owning a car. I'm assuming it would if you're only using your car to see your friends.


6ixers t1_j25al6r wrote

151 for phone? I pay $15 a month on a 5 year old iPhone X! Sell the car if it is cheaper to Uber/carpool bike/etc. Internet should be <75, cut cable if need be. Clean HVAC filters, refrigerator coils, use LED bulbs, keep things unplugged if not in use to cut down electricity. Eating out? Twice a month (including date night). Should slash that number in half at least. Coffee can be mad at home for cheap.

My advice, live within your means and it will relieve a lot of stress.


Travelmatt1234 t1_j2621it wrote

> I pay $15 a month on a 5 year old iPhone X!

Is that your phone payment, or does that include your service too?


6ixers t1_j26cnht wrote

Service only, paid off of course.


Azryhael t1_j266abj wrote

I should hope that a 5-year-old phone has long since been paid off. Otherwise they’ve spent $900 on a phone that wasn’t that expensive 5 years ago.


Travelmatt1234 t1_j266ijj wrote

Then I just want to know where they are getting service for $15, because I am paying $40 and my provider is Wal Mart.


steeltownblue t1_j268nlc wrote

Mint Mobile costs me $15/month if I pay for a year at once.


6ixers t1_j26d793 wrote

Yup, it really is the best.


6ixers t1_j26cz0b wrote

Mint Mobile 12-Month Unlimited Talk + Text 4GB Prepaid. I use wifi at home and download media for offline streaming.


Desdemona1231 t1_j25tfpp wrote

I have been broke and in big debt too.

Cut back if possible.

Bring lunch to work.

Eat out less.

Have date night at home or go for dessert.

Little cuts add up.

Don’t charge anything you can’t pay off in full. Don’t carry balances forward. The interest is a life sentence.

If you’re planning on moving soon, maybe downsize to a cheaper car.

Good luck. You can do it.


HashRunner t1_j25tgpv wrote

Choosing between a 'tanked' social life and breaking your debt should be pretty easy.

Even more so if you are trying to move out of country within a year. Find new friends/hobbies that don't require a car in meantime.

If its not required for your work, seems like a pretty clear and easy solution... You could spend 500$ a month on ubering for your social life and still save by dropping the car. (however incredibly ill advised as that is)


gmr548 t1_j26ly5q wrote

If you can walk for essentials and don’t need the car for work, there’s no way ubering or taking transit socially will cost you $800/month.

Also you’re trying to move abroad. How important is this social circle given that?


28carslater t1_j2786bs wrote

Yinzer bro, I know what you're talking about all too well. I am confused though, if you are leaving the country in June why does any of this matter? Do you think you will get repo'd by then? You and I know all too well you can't not have a car between now and then, yet it doesn't really make sense to get into another one for six months or rent one for the same amount of time. You can't stick this out and dump the car at the end of May before you leave?


tactical808 t1_j25mam4 wrote

I didn’t see the type of car that you own, but I imagine you can downgrade to a cheaper, less impressive car.

But you also have a lot of moving parts; trying to save money, leave the country, etc.

Quick advice, sell the car and sacrifice a full life and save the money towards your move.


Beautiful_Age_7626 t1_j2604et wrote

You're worried that your social life will tank? So invite people over instead of going elsewhere.


aintjoan t1_j267c44 wrote

Pittsburgh public transit isn't awesome but it's not nonexistent either. Everyone keeps pointing to Uber, but sell the car and use transit and walking as your top modes of transportation. Use cabs or rideshare when you have no other option, or buy a cheap used bike to augment your options if you feel safe riding it.

You can definitely still get around and save a ton of money doing it. It just requires making the decision to do so.


bros402 t1_j267kud wrote

Your social life does not matter if you have no money.

Stop paying $550 towards your car, drop it down to $476. Stop eating out, stop doing non-essential shopping (Essential being groceries).


joeyd4538 t1_j268xpy wrote

The car isn't your biggest problem


VokN t1_j26ldrz wrote

Expected OP to be commuting over an hour or living out of his car, nope just trying to live beyond his means for friends approval? Bit of an odd set of priorities


ghalta t1_j26pu16 wrote

Your car is costing you $800 per month, you only need it for your social life, and you are trying to move out of the country in six months?

Sell your car. If you desperately want to own one, find one that starts and holds oil and coolant and pay $500 cash. You won't ever even need to get the oil changed.


LifeEngineered t1_j26tmdz wrote

Mobile phone, internet, and electric all seem high to me. Why so expensive?


Epilogical t1_j26yvs2 wrote

If you don't want to get rid of the car, you'll have to cut something else out. I'd suggest the eating out and "shopping" as it sounds like this is non-essentials. Does your partner have a car? If so, can you just have the one car? This is dependent on if you live together, etc.

Also, find cheap/at home ideas for hanging out with friends. Host a potluck or movie night or something.


bonsaiboy208 t1_j26zmbt wrote

Ditch the car. Figure out public transit. Order your groceries.


28carslater t1_j2798ah wrote

>Figure out public transit.

We don't really have that, and what we do have -regular bus service to a small area in the City proper and a light rail which only goes south from the city- is -250% in the hole and has basically failed.


songstar13 t1_j272y3k wrote

Priorities are out of whack but also i have a pay as you go plan with Verizon that is unlimited on everything (talk, text, and data) for about $50 a month so there is potential huge savings on the phone bill.


Bongo2687 t1_j28v1ql wrote

Your car isn’t ruining your budget, eating out, shopping, coffee and date night are. That’s $500 right there that you can save


talldean t1_j296wf2 wrote

May I ask where in Pittsburgh? The buses actually are pretty good here, and supplementing that with Uber or Lyft works well.

Or, catching a Lyft from Highland Park all the way across to Greenfield to see friends is like $30 roundtrip for me... which I could do every day all month on an $800 car budget.

If you live in the suburbs, all bets are off, but the city is actually pretty good at this.


lilfunky1 t1_j24l2of wrote

>My partner and I have been trying to get a hold of our budget for a while now, and we're doing okay. The one main thing that is EATING our budget is my car. Between car payment (476 but I pay 550), insurance (103), and gas (~120), it can eat up around 800 a month. I live in Pittsburgh, PA. The public transit isn't that great, so a car is almost necessary. I live in a walkable neighborhood so getting essentials is relatively easy, but I fear my social life will tank bc I cannot easily see my friends or do things.

How much would it cost to ask your friends for rides or Uber to places?


Whos_HUNKYDORY t1_j25qjjj wrote

Everything already mentioned is good advice. The only thing I can think of outside of whats been suggested is increase your income with a side gig like doordash or try to get a part time job temporarily.


hopingtothrive t1_j25wv7n wrote

Figure out how to cut your hair yourself, have your partner cut it, change your hairstyle of something else. Quite the fancy coffees and date nights. (picnic, movies, board games, bubble bath together) You cannot afford subscriptions and since you have a partner you can cut back on seeing friends and social life that costs money. No need to worry about your social life. All these friends will be history when you move out of the country.

Bottom line you need to cut your expenses. In each category you need to trim. If you are moving in 6 months stop paying extra on your car as you will be selling it in a few months.


pillowcased t1_j26em4h wrote

You need to either cut costs, make more money or get rid of your car for a cheaper one. Something's got to give here.


random_anon_user t1_j26eow9 wrote

  • How much is this car worth if you sold it today?
  • How much is left on your loan?

Seems like this is a ~$30k car… sell it and go buy a beater for a few grand. You’re leaving the country in 6 months… are you planning on shipping the car over (or are you moving to Canada or something and are gonna drive it there?). If you’re leaving North America then you’re going to sell the car anyway… so just do it now. Buy some old ass Honda for a few grand and then sell that for basically what you paid for it before you move. Seems pretty obvious to me the answer is just sell the car and get something more reasonable.


ComplaintSharp7622 t1_j26ktsw wrote

Well I am more like in commuting since it is not expensive and yet get easily in my destination.


Smirkly t1_j26lopl wrote

Sell the expensive car and buy a beater, or a much less expensive car. Pay cash with what you get for the high price rig. Later, when you are doing better you might look back and be glad you did.


ChemtrailDreams t1_j26s7qt wrote

Pittsburgh has a famously pretty good transit system, i understand you might be out in the suburbs but you might find that once you've gotten an inexpensive uber into town you can do really well without a car for social events. I split rideshare rides across train rides all the time.


yabbadabbadoozey05 t1_j26v76o wrote

You're spending 200$ a month on eating out, seems like that would be the easiest place to make some cuts


Nupey19 t1_j26zdec wrote

Ummm save the extra try and lower your internet bill reduce the subscriptions


Celtictussle t1_j276hyn wrote

You have multiple simple and obvious solutions staring you in the face. What advice would satisfy you here?


MuskiePride3 t1_j277fnh wrote

I mean it seem very clear to me how to save money in your situation.

I have no idea why someone tight on money would be eating out and shopping so much. The new pairs of shoes can wait. Date nights might have to be in the apartment. Cut the subscriptions, you can watch almost any show ever made online for free.

If you cut these expenses in half, you save an extra ~$275. I have no idea what car you’re driving but a $550 payment is insane as a young adult.


muttmunchies t1_j27a7f7 wrote

Sell the car. Am I right to presume you plan to move to a third world country and work remotely to live better?


iwishiwereonabeach t1_j27aaxp wrote

Ok so here’s something I learned when I was young and in debt up to my eyeballs. Your social life doesn’t have to revolve around going out. Some of the best times I have had with friends have been at home pot luck style, playing board games or watching movies. Some of the best date nights I have with my hubby are when we find an interesting recipe to try, shop for the ingredients and then cook together with a nice bottle of wine. Total cost of our date nights are usually under $30 including the wine. Our eating out is reserved specifically for special occasions birthdays, anniversaries, promotions or while on vacation. Our shopping budget is like $50 per month, we don’t shop to shop, we shop because we truly need something. Coffee is made at home every day and poured into a travel mug. Once a month my son and I have a mom/son coffee date and that’s the only time we go out for coffee. You can trim a lot out of your budget just by scaling back your lifestyle. Either that or you have to increase your income by a 2nd job or side hustle. To get myself out of credit card debt I worked 2 jobs plus pet sit/ dog walked on the side. Everything from my 2nd job went to debt, everything I made for dog walking/ pet sitting went to savings on top of what I was making from my regular job throwing at debt and savings. It took me 18 months of it but I got out of debt plus had a 6 month emergency fund at my disposal.

We make over 6 figures a year, have an $1100 mortgage payment that will be paid off in the next 2 years, no car loans because we drive older used cars, no credit card debt because we live below our means. We could afford a much more extravagant lifestyle but choose to live frugally to retire early and live comfortably when we are old. We learned the hard way what it was like to live with crippling debt and made the decision to FIRE. You have to make sacrifices to make your dreams a reality so you may have to compromise on what your social life entails. We host BBQ’s, dinner parties, etc with our friends instead of going out. Or we might meet up with friends for a quick drink and conversation and spend $20 total. There are ways to still have a social life that doesn’t involve constant going out and spending money


PanicInitial6214 t1_j27awkj wrote

Some people made a point of selling your car. I agree with that 1000% even if you have to fork out some money and Uber. No car payment, no car insurance, no gas. You are moving out in 6 months. In 6 months your car will depreciate so much more, so you need to sell now. Your social life with the crew will be zero once you move, so not having 6 months with no social life is not that big of a deal. Not going out to eat will save but it will add to your grocery. Cut the subscription, and internet too, your phone probably has unlimited data on it… sell your stuff in the apartment. I mean it sounds like you can save a lot and make some too. :)


PandaKing550 t1_j27bs0j wrote

Social life? If your budgeting and trying to save as much money as possible. That means trying your best NOT to go out. Or if you do hopefully it's doing something free or cheap like going for a hike with buds and then grabbing a quick bite at mcds, doesn't mean stuff like yah let's go see a movie every week and get snacks and then after eat at a restaurant.

If your moving out of country your car will be useless


spacewxyz t1_j27ml33 wrote

Why did you get such an expensive car payment? Why not sell the car and downscale. You could get something like a used nissan leaf with like 50 miles of range for a few thousand dollars. Very low maintenance, low insurance payments--35 dollars.


la_steal_ t1_j27nz0j wrote

Stop eating out get rid of your subscriptions & get rid of that car payment get a cheap car in cash


la_steal_ t1_j27o2sp wrote

Get rid of date night & cut your own hair


Historical_Low4458 t1_j27o3mj wrote

Well, my first question is in regards to your rent, but that's probably fixed by a lease/mortgage so there probably isn't anything you can do about that now.

You originally state that your car payment is $476 and over pay to $550, but you make it sound like it is actually $550 in the breakdown. If your car payment is only $476 every month, then only pay that.

$123 for internet seems excessive. Have you looked for cheaper service?

$200 for shopping that isn't groceries needs to stop.

$200 for eating out needs to be eliminated too.

There isn't $50 for coffee and $30 for extravagant haircuts in your budget (if there were then you wouldn't be asking for budget advice).


[deleted] t1_j27rfar wrote

How much do you owe vs what it’s worth. Car payments are the single greatest depreciating assets you can have. Get out of the payment as quick as you can and buy the bucket you can afford


No_Plantain_4990 t1_j27wnx1 wrote

Sell car. Buy old Toyota Corolla. Runs forever with minimum upkeep, taxes and insurance are also minimal.


[deleted] t1_j280n39 wrote

Your budget looks reasonable, aside from.. the car loan. It would be hard to save money with $800 spend on a car each month. Try to slash this 550 loan by selling your car and buying a cheaper one, with cash. You will be able to save more money for your move this way, and it will still take you from point A to B


Top-Pianist-6844 t1_j284xfs wrote

I just took out of your budget $550 of unnecessary expenses. That's not counting the wasteful subscriptions. Happy new year.


GUMBY_543 t1_j28voil wrote

Don't worry about your social life since you are moving. And I see you put down 200 for eating out but also added that you will have date night. You don't make enough for date night, so either stop eating out and buy more groceries or cut off your subscriptions and Internet. We moved out of the city 4 years ago and for 3 years had no access to the internet other than hotspotting our phones when needing to work or check things. Worked pretty well. You easily find other things to take up your time. Fiber was run last year, and we seriously considered not getting it at 80 a month, BUT with 2 kids and school and them being home a lot by themselves, we figured it was a good "investment.
So Drop internet and lower streaming services Increase groceries Decrease eating out Plan on getting rid of car 2 months out. You are not going to want to sell it last minute anyway.


nudistinclothes t1_j292zgb wrote

Sell the car and buy a beater for $500. Insured collision only. When you move, sell the beater - you could probably still get $500 for it, or $200 for a quick sale


DasMoonen t1_j294ybl wrote

Is no one here pointing out that they want to have a social life even though they plan to move out of the COUNTRY. Downgrade internet plan, keep the lights off, sell the car and get a 1k beater for the 6 months, stop eating out and keep groceries to 150 and you’ll have like $700 every month to save for moving.


Hot_Situation_2431 t1_j298hdy wrote

Hi! I know paying more for your car is a good idea because you can pay it off faster but if the 550 is not set to be going towards your principal just pay the 476. I do the same thing when I pay more for my car but honestly the more money you pay the more goes your interest instead of the principal. Cut out the coffee, now this is a hard one because I know we need our coffee and cut out the eating out. Shop only if you need to really need something new. We don’t have to follow every trend there is, that’s another 200 you can save. If you cut those out you can save $574


CinnawomanToast t1_j25jx9v wrote

Can you buy a used cheaper car and sell your current one? Enough to pay off the car loan.


MinistryofTruthAgent t1_j26w6ta wrote

Cut your food bill. Should have 0 shopping if you can barely afford rent. $200 electric bill? What kind of apartment do you live in? Stop using AC/Heater. Lots of things you should cut. Mobile phone $151 for 1 person???


28carslater t1_j278vnl wrote

>Stop using AC/Heater.

Um yeah we get 0F here now, so we can't really turn off the furnace. Humidity gets brutal June-Aug/Sept so yeah you're going to want that A/C too but yes one could pretend its the 80s and survive without it.


MinistryofTruthAgent t1_j2ay0q1 wrote

I’ve lived in the gulf coast and along the Canadian border.

You can survive off a space heater and 80 degree internal temp.

No excuse to me for a $200 electric bill for an apartment.


smallfranchise1234 t1_j2770mx wrote

Phone 151? Internet 123? Electric 200? We pay 60 a line for phone, 50 for internet and electric average is 100 a month in the winter 150 with heat steadily at 67 degrees. I know it’s not much but I think you can at least lower phone and internet


some1sWitch t1_j264pen wrote

You can live without the car. You're in a major city. A walkable city. With great uber and lyft options. And pub transpo is awrsome, you just seem adverse to it? Not sure why.

Also, you're spending 200 a month eating out. 200 for shopping (no way essentials cost 200 a month!). So there's 400 right there you can save in addition to the 800 for an unnecessary car...

So what's holding you back besides yourself?


28carslater t1_j27bd3w wrote

You don't understand, depending on where you are and your needs it is very difficult to not own private transportation.

>A walkable city.

You've never seen pictures of Pgh have you? Aside from some areas in the City proper/peninsular, its nothing but steep hills and a literal mountain. I grew up about two miles from the second steepest city street on the planet. This is why normal long time residents simultaneously mock and respect the pedal biker extremists.

>With great uber and lyft options.

I had an employee who didn't own a car and used this strategy. Our office was Downtown so he took the "T" (light rail) for $100/mo (don't recall exact figure) on the yearly pass and used Uber for groceries etc. from his house in the suburbs. In 2018 we looked at his receipts and Uber was about $150/mo at the time, combined with the T pass he was sitting $250. Now he rightly argued it was still cheaper than anything but a cheap lease or paid off car between payment, fuel, and insurance but that was 2018. I don't know what Uber is going for today, the math may no longer be there.

>And pub transpo is awrsome

Based on the phrase "public transport" you sound as if you're from a Commonwealth nation. Firstly, "public transport" mostly sucks everywhere in the US and especially here in Pgh. There are a swath of City neighborhoods with regular busses but because of the geography of three rivers, bridges, tunnels, and hills or mountains very regular bus service drops off outside of Zone 2, 4, and 5. There is a light rail service but it only flows from Downtown to the South Hills, and it sucks too (it was built on existing remnants of a street car system). The Port Authority is also massively bankrupt all of the time and has essentially failed, for the service it does provide vs cost the ROI is not there and most of it should just be shut down, but I digress. The Pittsburgh region has geographical challenges closer to Switzerland but without the wealth and tax or gov't structure.


AlissonLeech t1_j26fxhj wrote

Uber and Lyft gets expensive if going to and from work 5 days a week, then running errands. That's hundreds a week.


DeepPossession8916 t1_j25n3bi wrote

Please ignore people telling you that $200 eating out is too much. A lot of things are not necessary, but this is a really admirable and healthy budget.

However, if you don’t need the car to get to work or get groceries AND you are moving in 6 months, get rid of it now. If you take four $20 Ubers every weekend, that’s $320 for the month instead of $800. Not sure exactly how much you’ll need to get around, but there’s a good chance you can save multiple hundreds per month.


friendlyNodejsDev t1_j26td6j wrote

I'm in awe of the $200 grocery bill. I don't think that would last me even a week :(