Talk some "cents" into me- Home Improvement

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
Post Reply
jehovasfitness
Posts: 553
Joined: Mon Jan 22, 2018 2:26 pm

Talk some "cents" into me- Home Improvement

Post by jehovasfitness » Mon Feb 26, 2018 8:52 am

I tend to get fixated on buying something to the point where I know I should save more/pay down debt, but I end up pulling the trigger.

We've set financial goals for the year along with a 5 yr plan to allow the wife to "retire" early into a lower paying/less stressful job.

Current details:
Me: 36
Wife: 33
no kids, 2 large dogs
Annual income combined 160k
Student loan: 28K at 3.8% variable
Car loans: 10k @ 3.29 7k @ 2.19
Mortgage: 330k w/ $2,200 monthly payment including taxes/home insurance
Combined 401k's (pitiful) $65k- will be maxing out wife's by April, with plans of mine by Oct. Doing so for the next 5 yrs until she takes a lower paying job then cutting back to standard 10% contribution on my end along with 10% company match.

We are on pace to have 6 mo. EF by Sept.

the plan was to pay off the car loans next month bringing our monthly total expenses down from $5,700 to $5,000

We'd like to add a paved driveway to our "forever" home for a variety of reasons one of which is that it's gravel now which is highly annoying to my self-diagnosed OCD. Leaning towards pavers, which would run likely around $15k-20k which on one hand would add a lot to curb appeal and our likes, on the other, that's a crap ton of money to put towards what is essentially rocks on the ground.

I was thinking instead of paying off the car loans, just use that for the driveway now. On the other, waiting another year, we could have the car paid off now, and by then save the cash to pay for the driveway.

I guess it comes down to delaying gratification to be more debt free, but the car loans are so low interest it has me thinking of doing the driveway sooner than later

I realize we're way behind on retirement savings, but I feel confident in our 5 yr plan to vastly improve that.

I should add that my job is highly stable (local gov't), but my wife is in corporate America, where in the past 7 yrs she's been laid off twice, and fired once. We did fine each time, often moving to better situation, but the stress and fear that it could happen at any moment is always there. Her current job seems more stable, at least for now.

Thoughts? What would you do?

What would you suggest? Guess, I'm looking to get the green light from some of you, and get the "get your butt into savings mode" from others.

I should add that since this home we will be in for another 30-40 yrs there's no upside to increasing the home value via the improvement, at least in the foreseeable future
Last edited by jehovasfitness on Mon Feb 26, 2018 9:23 am, edited 1 time in total.

onourway
Posts: 1178
Joined: Thu Dec 08, 2016 3:39 pm

Re: Talk some "cents" into me- Home Improvement

Post by onourway » Mon Feb 26, 2018 9:07 am

I vote that you need to pay off the loans and increase 401k contributions to the max before doing optional home repairs.

The other thing to consider is what other kinds of things the home might need (rather than want) in the next 5 years or so. What if you spend $20k on pavers and then you need a new heating system, roof, basement work, etc?

jehovasfitness
Posts: 553
Joined: Mon Jan 22, 2018 2:26 pm

Re: Talk some "cents" into me- Home Improvement

Post by jehovasfitness » Mon Feb 26, 2018 9:11 am

onourway wrote:
Mon Feb 26, 2018 9:07 am
I vote that you need to pay off the loans and increase 401k contributions to the max before doing optional home repairs.

The other thing to consider is what other kinds of things the home might need (rather than want) in the next 5 years or so. What if you spend $20k on pavers and then you need a new heating system, roof, basement work, etc?
Home was built in Summer 2016, so hopefully nothing major will pop up besides normal routine stuff.

onourway
Posts: 1178
Joined: Thu Dec 08, 2016 3:39 pm

Re: Talk some "cents" into me- Home Improvement

Post by onourway » Mon Feb 26, 2018 9:14 am

jehovasfitness wrote:
Mon Feb 26, 2018 9:11 am
Home was built in Summer 2016, so hopefully nothing major will pop up besides normal routine stuff.
That may be, but look out 5 years. Many home ownership costs don't become apparent until you've been in the place at least that long.

New houses are not immune from problems. Most likely the roof and furnace are good, but leaks can still show up. Basement issues may occur. All sorts of things can happen that you can't predict today.

beingmybest
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu Feb 08, 2018 5:53 pm

Re: Talk some "cents" into me- Home Improvement

Post by beingmybest » Mon Feb 26, 2018 9:19 am

onourway wrote:
Mon Feb 26, 2018 9:07 am
I vote that you need to pay off the loans and increase 401k contributions to the max before doing optional home repairs.

The other thing to consider is what other kinds of things the home might need (rather than want) in the next 5 years or so. What if you spend $20k on pavers and then you need a new heating system, roof, basement work, etc?
+1

It appears to me that you really "want" to install the pavers, consider this a growth opportunity to work on your OCD :D
“Yesterday is but a dream, Tomorrow is only a vision. But today well lived makes every yesterday a dream of happiness, and every tomorrow a vision of hope.”― Kālidāsa

jehovasfitness
Posts: 553
Joined: Mon Jan 22, 2018 2:26 pm

Re: Talk some "cents" into me- Home Improvement

Post by jehovasfitness » Mon Feb 26, 2018 9:19 am

onourway wrote:
Mon Feb 26, 2018 9:14 am
jehovasfitness wrote:
Mon Feb 26, 2018 9:11 am
Home was built in Summer 2016, so hopefully nothing major will pop up besides normal routine stuff.
That may be, but look out 5 years. Many home ownership costs don't become apparent until you've been in the place at least that long.

New houses are not immune from problems. Most likely the roof and furnace are good, but leaks can still show up. Basement issues may occur. All sorts of things can happen that you can't predict today.
Valid point. I do have in our budget once the EF is done to set aside $4000/yr for home repairs/upkeep

User avatar
lthenderson
Posts: 3486
Joined: Tue Feb 21, 2012 12:43 pm
Location: Iowa

Re: Talk some "cents" into me- Home Improvement

Post by lthenderson » Mon Feb 26, 2018 9:20 am

If I were in your shoes, I would pay off all debts except the mortgage and max out retirement accounts first before saving for a "nice to have" but not mandatory house project. Also, I'm guessing it was a typo but I would want more than $6 in an emergency fund especially with a spouse that has had three periods of unemployment in 7 years.

jehovasfitness
Posts: 553
Joined: Mon Jan 22, 2018 2:26 pm

Re: Talk some "cents" into me- Home Improvement

Post by jehovasfitness » Mon Feb 26, 2018 9:23 am

lthenderson wrote:
Mon Feb 26, 2018 9:20 am
If I were in your shoes, I would pay off all debts except the mortgage and max out retirement accounts first before saving for a "nice to have" but not mandatory house project. Also, I'm guessing it was a typo but I would want more than $6 in an emergency fund especially with a spouse that has had three periods of unemployment in 7 years.
haha, yeah meant "6 mo EF"

eddot98
Posts: 191
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2014 11:47 am
Location: The Berkshires

Re: Talk some "cents" into me- Home Improvement

Post by eddot98 » Mon Feb 26, 2018 9:23 am

We removed a deteriorated hot mix Asphalt driveway that would rut in the rainy spring weather here in the northeast. Replacement with new gravel and hot mix Asphalt was going to cost $10,000. We didn’t want to spend that much, so after removal, replacing some bad gravel, and regrading we installed 3/8 inch natural stone. That cost us about $1000 probably 15 years ago. The stone is about an inch deep. Yes, it gets spread around by winter plowing causing some extra spring lawn cleanup. Every 3 or 4 years, we have the stone renewed for about $300. Here’s what they look like;
https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/imag ... GxFwUtT4mP

Not our driveway, but a typical look:

http://patagoniabuildingsupplies.com/bl ... eway-2.jpg

jehovasfitness
Posts: 553
Joined: Mon Jan 22, 2018 2:26 pm

Re: Talk some "cents" into me- Home Improvement

Post by jehovasfitness » Mon Feb 26, 2018 9:27 am

eddot98 wrote:
Mon Feb 26, 2018 9:23 am
We removed a deteriorated hot mix Asphalt driveway that would rut in the rainy spring weather here in the northeast. Replacement with new gravel and hot mix Asphalt was going to cost $10,000. We didn’t want to spend that much, so after removal, replacing some bad gravel, and regrading we installed 3/8 inch natural stone. That cost us about $1000 probably 15 years ago. The stone is about an inch deep. Yes, it gets spread around by winter plowing causing some extra spring lawn cleanup. Every 3 or 4 years, we have the stone renewed for about $300. Here’s what they look like;
https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/imag ... GxFwUtT4mP

Not our driveway, but a typical look:

http://patagoniabuildingsupplies.com/bl ... eway-2.jpg
Looks nice. I had thought about tar and chip which prevents it from being loose, but they don't last as long as pavers of course nor look quite as nice.

User avatar
dumbbunny
Posts: 839
Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2014 10:00 pm
Location: Oregon coast

Re: Talk some "cents" into me- Home Improvement

Post by dumbbunny » Mon Feb 26, 2018 9:27 am

onourway wrote:
Mon Feb 26, 2018 9:07 am
I vote that you need to pay off the loans and increase 401k contributions to the max before doing optional home repairs.

The other thing to consider is what other kinds of things the home might need (rather than want) in the next 5 years or so. What if you spend $20k on pavers and then you need a new heating system, roof, basement work, etc?
Focus your OCD on debt and 401k. And you should be stockpiling a repair reserve of a minimum 1%/year of your home value.
“It’s the curse of old men to realize that in the end we control nothing." "Homeland" episode, "Gerontion"

Lafder
Posts: 3793
Joined: Sat Aug 03, 2013 7:56 pm
Location: East of the Rio Grande

Re: Talk some "cents" into me- Home Improvement

Post by Lafder » Mon Feb 26, 2018 9:31 am

Max your retirement accounts, pay off the loans, then save to pay for the driveway cash. You may change your opinion on whether it is a good use of the funds once you have it in your hand. The job on credit/more debt, will feel very different than paying cash for it. By the time you save for it, you may find you are ok with gravel :) Or you may decide indeed you want to pay for a fancier driveway. A gravel driveway is fine by me, I have had them before.
lafder

jehovasfitness
Posts: 553
Joined: Mon Jan 22, 2018 2:26 pm

Re: Talk some "cents" into me- Home Improvement

Post by jehovasfitness » Mon Feb 26, 2018 9:32 am

Thanks everyone, this was the kick in the pants I needed.

sailfish2
Posts: 76
Joined: Sat Aug 16, 2014 9:32 am

Re: Talk some "cents" into me- Home Improvement

Post by sailfish2 » Mon Feb 26, 2018 9:37 am

I would be a little hesitant considering the amount of times your DW has been laid off. How much of a stretch is it to live on your income when she is unemployed? Would you have to eat into your EF substantially? What prospects does she have in the event of another layoff?

I noticed you are employed in local government. I am too. Is a 457 plan available to you? If so I recommend opening one to add to retirement and act as a backup worst-case EF.

ThriftyPhD
Posts: 702
Joined: Mon Jul 31, 2017 10:43 am

Re: Talk some "cents" into me- Home Improvement

Post by ThriftyPhD » Mon Feb 26, 2018 9:38 am

Step 1, the retirement. What is your number that you need to save so that you can live off 4% when you retire? You have $65k right now, which would let you live off of $2,600 per year pre tax. Run the numbers on your saving rate, and is your current plan going to get you there? Concerns for me would be that you've acknowledged that you haven't been saving a lot, but are already talking about reducing the wife's pay and cutting back on your retirement savings. If you were close to your number, cutting back on hours might be doable but if you're not close to your number I would focus on saving as much as possible. Especially if your wife works in a sector with less job security, focus on saving as much as you can, until it hurts. Make hay while the sun shines. In mid thirties without big savings, a 5 year plan that includes retiring seems a bit ambitious.

Do you have a pension at work, and are you confident in the local/state finances enough to bank on that pension being there in 45 years?

Step 2, the debt. I'm not particularly debt averse, but you currently lack an emergency fund, have $45k in non mortgage debt (27% salary) and $330k mortgage debt (2x salary). How are you planning on paying off the car loan next month? That's $17k, where will this money come from? I don't think depleting an EF is a wise choice. I also wouldn't classify the car loans at 'so low interest'. They are higher than what CDs or treasuries are paying out, and the interest you pay on them is after tax.

If I were in your shoes, I would:
  1. Build EF
  2. Max 401ks
  3. Max Roths
  4. Pay off loans in order:
    1. Student Loans
    2. $10k Car Loan
    3. $7k Car Loan
  5. Save up for optional expenses like driveway pavers
It's very easy to go down the road of upgrading this or that on your house. $15k here, $10k there really starts to add up. I would focus on building a solid financial base, and once you've got a system in place, then you can reevaluate your wants relative to your needs.

jehovasfitness
Posts: 553
Joined: Mon Jan 22, 2018 2:26 pm

Re: Talk some "cents" into me- Home Improvement

Post by jehovasfitness » Mon Feb 26, 2018 9:43 am

sailfish2 wrote:
Mon Feb 26, 2018 9:37 am
I would be a little hesitant considering the amount of times your DW has been laid off. How much of a stretch is it to live on your income when she is unemployed? Would you have to eat into your EF substantially? What prospects does she have in the event of another layoff?

I noticed you are employed in local government. I am too. Is a 457 plan available to you? If so I recommend opening one to add to retirement and act as a backup worst-case EF.
If we factor in unemployment benefits for her (max 6 months) then we'd be $200 short per month.

When I'm doing the EF I'm basing it off worst case scenario that we both lose our jobs and not factoring in any unemployment benefits.

My job offers matching 401k, but the 457 is no match. I've thought about doing that as well, but that would be looked at next year once w're both maxing our 401ks. Was leaning towards tIRA next year at this point.
Last edited by jehovasfitness on Mon Feb 26, 2018 9:47 am, edited 1 time in total.

jehovasfitness
Posts: 553
Joined: Mon Jan 22, 2018 2:26 pm

Re: Talk some "cents" into me- Home Improvement

Post by jehovasfitness » Mon Feb 26, 2018 9:46 am

ThriftyPhD wrote:
Mon Feb 26, 2018 9:38 am
Step 1, the retirement. What is your number that you need to save so that you can live off 4% when you retire? You have $65k right now, which would let you live off of $2,600 per year pre tax. Run the numbers on your saving rate, and is your current plan going to get you there? Concerns for me would be that you've acknowledged that you haven't been saving a lot, but are already talking about reducing the wife's pay and cutting back on your retirement savings. If you were close to your number, cutting back on hours might be doable but if you're not close to your number I would focus on saving as much as possible. Especially if your wife works in a sector with less job security, focus on saving as much as you can, until it hurts. Make hay while the sun shines. In mid thirties without big savings, a 5 year plan that includes retiring seems a bit ambitious.

Do you have a pension at work, and are you confident in the local/state finances enough to bank on that pension being there in 45 years?

Step 2, the debt. I'm not particularly debt averse, but you currently lack an emergency fund, have $45k in non mortgage debt (27% salary) and $330k mortgage debt (2x salary). How are you planning on paying off the car loan next month? That's $17k, where will this money come from? I don't think depleting an EF is a wise choice. I also wouldn't classify the car loans at 'so low interest'. They are higher than what CDs or treasuries are paying out, and the interest you pay on them is after tax.

If I were in your shoes, I would:
  1. Build EF
  2. Max 401ks
  3. Max Roths
  4. Pay off loans in order:
    1. Student Loans
    2. $10k Car Loan
    3. $7k Car Loan
  5. Save up for optional expenses like driveway pavers
It's very easy to go down the road of upgrading this or that on your house. $15k here, $10k there really starts to add up. I would focus on building a solid financial base, and once you've got a system in place, then you can reevaluate your wants relative to your needs.

Thanks for the input.

When I talk her "retiring", I'm assuming she'll move down from her current $100k/yr to 40k/yr which would open a lot of options and able to work more locally.

No pension at work. They do offer 4% 401k contribution even if I don't, combined 7% now, moves to 10% in 3 yrs.

We currently have enough cash to pay off the car loan next month leaving us with 3 months EF, with goal to build to 6 months by end of summer.

onourway
Posts: 1178
Joined: Thu Dec 08, 2016 3:39 pm

Re: Talk some "cents" into me- Home Improvement

Post by onourway » Mon Feb 26, 2018 9:52 am

jehovasfitness wrote:
Mon Feb 26, 2018 9:43 am
sailfish2 wrote:
Mon Feb 26, 2018 9:37 am
I would be a little hesitant considering the amount of times your DW has been laid off. How much of a stretch is it to live on your income when she is unemployed? Would you have to eat into your EF substantially? What prospects does she have in the event of another layoff?

I noticed you are employed in local government. I am too. Is a 457 plan available to you? If so I recommend opening one to add to retirement and act as a backup worst-case EF.
If we factor in unemployment benefits for her (max 6 months) then we'd be $200 short per month.

When I'm doing the EF I'm basing it off worst case scenario that we both lose our jobs and not factoring in any unemployment benefits.

My job offers matching 401k, but the 457 is no match. I've thought about doing that as well, but that would be looked at next year once w're both maxing our 401ks. Was leaning towards tIRA next year at this point.
While your incomes are high I would be looking at maxing 401k's, IRA's, and getting as much into your 457 as possible.

Shallowpockets
Posts: 674
Joined: Fri Nov 20, 2015 10:26 am

Re: Talk some "cents" into me- Home Improvement

Post by Shallowpockets » Mon Feb 26, 2018 10:01 am

The elephant is your notion of a new driveway. House built in 2016 so present driveway is only 2 years old. You mention a 5 year plan and the present driveway will last that long. So if you take the driveway out of the equation you free up your plan considerably considering its cost.
This driveway and your feelings for it are the same as wanting a boat, an expensive car, or any other sort of "gotta have" it mentality that chews on your mind.
Free yourself from this driveway obsession. You will not only save money, but you will be dealing with feelings that you may need to check sooner rather than later. The driveway is a non necessary expense right now.

jminv
Posts: 537
Joined: Tue Jan 02, 2018 10:58 pm

Re: Talk some "cents" into me- Home Improvement

Post by jminv » Mon Feb 26, 2018 10:12 am

You won't get the money back that you put into the pavers and, also, it is a depreciating asset. Putting money into your retirement accounts would grow your money over time and you can obssess on that instead - that's what I do! If it really bothers you though, consider doing a tar and chip driveway, it'll be much less costly and the result is nice.

jehovasfitness
Posts: 553
Joined: Mon Jan 22, 2018 2:26 pm

Re: Talk some "cents" into me- Home Improvement

Post by jehovasfitness » Mon Feb 26, 2018 10:13 am

jminv wrote:
Mon Feb 26, 2018 10:12 am
You won't get the money back that you put into the pavers and, also, it is a depreciating asset. Putting money into your retirement accounts would grow your money over time and you can obssess on that instead - that's what I do! If it really bothers you though, consider doing a tar and chip driveway, it'll be much less costly and the result is nice.
Yeah, buried in the replies above that was an option I thought of previously, just not sure I want to deal with the upkeep down the road as in money repairs when pavers would last longer and easier to fix if an issue.

jminv
Posts: 537
Joined: Tue Jan 02, 2018 10:58 pm

Re: Talk some "cents" into me- Home Improvement

Post by jminv » Mon Feb 26, 2018 10:22 am

jehovasfitness wrote:
Mon Feb 26, 2018 10:13 am
jminv wrote:
Mon Feb 26, 2018 10:12 am
You won't get the money back that you put into the pavers and, also, it is a depreciating asset. Putting money into your retirement accounts would grow your money over time and you can obssess on that instead - that's what I do! If it really bothers you though, consider doing a tar and chip driveway, it'll be much less costly and the result is nice.
Yeah, buried in the replies above that was an option I thought of previously, just not sure I want to deal with the upkeep down the road as in money repairs when pavers would last longer and easier to fix if an issue.
My parents had a tar and chip that was 33 years old and fine when they sold it. There had been no upkeep. They last longer than you might think. I do like the look of pavers although you might not want them with potential heaving issues. That might drive you crazy! I know it does that to me.

LarryAllen
Posts: 1085
Joined: Fri Apr 22, 2016 9:41 am
Location: State of Confusion

Re: Talk some "cents" into me- Home Improvement

Post by LarryAllen » Mon Feb 26, 2018 10:31 am

I'd do the driveway... but I have OCD too I admit. :)

mortfree
Posts: 1260
Joined: Mon Sep 12, 2016 7:06 pm

Re: Talk some "cents" into me- Home Improvement

Post by mortfree » Mon Feb 26, 2018 10:41 am

How did the builder get away with leaving a gravel driveway?

ThriftyPhD
Posts: 702
Joined: Mon Jul 31, 2017 10:43 am

Re: Talk some "cents" into me- Home Improvement

Post by ThriftyPhD » Mon Feb 26, 2018 10:49 am

jminv wrote:
Mon Feb 26, 2018 10:22 am
I do like the look of pavers although you might not want them with potential heaving issues. That might drive you crazy! I know it does that to me.
Yes, this too. I've had paver and brick walkways, the heaving really bothered me. I would have preferred cement, gravel, or something else that didn't heave so often.

dziuniek
Posts: 462
Joined: Mon Jul 23, 2012 2:54 pm
Location: Corrupticut

Re: Talk some "cents" into me- Home Improvement

Post by dziuniek » Mon Feb 26, 2018 10:58 am

Dave Ramsey could knock some sense into you.


As of right now - you're broke. Join the club.

28k student loans + 10k car loan could be done this year.
38k on a 160k salary is doable and you know it.

Save for the driveway after that and do it next year for cash.

Ha.

jehovasfitness
Posts: 553
Joined: Mon Jan 22, 2018 2:26 pm

Re: Talk some "cents" into me- Home Improvement

Post by jehovasfitness » Mon Feb 26, 2018 11:08 am

mortfree wrote:
Mon Feb 26, 2018 10:41 am
How did the builder get away with leaving a gravel driveway?
we live in a rural setting, driveway is 300 ft long and parking pad area (which is what I want pavers for) is about 1200 sq ft

jehovasfitness
Posts: 553
Joined: Mon Jan 22, 2018 2:26 pm

Re: Talk some "cents" into me- Home Improvement

Post by jehovasfitness » Mon Feb 26, 2018 11:08 am

dziuniek wrote:
Mon Feb 26, 2018 10:58 am
Dave Ramsey could knock some sense into you.


As of right now - you're broke. Join the club.

28k student loans + 10k car loan could be done this year.
38k on a 160k salary is doable and you know it.

Save for the driveway after that and do it next year for cash.

Ha.
TRUTH

9liner
Posts: 87
Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2017 1:03 pm

Re: Talk some "cents" into me- Home Improvement

Post by 9liner » Mon Feb 26, 2018 11:19 am

Unless I'm missing something, I'm struggling to see where all of your money is going. At 160k income and $5700/mo in expenses, there should be no reason you're not maxing out all retirement accounts, including IRAs, and still saving in an EF. I'm in a very similar income situation as you, with very similar expenses, albeit less debt. We max out all of our accounts and still manage to save an extra $1400/mo into savings/taxable accounts.

I think you may need to take a hard look at a household budget.

jehovasfitness
Posts: 553
Joined: Mon Jan 22, 2018 2:26 pm

Re: Talk some "cents" into me- Home Improvement

Post by jehovasfitness » Mon Feb 26, 2018 11:32 am

9liner wrote:
Mon Feb 26, 2018 11:19 am
Unless I'm missing something, I'm struggling to see where all of your money is going. At 160k income and $5700/mo in expenses, there should be no reason you're not maxing out all retirement accounts, including IRAs, and still saving in an EF. I'm in a very similar income situation as you, with very similar expenses, albeit less debt. We max out all of our accounts and still manage to save an extra $1400/mo into savings/taxable accounts.

I think you may need to take a hard look at a household budget.
Fair points.

We just bought a new house this past summer, which we splurged on buying new furniture/etc. When we sold our old house I paid off my student loans (25k) and bought a 20k car with cash.

Since we've made good money we tend to not stick to a budget, but now we're settled in we've reassessed our budget, sticking to it along with setting financial goals to keep us on track. As you can see though from this very post, sticking to it is a challenge when "wants" pop up.

Our money tends to go towards cars (4), our dogs (which has avg $6-8k/yr for past several years) and vacations. Plan is to be done with cars after latest paid off, we've since lost 1 of our 3 large dogs so that will cut that expense, and vacations have taken a back seat until maxing out our retirement accounts.

WaffleCone
Posts: 93
Joined: Fri Oct 23, 2015 11:48 pm

Re: Talk some "cents" into me- Home Improvement

Post by WaffleCone » Mon Feb 26, 2018 12:41 pm

You say NO KIDS but are you planning on having any? Maybe?

I can understand not wanting tar & chip or gravel especially if that isn't the style of your neighborhood, but skip the pavers. They look great when they are new but are more upkeep and often look dated in 5 years. If they're not installed right they will look bad in that time if you have a freeze/thaw cycle. Pavers are great for walkways and patios not driveways IMO. Get a quote for asphalt with a fine topcoat. If you must, style it up with a row of pavers separating the drive into sections. You don't need to do the whole drive to make it look nice. A flat asphalt drive blacktopped regularly with accent stones/pavers can look SHARP and may save you 50% or more.

dziuniek
Posts: 462
Joined: Mon Jul 23, 2012 2:54 pm
Location: Corrupticut

Re: Talk some "cents" into me- Home Improvement

Post by dziuniek » Fri Mar 02, 2018 1:36 pm

jehovasfitness wrote:
Mon Feb 26, 2018 11:08 am
dziuniek wrote:
Mon Feb 26, 2018 10:58 am
Dave Ramsey could knock some sense into you.


As of right now - you're broke. Join the club.

28k student loans + 10k car loan could be done this year.
38k on a 160k salary is doable and you know it.

Save for the driveway after that and do it next year for cash.

Ha.
TRUTH
Gross Household income is 200k.

We're in debt so the vinyl fence will have to wait a year... dang it.

Mortgage - 331.5k - down from 334.5k
Student Loan 1 - 12.5k - down from 30k
Student Loan 2 - 29.3k - down from 83k
Last Car - 9.5k - down from 13k
401k Loan - 24k - down from 25.5k

Normal people would buy the fence.
We need one more year or two to get out of all debts except for mortgage.


Would I like the fence now? Yes.
Am I going to do it in a year or two instead? Yes.



The Driveway can wait.

ElwoodBlues
Posts: 66
Joined: Wed Jul 19, 2017 10:00 pm

Re: Talk some "cents" into me- Home Improvement

Post by ElwoodBlues » Fri Mar 02, 2018 2:03 pm

Financial answer: Don't do it. As others have said, focus on debt and retirement accounts first.

OCD answer: Definitely don't do it. Aside from any unevenness or frost heave, weeds would drive you crazy. I put in a small walkway, and even with the polymeric sand, the weeds eventually invaded. Could not imagine an entire driveway like that. If it were me, I would hold off until I could do concrete, or maybe just concrete a large parking area and leave the rest of the driveway as-is considering the length. Sure, the gravel has the same weed issues I imagine, but it seems more "normal" than seeing them pop up through your once picture-perfect pavers.

bloom2708
Posts: 4773
Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2014 2:08 pm
Location: Fargo, ND

Re: Talk some "cents" into me- Home Improvement

Post by bloom2708 » Fri Mar 02, 2018 2:22 pm

Some good advice above.

You can see the "FI" (Financial Independence) train, but you are standing on the platform looking at the train from several miles away.

Why put the FI pressure on yourself when you are just starting and have a pile of debt?

This is where I think the FI movement is taking it's toll on people. Unrealistic expectations combined with high debt and big dreams. Angst causing. 10% 401k contribution won't get the FI train much closer.

You can't live like you are living and expect to get on the FI train anytime soon. Sorry. FI can be a powerful motivator. If you were sitting debt free and piling into your savings buckets, you might have a different story to tell.

Buckle down, pay off some debt (Dave Ramsey style) and revisit when you are down to your mortgage only on your "forever home". Millions have gravel driveways. Nothing wrong with that. Don't like the car loan? sell the car. Tough decisions ahead.
Where to spend your time: | 1. You completely control <--spend your time here! | 2. You partially control <--spend your time here! | 3. You have no control <--spend no time here!

Post Reply