One Man's Journey: A Path to Homelessness

Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by lolatency, Nov 10, 2008.

  1. Oh, this journal is a different kind of journal. I work on Wall St. and I am 28 years old. I can't trade because of various regulations, but I watch the markets very closely.

    There are rumors that some 10 to 15% of people at work are going to get laid off. There have been no dates set for such lay-offs, but I am going to publicly document how I avoid homelessness.

    Each day, I will write a few steps on how I cut expenses or drove myself closer to homelessness. If I get laid off, I will post it here. If I go completely bust and end up on the street, I will post photos of my cardboard box.

    So we begin:

    Currently, I work during the day from about 8-9AM to about 6PM, then go to graduate school at night. I have an exam tomorrow.

    I've been studying since Friday (I took off Friday, Monday, and Tuesday.) I pissed away about $5.92 on campus on starbucks and various food joints. I did this before CNBC announced the layoffs coming. I feel stupid now and wish I could regurgitate whatever I ate back into the plastic wrapping so I could give it back to the grocery store.

    I went long 1 bottle of bottled water, 1 iced coffee, and 1 pomegranate drink. I consumed them over an 8 hour period of studying.

    Down $5.92 for the day + interest, if I don't remember to pay my credit card at the end of the month.
  2. F. d'Anconia

    F. d'Anconia Guest

    I love this so far.(seriously)

    99% of people are clueless as to how much they spend every day on food/drink items that they could make at home or buy at the supermarket.
  3. Where are you now. As a Wall street employee what kind of money are you making? Are you in on the million dollar bonuses.
    Do you own, rent or live with your parents? Any savings?

    Should we be concerned that you spent 6 bucks on food.

    Are you actively looking for another job?
  4. 1) My bonus is "guaranteed" (if I am not laid off) to be a low 5 figure bonus.
    2) I rent. ~$1300-$1600 a month. Paranoid to say the exact value, since my coworkers know what I pay for rent.
    3) All I have left in my bank account is $7500, of which ~$5000 is going to tuition no matter what anyway. (After Dec, I will be 1 semester away from graduation. If lay off happens, graduate degree does not happen.)

    No, no need to be concerned about the $6. I have other expenses I need to cut, some of which are subscriptions and or hobby related. I plan to hold myself accountable and lop off those expenses over the next few days. I've been procrastinating because exams at school are scaring the crap out of me.

    As for another job -- I have one contract job where the guy says if I get laid off to come to him to work on some software. I have another source of income (usually a few hundred a month) from software I've written before. It's a big if, but it'd give me 2 months to live. All odds suggest I'm headed to mom's basement, though I know for a fact that my parents are going to be in dire financial straits also. They are both employed in jobs that depend on consumer credit being available.
  5. Why the "need" to maintain a farce of your current "lifestyle". Why not cut back drastically?

    The biggest and easiest cuts are in dining habits, shopping, hobbies and housing.

    I know a guy (used to be in mortgage biz.) who has run through his family's entire savings and then run up enormous credit card bills ( a stupid cunt of a wife who doesn't work and 2 equally stupid shopaholic daughters) to maintain a facade of middle class lifestyle for his stupid wife and silly daughters.

    Maintaining this facade seems to be a very important goal for his wife. I'm sure the bank is moving to foreclose on him soon and with his experience he is shit out of luck in finding a job.

    I'm curious why you haven't moved in with your parents? pay them half the rent what you pay now. Share home cooked meals with them. Saves money for everyone involved.

    I find this debt fueled self defeating mentality fascinating. Seems to be culturally ingrained into americans.
  6. Parents live in another state. I haven't lived at home for 10 years.

    I've got no facade -- I live in a roach infested apartment with all second-hand clothes. My hobbies are just analyzing the market, so if I cut out my hobbies and entertainment, I'd probably save $300-$400 a month. Not enough to save me.

    There's not much to cut on the current lifestyle, aside from doing groceries more often. The reason I don't cook at home is because the food always gets spoiled by roaches, of which I have easily over several thousand in my apartment now.

    The good news is this: I have no debt, I just have no money either. Part of that is because I tried to pay my way through school without loans. The other part of that is because I took a low paying job in the past to focus on school more, but that turned out to be a bad bet -- so I drained whatever savings I had.
  7. Oh -- I want to point out that my big, terrible decision was just going to graduate school. I figured it'd help me learn enough to improve trading if/when I became a full-time trader, but the bet was just made at the wrong time.

    Highly, highly recommend against going to graduate school for anyone out there who has to take debt to do it. Totally not worth it. I got a brother in med school, and I'm not even sure how he's going to pay off the debt he's going to rack up. By the time he's out of med school, he'll have over 100k debt easily. It's questionable whether he'll even be able to finance getting through the end of med school with the way the current credit market is.
  8. lindq


    Not to detract from your problems,'re young. There's a zillion things you can do.

    How'd you like to be facing this economy when you're 55 or many thousands of people.

    Your home has lost 20%, your 401K is down 30%, and you just got a pink slip.

    Your retirement that you've worked so hard for? Forget it. You'll be lucky right now just to pay your mortgage.

    "Would you like fries with that?"

    Feel bad for you? Sorry. Can't do it.
  9. <i>""Would you like fries with that?"</i>

    "yes... please supersize mine... need enough leftovers for the roaches, too"

    Tomorrow spend $6 of your budget on a box of boric acid and mix that with flour & sugar. Sprinkle it all around your apartment. It'll knock the critters back enough to keep them from carrying you awhile while you sleep.
  10. I don't feel bad for anyone, including myself. Though I will say I saved my family from getting their retirement wacked. I yelled at them daily and begged them not to keep their money in mutual funds during the credit crisis. Thank god they listened.

    Collectively, it's our fault for letting the scoundrels in government get away with the stuff they got away with.
    #10     Nov 10, 2008