Quote from kbrn2002
1] Car payment is way to high for such a limited budget. If you are eligible to refinance you might bring those payments down some, but you'd still have the overall total cost to consider and unless you way overpaid for your vehicle you shouldn't need a luxury car on an economy car budget. Sell it and get something less expensive.
2] Holy Moly! $285/month is the cheapest car insurance you can find? Either you are driving a high end sports car which you certainly don't need on a student's budget or you have one spectacularly bad driving record. Either way, again ditch the car. Get something more affordable or better yet if you live in an urban area with good public transportation get rid of the car altogether and take the bus or subway.
3] If you are paying $100/month for a single phone line that's too much. Shop around for a better deal. Most of the carriers will pay off any early termination fees you might have to get your business. If you don't want to switch carriers at least switch plans, every carrier should have plans that cost well under $100 a line.
4] Gas and tolls can also be dropped totally by guess what...ditching that expensive car and taking the bus! I'm sure you're starting to see the theme here. That car is costing you WAY too much. You can at least save money by getting a car with better gas milage. As far as tolls, isn't there a monthly or annual "easy pass" option that'll save you money over paying tolls every time? No clue if that's a cheaper option for you, fortunately I don't live in an area with toll roads.
The credit card bills really aren't negotiable. Nothing you can do there but figure out a way to keep those payments in your budget.
At least living with your Mom you don't have housing expenses as well. I don't want to sound preachy, but if your Mom only makes $10.00/hr why would you expect her to help with your bills at all? She's putting a roof over your head at zero cost. If anything I hope you are helping her with bills. Her utilities cost more with you living there. You probably do your laundry there, do you buy laundry soap every now and then? Does she pay for cable TV that you watch? Please tell me she doesn't also feed you all the time without you pitching in for groceries.
1) I completely agree with you that the car is too expensive for me. The problem is that I am already 2 years into a 4.5 year loan. It's not a luxury car, just more expensive than I should have. it's a pre owned 2014 Hyundai Accent. It's small and good on gas. Two years ago when I was shopping for my first car it seemed like a really good idea.. I now see my stupidity. I bought the car for $12k with an 18% interest rate. Two years later and I still owe $9k for it. Problem is, when I KBB it it's only worth $5-6k. So selling it won't even cover what I still owe. I wouldn't even make enough of a profit to buy a cheap car. Do you have any experience with refinancing? I'm not sure if that's realistic with someone with my income and credit score, but I may try that. Any advice appreciated.
2) I agree the car insurance is expensive. But I promise I shopped around and Geico is the cheapest quote I could find. I've been with them since I was 16. I started out paying $485/month at 16 and now I'm down to $285. I don't have a horrible driving record or a luxury car. I think the insurance is just expensive overall in my area? I'm not sure why to be honest. I remember back when my mom had a car she would pay $200/month and she was an experienced drive (55 y/o at the time) and had a perfect driving record. Not a single ticket in her life, and that's what she paid. So $285 for a young driver doesn't seem that crazy in comparison. I think it's just the going rate.
Also, I live in an area where things are far away so transportation would be difficult without a car. It takes me 30-40 minutes of driving on the highway to get to school/work. My mother doesn't have her own car, she uses mine at night because she works the graveyard shift.
3) I should have clarified, $100 is what I pay for myself and my mother. I bought her a phone a few years ago and added her to my plan and have been paying for us both ever since. After reading everyone's comments here I think I will ask her if she can pay for half of it while I'm short for money for the next 4-6 months.
4) I do have the easy pay, its called SunPass here and it still costs my 0.78 cents each way to go to school. I don't have to pay to drive to work, but driving to school 5 days a week adds up. And my car does have good gas mileage actually, i just drive a crazy amount. I drive like 15,000 miles per year to get where I have to be. I put $20-25 in gas in my car weekly, I think that's better than average.
As for your last paragraph, I think you misunderstood the message I was trying to convey. When I said my mom only makes $10 an hour, it's because I wanted to convey that her paying for anything is NOT an option. Because when I have asked my friends for advice on this stuff the first thing people say is, "can't your mom help you out?" or "can your mom give you a loan?" and the answer to that is absolutely not. So I wrote that sentence in an effort to stop people from suggesting that as an option, not that I think she should pay for my bills. If that makes any sense. I pitch in where I can. However she understands that from January-May that won't really be possible.
I hope you can understand that I'm not trying to argue with your advice. I really appreciate that you even took the time to think about my situation and respond at all. But I don't feel that I can live with no car at all, and I'm not sure how to work out the financials of selling the car when I still owe so much on it. Do you see the problem there? With the details I've given you, do you have any advice about what I should do about the car situation?
If you were me, what would you do with the car? Now that you know I can't sell it for enough money to cover the loan.
Thank you in advance!