Long story short, have been in and out of homelessness for about three years. Am a skilled IT technician, am about $20K in debt. Distant relative died and left me a $70K inheritance (these things actually happen outside of Monopoly?). I have no car, no rent, no recurring payments of any kind except a quarterly student loan payment of $200 (the loan has phenomenal terms).
I have zero (0) sound money management skills. Money is fundamentally immaterial to me, I have no control over it and it just kind of comes and goes. But I really like living minimally and frugally, and I like finance as a discipline and have been learning about markets, stocks et c for some time, but still a novice.
Heading into recession within the scope of the above, could use suggestions because I have no idea where to go from here. I hope to start my own business down the line.
You need to figure out why as a skilled it guy you’ve been flirting with homelessness for 3 years instead of making a 6 figure income and living well. Likely whatever those factors are will chew up 70k pretty quickly.
> *”But I really like living minimally and frugally, and I like finance as a discipline”*
We need to know where the last 3 years of IT income ended up when you only have $200/mo of debts. $70k will evaporate.
How are you 20k in debt and homeless when you are a skilled IT technician with only a $200/month loan payment. Is you 20k of debt all student loans? Where is your salary going? What does your full month budget look like?
70k isn’t going to last very long. You need to figure the root of your issues before anyone can offer advice.
I can’t figure out how to reply to your previous comments to me however just because it isn’t what you want to hear does not mean you are not being given useful advice. You said you are homeless with zero money and no job, you also have zero money managing habits and your mindset is that money is “fundamentally immaterial” to you. This way of thinking has obviously not been beneficial to you; if it hasn’t been the complete cause I would be willing to bet it is a significant factor in your current situation. You may need to work on how you think about money. I would agree with what someone else has suggested that you need to put those funds somewhere you won’t be able to draw from them until you absolutely need to. If you don’t put them away now, you will be tempted to burn through them and you will end up right back at square one. 70k is not really as much as it seems.
As far as you living in a shelter, just like there are programs to help pay for your phone, food and other necessities, there are also programs that can help you get a job as well. They usually will help you get decent clothes for interviews or employment, and most of the time will do mock interviews with you for practice and whatever else you may need to achieve consistent employment. Looking into some of these programs could potentially help better your situation in the long term. I’m not here to judge you and I apologize that you feel attacked, but you also need to understand that your post may come off in a different way than you intended to strangers on the internet.
Pay off all of your debt asap. Once you have ended your debt your options will open up immediately to save and invest more aggressively.
Honestly dude, every reply of yours comes off as you not wanting to change your situation.
“I’m a skilled IT technician but I refuse to do anything to further a career”.
You’ve been given a massive gift. You’ve received a ton of helpful suggestions on how to better your situation. But you stick your head in the sand, “I don’t understand how my life situation is relevant to my financial situation”. The two are very tightly linked.
If you want to continue living in a shelter and having no money, then give away the inheritance.
If you want to better your situation, then review some of the advice here.
Depending on the interest on your debt, most likely pay that off first. Then park the rest in a HYSA and figure out what to do with it later (investments, starting a business etc) after you gain some money management skills with the salary you currently earn as a technician
A local community college may offer a basic personal finance class and should also have a Small Business Administration office where you can get information about starting a business. There are also books at the local public library on all these topics. Another option in the US is to call 211 and ask to be referred to resources to help you get on track to financial self sufficiency.
Step 1 get a budget of living expenses until you can satisfy the next steps (i.e. temporary housing, food, sanitary expenses and tools to help you achieve the next steps)
Step 2 get a job (even if it’s flipping burgers at McDonald’s until you get on your feet)
Step 3 find a modest efficiency or studio
Step 4 put part of your inheritance in a high yield savings account, cd or bond. I recommend appx 20 to 30% of your inheritance
Step 5 reevaluate your budget and do this every month or every other month
Step 6 get a modest vehicle that you can afford with your new job that doesn’t have too much of a deposit or pay off if that’s what you decide .
(If you’re living simplistic and modest like you say you want to, you should still have about 20/30k when you get to step 6)
Is this what you were looking for Op?
If i were in your situation I would pay off the student loan and be done with that. Id take 6k and put it in a roth ira for 2022 invest it in vti. Wait till jan and put another 6500 into the roth ira and invest it in vti. Whatever is left i would put it into a brokerage account in vti. Just live your life like it doesnt exist. When jan 2024 rolls around id sell from the brokerage account and max out the roth ira for the year and do this each year until it is all in a roth. Just keep it all in vti. You can live your life however you want and pretend this money does not exist. Later in life if you decide you want/need it before 59.5 you can take the original contributions out. If you continue through life not wanting/needing money for a long time nothing lost, it will continue to grow. If you never use it you can leave it to someone or some entity that you care about. Nobody knows what our needs will be during our lifetime even if we feel like we can accurately predict our wants. This allows you the best chance for it to grow but not have it readily available to spend allowing you to continue the lifestyle you seem to be content with at this stage in your life.
Technology is always evolving. IT skill sets have to stay current with the technology as well. Maybe the OP doesn’t have the resources or desire to stay current. It happens.
If you’re that bad with money, put all of that into a Roth IRA where you can’t withdraw from it, and forget about it until you’re 65. Otherwise whatever you’re already doing is going to blow through it anyway.
If you’re homeless what do you actually need? A car to live in can be cheap, but it’s an ongoing expense.
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