Past January I asked for advice about my financial situation and the answers were very helpful to me. As a result, I feel like my situation has improved somewhat. So I wanted to get some advice on my updated situation. Anyway, me in a nutshell:
- Before Taxes Income: $170k (day job + moonlighting 2 days a week) - No changes since January
- Savings: $22k
- Credit Card Debt: $28k, down from $60k. The cards are consolidated and I'll be paying $1382 for around 2 years to pay it off. The cards are at 2%. Should I use the savings to mostly wipe out the debt?
- 401k - went from $10k to $18k, mostly due to employer matching.
- IRS debt: all paid off thanks to a bonus from work last February.
- Kids school: most likely $1156 a month, plus a one time tax deductible donation of $4000 (they go there by court order)
- Ex-wife does not work, is quite a deadbeat. The alimony/child support is almost $4000.
- The children situation. Shortly after the January post, the judge gave me the kids 5 days a week (i previously had them 3 days), pending the ex-wife getting her act together. She didn't. Last monday, the judge gave me the kids 100% of the time because of continued court violations by the ex, pending a hearing at the end of the month. I suspect, the judge will give her another chance and this is just his way of implementing the "scared straight" program.
- As a result of the above, I'll be asking the judge to reduce child support since it was originally based on me having the kids 3 days a week.
- My rent is still $1300 (this is low end in my area), though I am considering either moving to a bigger place or buying a modest home. If I bought a home, I am shooting for a max of $2500 a month.
- I owe my lawyer $10k following the epic custody battle of 2010. The arrangements for paying that off have not been made yet.
- Credit Rating - somewhat improved. In January, it was 570 on Transunion and 520 on Equifax and Experian. I finally got around to looking at what's actually in my credit report and a lot of it was my ex (I assume) using my SSN to open all kinds of accounts. I disputed pretty much everything and the score went up significantly. At one point my Transunion score was 720. Today, all 3 scores are between 609 and 626. I am still cleaning out my credit as there are at least 2 new fake things.
After taxes, deductions, health insurance, 401k, alimony and child support, my monthly paycheck is $5k - with moonlighting it's $6k. I then have $1300 for rent, $1382 for credit card debt, $1150 for kids' school.
I do want to quit moonlighting at some point, because it is tiring to work full time, deal with 2 kids pretty much full time and then have to go and work some more.
I am not living paycheck to paycheck anymore (thus the 22k savings), but I still feel like I am barely making it.
What could I do to improve my situation?