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Stickied postModerator of r/personalfinance

30-Day Challenge #7: Find and participate in a FREE activity in your area! (July, 2018)

30-day challenges

We are pleased to continue our 30-day challenge series. Past challenges can be found here.

This month's 30-day challenge is to Find and participate in a FREE activity in your area! Some suggestions on how to do this:

  • Search your local community subreddit, website, or newsletter for free activities. These can range from free days at a local museum to free concerts in the park.

    • If you happen to live in or near a mid-sized or large city, check the local subreddit to see what type of events and meet-ups have been listed (also make sure you check their sidebar).
    • Bulletin boards at community centers, places of worship, and schools are also good places to find different activities.
  • Visit a local or national park and have a picnic, go for a hike, or walk a nature trail.

  • Check out some of the "free to play" type activities that are available all over the world.

    • Make a "walk in the park" more exciting with /r/geocaching.
    • See if there is a podcast/map for a historic walking tour of your town or a nearby town, download it, and make a morning or afternoon of walking the tour.
  • Set-up and run a game night or movie night with your friends. Rather than go out for expensive fun at a bar or restaurant, stay home and have more fun with friends. /r/boardgames has a helpful sidebar, /r/NetflixBestOf has lots of movie suggestions, and you can always ask your friends for ideas.

  • Meet up with some friends in a local park for a picnic, barbecue, to play basketball or tennis, or maybe just to toss a football or frisbee around.

  • Large celebrations: National holidays like the Fourth of July or local "Heritage Weekends" tend to have many options for free entertainment throughout town. Check out when the next one around you is happening (hint: Fourth of July if you live in the United States).

  • Volunteer for free admission. Many events will need help with everything from ushers to clean-up and will usually allow you free admission to the event as a reward for volunteering. Find a cause you believe in or an event you want see and see about volunteer opportunities.

    Check out to see some of the endless opportunities around you.

The goal of this exercise is to show you that spending money isn’t required to have a full and healthy life.

Challenge success criteria

You've successfully completed this challenge once you've done one or more of the following things:

  • Participated in 2 different activities around your town.

  • Setup or joined an on-going activity (like a game night with friends).

  • Found a free replacement for a current paid activity and at least tried it out. This could be anything from borrowing a movie from the library to attending a free yoga in the park session. Even if you decide to go back to the paid activity, at least you gave it a shot!

Stickied postModerator of r/personalfinance

Weekend Discussion and Victory Thread for the week of July 13, 2018

If you need help, please check the PF Wiki to see if your question might be answered there.

This thread is for personal finance discussions, questions, and sharing your success stories:

  1. Make a top-level comment if you want to share something positive regarding your personal finances!

    Instead of posting individual threads for positive success stories of how you've funded your emergency fund, made progress on your debt, saved for a future goal, reached a certain net worth, or anything else you would like to share, let's consolidate everyone's stories into one weekly thread!

  2. Please make a top-level comment if you want to ask a question! Also, please don't downvote "moronic" questions! If you have not received your answer within 24 hours, you can feel free to start a discussion.

A big thank you to the many PFers who take time to answer other people's questions!

For past threads, please search the Weekly Archive.


An immigrant in the USA, high school graduate, wanna find a better job than McDonald's

Hello everyone, i am an legal immigrant with a green card in usa. I have been here for 1 and a half year. I have been working at Mcdonald's for 1 year and i am getting paid for 11 dollars per hour in Northwest Florida.

It is my first job ever i had and i don't have higher education than high school. I wanna make my life better. Go to school, get a better paid job with better benefits. Because i don't get paid more when i work on holidays, i get 1 week paid vacation, i am being on my feet all day long, it is so hard on me because i have flat feet. I hurt 24/7. I don't even wanna go to walks after i am done with job that day. Can't even exercise because of the pain. Ruins my life.

I don't know where to start. I was good at my school back in my country. So i am just thinking going college or university that i can afford. Do i need to get SAT? Is it better if i get it? Can i get scholarship if i get good score on SAT?

Or is there any jobs that i can find, pays better and i can train myself for it and land a job. I prefer working at home>working in office>working in a sitting down job>working on my feet>working in a fast food restaurant. :D

I just don't know what to do. I was reading a lot of stuff to figure it out, i have no family in here and no support, so there is nobody to enlighten my road.

Thanks everybody who gives me their opinion. It is my first post, i am sorry if i posted it in a wrong section.

Comments are locked

Ben jij de IT professional van de toekomst die de Rabobank naar de next level kan brengen? geef je carrière een vlammende start binnen de grootste financiële dienstverlener van Nederland!


40 years of age, wife left after 23 years, 7 days later got made redundant from my job of 10 years.

I have two children which i have Thurs Fri Sat Sun since we split (11 months ago) No industry standard qualifications in my previous job, just 10 years experience that noone is interested in, after many many knockbacks I've realised i wont get back into what i have done previously, i have used the last lump sum i have (credit card) on taking and passing an hgv license, suffered with depression and anxiety for many years, 11 months ago i did not think i would still be here, here i am in the shit asking for advice, the ex left me with the kids in our home of which there would be 80k to split with the ex if i sold the house, i have roughly 30k of debt, my parents have said i could live in their house while i straighten myself out if i sell the house which seems like the sensible option? if i could get past my pride, or should i try to survive in this house keeping my childrens family home? I'm 40 the thought of moving back into parents home is not easy (moved out at 16) but the thought of debt free is nice, been under immense stress for the last year, what would you do? Any advice or opinions would be much appreciated.

Edit: Thanks for all the good advice really appreciate all your responses.

Edit no 2: So many great replies, its brilliant to read peoples unbiased unemotional responses and advice as my thought processes have been emotionally loaded these past 11 months, good to read clearer perspectives, very helpful, thanks again.


Is joining the military a good move financially?

I grew up with a single parent, dad left when I was around 1 years old.

I lack confidence, and sort of awkward in the sense of being quiet around people, and keeping to myself. People at work tell me to loosen up, but it's just the way I am.

I think not having a dad/parents that were really part of my life affected me. No one really gave me life advice or showed me how to be a man. So what I did was indulge myself with video games, playing 16+ hours from 5-19 years old. Sometimes almost all day, not eating much, etc.

I'm 22 years old working a construction job (not something I want to do forever).

Was on and off with school. Spent two years learning automotive and accounting, they turned out not being for me.

Going to school this fall, taking IT classes for the first time and a math class.

I have always been intrigued with computers, learning how to fix them, etc. So I feel like I'll give IT a shot this semester, then move into cybersecurity.

Because at this point I feel like I'm wasting my life away. I just want to find something I enjoy and can be passionate about. It would be nice to have a good career and make a decent amount of money so I'm not stressed out like how I see my mom. She wanted me to co-sign on the mortgage. She doesn't even talk to me now, like really? All I can do is pay rent and try to better myself. Hopefully, I can do something about moving forward with my life so I can afford therapy or something.

My sister is turning 30 this year, and still lives at home. Doesn't pay rent.. and it feels like if I don't figure something out, I'll be like her. On top of that, I found out my father is homeless.. he was never really there in my life and it's hard to feel anything but it makes me wonder if I'll be homeless one day too.

Would be nice to have my own place, learn how to be financially smart about owning a house, etc and actually be an independent adult.

Should I see how IT classes go for me? Or Just join the military? I was thinking Air Force, but then I heard they give you a list of the jobs your qualify for, and they randomly pick want is available. Which sort of sucks, because I would like to do something IT/cyber security related. So I may look more into the Navy since my recuiter says he can gurantee me a job, he been calling me every week so far. I did bad on the practice test last month at the recuiters office but ended up getting a 89 on the offical ASVAB.


I was awarded $50K from an injury suit. I have $53K debt

So this is a throwaway profile I’ll be using for posting this plea for advice and for replying to any that are kind enough to offer their opinion/suggestions on what I should do.

Here’s my situation: My wife and I are not big earners (we're both working on improving this), combined, last year, our adjusted gross income was less than 40K. We have a 2 year old and manage to get by because we both have flexible part-time work that compensate us for productivity, not hours worked.

I work from home and she works outside, one to two days a week. This enables us to not have to pay for childcare because there is always one of us that can be with our child at any given time.

A few years ago I was in a car accident (I was rear ended), suffered an injury that has been medically treated and that I have recovered from. Although the damage is permanent, it is not considered debilitating so there is no long term disability and because I was between jobs when it happened, there were no lost wages to be recovered. However, I can no longer perform light manual labor as I had, on occasion, prior to the accident.

That notwithstanding I now work a white collar job that does not require any appreciable manual labor.

My wife and I are both learning new skills (coding/web development) that will hopefully increase our opportunities for revenue earning. We are not incurring debt in this learning endeavor, except for the new laptops we purchased as the ones we had were seriously outdated.

We live in a low income co-op that we own shares in and even with our low earnings, the mortgage and maintenance are manageable, though we have no savings of any kind (no IRA, or the like). The apartment shares are currently valued at about $250k and we live in NYC.

We have an older model car with super low mileage, that is in very good condition; my mother-in-law and her well-off new husband gifted this to us, just prior to us having our child because our previous car was on its last leg (I know; we’re very fortunate).

Sorry for the long back story but I wanted to address some obvious potential questions about our situation.

Okay, so here’s the deal, I was recently awarded a settlement for damages from the previously mentioned injury suit (thus it is not income and not taxable) and after all is said and done I am walking away with about $50k. Our combined debt, including credit cards, and what is left of the mortgage is about $53k.

Needless to say this can be a very big help to us financially. It’s life changing, for us (I fully realize this is a paltry amount to many but in the league we’re playing, it’s a ton of money).

Anyway; here’s my initial plan (please tell me if you think this makes financial sense).

I plan on depositing the check into my regular checking account, then writing checks to wipe out any credit card debt and the remainder of student loans we have.

All that will still be owed at that point will be the remainder of the mortgage which will be about $8K at 5.6% (I have a little over two years of a 15 year mortgage left on it). The mortgage also happens to be our lowest interest debt. This will leave me with about $5k in cash.

What’s my logical next step?

Should I reduce the principle on the mortgage?

Should I try to invest some of the $5k? If so; in what? How?

What would a financially savvy person advise someone, in a similar situation, do?

Thanks in advance for any advice you folks can offer.

TLTR; I was awarded $50K from an injury suit. I have $53K debt, including $8K remaining mortgage (at 5.6% with about 2 years remaining of a 15 year mortgage): want to pay off everything except mortgage and do something financially sound with the $5K I’d have left over.

What should I do?


Parents monitoring bank account?

So after I graduated high school I got a job and opened my first bank account. It's in my name only, my parents have no connection to it whatsoever. At my first job I wasn't making much nor getting many hours so I switched jobs and started working 40 hours a week, making a bit more. I still live at home so most of my earnings have went into my investment portfolio which has accrued around 10-20% on top of my savings.

The problem currently is that supposedly my parents know someone who works at the bank who is telling them how much I'm making/transferring. Whenever I move money from my brokerage to my bank account I can be sure my parents will ask, "how did you get $x,xxx?" Honestly this isn't too concerning. I'm not doing anything illegal, and I like to keep them guessing. The only part that angers me is that I did not give anyone permission to see this information. Am I wrong to assume that this somehow goes against the banks customer privacy policy?

Edit: As people have noted there are many ways they could be seeing my transactions. A popular answer is paper statements, but I have them completely off. Though there are still a plethora of ways which are entirely possible.

As for why I don't ask them how they know what I'm doing on my bank account. They flat out told me they are getting their information from a bank teller. They said they are notified of large transaction amounts. I am the one suspicious of this, because as many people have stated this is highly illegal. However, even if this is the case I don't want to jeopardize anything over this. I'm honestly not the type to go to the bank and make a big fuss, even though it does anger me. I'm sure everyone involved just wants to do what's best. I'll just switch banks and forget about it. Thanks all!


Bank Lost My Money

I switched to Chase bank several months ago, and when I did I asked to order a few packets of checks. They asked why, I said for rent. They told me about this new auto-bill pay thing they have where they will mail the check for me instead. And to protect my privacy they move the funds into a temporary account, so no bank fraud would be possible.

Well the first month this was to happen, they check never showed up at the leasing office. But the money left my account to go to the temporary one. We get the money together to make sure our rent is paid, but that money has just vanished into the ether apparently. I've contacted Chase and they assigned a representative to my case, but this was over a month ago and there has been no resolution. How should I approach the bank about getting this kind of issue resolved? I'm a grad student, and kind of poor, so a month of rent money missing is an unwanted hassle.


Today it all came crashing. Perfect storm

I’m a poor college student. I’ve been working this summer to save some money because I have nothing saved up. I usually just spend my paycheck every time it comes in, but I’ve been trying to save recently (to no avail). I currently have -$81.81 in my account and the overdrafts are killing me.

Today was the day I’d seen coming for a while, but never thought it would actually happen. Everything got fucked for me. So I was sitting at about $300 July 1 after playing rent. Felt pretty good for me honestly. Rent is $400 and I have two paychecks coming before I have to pay rent again. Sitting pretty.

Fast forward a week to my bday night which I drunkenly spent around $100 at the bars. Fuck me. Down to $200. Gas and groceries for the week I spent about $70 and $10 on cigarettes (I know).

Sitting at about $120 not too happy about it. I decided I would not go to the bars or out to eat or see a movie or do anything fun until my next paycheck came. Finally my check comes and its not at all what I thought it would be. It kinda just slipped my mind but I had taken a week off of work when my family was in town to I could see them. So my check was only $30.

Had $150 two days ago. Gas groceries no cigs cost me $60. Sitting at $90 yesterday. This morning heading to work my car didn’t start. Perfect. I have to park on the street at my apt so I have to move my car everyday and that was a problem. If I didn’t move it I would have gotten parking tickets up the ass.

I decided to get it towed to the lot. Cost me about $80. I had nowhere else to leave it and the lot let me leave it there so that was cool. I called my boss telling him I was going to be late because my car wasn’t starting and I’d have to take the bus. He FUCKING FIRED ME ON THE SPOT!!! I may not be the best worker but I definitely should not have been fired. He probably thought I was making shit up, and honestly I never gave him a reason not to.

At noon today I was unemployed with $10 to my name. The icing on the cake my xbox live membership ($60) automatically takes out of my account and I forgot it renewed this month so now I’m at -$50. Add the $30 overdraft and I’m at about -$80. FUCK ME!!!!!

I dont even know what to do I wont be paid at a new job until a few weeks after I’ve been hired, and my last check at my old job should be about $200 so I’ll have about $100 with no income. I’ll need to make $300 in two weeks with no job and no car. I’ll barley be able to buy groceries the rest of the month.

TL:DR I’ve run out of money completely, lost my job, my car broke down, and I cant do anything about it. The moral of my story? SAVE YOUR FUCKING MONEY!!!!


Do I live at home awhile longer or move out?

I'm 24, graduated with my Bachelor's in IT in May, and have been working in the field ever since. I live in a rural, low cost of living area, but per this subreddit I've been advised not to spend more than 30% of my after-tax income on rent/utilities. I live with my mom (she's widowed, my brother moved out years ago) and she's thinking of moving and buying a new house (it's huge, 4 bedrooms, she said I could use 2 of them)

I have zero debt to my name. No student loans, no car payment, nothing. I just got a credit card, and am paying it off every month to establish a credit line.

After hours of searching for my own place however, it's nothing but shitholes. I'm wanting to stay in the $600-700 a month rent range and it's garbage. I know, you get what you pay for with a lot of this stuff, but I don't think I'd be happy at the places I'm looking at. Extremely old housing (1950s built) and most don't include any utilities so I'm probably looking at several more hundred dollars to power the place (especially considering I use a lot of electricity with a custom built desktop)

I don't know how long I'm going to be at this job/town, so I obviously am not looking to buy a house right now. I HATE the social stigma of living at home with my mother, but I save SO much fucking money right now. My expenses are literally cell phone ($25 a month) and car insurance (~$125 a month)

I already have an emergency fund, and am about to open a Roth IRA via Vanguard because of all the money I'm saving by living at home. I'm mainly asking you guys, what would you do if you were in my shoes?


[employment] I'm being laid off tomorrow, and I want to do the best I can in this situation.

Hi everyone,

I’m being “restructured” out of a job I’ve held for three years tomorrow, and I have some questions about setting myself up to be in the best possible position I can be through my unemployment. They told me it would be coming a few weeks ago, so I’ve been doing some preparations and applying for jobs, but it could be at least a few weeks for something to stick (small, specialized nonprofit field). I've pretty much been employed since I was 16, so this is all new to me.

I live in NYC, so there is a relatively strong social safety net (but also everything is expensive).

  • 27, single, no kids
  • Current salary ~$52,000/year.
  • Family financial support isn’t an option right now (dad also got laid off), but I could live with them if necessary. It would require a cross-country move and plane ticket.
  • I managed to negotiate health insurance through Aug 31.
  • I’m not getting a severance, but I will get paid out for my remaining vacation days (13). I’m not sure what that check will look like but I think it’ll be ~$2,400 before taxes.
  • I will be eligible for unemployment and they won’t fight it.
  • They are willing to give me a strong reference.
  • I really do want to work in my field and am applying for jobs, but they're competitive and specialized so I'm spending a lot more time crafting individual cover letters, etc. and not just peppering out stuff. I've gotten a 33% reply rate so far, but I'm now a bit overqualified for a lateral move and slightly underqualified for a position one step up.


  • $27,000 in a 403b through Fidelity (target date fund). I assume I’ll need to do something with the money? I’ve never changed jobs with a retirement account. HR said the org. that oversees our benefits would send me a letter.
  • $6,500 in savings


  • No credit card debt.
  • $28,000 in student loan debt. I’m on the path to Public Service Loan Forgiveness, but it’ll be a long time before that happens. I’m also on the Pay-As-You-Earn plan. I was paying ~100/month more than the minimum, but they then told me those payments didn’t “count” towards PSLF because I was technically “paid ahead”. Paid ahead status has been permanently removed from my account, but I’ve been paying the minimum payments for the last couple months.

Monthly expenses:

  • Rent: $850
  • Utilities: Usually about $50, but in summer more like $80 I think
  • Transportation: I have a pre-tax transit card with about $300 that I’ll be able to take with me. Since I won’t be commuting in, my subway costs should be under $30/week and I can use down the pre-tax funds first.
  • Student loan payment: $225
  • Food: Normally I spend more (~$500/month) here, but I should be able to keep it to $300/month (again, NYC, and I include alcohol and eating out in that total.)
  • Gym: I was paying for a corporate membership to a nice gym ($75/month), but that will end on July 31. I’d like to get a cheap gym to make sure I can stay in shape and have something to do. We’ll say $25/month.

Total minimum: $850 + $80 + $0 + $225 + $300 + $25 = $1480/month

Unemployment Benefits: $430/week, but that’s pre-tax. (do you pay taxes on unemployment benefits?). I’d appreciate guidance from anyone who has been on unemployment in NYC before. My understanding is that I should apply Tuesday and there's a wait period, but then I will get unemployment benefits direct deposited in my account as long as I'm searching for a job.

  • I’ve saved my annual reviews, etc. off my work computer, and already have spoken to a few people about being a professional reference. All of my reviews have been positive.


  • Will I get the full $430 for unemployment, or should I be accounting for taxes? Will this come back to bite me for filing next year?

  • What are my options for health insurance if I’m not employed by the end of next month? My understanding is that I can use COBRA retroactively (within 60 days) if something happens. My COBRA would be over $1,000/month for just me. My friend thinks I would qualify for Medicare without an income. I’ve also heard to check the healthcare marketplace, but that it may come back to bite me next tax season. Right now my plan is to get the COBRA paperwork and then not file it unless I get hit by a bus and hope to have a job with benefits before that deadline. I have no chronic health conditions, but I've had bad luck with the flu, etc. this year. I had a physical two weeks ago and everything looks good.

  • I would NOT be better off trying to find something part-time, right? I have experience as a barista, but most barista jobs in NYC pay ~$14/hour (so about $490/week pre-tax) and don’t include health insurance. I also would have a hard time getting hired if I’m actively looking for something more in line with my previous job.

  • Moving now would be a bad idea, right? There may be more jobs in the DC area, but I would lose my social benefits and moving is expensive. I also strongly prefer NYC to DC.

  • There is an online grad program I would like to start in September that would really help my career move forward, as I’ve hit the wall of where I can advance without a master’s. (I’ll need to be looking for lateral jobs atm). It’s about $6,000/year for 3 years part time. My optimistic plan is to apply and hopefully find a job by September making at least $58,000, and using the salary difference to pay for it. It would require using most of my savings to start. Is this a good or terrible idea? Full-time for this degree would cost me between $60-200K. Estimated salary increase with a master’s would be about $20k and the possibility to keep moving up.

  • How much will a restructuring hurt me on a job search? It’s the truth and I was “eligible to apply” for another position, but the position they were restructuring to is really not my area of expertise and I did not apply.

  • Is there something I’m missing?

Thank you all for any help you can give! It's a shitty time, but I'm trying to get a handle on as much of it as I can.


I wish discussing finances with coworkers was viewed in a more positive light.

Friday, a friend/coworker and I were discussing the trade tariffs effects on our business, and last years stock market performance was mentioned, and I commented that it sure helped my 401k. Over the next few minutes I learned that neither he, nor 6 other coworkers near me, had even created an account to view their 401k balances they've been contributing to for years.

I ended up spending about 3 hours helping them all make accounts, and move their monies out of the abhorrently low returning, high fee fund they've been rotting in for the past decade. Turns out, all 7 of them just took the advice of the "fund advisor" that starts your account for you, contributing everything into a single fund that has returned a paltry 2.2% average over the past 5 years, and 2.5% over the past ten. All while having a 0.79% expense ratio. The age of their accounts ranged from 2 years to a high of 11 years, and none of them had even looked at the funds during this time. Needless to say, I helped them review fund performances and choose better funds, as well as diversify and not have everything in a single fund.

This was kind of a shock, and led to some lively discussion about it after, with them all being reasonably upset that the advisor pushed them off into such an account, and that they had been too afraid to ask other coworkers what they were doing with their accounts.

I feel like the stigma that it's taboo to discuss your salary with coworkers has bled into some feeling as though it's also bad to talk about anything involving money. Investments, retirement, etc all seem to be out of the realm of normal discussion.

Edit: I get it, some of them may be upset if there is a downturn. I didn't make any decisions for them, simply showed them how to review available investments, where to find info on the performance of those investments, and turned them loose. These people are also close friends, I didn't do this for the whole company.


How do I save up money as a 15 year old?

I am currently going to 10th grade this fall. So, for the new school year, I was looking to buy a new laptop. However, after saving up for 3 years after holidays and birthdays, I only have $275, when my desired budget is $600.

I was thinking of ways to get money over the next couple of months. However, my parents won’t allow me to get a job for some reason. They also said they won’t allow me to do work around the house for money. I was looking for other options but I can’t think of much. Flipping sneakers came to mind because I used to be a sneaker head. However, I noticed that this is very hard and I don’t really want to gamble to see if the retail price is lower than the new selling price. And finally, I looked into stocks because we learned about them in the past, but I do not have the money to gamble for that.

So what options do I have to gain money?


Recently divorced mother needs passive income ideas

My mother who just turned 61 is getting divorced after 20+ years of marriage. She is retired due to medical issues and has been for 10 or so years.

Once the dust settles she will have zero debt and $450k cash sitting in a checking account. She will also own her newer truck outright and have zero debt. She has excellent credit (800+), but no income besides $972 a month from social security and $250 from a loan repayment.

One talked about option was to build a duplex/tri plex and she can live in one of the units while renting the others. For a new build in our area one could expect to get $1k monthly per unit. A duplex build is estimated at $250k all in with an additional $50k required to add the third unit. These numbers are from a local contractor who has built 4 duplexes in town for his retirement plan.

This is what I’m recommending for mom, but figured I would throw out the idea here and see what the hive mind of reddit could come up with.

What are some ideas to get moms income to around $3k a month? Looking at her spending habits while married this is the amount that she could honestly live comfortably with. Right now we will be short $2k of that.

She has never been good with money, husband took care of all of those things, this why we looked at her spending to see what she spends and then added estimated bills to that figure.

Thank you in advance for your help and advice.


New extortion emails being sent out to people who have been exposed from past data breaches

There is a new "sextortion" email making the rounds demanding money from people to not have video of them sent to all of their contacts. They are using previous data from past data breaches to try and convince you that this is serious. Here is the text I received today:

"Let's get straight to the point. I am aware XXXXX is your password. Moreover, I do know about your secret and I have proof of your secret. You do not know me personally and no one employed me to investigate you.

It's just your misfortune that I found your misdemeanor. In fact, I actually installed a malware on the adult vids (pornography) and you visited this web site to have fun (you know what I mean). While you were busy watching videos, your web browser began operating as a Rdp (Remote desktop) that has a key logger which provided me access to your display and web cam. After that, my software collected your complete contacts from your messenger, facebook, as well as email.

Next, I gave in much more hours than I should've looking into your life and made a double screen video. 1st part displays the video you were watching and other part shows the capture of your web camera (its you doing dirty things).

Honestly, I want to forget all about you and allow you to get on with your life. And I am about to present you two options that may achieve that. The two choices with the idea to ignore this letter, or simply just pay me $1900. Let’s explore those 2 options in more detail.

Option 1 is to ignore this email. Let's see what will happen if you choose this path. I will send out your video recording to your entire contacts including family members, coworkers, and many others. It does not save you from the humiliation your family will have to face when family and friends find out your unpleasant videos from me.

Option 2 is to make the payment of $1900. We will name it my “privacy fee”. Now let me tell you what happens if you choose this path. Your secret remains your secret. I will erase the video immediately. You continue on with your life as though nothing ever occurred.

At this point you may be thinking, “I will complain to the police”. Let me tell you, I have covered my steps to make sure that this email message can't be linked back to me and yes it won't stop the evidence from destroying your health. I'm not planning to break your bank. I just want to be compensated for efforts and time I put in investigating you. Let's assume you have chosen to generate this all go away and pay me the confidentiality fee. You'll make the payment through Bitcoin (if you don't know this, type "how to buy bitcoins" on search engine)

Amount to be sent: $1900 Bitcoin Address to Send to: 16Cq8aSzMvr9SigEE4Lmnp1dTURancp1YY (It is cASe sensitive, so copy and paste it carefully)

Tell no person what you should be sending the bitcoin for or they may not offer it to you. The task to get bitcoins can take a couple of days so do not delay. I've a special pixel within this message, and at this moment I know that you've read this email. You now have 48 hours in order to make the payment. If I do not receive the Bitcoins, I will, no doubt send out your video to your contacts including close relatives, colleagues, and so on. You better come up with an excuse for friends and family before they find out. Nevertheless, if I receive the payment, I will erase the video immediately. It is a non-negotiable one time offer, thus kindly do not waste my personal time & yours. The clock is ticking."

The XXXXX password they sent in the text was an old one of mine that had been compromised many years ago, but it did make me pay attention at first. The rest of the message didn't matter because I never go to these sites.

What I did:

I reported the scam to the FBI including the email address and the bitcoin wallet. I reported the email address to the appropriate .com and I'm letting you all know right now.

Here is a security blog that is discussing the sudden wave of these emails going out.

Everyone should check their login information for data breaches and change the appropriate passwords using Have I been Pwned.

Anytime you receive a message saying pay money or else, be skeptical that there is an else. I do not care if you're visiting the sites this person claims, but make sure that you do not send money off to a scam no matter how worried your are.


NFL Tax taken out of paycheck

Hello, fellow workers of reddit. I recently started work at a new company as a carpenter in NYS. First week was off the books-cash payment. My second week, now on the books has me a bit puzzled. In addition to the standard taxes taken out, I also noticed a "NFL" tax. So I've got to ask, am I seriously having money taken out of my paycheck so NFL teams can build new stadiums? And if so, how can I ensure that my taxes at least go directly to the Denver Broncos (joke). Sorry, if dumb question, thanks in advance!

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Water bill over $400 per month in zip code 30033 (Dekalb, GA) - is this too much?

I am a college student currently renting a house in Dekalb, GA with 3 other students about a mile from the university. For the past year, our water bill has been consistently over 300/400 dollars per month. Our landlord came in and made "fixes" to the house last month, and is claiming that our issues should be fixed. However, just received a new bill with another $330 charge. The bill is claiming we use 20K gallons of water this month between the 2 people that are currently in the house. I am wondering if this charge is a bit inflated, and action steps I can take to make the house more water-efficient (toilets showers etc.). The company is checking the meter for the 2nd time this week.


Is this safe?

I work at a restaurant under the table as I’m a minor and the owner asked for my social security, full name, age, address, and a bunch of other personal stuff. She said it’s for taxes but I get straight cash. I plan on quitting after summer because the owner is crazy and because of school. However, I’m a bit worried what she could do with all of this personal information. Should I give it to her even though I’m quitting soon especially because she is a bit mental? Thanks for the help guys.


When should you pay off a credit card balance?

I have dental work about $1,200 coming up soon and am considering using my credit card, then paying off the balance immediately. I currently have the amount in my savings.

Does it make sense to just pay in cash? Or is there any actual benefit to using my credit card, then paying it off a few days later? Should I be waiting longer and if so, when is a good time?


Possible to sell half a mortgage?

I'm wondering what my options are for getting one person (myself) out of a joint mortgage. Without delving into the boring relationship details, it's teetering on the edge of rapid deterioration and I need to get some contingency plans in place in case that happens.

My partner and I bought a place in a decent neighborhood a few years ago. The title is in both our names but the loan is entirely mine. Reason for this was that my credit is great and theirs isn't, so we got a better rate in just my name. We have a kid, so ideally the two of them would stay here where my partner has nearby family and access to good schools. However, there's no way they could afford it on their own. There is a wealthy member of their family whom has a history of being happy to pick up properties so that others in the family have a discounted place to live, so I've considered asking them if they'd buy out my half of the mortgage and keep my partner on jointly.

Would the process get treated like a typical seller/buyer situation or is there anything special for cases like this?


Is it possible to earn Medicare-taxable income but not Social Security-taxable income?

I just created an account.

In my earnings statement there is one year where it reports Medicare earnings of ~$1500 but $0 in Social Security earnings.

In no other year on the statement (with 20+ years represented) is there a discrepancy between Social Security earnings and Medicare earnings.

What could be the reason for that? Thank you.

EDIT: This is 50% down-voted so far with 23 views. Is this not the right place for a question like this? Thank you.

RE-EDIT: Thank you all for the answers to a[n arguably dumb] question. I will leave this post in case someone else ever has a similar question.


Is my salary at my job good for preparation before graduating in two years?

I currently got a job at photography shop as a receptionist making 13 dollars an hour working forty hours a week. I'm trying to save away as much money possible before graduating and moving out. Am I being realistic with my goal here? How much do I need to save for moving out? Can you live on a 25-30k salary? I currently live in the Boston metro area.


US citizen working abroad for a year... foreign tax credit,

I'm a US citizen residing in Oregon and working for a privately owned US company. For a year starting this fall I will be living and working in India for a separate but related business.

My company proposes to pay me about 60% of my salary directly to a US bank account. This salary will be for remote work associated with my current role (software dev). The India company where I will be working in a contract position will pay me a salary in rupees which will more than make up the difference.

Lower US dollar income will reduce my 401(k) contribution which reduces the company match (dollar for dollar up to 4% of wages) but they are reimbursing me the difference.

I will need local currency anyway and I'm told this makes it easier for the India company in terms of paperwork; I think there tax deductions they have to collect.

So would you agree to this arrangement? Should I tell them to forget it and just deposit my regular paycheck?

Bonus questions:

1) Generally speaking, the foreign tax credit will lower my tax bill more than the than the foreign earned income exclusion, correct?

2) I'll be paid less from the US company so will my Social Security deductions be lower? Will this have a big impact on my estimated monthly benefit at retirement?

Thanks for reading.


Refusing to pay dr bill?

Since it’s the weekend, I haven’t been able to contact anyone at the dr’s office yet. But I am freaking out about a $1200 dr bill that I just received. I was getting allergy shots for about a year, and at my last appt let them know that I was switching jobs and wouldn’t have insurance for about a month and would have to continue getting shots at a different location. They said they would put in an order for more serum at the new office so they would be ready for me over there. Today I received a bill for $1200, and a letter stating that the services (ordering of the serum) was rendered two weeks after my appointment, which was 10 days after my insurance was cancelled.

Will I be successful in arguing that this order was supposed to be processed on the day of my appointment, while I still had insurance, and that it is their delay in ordering that caused this to be denied by my insurance? I absolutely cannot afford this bill. It’s more than my monthly rent! But I also have excellent credit and don’t want it to be ruined by this bill...


How much should I be contributing to my 401K if my employer matches 6%?

My take home salary is $1,144 after taxes and 401K contributions.

My employer contributes $.75 for every dollar I contribute, up to 6%.

My contribution is currently at 9%. Should I up it to 15%? Or is the 6% counted as part of the 15%? I have a traditional ira through Vanguard, but i'll admit that I don't contribute very much since the remainder of my $$ goes to my student loans (by choice).

I just want to make sure I'm understanding contributions correctly.

my 401k is invested in t rowe price retirement 2060


What to Do with $6000 Bonus?

Hi /personalfinance, I got a $6000 bonus and I'm trying to decide what to do with it. Any suggestions would be welcome.

A) Put it towards student loans.

Loan A: $11,300 @ 5.96%

Loan B: $18,800 @ 5.59%

Loan C: $14,800 @ 5.06%

B) Put it into a Roth IRA. (I already have one set up, but haven't contributed this year yet.)

Background info:

  • Salary: $100k
  • Emergency savings: 3 months expenses
  • Personal Investment Account: $8,000
  • Credit card debt: None
  • Car loan: $7,000 @ 1.9%

Thank you!


Help understanding how to cancel my whole life policy

I took a variable life policy a little over a year ago. My mistake. I want to cancel it but I’m not exactly sure what the following means:

Cash value: 22.03

Surrender charges: 569.16

Cash surrender value: 547.13

Will I have to pay any fees to cancel my policy?

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