Each week on SOAPnet’s new original reality series Bank of Mom and Dad, a twenty-something woman who is drowning in debt must pay the ultimate price ... letting her parents move in! With the assistance of money coach Farnoosh Torabi (that's me), Mom and Dad will teach their daughter to rethink her spending habits and transform her relationship with money.
In last night's debut episode, we met debt-ridden Christina Caparoula from Queens, New York. The 33-year-old actress/bartender was carrying some $35,000 in debt consisting of credit card balances, student loans, a personal loan and overdue parking tickets.
The good news is Christina earns a decent salary — $2,500 net each month — which can afford her an aggressive debt repayment plan if she is willing. The bad news is she has expensive habits that are hard to break, overspending an average $1,000 a month on dining, yoga and travel. “I want to have my cake and eat it too,” she told me during our first meeting. Talk about living it up but not paying it down!
For Christina the key challenges were lowering her car expenses, her yoga membership and her costly grocery purchases. If she began by scaling back on these expenditures she could begin paying down debt and affording health insurance, which, by the way, is a need not a want.
Embrace Public Transportation. Christina’s car payments, insurance and gas totaled more than $700 a month, not including her $1,000 in overdue parking tickets. While she claims the car is her source of freedom and escape from the city, the cost of keeping and maintaining the car in New York (which by the way has the largest public transportation system in the country) is outweighing the benefits. Selling her car and resorting to public transportation could shore up $600 a month or $7200 a year.