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Old 04-01-2008, 07:41 AM   #61
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Originally Posted by megacorp-firee View Post
hmmm W2R, with your new baseline, I think you need to take out your ss and recalculate.
Unless you are planning on leaving a bundle to your family or cat you need to open up a bit and enjoy. Maybe if you see the numbers that will help you get over your overly obsessive LBYM habits. You seem to be taking it to extremes. Just an observation.
Well, it has only been a month and a half since my financial picture changed so much. I'm easing into it.

To tell the truth, the drawing that I bought on Sunday is one that I saw in February and wanted but didn't buy due to kneejerk behaviors. Then when I got home, I "kicked myself" for being so stingy! So, when I saw it again on Sunday I took it straight to the cash register, negotiated only a 10% discount, but bought it anyway.

Yesterday I did spend $17 on framing and matting materials for it, which is almost as much as the drawing. I had a lot of fun putting everything together last night, and hanging it. It looks great to me. I really do think I have more fun with what money I do spend, than most.

It seems so luxurious to me, to just be able to buy little things like this. Although I am in no danger of blowing my money in a year on sportscars and parties like a basketball star, I am definitely enjoying the process of gradually ramping up my spending habits!

And believe me, I check those numbers at least once a day. Got to make sure I'm not dreaming.
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Old 04-01-2008, 07:51 AM   #62
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Gosh, I thought I was in with a bunch of big spenders here. You guys are pikers compared to me. I went shopping for some lumber yesterday, came home with three sheets of plywood, three sheets of furniture grade, veneer core, good two sides, mahogany plywood. Only $125/sheet, plus tax.

Let's get with it folks, you're falling behind. You got a long way to go get to $187K.
Obviously I need to trade in my 1558 square foot house for a McMansion, because I can't imagine where I would have room for all that plywood! Sounds like you are planning to build something nice.

When Frank and I move to Missouri in a couple of years, I do plan to get a slightly larger house (maybe 1800 square feet? don't know) with a two car garage and maybe even a basement. Then I will probably buy a lot of high quality furniture for it. Also I am planning to get a new car when I retire next year as a "good for me" present from me to myself. So look out! We're catching up.
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Old 04-01-2008, 08:41 AM   #63
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Obviously I need to trade in my 1558 square foot house for a McMansion, because I can't imagine where I would have room for all that plywood! Sounds like you are planning to build something nice.

When Frank and I move to Missouri in a couple of years, I do plan to get a slightly larger house (maybe 1800 square feet? don't know) with a two car garage and maybe even a basement. Then I will probably buy a lot of high quality furniture for it. Also I am planning to get a new car when I retire next year as a "good for me" present from me to myself. So look out! We're catching up.
When you retire in 18 months there should be some good deals on McMansoins.

The plywood is almost all cut into pieces now and on the way to being an entertainment center for my yet to be purchased BIG SCREEN TV. Got to get this thing finished before that rebate check gets here.

Now where's my check GWB? I need my check!! Current calculations say we've only spent the check about 3 times so far.
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Old 04-01-2008, 09:01 AM   #64
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How do you cut those big-a$$ed sheets o' plywood?
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Old 04-01-2008, 09:01 AM   #65
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To tell the truth, the drawing that I bought on Sunday is one that I saw in February and wanted but didn't buy due to kneejerk behaviors. Then when I got home, I "kicked myself" for being so stingy! So, when I saw it again on Sunday I took it straight to the cash register, negotiated only a 10% discount, but bought it anyway.

Yesterday I did spend $17 on framing and matting materials for it, which is almost as much as the drawing. I had a lot of fun putting everything together last night, and hanging it. It looks great to me. I really do think I have more fun with what money I do spend, than most.
Good for you ... you go girl ... enjoy
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Old 04-01-2008, 09:03 AM   #66
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I know you will be shocked, but you can get a used Suburban VERY cheaply.
Yeah, but how much would gas cost to fill up a suburban?
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Old 04-01-2008, 09:44 AM   #67
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How can you possibly rack up $10K a month expenses?
Is it really so difficult to imagine? My wife and my monthly expenses are $8K/month.

Granted, the couple in the article are utterly oblivious to their own idiocy. They've made their bed and will lie in it.

But for middle-class DINKs, $8K-$10K/month isn't that hard.

$2,100 - Mortgage
$2,000 - Retirement savings
$400 - Property taxes
$700 - Groceries
$600 - Car payment, maintenance fund
$500 - Natural gas, electricity, water, phone, cable, internet
$1,000 - Discretionary spending ($500/each)
$300 - Insurance - car, home, life, disability (this is Canada, hence no medical insurance)
$400 - Gas for car, bus pass, house maintenance

That, in fact, is pretty much our exact budget. It's not as hard as you think. Keep in mind, that's all *after* tax money. Neither my wife nor I have 6-figure incomes.

Note that that doesn't include a gardner or a housemaid, no country club dues or fancy sports cars, no boats or private planes. Note that there isn't even an item in there for clothing, dining out, gifts, hobbies, or vacations (that all comes out of our "discretionary" money). I don't have a cell phone, I won't even pay for "caller ID" on our landline. We don't get the movie channels. I take the bus to work and brownbag my lunch every single weekday. We actually live quite frugally.
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Old 04-01-2008, 10:03 AM   #68
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Kombat, retirement savings do not count as "expenses."
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Old 04-01-2008, 10:07 AM   #69
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Kombat, retirement savings do not count as "expenses."

I guess that depends on your priorities. Neither my wife nor I have corporate pensions to fall back on, so retirement savings is an absolute priority for us.

But even if you dispute that item, it's not hard to imagine a couple with, say, some credit card debt or student loan debt, combined with a gym club membership, maybe a few meals out to fancy restaurants, and a vacation or two amortized over the year filling in the gap left by "retirement savings."
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Old 04-01-2008, 10:25 AM   #70
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How do you cut those big-a$$ed sheets o' plywood?
It's a little hard to work with a full size sheet in my shop.

I nibble them to rough size with a Skill saw in the garage and then finish cut to size on this.

I can cut up to 52 inch wide material on the saw.

http://mrcol.freeyellow.com/goodglass/table2.jpg
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Old 04-01-2008, 10:37 AM   #71
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IsBut for middle-class DINKs, $8K-$10K/month isn't that hard.
I don't think "middle-class" and $6-8k/month after-tax spending go together. Median household income in 2006 was about $48k/yr.
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Old 04-01-2008, 10:38 AM   #72
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My table saw will only do about 26"...

Definitely fun to man-handle sheets of plywood. Wouldn't want to make to many false moves on a $125 sheet of mahogany.
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Old 04-01-2008, 10:40 AM   #73
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I don't think "middle-class" and $6-8k/month after-tax spending go together. Median household income in 2006 was about $48k/yr.
I think you are right. $6k to $8k is closer to upper class.
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Old 04-01-2008, 10:42 AM   #74
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I think you are right. $6k to $8k is closer to upper class.
OK, we're all in agreement. Kombat, we officially deem you an upper class family! Enjoy your new status in life (especially the taxes, ugh! )
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Old 04-01-2008, 10:52 AM   #75
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Haha, thanks guys, this is great news! I've already made an appointment at the Mercedes dealership for Thursday. My wife will be overjoyed!

Seriously though, I don't think any of the expenses I listed are really exorbitant. How do people make it on less? What about single income families with kids in the picture? No wonder people have such a hard time getting out of debt and building up any kind of savings.
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Old 04-01-2008, 10:57 AM   #76
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My "house payment" is $863, including taxes and insurance.
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Old 04-01-2008, 11:03 AM   #77
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Haha, thanks guys, this is great news! I've already made an appointment at the Mercedes dealership for Thursday. My wife will be overjoyed!

Seriously though, I don't think any of the expenses I listed are really exorbitant. How do people make it on less? What about single income families with kids in the picture? No wonder people have such a hard time getting out of debt and building up any kind of savings.
I had a $800/month house payment before I paid it off 10 years ago and my current expenses are less than $2000, probably closer to $1500. I manage to save at least $2000 a month, have no credit card debt and both cars are 5 years old and paid for. I sure wish I made $6 to $8k a month.
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Old 04-01-2008, 11:04 AM   #78
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Seriously though, I don't think any of the expenses I listed are really exorbitant. How do people make it on less?
They spend less on big ticket items, and the biggest ticket item for most people (after taxes) is housing. For example, my mortgage payment, for a 15 year fixed income mortgage, is $920 per month, and I suspect my household income is at least as much as yours. So I spend $1,200 less per month than you just on my mortgage payment alone.
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Old 04-01-2008, 11:09 AM   #79
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They spend less on big ticket items, and the biggest ticket item for most people (after taxes) is housing.
Agreed, but even if my house was paid for, and you eliminated that $2,100 from the budget, that would still leave $6,000/month in expenses.

I guess maybe it's related to geography? Our property taxes are pretty high, living in the city limits. Is $350/person/month for groceries too much? We try to eat pretty healthy, most of that cost is probably milk and meat. Veggies, pasta, and rice are cheap.

Our car is paid for, we simply redirect the old car payment into a special fund for vehicle repairs, or a down payment when it comes time to replace it. (I don't want to get too used to having that money back in our pockets, it would just make it painful when we had to buy a car again).

Insurance is mandatory, cars need gas to run, we have to pay for heat and electricity... what's "too much" in our budget?
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Old 04-01-2008, 11:13 AM   #80
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I think you are right that some of it relates to geography. Let's take property taxes for example... I paid $1,300 last year, for the whole year. If you paid $4,800, then I save $3,500 on that item alone compared to you. (I live in Florida, and I benefit from a law called "Save our Homes which caps annual property tax increases on homesteads). For another example, all of my utilities combined (internet, cable, phone, electricity, water) add up to about $250 per month, and I saved another $3,000 per year compared to your budget.
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