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Old 09-28-2012, 05:14 PM   #41
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Don't mean to be harsh - but what are you living for if you're not enjoying yourself along the way. However I don't feel entirely confident in this assessment as i don't know what level of life you are actually living regarding basic needs vs wants.
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Old 09-28-2012, 05:41 PM   #42
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Ouch...
Funny - I thought this was the early retirement forum. It sounds like many can achieve this without too much sacrifice.
If it is so easy, I wonder why more don't achieve it?
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Old 09-28-2012, 08:20 PM   #43
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"Not too much" sacrifice is correct; but that doesn't mean NO sacrifice. Absent inheritances or similar 'lottery wins', virtually anyone will find it necessary to prioritize and economize, to some extent.

Achieving FIRE is relatively simple (LBYM, invest the surplus, be patient and allow compounding to work its magic), but it isn't "easy" given that most people think short term and prefer instant gratification. Too, the vast sums spent on advertising endeavour to persuade us that we 'deserve' or 'need' various trinkets and frills (e.g., the cars and vacations you mentioned earlier) ... that is a powerful force that many are unable to resist.
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Old 10-01-2012, 03:27 PM   #44
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Is there some kind of happy medium for this vacation? Instead of holding off on months and months of savings (which you cannot get back) to splurge on an all out vacation, is there something a little more moderate but equally as fun that would fulfill the family?

My husband and I go on a vacation probably every 6 weeks on average. That's because our vacations are relatively cheap but we have access to great things out West.

However, I bet all these trips added up for the year don't even come close to your average family cruise vacation.

Try not to compare your situations so much to others. Same for your wife. Is she the one looking at everyone's fancy cars and nice furniture? Or you? I think the discrepancy could do a lot with the huge range of salaries out there. There are going to be lots of different lifestyles.

I have been in a relationship where we were not on the same page about the overall money plan. It's horrible! Makes life just so hard when one wants to spend and the other wants to save and it leads to daily fights! But it doesn't have to be this way, nor is it good for it to be this way. I hope you guys can have a heart to heart about the money plan and come up with some sort of compromise that works for both of you.
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Old 10-01-2012, 10:01 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by UnderTheRadar View Post
Wife and I constantly fight the monthly budget, cuss and discuss the vacations we are not taking, the cars we are not driving, the and the crappy furniture we still have! I guess I am just venting - what kind of pep talk do you give yourself to stay the course?
DW and I manage to have fun while still saving. I'd prefer to spend our money on travel and experiences rather than spend it on "stuff". We'd love to have "crappy furniture" rather than a largely unfurnished upstairs. But, it's a matter of choice. Sure, we get interesting looks from people who've never been in our home before and they ask how long we've been living here. (It's been over 3 years) I drive a 10 year old Jeep and I absolutely love it. Driving with the top down in the summer is still one of my very favorite things. We have a 19 month old son and 95% of his clothes are hand-me-down. As was his highchair and a majority of his toys.

All that being said, we've recently returned from a week in Jamaica. Over the past few years we've been to Las Vegas, Hawaii and New York twice each, the Bahamas, San Diego, chartered a catamaran for 10 days in the British Virgin Islands, and taken many other smaller trips including a yearly trip to the Pacific Northwest.

We just don't care about the material stuff. All that money other people spend on new clothes and new cars and other status symbols just don't really interest us. I'm sure we spend more on vacations and travel and experiences than a lot of folks but I'd rather live a bit, spend some money on travel and save what others are spending on "stuff".
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Old 10-04-2012, 10:09 PM   #46
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Ouch...
Funny - I thought this was the early retirement forum. It sounds like many can achieve this without too much sacrifice.
If it is so easy, I wonder why more don't achieve it?
I don't think there are all that many people here with two kids, a stay at home parent, and modest incomes who would say it is easy. Your saving rate of 15-25% is already pretty impressive given the single, modest income you are relying on. In our case, we are able to save roughly one of our full-time salaries. But if one of us were to SAH we would struggle to live below our means, much less save for the future. Part of the challenge in our case is that we live distant from both families, so we spend a large portion of income on travel, including transpacific flights 2x/year on average.

How old are your kids and is your spouse open to part-time work outside the home at some point? That could really accelerate things for you, if it is something you are open to.
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Old 10-04-2012, 10:23 PM   #47
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I have to admit if I was a stay at home dad and my wife was working to support the whole family, I would be feeling in a pretty sweet position.
I would not. Now that both our children are in school, I would be feeling distinctly uncomfortable if I was a stay at home parent while my wife worked. I would not want DW to be forced to keep working to support my chosen lifestyle.

That said, DW does intend to keep working part time after I retire next year. We have had a number of discussion on this and I am comfortable that she is doing this because she wants to - not because she feels that we need the additional income or has any concerns about our finances.
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Old 10-05-2012, 10:32 PM   #48
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I would not. Now that both our children are in school, I would be feeling distinctly uncomfortable if I was a stay at home parent while my wife worked. I would not want DW to be forced to keep working to support my chosen lifestyle.

That said, DW does intend to keep working part time after I retire next year. We have had a number of discussion on this and I am comfortable that she is doing this because she wants to - not because she feels that we need the additional income or has any concerns about our finances.
I feel the same way actually - I wouldn't want to force DW to work so that I can live the life of relative leisure. But at the same time, if that gig fell in my lap and DW just loved her job immensely (in some alternate reality), I would be living it up.

My point is that if I were a stay at home dad of school age kids (or even with a 5 month old plus 2 school age kids like I am now), the burden of stay at home dadding is much lower than the burden of dealing with work, office politics, commuting, expense reports, time sheets, office politics, a$$hole bosses, incompetent bureaucracies etc etc ad nauseam. Of course it wouldn't be fair to make DW to endure the hardship of working so that I could lounge about a significant part of the day.
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