Originally Posted by UncleHoney
I'm trying to visualize life with an after tax burn rate of $10k-$15k per month. Must be like living in the drivers seat of an F16 with full afterburners on, covering a lot of territory but never seeing a thing.
Lets see..... there would be a mortgage on the McMansion, property taxes and insurance. Then car payments on a bimmer or two or a couple of SUV's and cars for the kids and all the gas and service bills.
Everyone in the house would have a cell phone with txt messaging. There would be highspeed wireless and cable TV with all the sports packages for the 65" HD flat screen and separate feeds for the kids rooms. Need to throw in a few IPods and IPhones for good measure along with some laptops.
Outside I guess there would be the pool and the pool man and the lawn service to keep the place looking nice.
Maybe go out to eat 3-4 times a week (wouldn't want to mess up that nice $75K kitchen with all the fancy stainless steel appliances). Maybe make a few three day trips each month to the beach or skiing in Aspen. Oh yes, got to have the latest skis and the accouterments to go along with them.
Don't forget the membership to the golf club and gym and the latest carbon fiber golf gear.
Hummmmm must be missing something from the list but can't think what it would be right now. Maybe throw in a few jet skis and snowmobiles.
My big question is; How do these people find time to enjoy all the stuff they're paying for? Just writing checks for all this stuff would keep me busy and worrying what will happen when it all comes to an end. Looks like they're running down the street carrying a leaking keg of gun powder.
Well, let me help you out a bit here. My income is well north of your example. Some of your description fits, while much of it does not.
20 years ago it started out with wife being the saver and me being the spender. I grew up poor in a hand-to-mouth environment, so had no clue how to handle money, even though I was dedicated to making a lot of it. She grew up with the original Millionaire Next Door family (I kid you not), so saving and frugality were baked into her DNA.
Now, I'd say we're about even. I've come around to her thrifty ways and she's loosened up a lot on spending (income permitting). We've also reached a point in NW where we can breath a lot easier knowing our future retirement is well on the way to being fully funded.
We spend on clothes, going out, and housing. This is partly a function of living and working in the big city. We don't own cars (or jet skis/snowmobiles), and our TV would qualify as an antique. We're generally pretty low tech people, except we do have cell phones (who doesn't these days), high-speed internet (needed for work), and cable (for really just for the reception). Shamefully, I have an Ipod.
To our less economicly-gifted families and friends, I know we are a puzzling couple: in some ways we seem ostentatious, in other ways we seem practically austere. We try to focus spending only on those goods and services and experiences that would make a meaningful difference to us. In particular, having grown up fairly poor, I like trying new luxury things, at least to say I've tried it once. Most things I don't need to repeat.
We also enjoy saving and seeing our investments and NW grow. We establish a budget for spending and saving at the beginning of each year, and we're pretty good at sticking to it (now that there's enough money that neither of us feels too constrained). In fact, for 2007, we were about 40% under budget, which allowed us to make an interesting investment we might not have otherwise considered.
As to having time to spend it, well I must admit that we save a lot of money that way. I have a demanding career and wife is always involved in numerous interests that do not leave either of us much time for shopping. But, we gain satisfaction from our work and interests. Interestingly, following this forum has convinced me that I want to continue working for at least another 10 years (to mid-50's). I'm not someone who can't wait to quit their J*b and I like the lifestyle we have (expensive though it may be) and want to make sure we have the means to continue some semblance of it in retirement. I might change my mind if work became too onerous, but life life is all about trade-offs. I'm happy to have the choices.