Author Topic: Overheard at Work  (Read 6262268 times)

Melody

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #1350 on: January 08, 2014, 03:39:24 AM »
At least now they have a little box on the statement that explains it in terms people can more likely understand.

So I'm guessing you're Australian too? If you are from Perth check out our Meetup thread.

grantmeaname

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #1351 on: January 08, 2014, 05:09:51 AM »
At least now they have a little box on the statement that explains it in terms people can more likely understand.
So I'm guessing you're Australian too? If you are from Perth check out our Meetup thread.
The US got that sort of labeling for the first time after the financial crisis too.

Hunny156

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #1352 on: January 08, 2014, 10:36:45 AM »
it is very common the win the lottery, I myself know at least 3 people who did win like 17 bucks on several occasions!

I won my $1 back once. *prepares for facepunch for buying in the first place*

Make it 5 people!  I played twice, buying two tickets each time and won once (which paid $4, covering both tickets that time I think).

My mother in law dropped a scratch off in a birthday card to me one year.  I "won" $2.  For a NY lottery ticket.  I live in TX.  I just mailed it back to her instead of going through the hassle of cashing in the prize from a different state....

dragoncar

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #1353 on: January 08, 2014, 10:44:58 AM »
At least now they have a little box on the statement that explains it in terms people can more likely understand.
So I'm guessing you're Australian too? If you are from Perth check out our Meetup thread.
The US got that sort of labeling for the first time after the financial crisis too.

This really helped me explain it to a friend ... once I convinced him to actually read his statement instead of blindly paying the minimum online.

eyePod

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #1354 on: January 08, 2014, 12:12:05 PM »
Coworker: I'm going to have to change my lotto ticket strategy this year, because I didn't win last year.

My wife and I each use $1 of our fun money when the lotto was really high a few weeks back.  She won $2 and I didn't win anything.  I said we can cash it in and keep it in a "lotto" fund for next time.  It's fun think of being instantly retired and being able to help so many people with that money!
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eyePod

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #1355 on: January 08, 2014, 12:16:27 PM »
"You make a lot more money than most of us (which is true) and you don't have kids (which is also true), so you don't know how hard it is!"

I haven't told anyone at work but my wife and I, have a kid and still had a savings rate of 43+% this past year (including 401k contributions, matches, gifts).  If you only want after tax, it's 30%.  And that's with basically one income (my wife's finishing up grad school).  People want their cable TV, huge cell phone plans, fancy new cars, but they don't want to realize that by getting those, they're making a trade-off on savings and their future.
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eyePod

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #1356 on: January 08, 2014, 12:19:03 PM »
Last one before I finish my coffee...

So this isn't my co-worker, but a really good friend.

Visiting their freshly bought house (which has two pretty new, non-paid off jeeps in the driveway) and we were talking about christmas gifts.  They had HUGE piles in one of their unfurnished rooms.  He dropped that they each were allowed $800 to spend on eachother!

My wife and I did $50! And I got an awesome new french press for work. 

It was nice to see that all the rest of our friends were equally shocked.  I mean, I know my wife and I are on the low end gift-wise (we're saving for a down payment), but cmon!
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Eric

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #1357 on: January 08, 2014, 12:35:02 PM »
"You make a lot more money than most of us (which is true) and you don't have kids (which is also true), so you don't know how hard it is!"

I haven't told anyone at work but my wife and I, have a kid

You could probably tell them you have a kid.  Coworkers like to hear about that stuff!  ;)
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smalllife

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #1358 on: January 08, 2014, 01:27:51 PM »
"You make a lot more money than most of us (which is true) and you don't have kids (which is also true), so you don't know how hard it is!"

I haven't told anyone at work but my wife and I, have a kid

You could probably tell them you have a kid.  Coworkers like to hear about that stuff!  ;)

Not everyone ;-)  But having someone to counter the "saving with a kid is so hard" whines wouldn't be a bad thing.
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Jamesqf

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #1359 on: January 08, 2014, 01:29:58 PM »
People want their cable TV, huge cell phone plans, fancy new cars...

Yeah, I have to admit that life is a heck of a lot easier when you really don't want all those things.

ritchie70

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #1360 on: January 08, 2014, 04:32:22 PM »

...
Not overheard at work, but said directly to me at Christmas by a family member: you should buy a thermomix because I bet you have the space on your credit card now, but after you have kids all your cards will be maxed out and you won't be able to buy one.
that's funny, "space on your credit card" is a new way to think of credit card debt.

It's actually quite a common way to think about it among the financially unsophisticated. It's viewed as money they have just like cash in the bank.

infogoon

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #1361 on: January 09, 2014, 10:24:51 AM »
It's actually quite a common way to think about it among the financially unsophisticated. It's viewed as money they have just like cash in the bank.

An old high school friend of my wife's had a charming habit of paying for things using the overdraft protection on her debit card -- there was nothing in the checking account, but you could still charge with it at some ridiculous interest rate.

Paul der Krake

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #1362 on: January 09, 2014, 10:56:25 AM »
It's actually quite a common way to think about it among the financially unsophisticated. It's viewed as money they have just like cash in the bank.

An old high school friend of my wife's had a charming habit of paying for things using the overdraft protection on her debit card -- there was nothing in the checking account, but you could still charge with it at some ridiculous interest rate.
This is why cash management checking accounts from brokerage firms kick ass: they figure that if you have a brokerage account you know what you are doing and don't insult your intelligence by trying to sell things like "overdraft protection" and "mortgage protection insurance".

SpinGeek

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #1363 on: January 09, 2014, 11:42:52 AM »
Just had this conversation with our Expense Report guy:

Our company generously gifted us with $50 towards anything our heart desired at Amazon for Christmas this year. All we had to do was order something, then submit an expense report to get reimbursed up to $50. Our company pays expense reports quickly, and even does direct deposit.

Evidently several of our employees couldn't afford to order their own Christmas gifts, and had to get their manager to order and pay for them. Some didn't have credit cards or debit cards. Some didn't even bother.

I had to clutch my forehead to keep my brain from exploding. These are people making $30K or more. And it's not like this is costing them anything, other than a few weeks float before they get paid back. What do they do when (inevitably) they get hit with an expense for $50 or more and NOT get paid back?

dragoncar

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #1364 on: January 09, 2014, 11:53:24 AM »
Just had this conversation with our Expense Report guy:

Our company generously gifted us with $50 towards anything our heart desired at Amazon for Christmas this year. All we had to do was order something, then submit an expense report to get reimbursed up to $50. Our company pays expense reports quickly, and even does direct deposit.

Evidently several of our employees couldn't afford to order their own Christmas gifts, and had to get their manager to order and pay for them. Some didn't have credit cards or debit cards. Some didn't even bother.

I had to clutch my forehead to keep my brain from exploding. These are people making $30K or more. And it's not like this is costing them anything, other than a few weeks float before they get paid back. What do they do when (inevitably) they get hit with an expense for $50 or more and NOT get paid back?

$50?  Who has that kind of space just lying around on their credit card?

ichangedmyname

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #1365 on: January 09, 2014, 12:07:52 PM »
I have tried to make subtle suggestions to my co-workers about their spendy ways, but I just get a lot of flack. "You make a lot more money than most of us (which is true) and you don't have kids (which is also true), so you don't know how hard it is!"

I get that all the time. "You don't have a wife and kids, of course you have plenty of money."

I actually feel like that sometimes... I mean I don't make much but because I'm in my 30's and don't go out every Friday/Saturday night to go clubbing or have kids I feel like I have more money than people at the same level as I am at work. I'm kinda thankful that my only vice really is food.
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Bruised_Pepper

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #1366 on: January 09, 2014, 01:20:35 PM »
[...]I'm in my 30's and don't go out every Friday/Saturday night to go clubbing or have kids[...]

Haha, those are the ONLY two options for people in their 30s.  Ugh, what a crappy decade that's gonna be!

AlmostIndependent

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #1367 on: January 09, 2014, 02:10:49 PM »
[...]I'm in my 30's and don't go out every Friday/Saturday night to go clubbing or have kids[...]

Haha, those are the ONLY two options for people in their 30s.  Ugh, what a crappy decade that's gonna be!

It's actually pretty awesome. You just have to be more creative than 98% of your coworkers (don't worry, it's absurdly easy.)
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DeepEllumStache

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #1368 on: January 09, 2014, 02:11:14 PM »
Quote
Haha, those are the ONLY two options for people in their 30s.  Ugh, what a crappy decade that's gonna be!

Don't forget the other popular option for singles in their 30s - collecting cats.
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Eric

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #1369 on: January 09, 2014, 04:15:15 PM »
"Compound interest is the most powerful force in the universe."  -- Einstein

Jack

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #1370 on: January 09, 2014, 09:48:39 PM »
Coworker: I'm going to have to change my lotto ticket strategy this year, because I didn't win last year.

Doesn't he know he should keep playing the same numbers, then every time they don't pick his numbers, his odds will get better!

I bet he won't even have to play for 20 more years to win once!

;)

A different colleague explained this to me in the lift yesterday :-( there must have been a megadraw recently, everyone's obsessed with lotto in my workplace.

My wife and I each use $1 of our fun money when the lotto was really high a few weeks back.  She won $2 and I didn't win anything.  I said we can cash it in and keep it in a "lotto" fund for next time.  It's fun think of being instantly retired and being able to help so many people with that money!

For Powerball, the odds of hitting the jackpot are 1 in 175,223,510. Since tickets cost $1 each, whenever the payout is more than $175.3M playing actually becomes rational (give or take multiple winners, taxes, annuity vs. cash payout, etc.).

ritchie70

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #1371 on: January 09, 2014, 10:40:05 PM »

...
Not overheard at work, but said directly to me at Christmas by a family member: you should buy a thermomix because I bet you have the space on your credit card now, but after you have kids all your cards will be maxed out and you won't be able to buy one.
that's funny, "space on your credit card" is a new way to think of credit card debt.

It's actually quite a common way to think about it among the financially unsophisticated. It's viewed as money they have just like cash in the bank.

What's that sound? Why it's the boggeling of my miiiinnnndddd.

Have you seriously never encountered this? The goal of paying a credit card isn't to pay it off; it's to make the minimum payment plus a bit more so you can buy something else!

By this same logic, it's reasonable to ask close family to "borrow their credit card" with no real intention of ever paying them for what you buy. After all, they've got money, you need stuff. They're family, they won't mind.

dragoncar

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #1372 on: January 09, 2014, 11:01:18 PM »

...
Not overheard at work, but said directly to me at Christmas by a family member: you should buy a thermomix because I bet you have the space on your credit card now, but after you have kids all your cards will be maxed out and you won't be able to buy one.
that's funny, "space on your credit card" is a new way to think of credit card debt.

It's actually quite a common way to think about it among the financially unsophisticated. It's viewed as money they have just like cash in the bank.

What's that sound? Why it's the boggeling of my miiiinnnndddd.

Have you seriously never encountered this? The goal of paying a credit card isn't to pay it off; it's to make the minimum payment plus a bit more so you can buy something else!

By this same logic, it's reasonable to ask close family to "borrow their credit card" with no real intention of ever paying them for what you buy. After all, they've got money, you need stuff. They're family, they won't mind.

No... maybe it's a class disparity thing

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #1373 on: January 09, 2014, 11:11:50 PM »
"My partner makes enough money that I don't really have to work. And she'd rather I stayed home than went to work, because I'd be cheerful and I'd be able to handle all the home duties. But we both like spending money so I'm going to keep working to pay for our shoes".

I think I made a pain-face before I could stop myself. My brain cells were dying just listening to her.

gooki

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #1374 on: January 09, 2014, 11:25:50 PM »
Lolz.
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Half-Borg

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #1375 on: January 10, 2014, 01:30:19 AM »
For Powerball, the odds of hitting the jackpot are 1 in 175,223,510. Since tickets cost $1 each, whenever the payout is more than $175.3M playing actually becomes rational (give or take multiple winners, taxes, annuity vs. cash payout, etc.).
I can't seem to find the source, but just because the payout is high does not mean you should play.
Basic probability, as learned in school, does not apply here, because your sample is small compared to the amount of all lottery ticktes. So even if the probabilty is in your favor, you're still likely to lose money.

martynthewolf

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #1376 on: January 10, 2014, 03:54:58 AM »
Had a conversation with a Co worker yesterday.

CW: I'm getting a new car, mines falling to bits.
ME: Cool what's wrong with it
CW: Reels off about £600-£700 of repairs
ME: Oh dear that's not good!
CW: Yeah so we're going to get a KIA on (some special agreement where you pay a monthly fee and then in a couple of years you can upgrade to another and continue paying the monthly fee)
ME: Oh cool (died a little inside)

The worst thing is he even admitted it wasn't a good idea and acknowledged that you never actually own the car. At least it'll have a & year warranty though I'm not even sure that matters if you're essentially leasing the car.
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mikaty

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #1377 on: January 10, 2014, 06:53:14 AM »
This one was my favourite - please forgive our own anti-mustachian behaviour in this - it was before we found MMM

Husband get's a promotion and a huge raise and decides to buy a new car - not being overly fond of debt (even before) we buy something we can pay off in less than 12 months.  As soon as his senior co-worker hears about it he starts encouraging him to buy something which at the same rate of payment will take about 7 years to pay off - that's what the co-worker does and he relies on large company bonusses to pay off residual as well

6 months later we go on vacation to Thailand for 3 weeks and the co-worker (who earns much more than him) complains about how he can't afford to go on vacation overseas; tells my husband he's lucky to have a wife that earns well (he doesn't even realise his spendy car habit is the problem)

CommonCents

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #1378 on: January 10, 2014, 09:51:58 AM »
For Powerball, the odds of hitting the jackpot are 1 in 175,223,510. Since tickets cost $1 each, whenever the payout is more than $175.3M playing actually becomes rational (give or take multiple winners, taxes, annuity vs. cash payout, etc.).
I can't seem to find the source, but just because the payout is high does not mean you should play.
Basic probability, as learned in school, does not apply here, because your sample is small compared to the amount of all lottery ticktes. So even if the probabilty is in your favor, you're still likely to lose money.

My husband used to quote statistics for why not to ever play, and then was forced to agree with a friend who noted that you increase your chances infinitely by buying one ticket.  (But all understand the math involved is terrible, it only buys a bit of dreaming, and other than a blip aberration, don't actually buy.)

senecando

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #1379 on: January 10, 2014, 09:54:31 AM »
My husband used to quote statistics for why not to ever play, and then was forced to agree with a friend who noted that you increase your chances infinitely by buying one ticket.  (But all understand the math involved is terrible, it only buys a bit of dreaming, and other than a blip aberration, don't actually buy.)

The chance of losing the price of the ticket also increases infinitely.

CommonCents

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #1380 on: January 10, 2014, 09:57:29 AM »
My husband used to quote statistics for why not to ever play, and then was forced to agree with a friend who noted that you increase your chances infinitely by buying one ticket.  (But all understand the math involved is terrible, it only buys a bit of dreaming, and other than a blip aberration, don't actually buy.)

The chance of losing the price of the ticket also increases infinitely.

Indeed.  I'll have to point it out the next time the topic comes up.  (As I said though, neither husband nor friend are out buying tickets.)

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #1381 on: January 10, 2014, 10:50:44 AM »
My husband used to quote statistics for why not to ever play, and then was forced to agree with a friend who noted that you increase your chances infinitely by buying one ticket.
No you don't. Infinity is a concept, not a number, and anything divided by zero is undefined and not infinity.

dragoncar

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #1382 on: January 10, 2014, 10:55:48 AM »
My husband used to quote statistics for why not to ever play, and then was forced to agree with a friend who noted that you increase your chances infinitely by buying one ticket.
No you don't. Infinity is a concept, not a number, and anything divided by zero is undefined and not infinity.

Yes it's a concept that accurately describes this situation

amused_bouche

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #1383 on: January 10, 2014, 10:59:23 AM »
The worst thing is he even admitted it wasn't a good idea and acknowledged that you never actually own the car.

Overheard from a pal: he recently leased a big, new SUV because "he needed it for the snow" (mind you, we've lived in the northeast forever and each know how to drive in the snow). Then I saw him over Christmas and he was complaining that he needs snow tires because it really doesn't handle well in the snow. What? Wasn't that the "point" of getting this clown car?

Also, a group of us was going to a wedding and trying to figure out who should drive. My pal said he couldn't because the terms of the lease say he can't drive more than x miles per year.

But hey, there's always the option to buy at the end of the lease's term! :/
« Last Edit: January 10, 2014, 11:02:45 AM by amused_bouche »

ritchie70

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #1384 on: January 10, 2014, 11:06:05 AM »

that's funny, "space on your credit card" is a new way to think of credit card debt.

It's actually quite a common way to think about it among the financially unsophisticated. It's viewed as money they have just like cash in the bank.

What's that sound? Why it's the boggeling of my miiiinnnndddd.

Have you seriously never encountered this? The goal of paying a credit card isn't to pay it off; it's to make the minimum payment plus a bit more so you can buy something else!

By this same logic, it's reasonable to ask close family to "borrow their credit card" with no real intention of ever paying them for what you buy. After all, they've got money, you need stuff. They're family, they won't mind.

No... maybe it's a class disparity thing
Quite possible.

I've seen it in seemingly low income customers back when I owned/ran a couple muffler shops and from my wife's family.

I say "seemingly" because you never know... Sam Walton drove a beat up old truck, after all.


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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #1385 on: January 10, 2014, 11:27:57 AM »
Yes it's a concept that accurately describes this situation
No it doesn't. Computing ratios with zero denominators are meaningless, and infinity, which is used only for limits by people who understand what it actually means, brings no insight here, because there's no concept of motion or an asymptote. Saying it has increased infinitely is incorrect technically and still incorrect when used in a fuzzy handwave way.

martynthewolf

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #1386 on: January 10, 2014, 11:34:38 AM »
The worst thing is he even admitted it wasn't a good idea and acknowledged that you never actually own the car.

<snip>

But hey, there's always the option to buy at the end of the lease's term! :/

It really makes me want to smash my head against a wall.
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dragoncar

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #1387 on: January 10, 2014, 12:38:45 PM »
Yes it's a concept that accurately describes this situation
No it doesn't. Computing ratios with zero denominators are meaningless, and infinity, which is used only for limits by people who understand what it actually means, brings no insight here, because there's no concept of motion or an asymptote. Saying it has increased infinitely is incorrect technically and still incorrect when used in a fuzzy handwave way.

Uh, yeah it does (in the fuzzy handwave way).  Technically, we are looking at:

(Odds of winning when buying one ticket) / (odds of winning when buying X tickets) = Ratio

Limit of Ratio as X approaches zero is infinity:

http://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=limit+of+%28%281%2F175223510%29%2Fx%29+as+x+approaches+0

Quark

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #1388 on: January 10, 2014, 12:38:56 PM »
Let me preface this by saying I work at an oil company in Houston in the engineering dept. Lots of spendy spenders! I love listening to my chatty coworker because it provides me daily entertainment.

49 yr old contract engineer (salary ~180K) with a big house in the suburbs and SAHM boring vanilla wife and three little kids. Actually does not mind working 45-50 hrs/wk and commuting (frugally on a commuter bus!) an hour each way every day. Unlike other coworkers on this thread not in debt but loves to spend!
-owns 1/3 of an airplane he flies up to Bristol races every year with buddies ($100 per hour to fly)
-leaves work early on Friday to treat his wife to a fancy lunch and errands together.
-takes a yearly family vacation with all the frills that probably costs at least 5-10k even with the freq flyer miles and hotel points.
-drives a big truck (and I just found out his wife has one too!)
-pays an accountant to do taxes because he is his own business, so extremely complicated.

Tells me today about how his bank pissed him off. He set up extra automatic withdrawals on his Wife's Truck Loan (GAHH!) and when he was 12 payments ahead the bank suspended the withdrawals last March so that normal interest would accrue, and upon inquiry he found out he's supposed to submit a letter telling them to continue. He was so pissed he payed off the loan immediately, telling the banker, "You've pissed me off so now you're not going to get the interest you wanted." A pretty smart decision IMO considering the situation but several questions spring to mind:

-IF YOU HAVE THAT MONEY LAYING AROUND WHY NOT BUY THE TRUCK IN CASH?
-WHY DO YOU NEED ANOTHER NEW TRUCK? (Because hauling 3 small kids and a giant german shepherd around the suburbs requires this duh i'm so stupid why did I not see that.)

He only found out about the suspended withdrawals when his accountant asked him. The interest on the truck was ~$2.75/day for 9 months!


Elsewhere in our department are some managers who fly in on the company jet Mondays from Louisiana and back to their homes on Wednesdays. Best 1 hour commute ever!

Another coworker talks about how frugal he is compared to the others by only driving a Lexus. My boss was slightly embarrassed as he warned us how old his SUV was when we had to drive somewhere and then I discovered its a 10 yr old BMW. I think every male in my department drives a sports car.

153

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #1389 on: January 10, 2014, 12:41:18 PM »
Coworker asked me a while back to help her get set up in the 403b. I said sure, happy to help - let me know when you are ready. Didn't want to be push about it, as I'm her supervisor and all that.

She came to me recently - "Can you help me with the retirement stuff so I have money when I'm an old lady?" 

My first thought was "good! Getting started at 23!". I guess I should have expected the "well how much should I put in?" And "10% is too much! I'll lose so much money". She wanted to do less, I was able to convince her that ten was a good idea for now, and that over time she should increase that. I did not win her over to the annual automatic increase program that they offer, but a start is a start.

We froze for a while when it came to picking investments. She has zero knowledge of investments, and was already pretty overwhelmed by the above conversation, and really started to glaze over when I tried a really basic explanation of investing, so we left her in the default investment, which is the Vanguard TR. (Aside: I enjoy helping people understand financial concepts, but am not comfortable with making investment decisions for them, esp. coworkers I supervise. I told myself it was okay to just tell her to be in that fund, since HR basically does, and I think it's actually a reasonable choice for someone just starting out/not knowledgeable or interested in AA, as well as being one of the choices I actually use in our 403b, since the ER is far lower than many of the other choices).

She then said: "This stuff is hard! How did you possibly learn about it? I just want a man who will do this for me so I can be rich." Luckily our boss overheard this and gave her a serious are-you-kidding-me-I-never-want-to-hear-that-again.

Finally: she saw she had two accounts on the website, and asked about the second one. That is our defined contribution pension plan, and I explained how the annual contribution is calculated (2.5-4 percent of base salary, based on years of service), and that the accounts are vested after three years. She was very keen on the vesting schedule, and kept conflating the DCP account with the 403b. I explained how the 403 is her money always, but the other money isn't hers until she's "earned" it by working 3 years.  And then I was floored: she says "so that's the account that once you've been here 3 years they put in 10% of your salary?" I thought she was confusing her 403 elections again, but no, she tells me that multiple co-workers have told her that once you are vested in the pension, they put in 10% of your salary every year until you retire-even after you stop working there. She pretty much refused to believe me when I told her that it doesn't work that way, because "so many people said it!" 

grantmeaname

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #1390 on: January 10, 2014, 12:54:14 PM »
Yes it's a concept that accurately describes this situation
No it doesn't. Computing ratios with zero denominators are meaningless, and infinity, which is used only for limits by people who understand what it actually means, brings no insight here, because there's no concept of motion or an asymptote. Saying it has increased infinitely is incorrect technically and still incorrect when used in a fuzzy handwave way.
X isn't approaching anything. X is zero.
Uh, yeah it does (in the fuzzy handwave way).  Technically, we are looking at:

(Odds of winning when buying one ticket) / (odds of winning when buying X tickets) = Ratio

Limit of Ratio as X approaches zero is infinity:

http://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=limit+of+%28%281%2F175223510%29%2Fx%29+as+x+approaches+0

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #1391 on: January 10, 2014, 01:34:07 PM »
We froze for a while when it came to picking investments. She has zero knowledge of investments, and was already pretty overwhelmed by the above conversation, and really started to glaze over when I tried a really basic explanation of investing, so we left her in the default investment, which is the Vanguard TR. (Aside: I enjoy helping people understand financial concepts, but am not comfortable with making investment decisions for them, esp. coworkers I supervise. I told myself it was okay to just tell her to be in that fund, since HR basically does, and I think it's actually a reasonable choice for someone just starting out/not knowledgeable or interested in AA, as well as being one of the choices I actually use in our 403b, since the ER is far lower than many of the other choices).

She then said: "This stuff is hard! How did you possibly learn about it? I just want a man who will do this for me so I can be rich." Luckily our boss overheard this and gave her a serious are-you-kidding-me-I-never-want-to-hear-that-again.

Finally: she saw she had two accounts on the website, and asked about the second one. That is our defined contribution pension plan, and I explained how the annual contribution is calculated (2.5-4 percent of base salary, based on years of service), and that the accounts are vested after three years. She was very keen on the vesting schedule, and kept conflating the DCP account with the 403b. I explained how the 403 is her money always, but the other money isn't hers until she's "earned" it by working 3 years.  And then I was floored: she says "so that's the account that once you've been here 3 years they put in 10% of your salary?" I thought she was confusing her 403 elections again, but no, she tells me that multiple co-workers have told her that once you are vested in the pension, they put in 10% of your salary every year until you retire-even after you stop working there. She pretty much refused to believe me when I told her that it doesn't work that way, because "so many people said it!"

ho. ly. shit.

part of me wants to ask: what's her actual job? is she remotely competent at it? I feel like that's rude, but man... some people just confuse me.

AlmostIndependent

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #1392 on: January 10, 2014, 01:53:55 PM »

ho. ly. shit.


If I had a nickel for every time I thought this based on financial "wisdom" I'd overheard at work I'd have retired years ago.
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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #1393 on: January 10, 2014, 01:56:41 PM »
Yes it's a concept that accurately describes this situation
No it doesn't. Computing ratios with zero denominators are meaningless, and infinity, which is used only for limits by people who understand what it actually means, brings no insight here, because there's no concept of motion or an asymptote. Saying it has increased infinitely is incorrect technically and still incorrect when used in a fuzzy handwave way.

These sorts of arguments aside, I would still hardly call your odds jumping from 0% to less than a thousandth of a percent an "infinite increase".  Plus, that's not even taking into consideration that your odds of winning without buying a ticket aren't actually zero.  You could find a winning ticket on the ground somewhere. 

I think CommonCents said it best: you're just buying a bit of dreaming. 

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #1394 on: January 10, 2014, 02:02:34 PM »
Let me preface this by saying I work at an oil company in Houston in the engineering dept. Lots of spendy spenders! I love listening to my chatty coworker because it provides me daily entertainment.

49 yr old contract engineer (salary ~180K) with a big house in the suburbs and SAHM boring vanilla wife and three little kids. Actually does not mind working 45-50 hrs/wk and commuting (frugally on a commuter bus!) an hour each way every day. Unlike other coworkers on this thread not in debt but loves to spend!
-owns 1/3 of an airplane he flies up to Bristol races every year with buddies ($100 per hour to fly)
-leaves work early on Friday to treat his wife to a fancy lunch and errands together.
-takes a yearly family vacation with all the frills that probably costs at least 5-10k even with the freq flyer miles and hotel points.
-drives a big truck (and I just found out his wife has one too!)
-pays an accountant to do taxes because he is his own business, so extremely complicated.

Tells me today about how his bank pissed him off. He set up extra automatic withdrawals on his Wife's Truck Loan (GAHH!) and when he was 12 payments ahead the bank suspended the withdrawals last March so that normal interest would accrue, and upon inquiry he found out he's supposed to submit a letter telling them to continue. He was so pissed he payed off the loan immediately, telling the banker, "You've pissed me off so now you're not going to get the interest you wanted." A pretty smart decision IMO considering the situation but several questions spring to mind:

-IF YOU HAVE THAT MONEY LAYING AROUND WHY NOT BUY THE TRUCK IN CASH?
-WHY DO YOU NEED ANOTHER NEW TRUCK? (Because hauling 3 small kids and a giant german shepherd around the suburbs requires this duh i'm so stupid why did I not see that.)

He only found out about the suspended withdrawals when his accountant asked him. The interest on the truck was ~$2.75/day for 9 months!


Elsewhere in our department are some managers who fly in on the company jet Mondays from Louisiana and back to their homes on Wednesdays. Best 1 hour commute ever!

Another coworker talks about how frugal he is compared to the others by only driving a Lexus. My boss was slightly embarrassed as he warned us how old his SUV was when we had to drive somewhere and then I discovered its a 10 yr old BMW. I think every male in my department drives a sports car.

Interesting co-workers… Reading your story I started to think more about mine. I work for a large company, but in our particular office we are 12 (10 men and 2 women).

Salaries: 120-160k $
Age: 30-57
Has a car: 5
Commutes with a car: 4
Commutes mostly with public transport: 8
Has more than 1 car in a family: 1
Different nationalities: 9

The biggest spender is probably a woman who drives a new Audi and wears jewellery worth 20k, but with a household income around 350k that's not too unreasonable.

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #1395 on: January 10, 2014, 02:28:54 PM »
49 yr old contract engineer (salary ~180K) with a big house in the suburbs and SAHM boring vanilla wife and three little kids. Actually does not mind working 45-50 hrs/wk and commuting (frugally on a commuter bus!) an hour each way every day. Unlike other coworkers on this thread not in debt but loves to spend!
-owns 1/3 of an airplane he flies up to Bristol races every year with buddies ($100 per hour to fly)
-leaves work early on Friday to treat his wife to a fancy lunch and errands together.
-takes a yearly family vacation with all the frills that probably costs at least 5-10k even with the freq flyer miles and hotel points.
I don't know...this guy sounds pretty badass to me. He's comfortable operating on contract and looks like he spends money and time on stuff that he counts as important (lunch with the wife every Friday, aw). Could be a mustachian in the making. If he could see the value of using that money to buy freedom, I bet he'd disappear in five years.

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #1396 on: January 10, 2014, 03:39:51 PM »
Quote
Elsewhere in our department are some managers who fly in on the company jet Mondays from Louisiana and back to their homes on Wednesdays. Best 1 hour commute ever!

I've always thought that if I ever became absurdly wealthy, private aviation would be the one thing I'd splurge on in ways that aren't really justifiable.  The quantity of hassle that is avoided by flying private is amazing.  That said, I know it's incredibly expensive and awful for the environment.

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #1397 on: January 10, 2014, 09:09:06 PM »
I think every male in my department drives a sports car.

Err... There's something wrong with driving sports cars?  Dman near every car I've owned, from the '60s Austin-Healey Sprite that was my first non-junker car up to the Honda CRX I had prior to the Insight, has been a sports car, and I could make a decent argument that the Insight is too.  All of them were bought used for not much money, and on average got better mpg than basic family cars of their period.  So how's that not frugal?

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #1398 on: January 10, 2014, 09:48:02 PM »
I've got one, literally overheard as I was walking past an office: "We got paid two weeks early, so I'll run out of money two weeks early."

We get the same amount every month. It's true, last month we were paid in mid-December, but I can't imagine this coworker was unable to anticipate that there would be ~ four weeks in the month of January...
Argh -reminds me of a coworker who told me she talked her landlord into making her rent $100 a week instead of $400 a month, because it was too hard to get $400 in the bank.  I pointed out that that would end up costing her $400 a year and she looked at me like I had just taken a dump on her parade.

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #1399 on: January 11, 2014, 02:03:23 AM »
A contribution to the lottery debate:

http://www.smbc-comics.com/?id=2320#comic