Author Topic: Overheard at Work  (Read 8278400 times)

dragoncar

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20050 on: April 18, 2018, 06:46:18 PM »
A company I am an independent contractor for had a problem with payments this month. Payments are to be issued at the latest by the 15th, but usually show up earlier. Yesterday (the 16th) many people still hadn’t been paid... and the entire community melted down. Hundreds of people complaining of overdraft fees, not being able to pay their mortgage, not being able to buy food/gas, demanding we go on strike or form a union. Because a payment was late by one day. One.

I have literallly been in awe watching how many people’s lives have been completely turned upside down by this. Any suggestions like having an emergency fund/credit card/not having automatic payments withdrawn the same day you think the money will be there have been shot down. They can’t afford to save money/plan ahead like this.

I mean... I’ve always known people often live paycheck to paycheck. But I have never had a front row seat to tens or even hundreds of people enter an extreme emergency situation within 24 hours.

i work for the u.s. federal government, and i see the beginnings of that meltdown every time there's a threat of a government shutdown. most of us wouldn't recieve a paycheck until the shutdown ended, at which point we've historically recieved all of our backpay. however, every single time there's even a threat of a shutdown, half my office paces the floor, panicking about how they're going to feed their families or afford their rent/mortgage if they don't get paid on time. i don't get it. i mean, i'd be upset if we weren't going to be backpaid, but we are -- and since we're furloughed, most of us are actually at home for all this time we're eventually paid for. it's literally free paid vacation. how do you not have anything set aside at all? how is this threat enough to destroy your finances?

Seems like there’s a market for “shutdown insurance” that fronts you the money but also claims any backpay you receive

I believe this already exists in the form of payday lenders.

Would a payday lender really loan money to someone who is furloughed?  And repeatedly, without being paid back for the last loan, indefinitely?

Even if so, normal payday rates don’t reflect the low risk, so it’s unlikely anyone would use them.  A real insurer would charge a much more reasonable premium

You could self insure of course, by “saving” but we are talking about people who don’t do that
« Last Edit: April 18, 2018, 06:49:22 PM by dragoncar »

Linda_Norway

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20051 on: April 19, 2018, 06:11:32 AM »
A company I am an independent contractor for had a problem with payments this month. Payments are to be issued at the latest by the 15th, but usually show up earlier. Yesterday (the 16th) many people still hadn’t been paid... and the entire community melted down. Hundreds of people complaining of overdraft fees, not being able to pay their mortgage, not being able to buy food/gas, demanding we go on strike or form a union. Because a payment was late by one day. One.

I have literallly been in awe watching how many people’s lives have been completely turned upside down by this. Any suggestions like having an emergency fund/credit card/not having automatic payments withdrawn the same day you think the money will be there have been shot down. They can’t afford to save money/plan ahead like this.

I mean... I’ve always known people often live paycheck to paycheck. But I have never had a front row seat to tens or even hundreds of people enter an extreme emergency situation within 24 hours.

i work for the u.s. federal government, and i see the beginnings of that meltdown every time there's a threat of a government shutdown. most of us wouldn't recieve a paycheck until the shutdown ended, at which point we've historically recieved all of our backpay. however, every single time there's even a threat of a shutdown, half my office paces the floor, panicking about how they're going to feed their families or afford their rent/mortgage if they don't get paid on time. i don't get it. i mean, i'd be upset if we weren't going to be backpaid, but we are -- and since we're furloughed, most of us are actually at home for all this time we're eventually paid for. it's literally free paid vacation. how do you not have anything set aside at all? how is this threat enough to destroy your finances?

Seems like there’s a market for “shutdown insurance” that fronts you the money but also claims any backpay you receive

I believe this already exists in the form of payday lenders.

Would a payday lender really loan money to someone who is furloughed?  And repeatedly, without being paid back for the last loan, indefinitely?

Even if so, normal payday rates don’t reflect the low risk, so it’s unlikely anyone would use them.  A real insurer would charge a much more reasonable premium

You could self insure of course, by “saving” but we are talking about people who don’t do that

This is not only an issue for paycheck-to-paycheck living people. Since I am a mustachian, I have been investing a part of my paycheck into stock every month as soon as I can. Then I try to guess how much I will need for the rest of the month. If I then get an unexpected really large bill and my pay arrived later than expected, I have a problem. Last month, I expected my paycheck on the 17thm but it came on the 20th. I had lots of bills that we about to be paid automatically on the 17th and 18th. I had to ask DH to pay some of them for me. Since then I have learned that, even though my salary often arrives on the 15th or 17th, the official date is actually the 20th. It had just arrived extra early the rest of the year.

barbaz

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20052 on: April 19, 2018, 06:33:50 AM »
I have been investing a part of my paycheck into stock every month as soon as I can. Then I try to guess how much I will need for the rest of the month. If I then get an unexpected really large bill and my pay arrived later than expected, I have a problem.
Sounds way too stressful to me. How much money would you lose by keeping one month‘s expenses in your checking account?

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20053 on: April 19, 2018, 08:01:27 AM »
today i was talking with a coworker - let's call him dan. we have a project coming up in a few weeks that only a few of the employees are qualified to do, but since it's on a weekend they would get overtime. i said if it were me, i'd jump at the chance to earn overtime - i'm salaried, so i don't have that option. dan, whose wife, "stella," is one of the employees who are qualified to do the overtime job, said he and his wife never went for overtime. i asked why, since i know neither of them earn very much, and dan said, "well, stella did the math after she got her paycheck the last time she worked overtime, and the government took so much from it in taxes that she ended up getting only half of what she was supposed to. so we decided never to work overtime again unless we had to." i tried to explain that that isn't how taxes work - but dan just made a joke about it going over his head and then changed the subject.

imagine leaving time and a half pay on the table because it was taxed! i don't get it.

Dragonswan

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20054 on: April 19, 2018, 08:09:52 AM »
A company I am an independent contractor for had a problem with payments this month. Payments are to be issued at the latest by the 15th, but usually show up earlier. Yesterday (the 16th) many people still hadn’t been paid... and the entire community melted down. Hundreds of people complaining of overdraft fees, not being able to pay their mortgage, not being able to buy food/gas, demanding we go on strike or form a union. Because a payment was late by one day. One.

I have literallly been in awe watching how many people’s lives have been completely turned upside down by this. Any suggestions like having an emergency fund/credit card/not having automatic payments withdrawn the same day you think the money will be there have been shot down. They can’t afford to save money/plan ahead like this.

I mean... I’ve always known people often live paycheck to paycheck. But I have never had a front row seat to tens or even hundreds of people enter an extreme emergency situation within 24 hours.

i work for the u.s. federal government, and i see the beginnings of that meltdown every time there's a threat of a government shutdown. most of us wouldn't recieve a paycheck until the shutdown ended, at which point we've historically recieved all of our backpay. however, every single time there's even a threat of a shutdown, half my office paces the floor, panicking about how they're going to feed their families or afford their rent/mortgage if they don't get paid on time. i don't get it. i mean, i'd be upset if we weren't going to be backpaid, but we are -- and since we're furloughed, most of us are actually at home for all this time we're eventually paid for. it's literally free paid vacation. how do you not have anything set aside at all? how is this threat enough to destroy your finances?

Seems like there’s a market for “shutdown insurance” that fronts you the money but also claims any backpay you receive

I believe this already exists in the form of payday lenders.

Would a payday lender really loan money to someone who is furloughed?  And repeatedly, without being paid back for the last loan, indefinitely?

Even if so, normal payday rates don’t reflect the low risk, so it’s unlikely anyone would use them.  A real insurer would charge a much more reasonable premium

You could self insure of course, by “saving” but we are talking about people who don’t do that
In these parts, during the last real shut down some federal credit unions were extending interest free "payday" loans to folks that have their paychecks direct deposited to them.  So at the very least these folks could open an account and let the credit union be their emergency fund.

dragoncar

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20055 on: April 19, 2018, 09:17:27 AM »
Well that’s smart!

solon

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20056 on: April 19, 2018, 10:10:14 AM »
today i was talking with a coworker - let's call him dan. we have a project coming up in a few weeks that only a few of the employees are qualified to do, but since it's on a weekend they would get overtime. i said if it were me, i'd jump at the chance to earn overtime - i'm salaried, so i don't have that option. dan, whose wife, "stella," is one of the employees who are qualified to do the overtime job, said he and his wife never went for overtime. i asked why, since i know neither of them earn very much, and dan said, "well, stella did the math after she got her paycheck the last time she worked overtime, and the government took so much from it in taxes that she ended up getting only half of what she was supposed to. so we decided never to work overtime again unless we had to." i tried to explain that that isn't how taxes work - but dan just made a joke about it going over his head and then changed the subject.

imagine leaving time and a half pay on the table because it was taxed! i don't get it.

This is unbelievably common. I think more people believe this than not. I wish there was some simple way to explain how it works.

Dabnasty

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20057 on: April 19, 2018, 10:11:27 AM »
today i was talking with a coworker - let's call him dan. we have a project coming up in a few weeks that only a few of the employees are qualified to do, but since it's on a weekend they would get overtime. i said if it were me, i'd jump at the chance to earn overtime - i'm salaried, so i don't have that option. dan, whose wife, "stella," is one of the employees who are qualified to do the overtime job, said he and his wife never went for overtime. i asked why, since i know neither of them earn very much, and dan said, "well, stella did the math after she got her paycheck the last time she worked overtime, and the government took so much from it in taxes that she ended up getting only half of what she was supposed to. so we decided never to work overtime again unless we had to." i tried to explain that that isn't how taxes work - but dan just made a joke about it going over his head and then changed the subject.

imagine leaving time and a half pay on the table because it was taxed! i don't get it.

These are tough conversations. I've had similar situations where a coworker makes a gripe about what they're paying in taxes but the complaint they make doesn't make any sense and it's even worse if they're making decisions based on their misunderstanding. I feel obligated to say something but I try to say it in a nice way rather than "you're wrong, here's how it actually works". Then like you said, they get flustered or make a joke and change the subject. It's almost as if the idea of understanding taxes is more stressful than not understanding them.

Recent complaint: Damn Trump is taking away the mortgage deduction and costing me $3,000!

1) no 2) if that was changing it wouldn't affect this year's taxes 3) their mortgage is not large enough to amount to $3,000

And they pay someone to file their taxes who presumably should be answering questions about this stuff.

Imma

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20058 on: April 19, 2018, 10:55:06 AM »
I have been investing a part of my paycheck into stock every month as soon as I can. Then I try to guess how much I will need for the rest of the month. If I then get an unexpected really large bill and my pay arrived later than expected, I have a problem.
Sounds way too stressful to me. How much money would you lose by keeping one month‘s expenses in your checking account?


I do that too, but I do keep money in a savings account as well. By only keeping the amount of money I need in my checking account (which is this month's bills + 150 for spending) I avoid impulse buying and get slightly more interest. In case of true emergency, I can always use my credit card. I've always done it this way, I don't think I've ever had more than a couple of hundred € in my account. My boss is often on the late side with payments as well, but all our automatic payments are withdrawn from the joint account. I've set up an automatic transfer from my savings to the joint account on the same day my partner gets paid (and pays his share) and then I put the money back into my savings as soon as I get paid.


today i was talking with a coworker - let's call him dan. we have a project coming up in a few weeks that only a few of the employees are qualified to do, but since it's on a weekend they would get overtime. i said if it were me, i'd jump at the chance to earn overtime - i'm salaried, so i don't have that option. dan, whose wife, "stella," is one of the employees who are qualified to do the overtime job, said he and his wife never went for overtime. i asked why, since i know neither of them earn very much, and dan said, "well, stella did the math after she got her paycheck the last time she worked overtime, and the government took so much from it in taxes that she ended up getting only half of what she was supposed to. so we decided never to work overtime again unless we had to." i tried to explain that that isn't how taxes work - but dan just made a joke about it going over his head and then changed the subject.

imagine leaving time and a half pay on the table because it was taxed! i don't get it.

These are tough conversations. I've had similar situations where a coworker makes a gripe about what they're paying in taxes but the complaint they make doesn't make any sense and it's even worse if they're making decisions based on their misunderstanding. I feel obligated to say something but I try to say it in a nice way rather than "you're wrong, here's how it actually works". Then like you said, they get flustered or make a joke and change the subject. It's almost as if the idea of understanding taxes is more stressful than not understanding them.

Recent complaint: Damn Trump is taking away the mortgage deduction and costing me $3,000!

1) no 2) if that was changing it wouldn't affect this year's taxes 3) their mortgage is not large enough to amount to $3,000

And they pay someone to file their taxes who presumably should be answering questions about this stuff.

I prepare people's taxes and I always make sure I explain to them, in detail, what I'm doing. First of all because I feel that they should understand their own tax forms because they are legally responsible, and everyone should understand as much as they can about their own financial situation, but also because when you get talking you often find out possible deductions they hadn't told you about. Many people are extremely surprised about the way I work. They are used to just sitting and playing on their phone while I'm doing the work and they sign when I'm done.

couponvan

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20059 on: April 19, 2018, 11:16:30 AM »
today i was talking with a coworker - let's call him dan. we have a project coming up in a few weeks that only a few of the employees are qualified to do, but since it's on a weekend they would get overtime. i said if it were me, i'd jump at the chance to earn overtime - i'm salaried, so i don't have that option. dan, whose wife, "stella," is one of the employees who are qualified to do the overtime job, said he and his wife never went for overtime. i asked why, since i know neither of them earn very much, and dan said, "well, stella did the math after she got her paycheck the last time she worked overtime, and the government took so much from it in taxes that she ended up getting only half of what she was supposed to. so we decided never to work overtime again unless we had to." i tried to explain that that isn't how taxes work - but dan just made a joke about it going over his head and then changed the subject.

imagine leaving time and a half pay on the table because it was taxed! i don't get it.

This is unbelievably common. I think more people believe this than not. I wish there was some simple way to explain how it works.

They are valuing their time more than the $. You say they don't get paid very much, but at a certain point the government does start taking more than you imagine in taxes. 

Here's my scenario. I max my and DH's 401(k), H.S.A. We are in the dreaded AMT bump zone, and far enough away from the end of the zone that me working more wouldn't push us over.
https://www.kitces.com/blog/evaluating-exposure-to-the-alternative-minimum-tax-and-strategies-to-reduce-the-amt-bite/ This is a link that goes into the issue. It's from 2014, but you'll get the idea.

I'm not complaining that I don't make enough money - I just won't work extra because it's not worth it "to me". Here's my taxes - for every $ extra we make, the Federal government takes 35%. The state takes 3.5%. SS takes 6.2% and Medicare takes 1.45%. We are also subject to a .9% medicare recapture tax. That means 47% of any additional earnings goes straight to the government.

I'd rather have the time.  I have enough $ at this point to retire on schedule. 

Now if that same coworker was talking about how in debt they were and how they could never retire, I might have a different response.

ETA - If it was California, with 9.3% tax rates, then the woman would be correct about 1/2 going to taxes of some sort.
« Last Edit: April 19, 2018, 11:20:57 AM by couponvan »

Dabnasty

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20060 on: April 19, 2018, 01:27:49 PM »
today i was talking with a coworker - let's call him dan. we have a project coming up in a few weeks that only a few of the employees are qualified to do, but since it's on a weekend they would get overtime. i said if it were me, i'd jump at the chance to earn overtime - i'm salaried, so i don't have that option. dan, whose wife, "stella," is one of the employees who are qualified to do the overtime job, said he and his wife never went for overtime. i asked why, since i know neither of them earn very much, and dan said, "well, stella did the math after she got her paycheck the last time she worked overtime, and the government took so much from it in taxes that she ended up getting only half of what she was supposed to. so we decided never to work overtime again unless we had to." i tried to explain that that isn't how taxes work - but dan just made a joke about it going over his head and then changed the subject.

imagine leaving time and a half pay on the table because it was taxed! i don't get it.

This is unbelievably common. I think more people believe this than not. I wish there was some simple way to explain how it works.

They are valuing their time more than the $. You say they don't get paid very much, but at a certain point the government does start taking more than you imagine in taxes. 

Here's my scenario. I max my and DH's 401(k), H.S.A. We are in the dreaded AMT bump zone, and far enough away from the end of the zone that me working more wouldn't push us over.
https://www.kitces.com/blog/evaluating-exposure-to-the-alternative-minimum-tax-and-strategies-to-reduce-the-amt-bite/ This is a link that goes into the issue. It's from 2014, but you'll get the idea.

I'm not complaining that I don't make enough money - I just won't work extra because it's not worth it "to me". Here's my taxes - for every $ extra we make, the Federal government takes 35%. The state takes 3.5%. SS takes 6.2% and Medicare takes 1.45%. We are also subject to a .9% medicare recapture tax. That means 47% of any additional earnings goes straight to the government.

I'd rather have the time.  I have enough $ at this point to retire on schedule. 

Now if that same coworker was talking about how in debt they were and how they could never retire, I might have a different response.

ETA - If it was California, with 9.3% tax rates, then the woman would be correct about 1/2 going to taxes of some sort.

Good of you to give them the benefit of the doubt but it doesn't sound like they're in the 35% tax bracket.

Regardless, I think the point is that they're paying the same tax on the overtime as they are on any other additional income. It could be both though; they don't understand how taxes work and they also don't want more money badly enough to work more hours. Maybe the tax thing was just an excuse made to OP rather than saying "we don't want the money enough to work more"

Regardless, they're turning down 1.5x pay while working for 1x pay.

VaCPA

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20061 on: April 19, 2018, 02:12:29 PM »
today i was talking with a coworker - let's call him dan. we have a project coming up in a few weeks that only a few of the employees are qualified to do, but since it's on a weekend they would get overtime. i said if it were me, i'd jump at the chance to earn overtime - i'm salaried, so i don't have that option. dan, whose wife, "stella," is one of the employees who are qualified to do the overtime job, said he and his wife never went for overtime. i asked why, since i know neither of them earn very much, and dan said, "well, stella did the math after she got her paycheck the last time she worked overtime, and the government took so much from it in taxes that she ended up getting only half of what she was supposed to. so we decided never to work overtime again unless we had to." i tried to explain that that isn't how taxes work - but dan just made a joke about it going over his head and then changed the subject.

imagine leaving time and a half pay on the table because it was taxed! i don't get it.

This is unbelievably common. I think more people believe this than not. I wish there was some simple way to explain how it works.

I'm a CPA so have a firm grasp on the US taxation system but it often surprises me how little some people understand it, even basic concepts. But I think I'm also taking for granted how hard to understand it can be, for people not in accounting or tax who don't have to think about it much.

I was having a conversation with my MIL several weeks ago, and discussing the prospect of her working/earning more. She's a nurse who has moved into teaching and had opportunities to teach more. She was worried it would push her into the next tax bracket and increase the amount she paid. I had to explain how the marginal tax brackets work. If you go into the next tax bracket your entire income isn't taxed at that amount, just the amount that crossed into the new tax bracket. So...don't worry about making more money...

solon

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20062 on: April 19, 2018, 02:15:34 PM »
today i was talking with a coworker - let's call him dan. we have a project coming up in a few weeks that only a few of the employees are qualified to do, but since it's on a weekend they would get overtime. i said if it were me, i'd jump at the chance to earn overtime - i'm salaried, so i don't have that option. dan, whose wife, "stella," is one of the employees who are qualified to do the overtime job, said he and his wife never went for overtime. i asked why, since i know neither of them earn very much, and dan said, "well, stella did the math after she got her paycheck the last time she worked overtime, and the government took so much from it in taxes that she ended up getting only half of what she was supposed to. so we decided never to work overtime again unless we had to." i tried to explain that that isn't how taxes work - but dan just made a joke about it going over his head and then changed the subject.

imagine leaving time and a half pay on the table because it was taxed! i don't get it.

This is unbelievably common. I think more people believe this than not. I wish there was some simple way to explain how it works.

I'm a CPA so have a firm grasp on the US taxation system but it often surprises me how little some people understand it, even basic concepts. But I think I'm also taking for granted how hard to understand it can be, for people not in accounting or tax who don't have to think about it much.

I was having a conversation with my MIL several weeks ago, and discussing the prospect of her working/earning more. She's a nurse who has moved into teaching and had opportunities to teach more. She was worried it would push her into the next tax bracket and increase the amount she paid. I had to explain how the marginal tax brackets work. If you go into the next tax bracket your entire income isn't taxed at that amount, just the amount that crossed into the new tax bracket. So...don't worry about making more money...

BINGO! That's exactly what I'm talking about. People think if they make more money, they'll actually bring home less. And there are so many people who think this!

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20063 on: April 19, 2018, 02:16:34 PM »
today i was talking with a coworker - let's call him dan. we have a project coming up in a few weeks that only a few of the employees are qualified to do, but since it's on a weekend they would get overtime. i said if it were me, i'd jump at the chance to earn overtime - i'm salaried, so i don't have that option. dan, whose wife, "stella," is one of the employees who are qualified to do the overtime job, said he and his wife never went for overtime. i asked why, since i know neither of them earn very much, and dan said, "well, stella did the math after she got her paycheck the last time she worked overtime, and the government took so much from it in taxes that she ended up getting only half of what she was supposed to. so we decided never to work overtime again unless we had to." i tried to explain that that isn't how taxes work - but dan just made a joke about it going over his head and then changed the subject.

imagine leaving time and a half pay on the table because it was taxed! i don't get it.

This is unbelievably common. I think more people believe this than not. I wish there was some simple way to explain how it works.

They are valuing their time more than the $. You say they don't get paid very much, but at a certain point the government does start taking more than you imagine in taxes. 

Here's my scenario. I max my and DH's 401(k), H.S.A. We are in the dreaded AMT bump zone, and far enough away from the end of the zone that me working more wouldn't push us over.
https://www.kitces.com/blog/evaluating-exposure-to-the-alternative-minimum-tax-and-strategies-to-reduce-the-amt-bite/ This is a link that goes into the issue. It's from 2014, but you'll get the idea.

I'm not complaining that I don't make enough money - I just won't work extra because it's not worth it "to me". Here's my taxes - for every $ extra we make, the Federal government takes 35%. The state takes 3.5%. SS takes 6.2% and Medicare takes 1.45%. We are also subject to a .9% medicare recapture tax. That means 47% of any additional earnings goes straight to the government.

I'd rather have the time.  I have enough $ at this point to retire on schedule. 

Now if that same coworker was talking about how in debt they were and how they could never retire, I might have a different response.

ETA - If it was California, with 9.3% tax rates, then the woman would be correct about 1/2 going to taxes of some sort.

Good of you to give them the benefit of the doubt but it doesn't sound like they're in the 35% tax bracket.

Regardless, I think the point is that they're paying the same tax on the overtime as they are on any other additional income. It could be both though; they don't understand how taxes work and they also don't want more money badly enough to work more hours. Maybe the tax thing was just an excuse made to OP rather than saying "we don't want the money enough to work more"

Regardless, they're turning down 1.5x pay while working for 1x pay.

There are some employers that have tiered fees for things like health insurance, where you pay more if your earnings exceed a specific threshold. That (not tax) could reduce someone's take-home pay in an unpleasant way if the person is just below the cutoff line.

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20064 on: April 20, 2018, 09:28:07 AM »
today i was talking with a coworker - let's call him dan. we have a project coming up in a few weeks that only a few of the employees are qualified to do, but since it's on a weekend they would get overtime. i said if it were me, i'd jump at the chance to earn overtime - i'm salaried, so i don't have that option. dan, whose wife, "stella," is one of the employees who are qualified to do the overtime job, said he and his wife never went for overtime. i asked why, since i know neither of them earn very much, and dan said, "well, stella did the math after she got her paycheck the last time she worked overtime, and the government took so much from it in taxes that she ended up getting only half of what she was supposed to. so we decided never to work overtime again unless we had to." i tried to explain that that isn't how taxes work - but dan just made a joke about it going over his head and then changed the subject.

imagine leaving time and a half pay on the table because it was taxed! i don't get it.

This is unbelievably common. I think more people believe this than not. I wish there was some simple way to explain how it works.

They are valuing their time more than the $. You say they don't get paid very much, but at a certain point the government does start taking more than you imagine in taxes. 

Here's my scenario. I max my and DH's 401(k), H.S.A. We are in the dreaded AMT bump zone, and far enough away from the end of the zone that me working more wouldn't push us over.
https://www.kitces.com/blog/evaluating-exposure-to-the-alternative-minimum-tax-and-strategies-to-reduce-the-amt-bite/ This is a link that goes into the issue. It's from 2014, but you'll get the idea.

I'm not complaining that I don't make enough money - I just won't work extra because it's not worth it "to me". Here's my taxes - for every $ extra we make, the Federal government takes 35%. The state takes 3.5%. SS takes 6.2% and Medicare takes 1.45%. We are also subject to a .9% medicare recapture tax. That means 47% of any additional earnings goes straight to the government.

I'd rather have the time.  I have enough $ at this point to retire on schedule. 

Now if that same coworker was talking about how in debt they were and how they could never retire, I might have a different response.

ETA - If it was California, with 9.3% tax rates, then the woman would be correct about 1/2 going to taxes of some sort.

Good of you to give them the benefit of the doubt but it doesn't sound like they're in the 35% tax bracket.

Regardless, I think the point is that they're paying the same tax on the overtime as they are on any other additional income. It could be both though; they don't understand how taxes work and they also don't want more money badly enough to work more hours. Maybe the tax thing was just an excuse made to OP rather than saying "we don't want the money enough to work more"

Regardless, they're turning down 1.5x pay while working for 1x pay.

There are some employers that have tiered fees for things like health insurance, where you pay more if your earnings exceed a specific threshold. That (not tax) could reduce someone's take-home pay in an unpleasant way if the person is just below the cutoff line.

If they are really not making much they could also hit the limit for EIC, or free school lunches, or something like that.  However, I agree that for the vast (overwhelming) majority of people earning +$1 does not result in >$1 more tax or increased spending.  If congress suddenly switched marginal rates to net rates and dropped the percentages, I think that most people would be celebrating the lower "tax rate" and would have no idea what it meant. i.e. "Hooray, I was paying 25% and they dropped it down to 20%, that saves me 5%!!"

By the River

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20065 on: April 20, 2018, 10:14:00 AM »
Had a meeting with a manager in another department this week.  We both knew that he did not make the finalist for the open director position in his group.  During the meeting, he decided to vent and said that not being promoted was going to cost him x million (salary and pension) over time.  (I'm not in any way associated with the promotion decisions) 

After the meeting, I went back to my retirement spreadsheet and put in his age, salary and previous director’s salary.  I could get to the x million figure if he worked until he was 67…not worth it to me. 

a286

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20066 on: April 20, 2018, 11:16:53 AM »
All the tax talk reminded me of this... husbands coworkers do not give great financial advice. Things like needing to carry a credit card balance, etc. We've been saving for a down payment for a house, though we're not sure we'll be buying because we've talked about moving states, and where we are now the housing market is pretty nutty. His one coworker keeps telling him we need to increase our budget because we can afford more house due to the tax breaks from having a mortgage...

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20067 on: April 20, 2018, 12:30:28 PM »
One of my coworkers is very young and is slowly learning about financial stuff as it comes up. Her attitude is really good overall. There was a discussion yesterday about credit scores. I overheard a bit of the conversation she had with another guy. He was about 90% right, but I just couldn't bear to let her be mislead. So I casually inserted myself in and casually provided the right info.

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20068 on: April 20, 2018, 06:38:07 PM »
I'm a CPA so have a firm grasp on the US taxation system but it often surprises me how little some people understand it, even basic concepts. But I think I'm also taking for granted how hard to understand it can be, for people not in accounting or tax who don't have to think about it much.

I was having a conversation with my MIL several weeks ago, and discussing the prospect of her working/earning more. She's a nurse who has moved into teaching and had opportunities to teach more. She was worried it would push her into the next tax bracket and increase the amount she paid. I had to explain how the marginal tax brackets work. If you go into the next tax bracket your entire income isn't taxed at that amount, just the amount that crossed into the new tax bracket. So...don't worry about making more money...

Years ago, I had a coworker tell me she didn't want to invest in the stock market outside of retirement accounts due to increased taxes.  In my head, I said "By that logic, you should turn down all future raises."

Several years ago, DH & I worked with a lawyer to draw up a will & trust.  We were talking about the (US) estate tax kicking in at $5 million.  [We're not close to this mark - just making conversation.]  The lawyer said that if your estate was even $1 over $5 million, the *entire* estate would be taxed at whatever the estate tax rate was.  I said I thought the tax would only apply to the amount *over* $5 million but she was adamant.  I was thinking "Our taxes *never* work like that."  Also thinking "You're an estate lawyer and you don't know this?"

Zaga

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20069 on: April 20, 2018, 07:12:29 PM »
I'm a CPA so have a firm grasp on the US taxation system but it often surprises me how little some people understand it, even basic concepts. But I think I'm also taking for granted how hard to understand it can be, for people not in accounting or tax who don't have to think about it much.

I was having a conversation with my MIL several weeks ago, and discussing the prospect of her working/earning more. She's a nurse who has moved into teaching and had opportunities to teach more. She was worried it would push her into the next tax bracket and increase the amount she paid. I had to explain how the marginal tax brackets work. If you go into the next tax bracket your entire income isn't taxed at that amount, just the amount that crossed into the new tax bracket. So...don't worry about making more money...

Years ago, I had a coworker tell me she didn't want to invest in the stock market outside of retirement accounts due to increased taxes.  In my head, I said "By that logic, you should turn down all future raises."

Several years ago, DH & I worked with a lawyer to draw up a will & trust.  We were talking about the (US) estate tax kicking in at $5 million.  [We're not close to this mark - just making conversation.]  The lawyer said that if your estate was even $1 over $5 million, the *entire* estate would be taxed at whatever the estate tax rate was.  I said I thought the tax would only apply to the amount *over* $5 million but she was adamant.  I was thinking "Our taxes *never* work like that."  Also thinking "You're an estate lawyer and you don't know this?"
That's scary that an estate lawyer doesn't know that.

tungsten

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20070 on: April 20, 2018, 07:50:44 PM »
I had this manager, we’ll call him Marco, who had done reasonably well for himself as a mechanical engineer.  He grew up working class in Italy, moved to the US and worked for a solar company that did well.  But at some point he married the daughter of a MegaTech VP and thus married into a lot of money and adopted an inflated lifestyle.  So here we are, working together at a struggling clean energy startup- neither of us is making very much.

One day he asks me if I’d like to join him for lunch, I reluctantly say yes, because have a feeling he’s going to want to pick the fanciest place in town instead of the cheap deli next door. On the way to the restaurant in his new car he mentions something about how living in the Bay Area is so expensive and how he can barely afford his daughters daycare.

“So, how much is daycare anyway?”
Marco: $2000 a month, it’s crazy!
“Yeah that’s nuts!”
M: I know, I’m just trying to make it work with other expenses like vacations and playing polo.
“Oh, you play polo? So you have a horse? (in the fanciest part of San Fran??)”
M: Well, in order to play polo you need at least 5 or 6 horses.
“What? Really??”
M: Yeah because there’s like 5 rounds and your horse gets tired after each one, so you need to switch it out for a new one after each round.
“Wow, well boarding all those horses certainly can’t be cheap!”
M: Tell me about it! But I’m pretty frugal (sensing my astonishment), my horses aren’t ultra fancy like everyone else’s at the club, mine are only like $30,000 each, but yeah I just have someone else take care of them. Anyway, I’m just hoping we can afford to go on vacation this year like we always do.
“I suppose you don’t have to go far, there are a lot of cheap places to travel in the US that are pretty cool.”
M: (condescendingly rolling his eyes) When we go on vacation it’s AT LEAST $25,000.  I like to take the whole family sailing in Europe.

Sometimes you just have to facepalm and move on.


dragoncar

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20071 on: April 20, 2018, 09:36:51 PM »
So his FIL pays for everything and his salary covers his horse upkeep?

couponvan

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20072 on: April 20, 2018, 09:47:23 PM »
So his FIL pays for everything and his salary covers his horse upkeep?

Reminds me of when DH was a new lawyer making an amazing $80k as a first year attorney in the 90’s. Coworker’s parents made her use her salary as the budget for her clothes. She was distraught.

Promptly married $ and quit lawyering to design handbags. We garnered a wedding invite....Best. Wedding. Ever. I probably could have retired on what they spent for the wedding.

Hirondelle

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20073 on: April 21, 2018, 02:20:31 AM »
One of my co-workers finished her PhD contract but is still rounding up, so now she's getting unemployment benefits (70% of salary for max 6 months or so). She seems in no rush to find another job and just went on a 4 week trip to Japan to celebrate the end of the PhD (this was booked before she realized she wouldn't finish in time). Seems like she can cover her bills using the 70% and has savings for the trips. Good for her.

However, I chatted about it with another co-worker who really couldn't understand how she was taking vacations and not really planning on getting a job before the summer. He's a bit further in his career already and has been through the short term unemployment thing himself.
He: "Taking a 4 week trip to Japan doesn't really look like she's on unemployment money and needs to find a new job asap"
Me: "Well, she told me once she wasn't really planning to work again before September as she wanted some decompression time and had a couple more short trips planned. It's just frustrating for her the thesis isn't finished yet."
He: "But 70% really isn't much to live off and add all the trips to that. Japan's expensive!"
Me: "I figured she must have savings and budgetted for it that she could manage. It's not that hard to save up a few 1000s over the 4 years of your PhD, even if she only saved a little monthly. She doesn't have a family to support so all the income just goes to her"
He: "That seems unlikely to me. She rents a house from a friend so maybe her rent is really low, or her parents must be helping her!" (she's 28..)

I'm not sure how well she manages her money and who of us was on the right end, but I was kinda surprised that I couldn't get him to believe that it would be an option that she was able to live off the 70% (or even less?) and used savings for the trips.
He also looks shocked at me every time I tell him I'm not planning to run straight into a PostDoc or industry job once I finish.

Update on this co-worker (the one on unemployment money). I guess we have to move her to the anti-antimustachian wall. We talked about her looking for jobs and moving cities next month. She said "I'm so looking forward to move to [beach city] in early summer and still be unemployed! I know I'll have to find a job, but for now I still have enough money so I don't feel the pressure so much yet."

Hope she won't let herself run out of all her savings, but big win for her that's she's gotten herself into this position and can chill/decompress from the PhD without rushing for another job. No parental help for sure.

Linda_Norway

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20074 on: April 23, 2018, 06:29:34 AM »
One of my co-workers finished her PhD contract but is still rounding up, so now she's getting unemployment benefits (70% of salary for max 6 months or so). She seems in no rush to find another job and just went on a 4 week trip to Japan to celebrate the end of the PhD (this was booked before she realized she wouldn't finish in time). Seems like she can cover her bills using the 70% and has savings for the trips. Good for her.

However, I chatted about it with another co-worker who really couldn't understand how she was taking vacations and not really planning on getting a job before the summer. He's a bit further in his career already and has been through the short term unemployment thing himself.
He: "Taking a 4 week trip to Japan doesn't really look like she's on unemployment money and needs to find a new job asap"
Me: "Well, she told me once she wasn't really planning to work again before September as she wanted some decompression time and had a couple more short trips planned. It's just frustrating for her the thesis isn't finished yet."
He: "But 70% really isn't much to live off and add all the trips to that. Japan's expensive!"
Me: "I figured she must have savings and budgetted for it that she could manage. It's not that hard to save up a few 1000s over the 4 years of your PhD, even if she only saved a little monthly. She doesn't have a family to support so all the income just goes to her"
He: "That seems unlikely to me. She rents a house from a friend so maybe her rent is really low, or her parents must be helping her!" (she's 28..)

I'm not sure how well she manages her money and who of us was on the right end, but I was kinda surprised that I couldn't get him to believe that it would be an option that she was able to live off the 70% (or even less?) and used savings for the trips.
He also looks shocked at me every time I tell him I'm not planning to run straight into a PostDoc or industry job once I finish.

Update on this co-worker (the one on unemployment money). I guess we have to move her to the anti-antimustachian wall. We talked about her looking for jobs and moving cities next month. She said "I'm so looking forward to move to [beach city] in early summer and still be unemployed! I know I'll have to find a job, but for now I still have enough money so I don't feel the pressure so much yet."

Hope she won't let herself run out of all her savings, but big win for her that's she's gotten herself into this position and can chill/decompress from the PhD without rushing for another job. No parental help for sure.

Let's hope for her sake that finding a job is easy by the time she goes searching. And that she has a health insurance while being unemployed.
But I can't really blame a person for taking a sabbatical when she can afford it.

dmac680chi

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Overheard at Work
« Reply #20075 on: April 24, 2018, 04:06:13 PM »
I’ve got a small gem from work today. I’m a substitute teacher so typically I bop around to various schools each day to get a taste of different school environments. I was in the teachers lounge talking to a SECA which is a assistant of sorts for students. Paid equal or maybe slightly more then a sub but not a full time classroom teacher. This person is from California and so we got to talking as my family visits once a year out there.

It was myself, older teacher, and young assistant teacher. I’m 24 myself and the assistant teacher was 24 or 25 and presumably lives with her boyfriend. I asked what her plans were after the school year. She said she’s in grad school and she’ll finish in June. She’s thinking of moving to Denver. I said “I’ve heard Denver is great but keep in mind that its a hot place to live and rent has skyrocketed. I know of people who even have to live a significant ways away to afford living their. She then says “my best friend and her boyfriend moved there for the lifestyle to ski and the mountains and hiking. She’s in $15k credit card debt but says that they need ski lift season passes because “that’s the lifestyle that we came here for” and that it’s worth it”. Aside from in my head thinking “how damn stupid” I just wonder how long that relationship could potentially last given all that credit card debt.


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« Last Edit: April 24, 2018, 09:40:05 PM by dmac680chi »

SunnyDays

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20076 on: April 24, 2018, 09:37:11 PM »
^^^^^^^
Um, it's THERE, not THEIR.  Teacher, huh?

dmac680chi

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20077 on: April 24, 2018, 09:39:15 PM »
^^^^^^^
Um, it's THERE, not THEIR.  Teacher, huh?

Fair enough, also not a English teacher and was trying to type quick. I’ll fix it thanks!


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DutchGirl

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20078 on: April 25, 2018, 02:29:49 AM »
today i was talking with a coworker - let's call him dan. we have a project coming up in a few weeks that only a few of the employees are qualified to do, but since it's on a weekend they would get overtime. i said if it were me, i'd jump at the chance to earn overtime - i'm salaried, so i don't have that option. dan, whose wife, "stella," is one of the employees who are qualified to do the overtime job, said he and his wife never went for overtime. i asked why, since i know neither of them earn very much, and dan said, "well, stella did the math after she got her paycheck the last time she worked overtime, and the government took so much from it in taxes that she ended up getting only half of what she was supposed to. so we decided never to work overtime again unless we had to." i tried to explain that that isn't how taxes work - but dan just made a joke about it going over his head and then changed the subject.

imagine leaving time and a half pay on the table because it was taxed! i don't get it.

This is unbelievably common. I think more people believe this than not. I wish there was some simple way to explain how it works.

Yup. Here in the Netherlands, bonuses have taxes withheld at 55%. (People are normally in the 42% and in the 52% tax bracket, so 55% is pretty high - I guess to make really sure that the Dutch IRS doesn't miss out on any euro). But of course, when tax time comes around, you get to actually pay taxes based on your total compensation, and so then the 55% tax rate on the bonus is often reduced to 42% or 52%, whatever your real tax obligation is.

And of course, just this weekend I had to explain that to a 40+ year old IT-guy with a university diploma in mathematics as well, who had recently received such a bonus and was mad about "the 55% taxes" ...
« Last Edit: April 25, 2018, 02:36:58 AM by DutchGirl »

DutchGirl

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20079 on: April 25, 2018, 02:39:23 AM »
There are involuntary hour reductions happening again at work. Each time this has happened, one or more of the employees at my job have voluntarily reduced their hours so everyone could keep their job.  (...)
    I'm probably FI at this point.  Paid off house.  No debt.  But I'm going to eliminate my expensive hobby to save up a bigger cash cushion.   I should have done this a long time ago.  Sigh (sob)

Maybe it is time to say goodbye to this particular job, Lyngi? It sounds like your workplace is struggling anyway, so that can't be a very nice environment, plus it isn't a really secure job. I don't know your job or situation, but perhaps you could make it work by reducing expenses, getting a parttime job for a few years, getting a different job for a few years, or doing some consulting?

Zoot

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20080 on: April 25, 2018, 05:34:40 AM »
BINGO! That's exactly what I'm talking about. People think if they make more money, they'll actually bring home less. And there are so many people who think this!

Yes, yes, yes--I had the opportunity to explain this to a highly-educated, high-earning acquaintance recently, who I'd have assumed to understand marginal tax rates; his mind was blown. 

I was also able to share info on how the mortgage recast process works with this same person--I could see his eyes widening as he realized he was going to be able to save thousands of dollars as a result.  :)

avalanchecity

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20081 on: April 25, 2018, 08:07:11 AM »
a co-worker of mine is trying to save to bring her boyfriend to the US from a country in southeast asia.* she's gotten a second job (minimum wage, part time) to help save, but she's only been getting about ten hours a week - a ~6 hour shift on saturday and a few hours scattered across the evenings. she wanted to be working a lot more, and is disappointed in how little she's earning from that job. despite this, she's also decided that since she's working so much, she can't be bothered with grocery shopping or cooking anymore. as a result, she brings in a breakfast from mcdonald's every morning, has burger king for lunch every day, and goes through the drive through for dinner.

we used to go to the gym together in the morning, but she's "too tired now from all the extra working," so not only is she a) gaining an unhealthy amount of weight - she's breathing really heavily after walking the flight of stairs up to our office, b) eating food that is absolutely terrible for her and her diabetes, but c) she is spending more on fast food than she's actually earning at her second job, which she got solely to save more money.

i've tried talking to her gently about it - she comes to me for advice sometimes so i've laid out her earnings and spending every week for her to see, but she still hasn't changed anything. it's infuriating to watch a co-worker who is trying so hard self-sabotage like this. 

*not even going to start on this, because i have a lot of feelings about it - none of which are really any of my business to have

GilbertB

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20082 on: April 25, 2018, 09:07:34 AM »
On the offshore vessel I work on, during coffee break, we were discussing someone from shore we know who took a large loan out to buy a silly car.

There was about 10 of us (Electricians and Engineers, apprentice to chief) and we all agreed that loans are only to buy a house, nothing else... None of us owe much if any money, and if we are somewhat spendy, we spend only "excess" cash, and that is usually into hobbies with, at worst, a near to positive cash-flow.
It was kind of weird to have total agreement over something... Normally we cant even agree on the best way to plug in the coffee machine...

Gave me a little faith in humanity that there are bubbles of sanity lost in the ocean of stupid.

barbaz

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20083 on: April 25, 2018, 09:37:42 AM »
On the offshore vessel I work on
...
Gave me a little faith in humanity that there are bubbles of sanity lost in the ocean of stupid.
Not much faith though when these bubbles are literally lost in the ocean.

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20084 on: April 25, 2018, 10:12:56 AM »
Tax story...

My husband got a bonus from his company. It was just every employee got $500.  He never got it.  He called HR to find out why, and it turns out they treated it like a regular paycheck.  Well, he has his paychecks set to have an extra withholding, and he also pulls a high dollar amount (not percentage) from the paychecks for retirement savings.  Between those two- every dollar of the bonus was pulled.

OK then... we of course got the taxes back at the end of the year, and then he had to readjust his 401k withholdings to not go over the max.

Cali

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20085 on: April 25, 2018, 09:03:44 PM »
On the offshore vessel I work on, during coffee break, we were discussing someone from shore we know who took a large loan out to buy a silly car.

There was about 10 of us (Electricians and Engineers, apprentice to chief) and we all agreed that loans are only to buy a house, nothing else... None of us owe much if any money, and if we are somewhat spendy, we spend only "excess" cash, and that is usually into hobbies with, at worst, a near to positive cash-flow.
It was kind of weird to have total agreement over something... Normally we cant even agree on the best way to plug in the coffee machine...

Gave me a little faith in humanity that there are bubbles of sanity lost in the ocean of stupid.

I envy you. I work at a place where company leadership is discussing going public. I’m super excited about the potential for company stock and the process of getting listed on a stock exchange. Nobody around me could even be bothered to open the email even after I told them what it contained. But they’ll happily spend hours discussing restaurant options and online shopping.

BuffaloStache

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20086 on: April 25, 2018, 09:09:22 PM »
Today I heard a coworker talking about buying a cake for their partner's birthday. She said something like "The store didn't have any small ice cream cakes, and I know he likes ice cream cakes, so I just spent $46 on a medium sized ice cream cake. He's going to love it!"

Now I'm legitimately curious what a large ice cream cake costs...

AnnaGrowsAMustache

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20087 on: April 26, 2018, 03:16:47 AM »
Today I heard a coworker talking about buying a cake for their partner's birthday. She said something like "The store didn't have any small ice cream cakes, and I know he likes ice cream cakes, so I just spent $46 on a medium sized ice cream cake. He's going to love it!"

Now I'm legitimately curious what a large ice cream cake costs...

If you dump out a tub of icecream, that's an icecream cake.....
I've made fancy layered and flavoured ones with real fruit and softened vanilla icecream. Cost diddly squat.

Linda_Norway

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20088 on: April 26, 2018, 04:37:44 AM »
Turns out that another one of my young colleagues is quite frugal. He told us at lunsj that a taco box from El Cheapo brand (containing a sachet of taco spices, taco shells and tomato sauce) is cheaper than a single sachet of taco spices. He also hates eating crunchy taco shells in the way that they are designed, but he just crumbles them and puts the crumbles on top of the taco filling. Might be a good idea.
Although I need to check what is in the taco spices. Some cheap brands contain mostly salt, instead of other spices. I need to compare with the more pricey ones.

dragoncar

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20089 on: April 26, 2018, 05:11:23 AM »
Turns out that another one of my young colleagues is quite frugal. He told us at lunsj that a taco box from El Cheapo brand (containing a sachet of taco spices, taco shells and tomato sauce) is cheaper than a single sachet of taco spices. He also hates eating crunchy taco shells in the way that they are designed, but he just crumbles them and puts the crumbles on top of the taco filling. Might be a good idea.
Although I need to check what is in the taco spices. Some cheap brands contain mostly salt, instead of other spices. I need to compare with the more pricey ones.

I’m going to go out on a limb and say getting the individual ingredients would be more frugal, especially if he doesn’t even really like the shells and could use tortilla chips or nothing at allnothing at allnothing at all

frugalnacho

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20090 on: April 26, 2018, 08:44:38 AM »

dragoncar

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20091 on: April 26, 2018, 09:40:01 AM »
Stupid sexy flanders

Imma

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20092 on: April 26, 2018, 10:29:51 AM »
Turns out that another one of my young colleagues is quite frugal. He told us at lunsj that a taco box from El Cheapo brand (containing a sachet of taco spices, taco shells and tomato sauce) is cheaper than a single sachet of taco spices. He also hates eating crunchy taco shells in the way that they are designed, but he just crumbles them and puts the crumbles on top of the taco filling. Might be a good idea.
Although I need to check what is in the taco spices. Some cheap brands contain mostly salt, instead of other spices. I need to compare with the more pricey ones.

I’m going to go out on a limb and say getting the individual ingredients would be more frugal, especially if he doesn’t even really like the shells and could use tortilla chips or nothing at allnothing at allnothing at all

Those spice mixes usually contain more salt than any other ingredient. In NL those mixes are about €1 per sachet (for one pound of meat) . I make my own mixes without salt, from ingredient from the local Turkish store. Large containers of spices are €2 each and they last at least a year, they're 150 gram which is 3 times the normal size.

I have been told spices are expensive in Norway though, I've heard of someone who has them mailed from NL because it's cheaper.

Debts_of_Despair

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20093 on: April 26, 2018, 07:33:40 PM »
Overheard coworkers phone call to order a 30 yd dumpster to clean out home over the weekend.  Holy crap.

BuffaloStache

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20094 on: April 26, 2018, 10:54:28 PM »
Turns out that another one of my young colleagues is quite frugal. He told us at lunsj that a taco box from El Cheapo brand (containing a sachet of taco spices, taco shells and tomato sauce) is cheaper than a single sachet of taco spices. He also hates eating crunchy taco shells in the way that they are designed, but he just crumbles them and puts the crumbles on top of the taco filling. Might be a good idea.
Although I need to check what is in the taco spices. Some cheap brands contain mostly salt, instead of other spices. I need to compare with the more pricey ones.

I’m going to go out on a limb and say getting the individual ingredients would be more frugal, especially if he doesn’t even really like the shells and could use tortilla chips or nothing at allnothing at allnothing at all

Those spice mixes usually contain more salt than any other ingredient. In NL those mixes are about €1 per sachet (for one pound of meat) . I make my own mixes without salt, from ingredient from the local Turkish store. Large containers of spices are €2 each and they last at least a year, they're 150 gram which is 3 times the normal size.

I have been told spices are expensive in Norway though, I've heard of someone who has them mailed from NL because it's cheaper.

This. Literally just get Cumin, Garlic Powder, Chili Powder and you can season as desired. You can even add Cayenne pepper or other seasonings if you want to get fancy.

Imma

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20095 on: April 27, 2018, 04:31:15 AM »
Turns out that another one of my young colleagues is quite frugal. He told us at lunsj that a taco box from El Cheapo brand (containing a sachet of taco spices, taco shells and tomato sauce) is cheaper than a single sachet of taco spices. He also hates eating crunchy taco shells in the way that they are designed, but he just crumbles them and puts the crumbles on top of the taco filling. Might be a good idea.
Although I need to check what is in the taco spices. Some cheap brands contain mostly salt, instead of other spices. I need to compare with the more pricey ones.

I’m going to go out on a limb and say getting the individual ingredients would be more frugal, especially if he doesn’t even really like the shells and could use tortilla chips or nothing at allnothing at allnothing at all

Those spice mixes usually contain more salt than any other ingredient. In NL those mixes are about €1 per sachet (for one pound of meat) . I make my own mixes without salt, from ingredient from the local Turkish store. Large containers of spices are €2 each and they last at least a year, they're 150 gram which is 3 times the normal size.

I have been told spices are expensive in Norway though, I've heard of someone who has them mailed from NL because it's cheaper.

This. Literally just get Cumin, Garlic Powder, Chili Powder and you can season as desired. You can even add Cayenne pepper or other seasonings if you want to get fancy.

My super fancy seasoning includes onion powder, cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes and a little bit of oregano as well. I make a full container of this seasoning mix a few times a year, it's really versatile.

merula

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20096 on: April 27, 2018, 07:27:17 AM »
Coworker has been sharing the saga of her son, who is currently living in the highest COL part of the country. He's high income, has a bunch of savings in cash and wants to buy a house but it doesn't make sense with the prices there.

So he's looking at investment properties in my MCOL city, where his parents live. At first he was looking at multi-family properties, like a $350k duplex with 3 beds per unit in a desirable neighborhood close to downtown. Great, good for you.

But apparently those deals were falling through, so now he's looking at $400k+ single-family homes, in cities where the median SFH price is ~$250k. He has no concept of the RE pricing trends here, only that the prices are lower than the HCOL area he's in. He's assuming that he can get these properties for 10% under list price (laughable in this market), and the profitability only works out if he does something tax-wise with tenants paying utilities. (Or him paying utilities on behalf of the tenants? Coworker wasn't clear.)

I feel like this was exactly the situation REITs were created for.

gaja

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20097 on: April 27, 2018, 10:51:19 AM »
Turns out that another one of my young colleagues is quite frugal. He told us at lunsj that a taco box from El Cheapo brand (containing a sachet of taco spices, taco shells and tomato sauce) is cheaper than a single sachet of taco spices. He also hates eating crunchy taco shells in the way that they are designed, but he just crumbles them and puts the crumbles on top of the taco filling. Might be a good idea.
Although I need to check what is in the taco spices. Some cheap brands contain mostly salt, instead of other spices. I need to compare with the more pricey ones.

I’m going to go out on a limb and say getting the individual ingredients would be more frugal, especially if he doesn’t even really like the shells and could use tortilla chips or nothing at allnothing at allnothing at all

No, weirdly enough, the cheapest kits cost less than the individual ingredients. And they are often easy to find at 40% off close to the sell by date.
Value for money is different. There is a reason they are cheap; loads of saturated fats and salt.

4alpacas

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20098 on: April 27, 2018, 01:37:38 PM »
Turns out that another one of my young colleagues is quite frugal. He told us at lunsj that a taco box from El Cheapo brand (containing a sachet of taco spices, taco shells and tomato sauce) is cheaper than a single sachet of taco spices. He also hates eating crunchy taco shells in the way that they are designed, but he just crumbles them and puts the crumbles on top of the taco filling. Might be a good idea.
Although I need to check what is in the taco spices. Some cheap brands contain mostly salt, instead of other spices. I need to compare with the more pricey ones.

I’m going to go out on a limb and say getting the individual ingredients would be more frugal, especially if he doesn’t even really like the shells and could use tortilla chips or nothing at allnothing at allnothing at all

No, weirdly enough, the cheapest kits cost less than the individual ingredients. And they are often easy to find at 40% off close to the sell by date.
Value for money is different. There is a reason they are cheap; loads of saturated fats and salt.
If anyone likes the taco seasoning packets, I make my own (recipe) for much less than the packets cost.

Zaga

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20099 on: April 27, 2018, 02:54:18 PM »
That is similar to my homemade taco seasoning recipe.  Here's mine:

1 T chili powder
1 t cayenne pepper
1.5 t cumin
1 T oregano
1.5 t onion powder
0.5 t coriander
1 t crushed red pepper
1 T garlic powder
1 T black pepper

Most important is cumin and chili powder, followed by oregano, garlic, and onion.  I leave out the salt and add that separately for each recipe to taste.  That way I can make a recipe spicier without making it unbearably salty.