Author Topic: Overheard at Work  (Read 4944406 times)

mpbaker22

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #400 on: June 14, 2013, 09:23:36 PM »
And technically, a gs-9 step 1 only makes $41,563/year, unless there's a locality pay bonus.  Take another $9k out of that budget and it gets a little tighter.

Hmm you're right.  I plugged a similar city as my own into the calculator I was using.  I didn't realize that so I suppose I was wrong.  However, living in the boonies somewhere makes that 180K house look even more ridiculous. 
The bigger point is, this is the absolute lowest level, the person would have known they were facing furloughs at this level, and they decided to live paycheck to paycheck anyway.  Even the budget I provided, which was several hundred/month lower than the one lisahi posted, was not bare bones.

mary w

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #401 on: June 15, 2013, 10:58:53 AM »
"And technically, a gs-9 step 1 only makes $41,563/year, unless there's a locality pay bonus."

Not to get overly picky but every GS employee in the continental US get locality pay of some sort.  Current Rest of US (non-high pay areas) is $47,448 for a GS-09 step 1.



mpbaker22

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #402 on: June 15, 2013, 08:46:25 PM »
"And technically, a gs-9 step 1 only makes $41,563/year, unless there's a locality pay bonus."

Not to get overly picky but every GS employee in the continental US get locality pay of some sort.  Current Rest of US (non-high pay areas) is $47,448 for a GS-09 step 1.

Interesting.  I think I chose that option in the calculator I used.

dweebyhawkeyes

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #403 on: June 17, 2013, 11:05:55 AM »
I love this thread! Well, the other day I heard that my coworker's sister financed a car to drive THREE BLOCKS to her work. The reason being occasionally her shift is over when it's dark out and she doesn't want to walk home during the night. Understandable, but why wouldn't she walk when her shift is over during daylight?

lisahi

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #404 on: June 17, 2013, 11:17:14 AM »

I think you probably can imagine how somebody could be living paycheck to paycheck ...
I don't want to take up the whole page quoting your entire post, so the ... should suffice.

While that might be a typical budget, I would still argue it's excessive and anti-mustachian.    The thing is that each line item looks somewhat reasonable, but when you examine the situation as a whole, it's not.
A $180K house seems a bit excessive given that the pay grade is for a non-urban area (that might not have been clear in my post). People just need to question what they are spending more.


Mustachian expenditures -
Car payment - $100/month to buy a used car every 5-10 years
House payment - $850 ($150K house)
Food bill - $650 (includes eating out)
Car Fuel - $50
Electricity/Gas - $80 (I don't pay this anymore, but I think I was usually about $40 in an all electric)
water/sewer - $50
Cable - $0
Internet - $40
Clothes total family - $40


I guess the numbers I give are extreme, but they are essentially my numbers extrapolated to a family.  The broader point is that this individual is living paycheck to paycheck by choice and not by poverty.

I live in a non-urban area and your average no-frills 3 bedroom/2.5 bath, 1700 square foot house will cost you around $170,000. And, funny enough, rent is proportionally higher than that (except you're not building equity in anything). A 2 bedroom, 2 bath apartment will cost around $1100 a month. I don't live in a city people really want to live. It just so happens that this city is owned and controlled by 4 major landowners, although the prices are comperable in other nearby cities as well. The housing market didn't take a hit here.

So it really does make a difference where you live. If I'm thinking about the average 4-person family here, a $150,000 mortgage on a 3 bedroom house is about what you would expect, especially since renting a 2 bedroom will pretty much force you to pay the same amount per month. I happen to live in a neighborhood where most folks are federal employees.

In any event, what I consider to be "anti-mustachian" must be more extreme than you. There's mustachian, there's anti-mustachian, and there's something in-between. Reasonable folks who don't want to give up cable TV or their lawn (because $50 per month water wouldn't keep a lawn alive in most places during the summer), but don't spend money excessively or without thinking. People who put their thermostats at 78 degrees, are still sweating in the summer, and their electricity bill is still over $80 per month (reverse that for the winter and heating).

I can get my food bill down. I cannot, no matter how hard I try, get my electricity under $80 in the summer. I cannot, no matter how hard I try, get my water bill under $80 in the summer (well, unless I let my lawn and plants die). The cheapest internet here is $50 per month (I know because I have it). Sometimes circumstances don't allow you to shave off any more than you already have.

mpbaker22

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #405 on: June 17, 2013, 11:50:36 AM »
I live in a non-urban area and your average no-frills 3 bedroom/2.5 bath, 1700 square foot house will cost you around $170,000. And, funny enough, rent is proportionally higher than that (except you're not building equity in anything). A 2 bedroom, 2 bath apartment will cost around $1100 a month. I don't live in a city people really want to live. It just so happens that this city is owned and controlled by 4 major landowners, although the prices are comperable in other nearby cities as well. The housing market didn't take a hit here.

So it really does make a difference where you live. If I'm thinking about the average 4-person family here, a $150,000 mortgage on a 3 bedroom house is about what you would expect, especially since renting a 2 bedroom will pretty much force you to pay the same amount per month. I happen to live in a neighborhood where most folks are federal employees.

In any event, what I consider to be "anti-mustachian" must be more extreme than you. There's mustachian, there's anti-mustachian, and there's something in-between. Reasonable folks who don't want to give up cable TV or their lawn (because $50 per month water wouldn't keep a lawn alive in most places during the summer), but don't spend money excessively or without thinking. People who put their thermostats at 78 degrees, are still sweating in the summer, and their electricity bill is still over $80 per month (reverse that for the winter and heating).

I can get my food bill down. I cannot, no matter how hard I try, get my electricity under $80 in the summer. I cannot, no matter how hard I try, get my water bill under $80 in the summer (well, unless I let my lawn and plants die). The cheapest internet here is $50 per month (I know because I have it). Sometimes circumstances don't allow you to shave off any more than you already have.

I don't have a lawn, so I can't speak to the cost of maintaining it.  Rather, I'd ask why people have lawns to begin with.  I know it's hardened into society, but when you really think about, lawns are about the most retarded thing we pay to have.
To the rest of the points, I have a hard time sympathizing because my apartment was 90+ degrees over the weekend, so 78 seems quite cool.  The cable TV is totally unnecessary and is the definition of anti-mustachian, particularly when considering all the other options out there.

I think most people could benefit by understanding true poverty and relative comforts coupled with the difference between conditioning one's surroundings vs. one's self.  IE - air conditioning conditions the person more than it conditions the air.

Undecided

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #406 on: June 17, 2013, 12:20:35 PM »
To the rest of the points, I have a hard time sympathizing because my apartment was 90+ degrees over the weekend, so 78 seems quite cool.  The cable TV is totally unnecessary and is the definition of anti-mustachian, particularly when considering all the other options out there.

I think most people could benefit by understanding true poverty and relative comforts coupled with the difference between conditioning one's surroundings vs. one's self.  IE - air conditioning conditions the person more than it conditions the air.

Do you really have to "sympathize" to understand or respect that a person can reasonably choose not to live in "true poverty"?

mpbaker22

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #407 on: June 17, 2013, 12:36:58 PM »
To the rest of the points, I have a hard time sympathizing because my apartment was 90+ degrees over the weekend, so 78 seems quite cool.  The cable TV is totally unnecessary and is the definition of anti-mustachian, particularly when considering all the other options out there.

I think most people could benefit by understanding true poverty and relative comforts coupled with the difference between conditioning one's surroundings vs. one's self.  IE - air conditioning conditions the person more than it conditions the air.

Do you really have to "sympathize" to understand or respect that a person can reasonably choose not to live in "true poverty"?
So, I should feel bad for someone who chose to file bankruptcy rather than run the a/c to 78?

Undecided

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #408 on: June 17, 2013, 01:03:20 PM »
Do you really have to "sympathize" to understand or respect that a person can reasonably choose not to live in "true poverty"?
So, I should feel bad for someone who chose to file bankruptcy rather than run the a/c to 78?

1) How did bankruptcy come into this? Is that just an assumption you've made?

2) I didn't day anything about feeling bad for anyone for anything.

tuyop

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #409 on: June 17, 2013, 01:18:47 PM »
Quote from: lisahi
no-frills 3 bedroom/2.5 bath, 1700 square foot house

That is a whole shitload of house. You better have like four children.

I mean, it has three toilets.

dragoncar

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #410 on: June 17, 2013, 01:28:51 PM »
Quote from: lisahi
no-frills 3 bedroom/2.5 bath, 1700 square foot house

That is a whole shitload of house. You better have like four children.

I mean, it has three toilets.

By my count, that house has at least 6 frills.

sheepstache

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #411 on: June 17, 2013, 01:49:42 PM »
Sometimes circumstances don't allow you to shave off any more than you already have.

I think a key thing in mustachianism is that people have more control over their circumstances than they are wiling to admit.  As others have pointed out, you chose to have that size house (and if there is nothing smaller in your city, you choose to live in that city, and if your job is in that city, well you are choosing not to get a different job.), you chose to have a lawn, etc.  I take your point that most people don't consider these things, but the reaction of most everybody else on here will be: why the hell not?  For generations it was understood that you were not supposed to spend all that you made.  Whatever you could afford on 80% of your income (or even less), that was the standard of living that you could afford.    End of.  You weren't supposed to decide what level of lifestyle you wanted and go for it with no consideration of your actual financial circumstances.  Even a below average standard of living in this country is really good.  It's a shame people take it for granted. 

Now, can we get back to the snarky anecdotes about people I don't know?

renbutler

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #412 on: June 17, 2013, 02:12:22 PM »
I don't have a lawn, so I can't speak to the cost of maintaining it.  Rather, I'd ask why people have lawns to begin with.  I know it's hardened into society, but when you really think about, lawns are about the most retarded thing we pay to have.

"Retarded?" Interesting choice of words.

We live on a fairly large lot (at least in these days of dense suburban housing). I can't say I love mowing the lawn, but it has provided an immense amount of joy in playing with the kids, and even for entertaining my fairly large extended family a few times a year. And I think it's pretty Mustachian that we don't have to drive everybody to the nearest park to enjoy an open, grassy area. (Sure, there are some playgrounds within biking distance, but they don't satisfy all our needs.)

My monthly water bill has never been above $48.12; that was during a drought, and about $20 of that amount is our default minimum water bill that we pay even when we don't have to water a lawn.

This was the first year I ever broke down and paid a lawn service to help with some trouble spots that I simply haven't been able (skill, not time or effort) to handle on my own. Cost: $298.70 for the year. My total lawn maintenance will be less than $350 for the past year, and that's for an unusually expensive year.

So my lawn isn't the most Mustachian part of my finances, but it provides a good return on value. And it certainly isn't "retarded."
« Last Edit: June 17, 2013, 02:14:44 PM by renbutler »

lisahi

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #413 on: June 17, 2013, 03:41:31 PM »
I don't have a lawn, so I can't speak to the cost of maintaining it.  Rather, I'd ask why people have lawns to begin with.  I know it's hardened into society, but when you really think about, lawns are about the most retarded thing we pay to have.
To the rest of the points, I have a hard time sympathizing because my apartment was 90+ degrees over the weekend, so 78 seems quite cool.  The cable TV is totally unnecessary and is the definition of anti-mustachian, particularly when considering all the other options out there.

I think most people could benefit by understanding true poverty and relative comforts coupled with the difference between conditioning one's surroundings vs. one's self.  IE - air conditioning conditions the person more than it conditions the air.

I am in never going to live in 90+ degree temperatures if don't I have to. I will gladly retire a few years later not to live that way. Besides, that temperature is not great for small dogs (at least not if that's a constant temperature, which it would be if I turned the A/C off). And I actually grew up without A/C. If I still lived in Hawaii, I probably wouldn't have it. But I don't.

Quote from: lisahi
no-frills 3 bedroom/2.5 bath, 1700 square foot house

That is a whole shitload of house. You better have like four children.

I mean, it has three toilets.

That house was an example. My house is closer to 1600 square feet, including the garage. Unless I lived in the less safe part of town (with a much longer commute), I can't get anything less than a 3 bedroom house here. The northern part of town (closest to my work, and safest), is fairly new (say, 15 years old or younger). I actually told my realtor to look for 1 or 2 bedroom houses. There were none. These are all standard subdivision houses. Nothing under 3 bedrooms. I used to live in a small apartment but the rent was same as my mortgage is now.
Sometimes circumstances don't allow you to shave off any more than you already have.

I think a key thing in mustachianism is that people have more control over their circumstances than they are wiling to admit.  As others have pointed out, you chose to have that size house (and if there is nothing smaller in your city, you choose to live in that city, and if your job is in that city, well you are choosing not to get a different job.), you chose to have a lawn, etc.  I take your point that most people don't consider these things, but the reaction of most everybody else on here will be: why the hell not?  For generations it was understood that you were not supposed to spend all that you made.  Whatever you could afford on 80% of your income (or even less), that was the standard of living that you could afford.    End of.  You weren't supposed to decide what level of lifestyle you wanted and go for it with no consideration of your actual financial circumstances.  Even a below average standard of living in this country is really good.  It's a shame people take it for granted. 

I don't take what I have for granted. I just know what makes me happy and what doesn't. You're right, I choose to have this job... which I love. Why would I change my amazing job just so I can retire from my amazing job sooner? Isn't the whole point of this to do what you want? My job is only located in few key locations. This location happens to be near family. Hence, I live here. I'm ok the city; I love my job. When I say that certain things are not under my control, I suppose that's not exactly true. They are under my control (like my job), but if I'm not happy if I changed them then what's the point?

I have a lawn because it's awesome and my dogs love it. It's beautiful and I love looking out onto my lawn and watching my plants grow (there's a flower garden). I water it as little as I can to keep it alive. I never said my lawn wasn't under my control. It is (and I actually acknowledged that--it's either $80 water bill or dead lawn in the summer). But since it brings me joy, I don't care if it costs me $80 a month.

My internet bill, though, is not under my control. It's $50 or bust.

Jamesqf

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #414 on: June 17, 2013, 03:47:55 PM »
I don't have a lawn, so I can't speak to the cost of maintaining it.  Rather, I'd ask why people have lawns to begin with.  I know it's hardened into society, but when you really think about, lawns are about the most retarded thing we pay to have.

Can't see why you would think that.  Of course lawns (like anything else) can be carried to excess, but the bits of lawn I have scattered around my acre or so of garden provide places to sit under shade trees, lie in the open watching clouds & stars, a nice open run for the dogs to chase tennis balls (plus wiping their feet after running through muddier spots), reduces air temperature over bare dirt or most artificial surfaces...

lisahi

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #415 on: June 17, 2013, 03:55:05 PM »
I don't have a lawn, so I can't speak to the cost of maintaining it.  Rather, I'd ask why people have lawns to begin with.  I know it's hardened into society, but when you really think about, lawns are about the most retarded thing we pay to have.

Can't see why you would think that.  Of course lawns (like anything else) can be carried to excess, but the bits of lawn I have scattered around my acre or so of garden provide places to sit under shade trees, lie in the open watching clouds & stars, a nice open run for the dogs to chase tennis balls (plus wiping their feet after running through muddier spots), reduces air temperature over bare dirt or most artificial surfaces...

Grass is awesome. We have clay soil here. Stains everything. Without grass or zero-scape (rocks, which I have on part of my lawn), my dogs would track in clay. My lawn is also home to all sorts of little creatures and butterflies (I even saw a tarantula once). I have a couple of smaller citrus trees. When the sun goes down, I run around with my dogs. When my neice stays over, she runs around the yard as well. My backyard isn't huge, but it gets used a lot.

Paul der Krake

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #416 on: June 17, 2013, 05:12:00 PM »
I run around a bunch of neighborhoods for exercise all the time and hardly ever see anybody using their lawns. Sad.

MgoSam

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #417 on: June 17, 2013, 05:32:34 PM »
I read somewhere, and it likely is false, that lawns became popular by the British aristocracy who would show off something akin to "see how rich we are, we have so much land that we can keep it idle."

I hope I am wrong, but yeah.

As far as the part I hope I am right over, I think grass is completely useless. When I get my own place, I would prefer to either use the land for a garden, let it grow out and then occasionally work at it, or get some type of artificial grass. Please let me know if you think my reasoning is invalid. 

renbutler

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #418 on: June 17, 2013, 06:03:56 PM »
That's a perfectly good use for your land. But for those who actually use lawns (even if many have them and DON'T use them), grass is another perfectly valid use for land.

I have no need to show off my lawn. We use as much of it as possible for recreation. So, your reasoning is valid for your case, but calling grass "completely useless" is not valid reasoning.

mpbaker22

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #419 on: June 17, 2013, 06:25:56 PM »
Yes, grass isn't totally useless, but I still hold that lawns are.  I'm too lazy to luck up my exact words, but the personal lawn is entirely useless.  Some people pointed out my error - I would say it was an error of over-generalization of the uselessness of grass.

To the 90 degree comment, it really is a matter of conditioning oneself.  For example, it's in the mid-80s right now in my room, but I'm perfectly comfortable.  In fact, I've conditioned myself to summer weather well enough that I would be uncomfortable if it were 70-75.  The same thing will happen in the winter.  I will find 75 to be far too hot.

renbutler

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #420 on: June 17, 2013, 06:27:21 PM »
So recreation isn't a valid "use" for a lawn?

sol

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #421 on: June 17, 2013, 06:33:53 PM »
If I ran a frugality-based lifestyle blog, and the forum on my blog was full of people posting "everything on this blog is stupid" (I'm paraphrasing the above discussion) then I probably wouldn't hang out much on my own forums, either.

Sometimes I wish our illustrious host would grace us with his presence and insight more often.  Then I read crap like this, and totally understand why he doesn't.

Jamesqf

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #422 on: June 17, 2013, 06:34:58 PM »
I run around a bunch of neighborhoods for exercise all the time and hardly ever see anybody using their lawns. Sad.

Well, beyond the obvious "they're all inside watching TV", you won't see me using my lawn if you run around my neighborhood.  That's because the (much larger) part of the property I use for lawn & garden are in back of the house, intentionally hidden from the road by trees & shrubs, so I can have privacy.

I read somewhere, and it likely is false, that lawns became popular by the British aristocracy who would show off something akin to "see how rich we are, we have so much land that we can keep it idle."

I suspect you are wrong.  It's more likely that your British aristocrat kept the area around his castle free of trees & shrubs so that enemies could not sneak up and storm the castle gates.  For the same reason, long grass (which is what you get naturally in the British climate) was not advisable.  So he set the sheep to graze on it, producing a lawn.

As for your idea of artificial grass, fer gawd's sake why?  Replace something that is, or can be, cheap (a few bucks for grass seed), easy to maintain, and a habitat for all sorts of critters, with expensive artificial turf created from petroleum, which will wear out and go to a landfill in a few years?

You can also get fairly xeric native grasses (buffalo grass &c) instead of water-hungry bluegrass.  The native grasses (and other plants) in my xeric area might get water once a month in summer, and would survive (if not as prettily) with none at all.

sheepstache

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #423 on: June 17, 2013, 09:20:46 PM »
When I say that certain things are not under my control, I suppose that's not exactly true. They are under my control (like my job), but if I'm not happy if I changed them then what's the point?


But I assume you're living within your means.  The point was you were using your own example to excuse people who were complaining about living paycheck to paycheck even before the furlough.  At least I thought that's what you were doing.

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #424 on: June 18, 2013, 08:44:56 AM »
If I ran a frugality-based lifestyle blog, and the forum on my blog was full of people posting "everything on this blog is stupid" (I'm paraphrasing the above discussion) then I probably wouldn't hang out much on my own forums, either.

Sometimes I wish our illustrious host would grace us with his presence and insight more often.  Then I read crap like this, and totally understand why he doesn't.

I hear ya.
I love being outside.

brand new stash

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #425 on: June 20, 2013, 11:23:37 AM »
A coworker just told me that he is upset because his landlord is raising the rent by $25 a month.  I suggested, why don't you move to those apartments (pointing out the window of the conference room), they are more than a $100 a month cheaper than your current rent and you can walk to work.  He tells me that he would love to, but he doesn't have the money to afford to move. 

15 minutes later, he excitedly comes up to my desk...guess what a great deal I just bought.  There is a groupon for a maid service deep clean for 50% off.  It's only $75! 

El Conquistador

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #426 on: June 20, 2013, 11:31:26 AM »
My wife is a pharmacist and works with much lower-paid pharmacy techs. I pack her lunch every day and she's not really a coffee drinker, so she will literally go days without even opening her wallet at work, but every day in walk her techs with $5 Starbuck's drinks in hand talking about what they want to order for a $10 lunch, and complaining about how broke they are.
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brighteye

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #427 on: June 21, 2013, 03:20:57 AM »
I mentioned at work that I am learning about investing, currently I am attending a course (paid for by my employer). My boss (42 years), who inherited an apartment building from her parents (monthly income from rents!), no kids, very good salary, said that she was never able to save enough money to even think about investing it!
Every month when we get our paycheck, her standard reply is: Ah, here is the money we already spent.
WTF?

Of course, she goes to the restaurant every day for lunch, has a daily latte from the coffeeshop, goes to the cinema every two weeks, uses public transit which takes 30 minutes, although she could cycle which would take maybe 10 minutes....

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #428 on: June 21, 2013, 06:47:31 AM »
uses public transit which takes 30 minutes, although she could cycle which would take maybe 10 minutes....

You're complaining about somebody using public transit? lol
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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #429 on: June 21, 2013, 12:22:47 PM »
Alright, I'll straight up own up to being a very nosey person. I try to refrain, but it's hard!

My office has a subsidiary office in another country and sometimes those employees' mail comes here to be forwarded. A high level employee received an envelope today from the "Debt Consolidation" company or something similar (already embarrassing) and I could very clearly read the number $40,000 through the envelope. She/he must make at least $100k/year, not mention that she probably gets housing etc. for living in another country. What the actual fuck?!???

Dr.Vibrissae

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #430 on: June 21, 2013, 12:48:33 PM »
 
Quote
A high level employee received an envelope today from the "Debt Consolidation" company or something similar (already embarrassing) and I could very clearly read the number $40,000 through the envelope.

Are you sure it wasn't unsolicited mail?  I get all kinds of offers for debt consolidation, or payday loans, etc.  Not sure how they get the address, maybe from my student loan/mortgage servicer, but anyways, I'd hate to have people judge me on the stupid shit that ends up in my mailbox (I'm looking at you crazy Christian money ministry...)
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Eric

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #431 on: June 21, 2013, 01:02:22 PM »
A coworker just told me that he is upset because his landlord is raising the rent by $25 a month.  I suggested, why don't you move to those apartments (pointing out the window of the conference room), they are more than a $100 a month cheaper than your current rent and you can walk to work.  He tells me that he would love to, but he doesn't have the money to afford to move. 

15 minutes later, he excitedly comes up to my desk...guess what a great deal I just bought.  There is a groupon for a maid service deep clean for 50% off.  It's only $75!

How much does he think it costs to move?  I always thought it was free.  Unless you have to rent a truck from Home Depot, then it's like $40.  Oh wait, of course you HAVE TO hire a moving company!  After all, I have so much stuff!
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NumberCruncher

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #432 on: June 21, 2013, 01:09:32 PM »
A coworker just told me that he is upset because his landlord is raising the rent by $25 a month.  I suggested, why don't you move to those apartments (pointing out the window of the conference room), they are more than a $100 a month cheaper than your current rent and you can walk to work.  He tells me that he would love to, but he doesn't have the money to afford to move. 

15 minutes later, he excitedly comes up to my desk...guess what a great deal I just bought.  There is a groupon for a maid service deep clean for 50% off.  It's only $75!

How much does he think it costs to move?  I always thought it was free.  Unless you have to rent a truck from Home Depot, then it's like $40.  Oh wait, of course you HAVE TO hire a moving company!  After all, I have so much stuff!

Even then, if it's a relatively short move, maybe you're talking $500? Less than a thousand for sure - Pays for itself in less than a year.

Maybe he didn't have money on hand for security deposit, etc (+movers)?

Jamesqf

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #433 on: June 21, 2013, 01:13:22 PM »
I get all kinds of offers for debt consolidation, or payday loans, etc.  Not sure how they get the address, maybe from my student loan/mortgage servicer, but anyways, I'd hate to have people judge me on the stupid shit that ends up in my mailbox (I'm looking at you crazy Christian money ministry...)

Yeah, that's hard to figure.  The gardening & horse stuff catalogs I can understand, but how did I wind up on the list for the "Next greatest penny stock to make you millions" people?

madmax

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #434 on: June 21, 2013, 01:13:55 PM »
A coworker just told me that he is upset because his landlord is raising the rent by $25 a month.  I suggested, why don't you move to those apartments (pointing out the window of the conference room), they are more than a $100 a month cheaper than your current rent and you can walk to work.  He tells me that he would love to, but he doesn't have the money to afford to move. 

15 minutes later, he excitedly comes up to my desk...guess what a great deal I just bought.  There is a groupon for a maid service deep clean for 50% off.  It's only $75!

How much does he think it costs to move?  I always thought it was free.  Unless you have to rent a truck from Home Depot, then it's like $40.  Oh wait, of course you HAVE TO hire a moving company!  After all, I have so much stuff!

Even then, if it's a relatively short move, maybe you're talking $500? Less than a thousand for sure - Pays for itself in less than a year.

Maybe he didn't have money on hand for security deposit, etc (+movers)?

I unashamedly admit that I hired a moving company for our move because

a) We live on the third floor
b) I was having back issues and didn't want to risk complicate them
c) Our furniture is relatively nice and didn't want to risk scratches

It worked out to $ 300 including the truck but we only used the movers for our beds, sofas and other heavy furniture.

madmax

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #435 on: June 21, 2013, 01:18:35 PM »
This one actually makes me kinda sad but this kid just joined us at work for his first job out of school. He keeps talking about the 35k car that he financed and then tells me he is out of money and can't invest in the stock purchase program at work and is considering taking out a 0% APR credit card to finance his living expenses. He also said that he is a bit of a gadget freak and has both the latest Apple AND Android phones. Wants to already trade in the car for a 75K fancy electric one. Nice kid though :(

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #436 on: June 21, 2013, 02:54:30 PM »
A coworker just told me that he is upset because his landlord is raising the rent by $25 a month.  I suggested, why don't you move to those apartments (pointing out the window of the conference room), they are more than a $100 a month cheaper than your current rent and you can walk to work.  He tells me that he would love to, but he doesn't have the money to afford to move. 

15 minutes later, he excitedly comes up to my desk...guess what a great deal I just bought.  There is a groupon for a maid service deep clean for 50% off.  It's only $75!

How much does he think it costs to move?  I always thought it was free.  Unless you have to rent a truck from Home Depot, then it's like $40.  Oh wait, of course you HAVE TO hire a moving company!  After all, I have so much stuff!

Even then, if it's a relatively short move, maybe you're talking $500? Less than a thousand for sure - Pays for itself in less than a year.

Maybe he didn't have money on hand for security deposit, etc (+movers)?

I unashamedly admit that I hired a moving company for our move because

a) We live on the third floor
b) I was having back issues and didn't want to risk complicate them
c) Our furniture is relatively nice and didn't want to risk scratches

It worked out to $ 300 including the truck but we only used the movers for our beds, sofas and other heavy furniture.

After the third time moving in as many years, we figured out it was cheaper to hire a mover than to go to two or more appointments to undo the back strain/sciatic pain from moving the large items.  $150 for movers - totally worth it (especially in multi-floor moves).

MsSindy

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #437 on: June 21, 2013, 05:53:33 PM »
This one actually makes me kinda sad but this kid just joined us at work for his first job out of school. He keeps talking about the 35k car that he financed and then tells me he is out of money and can't invest in the stock purchase program at work and is considering taking out a 0% APR credit card to finance his living expenses. He also said that he is a bit of a gadget freak and has both the latest Apple AND Android phones. Wants to already trade in the car for a 75K fancy electric one. Nice kid though :(

My husband works with a kid like this.  Fresh out of college and landed a job with his Daddy's best friend (my hubby's boss) in the nuclear industry.  Makes good money, so right away bought a custom-ordered BMW, $10k ring for his fiancÚ, has $60k in student loans, eats out for lunch everyday (overweight), constantly drinks power drinks 'cuz he's up playing video games all night, and his bride-to-be wants a big house, big wedding, and spectacular honeymoon.  And to top it off, the guy is a total slacker and not that bright.  Not sure how long he'll last, but I'm sure because he has connections, he will just get transferred.  At any rate, it serves for good motivation for hubby to want to get to FU money much quicker than he did before!

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #438 on: June 23, 2013, 07:04:53 PM »
A coworker just told me that he is upset because his landlord is raising the rent by $25 a month.  I suggested, why don't you move to those apartments (pointing out the window of the conference room), they are more than a $100 a month cheaper than your current rent and you can walk to work.  He tells me that he would love to, but he doesn't have the money to afford to move. 

15 minutes later, he excitedly comes up to my desk...guess what a great deal I just bought.  There is a groupon for a maid service deep clean for 50% off.  It's only $75!

How much does he think it costs to move?  I always thought it was free.  Unless you have to rent a truck from Home Depot, then it's like $40.  Oh wait, of course you HAVE TO hire a moving company!  After all, I have so much stuff!

Even then, if it's a relatively short move, maybe you're talking $500? Less than a thousand for sure - Pays for itself in less than a year.

Maybe he didn't have money on hand for security deposit, etc (+movers)?

Around here you generally need the first month's rent, last month's rent, security deposit, and realtor's fee, all up front. The deposit and fee are usually each a full month's rent. So if your new rent is $1000, you'll need $4000 up front. Yes, you'll get your last month's rent back from your old apartment, and hopefully a security deposit too, but not before you have to pay for the new place. Obviously this varies a lot by area, but it's another good reason to always have money saved up - everyone should be able to move if they want/need to.
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oldtoyota

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #439 on: June 23, 2013, 08:10:28 PM »
I run around a bunch of neighborhoods for exercise all the time and hardly ever see anybody using their lawns. Sad.

Well, beyond the obvious "they're all inside watching TV", you won't see me using my lawn if you run around my neighborhood.  That's because the (much larger) part of the property I use for lawn & garden are in back of the house, intentionally hidden from the road by trees & shrubs, so I can have privacy.

I read somewhere, and it likely is false, that lawns became popular by the British aristocracy who would show off something akin to "see how rich we are, we have so much land that we can keep it idle."

I suspect you are wrong.  It's more likely that your British aristocrat kept the area around his castle free of trees & shrubs so that enemies could not sneak up and storm the castle gates.  For the same reason, long grass (which is what you get naturally in the British climate) was not advisable.  So he set the sheep to graze on it, producing a lawn.


No, he's right.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lawn#History

ender

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #440 on: June 23, 2013, 09:41:20 PM »
Having read through this thread, I weep for humanity.


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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #441 on: June 23, 2013, 11:39:00 PM »
I read somewhere, and it likely is false, that lawns became popular by the British aristocracy who would show off something akin to "see how rich we are, we have so much land that we can keep it idle."

I suspect you are wrong.  It's more likely that your British aristocrat kept the area around his castle free of trees & shrubs so that enemies could not sneak up and storm the castle gates.  For the same reason, long grass (which is what you get naturally in the British climate) was not advisable.  So he set the sheep to graze on it, producing a lawn.


No, he's right.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lawn#History

Sorry, but no, according to that very Wikipedia article you linked to.

Quote
Lawns may have originated as grassed enclosures within early medieval settlements used for communal grazing of livestock, as distinct from fields reserved for agriculture. The word "laune" is first attested in 1540,[9] and is likely related to the Celtic Brythonic word lan/llan/laun, which has the meaning of enclosure, often in relation to a place of worship. Lawns became popular with the aristocracy in northern Europe from the Middle Ages onward. The early lawns were not always distinguishable from pasture fields. It is speculated the association between the word "pasture" and biblical mentions made lawns a cultural affinity for some. The damp climate of maritime Western Europe in the north made lawns possible to grow and manage.

and

Quote
In most situations, they were also pasture land maintained through grazing by sheep or other livestock. Areas of grass grazed regularly by rabbits, horses or sheep over a long period often form a very low, tight sward similar to a modern lawn. This was the original meaning of the word "lawn", and the term can still be found in place names. Some forest areas where extensive grazing is practiced still have these seminatural lawns. For example, in the New Forest, England, such grazed areas are common, and are known as lawns, for example Balmer Lawn.

Wasn't until later that the wealthy adopted lawns as a deliberate landscape element.

If you have any familarity with grazing animals, you'll also have observed that a well-grazed field or meadow is hardly distinguishable from a lawn (the major clue being the presence of "meadow muffins").  So given the need of the castle owner to clear away brush from within bowshot of the castle, and the desire not to let good grazing go to waste, it's hard to see why a typical castle wouldn't be surrounded by "lawn".

mpbaker22

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #442 on: June 24, 2013, 07:55:18 AM »
Does the history of the lawn really matter?  Perhaps it started as a totally efficient way to raise animals while protecting the castle at the same time (mustachian), but do we agree it has devolved primarily into a form of wasteful spending? 

ace1224

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #443 on: June 24, 2013, 08:33:22 AM »
i just heard a co worker say she has 39 cents until payday (friday) but she could totally go out to lunch bc hey that is what credit cards are for

MgoSam

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #444 on: June 24, 2013, 09:02:52 AM »
Does the history of the lawn really matter?  Perhaps it started as a totally efficient way to raise animals while protecting the castle at the same time (mustachian), but do we agree it has devolved primarily into a form of wasteful spending?

I agree! Honestly, would prefer there to be a way to eliminate lawn while keeping resale value up.

infogoon

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #445 on: June 24, 2013, 09:06:38 AM »
When I was very young, one of my uncles came from the Old Country (tm) for a visit. He was amazed that Americans waste so much space on grass -- said that my grandmother should uproot the lawn and plant potatoes.

Everyone laughed at the time, but I admit that he might have been on to something.

SwordGuy

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #446 on: June 24, 2013, 10:32:01 AM »
Does the history of the lawn really matter?  Perhaps it started as a totally efficient way to raise animals while protecting the castle at the same time (mustachian), but do we agree it has devolved primarily into a form of wasteful spending?

I agree! Honestly, would prefer there to be a way to eliminate lawn while keeping resale value up.

Our yard is covered with trees, flowering bushes, flowers, ivy or walkways.   None require much in the way of gardening maintenance (maybe 2 days effort max per year).  We have an area about 10' x 30' that's covered by grass, but some more wild rose bushes should cut that by 1/3 this year.

People love the natural woodland feel to the yard.  Inside the house you feel like you're in the woods.

renbutler

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #447 on: June 24, 2013, 11:31:14 AM »
I just went home for lunch, then played baseball in our back yard with my son. Lots of room to play without any dangerous or annoying obstacles.

Yesterday I went to a birthday party at my niece's house. With about 20 young kids there, it was awesome having plenty of room in the back yard for numerous different activities.

Just having a lawn could be wasteful. But using it frequently for exercise and family time is an outstanding use of money.

Jamesqf

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #448 on: June 24, 2013, 12:30:47 PM »
Does the history of the lawn really matter?

No, it doesn't matter, but I think it's interesting.  If you don't, feel free to skip over the posts, and not follow the links :-) 

Quote
...but do we agree it has devolved primarily into a form of wasteful spending?

No, we - if you're including me in that we - most assuredly don't agree.  As I and others have said, it provides a useful & pleasant area for play, sitting outside, etc.  Of course it CAN devolve into waste (as anything can), if e.g. someone gets obsessed with having a "perfect" lawn, or if they spend all their time inside.

Also note that it's quite possible to have lawn AND all that other stuff.  I have more potatos this year than I will probably eat, asparagus, lettuce, strawberries, peas, spinach... and if the weather cooperates, will have broccoli, fennel, peppers, cucumbers, and melons.  Also grapes, quince, and a few apples, pears, & cherries.  Alas, no peaches this year (late frost caught them all), but in a few years I should have plums, blackberries, raspberries, mulberries, and hazelnuts...  And that's not even getting into the flowers & shrubs :-)

oldtoyota

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #449 on: June 25, 2013, 07:03:28 AM »
If I ran a frugality-based lifestyle blog, and the forum on my blog was full of people posting "everything on this blog is stupid" (I'm paraphrasing the above discussion) then I probably wouldn't hang out much on my own forums, either.

Sometimes I wish our illustrious host would grace us with his presence and insight more often.  Then I read crap like this, and totally understand why he doesn't.

I hear ya.

I do not get the above. Who is saying the blog on this website is stupid?