Author Topic: Overheard at Work  (Read 8091617 times)

Goldie

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #4000 on: September 02, 2014, 11:09:08 AM »
My mom (who is not a mustachian!) tells the thirty-five year old story with horror in her voice like it was yesterday: she put out cheese, crackers, and grapes for a visiting Relative, and at the end of the hour, Relative helped carry things into the kitchen - and slid the entire tray into the garbage because it had "been out." Mom dove into the garbage and rinsed off the grapes, and every year at Thanksgiving would loudly announce that relative didn't need to help clean up because day-after turkey-stuffing-cranberry sandwiches are the best thing ever and if she threw the leftovers in the trash there would be blood. They laughed about it every year and neither swayed the other - Relative was a good sport about the joke but thought we were crazy for eating food a second time.

Thanksgiving is a fantastic meal the day of, but there is nothing like it the next day. My family is HUGE on Christmas, and the Friday after Thanksgiving is the day we set up Christmas decorations and everything, and lunch/dinner (it's always a meal at around 3) is always leftovers from Thanksgiving. I swear everything tastes better the next day. A friend of mine's mother actually puts everything (turkey, gravy, stuffing, cranberry sauce, etc) into a blender and makes "cold Thanksgiving stew." Not my cup of tea, but my friend loves it. I think it's all about what you grew up with and how excited your family made you about leftovers.

As for non-holiday leftovers, I cook usually once, maybe twice a week for myself. When I get home from work I'm tired and cranky and I usually don't want to cook. So I make a big batch of something on Sunday and eat that through Wednesday. Thurs-Sat I'm usually with my boyfriend and we alternate between cooking or splitting going out. I'm slowly trying to steer him towards cooking more often :)
What did that relative think of grapes from the grocery store? Those sit out all the time too!

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #4001 on: September 02, 2014, 11:36:50 AM »
I live in NoVA, but up until last Friday I worked in DC. I'm starting my new job Wednesday, which will be 13 miles from my house, a fairly reasonable biking distance. I'm eating my last ever lunch at this company, sitting around with coworkers chatting. I mention I'm looking forward to this new job since I'll be able to bike to work, and immediately everyone starts ranting about how much they hate cyclists. Then one woman says "I can't bike to work, I live too far away." I ask where she lives, and she says "Woodbridge." She apparently drives every day from Woodbridge, VA to DC, about 30 miles, then pays for parking in a $14/day lot. Someone asks her "but you live there because your husband works around there, right?" and she says "no, he works at the Navy Yard." The Navy Yard is also in DC, and they both commute separately 30 miles each way every day. She said it takes her an hour on a good day. I asked why doesn't she just move closer, and she said "we can't afford housing any closer, and besides, my husband already had the house, so it's just easier." I badly wanted to deliver a facepunch but lucky for her she was on the other side of the table and I couldn't reach.

I mean I can understand the inertia aspect - it's hard to uplift your family, particularly if they have kids, to move closer to work. when you already own your home. But the financial cost each of them commuting 60 miles round trip is nuts! If we believe the IRS reimbursal rate of .56 cents per mile reflects the average cost per mile of the average car on the road, then they're paying $16800 a year for their commute, and she's paying $3500 a year for parking. That's $20,300 a year!!! After tax!!
**head explodes**

Of course, they could have fuel efficient cars that make these numbers better. But I'm not sure how much of that .56 cents per mile is gasoline costs.

Man, if they could just drive in one car together, they could save $8400 a year.
I have no idea how much housing costs in DC, but say closer to work it costs 800k in one location, but 600k in the other location.  It would still take around 10 years to break even (I am ignoring interest rates, taxes etc and just dividing 200k by 20k).

Without there numbers we really cant say, they could be 100k under water or just blind to the true cost of commuting, or his elderly mother lives next door, no way to say.  Had a friend that almost liked her long commute, it was the only alone time she got - not that this made any sense but that was where her head was.

I live in NoVA, but up until last Friday I worked in DC. I'm starting my new job Wednesday, which will be 13 miles from my house, a fairly reasonable biking distance. I'm eating my last ever lunch at this company, sitting around with coworkers chatting. I mention I'm looking forward to this new job since I'll be able to bike to work, and immediately everyone starts ranting about how much they hate cyclists. Then one woman says "I can't bike to work, I live too far away." I ask where she lives, and she says "Woodbridge." She apparently drives every day from Woodbridge, VA to DC, about 30 miles, then pays for parking in a $14/day lot. Someone asks her "but you live there because your husband works around there, right?" and she says "no, he works at the Navy Yard." The Navy Yard is also in DC, and they both commute separately 30 miles each way every day. She said it takes her an hour on a good day. I asked why doesn't she just move closer, and she said "we can't afford housing any closer, and besides, my husband already had the house, so it's just easier." I badly wanted to deliver a facepunch but lucky for her she was on the other side of the table and I couldn't reach.

I mean I can understand the inertia aspect - it's hard to uplift your family, particularly if they have kids, to move closer to work. when you already own your home. But the financial cost each of them commuting 60 miles round trip is nuts! If we believe the IRS reimbursal rate of .56 cents per mile reflects the average cost per mile of the average car on the road, then they're paying $16800 a year for their commute, and she's paying $3500 a year for parking. That's $20,300 a year!!! After tax!!
**head explodes**

Of course, they could have fuel efficient cars that make these numbers better. But I'm not sure how much of that .56 cents per mile is gasoline costs.

Man, if they could just drive in one car together, they could save $8400 a year.
I have no idea how much housing costs in DC, but say closer to work it costs 800k in one location, but 600k in the other location.  It would still take around 10 years to break even (I am ignoring interest rates, taxes etc and just dividing 200k by 20k).

Notice how I said if they could just drive in one car together, they could save $8400 a year. I don't know what their actual numbers are, but they could save thousands a year if even one of them found an alternative way to get to work. And this wouldn't require moving closer to work.
I find it somewhat (EDIT: forgot the word difficult) to believe (though I understand it's still possible) that an alternative method of getting to work does not exist for both of them. Can they carpool together to work? Can one of them take the train? Can one of them take the bus to the Metro? Or drive to the Metro station? Or carpool with coworkers from work? Or drive say halfway, and then bike the rest?
Though if one of them actually likes the long commute, I wouldn't quite comprehend that but I would probably drop the argument.

rocksinmyhead

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #4002 on: September 02, 2014, 12:14:55 PM »
My mom (who is not a mustachian!) tells the thirty-five year old story with horror in her voice like it was yesterday: she put out cheese, crackers, and grapes for a visiting Relative, and at the end of the hour, Relative helped carry things into the kitchen - and slid the entire tray into the garbage because it had "been out." Mom dove into the garbage and rinsed off the grapes, and every year at Thanksgiving would loudly announce that relative didn't need to help clean up because day-after turkey-stuffing-cranberry sandwiches are the best thing ever and if she threw the leftovers in the trash there would be blood. They laughed about it every year and neither swayed the other - Relative was a good sport about the joke but thought we were crazy for eating food a second time.

Thanksgiving is a fantastic meal the day of, but there is nothing like it the next day. My family is HUGE on Christmas, and the Friday after Thanksgiving is the day we set up Christmas decorations and everything, and lunch/dinner (it's always a meal at around 3) is always leftovers from Thanksgiving. I swear everything tastes better the next day. A friend of mine's mother actually puts everything (turkey, gravy, stuffing, cranberry sauce, etc) into a blender and makes "cold Thanksgiving stew." Not my cup of tea, but my friend loves it. I think it's all about what you grew up with and how excited your family made you about leftovers.

Wow, that original story is unbelievably bizarre!! I'm pretty sure leftover Thanksgiving turkey with mayo on good sliced bread is one of the best foods of all time.

galliver

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #4003 on: September 02, 2014, 12:34:56 PM »
Not at work, but family (rather stick it here in the long list of awesome fails).

My SOs brother is planning a trip to FL for a soccer tournament for his son. His daughter wants to go. He tells her he she can't go cause there's no money to pay for her ticket. She says "but daddy, you're supposed to make it rain!" She's 8, and will be a super soccer mom consumer like her mom. Before this, the dad was complaining that he had to get a renal car in FL despite there being free transport to and from the tournament from the all inclusive because he goes "where my feet wants."

Some background on them. He's a mechanic, owes his parents about 50k, and his parents pay for insurance and everything. He lives in  a McMansion. His wife is on disability for no good reason (she had cancer and now doesn't want to work). They have 2 SUVs (escalades I think). They are underwater on their mortgage and are screwed financially. Beyond hair in fire emergency debt.

They can't make much more than my SO and I do together (50k after taxes), and they support this upper middle class existence that would only be possible on a lawyer's salary. Feels entirely alien to me.

I think this is made funnier by the fact that FL is a state where it's quite cheap to rent a car. BF and I rented one in Tampa for about $16/day about a year ago. Apparently it's closer to $17/day now. Of course if you *need* a luxury SUV, that's probably like $100/day after gas. :P  Anyhow, it's nothing compared to $50+/day before fees that we experienced on different trip, to DC :(

lifeinhd

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #4004 on: September 02, 2014, 04:25:20 PM »
I live in NoVA, but up until last Friday I worked in DC. I'm starting my new job Wednesday, which will be 13 miles from my house, a fairly reasonable biking distance. I'm eating my last ever lunch at this company, sitting around with coworkers chatting. I mention I'm looking forward to this new job since I'll be able to bike to work, and immediately everyone starts ranting about how much they hate cyclists. Then one woman says "I can't bike to work, I live too far away." I ask where she lives, and she says "Woodbridge." She apparently drives every day from Woodbridge, VA to DC, about 30 miles, then pays for parking in a $14/day lot. Someone asks her "but you live there because your husband works around there, right?" and she says "no, he works at the Navy Yard." The Navy Yard is also in DC, and they both commute separately 30 miles each way every day. She said it takes her an hour on a good day. I asked why doesn't she just move closer, and she said "we can't afford housing any closer, and besides, my husband already had the house, so it's just easier." I badly wanted to deliver a facepunch but lucky for her she was on the other side of the table and I couldn't reach.
I'll defend the woman on this one since she can't really control it. 30 miles each way is a heck of a bike commute so I can understand why she would not be able to do it. Also since the husband already had the house perhaps financially getting a house in DC, which is very expensive is not a feasible option. I don't know housing costs in Woodbridge, VA but I imagine it is cheaper than right in DC.

And, do they have kids? DC schools are generally awful . VA ones might be better so they save thousands on private school, for many, many years. And you're probably paying more in DC for a cramped townhouse than a single family in VA.

I agree it's stupid that they can't carpool though.

Nope, no kids. Just her and her husband and a couple dogs. Of course they'll pay more for a cramped townhouse in DC-- but as another poster pointed out they'd be saving $20k/year in commuting costs alone. After just 5 years they could break even on an extra $100k of house. Even if they just moved to southern MD and took the train they'd be so much better off.

Quote
30 miles each way is a heck of a bike commute

I wasn't suggesting she bike commute 30 miles; rather that 30 miles of commute in any form is ridiculous!

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #4005 on: September 02, 2014, 04:34:48 PM »
I live in NoVA, but up until last Friday I worked in DC. I'm starting my new job Wednesday, which will be 13 miles from my house, a fairly reasonable biking distance. I'm eating my last ever lunch at this company, sitting around with coworkers chatting. I mention I'm looking forward to this new job since I'll be able to bike to work, and immediately everyone starts ranting about how much they hate cyclists. Then one woman says "I can't bike to work, I live too far away." I ask where she lives, and she says "Woodbridge." She apparently drives every day from Woodbridge, VA to DC, about 30 miles, then pays for parking in a $14/day lot. Someone asks her "but you live there because your husband works around there, right?" and she says "no, he works at the Navy Yard." The Navy Yard is also in DC, and they both commute separately 30 miles each way every day. She said it takes her an hour on a good day. I asked why doesn't she just move closer, and she said "we can't afford housing any closer, and besides, my husband already had the house, so it's just easier." I badly wanted to deliver a facepunch but lucky for her she was on the other side of the table and I couldn't reach.
I'll defend the woman on this one since she can't really control it. 30 miles each way is a heck of a bike commute so I can understand why she would not be able to do it. Also since the husband already had the house perhaps financially getting a house in DC, which is very expensive is not a feasible option. I don't know housing costs in Woodbridge, VA but I imagine it is cheaper than right in DC.

And, do they have kids? DC schools are generally awful . VA ones might be better so they save thousands on private school, for many, many years. And you're probably paying more in DC for a cramped townhouse than a single family in VA.

I agree it's stupid that they can't carpool though.

Nope, no kids. Just her and her husband and a couple dogs. Of course they'll pay more for a cramped townhouse in DC-- but as another poster pointed out they'd be saving $20k/year in commuting costs alone. After just 5 years they could break even on an extra $100k of house. Even if they just moved to southern MD and took the train they'd be so much better off.

Quote
30 miles each way is a heck of a bike commute

I wasn't suggesting she bike commute 30 miles; rather that 30 miles of commute in any form is ridiculous!
I did look up where they live, and holyshit that is far! Even moving a bit closer sounds like a good idea. DC Metro is pretty good.

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #4006 on: September 02, 2014, 04:37:57 PM »
I knew a guy at work who commuted from Los Banos to San Jose everyday.

That's 85 miles and 2 hours each way.  I just didn't get it.
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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #4007 on: September 02, 2014, 05:12:44 PM »
The DC Metro Area is famous for how far people commute.  I have worked with people whom drive in from West Virginia, Richmond and Annapolis.  It is crazy.

DC has much higher property tax than Virginia (or at least Fairfax County).  A similar priced home in hundreds of dollars more a month in DC just because of the escrow.  There is a very very busy bike path that goes from the Franconia/Alexandria area of VA into DC.  There are many places in VA where a 15 mile bike commute can be done pretty easily at a leisurely pace on mostly bike paths.

Its two people and two dogs.  1,000 Sq/ft is luxury and you can easily afford to live close enough to bike at that point.  The area around the Huntington Metro that isn't part of Belle Haven Country Club comes to mind.  Lots of smaller older 2/3 bedroom places.

Malaysia41

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #4008 on: September 02, 2014, 05:37:50 PM »
My dad used to commute to DC from our Annapolis suburb in the early eighties.  But... he carpooled with 3 other people. They all took turns and they became great friends.  One of his carpool buddies was Dorothea.  She was a lawyer.  She was one of 2 women in her graduating class from law school in the early forties.  She became a family fixture and had a profound effect on me and my siblings growing up.  Her favorite phrase was, "Don't give me that shit!"  I loved her. 

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #4009 on: September 02, 2014, 05:45:24 PM »


There is a very very busy bike path
And that, my friends, is what it's all about.


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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #4010 on: September 02, 2014, 05:56:25 PM »
I knew a guy at work who commuted from Los Banos to San Jose everyday.

That's 85 miles and 2 hours each way.  I just didn't get it.

A decent 3-bedroom house can be had for under 150k. A similar house in or near SJ costs, what, 700k? A cool million?

So he essentially picked up a part time job of commuting. In return, his house is 5x cheaper. The ~600k difference or so in price may well be worth the commute. According to fed rates of 56 cents a mile, that's about $25k a year plus sanity... you do the math, ~600k vs ~25k a year.

Malaysia41

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #4011 on: September 02, 2014, 06:31:03 PM »
I knew a guy at work who commuted from Los Banos to San Jose everyday.

That's 85 miles and 2 hours each way.  I just didn't get it.

A decent 3-bedroom house can be had for under 150k. A similar house in or near SJ costs, what, 700k? A cool million?

So he essentially picked up a part time job of commuting. In return, his house is 5x cheaper. The ~600k difference or so in price may well be worth the commute. According to fed rates of 56 cents a mile, that's about $25k a year plus sanity... you do the math, ~600k vs ~25k a year.

But he has to sit in the car 4 hours a day.  I just couldn't do it.  Gilroy maybe - but no - I couldn't handle that either. 

I will grant you that the cost of housing in San Joser is crazy expensive.  I just think I'd cycle through other alternatives such as renting out a room in our house or downsizing in a major way to commuting 170 miles in a car everyday.
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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #4012 on: September 02, 2014, 06:39:37 PM »
I knew a guy at work who commuted from Los Banos to San Jose everyday.

That's 85 miles and 2 hours each way.  I just didn't get it.

A decent 3-bedroom house can be had for under 150k. A similar house in or near SJ costs, what, 700k? A cool million?

So he essentially picked up a part time job of commuting. In return, his house is 5x cheaper. The ~600k difference or so in price may well be worth the commute. According to fed rates of 56 cents a mile, that's about $25k a year plus sanity... you do the math, ~600k vs ~25k a year.

Assuming $600k more mortgage at 4% works out to $24k extra in interest for a year. So the commuting costs $1k more per year plus 1,000 hours spent in a car per year... I'll take the expensive, closer house, thank you.

Albert

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #4013 on: September 02, 2014, 10:07:09 PM »
Long commutes (>45 min) are kind of crazy, but in many cases there is no reasonable alternative. I know a lot of coworkers who commute about an hour and few up to 1 1/2 hours one way.

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #4014 on: September 02, 2014, 10:39:39 PM »
I knew a guy at work who commuted from Los Banos to San Jose everyday.

That's 85 miles and 2 hours each way.  I just didn't get it.

A decent 3-bedroom house can be had for under 150k. A similar house in or near SJ costs, what, 700k? A cool million?

So he essentially picked up a part time job of commuting. In return, his house is 5x cheaper. The ~600k difference or so in price may well be worth the commute. According to fed rates of 56 cents a mile, that's about $25k a year plus sanity... you do the math, ~600k vs ~25k a year.

Assuming $600k more mortgage at 4% works out to $24k extra in interest for a year. So the commuting costs $1k more per year plus 1,000 hours spent in a car per year... I'll take the expensive, closer house, thank you.

But 600k in Los Banos probably gets you a 4 bedroom house on a big lot while 600k in San Jose gets you a 2 or 3 bedroom condo in maybe a decent part of town.  I don't advocate the commute but it's more than just comparing dollar cost.

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #4015 on: September 03, 2014, 05:25:09 AM »
My dad used to commute to DC from our Annapolis suburb in the early eighties.  But... he carpooled with 3 other people. They all took turns and they became great friends.  One of his carpool buddies was Dorothea.  She was a lawyer.  She was one of 2 women in her graduating class from law school in the early forties.  She became a family fixture and had a profound effect on me and my siblings growing up.  Her favorite phrase was, "Don't give me that shit!"  I loved her. 

Unexpectedly good things can come from frugal solutions.

I LOVE this!

This woman sounds like an SNL character, in the best of ways.

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #4016 on: September 03, 2014, 05:59:04 AM »
Woman co-worker, aged somewhere in her late thirties, hates her job. Loudly and at every opportunity tells me that she begs her husband to "let her quit." He says they cannot afford that.

Ignoring the fact that her relationship with her husband sounds like a horrorshow, It makes me nuts, because she and her husband fly to Vegas twice a year for a week of shows and gambling. Since we in Maryland legalized table games, they also go to local casinos a couple of times a month.

She said "If he would let me quit work, I would not need to go gambling. But I have to do something I enjoy to make up for working here." At which point my head imploded and I walked away mumbling to myself and weeping softly.
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RWD

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #4017 on: September 03, 2014, 08:48:40 AM »
I knew a guy at work who commuted from Los Banos to San Jose everyday.

That's 85 miles and 2 hours each way.  I just didn't get it.

A decent 3-bedroom house can be had for under 150k. A similar house in or near SJ costs, what, 700k? A cool million?

So he essentially picked up a part time job of commuting. In return, his house is 5x cheaper. The ~600k difference or so in price may well be worth the commute. According to fed rates of 56 cents a mile, that's about $25k a year plus sanity... you do the math, ~600k vs ~25k a year.

Assuming $600k more mortgage at 4% works out to $24k extra in interest for a year. So the commuting costs $1k more per year plus 1,000 hours spent in a car per year... I'll take the expensive, closer house, thank you.

But 600k in Los Banos probably gets you a 4 bedroom house on a big lot while 600k in San Jose gets you a 2 or 3 bedroom condo in maybe a decent part of town.  I don't advocate the commute but it's more than just comparing dollar cost.

The initial premise was equivalent houses. $750k in San Jose, $150k in Los Banos.

Keeping the amount spent on a house the same is a different argument. In that case you can just ask yourself if the $25k plus 1,000 hours of your time per year is worth the bigger house. Of course, if you're considering a $600k house in Los Banos, you could afford a $1.2 million house in San Jose for the same amount once you factor in the cost of commuting.

Alternatively, you could look for a job in Los Banos and get the cheaper house and short commute...

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #4018 on: September 03, 2014, 10:14:43 AM »

Assuming $600k more mortgage at 4% works out to $24k extra in interest for a year. So the commuting costs $1k more per year plus 1,000 hours spent in a car per year... I'll take the expensive, closer house, thank you.

But 600k in Los Banos probably gets you a 4 bedroom house on a big lot while 600k in San Jose gets you a 2 or 3 bedroom condo in maybe a decent part of town.  I don't advocate the commute but it's more than just comparing dollar cost.
[/quote]

The initial premise was equivalent houses. $750k in San Jose, $150k in Los Banos.

Keeping the amount spent on a house the same is a different argument. In that case you can just ask yourself if the $25k plus 1,000 hours of your time per year is worth the bigger house. Of course, if you're considering a $600k house in Los Banos, you could afford a $1.2 million house in San Jose for the same amount once you factor in the cost of commuting.

Alternatively, you could look for a job in Los Banos and get the cheaper house and short commute...
[/quote]

So if you're talking about a $600k cost disparity, you can't look at the cost of interest alone, right?  Because you're getting an equivalent house for ($600kcheaper+interest)-(commute hours+commute costs).  Again, I don't disagree that commuting is silly, but the cost is not $1000/year+4 hours/daily difference. 

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #4019 on: September 03, 2014, 10:32:21 AM »
So if you're talking about a $600k cost disparity, you can't look at the cost of interest alone, right?  Because you're getting an equivalent house for ($600kcheaper+interest)-(commute hours+commute costs).  Again, I don't disagree that commuting is silly, but the cost is not $1000/year+4 hours/daily difference.

You would also need to consider property tax ($8k/yr extra?) and insurance ($3k/yr extra?) plus some other minor factors. I assume utilities and maintenance would be similar for similar sized houses. So taking that into account it would cost an additional $10k/year for the San Jose location. So your part time job of commuting would be earning you $10/hour.

I haven't actually gone and looked at housing costs in the two areas, I just went off the previous assumptions. Perhaps there is a third option which is a nicer compromise of commuting distance vs housing costs?

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #4020 on: September 03, 2014, 10:32:32 AM »
Not at my work but DH's office.  He is a senior warrant officer working in a place where there are lots of federal employees; most of whom are themselves retired military working second careers.

He was in a conversation with a retired CW5 working in a DOD GS12/13 situation.  His wife is also a GS employee...so with the pension and both incomes, one could imagine that they are pulling in a combined $150K per year, easy.  But he has expensive hobbies...racing cars.  Built a Cobra kit, has a Hot Rod VW....built a shop last year and installed his own paint booth.  It has never been used.

Get this though.  DH is a motor head, but we don't have cable so don't watch races or anything like that.  He just loves fixing cars.  When co-worker told him it was time to join the rest of the 21st century and get cable, DH simply said that rather than watch cars go round in circles, he would rather watch his portfolio growth exceed his income.  Co-worker was absolutely floored. 

Poor guy couldn't even fathom the idea that if he and the missus just stopped spending, he could stop working.  Co-worker is easily 15 years older than my DH and has no plans to retire from his second career.  He is just that far underwater.

We have 5 years to FIRE....

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #4021 on: September 03, 2014, 11:21:42 AM »
Perhaps there is a third option which is a nicer compromise of commuting distance vs housing costs?

It's all a fun spectrum of things you can do, and things people do. If you think of house prices like a heat map, you get a lot of choice into cost vs distance along the spectrum. In addition, this being the bay area, if you're in tech, you have a lot of options open to reduce the burden of commuting. For example, as people get more senior, many start to work from home some days - up to where they're only in the office two days a week. That right there cuts out 60% of the commute cost. Many companies offer buses; they could drive to Gilroy or Morgan Hill and take the bus; this doesn't save time, but it saves 25-50% of the commute cost. Then of course there's carpooling, which you can do anywhere, but makes much more sense 85 miles away than 10 miles away - where I live, carpooling would likely double or triple my commute time so it's a no-go. For them, it might add on an extra five or ten minutes but save half the gas cost, which may well be $20-30 a day. Let's see, now we move on to the realm of fun tricks I've seen: you could fly. Los Banos to Morgan Hill would take only about 20 minutes, though there is the time to get the plane on and off the runway. Or, here's a much simpler alternative: drive during off-peak hours; your two-hour commute turns into an hour fifteen, saving you a hell of a lot of sanity (3/8ths the time saved). And to save on cost, drive a car that doesn't eat 56 cents a mile; plenty are more in the 30 range.

In summary, there are a _lot_ of ways to make it work in such a way that you're not losing money. I won't comment on the loss of sanity...

If it was me in my current situation, it'd be a fairly trivial solution - I'd just drive in after traffic (getting to work around 11) and leave after traffic (10ish); since I love driving, and I know that particular drive is pretty nice when you're relaxed and not in traffic, I could do it. Downside would be less of a social life. I don't feel like doing that, hence, I rent.

I'm not saying it's the best solution, I'm saying that purely money-wise, you can make it work and come out ahead, if you're willing to pick up a part-time job of commuting to and from work in exchange for that money.

Elderwood17

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #4022 on: September 03, 2014, 12:07:27 PM »
Woman co-worker, aged somewhere in her late thirties, hates her job. Loudly and at every opportunity tells me that she begs her husband to "let her quit." He says they cannot afford that.

Ignoring the fact that her relationship with her husband sounds like a horrorshow, It makes me nuts, because she and her husband fly to Vegas twice a year for a week of shows and gambling. Since we in Maryland legalized table games, they also go to local casinos a couple of times a month.

She said "If he would let me quit work, I would not need to go gambling. But I have to do something I enjoy to make up for working here." At which point my head imploded and I walked away mumbling to myself and weeping softly.

That is sad.  I too hear a number of coworkers who don't want to work say their SO won't let them quit, and then they spend money like crazy elsewhere.  Sad.

No Name Guy

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #4023 on: September 03, 2014, 01:36:21 PM »
Woman co-worker, aged somewhere in her late thirties, hates her job. Loudly and at every opportunity tells me that she begs her husband to "let her quit." He says they cannot afford that.

Ignoring the fact that her relationship with her husband sounds like a horrorshow, It makes me nuts, because she and her husband fly to Vegas twice a year for a week of shows and gambling. Since we in Maryland legalized table games, they also go to local casinos a couple of times a month.

She said "If he would let me quit work, I would not need to go gambling. But I have to do something I enjoy to make up for working here." At which point my head imploded and I walked away mumbling to myself and weeping softly.

That is sad.  I too hear a number of coworkers who don't want to work say their SO won't let them quit, and then they spend money like crazy elsewhere.  Sad.

I suspect a lot of people SAY that they wouldn't do "foolish thing X" with their money if only they weren't in such a crappy job / had to work / etc.  I believe however that the vast majority of them would - be it gambling, drinking to excess, eating out a lot because they "work too much to cook", "need the expensive vacation because I work so hard", etc, etc, etc.  Its just rationalizing behavior that they know subconsciously is self destructive.

gimp

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #4024 on: September 03, 2014, 01:44:37 PM »
Relevant to my work... weirdos. Nobody even knows what's going to be announced.

http://www.dailytech.com/Quick+Note+NYC+Residents+Are+Already+Waiting+in+Line+for+Apples+Next+iPhone/article36500c.htm

dycker1978

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #4025 on: September 03, 2014, 01:55:14 PM »
Relevant to my work... weirdos. Nobody even knows what's going to be announced.

http://www.dailytech.com/Quick+Note+NYC+Residents+Are+Already+Waiting+in+Line+for+Apples+Next+iPhone/article36500c.htm

I dont even know what to say... wait in line for two weeks, and pay 1250 for the spot in the front of the line.  They still have to pay for the phone...

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #4026 on: September 03, 2014, 01:55:46 PM »

LennStar

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #4027 on: September 03, 2014, 02:38:07 PM »
Relevant to my work... weirdos. Nobody even knows what's going to be announced.

http://www.dailytech.com/Quick+Note+NYC+Residents+Are+Already+Waiting+in+Line+for+Apples+Next+iPhone/article36500c.htm

I dont even know what to say... wait in line for two weeks, and pay 1250 for the spot in the front of the line.  They still have to pay for the phone...
Hm... 1250$ for 2 weeks non-work?
Sounds like a after-FIRE job to do for the interesting experience and things to learn (if you find tech geeks interesting) and a month of expenses :D

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #4028 on: September 03, 2014, 03:26:12 PM »


I'm not saying it's the best solution, I'm saying that purely money-wise, you can make it work and come out ahead, if you're willing to pick up a part-time job of commuting to and from work in exchange for that money.


Then it's a question of whether you'd take a second job of driving for four hours a day for $10/hr. I would rather chew my own leg off, but that's a sanity issue rather than a money issue.

lifeinhd

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #4029 on: September 03, 2014, 08:15:48 PM »
Relevant to my work... weirdos. Nobody even knows what's going to be announced.

http://www.dailytech.com/Quick+Note+NYC+Residents+Are+Already+Waiting+in+Line+for+Apples+Next+iPhone/article36500c.htm

I dont even know what to say... wait in line for two weeks, and pay 1250 for the spot in the front of the line.  They still have to pay for the phone...
Hm... 1250$ for 2 weeks non-work?
Sounds like a after-FIRE job to do for the interesting experience and things to learn (if you find tech geeks interesting) and a month of expenses :D

Don't even need to wait 2 weeks. Next year, show up 3 weeks early, take the $1250, leave.

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #4030 on: September 04, 2014, 06:44:36 AM »
My colleague is planning on spending more than 3k on his kid's first birthday party.  He spent 12k+ on vacation travel this year.

Last week he was saying how hard it is to put aside $500/month for retirement.
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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #4031 on: September 04, 2014, 08:35:27 AM »
My colleague is planning on spending more than 3k on his kid's first birthday party.  He spent 12k+ on vacation travel this year.

Last week he was saying how hard it is to put aside $500/month for retirement.

Funny how those 2 things can't connect in some people's brains. $3K on a 1st b-day is insane. How is this even possible?
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Pooperman

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #4032 on: September 04, 2014, 10:25:24 AM »
This one is pretty common, but:

Coworker comes over to me and asks if I want to join her and some other people out at sushi. I told her I already ate (I bring food every day). She told me that was good. I asked her now much it was when she went out for sushi. Her reply: "you don't want to know." Then she left with 4 other 20-somethings out to sushi.

She's been here longer than I have, but I can guess what she makes (70k or so per year). I also know that sushi is $15-20. She does this at least 3 days a week along with maybe 1/2 of the staff where I work. Only the management/owners/senior people tend to bring food. $3,500/year on lunch out at least. That's about 3 weeks take-home pay every year just to pay for lunch!

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #4033 on: September 04, 2014, 10:38:19 AM »
I understand the lure of sushi (yum!), but damn it's expensive.  Can't see having it for a normal lunch, but maybe special occasion dinner.

Anyway, the only time I ever eat sushi is when it's on the company dime.....I've never actually paid for it - helps that hubby doesn't like fish, much less raw fish!

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #4034 on: September 04, 2014, 10:41:11 AM »
When I was a 20-something at work fresh out of uni I used to eat out every day for lunch, what an idiot!:) Such a waste of money but my job was so boring I used food as a treat. The older people in the office all brought their lunch to work.

MgoSam

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #4035 on: September 04, 2014, 11:13:32 AM »
Yeah I have a family member that spend an absolute load of money on each of her kids first birthday parties. Like inviting all work colleagues and having family fly in for it. It is nice in terms of a family gathering since we are all spread out throughout the country, and this is a couple that is earning more than enough money to provide for themselves and their kids, pay off their mortgage early, save for retirement, and invest in their kids education, but I shudder to think of parents that aren't earning quite so much.


abuzzyisawesome

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #4036 on: September 04, 2014, 11:45:14 AM »
Overhead at coffee maker:
"Yeah, my girl's gymnastics and clothes comes out of my check, husband doesn't pay anything! It's $200 a month!"

Background: Her girl's are a 4 and 1; the baby sister could be wearing hand-me-downs! $200 a MONTH??

I got a Ralph Lauren shirt for $4 at Goodwill for small male child for picture day, and 2 pairs of Old Navy jeans for $2 a pair. Not trying to sound judgey, but wow.

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #4037 on: September 04, 2014, 01:52:54 PM »
By the time my daughter finished gymnastics, I was paying just under $600/month - training at 20 hours per week.  But thankfully she's now moved off to university and so she's quit gymnastics. 

Draggon

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #4038 on: September 04, 2014, 03:25:01 PM »
By the time my daughter finished gymnastics, I was paying just under $600/month - training at 20 hours per week.  But thankfully she's now moved off to university and so she's quit gymnastics.

I can so relate, but with dance.  My daughter just started college, and I think it will be cheaper than her dance "career" from age 5 to 18.

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #4039 on: September 04, 2014, 03:50:40 PM »
By the time my daughter finished gymnastics, I was paying just under $600/month - training at 20 hours per week.  But thankfully she's now moved off to university and so she's quit gymnastics.
I can so relate, but with dance.  My daughter just started college, and I think it will be cheaper than her dance "career" from age 5 to 18.

I promise I'm not being judgy; I'm just trying to understand. When you were in the middle of the gymnastic and dancing, what was the end goal? What was the hoped for result that would make the expense and effort worthwhile?

gimp

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #4040 on: September 04, 2014, 04:13:24 PM »
I'd assume pretty much the same end goal of any serious activity. Self-control, discipline, the urge for self-improvement and success, friends, physical fitness. A productive use of time, and hopefully a kid too tired to get into too much trouble afterwards.

Sure, you get that from any serious activity; some cost more than others. If you can afford it, it doesn't really matter, you can leave the choice of what to spend time on to the kid.


austin

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #4041 on: September 04, 2014, 08:48:14 PM »
I am resigning my position in the Army, and there is literally an Act of Congress mandating that everyone leaving the service go through a battery of classes such as resume writing workshops, briefs on your Department of Veterans Affairs benefits, and how to conduct a professional interview. There is also a mandatory five hour personal finance class. From the material covered and the side conversations in the class it is clear that this is something that should be mandatory to all people upon entrance into the service.

MrsStubble

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #4042 on: September 04, 2014, 09:51:52 PM »
My coworker told us he just bought a $550,000, 5000 sq ft house for him, wife, and 1 kid that is 90 minutes away from the office because he liked the town.  I literally choked on my water when he said it.  They are not planning on having more kids or rent the house out to troupes of traveling circus folk as far as I can gather my only other guess in 3000 sq ft indoor paintball field???
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EricL

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #4043 on: September 05, 2014, 12:12:42 AM »
I am resigning my position in the Army, and there is literally an Act of Congress mandating that everyone leaving the service go through a battery of classes such as resume writing workshops, briefs on your Department of Veterans Affairs benefits, and how to conduct a professional interview. There is also a mandatory five hour personal finance class. From the material covered and the side conversations in the class it is clear that this is something that should be mandatory to all people upon entrance into the service.

Been there, done that, got the T-shirt. Uncle Sugar just wants to make sure none of his former troops wind up living on the street.  Yes the classes should be mandatory to everyone in the United States though in Uncle Sugar's defense they are at least available for the asking.  Just try to be patient. ACAP will end soon enough and there really are useful nuggets of information if you're wise enough to set it aside for a later date.
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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #4044 on: September 05, 2014, 05:05:53 AM »
By the time my daughter finished gymnastics, I was paying just under $600/month - training at 20 hours per week.  But thankfully she's now moved off to university and so she's quit gymnastics.
I can so relate, but with dance.  My daughter just started college, and I think it will be cheaper than her dance "career" from age 5 to 18.

I promise I'm not being judgy; I'm just trying to understand. When you were in the middle of the gymnastic and dancing, what was the end goal? What was the hoped for result that would make the expense and effort worthwhile?

Wrist tendinitis for life?  That was my end result.
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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #4045 on: September 05, 2014, 07:45:48 AM »
By the time my daughter finished gymnastics, I was paying just under $600/month - training at 20 hours per week.  But thankfully she's now moved off to university and so she's quit gymnastics.
I can so relate, but with dance.  My daughter just started college, and I think it will be cheaper than her dance "career" from age 5 to 18.

I promise I'm not being judgy; I'm just trying to understand. When you were in the middle of the gymnastic and dancing, what was the end goal? What was the hoped for result that would make the expense and effort worthwhile?

You know, not to encourage the idea that parents have to shell out thousands and all their time for their kids to participate in some activity or another, but I grew up taking riding lessons (less expensive than gymnastics apparently!!), and it completely shaped who I am as a person.  I'm certainly not an accomplished equestrian, but I do think its good for kids to have a hobby to really embrace.  It taught me a lot about working hard and not giving up and conquering fear.  But that can be achieved in a lot of (probably more Mustachian) ways.

Apples

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #4046 on: September 05, 2014, 09:06:08 AM »
I have a fairly new CW who wants to own his own shop someday to fix cars, and more specifically all types of race cars.  Based on his previous work this is not crazy.  But he makes $12/hr here and each year can basically plan to get a 3% raise, which is usually all this company does.  He then goes out to eat ALL THE TIME.  And not good food-all types of fast food and gas station food.  He plans to buy a four wheeler soon.  And then he says he'll "someday" have enough money to open this shop, but right now he doesn't have any money to save.  But on the bright side, he just used a 50% off coupon to buy $12,000 worth of good tools for only $6,000.  And he says the payment plan has a pretty low interest rate!  I really like this guy, but oh my goodness.

AlanStache

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #4047 on: September 05, 2014, 10:18:43 AM »
I have a fairly new CW who wants to own his own shop someday to fix cars, and more specifically all types of race cars.  Based on his previous work this is not crazy.  But he makes $12/hr here and each year can basically plan to get a 3% raise, which is usually all this company does.  He then goes out to eat ALL THE TIME.  And not good food-all types of fast food and gas station food.  He plans to buy a four wheeler soon.  And then he says he'll "someday" have enough money to open this shop, but right now he doesn't have any money to save.  But on the bright side, he just used a 50% off coupon to buy $12,000 worth of good tools for only $6,000.  And he says the payment plan has a pretty low interest rate!  I really like this guy, but oh my goodness.

I hope these are tools for a side gig that will have some cash flow with minimal other expenses?  Any hope of this side gig organically growing to full time for him?
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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #4048 on: September 05, 2014, 11:43:12 AM »
My office is located in, shall we say, an urban area.  As a result many of the entry-level kids have been fully indoctrinated into the bling lifestyle and I routinely see people whom I know very well don't make much more than ten bucks an hour wearing shoes or carrying purses that cost more than my mortgage payment.  I know a girl who bought an $800 Coach bag ... in which to carry her dog.
« Last Edit: September 05, 2014, 11:57:13 AM by MandalayVA »
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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #4049 on: September 05, 2014, 11:56:52 AM »
I was talking to a coworker (and aspiring mustachian) today. She is pretty new to the company. She was saying that at her old work, a coworker told her that she "got high from:" (makes a credit card swiping motion). She thought it was absurd as I did, but there you go.