Author Topic: Overheard at Work  (Read 6408128 times)

oldtoyota

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #450 on: June 25, 2013, 07:11:44 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 don't agree. My lawn gives me peace of mind and provides habitat for Monarch butterflies, bats, deer, foxes, and other assorted animals. I do not use chemicals. I use a lawn service called My Spouse. We have grass called Zoysia, which feels like a lovely carpet, and we never ever water or fertilize it.

I am someone who cares about animal habitats and the environment, so I think people like me (like us??) providing places for birds and other animals is a good thing. My yard is home to mourning doves and cardinals at the very least. I do not know where the bats live, but they come by and eat the mosquitoes.

And I live in the DC metro area, so I'm not in the country. I'd say animals need yards like mine even more in the urban areas.






oldtoyota

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #451 on: June 25, 2013, 07:14:50 AM »
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".

The guy above was right; he just had the wrong time period. The wealthy still adopted lawns as a landscape element.

oldtoyota

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #452 on: June 25, 2013, 07:20:46 AM »
Okay, so back on topic.

Coworker moved to another state. I asked her how she liked it. She said it felt "just like home because I attended [insert fancy MBA program] there."

She did not need to mention the expensive MBA program, but she wanted me to know that. Also, the city where the program is located is not that close to where she lives. It's just the same state.

The point is that my first thought was how much that cost set her back.

I've though about getting the MBA degree, but I'd have to work for so much longer to pay the $90K or so!


NumberCruncher

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #453 on: June 25, 2013, 07:24:42 AM »
I'm always amazed at what people are paying for cable and/or cellphones O.o  I've never paid for cable and never paid more than $12/mo for a phone. Heard a coworker talking about possibly getting a data plan and asking another how much it costs.

"Well, it starts out at $78/mo for the first phone, and then it's cheaper the more phones you get. I pay $168/mo total."

"That's not too bad. I could see how it would be useful when travelling, etc."

I pay $3/mo extra for a data - it doesn't have to expensive if you only use it rarely! I'll try to talk some sense into him later...

mgreczyn

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #454 on: June 25, 2013, 09:32:05 AM »

I've though about getting the MBA degree, but I'd have to work for so much longer to pay the $90K or so!

It also doesn't have to cost $90k... My wife and I got one each, total cost for both was under $100k.  Totally depends on where you go and how you live while there.  Mustachianism runs counter to the average MBA's lifestyle expectations.  You also have to examine the payoff.  More prestigious schools tend to have stronger networks, and a good network may be one of the best reasons to get an MBA.  Prestige also seems to result in higher pay and (counter-intuitively perhaps) MIGHT result in more narrow job outcomes (think almost exclusively management consulting and investment banking).  My theory is this is because of the higher salary requirements to pay off a higher student loan balance.  I read somewhere recently that grads from the top 5 or 10 schools start off with a marginally higher salary (100k - 125k compared to 80k-95k for example) but the further out from graduation the more dramatic the spread.  So an HBS grad might be making $500k after 7 or 8 years, vs a UT Austin MBA grad maybe pushing $200k.  Going to a less prestigious school will grant you exactly the same knowledge (EVERYONE uses HBS case studies) for much less money than the pricey place but you don't as much of a kick-ass network on the backend.  Translation: you probably have to hustle more to get a job.

You should also question whether you really want an MBA or need to make $500k to meet your goals.  Committing to a top flight MBA program is not without intangible costs.
« Last Edit: June 25, 2013, 09:37:44 AM by mgreczyn »

oldtoyota

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #455 on: June 25, 2013, 10:07:05 AM »

I've though about getting the MBA degree, but I'd have to work for so much longer to pay the $90K or so!

It also doesn't have to cost $90k... My wife and I got one each, total cost for both was under $100k.  Totally depends on where you go and how you live while there.  Mustachianism runs counter to the average MBA's lifestyle expectations.  You also have to examine the payoff.  More prestigious schools tend to have stronger networks, and a good network may be one of the best reasons to get an MBA.  Prestige also seems to result in higher pay and (counter-intuitively perhaps) MIGHT result in more narrow job outcomes (think almost exclusively management consulting and investment banking).  My theory is this is because of the higher salary requirements to pay off a higher student loan balance.  I read somewhere recently that grads from the top 5 or 10 schools start off with a marginally higher salary (100k - 125k compared to 80k-95k for example) but the further out from graduation the more dramatic the spread.  So an HBS grad might be making $500k after 7 or 8 years, vs a UT Austin MBA grad maybe pushing $200k.  Going to a less prestigious school will grant you exactly the same knowledge (EVERYONE uses HBS case studies) for much less money than the pricey place but you don't as much of a kick-ass network on the backend.  Translation: you probably have to hustle more to get a job.

You should also question whether you really want an MBA or need to make $500k to meet your goals.  Committing to a top flight MBA program is not without intangible costs.

Good points. Thank you! Did you and your wife attend state schools? Our local state school costs $90K. I live in DC and would not move to get the MBA, so my options would be GW, AU, JHU, Georgetown, or UMD. Other schools have satellite campuses here--UVa might be one and Duke might be another--but I don't think they'd be cheaper. Also, the JHU program seems to fill its faculty ranks with local businesspeople who do not necessarily understand teaching.

I would like to get the degree, but it would not increase my salary at my current job. At this point, I think it would set me back more than it would help. In sum, the MBA program seems like a cash cow for schools. Despite that, I still think it would be interesting to have it.


ace1224

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #456 on: June 25, 2013, 11:15:59 AM »

I've though about getting the MBA degree, but I'd have to work for so much longer to pay the $90K or so!

It also doesn't have to cost $90k... My wife and I got one each, total cost for both was under $100k.  Totally depends on where you go and how you live while there.  Mustachianism runs counter to the average MBA's lifestyle expectations.  You also have to examine the payoff.  More prestigious schools tend to have stronger networks, and a good network may be one of the best reasons to get an MBA.  Prestige also seems to result in higher pay and (counter-intuitively perhaps) MIGHT result in more narrow job outcomes (think almost exclusively management consulting and investment banking).  My theory is this is because of the higher salary requirements to pay off a higher student loan balance.  I read somewhere recently that grads from the top 5 or 10 schools start off with a marginally higher salary (100k - 125k compared to 80k-95k for example) but the further out from graduation the more dramatic the spread.  So an HBS grad might be making $500k after 7 or 8 years, vs a UT Austin MBA grad maybe pushing $200k.  Going to a less prestigious school will grant you exactly the same knowledge (EVERYONE uses HBS case studies) for much less money than the pricey place but you don't as much of a kick-ass network on the backend.  Translation: you probably have to hustle more to get a job.

You should also question whether you really want an MBA or need to make $500k to meet your goals.  Committing to a top flight MBA program is not without intangible costs.
my work paid for mine maybe your employer has something similar.  all it cost me was a 2 year "contract" with them.  that i would work for 2 years with this company after i finished my MBA otherwise I'd have to pay them back.  my state school is 2000 a semester part time for a total of 16,000 for an in state resident

MgoSam

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #457 on: June 25, 2013, 11:58:47 AM »
I'd also question the need to get an MBA. Some people think of an MBA as a 90k job interview. Essentially stating that the knowledge can be earned by reading a ton of books and doing independent research (although now there are options for free/cheap online non-credit courses as an alternative), whereas an MBA's advantage is the name-recognition, the sheepskin, and the networking. As the "Personal MBA" puts it, the main advantage of getting an MBA is that it gives hiring managers an excuse for hiring you, in case you aren't a good working, they can say, "Well he got an MBA from Duke, he seems like he would fit," whereas if they hired an intelligent person without any special credentials, they can get into trouble.

Not saying that it isn't worth it to get an MBA, but it isn't for all people. I have a job that I love where I hope to continue to thrive, and I don't need an MBA, but would like the knowledge and training, so I spend time reading up on it. The author of Personal MBA was in the same position (hired by a fortune 500 out of college), and so he spent his summer before working hitting the books hard, and finding that he could compete with his MBA trained colleagues.

Also the return on investment may not be as good as you think, and if you need to take out student loans for it, please remember that the student loans are going to likely be there for a long time. This can limit job flexibility, and prevent you from moving to another field should you find that you don't like your job/company.

Food for thought.

mgreczyn

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #458 on: June 25, 2013, 12:03:31 PM »

Good points. Thank you! Did you and your wife attend state schools? Our local state school costs $90K. I live in DC and would not move to get the MBA, so my options would be GW, AU, JHU, Georgetown, or UMD. Other schools have satellite campuses here--UVa might be one and Duke might be another--but I don't think they'd be cheaper. Also, the JHU program seems to fill its faculty ranks with local businesspeople who do not necessarily understand teaching.
Actually, yes.  I went to UT Austin, my wife went to CU Boulder.  In-state tuition helped a LOT.  So did general common sense when it came to lifestyle.  Duke is fairly pricey I think.  One thing to keep in mind on private vs public is that the sticker price of private school can be lowered more easily than public schools.


I would like to get the degree, but it would not increase my salary at my current job. At this point, I think it would set me back more than it would help. In sum, the MBA program seems like a cash cow for schools. Despite that, I still think it would be interesting to have it.

Ha, you don't need an MBA.  You already understand intuitively that business school is really just a business MODEL for universities, which is a deeper understanding of the world than I possessed at the beginning of my program.  Same could be argued about law school.  The people who cycle through are both customer and product (student = customer / graduate = product).  Hiring firms are also customers, but in their case the product is an outsourced recruiting program.  There are certain firms who are famous for ONLY hiring from 3 or 5 of the best schools, so their ranks are filled with people who have the same backgrounds, then they all donate to those schools when they make the big money.  It's all a giant self-licking lollipop!  That said, it worked out pretty well for both of us, I used mine as a transition from military service, my wife used hers to overcome the financial desert of job prospects for fine arts majors.
« Last Edit: June 25, 2013, 12:16:03 PM by mgreczyn »

mgreczyn

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #459 on: June 25, 2013, 12:10:41 PM »
Here's a thought-provoking calculator.  You can put in a degree, a school, a major and a grad year, and it will spit out your predicted income:  https://www.upstart.com/calculator

If you're interested in business schools (or any undergrad or grad program), you can use this to predict what your financial outcome might be.  They don't make a "happiness" calculator, unfortunately :)

mgreczyn

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #460 on: June 25, 2013, 12:13:09 PM »
Back to the topic at hand: I get paid monthly.  Always have.  When I first switched to monthly paychecks, many people I worked with responded with something to the tune of "I couldn't do monthly paychecks, I'd run out of money by the end of the first week!"

Albert

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #461 on: June 25, 2013, 02:23:47 PM »
I have a friend and a co-worker in one person who spends from my point of view unbelievable amount of money on fancy clothes and jewellery. Buying 300 $ designer jeans, for example. The other day at lunch I made a compliment to her about a necklace she was wearing at work. After saying thanks she mentioned that it is a wedding anniversary gift from her husband and he paid 25,000$ for it (I would have never guessed it being so expensive). Not that they are broke by any means, but with their very high household income (close to 300k/year for a family of four) they could have reached financial independence years ago...

oldtoyota

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #462 on: June 25, 2013, 02:35:01 PM »
I have a friend and a co-worker in one person who spends from my point of view unbelievable amount of money on fancy clothes and jewellery. Buying 300 $ designer jeans, for example. The other day at lunch I made a compliment to her about a necklace she was wearing at work. After saying thanks she mentioned that it is a wedding anniversary gift from her husband and he paid 25,000$ for it (I would have never guessed it being so expensive). Not that they are broke by any means, but with their very high household income (close to 300k/year for a family of four) they could have reached financial independence years ago...

My jaw hurts from where it slammed against the floor.

citrine

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #463 on: June 25, 2013, 03:13:52 PM »
Mine too!  Holy mother of fucking god!  25,000 for a necklace?!!!

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #464 on: June 25, 2013, 03:18:27 PM »
I have a friend and a co-worker in one person who spends from my point of view unbelievable amount of money on fancy clothes and jewellery. Buying 300 $ designer jeans, for example. The other day at lunch I made a compliment to her about a necklace she was wearing at work. After saying thanks she mentioned that it is a wedding anniversary gift from her husband and he paid 25,000$ for it (I would have never guessed it being so expensive). Not that they are broke by any means, but with their very high household income (close to 300k/year for a family of four) they could have reached financial independence years ago...

Ask her if she wants a personal jeweler for 6 months out of the year at twice that price - plus cost of materials...

pbkmaine

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #465 on: June 25, 2013, 03:24:11 PM »
How about $25,000 for a handbag? $1,000 for a pair of shoes? $10,000 for a suit?  Walk down any fancy street in NYC, where this kind of thing is on display daily.

Albert

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #466 on: June 25, 2013, 03:35:37 PM »
Ask her if she wants a personal jeweler for 6 months out of the year at twice that price - plus cost of materials...

Are you offering your services? :)

The thinking behind such purchases is totally non-mustachian, but also very common. Both her and her husband make way more money than the average, already have everything anyone really needs including a large condo in the city centre. Contribution to pension fund here are mandatory and with such a large income theirs will be enormous so no particular need to save for old age either. I'm sure they save some money and it is unlikely they have any debts other than mortgage, so why not spend the rest of it just for fun? You know the usual - I work so hard and deserve to have some fun.

I find it stupid even when rich people do it, but it is truly tragic when people of much more modest means try to emulate such a lifestyle on credit...
« Last Edit: June 25, 2013, 03:37:50 PM by Albert »

oldtoyota

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #467 on: June 25, 2013, 07:23:36 PM »


I would like to get the degree, but it would not increase my salary at my current job. At this point, I think it would set me back more than it would help. In sum, the MBA program seems like a cash cow for schools. Despite that, I still think it would be interesting to have it.

Ha, you don't need an MBA.  You already understand intuitively that business school is really just a business MODEL for universities, which is a deeper understanding of the world than I possessed at the beginning of my program...

Yep. You are are quite right! I do recognize that. Sometimes, I think I am missing something. At the same time, I find I keep up quite well with the MBAers at work.
« Last Edit: June 25, 2013, 07:25:10 PM by oldtoyota »

The Dutchman

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #468 on: June 26, 2013, 06:48:23 AM »
I was minding my own business at some family function when I heard my brother's long time girlfriend say she spent $300 on a sweater!  Beer almost started spewing out my nose as I whirled around.  THEN I realized it wasn't for her it was for her dog!!! 

You could tell she was guilty about it because she immediately got beat red and tried to change the subject quickly.  This was pre MMM but I still just raked her over the coals for being a dunce. The worst part is I am sure she talked to her side of the family and it was completely acceptable. 

PS - She probably makes 75k has probably 250k of debt and regularly buys designer clothes which cost minimum 150 $/piece. 
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NumberCruncher

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #469 on: June 26, 2013, 08:21:58 AM »
I was minding my own business at some family function when I heard my brother's long time girlfriend say she spent $300 on a sweater!  Beer almost started spewing out my nose as I whirled around.  THEN I realized it wasn't for her it was for her dog!!! 

You could tell she was guilty about it because she immediately got beat red and tried to change the subject quickly.  This was pre MMM but I still just raked her over the coals for being a dunce. The worst part is I am sure she talked to her side of the family and it was completely acceptable. 

PS - She probably makes 75k has probably 250k of debt and regularly buys designer clothes which cost minimum 150 $/piece.


Wow...I could never justify $300 for a dog sweater. Granted, I might justify spending hours creating a dog costume for Halloween...but even paying myself $50/hr wouldn't be that much.

lifejoy

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #470 on: June 26, 2013, 08:41:49 AM »
This reminds me of an episode of a wedding show... in which the bride spent more on her pooch's outfit than the groom did on his!!! Haha he was not impressed.

People are craaaaaazy.

Eric

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #471 on: June 26, 2013, 09:39:59 AM »
Employee - "I'm taking tomorrow off, but I don't want to use vacation time."
Boss - "Sorry, that's not possible, it's company policy to pay out vacation time if you have accrued it and miss time."
Employee - "Well, see, I have my surgery coming up and I have to take a week off to recover, so I was hoping to save my vacation payout for that."
Boss - "You could just set this money aside, so that you'll have it then.  In essence, we're just paying you early."
Employee - "Oh yeah, I guess that's an option."

Holy shit!  This guy had to be told that it was okay to not spend every cent from each paycheck.  You'd think that would set off a little light bulb off, but I'm not holding out too much hope.
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mgreczyn

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #472 on: June 26, 2013, 12:21:44 PM »
Ask her if she wants a personal jeweler for 6 months out of the year at twice that price - plus cost of materials...

so why not spend the rest of it just for fun? You know the usual - I work so hard and deserve to have some fun.



That is quite an example, thanks for sharing it.  I don't really question anyone's right to spend their extra money on "fun", I mean I'm spending quite a bit of money trying to buy my freedom which is the most fun thing I can imagine spending it on.  Rather, I'm stuck here asking myself "just what is so fucking fun about a necklace!?"

dragoncar

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #473 on: June 26, 2013, 01:27:35 PM »
Here's a thought-provoking calculator.  You can put in a degree, a school, a major and a grad year, and it will spit out your predicted income:  https://www.upstart.com/calculator

If you're interested in business schools (or any undergrad or grad program), you can use this to predict what your financial outcome might be.  They don't make a "happiness" calculator, unfortunately :)

I'm interested in this model where they give me $100k now and I give them 7% of my income for the next 10 years.  Especially since you don't have to pay in years you make less than $30k!  I'd feel bad ripping off the crowd funders though.

fiveoclockshadow

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #474 on: June 26, 2013, 02:05:06 PM »
The MBA question is an interesting one.  Personally no interest in getting one because it would mean I'd have to start doing what I consider the worst kind of work imaginable - but that is definitely just personal preference.  Many others find such work fulfilling and often profitable.

To the larger question of Mustachianess and the MBA on one level it seems to not make that much sense for the majority of folks.  If your plan is to RE then something that requires quite a number of years of working to get any appreciable ROI doesn't make much sense since the larger goal is to not spend quite a number of years working!

Those that I know who specifically wanted to do the kind of work an MBA is a prerequisite for determined it really was a check box for a resume, or as others have said an extended expensive interview.  In that sense what made the most sense was to find the most economical way to get an MBA and most definitely to do a program that allows you to continue working.  The full-time programs are extremely difficult to find economic justification for.  Besides what seems like very high tuition the reality is for almost anyone who is actually going to make money off of an MBA they likely already have a fairly high paying job and thus the opportunity cost of leaving work for a full time MBA program is even more expensive than the tuition.

The cynic in me sees the expensive full time MBA programs as targeting students who don't understand the value of money or time.  It is an odd selection process since you would have to be rather bad at economic calculations to enroll in such a program and yet supposedly when you complete said program employers will want to hire you to make economic calculations.  Strange...

Finally, as to post-graduate education in general, the best general rule of thumb is that if you have to pay for it then it probably isn't worth doing.  This is a very coarse rule of thumb, but it works rather well as a first smell test.

For example considering a M.S./Ph.D. - if it is a field that is of any economic value to anyone then you should be able to get a tuition waiver and RA or TA.  Alternatively you should be able to get an employer to either pay for it or pay you to go get it.  If neither of these conditions is present then the M.S./Ph.D. is unlikely to be of much economic utility to you since clearly no one else thinks it is of economic utility to pay you to do it.

Last, I think Mustachianess is all about becoming FI, which also means being able to make decisions more free of immediate financial concerns.  So if you really wanted an MBA, or a Ph.D. in English for that matter, you could do so if you were FI.  It just doesn't seem those are particualrly good pathways to becoming FI in and of themselves.
FIRE is like playing an old Sierra game, save early and save often...

Albert

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #475 on: June 26, 2013, 02:26:40 PM »
I got my PhD because I wanted to do a high level scientific research for living. Earning a high salary was only a secondary consideration. I believe that to be the case for a majority of those pursuing PhD's in serious sciences.

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #476 on: June 26, 2013, 02:33:37 PM »
I paid for my weekend MBA as I went (no debt) at a reasonably priced local school while working full time.

I more than doubled my annual gross pay within three years of graduating (60k -> 120k + bonus). I know I would not have gotten several of my subsequent jobs without the MBA. I don't recommend it for everyone, and I don't think a very high price MBA is necessarily smart. But it worked for me.
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mgreczyn

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #477 on: June 26, 2013, 04:05:47 PM »
The MBA question is an interesting one.  Personally no interest in getting one because it would mean I'd have to start doing what I consider the worst kind of work imaginable - but that is definitely just personal preference.  Many others find such work fulfilling and often profitable.

Curious, what would you define as the "type of work" that an MBA does?  On the face of it, it's a generalist qualification, though you can get an MBA in "Finance" or 30-odd other sub-specialties depending on your school.  There are definitely stereotypical career paths, namely banking and management consulting, but if you recognize that those fit your definition of "the worst type of work ever" then don't apply for those jobs.  Those jobs tend to pay the highest, hence MBA placement programs push them heavily (helps the ratings) and students in hock up to their eyeballs eat them up.  That said, MBAs can  be found in a pretty vast array of professions; tech product management, engineering management, government, etc.  I work in renewable energy myself.

To the larger question of Mustachianess and the MBA on one level it seems to not make that much sense for the majority of folks.  If your plan is to RE then something that requires quite a number of years of working to get any appreciable ROI doesn't make much sense since the larger goal is to not spend quite a number of years working!

True, and always do the cost benefit analysis.  Full time programs are usually 2 years, and you have to consider opportunity cost.  If your goal is RE, your best bet these days is probably to discover within yourself computer programming talent and skip college altogether.  Military's not a bad route either, but you're looking at 20 years vs 10.  It seems a lot of mustachians are lawyers, same thing as MBAs but my impression is that the labor market for lawyers is very much a buyer's market.  For me, the MBA enabled a desired transition and a much higher salary.  My wife doubled her salary with a much smaller investment dollar-wise.

Those that I know who specifically wanted to do the kind of work an MBA is a prerequisite for determined it really was a check box for a resume, or as others have said an extended expensive interview.  In that sense what made the most sense was to find the most economical way to get an MBA and most definitely to do a program that allows you to continue working.  The full-time programs are extremely difficult to find economic justification for.  Besides what seems like very high tuition the reality is for almost anyone who is actually going to make money off of an MBA they likely already have a fairly high paying job and thus the opportunity cost of leaving work for a full time MBA program is even more expensive than the tuition.


The full-time programs to my knowledge are actually MUCH cheaper than the part time ones.  Only do a part time MBA if your employer is footing the bill. 


The cynic in me sees the expensive full time MBA programs as targeting students who don't understand the value of money or time.  It is an odd selection process since you would have to be rather bad at economic calculations to enroll in such a program and yet supposedly when you complete said program employers will want to hire you to make economic calculations.  Strange...

Thanks!  I love being called gullible, though I won't deny a certain naivete; after all at the beginning of my MBA I could call in an airstrike but couldn't have explained the difference in Revenue and Net Income.  Let's see though, the average starting salary for a top-twenty MBA graduate is something like $100k + bonus, or more; call it $125k.  Median US individual earnings are $40k.  If you can get into a top twenty program, oh hypothetical median-wage-earner, you forego $80k in expected salary, take on $50-100k in debt and make $85k more per year (all rough numbers, of course).  If you're frugal and hard working (what mustachian isn't?) it can definitely pay off.  Like I said, my wife doubled her salary in 2 years for $36k + opportunity cost.  It's no golden ticket, it's a license to work hard and hustle.

Finally, as to post-graduate education in general, the best general rule of thumb is that if you have to pay for it then it probably isn't worth doing.  This is a very coarse rule of thumb, but it works rather well as a first smell test.


I'll happily stand in as the exception proving your rule. 

For example considering a M.S./Ph.D. - if it is a field that is of any economic value to anyone then you should be able to get a tuition waiver and RA or TA.  Alternatively you should be able to get an employer to either pay for it or pay you to go get it.  If neither of these conditions is present then the M.S./Ph.D. is unlikely to be of much economic utility to you since clearly no one else thinks it is of economic utility to pay you to do it.

Maybe... definitely not in my case, though.  Curious though, would you advocate the same for an undergrad degree?  If no-one is willing to pay for you to get a CS undergrad, it's unlikely to be of economic value... doesn't ring true really.  Seems like you're saying that if you happen to be working the checkout line at the local Target and they're not willing to pay for you to go to college, you're best bet for FI is to stick it out.

Last, I think Mustachianess is all about becoming FI, which also means being able to make decisions more free of immediate financial concerns.  So if you really wanted an MBA, or a Ph.D. in English for that matter, you could do so if you were FI.  It just doesn't seem those are particualrly good pathways to becoming FI in and of themselves.

Again, I think it depends on your baseline.  A raw HS grad is not making FI unless he writes the next app that Yahoo buys.  So you have to go to school, which means money.  And you may have the opportunity to increase earnings even more by getting a masters. 
« Last Edit: June 26, 2013, 04:09:27 PM by mgreczyn »

Jamesqf

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #478 on: June 26, 2013, 04:26:21 PM »
Curious though, would you advocate the same for an undergrad degree?  If no-one is willing to pay for you to get a CS undergrad, it's unlikely to be of economic value... doesn't ring true really.

If you get to junior or senior year in CS (the point at which you begin to know enough to be of economic use), you can generally get an internship or RA/TA position that will pay most of the cost of the last year or two of school, or more if you're frugal.

Ever noticed that in many popular non-tech fields, a lot of the internships are unpaid?  But in tech, an internship at a top Silicon Valley company like Google or IBM can pay in the $60K/year range.

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #479 on: June 26, 2013, 04:43:31 PM »
CS is definitely the way to go.  Can you believe I dropped CS in favor of English Lit?  Of course, a few years later my office was the weapons control pit on a $300 million airborne C2 platform, a little cooler than an IBM cube if I do say so myself.  The AF would still have taken me with CS, but odds are good I would have been stashed in a basement at Wright Pat hammering out FORTRAN all day. 

infogoon

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #480 on: June 27, 2013, 07:48:27 AM »
An MBA is indeed a solid generalist degree -- I have an undergrad degree in Computer Science and an MBA, and though I work in a technical field, I've also got enough background knowledge to speak knowledgeably with people in our Finance or Procurement divisions.

If you want to work on interesting projects in a large corporation, it's definitely an asset.

lisahi

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #481 on: June 27, 2013, 12:14:26 PM »
For me, my MBA wound up simply being something that looked good on my resume next to my JD. On its own, I found it actually hindered my ability to get work. At the time I was looking (early 2000s), I would get comments such as, "I would like to hire you, but I would need to pay you more since you have an MBA." Since I was, basically, just out of school at that point, these companies were more than happy to get a Bachelor's degree worker rather than having to pay more for me, somebody with a Masters. A few years later and my sister, with an MBA, had very similar experiences. Not that our experience represents the whole, or even majority, of those experienced by MBA grads just out of school; but I didn't find my MBA particularly helped me, on its own.

With the JD, however, it was gold. It looks good. I'm not sure it helps me all that much with what I actually do for a living as a lawyer, but it helped me get the various law jobs I've had over the years (which has been 3--clerk, private lawyer, government lawyer).

Thankfully, my MBA cost me next to nothing. Grants and scholarships.

My JD, on the other hand...

Jamesqf

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #482 on: June 27, 2013, 12:18:25 PM »
Of course, a few years later my office was the weapons control pit on a $300 million airborne C2 platform, a little cooler than an IBM cube if I do say so myself.

But not exactly something that's going to translate to a civilian career.  I had a similar problem after I got out of the military: a lot of painfully-acquired skills that were of no legal economic value.

And I don't believe you quite appreciate the coolness* of what you can do in one of IBM's cubes.  As for instance this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Boy_and_His_Atom

*Cool in another sense, too, since the STM runs pretty close to absolute zero.

mgreczyn

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #483 on: June 27, 2013, 12:43:06 PM »

But not exactly something that's going to translate to a civilian career.  I had a similar problem after I got out of the military: a lot of painfully-acquired skills that were of no legal economic value.

And I don't believe you quite appreciate the coolness* of what you can do in one of IBM's cubes.  As for instance this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Boy_and_His_Atom

*Cool in another sense, too, since the STM runs pretty close to absolute zero.

True and touche.  Way cool stuff happens in some of those cubes.

mgreczyn

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #484 on: June 27, 2013, 12:46:39 PM »
Since I was, basically, just out of school at that point, these companies were more than happy to get a Bachelor's degree worker rather than having to pay more for me, somebody with a Masters. A few years later and my sister, with an MBA, had very similar experiences. My JD, on the other hand...

Did you go straight from undergrad to MBA land?  That can definitely be a hindrance in some cases.  My entire b-school cadre of 400 had a single person who went straight from undergrad to b-school with no work experience.  Most full-time programs have minimum experience requirements, although as with everything else in life there is a waiver process for that.

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #485 on: June 27, 2013, 01:56:10 PM »
Since I was, basically, just out of school at that point, these companies were more than happy to get a Bachelor's degree worker rather than having to pay more for me, somebody with a Masters. A few years later and my sister, with an MBA, had very similar experiences. My JD, on the other hand...

Did you go straight from undergrad to MBA land?  That can definitely be a hindrance in some cases.  My entire b-school cadre of 400 had a single person who went straight from undergrad to b-school with no work experience.  Most full-time programs have minimum experience requirements, although as with everything else in life there is a waiver process for that.
I had eight years working experience before I enrolled in my MBA program. I would advise at least 2 - 3 years working - otherwise it's just 6 - 7 years of straight schooling. OK for docs. Not great for business people.
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lisahi

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #486 on: June 27, 2013, 03:59:26 PM »

Did you go straight from undergrad to MBA land?  That can definitely be a hindrance in some cases.  My entire b-school cadre of 400 had a single person who went straight from undergrad to b-school with no work experience.  Most full-time programs have minimum experience requirements, although as with everything else in life there is a waiver process for that.

Yes, I went straight through. My school had two programs, though -- the General MBA program and the Executive MBA program. The Executive MBA program was for those who already had work experience (and were still working, in fact). With the General MBA program, more than half came directly from undergrad.

kms

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #487 on: July 02, 2013, 02:36:59 AM »
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 fianc, 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!

Same here. I've recently hired a 19-year old for my department, fresh out of trade school so he's not making that much money yet but in terms of spending I'm silently facepalming myself every other day. He goes out to lunch every day and is currently considering getting a brand-new BMW to drive to work. Suffice it to say that it's a five minute walk from his apartment to his desk, and it'd probably take longer to walk from the parking area to his desk than from home.

I'm always trying to set a good example by biking to work every day, summer and winter, by bringing in my own lunch whenever possible, and by drinking tap water instead of buying the overpriced bottled water to no avail. The problem is that he identifies with his co-workers who are driving new sports cars and are eating out every day as well. Hard to set an example with that kind of competition ;)

He's good at what he does though and will probably be making a ton of money in a few years but until then he'll be too deep in debt to realize what hit him.
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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #488 on: July 11, 2013, 06:31:13 PM »
Yay, I finally have a work story to share!!  ;)  I'm a psychologist working PT in a medical setting.  I had a work colleague today who was ranting about politics tell me that he will never financially be able to retire and neither will I.  I refrained from telling him that I will have PLENTY of retirement savings by that point due to my frugal lifestyle.  We are in a low COL area and he makes a minimum of 100k and has for 20 years so there's no reason why he shouldn't have adequate savings.

People are interesting.

Goose

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #489 on: July 11, 2013, 06:56:25 PM »
Coworker of mine told me today he is giving away some of his books so that he can make room for a guitar.

It will be his 12th guitar!  Not serial, parallel - he has 12 guitars!

He should be grateful he never took piano lessons...........

oldtoyota

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #490 on: July 11, 2013, 07:18:00 PM »
Yay, I finally have a work story to share!!  ;)  I'm a psychologist working PT in a medical setting.  I had a work colleague today who was ranting about politics tell me that he will never financially be able to retire and neither will I.  I refrained from telling him that I will have PLENTY of retirement savings by that point due to my frugal lifestyle.  We are in a low COL area and he makes a minimum of 100k and has for 20 years so there's no reason why he shouldn't have adequate savings.

People are interesting.

I hope that person is not a psychologist. If so, yikes. No self awareness.

TheFrugalShrink

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #491 on: July 11, 2013, 07:30:35 PM »
@oldtoyota- No, he's a medical provider.  I would not say that psychologists in general have a ton of self awareness, though!!  :)

oldtoyota

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #492 on: July 11, 2013, 07:54:02 PM »
@oldtoyota- No, he's a medical provider.  I would not say that psychologists in general have a ton of self awareness, though!!  :)

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infogoon

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #493 on: July 12, 2013, 07:31:57 AM »
One of my coworkers is talking about spending $40k on a new Jeep. Why? Because someone told his four year old son that his dad is a pansy for not having a truck.

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #494 on: July 12, 2013, 07:34:56 AM »
One of my coworkers is talking about spending $40k on a new Jeep. Why? Because someone told his four year old son that his dad is a pansy for not having a truck.

Who the **** cares about what other people say? Grow a freaking spine and be a man.
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mpbaker22

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #495 on: July 12, 2013, 07:55:19 AM »
One of my coworkers is talking about spending $40k on a new Jeep. Why? Because someone told his four year old son that his dad is a pansy for not having a truck.

I think the appropriate response is to build a bike trailer and haul the largest amount the other man will ever carry on his truck.  What's more manly, taking out a loan to haul your crap or doing it with pure leg-power?

MissStache

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #496 on: July 12, 2013, 09:52:11 AM »
One of my coworkers is talking about spending $40k on a new Jeep. Why? Because someone told his four year old son that his dad is a pansy for not having a truck.

I would say his dad is a pansy for thinking a truck makes a man...

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #497 on: July 12, 2013, 10:43:25 AM »
"I couldn't retire on $1.2M. Not with my lifestyle" - said by a coworker who is almost old enough to be my mother while joking about splitting a $3.6M check between 3 employees.

This is the same woman who has a 6 bedroom house with 2 kids and said her philosophy is to buy the biggest house you can afford and the cheapest car you can because houses always appreciate (really? You still really believe that?) but drives a fairly new SUV (it's a Kia or Hyundia but still...)

Give me $1.2M and I could pay off all my debt with the $200k and have $1M nest egg or $48k/year at the 4% withdrawal rate which more than replaces my income and without debt we wouldn't need hubby's income at all :)

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #498 on: July 12, 2013, 11:21:57 AM »
Maigahane - I see your coworker and raise you the friends I visited with last weekend: husband, wife and three kids in a 7 BR, 8 bathroom, 10,000+ sq ft house. I expect they could not retire on $1.2mm either.  : /
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Maigahane

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #499 on: July 12, 2013, 11:41:02 AM »
Maigahane - I see your coworker and raise you the friends I visited with last weekend: husband, wife and three kids in a 7 BR, 8 bathroom, 10,000+ sq ft house. I expect they could not retire on $1.2mm either.  : /
Eek! I thought I was bad with a 3 bed/1.75 bath, 2400 sqft house with no kids...though we have had a roommate for 2.5 of the 5 years we've lived there :)