Author Topic: Overheard at Work  (Read 4933664 times)

Zamboni

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #4950 on: October 26, 2014, 06:00:27 AM »
A blue box is used to hack pay phones!

What's a pay phone?

larmando

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #4951 on: October 26, 2014, 06:21:01 AM »
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« Last Edit: October 26, 2014, 06:23:09 AM by larmando »

FrenchyMustache

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #4952 on: October 26, 2014, 05:06:11 PM »
Same here, the second i read a blue box, i was just thinking of the tardis.
Real Life is like Darsoul, you better get your FIRE up if you dont wanna get crushed.

hdatontodo

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #4953 on: October 26, 2014, 05:20:28 PM »
A blue box is used to hack pay phones!

What's a pay phone?

If bad words don't offend you, this Cleveland video has a pay phone in it

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ysmLA5TqbIY

RetiredAt63

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #4954 on: October 26, 2014, 06:19:03 PM »
Same here.  And if it is small and blue, it is from Birk's.  Probably not as expensive as Tiffany's, but expensive.

http://business.financialpost.com/2014/07/09/birks-and-tiffany-co-battle-of-the-blue-jewelry-boxes/

Our blue box goes out every other week with the recycling in it.

Primm

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #4955 on: October 26, 2014, 11:51:24 PM »
That's a black box.

And your inference on the push present is correct.  :)

Oh d*** thats the reason why I am color blind :P I get even confused with the colors names LOL

And a black box isn't even black.  It's bright orange to make it easier to find after a crash.

Didn't we have this conversation already?

FoundPeace

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #4956 on: October 27, 2014, 03:58:05 AM »
Not exactloverheard at work, but I thought this one was pretty good.

One of my wife's childhood friends got her apartment, groceries, bathroom supplies, plane tickets home, etc. paid for through college and even after she graduated and got married. Her parents decided they should stop supporting her and started to wean her. She knew that my wife and I were doing well with ourselves even though I was going to school and my wife was a low-paid teacher. So we went grocery shopping with her a few times to teach her how to look at prices and plan meals. Even though they still spend a lot, they donít spend the $1500 per month they used to for groceries.

(Apparently it is possible to feed a family with 13 kids with only around $1200 per month http://www.madfientist.com/how-to-retire-early-with-13-kids/).

crispy

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #4957 on: October 27, 2014, 07:10:06 AM »
I just got rid of my flip phone and moved to the Moto E with Republic Wireless.  I was showing it to another coworker who also uses a flip phone and was explaining how Republic Wireless worked, the cost of their plans, etc.  Another coworker overheard the conversation and wanted to look at it because she is currently paying over $100 a month just for her phone and said she needs to cut back on expenses.  She looked at it for about 10 seconds then dismissively handed it back to me and said that it would NEVER work for her because she NEEDS her iPhone for her business (the MLM business where she begs coworkers to buy junk on a regular basis).  This coworker works is divorced, and her alimony is about to run out.  She works 10 hours a week at the same place I do and then runs her "business."  Basically, she has very little income coming in and seems to have no plans for when the alimony runs out.  Yet she NEEDS an iPhone with a $100+ plan.  My mind just boggles.

rocksinmyhead

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #4958 on: October 27, 2014, 07:58:04 AM »
OMG I HATE push presents. The baby IS the fucking present you morons. Gross!!!

hahahaha agreed.

also, kind of embarrassed that I DID know what the blue box meant. *hangs head in anti-Mustachian shame*

Chranstronaut

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #4959 on: October 27, 2014, 09:01:17 AM »
Blue box?



What a shitty present.

I'm reading this on my small phone and got all excited because I thought it was a Tardis. Best present ever!

It's the TURDIS
Follow my journey to become an astronaut here!
Or my journal here

chrisgardner73

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #4960 on: October 27, 2014, 09:03:19 AM »
For instance, there are roughly 5,000 employees at my building. Walking through the parking lot, I'd wager that 80% of vehicles are less than 5 years old. Of those 80%, I'd estimate MSRP on 70% of them to be somewhere north of $30k, and there are a lot of expensive trucks and SUV's as well. I would say less than 1% of vehicles are truly "beaters" (over 10 years old, not in very good to excellent shape, etc.). When I am pi$$ed at my car for whatever reason I'll think "hey, all these people have newer BMW's, etc., why can't I?". That feeling goes away pretty quickly but for the average not-financially-savvy person, they buy in to it, and think that it's ok (which, it is, if you are financially stable, understand your long term goals, understand the trade-off's - which most people don't).
I hear you. My company parking garage is filled with BMWs. There's also a Trek FX bike (MSRP $700) locked to a railing. The Trek is mine and I paid $400 for it. I don't have a car payment, or insurance, or gas, or service on it. And I bet I enjoy my ride to work more than they do in their BMWs going 15 mph in the clogged highways. All these people with their expensive cars are nuts.

I just signed up on here, and this is my first post!

I totally see where you're coming from here.  I am a contractor, working for the governement, and it's a similar situation.  I don't think there's a vehicle in our lot under 5 years old.  Maybe a small percentage, but not much.  I commute by bike every day.  My bike was a bit pricier, but I'm a pretty big bike geek, so that's where I splurge a little.  I was walking out the other day, and as one of the guys was getting into his BMW, he asked me, "Hey, don't we pay you enough to drive a car like normal people?"  I said yes, but I choose to save it so I don't have to work here as long...

Sylly

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #4961 on: October 27, 2014, 09:13:42 AM »
Again, an assumption of mine, but are you male? I guessed yes, and probably 75% of my male friends wouldn't have a clue what a "blue box" meant.
That is unfair. Most males know what a blue box is: It is a device for recording voice or data, commonly fond in airplanes and ships.

I think you're mistaking blue for black.

And I didn't know what a push present, baby moon, or blue box was.. This forum is so educational!

jrmrjnck

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #4962 on: October 27, 2014, 10:03:42 AM »
I totally see where you're coming from here.  I am a contractor, working for the governement, and it's a similar situation.  I don't think there's a vehicle in our lot under 5 years old.  Maybe a small percentage, but not much.  I commute by bike every day.  My bike was a bit pricier, but I'm a pretty big bike geek, so that's where I splurge a little.  I was walking out the other day, and as one of the guys was getting into his BMW, he asked me, "Hey, don't we pay you enough to drive a car like normal people?"  I said yes, but I choose to save it so I don't have to work here as long...

You could never pay me enough to drive to work everyday. It's so soul-crushing, especially the last five minutes you have to spend circling up the parking garage looking for a spot. I love being able to glide right up to the bike rack and hop off.

dragoncar

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #4963 on: October 27, 2014, 10:12:34 AM »
Again, an assumption of mine, but are you male? I guessed yes, and probably 75% of my male friends wouldn't have a clue what a "blue box" meant.
That is unfair. Most males know what a blue box is: It is a device for recording voice or data, commonly fond in airplanes and ships.

I think you're mistaking blue for black.


Didn't we already have this conversation?

arebelspy

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #4964 on: October 27, 2014, 10:28:43 AM »
Again, an assumption of mine, but are you male? I guessed yes, and probably 75% of my male friends wouldn't have a clue what a "blue box" meant.
That is unfair. Most males know what a blue box is: It is a device for recording voice or data, commonly fond in airplanes and ships.

I think you're mistaking blue for black.


Didn't we already have this conversation?

Didn't we already have this conversation?
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, and now travel the world full time with a kid.
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senecando

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #4965 on: October 27, 2014, 11:11:03 AM »
Again, an assumption of mine, but are you male? I guessed yes, and probably 75% of my male friends wouldn't have a clue what a "blue box" meant.
That is unfair. Most males know what a blue box is: It is a device for recording voice or data, commonly fond in airplanes and ships.

I think you're mistaking blue for black.


Didn't we already have this conversation?

Didn't we already have this conversation?
Yup, it's right there in that blue box that says "Quote from..." on top.

frugalnacho

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #4966 on: October 27, 2014, 11:41:26 AM »
Just an FYI guys it's called a black box

plainjane

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #4967 on: October 27, 2014, 11:47:20 AM »
A new consultant was introducing himself at a meeting, "Hopefully I'm not late in my career.  That would mean that I'm going to die soon."
Using procrastination to my advantage since 2001.

solon

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #4968 on: October 27, 2014, 12:02:05 PM »
Just an FYI guys it's called a black box

Yeah, but did you know they're not actually black? They're bright orange, so they can be seen better.

ender

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #4969 on: October 27, 2014, 12:06:44 PM »
Just an FYI guys it's called a black box

Yeah, but did you know they're not actually black? They're bright orange, so they can be seen better.

I thought it was called a blue box?

I'm so foncused.

arebelspy

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #4970 on: October 27, 2014, 12:16:13 PM »
Just an FYI guys it's called a black box

Yeah, but did you know they're not actually black? They're bright orange, so they can be seen better.

We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, and now travel the world full time with a kid.
If you want to know more about me, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (occasionally) blog at AdventuringAlong.com.
You can also read my forum "Journal."

infogoon

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #4971 on: October 27, 2014, 12:20:33 PM »
Just an FYI guys it's called a black box

Yeah, but did you know they're not actually black? They're bright orange, so they can be seen better.

I've never seen a bright orange box from Tiffany's.

GuitarStv

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #4972 on: October 27, 2014, 12:30:43 PM »
There is only one orange box.


gopackgo2

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #4973 on: October 27, 2014, 12:34:01 PM »
I work with a woman who is in her mid-70s and can't retire because she says she doesn't have enough money.  She probably makes about 65K. 

She shops exclusively at Whole Foods, won't give up her cleaning lady and buys $100 organic facial cleanser.

She thinks I'm "lucky" to be able to retire in 17 months at age 45.  Sure, there was luck involved, but it also included the sacrifice of soap for a facial cleanser.

Josiecat

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #4974 on: October 27, 2014, 12:49:07 PM »
New coworker drives a Hummer.  Now he says he is buying a sports car to be his 'commuter' car.  Apparently the Hummer doesn't get very good gas mileage.  Huh, who knew?  And he intends to keep the Hummer so he'll have two cars.  Made my head hurt.

4alpacas

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #4975 on: October 27, 2014, 12:49:45 PM »
I work with a woman who is in her mid-70s and can't retire because she says she doesn't have enough money.  She probably makes about 65K. 

She shops exclusively at Whole Foods, won't give up her cleaning lady and buys $100 organic facial cleanser.

She thinks I'm "lucky" to be able to retire in 17 months at age 45.  Sure, there was luck involved, but it also included the sacrifice of soap for a facial cleanser.

WHAT?!  As a reformed product fanatic, I have no clue what she is washing her face with.  $100 for a face cream, sure.  But a cleanser?  No way. 


robotclown

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #4976 on: October 27, 2014, 01:15:21 PM »
The blue box is the thing from Animorphs. 

VirginiaBob

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #4977 on: October 27, 2014, 01:17:30 PM »
I work with a woman who is in her mid-70s and can't retire because she says she doesn't have enough money.  She probably makes about 65K. 

She shops exclusively at Whole Foods, won't give up her cleaning lady and buys $100 organic facial cleanser.

She thinks I'm "lucky" to be able to retire in 17 months at age 45.  Sure, there was luck involved, but it also included the sacrifice of soap for a facial cleanser.

Does she look 70+ years old with that special facial cleanser?

Louis the Cat

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #4978 on: October 27, 2014, 01:29:39 PM »
Ok, I'm just gonna drag this thing back on topic:

I had a conversation with a woman who I am friendly with after a concert we played together on Saturday where, in the natural course of things, I mentioned that I wanted more paid gigs because I have $30k in student loans to pay (closer to $22k now but I still use the $30k number in conversation for some reason).

Her: "Don't talk to me about student loans, I owe $200k!!" (From previous conversations, I know that these are loans she took out for her kids who are a hair younger than me.)
Me: "Who's fault is that?!"
Her: "My kids!"
Me: "Different choices could have been made."
Her: "They refused to go to Front Range [Community College]!"

At that point, I abandoned ship because what person in their right mind says to mom and dad, who are prepared to pay your full tuition, apparently without scholarships, that they refuse to consider a reasonably priced option.

Other things I know about this woman:

1. When I first met her, she was devastated because her husband's truck had just broken down irreparably and she didn't know how they were going to afford the payment on the new car. Model year of dead truck? 1985!!!!! Who doesn't at least acknowledge that they SHOULD have planned for a 30 year old vehicle to break down even if they didn't ACTUALLY plan for it.

2. She mentioned on Saturday that she wouldn't take a job in a city about an hour north of us because she didn't trust her minivan with 287k miles to make the drive. (The job in question is a position with a part time orchestra. This is a perfectly reasonable expectation in this line of work.) I'm not sure she's good enough to get a job with this particular orchestra and she may just be saying that to lessen the blow of not getting the job but still, if you honestly think your vehicle is holding you back in your career, REPLACE THE VEHICLE.

3. She's taken a second job although I'm afraid to ask why exactly. I do know that she used the first check from the second job to buy Halloween costumes for the whole section (4 in total) for the Saturday concert at, I think, $40 a pop. I tried to pay her for mine and tried to suggest cheaper alternatives. She wouldn't hear of it.

4. To cap it all off, she was trying to talk another musician into going with her this week to get a foot massage (I didn't know you could pay to get just a foot massage) because "I deserve it after all the work I've been doing".

She's a substitute teacher and DH is a Senior Software Engineer. She probably doesn't make much but he and my DH are in similar work except he has boatloads more experience than DH so I can guess what he makes and it should be $100k-$120k as a conservative guess; in a highish COL area but not insane.

I've been saving this up for a while, thanks for letting me getting it out!

BlueHouse

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #4979 on: October 27, 2014, 01:53:24 PM »
I think I might be the person at my job place that people "overhear".  I'm working on increasing my frugal factor, but not quite there yet.   I've been buying a lot of high-price items lately while I outfit my house, but I budgeted for all of it.  I also moan and complain about "how bad I have it" just to try to fit in and seem human - I don't start the conversations, but I do try to "be one of the guys" by adding in my own "woe is me" story.  I know I'm not perfect, but when people talk about money, I have no intention of saying "I'm on the right path" or even "I'm doing okay".  If I do, then someone would perceive that as I make too much money.  I have a nice car, but it's 8 years old (and it's going to keep getting older as long as I'm with this job).  I have a nice house, but I won't let anyone see it because they'd make assumptions.  People tend to make judgements about whether your pay is equitable based on whether or not they think you "need the money".  and that makes me fib about how much certain payments "hurt" my wallet. 
Sometimes nothing can be a real cool hand

Elderwood17

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #4980 on: October 27, 2014, 02:40:27 PM »
I found myself scratching my head after this interaction today:

CW1 - We've been in our house so long we can actually imagine getting the thing paid off soon!
Me - Congratulations!
CW2 - I can't afford to ever pay my house off, I need the interest deductions too much.
CW1 - Oh, what is your interest rate?
CE2 - I don't know, I don't really pay it much attention.

I couldn't come up with any pithy comment.  I understand some people are clueless but why not just admit it and say "I'm clueless about an area as important as my personal finances" versus the "I need the tax deduction " smoke screen?   

AlanStache

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #4981 on: October 27, 2014, 05:59:56 PM »
I found myself scratching my head after this interaction today:

CW1 - We've been in our house so long we can actually imagine getting the thing paid off soon!
Me - Congratulations!
CW2 - I can't afford to ever pay my house off, I need the interest deductions too much.
CW1 - Oh, what is your interest rate?
CE2 - I don't know, I don't really pay it much attention.

I couldn't come up with any pithy comment.  I understand some people are clueless but why not just admit it and say "I'm clueless about an area as important as my personal finances" versus the "I need the tax deduction " smoke screen?

And can someone explain the "I need the deduction" thing, last year I thought I "got back" like a third of the interest I paid on the loan; so for every 1$ I paid; Uncle Sam 'gave me back' 0.33$.  How would I not be better off not paying the dollar and not getting the 0.33$ back - seems I would be .66$ better off?  Honest question what I am I missing?  Or does mortgage interest lower your taxable income so that someone with high income and who paid lots in interest could come out ahead?  Or would a lower income tax payer get a higher percent back of what they paid in interest?  All this ignores investing the difference etc but purely on a tax level what am I missing when people say "I need the deduction"?

On topic: Overheard a senior guy asking the company accountant to review what he was invested in and what to do to get his house in order.  Accountant asked some basic questions like 'who do you have your taxable accounts with' that he could not really answer.   +1 for being willing to ask for help.
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dragoncar

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #4982 on: October 27, 2014, 06:00:36 PM »
I found myself scratching my head after this interaction today:

CW1 - We've been in our house so long we can actually imagine getting the thing paid off soon!
Me - Congratulations!
CW2 - I can't afford to ever pay my house off, I need the interest deductions too much.
CW1 - Oh, what is your interest rate?
CE2 - I don't know, I don't really pay it much attention.

I couldn't come up with any pithy comment.  I understand some people are clueless but why not just admit it and say "I'm clueless about an area as important as my personal finances" versus the "I need the tax deduction " smoke screen?

I'm guessing it's more like "my financially savvy spouse/parent/whoever told me we need the tax deduction"

sol

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #4983 on: October 27, 2014, 06:06:03 PM »
How would I not be better off not paying the dollar and not getting the 0.33$ back - seems I would be .66$ better off?

I suppose coworker could be up against one of the income phase outs.  Like "if I can't deduct this $5000 in mortgage interest, I don't qualify for my $5500 Earned Income Tax Credit" but that seems pretty unlikely, coming from someone who apparently doesn't know what those words mean.

Kira

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #4984 on: October 27, 2014, 06:17:42 PM »
If you make charitable deductions, you might not get any benefit from them if you don't have enough deductions to make it worth itemizing.

zolotiyeruki

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #4985 on: October 27, 2014, 06:39:32 PM »

And can someone explain the "I need the deduction" thing, last year I thought I "got back" like a third of the interest I paid on the loan; so for every 1$ I paid; Uncle Sam 'gave me back' 0.33$.  How would I not be better off not paying the dollar and not getting the 0.33$ back - seems I would be .66$ better off?  Honest question what I am I missing?  Or does mortgage interest lower your taxable income so that someone with high income and who paid lots in interest could come out ahead?  Or would a lower income tax payer get a higher percent back of what they paid in interest?  All this ignores investing the difference etc but purely on a tax level what am I missing when people say "I need the deduction"?

your understanding is correct. And not only would they be saving the tax-deductible interest, they would also be freeing up the cash flow that was going toward principal!

HappierAtHome

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #4986 on: October 27, 2014, 07:19:05 PM »
Just overheard a coworker complaining about how her toddler throws major tantrums, and that she's "leaving that up to daycare to fix - that's why I work so much and put her in daycare, it means I don't have to deal with these things".

johnintaiwan

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #4987 on: October 27, 2014, 07:52:58 PM »
Just overheard a coworker complaining about how her toddler throws major tantrums, and that she's "leaving that up to daycare to fix - that's why I work so much and put her in daycare, it means I don't have to deal with these things".

This happens all the time with students at my school. Often when we tell a parents that their child (6-10 years old) is not bringing books to class or finishing homework or is being disruptive in class we get the  "it's your problem." They think because the school is so expensive they can simply let us take care of all of their parenting.

(FYI - this is an after school bushiban. A mix of english classes and a daycare of sorts)

tofuchampion

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #4988 on: October 27, 2014, 11:14:35 PM »
Just overheard a coworker complaining about how her toddler throws major tantrums, and that she's "leaving that up to daycare to fix - that's why I work so much and put her in daycare, it means I don't have to deal with these things".

That is really sad for the kid.  :(
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Shropskr

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #4989 on: October 27, 2014, 11:50:28 PM »
My daughters class has snack everyday at school.  The parent who took charge of making it happen. Set up snack weeks and every parent is to sign up for one or two weeks for snack.  When all weeks are full he would give the class an ice cream party.  Well all the weeks were duly assigned sooo.

He had the entire class walk to the ice cream shop and bought them cones at $3.00 apiece. 


What a waste.  My kids and I had a discussion about how he could have had just as great a party from the grocery store for less than half the money.


FoundPeace

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #4990 on: October 28, 2014, 01:52:30 AM »
Why do these people even have children? Their kids are going to be so messed up when they grow up.

marty998

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #4991 on: October 28, 2014, 05:01:03 AM »
The blue box is the thing from Animorphs.

I thought I was the only one who read that series. Andalites and Yeerks and that evil Visser Three. Jake, Rachel(?), Cassie, Marco, Tobias and Ax. That's all of them?

Remember being obsessed with the Goosebumps series too. Think I had every single one of those books.

frugledoc

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #4992 on: October 28, 2014, 06:06:41 AM »
I found myself scratching my head after this interaction today:

CW1 - We've been in our house so long we can actually imagine getting the thing paid off soon!
Me - Congratulations!
CW2 - I can't afford to ever pay my house off, I need the interest deductions too much.
CW1 - Oh, what is your interest rate?
CE2 - I don't know, I don't really pay it much attention.

I couldn't come up with any pithy comment.  I understand some people are clueless but why not just admit it and say "I'm clueless about an area as important as my personal finances" versus the "I need the tax deduction " smoke screen?

I'm guessing it's more like "my financially savvy spouse/parent/whoever told me we need the tax deduction"

Yea, it is not worth engaging with people like this.

They will absolutely refuse to accept that you may be better informed than their friend/parent/boyfriend/drug dealer about money matters.


Elderwood17

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #4993 on: October 28, 2014, 06:11:33 AM »
Just overheard a coworker complaining about how her toddler throws major tantrums, and that she's "leaving that up to daycare to fix - that's why I work so much and put her in daycare, it means I don't have to deal with these things".

Wow - that is just awful.  Poor kid.

infogoon

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #4994 on: October 28, 2014, 06:55:40 AM »
Why do these people even have children? Their kids are going to be so messed up when they grow up.

Because you don't get out of middle management if you don't have a Brayden, Aiden, Jayden, Kayla, Kaylee, or Kayleigh to call your own.

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #4995 on: October 28, 2014, 08:11:20 AM »
Why do these people even have children? Their kids are going to be so messed up when they grow up.

Because you don't get out of middle management if you don't have a Brayden, Aiden, Jayden, Kayla, Kaylee, or Kayleigh to call your own.

I know a little girl named Taylee. I threw up a bit in my mouth when I heard it the first time.
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VirginiaBob

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #4996 on: October 28, 2014, 08:18:27 AM »
Why do these people even have children? Their kids are going to be so messed up when they grow up.

Because you don't get out of middle management if you don't have a Brayden, Aiden, Jayden, Kayla, Kaylee, or Kayleigh to call your own.

+1 Lol!

arebelspy

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #4997 on: October 28, 2014, 09:19:31 AM »
And can someone explain the "I need the deduction" thing, last year I thought I "got back" like a third of the interest I paid on the loan; so for every 1$ I paid; Uncle Sam 'gave me back' 0.33$.  How would I not be better off not paying the dollar and not getting the 0.33$ back - seems I would be .66$ better off?  Honest question what I am I missing?  Or does mortgage interest lower your taxable income so that someone with high income and who paid lots in interest could come out ahead?  Or would a lower income tax payer get a higher percent back of what they paid in interest?  All this ignores investing the difference etc but purely on a tax level what am I missing when people say "I need the deduction"?

I bolded the answer to your question, that you yourself posted but decided to "ignore"  :P

If I have a chunk of cash that could pay off my mortgage (let's say 100k).  And I can invest that money at a rate that will pay for the mortgage interest after taxes, then I'm definitely better off taking the mortgage interest deduction.

In other words, say I earn $1 interest (after tax) and pay $1 interest to the bank.  Then the government gives me back $0.33.  I'm ahead $0.33.

If instead I used the money to pay off the mortgage, I no longer have to pay that dollar, nor do I get the 33 cents back, but I'm not 66 cents ahead in this situation, because I don't earn the $1 of interest.  In this situation I don't earn the dollar, don't pay the dollar, and don't get the 33 cents back. So I'm even (0).

That's only counting if you can earn at the rate that your mortgage is.  If you earn higher, naturally you'll end up with even more.

But even if you can't, you may still be better paying the dollar in interest to get the 33 cents back, simply because of the opportunity cost of the money you'd use to pay off the mortgage.
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frugalnacho

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #4998 on: October 28, 2014, 09:35:29 AM »
And can someone explain the "I need the deduction" thing, last year I thought I "got back" like a third of the interest I paid on the loan; so for every 1$ I paid; Uncle Sam 'gave me back' 0.33$.  How would I not be better off not paying the dollar and not getting the 0.33$ back - seems I would be .66$ better off?  Honest question what I am I missing?  Or does mortgage interest lower your taxable income so that someone with high income and who paid lots in interest could come out ahead?  Or would a lower income tax payer get a higher percent back of what they paid in interest?  All this ignores investing the difference etc but purely on a tax level what am I missing when people say "I need the deduction"?

I bolded the answer to your question, that you yourself posted but decided to "ignore"  :P

If I have a chunk of cash that could pay off my mortgage (let's say 100k).  And I can invest that money at a rate that will pay for the mortgage interest after taxes, then I'm definitely better off taking the mortgage interest deduction.

In other words, say I earn $1 interest (after tax) and pay $1 interest to the bank.  Then the government gives me back $0.33.  I'm ahead $0.33.

If instead I used the money to pay off the mortgage, I no longer have to pay that dollar, nor do I get the 33 cents back, but I'm not 66 cents ahead in this situation, because I don't earn the $1 of interest.  In this situation I don't earn the dollar, don't pay the dollar, and don't get the 33 cents back. So I'm even (0).

That's only counting if you can earn at the rate that your mortgage is.  If you earn higher, naturally you'll end up with even more.

But even if you can't, you may still be better paying the dollar in interest to get the 33 cents back, simply because of the opportunity cost of the money you'd use to pay off the mortgage.

I don't think most people think of it that way (at least people that I hear claiming they need the deduction, or that the deduction is so great).  More often than not I think they just have a total lack of financial understanding and automatically equate a deduction to something great for their financial situation regardless of the actual cost.  Very much like claiming you had to shop for new cloths at kohls because it was all 20% savings.  20% savings is great (and they totally ignore the 80% spending they had to do).

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #4999 on: October 28, 2014, 09:38:22 AM »
Rebs, that's a well thought out example, and I'm with you, I'd rather invest than pay off debts.

However, I don't think that's the reason for this phenomenon AlanStache refers to. People have been brainwashed into thinking the government is subsidizing the purchase of their house, when in reality they are only picking up a portion of the interest and real estate taxes. It would serve them better to pay no interest. It would serve them best to pay interest and invest at a gain.

I have clients who've told me their old CPA said they need to buy a bigger house to save money on taxes. It's scary that a trusted advisor would say that when there are so many better options for tax planning.

When you consider the standard deduction already includes a big tax savings it also really reduces the effect a reasonable house purchase/mortgage should have on a tax return.
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