Author Topic: Overheard at Work  (Read 8742176 times)

nouveauRiche

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 342
  • Location: HCOL - USA
Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20000 on: April 20, 2018, 06:38:07 PM »
I'm a CPA so have a firm grasp on the US taxation system but it often surprises me how little some people understand it, even basic concepts. But I think I'm also taking for granted how hard to understand it can be, for people not in accounting or tax who don't have to think about it much.

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

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

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

Zaga

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1772
  • Age: 38
  • Location: North of Pittsburgh, PA
    • A Wall of Hats
Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20001 on: April 20, 2018, 07:12:29 PM »
I'm a CPA so have a firm grasp on the US taxation system but it often surprises me how little some people understand it, even basic concepts. But I think I'm also taking for granted how hard to understand it can be, for people not in accounting or tax who don't have to think about it much.

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

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

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

tungsten

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 22
Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20002 on: April 20, 2018, 07:50:44 PM »
I had this manager, well call him Marco, who had done reasonably well for himself as a mechanical engineer.  He grew up working class in Italy, moved to the US and worked for a solar company that did well.  But at some point he married the daughter of a MegaTech VP and thus married into a lot of money and adopted an inflated lifestyle.  So here we are, working together at a struggling clean energy startup- neither of us is making very much.

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

So, how much is daycare anyway?
Marco: $2000 a month, its crazy!
Yeah thats nuts!
M: I know, Im just trying to make it work with other expenses like vacations and playing polo.
Oh, you play polo? So you have a horse? (in the fanciest part of San Fran??)
M: Well, in order to play polo you need at least 5 or 6 horses.
What? Really??
M: Yeah because theres like 5 rounds and your horse gets tired after each one, so you need to switch it out for a new one after each round.
Wow, well boarding all those horses certainly cant be cheap!
M: Tell me about it! But Im pretty frugal (sensing my astonishment), my horses arent ultra fancy like everyone elses at the club, mine are only like $30,000 each, but yeah I just have someone else take care of them. Anyway, Im just hoping we can afford to go on vacation this year like we always do.
I suppose you dont have to go far, there are a lot of cheap places to travel in the US that are pretty cool.
M: (condescendingly rolling his eyes) When we go on vacation its AT LEAST $25,000.  I like to take the whole family sailing in Europe.

Sometimes you just have to facepalm and move on.


dragoncar

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8087
  • Registered member
Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20003 on: April 20, 2018, 09:36:51 PM »
So his FIL pays for everything and his salary covers his horse upkeep?

couponvan

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4652
  • Location: Illinois
    • My journal
Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20004 on: April 20, 2018, 09:47:23 PM »
So his FIL pays for everything and his salary covers his horse upkeep?

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

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

Hirondelle

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1056
Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20005 on: April 21, 2018, 02:20:31 AM »
One of my co-workers finished her PhD contract but is still rounding up, so now she's getting unemployment benefits (70% of salary for max 6 months or so). She seems in no rush to find another job and just went on a 4 week trip to Japan to celebrate the end of the PhD (this was booked before she realized she wouldn't finish in time). Seems like she can cover her bills using the 70% and has savings for the trips. Good for her.

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

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

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

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

Linda_Norway

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3527
Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20006 on: April 23, 2018, 06:29:34 AM »
One of my co-workers finished her PhD contract but is still rounding up, so now she's getting unemployment benefits (70% of salary for max 6 months or so). She seems in no rush to find another job and just went on a 4 week trip to Japan to celebrate the end of the PhD (this was booked before she realized she wouldn't finish in time). Seems like she can cover her bills using the 70% and has savings for the trips. Good for her.

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

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

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

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

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

dmac680chi

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 61
Overheard at Work
« Reply #20007 on: April 24, 2018, 04:06:13 PM »
I’ve got a small gem from work today. I’m a substitute teacher so typically I bop around to various schools each day to get a taste of different school environments. I was in the teachers lounge talking to a SECA which is a assistant of sorts for students. Paid equal or maybe slightly more then a sub but not a full time classroom teacher. This person is from California and so we got to talking as my family visits once a year out there.

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


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
« Last Edit: April 24, 2018, 09:40:05 PM by dmac680chi »

SunnyDays

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 213
Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20008 on: April 24, 2018, 09:37:11 PM »
^^^^^^^
Um, it's THERE, not THEIR.  Teacher, huh?

dmac680chi

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 61
Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20009 on: April 24, 2018, 09:39:15 PM »
^^^^^^^
Um, it's THERE, not THEIR.  Teacher, huh?

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


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

DutchGirl

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 40
  • Age: 39
  • Location: The Netherlands
Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20010 on: April 25, 2018, 02:29:49 AM »
today i was talking with a coworker - let's call him dan. we have a project coming up in a few weeks that only a few of the employees are qualified to do, but since it's on a weekend they would get overtime. i said if it were me, i'd jump at the chance to earn overtime - i'm salaried, so i don't have that option. dan, whose wife, "stella," is one of the employees who are qualified to do the overtime job, said he and his wife never went for overtime. i asked why, since i know neither of them earn very much, and dan said, "well, stella did the math after she got her paycheck the last time she worked overtime, and the government took so much from it in taxes that she ended up getting only half of what she was supposed to. so we decided never to work overtime again unless we had to." i tried to explain that that isn't how taxes work - but dan just made a joke about it going over his head and then changed the subject.

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

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

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

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

DutchGirl

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 40
  • Age: 39
  • Location: The Netherlands
Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20011 on: April 25, 2018, 02:39:23 AM »
There are involuntary hour reductions happening again at work. Each time this has happened, one or more of the employees at my job have voluntarily reduced their hours so everyone could keep their job.  (...)
    I'm probably FI at this point.  Paid off house.  No debt.  But I'm going to eliminate my expensive hobby to save up a bigger cash cushion.   I should have done this a long time ago.  Sigh (sob)

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

Zoot

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 357
  • Location: USA
Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20012 on: April 25, 2018, 05:34:40 AM »
BINGO! That's exactly what I'm talking about. People think if they make more money, they'll actually bring home less. And there are so many people who think this!

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

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

avalanchecity

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 28
  • Location: the wide wide midwest
Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20013 on: April 25, 2018, 08:07:11 AM »
a co-worker of mine is trying to save to bring her boyfriend to the US from a country in southeast asia.* she's gotten a second job (minimum wage, part time) to help save, but she's only been getting about ten hours a week - a ~6 hour shift on saturday and a few hours scattered across the evenings. she wanted to be working a lot more, and is disappointed in how little she's earning from that job. despite this, she's also decided that since she's working so much, she can't be bothered with grocery shopping or cooking anymore. as a result, she brings in a breakfast from mcdonald's every morning, has burger king for lunch every day, and goes through the drive through for dinner.

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

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

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

GilbertB

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 127
  • Age: 41
  • Location: Gent
    • Sci-fi Meandering
Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20014 on: April 25, 2018, 09:07:34 AM »
On the offshore vessel I work on, during coffee break, we were discussing someone from shore we know who took a large loan out to buy a silly car.

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

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

barbaz

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 201
Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20015 on: April 25, 2018, 09:37:42 AM »
On the offshore vessel I work on
...
Gave me a little faith in humanity that there are bubbles of sanity lost in the ocean of stupid.
Not much faith though when these bubbles are literally lost in the ocean.

I'm a red panda

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7124
  • Location: United States
Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20016 on: April 25, 2018, 10:12:56 AM »
Tax story...

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

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

Cali

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 142
  • Location: SoCal
Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20017 on: April 25, 2018, 09:03:44 PM »
On the offshore vessel I work on, during coffee break, we were discussing someone from shore we know who took a large loan out to buy a silly car.

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

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

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

BuffaloStache

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 701
  • Location: Colorado
Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20018 on: April 25, 2018, 09:09:22 PM »
Today I heard a coworker talking about buying a cake for their partner's birthday. She said something like "The store didn't have any small ice cream cakes, and I know he likes ice cream cakes, so I just spent $46 on a medium sized ice cream cake. He's going to love it!"

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

AnnaGrowsAMustache

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 612
Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20019 on: April 26, 2018, 03:16:47 AM »
Today I heard a coworker talking about buying a cake for their partner's birthday. She said something like "The store didn't have any small ice cream cakes, and I know he likes ice cream cakes, so I just spent $46 on a medium sized ice cream cake. He's going to love it!"

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

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

Linda_Norway

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3527
Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20020 on: April 26, 2018, 04:37:44 AM »
Turns out that another one of my young colleagues is quite frugal. He told us at lunsj that a taco box from El Cheapo brand (containing a sachet of taco spices, taco shells and tomato sauce) is cheaper than a single sachet of taco spices. He also hates eating crunchy taco shells in the way that they are designed, but he just crumbles them and puts the crumbles on top of the taco filling. Might be a good idea.
Although I need to check what is in the taco spices. Some cheap brands contain mostly salt, instead of other spices. I need to compare with the more pricey ones.

dragoncar

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8087
  • Registered member
Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20021 on: April 26, 2018, 05:11:23 AM »
Turns out that another one of my young colleagues is quite frugal. He told us at lunsj that a taco box from El Cheapo brand (containing a sachet of taco spices, taco shells and tomato sauce) is cheaper than a single sachet of taco spices. He also hates eating crunchy taco shells in the way that they are designed, but he just crumbles them and puts the crumbles on top of the taco filling. Might be a good idea.
Although I need to check what is in the taco spices. Some cheap brands contain mostly salt, instead of other spices. I need to compare with the more pricey ones.

Im going to go out on a limb and say getting the individual ingredients would be more frugal, especially if he doesnt even really like the shells and could use tortilla chips or nothing at allnothing at allnothing at all

frugalnacho

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3146
  • Age: 35
  • Location: Madison Heights, Michigan
Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20022 on: April 26, 2018, 08:44:38 AM »

dragoncar

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8087
  • Registered member
Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20023 on: April 26, 2018, 09:40:01 AM »
Stupid sexy flanders

Imma

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1255
  • Location: Europe
Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20024 on: April 26, 2018, 10:29:51 AM »
Turns out that another one of my young colleagues is quite frugal. He told us at lunsj that a taco box from El Cheapo brand (containing a sachet of taco spices, taco shells and tomato sauce) is cheaper than a single sachet of taco spices. He also hates eating crunchy taco shells in the way that they are designed, but he just crumbles them and puts the crumbles on top of the taco filling. Might be a good idea.
Although I need to check what is in the taco spices. Some cheap brands contain mostly salt, instead of other spices. I need to compare with the more pricey ones.

Im going to go out on a limb and say getting the individual ingredients would be more frugal, especially if he doesnt even really like the shells and could use tortilla chips or nothing at allnothing at allnothing at all

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

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

Debts_of_Despair

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 530
  • Location: NY
Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20025 on: April 26, 2018, 07:33:40 PM »
Overheard coworkers phone call to order a 30 yd dumpster to clean out home over the weekend.  Holy crap.

BuffaloStache

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 701
  • Location: Colorado
Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20026 on: April 26, 2018, 10:54:28 PM »
Turns out that another one of my young colleagues is quite frugal. He told us at lunsj that a taco box from El Cheapo brand (containing a sachet of taco spices, taco shells and tomato sauce) is cheaper than a single sachet of taco spices. He also hates eating crunchy taco shells in the way that they are designed, but he just crumbles them and puts the crumbles on top of the taco filling. Might be a good idea.
Although I need to check what is in the taco spices. Some cheap brands contain mostly salt, instead of other spices. I need to compare with the more pricey ones.

Im going to go out on a limb and say getting the individual ingredients would be more frugal, especially if he doesnt even really like the shells and could use tortilla chips or nothing at allnothing at allnothing at all

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

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

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

Imma

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1255
  • Location: Europe
Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20027 on: April 27, 2018, 04:31:15 AM »
Turns out that another one of my young colleagues is quite frugal. He told us at lunsj that a taco box from El Cheapo brand (containing a sachet of taco spices, taco shells and tomato sauce) is cheaper than a single sachet of taco spices. He also hates eating crunchy taco shells in the way that they are designed, but he just crumbles them and puts the crumbles on top of the taco filling. Might be a good idea.
Although I need to check what is in the taco spices. Some cheap brands contain mostly salt, instead of other spices. I need to compare with the more pricey ones.

Im going to go out on a limb and say getting the individual ingredients would be more frugal, especially if he doesnt even really like the shells and could use tortilla chips or nothing at allnothing at allnothing at all

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

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

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

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

merula

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1116
Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20028 on: April 27, 2018, 07:27:17 AM »
Coworker has been sharing the saga of her son, who is currently living in the highest COL part of the country. He's high income, has a bunch of savings in cash and wants to buy a house but it doesn't make sense with the prices there.

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

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

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

gaja

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1079
Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20029 on: April 27, 2018, 10:51:19 AM »
Turns out that another one of my young colleagues is quite frugal. He told us at lunsj that a taco box from El Cheapo brand (containing a sachet of taco spices, taco shells and tomato sauce) is cheaper than a single sachet of taco spices. He also hates eating crunchy taco shells in the way that they are designed, but he just crumbles them and puts the crumbles on top of the taco filling. Might be a good idea.
Although I need to check what is in the taco spices. Some cheap brands contain mostly salt, instead of other spices. I need to compare with the more pricey ones.

Im going to go out on a limb and say getting the individual ingredients would be more frugal, especially if he doesnt even really like the shells and could use tortilla chips or nothing at allnothing at allnothing at all

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

4alpacas

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1863
Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20030 on: April 27, 2018, 01:37:38 PM »
Turns out that another one of my young colleagues is quite frugal. He told us at lunsj that a taco box from El Cheapo brand (containing a sachet of taco spices, taco shells and tomato sauce) is cheaper than a single sachet of taco spices. He also hates eating crunchy taco shells in the way that they are designed, but he just crumbles them and puts the crumbles on top of the taco filling. Might be a good idea.
Although I need to check what is in the taco spices. Some cheap brands contain mostly salt, instead of other spices. I need to compare with the more pricey ones.

Im going to go out on a limb and say getting the individual ingredients would be more frugal, especially if he doesnt even really like the shells and could use tortilla chips or nothing at allnothing at allnothing at all

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

Zaga

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1772
  • Age: 38
  • Location: North of Pittsburgh, PA
    • A Wall of Hats
Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20031 on: April 27, 2018, 02:54:18 PM »
That is similar to my homemade taco seasoning recipe.  Here's mine:

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

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

joleran

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 144
Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20032 on: April 27, 2018, 03:06:35 PM »
Tax story...

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

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

Just a heads up, every company that's not a couple steps away from keeping their books on tally sticks will stop your 401k contributions exactly at the IRS max.  It's like HR 101 stuff.

honeybbq

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1028
  • Location: Seattle
Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20033 on: April 27, 2018, 03:12:49 PM »
Overheard coworkers phone call to order a 30 yd dumpster to clean out home over the weekend.  Holy crap.

This might be face punch worthy but I could probably fill a huge dumpster of crap with stuff in my house that I don't want any more.

First off, I have an approx 2' x 3' trash can that I'm allowed to dispose of weekly and our trash bill is $80/month for this tiny square (second smallest one we can get). THANKS SEATTLE. So any time I want to trash something that's bigger than that... you have to take it to the dump (costs per carload) or pay a $25+ excess fee.

I could get rid of all the smelly old dog beds that need replacing but couldn't fit in the trash
Carpet remnants that were left in the house that no one wants
packing peanuts (why do these still exist?)
My husband's old recliner - I want it to DIE
Filing cabinet. Nobody wants it, nobody will take it. Even goodwill won't take it.
Weird broken shit that's laying around - like an old wooden handrail that got replaced. (maybe I can put this in lawn recycling?)
10000 things that are in my husband's part of the garage. I don't even know what that stuff is but it can GO

I would seriously love to supermarket sweep my house and throw everything away. It would be rad.

RyanAtTanagra

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 958
  • Location: SF Bay, CA
Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20034 on: April 27, 2018, 03:19:44 PM »
10000 things that are in my husband's part of the garage. I don't even know what that stuff is but it can GO

Does he get to throw away all of your things that he doesn't know what they are? ;-P

honeybbq

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1028
  • Location: Seattle
Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20035 on: April 27, 2018, 03:23:50 PM »
10000 things that are in my husband's part of the garage. I don't even know what that stuff is but it can GO

Does he get to throw away all of your things that he doesn't know what they are? ;-P

My stuff is organized neatly and I like to get rid of stuff.

He's the (admitted) sentimental hoarder.

He has some good stuff in there, but I believe if it's really of value, it shouldn't be stashed in a half smooshed box in the back of your garage.

AMandM

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 622
Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20036 on: April 27, 2018, 04:03:56 PM »
I could get rid of all the smelly old dog beds that need replacing but couldn't fit in the trash
Carpet remnants that were left in the house that no one wants
packing peanuts (why do these still exist?)
My husband's old recliner - I want it to DIE
Filing cabinet. Nobody wants it, nobody will take it. Even goodwill won't take it.
Weird broken shit that's laying around - like an old wooden handrail that got replaced. (maybe I can put this in lawn recycling?)

It would be a bit of a pain and time-consuming, but a lot of this (carpet, dog beds, handrail) could be chopped up into smaller pieces that fit in the can.  Where I live, packing stores will accept styrofoam peanuts and lots of guys with pickups will collect steel trash for the scrap value.

Not to say I don't feel for you!

Roadrunner53

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1525
Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20037 on: April 27, 2018, 04:21:41 PM »
My Hub, for years, has chopped up stuff and slowly fed it into the garbage can. Even if you can just do a small amount a week it will get done over time. WOW, $80 a month! I thought my bill was bad at approx. $35 a month and get billed quarterly.

Sometimes people will buy some of your crap for hobby type things on ebay. See what you might have like the stuffing from the dog beds...after you wash them and see if people are looking for stuffing.

You could advertise the recliner on Craigslist. Or you could start ripping it apart, piece by piece and feed the garbage can! My hub has a Sawzall and will cut up just about anything with it.

Zaga

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1772
  • Age: 38
  • Location: North of Pittsburgh, PA
    • A Wall of Hats
Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20038 on: April 27, 2018, 07:29:52 PM »
Wow, we are ridiculously lucky with our trash payment, we pay per bag.  It's $1.60 to buy a bag, we can put up to 60 pounds in it and they will take it. 

We probably put out one bag every other week most week, but when we were renovating we put out quite a few more but it was still super cheap compared to what you guys are charged!

savedough

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 128
Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20039 on: April 28, 2018, 12:28:13 PM »
Overheard coworkers phone call to order a 30 yd dumpster to clean out home over the weekend.  Holy crap.

This might be face punch worthy but I could probably fill a huge dumpster of crap with stuff in my house that I don't want any more.

First off, I have an approx 2' x 3' trash can that I'm allowed to dispose of weekly and our trash bill is $80/month for this tiny square (second smallest one we can get). THANKS SEATTLE. So any time I want to trash something that's bigger than that... you have to take it to the dump (costs per carload) or pay a $25+ excess fee.

I could get rid of all the smelly old dog beds that need replacing but couldn't fit in the trash
Carpet remnants that were left in the house that no one wants
packing peanuts (why do these still exist?)
My husband's old recliner - I want it to DIE
Filing cabinet. Nobody wants it, nobody will take it. Even goodwill won't take it.
Weird broken shit that's laying around - like an old wooden handrail that got replaced. (maybe I can put this in lawn recycling?)
10000 things that are in my husband's part of the garage. I don't even know what that stuff is but it can GO

I would seriously love to supermarket sweep my house and throw everything away. It would be rad.

Try your local Buy Nothing Group!   You would be amazed what people have uses for. And most of the time, they will come pick it up.   I have given away old fence posts, carpet remnants (used for something with horses), dog beds, file cabinets, light bulbs after I switched to LEDs.   I often ask if anyone has fruit rotting on trees and people are more than happy to let me pick it!

LennStar

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1055
Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20040 on: April 30, 2018, 07:28:47 AM »
On the offshore vessel I work on
...
Gave me a little faith in humanity that there are bubbles of sanity lost in the ocean of stupid.
Not much faith though when these bubbles are literally lost in the ocean.

ROFL
YMMD

I don't really know why but I find that incredibly hilarious. Must be my writer soul resonating here to the picture.

kaypinkHH

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 824
  • Location: North by North East (CAN)
    • My first Journal!
Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20041 on: April 30, 2018, 09:54:08 AM »
All my coworkers seem to be obsessed with the meal prep boxes (where you order food, it appears, but you still need to do the cooking).

Recipes are boringly simple, and all for a low low price of $10 a serving!! I calculated what I would spend to make a sample recipe myself, and I'm looking at $2/serving max.

I guess it is better than take out food...but really all this saves is 1 hr/week grocery shopping. I just don't get it.

JLee

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4982
Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20042 on: April 30, 2018, 10:01:57 AM »
All my coworkers seem to be obsessed with the meal prep boxes (where you order food, it appears, but you still need to do the cooking).

Recipes are boringly simple, and all for a low low price of $10 a serving!! I calculated what I would spend to make a sample recipe myself, and I'm looking at $2/serving max.

I guess it is better than take out food...but really all this saves is 1 hr/week grocery shopping. I just don't get it.

I don't buy those either, but if you factor in meal planning, grocery shopping, and food prep (the boxes come with predefined portions/etc) I expect the time involved is more than an hour.  You also have consistent variety and don't end up with a large quantity of any particular ingredient which then either goes bad or needs to be used for something else.

I basically live off of rice, chicken, and vegetables so repetition is fine for me. :P

turketron

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 366
  • Age: 32
  • Location: WI
Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20043 on: April 30, 2018, 10:15:46 AM »
I think the meal prep boxes can make a lot of sense for specific types of people. If you're not a very adventurous eater and/or don't want to spend money on meals/ingredients that you're not sure you're going to like, or if you're not a very experienced cook, or don't know where to find more "unusual" ingredients that your local wal-mart may not stock.

These boxes are a great way to expose people to new recipes/ingredients/ideas/techniques that they might not otherwise be willing to try. I think they make sense for that purpose, but then the logical extension of that would be to progress towards making these types of dishes on your own without the meal prep service, for a fraction of the cost, albeit with a little more time and effort. If you only do this a few times until you're comfortable with it that would be money well spent. However, if you rely on this endlessly, yeah it's a waste of money past a certain point.

9-Volt

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 35
  • Location: Vancouver B.C.
Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20044 on: April 30, 2018, 10:17:12 AM »
Overheard coworkers phone call to order a 30 yd dumpster to clean out home over the weekend.  Holy crap.

This might be face punch worthy but I could probably fill a huge dumpster of crap with stuff in my house that I don't want any more.

First off, I have an approx 2' x 3' trash can that I'm allowed to dispose of weekly and our trash bill is $80/month for this tiny square (second smallest one we can get). THANKS SEATTLE. So any time I want to trash something that's bigger than that... you have to take it to the dump (costs per carload) or pay a $25+ excess fee.

I could get rid of all the smelly old dog beds that need replacing but couldn't fit in the trash
Carpet remnants that were left in the house that no one wants
packing peanuts (why do these still exist?)
My husband's old recliner - I want it to DIE
Filing cabinet. Nobody wants it, nobody will take it. Even goodwill won't take it.
Weird broken shit that's laying around - like an old wooden handrail that got replaced. (maybe I can put this in lawn recycling?)
10000 things that are in my husband's part of the garage. I don't even know what that stuff is but it can GO

I would seriously love to supermarket sweep my house and throw everything away. It would be rad.

Try your local Buy Nothing Group!   You would be amazed what people have uses for. And most of the time, they will come pick it up.   I have given away old fence posts, carpet remnants (used for something with horses), dog beds, file cabinets, light bulbs after I switched to LEDs.   I often ask if anyone has fruit rotting on trees and people are more than happy to let me pick it!

You know that things don't need to go in the trash in one piece, right?
Dog bed & carpet- cut them up and put them in the trash over a few weeks
Packing peanuts- small bag at a time
Recliner- break it up into its pieces and put the cover/ foam in the trash and the wood frame in the lawn recycling with the handrail.

I've done exactly this. It doesn't happen over night, but mix this with the buy nothing group and eventually it is gone and no longer a problem.

TheGrimSqueaker

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2024
  • Location: A desert wasteland, where none but the weird survive
  • www.theliveinlandlord.com
    • The Live-In Landlord
Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20045 on: April 30, 2018, 10:21:21 AM »
Overheard coworkers phone call to order a 30 yd dumpster to clean out home over the weekend.  Holy crap.

This might be face punch worthy but I could probably fill a huge dumpster of crap with stuff in my house that I don't want any more.

First off, I have an approx 2' x 3' trash can that I'm allowed to dispose of weekly and our trash bill is $80/month for this tiny square (second smallest one we can get). THANKS SEATTLE. So any time I want to trash something that's bigger than that... you have to take it to the dump (costs per carload) or pay a $25+ excess fee.

I could get rid of all the smelly old dog beds that need replacing but couldn't fit in the trash
Carpet remnants that were left in the house that no one wants
packing peanuts (why do these still exist?)
My husband's old recliner - I want it to DIE
Filing cabinet. Nobody wants it, nobody will take it. Even goodwill won't take it.
Weird broken shit that's laying around - like an old wooden handrail that got replaced. (maybe I can put this in lawn recycling?)
10000 things that are in my husband's part of the garage. I don't even know what that stuff is but it can GO

I would seriously love to supermarket sweep my house and throw everything away. It would be rad.

Try your local Buy Nothing Group!   You would be amazed what people have uses for. And most of the time, they will come pick it up.   I have given away old fence posts, carpet remnants (used for something with horses), dog beds, file cabinets, light bulbs after I switched to LEDs.   I often ask if anyone has fruit rotting on trees and people are more than happy to let me pick it!

You know that things don't need to go in the trash in one piece, right?
Dog bed & carpet- cut them up and put them in the trash over a few weeks
Packing peanuts- small bag at a time
Recliner- break it up into its pieces and put the cover/ foam in the trash and the wood frame in the lawn recycling with the handrail.

I've done exactly this. It doesn't happen over night, but mix this with the buy nothing group and eventually it is gone and no longer a problem.

If I ever need to dispose of an inconvenient body, I'm going to call you guys.

Dabnasty

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1191
Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20046 on: April 30, 2018, 10:25:10 AM »
All my coworkers seem to be obsessed with the meal prep boxes (where you order food, it appears, but you still need to do the cooking).

Recipes are boringly simple, and all for a low low price of $10 a serving!! I calculated what I would spend to make a sample recipe myself, and I'm looking at $2/serving max.

I guess it is better than take out food...but really all this saves is 1 hr/week grocery shopping. I just don't get it.

I don't buy those either, but if you factor in meal planning, grocery shopping, and food prep (the boxes come with predefined portions/etc) I expect the time involved is more than an hour.  You also have consistent variety and don't end up with a large quantity of any particular ingredient which then either goes bad or needs to be used for something else.

I basically live off of rice, chicken, and vegetables so repetition is fine for me. :P

It may save on wasted food but whether you want to avoid waste for financial or environmental reasons, the boxes aren't really helping. All the tiny little bottles and packages for each ingredient and the insulated boxes and ice packs are far worse than wasting a little food. Even with products in grocery stores, the cost (dollar and environmental) of the packaging can outweigh the cost of the product. I'm all for reducing food waste but exchanging it for plastic waste isn't much of a solution.

I haven't found a good assessment of the real impact of the packaging and shipping used for these services but If anyone else has, I'd be interested. Most articles hand wave certain aspects without numbers or use wild estimates like this one:

https://www.motherjones.com/environment/2017/06/meal-kit-freezer-packs-blue-apron-hello-fresh/

But they're still worth a read to help take all of the different aspects into account.

I'll concede that it may work out differently in HCOLA's where I'm not as familiar with grocery costs or if you only compare to restaurant costs.
« Last Edit: April 30, 2018, 10:27:16 AM by Dabnasty »

Samuel

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 214
  • Location: the slippery slope
Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20047 on: April 30, 2018, 12:16:31 PM »
Tax story...

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

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

Just a heads up, every company that's not a couple steps away from keeping their books on tally sticks will stop your 401k contributions exactly at the IRS max.  It's like HR 101 stuff.

Not mine. Once you hit the IRS pretax limit they continue pulling the same percentage, just as post tax contributions. I want to do post tax investing at Vanguard, not in my 401k, so I have to keep an eye on it. Super annoying.

grandep

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 107
  • Location: New Mexico
Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20048 on: April 30, 2018, 12:59:44 PM »
Tax story...

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

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

Just a heads up, every company that's not a couple steps away from keeping their books on tally sticks will stop your 401k contributions exactly at the IRS max.  It's like HR 101 stuff.

Not mine. Once you hit the IRS pretax limit they continue pulling the same percentage, just as post tax contributions. I want to do post tax investing at Vanguard, not in my 401k, so I have to keep an eye on it. Super annoying.

Same here, I actually contacted my HR department to ask about this and they confirmed it.

honeybbq

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1028
  • Location: Seattle
Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20049 on: April 30, 2018, 01:29:39 PM »


Try your local Buy Nothing Group!   You would be amazed what people have uses for. And most of the time, they will come pick it up.   I have given away old fence posts, carpet remnants (used for something with horses), dog beds, file cabinets, light bulbs after I switched to LEDs.   I often ask if anyone has fruit rotting on trees and people are more than happy to let me pick it!

I do use it religiously. Both giving and taking. Anything that is remotely acceptable for human use gets offered.




You know that things don't need to go in the trash in one piece, right?
Dog bed & carpet- cut them up and put them in the trash over a few weeks
Packing peanuts- small bag at a time
Recliner- break it up into its pieces and put the cover/ foam in the trash and the wood frame in the lawn recycling with the handrail.

I've done exactly this. It doesn't happen over night, but mix this with the buy nothing group and eventually it is gone and no longer a problem.

It would take about 2 years to break down the recliner and get it in the trash and gone. And the large pieces of metal wouldn't fit anyways. The lid has to be on. This is a challenging problem....  Don't forget, we have our regular trash to put into our tiny canister as well. (two dogs worth of dog sh*t every week). We do cram as much in there as we can. I'm just saying, it would be fun to be like WHEEEEEE trash! Instead of calculating and doing tetris to get everything to fit. I've thought about ordering a bigger size trash but for weeks we don't need it is seems like such a waste.

And there's no freaking way I'm cutting open that dog bed. Nope. Stinky fuzz everywhere??? No way. Not worth it. I'll pay the extra for them to haul it away.

I actually looked. It's the "mini can".

15"W x 16"D x 21"H
30 lb. weight limit

*and correction, I guess it's $80 every 2 months. So not quite so nutso.