Author Topic: Can Mr. and Mrs. Spendy cut their way to freedom?  (Read 12460 times)

mrspendy

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Re: Can Mr. and Mrs. Spendy cut their way to freedom?
« Reply #50 on: October 01, 2017, 01:21:22 PM »
Today, I e-mailed 6 nearby honda dealerships for their lowest all-in cost lease quote for a new Honda fit. 

this took <10 mins and is the beginning of the process. My plan is to establish this as the basis of comparison for all potential replacements of das facenpunchenmobil.

I realize there are cheaper means of acquiring basic transportation. I will admit to not wanting to drive an absolute beater w/ no collision ins and without 5-10 years of safety advancements;

DW's '07 highlander seems perfectly safe / reliable (9.3/10 safety rating), but when I go down into the 10 yr old econobox range for my potential replacement vehicles, I'm a little leery, even when my commute is average mph of like 30. And then when i go newer, there's only like a $5K difference between used and brand spanking new.

If the choice is a brand new fit @ $16K versus an out of warranty 5 year old Corolla w/50K at $9K versus a 1997 corrola at $4K, it's hard for me to not pick new and no worries.

we'll see what they come back with and go from there.

Perhaps this is a facepunch-worthy way to start and not quite badass, but for a guy who got a loaded g35 for his 16th birthday, it's a step.

So far 1 has gotten back to me with

2017 Fit
$2,400 DP ($66 /month)
$129 / month
36 months
All-in of $195 / month.

I figure that's about what the bimmer is depreciating at from here and i completely mitigate repairs risk and laura33 won't call it a douchemobile!.
« Last Edit: October 01, 2017, 01:23:01 PM by mrspendy »

lhamo

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Re: Can Mr. and Mrs. Spendy cut their way to freedom?
« Reply #51 on: October 01, 2017, 01:41:42 PM »
That's 7k of payments down the drain for a car you have to give back at the end.

Why not just get something like this -- drive it for 3 years and put no more mileage on it than the lease limits and you could probably sell it for 5k and trade up:

https://sfbay.craigslist.org/eby/cto/d/2011-honda-fit-hatchback/6328380823.html
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mrspendy

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Re: Can Mr. and Mrs. Spendy cut their way to freedom?
« Reply #52 on: October 01, 2017, 01:54:34 PM »
well that car has a salvage title. in my area the equivalent ($8K) gets you a 2009 with 70K miles, which is probably totally fine, but just saying that the car you posted has a salvage title discount.

But I'm not going to argue with you that leasing is a cheap way of owning a car (because it isn't).

 it may be a reasonable semi-moustachian alternative for my current life situation though. $4K / yr (75 parking, 70 insurance, $200 of depreciation) total of car costs is about what it'd be if I uberpooled to/from work every day. going the "beater" (8 yr old fit isn't a beater, but you get my point) route may reduce that $200 to say $80/ month ($1000 a yr). At this time, the incremental $120 / month isn't worth it to me. (I'd rather eat out 1 less time / month). the bimmer has depreciated by about $480 / month ($36->$10K) over its ownership (though $148/month for me because of parental teat sucking since they paid for 1/2), so locking something in at $200 (hopefully less) has its appeal.

The real savings would come from moving next to my work and getting rid of a car completely but that's not happening for now. Neither DW nor I want to live near either place she works for crime/quality of life reasons (also she works two places that are 30 mins apart). Her place of work is "safer than 17% of cities" to put a little objective stats to it. it's objectively dicey. 

« Last Edit: October 01, 2017, 03:20:26 PM by mrspendy »

Tuskalusa

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Re: Can Mr. and Mrs. Spendy cut their way to freedom?
« Reply #53 on: October 01, 2017, 04:58:06 PM »
I think the idea of buying a used Honda Fit with low miles beats out leasing. It might cost more that that particular ad, but you're still going to come out ahead over leasing. You don't have to get a beater. You can get a later model Decent car and still come out ahead.

Unless you can expense or write off those lease payments, I don't see how leasing makes much sense.

There are a zillion reasonably priced used cars that would be more cost effective than the BMW.

Psychstache

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Re: Can Mr. and Mrs. Spendy cut their way to freedom?
« Reply #54 on: October 01, 2017, 06:18:22 PM »
As a counterexample to your car experience:
When I was 16 I got a 6 year old Corolla with 55k miles on it. Had it for 5 years and other than 2 tires and normal maintainence it was perfect (until it got totaled). I got a 3 year old Corolla with 70k miles on it 7.5 years ago. It's got 118k now and other than routine maintenance and 4 new tires, it had been trouble free and I have no plans to get rid of it any time soon.

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happy

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Re: Can Mr. and Mrs. Spendy cut their way to freedom?
« Reply #55 on: October 01, 2017, 08:48:36 PM »
Buying a second hand car is not as scary as it sounds. Its really a mind game. Don't buy a complete beater, but there are lots of good second hand cars to be had at a big discount to new. I bought my first new car prior to finding MMM and drinking the cool-aid, and went back to a 4 year old used vehicle after the new car got written off. I've had no problems: it cost me the insurance payout.
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Laura33

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Re: Can Mr. and Mrs. Spendy cut their way to freedom?
« Reply #56 on: October 02, 2017, 08:41:51 AM »
well that car has a salvage title. in my area the equivalent ($8K) gets you a 2009 with 70K miles, which is probably totally fine, but just saying that the car you posted has a salvage title discount.

But I'm not going to argue with you that leasing is a cheap way of owning a car (because it isn't).

 it may be a reasonable semi-moustachian alternative for my current life situation though. $4K / yr (75 parking, 70 insurance, $200 of depreciation) total of car costs is about what it'd be if I uberpooled to/from work every day. going the "beater" (8 yr old fit isn't a beater, but you get my point) route may reduce that $200 to say $80/ month ($1000 a yr). At this time, the incremental $120 / month isn't worth it to me. (I'd rather eat out 1 less time / month). the bimmer has depreciated by about $480 / month ($36->$10K) over its ownership (though $148/month for me because of parental teat sucking since they paid for 1/2), so locking something in at $200 (hopefully less) has its appeal.

The real savings would come from moving next to my work and getting rid of a car completely but that's not happening for now. Neither DW nor I want to live near either place she works for crime/quality of life reasons (also she works two places that are 30 mins apart). Her place of work is "safer than 17% of cities" to put a little objective stats to it. it's objectively dicey.

1.  That $129/mo. would more than double what you had left over to save last month.  50%+ improvement isn't "worth it"?

2.  You'd rather eat out one less time per month.  Except you haven't done that and you won't do that, because as you yourself have identified, this is your social hour. 

3.  You do not yet know what you actually can afford, because every month you are still "surprised" by new expenses -- every month, you start out with grand plans; and every month, the money is gone by the end of it because of something else you didn't anticipate.  In the real world, every dollar matters when your outflow equals your income. 

4.  Sure, you can rationalize the lease as cheaper than your current depreciation loss on the Beemer, but that won't improve your cash flow.  In the past few months, you have gone from spending @$300 more than you make every month to having $250 left last month.  You now want to commit to additional debt that will suck up more than half of your leftover cash (assuming that the +$250 is a "real" change and not just a monthly blip).  This is two steps forward, one step back.   

4.a.  You are not even making this trade-off for an asset.  You are forfeiting half of the leftover cash you worked for months to find, just for the "experience" of borrowing someone else's car for a few years.   

4.b.  You live/drive in a city.  The spanky new car is going to get dinged, and you will pay more to cover the damage when you turn it in.

5.  The proper comparison is also not to how much Ubering to work would cost.  It is to how much biking would cost.  Yes, yes, your pretty trail is closed.  But you still have streets.  You can do it, even if you don't want to.  The baseline cost of what you actually need is $0.

6.  Don't kid yourself.  You like the idea of a lease because then you won't be stuck with a cheap car after the lease ends.  By then, your DW will be out of school and into her well-paid career, and you can upgrade again to a fancy car.  Right?  Tell me that's not what was running through your mind.  I would put money on that.

This is not a wise fiscal decision.  This is not semi-mustachian.  This is your spendypants bad angel trying everything it can to avoid doing what you know you need to do, while easing your conscience because it is "only" a Fit, which is of course beneath your awesome deserved place in the world.

I was sympathetic on the prior post; when you feel like you are trying so hard, you do all this cooking and shopping and planning, and then you find you didn't really save much, because more eating at home = higher groceries, and you still had lots of fancy dinners out with friends, etc. etc. etc.  I was going to say something like, hey, this is a marathon, not a sprint, you're building better habits, you've identified a weakness so now you can figure out how to address it, etc.

But what you've been telling us is how your DW loves the apartment, how she loves to eat out, how she loves to get her hair and nails done, and all that, and how you're working hard to save where you can by taking over more shopping and planning and cooking and all of that.  But now comes the first decision that you can make, truly 100% on your own, and you are rationalizing a fucking brand-new car.  That you're not even going to own. 

FFS.   Look hard at yourself.  Think about how much you are willing to commit to changing the way you think and act, or if you just want to find a way to stand pat for a few years until your DW's fabulous new salary solves all your problems for you.*

You are smarter than this.  You are better than this.  You know you don't need a car at all.  So if you are going to get one, suck it up and get a fucking beater.

*Please read irony font here.  You have already demonstrated that you know higher income just gets sucked up by more expensive "needs" if you don't change your mindset.
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Imustacheyouaquestion

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Re: Can Mr. and Mrs. Spendy cut their way to freedom?
« Reply #57 on: October 02, 2017, 09:57:59 AM »
Why do you need a car? You're living in a high rent location because it's convenient to everything, and then still carrying the costs of living like you're not conveniently located.

You said before that you could bike to work but it wouldn't save much money because of parking/insurance/etc. The solution is to become a 1-car family. Your wife can keep commuting in the Highlander (depending on what kind of gas mileage she gets, you might want to sell this car and trade for a something like a 2007 Fit) and you both share the car for weekend trips, grocery shopping, etc.

Maybe the weather is shit and you end up needing an UberPool or taking public transit 10% of the time. This would still massively cut your commuting costs.

mrspendy

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Re: Can Mr. and Mrs. Spendy cut their way to freedom?
« Reply #58 on: October 02, 2017, 01:06:40 PM »
after sleeping on it and with the facepunches here, i decided that the new fit idea is the "sweetgreen" of transportation options (the number 1 consumer of our fast casual dollars).
it feels good and healthy overall, it doesn't seem that expensive and then when you look back for the year you find you've spent $500 (1-1.2x a month of groceries) on 20 meals.

i'm not going to bike on the street my employer is on. the tail risk of death and severe injury is not one that i wish to underwrite. You only get 1 body and brain. love you guys, but it's not happening.

carpooling tuesday - thursday with DW (when her work is not out of the way) and some uberpool on mondays and fridays is the better option;  this would be about $2,000 / year (roughly what parking and insurance costs) assuming $20 / day on the 40% of 250 workdays that I couldn't hitch a ride; there'd be some slippage given that sometimes i work past 7 or 8 (after DW comes home) a bit and there'd be some gains on the days i'm going to airport (3/ past 10 workdays my transpo has been covered by travel reimbursement). so selling the car for $10K would pay for 5 years of this.

uberpool was a bit slow in my trial period, but i could just get up a little earlier. 

walking and or public transit would take 40 mins to go 2 miles (time is valuable; i can iron my clothes once a week to save $100/month, but 80 minutes of commute time a day is too much). walking would be safer than biking given the sidewalk.

the reason my time horizon was 3 years is because we each have 2-3 more years in our respective locations of work, so there's a strong chance we change cities / jobs. I'm up or out in 2 years (get gently sent elsewhere or get big promotion) and DW is done with school in 2 years (but will then only make $25k as an intern), her comp doesn't ramp for 3-5 more years. so it wasn't really "to upgrade" as much as it was to solve a 2-3 year problem of getting to work. 

you all are helpful in that you approach things with a "zero-based" budgeting mindset, which is basically "what's the lowest cost most efficient way to do this", and I'm still working on this.

leasing does appeal to me because in general, i don't like to own or maintain things.


« Last Edit: October 02, 2017, 01:14:06 PM by mrspendy »

jezebel

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Re: Can Mr. and Mrs. Spendy cut their way to freedom?
« Reply #59 on: October 02, 2017, 01:26:04 PM »
walking and or public transit would take 40 mins to go 2 miles (time is valuable; i can iron my clothes once a week to save $100/month, but 80 minutes of commute time a day is too much). walking would be safer than biking given the sidewalk.

It would take you 40 minutes to walk 2 miles?  Also, do you exercise at all?  Time is valuable and walking back and forth to work at 4 miles per day is the best use of your time because it kills two birds with one stone.   I've got my 2-mile walking commute down to about 30 minutes each way.  I would love to be able to do it more often, but I have a daycare drop off.

mrspendy

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Re: Can Mr. and Mrs. Spendy cut their way to freedom?
« Reply #60 on: October 02, 2017, 01:53:04 PM »
It's 2.4 miles. I ran a half marathon last year and am in "decent" shape, but fitness has suffered in new job (don't really work out during the week).
« Last Edit: October 02, 2017, 02:00:28 PM by mrspendy »

Laura33

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Re: Can Mr. and Mrs. Spendy cut their way to freedom?
« Reply #61 on: October 02, 2017, 02:06:13 PM »
First, good second-thoughts and good insight.

Second, ditto Jezebel.  At least try the walk for a month -- commit to it, give it a fair shot.  You might be surprised to find it gives you a chance to get your head in the game in the morning, and to decompress before you get home at night (at least that was my experience).  The exercise is a decent mood regulator.

Finally, don't think of it as a 40-minute time suck.  It's really 40 minutes minus whatever Uber would take you -- and depending on how bad traffic is and whether your times mesh with the Uberpool, it might not actually end up costing you more than a few minutes each way.  Especially once you get those walking muscles in shape and get that time down to 30 mins.  ;-)
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Nately

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Re: Can Mr. and Mrs. Spendy cut their way to freedom?
« Reply #62 on: October 02, 2017, 02:10:16 PM »
You started this thread a few months ago saying that you really want to be financially independent and employed only to yourself as your own money manager. You seem to track your expenses to the dollar (something I have never bothered to do). But you don't make any real changes; you just write endlessly about all the reasons why you can not.

Yours is a complex, and admittedly fascinating, scenario. You're saving enough by most people's standards. You have family money, and you'll have more of that before you really need it. You don't have to make any changes if you don't want to. If your bonus pays out only every other year at only 50% funding, that will still be enough to give a nice boost to your investments, assuming you invest it. You know all this, and whenever someone here pushes you, which is presumably what you've invited them to do, you cite some combination of these facts as a form of defense, both against the criticism and to assure yourself.

On the other hand, something keeps bringing you back here. I've not paid extensive attention to this forum, but I've never seen a case study in which the presenter is so meticulous with the data, the problem is so clear, the answers are so obvious, yet nothing ever changes! Why do you keep coming back to post updates of what is essentially the exact same situation you outlined in July?

This isn't really about fast-casual restaurants or Honda Fits. You want something different in your life. I understand where you're coming from. You're 28, almost 30. You're doing great; then again, the expectation that you were raised with was that you were truly exceptional. And you're not sure if you're really there, or if you're ever going to be there. You're ambivalent about the work and lifestyle treadmill before you. You see the two kids, the leased Q7, and the private school. That lifestyle, because it will come with other accoutrements, will require every bit of the $600k that your boss is making, assuming you get his job in a few years. Your wife's income, and probably even some of yours, will go straight to childcare.  And you can continue this thread for the next 20 years, with monthly updates showing that you're spending what you're making, with some withholdings to traditional retirement savings. It will look exactly the same as it does now, just add an extra digit.

Part of you doesn't want to go down that road, as you see it as 30 or 40 more years of futilely treading water. Then again, part of you does. Maybe your new wife expects that. I also think your parents expect that, and you seem a little more concerned about their approval than your typical 28-year-old would be. They also seem quite controlling - the anecdote about the BMW was telling.

You also have certain material expectations for yourself that you're not quite ready to shed. You were the 16-year-old with the brand new Infiniti. You were the Wall Streeter. You're asking yourself WTF you're doing on this board with a bunch of people who talk about saving seven cents by soaking beans overnight (believe me, I ask myself the same question sometimes).

I think you just have to figure out where your priorities and your values lie. It's always an ongoing question, as I'm almost 10 years older than you, and I'm still working on it. It's not going to be answered overnight. But in the meantime, I think you could do a little bit better setting yourself up to have more options, and you could do this pretty painlessly. That's what all the prior suggestions that others have made have been pushing you toward.

You're doing fine, but you're not achieving the objective of financial independence that you laid out at the beginning of this thread. I think you should decide if you were serious about that or not. It's OK if you're not. But the next 10 years are going to pass faster than you can possibly imagine. And 10 years from now, when you do have the lease payments on a Q7, when you have two kids in private school, when you have a big 30-year mortgage on a big house, when you have a nanny who expects to be paid, when your family is accustomed to vacationing a certain way, when the kids are in expensive activities like horseback riding, and a thousand other "whens" we could come up with, it will be too late. You won't get off at that point. You may think that you and your wife won't end up like this, that you'll be able to avoid those temptations. But you can't even sell an old car, or move from your overpriced apartment. Grad school might go away, but there will always be some excuse, especially with kids. You'll both be very quick to say that you deserve the house, or the Q7 does have the highest safety ratings. This isn't to be mean, it's just to point out that without some drastic shift in your mentality, nothing is going to change, as neither of you has much willpower for it. You're 20-something newlyweds with no kids. It doesn't get any easier than this.

If you want to give yourself options and freedom, you have to change now.

jezebel

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Re: Can Mr. and Mrs. Spendy cut their way to freedom?
« Reply #63 on: October 02, 2017, 02:24:43 PM »
It's 2.4 miles. I ran a half marathon last year and am in "decent" shape, but fitness has suffered in new job (don't really work out during the week).

Great, there you go, fitness/commute solved.  It's nice when the answers are this simple.  You'll have the walk down to 30 minutes in no time.

SimpleCycle

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Re: Can Mr. and Mrs. Spendy cut their way to freedom?
« Reply #64 on: October 02, 2017, 03:18:33 PM »
Wait, weren't you biking to work?  What happened to that?  2.4 miles is the perfect bike commute.  I have about the same commute (and two kids to pick up from daycare) and we're a one car family and it's not even on my radar to drive to work.  Like "it would barely save me any time" not on my radar, not "I am so mustachian I can't even imagine" not on my radar.  I'm guessing based on our car costs and your stated parking/insurance costs you're looking at saving about $3300 by getting rid of the car.  Then bike 9 months of the year and Uberpool during the winter and you've cut your commuting costs to $100ish in bike maintenance and $900 in Uberpool (20 work days/month * 3 months * .75 since it's pre tax).


mrspendy

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Re: Can Mr. and Mrs. Spendy cut their way to freedom?
« Reply #65 on: October 02, 2017, 03:28:39 PM »
I was biking.

Trail was closed for  construction for 5+ years. I am unwilling to bike on the street on which my work is (the trail bypassed that street). Having almost plowed into some bikers myself despite being a relatively capable and alert driver, I believe my lack of willingness to bike this particular street is rational from a not getting killed standpoint and don't wish to argue that point.

I could walk or run given there is a sidewalk and you all are right to call me out for that

I've seen some bikers racing down said sidewalk to avoid the killzone of the street, so there's that but I think they'd be dodge-able and the tail risk of being hit by a bike is certainly lower downside than that of a car (technically one could get hit by a car on the sidewalk, but if that happens I guess I just had it coming).

mrspendy

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Re: Can Mr. and Mrs. Spendy cut their way to freedom?
« Reply #66 on: October 02, 2017, 03:36:24 PM »
You started this thread a few months ago saying that you really want to be financially independent and employed only to yourself as your own money manager. You seem to track your expenses to the dollar (something I have never bothered to do). But you don't make any real changes; you just write endlessly about all the reasons why you can not.

Yours is a complex, and admittedly fascinating, scenario. You're saving enough by most people's standards. You have family money, and you'll have more of that before you really need it. You don't have to make any changes if you don't want to. If your bonus pays out only every other year at only 50% funding, that will still be enough to give a nice boost to your investments, assuming you invest it. You know all this, and whenever someone here pushes you, which is presumably what you've invited them to do, you cite some combination of these facts as a form of defense, both against the criticism and to assure yourself.

On the other hand, something keeps bringing you back here. I've not paid extensive attention to this forum, but I've never seen a case study in which the presenter is so meticulous with the data, the problem is so clear, the answers are so obvious, yet nothing ever changes! Why do you keep coming back to post updates of what is essentially the exact same situation you outlined in July?

This isn't really about fast-casual restaurants or Honda Fits. You want something different in your life. I understand where you're coming from. You're 28, almost 30. You're doing great; then again, the expectation that you were raised with was that you were truly exceptional. And you're not sure if you're really there, or if you're ever going to be there. You're ambivalent about the work and lifestyle treadmill before you. You see the two kids, the leased Q7, and the private school. That lifestyle, because it will come with other accoutrements, will require every bit of the $600k that your boss is making, assuming you get his job in a few years. Your wife's income, and probably even some of yours, will go straight to childcare.  And you can continue this thread for the next 20 years, with monthly updates showing that you're spending what you're making, with some withholdings to traditional retirement savings. It will look exactly the same as it does now, just add an extra digit.

Part of you doesn't want to go down that road, as you see it as 30 or 40 more years of futilely treading water. Then again, part of you does. Maybe your new wife expects that. I also think your parents expect that, and you seem a little more concerned about their approval than your typical 28-year-old would be. They also seem quite controlling - the anecdote about the BMW was telling.

You also have certain material expectations for yourself that you're not quite ready to shed. You were the 16-year-old with the brand new Infiniti. You were the Wall Streeter. You're asking yourself WTF you're doing on this board with a bunch of people who talk about saving seven cents by soaking beans overnight (believe me, I ask myself the same question sometimes).

I think you just have to figure out where your priorities and your values lie. It's always an ongoing question, as I'm almost 10 years older than you, and I'm still working on it. It's not going to be answered overnight. But in the meantime, I think you could do a little bit better setting yourself up to have more options, and you could do this pretty painlessly. That's what all the prior suggestions that others have made have been pushing you toward.

You're doing fine, but you're not achieving the objective of financial independence that you laid out at the beginning of this thread. I think you should decide if you were serious about that or not. It's OK if you're not. But the next 10 years are going to pass faster than you can possibly imagine. And 10 years from now, when you do have the lease payments on a Q7, when you have two kids in private school, when you have a big 30-year mortgage on a big house, when you have a nanny who expects to be paid, when your family is accustomed to vacationing a certain way, when the kids are in expensive activities like horseback riding, and a thousand other "whens" we could come up with, it will be too late. You won't get off at that point. You may think that you and your wife won't end up like this, that you'll be able to avoid those temptations. But you can't even sell an old car, or move from your overpriced apartment. Grad school might go away, but there will always be some excuse, especially with kids. You'll both be very quick to say that you deserve the house, or the Q7 does have the highest safety ratings. This isn't to be mean, it's just to point out that without some drastic shift in your mentality, nothing is going to change, as neither of you has much willpower for it. You're 20-something newlyweds with no kids. It doesn't get any easier than this.

If you want to give yourself options and freedom, you have to change now.

I'm dissatisfied with the current path and have spent the past 10+ years (in terms of friendships made, choices taken, etc,) building that path; how do you not buy dinner for your best friend who has hosted you at her vacation homes multiple times and travelled to come see you (answer: you have a real conversation with your friend and say "I would love to buy you dinner as an appreciation of your visit, but am trying to change our lifestyle or you prepare a beautiful spread at home...what mrspendy did: reach for the check and had two bourbons at said dinner)

It feels like I've been writing on here for a very short time and that progress is being made, but I can see how outside looking in that is not the case and I've been a member of this board and read MMM blogs a couple years ago when someone on an investment board said I was nuts for thinking I'd need $6-$10mm to retire and pointed me to MMM; it's been pretty slow.

We still are not spending less than we take home on a normalized full year basis (since my paycheck is $0 for the first two months or so of the year to fill up the workplace tax advantaged) and we we had the convo about cutting restaurant expenditures pre-September which was really bad from a restaurant spending perspective. I'm on here because you all make me feel shitty about that and no one else in my life does.
« Last Edit: October 02, 2017, 03:38:54 PM by mrspendy »

Nately

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Re: Can Mr. and Mrs. Spendy cut their way to freedom?
« Reply #67 on: October 02, 2017, 03:54:23 PM »
lol, well I'll keep following to see what happens.

For the record, I'm planning on $6 to $10 million to retire, and likely closer to the 10 than the 6, and letting it grow from there.

Laura33

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Re: Can Mr. and Mrs. Spendy cut their way to freedom?
« Reply #68 on: October 02, 2017, 04:43:27 PM »
I'm on here because you all make me feel shitty about that and no one else in my life does.

You're welcome.  ;-)

[Exactly why I am here too, btw]
Laugh while you can, monkey-boy

Novik

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Re: Can Mr. and Mrs. Spendy cut their way to freedom?
« Reply #69 on: October 03, 2017, 09:21:28 AM »
I could walk or run given there is a sidewalk and you all are right to call me out for that

Sell your car, save all that money. When you have to pay the Uberpool every day it will hurt more than the passive/hidden costs. That will help motivate you to use your alternative options, of which you have many!  Carpool with your wife when possible (2-3 days), walk (1-2 days) and if you uberpool the rest, that's fine. Who knows, maybe you can bike if you're ever going in at odd times with low traffic, or get a kick scooter!

I've been biking to work this summer, and by that I mean 1-2 times a week, in good weather, if I didn't have a commitment after work, I would bike/bus to work, and bike home. It's a start, and I'll be ready for more next season!

Don't let the perfect ("my awesome bike trail") be the enemy of the good!
Over-thinking, over-planning and over-committing, aka my 2017 goals: Procrastinating my way to FIRE
If you're a dual American/Canadian citizen living in Canada and investing in index funds outside an RRSP, please PM me!

formerlydivorcedmom

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Re: Can Mr. and Mrs. Spendy cut their way to freedom?
« Reply #70 on: October 03, 2017, 02:59:47 PM »
If other people are biking on the sidewalk, why don't you?
Boldly leading a blended family into (future) financial independence

Mariposa

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Re: Can Mr. and Mrs. Spendy cut their way to freedom?
« Reply #71 on: October 03, 2017, 09:32:47 PM »
If other people are biking on the sidewalk, why don't you?

Exactly. I commute 3 miles, which involves riding my bike 2.5 miles and then taking 2 buses for the last 0.5. This takes me 40-60 minutes, depending on how I hit the buses. Driving would take me 20 minutes door-to-door. The reason I continue to bike is what everyone else said: it's often the best part of my day. Riding my bike to work this morning in the golden light, seeing the trees start to change color, feeling the crisp air on my face brought me much joy.

If it bothers you to ride your bike on a sidewalk, you can walk your bike for that stretch. Or just walk your bike past pedestrians whenever you see any.

For such a short commute, I find that I can ride in almost any condition with ~$200 investment in good bike lights and rain gear. In the last year, the only exception was maybe snowstorm, which happened on 2 days here. I could ride in the rain, in the dark, when it got down to the teens, without buying any other special gear. I just put on a few wool sweaters under my puffer and wore two pairs of gloves for the cold. Overheating isn't an issue for such a short distance.

I also ride a 12-year-old beater bike that runs like a dream. For my short commute, I've found that the biggest factor in how well the bike "runs" is my own physical condition.

former player

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Re: Can Mr. and Mrs. Spendy cut their way to freedom?
« Reply #72 on: October 04, 2017, 03:34:46 PM »
Just to say, a salvage title car is not always a bad idea, as long as the category of write off was the lowest and the repairs were done properly.  I have a salvage title car which was nearly 3 years old with only 10,000 miles and a Category D (lowest end) front shunt into a lamppost which damaged a number of panels but left the frame and engine unharmed.  I saw the car before the repair, the repair was done by a local repair person first recommended to me 14 years ago, and I'll keep the car until it dies so don't care about resale.  I've had a completely trouble free 5 years with it so far.  A real bargain.

You say you want to spend less and then get sniffy about the ways in which to do it.  Entitled, much?
Be frugal and industrious, and you will be free (Ben Franklin)

mrspendy

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Re: Can Mr. and Mrs. Spendy cut their way to freedom?
« Reply #73 on: October 05, 2017, 04:12:16 PM »
27 minutes. it takes 27 minutes to jog/walk the ~2.5 miles to get my entitled out of shape ass home. and 1 pleasant ride with DW to get to work.

no updates hogging the top of the case study section until i sell car.

in other annoying (but hilarious in the grand scheme of things) news, I destroyed about ~$300 of dress shirts / khakis leaving some pens in my pocket in the washer.  i am woefully incompetent wannabe mustachian.

EDIT: mapmyrun tells me the precise distance was 2.3

EDIT 2: my autotrader instant cash offer is $7,100...wow...carmax / craigslist can hopefully get me better, but that comes out to $600 / month of depreciation. any non-mustachians out there want a 2010 bmw 528? pristine interior, mostly highway miles! i think it's influenced by the hit and run that i got into at extremely low speed.
« Last Edit: October 05, 2017, 05:24:38 PM by mrspendy »

civil4life

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Re: Can Mr. and Mrs. Spendy cut their way to freedom?
« Reply #74 on: October 05, 2017, 05:40:00 PM »
One other thought is can you ride your bike a block over on a less dangerous street?

The shirt thing stinks!  Try working your frugal muscles by looking for gently used replacements.

Playing with Fire UK

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Re: Can Mr. and Mrs. Spendy cut their way to freedom?
« Reply #75 on: October 06, 2017, 01:22:25 AM »
Hairspray will sometimes get ink out. Also WD40 or Swarfega. Only use if the shirts are clearly ruined otherwise.

sea_saw

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Re: Can Mr. and Mrs. Spendy cut their way to freedom?
« Reply #76 on: October 06, 2017, 03:23:43 AM »
Hey mrspendy! Just as a perspective check, I walk 40 minutes to work and 40 minutes back every day. 3 miles, mostly flat. Come rain come shine :)

For a while I amused myself trying to get the time down, jogging portions of it if necessary. But in the end I find it most satisfying to think of my walk as a combination of exercise, relaxation/leisure, and learning or introspection, so I set my pace to roughly 'purposeful walk' rather than 'as fast as possible'. I also do errands on the way.

My tip - find a podcast series you enjoy and only listen to it on your new commute. You can find all sorts of podcasts with deep deep archives, so even if you get through an episode a day it will take months to work through them if you like them. If you find yourself taking a longer route because you want to keep listening, you know you've chosen well.

I also recently installed an app called 'jobspotter'. It pays you for taking photographs of 'help wanted' signs in local businesses that might not have jobs posted online - corner shops, restaurants needing wait staff, barbers, tailors etc. I've earned £30 in my first couple of days which is fun, but what's even better is that it's incentivised me to vary my route to check out new streets, and keep my eyes peeled as I walk around, getting to know my local area as well as the inside of my head/phone.

Other people I know collect photographs of different types of plants and flowers, to similar effect.

I'd be really interested to hear more about walking as a regular feature works out for you!

patchyfacialhair

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Re: Can Mr. and Mrs. Spendy cut their way to freedom?
« Reply #77 on: October 09, 2017, 11:55:27 AM »
Wife and I were married almost 2 years ago and now have a little one. Believe me when I say this: get ahold of the lifestyle inflation BEFORE having kids. It makes it that much harder to change. Our mistake is that we bought an easily affordable house based on both of our incomes. See where this is going? Now that the kid is here, it's going to be difficult for one of us to stay home with her. Horrible planning on our part.

Your situation is different, but you can easily figure out where to go from here. My advice: live the life you want to live, now. Sell the dumb car (I sold my dream car after a couple years of ownership) and get a beater. After all, all cars are used cars once you drive them.

Anyways, I'm done rambling, and wish you the best.

Mariposa

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Re: Can Mr. and Mrs. Spendy cut their way to freedom?
« Reply #78 on: October 09, 2017, 01:09:47 PM »
27 minutes. it takes 27 minutes to jog/walk the ~2.5 miles to get my entitled out of shape ass home. and 1 pleasant ride with DW to get to work.

no updates hogging the top of the case study section until i sell car.

in other annoying (but hilarious in the grand scheme of things) news, I destroyed about ~$300 of dress shirts / khakis leaving some pens in my pocket in the washer.  i am woefully incompetent wannabe mustachian.

Good on you for walking! It's such a short distance, you can likely do it under any condition.

+1 to attempt getting the stains out. If lost cause, +1 to gently used. Or try going without. Or minimal replacement (1 khaki + 2 shirts).

Edit to add: the most effort-free way for me to buy gently used is to search for the exact item and size on ebay.
« Last Edit: October 09, 2017, 01:43:57 PM by Mariposa »

Apple_Tango

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Re: Can Mr. and Mrs. Spendy cut their way to freedom?
« Reply #79 on: October 18, 2017, 12:11:25 PM »
My thoughts when reading your case study is that Rent is your biggest problem. You know that, but it's pretty much a fixed cost so you'll have to tighten up in other ways.

So we come to the car, and the food. Also you know this, it has been said over and over. Here are my ideas: sell the car for the $7000 ish and keep doing the combo  riding with your wife, walking, and biking the 2 miles to work. You can get off and walk the bike on the sidewalk in sketchy road situations. It sounds like you're coming around to these ideas.

The food- something that i didn't see anyone else mention is that restaurant portions are HUGE. One way to cut your restaurant budget in half is to make it a habit to eat half, and take the other half home for left over dinner And have it later in the week. It's simple but people don't think about it.

Lucky Girl

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Re: Can Mr. and Mrs. Spendy cut their way to freedom?
« Reply #80 on: October 19, 2017, 02:04:16 PM »
Your case study is fascinating.  For a reality check on where you might be in 20 years, look at the case study by jimbooker.  50 something, $1.3M house, spendy lifestyle and no chance to FIRE even though he has some savings in the bank.  The way your parents set you up here is another interesting piece of this puzzle.  Obviously, they tried to give you everything.  A new g35 for your 16th Birthday!  What they don't realize is that spoiling you has basically made you miserable.  Keep this in mind when you have kids.  It is very hard to resist giving your kids all the latest and greatest.  A great book to check out is The Opposite of Spoiled by Ron Lieber.  It's a great way of looking at money and kids.

One thing that will be critical is for you and DW to get on the same page before you have kids.  If your wife is truly expecting you to live the Q7/private school/manicures every month and new 1k handbag whenever she wants it, you are headed for a train wreck.  Don't bring kids into that.

mrspendy

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Re: Can Mr. and Mrs. Spendy cut their way to freedom?
« Reply #81 on: October 31, 2017, 03:59:18 PM »
$6,312 spending for October, $158 smackeroos less than September. (about $420 of positive cash flow, but still above run-rate take-home which is lower given filled up retirement and HSA early in the year)

Progress on restaurants offset by purchase of November & December's Holiday Travel Plane Tickets. $1,300 after using points for one leg, despite a suboptimal conversion rate; we'll probably get reimbursed by my rents for $600-$800 of that since they usually volunteer to pay for the leg of the trip to see them, but I don't want to build their largesse into the budget. I couldn't bring myself to dip into the points to a greater extent given how bad the conversions were. We failed to plan ahead better and book our travel earlier; the night we bought them was a bit depressing. 

Goal for November is to be below $5,000 (basically repeat/improve October's less crazy restaurant spending, but without the plane tickets). This would be a 53% drop from 2017's average non-rent spending. Not a complete transformation by any means (and I recognize it's the average of all the months that counts), but would represent actual progress.

After 4 calls with my credit union they found my car title and sent it to me, came in the mail late last week.

I'm not going to list out all the details of the small victories and failures. Suffice to say, I think we're doing better on food (but loads of improvement left to go), better on my dry cleaning, am getting more used to car free commuting (but still need to sell the damn thing) and there's still ample fat in things like personal care.

Lucky, thanks for the book recco. I think I have been very blessed to have great parents who are incredibly loving and supportive. They are also a bit controlling and frankly have lost a lot of perspective over the years as they've had great financial success through their hard work. I would definitely not say they've made me miserable. I'm stressed out by work demands (isn't everyone?) but otherwise live a very nice life. My wife grew up much more middle class than I and doesn't expect a Q7, went to public school and things they are A okay. I'm a snob and have never and want to be able to pay for whatever is best in whatever location we are in. She does like to get a $25 manicure but has never bought a handbag (or a $1000 one!) for herself in the 6 years I've known her. I don't think we are headed for any kind of trainwreck. She may think we're saving enough and want to stay in our apartment, but that disagreement does not a trainwreck make. Our spending is a group effort. She got a $100 massage this month with a friend who's getting divorced and went out to eat with her after that. I don't have credibility to object (particularly under the sad circumstances), because in a pinch before a meeting and with 2 months of shag on my head, I went to my usual place and got a $50 haircut. I am not being the change...other than cooking and walking/carpooling to/from work. I've been cooking up a storm lately.

EDIT: more walking and cooking, a little less drinking, has helped shed 3-5 unnecessary pounds, so that's cool.
« Last Edit: October 31, 2017, 06:06:51 PM by mrspendy »

Gone_fishing

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Re: Can Mr. and Mrs. Spendy cut their way to freedom?
« Reply #82 on: November 15, 2017, 02:26:09 PM »
You restaurants category has gotten way better, good job! This category is hard because there are so many variables and also so many opportunities in the day to spend on restaurants compared with other categories of spending.

I would suggest that to make this expense more steady, you and your wife decide on a monthly amount to spend on restaurants, then pull it out in CASH for each month and put it into an envelope. Use only the money in the envelope for restaurants.  When you run out for the month, YOURE DONE.  You won’t starve, I promise.  You can split the cash between the two of you if you want to be fair.  You will train yourselves to be pickier about what restaurant experiences you are willing to spend on.  I think if you are eating daily at work for a good deal on a meal card, some of that cost should be deducted from groceries too.

freya

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Re: Can Mr. and Mrs. Spendy cut their way to freedom?
« Reply #83 on: November 18, 2017, 09:49:40 AM »
As someone living in an HCOL city with a very demanding job, I can definitely relate to this case study.

Sounds like you're making a bit of progress, but my impression is the overall picture for you is bleak.  Expenses increase faster than wages, both naturally as you get older and assume more responsibilities, and because the CPI 1-2% figures are a joke.  You are very close to living paycheck to paycheck now.  It's a good thing you're maxing retirement savings, but you probably won't be able to maintain that for long.  You have a great nest egg, but spending it down to support your current lifestyle is almost inevitable.

You don't need to do anything drastic, it's a matter of optimizing the big things and developing some new habits.

Since you rent and are contemplating downsizing, why limit it to your current building?  Why not pick a spot that makes it easier to arrange a car-free commute for one of you?  The best thing I ever did was buy an apartment that's a 20 minute walk to work, and 5 minutes to a bus that takes me to visit my mother in the suburbs.  No more public transit monthly passes, which have been zooming up in price every year.  By the way, consider the actual time spent driving to work.  You have to clear snow and dirt off the windshield, keep the car filled with gas and tires inflated, get the oil changed regularly, and find a parking space when you get to your destination then walk to the front door.  Walking is overhead-free, except for getting your shoes resoled occasionally.  Also if your commute is flat, you could get yourself a scooter and likely easily match your driving commute time.

As far as lunches/meals out, that's just a matter of working out a bagged-lunch system.  I throw leftovers into a container when I'm making dinner, which takes about 5 seconds.  Next morning it's grab and go.   If I don't have leftovers I cut up fruit and vegetables, cheese, and hard salami and throw them in a baggie.  That admittedly takes longer, i.e. all of about 3 minutes.  You can still go out to lunch if you want to, but no longer out of necessity and certainly not every day.

mrspendy

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Re: Can Mr. and Mrs. Spendy cut their way to freedom?
« Reply #84 on: November 30, 2017, 07:06:25 AM »
$5,369 for November, +$1,400 of positive cash flow excluding some ridiculous gift money / holiday travel re-reimbursements we received.

Not quite the $5,000 goal. Non Rent Spending of $2,167 vs ~$3,500 in the first few months of tracking/effort.

Averaging out the past few months (to include things like Holiday travel, insurance, etc), we're spending about 100% of normalized take-home. We've cut restaurant spending dramatically. This month's $383 includes $90 for my work lunches, $23 for a networking thing, and $52 of treating the in laws, not that those aren't actual expenses because they are, but just saying that we've been exercising our cooking muscles a lot.I'm trying to optimize grocery spend, which I realize is quite high given that it doesn't include my lunch.

There's still plenty of non-rent fat to cut from a mustachian point of view, but the real savings will come with a re-location; we're both kind of reaching a plateau in terms of things we want to cut from a non-rent point of view.

Lots of points accrued this month! $11K of work travel = ~80K of airline miles and 33K chase points.

And no, I haven't sold the car...I am a weak man!
« Last Edit: November 30, 2017, 07:11:05 AM by mrspendy »