Author Topic: Case Study: Hair on Fire Spending  (Read 10235 times)


  • Handlebar Stache
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Re: Case Study: Hair on Fire Spending
« Reply #50 on: August 05, 2017, 11:43:42 AM »
Good to read this thread today from start to finish. Your mindset has changed so much already. Following with interest! Looking forward to seeing how you ramp things up in the coming months!


  • Handlebar Stache
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Re: Case Study: Hair on Fire Spending
« Reply #51 on: August 07, 2017, 10:41:01 AM »
I really think cutting the eating out habit is like building a muscle - you get stronger the more you work at it.  We had a really challenging week and were so tempted by take out, but I either pushed through and made dinner or went with a quick and low effort plan B.

I've had a few lunches from the work cafeteria due to poor planning, but I'm getting better at that too.  Just one this past week!

I'm feeling really hopeful after a long time of feeling discouraged.

Random question: what do you do about gifts?  We were invited to a wedding we couldn't attend and I would usually send a gift, and I'm also going to a housewarming tomorrow.  I've tried to think about frugal options, but this is the type of problem that I usually solve by throwing money at it.
For the housewarming, I like the dessert idea, though I have personally found sweets are less appreciated than they used to be (though perhaps part of the problem is they are very abundant around Christmas, which is when I have mostly tried to gift them). As an alternative, I like to give something I've found really freakin' useful, or nice/pleasant, from a discount store like Homegoods. Too many people (in my life, anyway) don't have knife sharpeners or wine glasses... And you can get those for $10 or less!

For weddings, I think giving a gift lines up with my values so I don't mind spending on it. Though I would not feel obligated to give very much if I was not going... And I'd feel ok to give nothing (maybe would send a card) if we didn't really know the couple well.

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Malum Prohibitum

  • Pencil Stache
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Re: Case Study: Hair on Fire Spending
« Reply #52 on: August 12, 2017, 11:19:49 AM »
I really think cutting the eating out habit is like building a muscle - you get stronger the more you work at it.
100% true, but this is one of your biggest expenses.

My wife loves to cook, and she is very good at it.  My kids are frequently disappointed (as are we) if we go out to restaurants, because the food is not as good as what we eat at home.  This makes it a little easier to eat at home.

In addition, I eat something like a bodybuilder's diet.  This means two lunches brought to work.  Restaurants really can't fulfill my dietary needs, and eating out gets me off track.


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Re: Case Study: Hair on Fire Spending
« Reply #53 on: August 14, 2017, 04:11:22 PM »
1 - Wow! You have such a nice attitude and have made some serious changes already!

2 - Looks like you and Spouse have within ~$400 or so of our monthly income (we're grazing $11,250 - so right in the same boat.) Like you, I'm trying to rein in our sort of reckless spending (which, to me, is $3k/mo - no kids yet! -  but we all still suck, right?)

3 - Your house situation actually sounds awesome, to me! I don't even want to tell you what we paid for our place - a condo - in a super HCOL area - 3x our income. Re: HOAs - I know they get a lot of flack (and, mostly well-deserved) around the MMM crew. There are, IMO, some good cases for HOAs. I'm in one - it's "low" for the area - $300 - and covers home insurance, heat, water, sewer, garbage, an indoor garage, and all maintenance. Plus, I've never once devoted a weekend to "yard work," exterior painting, replacing burst pipes, etc. (These things are all character building and not bad, per se, but we're just working towards side businesses and other self-improvement (marathons)). You sound like you've got a great gig going.

4 - I agree on the SAHM/D thing - not for everyone (not for me). You ARE getting benefit from your workplace.

5 - That's high on food. Really high. I recommend the "Sunday cook-off" - a two hour bonanza where Spouse and I cook approximately 25 fried eggs, 10 slices of cheddar, two pounds of breakfast potatoes (hello, breakfast bowl - add salsa/avocado for yum,), five high-cal salads, five pasta bowls with meat (Spouse can subsist on a million carbs - I cannot.) into tons of containers. This is actually very annoying to accomplish, as there's at least four things going at any one time - BUT - 10 meals made - and healthy - it's worth it. Don't start complicated - start with turkey sandwiches. Buy 10 apples. Buy Trader Joes salads, if you have to - just start somewhere.

6 - Embrace minimalism, casually. If you can handle slight cleaning-based-lunacy, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up is a fun quick read. If you just pull a casual bit of her advice - go through your closet, your bookshelves, your junk drawer (I'm assuming everyone has one of these), your garage, etc. and really take stock and what you have, and what you can toss. It's freed up a lot of resting anxiety for me, that stems from being surrounded by piles of owned belongings (baggage.) It helps with the wallet too - the Amazon spending may go down!

7 - Keep kicking butt!

« Last Edit: August 14, 2017, 04:13:12 PM by bouldertechwarrior »


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Re: Case Study: Hair on Fire Spending
« Reply #54 on: Today at 12:59:31 PM »
Still here, still plugging along.

YNAB has been eye opening and makes spending money feel more "real".  I found a few lurking categories I hadn't accounted for - parking and tolls and car registration were the ones that popped up this month.  We're both doing a ton better and also still spending a lot.  Definitely baby steps, but I think that's our speed given how much we have gotten used to the ease of spending away discomfort/tiredness/busyness.

We haven't managed to get rid of the storage unit yet, simply because it's going to take some time and effort, but it's next on the list.

I'll be back at the end of the month to post our numbers if anyone is still interested.


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Re: Case Study: Hair on Fire Spending
« Reply #55 on: Today at 01:30:02 PM »
Keep us posted! Glad you stuck with YNAB!
Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine.