Author Topic: Mustachian People Problems (just for fun)  (Read 1192677 times)

Heather in Ottawa

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Re: Mustachian People Problems (just for fun)
« Reply #900 on: January 05, 2015, 04:57:38 PM »
uhhhh... how did a thread that's "just for fun" turn into one about tax preparation? Weirdos :)

(confession, I also have a personalized tax preparation spreadsheet, and have roughed in my 2014 numbers while I wait impatiently for the slips to arrive).

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Re: Mustachian People Problems (just for fun)
« Reply #901 on: January 05, 2015, 05:20:34 PM »
uhhhh... how did a thread that's "just for fun" turn into one about tax preparation? Weirdos :)

(confession, I also have a personalized tax preparation spreadsheet, and have roughed in my 2014 numbers while I wait impatiently for the slips to arrive).

I tought tax planning was for fun :/
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Re: Mustachian People Problems (just for fun)
« Reply #902 on: January 05, 2015, 08:02:43 PM »
uhhhh... how did a thread that's "just for fun" turn into one about tax preparation? Weirdos :)

(confession, I also have a personalized tax preparation spreadsheet, and have roughed in my 2014 numbers while I wait impatiently for the slips to arrive).

I tought tax planning was for fun :/
Haha I do find it fun!

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Re: Mustachian People Problems (just for fun)
« Reply #903 on: January 05, 2015, 08:39:31 PM »
I never knew that finding out that other people have a tax spreadsheet too would make me so happy. **tears up**  ;)
Thanks, guys.
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Apples

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Re: Mustachian People Problems (just for fun)
« Reply #904 on: January 06, 2015, 08:55:37 AM »
Oh, I did the paycheck spreadsheet to determine withholdings for next year, several scenarios as well.  I fully expect life to change though and I'll have to switch things up when it does.

This being my first full year in the working world, and now married, I'm having the darnedest time figuring out our correct withholding for 2015.  I've played around with a few scenarios, but they all involve lots of calculator work.  Would you be interested in sharing your spreadsheet? :)
It's not much of a spreadsheet.  I start with expected income.  Then take away 2 personal exemptions.  Then take away the standard deduction (we can't itemize).  Then take away the $2,500 deduction for student loan interest (well, a bit less this year, finally!).  Last take away what we're putting into the 401-K and pre-tax medical.

What's left I calculate the 10% tax bracket, the 15%, and the 25%.

All of the actual numbers can be found using Google search.

Once you have the total amount of your expected tax, my recommendation would be to use Paycheck-city (a popular paycheck estimator) to adjust withholdings for just one of you until you find the setting that will have about the right amount of federal taxes withheld, then set your W-4 to that amount.

Right now ours is very easy because we're on one income.  But if that changes I plan on leaving DH's paycheck alone and adjusting mine to whatever is needed so we don't owe come tax time next year.

Did all of that make sense?

Yes thank you :)  In the last few months I just learned what exactly the personal exemption and standard deduction are, and learned that the published tax brackets are not gross income, but actually adjusted gross income, which makes a HUGE difference.  I'm a newb at this, so thanks for your basic walk through.

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Re: Mustachian People Problems (just for fun)
« Reply #905 on: January 06, 2015, 09:28:34 AM »
Yes thank you :)  In the last few months I just learned what exactly the personal exemption and standard deduction are, and learned that the published tax brackets are not gross income, but actually adjusted gross income, which makes a HUGE difference.  I'm a newb at this, so thanks for your basic walk through.
You've almost got it right. Published tax brackets are on taxable income. Adjusted gross income (AGI) is the figure at the bottom of the first page of the 1040 - your gross income, minus what are referred to as above "above the line" deductions. Your taxable income is AGI minus exemptions and standard or itemized deductions. Your tax is assessed on your taxable income, not your AGI.

You should keep in mind that to qualify for some deductions and credits, your AGI has to be below a certain amount. I have never seen a tax deduction or credit that uses the taxable income as the criteria for qualification (not to say that they don't exist, but I wouldn't count on it). Therefore, doing things like donating to charity will decrease your overall tax liability if you can itemize your deductions, but they do not decrease your AGI, and hence do not help you qualify for such deductions and credits.

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Re: Mustachian People Problems (just for fun)
« Reply #906 on: January 06, 2015, 09:39:23 AM »
Oh, I did the paycheck spreadsheet to determine withholdings for next year, several scenarios as well.  I fully expect life to change though and I'll have to switch things up when it does.

This being my first full year in the working world, and now married, I'm having the darnedest time figuring out our correct withholding for 2015.  I've played around with a few scenarios, but they all involve lots of calculator work.  Would you be interested in sharing your spreadsheet? :)
It's not much of a spreadsheet.  I start with expected income.  Then take away 2 personal exemptions.  Then take away the standard deduction (we can't itemize).  Then take away the $2,500 deduction for student loan interest (well, a bit less this year, finally!).  Last take away what we're putting into the 401-K and pre-tax medical.

What's left I calculate the 10% tax bracket, the 15%, and the 25%.

All of the actual numbers can be found using Google search.

Once you have the total amount of your expected tax, my recommendation would be to use Paycheck-city (a popular paycheck estimator) to adjust withholdings for just one of you until you find the setting that will have about the right amount of federal taxes withheld, then set your W-4 to that amount.

Right now ours is very easy because we're on one income.  But if that changes I plan on leaving DH's paycheck alone and adjusting mine to whatever is needed so we don't owe come tax time next year.

Did all of that make sense?

Yes thank you :)  In the last few months I just learned what exactly the personal exemption and standard deduction are, and learned that the published tax brackets are not gross income, but actually adjusted gross income, which makes a HUGE difference.  I'm a newb at this, so thanks for your basic walk through.
You're welcome.  As Johnny said, it can be more complicated than I said, but that is the basics.  There are things that you can deduct at some income levels but not others.  There's the ACA subsidies if you are low enough income.  There are tax credits for having qualifying children.  There is the possibility that you have enough itemized deductions to itemize, in which case you'd use that amount instead of the standard deduction.  There are many of these deductions that have income phaseouts, so if you are higher income you may not be able to claim certain things.  There is the EIC (earned income credit) for low income taxpayers.

But, as long as you know your situation, the rest doesn't matter as much.  I made assumptions based on you just getting married and being on this board - that you aren't either high or low income, that you don't have a large mortgage (being the most common way people qualify for itemized deductions), that you don't have kids (yet).

Apples

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Re: Mustachian People Problems (just for fun)
« Reply #907 on: January 06, 2015, 10:22:42 AM »
Quote
But, as long as you know your situation, the rest doesn't matter as much.  I made assumptions based on you just getting married and being on this board - that you aren't either high or low income, that you don't have a large mortgage (being the most common way people qualify for itemized deductions), that you don't have kids (yet).

You made good assumptions.  I think walking myself through a 1040 this year with help with the terms.  (thanks Johnny for some clarification).  First time not filing as a dependent this year, so will learn those details I think.  We are smack in the middle of 15% tax bracket, no mortgage, and no kids.  Your simple "spreadsheet" is perfect for me.

To everyone else, back on topic, sorry for taking this train so far off the tracks (but thank you for the responses!).

mochila

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Re: Mustachian People Problems (just for fun)
« Reply #908 on: January 08, 2015, 09:33:14 AM »
Gah! Those statements are poky. Not a one of my tax documents has arrived, but I've filled out what I could of my tax return from my 12/31/14 pay stub. Should be just about reckoned up.

Another "problem": when you generate so little trash (one of those supermarket grocery bags every 2-3 weeks) because you buy nothing new and eat your vegetables with their peels, among other habits, yet you're paying $20/month for municipal trash pickup that has no opt-out option.

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Re: Mustachian People Problems (just for fun)
« Reply #909 on: January 08, 2015, 12:18:00 PM »
Not being able to compare clothes with colleagues (all women office) because though your clothes are nicer, they came off of thrift store racks. If and when I join the comparison conversation, I need to do prior homework about where that dress gets sold in retail and at what price. Since thats too much of a bother, I just don't join most conversations.

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Re: Mustachian People Problems (just for fun)
« Reply #910 on: January 08, 2015, 12:31:45 PM »
Not being able to compare clothes with colleagues (all women office) because though your clothes are nicer, they came off of thrift store racks. If and when I join the comparison conversation, I need to do prior homework about where that dress gets sold in retail and at what price. Since thats too much of a bother, I just don't join most conversations.
Dude here, but I had a similar issue a while back.  I bought a pair of Express pants at a thrift store (something like $4), and a guy at work recognized them and talked about how expensive they were and he likes that brand too so "it's worth it."  I was genuinely curious what they cost new and he estimated $80 and my eyes widened in horror.  I think he was confused.

I spilled bacon grease all over them and ruined them a few weeks later.  Eh.  I didn't really enjoy how they fit anyway.

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Re: Mustachian People Problems (just for fun)
« Reply #911 on: January 08, 2015, 01:01:34 PM »
Not being able to compare clothes with colleagues (all women office) because though your clothes are nicer, they came off of thrift store racks. If and when I join the comparison conversation, I need to do prior homework about where that dress gets sold in retail and at what price. Since thats too much of a bother, I just don't join most conversations.
Dude here, but I had a similar issue a while back.  I bought a pair of Express pants at a thrift store (something like $4), and a guy at work recognized them and talked about how expensive they were and he likes that brand too so "it's worth it."  I was genuinely curious what they cost new and he estimated $80 and my eyes widened in horror.  I think he was confused.

I spilled bacon grease all over them and ruined them a few weeks later.  Eh.  I didn't really enjoy how they fit anyway.

YOU MONSTER!!! Wasting bacon grease like that.
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ketchup

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Re: Mustachian People Problems (just for fun)
« Reply #912 on: January 08, 2015, 03:23:19 PM »
Not being able to compare clothes with colleagues (all women office) because though your clothes are nicer, they came off of thrift store racks. If and when I join the comparison conversation, I need to do prior homework about where that dress gets sold in retail and at what price. Since thats too much of a bother, I just don't join most conversations.
Dude here, but I had a similar issue a while back.  I bought a pair of Express pants at a thrift store (something like $4), and a guy at work recognized them and talked about how expensive they were and he likes that brand too so "it's worth it."  I was genuinely curious what they cost new and he estimated $80 and my eyes widened in horror.  I think he was confused.

I spilled bacon grease all over them and ruined them a few weeks later.  Eh.  I didn't really enjoy how they fit anyway.

YOU MONSTER!!! Wasting bacon grease like that.
I had my eggs ready to go and everything. :(  Scrambled eggs cooked in bacon grease are the best.

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Re: Mustachian People Problems (just for fun)
« Reply #913 on: January 08, 2015, 03:35:21 PM »
Not being able to compare clothes with colleagues (all women office) because though your clothes are nicer, they came off of thrift store racks. If and when I join the comparison conversation, I need to do prior homework about where that dress gets sold in retail and at what price. Since thats too much of a bother, I just don't join most conversations.
Dude here, but I had a similar issue a while back.  I bought a pair of Express pants at a thrift store (something like $4), and a guy at work recognized them and talked about how expensive they were and he likes that brand too so "it's worth it."  I was genuinely curious what they cost new and he estimated $80 and my eyes widened in horror.  I think he was confused.

I spilled bacon grease all over them and ruined them a few weeks later.  Eh.  I didn't really enjoy how they fit anyway.

YOU MONSTER!!! Wasting bacon grease like that.
I had my eggs ready to go and everything. :(  Scrambled eggs cooked in bacon grease are the best.
I apologize. You aren't a monster, you are a victim.
Join the cycling challenge!
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Frugal FIRE - Episode 2

"Mustachians rarely sit back and let things happen to them. Mustachians go out and happen to things."

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TrMama

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Re: Mustachian People Problems (just for fun)
« Reply #914 on: January 08, 2015, 03:56:02 PM »
Not being able to compare clothes with colleagues (all women office) because though your clothes are nicer, they came off of thrift store racks. If and when I join the comparison conversation, I need to do prior homework about where that dress gets sold in retail and at what price. Since thats too much of a bother, I just don't join most conversations.
Dude here, but I had a similar issue a while back.  I bought a pair of Express pants at a thrift store (something like $4), and a guy at work recognized them and talked about how expensive they were and he likes that brand too so "it's worth it."  I was genuinely curious what they cost new and he estimated $80 and my eyes widened in horror.  I think he was confused.

I spilled bacon grease all over them and ruined them a few weeks later.  Eh.  I didn't really enjoy how they fit anyway.

YOU MONSTER!!! Wasting bacon grease like that.
I had my eggs ready to go and everything. :(  Scrambled eggs cooked in bacon grease are the best.
I apologize. You aren't a monster, you are a victim.

Mmm, bacon.

Back on topic: Bike degreaser (aka generic orange degreaser from Home Depot) makes an excellent stain treatment for oily food stains. Just spray some on before running it through the wash. Bacon grease doesn't stand a chance against this industrial strength stuff.

My latest mustachian problem is that I've biked enough to wear out the rear wheel on my bike. Not the tire, but the metal wheel.

jordanread

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Re: Mustachian People Problems (just for fun)
« Reply #915 on: January 08, 2015, 04:48:41 PM »
Not being able to compare clothes with colleagues (all women office) because though your clothes are nicer, they came off of thrift store racks. If and when I join the comparison conversation, I need to do prior homework about where that dress gets sold in retail and at what price. Since thats too much of a bother, I just don't join most conversations.
Dude here, but I had a similar issue a while back.  I bought a pair of Express pants at a thrift store (something like $4), and a guy at work recognized them and talked about how expensive they were and he likes that brand too so "it's worth it."  I was genuinely curious what they cost new and he estimated $80 and my eyes widened in horror.  I think he was confused.

I spilled bacon grease all over them and ruined them a few weeks later.  Eh.  I didn't really enjoy how they fit anyway.

YOU MONSTER!!! Wasting bacon grease like that.
I had my eggs ready to go and everything. :(  Scrambled eggs cooked in bacon grease are the best.
I apologize. You aren't a monster, you are a victim.

Mmm, bacon.

Back on topic: Bike degreaser (aka generic orange degreaser from Home Depot) makes an excellent stain treatment for oily food stains. Just spray some on before running it through the wash. Bacon grease doesn't stand a chance against this industrial strength stuff.

My latest mustachian problem is that I've biked enough to wear out the rear wheel on my bike. Not the tire, but the metal wheel.

Fun fact: I used to work at a Dry Cleaners. Some lady came in with a ridiculously expensive (I think she said $3000) chinese silk dress/kimono thing. She fell in the street and it got an oil stain all across the front. The cleaners did everything they could (as per policy) but it never came out. She said "Just throw it away". One of the cleaners decided to try the Orange mechanics stuff. Came out, and she paid the $40 dry cleaning fee to the company, and resold the dress.
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Get in shape in 2017!
Frugal FIRE - Episode 2

"Mustachians rarely sit back and let things happen to them. Mustachians go out and happen to things."

CM*TO - Ticket Lottery

Astatine

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Re: Mustachian People Problems (just for fun)
« Reply #916 on: January 08, 2015, 08:09:47 PM »
It was so hard to spend our $50 gift card we got for Christmas. I wanted to use it up then and there at KMart, otherwise we just forget that we have a gift card to use up. We bought a $30 kettle, DH bought some new razor blades and they were sold out of our deodorants, the only things we don't already have spares of in the cupboard. I eventually bought sugar free gum (I go through packets of the stuff at work - helps me keep on top of background anxiety, and reduces my propensity to snack on junk food when work is stressful), but had to add more packets cos the razor blades were half price.

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Re: Mustachian People Problems (just for fun)
« Reply #917 on: January 08, 2015, 09:45:51 PM »
Not being able to compare clothes with colleagues (all women office) because though your clothes are nicer, they came off of thrift store racks. If and when I join the comparison conversation, I need to do prior homework about where that dress gets sold in retail and at what price. Since thats too much of a bother, I just don't join most conversations.
Dude here, but I had a similar issue a while back.  I bought a pair of Express pants at a thrift store (something like $4), and a guy at work recognized them and talked about how expensive they were and he likes that brand too so "it's worth it."  I was genuinely curious what they cost new and he estimated $80 and my eyes widened in horror.  I think he was confused.

I spilled bacon grease all over them and ruined them a few weeks later.  Eh.  I didn't really enjoy how they fit anyway.

YOU MONSTER!!! Wasting bacon grease like that.
I had my eggs ready to go and everything. :(  Scrambled eggs cooked in bacon grease are the best.
I apologize. You aren't a monster, you are a victim.

Mmm, bacon.

Back on topic: Bike degreaser (aka generic orange degreaser from Home Depot) makes an excellent stain treatment for oily food stains. Just spray some on before running it through the wash. Bacon grease doesn't stand a chance against this industrial strength stuff.

My latest mustachian problem is that I've biked enough to wear out the rear wheel on my bike. Not the tire, but the metal wheel.

Fun fact: I used to work at a Dry Cleaners. Some lady came in with a ridiculously expensive (I think she said $3000) chinese silk dress/kimono thing. She fell in the street and it got an oil stain all across the front. The cleaners did everything they could (as per policy) but it never came out. She said "Just throw it away". One of the cleaners decided to try the Orange mechanics stuff. Came out, and she paid the $40 dry cleaning fee to the company, and resold the dress.

Dry cleaners are the worst, maybe second to taxi drivers. 

1967mama

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Re: Mustachian People Problems (just for fun)
« Reply #918 on: January 09, 2015, 12:10:16 AM »
Used a Christmas gift card to buy feminine hygiene products .. SCORE!

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Re: Mustachian People Problems (just for fun)
« Reply #919 on: January 09, 2015, 06:51:48 AM »
It was so hard to spend our $50 gift card we got for Christmas.

We had flight hell on a recent trip and American Airline very nicely gave us each a $25 food certificate to make up for our now 14 hour layover.  Our typical airport food is splitting chinese food, so we each got our own. That cost $24.90, which made us think "wow, that is insane, thank goodness we usually split this."

But then it was so much food we couldn't figure out what to do with the other certificate.  So I came up with the idea of going to one of the food places that sold candy bars and just buying up whatever amount we could get.

We got there and all I could think was "There is no freaking way I am spending $2.50 a candy bar."

Finally, the fact that it was AA's money and I was pissed at them got me over it.  But I really almost didn't buy the 10 candy bars because who in their right mind would support someone who prices that way?

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Re: Mustachian People Problems (just for fun)
« Reply #920 on: January 09, 2015, 07:45:25 AM »
It was so hard to spend our $50 gift card we got for Christmas.

We had flight hell on a recent trip and American Airline very nicely gave us each a $25 food certificate to make up for our now 14 hour layover.  Our typical airport food is splitting chinese food, so we each got our own. That cost $24.90, which made us think "wow, that is insane, thank goodness we usually split this."

But then it was so much food we couldn't figure out what to do with the other certificate.  So I came up with the idea of going to one of the food places that sold candy bars and just buying up whatever amount we could get.

We got there and all I could think was "There is no freaking way I am spending $2.50 a candy bar."

Finally, the fact that it was AA's money and I was pissed at them got me over it.  But I really almost didn't buy the 10 candy bars because who in their right mind would support someone who prices that way?
Hahaha. I had a somewhat similar situation, though the money wasn't given to me by somebody I was pissed at.
I was trying to maximize Amex's Small Business Saturday. This year, for every Amex card you enrolled, you could get up to three statement credits of $10 for the first three transactions of $10 or more at a small business. I eventually ran out of things to get at small businesses, so I went to this small grocery store (really should be called a convenience store) and bought 5 tiny bottles of dish soap for $2 each, that I could easily get for a $1 or less normally by buying a bigger bottle at say Target. Now granted, sales tax pushed me a bit over $10, but, it was mostly Amex's money, so whatever. But it did feel weird supporting a business that rips people off like that.

Also, they only gave you a $25 food certificate for an extended layover? Southwest gave every passenger a $100 voucher, good for a year, when we had to deplane (they found us a new plane) and were delayed about three hours.

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Re: Mustachian People Problems (just for fun)
« Reply #921 on: January 09, 2015, 08:30:30 AM »
I signed up for a new credit card thinking I'd definitely spend enough between regular spending and Christmas to make it to the "spend $3,000 in 90 days" threshold. Except I didn't. I realized I was $400 short on the evening of the 90th day. The bonus was $400, so it was basically "free" spending, but it took me and my husband over two hours to figure out what to buy.

We ended up buying the next size up car seat, a kid's bike seat and some gift cards to places we shop all the time. But it wasn't easy.

ketchup

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Re: Mustachian People Problems (just for fun)
« Reply #922 on: January 09, 2015, 09:36:40 AM »
Not being able to compare clothes with colleagues (all women office) because though your clothes are nicer, they came off of thrift store racks. If and when I join the comparison conversation, I need to do prior homework about where that dress gets sold in retail and at what price. Since thats too much of a bother, I just don't join most conversations.
Dude here, but I had a similar issue a while back.  I bought a pair of Express pants at a thrift store (something like $4), and a guy at work recognized them and talked about how expensive they were and he likes that brand too so "it's worth it."  I was genuinely curious what they cost new and he estimated $80 and my eyes widened in horror.  I think he was confused.

I spilled bacon grease all over them and ruined them a few weeks later.  Eh.  I didn't really enjoy how they fit anyway.

YOU MONSTER!!! Wasting bacon grease like that.
I had my eggs ready to go and everything. :(  Scrambled eggs cooked in bacon grease are the best.
I apologize. You aren't a monster, you are a victim.

Mmm, bacon.

Back on topic: Bike degreaser (aka generic orange degreaser from Home Depot) makes an excellent stain treatment for oily food stains. Just spray some on before running it through the wash. Bacon grease doesn't stand a chance against this industrial strength stuff.

My latest mustachian problem is that I've biked enough to wear out the rear wheel on my bike. Not the tire, but the metal wheel.
Hmm, I'll have to use that next time.  I have some in my garage already.  Thanks for the tip!

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Re: Mustachian People Problems (just for fun)
« Reply #923 on: January 09, 2015, 09:43:38 AM »
I signed up for a new credit card thinking I'd definitely spend enough between regular spending and Christmas to make it to the "spend $3,000 in 90 days" threshold. Except I didn't. I realized I was $400 short on the evening of the 90th day. The bonus was $400, so it was basically "free" spending, but it took me and my husband over two hours to figure out what to buy.

I have that problem right now! My work reimburses all my travel, but I have to front the cost, so when, while booking an overpriced hotel room in an overpriced little city I applied for a new Amex that offered $50 statement credit + 50K points for spending $750 in the first three months. My travels through March will cost $763, so why not?

"Trouble" is, my employer switched to a new travel provider that pays for airfare up front, so now I need to figure out how to spend $215. Is it worth opening a Serve account to pay my rent with credit cards?

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Re: Mustachian People Problems (just for fun)
« Reply #924 on: January 09, 2015, 10:11:27 AM »
I signed up for a new credit card thinking I'd definitely spend enough between regular spending and Christmas to make it to the "spend $3,000 in 90 days" threshold. Except I didn't. I realized I was $400 short on the evening of the 90th day. The bonus was $400, so it was basically "free" spending, but it took me and my husband over two hours to figure out what to buy.

I have that problem right now! My work reimburses all my travel, but I have to front the cost, so when, while booking an overpriced hotel room in an overpriced little city I applied for a new Amex that offered $50 statement credit + 50K points for spending $750 in the first three months. My travels through March will cost $763, so why not?

"Trouble" is, my employer switched to a new travel provider that pays for airfare up front, so now I need to figure out how to spend $215. Is it worth opening a Serve account to pay my rent with credit cards?
Ugh.

My employer wants me to front my travel expenses too, and pay for them, but I am required to use their corporate approved card, and the only points back option available has a $160 per year annual fee.  The free approved version has no credit back.   I hate having to front so much money each month, and their response is to simply put in for expenses every 2 weeks so it does not take long.   Boy would I like to get the points / credits, but there is something fundamentally wrong in my mind with a $160 card  (that offers no more protection to me than the free version).  I just can't.

I think I am the only traveller in our group that did not go for it.   

mochila

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Re: Mustachian People Problems (just for fun)
« Reply #925 on: January 09, 2015, 10:38:53 AM »
Yikes, what card is that?

I have no idea what service providers present TPTB with, but I do wonder about how employers award contracts for retirement plans, insurance, travel agents, etc. I imagine schmoozing of the sort one sees on Mad Men.

madgeylou

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Re: Mustachian People Problems (just for fun)
« Reply #926 on: January 09, 2015, 11:16:20 AM »
Yikes, what card is that?

I have no idea what service providers present TPTB with, but I do wonder about how employers award contracts for retirement plans, insurance, travel agents, etc. I imagine schmoozing of the sort one sees on Mad Men.

that is exactly how it happens. there are whole giant departments whose job it is to create a vendor list, vet the vendor list, and lean on the vendors on the vendor list to get better prices. (implementing software to manage all this used to be my job.)

Goldielocks

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Re: Mustachian People Problems (just for fun)
« Reply #927 on: January 09, 2015, 11:36:23 AM »
Yikes, what card is that?

I have no idea what service providers present TPTB with, but I do wonder about how employers award contracts for retirement plans, insurance, travel agents, etc. I imagine schmoozing of the sort one sees on Mad Men.
Amex Corporate Card
I just called to confirm -- the $160 fee  from 2013 is now "only" $99/yr.   I think the corporate AMEX card works this way so most of the rebates go to the company directly (it is their money in the first place), and employees who want rewards essentially pay for the value of them with their annual fees.   At 1 aeroplan mile per $2. and no bonus.....,

You need to spend $25k plus on on this card (on work travel) in order to pay off the $99, and have personal travel plans in future to make it break even.   hmmm... I should post a thread asking how to better redeem aeroplan points, as I am likely missing something...


Timmmy

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Re: Mustachian People Problems (just for fun)
« Reply #928 on: January 09, 2015, 02:26:13 PM »
I signed up for a new credit card thinking I'd definitely spend enough between regular spending and Christmas to make it to the "spend $3,000 in 90 days" threshold. Except I didn't. I realized I was $400 short on the evening of the 90th day. The bonus was $400, so it was basically "free" spending, but it took me and my husband over two hours to figure out what to buy.

I have that problem right now! My work reimburses all my travel, but I have to front the cost, so when, while booking an overpriced hotel room in an overpriced little city I applied for a new Amex that offered $50 statement credit + 50K points for spending $750 in the first three months. My travels through March will cost $763, so why not?

"Trouble" is, my employer switched to a new travel provider that pays for airfare up front, so now I need to figure out how to spend $215. Is it worth opening a Serve account to pay my rent with credit cards?
Ugh.

My employer wants me to front my travel expenses too, and pay for them, but I am required to use their corporate approved card, and the only points back option available has a $160 per year annual fee.  The free approved version has no credit back.   I hate having to front so much money each month, and their response is to simply put in for expenses every 2 weeks so it does not take long.   Boy would I like to get the points / credits, but there is something fundamentally wrong in my mind with a $160 card  (that offers no more protection to me than the free version).  I just can't.

I think I am the only traveller in our group that did not go for it.

My last employer wanted me to do that after a promotion.  Except, I don't have any credit cards so they would literally be borrowing money from me to run their company.  I told them I wasn't a bank.  After my manager had to start buying stuff he got me a corporate credit card to use.  I find it outrageous that any company would ask to borrow money from their employees.   

Adventine

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Re: Mustachian People Problems (just for fun)
« Reply #929 on: January 10, 2015, 12:19:55 AM »
I finally have another one for this thread!

I was surprised to see local currency coins with new designs, simply because it's been so long since my last transaction involving coins! I charge pretty much everything to my cashback credit card.

Middlesbrough

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Re: Mustachian People Problems (just for fun)
« Reply #930 on: January 10, 2015, 01:14:18 AM »
I signed up for a new credit card thinking I'd definitely spend enough between regular spending and Christmas to make it to the "spend $3,000 in 90 days" threshold. Except I didn't. I realized I was $400 short on the evening of the 90th day. The bonus was $400, so it was basically "free" spending, but it took me and my husband over two hours to figure out what to buy.

I have that problem right now! My work reimburses all my travel, but I have to front the cost, so when, while booking an overpriced hotel room in an overpriced little city I applied for a new Amex that offered $50 statement credit + 50K points for spending $750 in the first three months. My travels through March will cost $763, so why not?

"Trouble" is, my employer switched to a new travel provider that pays for airfare up front, so now I need to figure out how to spend $215. Is it worth opening a Serve account to pay my rent with credit cards?
Ugh.

My employer wants me to front my travel expenses too, and pay for them, but I am required to use their corporate approved card, and the only points back option available has a $160 per year annual fee.  The free approved version has no credit back.   I hate having to front so much money each month, and their response is to simply put in for expenses every 2 weeks so it does not take long.   Boy would I like to get the points / credits, but there is something fundamentally wrong in my mind with a $160 card  (that offers no more protection to me than the free version).  I just can't.

I think I am the only traveller in our group that did not go for it.

My last employer wanted me to do that after a promotion.  Except, I don't have any credit cards so they would literally be borrowing money from me to run their company.  I told them I wasn't a bank.  After my manager had to start buying stuff he got me a corporate credit card to use.  I find it outrageous that any company would ask to borrow money from their employees.
Meh. I don't have to pay the CC for a month and I get expenses back every two weeks. Free bonuses on cards!

mikedom

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Re: Mustachian People Problems (just for fun)
« Reply #931 on: January 12, 2015, 08:33:07 AM »
My water bottle was salty this morning....because I biked home in the snow on Friday.

Daisy

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Re: Mustachian People Problems (just for fun)
« Reply #932 on: January 18, 2015, 12:34:31 PM »
Oh, I did the paycheck spreadsheet to determine withholdings for next year, several scenarios as well.  I fully expect life to change though and I'll have to switch things up when it does.
If you're paid biweekly, and got your first paycheck this year on 1/2 or 1/1 (though I'm guessing not 1/1 because of the holiday), you may end up with 27 paychecks this year. I think I will - but I won't know for sure until the fiscal year for my employer ends 6/30, and they release the pay schedule for the rest of this year (I would have a paycheck on 1/1/2016, but usually employers pay one day early in the case of a bank holiday).

Mine got paid on 12/31 instead of 1/1 as I expected. So I think it will get counted in 2014 earnings instead of 2015 as I expected.

I had to recalculate my paid income taxes for 2014 because I had the withholding modified towards the end of the year to get the "just right" breakeven number for my income taxes. Nothing owed and nothing refunded - was the plan at least. Now, with this new income for 2014 with the one extra paycheck, I will owe taxes come April 2015, but luckily just below the penalty limit.

I also had to recalculate to make sure I was still eligible for the Roth IRA contribution I made in 2014, since I think I am close to the income limits edge for that. I still qualified. ;-)

So that meant I had to recalculate my 401k frontloading schedule for 2015 and other such things. Not a big deal since I have it all in an Excel spreadsheet.

I guess my earnings for 2015 will be one paycheck short?!?!? Less taxable income for the year.

Daisy

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Re: Mustachian People Problems (just for fun)
« Reply #933 on: January 18, 2015, 12:41:53 PM »
Oh, I did the paycheck spreadsheet to determine withholdings for next year, several scenarios as well.  I fully expect life to change though and I'll have to switch things up when it does.

This being my first full year in the working world, and now married, I'm having the darnedest time figuring out our correct withholding for 2015.  I've played around with a few scenarios, but they all involve lots of calculator work.  Would you be interested in sharing your spreadsheet? :)

I like using this:
http://www.moneychimp.com/features/tax_calculator.htm

My company also provides a link to a calculator (I think provided by the IRS) where mid-year you can input your income and taxes paid for the year, and then it calculates what your income tax due or refund will be. I think it also suggests a withholding exemption number to get you to even out your taxes for the year.

I also found that the W-4 (is that the form) has an option to put a fixed amount of income tax to be taken out every paycheck. I found this is better than trying to find the right exemption number.

I do this because I started frontloading my before tax AND after tax 401k at the beginning of the year, and set my income tax for each paycheck at a really low number like $10. I do this to avoid having a tiny paycheck during the first half of the year. Then, during the second half when my 401k has been mostly fully funded for the year,  I will switch over to have more money taken out of my paycheck for income taxes in order to end the year at about the right number for taxes. This is easier to do by me in a spreadsheet to calculate how much I will owe and divide by the number of remaining paychecks.

johnny847

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Re: Mustachian People Problems (just for fun)
« Reply #934 on: January 18, 2015, 08:44:54 PM »
Oh, I did the paycheck spreadsheet to determine withholdings for next year, several scenarios as well.  I fully expect life to change though and I'll have to switch things up when it does.
If you're paid biweekly, and got your first paycheck this year on 1/2 or 1/1 (though I'm guessing not 1/1 because of the holiday), you may end up with 27 paychecks this year. I think I will - but I won't know for sure until the fiscal year for my employer ends 6/30, and they release the pay schedule for the rest of this year (I would have a paycheck on 1/1/2016, but usually employers pay one day early in the case of a bank holiday).

Mine got paid on 12/31 instead of 1/1 as I expected. So I think it will get counted in 2014 earnings instead of 2015 as I expected.

I had to recalculate my paid income taxes for 2014 because I had the withholding modified towards the end of the year to get the "just right" breakeven number for my income taxes. Nothing owed and nothing refunded - was the plan at least. Now, with this new income for 2014 with the one extra paycheck, I will owe taxes come April 2015, but luckily just below the penalty limit.

I also had to recalculate to make sure I was still eligible for the Roth IRA contribution I made in 2014, since I think I am close to the income limits edge for that. I still qualified. ;-)

So that meant I had to recalculate my 401k frontloading schedule for 2015 and other such things. Not a big deal since I have it all in an Excel spreadsheet.

I guess my earnings for 2015 will be one paycheck short?!?!? Less taxable income for the year.
What matters isn't when the money hits your bank account but what your employer reports on your paycheck stub (and consequently, on your W-2). I mention this because while my paychecks are typically directly deposited on a Friday, one of my coworkers for whatever reason always gets the payments on Thursday instead of Friday. But for tax purposes, only what the W-2 states matters.

Daisy

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Re: Mustachian People Problems (just for fun)
« Reply #935 on: January 19, 2015, 08:18:06 AM »
Oh, I did the paycheck spreadsheet to determine withholdings for next year, several scenarios as well.  I fully expect life to change though and I'll have to switch things up when it does.
If you're paid biweekly, and got your first paycheck this year on 1/2 or 1/1 (though I'm guessing not 1/1 because of the holiday), you may end up with 27 paychecks this year. I think I will - but I won't know for sure until the fiscal year for my employer ends 6/30, and they release the pay schedule for the rest of this year (I would have a paycheck on 1/1/2016, but usually employers pay one day early in the case of a bank holiday).

Mine got paid on 12/31 instead of 1/1 as I expected. So I think it will get counted in 2014 earnings instead of 2015 as I expected.

I had to recalculate my paid income taxes for 2014 because I had the withholding modified towards the end of the year to get the "just right" breakeven number for my income taxes. Nothing owed and nothing refunded - was the plan at least. Now, with this new income for 2014 with the one extra paycheck, I will owe taxes come April 2015, but luckily just below the penalty limit.

I also had to recalculate to make sure I was still eligible for the Roth IRA contribution I made in 2014, since I think I am close to the income limits edge for that. I still qualified. ;-)

So that meant I had to recalculate my 401k frontloading schedule for 2015 and other such things. Not a big deal since I have it all in an Excel spreadsheet.

I guess my earnings for 2015 will be one paycheck short?!?!? Less taxable income for the year.
What matters isn't when the money hits your bank account but what your employer reports on your paycheck stub (and consequently, on your W-2). I mention this because while my paychecks are typically directly deposited on a Friday, one of my coworkers for whatever reason always gets the payments on Thursday instead of Friday. But for tax purposes, only what the W-2 states matters.

Let's see what happens with the W-2. The last paycheck had the amount included in the gross income totals for 2014.

sheepstache

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Re: Mustachian People Problems (just for fun)
« Reply #936 on: January 19, 2015, 08:21:29 AM »
I was all set to use the points I get from searching with Bing on an amazon purchase but then my mom bought the item for me for Christmas and now I don't know what to spend the money on :(

Lmoot

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Re: Mustachian People Problems (just for fun)
« Reply #937 on: January 19, 2015, 10:51:56 AM »
I don't know anything about smart phones or apps, never having owned one, and this is something my age group loves doing (in addition to actually playing with eachother's phones). I don't see movies in the theater and by they time they are available cheaper I forget about them or have lost interest. I hate printing directions out (a GPS is actually something I'm going to invest in this year).

I don't know about the hottest, newest restaurants. I barely know about the darling (but always overpriced) boutique restaurants, other than the ones I've been dragged to. Concerts are not my thing. Unless there's a 75% chance I get to meet the artist, I don't even bother. Manicurist? What's that? I do my own manicures and pedicures...never had one professionally done in my 30 years.

Car loans? I'm still learning about my mortgage. Car leases? Hunh? I don't know anything about electronics past 1999. I'm worse than my parents...they have kindles and tablets...even my 9 year old niece. Meanwhile I still own the tv/vhs combo I inherited from my great grandmother when she died at 101, 10 years ago. I also still have my college laptop from 8 years ago and don't plan on getting another one until I go back to school in 2017. I use the family desktop for most of my internet'ing however.

I have an ipod, a gift from an exboyfriend from 6 years ago. It sill has the songs that he put on it, because I haven't really attempted to figure out how to change them.

flamingo25

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Re: Mustachian People Problems (just for fun)
« Reply #938 on: January 19, 2015, 11:32:37 AM »
I went to Target yesterday to buy a bottle of face wash. I was completely overwhelmed by the health and beauty aisles, and I am a woman who enjoys playing with makeup.

I just wanted to get my one item and leave asap.

Goldielocks

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Re: Mustachian People Problems (just for fun)
« Reply #939 on: January 19, 2015, 01:37:50 PM »
I don't know anything about smart phones or apps, never having owned one, and this is something my age group loves doing (in addition to actually playing with eachother's phones). I don't see movies in the theater and by they time they are available cheaper I forget about them or have lost interest. I hate printing directions out (a GPS is actually something I'm going to invest in this year).

I don't know about the hottest, newest restaurants. I barely know about the darling (but always overpriced) boutique restaurants, other than the ones I've been dragged to. Concerts are not my thing. Unless there's a 75% chance I get to meet the artist, I don't even bother. Manicurist? What's that? I do my own manicures and pedicures...never had one professionally done in my 30 years.

Car loans? I'm still learning about my mortgage. Car leases? Hunh? I don't know anything about electronics past 1999. I'm worse than my parents...they have kindles and tablets...even my 9 year old niece. Meanwhile I still own the tv/vhs combo I inherited from my great grandmother when she died at 101, 10 years ago. I also still have my college laptop from 8 years ago and don't plan on getting another one until I go back to school in 2017. I use the family desktop for most of my internet'ing however.

I have an ipod, a gift from an exboyfriend from 6 years ago. It sill has the songs that he put on it, because I haven't really attempted to figure out how to change them.

You had me understanding / agreeing with your enjoyable role as a luddite until this part.   I just don't get the 30 yrs old, owning own tv / pc / vhs (you have your own personal space), yet living at home(?) and going back to school in two+ years at age -- um -- 32??! vibe...  are you getting some bad-ass life skills right now that balance out your choice to not be up to date on tech in the meantime? 

There is more to MMM (like being a self sufficient, independent adult loaded with skills) than just not spending your own money while saving a lot.   Are you able to stand on your own two feet without family, but are just choosing to save money by co-habitating? Maybe you only use the family desktop once a week when you bike over to your parents home for a visit or  are a full time caregiver at home to someone who is disabled and I read this all the wrong way? Why so long until you go back to school? Please correct me!

PMG

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Re: Mustachian People Problems (just for fun)
« Reply #940 on: January 19, 2015, 01:50:24 PM »
I always seem to be out of trash bags, so I casually rescue plastic grocery bags from the trash at a events.  no gross ones!  Just when someone brings gifts or potluck supplies in a dozen plastic bags that they wad up and throw out!  Goodness!  I sometimes just help set up the table and casually pop those bags into my cloth bag. It seems silly to stop using my cloth grocery bags just to get trash bags when every else throws them away.  It seems even sillier to buy them! 

Dimitri

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Re: Mustachian People Problems (just for fun)
« Reply #941 on: January 19, 2015, 03:16:31 PM »
Quote
I was trying to maximize Amex's Small Business Saturday. This year, for every Amex card you enrolled, you could get up to three statement credits of $10 for the first three transactions of $10 or more at a small business.

I love Amex's SBS.  This year we registered three cards for a total of $90 (3 x $30) in spending.  Where to shop?  The local liquor store.  If you can't find something you want to spend $10 in a liquor store you aren't trying hard enough.

dragoncar

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Re: Mustachian People Problems (just for fun)
« Reply #942 on: January 19, 2015, 03:18:36 PM »
I always seem to be out of trash bags, so I casually rescue plastic grocery bags from the trash at a events.  no gross ones!  Just when someone brings gifts or potluck supplies in a dozen plastic bags that they wad up and throw out!  Goodness!  I sometimes just help set up the table and casually pop those bags into my cloth bag. It seems silly to stop using my cloth grocery bags just to get trash bags when every else throws them away.  It seems even sillier to buy them!

Opposite problem here. I stockpile plastic bags and never seem to run out. At this point I probably have a lifetime supply buy keep adding more for some reason

bye-bye Ms. FancyPants

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Re: Mustachian People Problems (just for fun)
« Reply #943 on: January 19, 2015, 03:39:26 PM »
I take dates out in a 23 year old truck with 508,000 miles on it

I kinda want to ride in your truck now too

+1 ^^

johnny847

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Re: Mustachian People Problems (just for fun)
« Reply #944 on: January 19, 2015, 08:32:07 PM »
I was all set to use the points I get from searching with Bing on an amazon purchase but then my mom bought the item for me for Christmas and now I don't know what to spend the money on :(
I have this problem too! I've been meaning to look into dropshipping as a way to unload these gift cards. The idea is you list on eBay something that's on Amazon, and then ship it directly to them as a gift when you get an order. If you have Amazon prime this can work really well. Of course, you have to take into account eBay listing fees.

I also get 5% off bookstores (first $750 each month) with my Sallie Mae Mastercard (and Amazon counts as a bookstore!), so even if I run out of gift cards and were to nominally break even, I'd still be making 5% profit from the credit card.
Oh and the Sallie Mae gets 5% off gas and groceries too (first $250 for each of those categories per month)

johnny847

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Re: Mustachian People Problems (just for fun)
« Reply #945 on: January 19, 2015, 08:34:03 PM »
Quote
I was trying to maximize Amex's Small Business Saturday. This year, for every Amex card you enrolled, you could get up to three statement credits of $10 for the first three transactions of $10 or more at a small business.

I love Amex's SBS.  This year we registered three cards for a total of $90 (3 x $30) in spending.  Where to shop?  The local liquor store.  If you can't find something you want to spend $10 in a liquor store you aren't trying hard enough.
Well, I haven't set foot in a liquor store in months, so I don't recall if they sell stuff other than liquor....but I don't buy liquor. What then?

johnny847

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Re: Mustachian People Problems (just for fun)
« Reply #946 on: January 19, 2015, 08:34:50 PM »
Opposite problem here. I stockpile plastic bags and never seem to run out. At this point I probably have a lifetime supply buy keep adding more for some reason
My parents did this too, and they were glad they did when their county decided to institute a 5 cent tax on every plastic bag used at a store.

Lmoot

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Re: Mustachian People Problems (just for fun)
« Reply #947 on: January 19, 2015, 09:01:48 PM »
I don't know anything about smart phones or apps, never having owned one, and this is something my age group loves doing (in addition to actually playing with eachother's phones). I don't see movies in the theater and by they time they are available cheaper I forget about them or have lost interest. I hate printing directions out (a GPS is actually something I'm going to invest in this year).

I don't know about the hottest, newest restaurants. I barely know about the darling (but always overpriced) boutique restaurants, other than the ones I've been dragged to. Concerts are not my thing. Unless there's a 75% chance I get to meet the artist, I don't even bother. Manicurist? What's that? I do my own manicures and pedicures...never had one professionally done in my 30 years.

Car loans? I'm still learning about my mortgage. Car leases? Hunh? I don't know anything about electronics past 1999. I'm worse than my parents...they have kindles and tablets...even my 9 year old niece. Meanwhile I still own the tv/vhs combo I inherited from my great grandmother when she died at 101, 10 years ago. I also still have my college laptop from 8 years ago and don't plan on getting another one until I go back to school in 2017. I use the family desktop for most of my internet'ing however.

I have an ipod, a gift from an exboyfriend from 6 years ago. It sill has the songs that he put on it, because I haven't really attempted to figure out how to change them.

You had me understanding / agreeing with your enjoyable role as a luddite until this part.   I just don't get the 30 yrs old, owning own tv / pc / vhs (you have your own personal space), yet living at home(?) and going back to school in two+ years at age -- um -- 32??! vibe...  are you getting some bad-ass life skills right now that balance out your choice to not be up to date on tech in the meantime? 

There is more to MMM (like being a self sufficient, independent adult loaded with skills) than just not spending your own money while saving a lot.   Are you able to stand on your own two feet without family, but are just choosing to save money by co-habitating? Maybe you only use the family desktop once a week when you bike over to your parents home for a visit or  are a full time caregiver at home to someone who is disabled and I read this all the wrong way? Why so long until you go back to school? Please correct me!

I lived on my own most of my adult life, however I rented my house out about a year ago and moved in with my grandmother who lives in a 3 bedroom house by herself. She's self-sufficient but appreciates the company and help around the house. I do pay a nominal amount for rent and buy a lot of the household basics through my Costco membership. I get to hang out with granny (and my parents and sister live close by), while saving money. I wasn't looking to rent my house out until I had to leave to go to school in a different city however a random conversation with a coworker looking for a place to live with another coworker turned into me moving out, and them moving in, just a few short months later.

As to why I am waiting to go back to school, I have a bachelor's in English, but am attempting to change careers; however the career I want to change to (wildlife conservation) is not only competitive, but extremely low paying (I'm talking 50% less than what I can earn now). So because of that, and not wanting to take on student loans, I have to continue earning enough money to tie up some loose financial ends (pay off my mortgage, and save up a DP for a house in the city of the school I will need to attend). I would hardly call 32 ancient for going back to school. My best friend just got her BS last year at 29, and there are plenty of people much older than 32 attending college; get this, I'll be 35 by the time I get out...the horror! :) 

As for skills I have been working the last 2 1/2 years part time at a zoo to reap as much experience as I can as job offers are based both on education and heaps of experience. I just had an interview last week for a position as an environmental education instructor, and have worked in numerous positions in the zoo over the years I've been there. I have more experience than most of the fresh-faced bio kids with their brand new science degrees. That being said I likely won't get the job due to my lack of science background, but seeing as how I never applied for it (I was scouted by the VP of the education department who consulted with my supervisor before sending me an email inviting me to apply), I consider just the fact that they would consider me despite my lack of appropriate education as a goodwill token that I am doing something right. So, because I'm going back to school to essentially earn less money, I'm not really all that in a hurry.

As for my lack of techy knowledge. It's one of my "weakest points" and something I hope to dust off for professional reasons. I get computers and basic programs just fine, but the more "accessory" type tech I just never was interested in using and therefore got left way behind. However it's a different world and I'm realizing more and more how customers and employers are expecting you to be more in the know.
« Last Edit: January 19, 2015, 09:05:37 PM by Lmoot »

Goldielocks

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Re: Mustachian People Problems (just for fun)
« Reply #948 on: January 19, 2015, 10:18:59 PM »
Thanks Lmoot,I knew there must have been a lot more to the story... 
Best of luck, though it sounds like you have it all well in hand. And we can learn a lot from you.

1967mama

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Re: Mustachian People Problems (just for fun)
« Reply #949 on: January 20, 2015, 12:04:50 AM »
By cooking from scratch pretty much All. The. Time. for the last 23 years as a stay at home parent, I have developed a pretty good repertoire of tasty meals. I made a huge quantity of food for company tonight and was hoping for leftovers tomorrow for myself and the kids but there was NOTHING left :-(

Edited for clarity