Author Topic: "Scraping by on 500k a year" *eyeroll*  (Read 5067 times)

NatalieMarie

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"Scraping by on 500k a year" *eyeroll*
« on: March 24, 2017, 01:29:29 PM »

honeybbq

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Re: "Scraping by on 500k a year" *eyeroll*
« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2017, 01:43:29 PM »
In particular... this line stuck out! LOL

8) A 41 year old super frugal personal finance blogger who preaches riding a bike, doing your own home construction, and living off $30,000 a year or less and his wife

slugline

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Re: "Scraping by on 500k a year" *eyeroll*
« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2017, 01:45:18 PM »
I got a chuckle out of scenario #8 too.

PathtoFIRE

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Re: "Scraping by on 500k a year" *eyeroll*
« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2017, 02:46:50 PM »

seattlecyclone

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Re: "Scraping by on 500k a year" *eyeroll*
« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2017, 03:44:04 PM »
Oh, woe is me, spending less than $15.75/day on food is so hard! I have to bring food from home to work and it just isn't quite the same level of variety and sophistication that I'm used to getting for $15/day!

Slee_stack

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Re: "Scraping by on 500k a year" *eyeroll*
« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2017, 04:01:29 PM »
I accept the math of the article and it is compelling, but...

Its still comes down to choice.  Tax alone...

Are they not better off halving their income and 'thirding' (or more) their expenses wiile also reducing their tax bracket by moving to a LCOL?

What is the 'Manhattan Allure?'  They can move, but choose not to.

Can a child not learn Mandarin in Albuquerque?

Does Tennis not exist in Huntsville?

Self inflicted status seekers.
« Last Edit: March 24, 2017, 04:05:11 PM by Slee_stack »

StacheyStache

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Re: "Scraping by on 500k a year" *eyeroll*
« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2017, 04:13:02 PM »
~800/month on clothes but 'nothing fancy?'  Uh huh.  I'd love to see what they think is 'not fancy.'
« Last Edit: March 24, 2017, 04:14:40 PM by StacheyStache »

Undecided

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Re: "Scraping by on 500k a year" *eyeroll*
« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2017, 09:33:52 PM »
I accept the math of the article and it is compelling, but...

Self inflicted status seekers.

Self-inflicted, but other than the BMW and Land Cruiser, I don't know if it's "status seeking" or just not recognising the consequences of choices. But I think it's a hypothetical, because I don't believe that a two-lawyer couple can ever schedule three vacations in a year. Maybe they're separate vacations.

It's also hilarious that the author mentions the 39.6% tax bracket AND the AMT ...

bacchi

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Re: "Scraping by on 500k a year" *eyeroll*
« Reply #8 on: March 24, 2017, 11:51:58 PM »
Is this an Onion article?

JAYSLOL

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Re: "Scraping by on 500k a year" *eyeroll*
« Reply #9 on: March 24, 2017, 11:55:15 PM »
~800/month on clothes but 'nothing fancy?'  Uh huh.  I'd love to see what they think is 'not fancy.'

Yeah, $800 a month for clothes is more than our family spends on clothes per year, and while I may not wear a suit to work, I'd argue it can actually be cheaper/year to dress up in a suit to the law office than to need proper outdoor clothing and work boots etc that take serious wear every day which I have to replace. 

Also, their food budget alone is around our family's ENTIRE budget for the year, so zero simpathy from me on how "old" it gets to make your own food and not eat out all the time.  Unbelievable. 

StacheyStache

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Re: "Scraping by on 500k a year" *eyeroll*
« Reply #10 on: March 25, 2017, 06:20:05 AM »
~800/month on clothes but 'nothing fancy?'  Uh huh.  I'd love to see what they think is 'not fancy.'

Yeah, $800 a month for clothes is more than our family spends on clothes per year, and while I may not wear a suit to work, I'd argue it can actually be cheaper/year to dress up in a suit to the law office than to need proper outdoor clothing and work boots etc that take serious wear every day which I have to replace. 

Also, their food budget alone is around our family's ENTIRE budget for the year, so zero simpathy from me on how "old" it gets to make your own food and not eat out all the time.  Unbelievable.

For at least half the month I wear a suit to work just about every day of the week for court.  I spend *maybe* 500/year on clothes?  I think that's an overestimate. 

Granted I'm usually gifted one good suit a year as a Christmas present plus a few other pieces here and there but that is more than enough.  Suits can last a long time if you take care of them.  I'm still wearing my very first suit, purchased for a mock trial competition (early college).  Matching skirt and jacket, bought at a closing up Dillards for under 100.  Still get compliments on it.

Also calling BS on the "but HCOL" whine.  Sure that's true enough for property fuel and maybe even food but clothes?  No.  The New York Banana Republic does not cost you more than the one in my podunk hometown because it's in New York. 
« Last Edit: March 25, 2017, 06:25:11 AM by StacheyStache »

Maenad

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Re: "Scraping by on 500k a year" *eyeroll*
« Reply #11 on: March 25, 2017, 09:14:57 AM »
I thought I'd heard good things about the Financial Samurai's blog, but if this isn't satire, and he really thinks it gets boring bringing your lunch in to work everyday, I just...no.

This past week my lunches were cod ceviche (cod's on sale since it's Lent), a cucumber/tomato salad with lime vinaigrette, and fresh strawberries.

The week before was venison kofta kebabs with tzatziki and clementines.

This coming week is a thai shrimp salad and either grapes or pineapple.

This theoretical couple should spend some of their money on cooking lessons.

obstinate

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Re: "Scraping by on 500k a year" *eyeroll*
« Reply #12 on: March 25, 2017, 01:14:08 PM »
40% effective rate -- I'm gonna have to look, but I'm a little surprised by that. My family brings in about 700k and I don't think our rate is quite that high. It almost sounds like someone is confusing marginal rates with effective rates.

Also, NY State marginal rates cap out at 8.5%, not 10+%.
« Last Edit: March 25, 2017, 01:17:29 PM by obstinate »

dandarc

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Re: "Scraping by on 500k a year" *eyeroll*
« Reply #13 on: March 25, 2017, 01:22:31 PM »
From reading other things the dude has wrote, on his own site and in comments at others, I'm of the opinion the Financial Samurai is not all that smart.  This article didn't change my opinion.

Undecided

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Re: "Scraping by on 500k a year" *eyeroll*
« Reply #14 on: March 25, 2017, 07:57:17 PM »
40% effective rate -- I'm gonna have to look, but I'm a little surprised by that. My family brings in about 700k and I don't think our rate is quite that high. It almost sounds like someone is confusing marginal rates with effective rates.

Also, NY State marginal rates cap out at 8.5%, not 10+%.

Of course, New York City has its own tax, on top of state rates. The 40% may not be exactly right, but it's very close, with the payroll taxes and extra Medicare tax. If you're an ATM payer, your federal rate is going to be 26-28% (effective, not marginal), plus the 11%+ for NYS and NYC, then some money for the social security and Medicare payroll taxes and .9% on half their income for the extra Medicare tax. Lots of other stuff to scoff at in that article.

mizzourah2006

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Re: "Scraping by on 500k a year" *eyeroll*
« Reply #15 on: March 26, 2017, 09:08:15 AM »
I guess I'm having trouble understanding what is average about that life. Leasing 2 luxury cars, spending 4x as much as our family of 3 does every year on food, etc. that only looks average if your frame of reference is other speedy Manhattanites. That is a life of opulence and luxury to most people. About the only thing  that is average is their savings rate.

Rife

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Re: "Scraping by on 500k a year" *eyeroll*
« Reply #16 on: March 26, 2017, 09:28:22 AM »
I guess I'm having trouble understanding what is average about that life. Leasing 2 luxury cars, spending 4x as much as our family of 3 does every year on food, etc. that only looks average if your frame of reference is other speedy Manhattanites. That is a life of opulence and luxury to most people. About the only thing  that is average is their savings rate.

Apparently you don't understand the importance of getting your toddler prepared for private school entrance which alone is 12000 a year in classes. Then on top of that you been a million dollars for college. All things average people deal with. It has to be sarcasm. He seems to be pointing out what can happen if you try to always keep up with your peers.

Ocinfo

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Re: "Scraping by on 500k a year" *eyeroll*
« Reply #17 on: March 26, 2017, 09:36:37 AM »
I use to read his blog but pretty much stopped a year or two ago as he's heavily focused on monetizing and I don't like his writing style anymore. FYI...he has written similar posts in the past and they aren't meant to be spending recommendations, really more of a case study. The point is that people always think if they made more money everything would be fine. He points out that making more and actually having more (money) only works if you don't spend it all.


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obstinate

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Re: "Scraping by on 500k a year" *eyeroll*
« Reply #18 on: March 26, 2017, 12:15:37 PM »
40% effective rate -- I'm gonna have to look, but I'm a little surprised by that. My family brings in about 700k and I don't think our rate is quite that high. It almost sounds like someone is confusing marginal rates with effective rates.

Also, NY State marginal rates cap out at 8.5%, not 10+%.

Of course, New York City has its own tax, on top of state rates. The 40% may not be exactly right, but it's very close, with the payroll taxes and extra Medicare tax. If you're an ATM payer, your federal rate is going to be 26-28% (effective, not marginal), plus the 11%+ for NYS and NYC, then some money for the social security and Medicare payroll taxes and .9% on half their income for the extra Medicare tax. Lots of other stuff to scoff at in that article.
I suppose so . . . assuming no deductions of any kind, you might be able to get to that tax rate. Although the MFJ exemption for AMT is 88k, so they should only have ~300k of AMTI. The cars thing is weird, too. Why live in NYC and own a car? If you're going to live far enough out that one is really needed, then it's probably worthwhile to live in NJ instead.

We actually just moved to the city from SV, and I guess that the taxes might be *slightly* higher. But even if there's slightly increased tax drag, insurance, not owning cars, etc. saves a lot.

JLee

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brooklynmoney

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Re: "Scraping by on 500k a year" *eyeroll*
« Reply #20 on: March 26, 2017, 08:46:01 PM »
Yes, income taxes are ridic here with the city tax, but property taxes actually aren't. I doubt they pay what he has listed. I would guess actually less than half that. Also, don't believe the hype. You don't have to spend that much to live here. Yes, childcare is expensive, but having 2 CARS in this city is the dumbest thing I've ever heard. Let alone luxury vehicles. Between bumping bumpers parking, vandalism, theft, snow, hurricanes (my brother's car was destroyed by Sandy) etc. why anyone would have a luxury vehicle in NYC is beyond me. Why anyone really has a car at all is pretty stupid (I've lived here on and off for almost 20 years and I have never owned a car).

obstinate

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Re: "Scraping by on 500k a year" *eyeroll*
« Reply #21 on: March 26, 2017, 08:57:36 PM »
Yes, we sold both our cars when we came here. Also, childcare, 30k reg? Not in Chelsea, and I very much doubt prices are higher in Brooklyn. We pay 20k/y, and we don't have a second kid to get a discount. Also, that part only lasts for a few years. If they have a four year old and a two year old, are they spending 12k on lessons for kids of this age? If so, what the fuck. $6k per vacation???????

There's a lot that's fucked about this analysis. Suffice it to say, we spend ~120-140k/y in Chelsea (75k housing, 20k childcare, and then 25-40k for the rest, just depending on the year). Yeah, it's expensive, but nowhere near so expensive as they make it out to be. There is ~200k of fat in that budget.

aasdfadsf

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Re: "Scraping by on 500k a year" *eyeroll*
« Reply #22 on: March 26, 2017, 10:54:08 PM »
Too many things to go through them all, but... $5000 a year in gasoline? Even at $5 a gallon and a shitty 20 mpg, that's 20,000 miles of driving per year. How the hell do two people who both live and work in Manhattan manage to drive that much? Note that their 3 weeks of vacations all price in airline travel, so that ain't it.

Seppia

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Re: "Scraping by on 500k a year" *eyeroll*
« Reply #23 on: March 27, 2017, 12:33:54 AM »
I lived with my wife in manhattan for 6 years, we made about half that couple salary and we saved 58% of our net income.
All this by living in battery park city, going on two vacations per year (one of which was always scuba diving in the Caribbean, so not cheap) and certainly not living a life of restraint (we bought all our groceries at Whole Foods, for example).

The funniest of all is probably the two cars. I wouldn't have taken a free car while in manhattan, it's just completely idiotic to own one.
Parking alone can easily be $500 per month.