Author Topic: Budget of a family who feels like they've 'made it' earning $142,000 a year  (Read 15258 times)

celticmyst08

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http://finance.yahoo.com/news/heres-budget-family-feels-theyve-160000283.html

Oy. They're making $142k/year and only saving $6k for retirement and $1k for emergencies...

I'm just honestly curious how they plan to continue this lifestyle once retired. It doesn't say what their net worth is, but assuming they have $50k saved for retirement already, and assuming they start contributing $6.8k for the next 30 years at 7% return, they'll have $1.5M; in 40 years, $2.1M. Which will definitely NOT fund their current spending levels of $100k! And their ideal spending is $127k.

I just feel like they haven't done the math at all, or else they're never planning to retire. I guess it's good that they're budgeting, at least...
« Last Edit: April 14, 2015, 10:28:21 AM by celticmyst08 »

mikesinWV

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So much good stuff in that budget I don't know where to start.  I really like the 2400/year for hair and nails.  Wow.

wordnerd

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Why do they want to spend more on things like wireless, TV, and gas? And they want to triple their health insurance co-pays while also increasing their health insurance premiums by $3600 (maybe they have a bad plan now?). They also want to triple their emergency expenses & repairs? Maybe that's an emergency fund?


Gin1984

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I'm confused on how you can know anything about budgeting and think 4% for retirement is ok.

Selene

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My favorite is the Wireless and TV. They ideally want to spend almost $4,000 on that stuff. It's kind of funny now that I've started moving to a more Mustachian way of life in how ridiculous I think certain expenses are.

ABC123

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I want to know who thinks it is smart to take a family picture in the middle of the railroad tracks?  That's one way to ruin your budget!

rubybeth

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This is really awful. I felt especially bad reading about the wife's hair and nails budget and thinking, "She doesn't even look that good!" DIY, woman. If your job depended on it (model, actress), I could see this expense, but just to look like an average woman with a mom bob?

The two car payments also slayed me, but I am learning that this is supposedly "normal," though I have never had a car payment.

celticmyst08

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This is really awful. I felt especially bad reading about the wife's hair and nails budget and thinking, "She doesn't even look that good!" DIY, woman. If your job depended on it (model, actress), I could see this expense, but just to look like an average woman with a mom bob?

Heh, I kind of agree. I mean, her haircut looks average. She could get that same haircut at Walmart for $25.

I want to know who thinks it is smart to take a family picture in the middle of the railroad tracks?  That's one way to ruin your budget!

Perhaps it's hinting at what's to come... them being hit by the train of reality once they realize their 4% retirement savings won't cut it? :P
« Last Edit: April 14, 2015, 10:42:26 AM by celticmyst08 »

thurston howell iv

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Holy Shit $2400 for wireless??!?!?  WTF?  Wireless what?  (Am I missing something?)

lavar

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Such an ass-backwards way to approach spending.

I'm a red panda

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I want to know who thinks it is smart to take a family picture in the middle of the railroad tracks?  That's one way to ruin your budget!

This is so common.  Also baby pictures on railroad tracks- kids who can't even get themselves up to run away when a train comes!

JLee

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I want to know who thinks it is smart to take a family picture in the middle of the railroad tracks?  That's one way to ruin your budget!

This is so common.  Also baby pictures on railroad tracks- kids who can't even get themselves up to run away when a train comes!

A lot of railroad tracks these days are unused, or are so infrequently that taking pictures isn't dangerous.

Avidconsumer

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Their ideal mortgage is 3 times as much as their current, but ideal property taxes are almost half of their current. How does that work?

WaRpBeast

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I saw this a few days ago and it definitely hit the WTF category for me "Ideal" budget being higher than current--OMFG! Seriously does a teacher need to get her nails done constantly, unless you are an executive coach I highly doubt it makes an impact on your clients/income.

Beaker

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I want to know who thinks it is smart to take a family picture in the middle of the railroad tracks?  That's one way to ruin your budget!

This is so common.  Also baby pictures on railroad tracks- kids who can't even get themselves up to run away when a train comes!

A lot of railroad tracks these days are unused, or are so infrequently that taking pictures isn't dangerous.

That's true, but most people don't bother to figure that out. There are usually at least a few people per year that get killed by trains during photo shoots. Who would've thought trains were so damned sneaky?!

I'm not going to bother hunting up statistics, but it's not hard to find news reports.

BlueHouse

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There is definitely something skewed  when TV, or internet, or hair/nails cost more than health insurance for a family!  I'm going to go scrub my budget because the way theirs is laid out just makes me realize how frivolous some of my expenses are.  At least I don't pay so much for hair/nails.


a mom bob?

Ouch!


frugalnacho

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I want to know who thinks it is smart to take a family picture in the middle of the railroad tracks?  That's one way to ruin your budget!

This is so common.  Also baby pictures on railroad tracks- kids who can't even get themselves up to run away when a train comes!

A lot of railroad tracks these days are unused, or are so infrequently that taking pictures isn't dangerous.

That's true, but most people don't bother to figure that out. There are usually at least a few people per year that get killed by trains during photo shoots. Who would've thought trains were so damned sneaky?!

I'm not going to bother hunting up statistics, but it's not hard to find news reports.

I was originally going to comment that it shouldn't be that dangerous, because you know, it's a GOD DAMN TRAIN.  How do you not hear it coming?  You can literally hear trains from over a mile away.  Even if you are 100% deaf you should be able to feel the vibration of a train coming.

I checked out first few news stories, and I feel like there has to be more to some of these stories.  Were they just chilling on the railroad tracks trying to get pictures?  Or were they trying to photograph a close call?  Or photograph the oncoming train?

FrugalToque

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This kind of leaves me sputtering, like one of those old steam trains that just ran out of coal.

How is "Food, Gas etc, weekly budgets" a spending category?  Duh.
The ideal mortgage payment is "zero" when you're retired, not some number higher than what you're currently spending.
And Becky wants to spend more on her hair and nails?  I think it's inappropriate to go after a woman on her looks, but spending that much money on looks ... wow.

If we were doing a Mustachian makeover, we couldn't even start based on those numbers since the details are so lacking.  But still ... pulling in that kind of coin ... where is it all going?


RootofGood

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Wow, we topped out our combined income at $141k salary (and $9k in interest and dividends that was reinvested).  But we saved ~70% of that amount AND paid large payments on a 5 year mortgage.  In a 4 bedroom house with 2 cars and 3 kids and not that much sacrifice.  Although I guess not spending $2400 on hair (more like $0 ignoring the amortized cost of scissors and clippers) is what did it...  :)  That and not paying taxes.

gimp

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Railroad track photos are cliche.

Also, unless the rail is not in use (as in, confirmed not in use - as in, you can personally see that it's disconnected from any other rail, or is in deep disrepair and covered in trees etc), or unless you have two dedicated spotters with tested communication equipment, it's a pretty bad idea. "But trains are so loud, you can hear them from miles away!" Modern trains can be incredibly quiet. You might not notice it until it's less than a quarter mile away, which is only a couple seconds to gtfo. Every year, some folk die taking railroad track photos. Fucking stupid way to die, you may as well do something fun instead, like jumping off a cliff or fighting a bear or something.

Beaker

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I was originally going to comment that it shouldn't be that dangerous, because you know, it's a GOD DAMN TRAIN.  How do you not hear it coming?  You can literally hear trains from over a mile away.  Even if you are 100% deaf you should be able to feel the vibration of a train coming.

I checked out first few news stories, and I feel like there has to be more to some of these stories.  Were they just chilling on the railroad tracks trying to get pictures?  Or were they trying to photograph a close call?  Or photograph the oncoming train?

OK, I poked around a bit and found the article that originally put me onto the topic, which has some stats and links to other articles.

In some cases it's people taking photos of a train going by, and not noticing that they're standing on a different set of tracking with another train coming up behind them. Or people with headphones on. Or maybe they get their foot stuck in the ties like some dramatic movie... I guess it could happen?

BlueHouse

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I was originally going to comment that it shouldn't be that dangerous, because you know, it's a GOD DAMN TRAIN.  How do you not hear it coming?  You can literally hear trains from over a mile away.  Even if you are 100% deaf you should be able to feel the vibration of a train coming.

I checked out first few news stories, and I feel like there has to be more to some of these stories.  Were they just chilling on the railroad tracks trying to get pictures?  Or were they trying to photograph a close call?  Or photograph the oncoming train?

OK, I poked around a bit and found the article that originally put me onto the topic, which has some stats and links to other articles.

In some cases it's people taking photos of a train going by, and not noticing that they're standing on a different set of tracking with another train coming up behind them. Or people with headphones on. Or maybe they get their foot stuck in the ties like some dramatic movie... I guess it could happen?
I've never heard of this being popular and don't understand it at all.  There is beautiful green grass directly behind them, yet they choose to sit on steel beams, creosote-coated wood, and rocks?  What's that all about?

celticmyst08

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Wow, we topped out our combined income at $141k salary (and $9k in interest and dividends that was reinvested).  But we saved ~70% of that amount AND paid large payments on a 5 year mortgage.  In a 4 bedroom house with 2 cars and 3 kids and not that much sacrifice.  Although I guess not spending $2400 on hair (more like $0 ignoring the amortized cost of scissors and clippers) is what did it...  :)  That and not paying taxes.

Yeah, the taxes are nuts. They could be paying thousands less if they were fully utilizing tax advantaged accounts. They could easily max out two 401ks, two IRAs, two HSAs (if applicable), an FSA for the kid's daycare, etc.

It's mildly depressing to me since if my husband and I were making this salary we would be on track to retire in like 8 years. Alas.

RootofGood

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Yeah, the taxes are nuts. They could be paying thousands less if they were fully utilizing tax advantaged accounts. They could easily max out two 401ks, two IRAs, two HSAs (if applicable), an FSA for the kid's daycare, etc.

It's mildly depressing to me since if my husband and I were making this salary we would be on track to retire in like 8 years. Alas.

We maxed out all of those plus a 6% pension withholding plus maxed out a 457 on top of it all. 

And yes, we knew the decent salaries were not to be wasted. Which led to ~10 years working (starting closer to $80k combined) and then FI. 

I'm a red panda

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I was originally going to comment that it shouldn't be that dangerous, because you know, it's a GOD DAMN TRAIN.  How do you not hear it coming?  You can literally hear trains from over a mile away.  Even if you are 100% deaf you should be able to feel the vibration of a train coming.

I checked out first few news stories, and I feel like there has to be more to some of these stories.  Were they just chilling on the railroad tracks trying to get pictures?  Or were they trying to photograph a close call?  Or photograph the oncoming train?

By the time you hear it- it may be too late.
MOST people are able to get moving fast.  But if a parent is standing 20 feet away photographing a non-mobile infant, maybe they aren't able to...

There was a pretty famous case recently where a Hollywood director was charged with manslaughter when someone in the crew was killed by a train. Production never bothered to make sure the tracks wouldn't be used that day.  IIRC, they weren't used frequently, but they were used.


I had a friend who took adorable photos of her baby- but my husband used to call them "Ways to endanger the baby"... on railroad tracks, sitting in jet engines, etc.

frugalnacho

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Railroad track photos are cliche.

Also, unless the rail is not in use (as in, confirmed not in use - as in, you can personally see that it's disconnected from any other rail, or is in deep disrepair and covered in trees etc), or unless you have two dedicated spotters with tested communication equipment, it's a pretty bad idea. "But trains are so loud, you can hear them from miles away!" Modern trains can be incredibly quiet. You might not notice it until it's less than a quarter mile away, which is only a couple seconds to gtfo. Every year, some folk die taking railroad track photos. Fucking stupid way to die, you may as well do something fun instead, like jumping off a cliff or fighting a bear or something.

If the train is traveling at 100 miles/hr it will travel a quarter mile in 9 seconds.  That is more than "a couple seconds", and I don't think trains are even close to approaching those speeds, so you would have significantly more time.  I also disagree that modern trains are "incredibly quite" despite what you, or various internet articles say. It is difficult to move hundreds of tons of anything both fast and quietly.  I don't play around on railroad tracks (why would anyone?), but I have witnessed hundreds of trains in my life, and based on those observations I just don't understand how you could be aware you are on a track, but not notice a train coming.  I have never witnessed a quite, sneaky train.

rubybeth

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There is definitely something skewed  when TV, or internet, or hair/nails cost more than health insurance for a family!  I'm going to go scrub my budget because the way theirs is laid out just makes me realize how frivolous some of my expenses are.  At least I don't pay so much for hair/nails.


a mom bob?

Ouch!

I know, I'm mean.

MgoSam

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Railroad track photos are cliche.

Also, unless the rail is not in use (as in, confirmed not in use - as in, you can personally see that it's disconnected from any other rail, or is in deep disrepair and covered in trees etc), or unless you have two dedicated spotters with tested communication equipment, it's a pretty bad idea. "But trains are so loud, you can hear them from miles away!" Modern trains can be incredibly quiet. You might not notice it until it's less than a quarter mile away, which is only a couple seconds to gtfo. Every year, some folk die taking railroad track photos. Fucking stupid way to die, you may as well do something fun instead, like jumping off a cliff or fighting a bear or something.

If the train is traveling at 100 miles/hr it will travel a quarter mile in 9 seconds.  That is more than "a couple seconds", and I don't think trains are even close to approaching those speeds, so you would have significantly more time.  I also disagree that modern trains are "incredibly quite" despite what you, or various internet articles say. It is difficult to move hundreds of tons of anything both fast and quietly.  I don't play around on railroad tracks (why would anyone?), but I have witnessed hundreds of trains in my life, and based on those observations I just don't understand how you could be aware you are on a track, but not notice a train coming.  I have never witnessed a quite, sneaky train.

Either way, playing on a train track can be a recipe for disaster. While 9 seconds is plenty of time, we must remember how dumb someone of average intelligence is and then recall that half the population is dumber that. There are plenty that will daddle for a few moments thinking that they have plenty of time and then realize that they are shit out of luck.

Beaker

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If the train is traveling at 100 miles/hr it will travel a quarter mile in 9 seconds.  That is more than "a couple seconds", and I don't think trains are even close to approaching those speeds, so you would have significantly more time.

Somebody just happened to send me this video. I started it at the most relevant spot, but there are some other train near-misses throughout.

I also disagree that modern trains are "incredibly quiet" despite what you, or various internet articles say.

Doesn't have to be all that quiet if you're in a noisy environment.

frugalnacho

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If the train is traveling at 100 miles/hr it will travel a quarter mile in 9 seconds.  That is more than "a couple seconds", and I don't think trains are even close to approaching those speeds, so you would have significantly more time.

Somebody just happened to send me this video. I started it at the most relevant spot, but there are some other train near-misses throughout.

I also disagree that modern trains are "incredibly quiet" despite what you, or various internet articles say.

Doesn't have to be all that quiet if you're in a noisy environment.

Ok, i'll give it to you.  If you are standing 6 feet from a raging locomotive, you are intently focused on your video camera, and there is a load of steam blocking your view (that you aren't paying attention to anyway) then you might not notice a hundred ton train barreling towards you.

AH013

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So many broken issues in their plan, it's pathetic.

I'm still trying to wrap my head around their property tax math.  I can't figure how if they go from Fort Worth, which has a $8.55 millage rate for property taxes, and move to Seattle which has a higher $10.35 millage rate, and they expect to increase their mortgage (and assuming their corresponding property value) 300%, how their property tax bill is cut in half.  Hopefully Becky isn't a math teacher.

ABC123

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Railroad track photos are cliche.

Also, unless the rail is not in use (as in, confirmed not in use - as in, you can personally see that it's disconnected from any other rail, or is in deep disrepair and covered in trees etc), or unless you have two dedicated spotters with tested communication equipment, it's a pretty bad idea. "But trains are so loud, you can hear them from miles away!" Modern trains can be incredibly quiet. You might not notice it until it's less than a quarter mile away, which is only a couple seconds to gtfo. Every year, some folk die taking railroad track photos. Fucking stupid way to die, you may as well do something fun instead, like jumping off a cliff or fighting a bear or something.

If the train is traveling at 100 miles/hr it will travel a quarter mile in 9 seconds.  That is more than "a couple seconds", and I don't think trains are even close to approaching those speeds, so you would have significantly more time.  I also disagree that modern trains are "incredibly quite" despite what you, or various internet articles say. It is difficult to move hundreds of tons of anything both fast and quietly.  I don't play around on railroad tracks (why would anyone?), but I have witnessed hundreds of trains in my life, and based on those observations I just don't understand how you could be aware you are on a track, but not notice a train coming.  I have never witnessed a quite, sneaky train.

Either way, playing on a train track can be a recipe for disaster. While 9 seconds is plenty of time, we must remember how dumb someone of average intelligence is and then recall that half the population is dumber that. There are plenty that will daddle for a few moments thinking that they have plenty of time and then realize that they are shit out of luck.

The small town I live in has an extremely active railroad track running through it.  The trains are decidedly NOT quiet.  But in the last few months 2 people have gotten hit.  One was a guy who didn't want to wait, so he wove around the crossing bars and couldn't make it fast enough.  The other was a teenage kid who was walking.  Walking over tracks and you can't hear the train coming straight at you?  Seriously?  They didn't give a whole lot of details, but I'm assuming he must have had some crazy loud music coming through headphones.  Luckily, both people survived but with many injuries. 

thd7t

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There is definitely something skewed  when TV, or internet, or hair/nails cost more than health insurance for a family!  I'm going to go scrub my budget because the way theirs is laid out just makes me realize how frivolous some of my expenses are.  At least I don't pay so much for hair/nails.


a mom bob?

Ouch!
I more or less found MMM because I was frustrated that our wireless bill was more than our gas, water and electric bills combined most months.  It turned out that we were pretty mustachian with those utilities.  Still, $164/month for two phones was laughable.  With $75 for internet on top of that, we just needed a nice facepunch.  Of course, optimization gets to be a habit, and then you see all the other money you could avoid squandering!

gimp

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There are trains in the US running at 135, sometimes 150mph.

Some trains are very quiet: smooth track, electric train. Good track won't rumble much.

Add to it the distraction of intently focusing on something else.

And of course, some people choose the worst spots - like bridges with only enough room for a single track.

Frugalnacho, your opinion that trains are obviously loud and noticeable is exactly why people get killed by them! Because they, just like you, think it's not going to be a problem.

I don't really care about people who choose to kill themselves under a train. That's their business. But they shouldn't be bringing their kids to the slaughter.

Ashyukun

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Holy Shit $2400 for wireless??!?!?  WTF?  Wireless what?  (Am I missing something?)

At a guess, that's their cell phones since it's not seeming to be anywhere else in the budget. But, yeah- that works out to a $200/month cell phone bill, which even for a near-unlimited data plan on a major carrier is pretty hefty for two people (could have a wireless hotspot and/or cellular iPad too, but still...).

frugalnacho

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Holy Shit $2400 for wireless??!?!?  WTF?  Wireless what?  (Am I missing something?)

Wireless everything.  No more hanging wires!


zephyr911

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My favorite is the Wireless and TV. They ideally want to spend almost $4,000 on that stuff. It's kind of funny now that I've started moving to a more Mustachian way of life in how ridiculous I think certain expenses are.
Inorite! I want to spend nothing on that shit!
I mean, I kinda want to have some of it, but any ideal involving an increase in baseline spending is screaming for a facepunch.

zephyr911

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This is really awful. I felt especially bad reading about the wife's hair and nails budget and thinking, "She doesn't even look that good!" DIY, woman. If your job depended on it (model, actress), I could see this expense, but just to look like an average woman with a mom bob?
Know who she looks like? The Downs chick on Glee.
Sorry, not sorry.

Travis

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I brought this up in a different thread, but this article makes me want to get the Inoyo Montoya meme out with the word "ideal" put in there.  What kind of person ideally wants to spend more on something later than they are now?  Not to mention the wild budgetary assumptions made throughout that thing (property tax vs mortgage, 5% retirement savings be a great thing).

MrsPete

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In high school I once attended a summer program on a college campus.  Train tracks ran through the middle of the campus:  dorms and academic buildings were on one side, and the cafeteria was on the other side.  Obviously, we crossed those tracks multiple times a day.  Even laughing and joking with friends, even in the rain, even with the popularity of then-popular Sony Walkmans -- never once did anyone even remotely come close to missing the train's approach. 

Exflyboy

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I still think its a metaphor fr the train thats going to hit them if he loses his job!

RootofGood

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In high school I once attended a summer program on a college campus.  Train tracks ran through the middle of the campus:  dorms and academic buildings were on one side, and the cafeteria was on the other side.  Obviously, we crossed those tracks multiple times a day.  Even laughing and joking with friends, even in the rain, even with the popularity of then-popular Sony Walkmans -- never once did anyone even remotely come close to missing the train's approach.

NC State?

I'm a red panda

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In high school I once attended a summer program on a college campus.  Train tracks ran through the middle of the campus:  dorms and academic buildings were on one side, and the cafeteria was on the other side.  Obviously, we crossed those tracks multiple times a day.  Even laughing and joking with friends, even in the rain, even with the popularity of then-popular Sony Walkmans -- never once did anyone even remotely come close to missing the train's approach.

And there is no record of ANYONE almost getting hit by a train?  Or just not you?

Trains ran through my campus.  They actually ended up having to build a freaking fence around the tracks.  Because idiots would climb THROUGH the trains (often with their bikes) when the train stopped for too long. I don't think anyone was ever killed, but multiple bikes were crushed, and people were taken to the hospital when trains started moving unexpectedly.
And there was already a bridge OVER the track, it was just harder to get to.

I admit, I walked across the track when no train was coming, but I certainly didn't hang out, or set an infant down, on them.


At the current university I work for, I am often stuck waiting on a train before I can cross the road. If it takes more than 5 minutes, which I time on my phone, I walk a 20 minute detour, but 5 minutes seems worth waiting.  I saw a guy duck UNDER the train.  That seemed even stupider than over.  At least with over you have a chance to hang on if it starts moving.

frugalnacho

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In high school I once attended a summer program on a college campus.  Train tracks ran through the middle of the campus:  dorms and academic buildings were on one side, and the cafeteria was on the other side.  Obviously, we crossed those tracks multiple times a day.  Even laughing and joking with friends, even in the rain, even with the popularity of then-popular Sony Walkmans -- never once did anyone even remotely come close to missing the train's approach.

And there is no record of ANYONE almost getting hit by a train?  Or just not you?

Trains ran through my campus.  They actually ended up having to build a freaking fence around the tracks.  Because idiots would climb THROUGH the trains (often with their bikes) when the train stopped for too long. I don't think anyone was ever killed, but multiple bikes were crushed, and people were taken to the hospital when trains started moving unexpectedly.
And there was already a bridge OVER the track, it was just harder to get to.

I admit, I walked across the track when no train was coming, but I certainly didn't hang out, or set an infant down, on them.


At the current university I work for, I am often stuck waiting on a train before I can cross the road. If it takes more than 5 minutes, which I time on my phone, I walk a 20 minute detour, but 5 minutes seems worth waiting.  I saw a guy duck UNDER the train.  That seemed even stupider than over.  At least with over you have a chance to hang on if it starts moving.

This sounds like an entirely different scenario than the original topic.  Also how fast do you think a train can start moving?  They have hundreds of tons of momentum sitting perfectly still.  It takes an incredible amount of energy to get them up to speed.  I don't see how it's even possible to get caught up while crossing though a box car or even under a rail car unless you are injured or stuck.   It's already been brought up that once a train sees a person/object on the track it is too late to do anything about it other than sound the horn, because it takes too long to actually stop a train because its got the mass and momentum of a train.  The train aint stopping for you because it can't.  They have the exact same problem getting up to speed for the same reasons.

thd7t

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In high school I once attended a summer program on a college campus.  Train tracks ran through the middle of the campus:  dorms and academic buildings were on one side, and the cafeteria was on the other side.  Obviously, we crossed those tracks multiple times a day.  Even laughing and joking with friends, even in the rain, even with the popularity of then-popular Sony Walkmans -- never once did anyone even remotely come close to missing the train's approach.

And there is no record of ANYONE almost getting hit by a train?  Or just not you?

Trains ran through my campus.  They actually ended up having to build a freaking fence around the tracks.  Because idiots would climb THROUGH the trains (often with their bikes) when the train stopped for too long. I don't think anyone was ever killed, but multiple bikes were crushed, and people were taken to the hospital when trains started moving unexpectedly.
And there was already a bridge OVER the track, it was just harder to get to.

I admit, I walked across the track when no train was coming, but I certainly didn't hang out, or set an infant down, on them.


At the current university I work for, I am often stuck waiting on a train before I can cross the road. If it takes more than 5 minutes, which I time on my phone, I walk a 20 minute detour, but 5 minutes seems worth waiting.  I saw a guy duck UNDER the train.  That seemed even stupider than over.  At least with over you have a chance to hang on if it starts moving.

This sounds like an entirely different scenario than the original topic.  Also how fast do you think a train can start moving?  They have hundreds of tons of momentum sitting perfectly still.  It takes an incredible amount of energy to get them up to speed.  I don't see how it's even possible to get caught up while crossing though a box car or even under a rail car unless you are injured or stuck.   It's already been brought up that once a train sees a person/object on the track it is too late to do anything about it other than sound the horn, because it takes too long to actually stop a train because its got the mass and momentum of a train.  The train aint stopping for you because it can't.  They have the exact same problem getting up to speed for the same reasons.
Years back, I knew a guy who lost a leg in high school climbing between trains.  The coupling shifted.  It's not just getting going that's dangerous.  (Incidentally, isn't the whole discussion of trains here OT?)

frugalnacho

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Yea I guess they are all off topic, or only tangentially related to the original topic.  You could also stall on the tracks, or trip and hit your head on the tracks, or any number of weird things.  My point is that trains are not quite or sneaky.  They are giant behemoths that are difficult to not see/hear/feel coming your way, and are so massive they take significant amounts of time/energy to start and stop.

Scandium

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Why do they have $10K/year! under "cars", but also gas and insurance elsewhere? How much are they spending on repairs?? Or do they plan to buy two $50k cars every 10 years? Me no understand..

I didn't see daycare there, but guess it might be under the top category. That would probably be most of it (we spend over $15k on it). If not how do they spend $20k on food+gas..?

frugalnacho

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Why do they have $10K/year! under "cars", but also gas and insurance elsewhere? How much are they spending on repairs?? Or do they plan to buy two $50k cars every 10 years? Me no understand..

You expect them to each drive a car for 10 years?! They probably just have $833/mo lease payments.  That's only like $417/mo each in perpetuity.

FatCat

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I don't think I understand the budget. She spends $2,400 annually on hair and nails but feels she should be spending $3,000?

This looks like the opposite of most budget plans. I guess the idea is to figure out what the think they require to reach optimum happiness and try to earn that amount.

The ideal mortgage budget is much higher than the current mortgage. Maybe he's wanting to pay it off quickly?

frugalnacho

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I don't think I understand the budget. She spends $2,400 annually on hair and nails but feels she should be spending $3,000?

This looks like the opposite of most budget plans. I guess the idea is to figure out what the think they require to reach optimum happiness and try to earn that amount.

The ideal mortgage budget is much higher than the current mortgage. Maybe he's wanting to pay it off quickly?

Hedonic adaption. They will always want more.  More space, more stuff, more hair cuts, etc.  My guess is if they got a little bit more money and could reach their "ideal" level they would realize that their real ideal level is still just a little bit more.  And so it goes, on and on, forever chasing after slightly more to make themselves complete.   

I haven't really commented on the actual article, just trains.  I'm having a hard time taking the article seriously.