Author Topic: How We Saved $10,000 in Just One Year  (Read 9598 times)

Parizade

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How We Saved $10,000 in Just One Year
« on: April 13, 2012, 10:38:58 AM »
http://yourmoney.msn.com/saving-money-tips/33121423

I thought this was a fairly interesting article, written from the perspective of a mustache-free family who is struggling to grow some facial hair. The post-article comments were pretty harsh though, so maybe I'm cutting them too much slack.

What do you think?

velocistar237

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Re: How We Saved $10,000 in Just One Year
« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2012, 01:27:31 PM »
We don't know what their net income is, and I'm loathe to criticize a move in the right direction. One commenter worked it out to about $50K/year, which would be a 20% saving rate, so above average but nothing special.

arebelspy

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Re: How We Saved $10,000 in Just One Year
« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2012, 03:50:21 PM »
We don't know what their net income is, and I'm loathe to criticize a move in the right direction. One commenter worked it out to about $50K/year, which would be a 20% saving rate, so above average but nothing special.

Special for the US, where the savings rate is (approximately) 0%.  Heck, saving 10%, the minimum recommended, is fairly unique, so saving 20 is special.  Just not special for a Mustachian.

And 20% on 50K is sorta special.  Much better than 20% on 100k, even though the latter is 2x as much money-wise, the former is much harder to do, given fixed expenses.

One issue from the article: "And I suspected Gordon was similarly saddled with debt." -- they clearly don't talk about their finances enough if she doesn't know her husband's debt level.  And splitting money like that generally tends to not work out in the long run.

I haven't read it all yet, threw it into read it later, I suspect I'll finish and come back later and edit in more comments, but something just came up and I don't want to delete this comment. 
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, and now travel the world full time with two kids.
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Parizade

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Re: How We Saved $10,000 in Just One Year
« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2012, 05:29:06 AM »
... I'm loathe to criticize a move in the right direction.

Yes, that's my feeling too. This mother is very honestly admitting she has been terrible with her money management. While her current savings rate is not special by Mustachian standards it is herculean when compared to her past behavior.

Quote from: arbelspy
One issue from the article: "And I suspected Gordon was similarly saddled with debt." -- they clearly don't talk about their finances enough if she doesn't know her husband's debt level.  And splitting money like that generally tends to not work out in the long run.

I agree, that struck me as strange too. But clearly they both have some deep-seated problems when it comes to money, maybe this is how they protect each other.

My favorite part of the article is at the top of page 6:
Scrimp-a-thon

I become monkishly frugal. I make dinners from the pasta, soup, and frozen pizza we already have on hand, go for a hike with my friend Rene instead of meeting her for dinner, and cozy up with Gordon and the boys on the couch to watch a flick from On Demand instead of going to the theater. We actually spend more time together as a family than we have all month. It's wonderful. "We all think new things are going to make us happy, but there's ample evidence that what really moves the needle on happiness is social connections spending time with family and friends," says Ron Wilcox, Ph.D., professor of business administration at the University of Virginia Darden School and author of Whatever Happened to Thrift? Why Americans Don't Save and What to Do About It. "It can help to keep that in mind when you're struggling with money."


So many people think of being frugal as a deprivation, but the truth is that frugality can be so much more satisfying that mindless consumerism.

Moneyisntlove

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Re: How We Saved $10,000 in Just One Year
« Reply #4 on: April 14, 2012, 02:12:46 PM »
I read the article and remember noticing that we never get On Demand movies, since they're about 6 bucks and Red Box is a dollar.  So her idea of cutting back is actually our idea of splurging and mindlessly throwing away money.  And she thinks that eating the frozen pizza in the fridge is a step down, while we regard it is laziness to buy the frozen pizza when it's so much cheaper to make your own dough.  She has a ways to go . .

ShavenLlama

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Re: How We Saved $10,000 in Just One Year
« Reply #5 on: April 14, 2012, 05:57:47 PM »
When I read this yesterday, I thought, "Well, good for them for starting!" As we all know, saving gets to be addicting. I'm sure they'll be able to save a ton more if they keep up with it.

But yeah, super hateful comments per usual.

The commenters who say shit like "Man, they get $90/day, I'm lucky to get $90 a MONTH! WAAAAAH!" piss me off. If you are making that comment from anyplace but a public library, maybe you should take a look at your own spending habits and get your priorities straight. I know people who piss and moan about the most trivial stuff, then share photos from concerts, cross-country trips, drink tons of fancy beer, always have good dope....

Bakari

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Re: How We Saved $10,000 in Just One Year
« Reply #6 on: April 14, 2012, 07:05:12 PM »

Scrimp-a-thon

I become monkishly frugal. I make dinners from the pasta, soup, and frozen pizza we already have on hand


I can't figure this out.  Before becoming "frugal", would they buy pasta soup and pizza, and then just throw it out?  How is eating the food you buy saving money?

sol

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Re: How We Saved $10,000 in Just One Year
« Reply #7 on: April 14, 2012, 09:30:17 PM »
I can't figure this out.  Before becoming "frugal", would they buy pasta soup and pizza, and then just throw it out?  How is eating the food you buy saving money?

Believe it or not, a significant portion of our population does not cook.  Ever.

Grigory

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Re: How We Saved $10,000 in Just One Year
« Reply #8 on: April 15, 2012, 01:57:25 PM »
I can't figure this out.  Before becoming "frugal", would they buy pasta soup and pizza, and then just throw it out?  How is eating the food you buy saving money?

Believe it or not, a significant portion of our population does not cook.  Ever.
^
What he said. For most people, cooking at home as opposed to eating out/ordering takeout is simply unthinkable...

Parizade

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Re: How We Saved $10,000 in Just One Year
« Reply #9 on: April 15, 2012, 05:10:12 PM »
I can't figure this out.  Before becoming "frugal", would they buy pasta soup and pizza, and then just throw it out?  How is eating the food you buy saving money?

Given what you do for a living Bakari I'm surprised you have to ask. Buying stuff, keeping it just long enough to get bored, then giving/throwing it away is the norm in the USA.

Even with food.

Rich M

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Re: How We Saved $10,000 in Just One Year
« Reply #10 on: April 15, 2012, 09:41:51 PM »
I laughed at the credit card ad at the top when I looked at the article.

And this comment was equally as funny...


"Just to clarify things.  You can, with your parents pemission, enter the military at 17!  20 years of service and you take the early retirment at age 37.    So it can be done!"

See it's as easy as that! ;)

Oh and how convenient, the sales pitch is close to the front in the article:

http://www.amazon.com/Wealth-Watchers-Simple-Program-Spend/dp/1439158193

She not only had the book spring up in a stoke of luck in the mailbox when they got home from the trip, she had a direct line to the author to get advice.  Wow, that is an incredible story.

« Last Edit: April 15, 2012, 11:28:28 PM by Rich M »

shedinator

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Re: How We Saved $10,000 in Just One Year
« Reply #11 on: April 15, 2012, 10:13:32 PM »
Quote from:  Ginny Graves
I simply frittered it away, as my mom would say. And I suspected Gordon was similarly saddled with debt.

Alright, I'll admit this up front: the whole idea of a married couple keeping separate accounts was entirely foreign to me until recently. My wife and I have pooled our income and decided how to spend it together since we were married, and so far as I'm aware all the married folks I know do the same. I understand things that are person-specific (retirement accounts, student debt, etc.), but the total separation approach baffles me.

That said, HOW THE HECK does a married person with children four years from college not know what his/her spouse's finances even look like? I mean, even if you decided to keep separate checking accounts, wouldn't you still have at least a rough idea as to whether your spouse's expenses exceed his/her income, or the other way around?

Rich M

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Re: How We Saved $10,000 in Just One Year
« Reply #12 on: April 15, 2012, 11:08:53 PM »
Quote from:  Ginny Graves
I simply frittered it away, as my mom would say. And I suspected Gordon was similarly saddled with debt.

Alright, I'll admit this up front: the whole idea of a married couple keeping separate accounts was entirely foreign to me until recently. My wife and I have pooled our income and decided how to spend it together since we were married, and so far as I'm aware all the married folks I know do the same. I understand things that are person-specific (retirement accounts, student debt, etc.), but the total separation approach baffles me.

That said, HOW THE HECK does a married person with children four years from college not know what his/her spouse's finances even look like? I mean, even if you decided to keep separate checking accounts, wouldn't you still have at least a rough idea as to whether your spouse's expenses exceed his/her income, or the other way around?

Agreed.  Notice how they had to bail each other once in a while when they were short on cash.  Sounds like denial  more than ignorance at that point.

My wife and I have separate accounts but we are transparent with everything.  She knows what my balances are because I keep track of the aggregate analyze our spending then share it all with her every month.  I can't see how one wouldn't share that knowledge with their spouse either.  Or even see habits that might raise eyebrows.

I just finished taxes tonight and we sat down together and double checked my calculations.

« Last Edit: April 15, 2012, 11:20:30 PM by Rich M »

sideways8

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Re: How We Saved $10,000 in Just One Year
« Reply #13 on: April 23, 2012, 11:02:56 AM »
Wow... I was also shocked at how little they knew about each other's finances. I think my boyfriend and I know more about each other's finances than they did and we have only been dating for 8 months.

Bakari

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Re: How We Saved $10,000 in Just One Year
« Reply #14 on: May 11, 2012, 12:57:16 PM »
I can't figure this out.  Before becoming "frugal", would they buy pasta soup and pizza, and then just throw it out?  How is eating the food you buy saving money?

Believe it or not, a significant portion of our population does not cook.  Ever.
^
What he said. For most people, cooking at home as opposed to eating out/ordering takeout is simply unthinkable...

I get that.  But she said they already had it on hand.  Which meant they had already bought it.  Why had they bought it, and what were they going to do with it otherwise?
I have trouble believing Parizade's explanation that people buy groceries, bring them home, put them in the freezer, and then a few days/weeks later take them out and throw them away unopened. I still feel like I'm missing something.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bM8lIamjfaE

Re: couples who don't know stuff about each other you might expect -
I once read an interview by a sex researcher of an older woman who, having been asked some question about her husband-of-30-year's special parts exclaimed "I've never actually seen it!"

Sara888

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Re: How We Saved $10,000 in Just One Year
« Reply #15 on: May 16, 2012, 10:19:18 AM »

Scrimp-a-thon

I become monkishly frugal. I make dinners from the pasta, soup, and frozen pizza we already have on hand


I can't figure this out.  Before becoming "frugal", would they buy pasta soup and pizza, and then just throw it out?  How is eating the food you buy saving money?

I think that this is actually extremely common.  People go shopping with the best of intentions, buy vegetables, meat, etc. but this food does not actually meet their lifestyle as far as time to cook it or forethought to plan a meal.  So they think on their way home from work: gee I don't want to/have time to cook that chicken tonight.  I will stop and get something at the store/restaurant/take out place.  A week goes by and then the food is bad.  Throw it away and start over.  Their refrigerators are also often really packed with food.  And many, many Americans cannot cook/bake anything. 

SpendyMcSpend

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Re: How We Saved $10,000 in Just One Year
« Reply #16 on: May 20, 2012, 01:02:42 PM »
This family spends a shocking amount of money.  Paying $2000+ to retrieve files from a computer?  I would never in a million years pay that.  I have a feeling this family makes a lot more than $50,000 a year.