Author Topic: Overheard at Work  (Read 10604459 times)

mtn

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #13150 on: April 26, 2016, 01:42:56 PM »
Good point--I was talking specifically about the City of Chicago, and for people who bought in the last 2-3 years.

Digital Dogma

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #13151 on: April 26, 2016, 02:10:28 PM »
Overheard at work... I'll keep it very general and ambiguous

The market took a nose dive to ~16,000 last year and a guy (lets call him Bob) nearing retirement had always mentioned his plan was to work till he died in his boots. He got spooked, others nearing retirement mentioned that they took their savings out of their 401k to avoid "losing their retirement" to another recession (which hasn't arrived yet as far as I know...)

So he liquidated one of his 401k funds and took penalties for withdrawing prior to retirement. The idea was to buy rental property, with 25% down, in a very low income area. Nobody would extend him credit because of the big vehicle loan, big mortgage on an upside-down house, and credit card debt. He paid off the vehicle (YES! sell that huge piece of shit) and most of the credit card debt (Better...) and still can't improve his credit score significantly. Now he is looking at getting a cash loan from a company who does not even require proof of income because no banks are willing to qualify him for a loan.

I can't see this ending well.
« Last Edit: April 26, 2016, 02:15:20 PM by Digital Dogma »

merula

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #13152 on: April 26, 2016, 02:30:21 PM »
My company is doing a bunch of things to promote personal finance topics and knowledge of the company's offerings (pension, 401k, free legal services, etc.). As part of this, our intranet had a poll "The average deferral percentage of all employees in the MegaCorp 401(k) Plan is?"

I guessed 5%, which is the match, and was pleasantly surprised to learn that I'm wrong, it's 9%. However, that information came with this chart:
AgeContribution rate401(k) balance
<357%$30,000
35-548%$134,000
>5412%$252,000

How does that even work? How can you put away that much and still only have $252,000 on average at age 55?

onlykelsey

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #13153 on: April 26, 2016, 02:37:00 PM »
My company is doing a bunch of things to promote personal finance topics and knowledge of the company's offerings (pension, 401k, free legal services, etc.). As part of this, our intranet had a poll "The average deferral percentage of all employees in the MegaCorp 401(k) Plan is?"

I guessed 5%, which is the match, and was pleasantly surprised to learn that I'm wrong, it's 9%. However, that information came with this chart:
AgeContribution rate401(k) balance
<357%$30,000
35-548%$134,000
>5412%$252,000

How does that even work? How can you put away that much and still only have $252,000 on average at age 55?

It doesn't ask about loans or withdraws from your account, and most people don't spend their whole life at a job like MegaCorp with a plan.  Only in my 10th? 12th? job did I get a 401(k) plan.  Also clearly a generational thing.

merula

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #13154 on: April 26, 2016, 02:41:15 PM »
It doesn't ask about loans or withdraws from your account, and most people don't spend their whole life at a job like MegaCorp with a plan.  Only in my 10th? 12th? job did I get a 401(k) plan.  Also clearly a generational thing.

Fair point, but we do have a LOT of "lifers" and a rapidly aging workforce (we are definitely not Google), but the 401k plan has only existed since the mid-90s? I think?

mtn

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #13155 on: April 26, 2016, 03:51:33 PM »
It doesn't ask about loans or withdraws from your account, and most people don't spend their whole life at a job like MegaCorp with a plan.  Only in my 10th? 12th? job did I get a 401(k) plan.  Also clearly a generational thing.

Fair point, but we do have a LOT of "lifers" and a rapidly aging workforce (we are definitely not Google), but the 401k plan has only existed since the mid-90s? I think?

Even if you have a lot of lifers, how many newbies do you have? I have a 401k from a MegaCorp that I worked for for 2.5 years. When I left I had about $35k in there, and I've made all the contributions I ever will to it. With my current job, if I leave within 2 years I doubt that I'll have more than $40k to $50k in it when I leave--it isn't the best plan and there was no match for the first year, so I put $11k to an IRA when I joined the company and didn't start contributing hardcore to the 401k until about 8 months in.

I think my dad has something similar--his current 401k is only in the $300k range, but that doesn't tell the whole story since he put a lot towards stock options, has/had a pension, and 2 other 401k/IRA's.


Playing with Fire UK

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #13156 on: April 27, 2016, 03:01:41 AM »
My company is doing a bunch of things to promote personal finance topics and knowledge of the company's offerings (pension, 401k, free legal services, etc.). As part of this, our intranet had a poll "The average deferral percentage of all employees in the MegaCorp 401(k) Plan is?"

I guessed 5%, which is the match, and was pleasantly surprised to learn that I'm wrong, it's 9%. However, that information came with this chart:
AgeContribution rate401(k) balance
<357%$30,000
35-548%$134,000
>5412%$252,000

How does that even work? How can you put away that much and still only have $252,000 on average at age 55?

I would expect that the 12% match for the older folks resulted from putting sweet FA away for years and then realising they were way behind. So it is 12% today not 12% since they started contributing. Also if they have calculated the average contribution as (7 + 8 + 12) / 3  = 9 then they need to go back to school (unless each age range is exactly 1/3 of the workforce).

Prairie Gal

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #13157 on: April 27, 2016, 06:42:31 AM »
I work in accounting, so we are still super busy with personal taxes (Canada). Yesterday, in our staff meeting, our boss said payday wouldn't be until mid-May because he just didn't have time to do it. He was just joking, but one of the junior CA's started freaking out. What about my mortgage payment? Car payment? etc. I was just meh. Whatever.

The thing is she makes waaaay more than I do. I got her started on YNAB at one point, I wonder if she kept up with it?

boarder42

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #13158 on: April 27, 2016, 06:45:29 AM »
I work in accounting, so we are still super busy with personal taxes (Canada). Yesterday, in our staff meeting, our boss said payday wouldn't be until mid-May because he just didn't have time to do it. He was just joking, but one of the junior CA's started freaking out. What about my mortgage payment? Car payment? etc. I was just meh. Whatever.

The thing is she makes waaaay more than I do. I got her started on YNAB at one point, I wonder if she kept up with it?

i'd be freaking out too i dont keep captial on hand for my work to skip paying me one week.  i keep enough on hand for the bills and the rest is invested in taxable accounts since all tax advantaged are maxed.  i guess i could use my Manufactured spending to pay my mortgage with a CC but that is one thing i cant float out with a CC that i will typically use as an E fund and just not fund my taxable the next month to pay off the CC with out incurring interest. 

merula

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #13159 on: April 27, 2016, 07:34:53 AM »
I would expect that the 12% match for the older folks resulted from putting sweet FA away for years and then realising they were way behind. So it is 12% today not 12% since they started contributing. Also if they have calculated the average contribution as (7 + 8 + 12) / 3  = 9 then they need to go back to school (unless each age range is exactly 1/3 of the workforce).

I'm guessing that the center group is the largest. Almost all jobs here require a degree, so if you say that starts at 22, then there's s 13 year span in the first group, 20 in the second and 10 in the third (assuming "standard" retirement at 65).

GuitarStv

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #13160 on: April 27, 2016, 08:57:58 AM »
I work in accounting, so we are still super busy with personal taxes (Canada). Yesterday, in our staff meeting, our boss said payday wouldn't be until mid-May because he just didn't have time to do it. He was just joking, but one of the junior CA's started freaking out. What about my mortgage payment? Car payment? etc. I was just meh. Whatever.

The thing is she makes waaaay more than I do. I got her started on YNAB at one point, I wonder if she kept up with it?

i'd be freaking out too i dont keep captial on hand for my work to skip paying me one week.  i keep enough on hand for the bills and the rest is invested in taxable accounts since all tax advantaged are maxed.  i guess i could use my Manufactured spending to pay my mortgage with a CC but that is one thing i cant float out with a CC that i will typically use as an E fund and just not fund my taxable the next month to pay off the CC with out incurring interest.

I don't work on credit.  If they stop paying me, I stop showing up.

With This Herring

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #13161 on: April 27, 2016, 11:24:44 AM »
I work in accounting, so we are still super busy with personal taxes (Canada). Yesterday, in our staff meeting, our boss said payday wouldn't be until mid-May because he just didn't have time to do it. He was just joking, but one of the junior CA's started freaking out. What about my mortgage payment? Car payment? etc. I was just meh. Whatever.

If my employer can't pay me once (and I consider paying late not paying me) for any reason then that gives me serious concerns about the whole organization and I would immediately begin job hunting. Sure I can make my mortgage payment now but what about six months from now? Will my employer have paid me by then for any work I've done between now and then?

For my own "heard at work" story, we recently had our benefits meeting and one of the vendors tried the "It costs about a dollar a day, you spend more than that on a latte!" Actually one, no I don't, and two, even if I did and I was on a fixed budget your phrasing implies that I'd buy this product on top of buying the latte daily. The flaw is that I can choose to stop buying the latte partway through the year but I'm locked into this product till the end of the insurance plan year and I can think of a lot of other things I can spend +$360 on. Thankfully my workplace is big on financial literacy (the Dave Ramsey name/classes gets thrown around a lot) so I'm not too worried about my coworkers but that's got to be part of that vendor's regular pitch.

Employers being unable to pay is a big deal.  At DBF's previous job at a small lunch counter, when the nice manager realized that the owners weren't paying the vendors, nice manager started sending employees out to cash their paychecks in waves immediately upon receipt, to make sure that no employee would end up with a bounced check.  It was a good move, as the owners just posted a sign on the door one night a while later telling employees (and nice manager) to go away and they skipped town.

Beaker

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #13162 on: April 27, 2016, 01:53:34 PM »
I work in accounting, so we are still super busy with personal taxes (Canada). Yesterday, in our staff meeting, our boss said payday wouldn't be until mid-May because he just didn't have time to do it. He was just joking, but one of the junior CA's started freaking out. What about my mortgage payment? Car payment? etc. I was just meh. Whatever.

If my employer can't pay me once (and I consider paying late not paying me) for any reason then that gives me serious concerns about the whole organization and I would immediately begin job hunting. Sure I can make my mortgage payment now but what about six months from now?

Not quite the same, but a previous employer announced in a company meeting that as a cash-conservation measure until the next round of funding showed up, they were going to stop paying withholding tax. The alarms going off in my head drowned out pretty much everything else they said, but I looked around the room and nobody else seemed even the least bit fazed by it. As far as I know they all went down with the ship.

The next April, I got a call from their HR person (the owner's wife) who said they weren't even going to issue W-2's. I'm guessing that they played even more sketchy tricks with the payroll and didn't want to document it.

TheGrimSqueaker

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #13163 on: April 27, 2016, 02:05:52 PM »
I work in accounting, so we are still super busy with personal taxes (Canada). Yesterday, in our staff meeting, our boss said payday wouldn't be until mid-May because he just didn't have time to do it. He was just joking, but one of the junior CA's started freaking out. What about my mortgage payment? Car payment? etc. I was just meh. Whatever.

If my employer can't pay me once (and I consider paying late not paying me) for any reason then that gives me serious concerns about the whole organization and I would immediately begin job hunting. Sure I can make my mortgage payment now but what about six months from now?

Not quite the same, but a previous employer announced in a company meeting that as a cash-conservation measure until the next round of funding showed up, they were going to stop paying withholding tax. The alarms going off in my head drowned out pretty much everything else they said, but I looked around the room and nobody else seemed even the least bit fazed by it. As far as I know they all went down with the ship.

The next April, I got a call from their HR person (the owner's wife) who said they weren't even going to issue W-2's. I'm guessing that they played even more sketchy tricks with the payroll and didn't want to document it.

I knew someone who was a partner in a business that decided to do that. It was in addition to a bunch of other asinine get-money-quickly ideas to bail out a business that had been managed into the ground due in part to his own bad decision making. He never could understand why I didn't want to come work for him. (He was a really smart dude, but stupid at the same time.)

However, if these guys burn you and you report them to the IRS for failure to pay withholding tax, you may be able to get a cut of it if you blow the whistle on them.

Tohuvabohu

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #13164 on: April 27, 2016, 02:07:32 PM »
Long time lurker/reader, first time poster.

I must say that after spending the last 3 months poring over MMM's site, the average income of posters and their coworkers appears to be astronomical. My wife (she is a mostly SAHM) and I together pull in ~$43,000/year in a low COL area of the Midwest. I work at a large financial firm, and she is a nurse doing 1 shift every couple of weeks. As many of you and MMM himself have mentioned, FIRE is mostly contingent on savings rate, so the principles are the same for us all. All of the high 5 figure and low 6 figure household salaries are nonetheless impressive.

Back on topic: I have a cube mate who recently showed up to work with a new Louis Vuitton purse, promptly showing it off to everyone. Never having seen one before, I had to Google it to find out that it costs ~$2,000. She told me that she had been saving up for it for awhile, and that it was to reward herself.  When I mentioned it was good she had at least not put such an extravagant purchase on a credit card, she qualified her previous statement by saying that she had "mostly saved up for it, but still had to put the rest on a credit card."

The confusing part is that we live in a city where no one would be able to identify the purse as the status symbol she was hoping to acquire. In other words, our city is not known for its cognizance of high fashion :-)

Metric Mouse

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #13165 on: April 27, 2016, 02:22:32 PM »
Long time lurker/reader, first time poster.

I must say that after spending the last 3 months poring over MMM's site, the average income of posters and their coworkers appears to be astronomical. My wife (she is a mostly SAHM) and I together pull in ~$43,000/year in a low COL area of the Midwest. I work at a large financial firm, and she is a nurse doing 1 shift every couple of weeks. As many of you and MMM himself have mentioned, FIRE is mostly contingent on savings rate, so the principles are the same for us all. All of the high 5 figure and low 6 figure household salaries are nonetheless impressive.

Back on topic: I have a cube mate who recently showed up to work with a new Louis Vuitton purse, promptly showing it off to everyone. Never having seen one before, I had to Google it to find out that it costs ~$2,000. She told me that she had been saving up for it for awhile, and that it was to reward herself.  When I mentioned it was good she had at least not put such an extravagant purchase on a credit card, she qualified her previous statement by saying that she had "mostly saved up for it, but still had to put the rest on a credit card."

The confusing part is that we live in a city where no one would be able to identify the purse as the status symbol she was hoping to acquire. In other words, our city is not known for its cognizance of high fashion :-)

Maybe she bought the purse for herself because she finds joy in it, rather than to show off to others? Being excited about something that brings one joy is a normal reaction.

russianswinga

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #13166 on: April 27, 2016, 05:24:10 PM »
I remember being at a wedding with a bunch of people from San Francisco in the mid 2000s as they talked about needing $600k for a "starter home".  I never understood how that math would work out.  They made more money than me, but not six times as much. 

Then 2008 came.  Turned out the math didn't work out.  :/

The math worked out just fine. I was visiting my friend in San Jose a bunch in 2010 - just post-recession. He was just starting out as at a dot-com, so was making about $75K starter salary. Another of his friends with the same salary bought a $600,000 condo (not a detached home) - 3 bedrooms, 1500 sq feet. Now said condo is worth 1.1 million. Both he and my friend now make over $100K, but my friend is still renting - he COULD afford that condo then, he can't now.

Detached homes are about $1.5 million for fixer-uppers, $2 million minimum if they're move-in ready or renovated.

The bay area looked at the housing "crisis", laughed really hard, and jacked the prices up 2-fold.


I, on the other hand, live in San Diego, where real estate is still reasonable (my 1200 sqft condo was purchased for $210K, worth about $250K now and rising fast). However, I can't afford a detached home and the market is growing much faster than my salary, so we won't be able to afford one unless my wife starts working. I make $90K / yr.

MgoSam

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #13167 on: April 27, 2016, 06:12:30 PM »
I work in accounting, so we are still super busy with personal taxes (Canada). Yesterday, in our staff meeting, our boss said payday wouldn't be until mid-May because he just didn't have time to do it. He was just joking, but one of the junior CA's started freaking out. What about my mortgage payment? Car payment? etc. I was just meh. Whatever.

If my employer can't pay me once (and I consider paying late not paying me) for any reason then that gives me serious concerns about the whole organization and I would immediately begin job hunting. Sure I can make my mortgage payment now but what about six months from now?

Not quite the same, but a previous employer announced in a company meeting that as a cash-conservation measure until the next round of funding showed up, they were going to stop paying withholding tax. The alarms going off in my head drowned out pretty much everything else they said, but I looked around the room and nobody else seemed even the least bit fazed by it. As far as I know they all went down with the ship.

The next April, I got a call from their HR person (the owner's wife) who said they weren't even going to issue W-2's. I'm guessing that they played even more sketchy tricks with the payroll and didn't want to document it.

I knew someone who was a partner in a business that decided to do that. It was in addition to a bunch of other asinine get-money-quickly ideas to bail out a business that had been managed into the ground due in part to his own bad decision making. He never could understand why I didn't want to come work for him. (He was a really smart dude, but stupid at the same time.)

However, if these guys burn you and you report them to the IRS for failure to pay withholding tax, you may be able to get a cut of it if you blow the whistle on them.

Yeah when I was working as an accountant one of our clients refused to pay sales tax. He was happy to collect it and couldn't get himself to listen to us when we said that we would be unwilling to sign off on his taxes. He went to a competitor of ours and was told the same thing. His restaurant didn't last very long anyways.

randymarsh

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #13168 on: April 27, 2016, 08:05:22 PM »
The math worked out just fine. I was visiting my friend in San Jose a bunch in 2010 - just post-recession. He was just starting out as at a dot-com, so was making about $75K starter salary. Another of his friends with the same salary bought a $600,000 condo (not a detached home) - 3 bedrooms, 1500 sq feet. Now said condo is worth 1.1 million. Both he and my friend now make over $100K, but my friend is still renting - he COULD afford that condo then, he can't now.

The principal and interest on a 600K house (with 20% down) at 4% is $2,292. The take home income for a single person no kids on 70K gross is about $4,342 per month assuming nothing for health insurance and retirement.

Spending 52% of net income on a home, before property taxes, insurance, and maintenance seems very risky. This was a condo so there was an HOA? That had to be $200 minimum right? 57% of net income.

I guess it technically works, but you've pretty much leveraged yourself to the hilt.

La Bibliotecaria Feroz

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #13169 on: April 27, 2016, 10:14:28 PM »
I work in accounting, so we are still super busy with personal taxes (Canada). Yesterday, in our staff meeting, our boss said payday wouldn't be until mid-May because he just didn't have time to do it. He was just joking, but one of the junior CA's started freaking out. What about my mortgage payment? Car payment? etc. I was just meh. Whatever.

If my employer can't pay me once (and I consider paying late not paying me) for any reason then that gives me serious concerns about the whole organization and I would immediately begin job hunting. Sure I can make my mortgage payment now but what about six months from now?

Not quite the same, but a previous employer announced in a company meeting that as a cash-conservation measure until the next round of funding showed up, they were going to stop paying withholding tax. The alarms going off in my head drowned out pretty much everything else they said, but I looked around the room and nobody else seemed even the least bit fazed by it. As far as I know they all went down with the ship.

The next April, I got a call from their HR person (the owner's wife) who said they weren't even going to issue W-2's. I'm guessing that they played even more sketchy tricks with the payroll and didn't want to document it.

I knew someone who was a partner in a business that decided to do that. It was in addition to a bunch of other asinine get-money-quickly ideas to bail out a business that had been managed into the ground due in part to his own bad decision making. He never could understand why I didn't want to come work for him. (He was a really smart dude, but stupid at the same time.)

However, if these guys burn you and you report them to the IRS for failure to pay withholding tax, you may be able to get a cut of it if you blow the whistle on them.

Yeah when I was working as an accountant one of our clients refused to pay sales tax. He was happy to collect it and couldn't get himself to listen to us when we said that we would be unwilling to sign off on his taxes. He went to a competitor of ours and was told the same thing. His restaurant didn't last very long anyways.

I worked in an accounting office many years ago. We had a client whose husband had died maybe seven years prior. She ran a veterinary hospital as sole proprietor. She had not been paying income tax, payroll taxes, sales taxes--nuthin' since he had died. She owed hundreds of thousands. Naturally, she wasn't at all concerned. It was her daughter that made her call us, being alarmed by all the threatening IRS notices.

dragoncar

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #13170 on: April 27, 2016, 11:48:11 PM »
The math worked out just fine. I was visiting my friend in San Jose a bunch in 2010 - just post-recession. He was just starting out as at a dot-com, so was making about $75K starter salary. Another of his friends with the same salary bought a $600,000 condo (not a detached home) - 3 bedrooms, 1500 sq feet. Now said condo is worth 1.1 million. Both he and my friend now make over $100K, but my friend is still renting - he COULD afford that condo then, he can't now.

The principal and interest on a 600K house (with 20% down) at 4% is $2,292. The take home income for a single person no kids on 70K gross is about $4,342 per month assuming nothing for health insurance and retirement.

Spending 52% of net income on a home, before property taxes, insurance, and maintenance seems very risky. This was a condo so there was an HOA? That had to be $200 minimum right? 57% of net income.

I guess it technically works, but you've pretty much leveraged yourself to the hilt.

It's not that bad.  After tax deductions, the effective interest you pay is only around $1k/month.  You put $700/mo towards principal (forced, illiquid savings).  If you are otherwise mustachian, you still have plenty left over to save.
« Last Edit: April 27, 2016, 11:49:49 PM by dragoncar »

BlueHouse

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #13171 on: April 28, 2016, 05:31:17 AM »
Long time lurker/reader, first time poster.

I must say that after spending the last 3 months poring over MMM's site, the average income of posters and their coworkers appears to be astronomical. My wife (she is a mostly SAHM) and I together pull in ~$43,000/year in a low COL area of the Midwest. I work at a large financial firm, and she is a nurse doing 1 shift every couple of weeks. As many of you and MMM himself have mentioned, FIRE is mostly contingent on savings rate, so the principles are the same for us all. All of the high 5 figure and low 6 figure household salaries are nonetheless impressive.

Back on topic: I have a cube mate who recently showed up to work with a new Louis Vuitton purse, promptly showing it off to everyone. Never having seen one before, I had to Google it to find out that it costs ~$2,000. She told me that she had been saving up for it for awhile, and that it was to reward herself.  When I mentioned it was good she had at least not put such an extravagant purchase on a credit card, she qualified her previous statement by saying that she had "mostly saved up for it, but still had to put the rest on a credit card."

The confusing part is that we live in a city where no one would be able to identify the purse as the status symbol she was hoping to acquire. In other words, our city is not known for its cognizance of high fashion :-)

Maybe she bought the purse for herself because she finds joy in it, rather than to show off to others? Being excited about something that brings one joy is a normal reaction.
Is it actually possible though?  Is there any intrinsic value in a name brand purse if no one recognizes the brand value?  If the brand is not adding to the value, then isn't the only value the function of the item?  I suppose design and material could factor in a bit, but there's really no way I can see to value a purse at $2k unless you count brand awareness as some value.

Metric Mouse

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #13172 on: April 28, 2016, 05:55:31 AM »
Is it actually possible though?  Is there any intrinsic value in a name brand purse if no one recognizes the brand value?  If the brand is not adding to the value, then isn't the only value the function of the item?  I suppose design and material could factor in a bit, but there's really no way I can see to value a purse at $2k unless you count brand awareness as some value.

I would argue it is possible. If she really wanted, for example, a blue leather handbag with red velvet interior and a special pocket for her custom cigarette case, she may have to pay a premium for a brand name bag that has all of those features. It's over priced on its merits, but to get exactly what one wants it may be worth it (for them) to pay for more than the sum of its parts. It would have nothing to do with the brand.

Clearly I'm not arguing that a purse is worth $2K. But to get that quality, great looking handbag that you've always wanted? Might be worth it to someone, regardless of what name is stitched on the tag.

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #13173 on: April 28, 2016, 06:03:56 AM »
Back on topic: I have a cube mate who recently showed up to work with a new Louis Vuitton purse, promptly showing it off to everyone. Never having seen one before, I had to Google it to find out that it costs ~$2,000. She told me that she had been saving up for it for awhile, and that it was to reward herself.  When I mentioned it was good she had at least not put such an extravagant purchase on a credit card, she qualified her previous statement by saying that she had "mostly saved up for it, but still had to put the rest on a credit card."
The confusing part is that we live in a city where no one would be able to identify the purse as the status symbol she was hoping to acquire. In other words, our city is not known for its cognizance of high fashion :-)
Maybe she bought the purse for herself because she finds joy in it, rather than to show off to others? Being excited about something that brings one joy is a normal reaction.
Is it actually possible though?  Is there any intrinsic value in a name brand purse if no one recognizes the brand value?  If the brand is not adding to the value, then isn't the only value the function of the item?  I suppose design and material could factor in a bit, but there's really no way I can see to value a purse at $2k unless you count brand awareness as some value.

A big part of the value of the brand name is to the person who purchases it and the subset of people who likewise recognize it.  It is a clan identifier to both yourself & others.  You aren't the target - it isn't important that everyone knows, just the one group.  There may only be 100 other people in your city who are the target.  And it isn't just the people in the city who might see it - she's also claiming membership to the worldwide group of people who have & want to have this bag. 

Playing with Fire UK

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #13174 on: April 28, 2016, 06:11:28 AM »
Is it actually possible though?  Is there any intrinsic value in a name brand purse if no one recognizes the brand value?  If the brand is not adding to the value, then isn't the only value the function of the item?  I suppose design and material could factor in a bit, but there's really no way I can see to value a purse at $2k unless you count brand awareness as some value.

I would argue it is possible. If she really wanted, for example, a blue leather handbag with red velvet interior and a special pocket for her custom cigarette case, she may have to pay a premium for a brand name bag that has all of those features. It's over priced on its merits, but to get exactly what one wants it may be worth it (for them) to pay for more than the sum of its parts. It would have nothing to do with the brand.

Clearly I'm not arguing that a purse is worth $2K. But to get that quality, great looking handbag that you've always wanted? Might be worth it to someone, regardless of what name is stitched on the tag.

Am I on the wrong board?!? Colleague has bought a $2k bag on credit.

This was overheard at work and is anti-mustachian.

This is the board where we mock our colleagues for financial decisions we think are foolish. Sometimes we may judge someone unfairly, mostly we don't because most of the tales here are hilariously spendy.

Might I suggest a separate thread for the justification of the purchase of $2k bags and $600k houses?

ender

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #13175 on: April 28, 2016, 06:20:37 AM »
Is it actually possible though?  Is there any intrinsic value in a name brand purse if no one recognizes the brand value?  If the brand is not adding to the value, then isn't the only value the function of the item?  I suppose design and material could factor in a bit, but there's really no way I can see to value a purse at $2k unless you count brand awareness as some value.

I would argue it is possible. If she really wanted, for example, a blue leather handbag with red velvet interior and a special pocket for her custom cigarette case, she may have to pay a premium for a brand name bag that has all of those features. It's over priced on its merits, but to get exactly what one wants it may be worth it (for them) to pay for more than the sum of its parts. It would have nothing to do with the brand.

Clearly I'm not arguing that a purse is worth $2K. But to get that quality, great looking handbag that you've always wanted? Might be worth it to someone, regardless of what name is stitched on the tag.

Am I on the wrong board?!? Colleague has bought a $2k bag on credit.

This was overheard at work and is anti-mustachian.

This is the board where we mock our colleagues for financial decisions we think are foolish. Sometimes we may judge someone unfairly, mostly we don't because most of the tales here are hilariously spendy.

Might I suggest a separate thread for the justification of the purchase of $2k bags and $600k houses?

$600k houses can be reasonable in some parts of the country.

$2k bags are never reasonable regardless of where you live.

Metric Mouse

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #13176 on: April 28, 2016, 06:44:10 AM »
Is it actually possible though?  Is there any intrinsic value in a name brand purse if no one recognizes the brand value?  If the brand is not adding to the value, then isn't the only value the function of the item?  I suppose design and material could factor in a bit, but there's really no way I can see to value a purse at $2k unless you count brand awareness as some value.

I would argue it is possible. If she really wanted, for example, a blue leather handbag with red velvet interior and a special pocket for her custom cigarette case, she may have to pay a premium for a brand name bag that has all of those features. It's over priced on its merits, but to get exactly what one wants it may be worth it (for them) to pay for more than the sum of its parts. It would have nothing to do with the brand.

Clearly I'm not arguing that a purse is worth $2K. But to get that quality, great looking handbag that you've always wanted? Might be worth it to someone, regardless of what name is stitched on the tag.

Am I on the wrong board?!? Colleague has bought a $2k bag on credit.

This was overheard at work and is anti-mustachian.

This is the board where we mock our colleagues for financial decisions we think are foolish. Sometimes we may judge someone unfairly, mostly we don't because most of the tales here are hilariously spendy.

Might I suggest a separate thread for the justification of the purchase of $2k bags and $600k houses?

Sorry for the foam. I forgot to ask if the black bag was actually orange...

Tjat

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #13177 on: April 28, 2016, 06:48:24 AM »
Am I on the wrong board?!? Colleague has bought a $2k bag on credit.

This was overheard at work and is anti-mustachian.

This is the board where we mock our colleagues for financial decisions we think are foolish. Sometimes we may judge someone unfairly, mostly we don't because most of the tales here are hilariously spendy.

Nah, you're in the right place. Unless someone is fabulously wealthy and/or easily financially independent, they have no business buying a $2K accessory where an alternative with identical functionality can be purchased for $50. <begin requested judgement> Keep an eye on her facebook, I predict her newsfeed begins with a picture of this beloved purse with a caption similar to "#deservethis", which includes comments from her inane friends like "#totallywantthis" and the absolutely insane "Congratulations!!!". Next she'll continue with a picture of a pet, meal, or glass of wine w/ skyline in background, followed by a MLM inspirational quote/advertisement, then a complaint about her job/financial situation. </end judgement>


Pooplips

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #13178 on: April 28, 2016, 06:53:43 AM »
Sorry for the foam. I forgot to ask if the black bag was actually orange...

Wow! That reference is a few 100 pages old now. Well done.

Pooperman

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #13179 on: April 28, 2016, 07:19:34 AM »
Sorry for the foam. I forgot to ask if the black bag was actually orange...

Wow! That reference is a few 100 pages old now. Well done.

This thread has taken offense to your lengthism. It isn't a 'few 100 pages' yet! Give it about 3 weeks though ;).

Playing with Fire UK

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #13180 on: April 28, 2016, 07:27:23 AM »
Sorry for the foam. I forgot to ask if the black bag was actually orange...
That totally makes up for it!

LennStar

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #13181 on: April 28, 2016, 09:32:46 AM »
Sorry for the foam. I forgot to ask if the black bag was actually orange...

Wow! That reference is a few 100 pages old now. Well done.
The bag was black, but the box it was in when she bought it was orange.

mm1970

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #13182 on: April 28, 2016, 10:52:00 AM »
I remember being at a wedding with a bunch of people from San Francisco in the mid 2000s as they talked about needing $600k for a "starter home".  I never understood how that math would work out.  They made more money than me, but not six times as much. 

Then 2008 came.  Turned out the math didn't work out.  :/

The math worked out just fine. I was visiting my friend in San Jose a bunch in 2010 - just post-recession. He was just starting out as at a dot-com, so was making about $75K starter salary. Another of his friends with the same salary bought a $600,000 condo (not a detached home) - 3 bedrooms, 1500 sq feet. Now said condo is worth 1.1 million. Both he and my friend now make over $100K, but my friend is still renting - he COULD afford that condo then, he can't now.

Detached homes are about $1.5 million for fixer-uppers, $2 million minimum if they're move-in ready or renovated.

The bay area looked at the housing "crisis", laughed really hard, and jacked the prices up 2-fold.


I, on the other hand, live in San Diego, where real estate is still reasonable (my 1200 sqft condo was purchased for $210K, worth about $250K now and rising fast). However, I can't afford a detached home and the market is growing much faster than my salary, so we won't be able to afford one unless my wife starts working. I make $90K / yr.

Yeah, my friends paid a little under $700k in 2002 for their "starter home" in Mountain view. 

Here's the trend:

MgoSam

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #13183 on: April 28, 2016, 10:55:20 AM »
Yeah, real-estate is absolutely batshit in Silicon Valley. A distant family member of mine bought a home for roughly $3M a few years ago and I suspect it's worth more than $4 today. He's a very well-compensating individual so the cost wasn't a deterrent, I think he paid cash.

I'm in Minnesota, the house was nice, but I couldn't imagine how much lower a similar house would cost in Minnesota, even in North Oaks or Minnetonka, or another wealthy suburb.

Posthumane

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #13184 on: April 28, 2016, 11:08:23 AM »
The Canadian gov't recently amalgamated their pay offices and rolled out a new pay "system" administered from one location. Instead of introducing it in stages, they basically shifted the entire payroll to this new system in one go. Problem is, the new system has some issues and they are having problems sorting out pay for people who are not on a fixed shedule, which is a significant portion of the work force. Anyone who works variable hours, overtime, etc. has had huge delays in pay. I found out the other day that a colleague of mine hasn't been paid since mid february.

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #13185 on: April 28, 2016, 11:23:06 AM »
Sorry for the foam. I forgot to ask if the black bag was actually orange...

Wow! That reference is a few 100 pages old now. Well done.
The bag was black, but the box it was in when she bought it was orange.

Wait, where did we get the idea that the bag was black? Did OP say that and I missed it? Or was it just that it matched the color of the black box...I'm confused.

markbike528CBX

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #13186 on: April 28, 2016, 11:28:47 AM »
Sorry for the foam. I forgot to ask if the black bag was actually orange...

Wow! That reference is a few 100 pages old now. Well done.
The bag was black, but the box it was in when she bought it was orange.

Orange is the new BlackTM  :-)   (ducks random facepunches)

LennStar

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #13187 on: April 28, 2016, 01:29:00 PM »
Sorry for the foam. I forgot to ask if the black bag was actually orange...

Wow! That reference is a few 100 pages old now. Well done.
The bag was black, but the box it was in when she bought it was orange.

Orange is the new BlackTM  :-)   (ducks random facepunches)
*sigh* and me was fighting sooo hard to not write that too....... :(

jinga nation

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #13188 on: April 28, 2016, 01:59:12 PM »
Not my workplace, but ze wife's:

Her boss (company CFO/COO) wants to replace all 18 windows in his house. This would cost about $15-20k, depending on size of windows. (For our house, 15 windows, all impact-resistant, low-E glass, cost $11k installed.)

He said he'll have to refinance his house to come up with the money. He makes over $200k in base salary per year, plus a 'yooge bonus. On top of it all, he was wrongly paid $20k extra in 2015, which he hasn't returned to the company.

To top it all, his wife is an excellent cook and makes him breakfast everyday. He'll throw that away and get Egg McMuffins. Almost every day.

Oy vey!

zolotiyeruki

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #13189 on: April 28, 2016, 02:15:30 PM »
Her boss (company CFO/COO) wants to replace all 18 windows in his house. This would cost about $15-20k, depending on size of windows. (For our house, 15 windows, all impact-resistant, low-E glass, cost $11k installed.)
Depending on the climate and the type of window he's replacing, it might be worth it.

But making $200k/year and not being able to pay cash for it?  Yeah, that's facepunch-worthy.

Kitsunegari

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #13190 on: April 28, 2016, 02:25:13 PM »

To top it all, his wife is an excellent cook and makes him breakfast everyday. He'll throw that away and get Egg McMuffins. Almost every day.

Oy vey!

WHAT

Inaya

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #13191 on: April 28, 2016, 02:34:42 PM »
Reminds me of a somewhat related incident from my alma mater. The University President had his bathroom remodeled to the tune of $50,000. The kicker? The University actually owns the house the University President lives in, so the school paid for that bathroom. And we wonder why tuition is skyrocketing...

dragoncar

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #13192 on: April 28, 2016, 05:00:15 PM »

To top it all, his wife is an excellent cook and makes him breakfast everyday. He'll throw that away and get Egg McMuffins. Almost every day.

Oy vey!

WHAT

Tell him you'll eat it.  Up for grabs!

Primm

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #13193 on: April 28, 2016, 08:01:58 PM »
Sorry for the foam. I forgot to ask if the black bag was actually orange...

Wow! That reference is a few 100 pages old now. Well done.
The bag was black, but the box it was in when she bought it was orange.

Wait, where did we get the idea that the bag was black? Did OP say that and I missed it? Or was it just that it matched the color of the black box...I'm confused.

Old reference on this thread, from many months ago. Go back to page, oh, I don't know, about 167*, and you'll pick it up.

*Number pulled out of my arse. Not really page 167, but I can't be bothered finding out what page it actually was.

Ann

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #13194 on: April 29, 2016, 06:00:51 AM »
...his wife is an excellent cook and makes him breakfast everyday. He'll throw that away and get Egg McMuffins. Almost every day.

Curious, how do you know what the quality of his wife's breakfast is?  ;-)

I do want to know, though.  Does he brag about his wife's cooking skills?  Have they invited you over and you experienced it first hand?  Or does his wife herself say she is excellent?

I'm just trying to wrap my brain around it.  Does he not like the breakfast?  Or does he just prefer something else?  Either way is dumb, but the action is so odd I'm mesmerized.

aperture

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #13195 on: April 29, 2016, 06:35:30 AM »
Co-worker making less then $60K/y drives a Lexus SUV and complained to me yesterday about still having student loans. Eye roll - Ap

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #13196 on: April 29, 2016, 07:07:22 AM »
Sorry for the foam. I forgot to ask if the black bag was actually orange...

Wow! That reference is a few 100 pages old now. Well done.
The bag was black, but the box it was in when she bought it was orange.

Wait, where did we get the idea that the bag was black? Did OP say that and I missed it? Or was it just that it matched the color of the black box...I'm confused.

Old reference on this thread, from many months ago. Go back to page, oh, I don't know, about 167*, and you'll pick it up.

*Number pulled out of my arse. Not really page 167, but I can't be bothered finding out what page it actually was.

Heh, flat text on a computer screen is not a good medium for sarcasm, I guess ;-)

Shoulda gone with the "</s>"

plainjane

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #13197 on: April 29, 2016, 07:34:23 AM »
Co-worker in their late 40s/early 50s, making at least 6 figures, with a spouse who is likely doing the same given the title & company, goes on multiple trips to Florida & cruises in the past year.

Just heard that they went with a financing company to get the windows in their house replaced, and then had to take out a home equity loan to pay that off. (Lives out of the city, only a 45 minute drive if leaves at 5:30am.)

jinga nation

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #13198 on: April 29, 2016, 07:44:33 AM »
Her boss (company CFO/COO) wants to replace all 18 windows in his house. This would cost about $15-20k, depending on size of windows. (For our house, 15 windows, all impact-resistant, low-E glass, cost $11k installed.)
Depending on the climate and the type of window he's replacing, it might be worth it.

But making $200k/year and not being able to pay cash for it?  Yeah, that's facepunch-worthy.

Same climate as us. He lives local. He told my wife he wanted low-E, impact-resistant windows, which is what we have. We had two 6ft x 6ft picture windows, which had the highest price. Our new windows are all double-hung. We now have them open almost year-round, including peak summer in July-August, when we have them open overnight only.

With the bonus, his gross is over $300k+ per year.

...his wife is an excellent cook and makes him breakfast everyday. He'll throw that away and get Egg McMuffins. Almost every day.

Curious, how do you know what the quality of his wife's breakfast is?  ;-)

I do want to know, though.  Does he brag about his wife's cooking skills?  Have they invited you over and you experienced it first hand?  Or does his wife herself say she is excellent?

I'm just trying to wrap my brain around it.  Does he not like the breakfast?  Or does he just prefer something else?  Either way is dumb, but the action is so odd I'm mesmerized.

My wife and her co-worker have told us that it is actually good. The boss has brought in food for the office staff, and it was good. My wife brought home leftovers, I verified they were good.

It isn't only breakfast, it is lunch too, and dinner sometimes if he's working late. It is homemade healthy food as he has diabetes and a bunch of health issues.

He leaves everything in the office refrigerator and freezer; his wife comes in periodically and gets mad and throws the food away. At the last Christmas party, she told us about his stupid food habits, after a few glasses of good cabernet, which I chose at the fancy steakhouse.
« Last Edit: April 29, 2016, 07:47:02 AM by jinga nation »

JAYSLOL

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #13199 on: April 29, 2016, 06:44:45 PM »
We have 3 staff who drive to work and pick up company vehicles on a daily basis, their commutes are in the 20-30min range each way.  Only one of the three doesn't drive a 4 door 4wd pickup truck... He drives a 2 door 4wd pickup.