Author Topic: Overheard at Work  (Read 9259056 times)

dmac680chi

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Overheard at Work
« Reply #20000 on: April 24, 2018, 04:06:13 PM »
I’ve got a small gem from work today. I’m a substitute teacher so typically I bop around to various schools each day to get a taste of different school environments. I was in the teachers lounge talking to a SECA which is a assistant of sorts for students. Paid equal or maybe slightly more then a sub but not a full time classroom teacher. This person is from California and so we got to talking as my family visits once a year out there.

It was myself, older teacher, and young assistant teacher. I’m 24 myself and the assistant teacher was 24 or 25 and presumably lives with her boyfriend. I asked what her plans were after the school year. She said she’s in grad school and she’ll finish in June. She’s thinking of moving to Denver. I said “I’ve heard Denver is great but keep in mind that its a hot place to live and rent has skyrocketed. I know of people who even have to live a significant ways away to afford living their. She then says “my best friend and her boyfriend moved there for the lifestyle to ski and the mountains and hiking. She’s in $15k credit card debt but says that they need ski lift season passes because “that’s the lifestyle that we came here for” and that it’s worth it”. Aside from in my head thinking “how damn stupid” I just wonder how long that relationship could potentially last given all that credit card debt.


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« Last Edit: April 24, 2018, 09:40:05 PM by dmac680chi »

SunnyDays

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20001 on: April 24, 2018, 09:37:11 PM »
^^^^^^^
Um, it's THERE, not THEIR.  Teacher, huh?

dmac680chi

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20002 on: April 24, 2018, 09:39:15 PM »
^^^^^^^
Um, it's THERE, not THEIR.  Teacher, huh?

Fair enough, also not a English teacher and was trying to type quick. I’ll fix it thanks!


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DutchGirl

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20003 on: April 25, 2018, 02:29:49 AM »
today i was talking with a coworker - let's call him dan. we have a project coming up in a few weeks that only a few of the employees are qualified to do, but since it's on a weekend they would get overtime. i said if it were me, i'd jump at the chance to earn overtime - i'm salaried, so i don't have that option. dan, whose wife, "stella," is one of the employees who are qualified to do the overtime job, said he and his wife never went for overtime. i asked why, since i know neither of them earn very much, and dan said, "well, stella did the math after she got her paycheck the last time she worked overtime, and the government took so much from it in taxes that she ended up getting only half of what she was supposed to. so we decided never to work overtime again unless we had to." i tried to explain that that isn't how taxes work - but dan just made a joke about it going over his head and then changed the subject.

imagine leaving time and a half pay on the table because it was taxed! i don't get it.

This is unbelievably common. I think more people believe this than not. I wish there was some simple way to explain how it works.

Yup. Here in the Netherlands, bonuses have taxes withheld at 55%. (People are normally in the 42% and in the 52% tax bracket, so 55% is pretty high - I guess to make really sure that the Dutch IRS doesn't miss out on any euro). But of course, when tax time comes around, you get to actually pay taxes based on your total compensation, and so then the 55% tax rate on the bonus is often reduced to 42% or 52%, whatever your real tax obligation is.

And of course, just this weekend I had to explain that to a 40+ year old IT-guy with a university diploma in mathematics as well, who had recently received such a bonus and was mad about "the 55% taxes" ...
« Last Edit: April 25, 2018, 02:36:58 AM by DutchGirl »

DutchGirl

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20004 on: April 25, 2018, 02:39:23 AM »
There are involuntary hour reductions happening again at work. Each time this has happened, one or more of the employees at my job have voluntarily reduced their hours so everyone could keep their job.  (...)
    I'm probably FI at this point.  Paid off house.  No debt.  But I'm going to eliminate my expensive hobby to save up a bigger cash cushion.   I should have done this a long time ago.  Sigh (sob)

Maybe it is time to say goodbye to this particular job, Lyngi? It sounds like your workplace is struggling anyway, so that can't be a very nice environment, plus it isn't a really secure job. I don't know your job or situation, but perhaps you could make it work by reducing expenses, getting a parttime job for a few years, getting a different job for a few years, or doing some consulting?

Zoot

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20005 on: April 25, 2018, 05:34:40 AM »
BINGO! That's exactly what I'm talking about. People think if they make more money, they'll actually bring home less. And there are so many people who think this!

Yes, yes, yes--I had the opportunity to explain this to a highly-educated, high-earning acquaintance recently, who I'd have assumed to understand marginal tax rates; his mind was blown. 

I was also able to share info on how the mortgage recast process works with this same person--I could see his eyes widening as he realized he was going to be able to save thousands of dollars as a result.  :)

avalanchecity

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20006 on: April 25, 2018, 08:07:11 AM »
a co-worker of mine is trying to save to bring her boyfriend to the US from a country in southeast asia.* she's gotten a second job (minimum wage, part time) to help save, but she's only been getting about ten hours a week - a ~6 hour shift on saturday and a few hours scattered across the evenings. she wanted to be working a lot more, and is disappointed in how little she's earning from that job. despite this, she's also decided that since she's working so much, she can't be bothered with grocery shopping or cooking anymore. as a result, she brings in a breakfast from mcdonald's every morning, has burger king for lunch every day, and goes through the drive through for dinner.

we used to go to the gym together in the morning, but she's "too tired now from all the extra working," so not only is she a) gaining an unhealthy amount of weight - she's breathing really heavily after walking the flight of stairs up to our office, b) eating food that is absolutely terrible for her and her diabetes, but c) she is spending more on fast food than she's actually earning at her second job, which she got solely to save more money.

i've tried talking to her gently about it - she comes to me for advice sometimes so i've laid out her earnings and spending every week for her to see, but she still hasn't changed anything. it's infuriating to watch a co-worker who is trying so hard self-sabotage like this. 

*not even going to start on this, because i have a lot of feelings about it - none of which are really any of my business to have

GilbertB

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20007 on: April 25, 2018, 09:07:34 AM »
On the offshore vessel I work on, during coffee break, we were discussing someone from shore we know who took a large loan out to buy a silly car.

There was about 10 of us (Electricians and Engineers, apprentice to chief) and we all agreed that loans are only to buy a house, nothing else... None of us owe much if any money, and if we are somewhat spendy, we spend only "excess" cash, and that is usually into hobbies with, at worst, a near to positive cash-flow.
It was kind of weird to have total agreement over something... Normally we cant even agree on the best way to plug in the coffee machine...

Gave me a little faith in humanity that there are bubbles of sanity lost in the ocean of stupid.

barbaz

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20008 on: April 25, 2018, 09:37:42 AM »
On the offshore vessel I work on
...
Gave me a little faith in humanity that there are bubbles of sanity lost in the ocean of stupid.
Not much faith though when these bubbles are literally lost in the ocean.

I'm a red panda

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20009 on: April 25, 2018, 10:12:56 AM »
Tax story...

My husband got a bonus from his company. It was just every employee got $500.  He never got it.  He called HR to find out why, and it turns out they treated it like a regular paycheck.  Well, he has his paychecks set to have an extra withholding, and he also pulls a high dollar amount (not percentage) from the paychecks for retirement savings.  Between those two- every dollar of the bonus was pulled.

OK then... we of course got the taxes back at the end of the year, and then he had to readjust his 401k withholdings to not go over the max.

Cali

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20010 on: April 25, 2018, 09:03:44 PM »
On the offshore vessel I work on, during coffee break, we were discussing someone from shore we know who took a large loan out to buy a silly car.

There was about 10 of us (Electricians and Engineers, apprentice to chief) and we all agreed that loans are only to buy a house, nothing else... None of us owe much if any money, and if we are somewhat spendy, we spend only "excess" cash, and that is usually into hobbies with, at worst, a near to positive cash-flow.
It was kind of weird to have total agreement over something... Normally we cant even agree on the best way to plug in the coffee machine...

Gave me a little faith in humanity that there are bubbles of sanity lost in the ocean of stupid.

I envy you. I work at a place where company leadership is discussing going public. I’m super excited about the potential for company stock and the process of getting listed on a stock exchange. Nobody around me could even be bothered to open the email even after I told them what it contained. But they’ll happily spend hours discussing restaurant options and online shopping.

BuffaloStache

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20011 on: April 25, 2018, 09:09:22 PM »
Today I heard a coworker talking about buying a cake for their partner's birthday. She said something like "The store didn't have any small ice cream cakes, and I know he likes ice cream cakes, so I just spent $46 on a medium sized ice cream cake. He's going to love it!"

Now I'm legitimately curious what a large ice cream cake costs...

AnnaGrowsAMustache

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20012 on: April 26, 2018, 03:16:47 AM »
Today I heard a coworker talking about buying a cake for their partner's birthday. She said something like "The store didn't have any small ice cream cakes, and I know he likes ice cream cakes, so I just spent $46 on a medium sized ice cream cake. He's going to love it!"

Now I'm legitimately curious what a large ice cream cake costs...

If you dump out a tub of icecream, that's an icecream cake.....
I've made fancy layered and flavoured ones with real fruit and softened vanilla icecream. Cost diddly squat.

Linea_Norway

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20013 on: April 26, 2018, 04:37:44 AM »
Turns out that another one of my young colleagues is quite frugal. He told us at lunsj that a taco box from El Cheapo brand (containing a sachet of taco spices, taco shells and tomato sauce) is cheaper than a single sachet of taco spices. He also hates eating crunchy taco shells in the way that they are designed, but he just crumbles them and puts the crumbles on top of the taco filling. Might be a good idea.
Although I need to check what is in the taco spices. Some cheap brands contain mostly salt, instead of other spices. I need to compare with the more pricey ones.

dragoncar

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20014 on: April 26, 2018, 05:11:23 AM »
Turns out that another one of my young colleagues is quite frugal. He told us at lunsj that a taco box from El Cheapo brand (containing a sachet of taco spices, taco shells and tomato sauce) is cheaper than a single sachet of taco spices. He also hates eating crunchy taco shells in the way that they are designed, but he just crumbles them and puts the crumbles on top of the taco filling. Might be a good idea.
Although I need to check what is in the taco spices. Some cheap brands contain mostly salt, instead of other spices. I need to compare with the more pricey ones.

Iím going to go out on a limb and say getting the individual ingredients would be more frugal, especially if he doesnít even really like the shells and could use tortilla chips or nothing at allnothing at allnothing at all

frugalnacho

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20015 on: April 26, 2018, 08:44:38 AM »

dragoncar

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20016 on: April 26, 2018, 09:40:01 AM »
Stupid sexy flanders

Imma

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20017 on: April 26, 2018, 10:29:51 AM »
Turns out that another one of my young colleagues is quite frugal. He told us at lunsj that a taco box from El Cheapo brand (containing a sachet of taco spices, taco shells and tomato sauce) is cheaper than a single sachet of taco spices. He also hates eating crunchy taco shells in the way that they are designed, but he just crumbles them and puts the crumbles on top of the taco filling. Might be a good idea.
Although I need to check what is in the taco spices. Some cheap brands contain mostly salt, instead of other spices. I need to compare with the more pricey ones.

Iím going to go out on a limb and say getting the individual ingredients would be more frugal, especially if he doesnít even really like the shells and could use tortilla chips or nothing at allnothing at allnothing at all

Those spice mixes usually contain more salt than any other ingredient. In NL those mixes are about Ä1 per sachet (for one pound of meat) . I make my own mixes without salt, from ingredient from the local Turkish store. Large containers of spices are Ä2 each and they last at least a year, they're 150 gram which is 3 times the normal size.

I have been told spices are expensive in Norway though, I've heard of someone who has them mailed from NL because it's cheaper.

Debts_of_Despair

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20018 on: April 26, 2018, 07:33:40 PM »
Overheard coworkers phone call to order a 30 yd dumpster to clean out home over the weekend.  Holy crap.

BuffaloStache

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20019 on: April 26, 2018, 10:54:28 PM »
Turns out that another one of my young colleagues is quite frugal. He told us at lunsj that a taco box from El Cheapo brand (containing a sachet of taco spices, taco shells and tomato sauce) is cheaper than a single sachet of taco spices. He also hates eating crunchy taco shells in the way that they are designed, but he just crumbles them and puts the crumbles on top of the taco filling. Might be a good idea.
Although I need to check what is in the taco spices. Some cheap brands contain mostly salt, instead of other spices. I need to compare with the more pricey ones.

Iím going to go out on a limb and say getting the individual ingredients would be more frugal, especially if he doesnít even really like the shells and could use tortilla chips or nothing at allnothing at allnothing at all

Those spice mixes usually contain more salt than any other ingredient. In NL those mixes are about Ä1 per sachet (for one pound of meat) . I make my own mixes without salt, from ingredient from the local Turkish store. Large containers of spices are Ä2 each and they last at least a year, they're 150 gram which is 3 times the normal size.

I have been told spices are expensive in Norway though, I've heard of someone who has them mailed from NL because it's cheaper.

This. Literally just get Cumin, Garlic Powder, Chili Powder and you can season as desired. You can even add Cayenne pepper or other seasonings if you want to get fancy.

Imma

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20020 on: April 27, 2018, 04:31:15 AM »
Turns out that another one of my young colleagues is quite frugal. He told us at lunsj that a taco box from El Cheapo brand (containing a sachet of taco spices, taco shells and tomato sauce) is cheaper than a single sachet of taco spices. He also hates eating crunchy taco shells in the way that they are designed, but he just crumbles them and puts the crumbles on top of the taco filling. Might be a good idea.
Although I need to check what is in the taco spices. Some cheap brands contain mostly salt, instead of other spices. I need to compare with the more pricey ones.

Iím going to go out on a limb and say getting the individual ingredients would be more frugal, especially if he doesnít even really like the shells and could use tortilla chips or nothing at allnothing at allnothing at all

Those spice mixes usually contain more salt than any other ingredient. In NL those mixes are about Ä1 per sachet (for one pound of meat) . I make my own mixes without salt, from ingredient from the local Turkish store. Large containers of spices are Ä2 each and they last at least a year, they're 150 gram which is 3 times the normal size.

I have been told spices are expensive in Norway though, I've heard of someone who has them mailed from NL because it's cheaper.

This. Literally just get Cumin, Garlic Powder, Chili Powder and you can season as desired. You can even add Cayenne pepper or other seasonings if you want to get fancy.

My super fancy seasoning includes onion powder, cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes and a little bit of oregano as well. I make a full container of this seasoning mix a few times a year, it's really versatile.

merula

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20021 on: April 27, 2018, 07:27:17 AM »
Coworker has been sharing the saga of her son, who is currently living in the highest COL part of the country. He's high income, has a bunch of savings in cash and wants to buy a house but it doesn't make sense with the prices there.

So he's looking at investment properties in my MCOL city, where his parents live. At first he was looking at multi-family properties, like a $350k duplex with 3 beds per unit in a desirable neighborhood close to downtown. Great, good for you.

But apparently those deals were falling through, so now he's looking at $400k+ single-family homes, in cities where the median SFH price is ~$250k. He has no concept of the RE pricing trends here, only that the prices are lower than the HCOL area he's in. He's assuming that he can get these properties for 10% under list price (laughable in this market), and the profitability only works out if he does something tax-wise with tenants paying utilities. (Or him paying utilities on behalf of the tenants? Coworker wasn't clear.)

I feel like this was exactly the situation REITs were created for.

gaja

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20022 on: April 27, 2018, 10:51:19 AM »
Turns out that another one of my young colleagues is quite frugal. He told us at lunsj that a taco box from El Cheapo brand (containing a sachet of taco spices, taco shells and tomato sauce) is cheaper than a single sachet of taco spices. He also hates eating crunchy taco shells in the way that they are designed, but he just crumbles them and puts the crumbles on top of the taco filling. Might be a good idea.
Although I need to check what is in the taco spices. Some cheap brands contain mostly salt, instead of other spices. I need to compare with the more pricey ones.

Iím going to go out on a limb and say getting the individual ingredients would be more frugal, especially if he doesnít even really like the shells and could use tortilla chips or nothing at allnothing at allnothing at all

No, weirdly enough, the cheapest kits cost less than the individual ingredients. And they are often easy to find at 40% off close to the sell by date.
Value for money is different. There is a reason they are cheap; loads of saturated fats and salt.

4alpacas

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20023 on: April 27, 2018, 01:37:38 PM »
Turns out that another one of my young colleagues is quite frugal. He told us at lunsj that a taco box from El Cheapo brand (containing a sachet of taco spices, taco shells and tomato sauce) is cheaper than a single sachet of taco spices. He also hates eating crunchy taco shells in the way that they are designed, but he just crumbles them and puts the crumbles on top of the taco filling. Might be a good idea.
Although I need to check what is in the taco spices. Some cheap brands contain mostly salt, instead of other spices. I need to compare with the more pricey ones.

Iím going to go out on a limb and say getting the individual ingredients would be more frugal, especially if he doesnít even really like the shells and could use tortilla chips or nothing at allnothing at allnothing at all

No, weirdly enough, the cheapest kits cost less than the individual ingredients. And they are often easy to find at 40% off close to the sell by date.
Value for money is different. There is a reason they are cheap; loads of saturated fats and salt.
If anyone likes the taco seasoning packets, I make my own (recipe) for much less than the packets cost.

Zaga

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20024 on: April 27, 2018, 02:54:18 PM »
That is similar to my homemade taco seasoning recipe.  Here's mine:

1 T chili powder
1 t cayenne pepper
1.5 t cumin
1 T oregano
1.5 t onion powder
0.5 t coriander
1 t crushed red pepper
1 T garlic powder
1 T black pepper

Most important is cumin and chili powder, followed by oregano, garlic, and onion.  I leave out the salt and add that separately for each recipe to taste.  That way I can make a recipe spicier without making it unbearably salty.

joleran

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20025 on: April 27, 2018, 03:06:35 PM »
Tax story...

My husband got a bonus from his company. It was just every employee got $500.  He never got it.  He called HR to find out why, and it turns out they treated it like a regular paycheck.  Well, he has his paychecks set to have an extra withholding, and he also pulls a high dollar amount (not percentage) from the paychecks for retirement savings.  Between those two- every dollar of the bonus was pulled.

OK then... we of course got the taxes back at the end of the year, and then he had to readjust his 401k withholdings to not go over the max.

Just a heads up, every company that's not a couple steps away from keeping their books on tally sticks will stop your 401k contributions exactly at the IRS max.  It's like HR 101 stuff.

honeybbq

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20026 on: April 27, 2018, 03:12:49 PM »
Overheard coworkers phone call to order a 30 yd dumpster to clean out home over the weekend.  Holy crap.

This might be face punch worthy but I could probably fill a huge dumpster of crap with stuff in my house that I don't want any more.

First off, I have an approx 2' x 3' trash can that I'm allowed to dispose of weekly and our trash bill is $80/month for this tiny square (second smallest one we can get). THANKS SEATTLE. So any time I want to trash something that's bigger than that... you have to take it to the dump (costs per carload) or pay a $25+ excess fee.

I could get rid of all the smelly old dog beds that need replacing but couldn't fit in the trash
Carpet remnants that were left in the house that no one wants
packing peanuts (why do these still exist?)
My husband's old recliner - I want it to DIE
Filing cabinet. Nobody wants it, nobody will take it. Even goodwill won't take it.
Weird broken shit that's laying around - like an old wooden handrail that got replaced. (maybe I can put this in lawn recycling?)
10000 things that are in my husband's part of the garage. I don't even know what that stuff is but it can GO

I would seriously love to supermarket sweep my house and throw everything away. It would be rad.

RyanAtTanagra

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20027 on: April 27, 2018, 03:19:44 PM »
10000 things that are in my husband's part of the garage. I don't even know what that stuff is but it can GO

Does he get to throw away all of your things that he doesn't know what they are? ;-P

honeybbq

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20028 on: April 27, 2018, 03:23:50 PM »
10000 things that are in my husband's part of the garage. I don't even know what that stuff is but it can GO

Does he get to throw away all of your things that he doesn't know what they are? ;-P

My stuff is organized neatly and I like to get rid of stuff.

He's the (admitted) sentimental hoarder.

He has some good stuff in there, but I believe if it's really of value, it shouldn't be stashed in a half smooshed box in the back of your garage.

AMandM

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20029 on: April 27, 2018, 04:03:56 PM »
I could get rid of all the smelly old dog beds that need replacing but couldn't fit in the trash
Carpet remnants that were left in the house that no one wants
packing peanuts (why do these still exist?)
My husband's old recliner - I want it to DIE
Filing cabinet. Nobody wants it, nobody will take it. Even goodwill won't take it.
Weird broken shit that's laying around - like an old wooden handrail that got replaced. (maybe I can put this in lawn recycling?)

It would be a bit of a pain and time-consuming, but a lot of this (carpet, dog beds, handrail) could be chopped up into smaller pieces that fit in the can.  Where I live, packing stores will accept styrofoam peanuts and lots of guys with pickups will collect steel trash for the scrap value.

Not to say I don't feel for you!

Roadrunner53

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20030 on: April 27, 2018, 04:21:41 PM »
My Hub, for years, has chopped up stuff and slowly fed it into the garbage can. Even if you can just do a small amount a week it will get done over time. WOW, $80 a month! I thought my bill was bad at approx. $35 a month and get billed quarterly.

Sometimes people will buy some of your crap for hobby type things on ebay. See what you might have like the stuffing from the dog beds...after you wash them and see if people are looking for stuffing.

You could advertise the recliner on Craigslist. Or you could start ripping it apart, piece by piece and feed the garbage can! My hub has a Sawzall and will cut up just about anything with it.

Zaga

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20031 on: April 27, 2018, 07:29:52 PM »
Wow, we are ridiculously lucky with our trash payment, we pay per bag.  It's $1.60 to buy a bag, we can put up to 60 pounds in it and they will take it. 

We probably put out one bag every other week most week, but when we were renovating we put out quite a few more but it was still super cheap compared to what you guys are charged!

savedough

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20032 on: April 28, 2018, 12:28:13 PM »
Overheard coworkers phone call to order a 30 yd dumpster to clean out home over the weekend.  Holy crap.

This might be face punch worthy but I could probably fill a huge dumpster of crap with stuff in my house that I don't want any more.

First off, I have an approx 2' x 3' trash can that I'm allowed to dispose of weekly and our trash bill is $80/month for this tiny square (second smallest one we can get). THANKS SEATTLE. So any time I want to trash something that's bigger than that... you have to take it to the dump (costs per carload) or pay a $25+ excess fee.

I could get rid of all the smelly old dog beds that need replacing but couldn't fit in the trash
Carpet remnants that were left in the house that no one wants
packing peanuts (why do these still exist?)
My husband's old recliner - I want it to DIE
Filing cabinet. Nobody wants it, nobody will take it. Even goodwill won't take it.
Weird broken shit that's laying around - like an old wooden handrail that got replaced. (maybe I can put this in lawn recycling?)
10000 things that are in my husband's part of the garage. I don't even know what that stuff is but it can GO

I would seriously love to supermarket sweep my house and throw everything away. It would be rad.

Try your local Buy Nothing Group!   You would be amazed what people have uses for. And most of the time, they will come pick it up.   I have given away old fence posts, carpet remnants (used for something with horses), dog beds, file cabinets, light bulbs after I switched to LEDs.   I often ask if anyone has fruit rotting on trees and people are more than happy to let me pick it!

LennStar

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20033 on: April 30, 2018, 07:28:47 AM »
On the offshore vessel I work on
...
Gave me a little faith in humanity that there are bubbles of sanity lost in the ocean of stupid.
Not much faith though when these bubbles are literally lost in the ocean.

ROFL
YMMD

I don't really know why but I find that incredibly hilarious. Must be my writer soul resonating here to the picture.

kaypinkHH

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20034 on: April 30, 2018, 09:54:08 AM »
All my coworkers seem to be obsessed with the meal prep boxes (where you order food, it appears, but you still need to do the cooking).

Recipes are boringly simple, and all for a low low price of $10 a serving!! I calculated what I would spend to make a sample recipe myself, and I'm looking at $2/serving max.

I guess it is better than take out food...but really all this saves is 1 hr/week grocery shopping. I just don't get it.

JLee

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20035 on: April 30, 2018, 10:01:57 AM »
All my coworkers seem to be obsessed with the meal prep boxes (where you order food, it appears, but you still need to do the cooking).

Recipes are boringly simple, and all for a low low price of $10 a serving!! I calculated what I would spend to make a sample recipe myself, and I'm looking at $2/serving max.

I guess it is better than take out food...but really all this saves is 1 hr/week grocery shopping. I just don't get it.

I don't buy those either, but if you factor in meal planning, grocery shopping, and food prep (the boxes come with predefined portions/etc) I expect the time involved is more than an hour.  You also have consistent variety and don't end up with a large quantity of any particular ingredient which then either goes bad or needs to be used for something else.

I basically live off of rice, chicken, and vegetables so repetition is fine for me. :P

turketron

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20036 on: April 30, 2018, 10:15:46 AM »
I think the meal prep boxes can make a lot of sense for specific types of people. If you're not a very adventurous eater and/or don't want to spend money on meals/ingredients that you're not sure you're going to like, or if you're not a very experienced cook, or don't know where to find more "unusual" ingredients that your local wal-mart may not stock.

These boxes are a great way to expose people to new recipes/ingredients/ideas/techniques that they might not otherwise be willing to try. I think they make sense for that purpose, but then the logical extension of that would be to progress towards making these types of dishes on your own without the meal prep service, for a fraction of the cost, albeit with a little more time and effort. If you only do this a few times until you're comfortable with it that would be money well spent. However, if you rely on this endlessly, yeah it's a waste of money past a certain point.

9-Volt

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20037 on: April 30, 2018, 10:17:12 AM »
Overheard coworkers phone call to order a 30 yd dumpster to clean out home over the weekend.  Holy crap.

This might be face punch worthy but I could probably fill a huge dumpster of crap with stuff in my house that I don't want any more.

First off, I have an approx 2' x 3' trash can that I'm allowed to dispose of weekly and our trash bill is $80/month for this tiny square (second smallest one we can get). THANKS SEATTLE. So any time I want to trash something that's bigger than that... you have to take it to the dump (costs per carload) or pay a $25+ excess fee.

I could get rid of all the smelly old dog beds that need replacing but couldn't fit in the trash
Carpet remnants that were left in the house that no one wants
packing peanuts (why do these still exist?)
My husband's old recliner - I want it to DIE
Filing cabinet. Nobody wants it, nobody will take it. Even goodwill won't take it.
Weird broken shit that's laying around - like an old wooden handrail that got replaced. (maybe I can put this in lawn recycling?)
10000 things that are in my husband's part of the garage. I don't even know what that stuff is but it can GO

I would seriously love to supermarket sweep my house and throw everything away. It would be rad.

Try your local Buy Nothing Group!   You would be amazed what people have uses for. And most of the time, they will come pick it up.   I have given away old fence posts, carpet remnants (used for something with horses), dog beds, file cabinets, light bulbs after I switched to LEDs.   I often ask if anyone has fruit rotting on trees and people are more than happy to let me pick it!

You know that things don't need to go in the trash in one piece, right?
Dog bed & carpet- cut them up and put them in the trash over a few weeks
Packing peanuts- small bag at a time
Recliner- break it up into its pieces and put the cover/ foam in the trash and the wood frame in the lawn recycling with the handrail.

I've done exactly this. It doesn't happen over night, but mix this with the buy nothing group and eventually it is gone and no longer a problem.

TheGrimSqueaker

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20038 on: April 30, 2018, 10:21:21 AM »
Overheard coworkers phone call to order a 30 yd dumpster to clean out home over the weekend.  Holy crap.

This might be face punch worthy but I could probably fill a huge dumpster of crap with stuff in my house that I don't want any more.

First off, I have an approx 2' x 3' trash can that I'm allowed to dispose of weekly and our trash bill is $80/month for this tiny square (second smallest one we can get). THANKS SEATTLE. So any time I want to trash something that's bigger than that... you have to take it to the dump (costs per carload) or pay a $25+ excess fee.

I could get rid of all the smelly old dog beds that need replacing but couldn't fit in the trash
Carpet remnants that were left in the house that no one wants
packing peanuts (why do these still exist?)
My husband's old recliner - I want it to DIE
Filing cabinet. Nobody wants it, nobody will take it. Even goodwill won't take it.
Weird broken shit that's laying around - like an old wooden handrail that got replaced. (maybe I can put this in lawn recycling?)
10000 things that are in my husband's part of the garage. I don't even know what that stuff is but it can GO

I would seriously love to supermarket sweep my house and throw everything away. It would be rad.

Try your local Buy Nothing Group!   You would be amazed what people have uses for. And most of the time, they will come pick it up.   I have given away old fence posts, carpet remnants (used for something with horses), dog beds, file cabinets, light bulbs after I switched to LEDs.   I often ask if anyone has fruit rotting on trees and people are more than happy to let me pick it!

You know that things don't need to go in the trash in one piece, right?
Dog bed & carpet- cut them up and put them in the trash over a few weeks
Packing peanuts- small bag at a time
Recliner- break it up into its pieces and put the cover/ foam in the trash and the wood frame in the lawn recycling with the handrail.

I've done exactly this. It doesn't happen over night, but mix this with the buy nothing group and eventually it is gone and no longer a problem.

If I ever need to dispose of an inconvenient body, I'm going to call you guys.

Dabnasty

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20039 on: April 30, 2018, 10:25:10 AM »
All my coworkers seem to be obsessed with the meal prep boxes (where you order food, it appears, but you still need to do the cooking).

Recipes are boringly simple, and all for a low low price of $10 a serving!! I calculated what I would spend to make a sample recipe myself, and I'm looking at $2/serving max.

I guess it is better than take out food...but really all this saves is 1 hr/week grocery shopping. I just don't get it.

I don't buy those either, but if you factor in meal planning, grocery shopping, and food prep (the boxes come with predefined portions/etc) I expect the time involved is more than an hour.  You also have consistent variety and don't end up with a large quantity of any particular ingredient which then either goes bad or needs to be used for something else.

I basically live off of rice, chicken, and vegetables so repetition is fine for me. :P

It may save on wasted food but whether you want to avoid waste for financial or environmental reasons, the boxes aren't really helping. All the tiny little bottles and packages for each ingredient and the insulated boxes and ice packs are far worse than wasting a little food. Even with products in grocery stores, the cost (dollar and environmental) of the packaging can outweigh the cost of the product. I'm all for reducing food waste but exchanging it for plastic waste isn't much of a solution.

I haven't found a good assessment of the real impact of the packaging and shipping used for these services but If anyone else has, I'd be interested. Most articles hand wave certain aspects without numbers or use wild estimates like this one:

https://www.motherjones.com/environment/2017/06/meal-kit-freezer-packs-blue-apron-hello-fresh/

But they're still worth a read to help take all of the different aspects into account.

I'll concede that it may work out differently in HCOLA's where I'm not as familiar with grocery costs or if you only compare to restaurant costs.
« Last Edit: April 30, 2018, 10:27:16 AM by Dabnasty »

Samuel

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20040 on: April 30, 2018, 12:16:31 PM »
Tax story...

My husband got a bonus from his company. It was just every employee got $500.  He never got it.  He called HR to find out why, and it turns out they treated it like a regular paycheck.  Well, he has his paychecks set to have an extra withholding, and he also pulls a high dollar amount (not percentage) from the paychecks for retirement savings.  Between those two- every dollar of the bonus was pulled.

OK then... we of course got the taxes back at the end of the year, and then he had to readjust his 401k withholdings to not go over the max.

Just a heads up, every company that's not a couple steps away from keeping their books on tally sticks will stop your 401k contributions exactly at the IRS max.  It's like HR 101 stuff.

Not mine. Once you hit the IRS pretax limit they continue pulling the same percentage, just as post tax contributions. I want to do post tax investing at Vanguard, not in my 401k, so I have to keep an eye on it. Super annoying.

grandep

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20041 on: April 30, 2018, 12:59:44 PM »
Tax story...

My husband got a bonus from his company. It was just every employee got $500.  He never got it.  He called HR to find out why, and it turns out they treated it like a regular paycheck.  Well, he has his paychecks set to have an extra withholding, and he also pulls a high dollar amount (not percentage) from the paychecks for retirement savings.  Between those two- every dollar of the bonus was pulled.

OK then... we of course got the taxes back at the end of the year, and then he had to readjust his 401k withholdings to not go over the max.

Just a heads up, every company that's not a couple steps away from keeping their books on tally sticks will stop your 401k contributions exactly at the IRS max.  It's like HR 101 stuff.

Not mine. Once you hit the IRS pretax limit they continue pulling the same percentage, just as post tax contributions. I want to do post tax investing at Vanguard, not in my 401k, so I have to keep an eye on it. Super annoying.

Same here, I actually contacted my HR department to ask about this and they confirmed it.

honeybbq

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20042 on: April 30, 2018, 01:29:39 PM »


Try your local Buy Nothing Group!   You would be amazed what people have uses for. And most of the time, they will come pick it up.   I have given away old fence posts, carpet remnants (used for something with horses), dog beds, file cabinets, light bulbs after I switched to LEDs.   I often ask if anyone has fruit rotting on trees and people are more than happy to let me pick it!

I do use it religiously. Both giving and taking. Anything that is remotely acceptable for human use gets offered.




You know that things don't need to go in the trash in one piece, right?
Dog bed & carpet- cut them up and put them in the trash over a few weeks
Packing peanuts- small bag at a time
Recliner- break it up into its pieces and put the cover/ foam in the trash and the wood frame in the lawn recycling with the handrail.

I've done exactly this. It doesn't happen over night, but mix this with the buy nothing group and eventually it is gone and no longer a problem.

It would take about 2 years to break down the recliner and get it in the trash and gone. And the large pieces of metal wouldn't fit anyways. The lid has to be on. This is a challenging problem....  Don't forget, we have our regular trash to put into our tiny canister as well. (two dogs worth of dog sh*t every week). We do cram as much in there as we can. I'm just saying, it would be fun to be like WHEEEEEE trash! Instead of calculating and doing tetris to get everything to fit. I've thought about ordering a bigger size trash but for weeks we don't need it is seems like such a waste.

And there's no freaking way I'm cutting open that dog bed. Nope. Stinky fuzz everywhere??? No way. Not worth it. I'll pay the extra for them to haul it away.

I actually looked. It's the "mini can".

15"W x 16"D x 21"H
30 lb. weight limit

*and correction, I guess it's $80 every 2 months. So not quite so nutso.



VaCPA

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20043 on: April 30, 2018, 01:39:43 PM »
All my coworkers seem to be obsessed with the meal prep boxes (where you order food, it appears, but you still need to do the cooking).

Recipes are boringly simple, and all for a low low price of $10 a serving!! I calculated what I would spend to make a sample recipe myself, and I'm looking at $2/serving max.

I guess it is better than take out food...but really all this saves is 1 hr/week grocery shopping. I just don't get it.

I don't buy those either, but if you factor in meal planning, grocery shopping, and food prep (the boxes come with predefined portions/etc) I expect the time involved is more than an hour.  You also have consistent variety and don't end up with a large quantity of any particular ingredient which then either goes bad or needs to be used for something else.

I basically live off of rice, chicken, and vegetables so repetition is fine for me. :P

I highlighted 2 key points. It definitely is cheaper to make your own meals, especially if you make pretty simple stuff with very few ingredients. I could live like this to keep the grocery bills as low as possible but my wife cannot and needs variety. When we make our own meals we end up with a lot of ingredients that are bought for one recipe and go bad before we end up using again. Waste of money and just wasteful in general. She's been doing the meal kits the last couple of weeks because she had a coupon for them and they aren't bad. I don't think the food is great but we have 3 kids and it helps her out a lot. Cost is about $8.50 per serving.

kaypinkHH

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20044 on: April 30, 2018, 02:43:02 PM »
I'm confused, this is the antimustacian wall of shame right?? This is a place where we all get together and chuckle at other people's non-frugal life choices because we get the side eye IRL when we mention thrift store shopping and packing our lunches, and biking to work, and not buying coffee?? If I'm in the wrong place let me know! /s

I guess it is my own fault, when I wrote "I don't get it" on my original post, I do get it. Like most non mustachian things, it is easier. And there are times and places where easier is 100% OK! (Ie 3 kids at home, trying to get back into a cooking routine). But we can't sit here and pretend that spending $8.50-$11/meal is a "mustachian" win.

And yes, meal planning and grocery shopping for 3 simple meals like what they are getting would take me 1hr (and my coworker, we live in the same area).

Prepping the food takes about the same amount of time (you still have to cut up everything yourself), so 1hr per week saves me ~$50 comparative to the meal boxes. I'll take that rate of return any week!

Xlar

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20045 on: April 30, 2018, 02:43:32 PM »
Tax story...

My husband got a bonus from his company. It was just every employee got $500.  He never got it.  He called HR to find out why, and it turns out they treated it like a regular paycheck.  Well, he has his paychecks set to have an extra withholding, and he also pulls a high dollar amount (not percentage) from the paychecks for retirement savings.  Between those two- every dollar of the bonus was pulled.

OK then... we of course got the taxes back at the end of the year, and then he had to readjust his 401k withholdings to not go over the max.

Just a heads up, every company that's not a couple steps away from keeping their books on tally sticks will stop your 401k contributions exactly at the IRS max.  It's like HR 101 stuff.

Not mine. Once you hit the IRS pretax limit they continue pulling the same percentage, just as post tax contributions. I want to do post tax investing at Vanguard, not in my 401k, so I have to keep an eye on it. Super annoying.

Same here, I actually contacted my HR department to ask about this and they confirmed it.

My employer does the same thing. My wife's on the other hand... If the last payment will put you over the limit they will not contribute anything at all! Super annoying. And they won't let you contribute up to the limit faster. If your contribution amount x the number of pay periods in the year is greater than the limit they will reject your form. Yes, even if you started part way through the year and want to catch up!

Cali

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20046 on: May 01, 2018, 12:35:55 AM »
We got raises today. I’m investing mine. Coworker was already planning all the things she’s going to buy to furnish the new apartment she doesn’t
have yet. All new of course.

dragoncar

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20047 on: May 01, 2018, 04:03:52 AM »
Error page 404 found

VaCPA

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20048 on: May 01, 2018, 07:10:15 AM »
The meal boxes aren't a "mustachian win". But in the pantheon of "antimustachian things" I think they have more merit than other stuff people waste money on which are posted here, for various reasons already pointed out. The whole time=money concept. Everything you do costs time or money, we're all just trying to maximize them both. Even the most staunch mustachians choose time over money at times during their day. Half the reason I come to this thread is to chuckle at the ridiculous links/anecdotes about people wasting money but the other half is to chuckle at the mustachians "losing their mind" over things like prepared meals.

Hula Hoop

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #20049 on: May 01, 2018, 07:29:28 AM »
The meal boxes aren't a "mustachian win". But in the pantheon of "antimustachian things" I think they have more merit than other stuff people waste money on which are posted here, for various reasons already pointed out. The whole time=money concept. Everything you do costs time or money, we're all just trying to maximize them both. Even the most staunch mustachians choose time over money at times during their day. Half the reason I come to this thread is to chuckle at the ridiculous links/anecdotes about people wasting money but the other half is to chuckle at the mustachians "losing their mind" over things like prepared meals.

Full disclosure - I've never used a meal box as they don't have them here in Italy as far as I know.  However, aren't they the antithesis of mustachianism as they don't save you much time (ie you still need to chop and cook - you just don't need to shop) and they use a ton of packaging from what I've heard.

Of course, there is no mustachian police but the time=money concept could be used to justify all kinds of things - cleaners and gardeners to take care of your home instead of doing it yourself, driving to the supermarket instead of cycling/walking, bedpans and catheters.