Author Topic: This blog post will make your head explode  (Read 19825 times)

cdub

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This blog post will make your head explode
« on: July 30, 2013, 11:21:58 AM »
Let's start by saying that I love YNAB and I love their blog... but this budget submitted by "Bill" will make your head explode:

http://www.youneedabudget.com/blog/2013/if-youre-the-frugal-type-this-budget-might-cause-your-brain-to-explode/?fb_source=pubv1

He's asking for help with his budget.

Here are some gem quotes:

Quote
Groceries   $1100   “We eat lots of fruits, veggies, quality meat, etc”

Dining out   $800   “No matter how i try, I cannot get this number down”

Exercise/Fitness   $300   “Important to us to keep fit”

Car payment   $689   “Wish this was lower, but it’s 0.9% financing”
Gas(two cars)   $400   “No joke”

Total Monthly expenses   $9,458

“It’s frustrating seeing people putting up these so called “budget” numbers. Half the time I feel like it’s wishful thinking. This is reality. I have been using YNAB for more than 3 years, I know exactly what my expenses are. I take issue with people like Mr. Money Mustache because I really feel they are not real.

Oy vey. The food budget is off the charts. And he needs to sell his car.... and work out at home. And not too mention I didn't see any savings in the budget.

psu256

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Re: This blog post will make your head explode
« Reply #1 on: July 30, 2013, 11:28:21 AM »
MMM tweeted about this post earlier. :)

cdub

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Re: This blog post will make your head explode
« Reply #2 on: July 30, 2013, 11:30:36 AM »
Oh he did? I don't have Twitter.

MissStache

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Re: This blog post will make your head explode
« Reply #3 on: July 30, 2013, 11:42:27 AM »
Holy mother of god!

Dining out   $800   “No matter how i try, I cannot get this number down”

What? WHAAAAAAAAAT?

This is so beyond unreasonable that I can't...I can't...I just cant.

Even at my most unmustacian this would be ridiculous.  And we make a lot of money!  And we live in DC!  And we like expensive wine!

cdub

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Re: This blog post will make your head explode
« Reply #4 on: July 30, 2013, 11:48:39 AM »
Yeah the dining out one is scary. Not so much the number, because in my not so wise days I probably spent a lot eating out too... But what disturbs me is the  "no way of getting it down"... um YOU DON'T EAT OUT.

Our total monthly slush fund cash budget now for everything Clothing, Groceries, Fun, Restaurants is $300/week and I think that is high and we can definitely get that down even more and we probably will.

But it's the defeatism in the excuses that get to me.

Albert

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Re: This blog post will make your head explode
« Reply #5 on: July 30, 2013, 11:54:59 AM »
Yeah the dining out one is scary. Not so much the number, because in my not so wise days I probably spent a lot eating out too... But what disturbs me is the  "no way of getting it down"... um YOU DON'T EAT OUT.

Our total monthly slush fund cash budget now for everything Clothing, Groceries, Fun, Restaurants is $300/week and I think that is high and we can definitely get that down even more and we probably will.

But it's the defeatism in the excuses that get to me.

Exactly. It's a high number for eating out and I don't think I've ever quite reached it but I can imagine it on exceptional basis, but that being a baseline level which can't be reduced??? Some people are amazing...

LalsConstant

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Re: This blog post will make your head explode
« Reply #6 on: July 30, 2013, 12:00:56 PM »
I cannot find it in me to mock this man.  I never spent that much but I did not have that kind of income either.  I used to be just like him.

The thing is he clearly is aware he is doing something wrong and is looking for help.  His jape about MMM is a defense mechanism.   He needs help and support to change.

That said he does need to confront reality.  I think the blogger did well to give him some food for thought.

cdub

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Re: This blog post will make your head explode
« Reply #7 on: July 30, 2013, 12:04:14 PM »
My intent was not to mock (which I don't think I'm doing)

I'm just expressing shock.


kt

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Re: This blog post will make your head explode
« Reply #8 on: July 30, 2013, 12:06:28 PM »
i really cannot understand how you can not work out how to get your dining out budget down. they buy a lot of food for the home so clearly he knows you don't have to eat out.
i assume his entire social network is like this and so they eat out lunch at work every day and/or go out for meals with friends on a very regular basis. but still. mind boggling. i spend about 1/5 of that in a year :s

LalsConstant

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Re: This blog post will make your head explode
« Reply #9 on: July 30, 2013, 12:10:15 PM »
My intent was not to mock (which I don't think I'm doing)

I'm just expressing shock.

I did not assume you meant to.  :D

I am just saying I can't, it is painful to read because it reminds me of a bad time.

mgreczyn

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Re: This blog post will make your head explode
« Reply #10 on: July 30, 2013, 01:05:42 PM »
My wife and I did once manage to rack up a restaurant tab of $400 in one sitting with another couple.  However, we were trying to spend our way through a $500 gift certificate.  Notably, we failed.

dragoncar

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Re: This blog post will make your head explode
« Reply #11 on: July 30, 2013, 01:14:06 PM »
It's easy to spend $800/mo eating out with four people.  It's also easy to spend $0 by eating at home.

I have to wonder how much food they throw away with a grocery budget like that.

cdub

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Re: This blog post will make your head explode
« Reply #12 on: July 30, 2013, 01:17:17 PM »
My wife and I did once manage to rack up a restaurant tab of $400 in one sitting with another couple.  However, we were trying to spend our way through a $500 gift certificate.  Notably, we failed.

That's QUITE a gift certificate! :)

minimalist

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Re: This blog post will make your head explode
« Reply #13 on: July 30, 2013, 01:25:27 PM »
I cannot find it in me to mock this man.  I never spent that much but I did not have that kind of income either.  I used to be just like him.

The thing is he clearly is aware he is doing something wrong and is looking for help.  His jape about MMM is a defense mechanism.   He needs help and support to change.

That said he does need to confront reality.  I think the blogger did well to give him some food for thought.

What is his income? I can't find it on the site.

Albert

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Re: This blog post will make your head explode
« Reply #14 on: July 30, 2013, 01:35:58 PM »
My wife and I did once manage to rack up a restaurant tab of $400 in one sitting with another couple.  However, we were trying to spend our way through a $500 gift certificate.  Notably, we failed.

If you try then it's not so difficult. Few months ago we also spent about 950$ in a restaurant for a company of nine. We had a 1000 chf (ca 1100$) gift certificate from a company which could only be spent on entertainment. Eating out here is so expensive that the restaurant we chose was only a bit above midscale. Of course a significant part of the tab was 50$ bottles of wine....

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Re: This blog post will make your head explode
« Reply #15 on: July 30, 2013, 01:37:59 PM »
Holy mother of god!

Dining out   $800   “No matter how i try, I cannot get this number down”

What? WHAAAAAAAAAT?

This is so beyond unreasonable that I can't...I can't...I just cant.

Even at my most unmustacian this would be ridiculous.  And we make a lot of money!  And we live in DC!  And we like expensive wine!

This. Just exactly this!

lisahi

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Re: This blog post will make your head explode
« Reply #16 on: July 30, 2013, 01:43:10 PM »

What is his income? I can't find it on the site.

It's not there, but it must be over $250,000 per year in order to spend $9500 per month. Unless he's in debt up to his eyeballs.

AlmostIndependent

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Re: This blog post will make your head explode
« Reply #17 on: July 30, 2013, 02:14:10 PM »
I should be more shocked. I'm coming to realize just how ridiculous people can be with their spending. I would hate to see them after the loss of a job or some other major finacial disaster. They would be in for a rude awakening. On the plus side it might help them put a dent in that $800/mo restaurant habit :)

NumberCruncher

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Re: This blog post will make your head explode
« Reply #18 on: July 30, 2013, 03:19:50 PM »
Hmmm...if we assume $10 lunch every work day for two people, that's $400. Then possibly add school lunches might get you up to $600, at which point eating out for dinner a couple times a week could push you over $800...but then I have no clue how the groceries are so high. I'm guessing there must be some food waste going on, in addition to buying really expensive food.

It's times like these I'm glad I never really stopped living like a poor college student - little/no change necessary in spending habits.


Albert

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Re: This blog post will make your head explode
« Reply #19 on: July 30, 2013, 03:42:12 PM »
I kind of assumed that those 800$ are for proper restaurants only and doesn't include work canteen/take away. If it includes that and for two people then of course it's nothing special and a tiny percentage of overall spending anyway. But then if it includes lunch out every day why is the grocery budget so high?

marty998

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Re: This blog post will make your head explode
« Reply #20 on: July 30, 2013, 03:44:58 PM »
Is that Joet's budget??

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Re: This blog post will make your head explode
« Reply #21 on: July 30, 2013, 04:05:45 PM »
$1,100 on groceries monthly. I can't even imagine what they're buying to spend that much on monthly groceries... gold plated carrots raised by baby unicorns?

I can understand the excessive dining out expense (don't agree with it, mind you) as they live in a big metropolitan area and if they hit several expensive restaurants several times a week, that can add up fast, but groceries? No. Not even locally grown, organic and fresh enough to slap your face would cost you that much unless you're buying and throwing out quite a bit or buying lots of boutique/convienence foods (like Whole Foods) and still they'd have to be throwing out quite a bit to rack up that kind of bill.

I get that he's a bit defensive, but the idea that he can't seem to see how to cut down the excessive amounts his family is spending is denial of the worst kind. Until they stop making excuses for it, they won't be able to fix it. It's really sad, as with the kind of money they're pulling in to spend that much each month, they should be FI like NOW and rolling in major bucks for their retirement.

cdub

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Re: This blog post will make your head explode
« Reply #22 on: July 30, 2013, 04:50:31 PM »

What is his income? I can't find it on the site.

It's not there, but it must be over $250,000 per year in order to spend $9500 per month. Unless he's in debt up to his eyeballs.

Or he's bringing in $9,500 a month after taxes ($150k or so) and not saving a dime.

AlmostIndependent

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Re: This blog post will make your head explode
« Reply #23 on: July 30, 2013, 04:53:13 PM »

What is his income? I can't find it on the site.

It's not there, but it must be over $250,000 per year in order to spend $9500 per month. Unless he's in debt up to his eyeballs.

Or he's bringing in $9,500 a month after taxes ($150k or so) and not saving a dime.

Probably a very likely scenario.

Albert

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Re: This blog post will make your head explode
« Reply #24 on: July 30, 2013, 04:55:31 PM »
Or he's bringing in $9,500 a month after taxes ($150k or so) and not saving a dime.

That wouldn't even be particularly high income if it's a two income household with both partners having a similar salary. Most likely they are not saving anything and might be in debt too, otherwise they wouldn't be seeking help.

cdub

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Re: This blog post will make your head explode
« Reply #25 on: July 30, 2013, 04:57:25 PM »
Probably a very likely scenario.

Especially because he says somewhere that he can only save $25/month in car repair to boost it back to $700. Heck I really wanted to I could get my car repair savings back up to $700 in one month. If you don't have that much wiggle room... he's probably not saving a dime besides what's in his 401k - assuming he has one.

sol

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Re: This blog post will make your head explode
« Reply #26 on: July 30, 2013, 07:17:08 PM »

What is his income? I can't find it on the site.

It's not there, but it must be over $250,000 per year in order to spend $9500 per month. Unless he's in debt up to his eyeballs.

9458/mo is only $113,500/year.  With our two incomes, we could totally afford that while still maxing out our deductions, and yet somehow we manage to live richly on $22k/year outside of our housing costs.  Even though we could afford to live like that, we spend less dining out annually with a family of five than he spends monthly.  It's really not that hard.  Don't eat out so often.

Maybe he has like sixteen kids?  I guess I can sort of envision a scenario where most of those expenses are reasonable, but it's a hell of a stretch.

minimalist

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Re: This blog post will make your head explode
« Reply #27 on: July 30, 2013, 08:55:14 PM »

What is his income? I can't find it on the site.

It's not there, but it must be over $250,000 per year in order to spend $9500 per month. Unless he's in debt up to his eyeballs.

9458/mo is only $113,500/year.  With our two incomes, we could totally afford that while still maxing out our deductions, and yet somehow we manage to live richly on $22k/year outside of our housing costs.  Even though we could afford to live like that, we spend less dining out annually with a family of five than he spends monthly.  It's really not that hard.  Don't eat out so often.

Maybe he has like sixteen kids?  I guess I can sort of envision a scenario where most of those expenses are reasonable, but it's a hell of a stretch.

The beginning of the post says "mom, dad, and two boys".

dragoncar

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Re: This blog post will make your head explode
« Reply #28 on: July 30, 2013, 09:15:29 PM »

What is his income? I can't find it on the site.

It's not there, but it must be over $250,000 per year in order to spend $9500 per month. Unless he's in debt up to his eyeballs.

9458/mo is only $113,500/year.  With our two incomes, we could totally afford that while still maxing out our deductions, and yet somehow we manage to live richly on $22k/year outside of our housing costs.  Even though we could afford to live like that, we spend less dining out annually with a family of five than he spends monthly.  It's really not that hard.  Don't eat out so often.

Maybe he has like sixteen kids?  I guess I can sort of envision a scenario where most of those expenses are reasonable, but it's a hell of a stretch.

Taxes?

Hadilly

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Re: This blog post will make your head explode
« Reply #29 on: July 30, 2013, 11:16:38 PM »
I went and read the original post and some of the comments and it really reinforced for me how challenging living in a high cost of living area can be. The base line is set so very very high, that one really has to consciously dial it down. For example, I think lululemon is a perfect case study - they make exercise clothes. If you wear an entire outfit, it is about $300 or so, throw in some shoes and you are easily up to $400 or $450. That is for ONE casual outfit. People around here have multiples of their workout clothes, so multiply accordingly. And that is just one tiny way one can overspend hugely.

Of course the guy can make changes, but it is so easy to get suckered into spending a bomb. All. The. Time.


randymarsh

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Re: This blog post will make your head explode
« Reply #30 on: July 31, 2013, 06:03:54 AM »
I really don't understand the “No matter how i try, I cannot get this number down".

Since I turned 21 I've spent way too much going out to bars, but it's not like I don't know how to reduce it. All you do is...not go to the bar!

kms

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Re: This blog post will make your head explode
« Reply #31 on: July 31, 2013, 07:01:24 AM »
I'm curious why nobody's mentioned the oh-so-obvious - killing three birds with one stone by cancelling the exercise/fitness plan, ditching one car, and getting a bike to drive around town.
That alone will save poor Bill a couple of hundreds each month.

aclarridge

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Re: This blog post will make your head explode
« Reply #32 on: July 31, 2013, 07:41:21 AM »
I think the writer of the article hit the nail on the head. Cutting down on expenses individually isn't going to do the job - he needs to get the big stuff more sorted out like where he lives (move close to school/work). The commuting is killing him from an ER perspective so if that's his goal, he probably needs to think about these big changes.

lisahi

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Re: This blog post will make your head explode
« Reply #33 on: July 31, 2013, 10:41:19 AM »

9458/mo is only $113,500/year.  With our two incomes, we could totally afford that while still maxing out our deductions, and yet somehow we manage to live richly on $22k/year outside of our housing costs.  Even though we could afford to live like that, we spend less dining out annually with a family of five than he spends monthly.  It's really not that hard.  Don't eat out so often.

Maybe he has like sixteen kids?  I guess I can sort of envision a scenario where most of those expenses are reasonable, but it's a hell of a stretch.

Hmmm... I was basing my $250,000 number on my own take-home income, although I did quick, probably "off" calculations in my head. I take home about $3600 per month on an $81,000 salary (so the $3600 is after taxes, health insurance, contributing to retirement, etc.). In order for him not to be in debt, he has to take home $9500 per month. So I was a bit off -- salary would be around $213,750 in order to take home $9500 per month. Then again, his salary is probably more than that because he would be in a higher tax bracket than I am. We also don't know his health insurance plan or what he contributes to retirement. So my estimate would be $215,000 to $250,000 per year salary.

In YNAB, you generally don't track retirement accounts on budget if it gets taken off your paycheck prior to you seeing a dime. He wouldn't list a 401(k) in his budget if that were the case.

sol

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Re: This blog post will make your head explode
« Reply #34 on: July 31, 2013, 01:47:09 PM »
I went and read the original post and some of the comments and it really reinforced for me how challenging living in a high cost of living area can be.

Seriously?  Please tell me you're trolling.

I went and read the post and comments again just to be sure I wasn't missing anything.  This guy lives in a giant house, from which he and his wife both drive long distances in financed luxury cars so that they can pay for parking on the other end.  He has a private maid come clean his enormous house that only has four people in it.  He must be shopping exclusively at Whole Foods to have such a stupid grocery bill.  His wife gets manicures and waxing and "likes to shop", and he's paying for private schools and gym memberships that I can't imagine they have time to use, since they're paying so much in daycare expenses just to have time to cover their jobs. 

Everything about this guy screams "consumerist asshole" and I can't believe the blogger in question tried to offer him sympathy and understanding instead of a smack upside the head.  His solution is so blindingly obvious, he doesn't need a blogger or YNAB to set him straight.  He just needs to pull his head out of his ass.

Still, I was sort of prepared to let it go.  He didn't write to MMM for advice, and he didn't ask to be subjected to this community.  But when someone here pipes up to say they understanding "how challenging" it is to live a ridiculously extravagant lifestyle that exceeds the luxuries enjoyed by royalty for most of human history, my jaw drops.  Nobody with a lick of sense should have anything but contempt or pity for this man.

dragoncar

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Re: This blog post will make your head explode
« Reply #35 on: July 31, 2013, 01:58:17 PM »
I went and read the original post and some of the comments and it really reinforced for me how challenging living in a high cost of living area can be.

Seriously?  Please tell me you're trolling.

I went and read the post and comments again just to be sure I wasn't missing anything.  This guy lives in a giant house, from which he and his wife both drive long distances in financed luxury cars so that they can pay for parking on the other end.  He has a private maid come clean his enormous house that only has four people in it.  He must be shopping exclusively at Whole Foods to have such a stupid grocery bill.  His wife gets manicures and waxing and "likes to shop", and he's paying for private schools and gym memberships that I can't imagine they have time to use, since they're paying so much in daycare expenses just to have time to cover their jobs. 

Everything about this guy screams "consumerist asshole" and I can't believe the blogger in question tried to offer him sympathy and understanding instead of a smack upside the head.  His solution is so blindingly obvious, he doesn't need a blogger or YNAB to set him straight.  He just needs to pull his head out of his ass.

Still, I was sort of prepared to let it go.  He didn't write to MMM for advice, and he didn't ask to be subjected to this community.  But when someone here pipes up to say they understanding "how challenging" it is to live a ridiculously extravagant lifestyle that exceeds the luxuries enjoyed by royalty for most of human history, my jaw drops.  Nobody with a lick of sense should have anything but contempt or pity for this man.

Wah wah wah, my house is too big so I need to hire someone to clean it for me....

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Re: This blog post will make your head explode
« Reply #36 on: July 31, 2013, 02:06:45 PM »
Is that Joet's budget??
That was my first thought . . . :)

kt

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Re: This blog post will make your head explode
« Reply #37 on: July 31, 2013, 02:48:11 PM »
it's things like 'this is reality' that are so annoying.
no, that is not Reality and it's not Life. it's a reality, a lifestyle. an a very luxurious and expensive one at that.

AlmostIndependent

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Re: This blog post will make your head explode
« Reply #38 on: July 31, 2013, 02:59:34 PM »
it's things like 'this is reality' that are so annoying.
no, that is not Reality and it's not Life. it's a reality, a lifestyle. an a very luxurious and expensive one at that.

Couldn't have said it better myself.

MilwaukeeStubble

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Re: This blog post will make your head explode
« Reply #39 on: July 31, 2013, 03:08:44 PM »
They posted "Bill's" response today and, while still a few light years away from Mustashionism, I have to say he took the criticism on YNAB in stride.

There's also a few more details on where the money is going and savings.

Still more spending than I could ever imagine, but he doesn't strike me as a complainer and seems to at least understand the situation.

http://www.youneedabudget.com/blog/2013/the-big-reply-from-bill-whose-budget-made-our-brains-explode/

kt

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Re: This blog post will make your head explode
« Reply #40 on: July 31, 2013, 03:14:21 PM »
Quote
We spend around $300 of the $800 on Starbucks.

:O

AlmostIndependent

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Re: This blog post will make your head explode
« Reply #41 on: July 31, 2013, 03:27:36 PM »
I'm impressed. He totally took that in stride.

MilwaukeeStubble

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Re: This blog post will make your head explode
« Reply #42 on: July 31, 2013, 03:30:18 PM »
Quote
We spend around $300 of the $800 on Starbucks.

:O

That's my reaction too.  I literally had to stop reading for a second to process that.

dragoncar

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Re: This blog post will make your head explode
« Reply #43 on: July 31, 2013, 05:39:17 PM »
They must make a double shit ton -  not only do they blow 10k/mo, they max out their retirement accounts, and contribute to college funds, and have at least a 1-mo buffer in cash, and pay taxes.
« Last Edit: July 31, 2013, 05:41:12 PM by dragoncar »

Hadilly

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Re: This blog post will make your head explode
« Reply #44 on: July 31, 2013, 05:52:05 PM »
No no, not trolling, just not writing clearly enough apparently. I meant that it is challenging to lead a mustachian life in a high COL area. When everyone around you is spending ungodly amounts of money, it is easy to take that as normal. Lifestyle creep will kill you financially.

mpbaker22

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Re: This blog post will make your head explode
« Reply #45 on: July 31, 2013, 05:55:08 PM »
I went and read the original post and some of the comments and it really reinforced for me how challenging living in a high cost of living area can be. The base line is set so very very high, that one really has to consciously dial it down. For example, I think lululemon is a perfect case study - they make exercise clothes. If you wear an entire outfit, it is about $300 or so, throw in some shoes and you are easily up to $400 or $450. That is for ONE casual outfit. People around here have multiples of their workout clothes, so multiply accordingly. And that is just one tiny way one can overspend hugely.

Of course the guy can make changes, but it is so easy to get suckered into spending a bomb. All. The. Time.

Who the hell buys exercise clothes for $300/outfit?  I need to get in on that action.
The last exercise item I bought was a $90 pair of shoes and a $10 2-pack of running socks bought from a work gift certificate.  The shoes now have 300+ miles on them.  All of my running shorts are at least 4 years old and essentially walmart priced.  I'm male so I run shirtless in the summer or the same shirts/under armors I've been wearing the past 5 years.  Total cost to me of all my exercise clothes was probably <$100.

Hadilly

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Re: This blog post will make your head explode
« Reply #46 on: July 31, 2013, 06:02:37 PM »
Who buys those $300 outfits?  All the other parents at my kids' preschool in Palo Alto, CA.

mpbaker22

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Re: This blog post will make your head explode
« Reply #47 on: July 31, 2013, 06:39:11 PM »
Just read the original and the reply! 
$300/Month on Starbucks ... Sometimes twice per day.  HOLY HELL

From the original post, his total transportation costs each month are $1,335.  For comparison, that's about my total spending per month.  Actually, I just calculated my spending to date this year and it's $1147/month exclusive of donations (church, homeless shelter, etc.).  I can't imagine spending $200 more than my total monthly spending, just on transportation.

All that being said, he has some positive changes.  It looks like he'll be knocking several hundred, if not several thousand, off his expenses going forward.

randymarsh

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Re: This blog post will make your head explode
« Reply #48 on: July 31, 2013, 07:42:16 PM »
His comment about private school pissed me off. Probably reading too much into it. I just don't like his holier-than-thou suggestion that private school is needed to find "standards" and "morals".


mpbaker22

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Re: This blog post will make your head explode
« Reply #49 on: July 31, 2013, 07:54:30 PM »
His comment about private school pissed me off. Probably reading too much into it. I just don't like his holier-than-thou suggestion that private school is needed to find "standards" and "morals".



What's exactly your problem?  If his understanding of morality differs from the common person's it would naturally follow that he wouldn't want his children associated with that. 
If you wanted to argue the cost vs. benefit of private school, or other alternatives to public schools, go ahead.