Author Topic: 2 High Income Households - How Mustachian Are You?  (Read 24009 times)

MustacheNY

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Re: 2 High Income Households - How Mustachian Are You?
« Reply #50 on: June 23, 2015, 08:04:28 PM »
The issue I have seen the most amongst my friends and in my own family, is that really high paying jobs are so demanding that if children are involved, there will be additional expense for some sort of childcare. 

For example, two parents who are working from 7:30am until 7:30pm are going to still require a nanny or some sort of help to at least drop the kids off at school, and pick them up.  You could potentially have neighbors or classmates take them, but you can't really rely on this every day.  Plus, there will be sick days and other days off that will interfere with a work schedule.  The good thing is that if you are making 400k a year, this is a relatively small expense.

Everything else can stay the same as a lower income family.  No reason to have inflated housing costs.  No reason to spend more on food.  Cook everything on Friday evening or Sunday and have enough leftovers to eat all week.  No need for new cars. No need for any other expense creep.

Although, usually these type of salaries are in extreme HCOL areas, and this will mean higher housing costs.  Also, while public schools may be a perfectly acceptable situation in some areas, finding a suitable public school in NYC for example may pose a challenge.  I am sure public schools in a town like Longmont are quite a bit of a different environment than those in NYC, although I have known families who were successfully able to navigate the public school system with their kids and they turned out just fine.

Bottomline, is there may be a few areas where higher expenses are justified with a 2 high income household, but for the most part higher spending levels are not a necessity.

CommonCents

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Re: 2 High Income Households - How Mustachian Are You?
« Reply #51 on: June 23, 2015, 08:13:55 PM »
    • The distribution of savings rates for self-identifying Mustachians in various earnings brackets, perhaps in chart format. I'd expect the percent of people who will be able to hit 80% savings on $30K/yr to be low, and those people are rare. But how many households making $200K can hit a 95% savings rate? Is there a certain point at which you can't really save a significant portion because of the time required at work (such as a pair of surgeons who might make $200K alone, but have crazy call schedules and must outsource things like childcare, cooking, cleaning)?
    [/list]

    Create a google document and invite people in the thread to mark it?

    Everything else can stay the same as a lower income family.  No reason to have inflated housing costs.  No reason to spend more on food.  Cook everything on Friday evening or Sunday and have enough leftovers to eat all week.  No need for new cars. No need for any other expense creep.

    Although, usually these type of salaries are in extreme HCOL areas, and this will mean higher housing costs.  Also, while public schools may be a perfectly acceptable situation in some areas, finding a suitable public school in NYC for example may pose a challenge.  I am sure public schools in a town like Longmont are quite a bit of a different environment than those in NYC, although I have known families who were successfully able to navigate the public school system with their kids and they turned out just fine.

    Bottomline, is there may be a few areas where higher expenses are justified with a 2 high income household, but for the most part higher spending levels are not a necessity.

    I agree in part, but - as you note, HCOL is associated with the areas you can get higher salaries.  And, with the higher salaries you often need to put in lots of extra hours, which means you either have no leisure time, or you choose to pay to make leisure time.  For example, when I worked for a large law firm, I paid more for an apartment in a ritzier area that was closer to work (twenty minutes walk) to save commuting time.  I didn't have to - but my leisure time was so precious that spending it commuting was not reasonable to me.  Similarly, you don't always have the time for batch cooking - heck, I didn't have time for grocery shopping!  I worked a lot of weekends.  That said, no need for a fancy car (I had none).  No need for a big house.  etc.
    « Last Edit: June 23, 2015, 08:20:49 PM by CommonCents »

    slowplod

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    Re: 2 High Income Households - How Mustachian Are You?
    « Reply #52 on: June 23, 2015, 08:21:29 PM »
    The issue I have seen the most amongst my friends and in my own family, is that really high paying jobs are so demanding that if children are involved, there will be additional expense for some sort of childcare. 
    This is invariably going to be an expense with two income households with children.  The question is how big of an expense.  You could possibly work some sort of flex schedule when the kids are in school full time, but before then I think your options are limited. 

    Everything else can stay the same as a lower income family.  No reason to have inflated housing costs.  No reason to spend more on food.  Cook everything on Friday evening or Sunday and have enough leftovers to eat all week.  No need for new cars. No need for any other expense creep.

    Although, usually these type of salaries are in extreme HCOL areas, and this will mean higher housing costs.  Also, while public schools may be a perfectly acceptable situation in some areas, finding a suitable public school in NYC for example may pose a challenge.  I am sure public schools in a town like Longmont are quite a bit of a different environment than those in NYC, although I have known families who were successfully able to navigate the public school system with their kids and they turned out just fine.

    Bottomline, is there may be a few areas where higher expenses are justified with a 2 high income household, but for the most part higher spending levels are not a necessity.

    We're in an extremely high COL area.  We both work in roles that only exist in mainly exist in large corporates, so for now it's stay in a major city, or take a massive haircut on one or both salaries.  We're saving a lower % of pay, but with a higher total than if we were to relocate at the moment. 

    Right now it's still worth it to stay put, but eventually when we scale down in jobs/hours lower COL will become more appealing.

    It's really not just housing that's more in high COL areas.  Anything from food, to child care, house help, taxes, construction etc is exponentially more expensive where we live than what people are quoting even in this thread

    mrshudson

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    Re: 2 High Income Households - How Mustachian Are You?
    « Reply #53 on: June 23, 2015, 08:39:22 PM »
    I don't know if this has been brought up before, but it goes back to MMM's post on out-cleaning one's wallet. At a more zen level, at least as it relates to cleaning or other things you consider a chore, I'd recommend examining why you are at war with the tasks. Approach this philosophically, than thinking of it as "problem" to "solve". And note that MMM's blog is not just about saving x% to get FIRE (although it is a nicely aligned bonus). It is about testing your own strengths, and embracing mild discomfort. It's a mindset and philosophy rather than mere number-crunching.

    IllusionNW

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    Re: 2 High Income Households - How Mustachian Are You?
    « Reply #54 on: June 24, 2015, 12:20:16 AM »
    You sound like us.  We're DINKs and each make six figure salaries.  I leave the house at 7 am and don't get back from work until 7 pm and during my busy season, I usually end up working 2-3 hours after I get home.  This leaves little time to do much else. 

    When we're busy, I find that our biggest expense is convenience food.  We end up eating out all the time because we are just too tired and too busy to cook. 

    That said, I do try and take advantage of lulls in my work schedule to cook things in bulk and store it in the freezer.  When combined with some meal planning (I got the Paprika app and it's really helped me organize), this year we've been limiting our eating out to once or twice a week during our busy season.

    We do outsource the heavy duty cleaning once a month.  We'll pick up the kitchen, do laundry and sweep/vacuum, but areas like the toilet and the shower are ones where (as someone mentioned up thread), we often have differences of opinion as to what is "dirty."  Outsourcing the cleaning for $150/month is better than marriage counseling and cleaning is pretty much the only thing we ever fight about.

    But in the end, we're technically FI right now and we're both naturally frugal people (other than our food issues), so I try not to beat ourselves up over the things that we do end up outsourcing.

    cripzychiken

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    Re: 2 High Income Households - How Mustachian Are You?
    « Reply #55 on: June 24, 2015, 06:50:55 AM »
    Outsourcing the cleaning for $150/month is better than marriage counseling.

    I'm surprised at the number of people that this is true for - myself included.  I thought I was crazy for 'wasting' money on a maid 'just to keep the wife happy'. Glad I'm not the only one and that there are a ton of families that see the same value in it that I do. 

    MustacheNY

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    Re: 2 High Income Households - How Mustachian Are You?
    « Reply #56 on: June 24, 2015, 07:57:59 AM »

    I agree in part, but - as you note, HCOL is associated with the areas you can get higher salaries.  And, with the higher salaries you often need to put in lots of extra hours, which means you either have no leisure time, or you choose to pay to make leisure time.  For example, when I worked for a large law firm, I paid more for an apartment in a ritzier area that was closer to work (twenty minutes walk) to save commuting time.  I didn't have to - but my leisure time was so precious that spending it commuting was not reasonable to me.  Similarly, you don't always have the time for batch cooking - heck, I didn't have time for grocery shopping!  I worked a lot of weekends.  That said, no need for a fancy car (I had none).  No need for a big house.  etc.

    I agree completely!  My point was that if I had to live in NYC on a 60000 a year family income, our housing cost would really not be any different from what it is now at ~400,000.  Obviously, 60000 is a lot of money for a family income for someone living in a rural area, but not so much for NYC.  I was approaching it from more of a relative perspective of higher vs more normative income within the same geographic area.

    As for the grocery shopping and cooking, what has worked for my family is to load up on meats and other food we can freeze once every month or month and a half.  Then fruits or vegetables we can find 5 minutes as least once a week to pick up on the way home.  For cooking, simple fast cooking recipes like seasoned baked chicken are really easy to prepare.  Takes 5 minutes to season, and it can cook in the oven while we are showering, and getting ready for bed.  We then have food for a week.  I have found food costs here in NYC to actually be really reasonable if we are careful about how we shop.  We always bring our own food to work for lunches.  We keep kosher, so the cost of our meats are insanely expensive relative to normal meats, and we still spend less than $500/month for a family of 4 and that includes a high meat diet, with lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, milk, and etc.  And we feed my kids grandparents a few times a week as well. 


    It's really not just housing that's more in high COL areas.  Anything from food, to child care, house help, taxes, construction etc is exponentially more expensive where we live than what people are quoting even in this thread

    Yes, childcare is more expensive in NYC, taxes definitely suck as we have a high NY state tax plus the NYC tax.  At higher income levels the deductions start to become much more limited.  However, as much as we hate the taxes we pay, we still take home a significant portion.  While we pay a higher rate for childcare, that is the only true necessity as an expense.  Our childcare provider also does some basic housework so our place is not a complete disaster when we get home.  But, this is our only real expense difference.  If you strip out housing and childcare, our core expenses for food, utilities, phones, car, parking, and etc. are well under $1500/month for a family of 4.  This is pretty much on par with what we would spend anywhere in the nation. 

    dreams_and_discoveries

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    Re: 2 High Income Households - How Mustachian Are You?
    « Reply #57 on: October 04, 2015, 10:07:52 AM »
    Well it's just me, so a 1 high income household over 100k....and I so outsource the tasks I see as drudgery - cleaning, the boring bits of gardening, odd jobs that need done - I get all my groceries delivered.

    I work 50+ hour weeks, commute 3 hours a day, and go out at least a few nights a week, so it's the minimum needed to keep me sane, and leave me weekends free to do what I want to do.

    I work freelance, so cutting back on hours is not an option - it wouldn't scupper promotions, it would end the contract! Given what I'm paid I don't feel too hard done by; and I like being able to come home to a cleaned house with fresh sheets on the bed. Makes those extra few hours at work bearable.

    MrsPete

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    Re: 2 High Income Households - How Mustachian Are You?
    « Reply #58 on: October 04, 2015, 11:19:54 AM »
    Once you have kids, you realize just how much time you were actually piddling away here and there:  Time on the computer, stopping to shop leisurely on the way home from work, sleeping.  The first two years of a child's life, you are incredibly busy because you're always doing something hands-on for the baby; that gets significantly better around age two.  Still, it all works out.

    When we were younger, poorer, and had small children, we outsourced NOTHING.  We were all about saving as much as possible while time /compound interest were on our side ... and, wow, we were successful beyond my wildest dreams.  We're not high wage earners, but we always understood that small, regular deposits make a difference in the long run.  In retrospect, the one thing we should've outsourced was cleaning.  It was a problem for me all day, every day, and my husband couldn't have cared less -- to this day, he still doesn't grasp how much it bothered me that I couldn't keep the house clean while the kids were small -- but it was the only thing about which we ever fought.  If I could go back in time, I'd spend the money for a cleaning lady every other week; just that bit of help would've made all the difference in the world to me. 

    We always split parenting duties down the middle, and now that our kids are adults, I can see that we did a good job -- nothing, nothing, nothing else in our whole lives matters as much. 

    As for the morality /ethics of outsourcing work -- if that's the way to say it -- I side with those who say, "No, I get no enjoyment, no sense of personal fulfillment from washing clothes or mowing the grass.  None."  However, I do think it's important that children are given an opportunity to learn to do these things and that they're required to contribute to the household.  People tend to mistake this argument, saying that anyone can learn to do laundry in an hour -- but that's not the point.  The point is that kids need to learn to balance social life, schoolwork and household responsibilities. 



    mr_orange

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    Re: 2 High Income Households - How Mustachian Are You?
    « Reply #59 on: October 04, 2015, 11:32:06 AM »
    My wife and I make low six figure salaries each.  We each work about 20-30 hours per week at our corporate job.  My wife has negotiated a work from home arrangement on Monday and Friday each week which helps us with grocery shopping, kid appointments, etc.  My job is super flexible and I can basically work whenever I want within reason.  I work a lot at night with teams in China as well. 

    This allows me to run our real estate businesses during the day which should produce 1.5X - 2X our base salaries at our W2 job this year.  The business is cyclical though and this won't last forever.  My goal is to accelerate FIRE and the W2 job provides stability while the real estate businesses provide upside. 

    We discuss changing jobs all the time, but it would literally cost us money to do so.  The time stress wouldn't be worth the marginally higher salary either.  For now I think our setup is pretty optimal given where we are on our FIRE trajectory. 

    Given our time constraints we basically outsource everything (accounting, lawn maintenance, childcare, etc.) and divert the energy that would be spent there to growing our business and enjoying ourselves. 

    soupcxan

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    Re: 2 High Income Households - How Mustachian Are You?
    « Reply #60 on: October 04, 2015, 03:15:49 PM »
    My wife and I make low six figure salaries each.  We each work about 20-30 hours per week at our corporate job.

    Can you share details of how this is possible? At the mega-corps I have worked for, part-time work was unlikely to get you six figures.

    mr_orange

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    Re: 2 High Income Households - How Mustachian Are You?
    « Reply #61 on: October 04, 2015, 03:33:50 PM »
    My wife and I make low six figure salaries each.  We each work about 20-30 hours per week at our corporate job.

    Can you share details of how this is possible? At the mega-corps I have worked for, part-time work was unlikely to get you six figures.

    Not sure....I know of many people in the software industry that make more than I do and work less.  My buddy works for Xero and makes $150k for 4 hours/day of work.  I guess a lot depends on your setup and skill set. 

    honeybbq

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    Re: 2 High Income Households - How Mustachian Are You?
    « Reply #62 on: October 05, 2015, 02:05:15 PM »
    We are a 2 x six figure income living in a HCOLA.  I work around 45 hrs a week. Spouse around 50.

    We increase our net worth by around 200k/year which includes our 401s/HSAs/IRAs, deferred compensation, employer contributions, extra contributions to the mortgage, and savings to taxable accounts. 

    Massive costs:
    -We have one daughter in daycare ($1500/month)
    -Our mortgage. We chose to live in a house very close to downtown with a yard. That made it very expensive. The plus sides are that is that I have a 12 minute commute (I work downtown) and we have a yard for playing, garden for growing veggies, etc. It is large. It's actually too large for my taste but my spouse wanted a place for his children to come visit. Theoretically, since we bought the place 3 years ago, it's gone up 200k in value. We will not retire in this home. Too big, too $$$.
    -taxes - local and income.(include 10+k/year property tax)

    Things we save on:
    -I cook almost every meal at home and we eat out rarely. I enjoy cooking.
    -We have old used cars and small commutes
    -we garden ourselves
    -we usually clean ourselves but I am having someone come in this week to do a "deep" clean. $300.  Our house is probably a little dirtier in general than the average home because of this. We also have 3 dogs and a toddler, so it won't stay clean long.
    -clothes - I usually buy my clothes and DDs at goodwill.

    Things we spend on:
    -yard guy about 1x a month ($60)
    -dog walker 2x a week
    -dogs food, boarding when we are on vacation, medicine, etc.
    -my hobbies... I have some expensive hobbies and we like to ski together. Lessons for the kiddo, etc.


    It is about balance. Some people might guffaw at my mortgage - but to me, it's worth it to cut down on commuting, which i hate. When it's time to retire, we'll own it outright and sell it and take our 7 figures to the bank laughing (hopefully). Some people hate cooking; I love it. Do what you have to do to make yourself sane. At some point, you realize $100 a month isn't worth the fight/time/effort whatever when you MAKE $100 an hour. Yes, I too believe in the intrinsic ability to take care of yourself, but I also like spending quality time with my daughter and my husband, so it's about choices.
    « Last Edit: October 05, 2015, 02:10:02 PM by honeybbq »

    EAL

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    Re: 2 High Income Households - How Mustachian Are You?
    « Reply #63 on: October 05, 2015, 02:55:42 PM »
    If you can afford to and choose to outsource some of your tasks--that is okay! It seems like you need someone to tell you that. Yes, if you are lower income and trying to grow wealth it is often most cost effective to do things yourself. However, you have to look at the monetary value you assign to your time. If it is worth it to you to pay someone to mow your lawn, clean your house, etc. and it isn't going to hinder your savings goals and plans. Then you have every right to feel that you are making a good decision for your situation. 

    soupcxan

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    Re: 2 High Income Households - How Mustachian Are You?
    « Reply #64 on: October 05, 2015, 08:01:34 PM »
    My wife and I make low six figure salaries each.  We each work about 20-30 hours per week at our corporate job.

    Can you share details of how this is possible? At the mega-corps I have worked for, part-time work was unlikely to get you six figures.

    Not sure....I know of many people in the software industry that make more than I do and work less.  My buddy works for Xero and makes $150k for 4 hours/day of work.  I guess a lot depends on your setup and skill set.

    I see. It's the tech industry that allows this. Much more difficult in other industries.

    sol

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    Re: 2 High Income Households - How Mustachian Are You?
    « Reply #65 on: October 05, 2015, 08:20:52 PM »
    If you can afford to and choose to outsource some of your tasks--that is okay! It seems like you need someone to tell you that...  However, you have to look at the monetary value you assign to your time. If it is worth it to you to pay someone to mow your lawn, clean your house, etc. and it isn't going to hinder your savings goals and plans. Then you have every right to feel that you are making a good decision for your situation.

    That's all well and good, if you're a self-centered asshole.

    That $100/month is still real money.  It may be small to you, but that amount of money would spay/neuter almost 50 pets, or cure malnutrition for 60 children in Darfur, or provide medical supplies and vaccinations for 2000 refugees.  I understand the desire to spend money so you can avoid being bothered by mowing your own lawn, but you're actively denying malaria nets and domestic abuse counseling to real human beings because you're literally too lazy to take care of your own shit.

    Don't pretend that money has no value just because you're rich.  Most of humanity is not as fortunate as you, and it pains me when I see people respond to their good fortune and prosperity by wasting their money on an ever-growing list of minor inconveniences instead of actually making a difference in the world.  You have the power to literally save lives, and you'd rather avoid mowing your lawn or walking your own dogs?

    I'm sorry, I can't join in the chorus here of people who applaud that decision.  It's yours to make, of course, but I won't celebrate you for it.

    dess1313

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    Re: 2 High Income Households - How Mustachian Are You?
    « Reply #66 on: October 05, 2015, 09:16:08 PM »
    I think you have to find your own balance.  We used to do everything ourselves, and then I felt so burned out that I told DH something had to give.  I thought what would give would be full-time employment for me, but in talking to a mentor at my job (who warned me that going part-time would likely stall my career), we decided to outsource more.  I hired a nanny (full-time during summer and half-time during the year to pick the kids up from school, work through homework, do their laundry, etc.), a house cleaner (once a week), and a gardener (twice a week).  My philosophy at the time was that I'd rather work at a job I enjoyed in order to have money to pay someone to do the things I don't enjoy. 

    +1!
    Everyone has certain things that are more or less stimulating.  For me its cleaning.  Its not worth my time when i can pick up a single over time shift and make way more than that.  Keep it reasonable.  Try relieving one thing and see if it helps.  See if there's anything else that would help.  Getting a cleaning service daily might be much but having someone come in every 2 weeks might help a lot.  It all depends on what helps you the most.

    MrsPete

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    Re: 2 High Income Households - How Mustachian Are You?
    « Reply #67 on: October 06, 2015, 08:18:55 AM »
    If you can afford to and choose to outsource some of your tasks--that is okay! It seems like you need someone to tell you that...  However, you have to look at the monetary value you assign to your time. If it is worth it to you to pay someone to mow your lawn, clean your house, etc. and it isn't going to hinder your savings goals and plans. Then you have every right to feel that you are making a good decision for your situation.

    That's all well and good, if you're a self-centered asshole.

    That $100/month is still real money.  It may be small to you, but that amount of money would spay/neuter almost 50 pets, or cure malnutrition for 60 children in Darfur, or provide medical supplies and vaccinations for 2000 refugees.  I understand the desire to spend money so you can avoid being bothered by mowing your own lawn, but you're actively denying malaria nets and domestic abuse counseling to real human beings because you're literally too lazy to take care of your own shit.

    Don't pretend that money has no value just because you're rich.  Most of humanity is not as fortunate as you, and it pains me when I see people respond to their good fortune and prosperity by wasting their money on an ever-growing list of minor inconveniences instead of actually making a difference in the world.  You have the power to literally save lives, and you'd rather avoid mowing your lawn or walking your own dogs?

    I'm sorry, I can't join in the chorus here of people who applaud that decision.  It's yours to make, of course, but I won't celebrate you for it.
    Wow, you seem quite sure the OP isn't doing any good in the world anywhere. 
    Why do you get to draw the line at what's appropriate and what isn't? 

    We outsource precious little at our house, but looking back I see clearly that I should've hired cleaning help when my children were small.  Remembering the conflict that topic always sparked, it would've been the wiser choice -- it would've made us all happier. 

    honeybbq

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    Re: 2 High Income Households - How Mustachian Are You?
    « Reply #68 on: October 06, 2015, 10:36:57 AM »
    If you can afford to and choose to outsource some of your tasks--that is okay! It seems like you need someone to tell you that...  However, you have to look at the monetary value you assign to your time. If it is worth it to you to pay someone to mow your lawn, clean your house, etc. and it isn't going to hinder your savings goals and plans. Then you have every right to feel that you are making a good decision for your situation.

    That's all well and good, if you're a self-centered asshole.

    That $100/month is still real money.  It may be small to you, but that amount of money would spay/neuter almost 50 pets, or cure malnutrition for 60 children in Darfur, or provide medical supplies and vaccinations for 2000 refugees.  I understand the desire to spend money so you can avoid being bothered by mowing your own lawn, but you're actively denying malaria nets and domestic abuse counseling to real human beings because you're literally too lazy to take care of your own shit.

    Don't pretend that money has no value just because you're rich.  Most of humanity is not as fortunate as you, and it pains me when I see people respond to their good fortune and prosperity by wasting their money on an ever-growing list of minor inconveniences instead of actually making a difference in the world.  You have the power to literally save lives, and you'd rather avoid mowing your lawn or walking your own dogs?

    I'm sorry, I can't join in the chorus here of people who applaud that decision.  It's yours to make, of course, but I won't celebrate you for it.

    Such vitriol!

    Good thing that most people that make a lot of money (the evil 1 and 2%ers) also give a lot of it away and are the highest contributors to charitable organizations.  Your implication is that one decision precludes another. I can hire someone to clean my house AND donate. Actually, in my household expenditures, the amount I donate is much, much higher than the amount I pay someone to clean my house.

    Hiring people to mow my lawn also creates an economy where the person hiring my lawn might also decide to donate to such worthy causes because they have money now, too.

    Sticking the $60 I pay someone to take care of my lawn a month in my bank account doesn't provide anyone any good, really.

    charis

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    Re: 2 High Income Households - How Mustachian Are You?
    « Reply #69 on: October 06, 2015, 11:01:43 AM »
    If you can afford to and choose to outsource some of your tasks--that is okay! It seems like you need someone to tell you that...  However, you have to look at the monetary value you assign to your time. If it is worth it to you to pay someone to mow your lawn, clean your house, etc. and it isn't going to hinder your savings goals and plans. Then you have every right to feel that you are making a good decision for your situation.

    That's all well and good, if you're a self-centered asshole.

    That $100/month is still real money.  It may be small to you, but that amount of money would spay/neuter almost 50 pets, or cure malnutrition for 60 children in Darfur, or provide medical supplies and vaccinations for 2000 refugees.  I understand the desire to spend money so you can avoid being bothered by mowing your own lawn, but you're actively denying malaria nets and domestic abuse counseling to real human beings because you're literally too lazy to take care of your own shit.

    Don't pretend that money has no value just because you're rich.  Most of humanity is not as fortunate as you, and it pains me when I see people respond to their good fortune and prosperity by wasting their money on an ever-growing list of minor inconveniences instead of actually making a difference in the world.  You have the power to literally save lives, and you'd rather avoid mowing your lawn or walking your own dogs?

    I'm sorry, I can't join in the chorus here of people who applaud that decision.  It's yours to make, of course, but I won't celebrate you for it.

    Such vitriol!

    Good thing that most people that make a lot of money (the evil 1 and 2%ers) also give a lot of it away and are the highest contributors to charitable organizations.  Your implication is that one decision precludes another. I can hire someone to clean my house AND donate. Actually, in my household expenditures, the amount I donate is much, much higher than the amount I pay someone to clean my house.

    Hiring people to mow my lawn also creates an economy where the person hiring my lawn might also decide to donate to such worthy causes because they have money now, too.

    Sticking the $60 I pay someone to take care of my lawn a month in my bank account doesn't provide anyone any good, really.

    Not vitriol.  A good point well made.  The point is to recognize that the question of outsourcing should not only come down to whether you can afford it, it is worth it to you, and it doesn't derail your savings goals.  The $80-$160 that I spend on housecleaning per month could be put to much better use, it could change someone else's life, in fact.

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    Re: 2 High Income Households - How Mustachian Are You?
    « Reply #70 on: October 06, 2015, 11:32:32 AM »
    I don't know if this has been brought up before, but it goes back to MMM's post on out-cleaning one's wallet. At a more zen level, at least as it relates to cleaning or other things you consider a chore, I'd recommend examining why you are at war with the tasks. Approach this philosophically, than thinking of it as "problem" to "solve". And note that MMM's blog is not just about saving x% to get FIRE (although it is a nicely aligned bonus). It is about testing your own strengths, and embracing mild discomfort. It's a mindset and philosophy rather than mere number-crunching.

    ^^THIS^^  ^YES^ No, it wasn't brought up before, but I think it is so important to remember during a conversation such as this. I needed this reminder, thank you  :)

    honeybbq

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    Re: 2 High Income Households - How Mustachian Are You?
    « Reply #71 on: October 06, 2015, 11:33:35 AM »
    If you can afford to and choose to outsource some of your tasks--that is okay! It seems like you need someone to tell you that...  However, you have to look at the monetary value you assign to your time. If it is worth it to you to pay someone to mow your lawn, clean your house, etc. and it isn't going to hinder your savings goals and plans. Then you have every right to feel that you are making a good decision for your situation.

    That's all well and good, if you're a self-centered asshole.

    That $100/month is still real money.  It may be small to you, but that amount of money would spay/neuter almost 50 pets, or cure malnutrition for 60 children in Darfur, or provide medical supplies and vaccinations for 2000 refugees.  I understand the desire to spend money so you can avoid being bothered by mowing your own lawn, but you're actively denying malaria nets and domestic abuse counseling to real human beings because you're literally too lazy to take care of your own shit.

    Don't pretend that money has no value just because you're rich.  Most of humanity is not as fortunate as you, and it pains me when I see people respond to their good fortune and prosperity by wasting their money on an ever-growing list of minor inconveniences instead of actually making a difference in the world.  You have the power to literally save lives, and you'd rather avoid mowing your lawn or walking your own dogs?

    I'm sorry, I can't join in the chorus here of people who applaud that decision.  It's yours to make, of course, but I won't celebrate you for it.

    Such vitriol!

    Good thing that most people that make a lot of money (the evil 1 and 2%ers) also give a lot of it away and are the highest contributors to charitable organizations.  Your implication is that one decision precludes another. I can hire someone to clean my house AND donate. Actually, in my household expenditures, the amount I donate is much, much higher than the amount I pay someone to clean my house.

    Hiring people to mow my lawn also creates an economy where the person hiring my lawn might also decide to donate to such worthy causes because they have money now, too.

    Sticking the $60 I pay someone to take care of my lawn a month in my bank account doesn't provide anyone any good, really.

    Not vitriol.  A good point well made.  The point is to recognize that the question of outsourcing should not only come down to whether you can afford it, it is worth it to you, and it doesn't derail your savings goals.  The $80-$160 that I spend on housecleaning per month could be put to much better use, it could change someone else's life, in fact.

    Aren't you helping change the life of the person you're employing?? Pretty sure they have kids to feed, too.

    And really - are you going to take that $100 and donate it or are you doing to add it to your stash??
    « Last Edit: October 06, 2015, 11:35:34 AM by honeybbq »

    charis

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    Re: 2 High Income Households - How Mustachian Are You?
    « Reply #72 on: October 06, 2015, 12:07:10 PM »
    Aren't you helping change the life of the person you're employing?? Pretty sure they have kids to feed, too.

    And really - are you going to take that $100 and donate it or are you doing to add it to your stash??

    This is baffling logic and completely misses the point of considering these expenditures on a broader scale.  It sounds like you are saying that outsourcing housecleaning is irrelevant because people probably aren't going to donate their money anyway.   Well, the very least I can do is recognize that spending to make my life more convenient is wasteful and self-centered.  Once I can accept that, who knows where it can lead...


    pbkmaine

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    Re: 2 High Income Households - How Mustachian Are You?
    « Reply #73 on: October 06, 2015, 12:10:43 PM »
    I don't outsource household tasks for two reasons: 1) I'm cheap and 2) It's good exercise. I always found it hilarious that my friends paid to have their houses cleaned and paid again for the gym. Why not just clean your house for exercise?


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    Re: 2 High Income Households - How Mustachian Are You?
    « Reply #74 on: October 06, 2015, 12:52:53 PM »
    It's a lot of planning and maximizing value, but it's actually easy to stay frugal with no time. The main thing is see what you actually enjoy doing (my neighbor loves mowing his yard, I don't), and what you value your time at (I like to start at my free time is worth 1.5-2x my salary, more on the weekends)


    sidenote - before you can even think of outsourcing simple jobs, make sure you have your finances under control.  Spending is controlled, bills are all automated, no CC-debt, only mortgage and student loans that are being aggressively paid down, retirement is on track, e-fund in place, tons of savings, etc.  If you have $15k in CC debt and are trying to decide if a maid is worth it, go slam your hand in a door, it isn't worth it to pay someone else until you have everything else under control.

    Amazing post, lots of great advice that I am going to try to implement.  Basically I hate cleaning, and mowing the lawn on a weekend sucks.  I will probably do it for another year but I'm questioning the value.  We have no debt other than mortgage, are saving 150/yr and are always arguing about needing to do stuff around the house.

    Or buy/rent a home that does not have chores!

    Buy/create a home with no kitchen,grass,dining room. The money you will save you can have some one else cook for you while your working your way to FIRE. No more yard work,no more grocery shopping,no more cooking,no more dishes,less home repairs and more money!

    mr_orange

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    Re: 2 High Income Households - How Mustachian Are You?
    « Reply #75 on: October 06, 2015, 01:32:55 PM »
    Aren't you helping change the life of the person you're employing?? Pretty sure they have kids to feed, too.

    And really - are you going to take that $100 and donate it or are you doing to add it to your stash??

    ^^This...+1

    I understand the point Sol was trying to make, but it could have been made in a much better fashion. 

    Also, outsourcing tasks that are low value activities for those that are high earners creates employment for others.  Billionaires that own large companies do this too and provide W2 jobs for thousands of people.  Should they instead take those billions of dollars and give them all away to noble causes and do the work of thousands of people instead?  This seems like a completely ridiculous argument to me. 

    mm1970

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    Re: 2 High Income Households - How Mustachian Are You?
    « Reply #76 on: October 06, 2015, 02:47:33 PM »
    If you can afford to and choose to outsource some of your tasks--that is okay! It seems like you need someone to tell you that...  However, you have to look at the monetary value you assign to your time. If it is worth it to you to pay someone to mow your lawn, clean your house, etc. and it isn't going to hinder your savings goals and plans. Then you have every right to feel that you are making a good decision for your situation.

    That's all well and good, if you're a self-centered asshole.

    That $100/month is still real money.  It may be small to you, but that amount of money would spay/neuter almost 50 pets, or cure malnutrition for 60 children in Darfur, or provide medical supplies and vaccinations for 2000 refugees.  I understand the desire to spend money so you can avoid being bothered by mowing your own lawn, but you're actively denying malaria nets and domestic abuse counseling to real human beings because you're literally too lazy to take care of your own shit.

    Don't pretend that money has no value just because you're rich.  Most of humanity is not as fortunate as you, and it pains me when I see people respond to their good fortune and prosperity by wasting their money on an ever-growing list of minor inconveniences instead of actually making a difference in the world.  You have the power to literally save lives, and you'd rather avoid mowing your lawn or walking your own dogs?

    I'm sorry, I can't join in the chorus here of people who applaud that decision.  It's yours to make, of course, but I won't celebrate you for it.
    It also helps my cleaning lady put food in her kids' mouths.  So there is that.

    mm1970

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    Re: 2 High Income Households - How Mustachian Are You?
    « Reply #77 on: October 06, 2015, 03:04:14 PM »
    I also understood Sol's point, but there's also the other point:
    Paying cleaning person $75 every two weeks puts food on her kid's table.
    Buying vegetables at the farmer's market keeps the local economy going, and the local kids fed, as opposed to the large conglomerates.
    Eating organic, free range chickens and eggs from the local farms, same thing

    I'm all for insourcing and being resourceful, but think about why you are doing it also. There are many many people in life, and here, who will want to tell you how to spend your money. 
    From neighbors who think I should spend $2k a month on local organic food.  (Note: I choose to try and keep my budget to $400 a month instead.  And I write a big fat check to the elementary school.  My neighbor couldn't even afford $25 last year.)
    From strangers who think I need to be donating "X%" to: developing countries, the food bank, the church, the animal shelter, cancer reasearch, etc.
    From coworkers who think I need to be buying a bigger house, nicer vacations, better clothing, a Tesla
    From members on this board who think that coffee is a vice and I should give it up, drink water, and donate the difference

    Everyone has to make their own spending decisions.


    Now on to the OP:
    50 hours a week working, plus 56 hours of sleeping = 106 hours, leaving 62 hours for everything else.
    I know how you feel.  It's tiring, it's overwhelming.  It's too much work.
    I remember, after having my first kid, talking to my single friend about how she didn't have time to cook or do laundry, and I laughed.  Because I didn't know the loss of "free time" until then.

    Exercise: 30 mins to 60 min a day. Sometimes, up at 4:45 to swim at the pool for 45 mins. Sometimes a 30 min walk at lunch.  Sometimes a 30 min workout DVD.  Sometimes 15 minutes of pushups, squats, crunches, and weights.
    Cooking: bulk cooking on the weekend.  And reheating during the week.  And when it's gone?  You know, yesterday I worked 9 to 6, then went straight to a PTA meeting. Got home at 7:30 pm, then had to do some PTA work.  At 8 pm...I went into the kitchen, washed a head of lettuce for my lunch, peeled/deseeded a pomegranate, made a cold butternut squash/apple salad with squash we cooked this weekend, and scrambled two eggs for a snack for today.  Then by the time I was done with that, and putting away the dinner dishes so I could wash the lunch leftover dishes and the dishes I just made, it was 9 pm.  And I kissed the boys (husband put them to bed) and went to bed.

    Do I enjoy this schedule?  No.  But I do not have the luxury of working PT, as my job currently does not allow it.  If I have to leave at 4:30 to pick up the kids, then I have to start at 7:30 am.  If I have to be at work until after 6 pm for a meeting? Then I drop the kids off and get to work at 9 am.
    On the flip side, I've worked out some flexibility.

    I'm on the PTA board.  I take off here and there to do chores for that.  A few hours a week.
    My son is in baseball and music.  So sometimes I just leave to take him to practice.
    I only work 40 hours a week these days.  Maybe less sometimes.
    Pre-kid, we did all our home stuff. We just set aside a morning for it.
    Now, I totally admit we outsource cleaning.
    We occasionally outsource home maintenance.  (We do try to fix many things ourselves.  After several hours, we will call a professional. Recently it would be broken AC - tried a few times, couldn't fix it.  Also recently plumbing issues - we don't have a "snake" long enough to hit the problem area.)
    Of course we outsource school and child care.

    We were more mustachian before kids.

    honeybbq

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    Re: 2 High Income Households - How Mustachian Are You?
    « Reply #78 on: October 06, 2015, 04:40:29 PM »
    Aren't you helping change the life of the person you're employing?? Pretty sure they have kids to feed, too.

    And really - are you going to take that $100 and donate it or are you doing to add it to your stash??

    This is baffling logic and completely misses the point of considering these expenditures on a broader scale.  It sounds like you are saying that outsourcing housecleaning is irrelevant because people probably aren't going to donate their money anyway.   Well, the very least I can do is recognize that spending to make my life more convenient is wasteful and self-centered.  Once I can accept that, who knows where it can lead...

    It's baffling logic that I can help myself (by paying someone to clean my house so I don't have to) AND help someone else by employing them? Really? Isn't that what ALL jobs are? Isn't that how our economy and our culture work? I don't believe spending that money under this circumstance is a waste.  I guess you can, in your baffling logic make that argument, but I see nothing about how it is actually wasteful.  Is it self centered?? Certainly. On that I agree.

    But aren't we ALL self centered? Don't MMMs hoard money so they can choose how to spend their time?

    The implication made was that one shouldn't have house cleaners because we should be donating the money to more worthy causes. I don't see that many threads about donating to charities here... I'm sure there are some (I know I read one today has significant donating in their budget). It was also implied that one couldn't do both - hiring a house keeper AND donate to a worthy cause. And at least in my particular circumstance, that claim is unfounded.
    « Last Edit: October 06, 2015, 04:43:08 PM by honeybbq »

    firelight

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    Re: 2 High Income Households - How Mustachian Are You?
    « Reply #79 on: October 06, 2015, 04:54:37 PM »
    Aren't you helping change the life of the person you're employing?? Pretty sure they have kids to feed, too.

    And really - are you going to take that $100 and donate it or are you doing to add it to your stash??

    This is baffling logic and completely misses the point of considering these expenditures on a broader scale.  It sounds like you are saying that outsourcing housecleaning is irrelevant because people probably aren't going to donate their money anyway.   Well, the very least I can do is recognize that spending to make my life more convenient is wasteful and self-centered.  Once I can accept that, who knows where it can lead...
    Ha-ha by your logic, no one should go out to eat ever or do anything fun that costs money or increases convenience in life....  Because money spent for that is better spent on less privileged people.

    startingsmall

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    Re: 2 High Income Households - How Mustachian Are You?
    « Reply #80 on: October 06, 2015, 04:58:26 PM »
    We just had a conversation about hiring a housekeeper, literally 15 minutes ago. I NEVER thought I would be the type to do that.... my mom worked as a housekeeper (and I helped her on school breaks, etc.), so to see myself on the other side of that equation was just bizarre.

    At the same time, though, we're busy. We aren't pulling in crazy bucks because neither of us are in high-income fields (I'm a veterinarian, he's a minister), but between our FT jobs and my freelance writing/editing work, we're at around $135-140k/yr. Husband probably averages around 40 hrs/wk most weeks, but his hours are variable and unpredictable. I work 40 hrs/wk, plus 10-15 hrs/wk of freelance work, plus going to any church function that happens to take place when I'm off work. And we have a 3-year old. And dogs, horses, a cat, and chickens. 

    So, when I think about it.... we can continue to drive ourselves crazy trying to do it all, or we can cut back our savings rate a bit and help another family support themselves like my single mom did for us. When I think of it in those terms, it's kind of a no-brainer for me.

    Husband will be lining up a housekeeper this week! 

    csprof

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    Re: 2 High Income Households - How Mustachian Are You?
    « Reply #81 on: October 06, 2015, 09:08:31 PM »
    OP - We outsource a *lot*.  It's our biggest monthly expense group if you include daycare in there.  (Daycare, housekeeper who handles about half our cooking and all of our cleaning, yard).  100% worth it in our situation - demanding jobs we love, child we want to spend quality time with.  The upside is that with me doing 2/3rds of the cooking and outsourcing the rest, we don't do takeout or pre-fab, period, and we eat breakfast & dinner together as a family every day except my wife and my date nights.  That's something very important to us.  Oh, and we spend way too much on a house because it got us within no-car distance of both of our work and our daycare, so we walk or bike with our daughter to daycare.  Again - it was a money vs quality time together tradeoff, and I hate the idea of a car commute.

    The upside is that with those out of the way, we're doing OK on some of the other parts.  We own one car, a 2007 ford focus, probably a few too many bikes, no TV, spend $70/month on cell phone, etc.  My wife has pretty high-end dress requirements for her work that we just accept as a cost of doing business, though.  Our total income ranges from 350-500 depending on the year.  (If you're asking why we're not done yet, the answer is that we're a dual-Ph.D. couple whose real earning years started very late in life, and my wife had a decent pile of student loans to pay off after she finished that ate up a lot of her spare income for the first year or so.)

    We're not saving as much as I'd like - about 50% of post-tax net, though that's a slight lie because I count the money put in to college savings as a $1200/month "expense".  But it's enough given our future work plans, and the right balance for family happiness.  I crave having the option to quit my job much more than I actually want to quit my job -- I mostly want to know that I have the freedom to do anything I want, even though what I want to do right now is exactly what I'm doing.  Pick yer battles...

    Sol - you're underestimating the global value of specialization.  I do a lot more good for the world by spending an extra hour at the things I'm good at than cleaning a toilet.  I also think I do my daughter a lot more good by spending an extra hour with my family than cleaning a toilet, and I hope and believe that there's global value in raising people who will be productive contributors in their own right.  Overall advances in productivity are good for almost everyone -- and when they're not, it's not because it was bad to be specialized, it's because of things like manipulation of the legal and tax systems to favor the people who were already winning.  That's something very different from what should be an economically rational decision about whether to generalize or specialize, tempered by the (reasonably convincing) arguments that MMM puts forth about not being broadly incompetent.  Due to MMM's bad influence, I replaced by myself both a dead dishwasher and a leaking toilet in my house this last year, and had a great time doing it -- but I still don't want to clean the #*@ing thing on a weekly basis.

    Urchina

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    Re: 2 High Income Households - How Mustachian Are You?
    « Reply #82 on: October 06, 2015, 11:12:58 PM »
    To all of you who are tired of mowing your lawn:
    1. You don't have to mow it. The meadow look is in!
    2. You don't have to have a lawn. We here in California are really embracing this concept and it's pretty awesome.

    As for the rest: we both work full-time and have kids, pets and (in my case) several volunteer commitments. We outsource child care (two afternoons a week) and all major home-improvement work, including all plumbing more complicated than cleaning a sink trap. We do all of our own gardening, cleaning, painting and cooking. As a result, we eat simple meals, have a "rustic" yard where we grow a lot of our own fruits and vegetables, have let our lawns die, and live in a house that is clearly not serviced by a professional housekeeper. We live in a very HCOL area because of our jobs.

    We like our work and we like where we live. It's a really beautiful area with a very high quality of life. But because it's high-cost, we choose the most Mustachian path within our reach, so that we aren't broke when we retire.

    Edited:spelling
    « Last Edit: October 06, 2015, 11:14:39 PM by Urchina »

    charis

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    Re: 2 High Income Households - How Mustachian Are You?
    « Reply #83 on: October 07, 2015, 07:05:58 AM »
    Aren't you helping change the life of the person you're employing?? Pretty sure they have kids to feed, too.

    And really - are you going to take that $100 and donate it or are you doing to add it to your stash??

    This is baffling logic and completely misses the point of considering these expenditures on a broader scale.  It sounds like you are saying that outsourcing housecleaning is irrelevant because people probably aren't going to donate their money anyway.   Well, the very least I can do is recognize that spending to make my life more convenient is wasteful and self-centered.  Once I can accept that, who knows where it can lead...

    It's baffling logic that I can help myself (by paying someone to clean my house so I don't have to) AND help someone else by employing them? Really? Isn't that what ALL jobs are? Isn't that how our economy and our culture work? I don't believe spending that money under this circumstance is a waste.  I guess you can, in your baffling logic make that argument, but I see nothing about how it is actually wasteful.  Is it self centered?? Certainly. On that I agree.

    But aren't we ALL self centered? Don't MMMs hoard money so they can choose how to spend their time?

    The implication made was that one shouldn't have house cleaners because we should be donating the money to more worthy causes. I don't see that many threads about donating to charities here... I'm sure there are some (I know I read one today has significant donating in their budget). It was also implied that one couldn't do both - hiring a house keeper AND donate to a worthy cause. And at least in my particular circumstance, that claim is unfounded.

    Well, I was referring to your second point, not the first, sorry if that was unclear.  And I said nothing about not being able to hire a housekeeper and donate at the same time, I don't think anyone did.

    Ha-ha by your logic, no one should go out to eat ever or do anything fun that costs money or increases convenience in life....  Because money spent for that is better spent on less privileged people.


    No, I didn't say anything remotely close to that.  I reiterated the crazy notion that we examine our lives more closely.  Sorry if that idea bothers you.

    zinethstache

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    Re: 2 High Income Households - How Mustachian Are You?
    « Reply #84 on: October 07, 2015, 02:12:45 PM »
    Great post with lots of options for folks to consider. I am the worker bee, DH the at home putter-er. So, when he retired in 2011 90% of the house chores went to him and we let our house cleaner at that time go (my retired mom). My idea of clean does not align with his (common issue). So I do have to push here and there for consistency. I do at times threaten to pay for a house cleaner, in years past we supported family members to clean for us. We won't hire a service because 20 years ago we had a check stolen, and cashed by a cleaning service employee. Luckily they caught her, took her to court and the city won:) I got my money back.

    I work alot and after a massive disk rupture in 2013 I now have to limit my work time, no more 80 hour weeks and side gigs that eat up every spare minute. DH watches me like a hawk when I do to much "work".

    DH is very handy, DIY is his middle name and he especially enjoys the outdoor work. We own 4 properties and he rotates the yard maintenance. I would hire that out in a heartbeat.

    We pocket alot of extra cash DIYing so it does make a big difference to our budget and as MMM says there is intrinsic value in taking care of things yourself. DH is not much of a giver to others in that when pressed to help a family member in need, he will go reluctantly. He

    We are FI as of this year but are planning to live on our RE income starting in Jan. For us the time of hiring anything out is coming to a close. We've had 4 years to plan for it and I think we are ready!

    I do believe it is a balance of what makes you happy and what you can afford and most likely it helps an early retiree keep busy and feel satisfaction on DIY jobs well done.

    2Birds1Stone

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    Re: 2 High Income Households - How Mustachian Are You?
    « Reply #85 on: October 07, 2015, 02:25:00 PM »
    I guess we half fit your criteria.

    Both SO and I work 40-45 hours a week. With our commutes and lunch hour we are out of the house 50-55/hours a week each.

    High income? Run of the mill where we live $100k/yr for me $45-50k/yr for SO.

    We rent and our landscaping, leaf removal, most of snow removal, property maintenance is the landlord's responsibility. That takes a huge burden off of us, I see coworkers who own large homes struggling to find the time each weekend to get something done on the house/property.

    We do Laundry 2X a month, conveniently at SO's father's or mother's house which is a mile from us. (No Washer/Dryer in our Apt)

    As far as cooking goes, we usually do Oatmeal/Cereal at work for breakfast, make sandwiches or bring leftovers for lunch, and dinner we alternate cooking, whoever get's home first usually whips up something for dinner, this tends to be me, and I like to BBQ outside weather permitting, or cook something that usually takes no longer than 20-30 minutes.

    Cleaning, we try to keep the apartment as tidy as possible and once a month spend an hour vacuuming, dusting, and giving everything a thorough once over.

    No kids makes life a lot easier for us, we still find that even though we both work full time we have a LOT of free time to pursue our interests, hobbies, and spend plenty of time with family and friends.

    Frugal D

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    Re: 2 High Income Households - How Mustachian Are You?
    « Reply #86 on: October 07, 2015, 02:53:44 PM »
    At our earning peak (before I FIRE'd) we were grossing about 230k - well into 5 figures of monthly income. We have rarely EVER spent more than 3k monthly (and we are currently conducting an experiment to see if we can come in under 2K)...I generally think a more mustachian, high earning couple may not exist on these forums. ;)

    It was my ticket to FIRE anyway...and DW may be soon to follow.

    We're probably going to gross $300k this year and I continue to be as frugal as I've ever been. My wife was never a big saver before she met me, but I've been able to show her the light (with the help of all of you)!

    I agree, though, there's probably not a ton of high income earners who also adopt a mustachian lifestyle. I've often wondered if there were ever any execs of large companies lurking in these forums. That would be awesome.

    I'll be mustachian until I'm a billionaire...so forever.

    2Birds1Stone

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    Re: 2 High Income Households - How Mustachian Are You?
    « Reply #87 on: October 07, 2015, 02:57:41 PM »
    At our earning peak (before I FIRE'd) we were grossing about 230k - well into 5 figures of monthly income. We have rarely EVER spent more than 3k monthly (and we are currently conducting an experiment to see if we can come in under 2K)...I generally think a more mustachian, high earning couple may not exist on these forums. ;)

    It was my ticket to FIRE anyway...and DW may be soon to follow.

    We're probably going to gross $300k this year and I continue to be as frugal as I've ever been. My wife was never a big saver before she met me, but I've been able to show her the light (with the help of all of you)!

    I agree, though, there's probably not a ton of high income earners who also adopt a mustachian lifestyle. I've often wondered if there were ever any execs of large companies lurking in these forums. That would be awesome.

    I'll be mustachian until I'm a billionaire...so forever.

    That is BADASS! This year SO and I are netting $9k/month on average, and living off $3k/month on average. This kind of income to spending ratio really kicks things into overdrive. I am hoping we can keep spending constant and improve our incomes 5-10% per year till FIRE.

    CanuckExpat

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    Re: 2 High Income Households - How Mustachian Are You?
    « Reply #88 on: October 07, 2015, 03:15:57 PM »
    Whether you like the conclusions or not, Sol is pretty much right in what he says, it basically the definition of opportunity cost.
    Arguments that you already donate to charity, or that you are providing a job for your housekeeper don't change the fact that you are deciding that particular amount of resources you are allocating to housekeeping is better spent on having someone clean up after you instead of any other purpose you could use it for, such as providing to charity.

    I'm not saying it's a bad thing, and that it applies to everything. I make the same decision when I choose to invest a certain amount of funds instead of using it for anything else including charity.

    Similarly, when I eat a nice sandwich for lunch, the difference in cost between that sandwich and say perhaps a bowl of rice and beans implies in a sense I am deciding that enjoying that sandwich is more important than providing food for orphans.


    If I do decide to donate to charity, it still applies. If I donate $500 to say paint the local school, I am implicitly saying I believe that having the local school look good is a better use of resources then say saving 500 lives abroad (or whatever $500 gets you).

    Opportunity cost is a harsh mistress, but we can't pretend it doesn't exist because we don't like it, or by attacking the messenger.

    Of course we don't normally go out pointing this out to people, unless you are sadistic or an economist I suppose.

    If you were upset at Sol's position, you should think about why. Nothing he said is incorrect, but perhaps he forced you to conflict your inner notion that you are a good person with the need to be self consistent with our belief in opportunity cost. If that was the case we should thank Sol, not criticize or attack him.

    As for me, when I bite into a sandwich, I am perfectly happy with the realization that my enjoyment of the BLT is traded off on the lives of drowned Syrian kids I could have saved instead (or pick your example). I can't pretend opportunity cost doesn't exist just because it would make me feel better, I have to instead acknowledge the choices I am making, whether they implicit or explicit. Of course, I may just be sociopathic :)

    CanuckExpat

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    Re: 2 High Income Households - How Mustachian Are You?
    « Reply #89 on: October 07, 2015, 03:23:26 PM »
    Getting back to the OPs question, I'm with other people who have suggested that a 2 high income household are people I feel the least pity for if they complain about schedules (and I am in one of those household). You are high income for a reason, and you can really use it to your advantage to design your schedules and lives exactly in the way you want.

    Especially if you are on this board and once you have FU money. Don't have enough time in the day? Get your shit done and just start going home earlier , what are they going to do?

    BBub

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    Re: 2 High Income Households - How Mustachian Are You?
    « Reply #90 on: October 07, 2015, 03:42:23 PM »
    High Income DINK's.  Lawn service & maid every 2 weeks.  Some of the best money we spend each month.  No guilt here.

    Everything else is optimized... eating in, DIY, small commutes, frugal hobbies, 70ish% savings rate, and we even give a good bit to charity.  Avg monthly spend is about $3k including the domestic outsourcing.

    OP, Do what aligns with your values - whether it's hiring out the bullshit, or donating every cent.  Just make thoughtful, well informed decisions with a calculator firmly in hand.

    Sol - I admire your noble plan to work OMY and donate to charity.  But why stop there when you could donate all of your possessions, including your 6-7 figure stash, then live in a homeless shelter.  Your standard of living would still be higher than most of the people on earth.  Imagine all of the people & animals that would benefit.  By your logic, amidst so much worldly suffering, only a "selfish asshole" would continue living in a house and eating several meals per day.
    « Last Edit: October 07, 2015, 03:53:53 PM by BBub »

    NoraLenderbee

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    Re: 2 High Income Households - How Mustachian Are You?
    « Reply #91 on: October 07, 2015, 05:47:14 PM »
    Whether you like the conclusions or not, Sol is pretty much right in what he says, it basically the definition of opportunity cost.
    Arguments that you already donate to charity, or that you are providing a job for your housekeeper don't change the fact that you are deciding that particular amount of resources you are allocating to housekeeping is better spent on having someone clean up after you instead of any other purpose you could use it for, such as providing to charity.


    The poster sol responded to never said that hiring a housecleaner was better than *any other* use of money. He (she?) said that it could be enhance your life more than adding that extra $100 to your stash. The context of the discussion was different ways of using money to improve your own life. Sol's attack was unjustified because exactly the same argument could be made about every penny anyone puts toward *anything* except charity. It's just hypocritical (and rude) for sol to tear into someone for housecleaners while happily building his own stash.

    honeybbq

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    Re: 2 High Income Households - How Mustachian Are You?
    « Reply #92 on: October 08, 2015, 09:48:06 AM »
    Whether you like the conclusions or not, Sol is pretty much right in what he says, it basically the definition of opportunity cost.

    If you were upset at Sol's position, you should think about why. Nothing he said is incorrect, but perhaps he forced you to conflict your inner notion that you are a good person with the need to be self consistent with our belief in opportunity cost. If that was the case we should thank Sol, not criticize or attack him.



    Perhaps one needed to read between the lines, but he indicated people are"self centered assholes" that were "too lazy" to take care of their own shit, and that people were "wasting money instead of making a difference in the world". Simply because someone had a house keeper or hired someone to mow their lawn.

    Both of those things I take exception to.  There are other reasons besides being "too lazy" for why someone might hire people to clean their houses, as stated in my other posts. And I KNOW I make a difference in the world, based not only on my career, but what I do in my spare time, and also the foundations and charities I support.

    In the general scheme of things, he's probably right - but most MMMers actually do THINK before they spend. So he's berating the followers instead of assuming that we have done our due diligence.

    honeybbq

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    Re: 2 High Income Households - How Mustachian Are You?
    « Reply #93 on: October 08, 2015, 09:50:14 AM »
    Whether you like the conclusions or not, Sol is pretty much right in what he says, it basically the definition of opportunity cost.
    Arguments that you already donate to charity, or that you are providing a job for your housekeeper don't change the fact that you are deciding that particular amount of resources you are allocating to housekeeping is better spent on having someone clean up after you instead of any other purpose you could use it for, such as providing to charity.


    The poster sol responded to never said that hiring a housecleaner was better than *any other* use of money. He (she?) said that it could be enhance your life more than adding that extra $100 to your stash. The context of the discussion was different ways of using money to improve your own life. Sol's attack was unjustified because exactly the same argument could be made about every penny anyone puts toward *anything* except charity. It's just hypocritical (and rude) for sol to tear into someone for housecleaners while happily building his own stash.

    Exactly. Thank you for explaining my feelings more succinctly. We are ALL SELFISH and you know what, that's OK. Selfish is not a bad word.  When an airplane loses pressurization, you put on your OWN air mask first, THEN you put on your kid's and everyone around you. That is how the most good is done in the world.

    BlueMR2

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    Re: 2 High Income Households - How Mustachian Are You?
    « Reply #94 on: October 08, 2015, 09:53:39 AM »
    For those couples that have two high incomes and work 40+ weeks, how frugal do you manage to be?

    My wife and I own a home, no kids yet, and both work 50+ hours a week.  We're really struggling to keep up with the basics - grocery shop, cook healthy for ourselves, exercise, clean the house and mow the lawn.  It really eats up all of our (limited) down time. 

    Do you manage to insource all these activities?  How do you do it?  It's tempting sometimes to outsource some of these things since it represents such a small part of income, but we're trying to do the best we can

    We're worse off.  We both work those kinds of hours, but only 1 of us makes decent money.  We insource everything we can even at the expense of some of the fun we used to have.  Really, it's not too bad since many of those jobs have quite a bit of satisfaction upon completion.  However, it is really hard to get started on them when you're already wiped out from a long day/week at work...  Just gotta keep grinding!

    mm1970

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    Re: 2 High Income Households - How Mustachian Are You?
    « Reply #95 on: October 08, 2015, 01:35:15 PM »
    Whether you like the conclusions or not, Sol is pretty much right in what he says, it basically the definition of opportunity cost.
    Arguments that you already donate to charity, or that you are providing a job for your housekeeper don't change the fact that you are deciding that particular amount of resources you are allocating to housekeeping is better spent on having someone clean up after you instead of any other purpose you could use it for, such as providing to charity.


    I'm not saying it's a bad thing, and that it applies to everything. I make the same decision when I choose to invest a certain amount of funds instead of using it for anything else including charity.

    Similarly, when I eat a nice sandwich for lunch, the difference in cost between that sandwich and say perhaps a bowl of rice and beans implies in a sense I am deciding that enjoying that sandwich is more important than providing food for orphans.


    If I do decide to donate to charity, it still applies. If I donate $500 to say paint the local school, I am implicitly saying I believe that having the local school look good is a better use of resources then say saving 500 lives abroad (or whatever $500 gets you).

    Opportunity cost is a harsh mistress, but we can't pretend it doesn't exist because we don't like it, or by attacking the messenger.

    Of course we don't normally go out pointing this out to people, unless you are sadistic or an economist I suppose.

    If you were upset at Sol's position, you should think about why. Nothing he said is incorrect, but perhaps he forced you to conflict your inner notion that you are a good person with the need to be self consistent with our belief in opportunity cost. If that was the case we should thank Sol, not criticize or attack him.

    As for me, when I bite into a sandwich, I am perfectly happy with the realization that my enjoyment of the BLT is traded off on the lives of drowned Syrian kids I could have saved instead (or pick your example). I can't pretend opportunity cost doesn't exist just because it would make me feel better, I have to instead acknowledge the choices I am making, whether they implicit or explicit. Of course, I may just be sociopathic :)
    I don't think many people were arguing the truth of the matter, just the applicability. *His* values aren't everyone's values.  Someone on this board suggested that coffee is a vice, and you shouldn't drink it, and donate the saved money.  And also, if you can work for a living and donate to charity, you should do that, not retire early.  So...

    Didn't MMM have an blog post about limiting information and locus of control?

    So, would you rather: give someone a paycheck so they can feed their children -or- donate that $75 every two weeks to the food bank, so the unemployed person can go get free food?  Of course, employing someone means taxes, etc., also, so it's not a black/white issue.  But I read here, and elsewhere - ALL THE TIME about the lazy poor people on the government dole who just need to go out and get a job.  Anyway, there are shades of gray in that, and of course - employment vs. charity - it's an interesting thought and discussion.  I personally don't think working hard at a job is shameful.

    And on to the locus of control thought - I really want to try for a "low information diet", because there are things that break my heart that I cannot control.  So, our family had our first actual family photos taken this year.  They were great.  My 3 year old is adorable.  We all ended up in blue (because that's what was clean), but he was in red.  So there's my 3 year old, in a red t-shirt, Navy blue pants, and black velcro shoes.  Do some of you know where I am going with this?  Yeah, that poor Syrian toddler that washed ashore was 3 years old and dressed identically.  I didn't sleep for DAYS because of the similarities.  Did I donate?  No.  Why?  I donate elsewhere.

    Honestly, how much charity is the right amount?  I could retire right now and never work again, but I wouldn't be able to donate to charity.  "But you could donate time!"  Time is important too, but most charities need MONEY.  So unless I'm donating my time to raise money... (ironically I am the co-VP of fundraising for the PTA).  So, should I just work full time and give ALL my money away to charity, because I don't need it to live?  And just say "sorry kids, no college for you".  Should I do this for the rest of my life?

    I mean really, where is the line?  I prefer to donate locally.  And to some national groups about which I care.  I don't know the right answer, but most people don't.  Donating to the school enhances my kid's education, and the 300 kids in his school on free lunch.  Donating to the food bank makes sure those kids eat on weekends and in the summer. Donating to breast cancer research and screening saves lives.  Donating to the local "home" helps families get back on track.

    Abe

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    Re: 2 High Income Households - How Mustachian Are You?
    « Reply #96 on: October 08, 2015, 07:51:48 PM »
    I prefer to donate to charities dealing with potentially solvable problems. A lot of the crises in the world are social/politically generated crises that billions of dollars can't fix. I don't lose any sleep over that fact. It's sad that people are subjected to those situations when they aren't at fault, but that's not a problem money will fix.

    brooklynguy

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    Re: 2 High Income Households - How Mustachian Are You?
    « Reply #97 on: October 09, 2015, 08:33:10 AM »
    Sol's attack was unjustified because exactly the same argument could be made about every penny anyone puts toward *anything* except charity.

    I believe that was exactly sol's point (but, as Canuck pointed out, including (not excluding) pennies put towards charity).

    You should not interpret sol's post as an attack against any individual poster, including the author of the particular post to which his post nominally responded (which, I think, just happened to be a convenient platform for sol to use to frame his post).  I read sol's post, like many of his others, as broader commentary directed at the general "you" (that is, "us", including sol himself).  Sol's posts are influential in no small part thanks to his deliberate use of inflammatory rhetoric.  Here we are, four days later, still dissecting his words and reflecting upon whether and how to balance our desire for personal happiness with our moral imperative to improve the world (insofar as one exists) with our spending choices.  Mission accomplished.

    As Cathy has recently urged, we should try to read other posters' posts charitably.  A charitable reading of sol's post would find it provocative, but not offensive.  So be provoked, not offended.

    BBub

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    Re: 2 High Income Households - How Mustachian Are You?
    « Reply #98 on: October 09, 2015, 09:37:39 AM »
    Well said brooklynguy.  I think it goes without saying that Sol is a highly respected, extremely intelligent, valuable contributor to this forum.  When sol writes a post I pay attention.

    Respect the man, attack the idea. 

    But it's also appropriate to call him out for not personally living up to his radical views about the right way to behave.  Maybe he'll willingly admit that, by his own definition, he is a self-centered asshole (his words, not mine).  The line between critiquing a person vs an idea sometimes becomes blurry, but IMO when he climbed onto the stump to preach about moral spending choices - his own choices became fair game for critique.

    brooklynguy

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    Re: 2 High Income Households - How Mustachian Are You?
    « Reply #99 on: October 09, 2015, 10:37:32 AM »
    Maybe he'll willingly admit that, by his own definition, he is a self-centered asshole (his words, not mine).

    Yes, I think sol would readily admit, and in fact has numerous times already admitted, to personally falling somewhere on the sliding scale of "self-centered assholeness" (such as here, in response to a comment I made that was almost identical, in substance, to your "cardbox box theory" comment above).

    It's a recurring theme in the forum, and in sol's oeuvre of posts in particular, that we're all trying to reconcile our own selfish pursuit of happiness with our moral imperative to improve the world.  Thankfully, per the central thesis of this website, there is substantial overlap between accomplishing these objectives.  But there is not complete overlap, and, as sol likes to remind us, we should not lose sight of that fact.