Author Topic: Cut Yankuba's budget - face punches welcome  (Read 11708 times)

Yankuba

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1357
  • Location: Long Island, NY
Cut Yankuba's budget - face punches welcome
« on: January 18, 2015, 05:29:45 PM »
Below is my 2014 spending. It is high for some, low for others. I'm looking for some INSPIRATION to make some needed cuts. I've been on these boards long enough to see where cuts can be made, but I need a push or face punch.  And Mrs. Yankuba is not a fan of MMM (shhhhhhhh!).

Background: two "adults" plus one rascal (age 3). We live in a 2-bed/2-bath co-op (similar to a condo) in an expensive suburb of NYC (the schools are really good). The building that houses our apartment has a full time employee and mortgage - that gets bundled into the monthly maintenance charge as well as our heat, water, real estate taxes, landscaping, parking, building insurance and other items (e.g. administration). We also have to pay to use the laundry machines - we aren't allowed to have the machines in our unit.

Here we go - 2014 MONTHLY EXPENDITURES:

Charity (actual)...............................................................................$125
Clothing/shoes (actual - but some is gifts).....................................$140
Diapers (estimate)..........................................................................$75
Graduate school tuition, fees and books (actual)............................$460
Entertainment/restaurants (estimate).............................................$250
3 Small vacations (estimate - like to visit family)..............................$165
Groceries (estimate)..........................................................................$550
Gifts given to others (estimate).........................................................$150
Gym (actual).......................................................................................$190
Household repairs (actual)..................................................................$20
Insurance - auto (actual)....................................................................$69
Insurance - jewelry (actual)..................................................................$22
Insurance - umbrella (actual)...............................................................$16
Insurance - homeowners (actual).........................................................$42
Insurance - life (actual).........................................................................$60
Laundry and dry cleaning (estimate - $4 per load)................................$80
Lifelock (identity theft protection - actual)..............................................$42
Maintenance (RE taxes, heat, water, parking, insurance, etc.)...............$1058
Mortgage interest (not principal).............................................................$350
Preschool (actual)....................................................................................$375
Birthday party for 'lil Yankuba (actual)......................................................$56
Extracurricular activities for 'lil Yankuba (gym, music, etc.)........................$60
Medical (actual).........................................................................................$100
Memberships and subscriptions (estimate)................................................$15
E-commerce nonsense (estimate - books, batteries, toys, etc.).................$40
Haircuts (estimate)......................................................................................$50
Transportation (actual - commuter rail plus subway)..................................$260
Gas/tolls (actual).........................................................................................$83
Auto repairs (actual).....................................................................................$117
Utilities - Cable/Internet/Phone (actual).......................................................$155
Utilities - 2 smart phones (actual).................................................................$139
Utilities - electric bill (estimate).....................................................................$60

TOTAL = ~$5,336

My thoughts - it sounds like a ton, but for NYC it's not so terrible. I'm way ahead of my friends and relatives and we save more than $7K per month (401K, cash, mortgage principal). Plus, we get a large tax refund. The preschool expense will disappear in a couple of months and the mortgage interest is declining rapidly. Graduate school tuition is also only temporary. Diapers are finally gone as well.

Areas of improvement:

Clothing - Mrs. Yankuba and 'lil Yankuba are the guilty parities - I only spent $70

Gym - I spend $10 per month for a Planet Fitness membership but Mrs. Yankuba insists on a weekly workout w/ a trainer.

Lifelock - I had an identity theft scare a few years ago but this service is expensive. It is one of my few luxuries.

Maintenance - this is actually considered low maintenance for a 2-bed, 2-bath co-op in my neighborhood. Half of the maintenance is real estate taxes ($6K for 1100 sf - yay NYC!) and another large chunk is the mortgage on the complex (100% common with East coast co-op developments).

'Lil Yankuba's birthday party - $600 for a two hour gymboree party (including pizza and drinks) is extreme but we can't host people in our tiny quarters and 'Lil Yankuba is a winter baby (so no public park). He does get gifts - we end up returning most of them for store credit and/or re-gifting them - so the $600 expense is more like $300.

Verizon Wireless - I could switch to Cricket, Ting, etc.

Re: Insurance - I shop around on all of these and select high deductibles, but insurance around NYC is very high.

Comments, thoughts, inspiration are welcome!

-Yanks





firewalker

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 308
Re: Cut Yankuba's budget - face punches welcome
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2015, 05:43:18 PM »
I assume your take home is around 13K per mo?

ltt

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 740
Re: Cut Yankuba's budget - face punches welcome
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2015, 05:44:20 PM »
4 things stuck out to me:  First, was jewelry insurance--seems high, unless you are insuring a large amount of jewelry.  Second, the birthday party for Little Yankuba is very high.  What about pizza, cake (made by you), ice cream at a small café/restaurant with a few people.  As for the phone, I would switch.  We got Republic (suggested by someone on this board).  Initial outlay for the phone, but it's only $10 per month.  Entertainment/restaurants high.  Would you be able to start cooking more at home?

If you are getting a large tax refund, you may want to adjust your withholdings.

mm1970

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6654
Re: Cut Yankuba's budget - face punches welcome
« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2015, 05:51:12 PM »
Birthday parties for lil' Yankuba will get cheaper soon.  At about the age of 6 or 7, we cut WAY back because then they are in school, and how do you invite some and not others?  So this year (age 8) we did a sleepover with 3 friends.

Ha!  Our prop taxes are $6k on an 1100 sf house in Santa Barbara, so I feel your pain.

Can you cut back on clothing?  Get hand me downs for the little one?

I finally have come close to the pre-baby size, so I'm trying to spend 0 on clothing this year.

Yankuba

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1357
  • Location: Long Island, NY
Re: Cut Yankuba's budget - face punches welcome
« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2015, 05:55:14 PM »
I assume your take home is around 13K per mo?

$10.5K in cash plus $2.2K that goes into the 401K. Annual raises have been about 4% for both of us.

First, was jewelry insurance--seems high, unless you are insuring a large amount of jewelry.  Second, the birthday party for Little Yankuba is very high.  What about pizza, cake (made by you), ice cream at a small café/restaurant with a few people.  As for the phone, I would switch.  We got Republic (suggested by someone on this board).  Initial outlay for the phone, but it's only $10 per month.  Entertainment/restaurants high.  Would you be able to start cooking more at home?

If you are getting a large tax refund, you may want to adjust your withholdings.

Thanks! Others have pointed out the jewelry insurance was high so I went out and got other quotes and the two other quotes were exactly the same. We do need to work on the Bday party. I have to do more research re: the phone switch and I think I need to wait some time because we got iPhones through Verizon so I think we committed for two years with them. Mathematically, I should adjust my withholding but I'm one of those dummies that gets excited to do his taxes and get hit with a nice refund check every February. If I didn't get my refund then collecting the paperwork and filing the taxes would be anti-climactic. Entertainment/restaurants is only partially restaurants - it also includes attractions, museums, Mets games, etc. All that stuff is expensive in NYC - a day at the zoo can be close to $30 per person if you're not a member (which we are).

caliq

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 675
Re: Cut Yankuba's budget - face punches welcome
« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2015, 05:59:10 PM »
Is the jewelry insurance a separate policy from your homeowner's?  My insurance allows a rider on the homeowner's to cover specific high dollar items, but I'm not sure it's cheaper than a separate policy.

Yankuba

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1357
  • Location: Long Island, NY
Re: Cut Yankuba's budget - face punches welcome
« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2015, 05:59:44 PM »
Birthday parties for lil' Yankuba will get cheaper soon.  At about the age of 6 or 7, we cut WAY back because then they are in school, and how do you invite some and not others?  So this year (age 8) we did a sleepover with 3 friends.

Ha!  Our prop taxes are $6k on an 1100 sf house in Santa Barbara, so I feel your pain.

Can you cut back on clothing?  Get hand me downs for the little one?

I finally have come close to the pre-baby size, so I'm trying to spend 0 on clothing this year.

Thanks! I had sleepover BDay parties when I was a kid - they were fun and cheap! I don't know if we will be able to pull it off if lil Yankuba gets a sibling and they share a room - that would be weird.  The clothing was a real shocker because Mrs. Yankuba insists she hasn't bought any new clothes this year and 'lil Yankuba's clothes are always super inexpensive - Mrs. Yankuba gets wee little pants and tops for like $3 or $4 each. Yet somehow the total for the year was $1670.......
« Last Edit: January 18, 2015, 06:03:04 PM by Yankuba »

Yankuba

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1357
  • Location: Long Island, NY
Re: Cut Yankuba's budget - face punches welcome
« Reply #7 on: January 18, 2015, 06:01:20 PM »
Is the jewelry insurance a separate policy from your homeowner's?  My insurance allows a rider on the homeowner's to cover specific high dollar items, but I'm not sure it's cheaper than a separate policy.

Yes - it is a separate policy but from the same company. Maybe I should call the company and ask what the price would be if I did the jewelry insurance through a rider on the homeowners....Thanks!

ltt

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 740
Re: Cut Yankuba's budget - face punches welcome
« Reply #8 on: January 18, 2015, 06:08:10 PM »
Is the jewelry insurance a separate policy from your homeowner's?  My insurance allows a rider on the homeowner's to cover specific high dollar items, but I'm not sure it's cheaper than a separate policy.

Yes, Yankuba's jewelry should, hopefully, be put on a rider on his homeowner's policy.  That's why I'm thinking it's so high.

Also, as far as the phone, see what it costs to get out of the two-year contract.  If it's $350 per phone = $700.  But Republic plans run $10 per month (for unlimited talk and text) x 24 months x 2 phones = $480, compared to $139 x 24 months = $3,336.  Then there would be the intial outlay for the phones.  Long-term much better to switch phones.

Yankuba

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1357
  • Location: Long Island, NY
Re: Cut Yankuba's budget - face punches welcome
« Reply #9 on: January 18, 2015, 06:16:04 PM »
Is the jewelry insurance a separate policy from your homeowner's?  My insurance allows a rider on the homeowner's to cover specific high dollar items, but I'm not sure it's cheaper than a separate policy.

Yes, Yankuba's jewelry should, hopefully, be put on a rider on his homeowner's policy.  That's why I'm thinking it's so high.

Also, as far as the phone, see what it costs to get out of the two-year contract.  If it's $350 per phone = $700.  But Republic plans run $10 per month (for unlimited talk and text) x 24 months x 2 phones = $480, compared to $139 x 24 months = $3,336.  Then there would be the intial outlay for the phones.  Long-term much better to switch phones.

Thanks for the tip - I will call the homeowners folks tomorrow!

P.S. The insurance is for Mrs. Yankuba's jewelry. Yankuba doesn't wear fancy gold or jewels!!!

Yankuba

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1357
  • Location: Long Island, NY
Re: Cut Yankuba's budget - face punches welcome
« Reply #10 on: January 19, 2015, 07:54:00 AM »
Is the jewelry insurance a separate policy from your homeowner's?  My insurance allows a rider on the homeowner's to cover specific high dollar items, but I'm not sure it's cheaper than a separate policy.

Yes, Yankuba's jewelry should, hopefully, be put on a rider on his homeowner's policy.  That's why I'm thinking it's so high.


I called the insurance company - they said it would cost more to put my wife's engagement ring on the homeowners policy vs. the separate policy. Something about it being a blanket policy for $X worth of jewelry and not just one engagement ring for $X.

Rezdent

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 813
  • Location: Central Texas
Re: Cut Yankuba's budget - face punches welcome
« Reply #11 on: January 19, 2015, 09:25:26 AM »
Just throwing this out there.  It is good to start with the upstream questions...

Does Yankuba actually need jewelry insurance?
What are the chances of using this insurance?
How much would keeping this insurance cost over the years?  Would it be more than the jewelry?
Could Yankuba cover a loss without the insurance, sometimes referred to as self-insured?
And finally, is the value to mostly sentimental? Because insurance will not be able to mitigate sentimental loss anyway.

Spudd

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 215
Re: Cut Yankuba's budget - face punches welcome
« Reply #12 on: January 19, 2015, 09:46:57 AM »
A few thoughts.

Gifts given to others - $150/mo seems really high for this. How many people are you gifting to and how much are you spending on each? Is it possible to cut this down, either by having the "hey, we're both adults and there's not much we really want anymore, how about not getting each other bday gifts anymore?" discussion or by buying more inexpensive gifts?
Gym - Can the Mrs cut back to once/month with the trainer? That way she can still get a personalized plan and a once/month motivation session, but can do the rest of the workouts on her own.
Auto - do you really need to own a car living in NYC? Check if there are Zipcars in your neighbourhood.

aj_yooper

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1091
  • Age: 8
  • Location: Chicagoland
Re: Cut Yankuba's budget - face punches welcome
« Reply #13 on: January 19, 2015, 09:49:23 AM »
Upstream question: 

Do you need a car?  You don't appear to drive it much and you are in NYC.

You are doing a nice amount of saving each month.

Yankuba

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1357
  • Location: Long Island, NY
Re: Cut Yankuba's budget - face punches welcome
« Reply #14 on: January 19, 2015, 10:11:35 AM »
Just throwing this out there.  It is good to start with the upstream questions...

Does Yankuba actually need jewelry insurance?
What are the chances of using this insurance?
How much would keeping this insurance cost over the years?  Would it be more than the jewelry?
Could Yankuba cover a loss without the insurance, sometimes referred to as self-insured?
And finally, is the value to mostly sentimental? Because insurance will not be able to mitigate sentimental loss anyway.

The insurance is for Mrs. Yankuba's engagement ring. It's mostly for peace of mind - so she and I don't need to worry about theft or loss. The loss wouldn't hurt us financially, but it would sting and we would feel guilty about the loss (e.g. "how could we be so stupid"). Keeping the insurance over the cost of our lives would most definitely exceed the value of the ring, but that's true with most insurance.

A few thoughts.

Gifts given to others - $150/mo seems really high for this. How many people are you gifting to and how much are you spending on each? Is it possible to cut this down, either by having the "hey, we're both adults and there's not much we really want anymore, how about not getting each other bday gifts anymore?" discussion or by buying more inexpensive gifts?
Gym - Can the Mrs cut back to once/month with the trainer? That way she can still get a personalized plan and a once/month motivation session, but can do the rest of the workouts on her own.
Auto - do you really need to own a car living in NYC? Check if there are Zipcars in your neighbourhood.

Re: gifts given to others, it includes weddings ($250 per wedding, sometimes $300 - pretty standard in NYC), Christenings and 1st birthdays ($100 to $150), Mother's Day (three mothers), Father's Day (2 fathers), all the BDay parties for Little Yankuba's wee little friends (maybe 16 per year - but we try to regift), anniversaries (2 sets of parents), birthdays (parents and siblings) and holiday gifts for the family and the people who work for me. Also - we're at the age where our peer group is having babies, so we also have lots of baby shower gifts. Writing this all down makes me think we may actually spend more than $150 per month. I don't understand how MMM doesn't have gifts in his budget....they don't go to weddings, Christenings, baby showers, anniversary parties, retirement parties, bar mitzvahs, etc?

Gym - Mrs. Yankuba really likes the weekly workout and the guy she trains with really could use the cash - he is pretty hard up. So there's a little bit of charity involved.

Auto - we're in a NYC suburb (Long Island). So the car is necessary. Most people on Long Island have two cars - one for driving and one to take to the commuter rail in the morning. We're lucky we can walk to the commuter rail, so we only need one car. But I get my cars old and used. We do spend $20 per week on gas - the car gets good use.
« Last Edit: January 19, 2015, 10:30:15 AM by Yankuba »

aj_yooper

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1091
  • Age: 8
  • Location: Chicagoland
Re: Cut Yankuba's budget - face punches welcome
« Reply #15 on: January 19, 2015, 10:17:10 AM »
Auto Question:

Long Island walkscore of 27, car dependent.  Good job on walking to the train deal. 

Framing needs in terms of what most people do though is shaky to me.

sheepstache

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2424
Re: Cut Yankuba's budget - face punches welcome
« Reply #16 on: January 19, 2015, 10:30:05 AM »
So since you spent so much money on clothing without realizing how, you now realize you need to start tracking your expenses, right?

Why not cut cable and the landline?

ps. Are you saying Yankuba's clothing spending is $70 per month or per year? Because if it's per month, Yankuba is actually the guilty party since he's spending as much as Mrs. Yankuba and baby Yankuba combined :)

Agree about reconsidering the car thing since public transit is getting you to work (if it's just one of you working? I'm not sure).

Yankuba

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1357
  • Location: Long Island, NY
Re: Cut Yankuba's budget - face punches welcome
« Reply #17 on: January 19, 2015, 10:37:19 AM »
So since you spent so much money on clothing without realizing how, you now realize you need to start tracking your expenses, right?

Why not cut cable and the landline?

ps. Are you saying Yankuba's clothing spending is $70 per month or per year? Because if it's per month, Yankuba is actually the guilty party since he's spending as much as Mrs. Yankuba and baby Yankuba combined :)

Agree about reconsidering the car thing since public transit is getting you to work (if it's just one of you working? I'm not sure).

Thanks - if I cut the landline my cable and Internet would go up and I would actually pay more for the two than I spend now for the three. I have been thinking about cutting the cable cord...

Yankuba only spent $70 on clothes for the year - shoes for work! Expensive, but good work shoes last years if you treat them well.

TrMama

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2947
Re: Cut Yankuba's budget - face punches welcome
« Reply #18 on: January 19, 2015, 11:35:47 AM »
So now that Lil' Yankuba is out of diapers, you've directed that $75/mo to your investment account via an auto-transfer, right? That money won't be left lying around for Mrs. Yankuba to spend on luxuries . . .

Your gifting is pretty nuts. Can you discuss with your parents/siblings/etc. your desire to cut down on the amount of "stuff" in your lives? I bet they'd also like to spend less time buying, sending and finding homes for new gifts too.

Even if you're stuck in a phone contract for a couple years, you should be able to cut the plan to bare bones. I cut data from my plan before the end of the contract. I had to pay an $80 cancellation fee, but it saved me $40/mo.

Another benefit of cutting cable (beyond cost) is that it removes advertising from Lil' Yankuba's brain. He will no longer ask for X gross kid snack or Y annoying toy he saw advertised on the kiddie channel because he'll only get to watch whatever ad-free internet media you set up for him.

minimustache1985

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 174
Re: Cut Yankuba's budget - face punches welcome
« Reply #19 on: January 19, 2015, 12:26:08 PM »
The insurance is for Mrs. Yankuba's engagement ring. It's mostly for peace of mind - so she and I don't need to worry about theft or loss. The loss wouldn't hurt us financially, but it would sting and we would feel guilty about the loss (e.g. "how could we be so stupid"). Keeping the insurance over the cost of our lives would most definitely exceed the value of the ring, but that's true with most insurance.
Have you checked with Perfect Circle?  I would have to wear my ring for about 80 years without a loss for self-insurance to be cheaper than the appraised value (granted, I don't know what H actually paid and appraisals are generally higher).  A rider on my homeowners would have been more because it's a blanket X for jewelry, whereas PC takes into account that an e-ring is on your person most of the time which makes it more likely to have small damage claims but less likely for it to be stolen if your house is broken into.

Your gifting doesn't seem SUPER high for all the events you're going to but some of them seem unnecessary- for example you give anniversary gifts to your parents?  I could see for a big milestone anniversary, but every year seems excessive.  Adult birthdays could also be cut down, and mothers/fathers days are more about gestures- being sure to call, send a card or bring some flowers from a market if they're local to you, etc.  You make and save enough that you may feel like gifting is a high enough priority not to cut and that's fine, but I wouldn't dismiss scaling it back some.

NoraLenderbee

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1255
Re: Cut Yankuba's budget - face punches welcome
« Reply #20 on: January 19, 2015, 12:36:32 PM »
The insurance is for Mrs. Yankuba's engagement ring. It's mostly for peace of mind - so she and I don't need to worry about theft or loss. The loss wouldn't hurt us financially, but it would sting and we would feel guilty about the loss (e.g. "how could we be so stupid").

If the ring were lost or stolen, would the insurance payout actually lessen the sting or the guilt? Just something to consider.

Yankuba

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1357
  • Location: Long Island, NY
Re: Cut Yankuba's budget - face punches welcome
« Reply #21 on: January 19, 2015, 01:43:50 PM »
So now that Lil' Yankuba is out of diapers, you've directed that $75/mo to your investment account via an auto-transfer, right? That money won't be left lying around for Mrs. Yankuba to spend on luxuries . . .

Your gifting is pretty nuts. Can you discuss with your parents/siblings/etc. your desire to cut down on the amount of "stuff" in your lives? I bet they'd also like to spend less time buying, sending and finding homes for new gifts too.

Even if you're stuck in a phone contract for a couple years, you should be able to cut the plan to bare bones. I cut data from my plan before the end of the contract. I had to pay an $80 cancellation fee, but it saved me $40/mo.

Another benefit of cutting cable (beyond cost) is that it removes advertising from Lil' Yankuba's brain. He will no longer ask for X gross kid snack or Y annoying toy he saw advertised on the kiddie channel because he'll only get to watch whatever ad-free internet media you set up for him.

Good points. You don't have to worry about diverting extra money to Vanguard - I'm on top of that! The gifting is pretty nuts. My parents are at an age in which future birthdays/anniversaries are not guaranteed, so they like to host a brunch or dinner at a restaurant for their birthdays and anniversaries. Since we're being treated to a restaurant meal, my wife and I bring a gift (usually a restaurant gift certificate - my parents eat out constantly). This practice has migrated to my in-laws as well - plus my brother. Mrs. Yankuba isn't a fan of these "event meals" so when her birthday rolled around she said she didn't want to go out to eat with everyone and my mother (Momma Yankuba) flipped out - her feelings were hurt, it's a tradition, yadda yadda yadda. So we continue to have these "event meals," which require providing a gift or picking up the check (when it is your own birthday or anniversary). Our parents have been very generous with us throughout our lives - and they provide free childcare to Little Yankuba two days a week, so Mrs. Yankuba can go to work - so we're going to suck it up and do these "event meals."

Re: December gifts, Mrs. Yankuba and I told everyone we wanted to do a Secret Santa - everyone buys one gift for their Secret Santa - but we were voted down. So we bought everyone a bunch of gift cards and then everyone gave us cash and gift cards. It all probably washes out and is pretty silly.

Re: Mother's Day/Father's Day - gifts for our parents are probably not strictly required, but we think it is the nice thing to do since they did pay for our wedding and my wife's education - plus the babysitting.

I totally agree about the television. We were able to keep Little Yankuba away from the television from age zero to two (as recommended). Now he can only watch two shows a day but they are the educational shows. He watches the programs via YouTube, so the commercials are grownup commercials and he asks us to fast forward them.

The insurance is for Mrs. Yankuba's engagement ring. It's mostly for peace of mind - so she and I don't need to worry about theft or loss. The loss wouldn't hurt us financially, but it would sting and we would feel guilty about the loss (e.g. "how could we be so stupid"). Keeping the insurance over the cost of our lives would most definitely exceed the value of the ring, but that's true with most insurance.
Have you checked with Perfect Circle?  I would have to wear my ring for about 80 years without a loss for self-insurance to be cheaper than the appraised value (granted, I don't know what H actually paid and appraisals are generally higher).  A rider on my homeowners would have been more because it's a blanket X for jewelry, whereas PC takes into account that an e-ring is on your person most of the time which makes it more likely to have small damage claims but less likely for it to be stolen if your house is broken into.

Your gifting doesn't seem SUPER high for all the events you're going to but some of them seem unnecessary- for example you give anniversary gifts to your parents?  I could see for a big milestone anniversary, but every year seems excessive.  Adult birthdays could also be cut down, and mothers/fathers days are more about gestures- being sure to call, send a card or bring some flowers from a market if they're local to you, etc.  You make and save enough that you may feel like gifting is a high enough priority not to cut and that's fine, but I wouldn't dismiss scaling it back some.

I never heard of Perfect Circle - I will look into it!

The insurance is for Mrs. Yankuba's engagement ring. It's mostly for peace of mind - so she and I don't need to worry about theft or loss. The loss wouldn't hurt us financially, but it would sting and we would feel guilty about the loss (e.g. "how could we be so stupid").

If the ring were lost or stolen, would the insurance payout actually lessen the sting or the guilt? Just something to consider.

The guilt would be over losing something so valuable (even if it was technically stolen and not lost). Mrs. Yankuba isn't sentimental about the stone (they're commodities) and the band is plain.

PowerMustache

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 129
  • Age: 34
  • Location: Seattle
Re: Cut Yankuba's budget - face punches welcome
« Reply #22 on: January 19, 2015, 02:01:22 PM »
Let me see if I understand this engagement ring logic:

If the ring is uninsured and you lose it, you will have the feeling of 'how can I be so stupid'? But financially, it wouldn't be a problem to replace.

To avoid that feeling, you are paying for insurance. The insurance will cover the financial cost of the ring, IF you lose it (which you probably won't). The financial cost of replacing the ring wasn't the problem in the first place -- it was the feeling of being stupid enough to lose the ring. Can you explain how having insurance will help this feeling?

I think your logic is irrational and anti-mustachian and deserves a face punch. I have plenty of irrational and anti-mustachian thoughts too. You may choose to continue with the insurance, but I think it's important to acknowledge and the things holding us back from being more badass.

Insurance is only a 'good deal' when it protects you from outcomes with consequences so large that it would significantly impact your finances - like major medical expenses.

If I haven't convinced you yet, then have you considered applying the 'how can i be so stupid' logic to paying for unnecessary insurance that is delaying your financial goals?

Spondulix

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 640
  • Age: 39
  • Location: Los Angeles, CA
Re: Cut Yankuba's budget - face punches welcome
« Reply #23 on: January 19, 2015, 03:12:35 PM »
I see a couple mindset shifts that might help:

1. You said "we're doing better than our friends." Instead of using your friends as a gauge, starting looking at people around here (read lots of case studies). It doesn't matter what your friends do - it's about what you guys want.

2. The idea that "a $600 party is only $300 because we're getting gifts back." That's still $300 spent. How many people did you invite? How much would it cost to have those groups of friends/family to your house over 3 weekends? (I totally understand toddler life, but I always question with toddler parties who is it really for). Does Jr really notice the difference between having one friend or five? Getting one gift or 10? Having two pairs of shoes vs 10? A new dress every month? You're setting up spending habits for life here.

As for the ring thing - I totally understand the fear factor there. The mention on this thread reminded me that I need to take my engagement ring OFF my insurance plan (it's been 8 years). For $1k over ten years, I'd rather have DH take me on a nice trip (in celebration of not losing the ring, cause that's what it's about, right? ;) Realistically, does she wear it ever day? Is she forgetful? Is there somewhere in your place she can store that wouldn't be obvious if you had a break in? Ultimately, if it were lost or stolen (even with insurance), it's probably going to be pretty painful - not just because of the price, but the sentimental value (which no value can be put on). So why insure something to make the pain less over something that's irreplaceable in the first place?

savedough

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 128
Re: Cut Yankuba's budget - face punches welcome
« Reply #24 on: January 19, 2015, 03:17:13 PM »
Lifelock is expensive.    You can get identify theft insurance cheaper elsewhere.  Try Zander.com (Dave Ramsey listener for a few years until I outgrew him.) 

The birthday party is nuts.   $600 for a 3 year old.   That is more than I would spend on three birthday parties in a year.   And seriously, a three year old wont remember, doesn't care and might rather spend the day with mom and dad.    So who is the party for?  Your kid, your wife or your friends?  I know it's a once a year thing, but until you can really analyze why you are doing something and if the activity is meeting the goal, it deserves a face punch.   There are several expenses like that in your budget.  $75 for diapers is a crap-ton too.   I had two in diapers and didnt spend that.  I get diapers on Amazon Subscribe and Save and scour clearance racks for deals.

I get the gifts somewhat.  We spend a large portion of our budget on gifts as well, but they are usually plane tickets so relatives can come visit us since they make less and it is cheaper to fly one person here than our whole family there.      But if so much regifting is going on, just cut the gifts.   We host parties and ask people not to bring gifts for the kiddos.  They get stuff from us and grandparents so they arent deprived and since they've never expected a bunch, they dont get mad.   I'm not sure what will happen when they start going to bday parties outside of our friend circle and see other kids receiving a boatload of presents.

I think you are doing really well, much better than avg.  But MMM isn't about being better than avg.   Good luck.

Hurley82

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 32
Re: Cut Yankuba's budget - face punches welcome
« Reply #25 on: January 19, 2015, 04:43:40 PM »
Depending what iphones you have it may work out to sell them to help cover the costs of early termination fees and buying new phone outright through Republic. I just sold an iPhone 5s and 6+ for $950. This is enough to cover the new phones and early termination fees. We will immediately begin saving $70 a month. Feels great not to be chained to Verizon any longer.


Yankuba

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1357
  • Location: Long Island, NY
Re: Cut Yankuba's budget - face punches welcome
« Reply #26 on: January 19, 2015, 05:50:21 PM »
Let me see if I understand this engagement ring logic:

If the ring is uninsured and you lose it, you will have the feeling of 'how can I be so stupid'? But financially, it wouldn't be a problem to replace.

To avoid that feeling, you are paying for insurance. The insurance will cover the financial cost of the ring, IF you lose it (which you probably won't). The financial cost of replacing the ring wasn't the problem in the first place -- it was the feeling of being stupid enough to lose the ring. Can you explain how having insurance will help this feeling?

I think your logic is irrational and anti-mustachian and deserves a face punch. I have plenty of irrational and anti-mustachian thoughts too. You may choose to continue with the insurance, but I think it's important to acknowledge and the things holding us back from being more badass.

Insurance is only a 'good deal' when it protects you from outcomes with consequences so large that it would significantly impact your finances - like major medical expenses.

If I haven't convinced you yet, then have you considered applying the 'how can i be so stupid' logic to paying for unnecessary insurance that is delaying your financial goals?

Thank you but I don't think I get it. If the ring is lost or stolen I would be mildly out of sorts because of the hassle of buying a new ring and filing a claim but I wouldn't be angry or guilty or sad. The insurance is so my wife and I don't feel terrible, sad or angry if the ring is lost or stolen. It gives us the freedom to enjoy the ring without worrying about it. I think I would much rather dump the LifeLock which is double the price. Of course knowing what I know now I wouldn't have spent so much on the ring in the first place!

Yankuba

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1357
  • Location: Long Island, NY
Re: Cut Yankuba's budget - face punches welcome
« Reply #27 on: January 19, 2015, 06:06:34 PM »
I see a couple mindset shifts that might help:

1. You said "we're doing better than our friends." Instead of using your friends as a gauge, starting looking at people around here (read lots of case studies). It doesn't matter what your friends do - it's about what you guys want.

2. The idea that "a $600 party is only $300 because we're getting gifts back." That's still $300 spent. How many people did you invite? How much would it cost to have those groups of friends/family to your house over 3 weekends? (I totally understand toddler life, but I always question with toddler parties who is it really for). Does Jr really notice the difference between having one friend or five? Getting one gift or 10? Having two pairs of shoes vs 10? A new dress every month? You're setting up spending habits for life here.

As for the ring thing - I totally understand the fear factor there. The mention on this thread reminded me that I need to take my engagement ring OFF my insurance plan (it's been 8 years). For $1k over ten years, I'd rather have DH take me on a nice trip (in celebration of not losing the ring, cause that's what it's about, right? ;) Realistically, does she wear it ever day? Is she forgetful? Is there somewhere in your place she can store that wouldn't be obvious if you had a break in? Ultimately, if it were lost or stolen (even with insurance), it's probably going to be pretty painful - not just because of the price, but the sentimental value (which no value can be put on). So why insure something to make the pain less over something that's irreplaceable in the first place?

Thanks! Part of the reason why I did this exercise was because I thought we were doing so well saving 47% of our gross income but then I saw how much better so many fellow mustachians were doing, so I was inspired.

I just checked the log for last year's BDay party - it was $600 (well it was $520 plus $80 in tips for the teenagers who worked there) and we had 40 adults, 21 kids and 5 babies. Everyone got pizza and fruit and drinks, so that's about $290 for 90 minutes of entertainment and $230 for food. We got 24 gifts and either returned or regifted about 20 of the presents - so that's about $400. So really the party was about $200 to $250 out of pocket. I could realistically live without the whole ordeal of a party but the kids like it and it's a good opportunity to see our friends who we don't get to see enough of due to everyone's crazy schedules. $250 seems like a good price for that. If we didn't have a winter baby we would have done the BDay parties in a park near our apartment - maybe we will be able to do that with child #2.

Mrs. Yankuba does wear the ring every day but she has lost things of value before and is only very comfortable wearing the ring because of the insurance. I don't think there is sentimental value there - the stone is a commodity and the band is plain - but I am a dude and don't often do a good job recognizing feelings and emotions in others. Thanks again for the tips!

Yankuba

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1357
  • Location: Long Island, NY
Re: Cut Yankuba's budget - face punches welcome
« Reply #28 on: January 19, 2015, 06:17:58 PM »
Lifelock is expensive.    You can get identify theft insurance cheaper elsewhere.  Try Zander.com (Dave Ramsey listener for a few years until I outgrew him.) 

The birthday party is nuts.   $600 for a 3 year old.   That is more than I would spend on three birthday parties in a year.   And seriously, a three year old wont remember, doesn't care and might rather spend the day with mom and dad.    So who is the party for?  Your kid, your wife or your friends?  I know it's a once a year thing, but until you can really analyze why you are doing something and if the activity is meeting the goal, it deserves a face punch.   There are several expenses like that in your budget.  $75 for diapers is a crap-ton too.   I had two in diapers and didnt spend that.  I get diapers on Amazon Subscribe and Save and scour clearance racks for deals.

I get the gifts somewhat.  We spend a large portion of our budget on gifts as well, but they are usually plane tickets so relatives can come visit us since they make less and it is cheaper to fly one person here than our whole family there.      But if so much regifting is going on, just cut the gifts.   We host parties and ask people not to bring gifts for the kiddos.  They get stuff from us and grandparents so they arent deprived and since they've never expected a bunch, they dont get mad.   I'm not sure what will happen when they start going to bday parties outside of our friend circle and see other kids receiving a boatload of presents.

I think you are doing really well, much better than avg.  But MMM isn't about being better than avg.   Good luck.

Thanks for the tips! I'm going to dump LifeLock - it is pricey. It served its purpose after the identity theft scare, but as part of the scare I froze my credit (so nobody can get credit using our SSNs) and set up alerts on all our financial accounts - so every transaction is texted to us. If there is anything unauthorized, we can contact the financial institution and not be on the hook. We also set up challenge questions so people who obtain our PII cannot impersonate us over the phone and empty our accounts. LifeLock is a nice luxury to have, but it's more than $400 a year. Maybe I can negotiate a better rate when I call to cancel.

The diapers was just an estimate. We got them through Amazon Mom. I wasn't overpaying for them, I just didn't bother to map out how much I was paying per month.

We wanted to do a "no gift" BDay party for Little Yankuba. However, my wife did Internet research on how best to phrase it on the invitation and she learned that a lot of people get angry when told not to bring a gift - check it out online. Our close friend did a "no gifts" birthday party for her toddler. I told Mrs. Yankuba we should bring a gift because it's a close friend (and the phrasing on the invitation was something like "gifts aren't necessary" - which is kind of open ended), but we didn't bring a gift and it turned out we were the ONLY people who didn't bring a gift (we asked our friend after we saw the pile of gifts). So people are going to ignore the "no gifts" on the invitation and then the people who don't ignore it will feel bad when they see the pile of presents at the party. Just my two cents....

My wife and I really want to cut the gift giving with my parents, but they are really into presents and we were outvoted. It's so stupid but I guess we have to roll with it to maintain good relations. Fortunately we have the luxury of being generous with the gift giving for the time being.
« Last Edit: January 19, 2015, 06:30:10 PM by Yankuba »

Hey It's Me

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 715
    • Moe's Journal
Re: Cut Yankuba's budget - face punches welcome
« Reply #29 on: January 19, 2015, 06:21:53 PM »
Okay, I almost didn't comment here, because I felt the changes necessary were so blatantly obvious that you can probably figure them out yourself. That said, I did notice that you use the excuse "because this is NYC" a LOT to justify discretionary and wasteful spending. I live in NYC, so my comment comes with some context of been-there, done-that.

Here we go - 2014 MONTHLY EXPENDITURES:
Clothing/shoes (actual - but some is gifts).....................................$140

Clothing - Mrs. Yankuba and 'lil Yankuba are the guilty parities - I only spent $70

$140/month is madness. $70/month for a grown man, also madness. Cut that out. You have a toddler, and he/she needs new clothes every so often. While you can get these at thrift stores for cheap, call this $50 if you decide to shop via an outlet store.

Monthly Savings: $90

Quote
Entertainment/restaurants (estimate).............................................$250

Again, living in NYC doesn't justify this expense. Cut it out! If you have to go out (friends, etc.), check out the bar/restaurant's menu beforehand and make a mental note of the cheapest items. You're there to socialize/have fun with friends, not to eat like kings. Cut this to $100, at most... (Mine, as a single adult in the dating scene is roughly $75-100/month.)

Monthly Savings: $150

Quote
3 Small vacations (estimate - like to visit family)..............................$165

Bueno. Stamp of approval for family time :)

Quote
Groceries (estimate)..........................................................................$550

This is actually not bad for NYC.

Quote
Gifts given to others (estimate).........................................................$150

Nope. There is no justification for $150/month on gifts - where can I find friends/family like you??? One thing I've learned is sentimental gifts (books, hand-made stuff, etc.) usually makes people feel much more special and costs you next-to-nothing. Do that.

Monthly Savings: at LEAST $75

Quote
Gym (actual).......................................................................................$190
A lot of gyms in NYC offer personal training sessions and cost less that $190/month... Shop around! (~$100/month cost for a high-end gym, $90/mon savings)

Monthly Savings: ~$90

Quote
Insurance - jewelry (actual)..................................................................$22
Nope. Put $22 in your pocket each month, and leave the engagement ring at home if you're going to a shady part of town...

Monthly Savings: $22

Quote
Lifelock (identity theft protection - actual)..............................................$42
What? No. Put $42 in your pocket. Identity theft safety (like most others) is an expensive illusion.

Monthly Savings: $42

Quote
Birthday party for 'lil Yankuba (actual)......................................................$56
You spend $700 for a birthday for your 3-year old??? That's just madness. No this is not "a NYC thing." This is a "raising your kid to be spoiled" thing. Cut it out. Large cake costs $30, party favors ~$50, decorations ~$20.
Monthly savings: $48

Quote
Extracurricular activities for 'lil Yankuba (gym, music, etc.)........................$60
Your... 3 year old... goes to the gym... No comment.

Quote
Utilities - Cable/Internet/Phone (actual).......................................................$155
Did I just read the word "Cable?" What do you think you pay the exorbitant NYC prices for? You're paying for the free entertainment! Take advantage of it all! (Also Netflix.)

Gotta be $50/mon savings. And then shop for different phone/internet services. We pay ~$75/month.

Savings: $50-75

Quote
Utilities - 2 smart phones (actual).................................................................$139

Here you go.
Monthly Savings: $89

Quote
Maintenance (RE taxes, heat, water, parking, insurance, etc.)...............$1058

You have more insurance??? Dude, you guys are every insurance company's wet dream. In fact, I'm starting my own insurance biz - care to insure that bedpan and catheter too?

Break this out into line items, and I'm you'll find more opportunities to save.

Someone also mentioned getting rid of your car, since you're in NYC and travel via Subway anyways. Figure out how many car trips you take a month, and if Uber might not be a cheaper alternative.

Grand Total Monthly Savings from Above: $656 - $681, without even touching the car.

/(Well meaning) Facepunches administered. Honestly, you're saving a good deal for your income, but there are definite areas in which you're practically (and sometimes literally) giving away your hard-earned money. Good luck Yankuba! Looking forward to the updates.

Yankuba

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1357
  • Location: Long Island, NY
Re: Cut Yankuba's budget - face punches welcome
« Reply #30 on: January 19, 2015, 06:28:29 PM »
Depending what iphones you have it may work out to sell them to help cover the costs of early termination fees and buying new phone outright through Republic. I just sold an iPhone 5s and 6+ for $950. This is enough to cover the new phones and early termination fees. We will immediately begin saving $70 a month. Feels great not to be chained to Verizon any longer.

Thanks! I'm definitely going to setup a spreadsheet for this. At the minimum we will switch when the contracts are up - I think my wife may be complete and I have less than one year!

Yankuba

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1357
  • Location: Long Island, NY
Re: Cut Yankuba's budget - face punches welcome
« Reply #31 on: January 19, 2015, 06:48:40 PM »
Okay, I almost didn't comment here, because I felt the changes necessary were so blatantly obvious that you can probably figure them out yourself. That said, I did notice that you use the excuse "because this is NYC" a LOT to justify discretionary and wasteful spending. I live in NYC, so my comment comes with some context of been-there, done-that.

Here we go - 2014 MONTHLY EXPENDITURES:
Clothing/shoes (actual - but some is gifts).....................................$140

Clothing - Mrs. Yankuba and 'lil Yankuba are the guilty parities - I only spent $70

$140/month is madness. $70/month for a grown man, also madness. Cut that out. You have a toddler, and he/she needs new clothes every so often. While you can get these at thrift stores for cheap, call this $50 if you decide to shop via an outlet store.

Monthly Savings: $90

Quote
Entertainment/restaurants (estimate).............................................$250

Again, living in NYC doesn't justify this expense. Cut it out! If you have to go out (friends, etc.), check out the bar/restaurant's menu beforehand and make a mental note of the cheapest items. You're there to socialize/have fun with friends, not to eat like kings. Cut this to $100, at most... (Mine, as a single adult in the dating scene is roughly $75-100/month.)

Monthly Savings: $150

Quote
3 Small vacations (estimate - like to visit family)..............................$165

Bueno. Stamp of approval for family time :)

Quote
Groceries (estimate)..........................................................................$550

This is actually not bad for NYC.

Quote
Gifts given to others (estimate).........................................................$150

Nope. There is no justification for $150/month on gifts - where can I find friends/family like you??? One thing I've learned is sentimental gifts (books, hand-made stuff, etc.) usually makes people feel much more special and costs you next-to-nothing. Do that.

Monthly Savings: at LEAST $75

Quote
Gym (actual).......................................................................................$190
A lot of gyms in NYC offer personal training sessions and cost less that $190/month... Shop around! (~$100/month cost for a high-end gym, $90/mon savings)

Monthly Savings: ~$90

Quote
Insurance - jewelry (actual)..................................................................$22
Nope. Put $22 in your pocket each month, and leave the engagement ring at home if you're going to a shady part of town...

Monthly Savings: $22

Quote
Lifelock (identity theft protection - actual)..............................................$42
What? No. Put $42 in your pocket. Identity theft safety (like most others) is an expensive illusion.

Monthly Savings: $42

Quote
Birthday party for 'lil Yankuba (actual)......................................................$56
You spend $700 for a birthday for your 3-year old??? That's just madness. No this is not "a NYC thing." This is a "raising your kid to be spoiled" thing. Cut it out. Large cake costs $30, party favors ~$50, decorations ~$20.
Monthly savings: $48

Quote
Extracurricular activities for 'lil Yankuba (gym, music, etc.)........................$60
Your... 3 year old... goes to the gym... No comment.

Quote
Utilities - Cable/Internet/Phone (actual).......................................................$155
Did I just read the word "Cable?" What do you think you pay the exorbitant NYC prices for? You're paying for the free entertainment! Take advantage of it all! (Also Netflix.)

Gotta be $50/mon savings. And then shop for different phone/internet services. We pay ~$75/month.

Savings: $50-75

Quote
Utilities - 2 smart phones (actual).................................................................$139

Here you go.
Monthly Savings: $89

Quote
Maintenance (RE taxes, heat, water, parking, insurance, etc.)...............$1058

You have more insurance??? Dude, you guys are every insurance company's wet dream. In fact, I'm starting my own insurance biz - care to insure that bedpan and catheter too?

Break this out into line items, and I'm you'll find more opportunities to save.

Someone also mentioned getting rid of your car, since you're in NYC and travel via Subway anyways. Figure out how many car trips you take a month, and if Uber might not be a cheaper alternative.

Grand Total Monthly Savings from Above: $656 - $681, without even touching the car.

/(Well meaning) Facepunches administered. Honestly, you're saving a good deal for your income, but there are definite areas in which you're practically (and sometimes literally) giving away your hard-earned money. Good luck Yankuba! Looking forward to the updates.

Thanks for the help! You're on the ball with most of it! Here are my thoughts:

Re: clothing, I only spent $70 for the year. The rest was the wife and child. Their spending was excessive. Mrs. Yankuba still insists I tallied the figures incorrectly, lol

Re: Entertainment, you're spending more or less what I'm spending per person. When I dated I always did Thai or Japanese - it would be less than $15 per entree plus a shared appetizer - less than $45 total. If I wasn't excited about the date I would do Starbucks.

Re: gifts given to others - explained elsewhere. Wait 'til you hit the NYC wedding circuit!

Re: Gym - $10 for Planet Fitness for me plus $180 for my wife's 4 sessions with her personal trainer ($45 a pop) - which is part exercise and part charity because the guy is hard up. But I'm definitely not thrilled with the $180!

Re: Extracurricular activities for the child - it's hard to find free winter activities for energetic toddlers. So toddlers go to "classes," where the moms socialize and the kids play, dance, do music, play sports, etc. The "gym" is a kiddie gym with trampolines, ropes courses, etc. It's not like a grownup gym! In the spring/summer we go to the parks for free.

Re: Maintenance on the co-op - this is something you pay whenever you buy a co-op or condo. The insurance is for the complex (e.g. a storm tearing off the roof, broken sidewalks, etc.) and it is mandatory and separate from my personal co-op insurance that simply covers what is in between my walls. The maintenance for my building is actually very low - I was on the board of my old co-op and had access to large data sets (i.e. most of the other buildings in the neighborhood) and our maintenance is solid. My neighbor is a broker and she confirms we have the lowest maintenance in the town.

Thanks again!

Spondulix

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 640
  • Age: 39
  • Location: Los Angeles, CA
Re: Cut Yankuba's budget - face punches welcome
« Reply #32 on: January 19, 2015, 07:05:15 PM »
It's funny - I saw an alert on my neighborhood social media page that said, "Mommy and Me Playgroup - $30!" I was like, WTF?! Who needs to spend $30 to meet other moms in the neighborhood?? I would think that New York of all places would have community activities, meet up groups, etc ways to do classes and physical activities for MUCH less than $15/class. My three year old niece loves her gymnastics classes, but I think, I wouldn't even spend $15/weekly class for myself!

I really think that paying for classes is one of those "me too" exercises that we don't question nearly enough ("everyone else does it, so it's ok for us to do it, too"). What did parents do 20 or 30 years ago during the winter?  Same with personal trainers for that matter - you guys live in one of the most walking-friendly places in the world! (I have the same argument out here - we have "bad" weather about 8 days a year, yet there's a gym every other block)

MsPeacock

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1539
  • Location: High COL
Re: Cut Yankuba's budget - face punches welcome
« Reply #33 on: January 19, 2015, 07:08:45 PM »
$150 per month seems high and it sounds like from prior posts this could be cut. Just bite the bullet and cut the cost in half and be the cheap-ass or whatever. Who cares. It is excessive that anyone should expect a $250 wedding present from anyone. Or, don't attend the wedding/reception. Quit with the holiday gift card circle - it is silly and expensive. If you skip it for one year everyone else will catch on and adjust their behavior accordingly if they wish to do so.

Scale down the birthday parties. I recommend a 'cocktails and chaos' approach. Let the kids run around and play, adults consume beer/wine whatever - 2 hours. Serve hot dogs or pizza and call it a day. Don't get swept up in party favors (give a small bag of M&Ms and get on with your life). The big party trend is so expensive and crazy. Not sure how old your little bub is, but squeeze 3 or 4 kids in instead of inviting 20 to gymboree. $600+ for a party is nuts - put it in a college fund. (And I will add that I hosted an inside party this weekend for 10 8-year-olds at my house - I survived, they survived, everyone had a good time. It was 27 degrees outside.Total cost $58.)

The gym - do you really need it or can you find something cheaper or not at all?

Yankuba

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1357
  • Location: Long Island, NY
Re: Cut Yankuba's budget - face punches welcome
« Reply #34 on: January 19, 2015, 07:33:18 PM »
It's funny - I saw an alert on my neighborhood social media page that said, "Mommy and Me Playgroup - $30!" I was like, WTF?! Who needs to spend $30 to meet other moms in the neighborhood?? I would think that New York of all places would have community activities, meet up groups, etc ways to do classes and physical activities for MUCH less than $15/class. My three year old niece loves her gymnastics classes, but I think, I wouldn't even spend $15/weekly class for myself!

I really think that paying for classes is one of those "me too" exercises that we don't question nearly enough ("everyone else does it, so it's ok for us to do it, too"). What did parents do 20 or 30 years ago during the winter?  Same with personal trainers for that matter - you guys live in one of the most walking-friendly places in the world! (I have the same argument out here - we have "bad" weather about 8 days a year, yet there's a gym every other block)

30 years ago my mother went bowling with the other SAHMs and left me in the bowling alley nursery. I have nightmares about that nursery to this day, lol.

$150 per month seems high and it sounds like from prior posts this could be cut. Just bite the bullet and cut the cost in half and be the cheap-ass or whatever. Who cares. It is excessive that anyone should expect a $250 wedding present from anyone. Or, don't attend the wedding/reception. Quit with the holiday gift card circle - it is silly and expensive. If you skip it for one year everyone else will catch on and adjust their behavior accordingly if they wish to do so.

Scale down the birthday parties. I recommend a 'cocktails and chaos' approach. Let the kids run around and play, adults consume beer/wine whatever - 2 hours. Serve hot dogs or pizza and call it a day. Don't get swept up in party favors (give a small bag of M&Ms and get on with your life). The big party trend is so expensive and crazy. Not sure how old your little bub is, but squeeze 3 or 4 kids in instead of inviting 20 to gymboree. $600+ for a party is nuts - put it in a college fund. (And I will add that I hosted an inside party this weekend for 10 8-year-olds at my house - I survived, they survived, everyone had a good time. It was 27 degrees outside.Total cost $58.)

The gym - do you really need it or can you find something cheaper or not at all?

I would love to attend one of your BDay parties! Sign Little Yankuba up for 2016!

cashstasherat23

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 244
Re: Cut Yankuba's budget - face punches welcome
« Reply #35 on: January 19, 2015, 08:14:11 PM »
Not to be mean, but how old are you? From your posts it seems as though you are probably in your 30's...so why are you so concerned about spending money because other people think you should? Stand up for yourself!

If you do not want to give gifts to your parents or friends or siblings or do expensive event dinners, then don't! They will eventually accept it, and you will feel better because you are an adult making your own decisions about your money, not letting other people spend it for you. If you want to have a "no-gift" party for your child, then do it! If someone really wants to give a gift, they will, but it's not your responsibility. You have made your request clear.

Also, a note about the trainer-you cannot justify spending money because he needs it. That's insane! I need more money, but I doubt that my employer would consider that's a good reason to keep me on if they couldn't afford it. It's not charity, its needless spending.

Yankuba

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1357
  • Location: Long Island, NY
Re: Cut Yankuba's budget - face punches welcome
« Reply #36 on: January 19, 2015, 09:11:40 PM »
If you do not want to give gifts to your parents or friends or siblings or do expensive event dinners, then don't! They will eventually accept it, and you will feel better because you are an adult making your own decisions about your money, not letting other people spend it for you. If you want to have a "no-gift" party for your child, then do it! If someone really wants to give a gift, they will, but it's not your responsibility. You have made your request clear.

You have to pick your battles. My wife said she didn't want an event dinner and it soured her relationship with my mother. It wasn't worth it - regardless of who was right. Our friend threw a "no-gift" party and received a house full of gifts! Sometimes you have to go with the flow and keep up appearances while keeping your powder dry for bigger and more important conflicts.

caliq

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 675
Re: Cut Yankuba's budget - face punches welcome
« Reply #37 on: January 19, 2015, 09:14:53 PM »
If you do not want to give gifts to your parents or friends or siblings or do expensive event dinners, then don't! They will eventually accept it, and you will feel better because you are an adult making your own decisions about your money, not letting other people spend it for you. If you want to have a "no-gift" party for your child, then do it! If someone really wants to give a gift, they will, but it's not your responsibility. You have made your request clear.

You have to pick your battles. My wife said she didn't want an event dinner and it soured her relationship with my mother. It wasn't worth it - regardless of who was right. Our friend threw a "no-gift" party and received a house full of gifts! Sometimes you have to go with the flow and keep up appearances while keeping your powder dry for bigger and more important conflicts.

So basically you came here asking for face punches, you have received said face punches, and for nearly every wasteful budgetary category, you have an excuse as to why you can't lower it.  I'm confused as to what you were hoping to achieve?   So far by my count, you've cut one thing and saved $42/month...

Yankuba

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1357
  • Location: Long Island, NY
Re: Cut Yankuba's budget - face punches welcome
« Reply #38 on: January 20, 2015, 05:54:43 AM »
If you do not want to give gifts to your parents or friends or siblings or do expensive event dinners, then don't! They will eventually accept it, and you will feel better because you are an adult making your own decisions about your money, not letting other people spend it for you. If you want to have a "no-gift" party for your child, then do it! If someone really wants to give a gift, they will, but it's not your responsibility. You have made your request clear.

You have to pick your battles. My wife said she didn't want an event dinner and it soured her relationship with my mother. It wasn't worth it - regardless of who was right. Our friend threw a "no-gift" party and received a house full of gifts! Sometimes you have to go with the flow and keep up appearances while keeping your powder dry for bigger and more important conflicts.

So basically you came here asking for face punches, you have received said face punches, and for nearly every wasteful budgetary category, you have an excuse as to why you can't lower it.  I'm confused as to what you were hoping to achieve?   So far by my count, you've cut one thing and saved $42/month...

You forgot the mobile telephones - I am going to do that - that will be a big savings. And I called the homeowners insurance company to price out ring insurance through them - that was a great tip - exactly the type of info I was looking for. And we're thinking about skipping this years birthday party for the little guy and doing something at home even though it isn't a big savings (net post gifts). All the advice has been much appreciated - I'm sorry you didn't think the exercise was fruitful.
« Last Edit: January 20, 2015, 06:02:47 AM by Yankuba »

deborah

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8627
  • Location: Australia or another awesome area
Re: Cut Yankuba's budget - face punches welcome
« Reply #39 on: January 20, 2015, 06:06:50 AM »
The toddlers around here go to the LIBRARY and do FREE library fun things with all the mums (I think there are a few dads) - I know because they inundate the library at the times of the classes. I'm sure libraries in your area do this too.

Yankuba

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1357
  • Location: Long Island, NY
Re: Cut Yankuba's budget - face punches welcome
« Reply #40 on: January 20, 2015, 06:20:00 AM »
The toddlers around here go to the LIBRARY and do FREE library fun things with all the mums (I think there are a few dads) - I know because they inundate the library at the times of the classes. I'm sure libraries in your area do this too.

Yes, thank you - we do take the little man to the library for the books and toddler activities.

asauer

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 589
  • Location: North Carolina
Re: Cut Yankuba's budget - face punches welcome
« Reply #41 on: January 20, 2015, 07:43:02 AM »
Start potty training or switch to cloth diapers.  We switched to cloth when my twins were 2 and it saved us an absolute fortune.

Yankuba

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1357
  • Location: Long Island, NY
Re: Cut Yankuba's budget - face punches welcome
« Reply #42 on: January 20, 2015, 08:11:23 AM »
Start potty training or switch to cloth diapers.  We switched to cloth when my twins were 2 and it saved us an absolute fortune.

Thanks! We did it last month so we're in the clear!

caliq

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 675
Re: Cut Yankuba's budget - face punches welcome
« Reply #43 on: January 20, 2015, 08:24:35 AM »
If you do not want to give gifts to your parents or friends or siblings or do expensive event dinners, then don't! They will eventually accept it, and you will feel better because you are an adult making your own decisions about your money, not letting other people spend it for you. If you want to have a "no-gift" party for your child, then do it! If someone really wants to give a gift, they will, but it's not your responsibility. You have made your request clear.

You have to pick your battles. My wife said she didn't want an event dinner and it soured her relationship with my mother. It wasn't worth it - regardless of who was right. Our friend threw a "no-gift" party and received a house full of gifts! Sometimes you have to go with the flow and keep up appearances while keeping your powder dry for bigger and more important conflicts.

So basically you came here asking for face punches, you have received said face punches, and for nearly every wasteful budgetary category, you have an excuse as to why you can't lower it.  I'm confused as to what you were hoping to achieve?   So far by my count, you've cut one thing and saved $42/month...

You forgot the mobile telephones - I am going to do that - that will be a big savings. And I called the homeowners insurance company to price out ring insurance through them - that was a great tip - exactly the type of info I was looking for. And we're thinking about skipping this years birthday party for the little guy and doing something at home even though it isn't a big savings (net post gifts). All the advice has been much appreciated - I'm sorry you didn't think the exercise was fruitful.

Sorry if I came off a bit harshly, but you did ask for face punches ;)

I do think the exercise was fruitful for you, but I think you have a lot of areas where you could be making big, impactful changes, and instead you're focusing on the small things that are a lot easier to do.  You'll have more success if you stretch yourself a bit out of your comfort zone.

And for what it's worth, my favorite things to do as a child was wander in the woods behind our house with my little sister, or read a book, or hang out at a horse barn (brushing horses and cleaning stalls to "work" off lessons, not paying out the nose for them!).  Those are the memories that last -- I know I took gymnastics lessons for years, but I cannot tell you a single specific memory from them.  I also cannot tell you anything about a single birthday party before like 6th or 7th grade.  And for music, the only thing I remember is sitting on the kitchen floor "playing drums" on overturned pots, pans, and mixing bowls.  And that I hated the mandatory recorder lessons in elementary school.  And I grew up upper middle class in CT, with business-owner parents that had a very hard time saying no.  My husband still calls me spoiled ;D  YMMV, but a child doesn't need myriad scheduled activities in order to have a well-rounded, enriched childhood.  You're falling into the NYC parenting trap that has been written about so frequently lately. 

Yankuba

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1357
  • Location: Long Island, NY
Re: Cut Yankuba's budget - face punches welcome
« Reply #44 on: January 20, 2015, 09:09:27 AM »
If you do not want to give gifts to your parents or friends or siblings or do expensive event dinners, then don't! They will eventually accept it, and you will feel better because you are an adult making your own decisions about your money, not letting other people spend it for you. If you want to have a "no-gift" party for your child, then do it! If someone really wants to give a gift, they will, but it's not your responsibility. You have made your request clear.

You have to pick your battles. My wife said she didn't want an event dinner and it soured her relationship with my mother. It wasn't worth it - regardless of who was right. Our friend threw a "no-gift" party and received a house full of gifts! Sometimes you have to go with the flow and keep up appearances while keeping your powder dry for bigger and more important conflicts.

So basically you came here asking for face punches, you have received said face punches, and for nearly every wasteful budgetary category, you have an excuse as to why you can't lower it.  I'm confused as to what you were hoping to achieve?   So far by my count, you've cut one thing and saved $42/month...

You forgot the mobile telephones - I am going to do that - that will be a big savings. And I called the homeowners insurance company to price out ring insurance through them - that was a great tip - exactly the type of info I was looking for. And we're thinking about skipping this years birthday party for the little guy and doing something at home even though it isn't a big savings (net post gifts). All the advice has been much appreciated - I'm sorry you didn't think the exercise was fruitful.

Sorry if I came off a bit harshly, but you did ask for face punches ;)

I do think the exercise was fruitful for you, but I think you have a lot of areas where you could be making big, impactful changes, and instead you're focusing on the small things that are a lot easier to do.  You'll have more success if you stretch yourself a bit out of your comfort zone.

And for what it's worth, my favorite things to do as a child was wander in the woods behind our house with my little sister, or read a book, or hang out at a horse barn (brushing horses and cleaning stalls to "work" off lessons, not paying out the nose for them!).  Those are the memories that last -- I know I took gymnastics lessons for years, but I cannot tell you a single specific memory from them.  I also cannot tell you anything about a single birthday party before like 6th or 7th grade.  And for music, the only thing I remember is sitting on the kitchen floor "playing drums" on overturned pots, pans, and mixing bowls.  And that I hated the mandatory recorder lessons in elementary school.  And I grew up upper middle class in CT, with business-owner parents that had a very hard time saying no.  My husband still calls me spoiled ;D  YMMV, but a child doesn't need myriad scheduled activities in order to have a well-rounded, enriched childhood.  You're falling into the NYC parenting trap that has been written about so frequently lately.

No worries my Mustachian sister! Every journey begins with a single step. You won't believe it, but I was once as Mustachian as our spiritual leader himself - I lived at home, saving and investing virtually everything until I had enough assets and income to buy an apartment. Then I had to purchase toilet paper and pay property taxes and buy my own food and it gradually spiraled into the fat budget humbly presented to this forum.
 
The big, impactful changes are hard, but I hope to make some of them this calendar year! I thank everyone for their support - my friends as well as Mrs. Yankuba think MMM and his followers are kooks, but I love you all!

mm1970

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6654
Re: Cut Yankuba's budget - face punches welcome
« Reply #45 on: January 20, 2015, 01:23:12 PM »
Birthday parties for lil' Yankuba will get cheaper soon.  At about the age of 6 or 7, we cut WAY back because then they are in school, and how do you invite some and not others?  So this year (age 8) we did a sleepover with 3 friends.

Ha!  Our prop taxes are $6k on an 1100 sf house in Santa Barbara, so I feel your pain.

Can you cut back on clothing?  Get hand me downs for the little one?

I finally have come close to the pre-baby size, so I'm trying to spend 0 on clothing this year.

Thanks! I had sleepover BDay parties when I was a kid - they were fun and cheap! I don't know if we will be able to pull it off if lil Yankuba gets a sibling and they share a room - that would be weird.  The clothing was a real shocker because Mrs. Yankuba insists she hasn't bought any new clothes this year and 'lil Yankuba's clothes are always super inexpensive - Mrs. Yankuba gets wee little pants and tops for like $3 or $4 each. Yet somehow the total for the year was $1670.......
I've got 2 kids, they are 8 and 2.  So yes, we still have sleepovers.

The first ones, well we just moved the baby into our room for the night.  Note: we didn't do sleepovers for when the baby was under 1 year old.  That would be too nuts.

But since, we've had many sleepovers.  The most recent one, the neighbor's 3 daughters (aged 4 to 8) stayed over in the same room with our boys.  The room was wall to wall beds (toddler bed, big boy bed, costco cot, and mattress on the floor). 

We have had many sleepovers with just one boy (two different boys, just one at a time), and they sleep on the cot in the boys' room.  Sometimes they sleep on the couch (which is a sofabed).

His birthday sleepover we invited 5 boys, 3 came (one was out of town and one was sick), and two slept over.  They slept on the couch and floor of the living room.

It's totally not weird, but "sleepover" is a misnomer.  There is not sleeping.

As far as gifts go, that raised a red flag for me.  You have to learn to let go of "expectations".  So people "expect" $250 wedding gifts?  (Note, when I got married decades ago, we spent about $60 a head, and some of my family wrote us a check for $15).  There were years when gift exchanges were crazy because:

My husband's BIL's family has money and spends a lot on Christmas for the kids.
So hubby's sister and BIL spend a lot on his parents.  But to be "fair" (and to thank husband's parents for providing child care, etc.), they spent a lot on hubby/sister's parents.
So Hubby's parents spend a lot in return on hubby's sister, but then feel bad and spend an equal amount on us.

It took at least a decade to get them all to cut back, but it worked.  It's just complete craziness.

Now, on your son's 16 friends and the birthday parties, that I totally get because  I have two boys, and in the infant/toddler age there are parties.  And the parties include parents.  And sometimes it's your only social outlet. 

Some of us starting saying "no gifts please" when we hosted, which was nice.  So we totally listened.  I stopped throwing parties for my boys because what are they missing?  Nothing.  But I was happy to attend others' parties (a decreasing number every year).  We would spend, on average $10 per gift.  A small toy, a gift card, but MOST often, a book.  A book you like or a toy you like can be a truly thoughtful gift.  For a recent party for a 5 year old, I crocheted a cute hat (total cost: $2 in yarn) and bought a sticker book for a couple of bucks.

Blazin

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 33
Re: Cut Yankuba's budget - face punches welcome
« Reply #46 on: January 20, 2015, 01:37:00 PM »
Regarding birthday parties and presents we have done book exchanges, where each child attending brings a slightly used, wrapped book. The kids then get to pick another book and unwrap. It seems to work well because everyone is still bringing something to the party (ie, people didn't also bring presents), and it also doubles as a treat bag.   My kids generally haven't even cared that they weren't getting other presents as they were surrounded by their friends and having a good time. 

mm1970

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6654
Re: Cut Yankuba's budget - face punches welcome
« Reply #47 on: January 20, 2015, 02:17:41 PM »
Quote
Re: gifts given to others, it includes weddings ($250 per wedding, sometimes $300 - pretty standard in NYC), Christenings and 1st birthdays ($100 to $150), Mother's Day (three mothers), Father's Day (2 fathers), all the BDay parties for Little Yankuba's wee little friends (maybe 16 per year - but we try to regift), anniversaries (2 sets of parents), birthdays (parents and siblings) and holiday gifts for the family and the people who work for me. Also - we're at the age where our peer group is having babies, so we also have lots of baby shower gifts. Writing this all down makes me think we may actually spend more than $150 per month. I don't understand how MMM doesn't have gifts in his budget....they don't go to weddings, Christenings, baby showers, anniversary parties, retirement parties, bar mitzvahs, etc?

Gym - Mrs. Yankuba really likes the weekly workout and the guy she trains with really could use the cash - he is pretty hard up. So there's a little bit of charity involved.

I'm not going to bust you on the gym because gyms are my thing.

But wow, $100 to $150 for 1st birthday?  That seems excessive.  And I'm talking as someone who has a high income.  Although to be honest, when my 2nd son was born, a Chinese friend of mine gave me a red envelope with $100 in it.  Then a friend got married 4 weeks later (a mutual friend even), and I just moved the money over to a card for the wedding.

I don't know what MMM does for gifts and parties etc., but if you cultivate the right crowd, then gifts are much reduced or simply unnecessary.  My crowd doesn't really do that anymore. 

Yankuba

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1357
  • Location: Long Island, NY
Re: Cut Yankuba's budget - face punches welcome
« Reply #48 on: January 20, 2015, 02:46:10 PM »
Quote
Re: gifts given to others, it includes weddings ($250 per wedding, sometimes $300 - pretty standard in NYC), Christenings and 1st birthdays ($100 to $150), Mother's Day (three mothers), Father's Day (2 fathers), all the BDay parties for Little Yankuba's wee little friends (maybe 16 per year - but we try to regift), anniversaries (2 sets of parents), birthdays (parents and siblings) and holiday gifts for the family and the people who work for me. Also - we're at the age where our peer group is having babies, so we also have lots of baby shower gifts. Writing this all down makes me think we may actually spend more than $150 per month. I don't understand how MMM doesn't have gifts in his budget....they don't go to weddings, Christenings, baby showers, anniversary parties, retirement parties, bar mitzvahs, etc?

Gym - Mrs. Yankuba really likes the weekly workout and the guy she trains with really could use the cash - he is pretty hard up. So there's a little bit of charity involved.

I'm not going to bust you on the gym because gyms are my thing.

But wow, $100 to $150 for 1st birthday?  That seems excessive.  And I'm talking as someone who has a high income.  Although to be honest, when my 2nd son was born, a Chinese friend of mine gave me a red envelope with $100 in it.  Then a friend got married 4 weeks later (a mutual friend even), and I just moved the money over to a card for the wedding.

I don't know what MMM does for gifts and parties etc., but if you cultivate the right crowd, then gifts are much reduced or simply unnecessary.  My crowd doesn't really do that anymore.

We have been to some crazy first birthdays/Christenings/baby namings. Catering hall, DJ, open bar - the works. So I give a generous gift. The thing with $250 wedding gifts and $150 Christening gifts is that they come back to you so it usually nets to zero. It's the single people and the people without kids who go to these parties and give but don't get anything back.

LucyBIT

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 99
Re: Cut Yankuba's budget - face punches welcome
« Reply #49 on: January 20, 2015, 03:09:46 PM »
Why can't you take your kid to the park in the winter? Just bundle them up. If there's snow on the ground, that just means they can make snowmen/snowballs/snow angels/etc. Taking your kid outside when it's cold makes them more badass.