Author Topic: Help! - I might be a sucka  (Read 4524 times)

an1m3n00b

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Help! - I might be a sucka
« on: January 27, 2016, 06:55:27 AM »
This post isn't strictly about frugality, but more of a lifestyle-crisis I'm currently having. And this is going to ramble on a bit, as it covers multiple facets of my live, and multiple values balanced against each other - you know, because that's just life.

To start with I'm 22, I finally moved out of my parents house and got a real job less than a year ago. I love where I live, and I love my job. I don't provide for anyone but me and my cat. Some money stats:
pre-theft (pre-tax) income: $~35k/yr
Money in the bank: ~$1,500
I have a newer reliable 250cc motorcycle that I commute with. Worth ~$1600
I have a newly-opened 401K, without much in it.
I have no debt to my name, and never have.
My budget:
$675/mo rent
$108/yr rental insurance (it was mandatory)
$99/yr motorcycle insurance
$300/yr for prescription glasses
$40/mo prepaid smartphone
$55/mo cable internet
~$50/mo electric
$50/week grocery budget (includes toiletries, cat food, clothes, etc)
$30/paycheck spending money (down from $60)
vehicle maintenance and fuel $50/mo
I also spend about $100/yr on streaming video subscriptions.
$300/month hobbies (flying and travel)
altogether that comes to about $18k/yr

Now, pretty much all of you have noticed a huge discrepancy between my budget, my salary, and my bank balance. There are two big reasons for that.
1) Up until recently I owned a car:
2001 Hyundai Accent
Bought for $1500
$750 in maintenance (in just a few months, but alot was preventative and a $150 stereo)
$200 Registration
$76/mo!!! liability insurance
And then I hit black ice and rolled it:
$500 towing bill
$200 police extortion (citation)
$60 hotel
and also my car is now scrap metal
Grand total for 3 months and about 3000 miles of driving:
$3,660
So, basically:   FUCK. CARS. I will now be commuting by motorcycle, bicycle and taxi cab. Sure, basically everyone is telling me that I *need* a car. But between the awful soul-sucking commutes, the constant worry of being harassed by cops, the extortion-level cost of insurance and the fact that my commute is only 9 miles means I've made the executive decision to go car-free. And boy does it feel liberating!

And for reason #2:
I'm addicted to stuff. But I hate clutter.
Yeah, I said it. I'm completely 100% ashamed of it, its ok to throw rocks - I deserve it. Some of the things I own, what I paid for them, and how worthwhile it is to me:
Basic laptop $300 - used as my daily driver, so worth it
My old gaming PC its probably worth $200 (will be gifting to a family-member as I never use it)
My new gaming PC ~$800 - unsure of value to me, see below
Xbox 360 - I've had it for 4-5 years, so probably worth it. paid $150
Wii U - $350. not worth it.
PS vita $200 not worth it.
Gamecube - $50 - see below.
PS2 - $50 - see below
SNES - had since childhood - see below
super famicom - $60 - see below
HDTV that was given to me (cost $350 new) see below
high-end CRT TV $15 see below
Low end android tablet $90 - kinda worth it.
Gopro hero $130 - nope.
Turtle beach headset $30 = very worth it.
Low-end smartphone $70 - worth it
Walmart mountain bike $200 - not worth it, as it fell apart with minimal use
Used motorscooter $850 - worth it, as it was my main transportation for a year (now scrapmetal)
bed from childhood $??? (probably alot) - not worth it, as I prefer a floor futon, and its now worthless
Toolkit my advisor in college swore i needed, but didn't - $850 - HELL NO, $50 at harbor freight would've done nicely.
I also have hundreds of DVDs, blurays and video games, and probably almost 1000 books of various types.
In addition to a bunch of hobby gear, like MCU programmers, a sewing machine and a snowboard. Most of this stuff was inexpensive.
I also have way too many clothes - most don't fit properly because I lost a bunch of weight.

Below: I'm trying to change my lifestyle. I'd like to stop wasting time and money drooling over games I rarely play, and spend my time productively: reading thought-provoking books, designing things, playing with my cat, excercising, prepping my own food, etc. But occasionally I do like to game.

So this is my problem. And it's ruining my financial independence and my peace of mind. But how do I fix it? Despite all this, I've always *wanted* to become a minimalist. But at some point I want to do things, not just stare at an empty room. So where's the balance? How do I know if I'll use something *before* I buy it? How do I get rid of the crap I have, and more importantly how do I stop bringing worthless stuff in? (While still acquiring the things of genuine value) I'm not yet a hoarder, but I'm definitely afraid of treading into that territory!

I feel ashamed to even have this problem!


TLDR: I have and buy too much crap. How do I get rid of the crap I have, and know what crap is ok to buy and what isn't?

Sorry it's not really an FI, ER, or strictly MMM question. Also I apologize for my rambling.

GrowingTheGreen

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Re: Help! - I might be a sucka
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2016, 07:04:01 AM »
From personal experience, the best thing I ever did to reduce video gaming to was to cowboy up and sell my xbox.  Problem solved. So glad I did it.

Try focusing on your net worth as a goal. Use something like Mint to track it. Once you start focusing on that number, you'll find you will go to great lengths to make it grow. Including cutting expenses.

One easy step you can take is to automate your savings.  Makes it much can easier to not spend money when it ain't there.  I did a blog post about it a while back if you feel like reading up on it.

nereo

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Re: Help! - I might be a sucka
« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2016, 07:21:26 AM »
The thing that jumps out at me about your post is that you could benefit from an attitude adjustment.  You are calling taxation "theft", liability insurance "extortion" and the the presence of police both "harassment" and "extortion".   At some level you clearly understand that your purchases are whats leading you into this financial situation, but even there I see red flags.  The scooter (listed as 'scrapmetal' after one year) and the walmart bike (fell apart after minimal use) particularly worry me - While Walmart bikes are not really worth their price, they should still be functional after several hundred miles of biking.  Scooters shouldn't be scrap metal after one year.  ARe you maintaining your stuff? 

There are expenses you can cut all over the place.  Cable, phone, gaming consoles.  But it starts first with your attitude.
Sorry if that was harsh, but you asked for direct feedback.  There's no reason why you can't turn this around and become wealthy even with your $35k/yr salary (which is about where our SO have been over hte last several years).

an1m3n00b

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Re: Help! - I might be a sucka
« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2016, 07:47:05 AM »
The thing that jumps out at me about your post is that you could benefit from an attitude adjustment.  You are calling taxation "theft", liability insurance "extortion" and the the presence of police both "harassment" and "extortion".   At some level you clearly understand that your purchases are whats leading you into this financial situation,
I'm not blaming them for my financial situation, I just think that government is much too handsy with our money, and that we have very few freedoms left. This is unrelated to my financial situation. I'm not playing the victim here, just coloring my opinion.

Quote
but even there I see red flags.  The scooter (listed as 'scrapmetal' after one year) and the walmart bike (fell apart after minimal use) particularly worry me - While Walmart bikes are not really worth their price, they should still be functional after several hundred miles of biking.  Scooters shouldn't be scrap metal after one year.  ARe you maintaining your stuff?
At that point in my life I wasn't. Though the scooter was very poorly maintained even before i bought it. Both vehicles are probably repairable, but it's just not worth it to invest money in unreliable vehicles.

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There are expenses you can cut all over the place.  Cable, phone, gaming consoles.  But it starts first with your attitude.
Sorry if that was harsh, but you asked for direct feedback.  There's no reason why you can't turn this around and become wealthy even with your $35k/yr salary (which is about where our SO have been over hte last several years).
My internet (not cable TV, just internet service) and phone bill aren't what's killing my budget. The gaming consoles is right on the money - which I stated outright. I never implied my salary was the problem here. I believe I mentioned numerous times that the problem is my excess consumption. I think you're misunderstanding my situation and my intentions.


From personal experience, the best thing I ever did to reduce video gaming to was to cowboy up and sell my xbox.  Problem solved. So glad I did it.

Try focusing on your net worth as a goal. Use something like Mint to track it. Once you start focusing on that number, you'll find you will go to great lengths to make it grow. Including cutting expenses.

One easy step you can take is to automate your savings.  Makes it much can easier to not spend money when it ain't there.  I did a blog post about it a while back if you feel like reading up on it.

So you would recommend selling all my extraneous entertainment? Or only most of it?
I do have a savings plan in place, however it's very easy to transfer money the other way as well. Maybe I should consider a mutual fund, or something with fees or penalties for withdrawal?
« Last Edit: January 27, 2016, 07:50:54 AM by an1m3n00b »

nereo

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Re: Help! - I might be a sucka
« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2016, 08:12:19 AM »

I'm not blaming them for my financial situation, I just think that government is much too handsy with our money, and that we have very few freedoms left. This is unrelated to my financial situation. I'm not playing the victim here, just coloring my opinion.

I agree that taxation is in interesting philisophical conversation to have, but in this situation I'd argue that it's absolutely relevant to your financial situation.  With your income, you have the choice to pay effectively $0 in federal and state income taxes should you so choose (hint: your IRA and 401(k)), yet still live in a developed society with all of its services and security.  Saying that taxes are extortion isn't true, blaming the police for writing you a citation when all indications are that you were at fault (poor driving conditions, black ice, rolled your vehicle)...

My point here is simple. This forum is very much about taking control of your own life, reaching financial independence and not blaming your misfortunes on others. 

Quote
At that point in my life I wasn't. Though the scooter was very poorly maintained even before i bought it. Both vehicles are probably repairable, but it's just not worth it to invest money in unreliable vehicles.
My first impulse would be to fix them up and then sell them.  Broken vehicles are money wasted, and you can fix just about anything by watching a few youtube videos.

Quote
My internet (not cable TV, just internet service) and phone bill aren't what's killing my budget. The gaming consoles is right on the money - which I stated outright. I never implied my salary was the problem here. I believe I mentioned numerous times that the problem is my excess consumption. I think you're misunderstanding my situation and my intentions.
See - here's where your attitude is killing your chances at FI.  Yes your gaming consoles are a problem, but if you think the cable TV and phone bill don't contribute you're missing it entirely.  Trim the phone and cut cable (you still have numerous online streaming services) and you have saved $900.  Divert that money into an IRA or your 401(k) you've cut about $100 off your tax bill which you already call 'theft'.  Do this for 10 years and you could have over $13,000 more.

Quote
So you would recommend selling all my extraneous entertainment? Or only most of it?
I do have a savings plan in place, however it's very easy to transfer money the other way as well. Maybe I should consider a mutual fund, or something with fees or penalties for withdrawal?
Sell anything that you don't want to keep.  If it's broken, see what it will take to fix before selling it.  If you wouldn't buy it again today, that's a good indication that you shouldn't keep it.
Regarding the flow of cash into and out of your savings account - this is behavioral again.  One thing that might work is automatic contributions to an IRA or 401(k) account that you never, ever take money out of (there are penalties involved).  Automatic contributions - especially if its deducted the same day as your payday, means you never see that money in your account and so you have less chance to spend it.  But ultimately whatever works for you.    Personally, anytime I think about purchasing something I ask myself "how many hours did I have to work to get this, and how many days earlier could I retire earlier if I saved the money instead."  This means that I buy things only when they will contribute considerably to making me happier.

Rosy

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Re: Help! - I might be a sucka
« Reply #5 on: January 28, 2016, 10:11:51 AM »
You have three huge things in your favor:

1. You have no debt and a strong persuasion toward keeping it that way
2. You know where your money is going
3. You love where you live and you love your job

Kudos! those three facts alone put you far ahead in the game of life:)

The lifestyle crisis as you termed it and your "I hate clutter" statement simply means you have recognized you no longer like the way you are currently living. That is of course the first step to improvement.
I will leave the financial side to others and give you a few tips and thoughts on decluttering and mindlessly buying stuff that have and continue to work well for me. Clutter is one of those insidious things that makes us feel overwhelmed and out of control - I totally get it about the books and the games and about taking better care of ones things.

It is true that, if you do not appreciate and take care of what you have from shoes to electronics to cars - things will die on you, refuse to work, fall apart, constantly irritate you and get in your way and if not that, they seem to find their way to other people that do appreciate them and make them shine...

... and then you think, damn, I could have had that - or - glad to see someone appreciates it, because I certainly never have and never will. Yet, therein lies the solution:
Because you see, if you, "Have nothing in your home that is not beautiful or useful/practical, preferably both" (an adapted motto from William Morris) you will deny entry to other people's cast offs that do not suit your lifestyle, be up to tossing damaged goods and ...

1. ... refrain from buying too much new stuff - because, you will ask yourself first: exactly where will this item live in my home, which item will have to go if I buy this one? The one in and one out rule for every book and game purchase from now on. You may shudder at the thought of implementing what appears to be a drastic measure, but hey it works.
Monetary evaluation: how often will I use it compared to what I am paying for it? Once a week, once a month - divide price by 12 mo.
2. Would it make more sense to re-direct my money to a different, specific goal for the next three months to reach it sooner - like say buy or DIY two good looking bookcases or a good quality bicycle or a trip with friends or a long put off visit with a favorite friend or relative.
Sometimes just asking yourself, " what do I really want", this game or my new goal - provides you with an instant clear answer.
3. The cooling off period already mentioned is a trick that often works quite well - it is OK if it does not work each and every time, you are not perfect and you are allowed some toys:), life is not about constant denial.
4. Our library often does not have the specific books on the myriad of topics I'm interested in, but once I realized they can order it for me from another library or I can find it myself in their online library co-op it was a no brainer, instant, easy money saving alternative to get me what I wanted for free.
5. Having a budget that allows you to purchase what you like does not mean that you should - perhaps just perhaps:) you could save up those piddly amounts each month and buy yourself that one expensive item that you are really hankering for at the end of the year?

What we are talking about here is nothing more than acquiring discipline both in money management, life planning and staying true to your core values. It is up to you to take charge of how you really want to live, don't get sidetracked too much by the newest and coolest, there will always be something new and cool and sometimes it is fun to go out and get it - why not?
Give yourself permission to spend X, stick to it and forget about it - it is really that simple.

You know the reason you are itching for change is that something in your life has shifted and you are looking at your place and your circumstance with new and different eyes - take full advantage of that and create a life and a living space that makes you happy the moment you open your door.


Perspective on clutter

1. Every clutterbug is secretly afraid of becoming a hoarder - in my worst moments I have visions of that TV crew busting through my front door at the worst possible time:)
The flipside is that I secretly admire the minimalist lifestyle too, but I know that is not me either.
2. Think of it this way, space is finite and it is expensive to boot. You pay rent every month, but how do you treat your space? Make it comfortable, but not sloppy, make it sparkle and shine with cleanliness, create a welcoming space for yourself - one that smells good and looks spacious, you are the keeper of the castle
Don't cram it to the hilt - you need space to breathe and relax in, think about how to best re-arrange and re-organize.
3. Change whatever irks you from the kitchen to the bedroom - make it work for you. Half of most clutter issues are really space issues - something has to give, give your favorite toys a good home and send the rest away to another good home or donate or sell.
Make the decision to stick with one to three bookcases total - done.
Now all you have to do is let one item go every time a new one comes in - done and done - it does take a little practice, but I know if I can do it, so can you.

What you need is a plan, with goals and deadlines
Keep it real, don't sabotage yourself in the process by setting a ton of lofty goals all at once. Take your time to implement systems and strategies that work best for you. Check out the two de-clutter challenges in the gauntlet thread for inspiration and motivation.

You know that in order to change your current lifestyle, you will have to change your current habits. Simple - but oh so tricky.
So get down and JDI - no excuses.


norabird

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Re: Help! - I might be a sucka
« Reply #6 on: January 28, 2016, 10:54:12 AM »
Small comment--eyeglasses only really need to be redone every two years if that (that's my schedule). I order mine from warby parker or eyefly and they cost $125 for high index, which I pay with FSA money. Your cost is both too high and too frequent. You can order pairs from jenni online for less than $20.

Agree about changing your attuitude on taxes and insurance too. Do you use the roads, the water supply...? Do you need infrastructure? Did you attend public school or at least realize that kids need to be educated? these are the costs of living in society. You get something back from them, too.

Rosy

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Re: Help! - I might be a sucka
« Reply #7 on: January 28, 2016, 11:46:18 AM »
Wish I could get away with the $20 frames from Jenni. I do need an eye exam once a year for medical reasons.

On the frames - since I wear thick eye glasses - very strong prescription, not all frames are suitable to actually hold on to the glasses.
Others, cheap or expensive have a shape that slightly interferes with optimal vision.
Not to mention the cheap ones often have a ghastly selection too.

Yes, I know all frames are pretty much manufactored by one Italian company whether designer sunglasses or cheapo - but the materials are not all the same and in my case that can and does make a difference.

My solution - buy good quality frames and only replace the lenses. Good frames last several years, but usually I'm ready for a new pair every three years, just for a change.

zephyr911

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Re: Help! - I might be a sucka
« Reply #8 on: January 28, 2016, 12:04:03 PM »
The thing that jumps out at me about your post is that you could benefit from an attitude adjustment.  You are calling taxation "theft", liability insurance "extortion" and the the presence of police both "harassment" and "extortion".   At some level you clearly understand that your purchases are whats leading you into this financial situation,
I'm not blaming them for my financial situation, I just think that government is much too handsy with our money, and that we have very few freedoms left. This is unrelated to my financial situation. I'm not playing the victim here, just coloring my opinion.

I was gonna defend some of your original phrasing, especially your objection to getting a ticket for hitting black ice, but now that you've clarified... I'll bet that I pay many times the taxes you do and I don't have a problem with it, nor do I think our freedoms are nearly gone. We live in a shit-hot awesome day and age where incredible things are possible everyday, and if you think otherwise, I might challenge you to prove it by showing me what's been taken from you and how it deprived you of life, liberty, and the pursuit of the happiness that is all around us.

I run into a lot of people who throw phrases like that around online and usually they end up retreating into generalities, talking in circles when pressed for details. I don't mean to derail this entire thread into a discussion of the merits of various government policies, fiscal or otherwise, but I do mean to second the suggestion that attitude is important and yours may be a tad unnecessarily negative. And thinking they're out to get you really does contribute to bad decisions that clutter up your life and suck your wealth.

ANYWAY.

As to your fundamental question, how? A little bit at a time, man. Or a lot, if you have the time and energy. You have a great list of prospects there. Pick just ONE and give it away or sell it this week. Rinse and repeat. One trick I learned and often use is making myself give something up for anything I get. Want a new shirt - even from a thrift store? Gotta donate one. Sell an old game and limit the cost of another (used) one to 2x what I got... or wait till the price gets there. Set and enforce little limits and you'll learn to naturally adjust your pace.

**edit** Also, just in general, I wanted to say you're doing pretty well and at only 22 you have time on your side. You can damn well achieve anything you want and you haven't made any big mistakes to hold yourself back. So, congrats and good luck on that.

norabird

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Re: Help! - I might be a sucka
« Reply #9 on: January 28, 2016, 12:10:32 PM »
I get high index, and find that my prescription typically no longer changes drastically every 12 months (however I'm also ten years older), so you might be able to have more luck than you think, but I get that it's an area where the purchase needs to do some heavy work everyday. Anyway, good luck!

Rosy

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Re: Help! - I might be a sucka
« Reply #10 on: January 29, 2016, 08:13:47 AM »
@norabird - yes, that usually holds true, they told me my vision changes would level off in my late 30s or 40s - well, they haven't. I got new glasses 2 years ago and last year for the first time in my life the changes were such that the doc said, if I really wanted I could get away with no new lenses - it was only a o.5 change.

Doc highly recommended eye surgery, he said it would be like a new world for me, it is like the new cataract surgery - not lasik. He said I had the beginnings of cataracts, but that Medicare would not pay for the type of surgery I would benefit from most - there are apparently three choices. I'm guessing my regular insurance probably will not pay for it either, but maybe I'll get some deductible relief.

I can tell that right now my eyes have taken another turn for the worse well beyond that 0.5. Since it is January, my standing annual appointment anyway, I've been kicking around foregoing new glasses yet again and have the surgery done instead. If I still need glasses afterward I can get away with any sort of cheapos I want to try, plus I'll no longer need to pay for all the extra treatments for the lenses either. I will definitely go for prescription sunglasses - I'd love that.

robartsd

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Re: Help! - I might be a sucka
« Reply #11 on: January 29, 2016, 01:25:06 PM »
Get rid of everything in the "not worth it" category (except the tools that you actually use, no sense selling the quality stuff you bought at a lost to turn arround and get HFT cheap versions). Depending on your personallity it may be better for you to fix up and spend the time to get the most value you can selling it or it may be better to get rid of it quickly donating it just so you can transition to your new lifestyle more quickly. Finding out what it would take to fix the broken "not worth it" stuff and deciding if it is worth fixing to sell could be some of your first activities in your more productive lifestyle.

While you are right that cutting the buying junk is all you need to do, there are still opportunities to save even more money:

You can save a bit of money on your phone bill - $20/mo will get you unlimited talk & text (little to no data) on most MVNOs (add about $10/GB of data you use - the key is to keep mobile data usage low). Depending on who offers service you may also be able to cut your internet bill down too. You want the best price you can get for reliable 5+ Mbps service. Sure huge downloads will take a little longer, but streaming should just fit in that level of service. Often the best price for internet is gained by shopping arround reguarly. Sometimes you can get your current provider to provide you with their promotional rates if you threaten to leave.

The biggest money saver you could do is get a roommate to cut your share of rent and utility bills - but this is as much a lifestyle choice as a financial one as you are not in a state of emergency financially.

All in all, recognizing where your problem is is the first step. Congratuations, you're on the road - you just need to keep going.

BFGirl

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Re: Help! - I might be a sucka
« Reply #12 on: January 29, 2016, 01:42:01 PM »
As regards your gaming consoles, why don't you just keep a couple of your favorites?  That way you can still play games when you want to, but won't have such a large selection of games that it's hard to decide what to play

(I am the pot calling the kettle black on this as I have a lot of games and several handheld and full size consoles...but this is one of the things I want to do in retirement, so I've collected some games I plan to play later)

an1m3n00b

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Re: Help! - I might be a sucka
« Reply #13 on: February 01, 2016, 07:30:14 AM »
After a bit of soul-searching I've decided to sell most (but not all) of my stuff. I'm probably also going to donate the low-value junk that is still useful (books i don't read, clothes that don't fit, misfit dishes, etc) Specifically I'm selling my car, scooter, the gaming pc, the wii u, the vita, and most of my games and movies. Turns out technology has advanced to the point where even a POS intel IGP is capable of playing most games at 720p30. Also I'm keeping a few of my consoles. I do intend to do the waiting-list thing. We'll see how my willpower holds up.

When I first moved and most of my stuff was elsewhere it was pretty blissful. I'd like to return to that.

To the pro-tax people:
Specific examples: never-ending war in iraq, war on drugs, war on terror, NSA wiretapping, corporate bailouts, I'm forced at gunpoint to pay for all of it. And a disclaimer: I'm not against taxation in principle. I'm against the corrupt actions of the US federal government done with my money. I'm also against certain forms of tax (income, property) that violate individual property rights. And I'm against taxes paid by those who don't benefit from its services. I (and everyone else) benefit from police the 5% of the time they aren't in speed traps playing taxation-by-lottery and the military the 5% of the time they aren't pointlessly killing people (and being killed!) in far-off lands. I also benefit from government services paid for by taxes on its use. My landlord (and therefore I) pays a water and sewage bill, I pay fuel taxes and registration fees, I pay city and state sales tax that fund the sidewalks and bike lanes, etc - these taxes I'm 100% ok with. And, yes now is a great time to be alive, in spite of, not because of government. Huge advances in technology by the private sector made it possible, not the taxman.

To the hardcore:
You're right, I could probably shave a few $ off my ISP and phone bill, but really, that starts to get into the territory of "penny-wise pound-foolish". I'm focusing on the big leaks now. Small leaks later.

nereo

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Re: Help! - I might be a sucka
« Reply #14 on: February 01, 2016, 08:13:16 AM »
After a bit of soul-searching I've decided to sell most (but not all) of my stuff. I'm probably also going to donate the low-value junk that is still useful (books i don't read, clothes that don't fit, misfit dishes, etc) Specifically I'm selling my car, scooter, the gaming pc, the wii u, the vita, and most of my games and movies. Turns out technology has advanced to the point where even a POS intel IGP is capable of playing most games at 720p30. Also I'm keeping a few of my consoles. I do intend to do the waiting-list thing. We'll see how my willpower holds up.

When I first moved and most of my stuff was elsewhere it was pretty blissful. I'd like to return to that.


It's sounds like you are making excellent progress towards improving your life.  Congratulations.  HOpefully you'll stick around and update us on how things are going.  You are young and without debt, so already you have a huge advantage over the majority of people in the United States.

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To the hardcore:
You're right, I could probably shave a few $ off my ISP and phone bill, but really, that starts to get into the territory of "penny-wise pound-foolish". I'm focusing on the big leaks now. Small leaks later.
I'll push back some and say that you could very, very easily trim $900 per year on ISP/tv and phone bill.  This is far from "penny-wise and pound-foolish".  Subscription services can wind up costing tens of thousands of dollars per decade, but are the costs are cleverly disguised as 'small monthly payments'. 

Regarding taxes; that's a good topic to have in another thread.  I disagree with so much of what you've said - about you paying taxes "at gunpoint", about speeding tickets as some sort of "taxation by lottery" and more broadly that people shouldn't pay taxes on services they don't benefit from, or that income and property tax violate individual rights.  There's certainly some corruption in all governments, and I disagree with many of the government's actions, but if you want to discuss this let's start another thread so we can separate these topics.

Good progress so far!

EDIT:  fixed a couple of typos and fixed formatting problems.
« Last Edit: February 01, 2016, 10:21:37 AM by nereo »

zephyr911

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Re: Help! - I might be a sucka
« Reply #15 on: February 01, 2016, 10:13:35 AM »
To the pro-tax people:
Lost me already. You clearly prefer to have your own position described in a reasonable and nuanced fashion - well, so do the rest of us. I'm not pro-tax, I'm pro- "avoiding needless fear and resentment over minor problems that are easily outweighed by obvious positive stuff". So, please avoid oversimplifying.
Just one illustration:
Quote
Huge advances in technology by the private sector made it possible, not the taxman
Ehhh... factually, no. Examples to the contrary are abundant.

Anyway, I'm glad to hear this discussion is helping you work out a way forward. It really does help to put one foot in front of the other toward your destination, however far off it may be. Getting fired up about larger, strategic changes is even better.


an1m3n00b

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Re: Help! - I might be a sucka
« Reply #16 on: February 02, 2016, 12:31:35 AM »
Quote
Quote
To the hardcore:
You're right, I could probably shave a few $ off my ISP and phone bill, but really, that starts to get into the territory of "penny-wise pound-foolish". I'm focusing on the big leaks now. Small leaks later.
I'll push back some and say that you could very, very easily trim $900 per year on ISP/tv and phone bill.  This is far from "penny-wise and pound-foolish".  Subscription services can wind up costing tens of thousands of dollars per decade, but are the costs are cleverly disguised as 'small monthly payments'. 
I find it hard to believe that I could go from $1,240 for TV (streaming), ISP and a basic phone-plan to $340 for the same service. I couldn't even get basic DSL for that price. Besides, my priorities are just plain different from yours. Paying $55/mo for (very) fast internet is *worth* it to me.

Quote
Regarding taxes; that's a good topic to have in another thread.  I disagree with so much of what you've said - about you paying taxes "at gunpoint", about speeding tickets as some sort of "taxation by lottery" and more broadly that people shouldn't pay taxes on services they don't benefit from, or that income and property tax violate individual rights.  There's certainly some corruption in all governments, and I disagree with many of the government's actions, but if you want to discuss this let's start another thread so we can separate these topics.

I'm really not trying to start a political argument here. You (plural) asked for my reasons, I provided. If you're interested in discussing the taxation aspect further; I've taken your advice, and am starting a thread on ways to legally minimize income taxes in the "taxes" forum.

Quote
Good progress so far!

Thanks to all of you for the support!

zephyr911

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Re: Help! - I might be a sucka
« Reply #17 on: February 02, 2016, 10:19:03 AM »
I'm really not trying to start a political argument here. You (plural) asked for my reasons, I provided. If you're interested in discussing the taxation aspect further; I've taken your advice, and am starting a thread on ways to legally minimize income taxes in the "taxes" forum.
If we successfully established that our intent was to promote a positive attitude, not more taxes, we're all good. ;)
Quote
Thanks to all of you for the support!
Hopefully that includes me... lol