Author Topic: Article about the very rich buying there back time.  (Read 5035 times)


moof

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Re: Article about the very rich buying there back time.
« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2019, 12:04:43 AM »
Freedom costs me about $1.6M my remaining years, about $125 per day.  Or I could do as the article advocates and spend that now on house cleaners and personal shoppers to free up precious few hours so I could work even harder and earn even more so I could outsource even more of living.

I will take buying permanent freedom over buying temporary reprieves.

Malkynn

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Re: Article about the very rich buying there back time.
« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2019, 05:17:22 AM »
So he knows one guy making 750K who buys his own groceries and complains about being too busy??

Sure, whatever.

I know a lot of wealthy people and most of them are very good at knowing the value of time and outsource a lot of jobs: housekeepers, cooks, nannies, gardeners, etc.

This feels like an article that no one needed to write.

A Fella from Stella

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Re: Article about the very rich buying there back time.
« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2019, 05:33:51 AM »
Was hoping this would be a better article. This, to me, is more like freeing yourself up, like how I don't do yard work, and if I could help it, I wouldn't do any cleaning or laundry, either. Having said that, full-time staff would be too expensive short of having an exorbitant passive income, or a high active income from something I love too much to stop doing.

Bucksandreds

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Re: Article about the very rich buying there back time.
« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2019, 05:46:23 AM »
This got me to research laundry service as my wife complains about it sometimes. I wont give them an advertisement but I saw a national company that will pick up and drop off your clothes towels and sheets for $1.50 per pound washed, dried and folded. That almost seems worth it.

Hula Hoop

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Re: Article about the very rich buying there back time.
« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2019, 06:00:53 AM »
This got me to research laundry service as my wife complains about it sometimes. I wont give them an advertisement but I saw a national company that will pick up and drop off your clothes towels and sheets for $1.50 per pound washed, dried and folded. That almost seems worth it.

Maybe your wife is hinting that you should be doing more laundry rather than hiring it out?  Just a thought.

Ann

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Re: Article about the very rich buying there back time.
« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2019, 06:44:31 AM »
“If you’re making more money than ever, aim to save at least one hour per week.“

The article was written to those with a surplus of cash.  It’s interesting to me because it’s published on CNBC and not on a niche blog.  The advice is helpful to a small percentage of the population but is  potentially deleteriously enabling to a much larger portion.


“Buying back your time is all about convenience: By spending on things like Lyft rides, pre-cooked meals or a housekeeper, you’re actually saving money because you get back the hours that you’d normally spend doing things that don’t make you happy.”


No.  You are not still saving money, although you can argue you are still choosing value.  I would wager most Mustachians — even MMM himself I think — use a washing machine instead of hand-washing everything because of the time/labor value.  It doesn’t mean they are saving money that way, unless they are choosing to pursue money-earning endeavors while the machine is running.  Just a nit-pick.

[/color]
Eating at a restaurant instead of cooking at home
[/color]Getting the car oil changed instead of doing it yourself[/font]
  • Taking an Uber instead of walking or taking public transportation
  • [/size][/color]Paying retail price instead of looking for a good deal[/font]
[/color]I’d bet that some of you do these things every week and don’t consider it as “buying back your time.”
Although I do several of these things, I was proud of myself that my time on PF blogs has reminded me that, yes, I know I am choosing to spend money on time.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2019, 06:58:52 AM by Ann »

ender

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Re: Article about the very rich buying there back time.
« Reply #7 on: August 09, 2019, 06:49:31 AM »
That article was first sent as an email to his mailing list, btw.

Ann

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Re: Article about the very rich buying there back time.
« Reply #8 on: August 09, 2019, 07:06:43 AM »
That article was first sent as an email to his mailing list, btw.

That makes sense.  I don’t have a problem with the message Ramit is sending to the select portion of people [other than my nit-pick on what is “saving money”) but it seems odd to broadcast to to the general public.  It’s like CNBC got sooo excited a PF guru recommended Uber or other services (possible sponsors) that they just grabbed it and ran.

In truth, my mother would refuse to buy more expensive shoes even when she could afford it because it just seemed wrong to her somehow.  Even though the reason we encouraged her to buy more expensive shoes was that she complained her feet hurt!  I agree that sometimes it is hard but valuable to let go of a poverty mind set.

rantk81

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Re: Article about the very rich buying there back time.
« Reply #9 on: August 09, 2019, 09:17:15 AM »
This got me to research laundry service as my wife complains about it sometimes. I wont give them an advertisement but I saw a national company that will pick up and drop off your clothes towels and sheets for $1.50 per pound washed, dried and folded. That almost seems worth it.

Years back when I took a 2-week vacation near Cancun Mexico -- my travel companion and I dropped of all of our clothes at a mom&pop laundry business.  We did it a couple of days before we were set to come back home to the USA.  The laundry business washed/dried/ironed/folded all of the clothes for an incredibly cheap price.  It was great to travel back home with all of the laundry already done! Well worth the $10 or whatever we paid.

undercover

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Re: Article about the very rich buying there back time.
« Reply #10 on: August 09, 2019, 10:38:25 AM »
I'd say I'm a little incredulous of the fact that someone making $750k a year never considered freeing up their time.

I've always noticed the incongruence of preaching the gospel of index funds (which is an automated way of receiving passive income) and freeing up your time so you can do manual labor work. Like, what? I know that's not the entire point, but it's somewhat of a theme.

So while I agree that not everyone can always afford to pay for time and probably shouldn't, it's the mindset that will probably make you rich to begin with by focusing your time on things that make you the most money versus worrying about trivialities. This doesn't excuse you to be lazy and I still think most people should still be cooking but the point generally stands I think.

There's a LOT of nuance to this though because when you're just starting out your needs in general are pretty low and you should be spending all your time studying/hustling so things like cleaning or making gourmet meals aren't really on the list of priorities anyway.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2019, 01:18:18 PM by undercover »

bacchi

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Re: Article about the very rich buying there back time.
« Reply #11 on: August 09, 2019, 11:18:48 AM »
A self-made millionaire can solve the problem of "buying back your time."

Once work gets out of the way, the tasks that seemed so onerous during the long slog might not seem so bothersome anymore.


honeybbq

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Re: Article about the very rich buying there back time.
« Reply #12 on: August 09, 2019, 11:20:58 AM »
I'm at the point in my life that I outsource. It's not MMM friendly, I know, but my numbers aren't very MMM either.

If I spent less than 2 or 3% of my income on things that make my life better (grocery delivery, cleaning service, yard guy, etc) then I really don't see what the big deal is. It's in the noise of the system for me.

I value enjoying my time and I could get hit by a bus tomorrow. I'm staying the path, I'm just enjoying the journey a little bit more.

A Fella from Stella

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Re: Article about the very rich buying there back time.
« Reply #13 on: August 09, 2019, 12:55:06 PM »
I'm at the point in my life that I outsource. It's not MMM friendly, I know, but my numbers aren't very MMM either.

If I spent less than 2 or 3% of my income on things that make my life better (grocery delivery, cleaning service, yard guy, etc) then I really don't see what the big deal is. It's in the noise of the system for me.

I value enjoying my time and I could get hit by a bus tomorrow. I'm staying the path, I'm just enjoying the journey a little bit more.

Me too. I don't do yard work. Won't work on my car, etc. I'll install blinds because it's so easy.

A Fella from Stella

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Re: Article about the very rich buying there back time.
« Reply #14 on: August 09, 2019, 12:57:52 PM »
Getting the car oil changed instead of doing it yourself
Taking an Uber instead of walking or taking public transportation

It's faster to change your own oil, generally.
Walking is the luxury, not taking an Uber. Usually, if you're walking you have time.

GodlessCommie

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Re: Article about the very rich buying there back time.
« Reply #15 on: August 09, 2019, 02:02:27 PM »
There is a deep satisfaction in a job well-done. In being able to touch and feel the fruits of your labor. In being tired doing this job.

There is no deep satisfaction in taking an Uber.

I have no advice for someone who makes $700+K, but for fellow working professionals... cooking your meals, doing home improvement and cutting your grass will make you richer, healthier, and saner. Especially if you do it while bonding with your family.

Wrenchturner

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Re: Article about the very rich buying there back time.
« Reply #16 on: August 09, 2019, 02:14:51 PM »
Honestly most of my wasted time comes from bad time management.  Its a constant battle for me.  If I were more organized and committed to my schedule I could easily get all my tasks done in a week.

big_owl

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Re: Article about the very rich buying there back time.
« Reply #17 on: August 09, 2019, 03:00:04 PM »
We hired somebody to do all our chores for us - groceries, dry cleaning, stuff like that.  One time I got home from work and had to overnight an important pkg to my wife on business travel. I didn't feel like driving the 7mi to UPS so I texted our helper and she came and did the work. It's awesome.  We also pay to have our house cleaned monthly.  Our helper only costs $25/hr and has been a godsend.  I haven't been grocery shopping once all year.

I'm a huge DIYer but I only do that for stuff that really matters.  Finish my basement, yeah I'll save 150k and do that myself.   Go grocery shopping?   I get no joy from that and it's a boring waste of time...hire that shit out.

Bloop Bloop

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Re: Article about the very rich buying there back time.
« Reply #18 on: August 09, 2019, 03:02:12 PM »
Uber Pool for me in almost all cases is cheaper, or only marginally more expensive, than public transport, is far faster, and more pleasant. Yay for technology.

partgypsy

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Re: Article about the very rich buying there back time.
« Reply #19 on: August 10, 2019, 07:54:54 AM »
In the "olden" days and heck still in many parts of the world, doing the basics of transportation, preparing food and housekeeping are done with no electronic helpers. We have all these modern conveniences, and things like finished walls and floors to make cleaning much much easier than in the past.

My main problem is a) time management (sitting down in front of computer like right now) versus just scrubbing those toliets and b) I don't don't wanna. For example My entire yard is very sad looking because it's been so hot and humid and buggy I don't want to weed (but am against using pesticides). I still am holding out hiring someone, my plan for next year is more groundcovers and mulch the heck out of every thing else). ... I also have no interest knowing more than the absolute basics of my car and gladly pay other people to service it.

So I feel like people should start on the base level of doing everything by themselves. Learn how to cook. Be OK eating leftovers. Learn how to clean the house and if you can find a way to do it that is less arduous, more efficiently that is even better! I think paying someone to do something should only come into play, a) it does fit your budget and b) it measurably improves your quality of life versus just an unconscious convenience. If you are outsourcing the majority of stuff, question it.

scottish

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Re: Article about the very rich buying there back time.
« Reply #20 on: August 11, 2019, 03:05:51 PM »
The author has a book, "I will teach you to be rich".  it's on amazon:   https://www.amazon.com/Will-Teach-You-Rich-Second/dp/1523505745

From the back cover:

Quote
I Will Teach You to Be Rich will show you:
• How to crush your debt and student loans faster than you thought possible
• How to set up no-fee, high-interest bank accounts that won’t gouge you for every penny
• How Ramit automates his finances so his money goes exactly where he wants it to—and how you can do it too
• How to talk your way out of late fees (with word-for-word scripts)
• How to save hundreds or even thousands per month (and still buy what you love)
• A set-it-and-forget-it investment strategy that’s dead simple and beats financial advisors at their own game
• How to handle buying a car or a house, paying for a wedding, having kids, and other big expenses—stress free
• The exact words to use to negotiate a big raise at work

It sounds like a different point of view from the way we look at finances.

For example, why do you need to talk your way out of late fees when it's easier to pay your bills on time?

EngagedToFIRE

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Re: Article about the very rich buying there back time.
« Reply #21 on: August 11, 2019, 05:01:54 PM »
I strongly dislike the premise of the article.  As someone with a similar income to the subject of the article, I've found much, much more joy in doing exactly the opposite of what the article suggests.  I started viewing chores, cooking, cleaning, and things like that as a way to keep myself active.  I enjoy it.  I like going to the grocery store. Good people watching.  It's fun to walk around and get inspired by what you see there.  I used to hate doing this type of stuff, but now I realized I was buying a "couch potato" life essentially, or finding joy in meaningless nonsense like going out to eat regularly.  "Normalizing" my life has been eye opening and it started with reading the entire MMM blog.  For me, it wasn't about the extra few dollars, although saving the money has become a bit of a hobby in itself, but just staying active, making things, doing things, it keeps you on point and feeling fulfilled.

Outsourcing the things that make our days worthwhile seems obnoxious to me.  We are creating a culture where something as benign and fulfilling as cooking a meal for yourself is viewed as painful and something to avoid.  Or interacting with other humans at a grocery store, wandering the aisles with amazement at the luxurious assortment at your fingertips... this is all somehow being painted as an inconvenience and time suck.  I don't like that, at all.  The only time worth saving is a shitty day job that you don't want to be at.  Taking care of your basic needs like cooking a meal is not time wasted, it's not something that needs to be saved.

EngagedToFIRE

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Re: Article about the very rich buying there back time.
« Reply #22 on: August 11, 2019, 05:05:57 PM »
There is a deep satisfaction in a job well-done. In being able to touch and feel the fruits of your labor. In being tired doing this job.

There is no deep satisfaction in taking an Uber.

I have no advice for someone who makes $700+K, but for fellow working professionals... cooking your meals, doing home improvement and cutting your grass will make you richer, healthier, and saner. Especially if you do it while bonding with your family.

Well said. And your advice is solid for any income level.

Just Joe

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Re: Article about the very rich buying there back time.
« Reply #23 on: August 11, 2019, 06:39:24 PM »
I strongly dislike the premise of the article.  As someone with a similar income to the subject of the article, I've found much, much more joy in doing exactly the opposite of what the article suggests.  I started viewing chores, cooking, cleaning, and things like that as a way to keep myself active.  I enjoy it.  I like going to the grocery store. Good people watching.  It's fun to walk around and get inspired by what you see there.  I used to hate doing this type of stuff, but now I realized I was buying a "couch potato" life essentially, or finding joy in meaningless nonsense like going out to eat regularly.  "Normalizing" my life has been eye opening and it started with reading the entire MMM blog.  For me, it wasn't about the extra few dollars, although saving the money has become a bit of a hobby in itself, but just staying active, making things, doing things, it keeps you on point and feeling fulfilled.

I agree. I understand if a person is overextended on time and every little task is too much and they could be spending their time differently - spending the time on fitness or working on side hustles or learning more skills of some sort. You do you.

However - I never found going to the grocery store, washing a car or laundry, or mowing the yard to be that difficult. In fact these are tasks that I can do to relax. Light work can be a great way to unwind.


Bloop Bloop

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Re: Article about the very rich buying there back time.
« Reply #24 on: August 11, 2019, 07:12:18 PM »
It's really dependent on the person. There are some things that I enjoy and would happily do for free - washing my car, getting the groceries. Some tasks I hate, like cleaning the bathroom and mowing the yard. But I'm sure if I was a garden person, I'd love mowing the yard. But I'm not, and I don't.

So there's no "right" answer in general, but there is a right answer for each person, depending on his or her inclination and resources.

For example: I like using Uber because I don't like driving in traffic. I'm a huge car guy, but I prefer to drive on track or on desolate roads. Traffic infuriates me. So I outsource a lot of my driving. I might be in the tiny minority for whom this works. But it doesn't mean that I've made a wrong lifestyle choice.

I could also choose to bike somewhere instead of driving (or being driven) there. But I don't like bike riding, and I like the time saving of private transport. I use some of that time saving to go to the gym, because I prefer that as a way to keep healthy over bike riding. Again, that won't work for everyone. But it works for me.

Long story short: time/money choices can only be evaluated at an individual level. It makes no sense to impart my choices onto you, or vice versa.

WhiteTrashCash

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Re: Article about the very rich buying there back time.
« Reply #25 on: August 11, 2019, 08:12:25 PM »
"War is Peace. Freedom is Slavery. Ignorance is Strength." - George Orwell, "1984"

big_owl

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Re: Article about the very rich buying there back time.
« Reply #26 on: August 12, 2019, 01:35:50 PM »
wandering the aisles with amazement at the luxurious assortment at your fingertips...

Haha, I think you and I have must have drastically different emotional experiences while grocery shopping. 

Dabnasty

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Re: Article about the very rich buying there back time.
« Reply #27 on: August 12, 2019, 01:50:23 PM »
wandering the aisles with amazement at the luxurious assortment at your fingertips...

Haha, I think you and I have must have drastically different emotional experiences while grocery shopping.

I can see both sides of this. I find a busy grocery store where everyone is in my way (/s) to be infuriating but if it's not busy and I can choose my pace I enjoy it.

In fact if I'm waiting around for someone and I happen to be near one, I'll kill some time just looking at ingredients I wouldn't normally buy. I sometimes walk the aisles of a grocery store near my work during lunch just to see what's on sale and look around.

I do feel a little awkward walking out without buying something though. I wonder if the employees are ever suspicious.

HBFIRE

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Re: Article about the very rich buying there back time.
« Reply #28 on: August 12, 2019, 02:04:54 PM »
i agree with this article and do quite a bit of this.

EngagedToFIRE

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Re: Article about the very rich buying there back time.
« Reply #29 on: August 12, 2019, 07:18:32 PM »
Doing the tasks you dislike generally provides a much bigger sense of accomplishment when finished.  And you end up not disliking the tasks quite so much.  Funny how that works.

bacchi

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Re: Article about the very rich buying there back time.
« Reply #30 on: August 12, 2019, 10:14:03 PM »
However - I never found going to the grocery store, washing a car or laundry, or mowing the yard to be that difficult. In fact these are tasks that I can do to relax. Light work can be a great way to unwind.

Word. Hanging laundry can be meditative. Changing oil in the car, grocery shopping, yard work -- those are all components of life and can bring contentment.

Life isn't entirely about 'gram moments posing in front of a mountain lake.

EscapeVelocity2020

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Re: Article about the very rich buying there back time.
« Reply #31 on: August 12, 2019, 10:50:26 PM »
Doing the tasks you dislike generally provides a much bigger sense of accomplishment when finished.  And you end up not disliking the tasks quite so much.  Funny how that works.

This maybe changes as you get older though.  It is a sense of accomplishment in your 20's, 30's, but then, in your 40's, it's like, maybe I don't need to do all these things that aren't serving my growth going forward.  Maybe I want more space to do other things like learn to SCUBA dive or try yoga or read more, or maybe I just need to focus more on healthy eating and exercise as opposed to feeling stuck because I am always so busy with repetitive tasks...  This is what FI means to me, not feeling stuck doing chores that no longer provide happiness. 

Just Joe

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Re: Article about the very rich buying there back time.
« Reply #32 on: August 13, 2019, 09:08:09 AM »
However - I never found going to the grocery store, washing a car or laundry, or mowing the yard to be that difficult. In fact these are tasks that I can do to relax. Light work can be a great way to unwind.

Word. Hanging laundry can be meditative. Changing oil in the car, grocery shopping, yard work -- those are all components of life and can bring contentment.

Life isn't entirely about 'gram moments posing in front of a mountain lake.

Definitely need to optimize these tasks though. I've had experiences where I spent more time looking for my tools than changing the oil or washing the car and I finished quite agitated. Get organized. Don't let the maintenance of your tools (lawnmower, car, laundry line, whatever) be a roadblock. Put together your car wash tools together in a bucket. Keep the blades on the lawnmower sharp. Put the wrenches away so they are where they are expected to be when needed.

GodlessCommie

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Re: Article about the very rich buying there back time.
« Reply #33 on: August 13, 2019, 10:09:52 AM »
This is what FI means to me, not feeling stuck doing chores that no longer provide happiness.
Life is largely about finding balance. It would be silly to keep doing things that are wrong for us, or not to change circumstances that are wrong for us. But it would also be silly to think that our happiness comes entirely from outside, from circumstances, and that we can can become happy if only we change them. A lot of it comes from within. We can control how we feel about what, and where we find happiness.

None of us is MMM, and each of us has to forge our own path. But knowing what little I know about humans, we do tend to overvalue convenience, we do have a tendency to try to buy our way to happiness, and we tend to use our mental capacity to convince ourselves that it is all in our best interest.

ReadySetMillionaire

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Re: Article about the very rich buying there back time.
« Reply #34 on: August 13, 2019, 10:29:55 AM »
As someone who loves reading Ramit's stuff, I think the one thing he definitely has right -- that is often ignored far too much on this forum -- is that you are significantly better off pursuing higher income than being irrationally cheap.

We all know from experience that there is only so much fat you can cut from your budget. I think this forum obsesses way too much over this at times, to the point that the returns are borderline irrelevant in the grand scheme of things.

Meanwhile, you can increase your income significantly and dramatically change your outlook to a degree that is far, far, far more powerful than cutting Netflix or whatever.

Personally, I went from $48k/year as a mid-size firm lawyer to, as of right now (August), having over $95k in revenues. I will probably get to $150k by year's end.  Having this much more income dramatically changes things far more than nominal changes to my budget ever could.


Dabnasty

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Re: Article about the very rich buying there back time.
« Reply #35 on: August 13, 2019, 12:39:51 PM »
As someone who loves reading Ramit's stuff, I think the one thing he definitely has right -- that is often ignored far too much on this forum -- is that you are significantly better off pursuing higher income than being irrationally cheap.

We all know from experience that there is only so much fat you can cut from your budget. I think this forum obsesses way too much over this at times, to the point that the returns are borderline irrelevant in the grand scheme of things.

Meanwhile, you can increase your income significantly and dramatically change your outlook to a degree that is far, far, far more powerful than cutting Netflix or whatever.

Personally, I went from $48k/year as a mid-size firm lawyer to, as of right now (August), having over $95k in revenues. I will probably get to $150k by year's end.  Having this much more income dramatically changes things far more than nominal changes to my budget ever could.

Most of the discussion about spending less on this forum contains the underlying goal of not decreasing happiness. If you could decrease spending while keeping your happiness level the same or increasing it, why does the amount you save matter?

For example: Netflix costs $8/month, $96/year, or $2400 to pay for indefinitely based on the 4% rule. If you could earn $2400 more you could cover that cost*. If that seems like the better option to you, then you should pursue it. But the beauty of cutting Netflix (for some) is that they're actually just as happy or happier without it. Personally I have Netflix and have no intention of cutting it because I think that I'm happier for having it. Then again, I also accept that my simple little human brain could be wrong about this, experimenting with cutting certain products out of your life to see how it affects your happiness is a worthwhile endeavor.

*And this is only theoretical. Netflix pricing could outpace inflation or the 4% rule could fail. You could even find yourself in a position where Netflix is suddenly no longer available. But if you removed Netflix from your life without a decrease in happiness, nothing can touch you. Self sufficiency and resilience are important aspects of this community even if the tagline isn't as upfront about it.

Dabnasty

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Re: Article about the very rich buying there back time.
« Reply #36 on: August 13, 2019, 01:10:43 PM »
As someone who loves reading Ramit's stuff, I think the one thing he definitely has right -- that is often ignored far too much on this forum -- is that you are significantly better off pursuing higher income than being irrationally cheap.

...

Another thought. Some threads, particularly those you might find under the "Share Your Badassity" sub forum, are as much about the challenge as they are about saving money. Perhaps the mental exercise of finding the line between wants and true necessities is worth the effort even if the savings are not.

So next time you see a thread that you find a little too extreme, consider that the purpose of the discussion may be something more than saving a few dollars.

Bloop Bloop

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Re: Article about the very rich buying there back time.
« Reply #37 on: August 13, 2019, 03:34:32 PM »
As someone who loves reading Ramit's stuff, I think the one thing he definitely has right -- that is often ignored far too much on this forum -- is that you are significantly better off pursuing higher income than being irrationally cheap.

...

Another thought. Some threads, particularly those you might find under the "Share Your Badassity" sub forum, are as much about the challenge as they are about saving money. Perhaps the mental exercise of finding the line between wants and true necessities is worth the effort even if the savings are not.

So next time you see a thread that you find a little too extreme, consider that the purpose of the discussion may be something more than saving a few dollars.

That's true. But there are different ways of challenging yourself. Some see a worthwhile challenge in spending less; some, in earning more, or structuring their affairs so that they keep more of their own money in their own pocket. It's an individual consideration.

People coming in this thread and saying "do all your own chores, you'll be happier" are as tone-deaf as those coming into a frugality thread saying "just earn more money. It'll be easier." For some of us the thought of changing our own oil gives us no joy, or isn't even possible without jack stands and a fair bit of effort.

EngagedToFIRE

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Re: Article about the very rich buying there back time.
« Reply #38 on: August 13, 2019, 06:27:05 PM »
As someone who loves reading Ramit's stuff, I think the one thing he definitely has right -- that is often ignored far too much on this forum -- is that you are significantly better off pursuing higher income than being irrationally cheap.

We all know from experience that there is only so much fat you can cut from your budget. I think this forum obsesses way too much over this at times, to the point that the returns are borderline irrelevant in the grand scheme of things.

Meanwhile, you can increase your income significantly and dramatically change your outlook to a degree that is far, far, far more powerful than cutting Netflix or whatever.

Personally, I went from $48k/year as a mid-size firm lawyer to, as of right now (August), having over $95k in revenues. I will probably get to $150k by year's end.  Having this much more income dramatically changes things far more than nominal changes to my budget ever could.

Most of the discussion about spending less on this forum contains the underlying goal of not decreasing happiness. If you could decrease spending while keeping your happiness level the same or increasing it, why does the amount you save matter?

For example: Netflix costs $8/month, $96/year, or $2400 to pay for indefinitely based on the 4% rule. If you could earn $2400 more you could cover that cost*. If that seems like the better option to you, then you should pursue it. But the beauty of cutting Netflix (for some) is that they're actually just as happy or happier without it. Personally I have Netflix and have no intention of cutting it because I think that I'm happier for having it. Then again, I also accept that my simple little human brain could be wrong about this, experimenting with cutting certain products out of your life to see how it affects your happiness is a worthwhile endeavor.

*And this is only theoretical. Netflix pricing could outpace inflation or the 4% rule could fail. You could even find yourself in a position where Netflix is suddenly no longer available. But if you removed Netflix from your life without a decrease in happiness, nothing can touch you. Self sufficiency and resilience are important aspects of this community even if the tagline isn't as upfront about it.

Thanks for pointing this out.  It's the thought I had when I read that comment, too.  MMM is more about breaking the idea that you need to spend a fortune to be happy.  That happiness comes from buying dumb shit all day long.  It doesn't.  That's a social construct, excellent marketing.  So I've never viewed this site or "way of life" as all that "frugal" in the sense of deprivation like many seem to equate the term.  That misses the point entirely.

Which is why, even though I can afford just about anything on that list, I have found a LOT more joy in just doing it myself.  It's rewarding.  Constantly trying to pay others to live life for you doesn't make a lot of sense to me.  And taking care of yourself, cooking dinner, cleaning your home, is part of living life.

Linea_Norway

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Re: Article about the very rich buying there back time.
« Reply #39 on: August 14, 2019, 02:41:28 AM »
I recently heard a podcast on Afford Anything. That was about people with a side hustle or own company who in reality only work a few hours a week on making money, and most of their week on tasks like book keeping. Then the message was: hire out that task to someone else and use your own time to make more money.

big_owl

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Re: Article about the very rich buying there back time.
« Reply #40 on: August 14, 2019, 03:40:25 AM »
As for feeling a sense of accomplishment after completing a task I don't like...we're not talking about accepting the nomination as reluctant leader of the next civil rights movement, we're talking about shopping for groceries or cutting the lawn. 

Shopping for groceries is about as challenging as wiping my ass is every day.  A chimp could do it.  It isn't hard, it just takes time.  Wiping my ass only takes about 15sec/day whereas grocery shopping is 2hrs of my precious weekend time every week.  All I've accomplished during a trip to the grocery store is dodging traffic and putting 15mi on my car.


So I spend $50 every week to have someone else put miles on their car while I relax at home with my wife on a Friday afternoon, doing other things like working on my garden...which is something that provides me some food and I also get enjoyment from...and something I'd have 2hrs less per week to work on if I had to drive out and buy my own groceries.  Or on Friday I'll cut my lawn (something I like to do) and get a headstart on the weekend chores.

ender

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Re: Article about the very rich buying there back time.
« Reply #41 on: August 14, 2019, 06:55:24 AM »
As someone who loves reading Ramit's stuff, I think the one thing he definitely has right -- that is often ignored far too much on this forum -- is that you are significantly better off pursuing higher income than being irrationally cheap.

We all know from experience that there is only so much fat you can cut from your budget. I think this forum obsesses way too much over this at times, to the point that the returns are borderline irrelevant in the grand scheme of things.

Meanwhile, you can increase your income significantly and dramatically change your outlook to a degree that is far, far, far more powerful than cutting Netflix or whatever.

Personally, I went from $48k/year as a mid-size firm lawyer to, as of right now (August), having over $95k in revenues. I will probably get to $150k by year's end.  Having this much more income dramatically changes things far more than nominal changes to my budget ever could.

Most of the discussion about spending less on this forum contains the underlying goal of not decreasing happiness. If you could decrease spending while keeping your happiness level the same or increasing it, why does the amount you save matter?

For example: Netflix costs $8/month, $96/year, or $2400 to pay for indefinitely based on the 4% rule. If you could earn $2400 more you could cover that cost*. If that seems like the better option to you, then you should pursue it. But the beauty of cutting Netflix (for some) is that they're actually just as happy or happier without it. Personally I have Netflix and have no intention of cutting it because I think that I'm happier for having it. Then again, I also accept that my simple little human brain could be wrong about this, experimenting with cutting certain products out of your life to see how it affects your happiness is a worthwhile endeavor.

*And this is only theoretical. Netflix pricing could outpace inflation or the 4% rule could fail. You could even find yourself in a position where Netflix is suddenly no longer available. But if you removed Netflix from your life without a decrease in happiness, nothing can touch you. Self sufficiency and resilience are important aspects of this community even if the tagline isn't as upfront about it.

Both are important.

EngagedToFIRE

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Re: Article about the very rich buying there back time.
« Reply #42 on: August 14, 2019, 07:20:38 AM »
As for feeling a sense of accomplishment after completing a task I don't like...we're not talking about accepting the nomination as reluctant leader of the next civil rights movement, we're talking about shopping for groceries or cutting the lawn. 

Shopping for groceries is about as challenging as wiping my ass is every day.  A chimp could do it.  It isn't hard, it just takes time.  Wiping my ass only takes about 15sec/day whereas grocery shopping is 2hrs of my precious weekend time every week.  All I've accomplished during a trip to the grocery store is dodging traffic and putting 15mi on my car.


So I spend $50 every week to have someone else put miles on their car while I relax at home with my wife on a Friday afternoon, doing other things like working on my garden...which is something that provides me some food and I also get enjoyment from...and something I'd have 2hrs less per week to work on if I had to drive out and buy my own groceries.  Or on Friday I'll cut my lawn (something I like to do) and get a headstart on the weekend chores.

It's unlikely that the occasional grocery trip would disrupt gardening.  We all spend countless hours doing nothing throughout the week.  How much time do you spend on internet forums, watching TV, etc?  Are you paying $50/week for the groceries including delivery?  Or $50 just for the delivery?

big_owl

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Re: Article about the very rich buying there back time.
« Reply #43 on: August 14, 2019, 07:53:32 AM »
As for feeling a sense of accomplishment after completing a task I don't like...we're not talking about accepting the nomination as reluctant leader of the next civil rights movement, we're talking about shopping for groceries or cutting the lawn. 

Shopping for groceries is about as challenging as wiping my ass is every day.  A chimp could do it.  It isn't hard, it just takes time.  Wiping my ass only takes about 15sec/day whereas grocery shopping is 2hrs of my precious weekend time every week.  All I've accomplished during a trip to the grocery store is dodging traffic and putting 15mi on my car.


So I spend $50 every week to have someone else put miles on their car while I relax at home with my wife on a Friday afternoon, doing other things like working on my garden...which is something that provides me some food and I also get enjoyment from...and something I'd have 2hrs less per week to work on if I had to drive out and buy my own groceries.  Or on Friday I'll cut my lawn (something I like to do) and get a headstart on the weekend chores.

It's unlikely that the occasional grocery trip would disrupt gardening.  We all spend countless hours doing nothing throughout the week.  How much time do you spend on internet forums, watching TV, etc?  Are you paying $50/week for the groceries including delivery?  Or $50 just for the delivery?

I pay $50/wk for the labor involved for grocery shopping plus $150 or so dollars each week for the food (so $200 a week total).  Yes doing groceries every week crowds out other, more enjoyable things in my life.  Like I said, it's a 2hr time sink every weekend.  That's how long it takes, it's not debatable.  My wife and I both work full time demanding jobs which gives us free downtime together on Friday evening, Saturday, and Sunday.  I'd much rather spend that time with her doing something more meaningful than grocery shopping.  Same with other BS tasks I have our helper do.  Between that and hiring a cleaning company it probably costs about $600/mo to outsource shit that I don't like to do.

EscapeVelocity2020

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Re: Article about the very rich buying there back time.
« Reply #44 on: August 14, 2019, 08:00:43 AM »
This discussion had me thinking about MMM's latest post on hiring your children.  I read it feeling myself constantly cringing with how dry and unappealing all the discussion about taxes, how to incorporate, paying social security and medicare taxes, and setting up a 401k was...  If this is what Financial Independence becomes at some point, I'm doing it wrong.  I find myself thinking less and less about optimizing every last gain and instead letting life and my own interests direct what I do with my time.  Do people really retire early just so they can stew over tax optimization and accounting?  Maybe I'm spoiled as a salaried worker!

EngagedToFIRE

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Re: Article about the very rich buying there back time.
« Reply #45 on: August 14, 2019, 08:15:50 AM »
As for feeling a sense of accomplishment after completing a task I don't like...we're not talking about accepting the nomination as reluctant leader of the next civil rights movement, we're talking about shopping for groceries or cutting the lawn. 

Shopping for groceries is about as challenging as wiping my ass is every day.  A chimp could do it.  It isn't hard, it just takes time.  Wiping my ass only takes about 15sec/day whereas grocery shopping is 2hrs of my precious weekend time every week.  All I've accomplished during a trip to the grocery store is dodging traffic and putting 15mi on my car.


So I spend $50 every week to have someone else put miles on their car while I relax at home with my wife on a Friday afternoon, doing other things like working on my garden...which is something that provides me some food and I also get enjoyment from...and something I'd have 2hrs less per week to work on if I had to drive out and buy my own groceries.  Or on Friday I'll cut my lawn (something I like to do) and get a headstart on the weekend chores.

It's unlikely that the occasional grocery trip would disrupt gardening.  We all spend countless hours doing nothing throughout the week.  How much time do you spend on internet forums, watching TV, etc?  Are you paying $50/week for the groceries including delivery?  Or $50 just for the delivery?

I pay $50/wk for the labor involved for grocery shopping plus $150 or so dollars each week for the food (so $200 a week total).  Yes doing groceries every week crowds out other, more enjoyable things in my life.  Like I said, it's a 2hr time sink every weekend.  That's how long it takes, it's not debatable.  My wife and I both work full time demanding jobs which gives us free downtime together on Friday evening, Saturday, and Sunday.  I'd much rather spend that time with her doing something more meaningful than grocery shopping.  Same with other BS tasks I have our helper do.  Between that and hiring a cleaning company it probably costs about $600/mo to outsource shit that I don't like to do.

It's all good if that's how you like spending money.  About $250,000 outsourcing over a 15 year period.  It's not a very MMM thing to do, but fire is dynamic and individualized.  I spend about 30 minutes shopping at the grocery store and view it as a good opportunity to just get out of the house/work, walk around, etc.  You don't.  Cool.  But damn, that's a lot of cash.  Of course, it's likely you also aren't taking advantage of sales, BOGO's, discount stores, etc.  So the amount is probably much higher than the $50...  But as long as you know it and find value in it.  Good for you.

Malkynn

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Re: Article about the very rich buying there back time.
« Reply #46 on: August 14, 2019, 08:50:14 AM »
This discussion had me thinking about MMM's latest post on hiring your children.  I read it feeling myself constantly cringing with how dry and unappealing all the discussion about taxes, how to incorporate, paying social security and medicare taxes, and setting up a 401k was...  If this is what Financial Independence becomes at some point, I'm doing it wrong.  I find myself thinking less and less about optimizing every last gain and instead letting life and my own interests direct what I do with my time.  Do people really retire early just so they can stew over tax optimization and accounting?  Maybe I'm spoiled as a salaried worker!

There are tons of mathy types who absolutely love that stuff, so yes, and thank god for them because they post their work online so we don't have to.

If you don't want mathy stuff as part of your ideal life, then outsource it. If someone doesn't want grocery shopping or house cleaning as part of their ideal life, outsource it.

Different strokes for different folks. For some outsourcing is absolutely worth the cost, for others it isn't and the challenge is part of the reward.
Okay, cool.

I don't think the article is silly for what it's discussing, I think it's silly because people with money outsourcing is far more the norm than not. Sure, I also know some very very wealthy people who are extremely cheap and would never pay for anything they don't have to, but some article telling them they could outsource isn't going to change their values.

As for what's more valuable: making more money or cutting expenses...well, again, it depends on the individual case, and which effort will cause more hardship.

For some, cutting tens of thousands from their annual spending might produce no real drop in quality of life. For others, just a few thousand shaved off will cause hardship.

Likewise, for some, jumping to double their income may actually result in doing more satisfying and less drudging work with more autonomy. For others, making even 10% more money means making horrible life/work balance trade offs, and barreling towards burnout.

The biggest challenge of this whole thing is realizing that there are no "best" options, there are only the trade offs that we each individually must determine to be worthwhile.

I still maintain though, that no high earner ever needed to be told that they have the option to outsource.
We know.

Dabnasty

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Re: Article about the very rich buying there back time.
« Reply #47 on: August 14, 2019, 09:32:17 AM »
I think part of what makes this such a contentious topic is that while some people have legitimately weighed the options and come to the conclusion that outsourcing is better for them, there are many more who use the same reasoning even though it's not entirely correct for their situation. In other words they're making excuses. They probably even believe their own excuses.*

But that leaves us in a tricky situation when trying to address the fact that many people are making excuses and would be better off with less outsourcing. I honestly believe that to be the case yet I also acknowledge that there are exceptions. But how do I know who the exceptions are? The minority who have really considered the pros and cons look very similar to the majority who are overestimating the benefit of outsourcing.

So I guess my conclusion is that I will not tell someone they are "wrong" to outsource, but I will view their reasoning with skepticism.

*Which is a completely normal and human thing to do. I'm not trying to pretend I'm above that kind of thinking, I'm sure I do it in other aspects of my life without realizing it.

big_owl

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Re: Article about the very rich buying there back time.
« Reply #48 on: August 14, 2019, 09:41:10 AM »
As for feeling a sense of accomplishment after completing a task I don't like...we're not talking about accepting the nomination as reluctant leader of the next civil rights movement, we're talking about shopping for groceries or cutting the lawn. 

Shopping for groceries is about as challenging as wiping my ass is every day.  A chimp could do it.  It isn't hard, it just takes time.  Wiping my ass only takes about 15sec/day whereas grocery shopping is 2hrs of my precious weekend time every week.  All I've accomplished during a trip to the grocery store is dodging traffic and putting 15mi on my car.


So I spend $50 every week to have someone else put miles on their car while I relax at home with my wife on a Friday afternoon, doing other things like working on my garden...which is something that provides me some food and I also get enjoyment from...and something I'd have 2hrs less per week to work on if I had to drive out and buy my own groceries.  Or on Friday I'll cut my lawn (something I like to do) and get a headstart on the weekend chores.

It's unlikely that the occasional grocery trip would disrupt gardening.  We all spend countless hours doing nothing throughout the week.  How much time do you spend on internet forums, watching TV, etc?  Are you paying $50/week for the groceries including delivery?  Or $50 just for the delivery?

I pay $50/wk for the labor involved for grocery shopping plus $150 or so dollars each week for the food (so $200 a week total).  Yes doing groceries every week crowds out other, more enjoyable things in my life.  Like I said, it's a 2hr time sink every weekend.  That's how long it takes, it's not debatable.  My wife and I both work full time demanding jobs which gives us free downtime together on Friday evening, Saturday, and Sunday.  I'd much rather spend that time with her doing something more meaningful than grocery shopping.  Same with other BS tasks I have our helper do.  Between that and hiring a cleaning company it probably costs about $600/mo to outsource shit that I don't like to do.

It's all good if that's how you like spending money.  About $250,000 outsourcing over a 15 year period.  It's not a very MMM thing to do, but fire is dynamic and individualized.  I spend about 30 minutes shopping at the grocery store and view it as a good opportunity to just get out of the house/work, walk around, etc.  You don't.  Cool.  But damn, that's a lot of cash.  Of course, it's likely you also aren't taking advantage of sales, BOGO's, discount stores, etc.  So the amount is probably much higher than the $50...  But as long as you know it and find value in it.  Good for you.

The key is in the title of the thread.  Paying $600/mo on a $100k+ monthly income to outsource chores doesn't really impact the balance sheet much.  $250k over 15 yrs isn't much when your gross income over the same period is $20M.  That would be something like 1600hrs worth of grocery shopping avoided.  The article was about rich people buying time back, not middle Americans struggling with debt while making poor decisions and hiring poolboys.

EscapeVelocity2020

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Re: Article about the very rich buying there back time.
« Reply #49 on: August 14, 2019, 09:42:50 AM »
@Malkynn Good points.  Probably the other reason most high earners are more vocal and active on the forum are because they have more opportunities to cut expenses and/or earn more.  My salary has gone up and down by tens of thousands of dollars when I go expat, I get unsolicited employment offers, and I have an option to take university and professional courses paid for by my employer in order to advance my career.  On the flip side, I can learn and further optimize holding on to more of my income by keeping up with the tax code, there is significant fat that can be cut from the budget if necessary, and there are ever changing angles available in the credit / bank bonus game (especially when you spend more and use more credit).  The options and permutations are endless, really just limited by the time and effort that I care to put in.  I enjoy being on the forum and being made aware of opportunities, even if I don't implement them.  Feels empowering.

Back when I started out and made 42k/yr, my tax situation was quite straightforward, there were few big expenses, it was easy to live cheaply and focus was to simply max out the 401k, and I 'stached the tiny bit left over in an after tax E*Trade account (this was the 1990's).  A very straightforward and simple life without a whole lot of meaningful wiggle room.