Author Topic: Hey Guys, We're Being Idolized  (Read 4927 times)

Hayden Frys Mustache

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Hey Guys, We're Being Idolized
« on: December 16, 2015, 08:38:17 PM »
I like Slate, but this one missed:

http://www.slate.com/articles/business/moneybox/2015/12/sean_cooper_paid_his_mortgage_in_3_years_by_saving_ignore_his_story.html

Guy pays off a huge mortgage in 3 years, and people are calling him a slave....joke's on the other guy.

But this time, many readers and viewers of Cooper’s quest didn’t want to hear it. True, Cooper didn’t succumb to lifestyle inflation, that bugaboo of personal-finance gurus everywhere. But how could he? As commenters were quick to point out, he didn’t have much of a life at all.

“See everyone? All you have to do is become a literal slave and almost work yourself to death if you want to pay your mortgage
,” one person wrote. “We’re not all single with no kids,” wrote another. Others questioned why they were even reading the piece at all. “You know they passed labour laws to not have this be the example right?”

obstinate

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Re: Hey Guys, We're Being Idolized
« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2015, 10:53:11 PM »
It's a shame. I mean, who among us wouldn't trade three years for a life of freedom? Many people trade far more for less.

clifp

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Re: Hey Guys, We're Being Idolized
« Reply #2 on: December 16, 2015, 11:13:41 PM »
I detest Slate in no small part because of silly articles like this.  From what I gather, the columnist wrote a book which denigrates thing like cutting out the daily lattes.

Then she goes on to quote things like the suicide rate in Alberta has risen by 30% for 6 months.  Considering that 99.99% of all Canadian don't commit suicide I'm not sure why we should care if the ~1/10,000 that do matter that much.

I get people don't want to hear that most people can have significant control over their financial lives. But I don't understand why people who live frugally are to be pity not admired.

HazelStone

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Re: Hey Guys, We're Being Idolized
« Reply #3 on: December 17, 2015, 07:31:41 AM »
If you see little credit to the latte factor, the way this guy treated his housing is the stronger argument in comparison. Sweetie and I bought less house and car than we can "afford" so we have the budgetary room to save. "Latte factors" fade in and out...but when we work on reducing them, it's because "hey, we could be saving more than we are now," not "I have two gallons of gas in the tank and $5 to last through payday."

Cutting the latte factor assumes that you're actually putting the savings in the bank, which isn't always the case. Far simpler to keep your house and car expenses in line and send big, automated payments to your investment accounts.

But taking the middle road isn't an "interesting" read. There's no clickbait to a story about a guy who had a side gig and roommates for a while and paid off the house in ten years.

Also, remember our nation's history: many of our ancestors are people who saved up every bit they could, to get ship passage to the US or Canada to emigrate. Our ancestors are largely people who arrived with next to nothing, having to scrap and struggle to get established. This is part of our cultural memory! Financial values/habits in a family pass on to the children. The people in the Old Country who stayed behind were either already comfortable, or less motivated. Or weren't of an ethnic/social minority facing annihilation. The lesson passed down is that thrift is a (sometimes literal) lifesaver.

Road42

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Re: Hey Guys, We're Being Idolized
« Reply #4 on: December 17, 2015, 08:26:06 AM »
However, check out the comments! Almost every comment on this article criticizes the author and her nonsense and talks about the value of thrift.

dude

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Re: Hey Guys, We're Being Idolized
« Reply #5 on: December 17, 2015, 08:27:40 AM »
Hmm, I don't know, I thought the article was pretty balanced.  Didn't seem to me she was a attacking those who choose to be frugal at all.  She pointed out some current circumstances that make it quite a bit harder for many people to do what a guy making $75k/year who could afford to buy a house was able to do.  And in the age of extreme and growing income inequality, I could see how some would not be enamored of pushing frugality on the 99% while the 1% get richer and richer -- there does seem to be something a little perverse about that.  It's understandable that some peoples' focus might be on sharing the wealth currently going to the very, very top of the chain, rather than telling everyone else to suck it up.

lauraah

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Re: Hey Guys, We're Being Idolized
« Reply #6 on: December 17, 2015, 08:47:24 AM »
Of course there's some level of truth that there are larger forces at work that many people are hapless victims of.  There are plenty of people hoovering at the poverty line who have kids where one bout of illness making them miss work can set of a spiral they can't control.  And they genuinely don't have the earning power to get out of this situation and typically lack the knowledge/time to to develop better earning power.

Still though, that's the poor.  Which is fortunately not most people in the United States.  The vast majority of us have a lot of control over our financial situation.  People have a tendency to think they have an innate right to live alone, to own a car, to eat out when they want, etc..  I see great value in exposing these for they myths that they are.

I admire the guy in the article, although I do feel a little bad for him.  Three years of working 100 hour weeks.  Working at a meat market despite being a vegetarian.  Enjoying life matters.  How much time could the extra jobs really have saved him?  Surely not more than 2 years of renting out the house and continuing at his job.  I'd rather be able to enjoy my life and pay it off in 5 (or more) years than live in such a miserable state.

TheAnonOne

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Re: Hey Guys, We're Being Idolized
« Reply #7 on: December 17, 2015, 09:02:21 AM »
Still though, that's the poor.  Which is fortunately not most people in the United States.  The vast majority of us have a lot of control over our financial situation.  People have a tendency to think they have an innate right to live alone, to own a car, to eat out when they want, etc..  I see great value in exposing these for they myths that they are.

You are correct, it isn't "MOST" people. Though, it is quite a few people(15% of the usa? 45MM People...) and given that the average household income is around 50k, half are making less than that.

I agree with you, just want to establish context.

rocketpj

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Re: Hey Guys, We're Being Idolized
« Reply #8 on: December 17, 2015, 10:43:54 AM »
Still though, that's the poor.  Which is fortunately not most people in the United States.  The vast majority of us have a lot of control over our financial situation.  People have a tendency to think they have an innate right to live alone, to own a car, to eat out when they want, etc..  I see great value in exposing these for they myths that they are.

You are correct, it isn't "MOST" people. Though, it is quite a few people(15% of the usa? 45MM People...) and given that the average household income is around 50k, half are making less than that.

I agree with you, just want to establish context.

Half would be making less if it was the median income.  Average income has to include the Bill Gates factor - his and my income is likely many multiples of my income alone.  So it is quite likely that a lot more than half are making less than the average.  Does anyone have those stats to hand?

Pooplips

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Re: Hey Guys, We're Being Idolized
« Reply #9 on: December 17, 2015, 11:00:49 AM »
$53,000 and change is the Median.

KCM5

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Re: Hey Guys, We're Being Idolized
« Reply #10 on: December 17, 2015, 11:12:05 AM »
Still though, that's the poor.  Which is fortunately not most people in the United States.  The vast majority of us have a lot of control over our financial situation.  People have a tendency to think they have an innate right to live alone, to own a car, to eat out when they want, etc..  I see great value in exposing these for they myths that they are.

You are correct, it isn't "MOST" people. Though, it is quite a few people(15% of the usa? 45MM People...) and given that the average household income is around 50k, half are making less than that.

I agree with you, just want to establish context.

Half would be making less if it was the median income.  Average income has to include the Bill Gates factor - his and my income is likely many multiples of my income alone.  So it is quite likely that a lot more than half are making less than the average.  Does anyone have those stats to hand?

It's interesting that average can be mean, median or mode but people almost always interpret it as mean. In this case, the average quoted is the median. 

Guses

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Re: Hey Guys, We're Being Idolized
« Reply #11 on: December 17, 2015, 02:17:20 PM »
I admire the guy in the article, although I do feel a little bad for him.  Three years of working 100 hour weeks.  Working at a meat market despite being a vegetarian.  Enjoying life matters.  How much time could the extra jobs really have saved him?  Surely not more than 2 years of renting out the house and continuing at his job. I'd rather be able to enjoy my life and pay it off in 5 (or more) years than live in such a miserable state.

You appear to be projecting/extrapolating.

Being vegetarian has nothing to do with working/not working in a meat market. For one, it does not say that the vegetarianism is motivated by morals, the motivation could be entirely monetary (which I suspect it is). Besides, he might have been a clerk or cashier or countless other job that does not require the guy to manipulate the meat. Second, You don't have to consume the products that the shop you work for sells.

Also, how do you know the person was miserable? For some, the anguish of being indebted is more intense than working a regular job two additional years.


NICE!

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Re: Hey Guys, We're Being Idolized
« Reply #12 on: December 17, 2015, 02:35:55 PM »
Being vegetarian has nothing to do with working/not working in a meat market. For one, it does not say that the vegetarianism is motivated by morals, the motivation could be entirely monetary (which I suspect it is). Besides, he might have been a clerk or cashier or countless other job that does not require the guy to manipulate the meat. Second, You don't have to consume the products that the shop you work for sells.

You're absolutely right...he could also be motivated by health reasons. He definitely doesn't have to be a vegetarian for animal rights, environmental, or other moral reasons.

MrsPete

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Re: Hey Guys, We're Being Idolized
« Reply #13 on: December 17, 2015, 06:20:53 PM »
So he worked like a dog for three years and now owns his house outright.  Brilliant plan, and I have nothing but admiration for him.  I really don't understand the nay-sayers; they reek of sour grapes. 

I did something rather similar:  I worked day and night at multiple jobs while putting myself through college without taking on debt.  I was tired much of the time -- no, all the time -- but the effort was worth it.