Author Topic: What's up with the Frugalwoods?  (Read 140801 times)

Bublik2002

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #450 on: December 30, 2018, 10:18:01 AM »
I can't for the life of me understand all the hate that is surrounding this topic. They never claimed they came from poverty and simply write about their lifestyle.

If you don't like their blog don't read it. The losers/haters in life never ceases to amaze me.




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Lol. Anyone who identifies a rich person as engaging in impropriety is just a loser or a hater. Now who does that remind me of...

What's inappropriate? That they make more money than you? Go out and make more. This is the easiest country on the planet to get ahead... I'm an immigrant college dropout age 35. I have never made less than 300k a year since age 21.. I work hard and you should as well.


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mathlete

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #451 on: December 30, 2018, 10:23:51 AM »

What's inappropriate? That they make more money than you? Go out and make more. This is the easiest country on the planet to get ahead... I'm an immigrant college dropout age 35. I have never made less than 300k a year since age 21.. I work hard and you should as well.


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Some form of this extremely lazy argument/ad-hominem attack has been launched at me many times since the start of this discussion many months ago. So I'm used to it by now.

If you really want the answer to the question, read the thread. My posts in particular. I've done an excellent job of explaining what the impropriety in question is.

If though, as I highly suspect, you just want to dunk on imaginary haters, then go off. You also probably want a few good pats on the head for how good you've done in life too. You've done a great job in your financial pursuits. I truly, deeply mean that.

Bublik2002

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #452 on: December 30, 2018, 10:28:28 AM »
I can't for the life of me understand all the hate that is surrounding this topic. They never claimed they came from poverty and simply write about their lifestyle.

If you don't like their blog don't read it. The losers/haters in life never ceases to amaze me.




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Lol. Anyone who identifies a rich person as engaging in impropriety is just a loser or a hater. Now who does that remind me of...

What's inappropriate? That they make more money than you? Go out and make more. This is the easiest country on the planet to get ahead... I'm an immigrant college dropout age 35. I have never made less than 300k a year since age 21.. I work hard and you should as well.


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Trust me I'm not looking for any pats on the back. But anyone can have a blog and write whatever they please. Such is the beauty of this country. They blog about their life because it's still very different than most in regards to savings rate and lifestyle. Not really sure why it matters how much they make.


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MrBojangles

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #453 on: December 30, 2018, 10:30:52 AM »
Hey, Mr. Bojangles. I think it's perfectly normal to have those kinds of feelings and very healthy to acknowledge and work through them. It's when you project them onto two people you don't know that it becomes problematic. As you say, you will be FIREd. Your journey is different from theirs. Wishing you luck on yours.

How do I "like" this post?  Thank you!

mathlete

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #454 on: December 30, 2018, 10:33:38 AM »
Trust me I'm not looking for any pats on the back. But anyone can have a blog and write whatever they please. Such is the beauty of this country. They blog about their life because it's still very different than most in regards to savings rate and lifestyle. Not really sure why it matters how much they make.


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I'm not trying to take anyone's blog away. I'm certainly not trying to look down my nose at someone for earning a lot of money either.

I'm just accurately identifying a profiteer who is profiting from willful deception. It's not illegal. It's not the most amoral thing in the world. But it's demonstrably true. I really shouldn't be surprised at the extent to which people on a website with the phrase "join the cult*" on the landing page circle the wagons though.

*I understand that this is intended to be tongue-in-cheek, but it's also kind of not.

wordnerd

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #455 on: December 30, 2018, 10:34:11 AM »
Hey, Mr. Bojangles. I think it's perfectly normal to have those kinds of feelings and very healthy to acknowledge and work through them. It's when you project them onto two people you don't know that it becomes problematic. As you say, you will be FIREd. Your journey is different from theirs. Wishing you luck on yours.

How do I "like" this post?  Thank you!
Of course! I hope you stick around and post more. This is a great community.

mathlete

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #456 on: December 30, 2018, 10:38:19 AM »
Hey, Mr. Bojangles. I think it's perfectly normal to have those kinds of feelings and very healthy to acknowledge and work through them. It's when you project them onto two people you don't know that it becomes problematic. As you say, you will be FIREd. Your journey is different from theirs. Wishing you luck on yours.

How do I "like" this post?  Thank you!

+1

Excellent post by wordnerd.

People should always be encouraged when they have the self-awareness to recognize their own negative thought patterns.

skp

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #457 on: December 30, 2018, 12:53:35 PM »
For those of you who care (I was curious and kept looking out for the answer) Last go around someone posted that if this thread was still going on....  (:  , we could find out how much oil the frugalwoods actually use ( The debate about how much they needed that log splitter/ how much they really heat their house by the firewood they cut themselves).  Since it is going on, for those of you who care- Answer is $600.     

marble_faun

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #458 on: December 30, 2018, 03:32:35 PM »
Identifying the identities of the Frugalwoods didn't take much time at all.  I believe I was multitasking when I did it, sitting on the toilet or waiting for a train or something...

I wanted to find out who they were to see what their jobs were.  I then discovered that she worked for WGBH and he worked for ActBlue.  Probably $80 to $100k jobs in the Boston area, maybe they crack $200k combined.

So, when I discovered what Nate makes ALONE, it seemed like a bit of a scam.  Yes.  I am jealous, too.  It is something I am passionate about.  I mean, it seems to me my university would have their best interest in mind.  I make a ton of money, and can give some back to my university.  Win-win situation.  Even when I was there, a sports arena was being built, courtesy of a wealthy donor.  Good, I thought!  Me next!  This was obviously a success story as most where I went to were lower middle class.  That's another topic, but segregation is alive and well in this country.  Sure, there are always exceptions, but the rich go to Harvard and Yale, not because they're brilliant.  Likewise, folks like me go to bullshit State U.  It's like that for a reason...

I sound bitter about this, almost rabid, perhaps, and I'm sorry...

Yes, those rich folks don't care one whit about me, even the lower middle class folks I went to high school with have scattered.  The rich folks all went to private schools early on.  Segregation starts young.  The better off stayed behind, worked in a family business.  A few became tradesmen.  The rest had to scatter.  No where really to work there.  It almost feels like my whole entire high school class was on a ship that went down and I was the only survivor.  I am not on Facebook; perhaps if I was, it would be better.

As I have gotten older, I have discovered the truly wealthy form their own businesses.  I failed to realize this growing up.  To me, small businesses equalled minimum wage.  Of course, it did so for me, but family members not so much.  I think to myself, why didn't I think to form Amazon or something, but even that company had a substantial initial investment by Jeff Bezos' parents.

The part about GE...I meant to say that had somehow I been made CEO in 2001, I surely could have done a better job.  Who wouldn't have?  Do I have what it takes to be a CEO?  Certainly not, too introverted for one.  I always thought that I probably didn't have what it takes, but hey, if I do, great!  If not, resign quietly with a severance package and I am set for life.  (As you can see, I like the get rick quick approach!)

I live well beneath my means, and was FIRE before I even knew about it.  But, it isn't all bad.  I could retire tomorrow and live modestly if I need to, and I have a pension.  I can retire with a pension in a little over 10 years, so I shall plug away until then.  My enjoyment truly is a buy and hold approach to stocks.  For me, the ideal job would be a salary of $300-$500k a year so I could comfortably invest regularly, a quiet office, a computer, and a Wall Street Journal.

I cannot understand how most folks are NOT FIRE.  Yes, I get it that there are expenses like health care and college, and college is designed to make one rely on credit from a young age.  But I don't understand the allure of restaurants, fancy vacations, etc.  Restaurants are never good, are way overpriced, and you don't know how your food is prepared.  I do enjoy going to the UK every few years.  Hostels are a bargain, why pay a lot for a fancy hotel?  Your eyes are closed most of the time anyways.

I have never seen the inside of a country club, would feel uncomfortable at this point doing so, I think. 

I am ashamed that I am a government employee.  We really are detested.  Not getting paid until this shutdown ends.  I get no real perks, which is a downer, no bonus at Christmas.  But, on the other hand, my expenses are minimal relative to my job.  I can wear casual, cheap clothes, drive a generic car with 137,500 miles on it, etc.

There ARE many positives to my current position, just I feel like I could have been an asset at a major corporation.

It isn't necessarily your course of study that gets you ahead in life.  An English Lit degree from Harvard or Yale is far more valuable than a mathematics degree from good old State U.

Again, I know I often come across as bitter, and I apologize.  Just trying to point out the way I see things...warped or otherwise.

The Frugalwoods didn't go to Yale or Harvard, but to a state school in Kansas, I believe.

I sympathize with the idea that not everyone starts off with an equal chance in life.  But no one owes you a $500K salary. You have what sounds like a fine job, plus a pension, and you say you could stop working tomorrow if you felt like it. All the complaining and bitterness seems unwarranted.  You're doing fine.  Pull your socks up!

I'm a red panda

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #459 on: December 30, 2018, 04:26:39 PM »


-The Frugalwoods are not anonymous. When you look up the book on Amazon, Mrs. Frugalwood's name is there as author. She and her husband are addressed by their real names in the various media outlets they interviewed with for the book's promotion.


They were anonymous for a long time. I think that's what the reference is from. They only posted obscured photos of themselves for a long time

MrBojangles

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #460 on: December 30, 2018, 06:01:14 PM »


-The Frugalwoods are not anonymous. When you look up the book on Amazon, Mrs. Frugalwood's name is there as author. She and her husband are addressed by their real names in the various media outlets they interviewed with for the book's promotion.


They were anonymous for a long time. I think that's what the reference is from. They only posted obscured photos of themselves for a long time

That's correct.  This was when they were trying to remain anonymous.

Gin1984

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #461 on: December 30, 2018, 06:09:49 PM »
I don't get how people are upset at this.  If you did the math when they first started, it was obvious how high their salaries were.  They were living on 30% of their post-tax income.  All you had to do was take their average spending by .3 and you get their post-tax income. Given the tax rates you multiple that by 1.5 or so and then add the max for the 401ks.  I did that when I first start reading them.  Everyone on here can do that math, so if you are surprised, you did it to yourself.

MrBojangles

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #462 on: December 30, 2018, 06:24:05 PM »
Identifying the identities of the Frugalwoods didn't take much time at all.  I believe I was multitasking when I did it, sitting on the toilet or waiting for a train or something...

I wanted to find out who they were to see what their jobs were.  I then discovered that she worked for WGBH and he worked for ActBlue.  Probably $80 to $100k jobs in the Boston area, maybe they crack $200k combined.

So, when I discovered what Nate makes ALONE, it seemed like a bit of a scam.  Yes.  I am jealous, too.  It is something I am passionate about.  I mean, it seems to me my university would have their best interest in mind.  I make a ton of money, and can give some back to my university.  Win-win situation.  Even when I was there, a sports arena was being built, courtesy of a wealthy donor.  Good, I thought!  Me next!  This was obviously a success story as most where I went to were lower middle class.  That's another topic, but segregation is alive and well in this country.  Sure, there are always exceptions, but the rich go to Harvard and Yale, not because they're brilliant.  Likewise, folks like me go to bullshit State U.  It's like that for a reason...

I sound bitter about this, almost rabid, perhaps, and I'm sorry...

Yes, those rich folks don't care one whit about me, even the lower middle class folks I went to high school with have scattered.  The rich folks all went to private schools early on.  Segregation starts young.  The better off stayed behind, worked in a family business.  A few became tradesmen.  The rest had to scatter.  No where really to work there.  It almost feels like my whole entire high school class was on a ship that went down and I was the only survivor.  I am not on Facebook; perhaps if I was, it would be better.

As I have gotten older, I have discovered the truly wealthy form their own businesses.  I failed to realize this growing up.  To me, small businesses equalled minimum wage.  Of course, it did so for me, but family members not so much.  I think to myself, why didn't I think to form Amazon or something, but even that company had a substantial initial investment by Jeff Bezos' parents.

The part about GE...I meant to say that had somehow I been made CEO in 2001, I surely could have done a better job.  Who wouldn't have?  Do I have what it takes to be a CEO?  Certainly not, too introverted for one.  I always thought that I probably didn't have what it takes, but hey, if I do, great!  If not, resign quietly with a severance package and I am set for life.  (As you can see, I like the get rick quick approach!)

I live well beneath my means, and was FIRE before I even knew about it.  But, it isn't all bad.  I could retire tomorrow and live modestly if I need to, and I have a pension.  I can retire with a pension in a little over 10 years, so I shall plug away until then.  My enjoyment truly is a buy and hold approach to stocks.  For me, the ideal job would be a salary of $300-$500k a year so I could comfortably invest regularly, a quiet office, a computer, and a Wall Street Journal.

I cannot understand how most folks are NOT FIRE.  Yes, I get it that there are expenses like health care and college, and college is designed to make one rely on credit from a young age.  But I don't understand the allure of restaurants, fancy vacations, etc.  Restaurants are never good, are way overpriced, and you don't know how your food is prepared.  I do enjoy going to the UK every few years.  Hostels are a bargain, why pay a lot for a fancy hotel?  Your eyes are closed most of the time anyways.

I have never seen the inside of a country club, would feel uncomfortable at this point doing so, I think. 

I am ashamed that I am a government employee.  We really are detested.  Not getting paid until this shutdown ends.  I get no real perks, which is a downer, no bonus at Christmas.  But, on the other hand, my expenses are minimal relative to my job.  I can wear casual, cheap clothes, drive a generic car with 137,500 miles on it, etc.

There ARE many positives to my current position, just I feel like I could have been an asset at a major corporation.

It isn't necessarily your course of study that gets you ahead in life.  An English Lit degree from Harvard or Yale is far more valuable than a mathematics degree from good old State U.

Again, I know I often come across as bitter, and I apologize.  Just trying to point out the way I see things...warped or otherwise.

The Frugalwoods didn't go to Yale or Harvard, but to a state school in Kansas, I believe.

I sympathize with the idea that not everyone starts off with an equal chance in life.  But no one owes you a $500K salary. You have what sounds like a fine job, plus a pension, and you say you could stop working tomorrow if you felt like it. All the complaining and bitterness seems unwarranted.  You're doing fine.  Pull your socks up!

Correct.  But they are definitely in the upper echelon of State U grads.  You cannot deny that the odds of being wildly successful are far greater attending an Ivy League institution on Daddy's dime.

I have done the FIRE thing because most shit at Wal-Mart and fancy restaurants don't appeal to me.  BUT, on the other hand, had I started out EARLY with the high dollar job and every conceivable perk under the sun paid for by the corporation, perhaps what appeals to me and does not would be far different.

I get, as well as do not get, that a corporation does not owe me a $500k job.  There are fields one willingly elects to work in, such as biology, wildlife management, geography, etc, that do not pay well.  But, on the other hand, these jobs really ought to be for the taking, if you want them.  You should not forever be judged on what you majored in, but rather, that you have a college degree and can think critically.  Since I have never earned big money, I won't know how I would react if I did, or started out earning big bucks...but, it seems to me a corporation paying college graduates big money is a win-win situation.  The employee feels valued, works harder, and is more productive.  And, they have more money to spend, buy impressive homes, spend more at Home Depot, hire gardeners thereby creating jobs, buy more Mercedes-Benz's, etc and etc.

And I didn't have nearly the amount of debt these folks are getting out of college with now thinking that degree in women's studies that cost a quarter mil is somehow going to lead to a mid six figure job.

Again, I don't mean to sound bitter, and I have done really well given my upbringing.  I very might be the way I am because I saw the sheer WASTE that trust fund babies engaged in, and my lower middle class upbringing would never allow for, and I think that had I been handed a trust fund and lived the way I do, what I could have done.  For example, Apple was $17 a share in 1997.  I almost bought it, but thought then I really cannot afford to lose $1700.  If I was raised such that $1700 was pocket change, I would have bought the stock and never looked back. 

I don't mean to sound like a bitter spoiled brat, as I am not.  But, I have always had to be thrifty.  At first, just to survive.  Then, because I was afraid of being broke...

I am not unhappy, and am okay with how things turned out, but I would be lying through my teeth if I didn't admit that I wish I was raised really well off, spent summers in Europe, went to expensive schools all paid for by my family, a hefty trust fund at 18.☺

mm1970

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #463 on: December 31, 2018, 09:06:19 AM »
I should have clarified something.  I have neibors all throughout where I live who work for a major corporation that is a few miles from here.  I could ask them I'd they could get me in, except I don't think that will go far.  On the website, all current openings are in engineering, IT, and HR.  So, finally I might have a network, but not the skills.

I came down hard on the Frugalwoods because they are not like you and I.  When you think about it, and what makes for a good blog, is that they were simply at the right place at the right time--right degree, location, and friends, for BOTH partners.  I think that happens quite rarely, which is why we don't all have our own blogs.
Frugalwoods are, in fact, a lot like my husband and myself.

Yes, you will need the skills to get those jobs.  You just don't "get" jobs at big companies that pay a lot.  You have to earn them and work for them.  It's not just the skills.  Though obviously that is step 1.  It is earning your place.  It is working well with others so you get a reference.

Okay, no, neither my spouse nor I make $270k.  With a sacrifice or two, we probably could.  (We are both engineers!)

MrBojangles

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #464 on: December 31, 2018, 09:39:46 AM »
The Federal government has provided me with ZERO marketable skills.  Believe me, I've tried many times to get out to no avail.  No longer am even wasting my time applying elsewhere.  The perils of graduating from college in a recession (1992).  In sure others who graduated in even worse times more recently can attest to this.

mathlete

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #465 on: December 31, 2018, 10:10:08 AM »
I don't get how people are upset at this.  If you did the math when they first started, it was obvious how high their salaries were.  They were living on 30% of their post-tax income.  All you had to do was take their average spending by .3 and you get their post-tax income. Given the tax rates you multiple that by 1.5 or so and then add the max for the 401ks.  I did that when I first start reading them.  Everyone on here can do that math, so if you are surprised, you did it to yourself.

I don't get how people still repeat this same misconception after it should have been cleared up many times now. :)

Here I am, early on in this thread, doing the exact thing you describe. this is before the issue of IRS 990s that prove income came up:

This is what I mean when I talk about frugality not being as germane to the broader story.

Based on my reading, they don't discuss their income in terms of hard numbers. But given age (early 30s), spending (discussed above), and inheritance ($0), it's a reduced to a mathematical exercise to impute the rest. If I were to ball-park it, I'd say, in excess of 3X the median household income.

And that's the story. It's about income + the recognition that marginal change in happiness per dollar spent is relatively low when you're at first world levels of spending already. They deserve credit for both the former, and the latter, but we should recognize that the latter is really about not dropping five figures on stupid shit on an annual basis. It's not about rescuing a lamp instead of buying one at WalMart. It's not about cutting each other's hair to save $20 at Super-Cuts.

It's about income, and I view this kind of as an empirical fact.

I wouldn't describe myself as "upset" here. I did the math and ball-parked them as in-excess of $180K a year. Making a lot of money is not a crime. No one is upset that they make a lot of money. I make a lot of money too.

It's the fact that their one percenter incomes afford them a super cool lifestyle, but they sell their story to people as if it's frugality. It's not frugality. And it is dishonest to pitch it as such. This Guardian Op-Ed/book pitch referenced earlier in the thread is a perfect example.

https://www.theguardian.com/money/2018/mar/08/how-to-retire-early-frugal-spending

Quote
Extreme frugality allowed me to retire at 32 Ė and regain control of my life

The title is misleading from the start. Most working mothers would describe her situation as one of a stay at home mom married to a man with a high salary and a flexible work-from-home situation. (inb4 "retirement police!") But maybe she wasn't 100% in control of the headline. So we'll read on.

Quote
My husband, Nate, and I are not exceptional people. Weíre not rich or famous or geniuses or even particularly good-looking (although we have our moments). Weíre just some average, middle-class kids from the midwest who decided we wanted something more out of life than what our consumer culture sells us.

While itís true that Nate and I are average people, and weíve never won the lottery or had investment banker salaries or been the beneficiaries of inheritances or trust funds, Iím keenly aware that we are also extraordinarily privileged.

That's seven different ways of trying to paint themselves as average before a a vague allusion to privilege. Seven. I would characterize many of them as misleading, and the IB salary one as flat out dishonest, since they make more money than many investment bankers their age.

I'm confident that this is calculated and purposeful. Because "we made a lot of money and now we have a cool rich person life" is not marketable, while, "cut your own hair like we did. We retired at 32" is very marketable.

I'm sure you and many others have lingering questions about why I care about this. I don't dislike or really even know that much about these people. I make good money and will probably retire early too. It's not bitterness or jealousy. It's because this is demonstrably misleading marketing and people are affected by it*. Real people. Read some of the verified Amazon reviews of the book.

Maybe you think it's someone's fault if they let themselves be mislead. Personally, I like to give them a break because I recognize that most people aren't as clever as I am and can't spot this kind of dishonesty right away. But if you want to place the blame on the people who were misled, that's honestly fine. But that doesn't make dishonesty not dishonest.

I posted in this thread back in March, and I'm posting in it today because I feel like someone has to say these things. The media is incredibly lazy when it comes to FIRE, so they're certainly not going to do it. And the PF community at large is so high on it's own supply, that they typically just circle the wagons and call all the nay-sayers in The Guardian comments section bitter losers. So here I am.

*I also like being right about things on the Internet.

Gin1984

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #466 on: December 31, 2018, 10:25:30 AM »
I don't get how people are upset at this.  If you did the math when they first started, it was obvious how high their salaries were.  They were living on 30% of their post-tax income.  All you had to do was take their average spending by .3 and you get their post-tax income. Given the tax rates you multiple that by 1.5 or so and then add the max for the 401ks.  I did that when I first start reading them.  Everyone on here can do that math, so if you are surprised, you did it to yourself.

I don't get how people still repeat this same misconception after it should have been cleared up many times now. :)

Here I am, early on in this thread, doing the exact thing you describe. this is before the issue of IRS 990s that prove income came up:

This is what I mean when I talk about frugality not being as germane to the broader story.

Based on my reading, they don't discuss their income in terms of hard numbers. But given age (early 30s), spending (discussed above), and inheritance ($0), it's a reduced to a mathematical exercise to impute the rest. If I were to ball-park it, I'd say, in excess of 3X the median household income.

And that's the story. It's about income + the recognition that marginal change in happiness per dollar spent is relatively low when you're at first world levels of spending already. They deserve credit for both the former, and the latter, but we should recognize that the latter is really about not dropping five figures on stupid shit on an annual basis. It's not about rescuing a lamp instead of buying one at WalMart. It's not about cutting each other's hair to save $20 at Super-Cuts.

It's about income, and I view this kind of as an empirical fact.

I wouldn't describe myself as "upset" here. I did the math and ball-parked them as in-excess of $180K a year. Making a lot of money is not a crime. No one is upset that they make a lot of money. I make a lot of money too.

It's the fact that their one percenter incomes afford them a super cool lifestyle, but they sell their story to people as if it's frugality. It's not frugality. And it is dishonest to pitch it as such. This Guardian Op-Ed/book pitch referenced earlier in the thread is a perfect example.

https://www.theguardian.com/money/2018/mar/08/how-to-retire-early-frugal-spending

Quote
Extreme frugality allowed me to retire at 32 Ė and regain control of my life

The title is misleading from the start. Most working mothers would describe her situation as one of a stay at home mom married to a man with a high salary and a flexible work-from-home situation. (inb4 "retirement police!") But maybe she wasn't 100% in control of the headline. So we'll read on.

Quote
My husband, Nate, and I are not exceptional people. Weíre not rich or famous or geniuses or even particularly good-looking (although we have our moments). Weíre just some average, middle-class kids from the midwest who decided we wanted something more out of life than what our consumer culture sells us.

While itís true that Nate and I are average people, and weíve never won the lottery or had investment banker salaries or been the beneficiaries of inheritances or trust funds, Iím keenly aware that we are also extraordinarily privileged.

That's seven different ways of trying to paint themselves as average before a a vague allusion to privilege. Seven. I would characterize many of them as misleading, and the IB salary one as flat out dishonest, since they make more money than many investment bankers their age.

I'm confident that this is calculated and purposeful. Because "we made a lot of money and now we have a cool rich person life" is not marketable, while, "cut your own hair like we did. We retired at 32" is very marketable.

I'm sure you and many others have lingering questions about why I care about this. I don't dislike or really even know that much about these people. I make good money and will probably retire early too. It's not bitterness or jealousy. It's because this is demonstrably misleading marketing and people are affected by it*. Real people. Read some of the verified Amazon reviews of the book.

Maybe you think it's someone's fault if they let themselves be mislead. Personally, I like to give them a break because I recognize that most people aren't as clever as I am and can't spot this kind of dishonesty right away. But if you want to place the blame on the people who were misled, that's honestly fine. But that doesn't make dishonesty not dishonest.

I posted in this thread back in March, and I'm posting in it today because I feel like someone has to say these things. The media is incredibly lazy when it comes to FIRE, so they're certainly not going to do it. And the PF community at large is so high on it's own supply, that they typically just circle the wagons and call all the nay-sayers in The Guardian comments section bitter losers. So here I am.

*I also like being right about things on the Internet.
They averaged about $3500-4000 per month, that is about $45000/year. Divide that by .3 and you get $150,000.  Then take into account taxes (which it sounds like you did not) and you get $225,000, add in th 401ks and you get $261,000.  If you went with the higher number of $4000 you'd hit $312,000.
They started off as normal kids, which they said and got good jobs which paid very well in a very expensive area (which means they get paid even better).  That is not winning the lotto.

mathlete

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #467 on: December 31, 2018, 10:30:26 AM »
They averaged about $3500-4000 per month, that is about $45000/year. Divide that by .3 and you get $150,000.  Then take into account taxes (which it sounds like you did not) and you get $225,000, add in th 401ks and you get $261,000.  If you went with the higher number of $4000 you'd hit $312,000.
They started off as normal kids, which they said and got good jobs which paid very well in a very expensive area (which means they get paid even better).  That is not winning the lotto.

Well then I guess I shouldn't have made all those comments about how they won the lottery then. ;)

Laura33

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #468 on: December 31, 2018, 01:10:34 PM »
But they are definitely in the upper echelon of State U grads.  You cannot deny that the odds of being wildly successful are far greater attending an Ivy League institution on Daddy's dime.

In fact, studies have shown that equally-qualified students who were rejected from the Ivies do just as well financially as those who were accepted to those schools. 

Your posts have resonated with me because I used to think the way you do.  I was poor; I resented those around me who had more and felt like they had all of these lovely lives handed to them and there was no way I could ever catch up.  But I was determined not to be poor, did well in school and earned scholarships (for a BA in English, no less!), and then followed the money into law school.  And what I have learned over the years is that my own mindset was more damaging to myself than anything else.

Your view of networking is an excellent example, because I share(d) it -- I mean, I knew no one with a silver spoon, and even when I later met some of those folks, I never felt remotely comfortable around them.  So how could someone like me ever "network" successfully?  Then I watched my DH go through four separate job changes -- two shutdowns, one layoff, and one voluntary move.  Each time, he started by getting on the phone with people he had gone to (state) school with or worked with before and asking them to let him know of any opportunities.  Now none of the people were rich or powerful; they generally had worker-bee jobs like he did.  But because he had impressed these people with his brains and work ethic, they were more than happy to pass on news of job openings and put in a good word for him.  And each time, he ended up in a better job, with a raise and a promotion.  Nothing was handed to him -- he earned that reputation by years of working alongside those people, and he still needed to interview and get that new job on his own.  But that network helped him find doors that he could then open and push through. 

But to make that work, you also need patience.  Some of DH's contacts hadn't worked with him for 10+ years, but he had stayed in contact because they were good guys.  And then I saw the same thing happen to me:  I am the world's biggest introvert and horrible marketer, but then all of a sudden one year I pulled in a half-million-dollar client.  How?  Because I had worked with the guy in a former job and apparently made an impression (note that I had no concept of this at the time), and years later when his new company needed a lawyer in my area, I was the first person he called.  Similarly, many of the people who I worked with as a baby lawyer are now in positions of power in various companies all around the US.  25 years ago, I'd have told you that it was hopeless that I'd ever be able to bring in business, because the only people I knew were young and powerless like me; but now I find myself surrounded by seemingly "important" people who actually know who I am and think well of me.  WTF?  How the hell did that happen?  But it did. 

And maybe, if I hadn't spent so many years assuming that "networking" was something that was inherited (along with a silver spoon and a trust fund), I'd be even more successful now, because I'd have paid attention to making those connections and staying in touch years earlier.  Focusing on what I didn't have, instead of what I could control, cost me probably a decade of career growth. 

Oh, and as to those silver-spoon folks?  The grass is always greener.  I earned my way through college mostly through scholarships and work-study, with only a little financial support from my parents.  My brothers were younger; by the time they went to college, my dad was significantly better-off and provided them full rides to fancy private schools.  Both of them took 5-6 years to graduate; both of them blew ridiculous amounts of money and got into CC debt for years after graduating; and decades later, one of them is still financially unstable (currently chasing Bitcoin in the hopes of wealth).  I spent years resenting how much easier they had it than I did, and how they had blown an opportunity that I'd have killed for -- until one day, someone pointed out to me that perhaps it was having to work my own way up that made me more successful, because it forced me to work hard and not take anything for granted.  Turns out not having the luxury of paid-for failure is probably what I actually needed to reach my current level of success.

Sorry to be so long-winded on this (folks here will tell you I tend to do that).  But there is so much in your posts that strikes me as coming from a very self-defeating mental attitude.  I am glad that you have gotten to a place of financial security, and I hope that you can appreciate how far you have come, give yourself credit for the hard work you have put in to get there, and start to believe that those same abilities that got you this far can take you to even better places if you want it enough to put in the effort and make the tradeoffs.  Or, perhaps, decide that what you have already achieved is enough and enjoy what you have instead of wasting any more mental energy resenting those who have more.  No, life is not fair.  But I for one have far more respect for someone who worked his ass off for everything he has than for someone who had infinitely more handed to him.

Telecaster

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #469 on: December 31, 2018, 01:42:04 PM »

In fact, studies have shown that equally-qualified students who were rejected from the Ivies do just as well financially as those who were accepted to those schools... 

...  Then I watched my DH go through four separate job changes -- two shutdowns, one layoff, and one voluntary move.  Each time, he started by getting on the phone with people he had gone to (state) school with or worked with before and asking them to let him know of any opportunities.  Now none of the people were rich or powerful; they generally had worker-bee jobs like he did.  But because he had impressed these people with his brains and work ethic, they were more than happy to pass on news of job openings and put in a good word for him.  And each time, he ended up in a better job, with a raise and a promotion.  Nothing was handed to him -- he earned that reputation by years of working alongside those people, and he still needed to interview and get that new job on his own.  But that network helped him find doors that he could then open and push through.

Great post Laura.  Getting into the Ivies isn't the important thing.  The ability to get into the Ivies is the important thing.  Your college pedigree will get you your first job.  After that it is on you. 

My wife waited tables all through college.   Years later she wound up getting two, good-paying professional jobs she found from people she used to wait tables with.  One was in government and one was in private industry.  Your network doesn't need to be the country club set.  Your network is people who know you, know you can do a good job, and want to work with you.   Even if the work is in a completely different field.   

My sister (until she retired early) is an engineer and would occasionally recruit for the aerospace company she worked for.   She told me that company valued people who worked through college over people with higher GPAs for the exact reasons you mentioned in your post.   They wanted people who knew how to roll up their sleeves and go to work. 

MrBojangles

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #470 on: December 31, 2018, 03:03:17 PM »
Yeah, I read that too about the Ivy League quality folks who did not attend Ivy League schools.  Don't worry, I'm not Ivy League material.  I got into a decent school once, but couldn't afford it.  BTW, that's the best thing that never happened!  I think, way back in the dark ages, when I applied to colleges, you could either afford them or you couldn't.  And that was that!  There was no way I could have afforded $18k a year in 1988.  I did not know that at the time, but this institution is now over $70k a year and I certainly know that I would not want to be paying that.  When you are 18 yrs old convinced you are worth hundreds of thousands a year, 18k sounds like chump change, LOL.  I think the MASSIVE mistake being made today is letting these kids go wherever they want to no matter the cost and no worries--until the student loans must be repaid.

As far as networking.  I have always worked behind the scenes Federal jobs.  Networking consists of anything my coworkers can provide, which isn't much.  We all have gone nowhere, we are all in this boat together.  I tend to hang out in blue collar environments, like the Legion.  I feel uncomfortable elsewhere.

I really detest this networking thing.  Demeaning, if you ask me.  All I ever wanted was to send my resume in to a company, avoid any interview, if possible, and put the principle of ROI I learned in economics class to good work.

Leaving me out of it personally, if one spends $300k on an education these days (I didn't come close) isn't it good corporate citizenship to be starting these kids right out of college at about $200k a year to start?  These companies earn so much friggin' money these days, it's high time salaries in this country got jumpstarted.

obstinate

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #471 on: January 01, 2019, 06:21:29 PM »
As far as networking.  I have always worked behind the scenes Federal jobs.  Networking consists of anything my coworkers can provide, which isn't much.  We all have gone nowhere, we are all in this boat together.  I tend to hang out in blue collar environments, like the Legion.  I feel uncomfortable elsewhere.

I really detest this networking thing.  Demeaning, if you ask me.  All I ever wanted was to send my resume in to a company, avoid any interview, if possible, and put the principle of ROI I learned in economics class to good work.
Your expectations are so far away from reality that it's hard to believe you're being serious. I'd expect this viewpoint from a child, not a grown adult who has presumably had a few years to learn how the world works.
Leaving me out of it personally, if one spends $300k on an education these days (I didn't come close) isn't it good corporate citizenship to be starting these kids right out of college at about $200k a year to start?  These companies earn so much friggin' money these days, it's high time salaries in this country got jumpstarted.
If you owned a business, would you pay an employee more just because they had taken out a big loan (whether for college or anything else)? I know I wouldn't. Employers do not care how much debt you have, not even in principle. They care how much value you bring to the table, or how much it would cost to hire another candidate. Your past foolish decisions do not enter into the compensation equation.

MrBojangles

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #472 on: January 01, 2019, 07:50:02 PM »
In theory, avoidance of interviews are possible.  I stuck that in there as it's actually happened to me in a positive and negative way.  If there is a demand that far exceeds supply in the private sector, in theory, an interview would be unnecessary because what purpose would it serve if your skill set is needed and there is no one else to fill the position.

At one time, I desired interviews, this being a stepping stone to a corporate job.

In my experience, I actually got my Federal job without an interview, as did everyone else I know.  Basically, if you are willing to work in the location and the hours necessary and have the coursework to qualify for the entry level job, sooner or later you will get hired.  No interview necessary.

I have worked with some very nice, but eccentric, folks over the years.  Some likely could not get hired elsewhere.  It doesn't necessarily make them bad people.  Many find me to be a bit eccentric as well.

As for as an employer overpaying simply because an employee "needs" that kind of money, and the employer is altruistic, it makes no sense whatsoever, except it happens all the time.  For example, the Frugalwoods themselves.  They don't need to pay Nate $300k or so a year, but they do.  I guarantee you they could get rid of him tomorrow, and hire me at half his salary.  I just got a substantial pay increase, and I can work from home!  The employer saves money, too!  Win win situation!  Most jobs are learned through OJT.  I'm bright and intelligent.  6 mos of OJT, possibly far less, and I'm good to go!

Even when I got out of college, the average starting salary was 24k a year.  I took a job at under $7 an hour, so I was earning well under the starting salary.  If the average was 24k a year and I was at least 10k under that, folks are earning more than 24k a year to offset my low starting salary.  Why would a corporation do that when they could have had me for less?  I stated, in a futile attempt to get interviews with major corporations at one point, since nothing else seemed to be working, that I would be willing to start at 20k a year (in my cover letter).  Again, a win win situation.  I earn more than I was earning before, the company saves money by hiring me, and I can start climbing the corporate ladder.  Except it didn't work!
« Last Edit: January 01, 2019, 08:18:42 PM by MrBojangles »

Telecaster

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #473 on: January 01, 2019, 08:43:13 PM »
I stated, in a futile attempt to get interviews with major corporations at one point, since nothing else seemed to be working, that I would be willing to start at 20k a year (in my cover letter).  Again, a win win situation.  I earn more than I was earning before, the company saves money by hiring me, and I can start climbing the corporate ladder.  Except it didn't work!

Hiring managers don't think like that.  They want to hire someone who can get the job done.  Instead of saying how cheap you were willing work* you should have been explaining how you could solve their problems. 

*That's a secondary mistake.  By saying you are willing to work cheap, you are signaling you think your labor isn't valuable.  Isn't that the exact opposite of what you should be signaling? 

Don't get me wrong, I've made tons of bad career decisions.  But a consistent mistake I see you making is that you aren't putting yourself in the shoes of the employer.  They do not give a shit about win-win, they only care about win for them.  A win for them is you solving a problem they have.  If you do that, then salary is pretty much an afterthought. 

obstinate

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #474 on: January 01, 2019, 08:56:45 PM »
Why would a corporation do that when they could have had me for less?  I stated, in a futile attempt to get interviews with major corporations at one point, since nothing else seemed to be working, that I would be willing to start at 20k a year (in my cover letter).  Again, a win win situation.  I earn more than I was earning before, the company saves money by hiring me, and I can start climbing the corporate ladder.  Except it didn't work!
I personally would never even consider hiring you for any role based on the views youíve espoused in this thread. You are very confused about a lot of things. For example, in this post you seemed to suggest that six months of on the job training would be sufficient to allow you to perform in an executive managerial role at a major non profit. They would be ill advised to hire a person with this viewpoint, even if that person would be willing to work for free. You seem to believe that workers are fungible and that the main variable employers should care about is salary ó since you say that based solely on your willingness to accept lower compensation, you are an ideal hire. This is a really toxic thing to believe about yourself and other people.

If any of this comes across in how you present yourself to potential employers, I have to say it is not at all surprising to me that you received few offers.
« Last Edit: January 01, 2019, 08:58:24 PM by obstinate »

MrBojangles

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #475 on: January 02, 2019, 04:39:03 AM »
How does one perform in an executive managerial role and telecommute, as Mr Frugalwoods does?  That sounds very hands on/on site to me.

My general impression is that he has bosses that like him very much and overpay him and allow him to work from home.

FIPurpose

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #476 on: January 02, 2019, 06:05:36 AM »
It's a non profit so I'm sure they max out the salaries to whatever the IRS wouldn't audit them for.

StarBright

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #477 on: January 02, 2019, 06:34:20 AM »
How does one perform in an executive managerial role and telecommute, as Mr Frugalwoods does?  That sounds very hands on/on site to me.

My general impression is that he has bosses that like him very much and overpay him and allow him to work from home.



FWIW- It can be done. My job is an "Executive" management role that I do from a more remote distance the Mr. Frugalwood. (I say "executive" because  even though it is upper level it is for a small company so I don't make crazy bank). 

I worked on-site for several years first, then cut my teeth on remote work about 5 hours away from the office (close enough to come to the office every two to three weeks), and then eventually moved a plane ride away.

My job is certainly harder now than it was when I was in the office, and aspects of it have morphed to more independent work than I used to do. I have had to make some concessions with my family time in order to be available whenever it is convenient for my boss and others which I have found to mean a lot of pre 9 am and post 5pm calls (out of site and out of mind) - but there is no doubt in my mind that I am worth (more than) what I'm paid, and that my boss would cut bait so fast if he thought I wasn't worth it to the company.

From my place - I assumed that Mr. Frugalwood was particularly good at what he does for him to be a remote worker. Also, remote work is so much more common now than 10 years ago that lots of jobs are doable remotely.

MrBojangles

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #478 on: January 02, 2019, 06:39:14 AM »
It's a non profit so I'm sure they max out the salaries to whatever the IRS wouldn't audit them for.

In my quest for a job/career when I graduated college in the early '90's, I initially was seeking employment with a major corporation because I perceived that that's where the big money was.  This never panned out.  At that time, someone mentioned that there was big money to be had with nonprofits.

This seems dishonest.  Grant employees (okay management, but still employees) large salaries and barely skirt IRS rules/regulations.  Beg for donations from the general public, the general public thinks they are supporting a "cause", when the reality is that you are donating to pad the pockets of individuals who would be hard pressed to earn anywhere near that kind of money elsewhere.  Just my observations, not based in fact...

leftcoastenvy

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #479 on: January 02, 2019, 08:23:31 AM »
How does one perform in an executive managerial role and telecommute, as Mr Frugalwoods does?  That sounds very hands on/on site to me.

My general impression is that he has bosses that like him very much and overpay him and allow him to work from home.

I think those types of roles can be done from home, but I am surprised he was able to work during November when Liz mentioned that they were without power and Internet for more days than they had it. My husband works remotely and if the Internet or power is off for even a day it can be troublesome and he is trying to find somewhere else to get his work done at. I am super jealous that Nate can make that salary and not even have Internet half of the month and still get a million homestead chores done.

Laura33

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #480 on: January 02, 2019, 08:29:05 AM »
@MrBojangles:  From what you've posted here, I have the very clear impression that your worldview is that a bunch of people have a ton of money thrown at them with no effort and for little work, and that you have therefore gotten a raw deal because you have not had similar highly-paid opportunities thrown at you, despite trying harder than the chosen few.  All I can say is that this is incredibly damaging -- to yourself. 

When you see someone with a high-paid job, you can look at it two ways:  you can assume that they had everything handed to them and that you aren't in "the club" and therefore shouldn't even bother trying; or you can assume that they had some skill/ability/talent that they worked hard to develop to earn that spot, and see what lessons you can take from that about what that level job requires -- what kind of degree did they have, what kind of job experience did they need, how many years of work did it take, etc. -- so you can get the qualifications that would allow you to compete for that same kind of opportunity in a few years.

You clearly fall under option 1.  But that is exactly what I mean by a self-defeating attitude.  This view of the world gets you absolutely nowhere -- it convinces you not to even bother trying, because as long as you're not in the secret club of preferred people, you have no chance of succeeding.  The second assumption, OTOH, forces you to challenge yourself, improve your weaknesses, develop additional skills and experience -- all of which helps position you for better opportunities. 

So how does your worldview serve you?  It guarantees that you will never get what you want (because why try when the deck is stacked against you?).  All it does is salve your ego -- it lets feel better about yourself for not achieving what you wanted.  Do you want to succeed, or do you want an excuse to fail?  It seems to me that when there are two possible interpretations of a particular situation, why not adopt the one that gives you a chance to get what you want out of life?

I am not saying this to be mean; again, I see my younger self in you.  But I succeeded in large part because I finally learned to challenge that self-destructive thinking -- to learn from my failures instead of resenting the unfairness of my boss' inability to recognize my genius, to acknowledge my weaknesses and do the very hard work of getting better at them, to face up to the parts of the job that made me uncomfortable.  I am nowhere near perfect, and I still work to improve every day.  Yes, there have been times, even at my current great job, when I have not been fairly dealt with.  But sitting her resenting that accomplishes nothing; all I can do is figure out what matters to the Powers That Be and do that better (and then work to change that unfairness for the younger folks coming up behind me). 

FIPurpose

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #481 on: January 02, 2019, 08:34:27 AM »
It's a non profit so I'm sure they max out the salaries to whatever the IRS wouldn't audit them for.

In my quest for a job/career when I graduated college in the early '90's, I initially was seeking employment with a major corporation because I perceived that that's where the big money was.  This never panned out.  At that time, someone mentioned that there was big money to be had with nonprofits.

This seems dishonest.  Grant employees (okay management, but still employees) large salaries and barely skirt IRS rules/regulations.  Beg for donations from the general public, the general public thinks they are supporting a "cause", when the reality is that you are donating to pad the pockets of individuals who would be hard pressed to earn anywhere near that kind of money elsewhere.  Just my observations, not based in fact...

Not every non-profit derives from donations. You could run a coffee shop as a non-profit. Where all profits go to some charity. But of course if you start doing really well, you're going to start maxing out your employee's pay, that way you have extremely low turn over and thus less work for you.

That's what people here don't get. The company doesn't have a profit motive. Thus hiring someone for less isn't even a factor, in fact, they could care less. What they want is to *not* have to train someone else because that means more work for them. So instead, give him a salary he can't refuse, all the perks he wants.

mathlete

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #482 on: January 02, 2019, 08:39:07 AM »
No reason to over-complicate the issue of non-profits.

If non-profits could find someone to do the work for cheaper, it stands to reason that they would. The work someone does still has value even if the entity they perform work for doesn't retain earnings.

People can and should draw competitive salaries when working for non-profits.

StarBright

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #483 on: January 02, 2019, 08:55:30 AM »
How does one perform in an executive managerial role and telecommute, as Mr Frugalwoods does?  That sounds very hands on/on site to me.

My general impression is that he has bosses that like him very much and overpay him and allow him to work from home.

I think those types of roles can be done from home, but I am surprised he was able to work during November when Liz mentioned that they were without power and Internet for more days than they had it. My husband works remotely and if the Internet or power is off for even a day it can be troublesome and he is trying to find somewhere else to get his work done at. I am super jealous that Nate can make that salary and not even have Internet half of the month and still get a million homestead chores done.

I don't usually read frugalwoods, but just perused their site because I was intrigued by them being without power and his remote work. Looks like they live only a couple of hours from his office, I suspect he heads in fairly often.

When I lived in Boston my commute/walk was an hour each way ( basically within the same city). To live in your dream house in a state with free pre-k, lower taxes etc and only a two plus hours commute doesn't sound bad at all for the East Coast.

It also puts his "remote work" into a clearer picture I think. My remote work is a two hour plane ride or 10 hour drive away- there are logistics when I go to the office. Sounds like Mr. Frugalwood can likely run to the office when needed making his job even more doable via remote.

marble_faun

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #484 on: January 02, 2019, 10:35:45 AM »
It's a non profit so I'm sure they max out the salaries to whatever the IRS wouldn't audit them for.

In my quest for a job/career when I graduated college in the early '90's, I initially was seeking employment with a major corporation because I perceived that that's where the big money was.  This never panned out.  At that time, someone mentioned that there was big money to be had with nonprofits.

This seems dishonest.  Grant employees (okay management, but still employees) large salaries and barely skirt IRS rules/regulations.  Beg for donations from the general public, the general public thinks they are supporting a "cause", when the reality is that you are donating to pad the pockets of individuals who would be hard pressed to earn anywhere near that kind of money elsewhere.  Just my observations, not based in fact...

The vast majority of people in nonprofits are not making "big money," I can assure you.

When nonprofit directors are paid 300K+ (which is rare for all but the biggest/fanciest organizations), it's generally because they are viewed as having connections or other abilities that allow them to fundraise for far more, and/or because the org has deemed it worthwhile to draw best candidates, possibly in competition with the for-profit sector.

If you're concerned about it, the salaries of nonprofit directors are publicly available.  The salaries of the top five employees should be listed on the organization's 990 forms. If you check them out and think staff salaries are too high as part of the overall percentage of income, you don't have to donate.  (See this web site: https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/.)

There are such things as scammy pseudo-nonprofits, but a high salary alone doesn't make the organization "dishonest."

Also, +1 to the comments by @obstinate and @Laura33
« Last Edit: January 02, 2019, 10:41:06 AM by marble_faun »

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #485 on: January 02, 2019, 04:05:30 PM »
The Federal government has provided me with ZERO marketable skills.  Believe me, I've tried many times to get out to no avail.  No longer am even wasting my time applying elsewhere.  The perils of graduating from college in a recession (1992).  In sure others who graduated in even worse times more recently can attest to this.
I also graduated in 1992.

My post college roommate had it worse.  1991 was worse.  She got a job for the fed government, but not until 1992.


mm1970

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #486 on: January 02, 2019, 04:13:41 PM »
Quote
Your view of networking is an excellent example, because I share(d) it -- I mean, I knew no one with a silver spoon, and even when I later met some of those folks, I never felt remotely comfortable around them.  So how could someone like me ever "network" successfully?  Then I watched my DH go through four separate job changes -- two shutdowns, one layoff, and one voluntary move.  Each time, he started by getting on the phone with people he had gone to (state) school with or worked with before and asking them to let him know of any opportunities.  Now none of the people were rich or powerful; they generally had worker-bee jobs like he did.  But because he had impressed these people with his brains and work ethic, they were more than happy to pass on news of job openings and put in a good word for him.  And each time, he ended up in a better job, with a raise and a promotion.  Nothing was handed to him -- he earned that reputation by years of working alongside those people, and he still needed to interview and get that new job on his own.  But that network helped him find doors that he could then open and push through. 

I just wanted to applaud this particular paragraph, Laura (not that the whole thing wasn't great!)  While I haven't necessarily brought in big bucks or changed jobs much - I have found that being good at my job and a hard worker means...people email me or call me if they have an opening.  And I know people everywhere.  And I'm easy to get along with.  It's a good reminder on days like today when I want to burn the fucking bridge down dealing with testosterone fueled men and their need to posture, be right, and put down everyone else.  (Those that aren't passive aggressive shits, and I get to work with BOTH.)

Also, my nephew is 25 and has a blue collar job.  He went to mechanic school.  Got a job near home.  Worked hard, crap pay, new kids come in getting more.  But he was so well known for his work ethic that when another company was hiring, they asked around - someone who'd worked with him gave his name.  They called him.  Here he is making $25-28 an hour vs, the $12 he was making last year.

mm1970

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #487 on: January 02, 2019, 04:28:34 PM »
Yeah, I read that too about the Ivy League quality folks who did not attend Ivy League schools.  Don't worry, I'm not Ivy League material.  I got into a decent school once, but couldn't afford it.  BTW, that's the best thing that never happened!  I think, way back in the dark ages, when I applied to colleges, you could either afford them or you couldn't.  And that was that!  There was no way I could have afforded $18k a year in 1988.  I did not know that at the time, but this institution is now over $70k a year and I certainly know that I would not want to be paying that.  When you are 18 yrs old convinced you are worth hundreds of thousands a year, 18k sounds like chump change, LOL.  I think the MASSIVE mistake being made today is letting these kids go wherever they want to no matter the cost and no worries--until the student loans must be repaid.

As far as networking.  I have always worked behind the scenes Federal jobs.  Networking consists of anything my coworkers can provide, which isn't much.  We all have gone nowhere, we are all in this boat together.  I tend to hang out in blue collar environments, like the Legion.  I feel uncomfortable elsewhere.

I really detest this networking thing.  Demeaning, if you ask me.
  All I ever wanted was to send my resume in to a company, avoid any interview, if possible, and put the principle of ROI I learned in economics class to good work.

Leaving me out of it personally, if one spends $300k on an education these days (I didn't come close) isn't it good corporate citizenship to be starting these kids right out of college at about $200k a year to start?  These companies earn so much friggin' money these days, it's high time salaries in this country got jumpstarted.
This explains a lot about where you are and your attitude though.

Networking CAN BE putting yourself out there, going to conferences or meet-ups, handing your card to people, etc.  Some people are great at that.  I'm not!
Networking is OFTEN - being good at your job.  Working with large groups of people. Letting your skills and abilities speak for themselves.  Taking on new roles at work, and excelling at them.  Getting to know your neighbors, chatting with them at potlucks and letting them know your skills. (I got my 3rd job out of college because of someone I played volleyball with - that's how I found out about the opening.)  Taking on side gigs where you meet more people.

Networking helps you find out about jobs before they are listed.  If you are uncomfortable in "other areas", the only way to get past that is to put yourself out there.  But, from your posts and your age (we appear to be the same age, based on graduation year), I think it may be hard for you to change.  (It's an intense amount of work and energy to take on new roles, get a new job, etc.)

The "I just want to send in my resume" is a disaster, and here's why: people can make themselves sound GREAT on a resume.  Heck, people our age can often interview like a CHAMP because they know the buzzwords.  Then they start and are DUDS.  By far the MOST skilled and most successful hires I've ever been involved in are when we hire people who our current coworkers recommend.  Many (most?) of the good looking resumes were duds. 

The only job I've gotten "without an interview" was when I left my last job for this one - I called up my old boss and said I was looking.  He had me come in and told me what they were working on and gave me an offer (on a Saturday, no less).  The other "no interview" types of jobs probably aren't the ones you want.

Now, onto the college thing - yep, it's a complete mess.  When I went to college (1988) "you could afford it or not" was true BUT depending on your grades and the school, you could get scholarships.  I went to one of those crazy expensive schools on scholarship (because: I was poor).  I opted to join ROTC to make it even more affordable.  The cost of college has gone up so much that that school is >$70,000 now.  So when I started college, the cost of 1 year was about 50% of the average family income.  Now it is 150% of the average family income.   Even though it's still a great school, nobody should be going there unless you can bankroll it or get a lot of aid.

MrBojangles

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #488 on: January 02, 2019, 05:30:31 PM »
Yes, we are about the same age.

I will have to try working on the networking thing.  I am not the most outgoing type, so it will be a struggle.

How have you moved from job to job, or maybe I am asking why?  I have remained on the same position for nearly 24 years now, which gets boring.  Wage increases from grade and step increases.

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #489 on: January 02, 2019, 05:46:06 PM »

In my quest for a job/career when I graduated college in the early '90's, I initially was seeking employment with a major corporation because I perceived that that's where the big money was.  This never panned out.  At that time, someone mentioned that there was big money to be had with nonprofits.

You have been on the receiving end of an extraordinary amount of bad career advice.   Indeed some people can make lots of money at non-profits.   If the CEO of Boeing or GM will not only take your call AND give you money when you ask,  then yes, you can make a bundle of money working at a non-profit.   There are not very many people like this.  That's why these people make amazing salaries. 

Or if you have specialized knowledge in areas non-profits are interested in, you can make a bundle of money.  For example, I have a friend who has a PhD in civil engineering who specializes in third world sanitation issues.   Believe or not, that's a hot area, and she makes a bundle of money.  When she started though, nobody was interested in that field, so there are very few people with her education and experience.  Technically, she's in academia, but she gets amazing grants from non-profits looking to save the world and she spends time hob-knobbing flying on private jets with billionaires.     

Other than that, you are pretty much a worker bee and might even have to take a pay cut in order work at a non-profit.  And often there isn't much chance for career advancement because the people at the top are the ones with the fat Rolodex.   

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #490 on: January 02, 2019, 06:10:38 PM »
Yes, we are about the same age.

I will have to try working on the networking thing.  I am not the most outgoing type, so it will be a struggle.

How have you moved from job to job, or maybe I am asking why?  I have remained on the same position for nearly 24 years now, which gets boring.  Wage increases from grade and step increases.

Changing jobs is the only way I've been able to increase my salary. Every 5 years or so. The bump tends to be about 15-30% instead of 1-2% annual raise standard in my industry.

mm1970

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #491 on: January 03, 2019, 09:50:50 AM »
Yes, we are about the same age.

I will have to try working on the networking thing.  I am not the most outgoing type, so it will be a struggle.

How have you moved from job to job, or maybe I am asking why?  I have remained on the same position for nearly 24 years now, which gets boring.  Wage increases from grade and step increases.
There are several reasons to change jobs.  I am very good at lecturing, mentoring young people at this, not so good at following my own advice!

In business (I'm an engineer, but it applies elsewhere) - there is often very little incentive to give people big raises.  The fact of the matter is, most companies want to have the best people they can for the least amount of money.  So, the way to get bigger raises is to change jobs.

In engineering in particular, your "usefulness", if you are a good engineer increases a dramatic amount in the first 2-3 years.  Of all the young engineers that I've hired, the skills increase dramatically in this time. From "clueless" to being able to design experiments, run tests, write procedures, analyze and present results (you do, of course, need a boss/ mentor to train you on this).  After about 2 years, they require MUCH less supervision.  Here's the problem: you hire someone at $48k.  At 2 years, they are worth $65k (I'm sorry, these numbers are very much out of date and refer to about 2005).  How do you reach that number?  I asked my boss this very question when he offered my engineer in his 2nd year a raise from $51k to $54k.  The answer I got?  "I don't know, good point."

Well, he was recruited away from me.  They offered him $65k.  He turned it down.  They upped it to $70k.  I told him "take it.  You will never get that here."

So, reason #1 to change jobs: big raises.  Companies are willing to pay new people whatever it takes to get them in.  They are less willing to pay existing people more money.  You'll get 2-6% at best.  Maybe 10% if you are promoted.  Ask me how I know!

Reason #2 to change jobs - varied responsibilities and technologies.  Changing jobs gives you the opportunity to work in new industries. In engineering, it means you learn new technologies and are using to "learning new things".  In other areas, it may mean new software, new regulations, new groups.  It also gives you the opportunity to take on newer increased responsibilities.

So, at 48 I've only had 4 different jobs.  That's quite low.  That's because inertia is a powerful force for me.  I've thought about changing more often (I'd get better pay), but I'm fine where I am.  (Many of my friends are similar - have only changed jobs when they got laid off).

So, job #1: Navy.  Nuclear.  I was required to put in 5 years, so I did.  I got great experience in how to work, be methodical, design various parts of nuclear reactors, deal with difficult people, follow procedure.  The training was fantastic.

Job #2: manufacturing engineer.  Because I needed to do something different, it was the first offer I got.  And I thought manufacturing would be fun. I was right.  I learned a lot and soaked up as much as I could.  Company went bankrupt when I'd been there a few years.

Job #3:  Manufacturing engineer again, but this time in a start up.  So, I got to learn a new technology, and I got to do EVERYTHING - not just one small section of the process - all of the processes.  Then I learned design.  Then I learned testing.  Then I hired a tech and an engineer to work for me.  Then I set up a database.  I stayed there for 8 years.

Job #4:  Job #3, my specific group got shut down, and they offered me a transfer.  But I really wasn't interested in the transfer, so I called an old boss from job 3 who'd left.   Got to start up a new manufacturing facility.  I've had several different jobs here, manufacturing engineer, management, design, product engineering, and program management.  Basically, kept taking on new responsibilities.  I'm a "jack of all trades", so if we had layoffs (there have been many) and they needed someone to do "something else", I did it.  It all comes from being willing to do "more".  In my current job, it's mostly schedules and such.  But when big boss says "hey, I hear about an issue with X" I can explain it, because I've done everything and I can keep track of everything.  "Yes, we had X problem, which we discovered 2 weeks ago.  We are mitigating it with Y and fixing it on future parts using Z."

Some of the job changes have been because of difficult bosses. Some because of boredom.  Doing the same thing for 20 years is boring, and makes it much less likely that you'll be hired elsewhere.  People start to wonder if you can do anything else.

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #492 on: January 03, 2019, 11:48:47 AM »
Yes, we are about the same age.

I will have to try working on the networking thing.  I am not the most outgoing type, so it will be a struggle.

How have you moved from job to job, or maybe I am asking why?  I have remained on the same position for nearly 24 years now, which gets boring.  Wage increases from grade and step increases.

So...so this isnít really about the Frugalwoods anymore is it?

Iíve hated this discussion because I find it tacky still. I donít care how they represented their income. I seriously donít. The focus isnít on income, itís on savings. According to Jacob from ERE, you can achieve FI on minimum wage even. When people focus on salary and feel they donít make enough, then they give up being focused on salary. Iíve had a great salary for the last 5 years but didnít know/think to save and invest it properly until the last 2. Iíve wasted so much, so glad Iíve seen the light. If I hadnít, Iíd be working until normal retirement age. Because I have and my salary is high, Iíll achieve FIRE quicker (by keeping my expenses down as much as I am comfortable with), but still no where close to the bright 25 yos who are catching onto this now. Iím way behind. So if you donít get the savings and investing thing, salary doesnít matter.

The only way Iíd feel deceived by the Frugslwoods is if all of their frugal advice were lies or harmful. Thatís what they sell, how to save money and DIY. Thatís it, very simple. That people can learn from and itís changed their lives. Stop trying to bring them down the mountain and invalidate their contributions because of their speed to FIRE. If yiou want ideas of how to save more, learn from them and others. If you have that figured out, put your energy somewhere else and move on, otherwise what are you trying to achieve beyond being smug, and appearing envious?

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #493 on: January 03, 2019, 01:21:19 PM »
It IS about the Frugalwoods!  In fact, that's how I found this forum on Saturday.  I had been meaning to research this for months when I figured out what Nate earned, wondering if anyone else questioned this and discovered others did long before I did.

Yes, I AM envious!  My goal in college was to earn a massive amount of money and work from home.  I failed on both counts.  Nate did not.  I was under the impression that demand for workers would far outstrip supply, especially with regards to those with a college degree, so if a business even wants to attract employees in this day and age, they will have to accede to their demands--e.g., high income, work from home, etc.  Wrong on that count as well!

The world simply needs a whole lot more jobs like Nate's and a whole lot less like mine.

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #494 on: January 03, 2019, 01:34:34 PM »
It IS about the Frugalwoods!  In fact, that's how I found this forum on Saturday.  I had been meaning to research this for months when I figured out what Nate earned, wondering if anyone else questioned this and discovered others did long before I did.

Yes, I AM envious!  My goal in college was to earn a massive amount of money and work from home.  I failed on both counts.  Nate did not.  I was under the impression that demand for workers would far outstrip supply, especially with regards to those with a college degree, so if a business even wants to attract employees in this day and age, they will have to accede to their demands--e.g., high income, work from home, etc.  Wrong on that count as well!

The world simply needs a whole lot more jobs like Nate's and a whole lot less like mine.

I honestly donít understand you or your thinking. Stop comparing yourself to others. Thatís water energy. You donít have his life or his money. There are lots of people whose life you donít have or their money. MMM makes at least $400k a year from running a blog! Get off this train because the more you harp on it, the less you seem like someone who ďdeservesĒ the money or career.

Everyone doesnít have to make $300k and thatís what youíre not paying attention to. Focus on your finances, your savings and investments. You want to be FIREd? Well, thatís possible. Figure out where you want to be and make that happen and donít you dare say, working at home making $300k. Youíll do that by becoming FI and finding a side hustle. You wonít get there whining and complaining about what you donít have and how others have more. Youíve been given lots of advice and guidance around this and still you persist. Own your shit, change your thinking and achieve what you want. No one feels sorry for people who donít help themselves but complain, what about me!?! And no one owes you thing, you either make it happen or you sit back and watch others do it. Post a case study and action it.

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #495 on: January 03, 2019, 01:55:00 PM »
I am FI.  I don't really want to RE because I can get a pension in less than 10 years.  I only heard about FIRE in the last several months.  I didn't even know that I am FI until after learning about it.  Kind of happened when I landed my first real job in 1995 in the DC area, $30,119, after several years of near minimum wage jobs.  (Hey, Monica Lewinsky earned EXACTLY the same I did, and she lived in the Watergate!)  When I realized how little that was, I started buying stock in many Blue Chip companies and then sending out ridiculous cover letters stating that, as a shareholder, I would work all the harder.  I rented a room as cheaply as possible, drove an old Ford, worked overtime when possible...

So I've done okay, just not how I expected.  The "plan" was to earn so much that I could be fully retired in my mid 20's.  However, I'm convinced had I earned not huge money, but really good money right out of college (say $250k a year in the early '90's, I would have gotten on the consumption bandwagon and saved nothing.

Read The Millionaire Next Door if you get a chance.

mathlete

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #496 on: January 03, 2019, 02:04:20 PM »
In what universe is $250K out of college in the early 1990s not "huge"?

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #497 on: January 03, 2019, 02:15:47 PM »
In what universe is $250K out of college in the early 1990s not "huge"?

Yeah, that's insane amount of money.

In the early 2000s big money out of college was $80k.  I was pretty thrilled at my $30k job straight out of college.

MrBojangles seems to have a very unrealistic expectation of how money works in our economy.

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #498 on: January 03, 2019, 02:20:16 PM »

The world simply needs a whole lot more jobs like Nate's and a whole lot less like mine.

Does it though?
If there was need for this type of job, they would exist.

But only a few people will ever be needed for this sort of role.

Honestly, Nate is a huge success story in finding this kind of role. He didn't have the Ivy league connections. His parents didn't get him the job. He's a huge success story to end up in this type of position. He must be very good at what he does for a company to value him in this way.

They got lucky in the Cambridge property; but they also seized opportunity when they saw it. Other people weren't able to do that same thing.

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #499 on: January 03, 2019, 02:20:27 PM »
In what universe is $250K out of college in the early 1990s not "huge"?
.DC area and New York City that was probably above average for the times, but not massive.  Head up Route 15 in Virginia, leading into Maryland, the pristine landscape has been forever ruined.  McMansions starting at $998k.  To do that, you and your significant other must be GS 15s or SESers.  Not that I want that junk, but just sayin'...