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mr. furley

people who own lots of toys... how?

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To the op's question.

There is also the option of making financial sacrifices when you're young (20s-30s).  Living below your means for 10-15 years.  Live/become debt free by 40.  Have a good nest egg started.  Then you have the disposable income to do as you please.

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11 hours ago, mr. furley said:

it's not that i want those things. more i want to understand what financial decisions people made/are making to help them afford those things on top of the every day expenses of life.

is there some investment secret i missed out on? 

are these things more affordable than i imagined?

if i had the money to afford a boat, or an RV,  i'd have already either socked it away or spent it on home improvements because we're gonna be here forever.

 

I agree that in most cases it's likely debt spending.  All these things can be financed.  

But I've also been surprised by the number of people I've met who had some sort of financial windfall - be it inheritance, injury settlement, sold a business, stocks, real estate.  The most frequent is inheritance.  For example, I have a brother in law who is slated to inherit something like a million dollars and when that happens he'll be buying a boat and a place on a lake. He's a windows installer.  You just never know. 

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13 hours ago, Terminalxylem said:

Not all of the sudden, but I'm sure it can be done.

My wife learned to snow ski after age 40. Seven years later she is a solid intermediate skier and will occasionally venture onto advanced runs. She loves it and has never been injured.

I started rock climbing at age 40, and am still doing well pushing 50. I've tweaked my elbows and shoulders, but nothing serious.

While we would have had more years of enjoyment had we started earlier (I wish I had), it doesn't detract from our current experience.  As long as you haven't ignored your health and are realistic about physical limitations, most activities are possible well into middle age. 

 

:yes:

I don't know if dentist meant for it to come off this way, but I detest the notion that you can't be active in your 40s or 50s. 

We recover slower than in our 20s, and there's more risk with some activities. I'll always remember my two colleagues who went back to jumping out of airplanes in their mid 40s after a decade hiatus and got injured (one pretty badly, the other less so). But young guys get injured doing that too, and I suspect most of us aren't trying to jump out of airplanes with over 75 lbs of gear. 

Yeah, you'll feel sore doing some activities. But it's so worth it.

 

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Start hanging with people who have all the toys.

2 of my good friends have boats, jet ski`s and a place on a lake in northern MI that my wife and I can use anytime we want.   That is actually much better than owning your own boat.

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Another source of income is a personal injury settlement.  My old neighbors went on a huge spending spree I couldn't understand, until she said they were in car accident or something and got a lot of money.  That all ran out pretty fast and they had to move.

I think inheritance is a main source of the money.  It goes in cycles.  First generation is poor, works hard, counts every penny.  Second generation learned that from their parents, but started with more money so they could get an education, good job, some investments.  Eventually, a generation says "we have money, why do we have to live like poor people?" so when they get the inheritance they spend it all, then some.   

I was fortunate with a software business, no one knows how much I make, not even my wife.  No kids.  I don't like spending money, except I drive a Lexus, eat well (but only from the grocery store) and fly first class (one trip a year to visit family).  What makes me most happy to spend money on is a scholarship I endowed at the local university.  Most people would  think I am crazy, but to each their own.

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11 hours ago, msudaisy26 said:

Maybe I am just lucky, but I don't see how it is that difficult if you make a decent living. You just have to know how to manage money. 

My family is very middle class, but we easily afford these things. 

I am not going to post all the details here, but if you want to know details feel free to pm me. 

not need to post salaries and amounts spent on boats, cars, etc.

more looking for overview that goes deeper than "be smart with your money".  because that's a great suggestion, but that's too vague. what you consider "a decent living" could be vastly different than what i consider "decent".

maybe in terms of percentages of take home.. what are you saving? spending on "luxury items"? what percent goes towards your monthly bills?

would you say you ever had meaningful debt to climb out of? or were you always in the green?

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On 7/6/2020 at 8:39 PM, mr. furley said:

must be local prices then. probably a bit more scarce around here. i was seeing 20k+ for used and 50-60k+ for new.

@Wingnut i smell a business opportunity. You with me?

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2 hours ago, -OZ- said:

Going part time assumes you don't need as large an income. 

For sure. And I imagine if you do transactional work with a nice client base - or you do something like family law where you have a good community reputation and a consistent number of new calls per month - it's doable. 

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2 hours ago, Otis said:

Yeah, the 3k+ billable hours folks are nutty. I also did 2600 one year. It actually wasnt awful because I was young and single and enjoying the work, so the time passed quickly. But I see mothers of multiple kids doing 3k+ and that stuns me. No way to live. 
 

That said, lately my crutch is the non billable and management stuff.  Every day I wake up with grand plans to finish that brief I have to write, and end up spending 6 hours on nonsense before I can turn to it. Annoying. 

This is why I have zero desire to have my name on a door at this point in my life where I'm just trying to grind hard and maximize my earning potential. 

In like 15 years when the kids are about out of the house and, ideally, we're financially set I can see myself taking on the managing partner role or heading up a public defender's office where I have a set salary and hours and then have zero problem dealing with office issues, sitting on committees or task forces, etc. But, for now, if I'm working and not billing I'm literally losing money through opportunity cost. 

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11 hours ago, Dentist said:

You ever slalom skiied or wakeboarded?   It's absolutely brutal to the body unless you are thin and light or in wonderful shape.   It's much more physically taxing than snow skiing. I'm competent in both.

you know what else is brutal on a middle aged body?  a slip and slide.

lawdhavemercy i do not suggest it

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3 hours ago, Ministry of Pain said:

What projects are you wanting to do? Maybe you should go ahead and start them, now's a great time to get a little loan from the bank at these rates. And it will ad value to your home even though you never pan on selling it. 

We are re-doing the inside of our place, we thought about hiring folks but we have started doing it ourselves and see how far we can go. Right now it's just simple painting and some light kitchen work, we built a nook like you might see at a BnB when you are on the road. We painted the kitchen banana yellow, it looks insane. 

short term: 

(1) tile floor in the entryway was laid poorly and is starting to pop up.  some tiles have cracked. has to be replaced. what lies underneath causing the problem we aren't sure. we can tile ourselves, but if there are deeper underlying problems....

(2) driveway needs to be torn out and replaced

(3) we have 6-8" deep stones all around the house (except the back patio). we would like to replace that with gardens

(4) ash tree has emerald ash borer, has to come down - one other tree has a massive limb hanging over neighbor's fence and pool. that has to come off.

(5) "community drain" when clogged backs water in to my yard.  after a heavy rain, water can be mid-shin deep and span 20-25 yards. we need to figure that out with neighbors.

 

longer term:

(1) new roof - probably 10 years out

(2) replace back patio 

(3) pool 

(4) new windows

 

we have already put a new a/c unit in, updated gutters around the house and re-graded the yard in 2+ years.

i've got friends who don't understand why i can't fly out to see them, take my family on vacations with their families to Europe, the Caribbean, etc. when "it's only like 10k for a week vacation".    that 10k would solve some problems for me and saving to get there is going to take more than a couple paychecks.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, mr. furley said:

not need to post salaries and amounts spent on boats, cars, etc.

more looking for overview that goes deeper than "be smart with your money".  because that's a great suggestion, but that's too vague. what you consider "a decent living" could be vastly different than what i consider "decent".

maybe in terms of percentages of take home.. what are you saving? spending on "luxury items"? what percent goes towards your monthly bills?

would you say you ever had meaningful debt to climb out of? or were you always in the green?

First way is to look to up an income class calculator. Every year for the last 5ish years when we do our taxes we look one up and we have almost always been middle class, one year we had a really good year and were upper middle class. 

When I got married my husband and merged bank accounts and at the time we set it up that all income went to the checking account. We then sat down and broke down our monthly expenses and that is how much we would make sure would be left in the account. From there we went through the left over money and start prioritizing what we wanted to do with it and where it would go. We then set it up through our bank to have our account have sub accounts that would deduct money from the checking on the 1st and 15th of every month. 

So as an example we had these sub accounts. Vacations, Roth IRAs, boat, house, car, kid, one account for each of us and every 2 weeks money automatically comes out of the checking and goes into those accounts. 

As far as percentage we are saving every month (money that comes out of the checking) I would guess between 30 and 40 percent. 

We had lots of debt/income loss to dig out of early in our life. We moved in together in 2004 and those first 6 years were tight. We lived probably worse than check to check because a lot of time my husband checks were spent as soon as they hit the account and my tip money from bartending was our food money. 

I am not trying to brag, but here is a perspective of where we are at right now in life. 

1 kid that does 3 to 4 activities/sports a year. 

Have a lake house with a boat we bought new in 2015. 

We max out retirement accounts almost every year. 

Since we bought the new house in 2015 we have put in all new windows, finished the basement, put on a new deck, got a new furnace, getting all new doors in September, plan on building a garage, redo the driveway, and siding the house in the next 12 months. 

We take 4 vacations a year. 2 week long ones and 2 shorter ones. (Maybe not this year because of covid)

A second boat maybe in the works if our daughter likes to tube/ski/wakeboard. 

That is all I can think of at the moment. If you need/want better details feel free to ask or pm. 

Edited by msudaisy26
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12 hours ago, the rover said:

So many people that don’t own boats saying things like this in this thread.  Makes you sound broke, jealous or both.   

Ummm . . . nope.

House paid off - we good.

 

Just don't choose to incur the expense of a boat.

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2 hours ago, -OZ- said:

:yes:

I don't know if dentist meant for it to come off this way, but I detest the notion that you can't be active in your 40s or 50s. 

We recover slower than in our 20s, and there's more risk with some activities. I'll always remember my two colleagues who went back to jumping out of airplanes in their mid 40s after a decade hiatus and got injured (one pretty badly, the other less so). But young guys get injured doing that too, and I suspect most of us aren't trying to jump out of airplanes with over 75 lbs of gear. 

Yeah, you'll feel sore doing some activities. But it's so worth it.

 

To be fair, most people let themselves go in middle age. But for those of us who don’t, there are very few activities off limits. I gave up heavy lifting, for example, as I couldn’t justify the injury risk for what ended up being mostly about vanity. And I’ve had multiple acquaintances hurt themselves playing pick up basketball. Maybe some types of water skiing are equally hard on the body, I don’t know.

Aside from maintaining physical fitness, another key component is finding younger friends. I climb with a bunch of guys in their 20’s. I’d rather try to keep up with them than the Joneses.

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I think it just boils down to how you were raised. My parents are a perfect example. They divorced 25 years ago and essentially split a large amount of stock (in a company that my dad was a partner in).  Mom sold hers as soon as it was allowed so that she could re-do a kitchen, buy a car she didn't need, etc. My dad lived modestly and held onto it, eventually getting a big pay day when the company was sold to a VC firm (and then again to a huge multinational). Now he's been comfortably retired for a decade and my mom is still working, spending too much and likely years from retirement. And based on how she spends, I fully anticipate having to help cover her expenses 20 years down the road.

Where does this come from? I think you just need to look at my grandparents.

Dad's parents were hardworking middle class people (firefighter and a nurse).  Were very frugal but saved well. Were able to live a really nice life out in the country and take some great trips in their 70's.

My grandmother was a spender and hoarder of crap. She worked hard as hell raising my mom and aunt but once they were out of the house, she blew through every dollar she had on crap from QVC.  She got bailed out of bankruptcy via an inheritance from her long time "boyfriend" but blew through a lot of that as well. Now she's 96 and we're concerned she wont have enough left for her care if she lives more than another couple of years.

We follow the examples that are set for us.

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3 hours ago, Willy said:

 

I agree that in most cases it's likely debt spending.  All these things can be financed.  

But I've also been surprised by the number of people I've met who had some sort of financial windfall - be it inheritance, injury settlement, sold a business, stocks, real estate.  The most frequent is inheritance.  For example, I have a brother in law who is slated to inherit something like a million dollars and when that happens he'll be buying a boat and a place on a lake. He's a windows installer.  You just never know. 

Another growing trend (and I think it makes a lot of sense) is that a lot of people who have an inheritance to bestow unto family are giving part or all of it to their inheritors while they are still living. My wife's grandmother offered each of her 7 grandchildren their inheritance early. She said she would rather see them enjoy things they want while they are still young and can enjoy them (and maybe grandmother gets to share in those memories created too). In this case, all the grandchildren are grown (no teenagers or early 20's...so I suppose maybe she thinks the ability to make a good decision is there, etc.) I thought it was nice thought. My wife has not taken her grandmother up on the offer so I don't know what hoops and hurdles are required to opt in but it helped one grandchild get their house for their new family and baby, etc. I think it was nicer than that grandchild struggling to make ends meet with a young child and kill themselves for a decade or two and then get the inheritance when they had already made it over the harder times.

 

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16 minutes ago, Terminalxylem said:

To be fair, most people let themselves go in middle age. But for those of us who don’t, there are very few activities off limits. I gave up heavy lifting, for example, as I couldn’t justify the injury risk for what ended up being mostly about vanity. And I’ve had multiple acquaintances hurt themselves playing pick up basketball. Maybe some types of water skiing are equally hard on the body, I don’t know.

Aside from maintaining physical fitness, another key component is finding younger friends. I climb with a bunch of guys in their 20’s. I’d rather try to keep up with them than the Joneses.

If you don't have good health, everything is much more difficult and, to a point, irrelevant. So for each and every one of us who are able to control that as best we can and don't have issues to deal with, please take your health seriously. It is no joke at all how we go from being invulnerable and then all of a sudden (40's), things just start creeping up on you. Don't add to it with really poor eating, overweight, heart issues waiting to happen, etc.  Do a little all the time and live in moderation so that you're one of those awesome 70-somethings couples that is about there having a ball. 

If one of you are 8+ years older than your spouse (or vice versa) its even more of an incentive...Nobody wants to be unable to do those things with their spouse because of age/health.

My wife and I are (I think) on the path of doing it right as far as we can control. My dad passed away when I was 8 and my wife was supposed to die from cancer when she was 11 but beat it so we both received very early reminders of mortality. I think that helped us form a healthy attitude towards not living like there is no tomorrow and never planning for the future vs. living in misery and working ourselves to death when young and not being able to enjoy the things later. 

This has been a really good topic and a nice one to share with other people who are really looking to live a good, balanced, life. I wish us all the best of luck.

 

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5 minutes ago, Shutout said:

Another growing trend (and I think it makes a lot of sense) is that a lot of people who have an inheritance to bestow unto family are giving part or all of it to their inheritors while they are still living. My wife's grandmother offered each of her 7 grandchildren their inheritance early. She said she would rather see them enjoy things they want while they are still young and can enjoy them (and maybe grandmother gets to share in those memories created too). In this case, all the grandchildren are grown (no teenagers or early 20's...so I suppose maybe she thinks the ability to make a good decision is there, etc.) I thought it was nice thought. My wife has not taken her grandmother up on the offer so I don't know what hoops and hurdles are required to opt in but it helped one grandchild get their house for their new family and baby, etc. I think it was nicer than that grandchild struggling to make ends meet with a young child and kill themselves for a decade or two and then get the inheritance when they had already made it over the harder times.

My working class parents lived frugally and dreamed of retirement. My dad died at 55.

My mom lived frugally and dreamed of passing on what she could to her children and grandchildren. She had a stroke at 89 (good health right up to then), paid about $13k a month to suffer in a nursing home until qualifying for Medicaid after about 2 years and a few months later dying there.

Early on, in her 70s, tried to get mom to put some money in the grandkids names (I have 1 kid, brother has 3) to protect some of it while keeping it available if she wanted it for any reason. I'd like to think, if given a 2nd chance, she'd either move the money as discussed or spend it on some of those things and experiences that she had denied herself for years.

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1 hour ago, msudaisy26 said:

As far as percentage we are saving every month (money that comes out of the checking) I would guess between 30 and 40 percent. 

i think you might be underestimating just how unusual savings at this level is for most. you might be in the top 1% of savers.

if you can afford a mortgage, toys, bills, maxing out retirement, etc. and still save 30-40% then you are doing incredibly well both in terms of take home & savings.

 

so kudos to you for that :thumbup:

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The only toy I need is in my underpants

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14 minutes ago, brun said:

My working class parents lived frugally and dreamed of retirement. My dad died at 55.

My mom lived frugally and dreamed of passing on what she could to her children and grandchildren. She had a stroke at 89 (good health right up to then), paid about $13k a month to suffer in a nursing home until qualifying for Medicaid after about 2 years and a few months later dying there.

Early on, in her 70s, tried to get mom to put some money in the grandkids names (I have 1 kid, brother has 3) to protect some of it while keeping it available if she wanted it for any reason. I'd like to think, if given a 2nd chance, she'd either move the money as discussed or spend it on some of those things and experiences that she had denied herself for years.

You got it right on the nose. My wife's grandmother is 90 this year and has survived her husband by 10+ years now. She is in really good health, considering all things, but Father Time loses to nobody and she said a few years ago since they force her to spend down in her investments, etc, there is no reason not to do this. The alternative is it gets sucked away in a scenario like you describe?  No thanks.  

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25 minutes ago, mr. furley said:

i think you might be underestimating just how unusual savings at this level is for most. you might be in the top 1% of savers.

if you can afford a mortgage, toys, bills, maxing out retirement, etc. and still save 30-40% then you are doing incredibly well both in terms of take home & savings.

 

so kudos to you for that :thumbup:

The toys and vacations and retirement come out of those savings. So we are probably spending 60ish percent of our month income and then other is going to savings, toys, retirement etc. 

The other thing I just thought of was make sure to pay yourself first. We always did that even during the early years. You and your family's happiness is a bill, the most important bill. My husband always told me that early after we moved in together.

He dropped out of college and has always had jobs he hated. He always told me he couldn't make it through the day if he knew all his money was going to other people. So even if it meant being late on a payment we always had money to put away for the eventual lake house, or a vacation. He always would call the credit card companies and get them to waive late fees.  I remember he even got our bank to give us overdraft protection up to 2000 dollars right after we got married despite having no assets as collateral. 

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2 hours ago, mr. furley said:

not need to post salaries and amounts spent on boats, cars, etc.

more looking for overview that goes deeper than "be smart with your money".  because that's a great suggestion, but that's too vague. what you consider "a decent living" could be vastly different than what i consider "decent".

maybe in terms of percentages of take home.. what are you saving? spending on "luxury items"? what percent goes towards your monthly bills?

would you say you ever had meaningful debt to climb out of? or were you always in the green?

For us, going into kids with no student loan nor credit card debt (a massive if in today's world) made it as simple as prioritization and minimizing future interest bearing debt. We are middle class and both have established side hustles that require very little of our time. If we wanted toys we could have added them to the budget within a year of popping out our last kid - because they were healthy anyway. We chose not to (priorities!), but we could have. And if we choose to now we're almost to the point in which we could do it - kids aged 4, 7, and 10. 

Without considering side hustle income nor 3 paycheck months, this is our baseline monthly budget

Mortgage 15% (through 2027)

Tuition 15% (no June pmt, apply towards home improvements), may have a HS public school option outside our district

Food 10%

Nanny 10% (no June nor July pmt, apply towards home improvements)

Savings 10% (retirement/529/HSA - at minimum max out the employer match), liquid savings account is already at a healthy level

Car 5% (through 2021)

Insurance 5%

Phone/Internet/Streaming/Utilities 5%

Discretionary 25% (minimum)

And this drives some finance people crazy (gov't interest free loan yadda yadda yadda), but we set things up to get a healthy refund each year. That's our vacation budget and whatever we don't use goes towards home improvements. Due to covid we opted against a vacation, so this has been a massive home improvement year. Especially once also considering the stimulus check and saved nanny costs in spring.

---

We made the decision years ago to do private schooling because our public schools are poor. A lot of what @msudaisy26 mentioned could have already been in the works (40% discretionary!) had we not made that decision, but in our reality we think it's the right one. But that nanny line item may be going away for good - we'll see what the DoE does wrt covid this school year. Initially we're going to use that on home improvements, but we may complete the biggest ones within the next 3 years as 10% per month is gonna add up quick. I don't ever see us expanding beyond a one week and long weekend vacation schedule but at that point we'll have the option to do some combination of that, increase savings, investing, among many other options. 

There's a lot more details that I wrote out, but didn't want to throw out a wall of text so if you have any follow up shoot me a pm. 

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@mr. furley Just seeing this thread but I'm in a similar boat (no pun intended). We're paycheck to paycheck with roughly 20ish percent going to savings, life insurance etc. People around here leverage a number of things to have these toys. Hell you're probably seeing a bunch of snowmobiles and those are likely bigger money pits than boats. It's just what they do. 

I spent my 20s getting drunk and banging chicks. Fun for sure but where am I today at 41? Friends of mine got married and had kids at 25-30yo and have had a much more stable plan for a dozen+ years longer than I. It is what it is. Yeah I get that jealousy too but our lives and priorities were different. Income is certainly a factor as well. I'm in the blue collar sector so I'm not making typical FBG money whereas some of my circle is white collar. There's a few extra bucks there.

I'll likely never have those "toys" or what my friends might have but I'm ok with that. 

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Wife and I recently moved to Portland, OR while getting to keep our SF Bay Area salaries.  No kids, will be paying off what little debt we do have from the sale of our tiny condo in the bay area and then be able to put down a ton on a 3/2 here in Portland.  I'm already thinking about the "toys" I'll be wanting to get, but most of our "fun" budget goes into travel and will continue to do so, pending COVID obviously. 

Most if not all of our friends have kids and we see so much of their money going into schooling (I mean WTF pre-schools are in the thousands of dollar range now??) and saving for future schooling.  It's great for them because their kids are their lives and they are happy, but that seems to be a huge money sink to me.  

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8 minutes ago, strykerpks said:

@mr. furley Just seeing this thread but I'm in a similar boat (no pun intended). We're paycheck to paycheck with roughly 20ish percent going to savings, life insurance etc. People around here leverage a number of things to have these toys. Hell you're probably seeing a bunch of snowmobiles and those are likely bigger money pits than boats. It's just what they do. 

I spent my 20s getting drunk and banging chicks. Fun for sure but where am I today at 41? Friends of mine got married and had kids at 25-30yo and have had a much more stable plan for a dozen+ years longer than I. It is what it is. Yeah I get that jealousy too but our lives and priorities were different. Income is certainly a factor as well. I'm in the blue collar sector so I'm not making typical FBG money whereas some of my circle is white collar. There's a few extra bucks there.

I'll likely never have those "toys" or what my friends might have but I'm ok with that. 

:goodposting: 

i definitely got a later start on being able to save money. it wasn't that i didn't want to, it's because i couldn't. 

a friend of mine bags on me constantly for not being able to tag along on vacations, long weekends, concerts, etc.  he has forever.  around the time we were graduating HS his grandparents gave him 20k cash, equivalent of that in stock and when they passed a couple years later he inherited 200k.

that kind of money at 18 - 20 set him up to take chances and make career decisions that i couldn't dream of.  now he's..... wealthy.... and 25 years on has completely lost perspective on what things cost, how hard it is for regular people to do what he does, etc.  we're still friends, he's probably my best friend, but his vision of what is possible is wildly skewed when it comes to thinking of other people.

 

i'm cool with where i'm at. never seriously worried about what anyone else is doing, but sometimes i wonder if the decisions i made/am making are preventing me from affording some of these life's luxuries. 

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I like this thread. Lots of different perspectives. 

What we choose to spend our money on, what’s important to us, is what matters. 

I like to travel. And ski.  I live in bougie as hell, south OC.   I’m happy to spend money on these things. (Starting to want to move). Could not care less about “toys” (I do have $700 ski pants :bag:  ).

My daughter did a lifeguard camp last month. Camp is literally in front of the ritz Carlton. Houses on the beach are 10-30+ million. The car pick up line, had a lot of ridiculous cars in it.

My Kid asked why we didn’t have a ridiculous car. I asked her, “what would you rather do?  Go see your cousins in Maui?  Go to the USVI, to see the other cousins,?  Take all of our ski vacations(30+ days)?  Or drive a Tesla X?(she’s fascinated by Teslas)

Thankfully, she saw the logic. A lot of our habits, are learned from our parents.  I’m going to do my best, to instill as much financial common sense in her, as I can. 

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1 hour ago, MAC_32 said:

For us, going into kids with no student loan nor credit card debt (a massive if in today's world) made it as simple as prioritization and minimizing future interest bearing debt. We are middle class and both have established side hustles that require very little of our time. If we wanted toys we could have added them to the budget within a year of popping out our last kid - because they were healthy anyway. We chose not to (priorities!), but we could have. And if we choose to now we're almost to the point in which we could do it - kids aged 4, 7, and 10. 

Without considering side hustle income nor 3 paycheck months, this is our baseline monthly budget

Mortgage 15% (through 2027)

Tuition 15% (no June pmt, apply towards home improvements), may have a HS public school option outside our district

Food 10%

Nanny 10% (no June nor July pmt, apply towards home improvements)

Savings 10% (retirement/529/HSA - at minimum max out the employer match), liquid savings account is already at a healthy level

Car 5% (through 2021)

Insurance 5%

Phone/Internet/Streaming/Utilities 5%

Discretionary 25% (minimum)

And this drives some finance people crazy (gov't interest free loan yadda yadda yadda), but we set things up to get a healthy refund each year. That's our vacation budget and whatever we don't use goes towards home improvements. Due to covid we opted against a vacation, so this has been a massive home improvement year. Especially once also considering the stimulus check and saved nanny costs in spring.

---

We made the decision years ago to do private schooling because our public schools are poor. A lot of what @msudaisy26 mentioned could have already been in the works (40% discretionary!) had we not made that decision, but in our reality we think it's the right one. But that nanny line item may be going away for good - we'll see what the DoE does wrt covid this school year. Initially we're going to use that on home improvements, but we may complete the biggest ones within the next 3 years as 10% per month is gonna add up quick. I don't ever see us expanding beyond a one week and long weekend vacation schedule but at that point we'll have the option to do some combination of that, increase savings, investing, among many other options. 

There's a lot more details that I wrote out, but didn't want to throw out a wall of text so if you have any follow up shoot me a pm. 

As someone in education I wanted to send our child to private school, but we decided that the extra attention I can and will pay to my childs education would make up the difference that a private school would provide.

We also thought the money would be better spent if we saved it for college and could afford to send her anywhere if it works out. 

We also do school of choice and send our daughter to a better public school. We live right on the border of that school district so it isn't a far drive. The school district we actually live tests lower than the state wide average every year and usually grades out as a slightly below average school. 

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My four daughters are now 14, 17, 19 & 22...

What are "toys"?

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1 hour ago, Scoresman said:

 (I mean WTF pre-schools are in the thousands of dollar range now??) 

Good stuff overall, but this is one of those items I wonder if people really think about the Dynamics.

How many kids do you want in the preschool classroom? Most parents want a lower kid : teacher / caretaker ratio, especially when the kids are young. The really young kids are mandated no more than 5 kids per adult. This increases as the kids get older, but is still 1:8 at 4 years old. Honestly though, 5 12 month olds seems like a LOT for one teacher.

Overhead can be high, building, utilities, insurance, etc. 

What qualifications do you want in a preschool teacher? Some may be happy with the person simply not being abusive and able to change a diaper. Others want instruction in Mandarin. Most are in the middle. 

My wife has a degree in special education, but hasn't worked in 17 years. She's been offered a job at the preschool we send our daughter (she'll attend kindergarten there next year), and the most they can pay is a little more than $10/hr. If not for our daughter attending next year and that we don't really need her income, that just isn't enough for her qualifications. Nor will it draw most people with experience and qualifications. But to pay them more, they'd need to increase "tuition".

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9 minutes ago, playin4beer said:

My four daughters are now 14, 17, 19 & 22...

What are "toys"?

:tinfoilhat: 4 sons and a daughter is hard enough.  

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58 minutes ago, mr. furley said:

i'm cool with where i'm at. never seriously worried about what anyone else is doing, but sometimes i wonder if the decisions i made/am making are preventing me from affording some of these life's luxuries. 

Yup, that's a lot of it for me.  Some poor financial decisions in my 20s-30s, marrying someone who was bad with money, getting myself caught up in the housing bubble, and then getting a divorce all set me way back despite making a decent living. Then just choosing to live in the Bay Area after college (rent is so damned high) and putting my kid in a private high school are choices I definintely don't regret, but they sure keep the financial pressure on and have kept me pretty close to paycheck-to-paycheck living for most of my adult life.  

I've turned the corner a bit the past few years and currently have zero debt, have been maxing out retirement accounts for the last 6-7 years, and am finally setting some other money aside.  I still have college to chip in for over the next few years, but we also plan on moving back to Oregon in the next year or two and likely cutting our cost of living by 30-50%.  Considering I work remotely already if I take my Bay Area compensation up there I can buy a home, and after a few years I can get that RV/Trailer and fishing boat I'd like to have - and could have had for years if I'd made different decisions in my 20s and 30s.

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7 hours ago, -OZ- said:

:yes:

I don't know if dentist meant for it to come off this way, but I detest the notion that you can't be active in your 40s or 50s. 

We recover slower than in our 20s, and there's more risk with some activities. I'll always remember my two colleagues who went back to jumping out of airplanes in their mid 40s after a decade hiatus and got injured (one pretty badly, the other less so). But young guys get injured doing that too, and I suspect most of us aren't trying to jump out of airplanes with over 75 lbs of gear. 

Yeah, you'll feel sore doing some activities. But it's so worth it.

 

:yes:

I was a couple of weeks from turning 43 when I ran my first 100M, and plan to run at least a couple more in the next few years as I move into my 50s.  Unless I fall off a mountain in the middle of the night before then, of course......

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46 minutes ago, -OZ- said:

Honestly though, 5 12 month olds seems like a LOT for one teacher.

let'e be honest a 1:1 ratio is a lot  :mellow: 

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57 minutes ago, playin4beer said:

My four daughters are now 14, 17, 19 & 22...

What are "toys"?

All those nice things you have bought them the last 20 years.

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Honestly---I don't have the "toys" being mentioned here--but I am 41 years old and I own 4 properties out right.  The key to asset acquisition (whether its properties, rvs, toys...etc) is creating multiple and passive revenue streams.  I would never be in the position where i am now had I not pulled the trigger on my first investment property.  I put a nice down payment down and allocated all of the rent money towards the mortgage payment. Ended up paying if off super quick.   I then had the rent money direct deposited to an account that I hardly touch and let it accumulate.  Ended up buying a second property using that money when the market was really low and just paid it off in cash.   I then had rent money coming in from 2 properties with no mortgage payment.  I accumulated enough to purchase a third property a few years later.   If one is smart enough to start this cycle of smart investing/purchases early enough--they can really set themselves up to have a lot of luxuries in life later on.    

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I just bought myself a sweet bird feeder.   Wasn't really planning for such an expense, but reading this thread put me in the YOLO mindset so figured what the hay. 

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Posted (edited)

Maybe I am defective, but I have 0 interest in any sort of big toys for adults (no, not those ones). When I buy a car I want one that runs well that I will not need to worry about for another 10 years, I am not going to pay an additional 30k for a fancier emblem on the hood. I just want to become a hermit and be left alone. 

I am also somewhat irrationally frugal, where I will not buy some game on steam for $4.99 that I am somewhat interested in because I am not sure if I will have time to play it, but have no problem paying for $100 of delivery sushi for the family whenever my wife has a whim for it. I don't want anything with upkeep like a pool or boat, but I would not complain about a neighbor with a pool or a friend with a boat.

The only big purchase I could think of that I would potentially want is a vacation home somewhere, but even that seems like a waste if it is empty 95% of the year or a hassle trying to deal with rentals and such.  

Edited by huthut
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3 hours ago, Scoresman said:

Wife and I recently moved to Portland, OR while getting to keep our SF Bay Area salaries.  No kids, will be paying off what little debt we do have from the sale of our tiny condo in the bay area and then be able to put down a ton on a 3/2 here in Portland.  I'm already thinking about the "toys" I'll be wanting to get, but most of our "fun" budget goes into travel and will continue to do so, pending COVID obviously. 

Most if not all of our friends have kids and we see so much of their money going into schooling (I mean WTF pre-schools are in the thousands of dollar range now??) and saving for future schooling.  It's great for them because their kids are their lives and they are happy, but that seems to be a huge money sink to me.  

My daughters day care/preschool 11 years ago cost me almost 1k a month.   

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3 minutes ago, belljr said:

My daughters day care/preschool 11 years ago cost me almost 1k a month.   

Sometimes we pretend like we have no kids and look around for what we could buy for with the cost of daycare. It looks like we could have either one large vacation home or two more moderately sized ones. Instead we get macaroni art and messages that we forgot sunscreen. 

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2 hours ago, playin4beer said:

My four daughters are now 14, 17, 19 & 22...

What are "toys"?

Bose headphones 

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1 hour ago, jvdesigns2002 said:

Honestly---I don't have the "toys" being mentioned here--but I am 41 years old and I own 4 properties out right.  The key to asset acquisition (whether its properties, rvs, toys...etc) is creating multiple and passive revenue streams.  I would never be in the position where i am now had I not pulled the trigger on my first investment property.  I put a nice down payment down and allocated all of the rent money towards the mortgage payment. Ended up paying if off super quick.   I then had the rent money direct deposited to an account that I hardly touch and let it accumulate.  Ended up buying a second property using that money when the market was really low and just paid it off in cash.   I then had rent money coming in from 2 properties with no mortgage payment.  I accumulated enough to purchase a third property a few years later.   If one is smart enough to start this cycle of smart investing/purchases early enough--they can really set themselves up to have a lot of luxuries in life later on.    

When did you acquire your first one? Average sales price? Acquiring 4 is impressive. I’m in So Cal and late in the rental property investment game 

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8 hours ago, mr. furley said:

maybe in terms of percentages of take home.. what are you saving? spending on "luxury items"? what percent goes towards your monthly bills?

In the end this is the variable that counts the most.  No matter what you spend on if you manage to squeeze out a decent percentage you're doing ok.  Last couple years I've been right at 40%.  That will do and if we went to 50% I'd start cutting out the things that make life now better.  No need to live like a hermit.

3 hours ago, DA RAIDERS said:

My daughter did a lifeguard camp last month. Camp is literally in front of the ritz Carlton. Houses on the beach are 10-30+ million. The car pick up line, had a lot of ridiculous cars in it.

Dress her in short shorts and make sure she flashes a smile at the boys coming out of those houses...

3 hours ago, mr. furley said:

a friend of mine bags on me constantly for not being able to tag along on vacations, long weekends, concerts, etc.  he has forever.  around the time we were graduating HS his grandparents gave him 20k cash, equivalent of that in stock and when they passed a couple years later he inherited 200k.

One thing I have done is to setup Roths for the kids.  Any amount of money compounding in early life is a huge lever arm. 

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1 hour ago, huthut said:

The only big purchase I could think of that I would potentially want is a vacation home somewhere, but even that seems like a waste if it is empty 95% of the year or a hassle trying to deal with rentals and such.  

Buy utility, rent luxury. 

With all the argument over boats here it really comes down to utilization.

I specifically don't want a vacation home; locks you in to one place.  If I do somehow get moderately rich the idea of one summer in New Zealand, one summer in Mallorca, one summer in Patagonia...  you get the drift, sounds awesome.

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Mods> please move this to the boat subforum 

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Sand said:

One thing I have done is to setup Roths for the kids.  Any amount of money compounding in early life is a huge lever arm. 

Just did this for my 16-year old as she got her first job, tutoring incoming freshman in math over Zoom.  It'll only be a few bucks, but the plan is to match whatever earnings she has over the next several years to start funding it.  Ideally, I'm in a position to keep funding it throughout her young adult life, as I know I struggled to save anything during those lean days.  

On that note it's kind of amazing to look at my social security statements to see how little money I made those first few years out of college.  No idea how I made it in San Francisco, even back in the late-90s.  

Edited by SFBayDuck
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42 minutes ago, Judge Smails said:

When did you acquire your first one? Average sales price? Acquiring 4 is impressive. I’m in So Cal and late in the rental property investment game 

I started late--about 10-11 years ago.   Relatively speaking--things were so expensive in the So cal market even back then that I focused on the Las Vegas market.  My first investment property there was a short sale in silverado ranch (right next to Henderson)--a 3 bedroom 2 bath single family home for $99k.   A little less than 2 years later I purchased a 2 bedroom 2 bath condo in silverado ranch for $53k.   After that--I used the funds to pay off my mortgage for the home that I live in Huntington Beach in--and several years later--I purchased a 3rd investment property in Vegas.    The key is that most occupations alone make it impossible to live life, keep some in savings for retirement, have reserve funds for emergencies and to enjoy some luxuries.  This is especially the case in Southern California. Putting your money to work is one of the key ways to get ahead of the curve.   Not only have these properties effectively paid for themselves via the passive monthly income--but they've also went up in value 2.5-3x since acquiring them.  Having those properties has almost been like having a second full time job for me financially over the past 10-11 years. 

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11 hours ago, -OZ- said:

Going part time assumes you don't need as large an income. 

I make more money part time now than I did full time 10 years ago.

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8 hours ago, =Smackdown= said:

Ummm . . . nope.

House paid off - we good.

 

Just don't choose to incur the expense of a boat.

So you don't own a boat, but somehow you're able to say that owning one is like ripping up 100's in a cold shower.    You're not the only one in here who has made a statement like that, without actually having a boat.

That's a pretty odd perspective to me since you have no basis for what you're saying.   I enjoy maintaining my cars and my boats.   I've always liked working on engines, so the cost is really not that big of a deal. 

I'm also single, so I enjoy spending time with pretty girls in bikinis on the water.   I also like traveling and fishing, so I get to enjoy those as well.   At no point have I regretted owning boats, and I've owned at least one since my early 20's.   Your statement seems pretty uninformed  and silly to me.  

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