How to avoid throwing money at problems?

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notmyhand
Posts: 421
Joined: Mon Jul 15, 2013 7:43 pm

How to avoid throwing money at problems?

Post by notmyhand »

DH and I have a six month old and we are finding ourselves with a lack of time to get the basics done. DH and I both work a minimum of 60 hours a week and DS is in daycare so is sick often and our family logistics have been shot. HHI ~350k with bonuses, 90k without bonuses, 950k NW, 250k in house equity out of that. We are finding we have a lot of problems that could be solved with money. For example, in the last week:

1. My ten year old car would not start, first time that's happened but it keeps coming up with problems.
2. Our house is a complete wreck. 2500 square feet with three long haired dogs. We can barely keep up with making sure we have clean clothes.
3. Our lawn is still littered with leaves from last fall. We are on 20 acres and it takes days to rake even just the few acres around the house.
4. My two year old computer is running super slow and it's meant I've spent twice the amount of time doing a few things that should have been quick. I use it for work often.
Etc. Etc.

Now some of these can be solved with a little money and some time. For example, I can spend the time wiping the computer and reinstalling and have already had an IT person recommend I replace the harddrive with a solid state drive and moving some of the information to another drive. But is it worth or do I just get a new laptop at this point?

I can spend time at the mechanic with the car but it keeps coming back with problems. I am tempted to go ahead and replace it like I should have done a year ago when it started having problems.

I am tempted to get a cleaning service and a landscaping service.

I can afford all of these but it would mean taking a hit to our savings rate which I really do not want to do as we both work in a volatile industry and you never know when you will be unemployed (were both laid off in 2016 for example).

How do you refrain from spending money to make your life easier? I realize I'm just frustrated with my lack of time right now and I can handle all of this for much cheaper when I have the time to do it. Just need some tips on refraining from spending money when I get frustrated. What works for all of you?
blueman457
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Re: How to avoid throwing money at problems?

Post by blueman457 »

I wouldn't view it as throwing money at problems, just spending money to save time and be more efficient in things that require my actual attention.

-A car needs to be replaced at some point, it may be worth biting the bullet now if it continues to have issues
-A 2yo computer shouldn't have THAT many problems. It may be worth just keeping the current hard drive and starting fresh.
-I strongly dislike cleaning and therefore do a poor job at it, so a cleaning service was helpful for me. You can try a service every other week at first to see if it works for you.
-Definitely get someone else to rake leaves, that's a bit much

Trial and error, somethings may not be worth spending, others may be.

Blue Man
pepperz
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Re: How to avoid throwing money at problems?

Post by pepperz »

notmyhand wrote: Sat Apr 13, 2019 10:56 amI can afford all of these but it would mean taking a hit to our savings rate which I really do not want to do as we both work in a volatile industry and you never know when you will be unemployed (were both laid off in 2016 for example).
Couple questions:

- How much of a hit would it be to your savings rate if you did all of these things?

- If you had to pick, which *one* thing causes the most stress / hassle out of that list? And how much would that cost?

- How would your life be different if you didn’t have those things bugging you? Would you be able to *do* anything different than now, and/or what about quality of life?
SevenBridgesRoad
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Re: How to avoid throwing money at problems?

Post by SevenBridgesRoad »

notmyhand wrote: Sat Apr 13, 2019 10:56 am DH and I have a six month old and we are finding ourselves with a lack of time to get the basics done. DH and I both work a minimum of 60 hours a week and DS is in daycare so is sick often and our family logistics have been shot. HHI ~350k with bonuses, 90k without bonuses, 950k NW, 250k in house equity out of that. We are finding we have a lot of problems that could be solved with money. For example, in the last week:

1. My ten year old car would not start, first time that's happened but it keeps coming up with problems.
2. Our house is a complete wreck. 2500 square feet with three long haired dogs. We can barely keep up with making sure we have clean clothes.
3. Our lawn is still littered with leaves from last fall. We are on 20 acres and it takes days to rake even just the few acres around the house.
4. My two year old computer is running super slow and it's meant I've spent twice the amount of time doing a few things that should have been quick. I use it for work often.
Etc. Etc.

Now some of these can be solved with a little money and some time. For example, I can spend the time wiping the computer and reinstalling and have already had an IT person recommend I replace the harddrive with a solid state drive and moving some of the information to another drive. But is it worth or do I just get a new laptop at this point?

I can spend time at the mechanic with the car but it keeps coming back with problems. I am tempted to go ahead and replace it like I should have done a year ago when it started having problems.

I am tempted to get a cleaning service and a landscaping service.

I can afford all of these but it would mean taking a hit to our savings rate which I really do not want to do as we both work in a volatile industry and you never know when you will be unemployed (were both laid off in 2016 for example).

How do you refrain from spending money to make your life easier? I realize I'm just frustrated with my lack of time right now and I can handle all of this for much cheaper when I have the time to do it. Just need some tips on refraining from spending money when I get frustrated. What works for all of you?
In solving any problem, you have two basic choices: treat the symptoms or fix the problem at root cause. You've created a life that comes with a lot of complexity and unintended consequences. Both of you working hard sixty hours a week leaves little time for anything else. So, the root cause of "too little time for anything else" is that you both work a lot of hours. 20 acres comes with a ton of upkeep. So, the root cause of the problem "no time for yard upkeep" is you have a huge yard. You could move (root cause fix) or be OK with using money to treat the unintended side effect. Three long haired dogs come with a lot of, well, long hair on everything. (Root cause: long haired dogs shed and three shed three times more.) I realize fixing the dog issue at root cause may not be emotionally possible...everyone loves their dogs...so you'll need to treat the unintended side effects and throw money at housekeepers. Most ten year cars are not as reliable as a solid two year old Toyota. This is one to tackle at root cause now. Get a new or almost new car this weekend (make it a Toyota or something with a high reliability record). Your new goal is to have your cars start up every time, verses a goal of keeping a car for as long as possible. I think it's perfectly OK for you to solve some of these problems with money. But take a hard look at root causes and consider making some life-choice changes.
barnaclebob
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Re: How to avoid throwing money at problems?

Post by barnaclebob »

Get the yard and cleaning services. If my wife and i had to work 60 hours a week even without a kid or dogs we would outsource as much as possible.

Worst case: you try it for a few months, dont like it and are out a ground or two. Big deal.
Last edited by barnaclebob on Sat Apr 13, 2019 11:21 am, edited 1 time in total.
KlangFool
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Re: How to avoid throwing money at problems?

Post by KlangFool »

OP,

The answer is very simple but hard.

You cannot do everything and have everything at the same time. So, what is the number one priority in your life? Answer that and the rest will come to you easily. It is very simple. You do not have the time, energy, and ability to live the same way as you were. Something has to stop. As to what, it is easy if you can answer question number one. What is the highest priority in your life?

KlangFool
dbr
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Re: How to avoid throwing money at problems?

Post by dbr »

I think a proper description of your situation is that your earnings are not as great as you think they are because those earnings put a demand on your time that can only be met by spending some of that income as you say "throwing money at problems." It is just a fact of life.

It is also possible that you can't afford to live on 20 acres, have three long haired dogs, etc. and also meet your savings goals. I agree a possible solution to the vehicle problem actually is to spend the money on a new or newer car.
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Kenkat
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Re: How to avoid throwing money at problems?

Post by Kenkat »

I think it is time to start throwing money at problems. Because you make $350k per year, you can afford that option. Think of the yearly outlay to solve these problems compared to your income:

1)Buy a new car, keep it 10 years. Let’s say that’s $3,000 / yr.
2) Get a cleaning service. $75/wk. is $3,900 / yr.
3) Lawn and landscaping service. Another $75/wk, let’s say 40 weeks on this, so $3,000 / yr.
4) New computer, $1000 one time expenditure or just take it somewhere like Best Buy and have Geek Squad do the work.

If you add up the above, it’s only $10k per year which is not that much considering your income.

I do some things myself but others I pay someone to do. I still work; if I was retired I might do more myself but I don’t have the time so I pick and choose. You work to live; savings is great but not at the expense of feeling like you are losing your mind trying to keep up.
Theseus
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Re: How to avoid throwing money at problems?

Post by Theseus »

I think in another thread Livesoft had described an amazingly efficient schedule he follows. Now some of it is not for everyone, but many things in that thread can help. I don’t remember the thread but someone hopefully will.

Secondly I suggest it’s worth getting housekeeping help - especially in your situation . We are not that busy but still have someone come 3 times a week. She does whatever we don’t like doing. Cleaning, laundry, dishes, gardening help, garage cleaning, closet organizing, help with cooking and anything else. If I could convince DW she would come 5 days a week. We pay $15-$20 per hour in our area. This actually buys us time we are able spend as a family. You can’t put a price on spending time with your child. They grow up fast. And no amount of money is worth it (for me) to miss their childhood.
delamer
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Re: How to avoid throwing money at problems?

Post by delamer »

You get to choose how you live.

One of the basic tradeoffs in life is time versus money.

I’d suggest you do a review of how you’d set up your lives if you could start from scratch with just the two of you and the baby to worry about. No dogs, no 20 acres, no 60 hours/week jobs. That might give you some insight and a path to make changes to make your lives easier.

What you are doing now just doesn’t make sense.

Speaking to one issue — housecleaning services clean. If the house is a mess with newspapers, bills, clothing, baby toys, etc. all over the place, the cleaners work around the clutter to the best of their ability. They don’t pick up after you. So don’t waste your money on cleaners if the house isn’t fairly neat.

EDIT: Have you heard the expression “ like rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic”? The problem is that your lifestyle is overwhelming your family, not that the house isn’t clean.
Last edited by delamer on Sat Apr 13, 2019 11:37 am, edited 1 time in total.
getthatmarshmallow
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Re: How to avoid throwing money at problems?

Post by getthatmarshmallow »

It might not be a bad thing to trade money for time with the family, given the schedule. How much would the expense set you back?
Coinsinthefountain
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Re: How to avoid throwing money at problems?

Post by Coinsinthefountain »

How much time to you spend on the internet? So much of the time I spend is actually wasted time. I doubt if I’m alone. I went out the other day and changed oil on my vehicle, mowed the yard and raked some leaves. Remember the commercial: ‘Wow, I could have had a V8!’ Well, wow, I could have spent all that time on the Internet. Time outdoors and exercise might be good for you since you're so wrapped up in your work. It’s easy to get overwhelmed with day-to-day things. Give yourself simple tasks like cleaning one room then go from there. Watch less TV, etc. and channel that energy into a task. The fact you recognize this “problem” which in the scheme of things is nothing, really, is good. And, yeah, the car outta go.
letsgobobby
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Re: How to avoid throwing money at problems?

Post by letsgobobby »

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Last edited by letsgobobby on Thu Apr 18, 2019 12:13 am, edited 1 time in total.
frankandbeans
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Re: How to avoid throwing money at problems?

Post by frankandbeans »

We are two working professionals with a similar income and two young kids. We have a cleaning service and a landscaping service. I realized years ago that outsourcing time consuming tasks to free me up for work, relaxation, and family time was well worth it. And I have found that these services are far more valuable than acquiring more stuff. So we balance that out by driving our cars and electronics into the ground before replacing them, getting mid-range Android devices and Hondas rather than iPhones and Audis, and not taking extravagant vacations. As long as you can do these things within your budget and maintain a healthy savings rate--and nothing in your post suggests you can't--I think these are reasonable choices.
fru-gal
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Re: How to avoid throwing money at problems?

Post by fru-gal »

Why are you raking a significant portion of twenty acres? Let most of the twenty acres go wild and help wildlife. How much yard.lawn do you actually need - figure that out and maintain that or have someone maintain it.
Ybsybs
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Re: How to avoid throwing money at problems?

Post by Ybsybs »

I advise: thinking through the best use of your money and then applying it to get the best value.

If it were me making the choices, I'd be using money to fix at least some of these things and wouldn't feel bad about it. "Throwing money at problems" involves the implication that the spending is a superficial fix, if that. In your case, it need not be a superficial fix.

For example: You could get rid of a bunch of your stuff (knowing that you can afford to buy it again if you later realize your reduction has gone too far) and that would make having an organized home easier and make hiring a cleaning service possible. And you might also discover you could keep up with the cleaning now that you aren't having to constantly organize first.
stoptothink
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Re: How to avoid throwing money at problems?

Post by stoptothink »

letsgobobby wrote: Sat Apr 13, 2019 11:33 am
notmyhand wrote: Sat Apr 13, 2019 10:56 am DH and I have a six month old and we are finding ourselves with a lack of time to get the basics done. DH and I both work a minimum of 60 hours a week and DS is in daycare so is sick often and our family logistics have been shot. HHI ~350k with bonuses, 90k without bonuses, 950k NW, 250k in house equity out of that. We are finding we have a lot of problems that could be solved with money. For example, in the last week:

1. My ten year old car would not start, first time that's happened but it keeps coming up with problems.
2. Our house is a complete wreck. 2500 square feet with three long haired dogs. We can barely keep up with making sure we have clean clothes.
3. Our lawn is still littered with leaves from last fall. We are on 20 acres and it takes days to rake even just the few acres around the house.
4. My two year old computer is running super slow and it's meant I've spent twice the amount of time doing a few things that should have been quick. I use it for work often.
Etc. Etc.

Now some of these can be solved with a little money and some time. For example, I can spend the time wiping the computer and reinstalling and have already had an IT person recommend I replace the harddrive with a solid state drive and moving some of the information to another drive. But is it worth or do I just get a new laptop at this point?

I can spend time at the mechanic with the car but it keeps coming back with problems. I am tempted to go ahead and replace it like I should have done a year ago when it started having problems.

I am tempted to get a cleaning service and a landscaping service.

I can afford all of these but it would mean taking a hit to our savings rate which I really do not want to do as we both work in a volatile industry and you never know when you will be unemployed (were both laid off in 2016 for example).

How do you refrain from spending money to make your life easier? I realize I'm just frustrated with my lack of time right now and I can handle all of this for much cheaper when I have the time to do it. Just need some tips on refraining from spending money when I get frustrated. What works for all of you?
I'd sell the 20 acres. They aren't compatible with your lifestyle, and probably add in other ways to your costs. A rightsized homestead would save you a ton of time, energy, and money.
This. It's all about designing your lifestyle. I have a pretty demanding job, wife did not want to be a SAHM, wife also decided she wanted to go back to school, and we both travel frequently for work; we needed a home that was low maintenance, close to people who may be able to help with our kids (grandparents), close to wife's school, and with minimal work commutes to make it all possible. What we "wanted" had to be a minimal factor in the home-buying process because our options were limited to a specific area we had to live in to make our crazy life possible.

How is living on 20 acres you can't maintain, let alone have time to enjoy, improving your quality of life?
KlangFool
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Re: How to avoid throwing money at problems?

Post by KlangFool »

Kenkat wrote: Sat Apr 13, 2019 11:25 am
I think it is time to start throwing money at problems. Because you make $350k per year, you can afford that option.
Kenkat,

You are assuming that OP did not spend most of his household income on the house. That may or may not be true.

KlangFool
Regattamom
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Re: How to avoid throwing money at problems?

Post by Regattamom »

Do you and your spouse want to work 60 hours per week each with an infant? Even without the acreage, dogs, and car issues, that would be hard for most couples.
dbr
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Re: How to avoid throwing money at problems?

Post by dbr »

notmyhand wrote: Sat Apr 13, 2019 10:56 am

I can afford all of these but it would mean taking a hit to our savings rate which I really do not want to do as we both work in a volatile industry and you never know when you will be unemployed (were both laid off in 2016 for example).

This is actually the key point of conflict. I am not clear how you end up with your high net income and a net worth of 950k and still don't have a large enough emergency fund to deal with unemployment. Otherwise the issue is that you really are overspending relative to your actually expected income and might perhaps review your entire outgo and not just these marginal items.
Regattamom
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Re: How to avoid throwing money at problems?

Post by Regattamom »

delamer wrote: Sat Apr 13, 2019 11:27 am You get to choose how you live.

One of the basic tradeoffs in life is time versus money.

I’d suggest you do a review of how you’d set up your lives if you could start from scratch with just the two of you and the baby to worry about. No dogs, no 20 acres, no 60 hours/week jobs. That might give you some insight and a path to make changes to make your lives easier.

What you are doing now just doesn’t make sense.

Speaking to one issue — housecleaning services clean. If the house is a mess with newspapers, bills, clothing, baby toys, etc. all over the place, the cleaners work around the clutter to the best of their ability. They don’t pick up after you. So don’t waste your money on cleaners if the house isn’t fairly neat.

EDIT: Have you heard the expression “ like rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic”? The problem is that your lifestyle is overwhelming your family, not that the house isn’t clean.
+1
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Kenkat
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Re: How to avoid throwing money at problems?

Post by Kenkat »

KlangFool wrote: Sat Apr 13, 2019 11:58 am
Kenkat wrote: Sat Apr 13, 2019 11:25 am
I think it is time to start throwing money at problems. Because you make $350k per year, you can afford that option.
Kenkat,

You are assuming that OP did not spend most of his household income on the house. That may or may not be true.

KlangFool
Good point. If that is indeed the case, that is probably problem #1 to fix.
Thesaints
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Re: How to avoid throwing money at problems?

Post by Thesaints »

notmyhand wrote: Sat Apr 13, 2019 10:56 am How do you refrain from spending money to make your life easier?
What’s the difference between that and not having the money to begin with ?
rjbraun
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Re: How to avoid throwing money at problems?

Post by rjbraun »

KlangFool wrote: Sat Apr 13, 2019 11:58 am
Kenkat wrote: Sat Apr 13, 2019 11:25 am
I think it is time to start throwing money at problems. Because you make $350k per year, you can afford that option.
Kenkat,

You are assuming that OP did not spend most of his household income on the house. That may or may not be true.

KlangFool
That $350k per year is with bonuses. Otherwise OP has $90k base, so presumably the 60+ hour work week is directly linked to bringing home an additional ~$260k in earnings. So, how aggressively OP wants to spend above their $90k base is a personal decision, but to me I think it might complicate things (want to be careful to not spend more money than I actually earn).
Luckywon
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Re: How to avoid throwing money at problems?

Post by Luckywon »

With respect to hiring a cleaning service or landscaping service, perhaps take your cue from the lessons of behavioral finance and approach the decision this way:

Find out how much these things cost. Let's say the cleaning service is $150 for 6 hours of house cleaning. Ask yourself whether you would clean someone else's house for that. If the answer is yes, you should probably clean your house yourself, and perhaps tell the cleaning service you are available to work for them. If the answer is no, probably you should hire them. Repeat with the landscaping service and any other service that's available to you.
fposte
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Re: How to avoid throwing money at problems?

Post by fposte »

I like the saying that "Sometimes the easiest way to pay is with money." The key is knowing when "sometimes" is.

I too vote for unloading the 20 acres, through sale, ag lease, whatever is practicable in your area. You don't currently have resources to be a farmer, rancher, or forester. That would have a financial advantage as well as a time advantage.
HomeStretch
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Re: How to avoid throwing money at problems?

Post by HomeStretch »

I suggest you initially hire the services you need to and then consider whether your housing and job situations will work in the long term. Best of luck.

We were in a similar situation (equal earners) plus spouse traveled regularly. Initially, when child was in daycare, we hired a lawn service, cleaning service and ordered groceries/almost everything else online. This plan worked until child was age 3 and moved to preschool for 15 hours per week. It was very difficult to piece together quality childcare coverage to support our work schedules. And, if child was sick, it became a huge issue. At this point, we debated hiring a nanny or adjusting one of our working lives. I chose the latter. It was the right decision for us.
juliewongferra
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Re: How to avoid throwing money at problems?

Post by juliewongferra »

notmyhand wrote: Sat Apr 13, 2019 10:56 am DH and I have a six month old and we are finding ourselves with a lack of time to get the basics done. DH and I both work a minimum of 60 hours a week and DS is in daycare so is sick often and our family logistics have been shot. HHI ~350k with bonuses, 90k without bonuses, 950k NW, 250k in house equity out of that. We are finding we have a lot of problems that could be solved with money. For example, in the last week:

1. My ten year old car would not start, first time that's happened but it keeps coming up with problems.
2. Our house is a complete wreck. 2500 square feet with three long haired dogs. We can barely keep up with making sure we have clean clothes.
3. Our lawn is still littered with leaves from last fall. We are on 20 acres and it takes days to rake even just the few acres around the house.
4. My two year old computer is running super slow and it's meant I've spent twice the amount of time doing a few things that should have been quick. I use it for work often.
Etc. Etc.

Now some of these can be solved with a little money and some time. For example, I can spend the time wiping the computer and reinstalling and have already had an IT person recommend I replace the harddrive with a solid state drive and moving some of the information to another drive. But is it worth or do I just get a new laptop at this point?

I can spend time at the mechanic with the car but it keeps coming back with problems. I am tempted to go ahead and replace it like I should have done a year ago when it started having problems.

I am tempted to get a cleaning service and a landscaping service.

I can afford all of these but it would mean taking a hit to our savings rate which I really do not want to do as we both work in a volatile industry and you never know when you will be unemployed (were both laid off in 2016 for example).

How do you refrain from spending money to make your life easier? I realize I'm just frustrated with my lack of time right now and I can handle all of this for much cheaper when I have the time to do it. Just need some tips on refraining from spending money when I get frustrated. What works for all of you?
If you are hungry, you have a problem. So is buying food throwing money at problems?
If you live on the streets or in a public park, you have a problem. So is renting or buying a home throwing oney at problems?

Like others have said here, you can reevaluate your relationship with money and realize that it is a TOOL, not an END itself. Realize that some of your problems are just what comes with living an acceptable life, and don't worry about spending on a specific thing, although of course you have to budget and make decisions because as KrangFool says, you can't have it all.

cheers,
jwf
If you aren't familiar with Mr. Bogle and his investment philosophy, then you don't know Jack!
mhalley
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Re: How to avoid throwing money at problems?

Post by mhalley »

You live your life with choices. You choose to have 3 long haired dogs instead of 1 short haired or no dog, you choose to live on a huge tract of land. Life is a series of choices regarding money vs time. If you don’t have time but have money, you are way ahead of the game because you can throw money at your problems. If you don’t want to throw the money at the problem or downsize your life, get a shirt that says, “At my house, dog hair is both a fashion accessory AND a condiment!”
As for the pc unless you bought a very cheap one it should run fine for years, replacing it isn’t the answer as the same virus will happen to it. Google the steps for fixing a slow pc or take it to the shop.
Last edited by mhalley on Sat Apr 13, 2019 12:50 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Isabelle77
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Re: How to avoid throwing money at problems?

Post by Isabelle77 »

You can't have it all, it's impossible.

Think about if you might be happier in a smaller house, with a lower income and more hours in the day to spend with your spouse and baby. If that's not right for you then you need to start "throwing money" at these problems or everything in your life is going to suffer.
theplayer11
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Re: How to avoid throwing money at problems?

Post by theplayer11 »

something has to give if you want to raise your child
TheDDC
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Re: How to avoid throwing money at problems?

Post by TheDDC »

Isabelle77 wrote: Sat Apr 13, 2019 12:48 pm You can't have it all, it's impossible.

Think about if you might be happier in a smaller house, with a lower income and more hours in the day to spend with your spouse and baby. If that's not right for you then you need to start "throwing money" at these problems or everything in your life is going to suffer.
+1

Getting rid of the daycare, the sickness in your kid, and coming back down to earth with your purported needs/spending would do wonders for you.

-TheDDC
Rules to wealth building: 90-100% VTSAX piled high and deep, 0-10% VIGAX tilt, 0% given away to banks, minimize amount given to medical-industrial complex
staythecourse
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Re: How to avoid throwing money at problems?

Post by staythecourse »

It all has to do with what you think the purpose of money is in one's life? My view is not matter how many millions I accumulate I don't view it in terms of "Oh I can retire at x age" or "Oh I can travel first class or buy that Aston Martin". My view of having money is 1. Security of knowing you won't be homeless and starving if the paycheck stops coming in and. 2. Make my life easier by NOT doing stuff I don't want or don't have time to do.

The best dollars we spend is having a cleaning lady come in once per week to do the house and wash our and kid clothes. It is EASY the best money I spend in the week. I outsource lawncare and fall leaf pickup as well. I like to do some stuff which is the stuff I do on my own, i.e. shopping and planting annuals with my daughter. Also, feels good knowing money is trickling down hill to folks who need it to make a living.

If you have the money make your life easier AND spend more time with family (spouse and baby). It is win-win.

Good luck.
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Theseus
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Re: How to avoid throwing money at problems?

Post by Theseus »

Luckywon wrote: Sat Apr 13, 2019 12:29 pm With respect to hiring a cleaning service or landscaping service, perhaps take your cue from the lessons of behavioral finance and approach the decision this way:

Find out how much these things cost. Let's say the cleaning service is $150 for 6 hours of house cleaning. Ask yourself whether you would clean someone else's house for that. If the answer is yes, you should probably clean your house yourself, and perhaps tell the cleaning service you are available to work for them. If the answer is no, probably you should hire them. Repeat with the landscaping service and any other service that's available to you.
I think this is the best suggestion you have. If you had time and you will still not do that job for money then you are better off outsourcing it.

You are not going to move into a different house overnight - like some are suggesting (even if they may be right). It will take a while and you need solution now.
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Re: How to avoid throwing money at problems?

Post by livesoft »

I know many families with a fraction of your income that have a service mow the lawn (but not take of 20 acres). Why are you raking a forest anyways? Leave the leaves be.

I know many families with a fraction of your income that have maids come either two times a month or weekly.

If you all are working that much, then how can the house get messy? You both don't even have time to go into your closets. I would banish the dogs to the outside (and I have a dog). Sorry.

Now I realize that the OP probably was really not asking for real help, so I expect pushback from most suggestions.
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boomer_techie
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Re: How to avoid throwing money at problems?

Post by boomer_techie »

notmyhand wrote: Sat Apr 13, 2019 10:56 am DH and I both work a minimum of 60 hours a week and DS ... . HHI ~350k with bonuses, ...
60 hours a week, assuming 50 weeks a year, with two people working is 6000 hours a year. $350K / 6000 is about $58 an hour.

Therefore, outsource any task where you can hire someone to do the job at less than $58/hour. Think like a business. If a housekeeper wants $25/hour to clean house, hire that person. If a dog groomer charges $100 for what takes you an hour, do it yourself.
fru-gal wrote: Sat Apr 13, 2019 11:46 am Why are you raking a significant portion of twenty acres? Let most of the twenty acres go wild and help wildlife. How much yard.lawn do you actually need - figure that out and maintain that or have someone maintain it.
I have the better part of an acre of "forest". I mow nothing. And actually, almost nobody in my neighborhood mows. Letting leaves decay where they fall is actually better for the trees.
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Re: How to avoid throwing money at problems?

Post by Trader Joe »

notmyhand wrote: Sat Apr 13, 2019 10:56 am DH and I have a six month old and we are finding ourselves with a lack of time to get the basics done. DH and I both work a minimum of 60 hours a week and DS is in daycare so is sick often and our family logistics have been shot. HHI ~350k with bonuses, 90k without bonuses, 950k NW, 250k in house equity out of that. We are finding we have a lot of problems that could be solved with money. For example, in the last week:

1. My ten year old car would not start, first time that's happened but it keeps coming up with problems.
2. Our house is a complete wreck. 2500 square feet with three long haired dogs. We can barely keep up with making sure we have clean clothes.
3. Our lawn is still littered with leaves from last fall. We are on 20 acres and it takes days to rake even just the few acres around the house.
4. My two year old computer is running super slow and it's meant I've spent twice the amount of time doing a few things that should have been quick. I use it for work often.
Etc. Etc.

Now some of these can be solved with a little money and some time. For example, I can spend the time wiping the computer and reinstalling and have already had an IT person recommend I replace the harddrive with a solid state drive and moving some of the information to another drive. But is it worth or do I just get a new laptop at this point?

I can spend time at the mechanic with the car but it keeps coming back with problems. I am tempted to go ahead and replace it like I should have done a year ago when it started having problems.

I am tempted to get a cleaning service and a landscaping service.

I can afford all of these but it would mean taking a hit to our savings rate which I really do not want to do as we both work in a volatile industry and you never know when you will be unemployed (were both laid off in 2016 for example).

How do you refrain from spending money to make your life easier? I realize I'm just frustrated with my lack of time right now and I can handle all of this for much cheaper when I have the time to do it. Just need some tips on refraining from spending money when I get frustrated. What works for all of you?
Time, and family, are worth vastly more than money. Prioritize those and you will be fine.
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Summit111
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Re: How to avoid throwing money at problems?

Post by Summit111 »

Get rid of the dogs...first thing I’d do...

Summit
“Got my mind on my money, and my money on my mind!” Snoop Dog
fru-gal
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Re: How to avoid throwing money at problems?

Post by fru-gal »

Summit111 wrote: Sat Apr 13, 2019 4:53 pm Get rid of the dogs...first thing I’d do...

Summit
Boo. Pets are a lifetime commitment, just like kids, and hopefully marriage.
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Doom&Gloom
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Re: How to avoid throwing money at problems?

Post by Doom&Gloom »

What worked for me was working less than 60 hr/wk, accepting less income, squirreling away less for the future, and enjoying life while I was passing through.

YMMV. Good luck figuring it out before it gets even worse.
Trader Joe
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Re: How to avoid throwing money at problems?

Post by Trader Joe »

Summit111 wrote: Sat Apr 13, 2019 4:53 pm Get rid of the dogs...first thing I’d do...

Summit
I strongly disagree here. Dogs/Pets are family.
dcabler
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Re: How to avoid throwing money at problems?

Post by dcabler »

notmyhand wrote: Sat Apr 13, 2019 10:56 am DH and I have a six month old and we are finding ourselves with a lack of time to get the basics done. DH and I both work a minimum of 60 hours a week and DS is in daycare so is sick often and our family logistics have been shot. HHI ~350k with bonuses, 90k without bonuses, 950k NW, 250k in house equity out of that. We are finding we have a lot of problems that could be solved with money. For example, in the last week:

1. My ten year old car would not start, first time that's happened but it keeps coming up with problems.
2. Our house is a complete wreck. 2500 square feet with three long haired dogs. We can barely keep up with making sure we have clean clothes.
3. Our lawn is still littered with leaves from last fall. We are on 20 acres and it takes days to rake even just the few acres around the house.
4. My two year old computer is running super slow and it's meant I've spent twice the amount of time doing a few things that should have been quick. I use it for work often.
Etc. Etc.

Now some of these can be solved with a little money and some time. For example, I can spend the time wiping the computer and reinstalling and have already had an IT person recommend I replace the harddrive with a solid state drive and moving some of the information to another drive. But is it worth or do I just get a new laptop at this point?

I can spend time at the mechanic with the car but it keeps coming back with problems. I am tempted to go ahead and replace it like I should have done a year ago when it started having problems.

I am tempted to get a cleaning service and a landscaping service.

I can afford all of these but it would mean taking a hit to our savings rate which I really do not want to do as we both work in a volatile industry and you never know when you will be unemployed (were both laid off in 2016 for example).

How do you refrain from spending money to make your life easier? I realize I'm just frustrated with my lack of time right now and I can handle all of this for much cheaper when I have the time to do it. Just need some tips on refraining from spending money when I get frustrated. What works for all of you?
I think you might be discovering the line between frugal and cheap. :P

When my wife and I were both working in our 30's and early 40's, yes, we had a cleaning service and a lawn service. Those were two things for which there simply was no time for and we both felt it was money well spent. When she stopped working at a 9-5 type of job it was because we just had a newborn. Nothing changed: my time didn't free up and she had even less. So, we kept both services. At some point, I was between jobs (Also a volatile industry - semiconductors) and I once again had the time, so back to lawn work I went and kid was getting older so my wife's time was beginning to free up again, so we also cancelled the house-cleaning.

In the beginning, we both did much stuff ourselves: everything from changing oil, minor car repairs, house painting and repairs, house cleaning, computer updates and repairs, gardening - you name it.

Fast forward and we're both in our late 50's. She's still not working outside the house and I still am, but with a lot of travel. Still no lawn service and still no house cleaning and yet we still can't keep up with everything we both need to do and want to do. Occasionally we do some minor repair work, especially if there's some time on the weekend. And, frankly, I find myself hating the lawn work - we have an acre to take care of + pool care. Seriously considering turning both services back on for the next couple of years since that's about how far from retirement we both are. If anything, this is reinforcing what we already knew - we need to downsize once we retire.
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Sandtrap
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Re: How to avoid throwing money at problems?

Post by Sandtrap »

I don't know how we did it.
Home. Chores. 2 kids.
DW with 1 business.
Myself running 2 businesses.
Well over a zillion hours a week.
No house cleaners.
No nanny or maids or whatever.
No yard folks. (couldn't afford any of these things).
And, acreage, dogs, horses.
No time for TV. (or internet nowadays).
1 used car and my work truck. Fixed them when they broke.
No loans. Didn't throw money at anything.
Saved every dime.
But, it all worked our well.

We were efficient and organized like clockwork.
Maybe just old-fashioned. Dunno.
Go figure.
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Summit111
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Re: How to avoid throwing money at problems?

Post by Summit111 »

We live on a 100 acre farm and even rhere, dogs were too much of a commitment....Barn cats are self sufficient...

Not judging, just making an observation of a young family completely overwhelmed by decisions they made...

Maybe get some help around the house...they make enough money...

Summit
“Got my mind on my money, and my money on my mind!” Snoop Dog
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Summit111
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Re: How to avoid throwing money at problems?

Post by Summit111 »

I can relate with Sandtrap above....with the exception of animals...

Organize and control your life....

Summit
“Got my mind on my money, and my money on my mind!” Snoop Dog
tibbitts
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Re: How to avoid throwing money at problems?

Post by tibbitts »

Sandtrap wrote: Sat Apr 13, 2019 5:50 pm I don't know how we did it.
Home. Chores. 2 kids.
DW with 1 business.
Myself running 2 businesses.
Well over a zillion hours a week.
No house cleaners.
No nanny or maids or whatever.
No yard folks. (couldn't afford any of these things).
And, acreage, dogs, horses.
No time for TV. (or internet nowadays).
1 used car and my work truck. Fixed them when they broke.
No loans. Didn't throw money at anything.
Saved every dime.
But, it all worked our well.

We were efficient and organized like clockwork.
Maybe just old-fashioned. Dunno.
Go figure.
I predict that years from now, the OP will write the same post you just did.
SevenBridgesRoad
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Re: How to avoid throwing money at problems?

Post by SevenBridgesRoad »

Sandtrap wrote: Sat Apr 13, 2019 5:50 pm I don't know how we did it.
Home. Chores. 2 kids.
DW with 1 business.
Myself running 2 businesses.
Well over a zillion hours a week.
No house cleaners.
No nanny or maids or whatever.
No yard folks. (couldn't afford any of these things).
And, acreage, dogs, horses.
No time for TV. (or internet nowadays).
1 used car and my work truck. Fixed them when they broke.
No loans. Didn't throw money at anything.
Saved every dime.
But, it all worked our well.

We were efficient and organized like clockwork.
Maybe just old-fashioned. Dunno.
Go figure.
Not sure how this is helpful, if you don't know how you did it and therefore can't offer actual advice. Otherwise it sounds like another old guy story: "Why, we had it tough back then, living in a cardboard box in the middle of the road, eating cold gravel, couldn't afford a stove for hot gravel, and working 27 hours a day". My silliness aside, I sincerely am asking you to open up a bit and tell the OP more about how you were efficient and organized in taking care of your acreage and multiple businesses and keeping a house clean with two kids and no help and old old car that needed your repairs. Much to learn from you.
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Sandtrap
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Re: How to avoid throwing money at problems?

Post by Sandtrap »

SevenBridgesRoad wrote: Sat Apr 13, 2019 6:33 pm
Sandtrap wrote: Sat Apr 13, 2019 5:50 pm I don't know how we did it.
Home. Chores. 2 kids.
DW with 1 business.
Myself running 2 businesses.
Well over a zillion hours a week.
No house cleaners.
No nanny or maids or whatever.
No yard folks. (couldn't afford any of these things).
And, acreage, dogs, horses.
No time for TV. (or internet nowadays).
1 used car and my work truck. Fixed them when they broke.
No loans. Didn't throw money at anything.
Saved every dime.
But, it all worked our well.

We were efficient and organized like clockwork. And, highly motivated.
Maybe just old-fashioned. Dunno.
Go figure.
Not sure how this is helpful, if you don't know how you did it and therefore can't offer actual advice. Otherwise it sounds like another old guy story: "Why, we had it tough back then, living in a cardboard box in the middle of the road, eating cold gravel, couldn't afford a stove for hot gravel, and working 27 hours a day". My silliness aside, I sincerely am asking you to open up a bit and tell the OP more about how you were efficient and organized in taking care of your acreage and multiple businesses and keeping a house clean with two kids and no help and old old car that needed your repairs. Much to learn from you.
Actionably:

Every day was planned. Every week was planned.
Imagine the Marine Corps.
DW father was career Air Force officer. And, grew up immersed in the military.
We were both highly organized and very very motivated.
We did not waste a minute.
No vacations.
No days off.
No leave.
No TV.

Not for everyone.
Last edited by Sandtrap on Sat Apr 13, 2019 7:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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aspirit
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Re: How to avoid throwing money at problems?

Post by aspirit »

SevenBridgesRoad wrote: Sat Apr 13, 2019 6:33 pm
Sandtrap wrote: Sat Apr 13, 2019 5:50 pm I don't know how we did it.
Home. Chores. 2 kids.
DW with 1 business.
Myself running 2 businesses.
Well over a zillion hours a week.
No house cleaners.
No nanny or maids or whatever.
No yard folks. (couldn't afford any of these things).
And, acreage, dogs, horses.
No time for TV. (or internet nowadays).
1 used car and my work truck. Fixed them when they broke.
No loans. Didn't throw money at anything.
Saved every dime.
But, it all worked our well.

We were efficient and organized like clockwork.
Maybe just old-fashioned. Dunno.
Go figure.
Not sure how this is helpful, if you don't know how you did it and therefore can't offer actual advice. Otherwise it sounds like another old guy story: "Why, we had it tough back then, living in a cardboard box in the middle of the road, eating cold gravel, couldn't afford a stove for hot gravel, and working 27 hours a day". My silliness aside, I sincerely am asking you to open up a bit and tell the OP more about how you were efficient and organized in taking care of your acreage and multiple businesses and keeping a house clean with two kids and no help and old old car that needed your repairs. Much to learn from you.
I recall back then. Making about 1k a day was the exception, some recognized it as extroadinry, and some did’nt.
I lived in the basement of my property :P

I modified the basement to accept 4 vechicles right next to my bedroom,
I could work on the vechicles in the living quarters. :)

I never went out to eat over 50yrs, it’s to ex‘spensive!
Natives in the Caribbean never go out to eat either, they cannot afford it either. :happy
Money can fix almost anything, as can ones own hands w/knowledge.
Last edited by aspirit on Sat Apr 13, 2019 7:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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TexasPE
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Re: How to avoid throwing money at problems?

Post by TexasPE »

4. My two year old computer is running super slow and it's meant I've spent twice the amount of time doing a few things that should have been quick. I use it for work often.
This should be simple to remedy (on a Windows machine) by installing System Mechanic or a similar program - these programs automatically delete junk files, correct registry errors, correct memory leaks and defragment your hard disk, keeping performance as-new.

http://www.systemmechanic.com/

if the computer is still slow, install and run the free version of Malwarebytes or a similar program to find and neutralize malware.

https://www.malwarebytes.com/
Last edited by TexasPE on Sat Apr 13, 2019 7:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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