Disposable income... how?

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Brokepilot
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Disposable income... how?

Post by Brokepilot » Mon Nov 06, 2017 12:12 pm

Seriously I don't understand how people can just buy new phones, new vehicles and still go out every Friday eat a nice dinner and drink craft beers.

How can people do that? Here is my life in a nutshell..

I am above the national average for income. Our household pulls in 100k a year with no cost medical benefits for my wife and I. We are approaching our mid 30's, have a mortgage, one 15 year old car and all our savings and investments equals 100K (not great for mid thirties, I was late to the game). My wife coupons like crazy to save money, when we go out (rarely) to eat we share meals (keeps the kcals down to) and limit our self's to one drink each. Yet we look at our peers who make similar money and are baffled by the newer cars they drive, the clothes they wear, fun they have and they all seem to talk about investing like they are killing it and have kids. I make 100k and while I wouldn't say I feel poor (as I am obviously not), I don't feel like I can afford a new phones or be comfortable paying for a second car.

(Our budget)
Mortgage plus utilities: 26%
Transpiration: 10%
Food, Cell and Allowances: 20%
Debts: 9% (0% offers)
Investing/Saving: 33%

magicrat
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Re: Disposable income... how?

Post by magicrat » Mon Nov 06, 2017 12:19 pm

They can do that my not saving 33% of their income. Congrats on a high savings rate, keep it up, and treat yourself once in awhile.

denovo
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Re: Disposable income... how?

Post by denovo » Mon Nov 06, 2017 12:19 pm

Brokepilot wrote:
Mon Nov 06, 2017 12:12 pm

Investing/Saving: 33%
Your colleagues don't save 33 percent.

/EndThread
"Don't trust everything you read on the Internet"- Abraham Lincoln

delamer
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Re: Disposable income... how?

Post by delamer » Mon Nov 06, 2017 12:21 pm

1. Credit cards. Most people don't brag about their $10,000 credit card debt at 20% interest.

2. Someone saving/investing 15% of their gross income is doing pretty well. Many save less, including nothing. Or worse, they are in deficit -- saving nothing and piling up non-mortgage debt (see credit cards above).

If you really are saving 33% of your net (since you don't have taxes or health insurance as budget categories I assume your figures are net), then you are saving a lot more than most.

Grt2bOutdoors
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Re: Disposable income... how?

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Mon Nov 06, 2017 12:23 pm

You are a Prodigious Accumulator of Wealth (PAW). The folks you are wondering about are Under Accumulators of Wealth (UAW). - source: The Millionaire Next Door. I'm currently reading the latest edition of Stop Acting Rich by the same author - Stanley. I read the first book, most of the spending is in the form of debt - lease, home equity or failure to save any money. They could also feel that since the value of home and retirement account is rising, they can afford to spend from paycheck. They are living the paycheck to paycheck lifestyle. Do not fall for it, you are doing fine, in about 10 years you will have saved more than what most of your friends save over a lifetime.
"One should invest based on their need, ability and willingness to take risk - Larry Swedroe" Asking Portfolio Questions

denovo
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Re: Disposable income... how?

Post by denovo » Mon Nov 06, 2017 12:23 pm

Also two-income households seem to be the norm and it sounds like your wife doesn't work
"Don't trust everything you read on the Internet"- Abraham Lincoln

Grt2bOutdoors
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Re: Disposable income... how?

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Mon Nov 06, 2017 12:29 pm

Its all about the "payment". How much is the monthly payment and can you make the payment fit into your monthly cash inflow. The moment you lose your job and/or savings, it's game over. They could also have employer provided "savings" in the form of stock, stock options, restricted stock or they could have won the lottery by buying Apple stock or have received an inheritance. OR....they are received outpatient economic assistance from their family/parents. I have relatives who've received outpatient economic assistance when they had the means from their paycheck to take care of there financial bills.
"One should invest based on their need, ability and willingness to take risk - Larry Swedroe" Asking Portfolio Questions

jlcnuke
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Re: Disposable income... how?

Post by jlcnuke » Mon Nov 06, 2017 12:35 pm

Brokepilot wrote:
Mon Nov 06, 2017 12:12 pm
Seriously I don't understand how people can just buy new phones, new vehicles and still go out every Friday eat a nice dinner and drink craft beers.

How can people do that? Here is my life in a nutshell..

I am above the national average for income. Our household pulls in 100k a year with no cost medical benefits for my wife and I. We are approaching our mid 30's, have a mortgage, one 15 year old car and all our savings and investments equals 100K (not great for mid thirties, I was late to the game). My wife coupons like crazy to save money, when we go out (rarely) to eat we share meals (keeps the kcals down to) and limit our self's to one drink each. Yet we look at our peers who make similar money and are baffled by the newer cars they drive, the clothes they wear, fun they have and they all seem to talk about investing like they are killing it and have kids. I make 100k and while I wouldn't say I feel poor (as I am obviously not), I don't feel like I can afford a new phones or be comfortable paying for a second car.

(Our budget)
Mortgage plus utilities: 26%
Transpiration: 10%
Food, Cell and Allowances: 20%
Debts: 9% (0% offers)
Investing/Saving: 33%
$100k/year

Let's drop the investing/saving budget item to a generous 6% (putting enough to get all of the company matching which is still more than most people save on average). That leaves $27,000/year unaccounted for now in your budget.

Let's spend $100/friday night on food/drink, that's $5,200.
let's spend $1,200/month on two $600/month car payments for late model luxury vehicles ($14,400/year).

That still leaves $7,400/year to spend on phones, clothes, and other "luxury" expenses you don't have budgeted for.

wolf359
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Re: Disposable income... how?

Post by wolf359 » Mon Nov 06, 2017 12:38 pm

Stop keeping up with the Joneses! They're broke!

Some people define "Can I afford this?" differently.

- Can I afford the monthly payments on my credit card?
- Can I pay off the credit card within the month?
- Can I pay it in cash without putting it on my credit card?
- Can I pay for it in cash after saving 30% of my gross income?

They're playing by a different set of internal rules. The end result is that your mindset will eventually make you wealthy. In 20 years, they'll be wondering how you afford things (because your wealth will have built up and start generating income on its own.) Or wondering how you retired early and don't even need a job.

soccerrules
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Re: Disposable income... how?

Post by soccerrules » Mon Nov 06, 2017 12:41 pm

33% savings rate is your difference as referenced all ready.

There is a quote I've heard and used, not sure the author. " Live like nobody else, so you can live like nobody else"

Fast forward 15-20 years and you are setting yourself up for a successful life that will provide you with flexibility and options.

Stay the course.
Don't let your outflow exceed your income or your upkeep will be your downfall.

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AnalogKid22
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Re: Disposable income... how?

Post by AnalogKid22 » Mon Nov 06, 2017 12:42 pm

A fool and his money are very easily parted - Anonymous

moghopper
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Re: Disposable income... how?

Post by moghopper » Mon Nov 06, 2017 12:45 pm

soccerrules wrote:
Mon Nov 06, 2017 12:41 pm
" Live like nobody else, so you can live like nobody else"
LOL. Just what we need - another Dave Ramsey thread!

Brokepilot
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Re: Disposable income... how?

Post by Brokepilot » Mon Nov 06, 2017 12:53 pm

Some filler information. I am military and so are all my friends. There is currently (minuses the BRS scam) no matching for retirement.

I guess they are truthfully broke or receiving economic outpatient care from their parents.

The 33% I am putting away in not enough! Id save more but my wife needs a little fun money.

soccerrules
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Re: Disposable income... how?

Post by soccerrules » Mon Nov 06, 2017 1:00 pm

moghopper wrote:
Mon Nov 06, 2017 12:45 pm
soccerrules wrote:
Mon Nov 06, 2017 12:41 pm
" Live like nobody else, so you can live like nobody else"
LOL. Just what we need - another Dave Ramsey thread!
i guess you identified the author. :D
Don't let your outflow exceed your income or your upkeep will be your downfall.

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akblizzard
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Re: Disposable income... how?

Post by akblizzard » Mon Nov 06, 2017 1:03 pm

Brokepilot wrote:
Mon Nov 06, 2017 12:53 pm
Some filler information. I am military and so are all my friends. There is currently (minuses the BRS scam) no matching for retirement.

I guess they are truthfully broke or receiving economic outpatient care from their parents.

The 33% I am putting away in not enough! Id save more but my wife needs a little fun money.
Bless you and your wife for your service.
You nailed it with your conclusion. "The Millionaire Next Door" might be a good read as mentioned above.
You're doing fine, keep it up.

Jack FFR1846
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Re: Disposable income... how?

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Mon Nov 06, 2017 1:04 pm

People can put on the air of being well off for a very, very long time. A big house with a big mortgage leads to leasing rather than buying cars because who can afford a Mercedes for him and BMW for her at these prices? So years go by and a HELOC helps out when the housing market kicks the value of the house up a notch. Now we escalate from the C series Mercedes to an E class and from the 3 series BMW to an X5 SUV. Meanwhile, these people are fooling themselves that they're saving just fine because they're putting 3% into their 401k to get the company 1% match on the first 3. We know a family like this where the wife had become a SAHM years ago and the husband lawyer got into some hot water at work and was fired. All of a sudden, she was a cashier at the local supermarket to make payments on the mortgage and they turned in the BMW at the end of the lease and drove the 18 year old Volvo that the teenage son had acquired with cash. This is a real story of parents of one of my son's friends. There are tons of families like this. Their motto seems to be "Money ain't gonna spend itself". Go your own way. I was always the cheapo with my parent's dining room table in my house and driving the Honda CRX instead of a new BMW. Now, my friends have 3 mortgages to pay off now that their kids have graduated college. They own about $12 of their own house and are still going to downsize to get out of the payments.
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simplesimon
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Re: Disposable income... how?

Post by simplesimon » Mon Nov 06, 2017 1:06 pm

Brokepilot wrote:
Mon Nov 06, 2017 12:53 pm
The 33% I am putting away in not enough!
What calculation are you doing to come to this conclusion?

boglegirl
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Re: Disposable income... how?

Post by boglegirl » Mon Nov 06, 2017 1:06 pm

AnalogKid22 wrote:
Mon Nov 06, 2017 12:42 pm
Here's why: https://www.cnbc.com/2017/08/24/most-am ... check.html
That little video had gems like this: "in some parts of the US, a six-figure income is just not enough". :oops: It might not be enough to cover the iPhone X and the 2 late-model cars, but it's enough for reasonable housing, transportation, & other living expenses.

OP, you're doing fine. If you and/or wife are feeling a bit deprived, splurge on some eating out and reduce your savings rate to 32%. :happy

boglegirl
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Re: Disposable income... how?

Post by boglegirl » Mon Nov 06, 2017 1:07 pm

simplesimon wrote:
Mon Nov 06, 2017 1:06 pm
Brokepilot wrote:
Mon Nov 06, 2017 12:53 pm
The 33% I am putting away in not enough!
What calculation are you doing to come to this conclusion?
I wondered about that, too! If you are military, won't you get a pension?

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djpeteski
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Re: Disposable income... how?

Post by djpeteski » Mon Nov 06, 2017 1:11 pm

I feel like you are newish to your career. I draw that from you having 100K saved but a 33K rate. That suggests you have been at this for less than 3 years.

You won't look much better in 5 or maybe even 10 years from now, they will still be driving their nice cars and you will still be socking it away. However, where do you think you (comparatively) will be 20 years from now? Where do you think you will be (comparatively) the next time the airline industry slows down?

While watching the movie Sully. The guy was in trouble economically and that showed in some of the phone calls to the wife. This despite having a pretty high level job as a pilot. Sure he was not an international captain, but still pretty darn close to the "top of the food chain".

People who are high accumulators of wealth (PAW) seem to do poorly when the economy is good. Their friends are using their income, and most often future income, to buy a bunch of stuff. PAWs are addicted to the high returns that are often associated with a hot economy. Why buy stuff when your money can make more money. Once the economy cools, and it is coming, PAWs look like they do very well. Now they can buy those same items at a deep discount and buy them for cash.

2014 was a great example. We spend a total of 25 days on cruise ships. We booked a great 8 day cruise for 2 for less than 1K out the door with tips. That same cruise will cost you about 1900 today.

smitcat
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Re: Disposable income... how?

Post by smitcat » Mon Nov 06, 2017 1:19 pm

Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Mon Nov 06, 2017 1:04 pm
People can put on the air of being well off for a very, very long time. A big house with a big mortgage leads to leasing rather than buying cars because who can afford a Mercedes for him and BMW for her at these prices? So years go by and a HELOC helps out when the housing market kicks the value of the house up a notch. Now we escalate from the C series Mercedes to an E class and from the 3 series BMW to an X5 SUV. Meanwhile, these people are fooling themselves that they're saving just fine because they're putting 3% into their 401k to get the company 1% match on the first 3. We know a family like this where the wife had become a SAHM years ago and the husband lawyer got into some hot water at work and was fired. All of a sudden, she was a cashier at the local supermarket to make payments on the mortgage and they turned in the BMW at the end of the lease and drove the 18 year old Volvo that the teenage son had acquired with cash. This is a real story of parents of one of my son's friends. There are tons of families like this. Their motto seems to be "Money ain't gonna spend itself". Go your own way. I was always the cheapo with my parent's dining room table in my house and driving the Honda CRX instead of a new BMW. Now, my friends have 3 mortgages to pay off now that their kids have graduated college. They own about $12 of their own house and are still going to downsize to get out of the payments.
Yes - a very good description. We know plenty of folks like this around us. Everything is borrowed. leased or leveraged against and whenever the market or interest rates change it upsets their current budgets.
Many lost everything during 2008-2011 timeframe - but it all looked fantastic from the outside.

runner3081
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Re: Disposable income... how?

Post by runner3081 » Mon Nov 06, 2017 1:31 pm

Life is too short to worry or care about what others spend (most people are leveraged to the max, but others may have inheritances, trusts, etc).

Do what makes you happy.

It is clear that your budget is too restrictive for you and you are miserable (at least it feels that way).

Perhaps scale the savings back a bit for a year or so and live life?

jlcnuke
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Re: Disposable income... how?

Post by jlcnuke » Mon Nov 06, 2017 1:39 pm

Brokepilot wrote:
Mon Nov 06, 2017 12:53 pm
Some filler information. I am military and so are all my friends. There is currently (minuses the BRS scam) no matching for retirement.

I guess they are truthfully broke or receiving economic outpatient care from their parents.

The 33% I am putting away in not enough! Id save more but my wife needs a little fun money.
Well, let's put some context on things here - even after putting away 33% of your income, you're still spending more money than the average family in the country earns in a year....

More perspective, with a 33% savings rate (assuming starting with $0 and needing just your savings to replace your income), you should be able to fund retirement after ~25 years of savings (ball park figures https://networthify.com/calculator/earlyretirement). That's NOT taking into account your potential military retirement check (20 year retirement replacing 50% of your income, which would be ~74% of your current spending (50% of 100% income with 67% of 100% in spending = 50%/67% covered), which would actually greatly reduce your necessary retirement savings. Thus if you make it to 20 years and retirement, saving 33% of your income for those 20 years, you'd almost certainly be able to fully fund retirement without ever working again.

Putting in $100k in current savings, $67k/year spending, retiring in 10 years and saving $33k/year until then, with a $50k/year military pension starting in 10 years, FIRECalc gives a 100% chance of success with a 50 year retirement starting in 2027. That's also assuming no SS checks either. At $72k/year spending it goes down to 95.4% success rate.

Of course, that doesn't take into account how much of your $100k is "not pay", so you may still need to work for a few years in your 40's to finish funding retirement...

So I'm not sure what makes you think your 33% savings rate is "not enough!"

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AnalogKid22
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Re: Disposable income... how?

Post by AnalogKid22 » Mon Nov 06, 2017 1:43 pm

boglegirl wrote:
Mon Nov 06, 2017 1:06 pm
AnalogKid22 wrote:
Mon Nov 06, 2017 12:42 pm
Here's why: https://www.cnbc.com/2017/08/24/most-am ... check.html
That little video had gems like this: "in some parts of the US, a six-figure income is just not enough". :oops: It might not be enough to cover the iPhone X and the 2 late-model cars, but it's enough for reasonable housing, transportation, & other living expenses.

OP, you're doing fine. If you and/or wife are feeling a bit deprived, splurge on some eating out and reduce your savings rate to 32%. :happy
Reminds of this scene in Friday: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YOgy0vrJ7G8
A fool and his money are very easily parted - Anonymous

NotWhoYouThink
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Re: Disposable income... how?

Post by NotWhoYouThink » Mon Nov 06, 2017 1:45 pm

A family moved into our neighborhood, did extensive remodeling on the house, and filled the driveway with nice cars (Lexi?) Both with boing jobs.

He is now in federal prison for embezzlement, so now we know how they could afford it.

Another family moved in across the street, both with boring jobs and nice cars. Turns out her parents were funding it all.

So don't worry about where someone else's money is coming from, it won't help you with your own decisions. Sounds like you are making good ones so far.

PVW
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Re: Disposable income... how?

Post by PVW » Mon Nov 06, 2017 1:54 pm

We tend to notice things that stand out. There will always be someone that has it better off than you. It is easy to notice this and wonder why so many other people have done so well. On average, you are above average. Among the things you notice, you might be the poorest soul on the block.

It might be tempting to imagine that those people have stretched their budgets beyond the breaking point and their day of reckoning is coming. More likely than not, they are just doing better than you. So what? Are you in a tough spot financially? If yes, then concentrate on your own actions to get out of this tough spot. If not, then don't worry too much about what other people buy.

randomguy
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Re: Disposable income... how?

Post by randomguy » Mon Nov 06, 2017 2:09 pm

magicrat wrote:
Mon Nov 06, 2017 12:19 pm
They can do that my not saving 33% of their income. Congrats on a high savings rate, keep it up, and treat yourself once in awhile.
Yeah but the other expenses are also high. If they weren't spending 9% on debts how many meals out and clothes could they buy? What about if you only spend 20% on housing instead of 25%? And so on.

The other thing is that you are at the point where basic needs are met. The person making 100k or 110k sound very similiar. An extra 6k or so of luxuries though can really add up when you don't have to spend it on housing and the like.

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TinkerPDX
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Re: Disposable income... how?

Post by TinkerPDX » Mon Nov 06, 2017 2:15 pm

It's not complicated - as others have answered, they're going into debt instead of saving.

You're killing it. Keep it up!

We're in a similar spot and I often have similar feelings.

Stick with your discipline, it will pay off. I'll take earlier financial independence over a materially over-indulgent present any day.

That said, be sure to allow yourself some fun, or as the dieting folks would say, "cheats." For us, its occasional top-notch meals out, and travel.

clutchied
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Re: Disposable income... how?

Post by clutchied » Mon Nov 06, 2017 2:22 pm

great advice in this thread.

I remember driving through Santa Clarita, CA with a work colleague and he was flabbergasted by the external displays of wealth.

I just told him that most of these people were broke and in debt up to their eyeballs. He was shocked and I'm sure it wasn't true for all but you know... :)



Run your own race and remember the 5 laws of gold!

bloom2708
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Re: Disposable income... how?

Post by bloom2708 » Mon Nov 06, 2017 2:22 pm

Your saving and delaying gratification will pay off big time. If you let it.

As I approach 50, I am very thankful we did the right things. We saved/invested in all of our available areas. We paid off debt. We took 1 or 2 vacations per year instead of 3 or 4.

My friend since Kindergarten never saved a lick. He had no plans to save for retirement. I finally convinced him to get the match at least in his 401k because he was throwing away free money. He rolls his $10k credit card bills into his next mortgage about every 5 years. No college savings.

As we approach 50, we are thinking about early retirement. Moving to Arizona. Paying our kids college tuition in full. He is staring at his large mortgage, credit card bills that keep them in their house, very little retirement savings. No college savings for their 2 kids, declining job prospects...

We are both still trapped by the system and working. I will escape in the next few years. He has no chance.

I wouldn't spend too much time thinking about it. It falls under the "Nobody knows anything" and "Every scenario is different". Maybe their parents have mineral rights and send their kids $20k/month checks. You can't really tell anything about anyone's specific scenario and it doesn't do much good try.

Do the right thing. Save enough plus a little more and then spend on things you enjoy.
"We are not here to please, but to provoke thoughtfulness." --Unknown Boglehead

stoptothink
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Re: Disposable income... how?

Post by stoptothink » Mon Nov 06, 2017 2:37 pm

bloom2708 wrote:
Mon Nov 06, 2017 2:22 pm
I wouldn't spend too much time thinking about it. It falls under the "Nobody knows anything" and "Every scenario is different". Maybe their parents have mineral rights and send their kids $20k/month checks. You can't really tell anything about anyone's specific scenario and it doesn't do much good try.
+1. Of my neighbors which I am friendly with, probably half of those around my age (mid-30's) receive significant financial help from their parents and they freely talk about it as if it is common. I didn't even really know it was a thing until reading "Millionaire Next Door" as I grew up knowing I would likely always have to financially help my mother, not the other way around. We don't have the same luxury, but my wife and I both had great lessons about what not to do. Quite frankly, it is nobody else's business and it does you need good to compare or wonder. Focus on your own situation.

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DaftInvestor
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Re: Disposable income... how?

Post by DaftInvestor » Mon Nov 06, 2017 3:25 pm

OP: I picked up Money Magazine and glanced through some articles while waiting in an airport last week. Susie Orman was featured (although retired in a large mansion in the Bahamas) who some consider a finance guru (yes - we can debate that here but let's please not since she's not the point).
She said something like "Start by saving 10% and then increase to 15% when you can and try to continue to save 15% throughout working career".
So her (and many other Authors of other articles you will read) measure of someone who is SUCCESSFULLY saving is that they are saving 15% of their income for retirement. You are saving more than double that! Thus why you don't have much disposable income. Now you may be happy saving 33% but if so, then why start this thread? Maybe you need to cut back to 25% or 20% saving; freeing up 7-12% as disposable to live a little in order to be happy. Yes - we all stress how important it is to save - but if you are sacrificing all happiness throughout life what's the point?

Iridium
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Re: Disposable income... how?

Post by Iridium » Mon Nov 06, 2017 3:31 pm

Brokepilot wrote:
Mon Nov 06, 2017 12:53 pm
The 33% I am putting away in not enough! Id save more but my wife needs a little fun money.
A few others have pointed this out, but feeling that 33% savings rate is insufficient is unusual, even among Bogleheads. At 1 x salary invested and some debt, you might be slightly behind the ideal for your age, but you are not FAR behind.

I see 3 possibilities:

1) You are trying to retire in your late 40s/early 50s. In which case, the answer is that your peers are not 'buying' such an early retirement.

2) Your portfolio is not setup to give you the growth that you should be getting. You should create a new thread for a portfolio review, so we can review your fund expenses and asset allocation.

3) You do not trust that your portfolio will generate the returns you need to retire. I would suggest a new thread for a portfolio review and ask what a reasonable return assumption would be.

It is not huge in the grand scheme of things, but I am curious how 10% of your expenses can be going to a 15 year old car and whatever bus/train passes the non-car spouse uses.

wabbott
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Re: Disposable income... how?

Post by wabbott » Mon Nov 06, 2017 3:35 pm

I'll take a stab at answering why folks spend so on houses and cars. I call it the SWIG factor. See What I Got! The houses are not for them to live in, nor are the luxury cars for them to drive and enjoy. The houses are built and the cars are bought to impress everyone else.

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AnalogKid22
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Re: Disposable income... how?

Post by AnalogKid22 » Mon Nov 06, 2017 4:03 pm

wabbott wrote:
Mon Nov 06, 2017 3:35 pm
I'll take a stab at answering why folks spend so on houses and cars. I call it the SWIG factor. See What I Got! The houses are not for them to live in, nor are the luxury cars for them to drive and enjoy. The houses are built and the cars are bought to impress everyone else.
Americans are indoctrinated to think that having lots of nice stuff equates to living a successful life. We're inundated with advertisements on TV, in music, social media, etc. about all these possessions we can and should have to feel successful and prove to others that we're successful. The reality is that if they don't own these things out right, then they're only borrowing them, on someone else's dime, to fill a void, and they only feel "happy" until the dopamine shot wears off. Eventually they get a huge wake up call when they have to repay these debts and can no longer support themselves without an income.
A fool and his money are very easily parted - Anonymous

panchilly
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Re: Disposable income... how?

Post by panchilly » Mon Nov 06, 2017 4:57 pm

Brokepilot wrote:
Mon Nov 06, 2017 12:12 pm
Seriously I don't understand how people can just buy new phones, new vehicles and still go out every Friday eat a nice dinner and drink craft beers.

How can people do that? Here is my life in a nutshell..

I am above the national average for income. Our household pulls in 100k a year with no cost medical benefits for my wife and I. We are approaching our mid 30's, have a mortgage, one 15 year old car and all our savings and investments equals 100K (not great for mid thirties, I was late to the game). My wife coupons like crazy to save money, when we go out (rarely) to eat we share meals (keeps the kcals down to) and limit our self's to one drink each. Yet we look at our peers who make similar money and are baffled by the newer cars they drive, the clothes they wear, fun they have and they all seem to talk about investing like they are killing it and have kids. I make 100k and while I wouldn't say I feel poor (as I am obviously not), I don't feel like I can afford a new phones or be comfortable paying for a second car.

(Our budget)
Mortgage plus utilities: 26%
Transpiration: 10%
Food, Cell and Allowances: 20%
Debts: 9% (0% offers)
Investing/Saving: 33%
Most people don't save 33% that is a very high savings rate. Good job.

Additionally, 100k aint what it used to be. 100k HHI for a family of 2 is actually fairly average for any HCOL or MCOL area. It is low for VHCOL areas like the Bay Area. I wouldn't be surprised if some of these folks you are referring to are pulling in 150, 200, even 250k total comp individually.

200k total comp compared to 100k allows you to buy a lot more luxury items while maintaining a high savings rate.

Are you in an HCOL or VHCOL area? I know first hand that fresh out of college software engineers in the Boston area are pulling in 100k BASE SALARY at 22-23 years old with a bachelors degree. With bonus and stock that approaches 120-130k total comp for a 22 year old... Senior guys are around the 200k mark for total comp. Very senior principal level at bigger companies are 200-250k. Add another 10-15% on top of all those numbers for Facebook/Google caliber companies.

It's easy to assume people are making equal to or less than you are, but I find when you find out about how much people are really making around here its usually a lot more than you thought. This is where the money is coming from for brand new cars, new iphones, big brokerage accounts, etc.

NotWhoYouThink
Posts: 2069
Joined: Fri Dec 26, 2014 4:19 pm

Re: Disposable income... how?

Post by NotWhoYouThink » Mon Nov 06, 2017 5:16 pm

Since you didn't list taxes, I assume this is 33% after taxes, maybe 20-25% or so before taxes? That's very good, exceptional for most of America, and not too unusual on this forum. You may not have the best cars on the block, but you're building resiliency for whatever happens. Stick around here and enjoy the camaraderie. You'll find even the posters on this forum spring for some pretty nice goods and vacations now and then, but it's all budgeted and controlled.

stoptothink
Posts: 4458
Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2010 9:53 am

Re: Disposable income... how?

Post by stoptothink » Mon Nov 06, 2017 5:25 pm

panchilly wrote:
Mon Nov 06, 2017 4:57 pm
Brokepilot wrote:
Mon Nov 06, 2017 12:12 pm
Seriously I don't understand how people can just buy new phones, new vehicles and still go out every Friday eat a nice dinner and drink craft beers.

How can people do that? Here is my life in a nutshell..

I am above the national average for income. Our household pulls in 100k a year with no cost medical benefits for my wife and I. We are approaching our mid 30's, have a mortgage, one 15 year old car and all our savings and investments equals 100K (not great for mid thirties, I was late to the game). My wife coupons like crazy to save money, when we go out (rarely) to eat we share meals (keeps the kcals down to) and limit our self's to one drink each. Yet we look at our peers who make similar money and are baffled by the newer cars they drive, the clothes they wear, fun they have and they all seem to talk about investing like they are killing it and have kids. I make 100k and while I wouldn't say I feel poor (as I am obviously not), I don't feel like I can afford a new phones or be comfortable paying for a second car.

(Our budget)
Mortgage plus utilities: 26%
Transpiration: 10%
Food, Cell and Allowances: 20%
Debts: 9% (0% offers)
Investing/Saving: 33%
Most people don't save 33% that is a very high savings rate. Good job.

Additionally, 100k aint what it used to be. 100k HHI for a family of 2 is actually fairly average for any HCOL or MCOL area. It is low for VHCOL areas like the Bay Area. I wouldn't be surprised if some of these folks you are referring to are pulling in 150, 200, even 250k total comp individually.

200k total comp compared to 100k allows you to buy a lot more luxury items while maintaining a high savings rate.

Are you in an HCOL or VHCOL area? I know first hand that fresh out of college software engineers in the Boston area are pulling in 100k BASE SALARY at 22-23 years old with a bachelors degree. With bonus and stock that approaches 120-130k total comp for a 22 year old... Senior guys are around the 200k mark for total comp. Very senior principal level at bigger companies are 200-250k. Add another 10-15% on top of all those numbers for Facebook/Google caliber companies.

It's easy to assume people are making equal to or less than you are, but I find when you find out about how much people are really making around here its usually a lot more than you thought. This is where the money is coming from for brand new cars, new iphones, big brokerage accounts, etc.
This may be your perception, but statistically these statements are not really true. Yes, there are kids right out of college in the Bay Area making $120k+, but they are most definitely not the norm.

EddyB
Posts: 557
Joined: Fri May 24, 2013 3:43 pm

Re: Disposable income... how?

Post by EddyB » Mon Nov 06, 2017 5:29 pm

AnalogKid22 wrote:
Mon Nov 06, 2017 4:03 pm
wabbott wrote:
Mon Nov 06, 2017 3:35 pm
I'll take a stab at answering why folks spend so on houses and cars. I call it the SWIG factor. See What I Got! The houses are not for them to live in, nor are the luxury cars for them to drive and enjoy. The houses are built and the cars are bought to impress everyone else.
Americans are indoctrinated to think that having lots of nice stuff equates to living a successful life. We're inundated with advertisements on TV, in music, social media, etc. about all these possessions we can and should have to feel successful and prove to others that we're successful. The reality is that if they don't own these things out right, then they're only borrowing them, on someone else's dime, to fill a void, and they only feel "happy" until the dopamine shot wears off. Eventually they get a huge wake up call when they have to repay these debts and can no longer support themselves without an income.
For me to be comfortable living like my neighbors, I figure I have to gross about 4x the median of the neighborhood household income.

Slacker
Posts: 627
Joined: Thu May 26, 2016 8:40 am

Re: Disposable income... how?

Post by Slacker » Mon Nov 06, 2017 5:32 pm

An oft recited refrain from another message board I read is very apt here:

Comparison is the thief of joy.

panchilly
Posts: 212
Joined: Sat May 14, 2016 9:57 am

Re: Disposable income... how?

Post by panchilly » Mon Nov 06, 2017 5:33 pm

stoptothink wrote:
Mon Nov 06, 2017 5:25 pm
panchilly wrote:
Mon Nov 06, 2017 4:57 pm
Brokepilot wrote:
Mon Nov 06, 2017 12:12 pm
Seriously I don't understand how people can just buy new phones, new vehicles and still go out every Friday eat a nice dinner and drink craft beers.

How can people do that? Here is my life in a nutshell..

I am above the national average for income. Our household pulls in 100k a year with no cost medical benefits for my wife and I. We are approaching our mid 30's, have a mortgage, one 15 year old car and all our savings and investments equals 100K (not great for mid thirties, I was late to the game). My wife coupons like crazy to save money, when we go out (rarely) to eat we share meals (keeps the kcals down to) and limit our self's to one drink each. Yet we look at our peers who make similar money and are baffled by the newer cars they drive, the clothes they wear, fun they have and they all seem to talk about investing like they are killing it and have kids. I make 100k and while I wouldn't say I feel poor (as I am obviously not), I don't feel like I can afford a new phones or be comfortable paying for a second car.

(Our budget)
Mortgage plus utilities: 26%
Transpiration: 10%
Food, Cell and Allowances: 20%
Debts: 9% (0% offers)
Investing/Saving: 33%
Most people don't save 33% that is a very high savings rate. Good job.

Additionally, 100k aint what it used to be. 100k HHI for a family of 2 is actually fairly average for any HCOL or MCOL area. It is low for VHCOL areas like the Bay Area. I wouldn't be surprised if some of these folks you are referring to are pulling in 150, 200, even 250k total comp individually.

200k total comp compared to 100k allows you to buy a lot more luxury items while maintaining a high savings rate.

Are you in an HCOL or VHCOL area? I know first hand that fresh out of college software engineers in the Boston area are pulling in 100k BASE SALARY at 22-23 years old with a bachelors degree. With bonus and stock that approaches 120-130k total comp for a 22 year old... Senior guys are around the 200k mark for total comp. Very senior principal level at bigger companies are 200-250k. Add another 10-15% on top of all those numbers for Facebook/Google caliber companies.

It's easy to assume people are making equal to or less than you are, but I find when you find out about how much people are really making around here its usually a lot more than you thought. This is where the money is coming from for brand new cars, new iphones, big brokerage accounts, etc.
This may be your perception, but statistically these statements are not really true. Yes, there are kids right out of college in the Bay Area making $120k+, but they are most definitely not the norm.
You'd be surprised in certain metro regions.

http://www.mercurynews.com/2017/04/22/i ... ow-income/

retire57
Posts: 376
Joined: Fri Oct 28, 2016 3:03 pm

Re: Disposable income... how?

Post by retire57 » Mon Nov 06, 2017 5:34 pm

Keep doing what you are doing and, one day, those people will look at you and say "How do they do that?".

:beer

stoptothink
Posts: 4458
Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2010 9:53 am

Re: Disposable income... how?

Post by stoptothink » Mon Nov 06, 2017 7:23 pm

panchilly wrote:
Mon Nov 06, 2017 5:33 pm
stoptothink wrote:
Mon Nov 06, 2017 5:25 pm
panchilly wrote:
Mon Nov 06, 2017 4:57 pm
Brokepilot wrote:
Mon Nov 06, 2017 12:12 pm
Seriously I don't understand how people can just buy new phones, new vehicles and still go out every Friday eat a nice dinner and drink craft beers.

How can people do that? Here is my life in a nutshell..

I am above the national average for income. Our household pulls in 100k a year with no cost medical benefits for my wife and I. We are approaching our mid 30's, have a mortgage, one 15 year old car and all our savings and investments equals 100K (not great for mid thirties, I was late to the game). My wife coupons like crazy to save money, when we go out (rarely) to eat we share meals (keeps the kcals down to) and limit our self's to one drink each. Yet we look at our peers who make similar money and are baffled by the newer cars they drive, the clothes they wear, fun they have and they all seem to talk about investing like they are killing it and have kids. I make 100k and while I wouldn't say I feel poor (as I am obviously not), I don't feel like I can afford a new phones or be comfortable paying for a second car.

(Our budget)
Mortgage plus utilities: 26%
Transpiration: 10%
Food, Cell and Allowances: 20%
Debts: 9% (0% offers)
Investing/Saving: 33%
Most people don't save 33% that is a very high savings rate. Good job.

Additionally, 100k aint what it used to be. 100k HHI for a family of 2 is actually fairly average for any HCOL or MCOL area. It is low for VHCOL areas like the Bay Area. I wouldn't be surprised if some of these folks you are referring to are pulling in 150, 200, even 250k total comp individually.

200k total comp compared to 100k allows you to buy a lot more luxury items while maintaining a high savings rate.

Are you in an HCOL or VHCOL area? I know first hand that fresh out of college software engineers in the Boston area are pulling in 100k BASE SALARY at 22-23 years old with a bachelors degree. With bonus and stock that approaches 120-130k total comp for a 22 year old... Senior guys are around the 200k mark for total comp. Very senior principal level at bigger companies are 200-250k. Add another 10-15% on top of all those numbers for Facebook/Google caliber companies.

It's easy to assume people are making equal to or less than you are, but I find when you find out about how much people are really making around here its usually a lot more than you thought. This is where the money is coming from for brand new cars, new iphones, big brokerage accounts, etc.
This may be your perception, but statistically these statements are not really true. Yes, there are kids right out of college in the Bay Area making $120k+, but they are most definitely not the norm.
You'd be surprised in certain metro regions.

http://www.mercurynews.com/2017/04/22/i ... ow-income/
Again, perception versus reality. The headline for the link you posted is a bit misleading, it includes the actual data. According to that very article, in the highest cost of living zip codes in the entire country, where few recent college grads actually reside, average total household incomes do not even reach $115k. The median household income for San Francisco proper is actually below $80k https://www.point2homes.com/US/Neighbor ... phics.html. There are definitely single recent college grads in the highest COL areas making 6-figures, but they are (statistically) outliers.

I live in a MCOL area and had the perception that we were just an "average" family. Come to find out that we actually have a household income more than 3x the average for our area.

Brokepilot
Posts: 51
Joined: Sun Sep 25, 2016 10:14 pm

Re: Disposable income... how?

Post by Brokepilot » Mon Nov 06, 2017 8:20 pm

Wow, so much good stuff here, I can't comment on everything but I'll answer a few common questions.

Q: Why do I feel 33% is not enough.
A1: I am 32 and only have 1x my income stocked away and it is not all for retirement. My retirement portfolio is only about 75k, so I am behind.
A2: As long as my health keeps up, I should make 150K-200K in my early 40's (and will likely carry that income till at least 59.) and I want my portfolio to be frontloaded for the lifestyle I plan on living later in life.
A3: I am planning on having a baby next year and I want to have a dedicated 10k reserve for the first-year baby expense so our quality of life (financially) is stable. So I am saving for future expenses and not only retirement.

About the numbers I posted. It is a modified version of my 2017 budget for 2018.

Mortgage plus utilities: 26% (This is my mortgages + $100 additional principle + all utilities)

Transporation: 10% (This includes a $450 car payment, plus all projected gas and insurance on two vehicles, we haven't bought a second car yet but need to next year)

Food, Cell and Allowances: 20% ($500-$600 dollars a month for food and dining and ruffly $350 pocket cash for my wife and $250 for me)

Debts: 9% (0% offers) (0% balance transfer on a camera I bought and a few other items that revolve around 0% offers. Rather pay everything off I like to keep the cash in the bank at 1.1% interest and pay it off slowly)

Investing/Saving: 33% (Max TSP 18k, 5.5k In Vanguard Roth and about 12 grand into CD's, stocks and savings)

I will do a portfolio review tomorrow and post a link in here.

wabbott
Posts: 28
Joined: Sun Nov 05, 2017 5:55 pm

Re: Disposable income... how?

Post by wabbott » Mon Nov 06, 2017 8:31 pm

You're way, way ahead of the game for your age. The fact that you do a written budget is a rarity, not only for your age, but ANY age. If y'all stick to your plan, you should be able to be thinking about retiring - quite comfortably - around age 50, if not younger.

KlangFool
Posts: 10409
Joined: Sat Oct 11, 2008 12:35 pm

Re: Disposable income... how?

Post by KlangFool » Mon Nov 06, 2017 8:43 pm

OP,

Your numbers do not add up.

1) If you are saving 33K per year, why is it only 100K now? How long have you been saving?

2) Your mortgage plus utilities = 26K per years? How much is your mortgage? What is the price of your house? Are you "House Poor"?

KlangFool

User avatar
Sandtrap
Posts: 5360
Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2016 6:32 pm
Location: Hawaii😀 Northern AZ.😳 Retired.

Re: Disposable income... how?

Post by Sandtrap » Mon Nov 06, 2017 8:46 pm

Brokepilot wrote:
Mon Nov 06, 2017 12:12 pm
Seriously I don't understand how people can just buy new phones, new vehicles and still go out every Friday eat a nice dinner and drink craft beers.
How can people do that?
A lot of people don't.
And, that is fine, too.
"Millionaires Next Door" may be just as frugal as you are.

What's important is what "you" do, not what others do.
And, you're doing fine for you. No one else is the judge of it!
:sharebeer

Slacker
Posts: 627
Joined: Thu May 26, 2016 8:40 am

Re: Disposable income... how?

Post by Slacker » Mon Nov 06, 2017 9:16 pm

KlangFool wrote:
Mon Nov 06, 2017 8:43 pm
OP,

Your numbers do not add up.

1) If you are saving 33K per year, why is it only 100K now? How long have you been saving?

2) Your mortgage plus utilities = 26K per years? How much is your mortgage? What is the price of your house? Are you "House Poor"?

KlangFool
Looking at Brokepilot's posts from 2016 and earlier this year, they just recently started saving at that level. Completely understandable, from my point of view as a reformed spender. Our annual savings currently = 1/3 of our liquid assets as we've been slowly increasing our savings over the past 4 years and had to take care of student loan debt and other consumer debt first. I don't know the OP's story, but no one ever taught us about LBYM, saving and investing when we were growing up; we lived like "average Americans" until 4 years ago when a new friend clued us in and we really looked into the matter completely changing our outlook, like suddenly finding religion. I need to send that friend a thank you note.

Olemiss540
Posts: 589
Joined: Fri Aug 18, 2017 8:46 pm

Re: Disposable income... how?

Post by Olemiss540 » Mon Nov 06, 2017 9:22 pm

Slacker wrote:
Mon Nov 06, 2017 9:16 pm
KlangFool wrote:
Mon Nov 06, 2017 8:43 pm
OP,

Your numbers do not add up.

1) If you are saving 33K per year, why is it only 100K now? How long have you been saving?

2) Your mortgage plus utilities = 26K per years? How much is your mortgage? What is the price of your house? Are you "House Poor"?

KlangFool
Looking at Brokepilot's posts from 2016 and earlier this year, they just recently started saving at that level. Completely understandable, from my point of view as a reformed spender. Our annual savings currently = 1/3 of our liquid assets as we've been slowly increasing our savings over the past 4 years and had to take care of student loan debt and other consumer debt first. I don't know the OP's story, but no one ever taught us about LBYM, saving and investing when we were growing up; we lived like "average Americans" until 4 years ago when a new friend clued us in and we really looked into the matter completely changing our outlook, like suddenly finding religion. I need to send that friend a thank you note.
Viva la revolution!!
I hold index funds because I do not overestimate my ability to pick stocks OR stock pickers.

KlangFool
Posts: 10409
Joined: Sat Oct 11, 2008 12:35 pm

Re: Disposable income... how?

Post by KlangFool » Mon Nov 06, 2017 9:25 pm

Slacker wrote:
Mon Nov 06, 2017 9:16 pm
KlangFool wrote:
Mon Nov 06, 2017 8:43 pm
OP,

Your numbers do not add up.

1) If you are saving 33K per year, why is it only 100K now? How long have you been saving?

2) Your mortgage plus utilities = 26K per years? How much is your mortgage? What is the price of your house? Are you "House Poor"?

KlangFool
Looking at Brokepilot's posts from 2016 and earlier this year, they just recently started saving at that level. Completely understandable, from my point of view as a reformed spender. Our annual savings currently = 1/3 of our liquid assets as we've been slowly increasing our savings over the past 4 years and had to take care of student loan debt and other consumer debt first. I don't know the OP's story, but no one ever taught us about LBYM, saving and investing when we were growing up; we lived like "average Americans" until 4 years ago when a new friend clued us in and we really looked into the matter completely changing our outlook, like suddenly finding religion. I need to send that friend a thank you note.
Slacker,

Then, the answer to OP is he had not been saving at this level long enough.

KlangFool

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