Finance


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    In 2014:
    I made $75,265.47 at work
    I made $36.60 in interest.
    I paid $28,921.52 in taxes that were either deducted from my pay or billed in a lump sum.
    I paid $1655.05 in hidden or transactional taxes (Sales tax, fuel tax, etc.)
    I was legally compelled to pay $3651.00 (health insurance, fines, licenses and registrations, legally required insurances)
    I paid $24,651.05 in student loans, auto loan, and mortgage.
    I spent $2906.82 on various forms of motorsport (not including travel)
    I spent $994.14 on personal travel.
    I invested $5268.63
    I spent $1928.16 on booze
    I spent $1510.60 on restaurants
    I spent $1347.09 on fast food
    I spent so little on actual groceries that I just mixed it in with general retail.
    I spent $3839.97 on general retail goods and groceries.
    I spent $6497.92 on gasoline

    My total effective tax rate was 40.5%
    If you add compulsory expenses, it becomes 45.4%

    Summing everything out, my bank balance on 1/1/2015 was $25.51 higher than it was on 1/1/2014.

    (Sauce: Combining all my credit card company's year end summaries, my last pay stub of the year, and my bank's ledger export)

    So, how many points do you have?


  • Fake News

    Really makes you want to get up and go to work, doesn't it?


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    Yeah, all that work and I got almost 26 points!



  • I'm assuming a good part of the investments was retirement savings correct? It really sounds like you need to be upping that.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    All of it was, actually. I'll be upping that once I've finished aggressively murdering student loans (On my current repayment schedule, that's in December). The death of 401k matching sucked.



  • One thing to keep in mind when doing aggressive repayment is what the interest is, if you can get a higher return from investing the money then do that instead (highly dependent on return rate of the investment and what rate debt is accruing).


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    At this point my 401k returns aren't matching my student loan interest. I could definitely do better elsewhere, but I haven't accrued a sufficient pile of seed money quite yet.

    I won't be aggressively paying either the car or the house, because those rates are hilarious



  • I spent like 4 months this year unemployed, so I'm definitely at a pretty big net loss in value. (Actually not toooo bad, only around $12k-ish.)

    I also don't keep track of shit as much as you do, so my finances are just kind of hazy. But I make more money than you, so mockery there.



  • I made roughly as much as you spent on booze, restaurants and fast food. So there.

    How the fuck do you people have so much money.



  • Does that offend you more or less than the fact Investment was considered low while being around your total?


  • sockdevs

    i mean no offense when i ask this but...... where do you live?

    a quick back of the napkin calculation shows that if you worked full time at minimum wage* you should be making about 16k/yr pre-tax.

    Given that the most plausible explanation i see is that you live outside of the United States (which is the only country i know roughly what minimum wage is, mostly because i live here and was entry level retail for a while in school.)

    * $8/hr for the purposes of calculation. it's somewhere close to that un the US... last i checked



  • @Weng said:

    So, how many points do you have?

    What are "points"?

    @Weng said:

    Yeah, all that work and I got almost 26 points!

    Points are one's bank account difference?


  • sockdevs

    @Bort said:

    What are "points"?

    not entirely sure, but based on context i think @weng means "line item deductions", "percentage ponts of tax" or "additional liquid assets year over year"

    given the number of points he quotes getting i'm going to guess the last one is most likely.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    "Money's just a way of keeping score".

    @blakeyrat said:

    I also don't keep track of shit as much as you do, so my finances are just kind of hazy. But I make more money than you, so mockery there.
    I don't keep track of it all actively either - 15 minutes with my credit card annual summaries and Excel. And yeah, I am grossly underpaid.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @Weng said:

    Yeah, all that work and I got almost 26 points!

    I told a co-worker last week I felt like moving to Montana and getting a job as a cowboy at a dude ranch, although that was mainly because of customers.

    I think about stuff like this, though, and I understand those people who build shacks in the country and make a living selling arts and crafts.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @accalia said:

    no offense when i ask this but...... where do you live

    (Mobile mangled quote)

    Poland.



  • If I've figured one thing out in my 2.5 decades of corporate endeavour, it's that there's absolutely no correlation whatsoever between how good you are at your job, how much responsibility you have, how hard you work and how much money you take home at the end of the day.

    If you suspect that you're currently working too hard for no recognition and a pittance of a salary, you are probably right. There is almost always another job out there which you will find more rewarding, and will probably give you a payrise.into the bargain as well.

    (Actually, now I'm all fired up, that reminds me, I've been meaning to get my résumé up to date..)



  • Seth Bregman: Will, did you really make two and a half million last year?
    Will Emerson: Yeah, sure.
    Seth Bregman: How did you spend it all?
    Will Emerson: It goes quite quickly. You know, you learn to spend what's in your pocket.
    Peter Sullivan: Two and a half million goes quickly?
    Will Emerson: All right, let's see. So the taxman takes half up front, so you're left with one and a quarter. My mortgage takes another 300 grand. I send 150 home for my parents, you know, keep 'em going. So what's that?
    Peter Sullivan: 800?
    Peter Sullivan: All right, 800. Spent 150 on a car. About 75 on restaurants. Probably 50 on clothes. I put 400 away for a rainy day.
    Seth Bregman: That's smart.
    Will Emerson: Yeah, as it turns out, 'cause it looks like the storm's coming.
    Peter Sullivan: You still got 125.
    Will Emerson: Yeah, well I did spend 76,520 dollars on hookers, booze and dancers. But mainly hookers.
    Peter Sullivan: 76,5?
    Will Emerson: I was a little shocked initially, but then I realized I could claim most of it back as entertainment. It's true!



  • First 9 months of the current tax year.
    Numbers in brackets are it averaged out to the end of the year.
    Earned: $49k ($65k)
    Tax: $7.7k ($10.3k)
    National Insurance: $5.4k ($7.2k)

    Work expenses for the last calendar year (which are covered on my corp card): $15.8k
    Converted to US* dollars.

    I ain't working the rest out, but my bank balance isn't really that much higher than this time last year.
    Paid like half the car off so while my bank balance might not be much higher, my debt is much lower.

    *edit: specifying which dollars.



  • @accalia said:

    i mean no offense when i ask this but...... where do you live?

    As mentioned, Poland. And I think he's still in college. I also think he had some sort of indentured servitude sub minimum wage internship in London recently.


  • sockdevs

    @boomzilla said:

    I also think he had some sort of indentured servitude sub minimum wage internship in London recently.

    Those are TRWTF.



  • @accalia said:

    Those are TRWTF.

    Yeah, fuck London.


  • BINNED

    I did something along those lines. 3 months of full time training, which they claimed was worth over 10 grand. Instead of having to pay, trainees worked through the agency arm of the company for a two year contract. So that was 12 weeks of not being paid to make myself more valuable for the company.

    TRWTF was that I couldn't claim any unemployment benefits for those three months because I "was not available to look for work", despite having an all but guaranteed job at the end of the process.


  • sockdevs

    @boomzilla said:

    Yeah, fuck London.

    maybe, but i would say more: Fuck unpaid and sub-paygrade internships. In fact sodomize them with a barbed wire wrapped purple phallic appendage until they beg for a mercy killing, then oblige their request



  • @Jaloopa said:

    TRWTF was that I couldn't claim any unemployment benefits for those three months because I "was not available to look for work", despite having an all but guaranteed job at the end of the process.

    That sounds right. You shouldn't be able to claim them if you aren't looking for work now.

    @accalia said:

    Fuck unpaid and sub-paygrade internships. In fact sodomize them with a barbed wire wrapped purple phallic appendage until they beg for a mercy killing, then oblige their request

    Maybe. Depends. In a lot of places, they're great opportunities to get some early experience / foot in the door.

    I think we pay our interns pretty well, FTR. I recall hearing a figure like $20/hr (though this was 10+ years ago, and I have no idea what happens now).


  • sockdevs

    @boomzilla said:

    Maybe. Depends. In a lot of places, they're great opportunities to get some early experience / foot in the door.

    if you don't pay your people what they are worth, even as an intern, then your business model is shite as far as i'm concerned.

    now i'm not saying that an intern needs to be paid what you pay your fully vested employees. that would be crazy. You should pay them commensurate to what they are worth to the company, and that means real money. this on the job experience is nice, but it needs dollars attached to it!



  • @accalia said:

    if you don't pay your people what they are worth, even as an intern, then your business model is shite as far as i'm concerned.

    Not all pay is in dollars.


  • sockdevs

    @boomzilla said:

    Not all pay is in dollars.

    while this is true, non-dollars (peso, lira, rupies, etc) pay does not pay the bills. and i am getting really tired of hearing about friends who went to law school or want to break into journalism having to turn down excellent internship opportunities because the company offering them is offering them unpaid and they cannot afford to be without a paycheck for the length of the internship because they are living on a shoestring trying to pay off their loans and living with five other people in a two bedroom appartment because thats how many people it took to come up with the monthly rent.



  • @accalia said:

    pay off their loans

    Sounds like they got in over their heads and didn't realize that their career choice wasn't going to cover their exorbitant education bills.


  • sockdevs

    have you looked up how expensive a bachelors degree is nowadays? it's getting ridiculous!

    and yes, you can get your student loans put in abeyance for a time if you're doing something like an unpaid internship. but show me a land lird that will do that with your rent, or a grocery store that will do that with your food bill?

    Unless you have significant outside support taking an unpaid internship is a losing proposition. All they serve to do is prevent any upward social mobility by making it so only the children of rich white parents can afford to make it through an unpaid internship.


  • Fake News

    Let's not forget that student loans in the U.S. generally can't be discharged in bankruptcy, unlike most other debt. Now, if only more people would put two and two together, and realize that that is a major factor contributing to inflation in college expenses...



  • @accalia said:

    have you looked up how expensive a bachelors degree is nowadays?

    So don't get one. Waste of time.


  • Grade A Premium Asshole

    @smallshellscript said:

    Seth Bregman: Will, did you really make two and a half million last year?

    I just re-watched that movie again last Thursday. Good flick.


  • sockdevs

    @blakeyrat said:

    So don't get one. Waste of time.

    good luck being a lawyer, or a paralegal, or a reporter, or a doctor of any kind, or any other of a number of professions, both lucrative ones and less than lucrative ones.

    hell try breaking into programming without a bachelors degree. it's possible but way harder than it has to be to get past the HR gauntlet.

    "I need a degree to get a job, but i need a job to get a degree"

    that's a viscous cycle that there is little to no hope of escape from without outside help and it is far too common. If college isn't worth it then we need to change society so it (or failing that an insane amount of luck) isn't required to get a decent high paying job.



  • @accalia said:

    have you looked up how expensive a bachelors degree is nowadays? it's getting ridiculous!

    I have, and I'm dreading 4 years from now when my daughter graduates from high school for that reason.

    @accalia said:

    All they serve to do is prevent any upward social mobility by making it so only the children of rich white parents can afford to make it through an unpaid internship.

    Bullshit. Not that they don't help those kids of rich white parents. This only makes sense if "upward social mobility" means that you have to get to the top instantly.



  • @accalia said:

    good luck being a lawyer, or a paralegal, or a reporter, or a doctor of any kind, or any other of a number of professions, both lucrative ones and less than lucrative ones.

    Like I said, you need to plan stuff out. I recall reading something that said that many (most?) law school graduates don't go on to be practicing lawyers. Doctors have a different sort of career path. If you think you want to pursue something that isn't very lucrative but requires lots of college, you need to figure out how to manage that.

    @accalia said:

    hell try breaking into programming without a bachelors degree.

    But that's a relatively lucrative career.



  • @accalia said:

    "I need a degree to get a job, but i need a job to get a degree"

    Both of those statements are wrong. Good thing Bill Gates wasn't talking to you when he was at university.

    @accalia said:

    that's a viscous cycle that there is little to no hope of escape from without outside help and it is far too common.

    Look, at some point, degree or not, a person's gonna have to pull themselves up by their fucking bootstraps. The only question here is whether spending $100k+ on a degree increases the quality of life 10 or 20 years down-the-line. I'm not convinced it does.

    (Actually a lot of the college grads are the lazy fuckers who never really did pull themselves up by their bootstraps, they just sleepwalked from college to internship to job without doing anything particularly innovative or valuable to anybody else. I've worked with 3-4 PhD's who were incredibly useless oxygen-consuming lumps.)

    You are correct, if you want to work for an industry carefully controlled by a professional society whose entire raison d'etre is to limit the number of newcomers so they can make more money, well, then you're fucked. But people who set up and run those societies are selfish assholes, so you don't want to work with them anyway.



  • @accalia said:

    try breaking into programming without a bachelors degree

    Easy. I did it. Experience (the non-dollar pay @boomzilla mentioned) goes a long way.



  • @accalia said:

    I need a degree to get a job

    If that is the reason you are attempting to get a degree then you are doing it very very wrong.

    @accalia said:

    i need a job to get a degree

    While it can be expensive you need to plan and evaluate if it is worth it. If you are only doing it to get a job then there are probably better options for you to look at (trades tend to be much cheaper to get licensed in and pay well). If you are going just to learn things then you need to weigh costs (personally I think it will be worth it, but my view is probably skewed).


  • Fake News

    @locallunatic said:

    trades tend to be much cheaper to get licensed in and pay well
    People who don't recognize this fact are utterly ignorant, at best.



  • Why is it that nobody considers becoming a tradesperson any longer? (Heck -- I've had thoughts of apprenticing as an electrician myself, if nothing else to become not completely a nervous wreck when it comes to working on mains wiring.)


  • Grade A Premium Asshole

    @locallunatic said:

    One thing to keep in mind when doing aggressive repayment is what the interest is, if you can get a higher return from investing the money then do that instead (highly dependent on return rate of the investment and what rate debt is accruing).

    This advice is often parroted, but is very short-sighted and myopic. It ignores three very key financial variables: risk, mobility and the long-term effects of debt-loading on personal finance. When you account for those, you will almost always do better to pay off your debt to increase your cashflow, reduce your risk and allow you the mobility to pursue advantageous endeavors.

    I have mentioned before, but most of my income was based upon bonuses that were tied to gross profit on a per-project basis. Then the economic downturn happened and -poof-, most of my income was gone (roughly 60%, maybe a bit more, it sucked). Had we been carrying even a moderate debt-load, it would have been...tragic. As the only debt we ever carry is our mortgage, and it is a small fraction of our income, it was...manageable.

    As part of the mobility that low debt-loading afforded us, I did not get another J-O-B, I started a business and made my own. One fascinating thing about economics is that greatest opportunity is afforded in the midst of economic downturns. Assuming that an economy rebounds, dollar-cost averaging multiplies your money is much the same way as leveraging, but with much less risk. It is working out well for us.

    Also, calculations where you only account for the difference between interest rates when deciding whether to pay down debt or invest, never follow that calculation out until the point that debt is paid off. They are always point-in-time calculations while debt-loaded. If you take a person's financial situation and run out the amortization schedules to the point that debt is paid off and cash flow is freed up to invest, in almost every single instance you will find that once the debt is paid off and you take that same monthly debt service line item and invest it, the pendulum quickly swings back the other direction and it is better to pay off the debt and invest the same amount of money as you had been using to service the debt. The recovery is quick enough and it almost invariably works out in such a way that to keep pace with the alternative strategy you can even up your disposable income and still outpace. Win-win.



  • @locallunatic said:

    If you are only doing it to get a job then there are probably better options for you to look at

    In addition to trades, you can start at a community college (which is usually a lot cheaper than a four year school) and transfer. And, of course, going to a public school is likely to save a lot of money. A private liberal arts school is probably a recipe for throwing money down the drain.

    A good school can be very valuable for networking and making it into an elite, but that's not where most people want to go. And really, your education matters the most when you get that first job. Your experience is much more important after that (and in many cases to begin with, of course).



  • @Polygeekery said:

    This advice is often parroted, but is very short-sighted and myopic.

    It is something that needs to be evaluated. Personally I have an aversion to debt so it would need to be a very large differential for me to prefer it, but I also know people without that aversion who were aggressively paying down things that had interest rates below inflation thus my pointing it out. It is something that needs to be evaluated on a case by case basis, but I agree if all you look at is the interest rates then you are missing other things that should be taken into consideration.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    The thing that gets my goat the most about education costs is that the first year, is affordable, interest rates are low, and it all makes sense.

    NOWHERE in my entire university experience did anyone point out that the latter 3 years would be progressively more expensive, ultimately doubling, and the interest rates would quadruple.


  • Grade A Premium Asshole

    @boomzilla said:

    A good school can be very valuable for networking and making it into an elite, but that's not where most people want to go. And really, your education matters the most when you get that first job. Your experience is much more important after that (and in many cases to begin with, of course).

    My father always told me that if you want to become an employee, go to college. If you want to become an employer, get to work. He did not mean the two to be mutually exclusive, he was just always very skeptical of universities and their propensity for churning out sheep.

    A few months ago, my MIL (who was a high school teacher her entire life) was telling me about how a student from her school got an extensive scholarship to some Ivy League school and how it was such a great opportunity for him to get such a great education that he could not have afforded otherwise. I burst her bubble when I told her that the education was likely no different than one from a "normal" college, but the real value was in the networking. He would get to meet people and form relationships that he otherwise would not have been able to, and that is where the true value was. The education itself was worth squat.


  • mod

    @loopback0 said:

    Converted to dollars.

    US? CAN? AUS? Bermuda? East Caribbean? ...

    There are dozens of modern currencies referred to as a "dollar"1. There are are even some retired dollars that could be added to the mix if you really want to make things messy. Please clarify which dollar you are referring to.



  • USD.

    I actually thought I'd put that there, oops.


  • mod

    @blakeyrat said:

    @accalia said:
    have you looked up how expensive a bachelors degree is nowadays? it's getting ridiculous!

    So don't get one. Waste of time.

    It's working for me.



  • Degree gots me my job, so working for me too. Plus 4 years of mostly drinking and vidya games was pretty fun too ;)


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