Re: Voracious beast

1

Yes, I feel the last paragraph.


Posted by: Annelid Gustator | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 7:16 AM
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My expenses crept up quite a bit for a while and I was able to drop them by ~$200/month simply by bringing my lunches in instead of buying them. I also bought a car that's cheaper to run and insure. The upshot is that the last of my divorce related debt will be eliminated in about three months.

I'm about to be unemployed (scary) so I'm economizing even more these days, just not spending any money that's not necessary. I can last running on fumes for about three months I think. Then things get interesting.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 7:17 AM
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For cooking dinners - there have been a few times over the summer where I've popped into the grocery store to buy ingredients for that night's dinner, and I've been horrified to discover that it's easy to spend $20-30 dollars on a single home-cooked dinner.

Somehow when it was lumped into weekly groceries, I never priced it out.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 7:20 AM
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I keep economizing by taking the bus. It sort of sucks, except when I'm drinking too much to drive, but parking alone is $100 a month.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 7:21 AM
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I mean, it's easy to spend less than that, I know. Just if I'm not thinking about cost, cooking at home can perfectly expensive.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 7:21 AM
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AND, cue everyone in NYC and London and Boston saying that $100 a month for parking is inconceivably cheap.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 7:22 AM
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I think the bus rates are high enough now that it wouldn't save me any money if my employer didn't pay for free transit for all employees and students.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 7:23 AM
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And then cue them describing their well-developed transportation infrastructure.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 7:24 AM
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The bus alone is $70/month!


Posted by: ursyne | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 7:25 AM
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The next round of transit cuts, which may or may not happen, will completely ruin drunken bus riding as riding the bus drunk at 8:00 p.m. seems a bit early.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 7:25 AM
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OK that's a lie, the combo bus+subway pass is what's $70.


Posted by: ursyne | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 7:26 AM
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10: What time does the bus start up again in the morning?


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 7:26 AM
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11: We don't even have an subway. (Actually, we sort of do, but mostly it goes above the ground and it doesn't go anywhere useful anyway.)


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 7:28 AM
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12: Three hours after legal closing time.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 7:29 AM
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It has recently been suggested to me that one might economize by buying less wine. My reaction to this was rather more hysterical than seemly, I fear.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 7:30 AM
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You can buy wine in boxes instead of less wine.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 7:30 AM
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16: I am already compromising too much on this front! Nnnng.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 7:31 AM
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$100 a month for parking is inconceivably cheap! Actually our subsidized rate is only $115; $57.50 if you carpool with another employee (same price per car but they charge each of you half.)
Even though my subway pass is subsidized 50% and the remaining 50% is pre-tax, I dropped it in favor of biking which is free and also includes a $20/month subsidy on any bike repairs or equipment.
Does mortgage refinancing count? I just got a 3% rate.
It's the fault of people like Heebie who are neglecting their kids in cheap daycares that the federal tax benefits for daycare are so limited. The FSA limit is $5k which is 2-3 months, and everyone here wonders why it's so low. Next time we talk about it I'll tell them to blame Texas and their uneducated day care staff, where $5k covers most of the year.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 7:35 AM
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I have a cognitive error where I think of $9 wine and $3 wine as both being "pretty cheap, under $10". Then it occurred to me I would be paying 1/3 as much on wine if I always bought $3 wine??!


Posted by: ursyne | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 7:36 AM
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Does mortgage refinancing count? I just got a 3% rate.

Wow.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 7:36 AM
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I pretty much quit drinking over the past six months or so. I'll still have a couple of beers once or twice a month, or a glass of wine on the very rare occasions that we actually have a nice dinner out. I'm post facto rationalizing it as saving money and calories, but mostly I just lost interest.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 7:37 AM
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I'll loan you money at 5% and make a profit!


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 7:38 AM
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And then cue them describing their well-developed transportation infrastructure.

But let's not talk about the relative cost of housing where we are versus where you are.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 7:38 AM
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In Pianosa, with eggs?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 7:39 AM
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wine is a budget killer, for sure.

also: cable. we haven't been able to get ourselves into a Hulu + Netflix + etc mindset yet, alas.


Posted by: cleek | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 7:44 AM
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We stopped all but basic cable and moved to Netflix. It turns out Netflix has in inexhaustible supply of really shitty animated kid TV shows from the 80s and 90s. So much worse than Nick Jr.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 7:48 AM
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I want to drop our landline, all we ever get is telemarketing recordings (even though we're on the do not call list) but I'm not sure how much it would save since we have a phone+internet deal where the phone service subsidizes the internet. Never had cable except when they accidentally left it on for a few months, we were sure they were trying to get us hooked. We get a decent number of HD channels by antenna.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 7:49 AM
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Oh, man, I just signed up for Hulu + in a fit of pique on finding out that Netflix only has the first season of Doc Martin. (Martin Clunes is a remarkably ugly man for an actor.) I had no idea it had commercial breaks. I hate that a lot -- the no-ads Netflix had spoiled me.

I've been trying to ease my discretionary spending down, but I suck at it. I automatically suck about $1K a month into savings (over and above retirement), but I just had to pull a bunch back out to cover various summer classes for the kids.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 7:49 AM
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Never had cable except when they accidentally left it on for a few months, we were sure they were trying to get us hooked.

A few months ago I posted about how we discovered a glut of exciting channels. They're now gone.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 7:52 AM
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I guess not replacing the car when it died was a downshift -- we were paying more than $100 a month for parking. We handle money somewhat idiosyncratically, though. Mostly separate accounts, and we arbitrarily divide up big bills. Parking and car maintenance were Buck's problem, and Zipcar is mine, so while we're spending much less, I don't viscerally feel it as a savings.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 7:54 AM
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$2500/month/kid for daycare seems wildly expensive, even for here. OTOH I interviewed a nanny (who was leaving a staff of 30 servants+"house manager" for a big time Hollywood person) who was asking for $8,000/month, which I think is kind of in the cheap to normal range for that kind of person. Obviously I couldn't come close to affording that.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 7:54 AM
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In a dark period of much self-loathing, I let myself buy coffee out pretty much every single day (sometimes more than once). When I finally got around to doing the math, I realized it was between $100-150/month, and that just seemed crazy so I stopped. Now I'll still buy coffee out, but only if it's with someone else—which makes it seem like a treat or something.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 7:55 AM
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33

The months I tried having no cable were not good months.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 7:56 AM
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Ooh, let's take 30 on a tangent- I manage all the bills for the household, my wife doesn't even balance her checkbook regularly, I just make sure there's a minimum amount of money in her account and she lets me know if there's a large check she's going to write. Is this because I have a penis and she doesn't? Discuss!


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 7:57 AM
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I find it insanely hard not to go along with friends on things like "Friday afternoons! All the families are gathering down at the pub/restaurant with that playground!"


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 7:59 AM
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I save an enormous amount by not having a social life, but I make it up in restaurant delivery and kleenex.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 8:02 AM
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Very current for me as my startup just imploded, leaving me with much more time than I'm used to (hence the delurk) and much less cash. The easiest thing for us is probably lunches bought during the week. Say $500/ month for two people all said and done, so something like $400 to save there. Hard if it is your natural social break. Our grocery bill is probably twice what it "needs" to be, just based on pretty much never checking prices or economizing. Also, wine.

I figure it will be pretty easy to spent $1k less a month, and drop another four or so on retirement savings etc. if needed, but after that it gets pretty hard. We already don't really drive, subway here is $125/mo, and we couldn't save much on housing without massively increasing cost of commute.


Posted by: Dee Lurking | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 8:05 AM
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inexhaustible supply of really shitty animated kid TV shows

God, does it ever.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 8:05 AM
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Where's the obligatory link to the story about the jerk who was proud to live on only $10k/month or something?


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 8:07 AM
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30: My unexamined instinct is that the correct way to do things is for the husband to hand over his paycheck and let the wife handle all the practical money decisions (including things like how much walking around and hobby money everyone gets). He kills spiders, she balances the checkbook. It's the natural order of things.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 8:11 AM
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The easiest thing for us is probably lunches bought during the week. Say $500/ month for two people all said and done, so something like $400 to save there. Hard if it is your natural social break.

This is true. Lunch is Jammies' socialization hour, whereas I lock my office door* and hide out in private. It's easy for me to pack a lunch.

*except everyone has a master key and if they don't think I'm in, they'll just let themselves in after knocking. So it's more of just a space-ship vacuum-lock delay.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 8:11 AM
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38: Johnny Quest is the latest abomination we're watching.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 8:12 AM
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43

Well, not students.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 8:12 AM
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We some how found this Israeli TERRIBLE series of videos called Tu Ti Tu! in which various objects (Jeep, house, telephone) are slowly assembled, which Hawaii looooooves. The music gets into your skull.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 8:13 AM
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45

I looked into our water bill and found that I could save over $100 by not installing a rain barrel. Plus, not barrel on the patio.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 8:13 AM
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46

45 was timeless advice from me. Also 'not barrel' should be 'no barrel.'


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 8:14 AM
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let the wife handle all the practical money decisions

Holy christ, not in our household.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 8:15 AM
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45: wait, what?


Posted by: Annelid Gustator | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 8:16 AM
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49

They charge you for having a rain barrel? Do they claim that you're stealing the water that should run off to fill the reservoir?


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 8:16 AM
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40: That sort of thing -- communal decisions on how spending goes -- sounds very sensible. I have an almost phobic reaction to it though on anything but a broad, overarching level: the idea of either having someone tell how I could spend money I've earned or trying to control another adult's spending sounds like I would both feel guilty every time I bought a pack of gum and pissed off every time Buck bought a pack of gum. (Idea: eliminate gum expenditures entirely? Has potential.)

Being able to manage our money separately is only workable because we've got a bunch of slack in the system, but I'd hate to give it up.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 8:17 AM
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It cost $100 to buy and hook-up a rain barrel (I didn't shop around. That's what I saw walking past them at the store.) It would save me no money at all to have a rain barrel since my water use is well below the minimum billing amount.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 8:18 AM
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50 is right.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 8:19 AM
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I still don't understand. How is the barrel anything other than a 1 time cost?


Posted by: Annelid Gustator | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 8:20 AM
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42: I have vaguely fond memories of that show from my youth which I assume watching it would only spoil. My son is currently all about the Tintin.


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 8:22 AM
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It's a one-time cost, but no savings.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 8:22 AM
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It's a one time cost. An economically fruitless one time cost. I think people do it out of civic mindedness or a barrel fetish.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 8:22 AM
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We've been thinking about how to economise recently [for reasons given presidentially elsewhere], and it's basically impossible to do so in a way that'd make a real difference. We could spend less, but the amount we'd save is a drop in the ocean compared to the costs of the various things we want/need to do. I've already cut significantly the amount of money spent going out, and on wine/beer. I basically don't smoke. Our commuting costs can't be made any smaller,and our rent and bills are fixed costs. We might, with maximal economy on food and sundries, save a couple of hundred quid a month, but that's basically fuck all compared to how much extra we'd need to effect any changes -- having a child, moving to a place with a garden, saving to get a deposit to buy somewhere, or whatever.

As per lots of previous grumbles, the SE of England is insane. If I could find a way to relocate easily, I'd go for it.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 8:22 AM
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30: My unexamined instinct is that the correct way to do things is for the husband to hand over his paycheck and let the wife handle all the practical money decisions (including things like how much walking around and hobby money everyone gets). He kills spiders, she balances the checkbook. It's the natural order of things.

Also, paychecks come on Monday so he doesn't spend it all on booze. And the first man to come in every morning punches everyone's card.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 8:22 AM
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I tend to think that the relatively big expenses (rent, furniture, airfare on the rare occasions where I'm paying for it myself) are large enough relative to things like cable and Netflix and lunch that I pay no attention to what I spend on pretty much everything. Of course it adds up, but I don't really notice until sometimes I wonder why I'm not saving more since I don't feel like I'm spending more money than I did when I was in grad school.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 8:23 AM
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I think people do it out of civic mindedness or a barrel fetish.

Or an irrational fondness for mosquito larvae?


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 8:24 AM
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My employer surprised by managing to successfully pay me the proper salary this month. I expected that changing jobs would lead to a few months of not getting paid and pestering secretaries until they finally decided to do something about it.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 8:24 AM
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Being able to manage our money separately is only workable because we've got a bunch of slack in the system, but I'd hate to give it up.

We manage this by having a joint account plus each maintaining our pre-marriage individual accounts. Money earned goes into individual accounts, and then we each make a monthly payment into the joint account. The monthly payments change relatively often, depending on how much we're earning.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 8:24 AM
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surprised me


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 8:24 AM
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64

Drinks on essear!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 8:25 AM
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65

60: They have screens on the top now.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 8:26 AM
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64 works for me. I'm out of town for a while though.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 8:27 AM
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We thought we were going to do something like 62; we have a joint account set up, but we don't use it for much. Really, we just got lazy, and "You get the mortgage, I'll get the maintenance" seemed to work fine.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 8:27 AM
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65.--I would not be comforted.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 8:28 AM
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You could keep goldfish in the rainbarrel to eat the larvae. (Pike to eat the goldfish, herons to eat the pike...)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 8:29 AM
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62 is pretty much how we do it. We had a single joint account into which we both got paid for a while, but it became harder after a while to manage that so the joint account is just used for bills now and pay goes into individual accounts.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 8:31 AM
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Some people seem to have way too much fun with those electric mosquito rackets. Maybe they would cultivate a mosquito population to have a use for it.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 8:31 AM
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We got a thing in the mail from the electric company asking if we wanted to have a "smart" thing installed on our air conditioner so it turns off during periods of peak demand. I figured we needed to ask the landlord first, so we did, and the landlord said they didn't know what this thing was and it didn't sound like a good idea. This is a large local property maintenance company, maybe 300 units. Oh well.

Also, 67, exact same thing here.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 8:33 AM
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73

We've got rainbarrels. That was Jammies' spring project.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 8:34 AM
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74

The water we store does not go very far once the rain stops.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 8:34 AM
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75

62 is our system. Mortgage and utilities are paid out of that account. Less-regular larger expenses (furniture, home renovations (he says, as the jackhammer destroys the back side of the house)) are sort of negotiated item-by-item. We haven't really figured how to set up the logistics for the months she's not drawing a paycheck, though.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 8:34 AM
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62 is our system. Mortgage and utilities are paid out of that account. Less-regular larger expenses (furniture, home renovations (he says, as the jackhammer destroys the back side of the house)) are sort of negotiated item-by-item. We haven't really figured how to set up the logistics for the months she's not drawing a paycheck, though.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 8:34 AM
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We used to have individual checking, joint savings, with the idea that salary would go to the savings and we'd move to each checking as needed. But then there were these bank mergers and other odd things that messed it all up and instead of trying to replicate it we just decided to keep separate checking accounts, since my salary covers regular expenses I just manage everything out of my account, which means the credit cards are in my name, she has a card on the account, and I pay them. However, in the recent mortgage application, it was revealed that her credit score was a couple points higher than mine for some unknown reason.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 8:36 AM
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Aren't the rain barrels (in Pittsburgh, not Texas) also taking a load off the storm sewers? That's the main purpose of green roofs in NY, as I understand it: absorbing rainfall so it doesn't flood the system. (I want a green roof for our co-op so bad, just because it seems cool. But we can't get one because of the cell towers on the roof and our building's insurance won't accept that it won't damage the roof.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 8:37 AM
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Just make sure you don't pay the bills twice.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 8:37 AM
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73: I think it makes a great deal of sense in a drier climate. Here the main thing seems to be not saving water, but to slow down storm water and prevent flooding. That's why I say I may eventually do it out of civic mindedness. We're really too high up the hill for it to help us directly.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 8:37 AM
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We have slipped into spending too much on groceries by getting lazy about shopping. We're at Whole Foods already, might as well just get that other stuff on our list! Whereas if we were perfectly organized and motivated, we'd get only very particular things at Whole Foods, most meat at the specialty butcher, poultry at the poultry butcher, general staples/namebrand stuff at the downmarket grocery on the way home from work, bulk goods and spices from the co-op, and wine, nuts, dried fruit, and yogurt from Trader Joe's. We never make it to all those places regularly, but we've definitely been much further from that ideal than usual recently.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 8:38 AM
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75: Just jack up the amount you put in the joint account to cover her discretionary/household expenses while she's not working? How else would you do it?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 8:38 AM
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78: Yep. The storm sewers aren't separate from the shit sewers in all parts of town and the EPA isn't happy.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 8:39 AM
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Roommates are a good example of money-minded lifestyle-shifting. (That I categorically refuse to do unless unemployed, despite the burden of student loans.)


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 8:40 AM
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Less-regular larger expenses (furniture, home renovations (he says, as the jackhammer destroys the back side of the house)) are sort of negotiated item-by-item.

That's something I like about the system (if you can call it a system) -- it makes ordinary expenditures feel like presents. "Look, I bought you a pretty chair. It has stripes!"


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 8:41 AM
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Also I recently realized on a much more concrete level exactly how much more expensive organic food is than generic. A jar of spaghetti and some noodles: $3 to $11.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 8:41 AM
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We always get the spaghetti in bags. I didn't even know it came in jars.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 8:44 AM
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Whenever I've wanted to keep costs down I've found that it's easier to take a big chunk out of one thing than nickel and dime myself to death. Hence -- no car for five years, roommate in small two bedroom while in grad school, much smaller house than we qualified for when we bought. I did give up my gym membership and yoga classes when we moved, and we don't have cable.

We manage our money jointly because a) I'm much, much better with finances and b) we both like being financially stable c) shiv's paychecks are irregular due to the nature of his work, which requires careful planning ahead. We both have separate accounts but we've mostly stopped using them.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 8:48 AM
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Just bought 1/4 of a buffalo. 5.37 a pound regardless of cut, which is less than the 9.99 the store gets for a pound of ground, and a screaming deal on the usually 22.50 ribeyes. And this year, the rancher delivered it to the house.

The closest grocery store to our new house is a Costco.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 8:52 AM
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I mail-ordered a 1.5 cu ft freezer so that I could buy organic meat at a reasonable price in bulk without taking up half a room for storage.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 8:55 AM
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82: Sure. It's more covering the things that she usually paid for out of her personal account - do I set up a periodic transfer of some money into that? Just make sure I pay for everything?


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 8:55 AM
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89: How does the butchering on that work? You get your 1/4 pre-butchered, or you do it yourself?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 8:56 AM
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90: Typo or a strange definition of "bulk"?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 8:56 AM
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Instead of making full-blown meals or eating out for dinner, we've been having small items like salads. Since the garden is producing lettuce and tomatoes, this has drastically reduced the grocery bill. Also, I'm finally losing weight.

In addition, I got organized and realistic and instead of leaving extra money in a savings account with a 0.5% interest rate, I'm investing it in mutual funds. I had this irrational need to hold onto the money in case I was suddenly fired, which is stupid because you can always pull it out of investments. Also, they're not going to fire me when I bill more than any other attorney at the firm.


Posted by: LizSpigot | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 9:00 AM
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Somewhat related, but I'm curious since it is coming up in this thread.

For couples who keep separate finances, how do you handle income disparity? Typically my pre-tax has been 2-3x my wife's, so even after tax approaches 2x. We decided the easiest thing to do was just dump it all in one account, nominally, and agree on how to split things up. Then fiddle with savings etc. where there is a tax advantage.

So do you pretend it doesn't exist? Even it out in bills or savings?


Posted by: Dee Lurking | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 9:05 AM
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We have a joint account that is used for all joint purchases (mortgage, groceries, vacations, etc.). I usually save my extra money or pay down school loans and my husband likes to buy things for himself. I purposely don't know how much he spends on his own stuff because it's his money and it would drive me crazy to know how much he's spending. It would drive my husband crazy to know how much my internal monologue sounds like I'm planning for the next Depression. Everybody wins!


Posted by: LizSpigot | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 9:08 AM
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97

When we had income disparity (we're running pretty close these days), we roughly balanced with bills. But not in any organized way.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 9:08 AM
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"From each according to their abilities. To each according to their need and in no way does anybody need more than three pairs of shoes."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 9:08 AM
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92 -- Butchered, wrapped, flash frozen. With retail price tags (put on by the butcher) so you get to see that the ribeyes we ate on Sunday would have cost $42.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 9:10 AM
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99: right on. I am envious.


Posted by: Annelid Gustator | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 9:11 AM
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re: 95

That disparity was why my wife and I initially just had a single joint account. For the first year I was earning somewhat more than her, and then for the next two she was earning quite a bit more than me, so it made sense to just pool everything. For last four years or so, though, our incomes have been near identical [it varies marginally depending on who has had the most recent raise] so we don't have that issue any more.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 9:12 AM
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You should tell him to mark it at some ridiculous price, you'll feel like a king. I just ate a $2000 porterhouse!


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 9:16 AM
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What's a raise?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 9:16 AM
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re: 103

Heh. I was about to make a near identical comment re: savings: 'what are savings?'


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 9:18 AM
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I have just moved from more to more money without every managing to downsize ever. our one magnificent money saving item was when we stopped going out for dinner on sunday with the girls and getting them pappardelle with wild boar ragù at $22 a plate each, and ate at home instead. I used to make spaghetti. now I am too sick, and am too tired from work, so John goes and gets takeout sushi. lo, the amazing savings. girl y does her part for money savings by only liking cucumber maki.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 9:20 AM
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And I was going to comment above that saving a couple of hundred pounds a month would be a very high percentage of my housing costs.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 9:21 AM
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The only ongoing shared expenses for us are rent, Internet, Netflix, and electricity. We usually split rent equally - usually I write a check to the landlord for the whole amount, and then she writes me a check for half of it - I pay for the Internet, and she gets Netflix and the electric bill. (We really should redistribute it. We've known all along that the electric bill is probably higher than the Internet on average, but the difference wasn't enough to be worth the trouble of writing an extra set of checks. I hadn't even thought of the Netflix bill until this, though, just because the account was in her name before we moved in together.) When there's a big one-time expense like a plane ticket, usually she buys it and either I write her a check for my share or it comes out of her half of the rent check. Groceries and restaurants are ad hoc, probably me more often than not but I wouldn't swear to it.

We should probably set up a shared account, but that can wait until after I finish getting my money out of Bad Corporate Bank and into a credit union, we buy a house, at least one of us finds the new jobs we keep talking about, and, oh yeah, something like marriage or something. Priorities.

I bike to work for more than one reason, but the fact that it saves me about $100/month is a big one. (I estimate that that's what using the metro to commute would cost. Using the Capital Bikeshare program costs $75 for an annual membership, and the first half-hour of a trip is free, and my commute very rarely takes longer than that.)

Pescetarianism is probably not the cheapest diet possible, and that's on me, but we aren't that bad. I probably should cut back on my drinking, though, and saving money would be as good an excuse as any.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 9:23 AM
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We try to spend all of Jammies' money and save as much of mine as possible. In practice this means that I put as much as possible on my credit card, and he pays as much of the credit card bill as he can.

He is spendy and pays close attention to every cent, and likes to spend down to zero. I like to be frugal and not pay attention to daily fluctuations. So this works out pretty well for us.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 9:27 AM
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re: 106

It'd be about 40-50% of my commuting costs, and well under 10% of our monthly bills including rent. That's not negligible, and if certain life changes happen, we'll have no choice. But at the moment, pinching every penny, and putting a lot of extra hours into food shopping and prep, in order to save what is a relatively small percentage of the amount we'd _actually_ need to save in order to make said life changes work, it's hard to motivate oneself.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 9:31 AM
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What proportion of your income (each of you) do you spend on housing?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 9:37 AM
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Each and every one of us?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 9:41 AM
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re:110

After tax, household income, it was about 20%

Now we're looking at 40%, which will be difficult to maintain for long, so hoping we don't have to.


Posted by: Dee Lurking | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 9:44 AM
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93. No, that holds 80lbs of meat, allowing me to buy 1/4 cow. It's small, so tolerable rearranging. If I had more space, bigger would have been great.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 9:44 AM
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it's his money and it would drive me crazy to know how much he's spending. It would drive my husband crazy to know how much my internal monologue sounds like I'm planning for the next Depression.

This.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 9:44 AM
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A 1.5 cu ft freezer holds 80 pounds of meat? Is it from a neutron cow?
Also, 1/4 cow is only 80 lbs? A live cow weighs what, 1500 lbs? So even with butchering I'd still think at least 200 lbs for a quarter cow.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 9:48 AM
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113: I would have never figured you could fit that much in 1.5 cu feet.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 9:48 AM
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re: 114

It depends a lot on jurisdiction, but if you are a depression planner and your partner a profligate spender, you can get absolutely screwed in a divorce settlement. Not always an easy conversation to have, but worth doing.


Posted by: Dee Lurking | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 9:48 AM
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A live cow weighs what, 1500 lbs?

Most cattle for butchering don't weight that much, but even after the bones and offal are gone, I don't see how 80 lbs is a quarter of a cow either.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 9:50 AM
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118 was me.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 9:51 AM
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Our housing bill including the council tax is somewhere around 40% of our combined income after tax. Once you factor in utility bills and other bills associated with the place it's higher, obviously. Absolutely non-discretionary spending, where there's no way at all to either avoid paying it or making it cheaper amounts to easily over 70% of combined income.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 9:51 AM
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But, 80 lbs is certainly "bulk."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 9:51 AM
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117 obviously assuming marriage or a civil equivalent in place.


Posted by: Dee Lurking | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 9:51 AM
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if you are a depression planner

Therapists sure do spent a great deal of time thinking up new job titles.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 9:53 AM
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The interwebs tells me an average cow yields about 550lb of meat these days.

Also, I'd forgotten how helpful this place was when you are procrastinating.


Posted by: Dee Lurking | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 9:54 AM
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123: actually, that's an investment banking title.


Posted by: Dee Lurking | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 9:56 AM
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123: actually, that's an investment banking title.


Posted by: Dee Lurking | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 9:56 AM
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117: Well, you can feel screwed. If you're married, regardless of who's deciding to do the savings, they're joint property (depending on the state legally, but I think generally that's how you should think about it): the frugal partner was probably enjoying some of the spendthriftery while it was going on. Losing half of 'your' savings in a divorce would feel unjust, but I don't know that it would be unjust.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 9:56 AM
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116: I still don't believe it. 1.5 cubic feet is a milk crate. 80 lbs is something I probably couldn't lift. I think I'd be able to lift even a well-packed milk-crate of frozen meat.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 9:58 AM
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Maybe the meat is contaminated with heavy metals?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 10:00 AM
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127: fair enough, the actual screwed-ness will depend a lot on the individual situation.

I've just seen this go badly with friends, as one of them like to take expensive vacations (without spouse and kid) but was terrible about retirement planning, the other was a saver who felt really poorly done by in the divorce proceedings.


Posted by: Dee Lurking | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 10:02 AM
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as one of them like to take expensive vacations (without spouse and kid)

That seems like a pretty big red flag there.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 10:03 AM
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131: I don't know, they also did lots of stuff together. And they did make it nearly 20 years.

They both took individual vacations fairly often, which seems to work well for some folks. Hers tended to be visiting family & friends though, while his were more "adventure X half way around the world" and apparently spendy. He also liked fairly expensive cars.


Posted by: Dee Lurking | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 10:07 AM
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To be fair, plane tickets to Thailand aren't cheap.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 10:07 AM
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That does sound less bad than what I was thinking, which was expensive vacations for one partner, none for the other.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 10:09 AM
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Re: income disparity, we set all the individual discretionary items aside (gym, fancy pants liquor, NY Times -- we both read it, but I'm the one who thinks it's worth paying for home delivery) and then figured out who could afford what toward rent, utilities, and food. For eating out, movies, etc., we sort of take turns but don't really keep track. Everything else is case-by-case.

Our joint income is enough (and our child population non-existent enough) that we don't have to pinch pennies to save for vacations, etc., but when I get a new job (pleasepleaseplease) it's going to mean a big income drop for me, so we're going to have to have a proper budget and drop some luxuries.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 10:10 AM
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I have a paralyzing fear (tending towards phobia) of going broke. I also have hoarding tendencies, which apply to money (in addition to empty yogurt containers). I don't balance my check book because I am never worried I'm spending close to my income, but I constantly have a nagging fear I'm spending too much money. This is coupled with the rational realization that as a grad student my gravy train will run out before I will finish and I should save now for later, and the irrational fear that by middle age I'll be living in a post-apocalyptic wasteland where old people will be eaten. (Of course, by then money should be irrelevant, maybe I should be hoarding canned food and water and ammunition.)

Eating out is one area where I spend more than I would like, but it's really the only form of socializing my friends do. It's hard to trade off spending time with friends vs. saving money on dinner. I also buy too many clothes, though I'm trying to cut down on that. Technology and books are expensive, but they're built in costs as a grad student, and I've stopped buying books the way I did early on. Travel is another big expense with airfares getting more expensive. I'd like to go home twice a year, but recently it's been once a year. This summer I'm spending a while in Europe which feels decadent but I'll be staying with friends the entire time, so it's a lot cheaper than it could be, though I imagine by the time I add up incidentals and airfare it will be more than I thought it would be.

I've tried to imbibe more of a La Dolce Vita attitude rather than the Protestant Work Ethic I practically parody, but I also don't want to overdo it. When I get really crazy, I try to remember my grandfather's friend who lived on canned beans pretty much his entire life and whose furniture was made out of empty crates. After he died, it turned out he had a million dollars in cash under his floorboards.

*oh, I spend about 25% of my income on housing. It would be more but I live in a 2 bedroom apt. with 3 people.


Posted by: Britta | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 10:12 AM
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LB, you could totally lift 80 lbs! That's, like, three heavy-ish grocery bags. Or a kid and grocery bags in the other hand. I would be very surprised if you couldn't lift 80lbs. Especially in a milk crate with decent handles. For reference, I'd expect you to be able to train up to 200+ pound deadlifts.

I think you'd be able to lift a well-packed milk crate, and it would be about 80lbs.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 10:12 AM
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re:134

Yes, it didn't look bad from the outside, anyway. And they seem to have broken up for very common we married at 21 and we're not the same people sort of reasons. But she told me afterward she was floored to realize he hadn't really put a penny away in 20 years, and very bitter that her retirement savings were basically cut in half because of it. They were young enough that this wasn't the end of the world, but still. Apparently he'd waved it off whenever it came up in conversation and told here he was handling it.


Posted by: Dee Lurking | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 10:15 AM
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Well, yeah, I was equivocating in my head between 'lift' and 'comfortably carry'. I think I'd be able to comfortably carry a milkcrate of frozen meat without making a big deal of it -- heavy, but not the sort of thing where I was having trouble holding on to it. 80lbs sounds more like "I can get this off the ground, but it's kind of an emergency, I'm not going to be staggering more than a couple of steps with it."


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 10:17 AM
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One cubic foot of water weighs around sixty pounds; I would assume that frozen meat would way somewhat less than that, and of course you aren't going to have optimal packing because the pieces are oddly sized and individually wrapped, but 80 pounds in 1.5 cubic feet doesn't seem terribly unreasonable to me.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 10:20 AM
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Er that should be one cubic foot of ice. Water is slightly heavier, obviously.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 10:21 AM
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It should also be "weigh" rather than "way", dammit.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 10:21 AM
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That's a farmer's carry, walking with a lot of weight. You could do it. I do farmer's carries with 90lb kettlebells, one in each hand. Heavy (I might stagger these days), but more doable than you'd think. Of course, they have great handles.

I think you're underestimating your strength. 80lbs is more do-able than it maybe sounds.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 10:22 AM
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My intuition on this may be way off, of course. But the non-optimal packing seems to me like it'd be a serious percentage of the volume.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 10:23 AM
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Apparently, at common household freezer temperatures the density of frozen meat is approximately 1 kg/meter^3.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 10:25 AM
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143: Of course, they have great handles.

This. I'm thinking milkcrate, which is something you have to carry with your arms bent in front of you, and it has corners and things, would take an awful lot of the weight I could manage. Walking with an 80 lb dumbbell hanging at my side, sure, that'd be heavy but doable.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 10:25 AM
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I don't drink all that much, but I can be kind of a snob about it when I do. Now I am dating someone who drinks a bit more than I do and watching the level of my bourbon plummet. I'm either going to need to learn to downgrade from top shelf or date someone who doesn't drink my booze.

Am attempting the refinancing thing, too, but appraiser really low-balled it and is probably going to fuck up this loan. Bastard.

Togolosh -- good luck! I'd really like to build a bigger cushion myself in case of such things, but am going to have to look a bit harder to figure out where all the waste is.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 10:26 AM
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What proportion of your income (each of you) do you spend on housing?

For the last year, it was around 30% of pre-tax income. Now it's either exactly the same or down around 25% depending on details like summer salary. I guess taking into account after-tax income it would be more like... 40%?

Now I feel like I'm spending too much on rent.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 10:27 AM
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145 is clearly wrong. I can't read the graph, but that can't be right.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 10:27 AM
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145: No. I don't know what the problem is there, but 2.2 lbs of frozen meat is not a cubic meter.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 10:28 AM
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This has turned into the pointless disagreement thread, hasn't it? Perhaps I will do some work.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 10:29 AM
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This thread is developing an eerie similarity to this discussion.


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 10:30 AM
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Apparently, at common household freezer temperatures the density of frozen meat is approximately 1 kg/meter^3

Meat in the form of loosely-packed butterfly wings, I assume.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 10:30 AM
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145: wait, that doesn't say that. Looking at figure 4 it seems to say it's closer to 1000 kg/m^3.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 10:31 AM
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We had to cut those out of our diet, they were wrecking our budget.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 10:31 AM
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"They're gossamerlicious!"


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 10:32 AM
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Cultivating expensive alcohol tastes is something I assiduously try not to do. It would be a sad day when I can no longer stomach 2 buck Chuck.


Posted by: Britta | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 10:32 AM
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I was super pleased to re-finance, but every time I do, I shorten the repayment period and jack up the monthly payments. Which will be great in ten years, but hasn't made anything easier today. I do get to feel smug about my interest rate, so that's pleasant.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 10:32 AM
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The butterfly wing freezer is twice as big as our apartment, but it gets emptied after two meals.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 10:33 AM
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Let's just assume frozen meat is as dense as water. So, 1,000kg/m^3 means about 63 pounds of meat per cubic foot.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 10:33 AM
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1000 kg/m^3

Which is the density of water, so sounds about right.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 10:33 AM
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160, meet (meat) 140.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 10:34 AM
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I completely missed 140.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 10:35 AM
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We had to cut those out of our diet, they were wrecking our budget.

I bet Market Basket has them for less.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 10:40 AM
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147.1: !!! and ???

I don't want to talk about this right now, but I'm trying to take it all in. Ugh.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 10:43 AM
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re: alcohol

I find myself drinking somewhat less of somewhat more expensive booze as I get older. Which is I guess the boring/typical trajectory. That said, I'd (very) rarely spend a tenner or more for a bottle of wine. So it's not exactly into the wine-buff end of the market.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 10:43 AM
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110: About 22% based on gross, maybe 30% based on net.

Follow up, what do normal people budget for a month of groceries?


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 10:47 AM
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165: I don't mean it like he comes over, sits on the couch, and guzzles my liquor or anything. But I'm generally someone for whom a bottle of bourbon lasts a year easily -- holidays, the rare occasion on which I entertain guests, being typically when I do most of the buying and most of the watching it disappear. He should replenish once in a while, I suppose. But then, I should be willing to go over to his place sometimes, too.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 10:54 AM
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Put that dude on a diet of Evan Williams!


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 10:58 AM
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At a rough guess, something like 75-100 quid a week. Which is about in line with the UK average. But that would include non-food items. Some weeks its a lot less.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 10:58 AM
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There may be no sentiment more miserly than a reluctance to share one's alcohol with one's significant other. If it's too expensive to do that without reservation, it's too expensive.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 11:02 AM
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There may be no sentiment more miserly than a reluctance to share one's alcohol with one's significant other.

"Let the orphans starve!"


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 11:03 AM
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168: I meant that I had missed that there was such a fellow and am happy, bourbon aside. (And bourbon not-aside, there's a new distillery going in down the street from me, so I'll be ready if there's ever any unfogged Bourbon Trail action.)


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 11:04 AM
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||

If only someone with a video camera had been there to record for posterity the discussion David Foster Wallace and Justice Antonin Scalia had over lunch.

|>


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 11:04 AM
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165.1 gets it exactly right.

(I'm also in the same position as 147.1. Except that my girlfriend actually brought over a bottle of Scotch and now drinks that.)


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 11:04 AM
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I'm like Britta. Just looking over my finances makes me amazingly anxious. I'm half seriously thinking of therapy to deal with it but the thought of spending that money just makes me more anxious. I just can't justify spending a lot of money on anything. I'm forced to spend it on tuition, moving expenses and debt but, ugh.

More than anything, I hate reading the articles that say to 'eat at home more/cut back on Starbucks/drive a cheaper car'. Because I do those things already (e.g. I've never owned a car, eat out once a week, only drink coffee at home). I only came to some sort of terms with things when my mother pointed out the real problem is that I just don't make enough money.

But starting in August, I have a 'real' job (i.e. a post doc) that pays a normal person salary. My plan is to keep living my current lifestyle and hope things work out. But my bf doesn't have a job at the new location yet, all of our student loans now have to be paid off, moving expenses to be paid back and I have a new dog so I have a feeling my expenses will also multiply and I won't be (won't feel?) better off.

Currently, I spend an okay amount on rent (~30% monthly income to share a two bedroom with a roommate) and about $200/month on food. I really have a problem cutting back spending on food but I probably should.


Posted by: hydrobatidae | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 11:05 AM
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Honestly, if my tomato plants would just produce like I hope, a good portion of my food budget would disappear. When I have the tomatoes to make the garnish I like (tomatoes, cucs, garlic, salt, lemon), I am perfectly happy having ful (mushed up cooked favas) and tomato salad every day for work.

Then I wouldn't be plagued by making choices of what to eat, and lunch would cost me maybe a dollar, and I would be happy. But tomatoes are only trickling in, and not at a pace to match daily ful.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 11:05 AM
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Hey, is anyone familiar with the Income Based Repayment plans for student loans. I've read about it on the student loan pages, but I'm wondering if anyone is using that and found it helpful or not helpful.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 11:08 AM
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168:
Couldn't you buy cheaper bourbon for you two to drink together and drink the more expensive stuff by yourself? Does he care about quality? I know plenty of people who have cheap liquor for mixing or drinking in larger quantities and expensive stuff to drink straight on special occasions. He might not be offended if you let him know the fancy stuff is too expensive for regular drinking, or if you tell him its reserved for whiskey connoisseurs (and he's not). Or, you could just let him know to bring nice bourbon when he comes over, which isn't too much to ask if he's regularly consuming your stuff. If he brings cheap stuff, have him drink that when he visits.


Posted by: Britta | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 11:12 AM
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178 -- The timelines look pretty long, which limits your ability to switch jobs (if you're in the shorter line), they count spousal income (I think), and I hear there's a tax consequence at the end. Compared to default, though, this might look attractive.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 11:12 AM
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Wow, a completely basic statement of fact about buying reasonably-priced organic meat and look.

I also use about 2 carats' worth of cardamom every fortnight, and have been much happier with hand-grinding from whole seeds than buying preground.

For me, anxiety about expenses eases up considerably when I just think of everything priced in grams of Osmium.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 11:13 AM
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177.1: My tomatoes are doing fabulously, but we just dump some basil and balsamic on them and leave it at that. Except for the cherry tomatoes -- Rory just grabs the bowl off the counter and eats them in front of the TV like they were potato chips or something. I'm really wishing I had more variety in my harvest, though. Tomatoes and greens. That's pretty much it.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 11:13 AM
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Couldn't you buy cheaper bourbon for you two to drink together and drink the more expensive stuff by yourself?

What Urple said. This is lousy. Keeping the good bourbon for special occasions, and having cheap everyday bourbon, is fine. Having good bourbon you drink yourself and don't share with your significant other, is kind of unpleasant.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 11:14 AM
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Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now.


Posted by: Ruler of the Feast | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 11:15 AM
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Eggplant is hardy, grows where tomatoes do, and tastes better fresh than store-bought.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 11:15 AM
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Di's problems would be solved if the dude was gracious enough to show up already loaded.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 11:16 AM
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I am on IBR. It's good for me because a) I have a low income, b) my spouse's income can't be counted because he doesn't pay tax in the US so we final married but separate, and c) I can't claim the tax breaks on loan repayment anyway because of b). But I didn't research it all that thoroughly and it hasn't yet been a year yet, so I'll let you know.

(I also don't understand the first part of Charlie's comment, so I'm not sure about that.)


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 11:17 AM
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I am on IBR. It's good for me because a) I have a low income, b) my spouse's income can't be counted because he doesn't pay tax in the US so we final married but separate, and c) I can't claim the tax breaks on loan repayment anyway because of b). But I didn't research it all that thoroughly and it hasn't yet been a year yet, so I'll let you know.

(I also don't understand the first part of Charlie's comment, so I'm not sure about that.)


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 11:17 AM
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Why does it limit your ability to switch jobs? Isn't it just 15% of whatever your income is at the time? It varies with the job, doesn't it?

They sorta count spousal income. In community property states, your income is (mostly) the average of the two incomes, since it is shared. But you can file taxes married filing separately and submit a letter asking to only consider separate earned income. (According to the lady on the phone.)

Yes, tax penalty at the end for any remaining balance that gets forgiven.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 11:17 AM
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Rye is both less sweet and cheaper than bourbon.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 11:17 AM
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"Whaasas I know you dint want me drinkin uh your ber- ber- buh bourbon sooooooo I didda li'l pregaming before gettin here. Wuhhhhh damn I gotta ralph."


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 11:17 AM
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Argh, something about this internet connection and Chrome causes constant double posting.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 11:18 AM
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I meant that I had missed that there was such a fellow and am happy, bourbon aside.

Yes.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 11:18 AM
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Also, woo to Di's dude!


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 11:18 AM
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190: rye is not cheaper than Evan Williams.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 11:18 AM
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Was it hard to enroll in Income Based Repayment?


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 11:18 AM
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submit a letter asking to only consider separate earned income

I didn't have to do this, FWIW. (Possibly because said husband doesn't file in the US.)


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 11:19 AM
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196: Nope. I filled out the forms, attached a copy of my tax return, and sent it off. About a month later, I was enrolled. (Maybe less? I can't remember.)


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 11:20 AM
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I think you only have to do that if you live in a community property state, where spouses are assumed to share income.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 11:20 AM
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Mrs K-sky is happy to earn 2-6 times what I do and allow me to manage all the accounts and make the gesture of picking up the check (then pay the credit card bill with mostly her money).

We have a variety of joint accounts and accounts with only her name on them; I have no solo accounts (aside from a few legacy credit cards that due to mergers are administered through joint accounts), but I have all of her passwords and track everything in Mint.com.

We live slightly above our means but manage to wrangle it down every so often. Despite being the household bean counter, I have no real idea how. The gradual expenditure rise described in the OP is a thing. But now that I can run Google Voice through my iPad, I can get rid of the home phone.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 11:21 AM
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110: We're doing the same thing as 158- had a 30, went to a 15, now going to a 10. Which means we'll pay off right when the first kid starts college, which may actually be a mistake from a finaid perspective- does more disposable income = less aid? So with the new payment, it's 18% of gross, 26% net.
Groceries- with 3 soon to be 4 kids, about $800 a month?


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 11:22 AM
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There's a shorter time to discharge for people in non-profits, I think. And maybe the tax penalty is different. I'm not expert, and know only what I overhear on this subject.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 11:23 AM
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138: I had no idea that could happen. I assumed my husband would keep all the expensive crap he buys and I could keep the savings if we were to ever split. Did your friends make different amounts of money? Here's hoping we keep getting along.


Posted by: LizSpigot | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 11:24 AM
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Couldn't you buy cheaper bourbon for you two to drink together and drink the more expensive stuff by yourself?

Oh, totally. He has commented that what I have is a bit decadent for an everyday mixing bourbon. He wouldn't mind a downgrade at all. Just one of those adjustments to be made. (I'd tell him to bring his own, but then he might tell me to me to do my own household maintenance, and then where would I be?)


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 11:29 AM
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I don't get the paying off your mortgage sooner thing. I guess I can see the fantasy of owning your home free and clear, especially for retirement, but keeping monthly expenditures low seems like the way to do it. Especially if you think that your income is going to have a gradual upward trajectory (ojalla) over the course of your working life, why not spread it out as far into the future as possible?


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 11:30 AM
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You'd be standing in a flooded kitchen with a full bottle of bourbon.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 11:30 AM
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mixing bourbon

Uh, yeah, if you're going to ruin it anyway, use the cheap stuff.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 11:32 AM
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205: It's savings. If you can pay your house off early, then if hard times come later, you either have a bill you don't have to pay, or you have the possibility of taking the money back out through a new mortgage or selling the house.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 11:33 AM
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205 is my current thinking. Sadly, paying faster was my thinking last time I re-financed. I think paying faster makes more sense when interest rates are higher. At these rates, it's like losing money to pay fast.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 11:33 AM
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It is definitely possible to have more than one bottle of bourbon on the premises at one time. I think we have four or so. (I don't actually know because most of them are in the "stop drinking that and save some for Blume, Sifu" category and are thus invisible to my appraising eye, which also means that if I wanted some bourbon I'd probably buy a bottle of Evan Williams (unless we already have some?))


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 11:34 AM
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208: Plus, right now it is for most people the highest return rate on savings. Obviously, if you have a 4% mortgage and can get 5% on cds, you don't pay down the mortgage.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 11:36 AM
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It's only like losing money if (a) you'd save, rather than spending, the difference between mortgage payments, and (b) you've got an investment that pays more than the interest you're paying on the mortgage. Even with low rates, most people are going to have trouble meeting both of those standards.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 11:36 AM
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212 to 209, and in agreement with 211.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 11:37 AM
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At these rates, it's like losing money to pay fast.

You can take the money to the bank and earn .0002% interest.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 11:37 AM
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See 176. Fear of having debt. Also the interest at this point is barely at the standard married deduction, so the tax benefits are minimal. And where can you get a guaranteed return, even of 3%, these days? And, to some extent I don't trust banks to not come and claim they own our house given the crap record keeping- I actually had to invoke title insurance the last refi because someone had forgotten to sign some document somewhere along the line in reselling the note.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 11:37 AM
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Now let's figure out how many cubic feet DK's house is.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 11:37 AM
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And how much bourbon it'll hold.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 11:39 AM
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US Muni bonds pay about 4% interest tax-free, and are easy to buy into even with very modest savings. There's a theoretical risk, but the last scare caused maybe a 3% decline in principal value for less than 6 months. It's true that a mortgage is a form of enforced savings.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 11:42 AM
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So you can make a profit if your mortgage is under 4%.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 11:47 AM
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218: I wouldn't invest in munis from my own city or any city in this state. Harrisburg is going under and others will follow. Also, you need 15 year maturities for that kind of interest rate.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 11:48 AM
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Also, municipal bonds always make me think of Capt. Kramer's speech at the end of Airplane!


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 11:50 AM
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207: A lesson my dad has been lecturing me about for years. I'm historically more of a neat/rocks gal, though. It's not my fault people come into my house wanting to mix stuff!

210: Following a recent trip to Kentucky, I do in fact have at least four bottles of the stuff. They all just happen to be on the nicer side. Also, a surprisingly nice Kentucky vodka. I nursed the shit out of my last bottle of that stuff, not knowing when I'd next have the chance to get back down there.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 11:51 AM
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When we moved a few years ago we shifted into a much smaller house (and car) and did a bunch of other budget-slashing things in order to spend basically all our money on much better child care, and domestic help.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 11:53 AM
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It's not my fault people come into my house wanting to mix stuff!

This pains me. Though I don't know what stuff you've actually got in your house, so I'm probably imagining the situation as worse than it is.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 12:02 PM
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222, 224: I actually had to buy cheap-ish rum a few weeks back when we wanted to make Dark and Stormys. All of the rum I have is high-end sipping stuff, not suitable for mixing.

Come to think of it, other than the bottle of Jim Beam rye I have, none of my booze is appropriate for mixing.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 12:08 PM
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What does one mix bourbon with? I had a Bourbon Daisy once (too sweet), and I make Manhattans with rye. I can't imagine that a splash of soda is an abomination, but other than that what does one mix with bourbon. (If the answer is Coca-Cola, I do not even want to know.)


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 12:10 PM
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none of my booze is appropriate for mixing

Well la-di-dah!


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 12:10 PM
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You do a bourbon version of a Moscow mule, a Kentucky Mule.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 12:11 PM
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You ^can^ do a bourbon version.

(You! You do a bourbon version, now!)


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 12:12 PM
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226: I've been known to drink an Old Fashioned.


Posted by: LizSpigot | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 12:13 PM
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229: I do enjoy ginger beer . . .


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 12:13 PM
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I make Manhattans with bourbon because I don't usually keep rye around.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 12:13 PM
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230: I make those with rye too! I think this is because I have the opposite of a sweet tooth and rye makes the drink drier.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 12:15 PM
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226: Also Mint Juleps are delicious.


Posted by: LizSpigot | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 12:15 PM
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Buying individual munis is for the very rich-- there are both funds and ETFs, indexed or not, which allow long-duration yields. A mortgage under 4% is easy, has been for most of this year.

Funds and ETFs that exclude the cruddiest municipalities exist, I'll work out their density in a bit.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 12:16 PM
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233: Yeah, I need the sweetness to mask the intensity of the alcohol.


Posted by: LizSpigot | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 12:16 PM
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227: I don't actually remember the last time I poured myself a drink at home. So it doesn't make sense to have mixing booze around.

233: Rye Old Fashioneds are delicious. I can't stand bourbon ones; like you say, way too sweet.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 12:19 PM
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235: A mortgage under 4% is easy if you have perfect credit and want an ARM or a 15 year mortgage. Otherwise, not so much.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 12:25 PM
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I make poor man's whiskey sours with Early Times (goes down smooth and doesn't cause a hangover, best bottom shelf whiskey I've found. Don't judge.) using ginger ale and lemon juice.


Posted by: Britta | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 12:29 PM
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I'm not disputing that there are people for whom paying down a mortgage faster than they have to isn't the best idea. I'm just saying that those people are not common. What you seem to be talking about is lending long (i.e. buying long maturity muni bonds) and borrowing short (i.e. an ARM). This is exactly the opposite of what most people with mortgages need.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 12:29 PM
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Evan Williams, peychaud's and lemon is a pretty nice bourbon drink. Wouldn't make it with much fancier bourbon, but I could imagine it being tasty with something higher shelf but sweetish (and it might be a little bit raw with rye).

We made bourbon slush last summer, that was pretty tasty. Also definitely calls for cheaper booze.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 12:35 PM
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No, mutual funds or ETFs do not require tying up savings for a long time. Yes, I was thinking of 15-year rather than 30-year mortgages. Not ARMs, terrible idea for normal people. Mostly I am making the point that bank yields aren't the best way to think about savings.

But I didn't consider LTV, which is a crippling problem for anyone who had the bad luck to hit a home-guying time of life during the peak years of the housing crisis.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 12:36 PM
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We made bourbon slush last summer, that was pretty tasty.

On what might have been the hottest day of the year. Lord was that hot.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 12:42 PM
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No, mutual funds or ETFs do not require tying up savings for a long time.

Just like money markets funds. Everything is liquid until it isn't. And the 15 year fixed rate is something about 3%. Paying is down isn't that much loss of interest in your best case scenario.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 12:45 PM
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241: I had something with Evan Williams, lemon, and blackberries last summer which was really good.

I am pro-slushie.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 12:46 PM
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I totally agree that rye is superior for Manhattans and Old Fashioneds and so on, though.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 12:48 PM
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222 Following a recent trip to Kentucky, I do in fact have at least four bottles of the stuff.

Funny how this never happens on my trips to Kentucky.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 12:54 PM
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203: They made similar amount. This sort of thing can easily happen in a 50/50 state or province where retirement savings are considered joint assets like a house. So if one partner spends $X/year on depreciating assets (or plain spends it) and the other one puts about $X/year into investments, doesn't take long before those two "piles" have very different current value, but current value is what counts in the split.


Posted by: Dee Lurking | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 12:55 PM
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On that house we almost bought, my girlfriend and I were offered mortgages between 3.25 percent and 4.15 percent, if I remember correctly, depending on whether we wanted to pay a little extra for the first couple years as an insurance payment or something like that. Our credit is probably average or slightly better than average overall - her better, mine worse. I gather that interest rates are still fairly low these days.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 12:58 PM
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On more current (threadwise) note, friends of mine managed a 2.95% mortgage last year, but that included a bank employee discount.


Posted by: Dee Lurking | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 1:01 PM
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Kids today! My first mortgage was 9 3/8%. Protip: If you are planning to buy a house in 1991, consider paying off early or refinancing.


Posted by: unimaginative | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 1:09 PM
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I had a relative (by marriage!) who thought the higher the number the better. UR DOIN IT RONG.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 1:11 PM
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Maybe your relative was a mortgage broker.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 1:13 PM
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252: your wife comes from simple stock, you're saying?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 1:16 PM
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Or, alternately, my ability to parse mildly ambiguous yet fairly simple english sentences is quite limited.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 1:17 PM
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Anyway, on the oddly involved financial argument into which I have placed myself for no reason that I can discern, I'll just add that I understand not wanting to pay down your mortgage in favor of diversification into other investments. I just think that the extra risk of munis isn't worth the small increase over paying down a mortgage or just getting a CD.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 1:18 PM
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254 is actually correct, even though I didn't specify that it was my marriage.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 1:23 PM
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244: Just like money markets funds. Everything is liquid until it isn't.

This bugged me in Zero History too -- the whole money market liquidity crisis was very short and did not actually hurt that many individual investors, not to any great degree, certainly. Yes, it was scary, and it highlighted flaws in the financial system, but it was really just a footnote to the larger crisis.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 1:26 PM
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This is reminding me I need to move some retirement money around. I'm kind of thinking I ought to get back into stocks, but maybe there will be a better entry point in the next couple months.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 1:29 PM
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Have you considered investing in bourbon?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 1:30 PM
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Bourbon is liquid until it isn't.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 1:33 PM
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226, 239: Umm, yeah, whiskey sours. What the hell else would you put in one besides cheap bourbon? People have gotten so fussy about whiskey and whisky and vodka and stuff recently! All the "Olds" used to be considered reasonably good choices for any purpose. Now people have their Johnny Walker Chartreuse Label or McOighlachanach single malt or whatever and turn up their nose at Old Crow! So hoity-toity! And don't get me started on the fancy vodkas. Jesus H. Christ on a goddamned popsicle stick! People who drink fancy vodkas suffer for those who drink both fancy and not-fancy vodkas.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 1:33 PM
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256: I agree with you. My financial adviser was trying to convince me to stop paying extra on my mortgage in favor of giving him more money to invest but I think the peace of mind is well worth the slight extra money I'd get from investing the money.

I also think that re-financing my mortgage is a scam, though, and that's probably a controversial opinion. We currently have a 4.75% 30 year mortgage.


Posted by: LizSpigot | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 1:33 PM
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You don't invest in bourbon, you leverage it.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 1:34 PM
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260 -- I was just looking at my play-around IRA(that is, 10% or so of my retirement money is in an account where I pick stocks), and it's made about 12% over the last year or so. Best gain by far was Apple, but I've also done very well with STZ. Which has some Canadian whiskeys.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 1:38 PM
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I am 27 comments into this, thinking I should be wealthy as I don't have cable or a land line and my employer pays for transit.

Where all my money goes (other than mortgage): almost never cooking, eating at decent restaurants more frequently than I used to, year 8 out of 20 of student loans, and having a diabetic cat. I can do nothing about the loans or the cat (unless, as in a Roz Chast cartoon from a few years back, I train her to photosynthesize) so I guess if I want to have more money, I should stop eating out. What would I use this extra money for? Oh, probably eating out. So there we are. I'm sure the next 240 comments have nothing to do with any of this.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 1:50 PM
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We currently have a 4.75% 30 year mortgage.

This is what we have, but we are currently refinancing to a 3% for 15 years. I guess I'm not seeing the scam? There are closing fees, of course, but we did the math and we are going to save a lot of interest (it's a bit shocking to look at the interest on a mortgage over X number of years).


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 2:02 PM
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I've mentioned this before, but the whole thing is so galling and screws over poor people: before we built the addition, it was not worth it to refinance a 6.5% interest rate, even though rates were in the 4s. Closing costs were 5K, and the loan was about 120K. We wouldn't see any savings for a decade.

Then we took out a gigantic home improvement loan, built the addition, and refinanced, rolling everything together into a new 30 year, 4% loan...and our monthly payment is almost exactly the same as it was, pre-construction.

Moral of the story: If you have money, you can save so much money.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 2:06 PM
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267: We can afford to double the amount that we pay on the mortgage. That means we'll have the mortgage paid off in less than 15 years. So the interest won't cost as must as if I paid it off in 30 years. I haven't done the math, but I suspect that I can save more money in interest than it would cost to pay for refinancing the mortgage, even with the lowering of the interest rate.

Part of why I think it's a scam is also that my financial adviser said to invest the money with him and refinance the mortgage, and of course his company has someone who will do all the refinance work for me.


Posted by: LizSpigot | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 2:08 PM
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(The story in 168 is a little abbreviated, I'm now remembering. Originally there was a second loan at about 8% which we paid off early. That saved about $250/month. Then when the construction was complete, we went back up by about $300/month. Anyway, yes housing costs are exceedingly low down here so I should probably shut up.)


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 2:12 PM
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10 year at 3% and they pay all closing costs (aside from escrows and prepaid interest). Difference of .25% wasn't worth paying closing costs, would take 8 years on a 10 year to recover them.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 2:22 PM
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225: Josh is my kindred spirit. Of spirits, at least.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 2:34 PM
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unfogged Bourbon Trail action

Unfoggedecadecon! For Labrot & Graham, we could all stay at my parents' house, except not.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 2:39 PM
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All the "Olds" used to be considered reasonably good choices for any purpose. Now people have their Johnny Walker Chartreuse Label or McOighlachanach single malt or whatever and turn up their nose at Old Crow! So hoity-toity!

I was going to buy some American whiskey for a happy hour and my friend expressed a strong preference (if he couldn't drink single malt Scotch) for sour mash whiskey. When I reached for the Old Crow at the liquor store, he looked horrified and lobbied hard for Jack Daniels. I mean, come on.


Posted by: bill | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 2:40 PM
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Funny how this never happens on my trips to Kentucky.

My first trip to Kentucky, I discovered bourbon, as well as this local, Lexington batch distilled vodka and an ale aged in bourbon barrels that makes me smile. The result being that, on my next trip to Kentucky, I drove rather than flew in no small part so that I might fill my trunk with booze. I'm not proud. But I am well-stocked.

(Also? Two internetty friends in Chi-town in one day means physical therapy tonight is gonna be fun. Balance board, ahoy!)


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 2:46 PM
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Funny how this never happens on my trips to Kentucky.

My first trip to Kentucky, I discovered bourbon, as well as this local, Lexington batch distilled vodka and an ale aged in bourbon barrels that makes me smile. The result being that, on my next trip to Kentucky, I drove rather than flew in no small part so that I might fill my trunk with booze. I'm not proud. But I am well-stocked.

(Also? Two internetty friends in Chi-town in one day means physical therapy tonight is gonna be fun. Balance board, ahoy!)


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 2:46 PM
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Hey! Sunday was my 6th anniversary of de-lurking! Should have had a party or something. I mean, a fun party. With less cleaning-five-bathrooms-in-the-heat-and-humidity-after-everyone-else-went-home.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 2:50 PM
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That's a lot of bathrooms. Think how much bourbon it would take to fill them. Even frozen!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 2:51 PM
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Bountiful bathrooms boost beautiful bottoms.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 2:54 PM
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279: Bonus!


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 2:56 PM
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Balliteration.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 2:57 PM
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Somebody on the bus is reading a book called "Leading Change" and I want to punch them for that reason even though I know nothing else about them.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 3:01 PM
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It's a monograph on the historical shift from double-spacing to one-and-a-half spacing that accompanied the rise of WYSIWYG word processors.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 3:03 PM
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My first trip to Kentucky, I was plunged into the first grade and forced to live in a small town south of Lexington for eight years. There was no bourbon.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 3:06 PM
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Oh, I thought perhaps it was a memoir by the headman of a Nepali village development committee. Lots of yak butter recipes and exposés of corrupt regional tax officials, that sort of thing.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 3:06 PM
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284: That is so sad. :( If ever you are in town, I will pour your a glass of my spendiest bourbon.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 3:08 PM
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We are moving to Chicago form NY, largely for cost of living reasons. Rent will fall by over 40%.


Posted by: Lambent Cactus | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 3:14 PM
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Just so the record is clear, my spendiest bourbon is still pretty middle of the road. I'm cheap, not sophisticated.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 3:15 PM
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OT: Dick Cheney is, apparently, only a mile or two from my present location. Perhaps his presence explains the unflyable weather today.


Posted by: OPINIONATED PLAUSIBLY DENIABLE COMMENTER | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 3:15 PM
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Name names, Di.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 3:16 PM
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If I go get a chocolate milkshake, with the guy with the jackhammer right outside my window go away?


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 3:16 PM
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283: I looked it up. Some guy with Harvard Business School wrote it.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 3:17 PM
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If the milkshake is made out of a coconut he will bring you cargo.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 3:17 PM
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291: I think that just brings more.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 3:18 PM
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Makers Mark 46, Knob Creek, Bulleit, and a couple of Lexington local bottles I'd have to get home to name.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 3:19 PM
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We wouldn't see any savings for a decade.

This makes no sense to me. If you have a 15 or 30 year mortgage, isn't your planning horizon more than a decade? Isn't it still a good deal that you should take for the sake of your future self? By the end, it'll have saved you tens of thousands of dollars (I'm guessing).

This is the same reasoning that I used to make my mortgage payments more onerous after each re-financing. But 49-year-old Megan will be thankful.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 3:24 PM
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Perhaps his presence explains the unflyable weather today.

I'd expect ominous thunder to accompany Dick Cheney.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 3:25 PM
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IBR

I'm on it.

(1.) You don't have to defer or file for forbearance if you have a hardship, you just report the change in income.

(2.) You can always pay more if you want to. I make extra payments now.

(3.) I think that they are planning to change the terms so that the loan forgiveness is not taxable income at the end.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 3:26 PM
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You should pay 5K up front and then slowly lend it back to yourself over the next ten years, and only then start saving money? That seems silly. Plus we had vague plans to put on an addition.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 3:26 PM
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a couple of Lexington local bottles I'd have to get home to name.

And by "local bottle" you mean "Mason jar".


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 3:26 PM
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Well, with your addition, your re-financing makes sense.

To my mind, if it is a better deal at the end of the term, I should take it now.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 3:28 PM
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I'd expect ominous thunder to accompany Dick Cheney.

In a parallel universe, Dick Cheney plays guitar for AC/DC.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 3:29 PM
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It pains me that I never had that "you are home" feeling in Chicago. I remember with woe how cheap it is to live there. I think my weirdly decorated* 1bed/1bath with an extra little room for whatever was $650/mo or something, and it was in a great location.

*landlady's sister-in-law had put up these country themed borders around the kitchen with girls in bonnets feeding geese. It was the Holly Hobbiest fucking shit I have ever seen.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 3:30 PM
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You have to, of course, factor in how long you expect to be in the house. This is what finally pushed me toward the 10-year ARM -- no fucking way i will be home in this house that long! Sadly, some horribly depressing comparables suggest I also won't be in that ARM.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 3:30 PM
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This makes no sense to me. If you have a 15 or 30 year mortgage, isn't your planning horizon more than a decade? Isn't it still a good deal that you should take for the sake of your future self? By the end, it'll have saved you tens of thousands of dollars (I'm guessing).

I presume it's a good deal overall, but I think heebie's point was 268.3 -- that it's infeasible without a good deal of ready cash, which too many people lack.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 3:37 PM
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301: The point being that if you're not going to see savings for 10 years and you're close to broke, then refinancing is not a good deal. Whereas the wealthy person with the fancy house sees savings much sooner.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 3:37 PM
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Didn't work, but it was worth trying.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 3:39 PM
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301: It depends on how long one plans to be in the house, and whether there are competing priorities that require cash on hand. I have a thirty-year mortgage but my planning horizon for this house is either one year or thirty*; refinancing doesn't make sense for us now.

*I really have no idea what I want out of life at the moment.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 3:40 PM
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(the milkshake, not the refi.)


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 3:40 PM
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I definitely agree with your main point, that it is way easier to access this kind of wealth building if you have wealth on hand.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 3:42 PM
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|| I don't know if y'all read much from the Right, but Daniel Larison is just burning Romney down, day after day. Example: http://www.theamericanconservative.com/larison/romney-and-the-cult-of-resolve/ |>


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 3:48 PM
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$5.37 a pound!!!! !!!!!!!

$5.37 !!!!!!

I need to be a bison middleman.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 4:00 PM
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Bison is AWESOME.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 4:02 PM
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259 reminds me that I should figure out what to do with my retirement investments.

Since college, I've been shoveling money into a few broad based index funds, with what seems to have been a decent mix of domestic and international investments. During that time, loudmouthed non-experts I've talked to have said that I should instead be putting all my money into tech stocks, foreign currencies, high yield bonds, and, most recently, real estate. Those were all terrible ideas, and I'm glad I stuck with index funds. Now, those exact same people are all telling me that index funds are the way to go. Is it a bad sign that I'm investing in the same way as all these people who are chasing the next big thing? They've been spectacularly wrong in every other case.

I'm not a believer in the strong form of the efficient markets hypothesis - some friends of mine started a high frequency trading firm before that was in vogue, and, as far as I can tell, they're pretty much just printing money. But, I don't have any reason to believe that I can beat the market.

Should I just put the money I'm making now under my mattress or what?


Posted by: sral | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 4:02 PM
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Gonerill, was smaller house/smaller car easier or harder than expected?

The nice thing about a belted gradstudentery of annual moves is that, having lived a lot more places, we have a better sense of what we actually value. Quiet at night, and short commutes, is a lot more valuable to us than size. Unfortunately, the one drawback of the house we expect to move back into for our 'real' lives is the busy street it's on. Triple glazing and plaster walls only help some.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 4:03 PM
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15 tear fixed is undeniable interest savings over 30 year fixed. But 3p year amortization frees up cash for a new porch, kitchen remodel, etc. Which will make 50something Di happier? hard to say for sure. 40-41 Di wants a porch.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 4:05 PM
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If only I could exploit knowing people who know Jim Simons.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 4:05 PM
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316.last: I picture you rolling dice while saying that.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 4:08 PM
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317 to 314.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 4:13 PM
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Say, where does one acquire one of these financial planners if one only has, like, $20k or $30k of money to one's name?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 4:29 PM
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320: Many banks will offer this service, but of course they're going to steer you o the banks offerings. Dealing with Financial advisors is a bit


Posted by: Dee Lurking | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 4:46 PM
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320 cont

... Like dealing with Lawyers. You are better off with a good one but they're is always the potential conflict that your best interests and theirs don't always align.


Posted by: Dee Lurking | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 4:48 PM
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320 cont

... Like dealing with Lawyers. You are better off with a good one but they're is always the potential conflict that your best interests and theirs don't always align.


Posted by: Dee Lurking | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 4:48 PM
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Sorry about that. First day on the Internet.


Posted by: Dee Lurking | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 4:49 PM
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It is a bit. I'm wondering where one goes if one doesn't want to be steered to offerings that aren't in one's best interest. It would, of course, help tremendously if I weren't so clueless about such matters.

It remains true, though, that since I've finally paid off my student loans, and anticipate some savings from reduced health insurance premiums come 2014, I'd like to actually do something sensible with what little I have. Gaining even an additional $1000/year by moving money around is welcome.

on preview: crossed with 322/323.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 4:55 PM
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320: I agree with Dee. Most financial advisers are not to be trusted. Over the past few years I've talked to a lot of them on my own behalf and also on behalf of my firm while I was researching 401k plans. I settled on the one who handled the bulk of my grandmother's estate because at least I knew that he picks good investments based on his rate of return. He works for E/ward J/ones, but I've tried talking to other financial advisers at the same company and they were not trustworthy.

So I recommend interviewing several and going with your gut on who seems least shady. It also helps if they recommend stuff that isn't only designed to increase their profits. For example, if they said to pay down your high-interest credit cards before you start investing, that's a good indicator. I've thought about finding a financial planner that you would pay an hourly rate to that doesn't make a percentage off of your investments so he'd give more independent advice, but I haven't gotten around to it yet.


Posted by: LizSpigot | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 5:00 PM
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I always pick the financial advisor who gives Green Stamps.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 5:01 PM
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So I recommend interviewing several

Where? At banks? At, like, Charles Schwab?

For example, if they said to pay down your high-interest credit cards before you start investing, that's a good indicator.

Any other good indicators? That one isn't relevant to me (I don't carry a credit card balance).


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 5:04 PM
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Suit that isn't too shiny.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 5:07 PM
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326: There's someone at my church who used to do that work but wasn't successful, because she always recommended stuff she didn't make much profit on. She had mentioned something about long-term care insurance and that there was a really honest person she used to work with who was an insurance expert. I got the woman's name, but then the person I know passed my contact info on without asking.

I suppose that this is good business development practice, but it really pissed me off and makes me not want to hire the person. Of course, if she's good at what she does that's stupid, and it's not worth complaining to the original person, but Arggh.

And if you're in the market for long-term care insurance, I'm told that New York life is good.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 5:07 PM
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Someone told me I should visit, erm, Angie's List, an online listing of people offering professional services of various kinds, with feedback and ratings from their clients. Maybe that's the way to go. I obviously don't need anything fancy.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 5:07 PM
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Edward Jones, Charles Scwab, Fidelity, etc. Banks could work too. I was going to do that, but the woman I spoke to at my bank started harassing me with daily phone calls when I was clear that I wanted to do things on my own time table, so no.

You might be able to get find some companies that are local to your area that take a smaller percentage of the assets because they're not a big fancy company. I interviewed one of those in SLC, but they acted like I should be impressed with their shiny quarterly reports, which is stupid because they're required to give you quarterly reports. Why do I care how glossy the paper is?


Posted by: LizSpigot | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 5:10 PM
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328: other indicators:

Are they pushing you towards front loaded funds? Or away from no-load options.

Do they listen to your plans (e.g. Do yo want to lock this money up for 30 years, will you need it for a house downpayment in 5, how do you feel about risk' etc.) and can they clearly relate their advice to those plans? Or do you feel like you being fed a canned line.

It's a weird time for investing. The market has basically lost a decade of progress, (so index funds too), long term bond rates are crap, volatility isn't great, the US economy is still stagnant at best and EU is looking gloomier by the week. Commodities are dicy and high frequency bullshit makes short term plays in the market very risky for anyone who isn't a huge investment bank or fund. There is pressure on lots of blue chips etc. toward more and bigger dividends that will attract money that doesn't have a lot of good places to go right now... So there is a play there but you'd have to be smart about getting in and out.

A good advisor should be able to explain all of these things to you with clarity and how/if it relates to your goals and situation.


Posted by: Dee Lurking | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 5:18 PM
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Are they pushing you towards front loaded funds? Or away from no-load options.

I'm afraid I don't know what that means.

Certainly an adviser who listens to my plans/thoughts is preferred. The rest of what you say is close to gobbledy-gook to me. Sigh. I'm just talking about how much to put toward an IRA, whether it should be a regular IRA or a Roth IRA, whether I should be keeping that $15k in mutual funds as I am (or whether that's stupid), and so on. Financial planning 101, really.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 5:28 PM
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I missed 332. Thanks, Liz. I need downmarket, no-frills financial helpers, I imagine.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 5:31 PM
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Roth IRA is almost always the right answer when you are eligible for it, I think. It still matters what your long term plans are, and how long that term is.

In funds, I've been advised that Index funds and ETFs (which are often indexed too) are a better approach long term than mutual funds, period, but there are obviously contrary opinions.

Front, back, and no-loading refers to when you pay a commission on your fund (when you buy, when you sell, or not at all), there may also be an annual fee. Front loading is good for them, as they get a commission up front regardless of what happens to the investment.


Posted by: Dee Lurking | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 5:38 PM
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I don't even know what an Index fund or an ETF is! Or what indexing is. Good god, I have some research to do.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 5:48 PM
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ETF stands for "Eggo Turmoil Fund"; it's basically like a commodity future, but you're shorting against future instability in the prepared breakfast food segment.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 5:51 PM
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LMGTFY


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 5:53 PM
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And then "indexing" is sort of archaic, but it originally referred to the broken running their index finger down the line of stocks with their eyes closed, and then picking whatever one they stopped on.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 5:55 PM
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My rates for financial advice are actually surprisingly reasonable.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 5:55 PM
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"Offended" doesn't even begin to describe how I feel learning that everyone here has been in and about Kentucky recently, and not a single damn one of you proposed a meetup. And I basically have a bourbon buffet, quality stuff. I would have shared.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 5:59 PM
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340 doesn't make any sense because I typo'd "broken" for "broker". If I hadn't done that, if I had typed "broker", as I meant to, then it would have made perfect sense.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 6:01 PM
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342: I haven't been anywhere near Kentucky but may have to change that if you're pouring, urple.


Posted by: bill | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 6:06 PM
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I had to sit on my hands when the financial advisor came to my office for the annual 401k meeting. He terrified half of my colleagues by telling them they needed to save A MILLION DOLLARS!!! for retirement.

I tried to talk some of them down afterward but I didn't trust myself in the moment -- I would have been horribly sarcastic and it would have backfired spectacularly.

In other news: Holy smokes, but living with someone makes life so much easier. It's unbelievable. I guess this is what happens when you live alone on a solo income all your adult life and then move in with a fellow responsible grown-up who has his own income.

Everything feels like gravy -- chores, activities, scheduling, money.... I'm figuring that there will never ever be another time in my life when this happens (since the pay cut from two years ago is permanent and there is no raise coming for a long time yet), so I'm kind of marveling at it.

On the other hand, it does make me kind of righteously annoyed. Why *should* the world be set up for two-person households? That's not very reality-based.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 6:12 PM
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336.1: really? That seems pretty contingent to me.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 6:13 PM
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My time in KY is spent sitting in my parents' suburban home going increasingly stir-crazy.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 6:22 PM
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339: Thanks, SP. I really hate this stuff. I'm not exactly rolling in dough.

Witt gets it absolutely right about the presumption toward two-income households.

Congrats, Witt, for your cohabitation transition, from an emotional and psychological perspective. It's making me smile for you. Good news.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 6:23 PM
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Holy smokes, but living with certain someones makes life so much easier.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 6:27 PM
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Sorry, urps. Should I look into doing a road trip when you go to stay with your weirdo pork-eating lawyer?

And on the cohabiting front, I have to say how great it is to have an active co-parent. Being on my own this past week when Nia's still in the stage where she doesn't want me to pay attention to anything that's not her or get more than two feet away from her has been just exhausting. Thursday I can start pushing things off on Lee (or, even better, extended family!) and have a brreak, and I feel so grateful for that.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 6:36 PM
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Congratulations, Witt. The Dwarf Lord notice that (we now spend weeks to a couple months apart at a time, WOE). Specifically, when everything is going fine, we're probably capable of being more productive when apart. As soon as stuff is Not Easy, having a partner to backstop is so, so useful.

Also, congratulations parsi on paying off your student loans!


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 6:39 PM
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...why can't I type today? It isn't bourbon.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 6:40 PM
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Maybe it's lack of bourbon.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 6:44 PM
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346: Contingent on what? I thought if your funds gain any real value at all, a Roth would automatically mean you pay less in taxes long term. Cash on hand has value, of course, but I'd assume anyone with the room to put away savings can afford to pay the tax up front.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 6:46 PM
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Parsimon, sorry, there is no reason you should know what all these acronyms mean. And I should have explained.

Mutual funds have a manager, someone who decides what put in the fund or take out. So you are betting that this person can beat the market, or at least not underperform it.

By comparison, index funds try and track a particular index (eg a group of stocks), by following a set of rules, so you aren't relying on one person being particularly good at this. Over the long haul, very few mutual funds do better than indexes.

ETFs are exchange traded funds. They are listed on an exchange but are not companies. They behave much like stocks though, and often track an index like an index fund.


Posted by: Dee Lurking | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 6:46 PM
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Parsimon, sorry, there is no reason you should know what all these acronyms mean. And I should have explained.

Mutual funds have a manager, someone who decides what put in the fund or take out. So you are betting that this person can beat the market, or at least not underperform it.

By comparison, index funds try and track a particular index (eg a group of stocks), by following a set of rules, so you aren't relying on one person being particularly good at this. Over the long haul, very few mutual funds do better than indexes.

ETFs are exchange traded funds. They are listed on an exchange but are not companies. They behave much like stocks though, and often track an index like an index fund.


Posted by: Dee Lurking | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 6:46 PM
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Parsi, try vanguard if you want an IRA or info about them.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 6:49 PM
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They have a good reputation for not screwing people on purpose.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 6:50 PM
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346, 354

I was oversimplifying, but to my mind the distribution freedom plus no tax on earnings means most people in most situations will win big with Roth vs. Traditional. Certainly likely for parsimony situation. You'll typically pay a ton less tax this way over all, if you are salting it away for many years. And if you fall on hard times and need to get at some, you don't have double whammy of penalty plus taxed as income.


Posted by: Dee Lurking | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 6:53 PM
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Oh, sure, they slipped in the shower. That doesn't just happen, Moby. I don't care how slippery the giant financial corporations' communal shower floor is.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 6:54 PM
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I will try Vanguard. I'd gotten some information from them in the past, but I never followed up.

355/356: Thank you, Dee. In all honesty, if you'd be willing to talk to me off-blog, I'd ask for your advice. I don't know whether the mutual fund I currently have is good. Seems okay, but how would I know? My next couple of weeks are very busy, though, so I can't muck about on the money front for a while.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 6:56 PM
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Urple, I am there maybe every third year. I think I didn't know you lived in my unloved state of not-quite-origin.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 7:01 PM
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They have a good reputation for not screwing people on purpose.

Yes, I was also going to recommend Vanguard. Parsi, you could get an IRA or a mutual fund with Vanguard, without having to go through a financial advisor.

He terrified half of my colleagues by telling them they needed to save A MILLION DOLLARS!!!

Here's another terrifying bit of financial planning advice: a financial planner told Mr. MC that for college savings, anything less than 500 dollars per month per child is not enough.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 7:04 PM
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360, 361.1: Past performance is not a guarantee of future results.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 7:05 PM
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That is jnonsense. Financially the traditional Iraq and the Roth Iraq are identical. You pay more In taxes with a traditional it's bit you pay the taxes decades later, and are untaxed on the gains In the interim. It's literally an identical overall restrung with rest, if they are invested in the rye bums in theatre. The only arbitrage is current vs future tax rates, baseD both on variances in the rates themselves and in your persOnal income bracket at the time of contribution vs distribution.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 7:07 PM
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I have some kind of minimal retirement doohickey from Vanguard. They send me forms which show the model asset mix for somebody my age, and then they show me my asset mix, which is exactly the same! They know how to make a fella feel good.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 7:07 PM
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urple does have bourbon!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 7:08 PM
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Sorry, that was a comment from my iphone, the autocorrect on which apparently does not recognize the word "IRA".


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 7:09 PM
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358
They have a good reputation for not screwing people on purpose.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 6:50 PM

I would say they have a reputation for screwing people less aggressively than other financial service firms.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 7:12 PM
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Sure, "Iraq" was confusing, but "rye bums in theatre" is perfectly clear.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 7:13 PM
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For cripe's sake, urple. I don't think the word "IRA" was the only problem.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 7:13 PM
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||

Hey, you there! Yes . . . you . . . the one masturbating to Sherman Hemsley . . . Stop what you're doing! You're too late!

|>


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 7:13 PM
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They also have a reputation for not screwing anyone they plan to eat.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 7:13 PM
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Goddamn autocorrect.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 7:14 PM
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Anyway, my retirement is with Vanguard and TIAA-CREF and parismon can't (I think) do TIAA-CREF because they don't do individual clients.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 7:15 PM
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Sorry Urple. Quick trip to prison and back. The guy is helping friends move down there next week, though, so I suspect we'll be back that way at some point. Keep an eye on your bourbon.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 7:15 PM
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But yes, friends, I will look in to Vanguard for IRA or otherwise. Much appreciated.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 7:16 PM
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I'll have some of what urple had.

Yes, to un-simplify a bit, if you current and post-retirement marginal tax rates are identical, there is nothing to choose between the two mathematically but

A) they usually aren't and
B) the withdrawal penalty and distribution age on traditional are points against it

Your mileage may vary, but most of the people I've know that clearly would be better off with trad. can't do Roth anyway. Most of the people who can, we're better off with it. That is probably suffering for selection bias by age.


Posted by: Dee Lurking | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 7:21 PM
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I want urple to be my financial adviser.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 7:30 PM
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most of the people I've know that clearly would be better off with trad. can't do Roth anyway

Why? What are the requirements for doing a Roth IRA? (I realize I can look these things up myself, but you're all so helpful, except for urple, who's babbling about a "identical overall restrung with rest", which I dearly hope I am not supposed to understand).


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 7:30 PM
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I might find that more convincing if there were a couple of capital letters in the middle of words or something.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 7:30 PM
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381 to 378.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 7:31 PM
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I mean to say: I thought I should probably go for a Roth. There's no way my post-retirement income and tax rates will be the same as they are now. So Roth, right? I'll pay less (fewer) taxes later.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 7:34 PM
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What do I look like, Moby the tax psychic?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 7:35 PM
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There should be an Unfogged retirement plan called the JRoth IRA. Don't ask me how it works. I just know we all get free sunrooms later on.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 7:36 PM
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If you have your own business and therefore pay SS taxes all yourself, the Roth/regular decision may be more complicated. I have no idea though.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 7:36 PM
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AGI limits on Roth contributions. If you're married filing separately you can't do them at all. Married filing jointly AGI limit is something like $170k this year. Don't know the single or head of household limits, but I'm sure those are just a google away too.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 7:39 PM
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387: Gotcha. Okay.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 7:41 PM
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So listen, enough about mortgages and retirement planning: do people have favorite cholesterol medications?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 7:43 PM
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My doctor told me just to take a baby aspirin a day and that cholesterol meds aren't proven to be of any help in people my age.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 7:45 PM
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Speaking of doctors, the other day my doctor told me I had a resting heart rate of 54. So that's swell.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 7:48 PM
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Or a measurement error.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 7:51 PM
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Yes, to un-simplify a bit, if you current and post-retirement marginal tax rates are identical, there is nothing to choose between the two mathematically

I was under the impression that with a Roth IRA, you deduct the gains as well as the contributions from your taxes upon distribution. I guess that was wrong? Because if that's the case, and again if you have any real gains, then in the above scenario they wouldn't be mathematically identical. IANAFA.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 7:53 PM
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392: You can probably repeat the measurement yourself.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 7:56 PM
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The best cholesterol medication is exercise. Ha! Also lentils.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 7:57 PM
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For thinking about it absolutely least, Vanguard among others offers indexed mutual funds defined by retirement age (eg a 2040 fund), which adjust from a blend of mostly stocks for younger people to mostly bonds for older people according to a predetermined formula that you can read and think about before buying anything.

"Indexed" means that which stocks or bonds they buy also follow a predetermined list and aren't up to some dude's discretion. The other kind of mutual fund is called actively managed, is usually all that's offered by private employers 401(k)s, and bristles with hidden fees that are hard to calculate, including fees from unnecessary trading which come out of your 95% not their 5%.

The main defect of the target date approach IMO is no emerging markets and not much commodity exposure, which will be useful if the dollar ever drops sharply. Also the stocks include everything in an index, even banks, which are IMO to be avoided.

389. Townes van Zandt suggested bacon when you're hungry and whiskey when you're dry.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 8:01 PM
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218

US Muni bonds pay about 4% interest tax-free, and are easy to buy into even with very modest savings. There's a theoretical risk, but the last scare caused maybe a 3% decline in principal value for less than 6 months. It's true that a mortgage is a form of enforced savings.

Not sure where you are getting 4%. The Vanguard long term muni fund is currently paying 2.37%. And your potential principal loss if interest rates shoot up is a lot more than 3%.

Also in theory at least you aren't supposed to be able to deduct interest on loans used to buy tax-free bonds so the IRS might give you trouble if you try to take a full mortgage interest deduction while holding muni bonds. I suspect this isn't enforced very rigorously however.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 8:01 PM
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Can we go back to the whole "married people with separate accounts who divvy up the bills and pay them separately" thing? I can't really get my head around this, although its apparently quite common among the Unfogged set. My wife and I came obviously into our marriage with separate accounts, but when we got married and bought the house it really didn't seem particularly useful to have separate accounts any more. We decided together that I'd manage the money, we started having our paychecks deposited into my account, and that's pretty much been it -- I pay the bills every month (including our separate credit card bills), and that's all there is to it.

Can some of you take a stab at explaining why it's better for you to handle bills separately? The idea that I would pay the cable while my wife pays the Netflix seems bizarre to me, but it's so common here that there must be good reasons for it. A desire to retain some measure of financial independence? Inertia? Help me out here.

Oh, and howdy, all!


Posted by: NCProsecutor | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 8:04 PM
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The best cholesterol treatment I've found is to shout "Framingham study! Framingham study!" and then cease to give a shit.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 8:07 PM
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397. You know what, do me a favor and don't talk to me either. You're an unpleasant troll.

The monthly dividend last month was:
Dividend: 6/29/12 - $0.0357
on a share price of 11.78, 3.7% without compunding, doesn't fluctuate much. You can figure out why 2.37 is wrong

I was talking about the actual principal loss if one sold at the trough of the last actual crisis. Yes, it is possible that the next crisis could be bigger. In that case, FDIC capitalization levels and response times will also be a consideration, and I don't know how to think about events that large and rare.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 8:14 PM
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Holy smokes, but living with someone makes life so much easier.

Man. I feel like I have been bumped up to orbit at a higher energy level. Everything is less entropic: a second beehive, a dog in addition to the cat, house looks great --walls are patched and repainted, more better bikes better maintained. He is in the shape of his life since taking up weightlifting. Everything is improved, but it doesn't feel any easier. I will clearly just work to fill up the available energy.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 8:14 PM
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NCP, having maintained joint marital accounts, I can certainly say I had big issues watching him spend money when I was trying really hard to build some savings. (Didn't help that he didn't earn any money.) I'm sure he found my scrutinizing his purchases totally endearing. Kind of seeing from the outside how he seems to manage his finances, it's pretty likely we just never would have been financially compatible, but I've often thought about alternative systems and whether they'd make a relationship easier between people of different financial styles. Say a joint account into which all salaries are paid and all non-discretionary expenses are paid, and individual accounts which draw a monthly "allowance" which each person adds could spend however they wanted on discretionary items. But if you are financially compatible types, that may just be a silly extra layer.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 8:18 PM
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393

I was under the impression that with a Roth IRA, you deduct the gains as well as the contributions from your taxes upon distribution. I guess that was wrong? Because if that's the case, and again if you have any real gains, then in the above scenario they wouldn't be mathematically identical. IANAFA.

Actually I think they are. Suppose your tax rate is r, you take all your money out after n years, your investment yield is p per year and you are starting with $M pretax to invest. Then as I understand it (bearing in mind that I am not a tax lawyer) with a Roth you put in after tax dollars, (1-r)*M, but pay no taxes when you withdraw the balance, (1-r)*M*(1+p)**n leaving you with (1-r)*M*(1+p)**n. With a traditional account you put in pretax dollars, M, but pay taxes when you with draw the balance, M*(1+p)**n, leaving you with the same (1-r)*M*(1+p)**n.

The point is paying tax at a rate r leaves you with (1-r) times what you started with and investing with an annual return of p leaves you with (1+p) times what you started with (after a year). Since multiplication is commutative it doesn't matter when you pay the tax (as long as you just pay it once instead of every year).


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 8:19 PM
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It's literally an identical overall restrung with rest, if they are invested in the rye bums in theatre.

I just wanted to repeat that. Can I invest in bourbon bums instead of rye bums? How about single-malt bums?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 8:23 PM
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do people have favorite cholesterol medications?

This question is also relevant to my interests.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 8:25 PM
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398: Ditto. Although we started with me as the financial person, switched to her when she decided she didn't like the way I did it, then switched back to me when I got sick of her breathing down my neck over every little thing. Now she (voluntarily) doesn't even know the password to our bank account and just asks if we have enough money to pay for larger purchases and we occasionally go over the previous quarter together to confirm that things aren't going nuts without her.

Also, hi NCP!



Posted by: Chopper | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 8:27 PM
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399: I would like to subscribe to your newsletter. Josh, I just started on Lipitor, but can't tease its side effects out from the high-blood pressure medication I started at the same time.


Posted by: Chopper | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 8:30 PM
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The best cholesterol treatment I've found is to shout "Framingham study! Framingham study!" and then cease to give a shit.

Hell, Tweety can just move to Framingham and cease to give a shit.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 8:32 PM
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401: The just-moved-in beehive is such a cliche these days.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 8:32 PM
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Last. Since this seems to be the ask the hivemind thread, anyone know anything about exercise-induced headaches? I've been getting them during/after Crossfit workouts, to the point that I'm fairly debilitated. I'm willing to put up with them if they'll go away after a few weeks/months of getting back in shape, but can't hack it if this is just a Chopper-specific bonus to intense workouts.


Posted by: Chopper | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 8:33 PM
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I get them sometimes after racquetball in hot weather, used to get them when I worked outside digging or pounding in hot weather. Impact that shakes the soft matter in the skull is the common factor for me.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 8:46 PM
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Maybe you should just workout less intensely for a couple of weeks.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 8:52 PM
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Yeah, but I don't want to lose momentum since I just started. I have a history of finding excuses to quit these things, so I don't want to slack off since I'm enjoying it and I just got put on anti-cholesterol/heart pressure meds.


Posted by: Chopper | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 8:58 PM
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400

... You can figure out why 2.37 is wrong

Actually the 2.37 is correct as it takes into account the amortization of bond premiums which the distribution yield does not. Because interest rates have fallen in recent years many bonds sell above par. For example a 10 year bond with a coupon of 3.5% might sell for 1100 (where par is 1000). This means you can buy the bond for $1100, receive payments of $35 a year for 10 years and then receive the par value, $1000. This means your distribution yield will be 35/1100 or 3.18% but this is not taking into account that you will only get $1000 (instead of $1100) back when the bond comes due in 10 years. If we amortize this at $10 per year this reduces your actual yield to 25/1100 or 2.27%. These calculations are approximate but show what is going on. For more see here .


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 8:58 PM
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403 sounds right, but since the nominal maximum you can put in is the same for a Roth or ordinary IRA, your effective maximum $M is higher for a Roth.

In other words, if you can put up to $5000 in either, then for the regular IRA that's $5000 pre-tax, but for the Roth it's equivalent to $5000/(1-r) pre-tax. This is material for anyone who intends to save more than the IRA cap each year. If you're not bumping up against the cap, then it doesn't matter and it's just a matter of when you think your marginal tax rate will be higher.


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 9:04 PM
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413: Maybe go for nicotine patches. Took me years, but eventually it worked.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 9:05 PM
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These calculations are approximate...

So sloppy, James. Please compile an amortization table and attach it to your next comment. As always, show your work.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 9:09 PM
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400 and 414 are a good example of why bond valuation is not for amateurs. If you're buying a new issuance, then sure, you can think of it as coupon and principal. But if you're buying from the market, then all there is is a price, and some delayed cash flows (and credit risk).

You probably won't get screwed too bad if you buy into an index fund like Vanguard's, but... paying down your mortgage gets you a guaranteed nominal rate of return. In principle, paying down your own debts ought to be more profitable than buying securities on average, because you're paying a risk premium on top of the "risk-free rate". In practice, of course, everybody is a snowflake.


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 9:13 PM
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337

I don't even know what an Index fund or an ETF is! Or what indexing is. Good god, I have some research to do.

Yes you should to try to learn the basics on your own as this is cheaper than paying to have them explained to you.

Personally I am wary of financial advisors in general. Even when they aren't pushing certain products because they get a commission their fees are often higher than the actual value they add. The fact is investment is a chancy business and many advisor's recommendations won't work out particularly well.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 9:20 PM
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418. But index funds usually don't hold to maturity in order to keep their duration constant, right? I can't get around that share value doesn't move much and the dividend yield has been nearly constant for years; the SEC rate is useful for comparing to something else-- holding the equivalent bonds to maturity, I guess, or funds to each other. But I think not for comparing funds like this to CD yields, which is what I had started out doing.

Paying down your mortgage for ordinary people gives enforced savings, but into something illiquid. I'm not a hedge fund, and I want a buffer that pays something out and also will not force my (attempted) refinancing during some life crisis.

Hey, though, rather than debating a point that is fine print for normal amounts of money-- is there reason to think TIPS are overvalued now?


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 9:37 PM
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Chopper, my first guess is dehydration. If you aren't paying attention along those lines, perhaps try more water? Or that water, little bit of juice, little bit of salt mixture?


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 9:47 PM
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I dtsrt hydrating about an hour before. I drink 20 oz. water during the workout. I feel like I'm doing OK. Might have to try Gatorade or something.


Posted by: Chopper | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 9:56 PM
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420

But index funds usually don't hold to maturity in order to keep their duration constant, right? ...

It doesn't matter. In the example I gave above (10 year bond selling at 10% above par) if interest rates were unchanged you would expect the price to fall from 1100 to about 1090 after 1 year and you need to account for this. Of course if interest rates fell further over the course of the year the price might remain at 1100 at year's end but on the other hand if they rose during the year the price might fall more to say 1080.

When you buy a bond above par some of the coupon payments are effectively a return of capital and should not be considered income when comparing to a CD which is bought at par.

Another pitfall with municipal bonds is call provisions which allow the issuer to pay the bond off early when it is to their advantage. This again reduces your effective yield in a way that is real but not simple to calculate.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 07-24-12 11:06 PM
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re: 422

I was going to say that 20oz sounds a lot, but then checked again with my American to metric conversion, and it's only a half litre or so. A lot of people, I think, drink too much during workouts but half a litre isn't a lot if the workout is long and hard.

I'd probably only drink half a litre or so in a 2 hour kickboxing class* [so I don't feel sick or bloated/sluggish], but I'd drink another two litres or so in the hour or so immediately after. So maybe you need to make sure you drink a ton of fluids after you finish?

* definitely not as tough as Crossfit, I'd expect.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 2:20 AM
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Or that water, little bit of juice, little bit of salt mixture?

I just tried this for the first time, and now I'm obsessed. I can make my own Gatorade, but it tastes even better! It's also quite revelatory how little salt it takes to make a half liter of water taste totally different.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 4:09 AM
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I was kidding about the damn cholesterol medication you stereotypical middle-aged people, you.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 4:52 AM
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I feel like an addict, here, but my first resource for a debilitating headache related to anything stressy is coffee. I don't know if it's a good idea, but if that were me, I'd be trying to get a cup while I was still out of breath and sweaty. And it's fluid, not just drugs (I think they've stopped claiming that coffee nets out as dehydrating - the diuretic effect isn't that powerful).


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 5:05 AM
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402: Okay, that makes some sense to me. I guess if my wife and I are financially compatible, it wouldn't have occurred to me to consider adding the whole separate accounts layer.

So is that why folks have created this structure? If so, did you have actual problems (spouse spending more than you were comfortable with) that this was designed to solve, or did you do this to prevent even the potential for this this kind of conflict? Still very curious, as it seems (to me, of course) an odd way for a longtime married couple to arrange their affairs.


Posted by: NCProsecutor | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 5:09 AM
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406: We also check in every so often, mostly so she can have some confidence that we're making more than we're spending. Which, most months, and other aggregate, we are. Fortunately.


Posted by: NCProsecutor | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 5:11 AM
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Technical support question: For these long comment threads, is there some trick in iOS to get mobile Safari to scroll to the bottom of a page? I've tried a few of the bookmarklet options and I can't seem to get them to work.


Posted by: NCProsecutor | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 5:12 AM
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430: tap on the latest comment from the front page?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 5:17 AM
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did you do this to prevent even the potential for this this kind of conflict?

Pretty much.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 5:19 AM
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I'd love to know, too. The best solution I've found so far is to do a quick page search for one of the comment box words like "URL".


Posted by: emir | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 5:19 AM
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tap on the latest comment from the front page?

Yep. Or if it's kind of early and you're afraid you might wake everybody up, you can do more of a soft-shoe routine.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 5:20 AM
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I like to have money that is under my sole control because otherwise I would second-guess the stupid things I do with it. Combining that with the ability to consistently have bills and rent paid on time is has thus far been an exciting and novel benefit of marriage. It wouldn't have occured to me to say that Blume and I are financially incompatible, though, even if we do have radically different strategies for our personal accounts. (Calling my behavior a "strategy" is probably optimistic.)


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 5:26 AM
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Specifically, Buck's higher energy and more organized than I am, so if we had completely joint finances, there's no way he wouldn't end up running them. I'm inattentive, lazy, and easily confused, and if given the option of not doing something, I won't. But I'm generally tighter about money and more committed to saving than he is.

With joint finances, he'd do all the work, and I'd ignore it for months at a time. Then I'd check in, and freak out, and worry, and make him unhappy. And then I wouldn't follow up and nothing would change, lather, rinse, repeat ad infinitum until we retire with less in the bank than we might otherwise have had.

As it is, we divide the work, I'm not secondguessing him, he's not making me nervous, everyone's happy.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 5:27 AM
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420, 423:

James's comment is a little technical here, but the core point is this:

Even if a bond fund buys bonds at issuance and holds them to maturity, when you buy into a bond fund, you're buying in at the current market price.

As interest rates change, the prices of existing bonds change correspondingly. But the actual dollar amounts of payout don't change. So you may pay $X for a bond, and the interest payments may be y% of $X, but you may not get $X back at the end, so it's not equivalent to a $X bond with y% interest.


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 5:38 AM
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did you do this to prevent even the potential for this this kind of conflict?

It's not even conflict, exactly, more just the freedom to have money you don't have to check in about at all.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 5:47 AM
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That too. I've been talking as if it were all about the necessity of keeping me from harassing Buck while still being frugal myself, but being to spend money I've earned without negotiating about it is also a big comfort thing.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 5:53 AM
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We usually end up asking each other about large personal purchases anyway. But we wouldn't have to.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 6:01 AM
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"So, how much was that a robotized mixte that dispenses bourbon slush? Because I want one, too."


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 6:08 AM
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"Should I buy another bicycle?" "Yes."


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 6:13 AM
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the solution to all headache problems of this sort is BC powders or goody's powders + 3 ibuprofen washed down by a gatorade.

also, hi NCP! I hoisted your question to the front page so hopefully the comments will migrate there as well, though if you return to continuous, hard-core unfogged-reading as god intended you will naturally need to find some other solution to these technological problems.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 6:21 AM
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Chopper, how long are your workouts? My rule when I was doing a lot of this sort of thing was 1-2 liters per hour on sustained effort outside (2 if it was really hot). If you are chronically slightly dehydrated like manny people these days, it could be dehydration even though you're drinking water.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 6:30 AM
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I think I've figured out the IRA thing, and see where my mistake was.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 6:30 AM
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If you are chronically slightly dehydrated like manny people these days,

I don't believe this.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 6:38 AM
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You've posted about that before, haven't you?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 6:39 AM
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If you are chronically slightly dehydrated like manny people these days

Is this really true? I was just reading a thing about the sports drink racket that claimed all the stuff we've learned about dehydration (drink before you're thirsty!) is pretty much made up.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 6:40 AM
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Repetitive? That doesn't sound like me.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 6:40 AM
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Repetitive? That doesn't sound like me.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 6:41 AM
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Yeah, I'm mostly with heebie on that one.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 6:41 AM
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Repetitive?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 6:42 AM
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Kevin Drum is with you guys. Me, I drink a ton of water basically unconsiously, but definitely feel crappy when that doesn't happen for some reason.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 6:43 AM
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Mostly with heebie on that one.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 6:43 AM
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Okay okay okay.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 6:46 AM
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Heebie, Drum, and most of Blume, Tweety, and unsigned comment, FIGHT!


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 6:48 AM
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I also drink a ton of water, exercise or not. But, I will go run for an hour in reasonable heat without taking water with me. I just drink a gallon of water when I get back.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 6:48 AM
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But, I will go run for an hour in reasonable heat without taking water with me. I just drink a gallon of water when I get back.

This is exactly what I do. Mostly originally because Blume makes fun of those people who run with the little water bottles on belts, but it turns out to work well. I do bring water along when I ride my bike, but don't tend to drink much of it (unless it's really hot) if I'm out for less than two hours.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 6:50 AM
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When I ran the half-marathon, people had those little bottles on their belts. There was a water/gatorade station every mile. I'm not sure if they needed to drink more than every mile or if they didn't trust that the water stations would be there.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 6:52 AM
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I do, as previously mentioned, sweat like a booze luge in a steel forge.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 6:54 AM
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I'll do you guys one better: I deliberately dehydrate and stop drinking water for 1-2 hours before jogging in 100+° weather. That is because I do not like to pee-pee my pants. But I'm fine, just very thirsty when I get home. So I drink water.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 6:55 AM
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If you are only out for an hour, your not likely to run into any trouble. If you are out for four or five, you can run into real trouble, easy. So it's all relative.

If you have an decent scale, you can measure this stuff.


Posted by: Dee Lurking | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 6:57 AM
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That's absurd. Who doesn't like to pee their pants in 100 degree weather?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 6:58 AM
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I think Gretchen Reynolds has written about the tendency of people to over-hydrate out of fear (especially during marathons). However, I've already maxed-out on NYT clicks for the month, so now we'll never know.

Anyway, I think her basic advice: drink if you're thirsty. Otherwise, don't worry about it.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 6:58 AM
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I find that I run slightly faster when I have to pee.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 6:59 AM
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As per above, I definitely feel better if I drink a decent amount before training/fighting (although i've not competed in a couple of years due to injuries and officiating) but very little during. I deliberately cut how much I drank in a 2 hour class to a few mouthfuls every half hour and was surprised how much it helped.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 6:59 AM
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However, I've already maxed-out on NYT clicks for the month, so now we'll never know.

You know the SUPER SECRET HAX0R TRICK, right?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 6:59 AM
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If you are out for four or five, you can run into real trouble, easy. So it's all relative.

But your thirst is a reliable indicator. If you're out for 4-5 hours, you need to have water available to drink when you feel thirsty, and that's that.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 6:59 AM
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Four or five hours? Sure, drink water! Two hours, even. It's the idea that a person needs constant hydration that I find insane. Every time I see someone running with a Camelbak I'm thinking, really? Are you going that far/long?


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 7:00 AM
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I think I've figured out the IRA thing

Don't make them have to take it away


Posted by: Paul McCartney | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 7:00 AM
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You know the SUPER SECRET HAX0R TRICK, right?

Open a different browser? Use an incognito window?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 7:00 AM
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471: hit stop after the text loads but before the paywall loads.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 7:01 AM
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(470 also applies to Iraq)


Posted by: Sayyid Muqtada al-Sadr | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 7:02 AM
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But the browser thing works too.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 7:02 AM
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468: sort of. Sometimes thirst feels more like hunger, and heat can do funny things to how you feel. I once rode a century in about 105 degree weather, after the first hour I was pacing two water bottles per hour steadily and felt I was hydrating fine, but I still lost nearly 10 lbs. (in five hours).


Posted by: Dee Lurking | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 7:04 AM
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475: Did you suffer dehydration effects other than the weight loss?


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 7:06 AM
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When I used to go to [ big desert camping trip ] regularly their advice was to drink enough water that your piss was completely clear. That turned out to be a hassle because you basically spent half the day pissing, but after a few years we got lazy and switched to a, you know, half-a-bottle-of-champagne-in-the-morning-and-you're-good strategy, but then it turned out that dehydration isn't a total myth after all.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 7:06 AM
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Anyway, we're not really disagreeing I think, because it sounds like Moby drinks plenty. I only meant if you start off with a slight deficit, they exercise hard for a couple of hours, sure your headache could be dehydration related even if you drink 20oz water. But I agree your body should be signalling you before the headache. People aren't always good at picking up on the signals.


Posted by: Dee Lurking | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 7:07 AM
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Anyway, we're not really disagreeing I think, because it sounds like Moby drinks plenty. I only meant if you start off with a slight deficit, they exercise hard for a couple of hours, sure your headache could be dehydration related even if you drink 20oz water. But I agree your body should be signalling you before the headache. People aren't always good at picking up on the signals.


Posted by: Dee Lurking | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 7:07 AM
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But a century ride in 105° weather is a far cry from a 30 minute Crossfit workout. Also, I know people say "thirst can feel like hunger" but I think that's to stop mindless nibbling, as in "your hunger is boredom. Try some water." When you're out exercising, no one mistakes thirst.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 7:07 AM
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I'm seeing double. Better drink some water.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 7:07 AM
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I will definitely get dehydrated where I'm not thirsty, just crabby and fatigued. Not when I'm exercising, though, usually.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 7:08 AM
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472: That's hilarious. And I did not know about it, so thanks.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 7:09 AM
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No you don't.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 7:09 AM
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I'd really like to move to a "separate account for each spouse" money management system, for all the reasons listed in this thread. (I deal with our accounts and budgets now, and I don't like feeling like I have to police my wife's discretionary spending. And I don't like feeling guilty about my own. Etc.) But she basically hates dealing with any of it and has strongly resisted a switch. Right now I'm dealing with this by doing the financial equivalent of "being an asshole so your partner dumps you"--squirreling money away in secret accounts she doesn't know about, and giving her shit about buying yarn while I spend hundreds of dollars on stupid shit like luxury clothes-hangers. But so far it hasn't done much good, so I may ultimately have to just impose separate accounts by fiat.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 7:10 AM
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476: possibly, but hard to distinguish from the heat and over exertion effects, I was in ok but not great shape at the end of that one.


Posted by: Dee Lurking | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 7:10 AM
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Or erase the long text string from the URL after the ?
I sweat buckets when playing hockey and usually drink a half liter bottle during the game, then a 20oz sports drink after, then some more water when I get home. I don't like to drink too much after I'm home because I have to get up to pee four times during the night if I do, but if I don't drink enough I wake up in the morning with a bad headache, a hockey hangover.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 7:14 AM
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Right now I'm dealing with this by doing the financial equivalent of "being an asshole so your partner dumps you"--squirreling money away in secret accounts she doesn't know about, and giving her shit about buying yarn while I spend hundreds of dollars on stupid shit like luxury clothes-hangers.

Are you really? That's hilariously dickish.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 7:16 AM
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488: it's not like I haven't told her repeatedly that we should have separate accounts.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 7:21 AM
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it sounds like Moby drinks plenty

True, but he's always responsible, taking the bus home instead of driving. And he's generous enough to live-comment throughout. Really, we should all aspire to be more like Moby.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 7:21 AM
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But she hates dealing with it, so she doesn't really know you're launching this stealth asshole surge, right? You're just getting your kicks behind her back and thinking "If she were to know, she'd finally be mad enough to cave."


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 7:23 AM
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squirreling money away in secret accounts she doesn't know about

Healthy!


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 7:23 AM
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I'm mostly with Blume on this. The 5k race I ran a while back was held on the last three miles of the marathon course, and so there were water stations and food stations for the marathoners. It was a forty degree morning, and yet a lot of runners were stopping for water and power bars ten minutes into the run. I run slowly enough that I could be pretty judgy mentally.

I don't take water along on anything that I do that's under an hour. I'm returning to my house, where there is water.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 7:23 AM
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We're thinking about having our 5 and 7 year olds try some kiddie triathalons because they like biking and swimming and running- I think it's 100 yards swimming, 2 miles biking, half mile run. Are we becoming that kind of parents?


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 7:26 AM
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giving her shit about buying yarn

I've been knitting a lot for the last couple of years (suddenly, lace doilies palled. I may return to them, because they certainly are a cheap hobby, but I'm getting annoyed with the amount of washing/reblocking and starching you have to do if you're going to actually use them on surfaces. Our apartment does have a slightly loony shabby-Victorian look with rumpled, grubby bits of lace under the lamps and on the coffee-table. I'm not sure if this is positive or negative.), and getting patterns and such from Ravelry, the big social knitting/crochet site.

And they have a lot of joking discussions of how much yarn everyone has built up, and how much they spend on yarn that they shouldn't, which I don't get at all. Why would you buy yarn without a plan for it? Patterns take different amounts of yarn; it's not like you could reliably buy a sweaters-worth without leaving a whole lot of slack in the purchase. I mean, yarn is brutally expensive (the crochet thread used for lace is comparatively free), but the overbuying is completely alien to me -- I really can't see why it makes sense to anyone.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 7:26 AM
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stopping for water and power bars

I can see grabbing a cup of water during a 5K if it were available: not so much dehydration as dry-mouth from breathing heavily. But eating during a 5K is insane.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 7:28 AM
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Lately I've been running on a treadmill (too. hot.) and I always bring water, because if I don't I *really want it.* But I never drink it when I bring it.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 7:29 AM
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I agree with 495. We literally have a room full of it--probably a hundred skeins. And yet whenever she wants to knit something, she buys new yarn, because what she has already isn't the yarn she wants for this new project. I do not understand.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 7:29 AM
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Probably much more than a hundred, now that I think about it. Several 6-ft tall bookcases, stuffed full.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 7:31 AM
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When I ran that five miler I grabbed water at almost all the water stations, and really appreciated having it. It was fucking hot, though. If I'm doing my regular route and it's that hot I just run less of it.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 7:31 AM
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Why would you buy yarn without a plan for it?

Because you're near a store that you love to browse in, and you fall in love with a gorgeous color or texture and think "Oooh. I'd love to possess this. I'll figure something out." And then you own it, without a plan.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 7:32 AM
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478: I wasn't having hydration issues. However, my ankle still hurts if you know how to fix that.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 7:32 AM
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I never worry too much about drinking too much right after a class. I need to drink at least one and usually two litres of water after a class to even have possibility of peeing at all. Significantly more after an all-day training event.

People have been terrified into fearing mild dehydration as if it's the bends, or something.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 7:32 AM
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She seems to think this is reasonable because it's not like she went out and bought it all at once; she's been accumulating slowly for years. I think it's unreasonable because: what this fuck is all this yarn for?


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 7:33 AM
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Note: I do not do that, because I do not like to browse in such stores. But I can relate to that.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 7:33 AM
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501: We leave very near a yarn store (maybe 8 blocks), but I don't have any yarn at all.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 7:33 AM
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I never get the bends after running.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 7:34 AM
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She's not unusual -- from reading the Ravelry forums, yarn-hoarding is a very conventional thing to do. I just don't get it. I've got a big totebag that's filling up with odds and ends of half-balls left over from things, and it's driving me nuts -- too good and expensive to throw out, but I don't know what to do with them.

(And nagging her about her spending while you're spending similarly is lousy; it's only reasonable if her goofy spending is way, way out of scale with yours. Which, with yarn, it easily could be. "Several 6-ft tall bookcases, stuffed full" could represent five figures, depending.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 7:34 AM
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Because you're near a store that you love to browse in, and you fall in love with a gorgeous color or texture and think "Oooh. I'd love to possess this. I'll figure something out." And then you own it, without a plan.

I have observed this same phenomenon via FB.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 7:34 AM
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Yarn is so pretty and soft and squishy though. And sometimes still smells like sheep. I walk into a yarn store and pat all the skeins. If I had disposable income, I could see myself building up a stash*.

*I have brown sock yarn and red linen yarn that are for specific projects, and blue yarn that I just own because it's so pretty.


Posted by: hydrobatidae | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 7:35 AM
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439: LB, I've posted a sewrious of questions based on this response over at the other thread, in an attempt to comply with the apparent desire to move this aspect of the conversation over there. Take a look!


Posted by: NCProsecutor | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 7:37 AM
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511: "sewrious" only (vaguely) sounds like what I was going for -- try "series" and that sentence will make more sense.


Posted by: NCProsecutor | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 7:38 AM
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From way back in the thread: If you're married, regardless of who's deciding to do the savings, they're joint property (depending on the state legally, but I think generally that's how you should think about it): the frugal partner was probably enjoying some of the spendthriftery while it was going on. Losing half of 'your' savings in a divorce would feel unjust, but I don't know that it would be unjust.

It seems potentially very unjust. If both partners agreed to save $500/mo, and then 20 years later it turns out one was dutifully saving the $500 and the other was spending it all on prostitutes, forcing the dutiful spouse to split that savings in a divorce seems awfully unjust. And it's not too difficult to imagine that in many situations (less inflammatory than prostitutes), the spending will still have accrued much more to the benefit of one spouse (likely the one spending it) than to the other.

I mean, it's also not hard to imagine situations where splitting the savings seems basically just, but the point is that's a case-by-case analysis. As a blanket rule, "split the savings" seems like it could very often be very problematic. (I'm not saying you're wrong that that's the rule in many states; I honestly don't know.)


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 7:40 AM
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504: She's going to be the next Christo?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 7:41 AM
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then 20 years later it turns out one was dutifully saving the $500 and the other was spending it all on prostitutes,

Prostitutes with the most adorable little knit penis-cozies.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 7:44 AM
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And nagging her about her spending while you're spending similarly is lousy

The way this actually played out is more (1) I nag her very inconsistently, because it's not something I want to do, and (2) I made a few basically frivolous purchases, sort of hoping she'd be like 'WTF?! we need separate bank accounts!', but they didn't phase her. And now I'm stuck with overpriced shit I don't want.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 7:47 AM
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Those do seem like some nice hangers, though.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 7:48 AM
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(1) I nag her very inconsistently, because it's not something I want to do

Maybe you could find some sort of a planner to organize your nagging. Even if you don't nag very often, you should be consistent.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 7:49 AM
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516: Simple, urple. Buy presents for me. You won't be stuck with expensive shit you don't want *and* you'll likely really piss off your wife!


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 7:49 AM
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This could solve that wine buying problem you have, oudemia.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 7:52 AM
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520: Bingo! Urple, I am altruism itself.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 7:53 AM
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Oh good call. You should start a website, along the lines of gentle hints, for spouses who want to send a message to their partners. "[ name ] just bought a case of wine for oudemia on IboughtwineforoudemiabecauseIwantseparateaccounts.com!"

Have like a "share on facebook button too just in case.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 7:54 AM
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I am loving this!
Tweety, you are CTO.
Blume, you're creative director.
It's cool. I'll share.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 7:57 AM
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LB is uninvited from my house. After 12 years of knitting, I have considerably less yarn than Urple's wife, but probably at least a 6-foot-bookshelf's amount. Some of it is leftovers from old projects, hand-me-downs from other people, fantastically good deals I got, others bought with a project in mind I never got around to finishing. Once my garret is cleaned up and the yarn is properly sorted and put away, I'm actually excited about working with some of it.

I would much rather do the shared-account-with-extra-amounts-for-each-of-you relationship thing, but Lee doesn't see the point of it. It may end up becoming one of our austerity measures, which would make me happy. I think having money that's explicitly my own rather than all of it being in some fuzzy way household money might actually encourage me to spend more on myself, which I would sort of like to do.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 7:58 AM
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Honestly, I really don't know how much yarn I'm talking about. Maybe it's just one bookshelf's worth. I never go in that room.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 8:00 AM
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513: You're right that "split the savings" could be problematic in exactly the way you describe. I guess my thinking is that it's part of the deal you make when you marry someone who doesn't have your best interests at heart: if the marriage is working properly, you're both fine (in principle) with the spending on prostitutes or penis cozies or whatever, and to the extent you're not, you're addressing it directly, and if you can't do that, the marriage should end before you've accumulated too much damage.

The hypo you've described involves actual deception, though, which is different: "No, really, I'm putting just as much money away as you are, I'm just not telling you where." Under those circumstances, if provable, I'd call splitting the savings an injustice.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 8:03 AM
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with the spending on prostitutes or penis cozies or whatever

But pick one or the other!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 8:06 AM
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525: Damn. I was hoping you could convince Lee I'm not a hoarder. (And I'm not! It was something like four rubbermaid tubs of yarn in the basement before I got a room to myself, and one of those is coned mohair my grandmother gave me and I can't get rid of for sentimental reasons even though it's impractical.) She's actually not worried about the amount yarn, but it bothers her that it's not organized. Oh, it was terrible when I moved in with her and had to put all my stuff in the basement so it didn't make her stuff feel crowded and cluttered and then she got upset because she knew that the things in boxes in the basement weren't organized. Meanwhile her room is full of uncategorized junk, some from the prior owners. She doesn't believe me that she is only bothered by my stuff because it's not hers, but I know I'm right.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 8:06 AM
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528: I just looked at pictures of the inside of our house on my wife's flickr account, and it's definitely two bookshelves.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 8:08 AM
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Maybe you could make the separate accounts case by analogy with the room in your house that you never go into.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 8:09 AM
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Re: the water and headache issue, I vote for drinking a salty mixture. When I first started working out consistently I drank plenty of water but I felt awful afterwards and even developed a slight (self-diagnosed) arrhythmia. This all went away when I drank electrolyte water (unflavored stuff from Whole Foods, not that disgustingly sweet Gatorade crap).

485: Why can't you have a portion of your salaries places in a joint account and the rest put in a personal account? Then you can deal with the bills, but you don't have to obsess over discretionary spending?


Posted by: LizSpigot | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 8:10 AM
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485: that's what I want to do! She doesn't want to have to deal with a personal account, is the point.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 8:12 AM
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Sorry, 532 to 531.2.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 8:13 AM
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528: That's really irritating. My husband is very bad about clutter. He's always had a spare room where we live where his clutter is supposed to reside, but inevitably it starts to creep into the rest of the house. When he pulls a Lee and starts complaining about how my closets are unorganized, even though you'd have to walk into the closet to see the disorganization as opposed to his piles of junk sitting all throughout the house, I start to smolder. But then we agreed that I can move his stuff and he can't get mad about it, so I've been able to reduce the junk piles. Also, I keep the doors to the closets closed and he forgets that there's a mess inside them. It's too bad Lee still knows about the disorganization even when she can't see the yarn in the basement.


Posted by: LizSpigot | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 8:17 AM
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We do the joint checking account thing. Too much of a hassle to separate things. We've never seen any huge decreases to our spending or income but that's only because our starting point when first married was me bringing home the sole income of a whopping 7.50 an hour.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 8:18 AM
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532: Oh, I get it, I thought you wanted to revert to LB's system of you paying some bills and your wife paying others. I can see why you're frustrated, since it would be such an easy fix.


Posted by: LizSpigot | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 8:19 AM
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535: I do think it's the only possible way to manage things when you're broke, which the two of you were starting out. I strongly prefer the separate method, but if we'd ever been together with money tight, which we haven't been (Jesus, have I had an easy life), I don't see how we could have avoided pooling everything.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 8:21 AM
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529 is great.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 8:23 AM
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534: I am certainly being unfair to her and I also recognize this is something we are both overly touchy about, and we're working on that. Also she is a tidier and I am a cleaner, and while that should give us Jack Sprat's House of Happiness, instead we mostly end up grumpy at each other's failings. Working on that, too. None of these are major problems, but the minor irritations can be so very irritating.

529 made my day and means urple is now my best friend ever.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 8:26 AM
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I think what's kept us from separating anything is mainly laziness + almost identical views on saving and spending habits.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 8:26 AM
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Our individual accounts have at times been pretty minimal, what with us being ill-paid academic types. But my discretionary spending desires tend to scale with how much money is currently in my account, so that doesn't really bother me that much, and I think Blume is probably pretty good at saving/managing.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 8:35 AM
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Makers Mark 46, Knob Creek, Bulleit, and a couple of Lexington local bottles I'd have to get home to name.

I tell this to everyone who will listen, but each and every one of you should be drinking Eagle Rare.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 8:36 AM
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Eagle Rare is pretty good. I think I'd just rather drink Pappy 20 year all the time, if you can arrange that for me.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 8:38 AM
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Those are some insanely expensive hangers.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 8:41 AM
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543: well, sure, if you can afford to drink Pappy 20-yr all the time, have at it. Eagle Rare is "pretty good" (IMO better than a lot of bourbons that are much more expensive), but it's insanely good for the price.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 8:44 AM
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It's not even a question of 'afford' (though we couldn't afford to drink it all the time), it's about having the connections to even get your hands on a bottle.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 8:45 AM
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Yeah, I was just kidding. As I mentioned, Evan Williams is my go-to brand. $12 a bottle is about all my separate account can handle.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 8:47 AM
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548

Also she is a tidier and I am a cleaner, and while that should give us Jack Sprat's House of Happiness, instead we mostly end up grumpy at each other's failings.

Heh. This is me and Buck, and in that regard we are largely Jack Sprat's HoH.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 8:47 AM
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548: In our house, we both make stacks of stuff all over the place. The only problem: this freaks one of us out, and the other couldn't care less about it. So, conflict.


Posted by: NCProsecutor | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 8:52 AM
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550

502: put some water on it.


Posted by: Annelid Gustator | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 9:05 AM
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551

540: plus you both like the same boxed wine.


Posted by: Annelid Gustator | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 9:05 AM
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550: I do shower from time to time. Last night I ran, very slowly, 4.4 miles and it feels better than it did yesterday. Maybe I'm on the mend. I still can't walk down stairs without pain unless I always lead with the other foot.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 9:06 AM
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547: so you could spend twice as much per bottle on bourbon that's eight times as good, drink half as often (or half as much per sitting) and come out way ahead.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 9:30 AM
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554

drink half as often (or half as much per sitting)

That's just so, so very wrong.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 9:31 AM
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555

luxury clothes-hangers

From the website: ". . . these wooden clothes hangers transform closets into sanctuaries . . .."

I'm not sure how clothes hangers would accomplish that (though they do look nice).


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 9:40 AM
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They actually mean wildlife sanctuaries. Nothing like going to pick out a shirt in the morning and then BLAM! cute cuddly wombat just ate your face off.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 9:42 AM
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557

cute cuddly wombat just ate your face off.

I thought that was racoons.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 9:46 AM
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542: Tried it. Meh. Sweet, but not all that interesting.

My friends seem to really like it, though.


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 12:03 PM
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558: "Meh" isn't an acceptable response, unless you're offering a suggestion of something else in a similar price range that you think is better. I mean, I love Four Roses Single Barrel or Elijah Craig or Blanton's or Pappy or what have you, but those all cost somewhere between 3 and 10 times as much per bottle.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 12:21 PM
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559: Honestly, I find Weller or Buffalo Trace more enjoyable and more interesting. And they go for like $35 a handle at the local liquor store, which is not bad.


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 12:35 PM
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And I am can detect at least some dimensions of quality; it would be very nice to have e.g. a bunch of Willet's special bottlings, but I don't want my one-time splurge on a bottle of Soppresata to become an unsustainable habit.

I just don't find Eagle Rare that interesting. If you feel you're getting good value for the money, then good for you.


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 12:41 PM
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Okay, fair enough--Weller is my other very-big-bang-for-the-buck suggestion. Personally, I don't like it as much, but it's okay that you do.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 12:46 PM
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What's with all this comity? For the record, all of the things I prefer to drink are superior to all of the things that both Benquo and urple drink combined, but I won't deign to name my super-awesome preferred drinks here.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 12:49 PM
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The wife and I use hard liquor for the drinking games that enhance the usual wine when were streaming shows on Netflix and Hulu on a Friday night. For example, if it's Hell's Kitchen than a shot is done every time someone cries and every time Ramsey throws or smashes some improper prepared food. Buffalo Trace is what I drink for that but my wife's pretty picky and we pony up for the 12 year old Glenlivet for her.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 1:15 PM
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Man I would way rather have Buffalo Trace than Glenlivet. Buffalo Trace is awesome.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 1:22 PM
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566

Also this is late but where the hell does urple find Eagle Rare for $24?!?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 1:24 PM
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567

For a second, I thought you were a fan.


Posted by: Opinionated Neneh Cherry | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 1:24 PM
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568

I am, Neneh. I am.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 1:26 PM
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566: K & L Wines in Hollywood is one place. What does it run by you?


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 1:26 PM
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570

Dang. Usually over $30, I think. I guess I'll look around.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 1:27 PM
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571

California is a good place to buy booze IME. Also: Wisconsin! I found a Michter's Rye for like $35.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 1:29 PM
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572

I'm not sure if I've seen Eagle Rare in our liquor stores here. Buffalo Trace is 20 or 22 a bottle and the Glenlivet is 40.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 1:30 PM
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567, 568: Yo, Neneh, check this out.


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 1:48 PM
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563: I don't think all the things I drink and all the things Urple drinks would taste very good if you combined them.


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 1:50 PM
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Weller is my other very-big-bang-for-the-buck suggestion.

I like Weller. I like the 107 once in a while; it tastes like bourbon your great aunt would like, in a good way. Buffalo Trace only started getting distributed here relatively recently, and it has gone up at least $10 a bottle since then.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 2:05 PM
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501: That's me, with my closet full of yarn. Because of the pretty colors.

Incidentally, husband and I have separate accounts, and split up the bills. We take turns buying dinner.


Posted by: J, Robot | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 8:12 PM
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337

... Good god, I have some research to do.

Andrew Tobias has some books on personal finance. It has been a while since I read them but as I recall they give a reasonable introduction to the basics.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 07-26-12 6:10 AM
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belatedly, one of the reasons it's easy to accumulate a lot of yarn or fabric or wood is that handling it is a sensuous pleasure.

....And one fantasizes about having the discipline to develop the skill to make use of the material. One, me, anyway. I think I will go deal with the top UFO in the trunk now. Apparently it behooves me to literally hammer a heavy seam against concrete to make it more flexible; that should amuse the neighbors.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 07-26-12 5:23 PM
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