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Racial or Class warfare?

March 16th, 2015 at 10:14 am

With the greater publicity about white cops shooting african american people, a friend of mine commented that the US doesn't appear to making progress in the race wars. I said I think actually there has been a lot of progress racially but in the us class wars are rising. Perhaps I'm wrong, but I live in a very blue part of the US and I don't think people judge others by the color of their skin. But I think that a lot of people are judging others based on where they live, their education, their jobs.

I mean it seems pretty obvious just talking to people, so many are very much into "sending their kids to the right schools." After all it'll affect where they go to college and a state school isn't good enough. Or sending their kid now to private versus public school. You can sort of see a divide between blue and white collar jobs.

My friend lives in also a blue state but not as affluent. She said she'd have to look closer to see if there were class wars where we she versus her perceived race wars. She felt like where she lived there wasn't such a pronounced difference between those who were "upper middle class and above" and those below.

Do you think the US faces bigger racial or class warfare? Do we even have a problem?

Struggling here

November 10th, 2014 at 09:36 am

I am struggling where I am. Not with the cleanse, not financially, but where I am mentally. My DH had a phone interview last night with a company on the West Coast. I feel so up and down at the same time. I am excited by the possibility, yet anxious that it'll be another disappointment.

I feel the strain of hoping, planning, and praying we move. I am torn by the fact I face another two winters where we live and I HATE it. I hate everything about it. I wonder if we shouldn't pull the trigger this coming summer 2015. I feel like our lives are on hold in so many ways.

I struggle because I don't want to tell people our crazy plan because it is nuts. We are going to dump our house, quit a good paying job, and move. I don't know where or what we are going to do.

I do know my DH is no longer desperate for a job. He wants to do a career change and is excited at the prospect. He's found a niche he'd like to get into and thinks it's a better fit for him.

But what do we do? Do we move without jobs to Seattle? Portland? Or go to the more expensive San Diego or San Francisco? When? I am struggling because financially we should stay put. But at the same time financially shouldn't we take the risk?

LBYM = Nothing to show

June 29th, 2014 at 11:50 am

Yes living below your means often means you have nothing material to show for it. Often times it means passing on a fancy car, cool vacation, eating out, fancy groceries, branded clothes, or even furniture. It is hard and in some ways I think it gets harder as you get older.

When I was in my 20s with DH none of our friends had money or things. They weren't buying houses, they weren't driving luxury cars yet, they were getting of school, getting careers started, paying back loans, etc. Most people were young and broke and starting out. But then the 30s/40s hit and people began starting families and making a real salary instead of entry level earnings.

I recently turned 35 and started blogging again and began reading posts about getting out of debt and turning over a new leaf and LBYM. There are many posts about the monotony and struggle of savings.

I'm about to admit it's HARD. Right now and probably for the past 4 years we've been on cruise control. We've been cruising along saving at the same rate and pace actually putting more aside in our taxable savings, but accruing some debt (car loans I want gone this year). But this year a couple of things happened. I realized that we are potentially early retirees or financially independent couple. But at the same time I realized we also haven't upsized our lifestyle at all in a LONG time.

We bought our townhouse with plans for having kids and we had them. We have the same furniture pretty much we bought in our 1 bd condo, $100 dinner table, $20 coffee table, $50 desk from IKEA, $40 dressers from IKEA. We haven't bought any really adult furniture, except our foam mattress from costco 5 years ago. We did upgrade our cars to 4 family sedans instead of compact cars we had, but base model and used for the other. So in little ways our life has improved but nothing noticeably drastic.

So I'm going to buck the "mustachian" trend and ADMIT that I do find it hard. I find it hard to stay the course and LBYM. I find it hard to not compare and wonder what it would be like to buy a couch that cost 4 figures or a dinner table that seats more than 4 people. Or lusting after a mininvan but hesitating because even used it's a lot.

So no it doesn't get easier after getting out of debt. According to Mr Money Mustache saving 15% of your income only gets you to retirement in 43 years, saving 50% = 17 years. I can agree because I recently calculated our savings rate at around 50% of "net" = 17 years and that's about dead on for when I project we'll hit "Financial Independence" at age 45, perhaps sooner.

It's hard to save monthly without seeing any returns. To look online at other people's posted budgets even and realize that people "take home" more than we do but also feel like they have nothing to show for it. I feel like we live a very frugal middle class lifestyle because our money is siphoned away into savings before I even see it. Yet I also know mentally truly "middle" class aren't able to save anything.

So no it doesn't get easier. To quote Dave Ramsey "you should be debt free in 7 years is Bull SHIT!" Saving 15% puts you on the path to retire in 40 years. You still have other expenses to save for. You are living like no one else because you are living with a safety net. But to be truly financially free takes a lot more time and sacrifice.

What keeps me moving forward even when it sucks? That I'd rather be where I am today in less debt than I was yesterday. Everyday and choice moves me closer to the goal and though it feels like I'm treading water, I'm still ahead than digging myself into more debt.

So have a little faith fellow LBYM. It's not easy and we often lack material goods or experiences. But would you rather be here or where you were 3 months ago?

Starting Fresh

May 15th, 2014 at 10:36 am

I guess I'll try this for a couple months before really getting going on a full on blog again. I used to blog about finances but time constraints and my total inability to figure out how to code stopped me. But where to start?

Perhaps by saying I never considered early retirement or financial independence until January of 2014. Though my DH and I have been long term Living Below Yours Means (LBYM) people, it still never occurred to either of us. To us we were to live frugally, save, and then raise our heads at 55 and determine if we could retire like our parents.

It's never occurred to us to accrue debt, spend more than we can pay on the CC, and not save the maximum. We've never really grown into our incomes. When we got our first jobs the only question was "what's the maximum allowed to save?" And that would be the first line item and everything else would fall into line.

Our lifestyle has always been determined by savings first then everything else like a puzzle we fit together. We aren't line item budgeters. We aren't tracking every penny people, rather we're pay yourself first people then spend. And our pay ourselves first has been all savings at the maximum then we have to figure out to live on the rest. Even if the rest is pennies.

And I will admit our income has increased a lot. I will have to go back and see perhaps the next post.