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two sides of the coin

March 16th, 2017 at 09:08 am

I find it odd. I appear to have two different sets of friends. Both are great but ones are savers and others are spenders. The savers are two other families whose kids go to piano with our kids. They both have two DK same age as our two and all 6 kids are in 2 classes of 3. We were with them last year as well and will be with them next year too. The kids love each other.

Parents #1 quit his job last May because he didn't agree with management. They are doing great and paying for private school and have a huge safety net. The Dad is deciding what he wants to do with his life. They keep up with all activities and I know live modestly. You can tell with the cars they drive and they still travel and eat out and live comfortably. The mom has said they probably have another 1-2 years expenses.

Parents #2 the mom just quit her job over the treatment from management. She applied for her own job it turns out they have been trying to hire since January. Well she tells me that they have a year of savings comfortably without worrying. The Dad owns his own business and has been the primary caregiver of the kids while she went out and was the breadwinner. She's going to take some time and reflect on what she really wants to do. Her goal is to find a job after the summer.

I gotta say it's refreshing to hear from friends that they are secure without jobs and not worried about the future.

On the other hand since I'm doing taxes, I got a chance to look a 3 different friends tax returns for free. Just in case they missed something. They all made $160k-$200k and all have some credit card debt, minimal retirement savings, and just spending everything that comes in. Making that much and saving $5k/year for retirement seemed nuts. And not having an Emergency Fund or down payment for a home. I did suggest they try to divert 5% of income into a saving account. But they said it was impossible. Where would they get the money from?

Truth is that finances no matter what you make is a mindset. You can make a lot and spend it all. You can make a lot and save a lot. I think that part of it is being satisfied with what you make and spending it wisely. The first sets of parents I think live simply and are happy. The second sets are constantly buying things, eating out, and spending on everything. Does it make them happier? I'm not sure but I know if they lost their jobs they would not be calm and happy the way the first set of parents are. Able to walk away because the job sucks. I wonder if people realize that sometimes the savings gives you the freedom of not worrying. It's not just about the money.

5 Responses to “two sides of the coin”

  1. creditcardfree Says:

    Well said. Although I don't find it odd that you have two sets of friends that handle money differently, that is the way the world is, people are different. I'd rather be the savers, then the spenders for the freedom as well.

  2. Guppy Tender Says:

    I am totally with you on this. I would much rather be spending way less than I make and know that I could live the same as I live now for a extended period of time if I lost my job. Currently have enough funds set aside in quick access accounts that I would be able to live at least a year without work.(Gives a decent amount of peace).

  3. livingalmostlarge Says:

    It's really hard because I want to shake those friends and say you are one job loss away from losing everything. How will you pay rent? What happens if you don't find a job immediately? I feel like neither has lived through a recession or a job loss. How can people sleep at night?

  4. rob62521 Says:

    Well written. One lady I worked with, her husband worked for a very successful company that matched 401K funds. She constantly said they couldn't afford to put money in his 401K...they weren't destitute, but it all was about choice. They chose not to put retirement money away. Now they are reaching retirement age, they certainly wished they had and it has become too late. Too late you say? Well, major health problems with both of them, and he may be forced to retire now instead of a few years down the road. She is already worried how they will make it.

  5. PatientSaver Says:

    Yes, saving money is all wrapped up in freedom of choice, for me, anyway.

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