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  1. #1
    The Iron Giant
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    Default Budgeting: do you, and how?

    Since my eight year old still refuses to manage the money in my household, I'm stuck with the task. I don't keep a solid budget, but I'm actually quite good at managing money, because to me it's all just a big math game where I try to have as high a score as possible, but the ultimate goal is just to stay in the black. I don't really stress about it at all, and in fact I don't check my bank statement daily or even weekly.

    My ex-wife, on the other hand, insisted on managing the money, yet stressed over it constantly, and I know other people at a comparable level of income to mine with fewer expenses who worry about it a lot more, too.

    How does money feel to you, and what do you do to manage it?

  2. #2
    Entertaining Cracker five sounds's Avatar
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    I suck at it. I just don't do any kind of budgeting at all, and have a really poor grasp on how much money is coming in and going out. I don't usually stress about it though. I just don't really spend very much money, and when I need to spend a big amount or feel like I've been spending more than usual, I go in and check my bank account to make sure everything's ok.

    My strategy in a nutshell: live simply and try to think about money as little as possible.
    You hem me in -- behind and before;
    you have laid your hand upon me.
    Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
    too lofty for me to attain.

  3. #3
    Artisan Conquerer Halla74's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by five sounds View Post
    I suck at it. I just don't do any kind of budgeting at all, and have a really poor grasp on how much money is coming in and going out.
    Same here!
    In all honesty, I am likely the Antichrist of budgeting.
    As a 7w8 Sx/So ESTP when I get near money it vanishes into fun experiences, cool gadgets, and gourmet food & drink.

    My solution?
    I give all my money to my wife.
    She is a master of budgeting, so who the hell am I to try and do it? It just doesn't make sense.
    My entire paycheck goes into her account every 2 weeks, and she sends me periodic emails with $ status info.
    Problem solved!


    Quote Originally Posted by five sounds
    I don't usually stress about it though. I just don't really spend very much money, and when I need to spend a big amount or feel like I've been spending more than usual, I go in and check my bank account to make sure everything's ok.
    That's a great strategy. I wish I had your discipline!!

    Quote Originally Posted by five sounds
    My strategy in a nutshell: live simply and try to think about money as little as possible.
    I was only able to get the knack of this after becoming a Dad.
    That made my provider instincts go into overdrive and serve as a check and balance for my Epicurean nature.
    --------------------
    Type Stats:
    MBTI -> (E) 77.14% | (i) 22.86% ; (S) 60% | (n) 40% ; (T) 72.22% | (f) 27.78% ; (P) 51.43% | (j) 48.57%
    BIG 5 -> Extroversion 77% ; Accommodation 60% ; Orderliness 62% ; Emotional Stability 64% ; Open Mindedness 74%

    Quotes:
    "If somebody asks your MBTI type on a first date, run". -Donna Cecilia
    "Enneagram is psychological underpinnings. Cognitive Functions are mental reasoning and perceptional processes. -Sanjuro

  4. #4
    libtard SJW chickpea's Avatar
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    I only use cash and my form of budgeting is only bringing out as much as I want to spend.

  5. #5
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Iron Giant View Post
    Since my eight year old still refuses to manage the money in my household, I'm stuck with the task.
    Some kids are very ungrateful.

    Maybe your kid figures you can sell your body parts + pints of blood in case of shortfall.

    I don't keep a solid budget, but I'm actually quite good at managing money, because to me it's all just a big math game where I try to have as high a score as possible, but the ultimate goal is just to stay in the black. I don't really stress about it at all, and in fact I don't check my bank statement daily or even weekly.

    My ex-wife, on the other hand, insisted on managing the money, yet stressed over it constantly, and I know other people at a comparable level of income to mine with fewer expenses who worry about it a lot more, too.

    How does money feel to you, and what do you do to manage it?
    Before my separation in 2008, we had all the credit card bills paid in full every month. But I can't say I had good spending habits, I just happened to keep things in check enough, had a thriftier spouse, and made enough money to pay for whatever I got.

    Separated, the double household costs hit me hard and I accrued a lot of debt. Some of it was because I did not take my spending seriously. Part of it was because I suddenly had a social life (since I had some freedom and was lonely living on my own). And then I got hit with various incidents that I suddenly had to pay for. My debt creeped up on me, and sending half my money to the kids really prevented me from paying things down.

    Then the divorce came, and court orders + a horrendous tuition expense ($35K more than I had been told). That pretty much finished me off. See, you just don't know sometimes when something in life will smack you. I still fear that my BCBS insurance won't be enough to handle a medical emergency, if one would ever occur. Some people get wiped out overnight.

    Anyway, this all taught me to live with a lot less than I was used to, and be far more tight and directed with my money. It's not my natural mode and I can't maintain it forever, but it taught me to be more prudent and think more long-term. My normal budget is a "fuzzy" one -- i have my recurring expenses figured out and how much is left as "fuzzy money" and then I kind of play it by ear.

    I got a kick this week in figuring out my budget (since I want to move, and my finances are changing drastically, with some more debt to pay down) and seeing how I can reduce what money I waste in interest each month. It's almost like a game. I'm not going to freak about it, but I feel a little more in control of my finances than I have in the past. I also need to position for retirement in a few decades.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  6. #6
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    Didn't make a ton last year, but still managed to save enough for a down payment on a house (if I wanted).

    I will not be doing that. I'm going to be my first client as a Financial Advisor and INVEST.

    Depending on how that performs and how much I make this year, I may use the money to finance the purchase of a quadruplex.

    That way, I can live in one of the units, use the rents from the other three units to cover the mortgage and (hopefully) ancillary operating costs.

    That way I'm building equity in a tangible asset, living somewhere for basically free, getting business start up experience by creating the LLC (most likely) that I'll run the quadruplex under, and building equity. Given that I was a realtor I know what property values are doing all over town, and know where to invest and in what kind of building to invest (brick is KING).

    However, I will only do that if the net gain outweighs the returns I could receive using more common investment vehicles.


  7. #7
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    Gotta love the tax treatment of LLC's (and other similar corporate structures).

    The pass through of profits and losses doesn't hurt either.

  8. #8
    The Iron Giant
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    @DiscoBiscuit -- awesome.

    The investments I have are entirely part of a 30-year aggressive portfolio that's managed by Fidelity. That's my 401k, but I also have a pension. I don't actually own any property.

    I think seeing those retirement benefits in my future (though I'm trying to pretend the pension isn't there since so many of those are evaporating now) makes me less inclined to think about savings or other investments now, though I do earn more than I spend, so I do have a small savings.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Iron Giant View Post
    @DiscoBiscuit -- awesome.

    The investments I have are entirely part of a 30-year aggressive portfolio that's managed by Fidelity. That's my 401k, but I also have a pension. I don't actually own any property.

    I think seeing those retirement benefits in my future (though I'm trying to pretend the pension isn't there since so many of those are evaporating now) makes me less inclined to think about savings or other investments now, though I do earn more than I spend, so I do have a small savings.
    Max that 401(k) as quick as you can.

    As always, live as far within your means as you are comfortable doing.

    I find that political winds are often leading market indicators, lighting the path ahead before even the markets get hip to it (but not by much). That's why I'm so excited about the new job, in certain circumstances it's like knowing the future (in an incredibly vague yet still definite sense). There was a hearing back in 2006 (that I was unable to find a link to) about huge new discoveries of natural gas reserves in America.

    I wish I could go back in time with like $50,000 to invest. There are a couple of people worth billions now who made the very same bet back then.

    Get in front of this energy boom my friend.

    And Robots. Have a look at this article:

    Bringing back jobs to the U.S. via the robot

    (CBS News) Payroll processor ADP says private businesses added 166,000 new jobs in September. In the future, some of those could be manufacturing jobs returning from places like China, thanks to a new piece of technology already working an assembly line in Pennsylvania.

    Meet Baxter, a robot. Just seven months on the line, he's the newest member of the team at Pennsylvania manufacturer Rodon.

    Factory VP Lowell Allen has put Baxter to work at what he's best at: boring, repetitive jobs.



    "Our people have really taken to Baxter," said Allen. "He's non-threatening. He's helping them do their job."

    Baxter is designed to work safely alongside humans. Six facial expressions communicate status to human partners -- a raised eyebrow signals confusion if something's not right on the line. But most of time, Baxter works alone.

    "And the best part I like is that Baxter doesn't have a mouth," said Allen. "So Baxter doesn't talk."

    Slow but steady, Baxter toils on 24/7 without breaks or benefits. He costs only $22,000. And even with power and programming costs, Baxter is a $3-an-hour worker.

    "He doesn't necessarily replace anyone," said Allen. "In fact, we need to hire skilled people to maintain and program those pieces of equipment. They just enable jobs to be performed more efficiently and therefore less expensively."

    Baxter is part of the new factory floor: a cutting-edge mix of people and technology that has helped to reduce production costs enough to bring manufacturing back from China.

    "So we're seeing now," said Hal Sirkin of Boston Consulting Group, "is companies bring jobs back to the U.S. Not just because of patriotism but because of pure economics. The wages are rising in China, the U.S. is getting more competitive. The average American worker is at least 3 times as productive as the average Chinese worker."

    For Rodon and its sister company K'nex, that means 25 new jobs in three years. "We're adding equipment, people and possibly breaking ground next door," said Allen.

    Sirkin said: "Had the automation not been put in place for a lot of these companies, we would have no jobs coming back to the U.S."

    Three to 5 million jobs are expected to be returning to the U.S. by the end of the decade.
    There's a lot more, but I can't give away all my secrets.

  10. #10
    Post Human Post Qlip's Avatar
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    My finances have settled down that I can actually predict my income and expenses, that means BUDGET! I can do. If I'm not, I hardly ever check my numbers and I have a natural and eerie ability to spend almost all of my money, all somehow without ending up on the street.

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