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Your spending habits and financial outlook

Discussion in 'Tilted Life and Sexuality' started by cynthetiq, Mar 18, 2017.

  1. cynthetiq

    cynthetiq Administrator Staff Member Donor

    Location:
    New York City
    I read this the other day and found it fascinating.

    [​IMG]

    Six 30-Year-Old Women With Very Different Incomes on How They Spend and Save

    Copy this and answer it. Be honest with yourself. Take your time and share your experience.

    Do you keep a budget?
    Do you live above or below your means?
    Are you saving for retirement?
    What savings goals are you working toward?
    What is your biggest financial worry?
    How would you cope financially if your business failed?
    When was the last time a lack of money stopped you from doing something you wanted to do?
    What's one thing you'll always splurge on, no matter what?
    If you came into a sudden windfall, what would you do with the money?
    What did you buy your family for the holidays?
    From a financial standpoint, how do you feel when you think about the future?
    How much cash is in your wallet right now?

    Do you keep a budget?
    No. I have tried to make a budget since I was a kid. I tried and tried and tried. As I became a young adult. I stopped trying to budget because I didn't want to see the spend on sins. I didn't want to know how much I drank, drugged, and partied. I know that I spent a small fortune on doing it for close to two decades. I stopped much of hemorrhaging when I was in my late 20s early 30s but by then it was too late. I needed to make up time.

    Do you live above or below your means?
    Below. I have always lived below my means. I don't like credit. I don't like to owe money. I am pretty much debt free save for my personal home mortgage and now a car lease. I have purchased 2 cars and 1 house with cash. It's not impossible to do in this time period. I'm happy that I was able to achieve such a goal because it made me understand that I can achieve it if I tried. These weren't expensive cars or an expensive house. It just took discipline and finding the right deal to come along. But doing these things made me understand that nothing is impossible. For entertainment, we tend to do things that are free or close to free. We go to movies, theater usually free or low price. We dine out with coupons and half price sales. We travel with frequent flier miles to Europe. We have been able to learn how to stretch money even though we didn't need to. Now that we need to, we know how to do it without breaking a sweat. Full price is for suckers. No one pays retail. Okay, we try hard to not pay retail, even for groceries. We know that things go on sale, so we wait until they are on sale especially if they are dry or canned goods.

    Are you saving for retirement?
    I was. With my corporate job and the ability to put money into a 401(k) I was socking away as much as I could. Now I'm trying to figure out how I'm going to plan the new way to save money for retirement. I am trying to create more revenue streams from real estate holdings along with savings accounts. I'm planning on buying several real estate acquisitions in the next 5-10 years that will make it possible to hit my savings and income goals.

    What savings goals are you working toward?
    1. Retirement $1M.
    2. 50th Birthday European sports car dream drive in Germany.
    3. Brand new special order BMW delivered in Europe.

    What is your biggest financial worry?
    I don't make enough money. I can't pay my bills. I can't enjoy life. Skogafoss is more paralyzed by this than I am. I'm worried but I don't worry too much.

    How would you cope financially if your business failed?
    I have enough to weather some storms but right now I'm dipping into the cash savings to get the business on its feet. If it fails, I pick myself up and start over. I sell off more assets, I cash in more investments. I take penalties on retirement savings. This is the plan if things fail. I'm currently scared that it will fail.

    When was the last time a lack of money stopped you from doing something you wanted to do?
    Just a week ago. I made a milestone and wanted to celebrate with an ice cream splurge. Wife didn't want to spend the money. I ended up doing a dinner shop where I got paid to eat dinner at a decent restaurant. I decided to go all out and get the full combo, steak, ribs, and fried shrimp!!! A little celebration where I got paid and I got a special meal.

    What's one thing you'll always splurge on, no matter what?
    Food. I never skimp on it. Sure I'll skimp on some of it, but for the most part, I'll still splurge on food from time to time.

    If you came into a sudden windfall, what would you do with the money?
    I'd put it into savings just like I have always done.

    What did you buy your family for the holidays?
    We don't do holiday gift exchanges. Since @skogafoss was diagnosed with cancer over 5 years ago, I try to do something small to make a memory. This year I bought us wide mouth thermoses so that we can take hot food with us when we go house hunting.

    From a financial standpoint, how do you feel when you think about the future?
    I'm usually not worried about money. For now, I am because I'm learning a different way to earn money which I had never done before so it is a bit scary. The political climate worries me because I fear that future opportunity will be lost to me because doors or windows closing to me.

    How much cash is in your wallet right now?
    I think $22. I'm not sure. I rarely carry cash in my pocket these days. Mostly because I can charge something to my credit card and get points. I pay it off at the end of the month. I get mileage points and thus end up traveling for less cost and again saving money.
     
    Yerba, Chris Noyb, ralphie250 and 2 others like this.
  2. Yerba

    Yerba ...wait, what?

    Location:
    Nowhere, KS
    Do you keep a budget?
    I keep a leger in a spreadsheet program on my computer, but at this point it's less a budget and more a suggestion. It's sobering to figure out where my money goes each month, especially with my current attitude towards spending money.

    Do you live above or below your means?
    At this point I'm certainly living above my means. I didn't have much in the way of money or possessions growing up, so after I got my first "big kid job" out of college I started spending money on a lot of the stuff I could never afford. A number of years later, I'm only just starting to come down from that, though with each purchase I'm becoming more and more aware of how much farther into the red I'm putting myself.

    Are you saving for retirement?
    I have made it one of my goals to open a Roth IRA for myself by my next birthday. I still have a bit of time yet before the deadline for this to happen. Other than that, I'm not currently saving for retirement, though I know I really should be.

    What savings goals are you working toward?
    Currently my only real goal that I'm working towards is building up my emergency fund. I'm currently at a month of paychecks post-tax, my goal is to get that up to 3 months and then 6.

    I have a checking account through a separate bank that I want to start filling up with "slush fund" money that I can use for non-necessary "for-fun" purchases. Putting a few bucks in there a month should be higher up on my list of priorities.

    I want to start investing, but I'm a bit scared and intimidated by everything I need to know just to get my foot in the door without just throwing my money away.

    Other than that, my big goal is to get my credit card paid off in full - this is another goal that I have by my next birthday.

    What is your biggest financial worry?
    I lived for years in financial worry - wondering where my next meal would come from, trying to figure out which bills I can pay to avoid shutoffs, etc. These days I'm much more comfortable, though my lack of emergency fund as noted above is a bit... worrysome.

    How would you cope financially if your business failed?
    I'm not too worried about this - the sort of tinkering that I do in my day job is high enough in demand that I could fairly easily find another job if I needed to. I've actually been prepared for this for several years, as my company has made some questionable decisions in my tenure here.

    When was the last time a lack of money stopped you from doing something you wanted to do?
    It's been a while - I don't live so far above my means that I can't afford to splurge on things if I wanted to. My issue is that I 'want to' entirely too often.

    What's one thing you'll always splurge on, no matter what?
    I have a couple of hobbies that turn out to be more expensive than I anticipate - one that I talk about on here a lot is bowling, which can get very expensive very quickly. Another is food - there's no quicker way to drain my bank account than to give me access to high-quality (and high-price) ingredients or foods.

    If you came into a sudden windfall, what would you do with the money?
    I'd pay off my various debts, starting with the smaller ones (car payment, cell phone finance, personal debt, etc) and then I'd split the remaining money between my student loans and stashing it away in some sort of low-risk investment fund.

    What did you buy your family for the holidays?
    My family doesn't really buy each other stuff (see above about not really having the means). We mostly just enjoy each others' company. My partner and I bought each other more practical gifts - I bought them a set of cookware and a laptop battery, they bought me some bowling-related stuff.

    From a financial standpoint, how do you feel when you think about the future?
    Realistically I need to start being more careful with my money - it's not an infinite resource and I really should stop treating it as such.

    How much cash is in your wallet right now?
    Up until a few nights ago it was just a few dollars plus my emergency $20 that I always keep on me (you never know when you'll wind up at a cash-only place). Now it's just the emergency $20, since I gave a buddy some gas money to come and hang out with a group of friends. I prefer to charge things to my credit card for much the same reason that @cynthetiq mentions above - more useful than carrying cash, etc. I just need to get the CC bill paid down enough to where I can pay it off completely every month.
     
    cynthetiq likes this.
  3. genuinemommy

    genuinemommy Moderator Staff Member

    What a great exercise!

    Do you keep a budget? Yes
    Do you live above or below your means? Below
    Are you saving for retirement? Yes
    What savings goals are you working toward? 1 million in retirement (nowhere near!) and pay off house
    What is your biggest financial worry? Inflation, health costs
    How would you cope financially if your business failed? Find any work. Sell our house and move into a cheap apartment. We can live off 1/4 our current income, if needed.
    When was the last time a lack of money stopped you from doing something you wanted to do? I don't dream big. It hasn't happened.
    What's one thing you'll always splurge on, no matter what? My health. Certain food choices.
    If you came into a sudden windfall, what would you do with the money? pay off our inexpensive home and invest.
    What did you buy your family for the holidays? A few used toys and books.
    From a financial standpoint, how do you feel when you think about the future? I'm excited about the future.
    How much cash is in your wallet right now? $60.
     
    cynthetiq likes this.
  4. Stan

    Stan Resident Dumbass Donor

    Location:
    Colorado
    Do you keep a budget?

    No need, really.

    Do you live above or below your means?

    Well below.

    Are you saving for retirement?

    Yes

    What savings goals are you working toward?

    Retirement

    What is your biggest financial worry?

    Healthcare during retirement.

    How would you cope financially if your business failed?

    Guess I'm retired, ... again

    When was the last time a lack of money stopped you from doing something you wanted to do?

    Been a few decades. Realistically, we have have lower middle class upbringing and expectations, with an income that exceeds that.

    What's one thing you'll always splurge on, no matter what?

    We eat well and stay as healthy as possible.

    If you came into a sudden windfall, what would you do with the money?

    Invest it, possibly retire, share with daughters.

    What did you buy your family for the holidays?

    The ability to visit us.

    From a financial standpoint, how do you feel when you think about the future?

    Healthcare is a huge uncertainty/

    How much cash is in your wallet right now?

    $500, daughter is visiting, ex has been iffy about child support, and I wasn't sure if she'd need help or not (she didn't).
     
    cynthetiq and genuinemommy like this.
  5. POPEYE

    POPEYE Very Tilted Donor

    Location:
    Tulsa
    Wow, well I live basically paycheck to paycheck.
    Spending habits? Cigarettes, alcohol and gifts or needs for my loved ones.
    No budget just don't need one.
    I seem to have the money I want to do the things I want.
    " I got 20$ in my pocket and going to buy me some clothes. "
     
    genuinemommy likes this.
  6. ASU2003

    ASU2003 Slightly Tilted

    Location:
    Where ever I roam
    Do you keep a budget? No
    Do you live above or below your means? Below
    Are you saving for retirement? Yes
    What savings goals are you working toward? Nothing
    What is your biggest financial worry? Running out of money
    How would you cope financially if your business failed? It would probably be no different. I wouldn't want to start up a risky business that took a large investment anyways.
    When was the last time a lack of money stopped you from doing something you wanted to do? I want to buy a Tesla, but I don't have that kind of money.
    What's one thing you'll always splurge on, no matter what? Apple products
    If you came into a sudden windfall, what would you do with the money?
    What did you buy your family for the holidays? We bought our own presents last year. I got an ecobee 3 thermostat.
    From a financial standpoint, how do you feel when you think about the future? If we had universal healthcare and a basic income, I would feel just fine. I have enough to survive for 5-10 years or so.
    How much cash is in your wallet right now? $35.

    I have a complicated relationship with money. I wish I had a better control over monitoring how much I have and the spending I do. Mint should be the solution, but it doesn't seem like the banks work well enough with it all the time. I should be investing more, yet it is too much work and seemed like too much of a gamble. Plus I thought that most of the companies were overpriced in 2012.

    I am in this weird place with money. I have enough that I don't worry about it like I used to, but I don't know how my life would change by making more money. The only way I see my life changing is if I make a lot of money ($1 million+ in the next few years). And when I have no clue how much I will make this year let alone a plan to make millions besides the lottery, that may be tough. It's why I am not impressed with the stock market, as I see it as a greater chance to lose money than actually make a lot to make a big difference. Making $30,000 in the market might be nice, but my life isn't going to change. Losing $15,000 would be a lot worse.

    The next part is that most of my friends are poor. And while I am glad that I don't have to worry about spending $5 at lunch or $10 more for things at the grocery store, it was starting to be where I was in a different place financially than them. I still have the mindset of a poor college student, but I don't have to work overtime or worry about every dollar anymore.

    And I won't get into the part where I figured that when I got a job, I would find a girlfriend. But since that didn't happen, I think there are bigger issues to deal with than working and making more money. What is the point of the money? Free time and experiences are more important than anything I can buy (without getting into the next tax bracket). So we will see what happens in the next few years.
     
    cynthetiq, genuinemommy and POPEYE like this.
  7. Baraka_Guru

    Baraka_Guru Möderätor Staff Member

    Location:
    Toronto
    Do you keep a budget?

    No, but my finances are modest. I know how much my expenses are, and not much fluctuates. I have very little disposable income, and I live like I have very little disposable income.​

    Do you live above or below your means?

    I have mostly lived below my means, but I loaded up a lot of debt to get through school (both college and university).​

    Are you saving for retirement?

    No, I'm still paying down the debt I accumulated to educate myself.​

    What savings goals are you working toward?


    None.​

    What is your biggest financial worry?

    Keeping my income above $25,000 a year.​

    How would you cope financially if your business failed?

    I would probably find easy work. The minimum wage here is $11.40 an hour (going up to $11.60 an hour this fall). From there, I would try to regroup on the side.​

    When was the last time a lack of money stopped you from doing something you wanted to do?

    Today. (This answer almost never changes.)​

    What's one thing you'll always splurge on, no matter what?

    I don't splurge. I don't think I've ever splurged.​

    If you came into a sudden windfall, what would you do with the money?


    I would pay off my debts.​

    What did you buy your family for the holidays?

    Gift cards: $20 each for each niece and nephew; $100 for each parent; nothing for siblings.

    Random stuff for SO: under $200 total.​

    From a financial standpoint, how do you feel when you think about the future?

    Crestfallen.​

    How much cash is in your wallet right now?


    I don't keep cash in my wallet. I have about $4.25 in pocket change though.​
     
    POPEYE, genuinemommy and cynthetiq like this.
  8. POPEYE

    POPEYE Very Tilted Donor

    Location:
    Tulsa
    I am living in my means.
    I don't carry cash
    I do have savings
    I also have cash in a shoe box for emergencies.
    I also stock food and supplies
    Keep my gas tank full
    And over pay my utilities