Money?

edited December 2012 in General Chat
Is money an inappropriate subject?
I like talking about money. I find it relaxing. I was wondering if other people were in the same case and would like to talk about it.

I know it's often taboo (you're not supposed to ask people how much they earn or stuff like that) but I wasn't sure if it's considered controversial enough to be, well, something to avoid talking about on forums.

Either way, if anyone else is interested, here is a money subject. Well, for now. Who knows what it's going to turn into.
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Comments

  • edited April 2010
    I make enough to live comfortably, with some luxuries... but not enough to live extravagantly...
  • edited April 2010
    I turned 17 in September, which is the legal driving age in the UK. I don't have nearly enough money to learn to drive though, let alone get a car and insurance :( I hate money (or a lack of it).

    It annoys me how some people seem not to have a very good concept of it, though. As an example, I go to college, and I get £30 a week from the government (EMA/education maintenance allowance) because I'm from a low income family. I use this money to eat, buy clothes, books etc., just like it's intended. A lot of people at my college, though, are from pretty well-off families, and a lot of them tend to get pissed off at the fact that I get money from the government. These people get money from their parents, though (pocket money) on top of their parents paying for them to drive etc., so to me it seems like they're either incredibly ungrateful or they just genuinely don't fully understand money because they've never been in a shortage of it.

    To sum up, I think that in order to have a good sense of money and how to spend/save it properly, it generally helps to not have any.
  • edited April 2010
    What I'm most curious about is what people spend their money on, if they have a budget, etc.

    For instance I read a figure that said you needs should be 50% of your income, your "wants" 30% and your "save" 20%.

    But I thought that was weird. I mean if you earn very little, your needs might be 90% of your income. And if you earn a lot, you're not going to suddenly need more stuff, and you should force yourself to live in a bigger place or something so it can reach 50%.

    I mean, I don't have an income at all and my husband doesn't earn much (although a bit more than minimum wage) and yet our needs are much less than 50% of our income, so I can't imagine how people who earn like 30,000+ a year would be able to spend 50% of that on needs.
  • edited April 2010
    I also have a wife and it definitely helps having a teammate to tackle all the money problems... Although money is also one of the main reasons people talk about in divorce court.
  • edited April 2010
    Fealiks wrote: »
    It annoys me how some people seem not to have a very good concept of it, though. As an example, I go to college, and I get £30 a week from the government (EMA/education maintenance allowance) because I'm from a low income family. I use this money to eat, buy clothes, books etc., just like it's intended. A lot of people at my college, though, are from pretty well-off families, and a lot of them tend to get pissed off at the fact that I get money from the government. These people get money from their parents, though (pocket money) on top of their parents paying for them to drive etc., so to me it seems like they're either incredibly ungrateful or they just genuinely don't fully understand money because they've never been in a shortage of it.

    That reminds me of a friend of mine. Well two of them. One lived in a studio (10 square metres, about 100 square feet) and earned 800 euros a month. She wasn't doing awesome but she was getting by.
    The other, who's from a super rich family, would make comments like "well, you can buy lots of stuff with 800 euros!"
    I've shopped with her in the past (which mostly means I've carried her bags lol) and it was common (yes, common, she'd do it regularly, as in several times a month at least) to buy 600 euros worth of DVDs in one go, then move on to the comic book section or clothes and spend even more.

    It completely boggled my mind that she could only think of money in matters of "pocket money", that is money to spend on stuff she wanted. It never seemed to cross her mind that things like rent, electricity bills, transportation and food (not restaurants, just basic cheap food) cost money too, and a lot of it. And that my other friend didn't have money left that she could spend as "pocket money" once she was done paying for the basics.

    It was a bit frustrating to say the least. Especially since she's such a nice and generous person. For her money just isn't an object, she's never had to stop and think about it, as you said because she's never lacked it.
  • edited April 2010
    Avistew wrote: »
    That reminds me of a friend of mine. Well two of them. One lived in a studio (10 square metres, about 100 square feet) and earned 800 euros a month. She wasn't doing awesome but she was getting by.
    The other, who's from a super rich family, would make comments like "well, you can buy lots of stuff with 800 euros!"
    I've shopped with her in the past (which mostly means I've carried her bags lol) and it was common (yes, common, she'd do it regularly, as in several times a month at least) to buy 600 euros worth of DVDs in one go, then move on to the comic book section or clothes and spend even more.

    It completely boggled my mind that she could only think of money in matters of "pocket money", that is money to spend on stuff she wanted. It never seemed to cross her mind that things like rent, electricity bills, transportation and food (not restaurants, just basic cheap food) cost money too, and a lot of it. And that my other friend didn't have money left that she could spend as "pocket money" once she was done paying for the basics.

    It was a bit frustrating to say the least. Especially since she's such a nice and generous person. For her money just isn't an object, she's never had to stop and think about it, as you said because she's never lacked it.

    Yeah, that's exactly the type of thing that I'm talking about. I don't think you should blame people for that sort of behaviour though - if it's a genuine lack of thought/knowledge on their part then it's best to just let it slide.

    About the 50% of your income thingy, though, as I said I get £30 a week, and I usually end up spending about £20 of it on food (which is about 67%). The rest is sometimes saved, sometimes spent on things for college and sometimes spent as pocket money. I think you're right that the amount you spend on things you "need" depends entirely on how much you actually earn.
  • edited April 2010
    I'd reccomend "God Bless You, Mr.Rosewater" by Kurt Vonnegut.

    It's a little harsh, but it says a lot of things that need to be said about money.

    Our civilization's money system is very iffy.
    Money = representation of the work you've done/goods you've helped produced.
    Amount of work done in the world = amount of money in the world.

    But when we include things like rent, and interest, you're basically creating money out of thin air.
    You just have money sitting there, multiplying.
  • edited April 2010
    Yeah, I think stuff that's based on % of income is often flawed, since income can vary so much.

    When they say you can expect to spend x% of your current income once you're retired, I'm always thinking "shouldn't you base that on your current actual spending rather than your current income?"
    What if someone earns so much that they only spend 10% of what they earn (and are stashing up the rest for when they stop earning that much)?

    Also, I wasn't blaming my friend but it was sometimes frustrating some of the comments she made. You could tell she really had no idea, and we tried to make her see but it didn't seem to work much.

    I also agree with Irishmile that having a "financial partner" can be a lot of help (or a lot of trouble). The most obvious example in our case is that we've never had two incomes at the same time (I used to make the only income, now it's reversed) but it's also a lot of help to discuss things, and in our case we temperate each other, since I tend to oversave and he tends to overspend. We remind each other not to overdo it too much.
    (I don't think it would work if the difference is too huge though, or if the halves of the couple aren't beyond doing things behind each other's back).

    I think it's too bad that some people just avoid the subject altogether. I mean, you need to at least know where you're standing (are you spending more than you make? Are you in debt? Did you forget to pay some bills?) and you can't just ignore it and think it will go away.
    A lot of people find it stressful, I find it relaxing because this way I know where I'm standing. Even if the result is "you owe us money", I feel much more relaxed knowing how much exactly and how long it will take me to pay it back than just not knowing if I owe money or not.
  • edited April 2010
    So, did anyone really think a thread about money could be established without me dropping by to give my two cents? A man is, of course, entitled to keep ever cent he makes. It is not the place of the government or the church to tell a man what's his and what's not. Any man who tells you different, either has his finger in your pocket or a pistol at your neck.
  • edited April 2010
    TL;DR story of my financial status ahead.

    I still live with my parents, but only because I don't see it necessary to rent an apartment when my school is so close to my house. I'll most likely move to Orlando after I graduate and share rent with my friend, but for now it's financially easier like this. Besides, even if I wanted to live on my own, I couldn't, at least not for the school I'm going to. Not just because I can't afford the dorms, but there's other factors.

    First of all, I don't get any sort of financial aid, only loans. I think it's because when I applied for it, both my parents were employed. Now, I'm not complaining at all about this, after all I've already adapted, but sometimes I wish things were a little easier for us financially. My mom has been laid off twice from her job now and she's going to a career college to work on something else, because she's deemed it impossible to get an engineering job in this area and with the economy being what it is. My dad is well off, but he makes less than half what my mom made when she had a job, so it's not as easy as it once was.

    My school is EXPENSIVE, let's just leave it at that. Even for the gargantuan amount of money you have to pay, there's still buying your supplies for every class and such, some you don't even end up using later, and can easily amount to $100 per class. I did so well in high school but I didn't get any financial aid or anything from it, because it didn't count towards this school, I'm guessing. (but it's the only school with animation around here so I have no choice) So sometimes I feel as if it was all for naught since most of my friends who got into the same school managed with a G.E.D. I just wish I had a LITTLE bit of financial support because I am managing through loans and I know it's going to come back and bite me in the butt later. D: (my parents won't pay for it, I have to) A lot of the students at my school are completely baffled when I tell them I get no financial aid. Like one time this guy invited me to eat lunch at the school cafeteria and I told him I had no money. He asked me how much I had left on my "card." I told him I don't have financial aid pay for my food and he looked at me like I had showed him a live unicorn. :|

    One thing I did to avoid the mass of money is to take the general credits in a cheaper community college, which helped out the strain a bit. Though thankfully they were transferrable in my school. This school has a campus somewhere else where they aren't, for some strange reason, even though it's basically the same school!

    So basically, my school has these very annoying schedules, especially for animation students. They're around 3-4 hours per class in an 11-week term, and even if you register early for classes there is probably no way you'd get classes at the exact time you want them because the professors are constantly being switched around. Also you're forced into 5 classes per term. (this is one of those schools where they want to get students out as fast as possible, you see) Because of this it makes it very difficult for me to get a solid job. (imagine trying to tell my boss every 11 weeks that I have to change work schedules again)

    So, I work a temp. pool job. I get $12 per hour, but I am only allowed to work nine hours a week. (It was eight before but I got a raise) So yeah, I really don't make much. 3/4 of my monthly paycheck goes into my savings for my car and such, the rest is used for whatever I want, though sometimes I have to use it for food and school supplies. But it's ok at least I have a house, some people are far, far worse. You have no idea how many of my friends have come over to stay at my house after... Issues.
  • edited April 2010
    That sounds pretty bad.

    I get annoyed at how help is always counted depending on how much your parents earn. I know lots of people who don't get any financial help from their parents, yet because their parents earn over a certain amount, they won't get help from the government either, it's stupid.

    I'm "lucky" enough that I'm not studying so I don't have to worry about any of that. My husband is following a degree paid by his job but it's only one credit at a time, so it's going to take 6 or 8 years for a two-year degree, so we're trying to save up so he can take a few extra degrees that we'll pay for and he'll be done earlier.
    Right now I'm not sure if it will be worth it though. Will he get a pay raise high enough that it will pay for itself? If he can finish two years earlier but in two years the difference in pay didn't cover the credits, then is it still worth it?
    But yeah, his job is helping with that. Which is good, since he's wanted to take that degree since before we met but could never afford it.

    The other thing is that I'm worried taking extra credits would be too much for him. He already works 18-hour shifts and with that single class I can see how the homework and classes are taking pretty much all of his free time, I can't really see how he could take extra classes on top of that...
  • edited April 2010
    PecanBlue wrote: »
    Also you're forced into 5 classes per term. (this is one of those schools where they want to get students out as fast as possible, you see)

    Fast? Weird. At my college (Which is in fact, a University, but I'm an undergrad) five classes per term is the norm. And the career is 6 years long. And.. about the 1/4 part of my generation is going to get the actual Title, with luck (Half of them is already out without finish, the other part graduate in a shorter or a totally different degree).

    Well... I'm in the University, as already you can read, and I'm living in an apartment near to my university. I didn't have an actual choice, because I'm originally from an small town, and, if I have to study a good career, is has to be in a good university. Thanksfully, I'm in those universities we call Traditional, in which what you have to pay is in fact "cheap" compared to those universities we call "Private", which are expensive. Really expensive. (By the way, we call college and universities with the same name, university. If you ask).

    It's not like my parents have a ton of money, but they have more money than the norm. Enough for buy the aparment I'm living with my sister now and enough to not have to think for those universities' costs.

    Yeah, sound awesome. Woo hoo.

    To be frank, and even my parents always had enough money for that, I never get always what I actually want. I could only get gifts, meaning toys or video games, at christmas (Or my birthday. If I don't celebrate my birthday). I never got an actual pocket money or whathever until I get to college. And my parents always talk to me about the troubles they have in their work. Good and bad parts.

    There's also the guys which are my friends. I have those guys which were the first to go to a college in their whole family (In fact he was the first to finish the school!) and, been smart enough to stay here and get a Master or been a Doctor, he decided to finish the career as soon as he can and get job so he can help his family. I have another one who decided to stop study and get a job for help to his siblings to study. And there's the other one who decided to get a job so his parents, who were unemployed at the time, do not have to pay for his trip to the college (Even he already had financial aid).

    And there's me. Who's around those guys and, when we were in the first years, I had the communitary cellphone, who buys the snacks when we went to play Pen and Paper rol play, and even I asked my parents permition to use the house at the beach (Yeah, they have one of those) for stay around a week sometimes, supposenly, playing rpg. But those, in fact were my parents who were paying it. And I KNOW that.

    Just recently I started to win some money by creating the Zazzle Account and by doing some jobs programing web pages. I use all those money for my stuff (In fact, I started the Zazzle Account for buy S&M S3 =P) but I know I can't to just go and start to produce and say I will start to worry for the bills and everything before get graduate because I also know my parents are gonna kill me. Why? Because they are working hard for see me out of the college with a good education, with a good degree and without any debt because they can do that. And if they can do that, they will do that.

    It's not like I'm complaining for complain (I know my friends, they had much worse than me) but for some reason I always wondered if I deserve that luck. My mom told me once I must probably been the only person in the world who's ashamed for have money, and probably, I am, but I always in awe for those people who can get what they propose by using sheer motivation and brains. Maybe because I'm seeing my parents doing exactly that. Also, they love my friends because they do exactly that. That's why I could be the snack supplier, the telephone service and the vacation resort in the first years and my parents never complain (Including the fact they always buy the meat for the barbecue and have some friends ashamed because my parents can do that, and they will). I never have troubles with money, because my parents, in good on bad times, they always provide, but also they went to be sure I know what that money means (And by the fact I always have to save or win the money (Or wait for christmas) for get what I want if weren't necessary clothes or something like that).

    I have to admit I have also that stupid instinct of consumist of buy the stuff I like. Like the computer I had right now, or the S&M S1 for less than the value of an episode (Which, thanks god, went to a gift for a friend who likes old adventure games ;) ) or go to the movies 2 times a year, but, at the same time, I don't go and use a ton of money in stuff just because I can use it. And I keep wondering if I'm actually doing worth for that luck (I mean, my career is 6 years long, and I'm in my 8th year in the university... dammit!)

    If this whole wall of text do not have any sense, I'm sorry, I'm natural spanish. And probably will not have any sense in spanish either, so, double sorry.
  • edited April 2010
    GinnyN wrote: »
    Fast?

    Yes, fast. 3-4 hours per class + 11-week term + 5 classes per term = completed within two or three years. One school that does this to horrible extents is Fullsail.
  • edited April 2010
    Money's so *bleugh* though. Ye earn it, ye save it, ye spend it what's there to say?
  • edited April 2010
    PecanBlue wrote: »
    Yes, fast. 3-4 hours per class + 11-week term + 5 classes per term = completed within two or three years. One school that does this to horrible extents is Fullsail.

    I'm just saying 5 classes per term is normal at my university. I get to know guys who takes like 9 classes per term because they are doing 2 careers at the time and they get them in time. Those are weird. There's other who takes 7 or 8 classes per term because they want to get fast out of there. And, with luck, they got one half of a year less. It's not like I'm saying you don't get too much work, but there's guys here who get much and much more work at once and they will be, like 6 years in college or more because is normal. The shorter one career here is 4 years, with 5 classes per term. You take less than that and you will get one more year here. In fact, even I'm already 8 years in the university, the normal time to get out with the career I'm studying is 9 years. (I got to knew a guy who started university when I started Primary School, in my first year of university and he still was an student).

    If you get a good career under that conditions, is paradise here. Really. I'm lucky because my parents can pay, but there's guys who actually are studying with a loan (Or that horrible scholarship which pay you everything but you can never fail course or get under a certain grade T_T) and they will stay in the university 6 years because that the norm. With 5 classes (And sometimes 6 classes at once) always because is not fast, is normal. Or at least in my university. Others are a bit more relaxed.

    It's hilarious because we can get all the jokes from PhD Webcomic and we're all undergrads. UNDERGRADS!

    (Then again, I'm not saying you don't get work or you aren't doing that fast. I'm just saying here we have almost the same amount of work and we don't get out in less than 6 years. 5 and a half if you are a some sort of martian)
  • edited April 2010
    I know it's normal... At a normal university.

    I'm not complaining that it's too much work, in fact I am supposed to take at least four classes to be a full-time student for my medical insurance. I am saying that they force you into it, and with four hours per class it gets hectic for students who need to make money and have families to take care of, especially with the constant shifting of schedules within two and a half months. (sometimes they just won't have a class at all for the time you need regardless of how early you register) It interferes with most work schedules and for that amount of money you are paying for the school, it sucks you can't make your own schedules like in other colleges. If you want to take two classes, you pretty much can't unless that's how much you need to graduate, it's pretty non-negotiable.
  • edited April 2010
    Avistew wrote: »
    What I'm most curious about is what people spend their money on, if they have a budget, etc.

    For instance I read a figure that said you needs should be 50% of your income, your "wants" 30% and your "save" 20%.

    But I thought that was weird. I mean if you earn very little, your needs might be 90% of your income. And if you earn a lot, you're not going to suddenly need more stuff, and you should force yourself to live in a bigger place or something so it can reach 50%.

    I mean, I don't have an income at all and my husband doesn't earn much (although a bit more than minimum wage) and yet our needs are much less than 50% of our income, so I can't imagine how people who earn like 30,000+ a year would be able to spend 50% of that on needs.
    I like this posts so much i will never forget how much of my money i should spend and save. Believe me man, ill never forget this post.

    As of me, i spend my money right now on college. Right now i got $0. Which is pretty frustrating and uncomfortable, since i had to go to internship reviews in N.Y and Miami, and i saw how my savings dwindled to 0. Then because i didnt pass 1 of 2 qualifying tests for thesis and internship, i lost my student loan. So i had to rely on my girlfriend for money to help me pay the fee to retake the test i didnt passed for 2 pts.

    Well that has been the story of this semester, i also took the time to work and am currently awaiting my payoff. Man your post served as a way for me to vent off.
  • edited April 2010
    I'm not sure what you meant by "class". I only went to university for two years, and it was in France, when you choose what you want to study but then everything is compulsory.

    Let me remember the classes... or what we called classes (I studied English):

    GB Civ: 1h30
    US Civ: 1h30
    English > French translation: 1h30
    French>English translation: 1h30
    Literature: 2h30
    Linguistics: 1h
    Oral comprehension: 1h30
    Phonetics: 2h
    Methodology: 2h30
    French: 1h30
    Other language: 1h30
    Option: 1h30

    "Methodology" was analysing stuff, newspaper articles for one semester and literary texts for the other (classes are always year-long in France). "Oral comprehension" they would play audio material, such as short story read by someone, and then we'd answer test questions to make sure we understood everything. The option was to choose from a list that included things like "contemporary American literature" or "advanced linguistics".

    It was considered a light course because it only had 20 hours instead of 25-30. (But of course that doesn't include the time you're supposed to study from home. Exams can be on something that was never studied in class, part of the program is supposed to be studied on your own).
    Both years had the same classes, except for French that was dropped after the first year and replaced with 2h of another option to select from the list. The way I understood it, from the fourth year on (that is after you got your lowest degree) you could specialise. That was an added course of I think 3 or 4 hours in whatever you chose (you had to keep studying the rest).
    Then 2 years after that you got your master, and for the PhD it was different. But I never looked into that since I dropped out after the second year to move to Canada.

    I guess the main difference is your classes change every semester while ours are the same for the whole degree, or at the very least for a whole year.
  • puzzleboxpuzzlebox Telltale Alumni
    edited April 2010
    Avistew wrote: »
    For instance I read a figure that said you needs should be 50% of your income, your "wants" 30% and your "save" 20%. [...] I can't imagine how people who earn like 30,000+ a year would be able to spend 50% of that on needs.

    Those figures are ridiculous, aren't they? I guess they assume that as you earn more, your "needs" change. If you're very wealthy you might "need" a 6-bedroom house with sweeping lawns, "need" to send little Crispin and Tabitha to boarding school, and "need" a new gelding for next week's polo match. :p
  • edited April 2010
    Since people have been talking about their financial lives...

    I'm from a wealthy family. Middle-class, maybe? I'm not quite sure. Both my parents are doctor by my mother stopped working pretty early to take care of her 4 kids, and only started working again recently. (Stupid, too. My dad would have enjoyed raising us better, and would have coped better with not working. Or they could both have worked half-time or something. Anyways).

    But my dad on his own earned enough that we sometimes went on holidays and stuff, and we had pocket money.
    I never got along with my mom, what with her insistence that we ruined her life by being born and forcing her to stop working (nevermind that she was trying to have us) or saying we should be thankful that we didn't have to pay a rent (that was before we were old enough to work).
    So I wanted to get the hell out of there as soon as I could.
    First though I tried an art school. It was pricey but my parents paid (it was their idea to begin with actually. My going to the art school, I mean). It was horrible, if I may say so. 90 hours a week (including the time spent at home on assignments) and assignments during vacations that caused us to keep that rhythm. I didn't last more than the first year. And didn't sleep most nights during that year.
    Then I took a part-time job (4 hours 6 days a week, so 24 hours altogether) while studying English in university. Did that for two years, the second year I met my husband and left for Canada for a year.
    Then I came back, studied some Japanese but it was too slow for me so I stopped, found a full-time job (minimum wage kind of thing), married my husband (who couldn't find work) and got stressed out.

    Then we moved to Canada and now he's the one who has a job and I'm the one who doesn't.

    Can't say I've ever really had money trouble. When I had my parents I could have asked them if I had needed money, and now, well I just don't spend that much. Although I constantly worry we're not putting enough aside for retirement or things like that.
    I've never been super-rich (although we did have two cars for a year, because my dad needed his to go to work and my mom was using the other to get us to school. I don't think many families can afford to have two cars so we must have been rich enough), but I've never been super-poor either (one of us of my husband or me always worked so we were never without an income at all, except sometimes for a couple of months between jobs and the like).

    So I guess I don't really know what it's like on either end of the spectrum.
  • edited April 2010
    I'm a saver myself. Somehow by being open about my economy to friends I've managed give them the illusion of being this loaded mofo. Very annoying to say the least, becuase they'll allways come to me whenever they need money. The fact is that I've got a 60 000 NOK car loan and three years of school with no steady income ahead of me. And on top of that I just payed 30 000 NOK for my drivers license.

    Just to give you an idea, 30 000 NOK equals about 3761,8 euros. My monthly salary is about 12 000 .. NOK that is.

    I only hope that I'll be able to keep my car trough three years of school .. I love my car.

    But just like avistew put it, I like to be a little bit in control with my economy. One of my best buddies is really annoying in this matter. He just bought himself a new desktop just to be able to play Battlefield BC2, we've got two concerts and a vacation planned for the summer and on top of that he suggests that we go to the roskilde festival as well. This is coming from a guy without a job who owes me 2000 NOK and intends to pay me back when he gets back on his feet.

    I don't really care how people prioritize their money but I really hate it when you have to be the one to remind him of his own debts. He won't see another penny from me, that's for sure.
  • edited April 2010
    I easily get around, I am a small spender.

    I am jobless, but from my financial aid from the government I can easily get around, something others have issues with... somehow.

    I am not sure how they would pull that off, since I get 400 euro's per month more than I spend.

    So I am not really that bothered actually to find a job and earn more... I guess that's rather bad though in the eyes of most people...
  • edited April 2010
    My family never really been financially well off. My dad worked down in a mine for 30 years (up to about 10 years ago) and my mum worked full time as soon as I was old enough to go to school. From what I can remember they earned enough for us to live in a semi comfortable environment but there wasn't much spent on luxuries like holidays abroad and stuff. Actually I think it's a testament to my parents how little they allowed their financial situation effect my brother & I. I mean, we were always treated at Christmas & on birthdays. If we needed some money we got it, and that's still true to this day even though they are worse off now than they used to be. Sure, I didn't get much pocket money nor did we go on fancy holidays abroad (though we did go to northern France once, via hovercraft - that's about the only trip abroad we took until 1999/2000).

    Things changed when my grandmother won around £1 million on the national lottery in later 1998 (or early 1999). Suddenly we had a comfortable amount of money and it gave us new opportunities. But it all wasn't plain sailing. My grandmother was given financial advice by a bank which, in hindsight, wasn't very good. She lost a lot of money due to bad advice (the economic effect of the September 11th attacks didn't help either - she had a fair bit of money invested in various stocks and stuff). Still there was and is enough left to give her a comfortable life, though she can't lavish it on her family any more.

    My parents moved to Cyprus about 7 to 8 years ago, having set up a business consisting of a pub and a restaurant here in England a few years prior. The pub was a success, but the restaurant didn't do so well. In the end they had to sell them both at a loss. Still they wanted to stay in Cyprus, in a semi-retired state with just my dad working as a pool cleaner. Recent economic events have made it harder to maintain a constant source of income as most of my dad's customers are English people who've retired to Cyprus and the global recession a lot of them became unwilling to pay to have their pools cleaned all year round. So my dad's winter income shrank a lot (that's the problem with a seasonal jobs, too bad bills aren't seasonal as well) and there were a few who just went home so he lost out in the summer months too. So that combined with their general health (my dad's vision has been getting steadily worse over the past few years and now he needs an operation) they've decided to come home to England where they can at least get some benefit from the Government (which was another problem working in Cyprus - they weren't technically legal to work there, and to be legal as a foreigner you had to pay a lot (possibly around €500-€600 per month, whether you were earning or not - can't remember exact figure)).

    Now I'm relying on student loans and grants to get me financially through university. I do this because I need to take the responsibility of my life and education as an adult. I know if I asked my parents for money that they would give me as much as they can. But I can't put the burden of my lifestyle on their slim income. So I've known a life with and without money, and I've learned a lot in the process. I've made mistakes but I think I'm getting it right now. I hope anyway, only time will tell.

    Damn, I didn't mean to write so much.
  • edited April 2010
    I currently have no idea about my financial situation. We've done some extensive renovations in the house and there are several bills still underway, and we don't know how high they'll be exactly. Usually I keep track of how much we earn and spend each month, but because we've been spending so much on the house, the whole balance is out of wack. It'll be at least until next month before we can see a "normal" month with "normal" costs.

    Last year I think we saved about 10% of our income each month. I keep track of grocery and fuel costs (needs), clothes bought (combination of needs and wants), as well as luxury items (wants) as books, dvd's and games.

    Mortgage included, I think our needs total somewhere between 50 and 60% of our income each month, but that's not including a lot of other "needs", like the stuff required by law (taxes, insurance, etc.), which we pay only once a year, and extra costs like car checkups, haircuts, etc. You could argue that some of those lean more toward the "wants" category, but still ... We also go out to dinner sometime; that's a "want" in my book, even if it does save groceries and the time and energy of preparing the food in your own kitchen.

    I used to buy a lot of books, games and dvd's, but I've cut down a lot. I always tried to buy them in secondhand stores or eBay, but sometimes you just have to buy a new release, you know? When it comes to books, I prefer them in English, and importing a hardback doubles the price. I'd like to get a PS3, but it seems that every time I've saved some cash, I end up having to spend it on this or that.

    I found 5 euro in the grass the other day. It really made my day.
  • edited April 2010
    I don't have a job, but I can't work either because my anxiety is really bad, so I get a government pension at the moment. It's only barely enough to live on, and was even less before I turned 21 last month, but I live with my parents, so I don't need to live on it yet, and my attention span is so bad that there isn't much I want to buy, either. I'm hoping to get well enough to be able to work eventually.

    I don't think my parents had a lot of money when I was little, but we definitely weren't poor. It's possible that they were just frugal or I that didn't know to ask for things I wanted.
  • edited April 2010
    I've been enjoying people's stories! (Not that it makes me happy when your situation is bad of course).

    Let's see, with actual numbers... My husband earns 1,400 a paycheque (that's every two weeks), which is actually pretty good, almost 3,000 a month (in Canadian dollars). (Which I guess mean we do earn over 30,000 a year?! Wow! We used to earn half that when I was the one working!)
    Of course he does work 18 hour shift, 1 PM to 7 AM the next day, which means we don't get to see much of each other, (and when we do one of us is usually asleep) and that sucks. But he loves his job (he works with the mentally challenged).

    Our rent is 756 including the 6 dollar fee to get a money order (which is the only way we're allowed to pay the rent), and then we have phone bills, Internet and food. I'd say all of these I count as needs although I guess the Internet might be a luxury. Altogether they add up to something like 1,200.

    We save up around the same amount, (if I could I'd stash ALL the rest away but my husband won't let me), and what's left is spent on wants (games, books, eating out...) or just sits there in our main account (which comes in handy when we have an unexpected vet bill). (The savings are automated and sent to other accounts so we don't end up spending them accidentally).

    When I look at that I think "we're doing pretty good", but then I keep worrying, thinking we need to save up for retirement for two people on only one income, that we don't have an emergency fund yet, etc.
    I'm sure a lot of people are much worse-off of course, but I tend to think worst-case scenario, you know?

    On the other hand, never in our lives have we been able to save that much (we used to live in Paris when 750 dollars a months wouldn't even be enough for renting a studio, plus it's bigger so we had transportation fees while here we walk everywhere, etc) so I'm feeling relaxed about it.

    I do wish he didn't work that much though :S Wouldn't want him to wear himself out.

    Oh, and something that annoys me a lot. An ex-roommate of my husband's, who earned about 4 times what my husband does, would keep "borrowing" money that he wouldn't pay back, and complain that he wished he was as rich as we were.
    ...That just annoys me. It's not like he had huge debts he needed to pay back and had no money left. He's the one who spent it on stuff all the time. Good for him, but don't go telling people who make a quarter of what you do that you wish you were as rich as them. It doesn't make you look good.
    (We stopped lending him money a while ago. It felt like we were encouraging a destructive habit, you know?)

    Here, you've got details and everything, specific numbers and such. Sorry if I sound like I'm complaining when I'm actually in a pretty sweet situation. Complaining is just what I do, you see :P
  • edited April 2010
    Avistew wrote: »
    It felt like we were encouraging a destructive habit, you know?)

    Exactly! I guess it's just a matter of learning how to dodge it. A great argument in any case is to ask them why they bought the 50 inch tv, the iphone or other pricy possessions if they're in such a dire need of money :D

    The worst kind in my opinion are the ones who catch you off guard. The ones who would stand in line with you at the supermarket and ask as they're about to pay if they can borrow some money, even if they were fully aware of it the whole time.
  • edited April 2010
    Between my wife and I and our 2 kids, our needs are basically 90% or more of our income. We rarely have enough for wants. It's nice when we do, though.
  • edited April 2010
    Wanna know how much Debt I have?
    £12,000, $18,000 to the Americans

    From 2 years of uni, of a 3 to 4 year course. YEAH that's cool.
  • puzzleboxpuzzlebox Telltale Alumni
    edited April 2010
    I really want to add to this discussion, but every time I try I start writing pages and pages and then give up. I just don't know how to write about my life without coming across as a complete prat. :P
  • edited April 2010
    PecanBlue wrote: »
    Yes, fast. 3-4 hours per class + 11-week term + 5 classes per term = completed within two or three years. One school that does this to horrible extents is Fullsail.

    I was originaly going to go to fullsail, and then Yare told me. "No, It's a ripoff, if you wan the bang for your buck, go to a 4 year school."*

    *might not be entierly accurate, but well it's close enough Me thinks.
  • edited April 2010
    The thing that frustrates me is cost-of-living. I live in the San Francisco Bay Area, which means that I have to spend well over half my salary each month just to rent a house for my family. Don't get me wrong, I love where I live and don't want to move, but it is still a little sad every time I see/hear about someone buying a brand-new 5 bedroom house or something somewhere and they only earn half of what I make.

    On the topic of spender vs saver, there is an important variable to consider. The money you earn today is worth less in the future. It is often better to put your money to good use in things that have value and are important to you. Obviously you need to save money for emergencies and building up credit debt is an insane idea, but the only way to make savings worth it is to get the money into a retirement account or other long-term interest-earning account. Just having extra money pile up in a no-interest checking account is a total waste.
  • edited April 2010
    Exactly! I guess it's just a matter of learning how to dodge it. A great argument in any case is to ask them why they bought the 50 inch tv, the iphone or other pricy possessions if they're in such a dire need of money :D

    The straw that broke the camel's back was when he moved into a new place and bought a new computer (because it was on sale) and as a result missed his first rent payment. How can you be so clueless?!
    Steve2000 wrote: »
    The thing that frustrates me is cost-of-living.

    I used to live in Paris and I hear you on that.
    Steve2000 wrote: »
    Just having extra money pile up in a no-interest checking account is a total waste.

    I wouldn't let it pile up with no interest, personally (as I said we have automatic transfers to savings accounts), but even someone who did, even if the money ends up being worth less and less... It's still worth more than the $0 it would be worth if you had spent it already. Just saying.
    Sure if there is something you really want, and waiting would only mean buying the same thing, but later, and you know it won't reduce in price, then buy it now.
    Otherwise, by the time the stuff you want to buy is available, having spent your money on something else isn't really going to help.

    I guess I just don't get the "spend your money on something, otherwise it will be worth less and less!". Well after I spend it I don't have any at all, so I'll take the reduced value over that.
  • edited April 2010
    Avistew wrote: »
    I get annoyed at how help is always counted depending on how much your parents earn. I know lots of people who don't get any financial help from their parents, yet because their parents earn over a certain amount, they won't get help from the government either, it's stupid.

    Yep, I think the cut-off date for that is age 25. I wasn't able to get grants because my mother's tax records put me over the financial limit.
    I rarely speak with my mother, much less accept financial help from her. It was highly frustrating to still be considered a dependent.
  • edited April 2010
    This thread makes me sad everytime I look at it :(
  • edited April 2010
    Icedhope wrote: »
    I was originaly going to go to fullsail, and then Yare told me. "No, It's a ripoff, if you wan the bang for your buck, go to a 4 year school."*

    *might not be entierly accurate, but well it's close enough Me thinks.

    'Tis true, I took a tour of it and researched online about it and it's a pretty-looking and very expensive institute, but not much else. They try and cram everything within one or two years, (Even having labs at 3 AM for christ's sake! I've heard some classes are at this ungodly hour too, but I haven't been able to confirm it so it's a playground rumor right now.) which for a school that expensive is bullcrap. I heard their accreditation sucks also. My friend once tried to talk me into going by saying "people who complain about their schedules don't realize Fullsail just tries to imitate the typical career lifestyle." Excuse me? I don't know about you guys but when I attend a college I pay heavy amounts of money for I expect to LEARN about the career efficiently and also learn about self-discipline in the process, with an actual job on the side.
  • edited April 2010
    PecanBlue wrote: »
    'Tis true, I took a tour of it and researched online about it and it's a pretty-looking and very expensive institute, but not much else. They try and cram everything within one or two years, (Even having labs at 3 AM for christ's sake! I've heard some classes are at this ungodly hour too, but I haven't been able to confirm it so it's a playground rumor right now.) which for a school that expensive is bullcrap. I heard their accreditation sucks also. My friend once tried to talk me into going by saying "people who complain about their schedules don't realize Fullsail just tries to imitate the typical career lifestyle." Excuse me? I don't know about you guys but when I attend a college I pay heavy amounts of money for I expect to LEARN about the career efficiently and also learn about self-discipline in the process, with an actual job on the side.

    See, thats what I wanted to do, but I heard Fullsail, just isn't that great, and I want to be a programmer, and well I don't think anyone really works until three in the morning unless it's their choice too and or thats what time, a Said schedule shoot is, and I'm pretty sure there are well, day crews and night crews. I agree with you though, I'm getting a free ride through school from the government even though, I'm not paying for it. I want to go to the best I can.
  • edited April 2010
    It's kind of a paradox: you need to live, but you need money to support yourself, so you need to work to make money, but working usually means less time to invest in the rest of your life.

    I always separate my work from my private life. The two don't combine. My private life is who I am, my work is like a necessary evil.

    While money is important, I don't see how people can actually obsess over their work. I love earning money, it's not that, but what I mean is when the work you do actually becomes more important than the life you're trying to support with the money you earn.

    Perhaps it's just some kind of mechanism to deal with the fact that you actually spend the majority of your time at work, so you tell yourself it's the most important part of your life as well.

    When my wife comes home in the evenings, it's like she's constantly talking about her work and her colleagues. She often becomes quite enthusiastic about those colleagues, and I'm like, "Hey, you're married to me, right? And you've already spent the entire day with those people. So could you just leave them alone and pay ME some attention? I want to hear how YOU are doing, I don't need to know everything THEY said."

    I don't mind sometimes mentioning something. I rarely talk about my work, but I still tell stuff sometimes. But not from the moment I walk in the door, through dinner, even pausing TV programs, and even in bed.

    And that's just because she really likes her work for the fun factor. I dare not imagine how it could be for really career-minded business people whose entire life is nothing but their work.

    But if that is the way some people want it, I'll respect that. I guess it's only natural if you spent thousands on an education in preparement for that job, you want to try your best to earn that all back. I also guess that these people are just investing into their future, concentrating on their work to earn as much as they can, so they can put away as much as they can for when they retire.

    But suppose you have an accident or get sick, and you don't get a chance at retirement?

    I prefer enjoying my "free" life as much as I can. Perhaps I'm not earning as much as I could in a different job, with more responsability but also more hours, but that balance between work and life is just too important to me.

    I sincerely hope I haven't offended anyone with this. Everyone leads their own life, there's certainly no "perfect" path when it comes to this. They're just personal choices and I wanted to express mine, so feel free to counter this with your own, and perhaps try to explain to me the real motivations behind them: I'm definitely open for them.
  • edited April 2010
    I too, as a part time musician, think it's important to seperate work and your actual life. Maybe I'm just a hippie with a poor work ethic, I don't know. I just can't focus on my music if I'm involved with my work 100% of the time.

    I think it's great to see people who find a way to cope with their work and actually enjoy it. The company I work for is owned by a big company in Oslo, so I meet some of those hardcore office sluggers from time to time. Some of them are very down to earth and talkative people, a lot of them are also very obsessed with their work.

    It's not all that different from being a full time artist when you think of it. The thing you really enjoy just happens to be your job as well.
  • edited April 2010
    It's kind of a paradox: you need to live, but you need money to support yourself, so you need to work to make money, but working usually means less time to invest in the rest of your life.

    I always separate my work from my private life. The two don't combine. My private life is who I am, my work is like a necessary evil.

    I find this sad. For me, you can't be happy if your job, that takes so much of your time, isn't something you're passionate about. I want my job to be like my favourite hobby, except I'm paid for it. I don't want it to be a chore I try to forget as soon as it's over, or something I do just for the money. I think it needs to be something you'd do even if you weren't being paid for it, because it brings you something.
    And then you're paid for it, and that's even better.

    I've seen my father come back and complain about his job (he's a doctor), and when I asked why he did it he was all "well I needed something that would bring me enough money to afford lots of things and have 4 kids, etc", but I kept thinking "and you're not enjoying any of it because you're working a job you hate instead!
    What the hell? Couldn't he have done a job he loved, lived in a smaller place and had only one or two kids, but be able to make them happy? I don't believe you can make your kids happy if you're miserable yourself.

    I realise you don't always have the luxury of doing what you love the most in the world for a living, but if at least you can choose something you don't hate, that seems like a minimum to me.
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