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Are you changing your behavior in response to current events?


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#1 of 46 OFFLINE   Sam Posten

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Posted April 03 2012 - 01:46 AM

To answer the original Q: No. Keep calm and carry on. http://en.wikipedia....lm_and_Carry_On http://www.opencultu..._ii_poster.html

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#2 of 46 OFFLINE   Lars Larsen

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Posted May 18 2012 - 11:06 AM

I often wonder how much economic downturn there would be, if you took the media out of the equation.
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#3 of 46 OFFLINE   Walter C

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Posted May 19 2012 - 06:56 AM

I've been using my credit card a lot more than ever, but that's mainly to earn award points. It also means I don't have to carry a lot of cash or make constant withdrawals from the ATM.


I don't bother being in the whole "keeping up with the Joneses" when it comes to having the latest gadget like a Blackberry or I-Pad, or even a flat screen TV, when I still have 3 old TVs still working fine. It sucks that I can't access Facebook whenever I want to, but not really worth the money for that alone.


In some ways, saving money would be a little more healthy for me, as I had to quit drinking soda, where the costs just added up big-time. One of the hardest things for me to do, with the summer months approaching, and I like relaxing and sipping on a Big Gulp.


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#4 of 46 OFFLINE   Jason_V

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Posted May 23 2012 - 03:24 AM

I've been on a massive "budget" spree the last year or so.  I have an entire spreadsheet workbook with budget pages for every paycheck, including what bills need to be paid from which paycheck.  With the economy doing what it's doing and my intent to buy a house/condo in a few months, it seemed like a good idea at the time and I think it's still a great idea.  I created very aggressive money goals before 2012 started for my IRA's, HSA and savings.  I know for sure I won't hit the savings goal-I had some car problems last week which are gonna cost a bit.  But I have the cash for them.

Some co-workers make fun of me because I get excited at the end of the month when I check my balances and import them into the workbook to see where my overall assets are compared to last month.  May 2012 isn't gonna look too good, I think, but that's expected.

(I have three credit cards which are paid off in full with every paycheck.  One is a gas card, another is a backup to the emergency backup and hardly ever used and the third is strictly for travel-like October's HTF National Meet.)


Out are daily Starbucks trips, random movie shopping and all that other stuff I used to do.  I still get one iced coffee a week and one Slurpee a week (Friday)...  So to answer the question: yes, my behavior has changed.  It was time for me to grow up (and I'm tired of paying rent on something I don't own).



#5 of 46 OFFLINE   Mike Frezon

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Posted May 23 2012 - 05:32 AM

Jason:


All I can say about that post is "atta boy" to every single word.


Good for you.


Your co-workers are only making fun of you to cover their own inadequacies.  They are probably wondering how they are going to ever pay the minimum payment on their credit card bills this month.

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#6 of 46 OFFLINE   Walter C

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Posted May 23 2012 - 09:46 AM

Originally Posted by Jason_V 

I still get one iced coffee a week and one Slurpee a week (Friday)...


Speaking of Slurpees, 7-Eleven today, gave away free Slurpees, until 7 PM. I did not know until I stopped by one and saw a sign for it. After then, stopped by a couple more, trying the different flavors. Posted Image


I need to do that myself, when it comes to getting a Friendly's ice cream, limiting to once a week or every other week, as I love to eat the Peanut Butter Cup Sundae, but oh man, it's very pricey.


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#7 of 46 OFFLINE   Adam Gregorich

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Posted May 23 2012 - 11:26 AM

Originally Posted by Jason_V 

I've been on a massive "budget" spree the last year or so.  I have an entire spreadsheet workbook with budget pages for every paycheck, including what bills need to be paid from which paycheck.  With the economy doing what it's doing and my intent to buy a house/condo in a few months, it seemed like a good idea at the time and I think it's still a great idea.  I created very aggressive money goals before 2012 started for my IRA's, HSA and savings.  I know for sure I won't hit the savings goal-I had some car problems last week which are gonna cost a bit.  But I have the cash for them.

Some co-workers make fun of me because I get excited at the end of the month when I check my balances and import them into the workbook to see where my overall assets are compared to last month.  May 2012 isn't gonna look too good, I think, but that's expected.

(I have three credit cards which are paid off in full with every paycheck.  One is a gas card, another is a backup to the emergency backup and hardly ever used and the third is strictly for travel-like October's HTF National Meet.)


Out are daily Starbucks trips, random movie shopping and all that other stuff I used to do.  I still get one iced coffee a week and one Slurpee a week (Friday)...  So to answer the question: yes, my behavior has changed.  It was time for me to grow up (and I'm tired of paying rent on something I don't own).

Good for you Jason.

My wife and I are starting to crack down on the budget here too, identifying where money is going and cutting out things that aren't needed.  For several years we have been charging all our expenses to a rewards CC every month and then paying it off monthly to not carry a balance.

We are also trying to be a bit more prepared for unexpected things: building up savings in case of financial hardship, having some basic emergency supplies on hand in case of a natural disaster since we live in earthquake/volcano country.  Its a real eyeopener how much things shutdown here with just a few inches of snow on the ground; God help us if there is a major earthquake.  (Note: not a prepper, don't think the world will end in 2012, just taking a common sense approach as recommend by CDC).  Verifying we have adequate insurance, getting a will drawn up, and things organized.  In short like Jason said, growing up.


We have over the past year bought and learned how to use firearms for protection at home.  Although we are close to civilization, we are hidden off the main path and there have been too many burglaries in our area lately where people high on meth decide to pay homeowners a visit by kicking in doors.  I thought it would be a tough sell at home but it really wasn't thanks to the high number of cases where local homeowners have defended themselves with them lately.  She seems to feel a bit safer knowing she has access to it if she needs to protect herself or the kids.


I think the economy has changed our parenting a bit.  We are fortunate that we can give our kids pretty much whatever they need or want (its easy when they are six).  They aren't spoiled, but we are cutting back on "stuff", staring to try to teach them the value of a buck, and working hard to be able to earn something.  Making them get their hands dirty to help out around the house and yard, and giving them small chores.  Explaining how things they take for granted around the house cost money: water, electricity, garbage service, etc and learning the importance of non material things.



#8 of 46 OFFLINE   Jason_V

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Posted May 23 2012 - 12:06 PM

Originally Posted by Mike Frezon 

Jason:


All I can say about that post is "atta boy" to every single word.


Good for you.


Your co-workers are only making fun of you to cover their own inadequacies.  They are probably wondering how they are going to ever pay the minimum payment on their credit card bills this month.


I mentioned to one-someone younger than me-two Christmas's ago I was cash flowing the entire holiday for the first time ever.  He looked at me like I was a nutcase and said he puts it all on a card and pays it off.  Fast forward to a few days ago and I find out his one bedroom, one bathroom apartment rent is getting raised to $1,300.  I almost had a coronary hearing that.  I can assure you he makes less than me and hasn't been saavy with his money.


I went through a time a few years ago where, after rent and utilities and bills, I had about $50 leftover per paycheck for things like, oh, I don't know...gasoline and food.  I like to think that (and Suze Orman and Dave Ramsey) made me a whole lot smarter and more blessed for what I have.


Originally Posted by Walter C 


Speaking of Slurpees, 7-Eleven today, gave away free Slurpees, until 7 PM. I did not know until I stopped by one and saw a sign for it. After then, stopped by a couple more, trying the different flavors. Posted Image


I need to do that myself, when it comes to getting a Friendly's ice cream, limiting to once a week or every other week, as I love to eat the Peanut Butter Cup Sundae, but oh man, it's very pricey.


My boss actually told me that before I left work today.  As much as I want a Slurpee right now, I don't need it after a too big lunch with my CEO's.  Besides, I've gained a few pounds in the last few weeks and I don't like it.  Posted Image  I got on the Wii Fit the minute I got home tonight.  Prolly worked off one Tater Tot from Lunchbox Laboratory...


Originally Posted by Adam Gregorich 

Good for you Jason.

My wife and I are starting to crack down on the budget here too, identifying where money is going and cutting out things that aren't needed.  For several years we have been charging all our expenses to a rewards CC every month and then paying it off monthly to not carry a balance.

We are also trying to be a bit more prepared for unexpected things: building up savings in case of financial hardship, having some basic emergency supplies on hand in case of a natural disaster since we live in earthquake/volcano country.  Its a real eyeopener how much things shutdown here with just a few inches of snow on the ground; God help us if there is a major earthquake.  (Note: not a prepper, don't think the world will end in 2012, just taking a common sense approach as recommend by CDC).  Verifying we have adequate insurance, getting a will drawn up, and things organized.  In short like Jason said, growing up.


Yay Adam!  It is a TOTAL eyeopener to see where the money goes every month/paycheck.  My mother raised me to be a smart shopper, but even shopping with coupons and sales adds up very quickly for essentials.  I've paid my share of stupid tax-as have we all-and I refuse to do it anymore.

(A few inches of snow closed our office in Bellevue for two days and made the third a half staff day back in January.  I'm right there with ya, Adam.)



#9 of 46 OFFLINE   Sam Posten

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Posted May 24 2012 - 02:49 AM

I often wonder how much economic downturn there would be, if you took the media out of the equation.

You don't even need to take the media out of the equation, you'd just need to separate media from entertainment. With them mixed together the truth is a casualty.

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#10 of 46 OFFLINE   Adam Gregorich

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Posted May 24 2012 - 03:06 AM

Originally Posted by Eric_L 



Quote:
Originally Posted by Todd Hochard 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveF
Won't the "rules" remain the same: buy index funds, use sensible asset allocation, think long term, and don't try to actively beat the market?
Those rules applied over the last ten years have netted a 16% return in the S&P. That's 16% total in 10 years, not per annum. You would have gotten better rates from a bank CD, or an ING Direct savings account.

Ask me how I know.Posted Image

Couple that with reasonable rebalance and diverse allocation and the return is MUCH better..   If all you want to consider is equity; I'm more interested in what they will do more so than what they have done - and considering we are on the backside of a global near-meltdown of historic proportion - the fact equities are up at all is quite impressive.   Not every 10 years has had positive performance, but every 20 has...  Reversion to the mean is a powerful force...

Meanwhile there are intelligent ways to hedge your retirement nest-egg so that the risk is further mitigated...  but that something best left for your financial advisor to explain...

Or you could get a 2% CD and net 16% in 8 years...   2 sooner than the worst 10 year period stocks have done in your lifetime...   :)
 
Only thing I worry about with a CD is will that 2% keep up with inflation?  Most 5 year CDs are returing 1.75% if you are lucky.



#11 of 46 OFFLINE   DaveF

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Posted May 24 2012 - 02:15 PM

Originally Posted by Adam Gregorich 

Only thing I worry about with a CD is will that 2% keep up with inflation?  Most 5 year CDs are returing 1.75% if you are lucky.

Not completely. But inflation has been similarly low, around 2%.
http://www.usinflati...nflation-rates/

(Queue the arguments on inflation, gas prices, housing market, CPI, etc. :)


In response to current events, I've moved to a more expensive area, sold my old house at a loss, and signed a contract on a very expensive house in the new area. Who started this silly thread anyone?

Oh.. wait.. Posted Image



Seriously, I've tried to increase my salary and professional options with a job change this year. Regarding CDs, they're so pitiful, I pulled a small chunk of my "safe" money out of a CD and put it into the the stock market. And I'm buying a house in an area with -- i hope -- good potential as a "location" to appreciate in value over the next five to ten years. And my wife has a goal of increasing her personal business a bit.

However, I've dropped my 401k to the minimum for matching. I have to build up cash reserves for the down payment. And pray to all that might care that mortgage rates stay low until I can close!



Contra all that, my expenses are going up. I've got cable TV for the first time in 7 years. The move. New home. Audible.com subscription ;) We avoid debt. Pay bills on time. Actively budget every year. Try to save money for retirement and mid-range expenses. But while "inflation" is low, personal cost of living keeps going up.


#12 of 46 OFFLINE   Adam Gregorich

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Posted May 24 2012 - 02:48 PM

I'm not going to touch the "what is inflation debate".  Posted Image I too have put more "safe" money into the market.  Even playing conservative, I should be able to long term beat the CD rate.

Originally Posted by DaveF 
...But while "inflation" is low, personal cost of living keeps going up.

One could also say that your standard of living is going up along with that cost of living (by your own choice). Quality of life has improved dramatically over the last few decades.  Things that years ago would be considered luxury items are now considered common or even necessities. Of the people below the poverty line 97% have a TV, (65% more than one), most have cable, 54% have cell phones, 78% have A/C.



#13 of 46 OFFLINE   Adam Gregorich

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Posted May 24 2012 - 03:07 PM

Dave-

Congrats on the new job and new digs BTW!



#14 of 46 OFFLINE   DaveF

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Posted May 26 2012 - 10:21 AM

Thanks. That was a source of much anxiety end of last year, but decided to try a job change and location change. It's fun being able to get to DC for a Saturday afternoon. Or coming up to Baltimore for the long weekend. And you're right, my standard of living has gone. In part, being 40, I've chosen to be less frugal and spend more on me and my wife (or, my wife has extracted further concessions from me ;) Always trying to find some balance between sensible living and enjoying what I have. I think I've swung farther toward the latter than I've ever been with the move and housing change. And If I've erred, I can course correct in the future.

#15 of 46 OFFLINE   Todd H

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Posted May 27 2012 - 03:00 AM

To answer the thread title question...you bet I am now that the zombie apocalypse has started! I've started stocking up on supplies, including lots of ammo. http://m.pbpost.com/...ntguid=t4Rqhi0F

#16 of 46 OFFLINE   David9Hester

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Posted May 27 2012 - 04:34 AM

I was thinking this forum mods don't like discussions on politics or religion? But I guess you can say that this is not really politics but things associated with economy are normally politics involved...

#17 of 46 OFFLINE   Adam Lenhardt

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Posted May 27 2012 - 05:15 AM

I was thinking this forum mods don't like discussions on politics or religion? But I guess you can say that this is not really politics but things associated with economy are normally politics involved...

Politics would be speculating on the causes or political decisions, etc. that caused current events. This thread is solely devoted to how members' behavior has changed (or not changed) in response to those events.

#18 of 46 OFFLINE   Adam Gregorich

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Posted May 27 2012 - 05:36 AM

Originally Posted by Adam Lenhardt 

Quote:
Originally Posted by David9Hester 

I was thinking this forum mods don't like discussions on politics or religion?
But I guess you can say that this is not really politics but things associated with economy are normally politics involved...

Politics would be speculating on the causes or political decisions, etc. that caused current events. This thread is solely devoted to how members' behavior has changed (or not changed) in response to those events.
Agreed and within the rules.



#19 of 46 OFFLINE   Adam Gregorich

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Posted May 27 2012 - 06:10 AM

Originally Posted by Todd H 

To answer the thread title question...you bet I am now that the zombie apocalypse has started! I've started stocking up on supplies, including lots of ammo.

http://m.pbpost.com/...ntguid=t4Rqhi0F

I have to say that I love reading about the guys who ONLY stockpile ammo as their "survival" plan.  Good luck eating, drinking and carrying all that ammo.  As to the zombie, as FARK would say....only in Florida Posted Image



#20 of 46 OFFLINE   DaveF

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Posted May 27 2012 - 02:29 PM

I have to say that I love reading about the guys who ONLY stockpile ammo as their "survival" plan.  Good luck eating, drinking and carrying all that ammo.  As to the zombie, as FARK would say....only in Florida :)

I hunt that water. I shoot that water. I drink that water. Ain't no Zombie going to tell me otherwise!


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