Savings less than 10k - Page 3 - Talk About Marriage
Financial Problems in Marriage When financial times are tough, it adds to the stress we deal with on a daily basis. This section is for talking about how financial problems affect our relationships and ways to cope.

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post #31 of 48 (permalink) Old 10-11-2016, 05:55 PM
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Re: Savings less than 10k

We have substantially more than that in liquid assets, but at 53 with an empty nest I dammed well should. I bought my last new car with cash.

Live your entire life within your means. Forego the McMansion for an affordable home. Drive a car that's reliable and safe, not flashy. Don't try to send the kids to Harvard when a perfectly good state school will do. Eat in more than out. Pay your credit card in full every month. Learn basic home and auto repair.

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post #32 of 48 (permalink) Old 10-11-2016, 06:00 PM
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Re: Savings less than 10k

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Learn basic home and auto repair.
Learn basic auto repair?

How many things on a car do you think an untrained person can possibly do?

It's all computerized nowadays and you need diagnostic equipment.

About the only thing a person can maybe do is change their oil and their wiper blades and make a god damn mess while spilling the oil all over the place and saving less than $20 perhaps twice per year.
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post #33 of 48 (permalink) Old 10-11-2016, 06:21 PM
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Re: Savings less than 10k

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Learn basic auto repair?

How many things on a car do you think an untrained person can possibly do?

It's all computerized nowadays and you need diagnostic equipment.

About the only thing a person can maybe do is change their oil and their wiper blades and make a god damn mess while spilling the oil all over the place and saving less than $20 perhaps twice per year.
I beg to differ.

I have no formal training in auto repair. Over 30 years, I've

Changed the oil
Rotated the tires
Replaced the brakes
Replaced struts, shocks
Drained, cleaned, and refilled the transmission
Replaced most of the suspension
Replaced the timing belt, water pump, spark plugs, oxygen sensors, catalylic converter
Replaced a head gasket
Rebuilt one engine and completely replaced another
Plus much, much more with no more diagnostic equipment than a code reader, a multimeter, a compression gauge, and (once) an oscilloscope.

I started small, bought the shop manuals, and learned from my mistakes. I've probably saved over $20,000 through the years in auto repair bills.

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post #34 of 48 (permalink) Old 10-18-2016, 04:02 PM
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Re: Savings less than 10k

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According to Americans' Average Net Worth by Age -- How Do You Compare? -- The Motley Fool, the median wealth of households headed by someone 55-64 years old was about $144,000, with only about $45K in financial assets and the rest in home equity.

Note: the above article says "Americans", not "households", but I can tell from The Typical American's Net Worth By Age: Here's Where You Stand -- The Motley Fool that they are talking about households, not individuals, because the latter article states that explicitly and the numbers are consistent with that.
'been meaning to get back to this. I could not recall where I'd read about $500k net worth at age 55...and, fool.com is certainly not source data, they got it from somewhere else.

After a while, I found the Federal Reserve's survey, which they call the Survey of Consumer Finances, aka SCF. They don't have the 55-64 grouping reported by Fool, instead they have it broken down by age.

For famlies headed by a 55 year old, in 2013, they reported a net worth median of $193,750. At the upper end of the Fool's stated range, age 64, the net worth in 2013 is reported by the Fed to be $300,900, again in 2013.

The Fed report methodology description says that the net worths given include savings accounts, 401k, IRA, investment accounts - but not the value of any company pension, if they have one, nor the NPV of social security or other government programs. Plus, equity in only the principal home, but not other homes if they own any. So, there's bias here for the useful value to be on the low side, but not by a lot.

It is worth noting how rapidly the Fed reports net worth rising by age - doubling in ten years is no mean feat. I found the orignal source of my misinformation: a vaguely-worded article in the AARP bulletin of about 16 months ago. This report did include estimated value of employee-sponsored retirement plans, as well as estimates of secondary homes.

The purpose of the AARP bulletin wasn't so much accuracy, but to point out an intereting trend - people's financial success seems to shoot up about when they hit 45 to 60 years old. The primary reason: the kids are out of college!

Gazing over the Fed report, then, it's not surprising to see the spread of hi/low getting very wide at age 45 to 60, but being narrower above and below that range. Below 45, most families still have children in college, above 60, few of them do.

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post #35 of 48 (permalink) Old 10-18-2016, 04:07 PM
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Re: Savings less than 10k

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I started small, bought the shop manuals, and learned from my mistakes. I've probably saved over $20,000 through the years in auto repair bills.
How much did the mistakes cost you?
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post #36 of 48 (permalink) Old 10-18-2016, 05:33 PM
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Re: Savings less than 10k

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'been meaning to get back to this. I could not recall where I'd read about $500k net worth at age 55...and, fool.com is certainly not source data, they got it from somewhere else.

After a while, I found the Federal Reserve's survey, which they call the Survey of Consumer Finances, aka SCF. They don't have the 55-64 grouping reported by Fool, instead they have it broken down by age.

For famlies headed by a 55 year old, in 2013, they reported a net worth median of $193,750. At the upper end of the Fool's stated range, age 64, the net worth in 2013 is reported by the Fed to be $300,900, again in 2013.

The Fed report methodology description says that the net worths given include savings accounts, 401k, IRA, investment accounts - but not the value of any company pension, if they have one, nor the NPV of social security or other government programs. Plus, equity in only the principal home, but not other homes if they own any. So, there's bias here for the useful value to be on the low side, but not by a lot.

It is worth noting how rapidly the Fed reports net worth rising by age - doubling in ten years is no mean feat. I found the orignal source of my misinformation: a vaguely-worded article in the AARP bulletin of about 16 months ago. This report did include estimated value of employee-sponsored retirement plans, as well as estimates of secondary homes.

The purpose of the AARP bulletin wasn't so much accuracy, but to point out an intereting trend - people's financial success seems to shoot up about when they hit 45 to 60 years old. The primary reason: the kids are out of college!

Gazing over the Fed report, then, it's not surprising to see the spread of hi/low getting very wide at age 45 to 60, but being narrower above and below that range. Below 45, most families still have children in college, above 60, few of them do.
According to what I've read, that is the single biggest asset that most people have, accounting for perhaps 75% of their net worth. So in reality most people even at age 64 don't have very much in investible financial assets, perhaps a median of $75,000 per family. Of course this also means that if there is another real estate bust, which I'm expecting any time now, their net worth will drop precipitously due to their excessive asset concentration in real estate.

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post #37 of 48 (permalink) Old 10-18-2016, 09:38 PM
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Re: Savings less than 10k

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How much did the mistakes cost you?
Small change compared to the overall savings. I don't typically make a fatal mistake so much as do unnecessary work when the cause of the problem isn't obvious.

Is it really so hard to believe that a college educated electrical engineer, or any other reasonably smart person can handle auto repair? It's not as hard as the mechanic would have you think.

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post #38 of 48 (permalink) Old 10-19-2016, 10:40 AM
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Re: Savings less than 10k

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Small change compared to the overall savings. I don't typically make a fatal mistake so much as do unnecessary work when the cause of the problem isn't obvious.

Is it really so hard to believe that a college educated electrical engineer, or any other reasonably smart person can handle auto repair? It's not as hard as the mechanic would have you think.

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I'm a college educated guy, I've torn apart and rebuild kitchens, basements, bathrooms, etc.. there isn't much I can't do on a house, and I've done some mechanical work on an old street bike I used to own. But when it comes to car repairs I often find myself at a loss, I just don't seem to get it. I find it tricky, dirty, an easy way to cut my hands open, and it's always the last bolt that seems completely frozen in place that takes hours to figure out how to remove. With few exceptions, every time I've attempted a major auto repair I've ended up regretting it.
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post #39 of 48 (permalink) Old 10-19-2016, 11:18 AM
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Re: Savings less than 10k

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Small change compared to the overall savings. I don't typically make a fatal mistake so much as do unnecessary work when the cause of the problem isn't obvious.

Is it really so hard to believe that a college educated electrical engineer, or any other reasonably smart person can handle auto repair? It's not as hard as the mechanic would have you think.

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You have to also factor in cost vs convenience for some. I have no issues changing tires and other basics (adding oil, windshield wiper fluid, etc...) but outside of that I have no interest in the mechanical side of cars. Factor in I would rather not waste whatever free time I do get being a mechanic, and for me the costs are worth it.
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post #40 of 48 (permalink) Old 10-19-2016, 12:47 PM
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Re: Savings less than 10k

Also, a mechanic can do the work much faster than I can. Even counting the transaction costs it makes more sense for me to pay people to do things that they are good at and spend my time getting paid for things that I am good at.


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You have to also factor in cost vs convenience for some. I have no issues changing tires and other basics (adding oil, windshield wiper fluid, etc...) but outside of that I have no interest in the mechanical side of cars. Factor in I would rather not waste whatever free time I do get being a mechanic, and for me the costs are worth it.


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post #41 of 48 (permalink) Old 10-19-2016, 12:53 PM
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Re: Savings less than 10k

I'm like Cletus. I started changing tires at a local tire store at the age of 15. I learned mechanical repairs, etc. Worked my way to alignment tech, technician and finally service manager. I did this while a full time college student. It kept me in beer and rent while at school. It has also kept me away from repair shops(unless under warranty) and high repair bills for my vehicles. It is a trade that has saved thousands of dollars over the years.

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post #42 of 48 (permalink) Old 10-19-2016, 05:58 PM
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Re: Savings less than 10k

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Also, a mechanic can do the work much faster than I can. Even counting the transaction costs it makes more sense for me to pay people to do things that they are good at and spend my time getting paid for things that I am good at.
The specific question was pertaining to increasing your savings. One of the ways to do that is to find ways to trade your time for your money. That's part of why I do my own auto repair and acted as my own contractor and primary laborer on an 1800 sq. ft. addition to our home in addition to my day job.

My son came by with his 2002 Honda last month. It had the dread CEL on. We hooked up the code reader - misfire on cylinder 1. The rough idle confirmed the problem. Pulled out the number one spark plug coil to find the plug bathed in motor oil. Only one way that could happen - the gaskets around the plugs had grown brittle and cracked. A trip to the local Napa, a new valve cover gasket and a new coil, two hours labor, and probably $200 saved that he, a college student, could ill afford. Plus the skills got passed on to the next generation.

I fully understand why others might make different choices, but they will find themselves poorer at the end of the day when paying for someone else's labor. To the person who enjoys a little grease and manual labor, these are guaranteed money savers. To others, they are hassles not worth their time - so they have to be worth their money.

My net worth is well into seven figures now - three orders of magnitude over the original asking quote of $10,000, in part because of reasonable but not ridiculously frugal living combined with a willingness to do the work myself.

You are not required to follow in my footsteps, of course. But if you do, unless you're an incompetent rube, you'll have a bigger bank account. Oh, and I do not do sheetrock. That's worth any amount of money to outsource.

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post #43 of 48 (permalink) Old 10-19-2016, 06:51 PM
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Re: Savings less than 10k

Funny, I can't do auto, electrical or plumbing, but framing, finish carpentry, drywall, painting, and landscaping, I love it.
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post #44 of 48 (permalink) Old 10-20-2016, 01:22 PM
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Re: Savings less than 10k

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I'm a college educated guy, I've torn apart and rebuild kitchens, basements, bathrooms, etc.. there isn't much I can't do on a house, and I've done some mechanical work on an old street bike I used to own. But when it comes to car repairs I often find myself at a loss, I just don't seem to get it. I find it tricky, dirty, an easy way to cut my hands open, and it's always the last bolt that seems completely frozen in place that takes hours to figure out how to remove. With few exceptions, every time I've attempted a major auto repair I've ended up regretting it.
I'm like Cletus and have done much of my own auto work. I always figured that with my advanced degrees there is no reason I can't figure out basic mechanic (or home improvement skills). These days you don't even need a Haynes manual to figure out the auto repairs, just a quick search on utube will show you just about everything you need. It does tend to be a little dirty and I also get scrapes and cuts, but a little grease ground into the areas seems to stop bleeding about as well as a bandaid. And those stubborn bolts tend to come right off if you have an impact socket. Also like Cletus I live within my means and my net worth is well above average for my age.
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post #45 of 48 (permalink) Old 10-20-2016, 01:43 PM
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Re: Savings less than 10k

I find saving very easy, even early in our marriage when had had very little we always put something aside each month. You have to be very organised with money, know exactly what is coming in and going out, budget for everything, do without until you can afford.

People I know are often suspicious of how we manage on one wage (I am SAHM), we have a nice big family home in a good area. We have lots of holidays and small trips away. If we want to buy luxuries from time to time we can. We don't keep up with the neighbours, I check our credit card and cheque account every day (because people leave it too long and get into a muddle when they overspend). We share a car and have no desire to have the nicest car on the street; it is small, cheap and practical. I keep spread sheets and every receipt goes in a tin to double check were the money went. It gets hard to save when money slips through your fingers or appears to vanish into thin air.

If monthly budgets are too difficult work on a weekly one - even daily. There is very little worth getting into to debt for.

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