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GasBandit

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Hey Alexa, find me a 25 year old making $100,000 a year where the rent is 800 a month and who only spends $20 a month on internet. Oh, and has no debt whatsoever.

"Hmm, I don't know that."

Alternative joke:

 
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...$40/mo cell bill? That's bullshit. And unless our 25yr-old has a fully paid-off car with less than 75k miles on it OR lives in downtown Manhattan*, so is a $130/mo transportation cost.
Also, what is this $600+ "Donations" category? Is that a philanthropy 101 course?

--Patrick
*And if he DOES live in Manhattan, the rest of those numbers are REALLY total BS.
 
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...$40/mo cell bill? That's bullshit. And unless our 25yr-old has a fully paid-off car with less than 75k miles on it OR lives in downtown Manhattan*, so is a $130/mo transportation cost.
Also, what is this $600+ "Donations" category? Is that a philanthropy 101 course?

--Patrick
*And if he DOES live in Manhattan, the rest of those numbers are REALLY total BS.
I spend *maybe $80-$100 bucks on gas a month. So I think it also comes down to not having a huge commute.
 

GasBandit

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I spend *maybe $80-$100 bucks on gas a month. So I think it also comes down to not having a huge commute.
That budget doesn't seem to classify auto insurance anywhere else, though. And it also seems to assume this kid owns their car free and clear (which, if he's pulling down 100k and spending 2k a month, maybe he DOES)
 
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That budget doesn't seem to classify auto insurance anywhere else, though. And it also seems to assume this kid owns their car free and clear (which, if he's pulling down 100k and spending 2k a month, maybe he DOES)
I mean, it's already a work of fiction, so I just lump car insurance into charitable giving. :p
 

Dave

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What he spends
Here's a breakdown of everything Klee spends in a typical month.

Rent: $825
Klee lives in a shared house with four roommates and one dog. Although he says he could technically afford a studio apartment, which go for roughly $1,400-$2,000 a month in Cambridge, he prefers to save and invest the extra cash instead.

"I like my rent to be at a number where it doesn't actually matter to me each month," he says.

Groceries: $400
Klee eats the majority of his meals at home and typically buys his groceries from Trader Joe's, a chain known for its reasonable prices.

Dining out: $250
Klee does splurge on a few meals out each month, mostly with his girlfriend. Depending on where they go, it can cost anywhere from $20 to $80 per meal.

Transportation: $130
Klee pays $81.50 for a monthly CharlieCard, which lets him use subway and bus lines around Boston. "I live pretty close to where I work, so I take the T," he says.

He also spends between $40 to $50 on Lyft rides each month.


CNBC Make It
Phone: $40
Klee is still on his family's phone plan. His part of the bill comes to $40 per month.

Everything else
Utilities: $195
Internet: $20
Health insurance: $270
House cleaner: $30 (his share of the total cost)
Klee incurs a few additional regular expenses as well. He's developing a personal finance application for Google Sheets to track and analyze emailed receipts, and he maintains a separate bank account for the Google app so he can easily track how much he's spent on the project. He's also studying for the MCAT, which has attendant costs.

While he splurges on the occasional video game, he mostly chooses to buy things only when he needs them. "My family tends to make fun of me for not spending money on a lot of things," he says. "I very rarely buy new clothes. I won't buy a car, I don't buy a bike."

Klee buys things to last. "The only time I buy new clothes is when my old clothes get holes in them," he says. "My main goal is durability."

"I don't really save up for goals. I just save."
-Trevor Klee, test prep instructor
What he saves
Between a brokerage account, money market account and Roth IRA, Klee has around $43,000 put away. He estimates that about $20,000 of that is liquid.

"I don't really save up for goals," Klee says. "I just save. My default mode is saving and I only spend money when I think I need to spend money."

The amount he contributes to savings each month varies depending on how much he earns. He says that he likes to keep $4,000 in his checking account to cover expenses, including taxes, and then he saves or invests anything beyond that.
 
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Klee lives in a shared house with four roommates and one dog.
So what they're really saying is, in order to survive comfortably on US$100k/yr salary, you have to get 4 roommates and have your parents subsidize your phone plan.

--Patrick
 

GasBandit

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I was joking about him having 5 roommates, but yeah, I guess everything's a lot more affordable when you split all the bills 5 ways (and as Pat says, get your folks to put you on their plans). As long as Klee doesn't ever meet someone, fall in love, want to get married and buy a home, I guess he can put away 50k a year into savings like it's nothing.
 
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And lets not forget having good public transportation and living near his work, so he doesn't need to buy a car.
Post automatically merged:

The strawman argument is claiming that there is anyone who is seriously trying to force gender-neutral gingerbread people.
So, how's that Whooshh!!! emoticon coming along, mods?
 
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So what they're really saying is, in order to survive comfortably on US$100k/yr salary, you have to get 4 roommates and have your parents subsidize your phone plan.

--Patrick
He's not surviving comfortably, he's thriving. Note the food spending (his area is 14% more expensive than mine in food prices, yet his food expenses TRIPLE mine) and savings rate. He could easily live a pretty extravagant (by my standards) lifestyle in his HCOL area, it'd just hurt his savings rate.

It's a crappy budget, though. They should be looking at his year-over-year expenses and calculating from that--even if he's very thrifty with his clothes, $60/year in shirts/pants/underwear means $5/mo on clothing. Same applies to gifts (family, friends, lovers), entertainment (books, electronics, games, live), and other home expenses (furnishings, renter's insurance).

Minor annoyance, but $40/mo on phone seems kinda wasteful unless he's paying for an expensive device as well. My talk/text/2GB plan costs me $15/mo ($25/mo if I needed 10GB of data for work or something). If it's an unlimited plan and we want to argue that cost sharing is teh evulz, there's unlimited plans in the $25-45/mo range (Sprint, US Mobile) if that's a must.
 
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There are definitely cheaper phone plans, but unless he’s using a basic phone (which I seriously doubt, given his age/locale), $40 is about the going price per line these days for a family of 4 that is sharing a smartphone plan.

—Patrick
 
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Practically all of those numbers are fiction. $40 on phone and $20 on internet together isn't half of what I pay for telecom. $195 on utilities is less than half of what I'm paying. $130 on transportation doesn't even cover the cost of my train cards to and from work, let alone the bus, my car, its insurance, or filling the tank. $825 in rent might be possible, but really depends on where you live. $30 for a house cleaner is, frankly, either way too little, or a useless expense - not to mention if I had a house cleaner I'd probably spend more than that on her materials and products used. $400 on groceries sounds reasonable, I guess, depending on where you live. But no costs at all set aside for new clothes, phone, furnishings, electronics,... doesn't mean he's "good with money", it means he's living in rags and with hand-me-down tv and so on...or he buys those things from his "savings" which makes those look a lot less impressive.
 
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There are definitely cheaper phone plans, but unless he’s using a basic phone (which I seriously doubt, given his age/locale), $40 is about the going price per line these days for a family of 4 that is sharing a plan.

—Patrick
A family of 1 can have pretty much as basic or advanced of a phone type they want on lines ranging from $6 to $45 (depending on your talk/message/data needs) in the U.S. Having or wanting an iPhone or high-end Android does not cut you off of affordable carriers and plans as far as I know.

Practically all of those numbers are fiction. $40 on phone and $20 on internet together isn't half of what I pay for telecom. $195 on utilities is less than half of what I'm paying. $130 on transportation doesn't even cover the cost of my train cards to and from work, let alone the bus, my car, its insurance, or filling the tank. $825 in rent might be possible, but really depends on where you live. $30 for a house cleaner is, frankly, either way too little, or a useless expense - not to mention if I had a house cleaner I'd probably spend more than that on her materials and products used. $400 on groceries sounds reasonable, I guess, depending on where you live.
Internet and utilities are split with roommates, trade-off of having roommates. Cost of living varies between areas, as do salaries, and you're in a different continent entirely. I'd recommend looking up the living indices for his area and comparing to yours, if you want a better picture of his lifestyle.
 

GasBandit

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Yeah, if you multiply all his bills x5 to account for the 5 guys living in one house factor, the numbers start to look slightly less ridiculous.

What still is ridiculous is that NBC wants to pass this off as typical, or even reasonably attainable.
 
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When we added a phone line for my daughter (we have three people on our plan now), it was an extra $20 on top of the plan we already had, which is a shared 12gb a month of data, which was already $150 or something. So he's definitely getting a discount being on his family's phone plan, if he's only paying the line fee.
 
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A family of 1 can have pretty much as basic or advanced of a phone type they want on lines ranging from $6 to $45 (depending on your talk/message/data needs) in the U.S. Having or wanting an iPhone or high-end Android does not cut you off of affordable carriers and plans as far as I know.
Verizon’s least expensive unlimited plan for one person (here in MI) is $75+taxes & stuff, and that doesn’t include any phone cost (either monthly pmt or all-at-once). Even their absolute least expensive single device plan (which is for unlimited talk/text + just 500MB data/month) is $30+taxes&fees. If you don’t already have a phone, their least expensive flip phone is an additional $5/mo (plus tax/fees of course).

Now I’m not really commenting on Klee’s life or his choices, here. My comment is solely that anyone promoting this guy’s situation as an example of “how easy it is to manage money” or as an example of someone who is “good with money” is horribly misrepresenting what it means to be good with/manage money.

I managed our family’s finances with all our needs met every month and with literally only $50-100 of disposable income left over for anything and everything else that did not either go in our faces or over our heads. My expenses (except for “donations”) actually weren’t that far off what is listed in the above graph (even though I was in a Detroit suburb, not Boston) and I did those same expenditures for almost TEN YEARS on maybe a THIRD (I think? It’s been a while) of the $100k reported in the article.

Now I don’t know if that qualifies me to say that I’m “good at money,” but it sure as Hell means I get to claim I’m way better at it than that guy.

—Patrick
 
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Verizon’s least expensive unlimited plan for one person (here in MI) is $75+taxes & stuff, and that doesn’t include any phone cost (either monthly pmt or all-at-once). Even their absolute least expensive single device plan (which is for unlimited talk/text + just 500MB data/month) is $30+taxes&fees. If you don’t already have a phone, their least expensive flip phone is an additional $5/mo (plus tax/fees of course).
I don't know your zip code, and your data needs seem very different from mine (so apples to oranges), but Verizon is hardly what I'd call an affordable carrier. Sprint, T-Mobile, Mint, Cricket, Republic, US Mobile, etc etc all might be worth a look at for a hypothetical person in your area.

Now I’m not really commenting on Klee’s life or his choices, here. My comment is solely that anyone promoting this guy’s situation as an example of “how easy it is to manage money” or as an example of someone who is “good with money” is horribly misrepresenting what it means to be good with/manage money.
This I agree with.
 
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I pay $45 a month on my mom's plan, and that's paying my full share, not just the discounted rate for an additional line.
 
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There ARE ways to cheap out on phone. I do Tracfone: 20 bucks for 60 minutes, 1k texts, 1gb of data, and 30 days of service. I've been using them for years and rarely use my phone, so I have something like 6000 minutes, thousands of texts, and 3.9gb of data saved up. But then you don't get to have THE LATEST phones and some people freak out about that.
 
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I don't know your zip code, and your data needs seem very different from mine (so apples to oranges), but Verizon is hardly what I'd call an affordable carrier. Sprint, T-Mobile, Mint, Cricket, Republic, US Mobile, etc etc all might be worth a look at for a hypothetical person in your area.
I picked Verizon just because they are representative and it’s easy to get to their rates without digging through too many pages. In my first 3 years with my iPhone 5, I think I went through 7.5GB of data total in that time, and that was including a 4+ month stint where I was away from home and so had to video chat every night with my wife. These days I average right near 1GB/mo or just under, so I carry a 2GB plan with rollover for those times my home Internet goes down and I have to hotspot my chat/triage with Charter. As for personally going with one of the discount carriers, I have to stick with one of the “big 4” due to my job, and the one with the best and least complicated data around here is AT&T. But yeah, before that I had a flip phone on T-Mobile that I just filled with minutes when I needed it, and I think my monthly phone bill worked out to around $3/mo.

—Patrick
 
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Yeah, if you multiply all his bills x5 to account for the 5 guys living in one house factor, the numbers start to look slightly less ridiculous.

What still is ridiculous is that NBC wants to pass this off as typical, or even reasonably attainable.
Also, isn't sharing your expenses with more people considered communism IN AMERICA!!!, and rans counter to the whole rugged self reliant capitalist thing you got going on?
 

GasBandit

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Also, isn't sharing your expenses with more people considered communism IN AMERICA!!!, and rans counter to the whole rugged self reliant capitalist thing you got going on?
I know you're being flippant, but having roommates actually is kind of seen as an "extended childhood" phase almost (in much of the country anyway, barring the biggest cities I guess), that you're expected to grow out of once you become fully independent and are ready to start a family and whatnot. Even alluded to on FRIENDS when Ross thoughtlessly dismissed the idea of getting a roommate in front of the others (who all room together) because "having a roommate once you're a certain age is kinda... ehh...." and during the time in which he is "on sabbatical" from work at the museum that he is forced to live with Joey and Chandler is viewed as a form of reinfantilization.

I definitely don't often hear about FIVE roommates, even in a college setting, where roomies are a common thing. At most it seems to never go above 4, and 2 is much more common.
 
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I know you're being flippant, but having roommates actually is kind of seen as an "extended childhood" phase almost (in much of the country anyway, barring the biggest cities I guess), that you're expected to grow out of once you become fully independent and are ready to start a family and whatnot. Even alluded to on FRIENDS when Ross thoughtlessly dismissed the idea of getting a roommate in front of the others (who all room together) because "having a roommate once you're a certain age is kinda... ehh...." and during the time in which he is "on sabbatical" from work at the museum that he is forced to live with Joey and Chandler is viewed as a form of reinfantilization.

I definitely don't often hear about FIVE roommates, even in a college setting, where roomies are a common thing. At most it seems to never go above 4, and 2 is much more common.
The current thing a lot of professional communities are building and pushing is basically dorming living; you rent a glorified bedroom and the kitchen/baths are shared between a half dozen or more roommates. They are doing this because they know the big companies aren't paying a "living" wage as it is in the US and it's basically the only option for city living for a lot of people. It's ether this, live in the slum, or commute for an hour from a suburb.

Mind you, you're still paying a thousand bucks a month for that fucking bedroom. It's a scam, like all current city living prospects. Everyone's trying to build luxury apartments for the next Google instead of affordable housing for people who actual live and work in the area. This is just a new twist on it.
 
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I know you're being flippant, but having roommates actually is kind of seen as an "extended childhood" phase almost (in much of the country anyway, barring the biggest cities I guess), that you're expected to grow out of once you become fully independent and are ready to start a family and whatnot.
Just because i'm being flippant doesn't mean i'm not also acknowledging that too...

Being flippant about how things actually work is more fun anyway...
 
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isn't sharing your expenses with more people considered communism IN AMERICA!!!, and rans counter to the whole rugged self reliant capitalist thing you got going on?
Don't be silly. For that to be true, you'd have to be splitting your expenses with 325 million roommates.

--Patrick
 
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