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June 09, 2009


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FMF, have you been reading Wayne Dyer's Excuses Begone??

I'm not saying that his experience has no useful lessons for others. He should be especially commended for embracing public transit in LA, where it's not so fabulous. But for $485/mo. he must not only have had many roommates, but been living in a bad apartment in a cruddy part of town (5 roommates with shared rooms indicates a 3 bedroom at less than $3000/mo.). For women especially, this can be a bad idea. Trading safety for money is no bargain.

(I'm not one of the people who are hysterical and/or snobs about this. I live in a neighborhood which is notorious for being unsafe, but which I find to be fine, if a little uninspiring. But I don't think I'd live in South Central to save on rent.)

Also, I wouldn't consider a six-friends-in-three-bedrooms apartment to be a stable living situation--that is, I think he'd find it hard to do long-term. With that many people, you're going to have high turnover, which equals high drama and potential financial issues. So, useful idea for someone trying to build an emergency fund on the entry-level salary, but not so useful for someone looking for long-term solutions.

If you read the list of comments associated with the article the author indicates that $2,400 was his pay before taxes.

Anyone could cut out that much per month if they were miserable for 10 months just to look forward to a year off.

I see this as completely unsustainable, which takes away a lot of its value.

OK I save $1000+ a month and it is completely sustainable. Plus, I go out once a week and take vacations 2x a year. I'm saving for a home.
My take home pay (after 403b contributions and taxes) is $2600 per month.
I get paid 2x a month and simply have $500 direct deposited into my online savings account before I even see it. I live on what gets deposited into my checking account. It's not hard to live below your means and save your money. I think it's just easier to tell yourself you cant, or find a reason why it wouldn't work for you etc.
I didn't think I could do this. I was living just below my means, and saving only $300 a month. Then I decided to try putting $500 per paycheck away... and guess what... IT WORKED!
I don't use my credit cards, that helps.

Yes, but 2600/month after taxes is a lot different then 2,400/month before taxes.... That's a 600/month difference right there!

The difference between $2600/month after taxes and $2400/month before taxes is in the payroll withholds, if they use Uncle Sam as a Christmas Club account.

The posting says it's take-home pay. Not pre-tax.

Oh, I read the comments in the vagabondish article, I see now that it was pre-tax.

An adult living in a room with a stranger seems like a crummy way to live. I felt a bit nauseous when I read, "Whenever my girlfriend and I ‘needed the room’, I just asked and it was ours for a bit."

I could be overreacting, but I agree with the other posters, this experience is not inspiring or sustainable.

I think focusing on this person's specific details and then negating the value is kinda the wrong way to look at this article.
I think the point is to see that people in any situation can make it happen. Push your savings to the limit instead of making excuses (under the guise of "reasons")for why you can't save XXX amount a month.

^^ I guess I should clarify my previous statement.

It is his living situation that got to me. Particularly this statement, "Consider sharing a room instead of keeping the single. There’s no shame in having a roommate these days, especially with the ridiculous costs of housing." I disagree with is. An adult sharing a room under those conditions is shameful.

I live in NYC and do all of the other things that he mentioned. I agree with all of his points except that one. I was so turned off by it, I missed the purpose of his entire post.

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