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« The Poverty Gospel | Main | Free Money Finance March Money Madness, Round 1, Posts 13-16 »

January 25, 2010


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This is a little kick in the booty to find a better paying job since we couldn't possibly live off of 11% of our gross income ($8580)...we thought we were doing really well just by living on about 50%. :-)

Congrats FMF!

Maybe I'm being a pest, but based on other posts (e.g. credit card rewards etc), if actual living expenses are in the neighborhood of 11 percent of gross, there's a whole lot of gross income going on.

Terry --

You don't have the full picture. For instance, a good part of my credit card spending is work-related (and thus reimbursed.)

That said, what surprises you? Don't I always talk about increasing income and decreasing expenses? Do you expect me to do something different than what I preach?

Maybe you could write a post on the bundle of tax deductions. I know everyone's case is different, and if it gets complicated you can hire an accountant, but maybe just the basics, and how to take advantage of it (i.e. ask for receipts when giving, etc).

TR --

The biggest is already detailed -- giving. The government allows you to deduct charitable donations. I keep a folder throughout the year that includes all my tax receipts, including donations, so it's easier to summarize my efforts to my CPA at the end of the year.

Your generousity is admirable and a goal for all. Kudos to you.

Thanks for answering my questions so thoroughly. We want to be more generous but we're always concerned if we're saving enough, or giving our kids enough. I think we can actually afford to give more. We're going to join the Haiti challenge where you give the rest of this months grocery budget to the cause on top of what we already donated.


Your giving levels are off the charts! You've managed to keep your tax burden down pretty nicely. For me, my breakdown in 2009 looks like the following, based on gross income:

Taxes- 30% - unfortunately I don't many breaks on non-taxable items in Thailand, that kind of sucks.

Charitable giving (in spite of my post griping about this I still give cash)- 9.5%

Living expenses & spending- 12%

Savings: 48.5%

If I gave more my savings levels would go down. If I could lower my taxes then I'd give more to top up the taxes + giving to equal 50%. That seems reasonable.

I find it amazing you extended yourself so much in 2005 to give away HUGE amounts of your gross at the expense of your savings.


One more thing FMF, are the giving levels listed in addition to the money given to charity from this blog?

If so then you are truly a giving machine!

Mike --

I wish! ;-)

Both the income and the giving from this blog are in the numbers above.


Nevertheless, that's quite impressive.

So that also means that you are including the revenue in the total gross income? Then maybe your living expenses as a % of total are pegged too low- to be conservative maybe you should look at this as a % of your gross salary?


Mike --

I could, but the amounts for the blog aren't that great the past couple of years -- so the impact would be minimal.


So, if I read you correctly, your giving doesn't include taxes? Wow, that is some H U G E giving! Yes, you practice what you preach :-)
Alos, 11% living expenses is VERY low but I suppose a paid off house helps a great deal here.

My figures are 40% taxes, 30% living expenses, 30% savings, giving neglegible for now.

Concojones --

You are correct -- I include taxes in the "spending" numbers, not in the "giving" ones.

Yes, I practice what I preach. Would anyone read this blog if I didn't? ;-)

You're doing great on the savings front, BTW.

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