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 Post subject: The Coffeehouse Meeting
PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2009 8:37 am 
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About 4 times a year I plaster a local coffeehouse with a "fiscal check-up" poster. It's really interesting who shows up, and yes, people do show up (I average about 10-15 people each time).

I normally share 5 tips that are generally regarded healthy fiscal principles. "Spend less than your earn" is one, and index vs. managed funds may be another. The idea of these isn't to dispense advice, but to promote a discussion on money. We know money is one of those subjects that hard even to discuss with your significant other, let alone anyone else. I'd found that folks really can and do get comfortable talking about their issues.

Does anyone else do these? What are your experiences?

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2009 9:34 am 

Joined: Fri Jan 02, 2009 7:42 am
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I may not be going to a coffee house or setting up random discussions. I recently started seriously discussing numbers with friends and family. Your right, it is sort of a taboo subject. However after pointing out and admitting that it is a taboo subject people are more open to discuss it.

Perhaps the most startling realization for friends and family (a solid group of 40 people or so) is that regardless of how much our income varies from one person to the next.

We are all broke.

I mean.. these income disparities are as vast as one person who makes $80,000 a year and another who makes less than $100 a week. Both are able to survive and live. Yet both are having trouble.

Cracking that perception that we shouldn't talk about money has been the hardest part, but now a lot of us are really on a much better road BECAUSE we cracked that perception.

Still, the easiest way to get people to talk about money... is just opening up with... "I know some people don't like talking about it, but sometimes it needs to be done."

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2009 12:12 pm 
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Good thoughts Crankybolt. What you said is very similiar to my opener, which I talk about two friends of mine. One makes over 100K a year, but has massive CC debt and a huge car payment and rents. My other friends makes 45K a year, but has zero debt, and travels whereever he wants. Of course, I save the twist until after the setup for effect, but yes, just because we have widely different incomes doesn't mean that our financial situations are widely different. I think it helps peopel to know that theyre not the only ones in the boat

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2009 8:18 pm 

Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 3:22 pm
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Location: Northern CA
My "community involvement" is much like my charitable giving - I spread it around to people I know, directly. One of my college buddies has been very intrigued that I'm willing to talk about this stuff, and it's helped her to talkt hings out.

My Top 5 List:

#1 - Start investing young. You can never make up the time value of money if you delay savings until 35 instead of starting at 25. I started saving even when I had student loan debt (admittedly, not much), and I've never regretted it.

#2 - Invest in your own education, since an education helps you earn more income over your lifetime. No one cares more about your future and financial fitness than you do, so read, read, read, once college is done, and pursue additional training or certification if appropriate.

#3 - Marry someone with the same financial outlook that you have. Even if they don't have the same discipline or training, you should be able to set mutual goals. For example, my DH agrees to save for retirement, set money aside for emergencies, and he agreed to buy a house because I felt strongly about it. 15 years later, he's *very* glad he did. We have never argued about how to spend or save money.

#4 - Automate savings as much as possible. I set aside a percentage of my income, expect the same of DH, and we increase savings when we get pay increases. Since that is "automatic", we do not have to renegotiate these concepts. We are also automated in terms of auto-deposits for our accounts...

#5 - Balance your investments. I call it the "don't have all your eggs in one basket" philosophy. :D We have a house. We have liquid savings. We bought a business. We have retirement savings, allocated between stocks, bonds, domestic, int'l, etc. And we set aside money for fun... We find that diversification not only provides decent returns (when the stocks are down, RE or bonds are up...) it also means we sleep better at night, since no one part of our portfolio is too heavy in one area.

Sandi


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 24, 2009 8:09 am 

Joined: Sun Feb 24, 2008 3:32 pm
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JerichoHill wrote:
We know money is one of those subjects that hard even to discuss with your significant other, ...

sandi_k wrote:
#3 - Marry someone with the same financial outlook that you have.

I've found that it's a difficult subject to bring up too early in the dating world. On one hand it's too bad, because "they say" couples fight and break up most about money, but on the other, no one wants to hear it when you're in the mating game.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 24, 2009 7:45 pm 

Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 3:22 pm
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Location: Northern CA
Scenario Thinker wrote:
JerichoHill wrote:
We know money is one of those subjects that hard even to discuss with your significant other, ...


sandi_k wrote:
#3 - Marry someone with the same financial outlook that you have.


I've found that it's a difficult subject to bring up too early in the dating world. On one hand it's too bad, because "they say" couples fight and break up most about money, but on the other, no one wants to hear it when you're in the mating game.


Scenario:

Ah, but there are many telling *actions* that speak louder than words. When DH and I were dating, for example:

1) He didn't use credit cards for daily expenses. Indeed, he used them rarely.
2) He saved money himself to buy his next car. He never had a car loan, until he decided to establish credit.
3) He was willing to drive junkers, and do the improvement work himself (work ethic *and* frugal!)
4) He invested in himself, and went to college.
5) He used to pick up girls for a date in his Pinto, while leaving his brand new Dodge Charger at home. If they agreed to a second date, he'd bring the Charger. :D :D :D
6) He was willing to accommodate my financial priorities. For example, I put myself through college, where his parents paid for his college. If I told him I couldn't afford to order a pizza, he was willing to come over and eat Mac and Cheese for dinner with me.

Lastly, you mention it's hard to bring it up "early in the dating game." I disagree. All you have to say is "The budget won't stretch to accommodate (insert expensive dinner here) this month. How about pizza and bowling?" If she blows you off, or is incredulous at the idea of a budget....you've done your homework.

Sandi


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 24, 2009 9:05 pm 

Joined: Sun Feb 24, 2008 3:32 pm
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sandi_k wrote:
5) He used to pick up girls for a date in his Pinto, while leaving his brand new Dodge Charger at home. If they agreed to a second date, he'd bring the Charger. :D :D :D

I love this one! :)

Otherwise, thanks for the great tips, Sandi.

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