December 2013 Moms

What's your idea of living comfortably?

The SAHM board had a thread about this yesterday and the answers varied wildly, so I'm curious to see answers here...

What is your idea of living comfortably? 

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Re: What's your idea of living comfortably?

  • jmb527jmb527
    Seventh Anniversary 2500 Comments 250 Answers 500 Love Its
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    To me living comfortably is not having any debt aside from mortgage and car payments, and having money in our savings. This also includes having "play" money each month to do things we enjoy-shop, lunches or dinners out, going new places, etc.


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  • Having money in the bank after the bills are paid as well as having some in savings.  Not having a constant worry month to month of how things are going to be paid for.  It may not mean having a lot but at least you have a cushion to fall back on if you ever need it.



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  • I think not living paycheck to paycheck would be a good start.
    Basically being able to pay the bills and having money left over to spend on a few indulgences like eating out or going on a date, saving up for a nice vacation, or me being able to treat myself to a pedicure or something every now and then. Not having to freak out or budget every cent we spend would be living comfortably to me.
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  • To me it means having enough to pay your bills, save a bit and have some leftover for treats like dining out, going to the movies, buying the occasional new clothes. Basically I look at it as not having to worry about money too much. Having enough that if you did have an emergency, like a car repair, it wouldn't be a total disaster.

     

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  • I'd say not having to live paycheck to paycheck. Having a comfortable home, reliable means of transportation, plenty of food and bills paid with a cushion left over. 

    ETA: And make that a cushion big enough to do fun things with, like buy maternity clothes, go on a vacation, etc.! 

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  • Being able to spend what I want and not having to think about where it's coming from or where else it "should" be going; i.e. not feeling guilty about indulgences.  This would mean also having healthy savings & retirement accounts, emergency funds and knowing that there's still a couple grand leftover each month after our bills are paid. 



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  • How about... being able to occasionally buy yourself clothes, makeup, etc on a whim without guilt or thinking about how the accounts will look at the end of the month. I would also say for us, being able to take two international trips a year, one to see family in Europe, and one somewhere else for fun, while still saving.
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  • image VCGolfNYC:

    Being able to spend what I want and not having to think about where it's coming from or where else it "should" be going; i.e. not feeling guilty about indulgences.  This would mean also having healthy savings & retirement accounts, emergency funds and knowing that there's still a couple grand leftover each month after our bills are paid. 


    I agree with all this. In my mind "comfortable" means I'm to the place not of being totally unconcerned but of not worrying if we decide to take a vacation or buy something relatively expensive. Not that I'm there yet - but hopefully someday!

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  • image KateMW:

    The SAHM board had a thread about this yesterday and the answers varied wildly, so I'm curious to see answers here...

    What is your idea of living comfortably? 

    I lurk the SAHM board a bit since I may end up being a part-time SAHM if I continue freelancing once LO arrives; or I may go full-time SAHM for a TBD amount of time.


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    5 cycles of "TTC" - 3 intentional, 2 not so intentional.  5 BFPs.  My rainbow arrived 10/15/14.
    TFMC 08.02.13 at 19+ weeks. Everyday I grieve for my little Olive.

  • My idea of living comfortably is owning a house that fits the whole family without bursting at the seems in a good school district, two late model safe cars, a vacation or two a year-long weekends or full weeks, not having to worry about bills being paid or groceries being bought, saving for the future and having some extra money. This is not necessarily how we live, but at a minimum to be comfortable to us, we would need this. If we didn't have this, I would go back to work. 
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  • image VCGolfNYC:

    Being able to spend what I want and not having to think about where it's coming from or where else it "should" be going; i.e. not feeling guilty about indulgences.  This would mean also having healthy savings & retirement accounts, emergency funds and knowing that there's still a couple grand leftover each month after our bills are paid. 


    Please come post this on the SAHM board, so I'm not the evil one suggesting snobby vacations. LOL I don't disagree with you that it's the way I prefer to live, but I could be comfortable with less.  

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  • This is financial security to me:

    My mortgage and car payment are my only lines of credit. My home is large enough to comfortably house my family. I don't mind living paycheck to paycheck as long as I am: 1. Contributing to my 401k; 2. Have life insurance; 3. Meet all my obligations regarding utilities, car insurance, childcare and food; 4. Have an emergency/medical fund of about 1 month's salary. Also, I may be a mean mommy, but my kids are on their own for college - DH and I paid our way and we were just fine. We'll help them here and there if they need it, but I'm not just paying for it.

    For the most part, this is where we are, although my emergency fund is lacking. I'd like to replenish it. I get an extra paycheck in October, and a bonus if I pass my actuarial exam, so that's probably what I'll do with it. Actually, we do have a credit card right now and I hate the thing. I think the whole concept of credit is dumb. Sometimes I put gas and groceries on it, but we pay it off every month. /sigh

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  • image KateMW:
    My idea of living comfortably is owning a house that fits the whole family without bursting at the seems in a good school district, two late model safe cars, a vacation or two a year-long weekends or full weeks, not having to worry about bills being paid or groceries being bought, saving for the future and having some extra money. This is not necessarily how we live, but at a minimum to be comfortable to us, we would need this. If we didn't have this, I would go back to work. 

    I completely agree with all of this!




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  • SoMoNYSoMoNY
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    Still having 50+% of take home salary available each month after bills are paid off, both spouses contributing max to 401k each year, contributing to 529, a safety net big enough to carry you 12 months should one person lose their job.

    A situation where while a new roof would be a bummer it wouldn't cause a family emergency. 

  • image malamutemommy:
    I think not living paycheck to paycheck would be a good start.
    Basically being able to pay the bills and having money left over to spend on a few indulgences like eating out or going on a date, saving up for a nice vacation, or me being able to treat myself to a pedicure or something every now and then. Not having to freak out or budget every cent we spend would be living comfortably to me.

    This. I would love to be able to treat me when I'm stressed and just want some me time.
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  • image lisab613:
    To me it means having enough to pay your bills, save a bit and have some leftover for treats like dining out, going to the movies, buying the occasional new clothes. Basically I look at it as not having to worry about money too much. Having enough that if you did have an emergency, like a car repair, it wouldn't be a total disaster.
    Exactly this. That would be nice :)

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  • Pretty much everything that all PPs said.  Not living paycheck to paycheck.  Having something in savings.  No credit card bills.  It's nice to dream.
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  • image SoMoNY:

    Still having 50+% of take home salary available each month after bills are paid off, both spouses contributing max to 401k each year, contributing to 529, a safety net big enough to carry you 12 months should one person lose their job.

    A situation where while a new roof would be a bummer it wouldn't cause a family emergency. 

    Yep, this exactly.

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  • image KateMW:
    My idea of living comfortably is owning a house that fits the whole family without bursting at the seems in a good school district, two late model safe cars, a vacation or two a yearlong weekends or full weeks, not having to worry about bills being paid or groceries being bought, saving for the future and having some extra money. This is not necessarily how we live, but at a minimum to be comfortable to us, we would need this. If we didn't have this, I would go back to work.nbsp;


    This but without a concern if I want to buy clothes that are more of a j crew budget than an old navy one.

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  • KateVAKateVA
    Ancient Membership 2500 Comments 500 Love Its Combo Breaker
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    Comfortable to me is about quality of life, not material possessions. So yes, paying bills, saving some (which we currently aren't really doing much of but hopefully as the kids age and I go back to work), having a nice home and reliable cars. But vacations, buying whatever I want, jewelry etc don't matter to me. We made a conscious decision to give that up when left DC and our DC salaries to live at the beach. No vacations other than visiting family but we live on an island. Sometimes I do miss our old life of fancy dinners and vacations but I don't miss traffic and stress and long hours. Its a balancing act!  
  • image KateMW:
    image VCGolfNYC:

    Being able to spend what I want and not having to think about where it's coming from or where else it "should" be going; i.e. not feeling guilty about indulgences.&nbsp; This would mean also having healthy savings &amp; retirement accounts, emergency funds and knowing that there's still a couple grand leftover each month after our bills are paid.&nbsp;


    Please come post this on the SAHM board, so I'm not the evil one suggesting snobby vacations. LOL I don't disagree with you that it's the way I prefer to live, but I could be comfortable with less. &nbsp;



    I don't need vacations to be comfortable. I could probably be comfortable saving less than a couple grand a month, but I grew up with nothing, and then went from having nothing to, well, having a lot. I also pay my parents property taxes and other assorted bills for them, so the thought of not saving a couple grand a month may sound crazy, but it makes me mildly uncomfortable mainly because I know I will be taking care of my parents in the future. I'm comfortable if they do not have to worry.

    When lurking the SAHM board there was a post about most expensive meal. I was shocked by the amount people thought was really high, so I asked DH about our most expensive meal. Apparently we've had 4 figure dinners here and in Europe; I'm a molecular gastronomy fanatic, and I guess that doesn't come cheap. I figured I'd be flamed for something like that

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    TFMC 08.02.13 at 19+ weeks. Everyday I grieve for my little Olive.

  • I think it has changed a bit from what it used to be. Basically not having to worry.
    Enough. Such a relative term. After the housing disaster in recent years, we had to make major adjustments in our thinking and living.We're in a real estate related field.
    Comfortable used to mean being able to cover all expenses, go on a vacation whenever it was convenient, do fun things and good/charitable things, and me being home full time.

    Now, it is having enough to cover the necessary stuff like mortgage, food, and household expenses, not having debt. I like the not having debt part. It means we have to wait to go on vacation till the vacation tank is filled, but it works for us.

    It is OUR new comfortable.
    I find that how comfortable I feel is directly proportional to how content I am with what I have.... Something I still work on daily...

    I love reading how everyone is so different in their needs/ wants, and yet we all need the same basic securities.
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  • image VCGolfNYC:
    image KateMW:
    image VCGolfNYC:

    Being able to spend what I want and not having to think about where it's coming from or where else it "should" be going; i.e. not feeling guilty about indulgences.  This would mean also having healthy savings & retirement accounts, emergency funds and knowing that there's still a couple grand leftover each month after our bills are paid. 


    Please come post this on the SAHM board, so I'm not the evil one suggesting snobby vacations. LOL I don't disagree with you that it's the way I prefer to live, but I could be comfortable with less.  

    I don't need vacations to be comfortable. I could probably be comfortable saving less than a couple grand a month, but I grew up with nothing, and then went from having nothing to, well, having a lot. I also pay my parents property taxes and other assorted bills for them, so the thought of not saving a couple grand a month may sound crazy, but it makes me mildly uncomfortable mainly because I know I will be taking care of my parents in the future. I'm comfortable if they do not have to worry. When lurking the SAHM board there was a post about most expensive meal. I was shocked by the amount people thought was really high, so I asked DH about our most expensive meal. Apparently we've had 4 figure dinners here and in Europe; I'm a molecular gastronomy fanatic, and I guess that doesn't come cheap. I figured I'd be flamed for something like that

    Lets just say I've never shared the total of my two Per Se meals with them and leave it at that.  

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  • image jmb527:

    To me living comfortably is not having any debt aside from mortgage and car payments, and having money in our savings. This also includes having "play" money each month to do things we enjoy-shop, lunches or dinners out, going new places, etc.


    This 

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  • Doing things I like to do without worrying. This includes eating out, going on at least one vacation a year, having some nice toys (car, camera, clothes) etc. I don't need a mansion but I don't want to THINK or worry about money. I don't want to live pay check to pay check like I used to.

    This also includes saving for college and retirement (and paying off my student loans!) AND hopefully buying a house soon but in Palo Alto it may take us a few years.

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  • image Soozerella:
    image KateMW:
    My idea of living comfortably is owning a house that fits the whole family without bursting at the seems in a good school district, two late model safe cars, a vacation or two a yearlong weekends or full weeks, not having to worry about bills being paid or groceries being bought, saving for the future and having some extra money. This is not necessarily how we live, but at a minimum to be comfortable to us, we would need this. If we didn't have this, I would go back to work.nbsp;
    This but without a concern if I want to buy clothes that are more of a j crew budget than an old navy one.

    I prefer a combo. ;) 

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  • My benchmark is if I don't have to look the prices of anything at Target, I'm in good shape. If I still need to look at prices at a high-end store, like Macy's or something I'm ok with that. I feel like Target is mostly 'must-haves' though so if I have to look at prices and watch what I'm spending, I get irritated.
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  • image KateMW:
    image VCGolfNYC:
    image KateMW:
    image VCGolfNYC:

    Being able to spend what I want and not having to think about where it's coming from or where else it "should" be going; i.e. not feeling guilty about indulgences.  This would mean also having healthy savings & retirement accounts, emergency funds and knowing that there's still a couple grand leftover each month after our bills are paid. 


    Please come post this on the SAHM board, so I'm not the evil one suggesting snobby vacations. LOL I don't disagree with you that it's the way I prefer to live, but I could be comfortable with less.  

    I don't need vacations to be comfortable. I could probably be comfortable saving less than a couple grand a month, but I grew up with nothing, and then went from having nothing to, well, having a lot. I also pay my parents property taxes and other assorted bills for them, so the thought of not saving a couple grand a month may sound crazy, but it makes me mildly uncomfortable mainly because I know I will be taking care of my parents in the future. I'm comfortable if they do not have to worry. When lurking the SAHM board there was a post about most expensive meal. I was shocked by the amount people thought was really high, so I asked DH about our most expensive meal. Apparently we've had 4 figure dinners here and in Europe; I'm a molecular gastronomy fanatic, and I guess that doesn't come cheap. I figured I'd be flamed for something like that

    Lets just say I've never shared the total of my two Per Se meals with them and leave it at that.  

     I never made it to Per Se while we still lived in NYC :( BUT we did go to Gramercy Tavern! Highly recommend. I don't think I need to eat at restaurants like that to be "comfortable"-- those are more like, "we are doing well financially".

    imageimage

     
  • kate14kate14
    Tenth Anniversary 500 Comments 250 Love Its First Answer
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    image jmb527:

    To me living comfortably is not having any debt aside from mortgage and car payments, and having money in our savings. This also includes having "play" money each month to do things we enjoy-shop, lunches or dinners out, going new places, etc.


     exactly this.

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  • image onewayticket:
    image KateMW:
    image VCGolfNYC:
    image KateMW:
    image VCGolfNYC:

    Being able to spend what I want and not having to think about where it's coming from or where else it "should" be going; i.e. not feeling guilty about indulgences.  This would mean also having healthy savings & retirement accounts, emergency funds and knowing that there's still a couple grand leftover each month after our bills are paid. 


    Please come post this on the SAHM board, so I'm not the evil one suggesting snobby vacations. LOL I don't disagree with you that it's the way I prefer to live, but I could be comfortable with less.  

    I don't need vacations to be comfortable. I could probably be comfortable saving less than a couple grand a month, but I grew up with nothing, and then went from having nothing to, well, having a lot. I also pay my parents property taxes and other assorted bills for them, so the thought of not saving a couple grand a month may sound crazy, but it makes me mildly uncomfortable mainly because I know I will be taking care of my parents in the future. I'm comfortable if they do not have to worry. When lurking the SAHM board there was a post about most expensive meal. I was shocked by the amount people thought was really high, so I asked DH about our most expensive meal. Apparently we've had 4 figure dinners here and in Europe; I'm a molecular gastronomy fanatic, and I guess that doesn't come cheap. I figured I'd be flamed for something like that

    Lets just say I've never shared the total of my two Per Se meals with them and leave it at that.  

     I never made it to Per Se while we still lived in NYC :( BUT we did go to Gramercy Tavern! Highly recommend. I don't think I need to eat at restaurants like that to be "comfortable"-- those are more like, "we are doing well financially".

    We have a friend who is a chef at Gramercy and one who is a manager! I've still never been! LOL Next trip! 

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