Money => security => easier to save money

Buying in bulk is easier when you’re not poor — not just because of the credit constraints or space for storage, but because you won’t be wiped out if you get a bug infestation, your refrigerator goes out, or your pantry gets flooded.  You can take that (small) risk of things going bad and save money because if things do go bad, you’re insured.


I think something that both Mr. Money Moustache and Laura Vanderkam miss is the security you get by having a lot of money. It’s that security that allows people to do the things that they suggest. Like, you can technically afford to hire someone to drive your kids to and from school without sacrificing spending when your family income is a certain amount, but it cuts into your savings in a way that it doesn’t if your income is 2x or 3x that amount. That savings may not seem like a big deal in terms of day to day things, but it means a huge amount when it comes to being able to take risks. When you don’t have to worry about what happens if someone loses or leaves a job, and you know your retirement is secure, you can risk more. I’ve definitely seen this when my husband got his new job and we jumped two tax brackets– we’re not spending that much more (when we’re not on sabbatical), but it’s much much easier to just throw money at problems not because we’re now making or we were making stupid choices, but because even though DH’s industry is volatile, we’re at a point where we’re going to be ok in the event of an extended job loss. We would be even more secure if we were making what LV’s family makes.

I’m not explaining this well. But it is a lot easier to spend an extra 2K when your family is bringing in 300K/year (disclaimer: I assume– I wish I had personal knowledge) than when your family is bringing in 100K/year. Even if you can “afford” it on 100K/year.

It’s not stupid to not outsource. (It’s also not stupid to outsource!) It’s all about where your budget constraint hits your utility curves.

Or as sheldon put it:

In terms of Mr. Money Moustache, it’s easier to early retire when you have more than you need rather than the amount you’ll need and it’s easier to take career jumps that will potentially pay off when you’re not worried about saving for the future. Also it is easier to not pay money on insurance, etc. when you have enough money to self-insure.

Even though the two philosophies are exactly the opposite extremes, they both work a lot better when you have a huge amount saved (or a big steady income).

My tenure has allowed my husband to take risks with his profession.  Yes, those risks have paid off, but the thing about risks is you don’t know if they’re going to pay off.

Pre-paying the mortgage was more important when we had less money.  Having more money and more income means that it is easier to put money in the stock market and not pay off the mortgage because the mortgage won’t put you into catastrophic territory in an emergency (such as a job loss during a recession when the stock market is also falling).  You won’t need to short-sell or foreclose if you’re not underwater.  (Though if you do go bankrupt, most state laws benefit people who have paid off their homes.)


66 Responses to “Money => security => easier to save money”

  1. Omdg Says:

    It’s more than 300k. Look up what executives at McKinsey make. And yes, agree on all points.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      I can’t really fathom how life would change past like 250K. At some point I would probably just never look at price tags. Of course, I would be happy to experiment with how things change if someone wants to fund that research…

      • Ana Says:

        I would feel like a huge weight lifted off my shoulders. I know they say happiness doesn’t increase above a certain level, and maybe it wouldn’t, but if I suddenly got double our income, I’d definitely feel more secure/free.

      • Omdg Says:

        Probably depends a bit on where in the country you live. But for starters…. country house, going on vacation without being as price sensitive, flying business class to see my husband’s family in Europe rather than coach and only flying direct, being totally price insensitive to picking my future career trajectory, buying more nice shoes (Pikolinos! Which is totally your fault!), (possibly) botoxing my forehead…. Just to think of a few things. Not that I feel deprived or anything. :-)

        I just personally find it off putting when people who have so much dispense financial advice to the rest of us… And really the only thing they are qualified to tell us is “marry rich.”

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        Well, I mean, if we went from 250K to more than 250K, I’m not sure how that would change things. (I have an idea of how things would change if we were making 250K, but more than that, I don’t know!) Like, what’s the difference between making 250K and making 300K or more than 300K or more than 500K… I can’t really figure out what the break points would be. Like, at some point I would feel like I’d have to set up a charitable institution, but when? (Also start doing tax dodges and so on.)

        I’m already buying Pikolinos at less than 250K/yr. :)

      • Wealthy Anon Says:

        Life doesn’t really change too much with increased income.

        Over the last 6 or 7 years, I’ve gone from making 60K to over 700K (in about steps of 100K increments a year, more or less).

        I live in a big city, and basically live my life like I did when I was making 60K and had a ton of student loans. There are some benefits that making more has provided:

        1) I don’t look at prices. Generally speaking, if I want something, I buy it. I probably reached that point around 150K of income, because I was living in a cheap apartment and my fixed costs were low. However, I still don’t buy a lot of things, and don’t go shopping.

        2) I prioritize ease of my life now. And only very recently. Instead of commuting 45 minutes each way to work, I decided to move 10 minutes away from my job (at 3 times the rent). This happened about 8 months ago.

        3) I’m able to save *a lot* of money. Net worth is well in the range of where Mr. Money Mustasche says I can retire…

        Some downsides of this is that I don’t really feel fulfilled in my job, but the opportunity cost of leaving is way way way too high. Going to deal with it as long as I can though… Especially if the raises keep coming the way they have.

        Happy to discuss more via email. Don’t want to share too much info publicly.

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        Hm, I would say my life has changed tremendously as we’ve gone from the 15% tax bracket to the 28%.

        Your 1), 2) and 3) seem like pretty big changes. The mental load and anxiety just drops tremendously, even if you’re spending the same amount, which is part of the point of this post.

      • Wealthy Anon Says:

        Yes, my mental load in regards to managing money day to day has decreased significantly… BUT my mental load at my job to earn the extra income as increased significantly, by many orders of magnitude. So overall, my mental load is significantly higher than it was before.

        (Which is kind of an aside, and another point: wealthy people feeling the need to justify how much they make.)

        Obviously, to make dealing with the increased mental load and really long hours at work, I try to make all other aspects of my life as stress-less as possible. And yes, the extra money definitely makes that possible, and I try not to take it for granted.

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        You’d have the same mental load and long hours of work if they were paying you less too. You would just be more likely to try to find another job.

        Yes, I have noticed high income people feeling the need to justify how much they make! Even though plenty of people have just as tiring jobs that pay far less.

        Productivity and demand vs. supply for a specific skill-set determine income (along with luck, various -isms, etc.), not (just) how hard a person works. I definitely don’t have to work as hard to make the same amount of money as someone who doesn’t have my in-demand skillset.

  2. Anu Says:

    Completely agree on this one. Along those lines, I agree with Laura Vanderkam that the cost of daycare or other childcare should be considered over the course of one’s career i.e. you can consider it an upfront investment that might initially be a big monetary hit but it’s generally a winning proposition over the course of one’s career. However that ignores that some people might not have the liquidity necessary to actually make that upfront investment even if they realize that it will work out in their favor financially in the long run. The same thing could be said for college – even if you take out student loans, it’s still generally financially advantageous to get a degree rather that not – but if you don’t have the money, you don’t have the money.

    • Calee Says:

      Yes! I always had to find childcare that my income would cover because we were literally squeezing every penny out of my DH’s salary.

    • xykademiqz Says:

      We’ve calculated, pre-K daycare per kid came out to about $100k, post tax. That’s $300k for the three of them. That’s almost like paying off a whole other house. And about 1-2 x that for all of them to go through college.
      Those kids better put me in a really fancy nursing home, is what I am saying.

      • Jay Says:

        I think I’m glad I never added it up. And when I add day camp and sleepaway camp and the summer babysitter who drove her around to various things…yes, it’s easier to outsource when there’s enough in the bank that you know you’ll be able to fix (or replace) the car if it dies, and repair the basement if there’s a flood.

  3. Ana Says:

    Yup yup yup to all of this. And we are in the 100K end of things, and the advice to “just outsource it” can be galling. I get a lot of this kind of advice from colleagues who have spouses making 3-4X what they make, while I am actually the breadwinner in my family. Yes I COULD afford it (sometimes) but I also want to have something left for savings, so choices need to be made in our family that don’t even register in theirs.

  4. chacha1 Says:

    There are some things I happily outsource because of Reasons. Such as: getting my oil changed or my car washed (the latter of which I do approximately once a year). I outsource those things because a) I don’t know how to change my oil and I don’t want to learn; b) my husband knows how but we are not allowed to do it in the apartment garage; c) we are also not allowed to wash cars in the apartment garage.

    A lot of “just outsource it” arguments that are based on money seem to overlook the realities of rental living. If we owned a house then yes, I would certainly wash the car myself and it would happen a damn sight more often than once a year. It’s a tiny expense – we’re talking $30 here – but that falls squarely into the category of DIY that MMM would scoff at not doing. Washing it myself would take much less time than going to the carwash. At least MMM is quite clear that when he talks about that kind of DIY, he is talking about it in the context of being a homeowner.

    There are other things that I refuse to outsource because of Reasons. Such as: hiring a house cleaner. Would I love to have someone else clean my house? Oh yeah. But the hassles of organizing it far outweigh (to me) the hassles of just doing the housework myself, especially when combined with the cost. Just for starters: in our neighborhood, we would have to either provide the house cleaner with the code to our apartment’s exterior door, or give her (it’s usually a woman) a key, and either give her a garage-door opener, or provide her with a parking permit.

    So not hiring a house cleaner really has little to do with money, and yet DIY is a big savings in this market.

    I don’t expect to ever know what it’s like to have a household income over $250K. At around $100K (taxable income) the one thing aside from car stuff that we regularly do outsource is cooking. :-) Delivery FTW.

  5. Debbie M Says:

    I also agree.

    And I’m going to say that the reverse is also true: If you have a less risky life, that makes it easier to live with less money. I have zero dependants, had a secure job (or at least I thought so until the end) and now a secure pension, had a fixed-interest mortgage and now no mortgage, have good health, don’t need my car to get (most) places, etc. So this lets me be secure with a much smaller reserve.

    Which is good because I really don’t want to do what it would take for me to have a bigger income. Even if I could, and I stink at finding jobs, so it might not even be an option.

  6. Cloud Says:

    My unwillingness to give up the freedom money buys is why I’ll go back to being a regular employee somewhere if I can’t replace the income from my current main contract when that contract ends. We COULD get by on less, but I don’t WANT to unless I have to.

    Now, what we’re “getting by” on now is a lot less than it was when I was last a regular employee. But still really comfortable. We’re very fortunate, and I try to remember that even when I’m feeling jealous of the even more fortunate people in our neighborhood. (I’m not always successful….)

    That said, I think there are cases where people like me (including me) could outsource more without financial risk and don’t because of other hang ups. I think trying to get our culture past some of those hang ups has value. But it is hard to know when someone else is not outsourcing because of financial comfort or because of some other hang up. Heck, I don’t always know whether *I* am choosing not to outsource something because of financial comfort or some other hang up. It is complicated.

    Incidentally, this is why I’m loathe to get into the business of offering other people time management advice, even though it is fairly clear that people are more likely to want to pay me for time management advice than project management advice. I cannot possibly know how someone else “should” manage their time. This is why my time management seminar and any personal time management advice I give management coaching clients is very much framed as: “Here’s how to find out where your time is going. Here’s some general time management approaches that you can consider, and here’s which specific issues I think each approach is best at handling… now you decide what changes (if any) you want to make.” Because in the end, how we spend our time and money are both very personal decisions, and if if I had enough information to know what the “rational” thing to do is, very few of us actually make all of our decisions about time and money purely based on reason. I know I don’t.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      I wondered if I was not outsourcing because of financial comfort or some other hang-up and then we got more money and it became easier to do some things, which suggests to me that it was at least partly money. When our budget constraint shifted, we bought more.

      I still don’t do other things because of the hassle factor. But I suspect if I had even more money I’d either be able to afford a great house-cleaner or it wouldn’t bother me so much that I was spending $X on someone who doesn’t actually get everything clean.

      • Cloud Says:

        I’ve also discovered that some of the easiest outsourced things are things I LIKE doing (picking up the kids, weeding the front garden) while the thing I hate most (cooking weeknight dinners) is one I have yet to come up with a reasonable outsourced solution to, mostly because I can’t afford (or can’t bring myself to spend that kind of money on) an actual personal chef and all the other solutions require less picky eaters. Note that the picky eaters in the house include me.

        Like I said, it is complicated!

      • chacha1 Says:

        It’s the hassle factor all the way for me. The things that I wouldn’t mind spending money on, and for which the amount of money to be spent would not ring up as “financially risky” to me, are all things that are just too much hassle to outsource; so I do them myself.

        If we were really financially independent (i.e. ready to retire, i.e. retirement residence built and paid for and double the amount in the 401(k)), the first thing I would jettison is not some mundane household task, but our current residence. Financially free? Out of this city. This city represents the biggest financial risk in our lives.

      • Rosa Says:

        I keep promising myself we’ll eat out more – we can afford it, I’m really really really tired of cooking, it’s good for the neighborhood economy, it makes me really sad when restaurants I like go out of business (and i often don’t notice for six months, because we don’t go out often.)

        But it just takes so much more time. Most of the time I’ve decided we’ll go out and then it’s 6:30 and my husband’s finally come home from work and…I’m done. No more leaving the house. Plus we got hungry and ate already. Plus we have to get home for bedtime by 8 and that’s probably not long enough to get to a restaurant and eat and get back.

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        Solution: Husband picks up take-out (that you ordered) on his way home from work. (After kids, we discovered most restaurants will let you do take-out.)

      • Rosa Says:

        hmn. Husband’s current saddlebag system might actually allow for this. Until recently his gym-work-bike commute routine meant there was 0 cargo space left – he even started buying lunch instead of packing it, for space considerations. I will test this, this week. Some of my favorite restaurants are very near the greenway.

        Though, if he is doing pickup/pay then the willingness to spend money on food goes way, way, way down. His reflexive answer to “should we stop at a restaurant” is always “but we just DID that” even when ‘just’ was several weeks ago.

  7. Linda Says:

    After living for over 10 years as a DINK, it was quite an adjustment to become solo income stream again. That adjustment wasn’t so much about not having the income to afford the bills, but having that + the extra income to save enough to “self insure” in all these ways. We had so much money stacked up in savings as a married couple. My personal savings went down nearly to zero after the settlement (because I took the house and a mortgage in return).

    I have ample savings now, which made it more comfortable for me to take a risk and move across the country, but it took a lot of work on my part to get there. *pats self on back* I think that having a productive partner in one’s life is something all these “PF icons” have in common. Do they realize and acknowledge how important that is in getting them to their current pinnacles of “virtue?” What about those of us who don’t have partners or didn’t/don’t have ones that have/are bringing in the big bucks? I may never be able to afford a paid off house unless I can move to a place with a much lower cost of living or get a well-compensated partner. Moving to lower COL location would mean me giving up so many other intangibles that drew me here in the first place or changing professions, and I’m not ready to take that step yet.

  8. jjiraffe Says:

    If a double income family is making $300k plus, at least one of these jobs is/are highly likely to involve big hours like 60-70 a week average, traveling (like someone mentioned McKinsey – they travel often Mon- Thurs) and less time for family which means outsourcing is a necessity. And that kind of help ain’t cheap. Just sayin’.

    People sitting on an inherited income from a trust on the other hand of $300k plus – they are sitting pretty. Not a lot of outsourcing needs.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      Sure, outsourcing may be necessary, but it is also easier when you’re making 300K than when you’re making 100K. Even though 100K is a lot of money! Even though you can probably “afford” it on 100K so long as you’re not worried about savings, insurance, etc.

      • jjiraffe Says:

        Depends where you are living too. $300k in NYC can be like $100k in Oklahoma City, for example. And most (though not all) high paying jobs are in expensive metros.

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        Not to get into an off-track argument, but no, it is perfectly easy to live in a super expensive city on 300K/year. Even with two working parents and children in daycare. And it is still easier to outsource on 300K than on 100K.

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        For example, I’m not sure how living on 300K in paradise would be compared to living on 250K, except I guess we’d be able to buy a house faster.

      • Cloud Says:

        I think another way to look at it is that the money question is one way to move the utility function (or whatever the correct term for that is- sorry, I can’t remember). As @jjirafe points out, to get to the $300k family income threshold, one person may be in a job w/rigid schedule constraints (e.g., surgeon) or heavy travel (e.g., management consultant at a big firm). When that happens, the other person who’s picking up the slack around the house might feel that outsourcing is much more necessary than a person with the same job but a spouse with more reliable availability at home. So whereas outsourcing is a “nice, but not essential” thing to a two-career couple where both careers are “big” but flexible, it becomes an “I need this or I will lose my mind” thing in a couple with two “big” careers where one is inflexible.

        In fact, I know of someone for whom that was true at a much lower income threshold than $300k. A friend of mine has a husband who is active duty military and deploys for ~6 months at a time. When he’s deployed, she absolutely depends on outsourcing of some household things. And, since that got her over any other hang-ups with outsourcing, she tends to use more of it than I do even when her husband is not deployed.

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        We have an infinite number of utility curves. That’s the thing that tells us what our preferences would be at any combination of prices and money levels. How much of X it would take us to trade to get one of Y for any X and Y.

        Maybe budget constraint shifts? Or the price changes and rotates the budget constraint?

        In any case, it is still easier to “just outsource” when you’re bringing in 300K than when you’re bringing in 100K.

  9. Jay Says:

    I outsource cleaning because it gets the house to the level of cleanliness I can tolerate and bypasses the cleaning argument with my husband, who was raised by an OCD/perfectionist mother and also has strong feelings about the “right” cleaning products. He never bothered to clean at all unless he was ready to get down and scrub the floor on his hands and knees, and I wasn’t going to do it all myself (and get told I was doing it wrong), so it didn’t get done nearly as often as it should have. Solution: hire someone else to do it when we’re not here. Works for both of us.

    You are so right about security and risk. When my job became untenable in February, I felt completely stuck. I’m the primary breadwinner (I earn more than twice as much as hubs.) I knew we could manage day-to-day on his salary with a lot of cutbacks but I was panicked about putting retirement at risk. And, as Cloud says, I don’t *want* to cut back. We met with our financial planner and he told us that our retirement plans wouldn’t change at all if I quit my job. That was a HUGE relief. In the end, I found something else that pays nearly as much as I’m making now with a lot more flexibility, and I will likely be able to make up the difference with consulting if I want to. So it’s all good – but I think I would have been so paralyzed with anxiety without the security of retirement that I would have stayed out of fear.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      DH is in so much of a better situation than his brother who has a SAHM wife and has to stay in his union job and not take any risks.

      And the more we save, the more likely we’ll be able to make a jump to Paradise someday without anything lined up for me. If we decide we want to. Because we won’t have to put so much money away for retirement if we’re already set.

  10. Lisa Says:

    I once knew a couple: CEO of a major biotech company and lawyer. They mentioned that when they were in grad school, they had a serious discussion about how much money they would need to live on and decided that as soon as they were making over 100K a year, they would just donate the rest to charity. Of course they were making MUCH more than 100K by the time I knew them, and were not giving all of their income to charity. It’s all relative, though. We were making ~30K at the time and I agreed that 100K seemed like an absurdly wealthy income.

    Now we make ~300K a year, and I don’t feel that we have a ridiculous amount of disposable income. I don’t think I’m willing to put a threshold on it (i.e. I don’t see how life would be different if I made more than X). I feel very lucky that we are able to do almost everything we want to, financially, but we still have limits. I think an extra 50K or 100K would still make a difference to us.

    I also find it difficult to do the inverse mental calculation – how little income could we get by on without our lives looking significantly different. We do outsource a lot because we can, but to some extent, the things that would be easiest to un-outsource (insource?) wouldn’t save a lot of money but would cause a huge headache (like housecleaning or ironing shirts), while the things that would make the biggest difference financially wouldn’t be feasible (like childcare, unless one of us quit our job).

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      No doubt if we made 300K/year we’d know what to do with an extra $50K. Though I do think that we have a ridiculous amount of disposable income. I also thought that we had a ridiculous amount of disposable income when we were making less than 100K, but cutting back to that income would be painful.

      Probably if we had a million dollar mortgage we’d feel less like we had a ridiculous amount of disposable income because we’d have another place to hide money after maxing out retirement. Or if we had access to a mega backdoor Roth like Leigh.

    • chacha1 Says:

      Well, if we made $300K/yr we would be *able to* continue doing what we’re doing with $100K, and save the after-tax portion of the extra $200K/yr, all else remaining equal. I think everyone could say that. It’s CHOOSING to save the after-tax (etc) where most people fail. “Oh boy I have $100K extra! Let’s buy a Tesla and take the whole family to Europe for the summer!”

      Basically if we made $300K/yr for the next two years, we could retire in 2019.

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        Hm, I wonder if going from 250K/year to $300K/year would involve a Tesla. I don’t think I would buy one if we were making 250K/year. Probably not at $300K/year either. :/ I mean I kind of want a Tesla, but I also don’t think I should have one. Maybe I would think I should at $300K/year!

    • Rosa Says:

      I meet a lot of people who give significant (to them) amounts to charity on very low incomes, and I know a lot of people who give very little on quite high incomes. People’s values don’t change much when their income does, if they put a low priority on something when they have limited means, it stays low priority at higher means.

  11. eemusings Says:

    YES. “I think something that both Mr. Money Moustache and Laura Vanderkam miss is the security you get by having a lot of money.”

    There is only so much you can cut expenses – is another way I look at it. Even the most basic existence requires a certain amount of income.

    Money has always meant options to me. I like having choices.

  12. First Gen American Says:

    I felt much richer with a smaller paid off house than I do now living in a richer neighborhood and a higher income. That feeling of security I think comes from the buffer between income and expenses.

    It is really great that financial crisis’ these days are not as devastating as they used to be. It’s just a matter of time before unplanned expenses rear their head and now it’s accepted instead of dreading the inevitable. There are many ways to hedge but it’s hard to plan for everything.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      That buffer is so important, especially when it comes to the kind of risk taking that could increase your income or your savings but could also lower it.

      • First Gen American Says:

        Even in terms of my house purchase this applies. My house is more expensive but my town offers virtually free after school care, ($275 per year per family), much better education (save on private school tuition costs), and lower overall taxes. (I actually pay less property taxes than soon to be bankrupt former town who increased taxes as high as they could go and they are still in trouble.) I also pay less in electricity because town is sophisticated and negotiated a lower electricity rate. The elder services are also top notch. Lunches 3x week, free exercise classes, free rides to places, subsidized housing, etc. Plus with my in law apartment there are countless potential savings in housing and elder care costs for both my mom and mother in law.

        The higher cost has paid for itself in daycare savings alone, plus there is a good chance I can recoup the $$$ when we someday sell. The only downside is the lack of liquidity. It’s harder to sell an expensive house than an under $200k house but we’ve hedged for that. I can rent my house for a fortune in the summer if needed due to my proximity to summer arts/theatre attractions. Again, none of this would have been possible on a $100k income. It really is true that it is easier to make money if you have money.

        Another example. I now have a free resort membership valued at $1500/year plus hotel discounts at all the historic hotels of America. Would have never gotten a teaching gig it if I wasn’t a winter member first (as I got to know the staff and they hired me).

  13. Interlands Says:

    I feel a little odd reading about the differences between $250K and $300K. I make about $60K in a high-expense city, but where I have made the pay-off to live in uncomfortable but inexpensive circumstances. I thought I had high job security (tenure!) but each year for the the last 3 years there has been some existential threat to my job, so I’ve put off buying a mortgage closer to work in favor of banking a lot of extra savings in case of job loss. The things I really wish I could outsource seem weird to me: finding and buying a new(er) vehicle, same for a mattress, and making and getting to health appointments. Who would I possibly ask to buy me a car? What would they charge? How could I know to trust them? I feel like I _should_ be able to do all of these things myself, but the fact that I haven’t for, like 2 years, is an indication they might be better done by getting someone else to do them.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      Yeah, and that’s kind of the point.

      The gurus do tend to acknowledge that when you’re making closer to median income (what they think of as low income, since they probably don’t even know anybody who makes under 100K, so 100K seems poor) that outsourcing doesn’t make as much sense. You’re like the people they outsource to(!) But they also don’t see that even when you’re making a lot of money, there is still a big difference between having a lot of security and spending close to your income.

      Once you hit the 300K range, I think if you don’t have a wife to do all this stuff for you, you can hire a personal assistant to deal with them.

      Car shopping sucks. For mattresses there’s this new thing that everyone is talking about. I think middleclass has a thing about it. I will try to find it. Health appointments, man, we all need wives.

  14. Wealthy Anon Says:

    Yes, my mental load in regards to managing money day to day has decreased significantly… BUT my mental load at my job to earn the extra income as increased significantly, by many orders of magnitude. So overall, my mental load is significantly higher than it was before.

    (Which is kind of an aside, and another point: wealthy people feeling the need to justify how much they make.)

    Obviously, to make dealing with the increased mental load and really long hours at work, I try to make all other aspects of my life as stress-less as possible. And yes, the extra money definitely makes that possible, and I try not to take it for granted.

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    […] Money => security => easier to save money […]

  16. Leigh Says:

    Combined income wise we are at about 400k now which is weird but also not real because our finances are separate. We don’t check prices at the grocery store. We buy things if we want them, but we do think consciously about whether we want them. We outsource things we value, but otherwise aren’t getting around to doing. For example, we are hiring a designer to help us relayout our living room better, to pick paint colors, furniture, and art work. She had some ideas to improve the functionality of the kitchen too so we may fix that as well.

    The Mega Backdoor Roth IRA is interesting because I’m not sure I need it considering how much I have saved already for 60+ retirement and I’m a little uneasy at times with how illiquid my money is, while also having the OCD desire to use all retirement account room that is possible.

    Now that my mortgage is less than my annual salary, it’s not very scary, but the rate could go up to 7.5% and that’s pretty scary, but then again not really because the payment would still be less than what it is now. If I was to do dev work for a company not based in a HCOL, my salary would go down and it would be nice to not have the mortgage payment.

    Financial security is amazing. On the flip side, I think it makes me a bit flippant about my job when I don’t love it. I need to be more careful about that as I do still need a job for a while. I don’t think my life has changed much as income has gone up, other than that I have pretty much zero anxiety around money. The other day someone was startled that I would buy a snack from the cafe many days and how expensive that was and my response was that I’m hungry at that time and I either need to solve the problem with money or planning. The best part of outsourcing to me is reducing decision fatigue. The house cleaner gives me more time to read and go to the gym, for example. The designer means we don’t have to pick paint colors ourselves.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      zero anxiety around money, ability to solve problems, and reduction in decision fatigue are pretty big things!

      Yes, since you’ve been doing the mega-backdoor roths, you could totally stop doing them and still be fine. By hiding money away now (though not as much as a mega backdoor roth would allow), we can save the minimum for retirement should our circumstances change in the future.

      We told the house painters that we wanted what they were doing for new builds. Which, apparently, is white in the kitchen and ecru everywhere else.

  17. Just a little (link) love: ++ edition | A Gai Shan Life Says:

    […] and Maggie: I think something that both Mr. Money Moustache and Laura Vanderkam miss is the security you get by … I didn’t spot that with LV but I definitely agree entirely otherwise. My family lived the […]

  18. Income/wealth inflection points | Grumpy Rumblings (of the formerly untenured) Says:

    […] a previous post I note that it’s easier to spend money on things when you’re making say, 300K per year […]

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