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Old 05-30-2015, 10:24 AM
 
1,975 posts, read 1,234,875 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bumblebyz View Post
If you need to convert a 1 br to a 2br with a family either you're a cheapo or you do not earn enough to afford something better. That is not living a middle class lifestyle. In that case you can make 200k and live in a box under a bridge and would still be earning a middle class income albeit living like a homeless person and not a middle class lifestyle lol.
I have lived in apartments in which 1 br are bigger than 2br. 910 SQFT apartment with more living room than I could fill with my furniture. While I have seen friends live in 2br apartment that is 750 SQFT and you would be lucky to fit a queen size bed in any of the bedrooms. I have consider buying 1 br apartment and converting it into 2br in order to maximize the rent value. The only issue is if I go to sell the apartment I have to go through all the red tape and cost to legally get it classified as 2 br.


Quote:
Originally Posted by yodel View Post
Housing can really change everything. It's hard to argue about this because people have very fixed ideas about where and what type of housing is "middle class". Personally, I also think that living around really wealthy people skews things too. Someone who's not as well off as others in their circle can start to think of themselves as struggling, even if most people in the country would consider them to be wealthy.
I wouldn't necessary say that, when I first bought a property I have never been more rich on paper but felt more poor in real life. The upfront cost of buying a property had depleted all my savings and what little cash I had, I live paycheck to paycheck for a long time being as all my net worth is tied to the property. The only way you are able to unlock some of the value from the property is through selling, home equity loan, or renting.

I pay about $4K a month for housing expense and $2K a month on non-housing related items.
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Old 05-30-2015, 02:58 PM
 
Location: Brooklyn, NY (Crown Heights/Weeksville)
996 posts, read 942,848 times
Reputation: 1091
Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrightRabbit
"I can't answer your big question, but on this item, had to say: my husband also had to wear a professional type wardrobe. He got onto Ebay, bought expensive suits and blazers in a somewhat larger size with top quality fabric, took them to a tailor, and came out looking better in a custom-fitted suit than anyone. He'd get 7-fold silk ties that cost $100 for less than $20. and those always fit. We saved a ton of money every year.

Also look for kids clothing and shoes on Ebay, under "new with tags" if you can't adjust to used clothing.
That's interesting, thanks for the tip!
Correction: he bought the same size suit and had it tailored to fit. Good luck if you try it. It worked for him.
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Old 05-30-2015, 03:42 PM
 
23,247 posts, read 16,056,508 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeventhFloor View Post
I can't exclude everything like that - but to live a typical middle class lifestyle (meaning home ownership, 1 family vacation a year, at least 3 months savings, healthcare insurance covered, and a car) for a family of four you need $100K - and you will be living in the hood.
Not necesssarily. It depends on when you bought amd how you bought. Some people inherit houses or money or have other assets.
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Old 05-30-2015, 06:52 PM
 
Location: Confines of the 101 Precinct
19,086 posts, read 32,666,756 times
Reputation: 7563
Quote:
Originally Posted by NyWriterdude View Post
Not necesssarily. It depends on when you bought amd how you bought. Some people inherit houses or money or have other assets.
I'm talking on average - or course there are many variables, and exceptions to the rule. But feel free to outline every single example you can think of.
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Old 06-03-2015, 08:36 AM
 
2,591 posts, read 3,374,308 times
Reputation: 1293
Quote:
Originally Posted by SeventhFloor View Post
Family of four - I spend about $400-$600 a month on groceries. We shop at 4-5 different places to make it work. Car's paid off. I bought it brand new 9 years ago.
We went over all our expenses and decided to focus on food. I'm embarrassed to say how much we've been spending, and we're trying to reduce by $500/month to start. (Seventh - you should think about teaching a course though.)

I think that the best way to save on housing long term is to buy a multifamily if you can get the down payment together. For us, the only way to do this was in the Bronx, but the rental income really helps to reduce monthly costs, and there are good tax benefits. We bought more than 10 years ago though, so prices were lower and lending standards quite loose. We probably wouldn't be approved for the loan now.
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Old 06-04-2015, 06:33 PM
 
4,783 posts, read 4,663,039 times
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Yodel---it can easily be done. When I was laid-off, my husband and I spent less than $300/month on food combined. (We are big eaters just like your kids. Haha.) You just have to learn what a good price is for something, sale-wise, and stock up. You have to know where to shop. Now I just glance at ads and can tell whether or not something is worth buying. Takes all but a few seconds...

There is also an excel file that I'd also recommend called pear budget. That would be good to track every literal dollar for a month just to see where your money is going---quite eye opening.

I guess I am middle class. Husband and I make sacrifices (no cable, own a small one bedroom coop which is not our preference) that allow us to have or do some of the following:
-Going to Europe this year (We always try to do one big trip a year and several smaller trips)
-Own our car---bought it on the spot, one payment
-Put money in savings practically every month
-Renovated the bathroom last year; renovating the kitchen this year
-Both putting money into retirement
-Put down 25% on our coop when we bought it
-Paid for our wedding almost completely on our own in NYC

I think people are just really not-so-great with money. We've been living like this for years and 2014 was the FIRST year (in the almost 6+ years we've been living together) that we even cleared a combined income of 100K. I grew up on the poor-side though so I'm used to not having money.

Unless we are buying a big item that month (furniture, plane tickets, whatever) we pretty much live off of one paycheck. That includes going out as well.
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Old 06-05-2015, 05:47 AM
 
2,591 posts, read 3,374,308 times
Reputation: 1293
Quote:
Originally Posted by city living View Post
Yodel---it can easily be done. When I was laid-off, my husband and I spent less than $300/month on food combined. (We are big eaters just like your kids. Haha.) You just have to learn what a good price is for something, sale-wise, and stock up. You have to know where to shop. Now I just glance at ads and can tell whether or not something is worth buying. Takes all but a few seconds...

There is also an excel file that I'd also recommend called pear budget. That would be good to track every literal dollar for a month just to see where your money is going---quite eye opening.

I guess I am middle class. Husband and I make sacrifices (no cable, own a small one bedroom coop which is not our preference) that allow us to have or do some of the following:
-Going to Europe this year (We always try to do one big trip a year and several smaller trips)
-Own our car---bought it on the spot, one payment
-Put money in savings practically every month
-Renovated the bathroom last year; renovating the kitchen this year
-Both putting money into retirement
-Put down 25% on our coop when we bought it
-Paid for our wedding almost completely on our own in NYC

I think people are just really not-so-great with money. We've been living like this for years and 2014 was the FIRST year (in the almost 6+ years we've been living together) that we even cleared a combined income of 100K. I grew up on the poor-side though so I'm used to not having money.

Unless we are buying a big item that month (furniture, plane tickets, whatever) we pretty much live off of one paycheck. That includes going out as well.
I'll look into pear budget - thanks.

That's great that you were able to spend so little on food (that came out to about $5 per day). We started with reducing take out, which has already had a big impact. We had take out a lot for dinner and my husband usually bought his lunch out. Besides wanting to save money, we have other circumstances that now make it necessary to eat in since my husband was recently diagnosed with diabetes. Cooking is the only way to really know what is in your food. At the same time, we've also reduced carbs in general, which is a more expensive way to eat since rice, pasta and bread tend to be the least expensive foods.
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Old 06-06-2015, 02:56 PM
 
Location: Confines of the 101 Precinct
19,086 posts, read 32,666,756 times
Reputation: 7563
Quote:
Originally Posted by yodel View Post
We went over all our expenses and decided to focus on food. I'm embarrassed to say how much we've been spending, and we're trying to reduce by $500/month to start. (Seventh - you should think about teaching a course though.)

I think that the best way to save on housing long term is to buy a multifamily if you can get the down payment together. For us, the only way to do this was in the Bronx, but the rental income really helps to reduce monthly costs, and there are good tax benefits. We bought more than 10 years ago though, so prices were lower and lending standards quite loose. We probably wouldn't be approved for the loan now.

yodel, are you a member of Costco or BJs?
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Old 06-06-2015, 05:17 PM
 
2,591 posts, read 3,374,308 times
Reputation: 1293
Quote:
Originally Posted by SeventhFloor View Post
yodel, are you a member of Costco or BJs?
No car, so not a member of either...
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Old 06-07-2015, 04:23 AM
 
4,783 posts, read 4,663,039 times
Reputation: 5521
Quote:
Originally Posted by yodel View Post
No car, so not a member of either...

I wouldn't bother. I've found that the prices aren't great at these wholesalers and I can get a better price just watching sales at regular supermarkets.
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