Condo association wants to pay me to use my internet/electricity for camera system.

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Have them request this in writing, then charge them a $250 administrative fee for filing the request.


I wouldn’t mind the $40/mo for my electricity, but I’m not letting a condo association…or anyone else…on my internet connection. If their camera is on your network, then they are going to want access to that network to manage that camera, etc. Not happening.


I wouldn’t let anyone use an internet connection that’s in my name for any amount of money. Let’s say they setup a camera, but then someone else somehow uses that connection for something else that’s undesirable. That traces back to you first, which could go poorly if law enforcement gets involved.

It’s a common area expense, let the association run their own lines. That way they can maintain it without involving you. You don’t want to be responsible for keeping that connection open and guaranteeing that it’s working.


It seems strange that they would want to run that through an individual’s line. Shouldn’t they want that to be separate? Seems fishy to me though I don’t have concrete reasons for being suspicious


Charge them $100?


ALWAYS save your position’s job posting and offer letter to negotiate a raise in the future!

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Wishing you a big fat raise!


If you think hanging on to that offer letter is going to get you a raise…

well, just try it and see how that works. Maybe you’ll get lucky?

The most consistent way to get a raise is to literally leave a company every few years while continually searching for a better paying job.


> This post is brought to you by someone who obsessively deletes emails and now trying negotiating a raise.

Never delete. Just archive. Disk space is cheap – be it a local drive or cloud storage!

Gmail is king of archiving and easy to use, but almost all other email clients/systems have archiving, and if not – you can often set up a gmail account to access another email account and archive the mail for you.

Same thing with photos, documents, etc.

You can still keep an obsessively clean inbox but the old emails are still around and searchable.


That’s a good idea. Started a new job lately and just sort of started a spreadsheet of major projects I’m leading or involved in and perhaps more importantly ones that are not necessarily in my job description.

The idea is to gather ammo for when that yearly review comes up.


This isn’t great advice and not likely to work unless you are truly someone who is working a different job than the one that they were hired and are being paid for.

Otherwise, everybody does things that aren’t explicitly listed on their job posting/offer letter. Everybody. Going in and saying that you deserve a raise for doing the same thing everyone else does – i.e. occasionally help out beyond your actual realm of responsibility – is going to be a negative for you, not a positive.

Again, it could help if you were hired for a completely different job – i.e. you were hired as an electrical journeyman and now are a true electrician. But otherwise, most managers are probably going to be more irritated than anything else if you come to them and say “my job posting did not say I had to work with the development team occasionally to implement my work so I want more money” or whatever the version of that statement is at your job.


Open Discussion on why I think maxing all Retirement Accounts is not always the best option

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You’re leaving out a big parameter: income.

If someone is making $100k or more, then they absolutely should be maxing their 401k and IRA and still be able to live quite a nice life, currently.

If someone is making $35k, then obviously they’re going to struggle maxing their retirement accounts, and trying to do so would not be right for many people.

Generally, when I recommend someone “max” their retirement, it’s because the info they’ve provided indicates they can. And consider that many (most?) people enter retirement and realize that they did not adequately save… I honestly believe it’s better to save a little more than you need, rather than end up with too little.


your premise isn’t so much about maxing retirement accounts, but rather saving for the future vs. spending discretionary funds on pleasures today. Everyone has different life goals, dreams & responsibilities. One financial plan doesn’t fit everyone. If you’re going to inherit a $3M income property from your 85yo grandmother you’re in a different position than a single mom with 2 teenage kids prepping for college. Also career/job security plays a big role too. Someone who’s a CPA for the IRS with a decent pension and seniority is in a different place than a graphic artist who does gig work and sees income streams that vary from year to year.

The most important thing for anyone regardless of their situation is read, research & investigate your options. Just being informed and financially literate is half the battle. Then you can consult with financial planners or forums to prioritize your life goals and formulate a plan based on those. I always tell friends to ask themselves where they want to be 10 years from now? and what do they need to do to get there from here?


“Better learn balance. Balance is key. Balance good, karate good. Everything good. Balance bad, better pack up, go home. Understand?”

“Lesson not just karate only. Lesson for whole life. Whole life have a balance. Everything be better.”

-Mr. Miyagi

I think what you are pitching sounds perfectly reasonable. My Grandpa said the same thing to me. He worked hard his whole life and retired at age 45. He is 70+ and when I was in my mid 20’s he told me that if he could go back he would live more and work less and advised me not to be to frugal. I took that lesson and went to the other extreme and did not save any money. I am now in my early 30s and working hard to make up for not saving anything. I believe the best advise is to do both and not go to either extreme.


Edit: My memory of when he retired might be wrong. I always new he retired yearly and when I was young 45 still sounded so old. But also they had lived very frugal when he retired becuase they were on a fixed income. I don’t think he enjoyed retirement too much. I remember he had a garden and he played super nintendo a bunch but then he had to stop playing super nintendo because it was hurting his stomach.


One thing that always surprises me here at r/personalfinance in recommendations for young people is how everyone always talks about maxing out retirement savings but no one mentions saving for a down payment on a home. Many people here are likely age 20-35 and looking to purchase their first home soon. Is maxing out your 401k the best way to do that?


As a counterpoint, consider the freedom you get from aggressively funding a retirement account. Assuming 6% growth post-inflation, if I can save up $125k by the age of 30 I can stop contributing and have around $1MM by the age of 65. This can be achieved by maxing out retirement accounts (401k, Roth IRA) from the age 25 to 30, and then I’ll never have to touch that account again.


For me, that’s a lot of mental stress alleviated and gives me a lot options. I can start my own business without worrying about failure putting me behind on retirement savings. I can fuck off and travel for years without having to worry about saving for my future because it’s already taken care of. If I want to buy a house, I can cut retirement contributions without feeling like I’m falling behind. If I wanted to take a low stress, low paying part time job I don’t have to worry about paying rent if I cut back on retirement savings.


I’m not saying I’ll stop contributing once I hit that number. However, quickly building a large enough nest egg that will grow without any additions is a top priority because it will give me so much more freedom.


What are some things one should spend money on when they get a raise?

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Buy something you want.

Seriously. Go buy something that isn’t a wise purchase or won’t get a return for you. Get a nice watch, upgrade your TV, buy a fancy bottle of whiskey, etc.

It’s ok to splurge and sometimes a nice splurge is ok to get out of the system to reward yourself for hard work.

I’ll probably get downvoted, because this sub is very focused on every purchase being prudent and making sense, but it’s good to remember that you can live a little and not feel guilty, especially if all of your other ducks are in a row.

Edit: annnnd I was wrong. Lots of upvotes. This is why I don’t buy stocks and try to time the market. I’m very bad at predicting things!


>What are some things one should spend money on when they get a raise?

Before anything else, increasing one’s retirement contributions


If you’re concerned about lifestyle creep, start by maxing out all of your tax-advantaged accounts. That will make it so that most of the extra money never shows up in your checking account.

Beyond that, think about any goals you have for the next several years and how to invest for them.

Then you can think about the luxuries. Personally, I spend less on things that convey status (luxury cars, designer clothing, etc.) and more on things that are well-made. The mattress is a good example. Good shoes are worth it too. Basically, I’ll spend extra for value derived from things like comfort, quality, durability, and longevity. There’s a million things out there like that, and you’ll be able to think about them in those terms when you see them.

Also, if you value life experiences, it’s worth setting aside some money for those.

Edit: words and stuff.


Open a Roth IRA and put $6000 in it.


The biggest priority when you get a pay increase is to not let your expenses rise with you income. Avoiding that mistake is the biggest priority.


Stop freaking out about “the recession”

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I sold all my stocks so that I have more money to buy stocks when the recession hits. That was in 2015.

I only need the stock market to drop by ~33% so I can buy in exactly where I was four years ago. I know that if I hold out I won’t lose money in the long run. Right?


I mean, fear for a jobloss. That’s a pretty big one to be fearful of.


It’s always very clear that 95 percent of reddit was in high school (or younger) during 2008. Any stock market pullback of more than 3 percent or doom porn indicator (yield curve, GDP, etc.) being talked about by the media sends people here into a total and complete panic.

It makes me wonder what people here will actually do in a real recession. There’s going to be a lot of dumb buying high and selling low. It seems reddit only supports “don’t time the market” until their portfolio is down 3 percent. The hysteria is unreal.


My only question is about real estate. Should I nor be buying in this market?


There are examples of bubbles in our economy today that make a recession more disturbing. ~~40% of American’s don’t have savings~~, we have a sub-prime vehicle bubble, we have a student loan bubble, we have a corporate debt bubble due to debatable interest rate management by the fed.

Our fiscal and monetary policy tools are weaker than they were in the 80’s. We have 20 trillion dollars in debt due to tax cuts and increased spending. How many bailouts can we do this time around? Fed was so conservative on raising interest rates that lowering them from an already low amount will not generate the easing that occurred in 2008.

I make zero claims to confidently know what’s going to happen. Maybe we don’t go into a recession anytime soon. But we have enough data to know that these recessions when they do occur, are going to be more painful as our economic foundation, tools and safety nets wither away.


Emergency Fund FTW

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I love the fact that you framed your post in a positive manner. This ordeal can easily become a very negative post.

Glad your insurance is involved and covering a good portion of the repairs. I’d also suggest that you reach out to the inspector’s insurance to file a claim for the portion that your insurance doesn’t cover.


and nothing beats being safe in your own home.

Glad everything worked out OP!


Hey good job. Great emphasis on the importance of an emergency fund especially with a house.

Personally I find keeping the emergency fund in an online savings for 2%+ is the way to go. You have the safety net and the interest to at least keep with inflation that way.


Thanks for the story. I’m really glad you had an emergency fund!


We are currently dealing with the hardwood flooring(and who knows what else) in our brand new built in 2017 home rotting. Insurance says its an “act of god” because its from rain water pooling in the backyard. We say its the builders fault because ours was one of the last built in the neighborhood and they graded our yard so that all of the water from the houses surrounding us drains into our yard and pools there(neighbors yard behind us sits maybe 2ft higher than ours and there are drains in the retaining wall into our yard, but no drains from our yard to the street). Insurance says we have to get at least 2 experts to say this could have been prevented by the builders properly grading and installing drainage in the yard and not something that would have happened either way, before they will even touch the issue. And of course this wasn’t something we even knew was a risk, let alone knew it was a problem until we’d had a lot of rain over a period of time, and noticed that the floors looked a little strange.


I am torn between renting an apartment and buying a house. In my area, renting is significantly higher than a mortage. Any tips, advice, etc. would be greatly appreciated.

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At the end of the day, buying vs renting is as much a personal decision as it is a financial one.

The no credit thing will impact your decision. I would recommend getting a credit card, using it for regular expenses (gas) and paying it off in full every month. You need to start building some sort of credit record.

Renovation / custom improvement of your living space has always been my #1 selling point in purchasing vs. renting. To me, there’s nothing better than being able to paint the walls my own color, build pull out cabinets to hide trash cans, install custom drawer organizers specific to what I want to put in that room, and my latest kick – smart home features. Living in a rented place is very very much living in someone else’s house and definitely feels that way.

That said – you make a good point about the neighbors/neighborhood and being able to leave if you don’t like them. I love my house, I love my neighborhood, I love everything about my current situation… except the people next door. I don’t hate them I just wish things were different. I have said many times I would love to move because of them. If we were renting, I’d have left years ago.

Ultimately, no one here can give you the right answer for you.


In case of buying, please remember the additional costs I call BIRTH:

B – Brokerage

I – Insurance

R – Repairs

T – Taxes

H – HOA (not always)


I purchased a home when I turned 21 (25 now). I was in the same exact situation you’re in now. I lived at home and I had never lived alone before. I live in the Midwest, and the market 4 years ago was very good for buyers. I had a 775 credit score by the time I was buying, so I got very good rates, but my purchasing power wasn’t significant. I was approved for only $115,000 (even though budget wise, I could afford $140,000 – $155,000).

My realtor and I came across a foreclosed auction house. It was a 3 bed, 1 bath, 1100 (finished), 400 (unfinished) sqft house in a desirable school district. It needed paint and carpet immediately, but that was about it. Auction start price was 90,000, I bid my approved max. I was fighting against flippers, none of them were going to live in the house, so I went all in.

Closed in October 2015. Been there nearly four years now and my journey thus far has been… /okay/. I have ZERO experience in home renovations, painting, and owning a home. There is A LOT of unforeseen expenses. Upon moving in, I immediately replaced the kitchen floors and appliances and repainted every wall, this was very minor and easy.

After the immediate fixes, I saved for furniture. I only had bedroom furniture because I previously lived with my folks. Took me nearly 2 years to fully furnish the office, guest room, living room, and dining room. Mainly because things kept piling up.

In fall of 2016 one of my backyard trees blew over and destroyed my fence. I didn’t file an insurance claim. I went on YouTube, bought a chainsaw, fixed the fence myself and broke down the tree. Took a weekend to finish myself. 8 months later my last giant tree fell over and landed on my neighbors roof and my roof. My insurance paid for a new roof ($1000 deductible), her insurance covered hers instead of mine (I wasn’t liable because the home inspection showed the tree was in great condition in 2015).

Stuff like this happens all the time, and owning a home is honestly about rolling with the punches. If you can’t handle it, or don’t want to deal with it, you won’t succeed.

In four years I’ve had these emergencies:
2 fallen trees, one smashed roof (insurance, $1000), part of my deck destroyed and rebuilt ($2000) furnace unexpectedly stopped working ($1700), kitchen/3 bedrooms/bathroom/entry floors replaced ($2600), bathroom subfloor and tub leaked water; had to replace subfloor and drywall ($500), snowblower/mower replaced fixed ($500), just bought new floors to finish the rest of the house ($3000), and now my AC unit needs replaced ($3300).

There’s also landscaping improvements, decorating, re-finishing decks, lawn maintenance, etc.

It’s a lot of freakin work. But YouTube has been my savior for quite a bit of it. And for the record, I don’t work a manual labor job. I’m an office worker, I’m not fit by any means (5”11, 245 pounds). Doing this work has pushed my physical boundaries A LOT, but the house is my pride and joy and it keeps me motivated.

It really, really comes down to what you want to do. If low-effort living is your thing, rent. If telling your buddies you can’t go to the bar tonight because you have to mow, fix your front door catching on the frame, and lay down fertilizer is your thing, buy a home.

Edit: there’s also A LOT of things no one preps you for. I didn’t know I needed to refill my water softener every so often, or clean my radiator on my AC unit once a month. How to maintain my driveway when it needs to be re-caulked. How to pour concrete in a mailbox post to stop it from falling over, how to lay a slab of concrete at the base of your deck steps to stop it from sinking. How to lay down landscaping fabric with rock pavers. How to file my taxes with assets. How to change my thermostat to a newer model. When to call someone to add attic insulation. There’s a lot of learning experiences, and lot of them happen AFTER something bad happens, because that’s how you learn.

Edit 2: Sorry, I’m trying to be as transparent as possible to help you with your decision. My loan was a 3% Conventional NIFA. Basically it assists with the down payment of a home while still acting as a HBA loan. There’s rules and regulations for NIFA loans. Such as: no roommates, must make between X and Y amount a year, must be an HBA loan, and it’s mostly through local credit unions or specific national branches. My mortgage is $938.76 a month, I still have my PMI, and my total cost with Utilities, Internet, Trash Services comes out to $1138 in the Midwest. In saving the down payment aspect of the buying process, I was able to upgrade the kitchen appliances and start the new flooring process.

I’ve been slowly contracting work out that I cannot do myself for my unfinished basement. When I’m finished, I’ll re-evaluate my homes worth, refinance my mortgage, and drop the PMI entirely. Bought for $115,000 and after everything’s said and done I’ll be sitting around $150-160k market value in current standings.


If you’ve never lived alone and currently live with your folks, I highly recommend renting your own place for a year before buying a house. A house is a lot of commitment, and if you’ve never lived on your own, you may not have a good idea of what you do and do not want in a house. Renting for a year would also give you a chance to establish some credit (I went from no credit to a 750 score in a year with a secure credit card with a monthly netflix charge on it) and build a slightly bigger down payment.


Maintenance on a house would average out to more per month than you’re budgeting


How much would you value a shorter commute?

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As much as I hate commuting (but I suppose who doesn’t?), there’s no way an extra hour each day is worth a $30k pay cut.

I’d rather take the higher paying job and look at moving.


If someone offered you 30k a year to drive a car for an hour, a days 5 days a week would you


My commute consists of a 2 minute walk across a city park, and I absolutely love it, but 30k/yr is too steep unless you are comparing jobs that are paying like $250k+. If you are chucking that 30k into retirement its a difference of like literally millions of dollars at retirement.


Try the longer commute during rush hour both ways. I had a 30 mile commute that was pure torture, and then I had a 65 mile commute that was smooth and painless. You should know what you’re getting into.


30 minutes with little traffic is an easy commute in the grand scheme of things. If it was a long commute, sitting in traffic jams, etc. that would be different.

Take the 30k, get your salary up there, then your next gig you are starting from a higher salary point negotiating wise.


I’m 17 years old and I have about 4000$ in my savings from work. What’s the financially wise thing to do in my situation?

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Dont tell your friends you have 4000 dollars.


The financially wise thing to do is live with your parents and keep saving for as long as possible.


Make sure you check and see if you qualify for the PELL GRANT


My advice assumes your parents are not contributing to your education costs:

Put the $4k into a savings account and just keep contributing to it. Save as much as you can. Don’t invest it – that will just count against you when it comes time to fill out the FAFSA and with the big college costs only 2 years away (after the 2 years at Community College) your gains in the market would not matter. If you keep it in a savings account, then you can simply withdraw it the day before you fill out and file the FAFSA, then re-deposit right after. Dumb that the Fed allows that but they do.

Community college is cheap, so pay that as you go using the savings if necessary (better that you keep saving for the final 2 years, which will be much more expensive).

Regardless….although it is popular right now to bash student loan debt and question the value of a college education, that bullshit mainly comes from people without degrees or outliers. The statistics don’t lie – you will make much more over your lifetime with a 4 year degree, regardless of the major (hint: college is not a trade school), than you will without. So continue your education and get your bachelors and even if you come out with $50k in debt it will be worth it. And then, when you have kids, you’ll want to open a 529 plan when they’re born so that they’re not posting on reddit when they’re 17 having to worry about how to pay for college.


I would go to Italy and then continue to maintain your incredible savings habits coz you’re already on the right track. I started to travel around your age and it’s money well spent. Plus deferring travel until you’re older is a totally different game. It costs way more especially if you have a family. I still love traveling, but I wish I did even more when I was young. Some of my favorite friends and romances were met abroad. Now I have a wife and I don’t even let myself be open to that experience.

My standards for comfort were also lower and I was way happier doing and spending less than I do now. I was way more open to strange and new experiences and now I pretty much know what I want and don’t deviate too much. There’s nothing like traveling when you’re young.

Investing is important and starting young gives you a crazy edge, but don’t defer travel just to save more and more. Your financial future is important, but the reality is that you can’t predict every financial hurdle or success.

It’s a marathon, but you’re supposed to stop and smell the roses because you don’t really know where the finish line is no matter how much you plan.

Instead of 100% smart investing I like 80/20 or 90/10 rule. Live like you’ll die tomorrow with only 10% of your time and money coz 90% you’ll probably live. It would be a shame to go all in on the wise money moves at the expense of enjoying your life.


Always confirm your credit card statements after hotel visits, it just saved me $400 at a recent stay in a Marriott property.

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Id like to some day get to the point where i wouldn’t notice a 400 charge lol


Happened to me a few months ago. I put my credit card down on a room for a business stay because my boss’ flight was a few hours after mine. My coworker did the same thing with her room.

At the end of the stay my boss called on both of our behalves to close the room down and put it on her card instead of ours. My coworkers went through fine. I got a $500 bill charged to my card.


This is why I love credit cards where the app sends you a notification every time the card is charged! No more worrying that it’s getting charged when you aren’t looking.


Having worked for a Marriott and done front desk. From the employee perspective, this is actually really easy to do to a guest if you’re not paying attention. What is supposed to happen if you prepay is that you set up two folios in the system. One that has the payment details for the travel agent the other is the incidentals account for things like parking, room charges, phone calls and dry cleaning etc.

A lot of places if they have a quiet morning will help prep evening shift by splitting all the folios and setting everything up for a quick check in. Then the evening person needs to pay attention and only swipe the guests card on to the second folio. If they’re not paying attention and going quickly. It’s very easy to swipe the card, and then go through the prompts and then swipe the card a second time not realizing.

A good night auditor should be able to catch it. But it gets harder with stuff like because they can use prepaid credit card numbers and you’d have to check each number rather than if it’s just billing or credit card.


Great advice. Additionally – check doctors bills to make sure they’re added correctly. I caught a 100 dollar mistake from my dentist this morning.