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How aggressively do you save?

A resource forum for those interested in buying, selling, or developing a business; for questions about retirement plans; investing and basically any aspect of acquiring, keeping and increasing one's personal stash of filthy lucre.

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Re: How aggressively do you save?

Postby dnwolfgang » 15 Feb 2011, 12:01

divea wrote:
dnwolfgang wrote:
Gao Bohan wrote:I'm always surprised when I hear about the globetrotting many posters here do, especially back home to North America or Europe. Texas to Taiwan was $1200 USD a ticket back in the early 2000s. And lots of folks here seem to make regular trips back home, bringing the spouse, kids and all. Not to mention regular trips to other parts of the world, for weeks and even months on end. In another thread people were talking about how many months of the year they spend traveling. How do you people afford it?


It's all about budgeting. People in the US spend everything they get. People in Taiwan make less, save more. How? It's all about your mentality toward money.

$1200 is only 100NT/day, figure out a way to save 100NT/day and you have your plane ticket.

This really is undoable, and impractical advice. I hear it ALL the time, and I still have to meet someone who puts a 100 dollar note in a piggy bank EACH day. Don't ask me why it is undoable, but hell it doesn't work! Especially for people who are not in the habit of saving. It's like telling people to eat a bit less every day and they'll lose fat, yeah, but they can't! :roll:
100 Dollars a day is just tooooooooooo small to be practical. In theory it works of course.

Another thing that works, really works is deduction at source. If somehow you just direct your cash in all sorts of plans BEFORE the money hits your bank account, then you have to make do with what you've got in hand, and you end up doing that. It is very difficult to save 3000NTD if you have 10,000 NTD in hand. But it's easy to make do if you only receive 7000.


Yes of course I agree with you. I don't mean that you literally take 100NT every day and put it in a bucket, you need to budget (read my very first statement: It's all about budgeting) But the point of saying 100NT/day is to show how little you need on a daily basis to pay for a plane ticket once a year. Directing the money before it hits your bank account is the only practical application that I have found to work.
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Re: How aggressively do you save?

Postby GuyInTaiwan » 15 Feb 2011, 12:15

Icon wrote:Insurance and retirement funds will have to take care of the far future.


How do you propose for that to happen?
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Re: How aggressively do you save?

Postby llary » 15 Feb 2011, 18:01

divea wrote:This really is undoable, and impractical advice. I hear it ALL the time, and I still have to meet someone who puts a 100 dollar note in a piggy bank EACH day. Don't ask me why it is undoable, but hell it doesn't work! Especially for people who are not in the habit of saving. It's like telling people to eat a bit less every day and they'll lose fat, yeah, but they can't! :roll:
100 Dollars a day is just tooooooooooo small to be practical. In theory it works of course.


I completely agree and I have terrible discipline so the best thing I ever did was starting to use automatic deductions from my account at the start of each month. You can start really small from a few hundred NT$ each month until you are stashing away huge chunks of your monthly pay without even noticing it.

Another thing that works, really works is deduction at source. If somehow you just direct your cash in all sorts of plans BEFORE the money hits your bank account, then you have to make do with what you've got in hand, and you end up doing that. It is very difficult to save 3000NTD if you have 10,000 NTD in hand. But it's easy to make do if you only receive 7000.


:thumbsup:
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Re: How aggressively do you save?

Postby Indiana » 15 Feb 2011, 18:16

llary wrote:
divea wrote:This really is undoable, and impractical advice. I hear it ALL the time, and I still have to meet someone who puts a 100 dollar note in a piggy bank EACH day. Don't ask me why it is undoable, but hell it doesn't work! Especially for people who are not in the habit of saving. It's like telling people to eat a bit less every day and they'll lose fat, yeah, but they can't! :roll:
100 Dollars a day is just tooooooooooo small to be practical. In theory it works of course.


I completely agree and I have terrible discipline so the best thing I ever did was starting to use automatic deductions from my account at the start of each month. You can start really small from a few hundred NT$ each month until you are stashing away huge chunks of your monthly pay without even noticing it.


I do the same thing...I stash a certain amount into an e-saver account from my regular account as soon as I get paid. This also helps me budget my money better as I can keep track of how much I am spending.
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Re: How aggressively do you save?

Postby KenTaiwan98 » 15 Feb 2011, 22:38

I know this may sound odd, but I usually throw all my loose change into a jar (I loathe carrying it around, and tipping isn't practiced here) at home, I take it to the bank once or twice a month. And the amount really does add up to about $NT50 a day on average. Since 1/1/11 I've put nearly NT$2500 in the bank that way. You have to understand, I loathe change, though so it works for me.
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Re: How aggressively do you save?

Postby Gao Bohan » 15 Feb 2011, 22:40

dnwolfgang wrote:$1200 is only 100NT/day, figure out a way to save 100NT/day and you have your plane ticket.


OK, let's think about that. A typical family of four will pay $1200 x 4 = $4800 USD on airfare alone. At the current rate of conversion, that's 141,645.47 NTD. With a single income of 55,000 NTD (which seems about average), that's 2.5 months of gross salary for an English teacher. And then, it appears common for people here to visit multiple states or provinces, at least within North America. Depending on how many areas are visited, and on whether the family can avoid hotels by staying with friends and relatives, tack on another $1000-$3000 in domestic airfare/car rental/gas/breakfast/lunch/dinner/gifts (both to and from home)/etc. for a two or three week period. So we're looking at what, about $6,800 USD/~200,000 NTD for a typical family? That's close to 4 months gross salary. So an aggressive saver who can put aside 50% of gross salary (>50% of net salary) will save for 8 months to go on a two or three week vacation back to North America.
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Re: How aggressively do you save?

Postby Gao Bohan » 15 Feb 2011, 22:40

GuyInTaiwan wrote:My job provides airfares (as does any MOE job, as do similar jobs in the Gulf, Brunei, etc.).


Very nice.

Also, when I travel elsewhere, I'm incredibly frugal as in $30/day for two people frugal.


That's amazing. I take it you avoid hotels and mostly just camp?
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Re: How aggressively do you save?

Postby asiababy » 16 Feb 2011, 01:16

Gao Bohan,

I'm in a situation kind of like what you outline. With two kids over two, I am now looking at TWD120,000 in airfares everytime we go home. That's without my husband visiting. And before adding any expenses such as accomodation for transfers, groceries at the family's places, car seat hire, travel expenses, etc. It's going to be around TWD200,000 I guess for a two-month trip. My parents are in their 70's so we try to go once a year. Our income isn't much over what you suggest, currently about 75,000/month for our family of four. We are fairly frugal but I guess I could be better. I have been making changes. Kids in public school, drive a TWD25,000 car, have the most basic phone around, built own house, don't have kids in any extra classes, get their clothes at rummage sales and from friends, get books from the library, don't go out much but cook and entertain at home... we certainly aren't poor but that airfare does use a fair chunk of change. I used to worry my kids weren't seeing enough of the world and so on, especially as you compare with others around you in Taipei, but then I thought about my own life. I didn't even go to the North Island of New Zealand until I was 16 and I can't say it hurt me. My kids are already pretty lucky, especially when I compare them to others in the school they go to. I'm also in a savings scheme and so far it's working for me. If it's not gone faster than I can see it, it'll disappear in a cloud of something-or-rathers.

I've also thought about taking on more work, to get more income, but our priority is letting our kids get enough sleep, nutrition, and fresh air, so that kind of rules out things like having them in afterschool care. And, afterschool care costs, too. To answer the OP's question, I am not an aggressive saver but I do put something away regularly.
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Re: How aggressively do you save?

Postby GuyInTaiwan » 16 Feb 2011, 08:27

Gao Bohan: You're right about those holidays costing an arm and a leg. I don't know how people can do it. I have a friend in Australia whose father earns big money (and his mother doesn't work), but every year the entire family (three kids) takes a major holiday. Sometimes, it's somewhere relatively cheap in Asia (though I'm sure they stay in quite nice places and eat at at least moderately expensive places), but at least once every two years they go to Denmark to visit his mother's family and usually end up going somewhere else also. A few years ago, in addition to going to Denmark, they also rented a villa in France. Those trips have to end up costing them something like $20,000+ a pop. That's intense.

When we travel we either stay in really cheap guesthouses/hostels or we camp. Throughout Southeast Asia, we paid less than $10/night on average. We went to Iceland and Denmark for our honeymoon for three weeks. In Iceland, we camped all but three nights (and the camping and hiking was awesome there), and in Denmark, we stayed in a hostel. We cooked probably about 80-90% of our meals on the whole trip and tried to do free stuff like hiking or visiting free museums. Iceland didn't end up costing that much simply because their economy was in the toilet then. Even really working hard to keep expenses down, Denmark was expensive. We were only there for three or four days though.
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How aggressively do you save?

Postby flike » 16 Feb 2011, 08:41

I wouldn't assume that those flying bear all the expense of air travel, especially if they're flying to North America (NA is what I know about, but I'm sure non-NA parents could do this, too). Lots of parents and grandparents likely subsidize the trip, in whole or in part.
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