Weekly Wrap-Up, October 4

Weekly Wrap-up

Autumn is here, people! Well actually, it’s been here for two weeks already, but I was too busy – and lazy, if I’m honest – to write a wrap-up post last week. Don’t worry, don’t worry, I’m not abandoning you guys and still love you all very much. So let’s get to it for this week!

With September ending lots of personal finance bloggers have been publishing their income and expenses. Yours truly did exactly the same and was pleased to report saving 72.3% of his income. Since work has been crazy the past few weeks – yay for budgetary reviews – I’ve hardly had any time to be a Spendy McSpenderson.

A bunch of other frugal bloggers also achieved impressive results. Weenie from Quietly Saving managed to save 50.6% of her net salary, bumping her investments over the £20,000 mark. Brand new dividend growth investor Dividend Developer also managed to save and invest about 50% of his paycheck. Charles and Marie, the new kids on the financial independence block, kept over 80% of their September income, which is truly spectacular.

Henry from Living at Home didn’t specify a particular savings rate, but he had a stellar month again by continuing to live at home. He spent only $526 this month to cover his basic living needs and an amazing first date. Be sure to hop on over because he’s looking for second date ideas!

Someone else who should revel in her accomplishments is Alicia from Financial Diffraction. She payed off her personal loan and now only has one creditor left to repay before being completely debt free. Soon her savings won’t go to debt repayment anymore, but to building her own wealth.

Alicia will soon experience what Noonan from Frugal Fringe described this week in his excellent post 10 Ways the Financially Independent Spend Less than Wage Slaves, namely that life becomes exponentially cheaper once you’re no longer a wage slaver, but a wage saver. Living frugally and investing your surplus income is by far the road less travelled these days, even though it is definitely easier than the uphill debt battle so many people take on.

Two bloggers this weak showed us both sides of that equation. From the home of the 1500 Days to Freedom family comes a positive story about secret millionaires in their neighbourhood. Apparently the street they live in is a breeding ground for frugal and wealthy folks who fly under the radar. Interestingly though, they’re not fooling Mr. and Mrs. 1500 Days. It takes one to know one I guess?

What surprised me about the secret millionaires was how much their way of life, as described through the eyes of Mr. 1500 Days, correlated with Kassandra’s recent post. She is totally right in that there’s a point in life when you outgrow your money; when money is no longer a leading measure of what you consider as living a succesful life, as she describes it.

For every frugal person there’s obviously also someone who doesn’t make the best financial choices in life. Asset-Grinder wrote a touching story about his friend Ali, who had everything going for him, but racked up so much debt that he fell into a severe depression. It’s weird how people just stop functioning and have everything fall apart just because of bad financial decisions. Let’s just hope that AG’s friend gets better soon.

Talking about savings rates, and good and bad financial choices, I’m left with a dilemma. As a pc enthusiast and gamer I’m always aching to buy the latest tech. Tawcan advises to buy refurbished or used, but sometimes that’s just not an option. The question then becomes “do you really need it?”

Why am I asking myself this question? I’d love to buy a new graphics card for my PC! Currently I have a GTX760, but I wish to upgrade to the brand-new GTX970 – for those in the know, I can’t justify spending over €500 on the GTX980, so the GTX970 it is. Do I absolutely need a new card? No, the GTX760 is great, but my triple monitor setup would run so much better with a 970 because it has almost twice the horsepower.

After lots of going back and forth, I decided not to upgrade my current graphics card, mainly because of Zee’s post of how well the Minimalist Game is going for him. Decluttering your life and not attaching too much value to physical items is something I’m all for.

But then it hit me! I could sell my current graphics card and buy a new one. A friend of mine is  willing to take the GTX760 off my hands for €150, while the GTX970 will set me back about €350. Is it worth €200 to increase my gaming experience? The jury is still out on this one, folks. What would you do in my case?

Have a great weekend!


  1. Great wrap-up!

    I personally abandoned gaming altogether. Some time ago I had a Xbox 360, 3DS, PSVita and gaming PC.
    But I discovered I had no time for them anymore so I sold everything and not missing it since, although I sometimes would like to play the simple Nintendo games like Mario, Mario Kart and the new Super Smash Bros. 3DS. GTA V was really the last game I played before I sold out.

    1. Robert,

      You had quite the console collection! When you have no time anymore to enjoy them it doesn’t make sense to keep ‘investing’ money in them, of course. I understand why you miss Nintendo games. That’s why I still have a bunch of NES, SNES and N64 games in my collection.

      I’m still waiting for GTA V to land on the PC! 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by,

  2. There needs to be at least 3 or 4 games that I really want to play on a console before I’m willing to spend the €200 or €300 on a new handheld or gaming system. That’s why I don’t have a Wii U or PS Vita right now. I like platformers and Super Mario 3D World looks amazing, but one title alone doesn’t justify buying the Wii U for me. So I’ll wait until more games come out.

    I use this same test to decide whether or not to upgrade my PC. I currently have the GTX 760 as well 😀 The Vanishing of Ethan Carter looks so good with the settings maxed out at 1080p. I think it depends on what you plan to do with your PC 🙂 I use 3 monitors too, but only game on one. I find that the GTX 760 can run any games these days without any problems. I would upgrade to a GTX 970 is if there are at least 3 or 4 games that I really want to play but my current setup can’t handle them. Or if I want to experience dual monitor or triple monitor gaming then I would consider upgrading as well because the extra frame buffer in the 970 would definitely improve performance at higher resolutions. Some RTS and driving games are more fun on multiple displays but for the types of games I usually play one screen is often enough. I think it’s tempting to buy a new graphics card, but for me I’m going to wait for newer games to come out before getting the 970. And by that time maybe it will come down in price too.

    1. Holy hell, longest reply I’ve ever gotten! 🙂

      You’re right about the console games. At the moment only the PS4 looks enticing to me, but I don’t think I’ll buy one just because of some exclusive titles. I hardly have time to play all my PC games, so why spend more on a PS4 for games you actually can’t play anyway?

      Great minds must think alike, Liquid. The 760 is a beast of a card for its money if you play on one 1080p monitor! Since I upgraded to a triple monitor setup, however, I notice that it can’t keep up in the newest titles because of its 2GB VRAM limit. Skyrim with mods just kills the framerate from 90 to about 16 fps. And I need those 60fps! 🙂

      What kind of games do you like to play? Because apart from some indie games and older titles, I play almost all my games on three monitors. Especially racing sims and RPGs like Fallout, Skryim, Dark Souls and Mass Effect are great with three monitors.

      Thanks for your input! Maybe waiting is a good idea. Although that means I won’t be able to sell my 760 for €150, but much lower.


      1. I like side scrolling platform games and racing sims like GRID. I have a momo steering wheel and pedals. Also enjoy rpgs like Skyrim and action rpgs like Torchlight, and turn based games like King’s Bounty, HoMM, and Fire Emblem.

        1. Damn, Liquid. If we ever meet I’ll have to slap you for calling GRID a racing sim. 😀

          Seriously though, great games! I love racing sims, also own a steering wheel and pedals. The triple monitors truly enhance the experience.

          RPGs are by far my favourite genre though. Torchlight was also really fun to play, reminded me a lot of the old Diable games (makes sense since it’s the same guys).

  3. Thanks for the mention – I love the way you weave through the PF community and make a great post out of your wrap ups. Many out there are kinda bland 🙂

    As for the video card, I’ll pretend I really know much about it, but cross-fire it instead. I’m slowly learning the lingo from living with a PC gamer, but truthfully, I dunno 🙂

    1. Thank you, Alicia, means a lot of me. I put quite a lot of time in these wrap-ups! You should check out the first ones though. They were bland like most of the other ones out there… Even I got bored while writing them.

      Haha, I don’t want to crush your dreams, but Crossfire is for AMD cards… I own an Nvidia one (so that would be SLI)! 😉 How cool is it that you actually know what Crossfire is!?

      The downside to crossfire is lots more power consumption and compatibility issues. I’d rather have a single graphics card. Especially if it only costs €50 more than buying a second GTX760!


      1. You know what, I actually knew that distinction, but then I forgot!!! That SLI was different than Crossfire, but my fiancé built an AMD-based systems so I’m more familiar with that terminology.

        I’m sure he’d be drooling over that card. He’s been saving to purchase a new card, but then he want to switch so much of his system that it’d basically be a new computer so it’s on hold!

        1. I can definitely relate to your fiancé… If money was not an issue, my PC would look completely different every month! 🙂

  4. Thanks for the shout out, NMW!

    As for the video card, you have a savings rate over 70% so I think you’re entitled to (and able to afford to) occasionally buy something that gives you long-lasting enjoyment, without making a big dent in your finances! Sell the old one to your friend, buy the new one – shop around for the best deal, see if you can get cashback etc.

    1. No problem, Weenie! Glad to share your awesome achievements so far.

      That makes kinda sense. I’ll just have to remind myself not to reward myself every month because I can overspend on tech quite easily. 🙂

  5. Hi, NMW–

    Thanks for the shout out!

    Funnily enough, I just upgraded my graphics card a few months ago, and ended up spending about $200 on the card. It’s more than enough to run every game on satisfactory settings, and most games on max settings. I found it to be a good balance between thriftiness and fun.

    1. Charles,

      You’re welcome! Spectacular job you and Marie did last month.

      Which card did you end up with? $200 currently is the sweet spot for a really decent medium-end entry card, so you definitely made a good call with regards to price/value!


    1. You’re welcome, Henry! You’re doing a great job over there.

      I Hope the second date goes well,

  6. Great roundup again! I really cannot wait until I can make saving my only priority. I have always gravitated toward it, and paying off debt has gotten in the way of that. Boo!

    Oh, the dilemma of upgrading. My dad has fallen prey to this many times; it’s actually mostly how my parents got into credit card debt. He is a gamer and loves computers in general, and he enjoys having things run smoothly. I have been contemplating getting more RAM for my computer as it’s been running so slowly lately.

    I think it’s great you can at least sell your old graphics card. Most of the time, I inherited my dad’s stuff as he upgraded, so I never had to worry about it myself, but he has thankfully stopped upgrading as often considering the circumstances. I think it comes down to how much you truly value your playing experience. Are you finding yourself getting impatient or wishing things looked better? If you’re not enjoying it, then I would say consider upgrading. There’s not much worse than trying to enjoy a game when it keeps crapping out on you constantly.

    1. Thank you, Erin! Glad you enjoyed it.

      You’ll be able to start saving as much as possible without paying down any debt soon – and it’ll be glorious! At least this way you’ll never take on any debt again because you know how bad it sucks.

      I totally understand your dad’s desire to upgrade as much as possible, I feel the same way. I hope he figured out that credit card debt isn’t the answer to having a 5% performance boost every so often?

      As for upgrading your own PC: I don’t know how much RAM you currently have, but chances are buying a Solid State Drive over a Hard Drive will provide the biggest performance boost. The days RAM provided a huge boost to a PC are sadly long gone…

      My playing experience currently is awesome as it is. The speed of my PC is no issue either (my friend actually thinks it’s fully sentient because it’s so fast 🙂 ). The trouble is that my frame rate hovers around 40 in most games because I’m using three monitors at the same time. I’d love a solid 60. First world problems, I know!

      Let me know when you decide to upgrade your PC!

  7. I am not a gamer in any shape or form, so I really do not know what the difference between the cards is going to be. If you will use the new card and be able to get rid of the old one, if it was me, I would just get the best one for the buck and enjoy the fruits of my labor a bit. It is a one time sum and not going on credit obviously, so it will just decrease your savings for the month. Think about it, and enjoy your decision either way. I mentioned in one of my posts how the tech bug really got me lately. I think it can be contageous. Good luck.

    Keep cranking,

    Robert the DividendDreamer

    1. The difference basically comes down to currently owning a sports card with a V6 and wanting to upgrade to a V12! 🙂

      You’re probably right about enjoying the fruits of my labour. Weenie mentioned the same thing above!

      The tech bug definitely is contagious. As soon as I bought my first smartphone in 2008 everyone around me wanted to have one. The same thing happened when I built my new gaming PC with most of my friends upgrading only two months after.

      Thanks for your input,

Join the conversation!