What lifestyle creep made you happier?

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
protagonist
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Re: What lifestyle creep made you happier?

Post by protagonist » Tue Jun 25, 2019 12:25 pm

ThankYouJack wrote:
Wed Jan 23, 2019 8:43 pm
I'm curious for those who were able to make increase in their lifestyle, what things actually made you happier?
None.

And I went from poverty to being quite comfortable.

What made me happier were not "things":
- a partner who loves and respects me and vice versa
- a daughter who loves and respects me and vice versa
- a job I enjoyed and found satisfying
- good friends
- learning to play the saxophone and playing with others
- windsurfing
- retiring and thus reducing my stress level
- simplifying my life

Probably some other things as well, but those are the first that come to mind.

As far as "increase in lifestyle", I can't say my current possessions have made me any happier than I recall being when I was basically what people call a "hippie" in the late 1960s-early 1970s, hitchhiking for transportation, almost never going out to eat (I couldn't afford it), and living in cheap apartments with several roommates. At one point I lived for about 6 weeks on $20- made a pot of beans and rice on a hot plate at the beginning of each week and made it last all week until I got a job with a paycheck. Now I have a nice home and car, travel when I want to and eat where I please, do what I want to do without thinking much about cost, and should be set for the rest of my life without working. I enjoy what I have now in terms of possessions (I never went in for "luxury"), but none of it makes me fundamentally any happier- being a hippie with almost nothing was really fun, and I learned a lot from the rich experiences I had. I have great stories to tell. What makes me happier are the items above.

If you think "things" make people happy, walk down Wall Street, look at the first 100 people you see, and count how many of them are smiling. Then do the same on some relatively poor Caribbean island. Compare results.

Topic Author
ThankYouJack
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Re: What lifestyle creep made you happier?

Post by ThankYouJack » Tue Jun 25, 2019 9:38 pm

protagonist wrote:
Tue Jun 25, 2019 12:25 pm
ThankYouJack wrote:
Wed Jan 23, 2019 8:43 pm
I'm curious for those who were able to make increase in their lifestyle, what things actually made you happier?
None.

And I went from poverty to being quite comfortable.

What made me happier were not "things":
- a partner who loves and respects me and vice versa
- a daughter who loves and respects me and vice versa
- a job I enjoyed and found satisfying
- good friends
- learning to play the saxophone and playing with others
- windsurfing
- retiring and thus reducing my stress level
- simplifying my life

Probably some other things as well, but those are the first that come to mind.

As far as "increase in lifestyle", I can't say my current possessions have made me any happier than I recall being when I was basically what people call a "hippie" in the late 1960s-early 1970s, hitchhiking for transportation, almost never going out to eat (I couldn't afford it), and living in cheap apartments with several roommates. At one point I lived for about 6 weeks on $20- made a pot of beans and rice on a hot plate at the beginning of each week and made it last all week until I got a job with a paycheck. Now I have a nice home and car, travel when I want to and eat where I please, do what I want to do without thinking much about cost, and should be set for the rest of my life without working. I enjoy what I have now in terms of possessions (I never went in for "luxury"), but none of it makes me fundamentally any happier- being a hippie with almost nothing was really fun, and I learned a lot from the rich experiences I had. I have great stories to tell. What makes me happier are the items above.

If you think "things" make people happy, walk down Wall Street, look at the first 100 people you see, and count how many of them are smiling. Then do the same on some relatively poor Caribbean island. Compare results.
I agree mostly. But I think nicer things can make people a little happier too. Let's use windsurfing since it's a hobby you listed. It's an expensive sport if you want half decent gear. I have cheap, old used gear...narrow board that's about 15 years old, just one sail and mast, stuff often breaks when I'm out. Definitely not the best set up. If I spent a couple grand on nicer gear, no doubt it would make the experience better. I'm not willing to spend that yet on a sport I rarely get to do, but that may eventually be one of my jumps in terms on life style creep. So I think spending more on hobbies can make people happier because it can make the experience significantly better.

I also think moving from a 1 bedroom apartment to a house made me happier. And having kids. Both of those are significant in terms of lifestyle creep.

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jabberwockOG
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Re: What lifestyle creep made you happier?

Post by jabberwockOG » Tue Jun 25, 2019 10:31 pm

Pro lawn care during the long hot summer months.

Very high end sports equipment and shoes/ upgraded/replaced regularly.

Apple phones and computers.

Lexus automobiles.

Thomasville and Ethan Allan furniture.

High quality shoes/boots/sandals - Mephisto, Ecco, Keen, Merrell, Brooks, Lowa, etc.

CoastalWinds
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Re: What lifestyle creep made you happier?

Post by CoastalWinds » Tue Jun 25, 2019 10:51 pm

Wine.

josehde
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Re: What lifestyle creep made you happier?

Post by josehde » Wed Jun 26, 2019 1:04 am

Apple products and monthly travels. No regrets! :D

protagonist
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Re: What lifestyle creep made you happier?

Post by protagonist » Wed Jun 26, 2019 9:11 am

ThankYouJack wrote:
Tue Jun 25, 2019 9:38 pm
But I think nicer things can make people a little happier too.
Another way to look at this. You have nicer things than probably 99% of everybody who ever lived, including kings, emperors, etc. Almost everybody in the US today who is not in abject poverty does.

Poor people today have to take subways and buses. They can't afford cars. Louis XVI had to ride a horse! Could you imagine how happy Louis XVI would have been if he got to take the Paris Metro?

Imagine how miserable his life must have been....no cell phone, no TV, no telephone, no radio, no internet, no car, no flush toilet, no running water.....

Imagine what an ordeal a simple dental visit must have been for Cornelius Vanderbilt! How cold all of his mansions must have been in the winter and how sweltering hot in the summer. Think of how much better your life is, with your crappy windsurfing gear.

Do you think people today are happier than people were in the past, because of all of our nice stuff? I doubt it. If they had love and liked their job they were happy. If they were lonely and hated their work they were not. If they were unsatisfied with what they had they were not.
Just like today.

In the 19th century lifestyle creep made people unhappy too. They all wanted to be like Cornelius Vanderbilt instead of stuck in their little apartment. They all wished they could afford Cornelius Vanderbilt's horse. And a beautiful toilet like this one. https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/ ... 057869.jpg

Starfish
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Re: What lifestyle creep made you happier?

Post by Starfish » Wed Jun 26, 2019 12:51 pm

protagonist wrote:
Wed Jun 26, 2019 9:11 am
ThankYouJack wrote:
Tue Jun 25, 2019 9:38 pm
But I think nicer things can make people a little happier too.
Another way to look at this. You have nicer things than probably 99% of everybody who ever lived, including kings, emperors, etc. Almost everybody in the US today who is not in abject poverty does.

This is not entirely true.
Why we have a lot of things with no value, some with a lot of value (medical care, cars, planes) there are lots of things with a lot of value we are missing.
Time and real estate are two of them. We still have to work. And what was valuable in real estate 500 years ago is almost as untouchable now.
Imagine how miserable his life must have been....no cell phone, no TV, no telephone, no radio, no internet,

Not really minuses. People pay serious money to get that.
Imagine what an ordeal a simple dental visit must have been for Cornelius Vanderbilt! How cold all of his mansions must have been in the winter and how sweltering hot in the summer. Think of how much better your life is, with your crappy windsurfing gear.
Actually not true. I know because I lived most of my life in a place with cold winters and very hot summers with no AC and never felt any need for it.
Heating was always easy to obtain. Even the most rudimentary houses are very warm in the winter (of course, drafty large rooms are hard to heat).
Thermal mass and decent insulation do wonders. Human body adaptation accounts for a lot. The problem is that most of us live in very low standards cardboard houses and we compensate with active heating/cooling systems because is cheaper. But I personally (and many people I know) find very uncomfortable both the AC and the furnace heating (as opposed to radiated heat).
no car, no flush toilet, no running water.....
A car to be stuck in traffic for hours every day...
Running water and flush toilets were a problem only for poor people. Rich had somebody to take care of that.

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ThankYouJack
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Re: What lifestyle creep made you happier?

Post by ThankYouJack » Wed Jun 26, 2019 2:56 pm

protagonist wrote:
Wed Jun 26, 2019 9:11 am
ThankYouJack wrote:
Tue Jun 25, 2019 9:38 pm
But I think nicer things can make people a little happier too.
Another way to look at this. You have nicer things than probably 99% of everybody who ever lived, including kings, emperors, etc. Almost everybody in the US today who is not in abject poverty does.

Poor people today have to take subways and buses. They can't afford cars. Louis XVI had to ride a horse! Could you imagine how happy Louis XVI would have been if he got to take the Paris Metro?

Imagine how miserable his life must have been....no cell phone, no TV, no telephone, no radio, no internet, no car, no flush toilet, no running water.....

Imagine what an ordeal a simple dental visit must have been for Cornelius Vanderbilt! How cold all of his mansions must have been in the winter and how sweltering hot in the summer. Think of how much better your life is, with your crappy windsurfing gear.

Do you think people today are happier than people were in the past, because of all of our nice stuff? I doubt it. If they had love and liked their job they were happy. If they were lonely and hated their work they were not. If they were unsatisfied with what they had they were not.
Just like today.

In the 19th century lifestyle creep made people unhappy too. They all wanted to be like Cornelius Vanderbilt instead of stuck in their little apartment. They all wished they could afford Cornelius Vanderbilt's horse. And a beautiful toilet like this one. https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/ ... 057869.jpg
I agree that less is often more, but I think if you could point to studies that would make a more compelling argument. Which counties, income levels, generations, etc are happiest?

protagonist
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Re: What lifestyle creep made you happier?

Post by protagonist » Thu Jun 27, 2019 12:03 am

ThankYouJack wrote:
Wed Jun 26, 2019 2:56 pm

I agree that less is often more, but I think if you could point to studies that would make a more compelling argument. Which counties, income levels, generations, etc are happiest?
I believe I have seen studies that suggest that, in the USA at least, increased wealth has some positive correlation with increased happiness TO A POINT. I think I recall reading that said "point" is a family income of about $75K /yr.. Above and beyond this point, more money does not translate into greater happiness.

I don't recall where I read that, or how scientific the studies were that led to that conclusion, or how great was individual variation, but you can probably google if interested.

I just googled "Correlation between wealth and happiness" and the first hit quoted a study that focused on: "what happens when people tie their self-worth to financial success, scoring high on the “Financial Contingency of Self-Worth” scale, or FCWS. The researchers found that doing so made people engage in more social comparisons, experience more stress and anxiety, and feel less autonomy than those who didn’t tie their self-worth to income, regardless of their actual economic status. “People in this society are often focused on pursuing money, and they don’t think there is anything bad about that,” says Park. “But in terms of your psychological well-being, there are all kinds of negative consequences.”

I have no idea how reliable that study was (I did not read the original paper), but the conclusion seems to correlate with my anecdotal impression of the happiness of people I have known "who tie their self-worth to financial success".

From the same article, another experiment: "In one experiment, Monnot showed that job satisfaction did not rise in tandem with income. In fact, as with prior studies, wealth beyond a certain point tended to make Chinese workers no more satisfied with their jobs or their incomes, suggesting that money has only so much power to increase our life satisfaction.

“Our findings are pretty aligned with prior research,” says Monnot. “The correlation between income and job satisfaction is really small, to the extent that it predicts about five percent of job satisfaction.” https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/articl ... _happiness

That finding also echoes my own experience and my perception of that of people I have known (and I have had friends across the entire "wealth spectrum", with the exception of the "ultra-rich"...i.e. billionaires or close). . There is a thread somewhere in this forum of people looking back at their professions and discussing their satisfaction levels and whether they would recommend their profession to young people starting out...there were many pages of responses and it would be an interesting thread to review. I found it interesting that it seemed to me, scanning the responses, that the most dissatisfied were lawyers and doctors, both of which were also among the best paid. People in several lower paying fields (teachers, military service, the arts, and others) on the whole seemed happier. There definitely seemed to me to be no strong positive correlation between pay scale and satisfaction, despite this being a financial site and thus perhaps attracting those more interested in money.

I can speak of my own experience and what I have observed in others (as I have above), Others may have had different experiences. There are lots of studies online, but how good any of them are or how much one can generalize the findings to a particular individual's experience is beyond me.

JackoC
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Re: What lifestyle creep made you happier?

Post by JackoC » Thu Jun 27, 2019 8:37 am

protagonist wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 12:03 am
ThankYouJack wrote:
Wed Jun 26, 2019 2:56 pm

I agree that less is often more, but I think if you could point to studies that would make a more compelling argument. Which counties, income levels, generations, etc are happiest?
1. I believe I have seen studies that suggest that, in the USA at least, increased wealth has some positive correlation with increased happiness TO A POINT. I think I recall reading that said "point" is a family income of about $75K /yr.. Above and beyond this point, more money does not translate into greater happiness.

I don't recall where I read that, or how scientific the studies were that led to that conclusion, or how great was individual variation, but you can probably google if interested.

2. ... There is a thread somewhere in this forum of people looking back at their professions and discussing their satisfaction levels and whether they would recommend their profession to young people starting out...there were many pages of responses and it would be an interesting thread to review. I found it interesting that it seemed to me, scanning the responses, that the most dissatisfied were lawyers and doctors, both of which were also among the best paid. People in several lower paying fields (teachers, military service, the arts, and others) on the whole seemed happier.
1. That's a potentially interesting topic in the abstract, happiness across wealth levels and among countries, or times in history (though the latter is even harder to meaningfully assess). But I find it of next to zero relevance in determining how to live my own life. I'm entirely convinced we'd be less happy living at $75k* a year, let alone less, than the way we live. I say 'we' because I think it's especially true of my wife, and if she's less happy so am I. Hypothetically for just myself it might be less true (and our current living standard would cost at least somewhat less for one person) but I think still true. We don't want to live on less and don't have to. Which is pretty much the end of that story no matter what 'studies' say.

2. Although career and money are connected they aren't the same thing. They are also more independent once retired, where perhaps not having been as happy in a high paying career is somewhat compensated by having more money.

There is though a 'path dependence' as we'd say about a financial modelling problem, which I guess also everybody recognizes. Choosing a 'happier' low paying field is pretty irrelevant if you've already retired from a higher paying more stressful one. And back to the central topic here I see little doubt that spending more on nicer things, that they particularly like, makes most people happier. The question is how much, how sustained**. Likewise going from higher to lower, how disappointing, how sustained the disappointment.

*using absolute number of course doesn't correct for local living costs, ours is one of premier 'VHCOL' areas in the US. OTOH we want to live here.
**'hedonic treadmill', but that's also IMO a sometimes overhyped concept. We've had really nice cars and relative clunkers and various in between but to compare relative extremes we were not long ago using our son's 9yr old Hyundai as our second car (to also move it for him during street cleaning hour in our urban area so it didn't get ticketed, he doesn't need a car to get to work, since sold it). I disliked driving the older car: I'd encourage my wife to drive us. Last year I bought a BMW M2. I love driving that car and it's hard to get my into the passenger seat. I see no tendency whatsoever for my driving enjoyment of two vehicles like that to converge. If for other people they're really the same, well there you go.

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TomatoTomahto
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Re: What lifestyle creep made you happier?

Post by TomatoTomahto » Thu Jun 27, 2019 8:56 am

...That's a potentially interesting topic in the abstract, happiness across wealth levels and among countries, or times in history (though the latter is even harder to meaningfully assess). But I find it of next to zero relevance in determining how to live my own life. I'm entirely convinced we'd be less happy living at $75k* a year, let alone less, than the way we live. I say 'we' because I think it's especially true of my wife, and if she's less happy so am I. Hypothetically for just myself it might be less true (and our current living standard would cost at least somewhat less for one person) but I think still true. We don't want to live on less and don't have to. Which is pretty much the end of that story no matter what 'studies' say.
That’s the case here also. I have failed to get my wife to retire. I realize now that my tack was wrong. I tried to convince her that we had plenty, in the mistaken belief that she was unsure of that. Dummy that I am, I didn’t realize how important it was to her to feel that she could provide a safety net for our children and other relatives.
Okay, I get it; I won't be political or controversial. The Earth is flat.

Slinky
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Re: What lifestyle creep made you happier?

Post by Slinky » Thu Jun 27, 2019 9:07 am

badger42 wrote:
Wed Jan 23, 2019 8:58 pm
House cleaning help
Paying for extra legroom on flights
House cleaning help
Amazon Prime, especially PrimeNow
House cleaning help
Amex Platinum
House cleaning help
A nice (US-made Titanium) bicycle
How does amex platinum help? I’m curious how you use it to your advantage! Thanks

Barsoom
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Re: What lifestyle creep made you happier?

Post by Barsoom » Thu Jun 27, 2019 9:08 am

protagonist wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 12:03 am
ThankYouJack wrote:
Wed Jun 26, 2019 2:56 pm

I agree that less is often more, but I think if you could point to studies that would make a more compelling argument. Which counties, income levels, generations, etc are happiest?
I believe I have seen studies that suggest that, in the USA at least, increased wealth has some positive correlation with increased happiness TO A POINT. I think I recall reading that said "point" is a family income of about $75K /yr.. Above and beyond this point, more money does not translate into greater happiness.
I can relate a personal story.

My wife and I once had the opportunity to have dinner with friends of my mother's new husband. We were spending the weekend at one of the Lake Tahoe casino/hotels. My mother's friends were in their 70s, both widowers who married each other, both wealthy from their prior marriages/businesses, and combined wealth from marrying each other is probably greatly in excess of $100 million.

After introductions and walking through the lobby of the casino, the man points to the floor and says to me "I paid for that carpet," meaning he became a compulsive gambler and his high roller status supports the casino. At dinner in the top-floor restaurant, he was loud and foul-mouthed, and didn't care if anybody else in the restaurant was disturbed. "I can buy this restaurant if I want to" was his reaction.

He became quite fond of my wife, who used to perform in community theater when we were younger. She sang Cole Porter songs at the table during dinner. After dinner, he says to my mother's husband, "How about we play 'Big Nickels?"" "Big Nickels," it turns out, is the $500 slot machines in the high rollers room. The game was this: he was going to give my wife 20 Big Nickels to play in any slot machines of her choice, and she would get to keep 10% of the net winnings.

As we were heading to the slots, his wife and I are walking together and she tells me that he does this for "the action." I took that to mean that he plays only for the thrill of it, and he gets even more thrill vicariously by having someone like my wife become excited at the thought of hitting a big jackpot on a high roller machine.

Rather than be thrilled at the thought of high rolling, my wife was nervous as heck. She was afraid of losing all his money, not enthused at the chance of winning large. In the end, only two of the twenty coins paid out, so it was a net loss and she got nothing.

We said our good-night's and went back to our room. That's what all this man's wealth has devolved him into, seeking vicarious thrills while gambling with it. He must have been very successful throughout his life, but now has so much wealth that I don't think it's even possible for him to gamble it all away.

-B

EnjoyIt
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Re: What lifestyle creep made you happier?

Post by EnjoyIt » Thu Jun 27, 2019 9:08 am

I think there are some lifestyle creep items we feel we need because it adds time or freedom to our lives, but if our life was different, we may not need said expense and possibly be happier without it. For example, I am busy and don't have time to cut my lawn. I outsource that project for $75 per cut. Sure it makes me happier because I do not have to be out there in the heat and can instead be here in the air-conditioning typing away on bogleheads.org, watching TV, or playing with my son. Not to mention, I also have a job that pays way more per hour so I would rather spend an extra bit of time at work to cover all my lawn care needs. On the other hand, if I was retired, there would be a lot of benefit to my health to do my own lawn care. It is good exercise, would get me out of the house into fresh air, and I would do a far better job. My yard would look better and I would take pride in work well done. Today, for my well being I benefit from outsourcing, in retirement I benefit from doing it myself.

So yeah, we happily spend on lawn care, maid service, outsource some home repair projects I can do myself, car repair I can do myself. We sometimes fly business class overseas do buy ourselves an extra day at our destination (BTW, if we were retired we can buy ourselves the extra day by taking more days at the destination, but since we work, that is not an option. We also spend extra on quality foods with no preservatives (ideally.)

EnjoyIt
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Re: What lifestyle creep made you happier?

Post by EnjoyIt » Thu Jun 27, 2019 9:13 am

Barsoom wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 9:08 am
protagonist wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 12:03 am
ThankYouJack wrote:
Wed Jun 26, 2019 2:56 pm

I agree that less is often more, but I think if you could point to studies that would make a more compelling argument. Which counties, income levels, generations, etc are happiest?
I believe I have seen studies that suggest that, in the USA at least, increased wealth has some positive correlation with increased happiness TO A POINT. I think I recall reading that said "point" is a family income of about $75K /yr.. Above and beyond this point, more money does not translate into greater happiness.
I can relate a personal story.

My wife and I once had the opportunity to have dinner with friends of my mother's new husband. We were spending the weekend at one of the Lake Tahoe casino/hotels. My mother's friends were in their 70s, both widowers who married each other, both wealthy from their prior marriages/businesses, and combined wealth from marrying each other is probably greatly in excess of $100 million.

After introductions and walking through the lobby of the casino, the man points to the floor and says to me "I paid for that carpet," meaning he became a compulsive gambler and his high roller status supports the casino. At dinner in the top-floor restaurant, he was loud and foul-mouthed, and didn't care if anybody else in the restaurant was disturbed. "I can buy this restaurant if I want to" was his reaction.

He became quite fond of my wife, who used to perform in community theater when we were younger. She sang Cole Porter songs at the table during dinner. After dinner, he says to my mother's husband, "How about we play 'Big Nickels?"" "Big Nickels," it turns out, is the $500 slot machines in the high rollers room. The game was this: he was going to give my wife 20 Big Nickels to play in any slot machines of her choice, and she would get to keep 10% of the net winnings.

As we were heading to the slots, his wife and I are walking together and she tells me that he does this for "the action." I took that to mean that he plays only for the thrill of it, and he gets even more thrill vicariously by having someone like my wife become excited at the thought of hitting a big jackpot on a high roller machine.

Rather than be thrilled at the thought of high rolling, my wife was nervous as heck. She was afraid of losing all his money, not enthused at the chance of winning large. In the end, only two of the twenty coins paid out, so it was a net loss and she got nothing.

We said our good-night's and went back to our room. That's what all this man's wealth has devolved him into, seeking vicarious thrills while gambling with it. He must have been very successful throughout his life, but now has so much wealth that I don't think it's even possible for him to gamble it all away.

-B
I really believe that there is a point of too much money. For some, not all, having too much money actually makes them less happy. I have seen this play out more than once.

Don't get me wrong, its good to have wealth, but just enough so that one appreciates what they have.

mak1277
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Re: What lifestyle creep made you happier?

Post by mak1277 » Thu Jun 27, 2019 9:23 am

Barsoom wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 9:08 am
protagonist wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 12:03 am
ThankYouJack wrote:
Wed Jun 26, 2019 2:56 pm

I agree that less is often more, but I think if you could point to studies that would make a more compelling argument. Which counties, income levels, generations, etc are happiest?
I believe I have seen studies that suggest that, in the USA at least, increased wealth has some positive correlation with increased happiness TO A POINT. I think I recall reading that said "point" is a family income of about $75K /yr.. Above and beyond this point, more money does not translate into greater happiness.
I can relate a personal story.

My wife and I once had the opportunity to have dinner with friends of my mother's new husband. We were spending the weekend at one of the Lake Tahoe casino/hotels. My mother's friends were in their 70s, both widowers who married each other, both wealthy from their prior marriages/businesses, and combined wealth from marrying each other is probably greatly in excess of $100 million.

After introductions and walking through the lobby of the casino, the man points to the floor and says to me "I paid for that carpet," meaning he became a compulsive gambler and his high roller status supports the casino. At dinner in the top-floor restaurant, he was loud and foul-mouthed, and didn't care if anybody else in the restaurant was disturbed. "I can buy this restaurant if I want to" was his reaction.

He became quite fond of my wife, who used to perform in community theater when we were younger. She sang Cole Porter songs at the table during dinner. After dinner, he says to my mother's husband, "How about we play 'Big Nickels?"" "Big Nickels," it turns out, is the $500 slot machines in the high rollers room. The game was this: he was going to give my wife 20 Big Nickels to play in any slot machines of her choice, and she would get to keep 10% of the net winnings.

As we were heading to the slots, his wife and I are walking together and she tells me that he does this for "the action." I took that to mean that he plays only for the thrill of it, and he gets even more thrill vicariously by having someone like my wife become excited at the thought of hitting a big jackpot on a high roller machine.

Rather than be thrilled at the thought of high rolling, my wife was nervous as heck. She was afraid of losing all his money, not enthused at the chance of winning large. In the end, only two of the twenty coins paid out, so it was a net loss and she got nothing.

We said our good-night's and went back to our room. That's what all this man's wealth has devolved him into, seeking vicarious thrills while gambling with it. He must have been very successful throughout his life, but now has so much wealth that I don't think it's even possible for him to gamble it all away.

-B
You don't need to be rich to be a compulsive gambler...when I was in my 20s I lost $900 of the $1200 I had to my name in a week in Reno on a business trip.

Barsoom
Posts: 158
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Re: What lifestyle creep made you happier?

Post by Barsoom » Thu Jun 27, 2019 9:31 am

mak1277 wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 9:23 am
Barsoom wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 9:08 am
protagonist wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 12:03 am
ThankYouJack wrote:
Wed Jun 26, 2019 2:56 pm

I agree that less is often more, but I think if you could point to studies that would make a more compelling argument. Which counties, income levels, generations, etc are happiest?
I believe I have seen studies that suggest that, in the USA at least, increased wealth has some positive correlation with increased happiness TO A POINT. I think I recall reading that said "point" is a family income of about $75K /yr.. Above and beyond this point, more money does not translate into greater happiness.
I can relate a personal story.

My wife and I once had the opportunity to have dinner with friends of my mother's new husband. We were spending the weekend at one of the Lake Tahoe casino/hotels. My mother's friends were in their 70s, both widowers who married each other, both wealthy from their prior marriages/businesses, and combined wealth from marrying each other is probably greatly in excess of $100 million.

After introductions and walking through the lobby of the casino, the man points to the floor and says to me "I paid for that carpet," meaning he became a compulsive gambler and his high roller status supports the casino. At dinner in the top-floor restaurant, he was loud and foul-mouthed, and didn't care if anybody else in the restaurant was disturbed. "I can buy this restaurant if I want to" was his reaction.

He became quite fond of my wife, who used to perform in community theater when we were younger. She sang Cole Porter songs at the table during dinner. After dinner, he says to my mother's husband, "How about we play 'Big Nickels?"" "Big Nickels," it turns out, is the $500 slot machines in the high rollers room. The game was this: he was going to give my wife 20 Big Nickels to play in any slot machines of her choice, and she would get to keep 10% of the net winnings.

As we were heading to the slots, his wife and I are walking together and she tells me that he does this for "the action." I took that to mean that he plays only for the thrill of it, and he gets even more thrill vicariously by having someone like my wife become excited at the thought of hitting a big jackpot on a high roller machine.

Rather than be thrilled at the thought of high rolling, my wife was nervous as heck. She was afraid of losing all his money, not enthused at the chance of winning large. In the end, only two of the twenty coins paid out, so it was a net loss and she got nothing.

We said our good-night's and went back to our room. That's what all this man's wealth has devolved him into, seeking vicarious thrills while gambling with it. He must have been very successful throughout his life, but now has so much wealth that I don't think it's even possible for him to gamble it all away.

-B
You don't need to be rich to be a compulsive gambler...when I was in my 20s I lost $900 of the $1200 I had to my name in a week in Reno on a business trip.
Sure. My point was that at this point in this man's life, nothing else was "thrilling" him anymore. Maybe his money was useful to do all the traveling and stuff that he wanted to, and he finally reached the end of the internet.

-B

Topic Author
ThankYouJack
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Re: What lifestyle creep made you happier?

Post by ThankYouJack » Thu Jun 27, 2019 9:41 am

protagonist wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 12:03 am
ThankYouJack wrote:
Wed Jun 26, 2019 2:56 pm

I agree that less is often more, but I think if you could point to studies that would make a more compelling argument. Which counties, income levels, generations, etc are happiest?
I believe I have seen studies that suggest that, in the USA at least, increased wealth has some positive correlation with increased happiness TO A POINT. I think I recall reading that said "point" is a family income of about $75K /yr.. Above and beyond this point, more money does not translate into greater happiness.
I believe the study was personal (not family or household) income - http://content.time.com/time/magazine/a ... 28,00.html And that study was done 10 years ago so it's probably more like $90k today. So we're talking at least upper middle class type incomes.

I think people on here are more frugal and less materialistic than typical Americans, but still I think it's better to look at data from studies than just think it about it from my own personal view.

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6miths
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Re: What lifestyle creep made you happier?

Post by 6miths » Thu Jun 27, 2019 9:50 am

Retiring early!!
'It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so!' Mark Twain

protagonist
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Re: What lifestyle creep made you happier?

Post by protagonist » Thu Jun 27, 2019 9:57 am

JackoC wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 8:37 am
1. That's a potentially interesting topic in the abstract, happiness across wealth levels and among countries, or times in history (though the latter is even harder to meaningfully assess). But I find it of next to zero relevance in determining how to live my own life. I'm entirely convinced we'd be less happy living at $75k* a year, let alone less, than the way we live. I say 'we' because I think it's especially true of my wife, and if she's less happy so am I. Hypothetically for just myself it might be less true (and our current living standard would cost at least somewhat less for one person) but I think still true. We don't want to live on less and don't have to. Which is pretty much the end of that story no matter what 'studies' say.
I agree with you, that "what is good for the goose is not necessarily good for the gander". As I pointed out, I didn't read the original study and have no idea how much variance there was between subjects or how they determined "happiness". You have found your path and you are happy with it.

But I think that you made a crucial point when you said that you would be less happy living on $75K a year than you are now. That is the danger of "lifestyle creep". It creates a new level of perceived "need", below which one becomes unhappy or even miserable. If you have to drive your son's old car you are unhappy. But that is not to say that your son , if he never had the things you have, is any less happy than you because he drives a 9 year old car and you drive a new BMW. And think of all the stress and time and labor that may have gone into being able to afford that BMW. I would guess that any difference in happiness level between you and your son is due to 1. difference in DNA and 2, difference in personal factors such as love, confidence, respect, job satisfaction, etc. Your son may be content with his financial lot in life, whereas if you have to go back to living like he does, you state you would not be. Just as your son would not be happy if he had to give up his car.

I read posts from highly successful people here who say they could never live in San Francisco or NYC because you can't live there making less than $200K/year. Yet my fiance makes less than $100K a year and lives happily in Manhattan raising a child, and my daughter's friends, as well as a Venezuelan immigrant friend of mine, live happily in NYC on much less than that. Much has to do with perception, and perception is vulnerable to "lifestyle creep".

*using absolute number of course doesn't correct for local living costs, ours is one of premier 'VHCOL' areas in the US. OTOH we want to live here.
I don't discount that we are all different, and these studies do not apply to everybody. I don't choose to live in a VHCOL community because I have not found one that appeals to me . I love my MCOL community. I understand why doctors and lawyers are less happy with their professions than others ....it is because of the stress levels involved. It is no coincidence that physicians, dentists, finance workers and lawyers are professions with some of the highest suicide rates in the country. https://www.businessinsider.com/most-su ... suicide-18

I think stress leads to unhappiness. I am a retired physician and I loved my job, but I also practiced on my own terms, so my stress level was much lower than those who perhaps sacrificed freedom for "lifestyle creep". That said, I am much happier being retired than working, because of a huge reduction in stress level. Retiring at 55 rather than acquiring more riches was one of the best decisions of my life.

A forced reduction in lifestyle due to money issues is highly stressful and emotionally painful, due largely to "lifestyle creep", and the associated difficulty in meeting financial responsibilities. That does not translate into "more money makes you happier".
Last edited by protagonist on Thu Jun 27, 2019 10:18 am, edited 2 times in total.

protagonist
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Re: What lifestyle creep made you happier?

Post by protagonist » Thu Jun 27, 2019 10:09 am

ThankYouJack wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 9:41 am


I think people on here are more frugal and less materialistic than typical Americans, but still I think it's better to look at data from studies than just think it about it from my own personal view.
I disagree. There is so much subject-to-subject variability that I am not sure any study will provide any truly useful information about how to live your life. You have to know yourself .

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Re: What lifestyle creep made you happier?

Post by mak1277 » Thu Jun 27, 2019 10:18 am

Barsoom wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 9:31 am

Sure. My point was that at this point in this man's life, nothing else was "thrilling" him anymore. Maybe his money was useful to do all the traveling and stuff that he wanted to, and he finally reached the end of the internet.

-B
I can say with absolute certainty that the thrill I received while gambling was better than any traveling I've ever done...and I love to travel. I suspect that his choice to gamble has nothing to do with running out of other things to get excited about...it's that none of those other things are exciting enough.

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Re: What lifestyle creep made you happier?

Post by Dottie57 » Thu Jun 27, 2019 10:20 am

DanMahowny wrote:
Mon Jan 28, 2019 8:15 pm
My socks cost $28 per pair.
i love good socks , especially wool ones in the winter. Wool is pricey.

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ThankYouJack
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Re: What lifestyle creep made you happier?

Post by ThankYouJack » Thu Jun 27, 2019 10:25 am

protagonist wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 10:09 am
ThankYouJack wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 9:41 am


I think people on here are more frugal and less materialistic than typical Americans, but still I think it's better to look at data from studies than just think it about it from my own personal view.
I disagree. There is so much subject-to-subject variability that I am not sure any study will provide any truly useful information about how to live your life. You have to know yourself .
I was just curious about other people not just myself. More from a sociology than personal perspective.

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Re: What lifestyle creep made you happier?

Post by Barsoom » Thu Jun 27, 2019 10:38 am

mak1277 wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 10:18 am
Barsoom wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 9:31 am

Sure. My point was that at this point in this man's life, nothing else was "thrilling" him anymore. Maybe his money was useful to do all the traveling and stuff that he wanted to, and he finally reached the end of the internet.

-B
I can say with absolute certainty that the thrill I received while gambling was better than any traveling I've ever done...and I love to travel. I suspect that his choice to gamble has nothing to do with running out of other things to get excited about...it's that none of those other things are exciting enough.
Well, the excitement couldn't be from the anticipation of winning, since he didn't need the money. It came simply from the "action" itself. He probably got his high from playing, not from winning or losing.

-B

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Re: What lifestyle creep made you happier?

Post by TomatoTomahto » Thu Jun 27, 2019 10:39 am

mak1277 wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 10:18 am
Barsoom wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 9:31 am
Sure. My point was that at this point in this man's life, nothing else was "thrilling" him anymore. Maybe his money was useful to do all the traveling and stuff that he wanted to, and he finally reached the end of the internet.
-B
I can say with absolute certainty that the thrill I received while gambling was better than any traveling I've ever done...and I love to travel. I suspect that his choice to gamble has nothing to do with running out of other things to get excited about...it's that none of those other things are exciting enough.
And, as the saying goes, and with apologies, that’s what makes horse races.

I can’t see gambling, unless it’s a lottery for $100M+, as exciting. At least with the lottery (which I stopped playing, btw) I can fantasize until the numbers are drawn, much like a movie is a fantasy until the credits roll. Playing casino games, I can’t imagine playing high enough stakes to move the needle. At most, I would probably lose a 4 digit amount, and perhaps would win a 4 digit amount. Not fantasy or excitement material.
Okay, I get it; I won't be political or controversial. The Earth is flat.

protagonist
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Re: What lifestyle creep made you happier?

Post by protagonist » Thu Jun 27, 2019 10:41 am

ThankYouJack wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 10:25 am
protagonist wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 10:09 am
ThankYouJack wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 9:41 am


I think people on here are more frugal and less materialistic than typical Americans, but still I think it's better to look at data from studies than just think it about it from my own personal view.
I disagree. There is so much subject-to-subject variability that I am not sure any study will provide any truly useful information about how to live your life. You have to know yourself .
I was just curious about other people not just myself. More from a sociology than personal perspective.
That is always valuable. And from the variability of responses you have received in this forum I think it is fair to say that there is not a huge consensus of opinion. I hope that digesting it all and figuring out how it applies to yourself turns out to be helpful in the long run *smile*

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Re: What lifestyle creep made you happier?

Post by TomatoTomahto » Thu Jun 27, 2019 10:44 am

Barsoom wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 10:38 am
mak1277 wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 10:18 am
Barsoom wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 9:31 am
Sure. My point was that at this point in this man's life, nothing else was "thrilling" him anymore. Maybe his money was useful to do all the traveling and stuff that he wanted to, and he finally reached the end of the internet.
-B
I can say with absolute certainty that the thrill I received while gambling was better than any traveling I've ever done...and I love to travel. I suspect that his choice to gamble has nothing to do with running out of other things to get excited about...it's that none of those other things are exciting enough.
Well, the excitement couldn't be from the anticipation of winning, since he didn't need the money. It came simply from the "action" itself. He probably got his high from playing, not from winning or losing.
-B
I wasn’t there, but from the way the lout sounds, he was probably vicariously gambling while technically adhering to some promises made, and exerting some sad kind of power over someone else’s evening. I wonder what the ratio of male to female was in the people he staked. It sounds like your wife’s discomfort was ego gratifying to him. Sounds like a horrible evening and person.
Okay, I get it; I won't be political or controversial. The Earth is flat.

mak1277
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Re: What lifestyle creep made you happier?

Post by mak1277 » Thu Jun 27, 2019 10:44 am

TomatoTomahto wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 10:39 am
mak1277 wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 10:18 am
Barsoom wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 9:31 am
Sure. My point was that at this point in this man's life, nothing else was "thrilling" him anymore. Maybe his money was useful to do all the traveling and stuff that he wanted to, and he finally reached the end of the internet.
-B
I can say with absolute certainty that the thrill I received while gambling was better than any traveling I've ever done...and I love to travel. I suspect that his choice to gamble has nothing to do with running out of other things to get excited about...it's that none of those other things are exciting enough.
And, as the saying goes, and with apologies, that’s what makes horse races.

I can’t see gambling, unless it’s a lottery for $100M+, as exciting. At least with the lottery (which I stopped playing, btw) I can fantasize until the numbers are drawn, much like a movie is a fantasy until the credits roll. Playing casino games, I can’t imagine playing high enough stakes to move the needle. At most, I would probably lose a 4 digit amount, and perhaps would win a 4 digit amount. Not fantasy or excitement material.
It's the action, baby! I agree that a $100 bet doesn't hold the same level of nervousness as it did when I had $1,000 to my name, but it's still about the action, not the financial gain or potential loss.

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Re: What lifestyle creep made you happier?

Post by TomatoTomahto » Thu Jun 27, 2019 10:47 am

mak1277 wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 10:44 am
TomatoTomahto wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 10:39 am
mak1277 wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 10:18 am
Barsoom wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 9:31 am
Sure. My point was that at this point in this man's life, nothing else was "thrilling" him anymore. Maybe his money was useful to do all the traveling and stuff that he wanted to, and he finally reached the end of the internet.
-B
I can say with absolute certainty that the thrill I received while gambling was better than any traveling I've ever done...and I love to travel. I suspect that his choice to gamble has nothing to do with running out of other things to get excited about...it's that none of those other things are exciting enough.
And, as the saying goes, and with apologies, that’s what makes horse races.
I can’t see gambling, unless it’s a lottery for $100M+, as exciting. At least with the lottery (which I stopped playing, btw) I can fantasize until the numbers are drawn, much like a movie is a fantasy until the credits roll. Playing casino games, I can’t imagine playing high enough stakes to move the needle. At most, I would probably lose a 4 digit amount, and perhaps would win a 4 digit amount. Not fantasy or excitement material.
It's the action, baby! I agree that a $100 bet doesn't hold the same level of nervousness as it did when I had $1,000 to my name, but it's still about the action, not the financial gain or potential loss.
I can see “action” in poker and cash bridge. The other games are mechanical and of no interest.
Okay, I get it; I won't be political or controversial. The Earth is flat.

EnjoyIt
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Re: What lifestyle creep made you happier?

Post by EnjoyIt » Thu Jun 27, 2019 10:52 am

TomatoTomahto wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 10:44 am
Barsoom wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 10:38 am
mak1277 wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 10:18 am
Barsoom wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 9:31 am
Sure. My point was that at this point in this man's life, nothing else was "thrilling" him anymore. Maybe his money was useful to do all the traveling and stuff that he wanted to, and he finally reached the end of the internet.
-B
I can say with absolute certainty that the thrill I received while gambling was better than any traveling I've ever done...and I love to travel. I suspect that his choice to gamble has nothing to do with running out of other things to get excited about...it's that none of those other things are exciting enough.
Well, the excitement couldn't be from the anticipation of winning, since he didn't need the money. It came simply from the "action" itself. He probably got his high from playing, not from winning or losing.
-B
I wasn’t there, but from the way the lout sounds, he was probably vicariously gambling while technically adhering to some promises made, and exerting some sad kind of power over someone else’s evening. I wonder what the ratio of male to female was in the people he staked. It sounds like your wife’s discomfort was ego gratifying to him. Sounds like a horrible evening and person.
I think at some point one has everything they need and more money adds nothing.
Although I think you may be correct, it can also be generosity. I have experienced two occasions in my life around very wealthy people who may have more money than they need and happy to spend it on others to maybe give them some joy which in turn makes the benefactor happy. Sometimes creating an experience for someone they can never afford is a nice gift.

mak1277
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Re: What lifestyle creep made you happier?

Post by mak1277 » Thu Jun 27, 2019 10:55 am

TomatoTomahto wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 10:47 am
mak1277 wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 10:44 am
TomatoTomahto wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 10:39 am
mak1277 wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 10:18 am
Barsoom wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 9:31 am
Sure. My point was that at this point in this man's life, nothing else was "thrilling" him anymore. Maybe his money was useful to do all the traveling and stuff that he wanted to, and he finally reached the end of the internet.
-B
I can say with absolute certainty that the thrill I received while gambling was better than any traveling I've ever done...and I love to travel. I suspect that his choice to gamble has nothing to do with running out of other things to get excited about...it's that none of those other things are exciting enough.
And, as the saying goes, and with apologies, that’s what makes horse races.
I can’t see gambling, unless it’s a lottery for $100M+, as exciting. At least with the lottery (which I stopped playing, btw) I can fantasize until the numbers are drawn, much like a movie is a fantasy until the credits roll. Playing casino games, I can’t imagine playing high enough stakes to move the needle. At most, I would probably lose a 4 digit amount, and perhaps would win a 4 digit amount. Not fantasy or excitement material.
It's the action, baby! I agree that a $100 bet doesn't hold the same level of nervousness as it did when I had $1,000 to my name, but it's still about the action, not the financial gain or potential loss.
I can see “action” in poker and cash bridge. The other games are mechanical and of no interest.
I played a LOT of poker in my day...never ever considered it to be "action". It was a methodical grind. Action is a hot craps table.

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Re: What lifestyle creep made you happier?

Post by worthit » Thu Jun 27, 2019 11:06 am

Buying more of VTI :D

protagonist
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Re: What lifestyle creep made you happier?

Post by protagonist » Thu Jun 27, 2019 11:07 am

I retired at age 55 in 2008 right before the big crash. Within a year I lost nearly half my money in the stock market and more than half of what was left in a divorce.

I still think retiring at 55 rather than making more money was one of the best things that I have done. The reason I survived losing so much money and came out relatively unscathed is because I was never a victim of "lifestyle creep", or the psychological dependence on wealth that it is associated with.

Currently I probably have about half the wealth I had in early 2008, my current home is worth about half of what my old home was worth, but I am several times happier.

I made money. Money didn't make me.

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ThankYouJack
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Re: What lifestyle creep made you happier?

Post by ThankYouJack » Thu Jun 27, 2019 11:37 am

protagonist wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 10:41 am
ThankYouJack wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 10:25 am
protagonist wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 10:09 am
ThankYouJack wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 9:41 am


I think people on here are more frugal and less materialistic than typical Americans, but still I think it's better to look at data from studies than just think it about it from my own personal view.
I disagree. There is so much subject-to-subject variability that I am not sure any study will provide any truly useful information about how to live your life. You have to know yourself .
I was just curious about other people not just myself. More from a sociology than personal perspective.
That is always valuable. And from the variability of responses you have received in this forum I think it is fair to say that there is not a huge consensus of opinion. I hope that digesting it all and figuring out how it applies to yourself turns out to be helpful in the long run *smile*
Thanks. I think in general I'm happiest, especially as I get older, being around family and friends. Similar to your top two.

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DanMahowny
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Re: What lifestyle creep made you happier?

Post by DanMahowny » Thu Jun 27, 2019 12:00 pm

Dottie57 wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 10:20 am
DanMahowny wrote:
Mon Jan 28, 2019 8:15 pm
My socks cost $28 per pair.
i love good socks , especially wool ones in the winter. Wool is pricey.

Right on, Dottie.

I'm a pretty frugal dude, but my wool socks are awesome. Might be the only good thing about winter.
Funding secured

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Re: What lifestyle creep made you happier?

Post by FoolStreet » Thu Jun 27, 2019 3:41 pm

sleepysurf wrote:
Wed Jan 23, 2019 9:22 pm
Backroads bicycling vacations (4 thus far)
High end stereo system (with Martin Logan electrostatic speakers)
Trek Domane bike (carbon fiber frame)
Housecleaning help (currently missing it as former house cleaner retired)
Would love to hear about your backroads bicycling trips.

FoolStreet
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Re: What lifestyle creep made you happier?

Post by FoolStreet » Thu Jun 27, 2019 3:55 pm

radiowave wrote:
Thu Jan 24, 2019 11:44 am
Major upgrade to back yard last year, new deck, stone subpatios, irrigation and some planted trees. My wife loves spending time with plants and flowers and what a great peaceful place in the summer to just hang out or look out the window.
That is a big financial ticket cost. What pushed you over the edge to do it?

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Re: What lifestyle creep made you happier?

Post by mptfan » Thu Jun 27, 2019 4:07 pm

Going from an inside cabin on a cruise ship ... to one with a portal ... to (now) one with a balcony. I can't go back.

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Re: What lifestyle creep made you happier?

Post by sleepysurf » Thu Jun 27, 2019 5:18 pm

FoolStreet wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 3:41 pm

Would love to hear about your backroads bicycling trips.
For those not familiar, Backroads offers organized, all-inclusive, high-end cycling (now also multi-sport) vacations, with various route options/difficulty levels each day. They provide custom titanium bicycles (road or hybrid), also e-bikes, and full sag-wagon support with excellent leaders.

We opted for their more-expensive Premier Hotel options, but they also offer trips with more casual accommodations for the value minded. Most meals are included as well (alcohol extra). Thus far, we've done Martha's Vineyard, Arizona (that particular trip no longer offered), Santa Barbara/Ojai, and Canadian Rockies. They were all fabulous experiences, and well worth the expense. My wife used the e-bike for the latter two trips, so she could keep up on the mountain climbs.

We're hoping to do on one of their European trips next year with friends.
Retired 2018 | ~50/45/5 (partially sliced and diced)

FoolStreet
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Re: What lifestyle creep made you happier?

Post by FoolStreet » Thu Jun 27, 2019 6:28 pm

sleepysurf wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 5:18 pm
FoolStreet wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 3:41 pm

Would love to hear about your backroads bicycling trips.
For those not familiar, Backroads offers organized, all-inclusive, high-end cycling (now also multi-sport) vacations, with various route options/difficulty levels each day. They provide custom titanium bicycles (road or hybrid), also e-bikes, and full sag-wagon support with excellent leaders.

We opted for their more-expensive Premier Hotel options, but they also offer trips with more casual accommodations for the value minded. Most meals are included as well (alcohol extra). Thus far, we've done Martha's Vineyard, Arizona (that particular trip no longer offered), Santa Barbara/Ojai, and Canadian Rockies. They were all fabulous experiences, and well worth the expense. My wife used the e-bike for the latter two trips, so she could keep up on the mountain climbs.

We're hoping to do on one of their European trips next year with friends.
Did you go with or see teenagers? Did you think Ojai was worth spending the money on the tour since it is so close and approachable? I definitely dream of taking a trip in Europe and/or somewhere that was middling teenager friendly.

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Re: What lifestyle creep made you happier?

Post by FoolStreet » Thu Jun 27, 2019 6:32 pm

TomatoTomahto wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 10:39 am
mak1277 wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 10:18 am
Barsoom wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 9:31 am
Sure. My point was that at this point in this man's life, nothing else was "thrilling" him anymore. Maybe his money was useful to do all the traveling and stuff that he wanted to, and he finally reached the end of the internet.
-B
I can say with absolute certainty that the thrill I received while gambling was better than any traveling I've ever done...and I love to travel. I suspect that his choice to gamble has nothing to do with running out of other things to get excited about...it's that none of those other things are exciting enough.
And, as the saying goes, and with apologies, that’s what makes horse races.

I can’t see gambling, unless it’s a lottery for $100M+, as exciting. At least with the lottery (which I stopped playing, btw) I can fantasize until the numbers are drawn, much like a movie is a fantasy until the credits roll. Playing casino games, I can’t imagine playing high enough stakes to move the needle. At most, I would probably lose a 4 digit amount, and perhaps would win a 4 digit amount. Not fantasy or excitement material.
Gambling is no fun if you know how to calculate Expected Value. You realize you will ALWAYS lose.

At least with investing, you have a chance to win.

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Re: What lifestyle creep made you happier?

Post by sleepysurf » Thu Jun 27, 2019 7:52 pm

FoolStreet wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 6:28 pm
Did you go with or see teenagers? Did you think Ojai was worth spending the money on the tour since it is so close and approachable? I definitely dream of taking a trip in Europe and/or somewhere that was middling teenager friendly.
The Ojai valley riding was incredible. I suppose you could do the same thing on your own (if local), but you could probably say that for many of the Backroads trips. The overall "turnkey" experience, and making new friends with like-minded folks, is what you're paying for.

We took adult-only trips, but Backroads also offers Family trips, which we've heard are likewise excellent. Just search "family" on their website for details.
Retired 2018 | ~50/45/5 (partially sliced and diced)

NJ-Irish
Posts: 35
Joined: Wed May 30, 2018 7:23 pm

Re: What lifestyle creep made you happier?

Post by NJ-Irish » Thu Jun 27, 2019 9:35 pm

I buy made to measure dress shirts for work since I have an 18 inch neck and 36 inch waist. Having shirts that fit is a joy. I used to spend about $35/shirt now I spend about $60/shirt.

I also spend quite a bit on dress shoes ~$250/pair. I have 4-5 pairs, ive resoled a few of them, but I haven’t replaced any pairs in about 6-7 years. They still look great so I think I’m coming out ahead.

Gym memberships - I went to planet fitness for years, recently upgraded to a nicer gym, and I don’t regret it one bit.

I also spend more on accommodations while traveling , which typically involves prioritizing my location in cities, oon better beaches.

Overall I think I fit into the ‘I buy fewer objects but I buy nicer objects” category

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ChowYunPhat
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Location: Texas

Re: What lifestyle creep made you happier?

Post by ChowYunPhat » Fri Jun 28, 2019 6:50 am

DW retiring early to pursue volunteering while taking care of the home. This has been a huge blessing for both of us in so many ways. I guess you could call this lifestyle creep.
A wise man and his money are friends forever...

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Sandtrap
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Location: Hawaii No Ka Oi , N. Arizona

Re: What lifestyle creep made you happier?

Post by Sandtrap » Fri Jun 28, 2019 7:31 am

ChowYunPhat wrote:
Fri Jun 28, 2019 6:50 am
DW retiring early to pursue volunteering while taking care of the home. This has been a huge blessing for both of us in so many ways. I guess you could call this lifestyle creep.
Awesome!
Congratulations on your successes to be able to do that.
A little less stress along the journey.
j
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Garfieldthecat
Posts: 38
Joined: Mon Dec 24, 2018 10:48 am

Re: What lifestyle creep made you happier?

Post by Garfieldthecat » Fri Jun 28, 2019 8:01 am

For us, since we didn't increase our spending while our wages went up over the years, we have just saved more. This has allowed us to save money, and have an Emergency Fund, as well as a vacation fund. (not sure if that counts as one or two things, since both go back to saving :happy )

Two months ago our sewage line got blocked (roots). Cost $4000 to dig up and fix. Because we have plenty of money saved, it was only a matter of finding a trustworthy company. No worries about having to finance the money, or figure out how to pay. In this case, $4k wasn't even enough to use our ER, it just came out of our general/slush/vacation fund. Total piece of mind not worrying about the cost was great.

Being able to take some nice vacations, and see some cool places because of saving is also very good for mental health. Being able to set aside money for nice vacations is also great.

Maybe this should be considered anti-creep? :D Either way, having money in the bank available when needed for emergencies (or neat new toys even!) is the best for us.

JackoC
Posts: 872
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Re: What lifestyle creep made you happier?

Post by JackoC » Fri Jun 28, 2019 9:14 am

protagonist wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 9:57 am

But I think that you made a crucial point when you said that you would be less happy living on $75K a year than you are now. That is the danger of "lifestyle creep". It creates a new level of perceived "need", below which one becomes unhappy or even miserable. If you have to drive your son's old car you are unhappy. But that is not to say that your son , if he never had the things you have, is any less happy than you because he drives a 9 year old car and you drive a new BMW. And think of all the stress and time and labor that may have gone into being able to afford that BMW. I would guess that any difference in happiness level between you and your son is due to 1. difference in DNA and 2, difference in personal factors such as love, confidence, respect, job satisfaction, etc. Your son may be content with his financial lot in life, whereas if you have to go back to living like he does, you state you would not be. Just as your son would not be happy if he had to give up his car.
Perhaps you are are very attached to the idea that having/spending more doesn't have any impact on happiness, but in any case you are expanding (with erroneous assumptions) and retelling the story in a way that fits that: confirmation bias seems to me. The example I gave was about cars as they relate to me, not different people and how they relate differently to cars. My whole point is about the irrelevance to me of what either 'studies' or anecdotes say about other people wrt to spending and enjoyment. I'm me, living my life, not them.

As it happens my son is quite ambitious and would not be at all satisfied if that old car was all he could ever afford. He just happened to have that car before deciding he doesn't need a car for now (this is inner NY area, car not needed to go to work, and he can borrow our older car, a BMW 328i on weekends: it's more practical for the family unit to have fewer cars). But while the old Hyundai was around we took it out on errands when it needed to be moved for street cleaning, that's why we were driving it. The story is again about cars and me, not different people and cars.

As to 'all the stress and time and labor' this gets off into a somewhat different topic than spending and enjoyment. Achieving success at work also has personal benefits (though sometimes costs) besides the things money buys. There could be 'topic creep' I think on that, potentially to the point of 'what's the meaning of life?' :happy But the topic doesn't have to get so unfocused IMO. Just on the point of cars, I've wanted high performing cars for a long time (which is what the M2 is to me, though not an extreme, but it's not a 'luxury car', and a pretty different car than the 328i though I also like that one). I think actually in hindsight I should have bought cars like it long ago, which I could have afforded easily. Perhaps then it's really not 'creep' at least defined in a circular-logical way of designating any additional spending as 'something you shouldn't have bought because it just costs more and now you can't go back'. It's a fairly expensive material thing that gives me a favorable amount of 'utility' (as economists would say) for the money. So I'm glad I got it, and even (mildly) regretful I didn't spend more on such things earlier. Which doesn't make it the center of my life either, but again your retelling of the story really doesn't fit reality as seen from my perspective, or my point in giving the example.

dustinst22
Posts: 306
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Location: Huntington Beach, CA

Re: What lifestyle creep made you happier?

Post by dustinst22 » Fri Jun 28, 2019 11:13 am

protagonist wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 9:57 am

I think stress leads to unhappiness.
This is a prevailing idea in our culture, that stress is bad and makes us unhappy. There is a tendency to oversteer in the opposite direction once we find out that something can be damaging to us. There are many studies that show we actually need stress, we're built for it and it's what allows us to adapt. When we don't have any kind of stress, our body and mind start to deteriorate. Trying to remove all stress can actually be detrimental to our well being. It's been shown that when we have no stress our mental performance decreases rapidly, in particular our memory. The key seems to be to simply manage our stress levels, not try to eliminate it.

badger42
Posts: 499
Joined: Thu Apr 09, 2015 9:01 am

Re: What lifestyle creep made you happier?

Post by badger42 » Fri Jun 28, 2019 12:03 pm

Slinky wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 9:07 am
badger42 wrote:
Wed Jan 23, 2019 8:58 pm
House cleaning help
Paying for extra legroom on flights
House cleaning help
Amazon Prime, especially PrimeNow
House cleaning help
Amex Platinum
House cleaning help
A nice (US-made Titanium) bicycle
How does amex platinum help? I’m curious how you use it to your advantage! Thanks
The biggest advantage is lounge access - particularly the Centurion lounges.

Beyond that - we take full advantage of the airline fee credits, 'misc' benefits like purchase protection and roadside assistance, concierge, uber credits, etc.

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