Petrocelli wrote: My thought in that is simple:
If you make $5,000 a month, probably not. If you make $5,000 a week, why not?
(generic "you" below - I'm not singling Petrocelli out)
See, this is the crux of the matter...
So if you can afford it, it's okay to spend it. I can truly can see the correctness of this statement. You earned it, its your money, who are we to tell anyone how to spend their money....
But is there any amount of money where it becomes "wrong"? If Bill Gates spent all his money on a 40 foot tall gold statue of himself, would we be disgusted, or say "You go Bill, your money, do what you want with it!"
(Note I would be opposed to any laws that stopped Bill from spending his money any way he wanted, but I still retain the right to be disgusted and consider his choice immoral).
Instead Bill created a foundation and is seriously making a difference in the world.
We all know about the opportunity cost of money. There's a certain point where you are just throwing money away. Not to you, of course, you have enough money to retire, to live comfortably, with some (lots?) left over... There is no opportunity lost when you spend $5,000, $10,000, $50,000 on a luxury item. You don't give anything up to get that item. It's from your excess money.
But that money could be used in other ways... that money could save peoples lives, give people new chances, really help people.
It's a hard question... When you have a billion dollars, blowing $600,000 on a car isn't a big deal. You wanted that car, that's how much it cost, you paid it.
But I submit there's something wrong with the people way up in that spectrum. They really have lost perspective of the value of money.
Imagine what a million dollars could do to help people...
Is spending $5000 on a 50th birthday gift a waste? Nah, I don't think so.... It IS a one-time special occasion.
But as we get richer and richer, we really need to think about what money represents. The opportunity cost of money. Once I walked by a guy playing blackjack in Vegas at $300 a hand.. I watched him lose $4000 in about 3 minutes. Now that money means nothing to him... Then I watched the cocktail waitress give him a drink. How much would that $4000 that the man just threw away have meant to her?
I feel we really have to be careful about keeping a perspective on money. It's represents food, heat, housing in a good school neighborhood, college education, health care, etc.
I'm not saying we should deny ourselves any and all luxuries... I'm saying we should be mindful of the value of money. There IS a point of diminishing returns for everything... A $50,000 car is 5x nicer than a $10,000 car. A $100,000 car is probably 1.5x nicer than a $50,000 car... so you're slightly wasting money here. A $600,000 car is NOT 6x nicer than a $100,000 car.... You are definitely wasting money at that point.
Man, I'm sorry for such a long rant... I'm not a hippie liberal freak, really... Maybe I haven't been rich long enough to get numb to money, but I still remember being poor, and I still think it's a crime to waste money when so many people are hurting.
We're very very lucky guys... Yes, we made our own fortunes, mostly, but admit there was some luck involved... Even if it was just the luck of being born in the right country at the right time.
We should be mindful of we have and not throw it away.
(My rant has barely anything to do with a $5000 watch anymore... sorry Petrocelli - not talking about you)