Does money/lack of money preoccupy you?

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
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Cody6136
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Does money/lack of money preoccupy you?

Post by Cody6136 » Fri May 31, 2019 3:03 pm

Hi all,

I realize this is not a consumer issue but since I began my financial life "makeover" in 2018, I've found myself preoccupied with MONEY, to the detriment of hobbies, family and fun.

I'm turning into a real one-dimensional character.

I long for the days when I didn't go online to check how "things are going" or reading and re-reading things, sometimes taking time from work when I should be...working. I'm moving towards "set and forget" choices in my accounts, and have my monthly budget cleaned up to the point where there aren't a lot of tweaks left, so there's really not that much more to do after the initial realization that I needed to overhaul my finances. I'm about 75 percent done with the process. Some of it has to wait until 59.5 or next year to fix, so the "action phase" is winding down, but the obsessing isn't.

I wonder if the process of becoming a Boglehead has necessitated passing through this "obsessing" phase. Has this happened to anyone else?

Maybe I've taken up a new hobby: learning about personal finances as an end in itself. However, ten years ago, when the market had fallen apart, I was ignoring my investments while paying down debt, two choices that have turned out to be wise ones in retrospect. But these days, I'm constantly fussing, checking and worrying - when in reality, there is not much more to "do" and my entire portfolio could be "managed" by a reasonably talented chimpanzee.

Well, not much of a query here, but I will leave you with a quote:

"When bankers meet, they talk of art; when artists meet, they talk of money." Oscar Wilde.

livesoft
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Re: Does money/lack of money preoccupy you?

Post by livesoft » Fri May 31, 2019 3:09 pm

It doesn't preoccupy me, but it does occupy me. I've been away and now have some bills to pay. I need money to do that, but without income I will need to sell some shares to be able to do that. That makes me have to think and act. I think that's not a problem for me.

I suppose one might look at things differently. Do you spend more time preoccupied with money, your health, your work, your family, or something else? Money is way down on my list.
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GoldenFinch
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Re: Does money/lack of money preoccupy you?

Post by GoldenFinch » Fri May 31, 2019 3:21 pm

I grew up in a super frugal household. I developed a fear of poverty even though we were actually well off (just didn’t live that way). Now I am pretty sure at 52 our family is pretty much set, even if we were both retired which we are not. However, I am preoccupied with money. I think if I quit reading Bogleheads and stopped following the stock market I could move on, but I haven’t done that yet.

Thegame14
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Re: Does money/lack of money preoccupy you?

Post by Thegame14 » Fri May 31, 2019 3:23 pm

I understand, if I buy lunch at work, I am like this is $8, but I can bring a frozen lunch from home for $3, plus I already paid for the frozen lunch, so it is a sunk cost, but eating those is like half a meal, and not great..... and I make 100K should I care about $8 for lunch, but then that is $40 per week, 50 weeks, so $2,000 a year, but then when does it stop... at what point is something to enjoy, vs eating rice and beans every day, that saves a ton of money, and is probably healthier, but when do you get to enjoy something?

lostdog
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Re: Does money/lack of money preoccupy you?

Post by lostdog » Fri May 31, 2019 3:29 pm

The good thing is that you identified it. You observed it.

That is a big one.
I don't invest looking in the rear view mirror and I know absolutely nothing about the future.

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Re: Does money/lack of money preoccupy you?

Post by bloom2708 » Fri May 31, 2019 3:33 pm

Step back and go for a run, walk, bike ride. Read fiction (not financial related books). Go to the Library. <insert your low cost hobby here>

If you run 5k every day for a year, a marathon will still be terribly hard. Investing is a marathon or Ultra marathon. Progress is slow.

It sounds like you are doing the right things. Step away and do something else. Maybe it is your health/fitness or some other area you can improve.
"We are not here to agree with you; we are here to provoke thoughtfulness." Unknown Boglehead

ohai
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Re: Does money/lack of money preoccupy you?

Post by ohai » Fri May 31, 2019 3:37 pm

What is wrong with being a money enthusiast? If you like celebrities, sports, or other "normal" things, that's even more crazy and irrational if you ask me.

bck63
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Re: Does money/lack of money preoccupy you?

Post by bck63 » Fri May 31, 2019 3:49 pm

I needed this thread. Thank you. Maybe it will help me re-set. As the prospect of retirement has come into focus (11 more years), I have become increasingly preoccupied with money.

My most troubling symptom is lying in bed in the middle of the night, reading Bogleheads on my phone, because I can't sleep, because I'm thinking about money and investing. Much of it I enjoy, but I do know there's an unhealthy aspect to it.

Now if you'll pardon me, I need to go check my account balances. 8-) 8-)

Broken Man 1999
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Re: Does money/lack of money preoccupy you?

Post by Broken Man 1999 » Fri May 31, 2019 3:56 pm

A lot of my reading is certainly financial in nature, but I am not preoccupied with money or lack of money. I do like to learn things, right now I'm reading a book seeking a bit of knowledge on options. Money and banking classes were my favorites for my undergraduate degree.

DW and I have reached the retirement years, and so far as I can tell we are doing just fine. We have enough to manage and continue our lifestyle.

So, no worries. We have been blessed with always having enough money for anything important. And, over the years we have certainly had enough money for some things that were not important, despite what we thought at the moment. :oops:

Broken Man 1999
“If I cannot drink Bourbon and smoke cigars in Heaven than I shall not go. " -Mark Twain

thefirst100k
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Re: Does money/lack of money preoccupy you?

Post by thefirst100k » Fri May 31, 2019 4:18 pm

I think it is unhealthy but I enjoy it. It isn't the worst vice to have. Ideally I would only be spending 5 minutes per month reconciling accounts. For this, I need to automate more. With a simple investment strategy like the 3 fund portfolio, there is a lot to learn initially but less to learn over the long term. Financial literature currently takes up a lot of my time but I'm hoping to wean off it soon and engage in other pursuits.

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GerryL
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Re: Does money/lack of money preoccupy you?

Post by GerryL » Fri May 31, 2019 4:34 pm

Cody6136 wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 3:03 pm


I wonder if the process of becoming a Boglehead has necessitated passing through this "obsessing" phase. Has this happened to anyone else?
I, too, have spent a bit too much time reading about personal finance and computing different scenarios -- even though I am in no danger of running out of money given my portfolio and life style. Some people might call it obsessive. But, five years into retirement, it is becoming apparent that there is little new to discover. There is only so much that can be written about SS-claiming strategies, RMD conversions and optimal AAs. It's all reruns. So my reading has evolved to headline scanning. I don't need to read one more article about what a big impact long-term care can have on retirement, but I can keep my eyes open to potential changes -- proposed legislation, changes to SS and Medicare premiums -- that could warrant more reading.

jebmke
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Re: Does money/lack of money preoccupy you?

Post by jebmke » Fri May 31, 2019 4:37 pm

When I was in the accumulation phase I had some natural advantages that kept money in the background.

For a significant period of time, there was little or no internet access to institutions so there was no way to "look."

For part of the time, my spouse was in the investing business so we had a agreement to leave the shop talk at her office.

For much of our accumulation years, the bulk of our equity was in her privately managed pension which only reported valuations on December 31 of each year. So we often missed the extremes if they didn't occur on December 31.
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.

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arcticpineapplecorp.
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Re: Does money/lack of money preoccupy you?

Post by arcticpineapplecorp. » Fri May 31, 2019 5:02 pm

It doesn't "preoccupy" me but because so much in life is infused with money, I find myself considering financial matters (and more importantly, their impact) more now than I did when I was younger. As I've learned more, I've realized how little people know on these subjects.

Just today a coworker asked me a question about why an 85 year old might have life insurance. It puzzled her. So I talked about different reasons I could think of. The process got me thinking about all the ins and outs that my co-worker might not have considered. But she was interested and listened and it was refreshing. We started having a conversation about it. One reason I gave was what I've heard from such people: They have life insurance to pay for their funeral. The co-worker said that wasn't the case, she had a burial reserve. So I thought longer and said it's possible the insurance salesman saw her term life policy would lapse and convinced her to convert it to whole life (by scaring her at an older age by saying she wouldn't qualify for insurance). This got us into a conversation about financial salespeople as predatory. And so on...

This was very different from many conversations I have when I explain things after being asked a question and the person who asked the question either starts arguing with me or completely shuts down and changes the subject. I think there's a lot of shame around money issues, especially when people know they've made mistakes and would rather not discuss them. And sometimes it brings stuff up for people they'd rather not think about.

Anyway, I would venture if you asked my close friends they'd say I was preoccupied with money, but I'm really interested much more in economics because so many daily transactions involve economic concepts. Unfortunately, I don't believe people would be able to distinguish the difference between economic matters (incentives, managing scarce resources, etc.) vs money matters (debt, credit, etc).

If you think about it, (not to make you more preoccupied than you already are) you are spending money all day long, even in your sleep. Don't think so? Who's paying for the electricity to keep your food cold in the fridge when you're in bed (and away at work)? And the heat/ac on in the house. You wake up in the morning and use the toilet and wash your face/shower. Is the water free? Of course not. You get dressed (needed money to buy clothes), eat breakfast (same, need money) get in the car (money needed to buy) and gas (ain't free) eat your lunch at work...and so on. So we are spending money all the time it seems. Might as well learn about it and spend it wisely (and save what you don't spend and make that grow through investing). just my 2 cents.

money is just a tool. How you use it is what matters. So you have to be thoughtful to some extent if you don't want it to slip through your fingers.
"May you live as long as you want and never want as long as you live" -- Irish Blessing | "Invest we must" -- Jack Bogle

international001
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Re: Does money/lack of money preoccupy you?

Post by international001 » Fri May 31, 2019 5:10 pm

Cody6136 wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 3:03 pm
I realize this is not a consumer issue but since I began my financial life "makeover" in 2018, I've found myself preoccupied with MONEY, to the detriment of hobbies, family and fun.
I have been the same for 2-3 years after my own makeover, but obsession it's starting to fade out. I think is part of the honeymoon phase, as you may have with so many other interests in life. You discover a world you didn't know it existed and you are enjoying the exploration.

Studies find that financial responsibility only helps happiness in one dimension, so don't forget the rest.

FlyEaglesFly2000
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Re: Does money/lack of money preoccupy you?

Post by FlyEaglesFly2000 » Fri May 31, 2019 5:13 pm

I can definitely relate to your "obsession." I go through periods of time where I spend way too much time focused on finances and nitpicking every financial transaction. Then, I find a few months where I ease up a bit and find that much more relaxing. The downside is that when I take my focus away and enjoy more spontaneous spending, it always ends up that our savings takes a hit.

We are currently awaiting the arrival our of 3rd child. So, I've been especially stressed the past few months as I come to grips with the added expense of another person coming into the house. I'm sure that stress will be with me for a little while longer. But, money has a way of working itself out in the long-run...

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Sandtrap
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Re: Does money/lack of money preoccupy you?

Post by Sandtrap » Fri May 31, 2019 5:22 pm

Cody6136 wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 3:03 pm
Hi all,

I realize this is not a consumer issue but since I began my financial life "makeover" in 2018, I've found myself preoccupied with MONEY, to the detriment of hobbies, family and fun.

I'm turning into a real one-dimensional character.

I long for the days when I didn't go online to check how "things are going" or reading and re-reading things, sometimes taking time from work when I should be...working. I'm moving towards "set and forget" choices in my accounts, and have my monthly budget cleaned up to the point where there aren't a lot of tweaks left, so there's really not that much more to do after the initial realization that I needed to overhaul my finances. I'm about 75 percent done with the process. Some of it has to wait until 59.5 or next year to fix, so the "action phase" is winding down, but the obsessing isn't.

I wonder if the process of becoming a Boglehead has necessitated passing through this "obsessing" phase. Has this happened to anyone else?

Maybe I've taken up a new hobby: learning about personal finances as an end in itself. However, ten years ago, when the market had fallen apart, I was ignoring my investments while paying down debt, two choices that have turned out to be wise ones in retrospect. But these days, I'm constantly fussing, checking and worrying - when in reality, there is not much more to "do" and my entire portfolio could be "managed" by a reasonably talented chimpanzee.

Well, not much of a query here, but I will leave you with a quote:

"When bankers meet, they talk of art; when artists meet, they talk of money." Oscar Wilde.
1 year is not very long to focus on learning and accomplishing something important that will benefit self and family.
However, anything taken to extreme, without balance, is perhaps unhealthy in that others value your attention as well. And, when it comes to family, the price can indeed be very very very very high.

All things in moderation. . . . including moderation.
j

*for myself, I am always focused on value, earnings, and investments, . . as well as family, etc, etc, etc, etc. Myopic is not healthy nor a state of peace.
Wiki Bogleheads Wiki: Everything You Need to Know

retire2022
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Re: Does money/lack of money preoccupy you?

Post by retire2022 » Fri May 31, 2019 5:24 pm

op

My friends think I was am obsessed with personal finance since 1987, 2.4 million net worth 32 years later 1.5 million portfolio I am laughing all the way to Vanguard. :beer

I think there nothing obsessive what I read and what I want to talk about, in the early years it was different mutual funds, a co-worker who was 10 years older than me, never thought I had what it takes to get here, his thinking was a from a background of plenty, in that money will always be there.

I came from a background of scarcity so my personal mission to be middle class, have health insurance, affordable place to live, possibly a career, and a vacation home on 18K salary when I started working was a tall order.

Now 32 years later, I am a two time homeowner, and don't regret the amount of time invested in research, it was my hobby I enjoyed it as well as many other hobbies living frugally, and enjoying vacations, as well fruits of labor.

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Re: Does money/lack of money preoccupy you?

Post by Fallible » Fri May 31, 2019 5:29 pm

Cody6136 wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 3:03 pm
Hi all,

I realize this is not a consumer issue but since I began my financial life "makeover" in 2018, I've found myself preoccupied with MONEY, to the detriment of hobbies, family and fun.

I'm turning into a real one-dimensional character.
Have you talked with family members or friends about this? Have they agreed with your "detrimental" and "one-dimensional" assessments? You mention getting out of debt, so could that be a reason for your constant worry about money, about being in debt again? There is a difference between obsessing over money and having a healthy hobby in personal finance that you mention, so could you be overstating your concerns?

I'm interested in personal finance and investing beyond my own finances, along with many others on the forum, but I don't feel obsessed with it and have other fun and rewarding interests.
"John Bogle has changed a basic industry in the optimal direction. Of very few can this be said." ~Paul A. Samuelson

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Cody6136
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Re: Does money/lack of money preoccupy you?

Post by Cody6136 » Fri May 31, 2019 5:54 pm

Fallible wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 5:29 pm
Cody6136 wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 3:03 pm
Hi all,

I realize this is not a consumer issue but since I began my financial life "makeover" in 2018, I've found myself preoccupied with MONEY, to the detriment of hobbies, family and fun.

I'm turning into a real one-dimensional character.
Have you talked with family members or friends about this? Have they agreed with your "detrimental" and "one-dimensional" assessments? You mention getting out of debt, so could that be a reason for your constant worry about money, about being in debt again? There is a difference between obsessing over money and having a healthy hobby in personal finance that you mention, so could you be overstating your concerns?

I'm interested in personal finance and investing beyond my own finances, along with many others on the forum, but I don't feel obsessed with it and have other fun and rewarding interests.
Fallible wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 5:29 pm
Cody6136 wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 3:03 pm
Hi all,

I realize this is not a consumer issue but since I began my financial life "makeover" in 2018, I've found myself preoccupied with MONEY, to the detriment of hobbies, family and fun.

I'm turning into a real one-dimensional character.
Have you talked with family members or friends about this? Have they agreed with your "detrimental" and "one-dimensional" assessments? You mention getting out of debt, so could that be a reason for your constant worry about money, about being in debt again? There is a difference between obsessing over money and having a healthy hobby in personal finance that you mention, so could you be overstating your concerns?

I'm interested in personal finance and investing beyond my own finances, along with many others on the forum, but I don't feel obsessed with it and have other fun and rewarding interests.
OP here. Thanks for the responses.

I haven't really talked with family members about this, and they haven't raised it. I do a lot of reading anyway and they see how it's trending towards financial stability. I think they just figure I'm on another one of my "kicks." And I truly am the kind of person who throws myself into things. So far, nobody's been hurt besides that financial advisor that I slipped away from!! :beer

Nowizard
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Re: Does money/lack of money preoccupy you?

Post by Nowizard » Fri May 31, 2019 6:04 pm

It is required to focus regularly on investing when one starts unless they have inherited a considerable amount or have an extremely high paying job. That sets the tone for checking investments. Later, as one becomes more stable financially, it changes. At this point, we have done well enough to sustain our lifestyle, but we do check finances regularly and do an analysis on purchases, even ones we know we can afford. It is a portion of our lives, but not an obsessive one from our view, just prudent attention to one of many important issues in a balanced life.

Tim

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Cody6136
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Re: Does money/lack of money preoccupy you?

Post by Cody6136 » Fri May 31, 2019 6:08 pm

Nowizard wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 6:04 pm
It is required to focus regularly on investing when one starts unless they have inherited a considerable amount or have an extremely high paying job. That sets the tone for checking investments. Later, as one becomes more stable financially, it changes. At this point, we have done well enough to sustain our lifestyle, but we do check finances regularly and do an analysis on purchases, even ones we know we can afford. It is a portion of our lives, but not an obsessive one from our view, just prudent attention to one of many important issues in a balanced life.

Tim
Thanks, Tim,

I'm feeling in some ways that things will even out. I truly had a crash course in the last 6-8 months and think the glide path will be smoother going forward. I've definitely done things that will allow me to "set the tone" and not always be as knee-deep as I have been for the last 8 months or so. Whew!

Topic Author
Cody6136
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Re: Does money/lack of money preoccupy you?

Post by Cody6136 » Fri May 31, 2019 6:09 pm

bck63 wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 3:49 pm
I needed this thread. Thank you. Maybe it will help me re-set. As the prospect of retirement has come into focus (11 more years), I have become increasingly preoccupied with money.

My most troubling symptom is lying in bed in the middle of the night, reading Bogleheads on my phone, because I can't sleep, because I'm thinking about money and investing. Much of it I enjoy, but I do know there's an unhealthy aspect to it.

Now if you'll pardon me, I need to go check my account balances. 8-) 8-)

Excellent! I'm glad I'm not the only middle of the night scroller!~

michaeljc70
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Re: Does money/lack of money preoccupy you?

Post by michaeljc70 » Fri May 31, 2019 6:11 pm

Yes, money preoccupies me. Am I obsessed with money? No. Am I greedy? No. I think I have thought about money a lot from an early age since we didn't have a lot of it. When I was at an age where I understood it better, I wanted to make sure I wasn't scrimping the rest of my life like we did when I was a kid. So, I probably thought about it/focused on it more than most. Now that things are good, I still think about money probably out of habit. I like reading about finances, investments, markets, economics, etc. but I'm not monitoring my portfolio 10x a day.

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Cody6136
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Re: Does money/lack of money preoccupy you?

Post by Cody6136 » Fri May 31, 2019 6:13 pm

retire2022 wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 5:24 pm
op

My friends think I was am obsessed with personal finance since 1987, 2.4 million net worth 32 years later 1.5 million portfolio I am laughing all the way to Vanguard. :beer

I think there nothing obsessive what I read and what I want to talk about, in the early years it was different mutual funds, a co-worker who was 10 years older than me, never thought I had what it takes to get here, his thinking was a from a background of plenty, in that money will always be there.

I came from a background of scarcity so my personal mission to be middle class, have health insurance, affordable place to live, possibly a career, and a vacation home on 18K salary when I started working was a tall order.

Now 32 years later, I am a two time homeowner, and don't regret the amount of time invested in research, it was my hobby I enjoyed it as well as many other hobbies living frugally, and enjoying vacations, as well fruits of labor.

That's my background as well. My father washed tin foil, ate cheese with mold on the edges and turned the heat OFF at night in Minnesota. I could see my breath in the mornings when I woke up under the down quilt. Ah.....memories.

While I haven't made every smart move in the investment book, I'm learning rapidly and have lived well within my means and that has made all the difference.

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Re: Does money/lack of money preoccupy you?

Post by jlawrence01 » Fri May 31, 2019 6:15 pm

I really do not give it much thought.

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Cody6136
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Re: Does money/lack of money preoccupy you?

Post by Cody6136 » Fri May 31, 2019 6:18 pm

michaeljc70 wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 6:11 pm
Yes, money preoccupies me. Am I obsessed with money? No. Am I greedy? No. I think I have thought about money a lot from an early age since we didn't have a lot of it. When I was at an age where I understood it better, I wanted to make sure I wasn't scrimping the rest of my life like we did when I was a kid. So, I probably thought about it/focused on it more than most. Now that things are good, I still think about money probably out of habit. I like reading about finances, investments, markets, economics, etc. but I'm not monitoring my portfolio 10x a day.
You sound clear-eyed and sensible. That's where I'm trying to be. I would like to think about it the way I currently, and rather effortlessly, think about my health. Conscious of wellness, taking care of myself, eating sensibly, getting a lot of fresh air and exercise and aware of risks, but not being a weirdo hypochondriac who spends hours on WebMed or makes needless doctor appointments or brings every last conversation with friends back to some imagined illness.

Onward!

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Cody6136
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Re: Does money/lack of money preoccupy you?

Post by Cody6136 » Fri May 31, 2019 6:20 pm

jebmke wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 4:37 pm
When I was in the accumulation phase I had some natural advantages that kept money in the background.

For a significant period of time, there was little or no internet access to institutions so there was no way to "look."

For part of the time, my spouse was in the investing business so we had a agreement to leave the shop talk at her office.

For much of our accumulation years, the bulk of our equity was in her privately managed pension which only reported valuations on December 31 of each year. So we often missed the extremes if they didn't occur on December 31.

I also notice a big change from the years when I could not "look."

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Cody6136
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Re: Does money/lack of money preoccupy you?

Post by Cody6136 » Fri May 31, 2019 6:24 pm

GerryL wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 4:34 pm
Cody6136 wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 3:03 pm


I wonder if the process of becoming a Boglehead has necessitated passing through this "obsessing" phase. Has this happened to anyone else?
I, too, have spent a bit too much time reading about personal finance and computing different scenarios -- even though I am in no danger of running out of money given my portfolio and life style. Some people might call it obsessive. But, five years into retirement, it is becoming apparent that there is little new to discover. There is only so much that can be written about SS-claiming strategies, RMD conversions and optimal AAs. It's all reruns. So my reading has evolved to headline scanning. I don't need to read one more article about what a big impact long-term care can have on retirement, but I can keep my eyes open to potential changes -- proposed legislation, changes to SS and Medicare premiums -- that could warrant more reading.
This is me, too...It blew my mind when I read the Intelligent Asset Allocation book by Bernstein. I re-read it. And now, I feel that some of the additional reading, articles and blog posts, are much less witty and absorbing. I guess I'm just regressing to the mean. :greedy

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Re: Does money/lack of money preoccupy you?

Post by heyyou » Fri May 31, 2019 6:34 pm

For this audience, perhaps asking the negative would be more appropriate? Who here does not spend much time thinking about money?

Thank you to poster ohia, I too am a "money enthusiast" when I could be thinking about pro sports, chores at home, or the forbidden topic of politics. For me, that was an easy choice, the lesser of those evils.

All here are avid fans of low cost mutual funds. Having retired at 55, I no longer have a job to complain about. Should we have stayed at work longer in order to spend less time at Bogleheads? You go ahead with that, I'm okay with my decision.

Who was the comic who said of having money or the lack thereof; having tried both, that he preferred the former? Jack Benny?

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Cody6136
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Re: Does money/lack of money preoccupy you?

Post by Cody6136 » Fri May 31, 2019 7:00 pm

arcticpineapplecorp. wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 5:02 pm
It doesn't "preoccupy" me but because so much in life is infused with money, I find myself considering financial matters (and more importantly, their impact) more now than I did when I was younger. As I've learned more, I've realized how little people know on these subjects.

Just today a coworker asked me a question about why an 85 year old might have life insurance. It puzzled her. So I talked about different reasons I could think of. The process got me thinking about all the ins and outs that my co-worker might not have considered. But she was interested and listened and it was refreshing. We started having a conversation about it. One reason I gave was what I've heard from such people: They have life insurance to pay for their funeral. The co-worker said that wasn't the case, she had a burial reserve. So I thought longer and said it's possible the insurance salesman saw her term life policy would lapse and convinced her to convert it to whole life (by scaring her at an older age by saying she wouldn't qualify for insurance). This got us into a conversation about financial salespeople as predatory. And so on...

This was very different from many conversations I have when I explain things after being asked a question and the person who asked the question either starts arguing with me or completely shuts down and changes the subject. I think there's a lot of shame around money issues, especially when people know they've made mistakes and would rather not discuss them. And sometimes it brings stuff up for people they'd rather not think about.

Anyway, I would venture if you asked my close friends they'd say I was preoccupied with money, but I'm really interested much more in economics because so many daily transactions involve economic concepts. Unfortunately, I don't believe people would be able to distinguish the difference between economic matters (incentives, managing scarce resources, etc.) vs money matters (debt, credit, etc).

If you think about it, (not to make you more preoccupied than you already are) you are spending money all day long, even in your sleep. Don't think so? Who's paying for the electricity to keep your food cold in the fridge when you're in bed (and away at work)? And the heat/ac on in the house. You wake up in the morning and use the toilet and wash your face/shower. Is the water free? Of course not. You get dressed (needed money to buy clothes), eat breakfast (same, need money) get in the car (money needed to buy) and gas (ain't free) eat your lunch at work...and so on. So we are spending money all the time it seems. Might as well learn about it and spend it wisely (and save what you don't spend and make that grow through investing). just my 2 cents.

money is just a tool. How you use it is what matters. So you have to be thoughtful to some extent if you don't want it to slip through your fingers.
I am indeed spending money even as I sleep. My utilities, my ongoing bills, insurance. Why NOT give money the consideration it deserves?

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Re: Does money/lack of money preoccupy you?

Post by yousha » Fri May 31, 2019 7:03 pm

Putting it bluntly......money is honey!

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Re: Does money/lack of money preoccupy you?

Post by mickeyd » Fri May 31, 2019 7:12 pm

If being preoccupied with LBYM, saving and investing early and often, and understanding that Bogle principles are worth considering is what is meant by this Q, then, yes, count me in that number.
Part-Owner of Texas | | “The CMH-the Cost Matters Hypothesis -is all that is needed to explain why indexing must and will work… Yes, it is that simple.” John C. Bogle

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Re: Does money/lack of money preoccupy you?

Post by bck63 » Fri May 31, 2019 7:33 pm

Cody6136 wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 6:09 pm
bck63 wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 3:49 pm
I needed this thread. Thank you. Maybe it will help me re-set. As the prospect of retirement has come into focus (11 more years), I have become increasingly preoccupied with money.

My most troubling symptom is lying in bed in the middle of the night, reading Bogleheads on my phone, because I can't sleep, because I'm thinking about money and investing. Much of it I enjoy, but I do know there's an unhealthy aspect to it.

Now if you'll pardon me, I need to go check my account balances. 8-) 8-)

Excellent! I'm glad I'm not the only middle of the night scroller!~
:sharebeer

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Re: Does money/lack of money preoccupy you?

Post by retire2022 » Fri May 31, 2019 9:28 pm

Cody6136 wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 6:13 pm

That's my background as well. My father washed tin foil, ate cheese with mold on the edges and turned the heat OFF at night in Minnesota. I could see my breath in the mornings when I woke up under the down quilt. Ah.....memories.

While I haven't made every smart move in the investment book, I'm learning rapidly and have lived well within my means and that has made all the difference.
Congrats, the naysayers make you strong and resilient, do the lazy portfolio and increase your saving rate, financial freedom should be your goal. I'm meeting with retirement pension counselor in a few days, and have announced that I expect to be class of 2019. I became an over saver, learn tax law, do Roth IRA, Roth 401K, 457b, 403 or whatever Roth you can do because RMD is my problem in 11 years hence 58 retiring.

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Re: Does money/lack of money preoccupy you?

Post by Cody6136 » Fri May 31, 2019 9:42 pm

retire2022 wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 9:28 pm
Cody6136 wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 6:13 pm

That's my background as well. My father washed tin foil, ate cheese with mold on the edges and turned the heat OFF at night in Minnesota. I could see my breath in the mornings when I woke up under the down quilt. Ah.....memories.

While I haven't made every smart move in the investment book, I'm learning rapidly and have lived well within my means and that has made all the difference.
Congrats, the naysayers make you strong and resilient, do the lazy portfolio and increase your saving rate, financial freedom should be your goal. I'm meeting with retirement pension counselor in a few days, and have announced that I expect to be class of 2019. I became an over saver, learn tax law, do Roth IRA, Roth 401K, 457b, 403 or whatever Roth you can do because RMD is my problem in 11 years hence 58 retiring.
Congratulations on your upcoming graduation to independence! Thanks for the encouragement!

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Re: Does money/lack of money preoccupy you?

Post by retire2022 » Fri May 31, 2019 9:54 pm

Cody6136 wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 9:42 pm

Congratulations on your upcoming graduation to independence! Thanks for the encouragement!
Thank you, my mother made $20 per week 1966-1995 for 29 years or $6000 per year. I'm first in my family to go to college in the USA, first in my family to have property in rural setting in 68 years.

I met a wealthy friend, we are still friends in 1994, I told him I was investing since the 1987 crash, at 34 he didn't think I was going to make anything of my investment.

In 1997 I invested 10K in Tech fund, in March 2000, I sold it for 70K, it became my down payment on my apartment after 9/11. He thought I was lucky.
I brought it for 225k it is worth 650K.

In 2013, I showed him my investment statement it was worth 700K, it was a nice way to my naysayer friend, f**** you, you see!

In 2017 I made the most ever in one year 266K, in 2018 the market took it all back, I'm ok with it, 1987, 2000, 2008 crashes I made money after the recovery don't panic and don't sell. I had one major trump card, I got civil service job which meant I could not be terminated, job protection meant greater risks.

Don't be a sheep, read what is right for you, solicit opinions, but be your own arbiter of decisions, remember you can only see as far as your charts.

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Re: Does money/lack of money preoccupy you?

Post by Cody6136 » Fri May 31, 2019 10:02 pm

retire2022 wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 9:54 pm
Cody6136 wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 9:42 pm

Congratulations on your upcoming graduation to independence! Thanks for the encouragement!
Thank you, my mother made $20 per week 1966-1995 for 29 years or $6000 per year. I'm first in my family to go to college in the USA, first in my family to have property in rural setting in 68 years.

I met a wealthy friend, we are still friends in 1994, I told him I was investing since the 1987 crash, at 34 he didn't think I was going to make anything of my investment.

In 1997 I invested 10K in Tech fund, in March 2000, I sold it for 70K, it became my down payment on my apartment after 9/11. He thought I was lucky.
I brought it for 225k it is worth 650K.

In 2013, I showed him my investment statement it was worth 700K, it was a nice way to my naysayer friend, f**** you, you see!

In 2017 I made the most ever in one year 266K, in 2018 the market took it all back, I'm ok with it, 1987, 2000, 2008 crashes I made money after the recovery don't panic and don't sell. I had one major trump card, I got civil service job which meant I could not be terminated, job protection meant greater risks.

Don't be a sheep, read what is right for you, solicit opinions, but be your own arbiter of decisions, remember you can only see as far as your charts.
I love the way things play out for those with cash courage and patience. Those are Bernstein's criteria...not mine. Sounds like you've had them to draw on in bad and good times!

retire2022
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Re: Does money/lack of money preoccupy you?

Post by retire2022 » Fri May 31, 2019 10:11 pm

Cody6136 wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 10:02 pm

I love the way things play out for those with cash courage and patience. Those are Bernstein's criteria...not mine. Sounds like you've had them to draw on in bad and good times!
I'm agnostic, I have no allegiance to any particular technique or way, in 1980, as an intern I met a former VP of Wall Street Bond company he recommended bonds, if I had followed him, I would had gotten to first million much later.

If I had to do it all over again, I agree that Total Stock Market Index fund is the way to go, I just like Active Funds, I'm not really a true BHer, but passive funds does work, I just like Active funds like PrimeCap.

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Re: Does money/lack of money preoccupy you?

Post by Elsebet » Fri May 31, 2019 11:37 pm

I'm not too preoccupied with my retirement savings/portfolio, it's all on autopilot and I just check it once in awhile to see if I need a rebalance.

However I do get preoccupied with debt. Our only debt is home related (mortgage and HELOC) and I think about paying it down quite often. Right now I am aggressively paying off the HELOC so I can start saving for a frugal kitchen remodel. We got a good deal on our home in a HCOL but it still needs a bit of work!
"...the man who adapts himself to his slender means and makes himself wealthy on a little sum, is the truly rich man..." ~Seneca

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Re: Does money/lack of money preoccupy you?

Post by international001 » Sat Jun 01, 2019 7:44 am

retire2022 wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 9:54 pm


In 1997 I invested 10K in Tech fund, in March 2000, I sold it for 70K, it became my down payment on my apartment after 9/11. He thought I was lucky.
I brought it for 225k it is worth 650K.
Well.. it thinks you beat the SP500, so you got lucky, really.
Think about it moving forward

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Re: Does money/lack of money preoccupy you?

Post by GR8FUL-D » Sat Jun 01, 2019 9:32 am

This post reminds me of one of my favorite money-related quotes:

"Success means having the freedom to do what you want. The perfect amount of money is when you hardly have to think about it at all. By necessity poor people think about money all the time, and super-rich people are almost always obsessed with accumulating more of it. I'm not in love with money--I'm in love with freedom."

lightheir
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Re: Does money/lack of money preoccupy you?

Post by lightheir » Sat Jun 01, 2019 10:11 am

I've been very good about not worrying/messing with indexed investments. Having a busy life helps with that!

However, for those that find themselves overobsessing about their investments (and daily finances), I would definitely recommend YNAB (You Need a Budget). I'd heard about it for years, but figured I could do my own budget better myself on spreadsheets. I've made quite a few budgets, but keeping them updated with all the expenditures, etc became tedious quickly and I always stopped quickly.
YNAB, however, really makes it happen. Accounts are reconciled online so you don't have to worry about if you entered something wrong, and the system has been refined well over many years. I will add that the startup and first month of YNAB takes a fair amount of work, so if you're not into pursuing a budgeting/finance project, you probably won't go for it. But if you DO find yourself thinking too much about finances, I've found that doing it with YNAB is the BEST way you can manage the addiction, as YNAB rewards you for micromanaging and encourages daily updates of your budget (the more the better).

I've found this one-two punch of passive investing + YNAB cash flow management is a great combo.
- You will be mostly hands off for the indexed LONG term investments, as you should be. Check them once or twice a year.
- You will be very hands on using YNAB to manage daily cash flow and budget for both long & short term goals.

I def think YNAB is worth the $80ish a year to subscribe. I actually don't NEED to budget, as my income readily exceeds my expenses, but I've found over the past 7 years that I'm constantly worrying about creeping expenses, especially larger ones like big home repairs (like a $35k+ roof), new car, etc and having some stress over whether I'd have enough cash flow onhand if multiple of these big events dropped on me at once. (I could cash out some retirement acct savings in emergency, but that's not a good approach.) With YNAB, I can definitely plan for big expenditures, which takes a LOT of stress off my back. For example, I just put in all my expected vacation expenses, tax expectations, big home repairs, etc. as annual goals, decide how much to save per month for them, and off I go. At least for me, the interface works a lot better than a normal spreadsheet, esp due to the transaction import from your banks which keeps things reconciled all the time.

Bottom line, if you need somewhere else to expend your burgeoning investment mental energies, YNAB is worthy of consideration, as it will actually reward you for your diligence and attention, immediately, as you will see the effects on your day-to-day cash flow and account balance right away. (Don't direct it toward micromanaging your indexed hands-off investments!)

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Re: Does money/lack of money preoccupy you?

Post by KlangFool » Sat Jun 01, 2019 10:26 am

OP,

This may or may not help you. I came from a culture where the average gross saving rate is 30+%. So, we saved our 30+% gross income and spent the rest. We do not need to budget because we "Pay Yourself First" in term of saving. We cannot spend the money that we do not have. We probably only go into debt for a mortgage only.

I do not obsess with money. I save 1 year of expense and I spend the rest. I eat out regularly. I do not care about any minor expense. I focused on the big 3 expenses: House, College education, and car.

Right now, with my portfolio at 20 times of my annual expense, I will reach my FI numbers in a few years even if I save nothing. But, I still live the same way that I do. It won't matter anymore.

I do not obsess with money. I could save more but I prefer a balanced approach. And, at my saving rate and the portfolio size, saving more will not make any significant difference anyhow.

Money is a good tool but a lousy master.

KlangFool

lightheir
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Re: Does money/lack of money preoccupy you?

Post by lightheir » Sat Jun 01, 2019 11:48 am

KlangFool wrote:
Sat Jun 01, 2019 10:26 am
OP,

This may or may not help you. I came from a culture where the average gross saving rate is 30+%. So, we saved our 30+% gross income and spent the rest. We do not need to budget because we "Pay Yourself First" in term of saving. We cannot spend the money that we do not have. We probably only go into debt for a mortgage only.

I do not obsess with money. I save 1 year of expense and I spend the rest. I eat out regularly. I do not care about any minor expense. I focused on the big 3 expenses: House, College education, and car.

Right now, with my portfolio at 20 times of my annual expense, I will reach my FI numbers in a few years even if I save nothing. But, I still live the same way that I do. It won't matter anymore.

I do not obsess with money. I could save more but I prefer a balanced approach. And, at my saving rate and the portfolio size, saving more will not make any significant difference anyhow.

Money is a good tool but a lousy master.

KlangFool
While I applaud your method, it's pretty unrealistic for the vast majority of Americans to take this approach, unfortunately. Especially if your income is very limited.

I save at a similar rate as you now ,but for sure, even though I was at least 3x more frugal and disciplined about money in my 20s-early 30s, I could not make it work at that savings rate without foregoing vital opportunities (had to move to a HCOL area to pursue required career training), and my income was insufficient to save remotely close to that rate (I couldn't even put money into an IRA, despite every intention of saving to do so.)

The large majority of Americans are unfortunately closer to that version of myself rather than my older, better situated self, and I sympathize greatly. I'd read about all these crazy savings rates on BH and elsewhere at it would frankly make me angry, as I can guarantee I was far more disciplined about costs and expenses than nearly all the people preaching it (my average grocery bill was $75-80/month for the year, and I used a bicycle/running to do nearly all commutes and errands, shared an apt, etc.) yet it was impossibly out of reach for me. And I was a top student and on a high achieving career path, not like I was lazy about self improvement - life finances often delays a lot of compensation until it's almost too late. (I'm mid 40s now, and I STILL am not to the point to which I can say compounded investments are working any sort of magic at all since I need to be 65+ for that to really occur. Not that helpful when you're 30 and need money NOW.)

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Re: Does money/lack of money preoccupy you?

Post by KlangFool » Sat Jun 01, 2019 12:14 pm

lightheir wrote:
Sat Jun 01, 2019 11:48 am
KlangFool wrote:
Sat Jun 01, 2019 10:26 am
OP,

This may or may not help you. I came from a culture where the average gross saving rate is 30+%. So, we saved our 30+% gross income and spent the rest. We do not need to budget because we "Pay Yourself First" in term of saving. We cannot spend the money that we do not have. We probably only go into debt for a mortgage only.

I do not obsess with money. I save 1 year of expense and I spend the rest. I eat out regularly. I do not care about any minor expense. I focused on the big 3 expenses: House, College education, and car.

Right now, with my portfolio at 20 times of my annual expense, I will reach my FI numbers in a few years even if I save nothing. But, I still live the same way that I do. It won't matter anymore.

I do not obsess with money. I could save more but I prefer a balanced approach. And, at my saving rate and the portfolio size, saving more will not make any significant difference anyhow.

Money is a good tool but a lousy master.

KlangFool
While I applaud your method, it's pretty unrealistic for the vast majority of Americans to take this approach, unfortunately. Especially if your income is very limited.
lightheir,

I came from a country (A) where the GDP is significantly lowered than the USA. And, my family was from an abject poverty background and I starved regularly through my childhood. And, we still saved. So, I do not believe it is an income issue. It is something else.

My father and grandfather migrated from the country (B) to country (A). And, historically, in the province of the country (B) where they came from, there had been a total of 888 famines in the 844 years between 1068 to 1911. In a famine, people starved to death. So, if you are from this province, you will learn to save even if you are starving. Or else, you would not have survived. After a few hundred years, it is hard to get rid of this habit/culture.

KlangFool

Iowa David
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Re: Does money/lack of money preoccupy you?

Post by Iowa David » Sat Jun 01, 2019 12:23 pm

About a year ago I posted a similar message and received some great perspectives.

viewtopic.php?f=9&t=246514

The one that stood out the most was from Rick Ferri:
Rick Ferri wrote:
Mon Apr 09, 2018 10:59 am
A successful index fund investor goes through four phases:
1) Darkness - takes advice from everyone;
2) Enlightenment - realizes a market return is superior to their return;
3) Complexity - overdoing everything to find optimal;
4) Simplicity - invests in a few total market funds

Dear OP,

You’re in the complexity stage. Once you get through that, you’ll be able to disconnect for long periods and not think you’re missing something.

Rick Ferri
"Just a 1 percent difference in expenses makes an 18 percent difference in returns when compounded over 20 years." The Boglehead's Guide to Investing

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Re: Does money/lack of money preoccupy you?

Post by AerialWombat » Sat Jun 01, 2019 1:03 pm

In many ways, money has become my hobby.

I grew up poor. Spent my 20's poor, bankrupt/homeless at 30. My personal needs are, thus, quite meager out of habit. Also a minimalist by nature (or as a result) -- I move once or twice a year using just my Subaru Outback. Two trips and I'm done. Blah blah blah.

Having money is relatively new to me. Having a LOT of money (by my standards) has literally just happened in the past 2-3 years. Figuring out what to do with it has been a game. That's how I ended up here. My liquid investments have increased by about 15x in the past 18 months. In that span, I've also purchased two houses, and I just went under contract on another rental this last week.

In many ways, I sort of treat it like a game. It's also super fun to me. I like crunching numbers (I'm an engineer by degree, accountant by trade). I like running my business -- I love marketing, and I enjoy the challenge of creating things that bring value to people and that they will pay money for. I had a lot of fun co-founding a tech startup, and swimming in Silicon Valley money circles for a couple years (including one of the most prestigious startup accelerators in the world). It's all just...FUN.

I'll never get over my fear of poverty, and I'll never live a lifestyle "commensurate" with my current income. Last year, for the first time, I became a 1%'er by income (by net worth, I'll probably never get there). But I live a lifestyle more like a bottom 20%'er. And I'm OK with that. I don't need the money. But by golly, it sure tickles me pink to be able to make a 5-figure transfer from my business account to my solo 401k in one shot. And I'm certainly pre-occupied with saving up the next high-five figure amount in my "buy another house fund" to go do that. Again, it's just plain FUN.

Or maybe it's just sad and pathetic that I don't have a different hobby, a family to support, and friends to hang out with. I could see that being the truth, also. Either way... Cheers. :sharebeer
“Life doesn’t come with a warranty.” -Michael LeBoeuf

lightheir
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Re: Does money/lack of money preoccupy you?

Post by lightheir » Sat Jun 01, 2019 1:30 pm

KlangFool wrote:
Sat Jun 01, 2019 12:14 pm
lightheir wrote:
Sat Jun 01, 2019 11:48 am
KlangFool wrote:
Sat Jun 01, 2019 10:26 am
OP,

This may or may not help you. I came from a culture where the average gross saving rate is 30+%. So, we saved our 30+% gross income and spent the rest. We do not need to budget because we "Pay Yourself First" in term of saving. We cannot spend the money that we do not have. We probably only go into debt for a mortgage only.

I do not obsess with money. I save 1 year of expense and I spend the rest. I eat out regularly. I do not care about any minor expense. I focused on the big 3 expenses: House, College education, and car.

Right now, with my portfolio at 20 times of my annual expense, I will reach my FI numbers in a few years even if I save nothing. But, I still live the same way that I do. It won't matter anymore.

I do not obsess with money. I could save more but I prefer a balanced approach. And, at my saving rate and the portfolio size, saving more will not make any significant difference anyhow.

Money is a good tool but a lousy master.

KlangFool
While I applaud your method, it's pretty unrealistic for the vast majority of Americans to take this approach, unfortunately. Especially if your income is very limited.
lightheir,

I came from a country (A) where the GDP is significantly lowered than the USA. And, my family was from an abject poverty background and I starved regularly through my childhood. And, we still saved. So, I do not believe it is an income issue. It is something else.

My father and grandfather migrated from the country (B) to country (A). And, historically, in the province of the country (B) where they came from, there had been a total of 888 famines in the 844 years between 1068 to 1911. In a famine, people starved to death. So, if you are from this province, you will learn to save even if you are starving. Or else, you would not have survived. After a few hundred years, it is hard to get rid of this habit/culture.

KlangFool
Again I applaud you but those situations are totally different than today where a young person in the us is faced with crippling student loans, healthcare costs, and housing costs even before they are even adults

international001
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Re: Does money/lack of money preoccupy you?

Post by international001 » Sat Jun 01, 2019 4:40 pm

lightheir wrote:
Sat Jun 01, 2019 11:48 am

The large majority of Americans are unfortunately closer to that version of myself rather than my older, better situated self, and I sympathize greatly. I'd read about all these crazy savings rates on BH and elsewhere at it would frankly make me angry, as I can guarantee I was far more disciplined about costs and expenses than nearly all the people preaching it (my average grocery bill was $75-80/month for the year, and I used a bicycle/running to do nearly all commutes and errands, shared an apt, etc.) yet it was impossibly out of reach for me. And I was a top student and on a high achieving career path, not like I was lazy about self improvement - life finances often delays a lot of compensation until it's almost too late. (I'm mid 40s now, and I STILL am not to the point to which I can say compounded investments are working any sort of magic at all since I need to be 65+ for that to really occur. Not that helpful when you're 30 and need money NOW.)
Every situation is different.. It sound to me you did a conscious investment in your human capital
but do you think there is really a basic income after which everybody starts saving? Saving rates have different elasticity for different people based on income

Consider that anybody working is forced to save ~10% for SS. And in some EU countries this is ~30%

7eight9
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Re: Does money/lack of money preoccupy you?

Post by 7eight9 » Sat Jun 01, 2019 5:06 pm

To a degree money preoccupies me. I pay my credit cards weekly. I record every dollar we spend. I calculate our net worth every Saturday. At the grocery store I’m the guy checking out the clearance/dent area (and last day of sale meat/dairy). I try to get the best value out of every nickel that I spend. Pretty much if it isn't on sale I don't buy it.

I feel that we aren’t necessarily very good stewards of money as most of it is in CDs/money market accounts. And to a degree that bothers me (but not enough to take more risk in the market).

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=281420&p=4551153#p4551153

I’m not so sure that I should even bother to “tune in” to the market (or follow our finances so carefully) because barring a 2008 style crash there isn’t going to be a very significant change in our net worth.
I guess it all could be much worse. | They could be warming up my hearse.

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