Extreme Anxiety with Time/Money

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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MortgageOnBlack
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Extreme Anxiety with Time/Money

Post by MortgageOnBlack » Fri Aug 02, 2019 9:47 am

Rant for the day:
I feel like I'm a few notches away from a huge meltdown. If it's not one thing, it's another. Perhaps it's an accumulation of all things and operating at a level 10 at all times, but I need to make a change and looking for advice.

I have extreme anxiety when it comes to my time and money. I feel like I just can't get ahead; I work all day, all week, and remain burned out and come home to a house that I can't maintain fast enough. The last thing I want to do after a long week of work/commuting is come home to endless projects at our house. But I continue to do so and it isn't enough. There is always something and it always feels monumental (maybe my personality makes it that way).

Example: Spent all last summer and early this summer in the hot sun putting in a nice cedar fence to replace the old collapsing fence. Besides the stresses of time and money with this project, life was good and I was proud of myself. Now I come to realization that our damn sprinkler system is water staining our fence. Needless to say, I spent all night learning about sprinkler systems, adjusting sprinkler systems, etc... I'm mentally fried. It feels like this scenario happens in my life all the time. It's like every single time I try to fix something, something else catches me by the wayside. Maybe I expect perfection, I don't know.

Perhaps, as a new home owner of 2.5-3 years, I still haven't found my groove yet. It seems I'm always looking at a tower of weeds in my yard, learning about things I know nothing about, constantly paranoid about the next major repair, etc. Fortunately, life has been good (for now) with my vehicles, but same applies to them. It's not unheard of for me to be spending my entire weekend and evenings under the hood repairing items I know nothing about on my old vehicles.

I can't help but see people who outsource everything in their lives: vehicle repairs, home maintenance, landscaping, etc.. must be nice.

All this is going on without kids even in the picture, yet... I can't even imagine.
How does one cope with the stresses of life?
Last edited by MortgageOnBlack on Fri Aug 02, 2019 10:06 am, edited 2 times in total.

Jack FFR1846
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Re: Extreme Anxiety with Time/Money

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Fri Aug 02, 2019 9:53 am

You sound poorly matched for home ownership. Perhaps you should sell your house and rent.
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t1dbkk
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Re: Extreme Anxiety with Time/Money

Post by t1dbkk » Fri Aug 02, 2019 9:53 am

Outsource? Worth the time and the stress

roadnottaken
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Re: Extreme Anxiety with Time/Money

Post by roadnottaken » Fri Aug 02, 2019 9:55 am

I, too, was pretty stressed-out after becoming a home-owner. Then I had 4 kids. Now I don't have time/energy to worry about the house -- I just try to survive each moment and each day. Have some kids - it'll help you stay in the moment :D Actually parenting is so exhausting that I now find home maintenance (yardwork, repairs, etc) to be sort-of relaxing since it's so inconsequential in comparison...

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Re: Extreme Anxiety with Time/Money

Post by fposte » Fri Aug 02, 2019 9:56 am

I think if you're an anxious type of person, outsourcing can mean that you just worry about another layer of things.

It's possible you're talking about a kind of anxiety you'd benefit from talking to a doctor about, but maybe we can get at it from the money side here. What do your annual expenses and income look like? Are you doing all this and still not managing to save anything for retirement, or are you doing all this because you desperately want to max out your tax-advantaged space every year even if it kills you?

veindoc
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Re: Extreme Anxiety with Time/Money

Post by veindoc » Fri Aug 02, 2019 10:04 am

I have felt the same way with my house.
I’ve just learned to tolerate imperfection more and to do less. It’s hard don’t get me wrong. I think what made it easier actually was having kids. I was so ridiculously busy with them that I didn’t have time to think about weeds or moss stains on my siding.

I also learned about what I could actually tolerate and what I couldn’t. I found that I could actually tolerate dirty dusty windows or weeds in the backyard. But I still have to find time to plant the flower beds no matter what. I can tolerate a pile of dirty clothes in my closet but don’t you dare leave a dish in my sink. Prior to kids, it all had to be perfect.

I have learned also to just succumb to it. Yes my weekends are going to be filled with housecleaning and laundry and that’s ok. Doing one thing when you feel like you should be doing something else is mental torture.
You are a homeowner now so yes you will spend your weekends doing projects around the house. It is what it is.
And it is ok.

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Re: Extreme Anxiety with Time/Money

Post by MortgageOnBlack » Fri Aug 02, 2019 10:08 am

fposte wrote:
Fri Aug 02, 2019 9:56 am
I think if you're an anxious type of person, outsourcing can mean that you just worry about another layer of things.

It's possible you're talking about a kind of anxiety you'd benefit from talking to a doctor about, but maybe we can get at it from the money side here. What do your annual expenses and income look like? Are you doing all this and still not managing to save anything for retirement, or are you doing all this because you desperately want to max out your tax-advantaged space every year even if it kills you?
Thanks to the Internet, I'm obsessed with DIY. Not only that, but I absolutely hate paying anyone to do anything that I'm capable of doing myself (even with hours of obsessing and stress). I hate watching my hard-earned savings diminish. Right now, I'm maxing out retirement, have a sizable emergency fund (almost 1 year of income), and save plenty in taxable. Definitely not house-poor with a shared mortgage with my fiancee.

Maybe it's me? Just really getting tired of things not going smoothly every time.

veindoc
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Re: Extreme Anxiety with Time/Money

Post by veindoc » Fri Aug 02, 2019 10:10 am

I’m curious about what you mean about anxiety with time and money. I see where you are going with time but what about the money piece?

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Re: Extreme Anxiety with Time/Money

Post by swordandscales » Fri Aug 02, 2019 10:10 am

I’d recommend you talk to a therapist, and not bogleheads.

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MI_bogle
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Re: Extreme Anxiety with Time/Money

Post by MI_bogle » Fri Aug 02, 2019 10:11 am

Perhaps it's an accumulation of all things and operating at a level 10 at all times
I think you're on track with thinking it's because you're always operating at a high level and go-go-go

It sounds like some therapy, or reading a few books on mindfulness and such might be useful

10% Happier, Full Catastrophe Living, etc
Maybe I expect perfection, I don't know
Don't let perfection be the enemy of good. You might consider reading up on The Paradox of Choice - a look at the monumental amount of choices we face in our lives, and how people called maximizers (you?) approach them, compared to satisficers (people that say "good enough")

I have extreme anxiety when it comes to my time and money. I feel like I just can't get ahead; I work all day, all week, and remain burned out and come home to a house that I can't maintain fast enough. The last thing I want to do after a long week of work/commuting is come home to endless projects at our house. But I continue to do so and it isn't enough.
My 2 cents as an unqualified armchair psychologist is that you are trying to achieve a sense of "getting ahead" by accomplishing tasks, but what you are really seeking is fulfillment and happiness. And since the work and the tasks are never ending, you're never finding a sense of complete accomplishment. It might be useful to evaluate what actually makes you happy and figure out how to achieve it. Sometimes it is very hard to let go of your longterm habit of ruthlessly attacking projects and working working working all the time, and convincing yourself to operate a different way

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Re: Extreme Anxiety with Time/Money

Post by bloom2708 » Fri Aug 02, 2019 10:11 am

Take things one at a time. Prioritize and lower your standards a bit. Some things are urgent, others can wait.

We have a house, yard, sprinkler, 3 kids, 4 cars to maintain. It doesn't end. You just get better at it and take things in stride.

With a home, something is always not the way you want it. I'm always mowing, pulling weeds or shoveling and snowblowing snow. The seasons roll around.

Keep 4 cars with oil changes, tire rotations, routine maintenance, it just is a continuous circle.

Many determine that renting or living in a condo/townhome where some things are covered is better for them. Simplify, simplify, simplify.

What works for personal finance has good correlation with weight/exercise and home management/maintenance type stuff.
"People want confirmation, not advice" Unknown | "We are here to provoke thoughtfulness, not agree with you" Unknown | Four words. Whole food, plant based. Bing it.

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Re: Extreme Anxiety with Time/Money

Post by livesoft » Fri Aug 02, 2019 10:14 am

I love to work on sprinkler systems! I have fixed two of my neighbors sprinklers for them. I compare it to screwing in a light bulb because it is just about that difficult. But one neighbor called a plumber who charged them $200 to turn off their sprinkler system and said, "We don't fix sprinkler systems, so please call your sprinkler guys."

Anyways, the OP's post is why I think a lot of people use alcohol and CBD.
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Re: Extreme Anxiety with Time/Money

Post by Sandtrap » Fri Aug 02, 2019 10:20 am

Compartmentalize
Prioritize
Strategize
Adapt
Improvise
Be realistic with yourself, the tasks, and others.

Know that not everything (most things) cannot be fixed, or done to perfection. Like a "Bogle Portfolio", perfection is not the goal, "good enough" also works. And, the pursuit of perfection and excellence that makes us succeed at work is not necessarily healthy to bring home. (enjoy messing up).

This has nothing to do with the house, home ownership, or time, or money.

It has everything to do with how we approach things and the expectations we bring.

Good luck!
j
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7eight9
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Re: Extreme Anxiety with Time/Money

Post by 7eight9 » Fri Aug 02, 2019 10:21 am

A house should be a place of refuge. Not a source of anxiety. So I don't own a house. I have a condominium. My responsibility? Inside the four walls. I can deal with that. By doing nothing. I don't know the housing market where you live or if this is even a desirable alternative for you. But it might be something to consider.
I guess it all could be much worse. | They could be warming up my hearse.

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Re: Extreme Anxiety with Time/Money

Post by MortgageOnBlack » Fri Aug 02, 2019 10:22 am

livesoft wrote:
Fri Aug 02, 2019 10:14 am
I love to work on sprinkler systems! I have fixed two of my neighbors sprinklers for them. I compare it to screwing in a light bulb because it is just about that difficult. But one neighbor called a plumber who charged them $200 to turn off their sprinkler system and said, "We don't fix sprinkler systems, so please call your sprinkler guys."

Anyways, the OP's post is why I think a lot of people use alcohol and CBD.
Definitely can use a beer tonight. Happy International Beer Day

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Re: Extreme Anxiety with Time/Money

Post by lostdog » Fri Aug 02, 2019 10:22 am

Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Fri Aug 02, 2019 9:53 am
You sound poorly matched for home ownership. Perhaps you should sell your house and rent.

+1

There is nothing wrong with making the decision to simplify your life. Renting to simplify your life is OK. It doesn't matter what other people will think if you decide to sell the house to simplify your life. I'll say it again, "It doesn't matter what other people think".

If it were me, I would sell the house and rent. Tune out the critics and live your own life of peace.
VTWAX and chill.

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Re: Extreme Anxiety with Time/Money

Post by livesoft » Fri Aug 02, 2019 10:24 am

MortgageOnBlack wrote:
Fri Aug 02, 2019 10:22 am
Definitely can use a beer tonight. Happy International Beer Day
Have one or two for lunch --- no need to wait for dinner.
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Re: Extreme Anxiety with Time/Money

Post by MortgageOnBlack » Fri Aug 02, 2019 10:25 am

bloom2708 wrote:
Fri Aug 02, 2019 10:11 am
Take things one at a time. Prioritize and lower your standards a bit. Some things are urgent, others can wait.

We have a house, yard, sprinkler, 3 kids, 4 cars to maintain. It doesn't end. You just get better at it and take things in stride.

With a home, something is always not the way you want it. I'm always mowing, pulling weeds or shoveling and snowblowing snow. The seasons roll around.

Keep 4 cars with oil changes, tire rotations, routine maintenance, it just is a continuous circle.

Many determine that renting or living in a condo/townhome where some things are covered is better for them. Simplify, simplify, simplify.

What works for personal finance has good correlation with weight/exercise and home management/maintenance type stuff.
Everything always feels like an emergency to me because of the long-term consequences of letting it go. It's very hard for me to truly prioritize. Examples:
1) Sprinkler running on fence = Fence permanently ruined
2) Gutter Leak = Foundation problems
3) Weeds = Yard will be over-run

I feel like everything is deteriorating right before my very eyes.

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Re: Extreme Anxiety with Time/Money

Post by RJC » Fri Aug 02, 2019 10:26 am

Perhaps owning a town house is a happy medium? We enjoy the private areas of a town home but hate dealing with lawn and landscaping. An end-unit town home has been perfect for us.

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Re: Extreme Anxiety with Time/Money

Post by smitcat » Fri Aug 02, 2019 10:28 am

MortgageOnBlack wrote:
Fri Aug 02, 2019 10:08 am
fposte wrote:
Fri Aug 02, 2019 9:56 am
I think if you're an anxious type of person, outsourcing can mean that you just worry about another layer of things.

It's possible you're talking about a kind of anxiety you'd benefit from talking to a doctor about, but maybe we can get at it from the money side here. What do your annual expenses and income look like? Are you doing all this and still not managing to save anything for retirement, or are you doing all this because you desperately want to max out your tax-advantaged space every year even if it kills you?
Thanks to the Internet, I'm obsessed with DIY. Not only that, but I absolutely hate paying anyone to do anything that I'm capable of doing myself (even with hours of obsessing and stress). I hate watching my hard-earned savings diminish. Right now, I'm maxing out retirement, have a sizable emergency fund (almost 1 year of income), and save plenty in taxable. Definitely not house-poor with a shared mortgage with my fiancee.

Maybe it's me? Just really getting tired of things not going smoothly every time.
"I hate watching my hard-earned savings diminish. Right now, I'm maxing out retirement, have a sizable emergency fund (almost 1 year of income), and save plenty in taxable. Definitely not house-poor with a shared mortgage with my fiancee."

Based upon your post here the problem exists with you and not your situation - you are doing more than ok, more than fine, you are doing excellent but your perception and view do not match reality. Suggest you confront the real problem and fix it as best you can.

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Re: Extreme Anxiety with Time/Money

Post by AZAttorney11 » Fri Aug 02, 2019 10:29 am

MortgageOnBlack wrote:
Fri Aug 02, 2019 10:08 am
Thanks to the Internet, I'm obsessed with DIY. Not only that, but I absolutely hate paying anyone to do anything that I'm capable of doing myself (even with hours of obsessing and stress). I hate watching my hard-earned savings diminish. Right now, I'm maxing out retirement, have a sizable emergency fund (almost 1 year of income), and save plenty in taxable. Definitely not house-poor with a shared mortgage with my fiancee.

Maybe it's me? Just really getting tired of things not going smoothly every time.
Why don't you have a double bourbon (Buffalo Trace or Eagle Rare) and relax? You're worried about the small things. That's noise. Let it go. Focus on your career and savings rate (which it sounds like you're doing). Stop getting pissed off and stressed about things like a fence and sprinkler system. Hire someone to do that. Enjoy your leisure time.

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Re: Extreme Anxiety with Time/Money

Post by beyou » Fri Aug 02, 2019 10:29 am

I would much rather make more than spend less by DIY for everything.
I suppose that is a function of not minding my chosen profession so much, though of course even work you choose to do is ..... WORK.

Even outsourcing can be stressful. You call for estimates, they often do not show. You hire someone, they may not show, may show
but do a poor job, or not complete in a timely manner.

My solution for home ownership was to
1) Fix only that which is either critical or low stress to do myself or outsource
2) Ignore issues that can wait, if they are high stress (whether doing myself or hiring/outsourcing.

My house looked pretty good when I bought in the 1990s and it had 80s kitchen and baths.
But now those 80s baths and kitchen aren't looking so good.
Had various things attended to as needed, grout (myself and a pro to do a bigger job), new appliances
but nothing stressful and too difficult on myself. DW is not happy having an old kitchen, but I value my downtime
and my fund holdings more than a nice kitchen.

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Re: Extreme Anxiety with Time/Money

Post by HomeStretch » Fri Aug 02, 2019 10:35 am

A high level of anxiety and stress is not good for you, your relationships, your work, etc. You need to find a way to reduce the stressors you can and learn coping mechanisms for those you can’t.

- take a day off, do nothing and de-stress
- take another day off to analyze your stressors and plan how to reduce/cope with stress

Suggestions:
- read good advice above
- rent instead of own
- change to a job with less stress and shorter commute
- outsource some items
- physical exercise, yoga and/or meditation to reduce the obsessing/looping/stressing going on inside
- update your net worth statement monthly so anytime you stress about money, you can look at it and reassure yourself you are doing fine

Hang in there. Many of us have been where you are at. With focus, you can make positive changes that will improve your life. Best of luck.

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Re: Extreme Anxiety with Time/Money

Post by MI_bogle » Fri Aug 02, 2019 10:36 am

MortgageOnBlack wrote:
Fri Aug 02, 2019 10:25 am
bloom2708 wrote:
Fri Aug 02, 2019 10:11 am
Take things one at a time. Prioritize and lower your standards a bit. Some things are urgent, others can wait.

We have a house, yard, sprinkler, 3 kids, 4 cars to maintain. It doesn't end. You just get better at it and take things in stride.

With a home, something is always not the way you want it. I'm always mowing, pulling weeds or shoveling and snowblowing snow. The seasons roll around.

Keep 4 cars with oil changes, tire rotations, routine maintenance, it just is a continuous circle.

Many determine that renting or living in a condo/townhome where some things are covered is better for them. Simplify, simplify, simplify.

What works for personal finance has good correlation with weight/exercise and home management/maintenance type stuff.
Everything always feels like an emergency to me because of the long-term consequences of letting it go. It's very hard for me to truly prioritize. Examples:
1) Sprinkler running on fence = Fence permanently ruined
2) Gutter Leak = Foundation problems
3) Weeds = Yard will be over-run

I feel like everything is deteriorating right before my very eyes.
Even without changing your mindset (which IMO, and your opinion, is causing you undue stress), you can still prioritize

For example, the functionality of your fence is unchanged by a mere stain. Sure, it might be mildly unsightly but that's about it

Also, sure, weeds are also unsightly, but not the end of the world

However, a gutter leak COULD actually lead to serious issues with fundamental soundness of your house, and might indeed lead to issues with ice dams, foundation problems, roof leaks, mold, etc.

So you would want to take care of a gutter leak first, and leave the cosmetic problems until later.

And also your mental wellbeing and physical relaxation might be more important than a fence stain. Just sayin

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Re: Extreme Anxiety with Time/Money

Post by Tamarind » Fri Aug 02, 2019 10:46 am

MortgageOnBlack wrote:
Fri Aug 02, 2019 10:25 am
bloom2708 wrote:
Fri Aug 02, 2019 10:11 am
Take things one at a time. Prioritize and lower your standards a bit. Some things are urgent, others can wait.

We have a house, yard, sprinkler, 3 kids, 4 cars to maintain. It doesn't end. You just get better at it and take things in stride.

With a home, something is always not the way you want it. I'm always mowing, pulling weeds or shoveling and snowblowing snow. The seasons roll around.

Keep 4 cars with oil changes, tire rotations, routine maintenance, it just is a continuous circle.

Many determine that renting or living in a condo/townhome where some things are covered is better for them. Simplify, simplify, simplify.

What works for personal finance has good correlation with weight/exercise and home management/maintenance type stuff.
Everything always feels like an emergency to me because of the long-term consequences of letting it go. It's very hard for me to truly prioritize. Examples:
1) Sprinkler running on fence = Fence permanently ruined
2) Gutter Leak = Foundation problems
3) Weeds = Yard will be over-run

I feel like everything is deteriorating right before my very eyes.
Entropy is a law of the universe. No matter how good you are, no matter how busy, no matter how correct....things will deteriorate. When you are on your death bed, will you be regretting the fact that the fence got water stained?

Since this is causing you distress and you are losing sleep, consider spending a little money to consult a professional about it. I believe that stressing out all the time has long term consequences on my own health and longevity that are much more serious than the consequences of any object deteriorating.

I don't have a lot of time left after work and I choose to prioritize things that would damage the house immediately if not addressed, followed by things that make the house nicer to live in or that relax me. Weeds don't often make the cut. I once put a handmade sign in my yard that said "bringing back the prairie". My neighbors surely chuckled, but they don't really care what my yard looks like.

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Re: Extreme Anxiety with Time/Money

Post by Jazztonight » Fri Aug 02, 2019 10:47 am

The Bogleheads Forum is a community.

The community is advising you to step back and consider your options.

You can see a therapist, or reset your priorities, or sell & rent, or hire some people to do your tasks and chores.

Or, you can figure all this out yourself. You got to where you are by being intelligent, hard-working, creative, inventive, self-dependent, and so on.

It sounds to me like you are overwhelmed by everything on your plate. Perhaps you can simplify by taking some things off the damned plate? What can wait? What needs to be taken care of today, this week, this month? Never?

In the 1980s DW and I bought a fixer upper. Our "To-do" list was a full page, single-spaced, that hung on the refrigerator for YEARS as we whittled it away bit by bit. By the time we sold the house 23 years later, the contractors came in and re-did much of the stuff we'd sweated over.

Step back, please, and look at your house, your projects, and what's going on with you through a clear, new lens. And don't start drinking, please.

Finally: When life becomes overwhelming, there's this thing called a vacation, which is another word for "escape." I'd recommend a 1-2 week cruise where you don't have to plan a damned thing. It works wonders.
"What does not destroy me, makes me stronger." Nietzsche

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Re: Extreme Anxiety with Time/Money

Post by fire5soon » Fri Aug 02, 2019 10:49 am

I have a severe independent streak in me so I like doing everything myself. I also enjoy learning how things work and fixing things. Unfortunately I have a very difficult time trusting others to do a job correctly without ripping me off which is also a big reason I DIY. If a project arises that I don't know a lot about I see it as an opportunity to learn.

I've been a homeowner for 20 years. I'm willing/able to take on projects now that I never could have back then. That comes with time and experience which you'll accumulate yourself. Don't beat yourself up over not instantly knowing how to do everything all at once.

Prioritize your projects. A leaking roof obviously needs to be addressed before the weeds. Things aren't crumbling around you. It's just called maintenance.

It can be overwhelming at first but over time you'll learn to enjoy those projects.

Good luck and enjoy that beer.
A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do. - Bob Dylan

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Re: Extreme Anxiety with Time/Money

Post by Shallowpockets » Fri Aug 02, 2019 10:49 am

>>>>sprinkler running on fence. Fence permanently ruined<<><

WOW! Really? Permanently ruined? Quite a perspective there. You need to rethink that.
I've seen fences with sprinkler "patterns". Like art. What's the big deal?
Instead of being proud and glad you built your new fence, you go this route

You know what I did with my older fence? We go to those painting and sipping classes and paint a picture and then we put them up on the fence. Screw them right in too. When you see our fence, you don't see our fence, you see the paintings.

You need to accept some things. Look at them in a new light. Your anxiety has you all wound up to look at things negatively. Not a good way to endure this life. It will be a long long road for you unless you change your perception of perfection and seeking perfection and what you can really do about it. Or should do about it. Otherwise your life will be a permanent mess.

Reread that opening line.

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BL
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Re: Extreme Anxiety with Time/Money

Post by BL » Fri Aug 02, 2019 10:55 am

Forget the temp fix of booze and go for a run, walk with friend, bike, exercise, vacation, read a book, etc.
If friend is not a help, is she a hindrance? This stress is not conducive to a good relationship.
Sounds like you can afford to pay for some of the fixes that stress you out the most. Maybe try saving 15-20% and spend the rest on things that improve your well-being.

Perhaps experiences from the past are controlling your emotions, and talking to a therapist could help.

Or: sell the house, go condo or rent, learn to enjoy life before it is too late.

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Re: Extreme Anxiety with Time/Money

Post by Dottie57 » Fri Aug 02, 2019 11:07 am

MortgageOnBlack wrote:
Fri Aug 02, 2019 10:08 am
fposte wrote:
Fri Aug 02, 2019 9:56 am
I think if you're an anxious type of person, outsourcing can mean that you just worry about another layer of things.

It's possible you're talking about a kind of anxiety you'd benefit from talking to a doctor about, but maybe we can get at it from the money side here. What do your annual expenses and income look like? Are you doing all this and still not managing to save anything for retirement, or are you doing all this because you desperately want to max out your tax-advantaged space every year even if it kills you?
Thanks to the Internet, I'm obsessed with DIY. Not only that, but I absolutely hate paying anyone to do anything that I'm capable of doing myself (even with hours of obsessing and stress). I hate watching my hard-earned savings diminish. Right now, I'm maxing out retirement, have a sizable emergency fund (almost 1 year of income), and save plenty in taxable. Definitely not house-poor with a shared mortgage with my fiancee.

Maybe it's me? Just really getting tired of things not going smoothly every time.
If you want more time you have to spend on outsourcing. It is a balance money or time.

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Re: Extreme Anxiety with Time/Money

Post by baconavocado » Fri Aug 02, 2019 11:21 am

Well, you've gotten a lot of advice here. I would just add that I felt just like you in my 30s and I survived. I was always trying to do everything myself (still do), getting in over my head, tasks taking longer than I thought they should, and not feeling like I was doing an adequate job. One problem is that everything is more complicated these days, with endless automation and endless choices. Another problem I think is a general lack of integrity in the home and auto repair businesses. On the plus, we have the internet and all the DIY videos, etc.

Is your father or father-in-law alive, available, and a DIY-er? Mine weren't but a trusted friend who shares an interest in this stuff can be a huge help. Of course, today, no one is even interested in mowing their own lawn or even doing their own laundry so it's hard to get useful advice about anything except raising children.

Another thing I'd add is that hiring everything out is not a cure-all. You still need to understand the problem in order to make an informed choices about what you're being offered and to make clear to whoever you're hiring exactly what you want.

Good luck and hang in there.

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Re: Extreme Anxiety with Time/Money

Post by Broken Man 1999 » Fri Aug 02, 2019 11:24 am

Since you are maxing out your retirement, and saving plenty in taxable, divert some of that taxable to paying for some of the things you are currently handling via DIY.

Also, take some time to smell the roses along the way. Treat yourself! All work and no play..... you know how it goes!

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

Thegame14
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Re: Extreme Anxiety with Time/Money

Post by Thegame14 » Fri Aug 02, 2019 11:52 am

yeah when you own a house it is always something. My advice is as follows:
A house will never say no, no matter how much time and money you put into it.
Kids no matter how much time you spend with them, you will always think you should spend more.
Work, the boss will always want you to work more hours, more overtime etc.
Money, you can only make so much of it currently, unless you get another job and wont have time for anything above.
80/20 rule, kinda, you spend 20% of the time doing the most important things, or the most impactful things are you will get 80% of the jobs done. IE housework, worry about the big items, not the small ones, spending hours picking up crumbs, or every little bit of dust is not a good time spender.
Out scource the cheapest least enjoyable things. maybe mowing the lawn in the heats sucks, so pay someone $40-50 every other week to do it.

time is money and money is time, you have to figure out how to manage them.

coalcracker
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Re: Extreme Anxiety with Time/Money

Post by coalcracker » Fri Aug 02, 2019 11:59 am

I have a similar type A personality, but I agree with others that kids help (force) me to approach house problems with a certain degree of levity.

I've been a homeowner for about 15 years. One approach I found useful is to conquer one "big" inside project and one outside project each year. Each project need not be a monster: repair your gutters, remodel a powder room. In 10 years, your house will be looking pretty good.

Routine maintenance is another issue. If it causes you this much anxiety, I highly encourage you to outsource. Start with whatever you hate or stresses you out the most. I, like you, was HIGHLY resistant to outsourcing for many years, but my wife finally convinced me to hire a weekly cleaning service. We were always fighting about who was going to clean the house on a given weekend, and that was before kids were in the mix.

Life is too short. Sure, you can save money with a DIY approach, but is it really worth years of stress and anxiety? Trust me, home improvement/maintenance will never end.

squirm
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Re: Extreme Anxiety with Time/Money

Post by squirm » Fri Aug 02, 2019 12:18 pm

All I can say is, join the club.

Afty
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Re: Extreme Anxiety with Time/Money

Post by Afty » Fri Aug 02, 2019 12:26 pm

Right now I am sitting on 2 incomplete house projects and 2 incomplete financial projects. Also our hot water heater broke on Sunday. I feel your pain.

I think you are getting good advice here, especially around being realistic about the long-term consequences of just not doing any one of those things on your list. Also outsource whenever you can -- I personally would not have even tried to build that fence.

Another thought: could your fiancee take on any of this?

EnjoyIt
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Re: Extreme Anxiety with Time/Money

Post by EnjoyIt » Fri Aug 02, 2019 12:31 pm

livesoft wrote:
Fri Aug 02, 2019 10:14 am
I love to work on sprinkler systems! I have fixed two of my neighbors sprinklers for them. I compare it to screwing in a light bulb because it is just about that difficult. But one neighbor called a plumber who charged them $200 to turn off their sprinkler system and said, "We don't fix sprinkler systems, so please call your sprinkler guys."

Anyways, the OP's post is why I think a lot of people use alcohol and CBD.
Can you help me with my sprinklers? I don't think I live too far away from you :D

EnjoyIt
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Re: Extreme Anxiety with Time/Money

Post by EnjoyIt » Fri Aug 02, 2019 12:42 pm

My opinion which is worth as much as you are paying for it.

I think you are doing more than you can handle and need a little break. You are saving plenty, and I get it that you are looking to become financially independent ASAP, but unfortunately it is affecting you physically and emotionally. How much would it cost you to have someone else take care of your weeds for you? How much would it cost to have someone do the sprinklers for you? How much longer would you need to work to be able to outsource some of your projects so that you can have a little more free time to relax?

I think you may be far better off outsourcing some items as opposed to burning out and not being able to work or do anything.

Other's said maybe home ownership is not your cup of tea. Maybe they are right, maybe not, that is for you to decide.

Me personally I am a big fan of simplifying life as much as possible. Simple is easy, and easy is less stressful, less stressful means I enjoy my life more and likely healthier for it.

Good luck.

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Meg77
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Re: Extreme Anxiety with Time/Money

Post by Meg77 » Fri Aug 02, 2019 12:46 pm

MortgageOnBlack wrote:
Fri Aug 02, 2019 10:08 am

Thanks to the Internet, I'm obsessed with DIY. Not only that, but I hate watching my hard-earned savings diminish. Right now, I'm maxing out retirement, have a sizable emergency fund (almost 1 year of income), and save plenty in taxable. Definitely not house-poor with a shared mortgage with my fiancee.

Maybe it's me? Just really getting tired of things not going smoothly every time.
I absolutely hate paying anyone to do anything that I'm capable of doing myself (even with hours of obsessing and stress).
Wrong (and debilitating) attitude. We all specialize and outsource nearly everything, and that is more than OK - it's essential to improving the quality of life of our population and ourselves as individuals. Do you bake your own bread or sew your own clothes? What about concocting your own medicines out of herbs you grow yourself? Extreme examples to prove a point. Appreciate the luxury you have of being able to afford to outsource, and also relish the opportunity to provide employment for others in the process. A car mechanic, a fence stainer, a house cleaner, a chef and server at a nice restaurant. Consider those and many other expenses INVESTMENTS in your relationship, your mental wellbeing, and your ability to take the downtime on the weekends necessary to maximize your earning potential during the week.

"I hate watching my hard-earned savings diminish."
Money in and of itself is worthless; it's only what it can purchase that has any value - time, experiences, products and services. It appears from your post that your savings/net worth only continue to grow, but in any event, flip the script and think about what your savings are FOR. The goal shouldn't be to die with the highest net worth you've ever had. Savings are just a store of value set aside for future spending. Once you're financially comfortable, you get to the point where you should think about optimizing your LIFE not just your balance sheet. I'm sure you spent a pretty penny on the engagement ring your fiancé wears, for example. Children cost a lot to raise. Travel is unnecessary, as is pet ownership. But I hope you don't view these as wasted expenses.

"Just really getting tired of things not going smoothly every time."
What hasn't gone smoothly? Sounds like you're achieving everything you're putting your mind to. Learning to build a fence, fixing your cars, etc. You're probably feeling burnout because everything you're doing lately is a brand new skill that has to be learned first. The next time you have to build a fence or fix that car issue or adjust the sprinklers, it'll be a lot easier because there won't be the mental load first of reading, watching videos, comparing techniques, etc. I do this too. When I want to cook a new dish I google and read about 10-15 "best" recipes and then create a combination of what appear to be the average recommended temperatures and cooking times, etc. It's overkill, but that's me. I get it. But over the 5 years of marriage I've mainly been cooking for, it has become a lot easier as I've memorized the way I like to do most things.

For the record, you're not only a new homeowner but also engaged. You may be early in your career too for all I know. That is a lot of life change going on. Cut yourself a break. But also recognize your anxiety about these major life transitions and the pressure you may be putting on yourself from within to meet certain expectations about your new role as homeowner and husband that you may not even be aware of. In short, your overwhelm is probably about more than the fence stains. I struggled when I got married with anxiety, despite the fact that all my goals had been achieved and my life was easier and presumably happier than ever. That was part of the problem as it turned out. I saw a therapist a few times for the first time, and it was incredibly helpful for normalizing my feelings and learning a few exercises and perspective shifts to help.

It sounds like you're on track for a great life. Don't let your busy mind ruin the fun for you. :beer
"An investment in knowledge pays the best interest." - Benjamin Franklin

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Re: Extreme Anxiety with Time/Money

Post by Ron Ronnerson » Fri Aug 02, 2019 1:55 pm

Home ownership often requires a lot of work but there are ways to set things up to minimize the effort expended. We bought a townhouse with an HOA which takes care of everything outside the walls of the home. It includes maintenance of roof & driveway, painting (outside), window cleaning, community pool, pest control, landscaping, and much more. It was a new construction when we purchased it 10 years ago so haven’t needed too many repairs as of yet. For stuff that has needed to be fixed, I usually have a friend help me in exchange for lunch (I also have to allow him to brag about his prowess when it comes to fixing things). If we need a plumber or handyman for some reason, we hire one.

We don’t have a backyard as it requires maintenance and I don’t want to expend the time and energy. There’s nothing wrong with doing so but you have to know what type of person you are. We have a house cleaner as well. We could do the work ourselves (we have lots of time off), but we don’t want to as it isn’t fun and takes away time that we could spend doing other things.

In your post, you mentioned working long hours, commuting, anxiety, fearing that you’re close to a meltdown, feeling burnt out, being mentally fried, and too many projects to do around the house. Can you cut back on your hours? Personally, I would look at ways to reduce expenses, live on less, and enjoy a life of lower stress and more free time. You said in your post that “it must be nice” to outsource so many things. At least to me, it totally is. To be able to afford to do so as someone who is very much middle class (I’m a teacher and my wife is a stay-at-home parent), we’re frugal when it comes to purchases. By carefully choosing how we spend our money, we have found that we can buy the best thing of all with it: time.

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Re: Extreme Anxiety with Time/Money

Post by J295 » Fri Aug 02, 2019 1:58 pm

Have a complete physical and visit with your medical doctor, and then take next steps as needed, including having the option of counseling on your menu

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Re: Extreme Anxiety with Time/Money

Post by Buckeye Chuck » Fri Aug 02, 2019 2:21 pm

I looked up how to adjust sprinkler system yesterday and spent an hour doing so on mine. I have not seen a perfect sprinkler system. There is always something. But you can get it dialed in fairly well. Look it up. You probably won't need more than a screwdriver and willing to get wet while working on it. Pick an attractive color and high quality paint and paint the fence next spring or summer. It will fade anyway if you don't. Tackling problems one at a time. There is always something to do. Satisfaction when you are done. You already experienced this. Good job.

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Will do good
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Re: Extreme Anxiety with Time/Money

Post by Will do good » Fri Aug 02, 2019 3:02 pm

MortgageOnBlack wrote:
Fri Aug 02, 2019 10:08 am
fposte wrote:
Fri Aug 02, 2019 9:56 am
I think if you're an anxious type of person, outsourcing can mean that you just worry about another layer of things.

It's possible you're talking about a kind of anxiety you'd benefit from talking to a doctor about, but maybe we can get at it from the money side here. What do your annual expenses and income look like? Are you doing all this and still not managing to save anything for retirement, or are you doing all this because you desperately want to max out your tax-advantaged space every year even if it kills you?
Thanks to the Internet, I'm obsessed with DIY. Not only that, but I absolutely hate paying anyone to do anything that I'm capable of doing myself (even with hours of obsessing and stress). I hate watching my hard-earned savings diminish. Right now, I'm maxing out retirement, have a sizable emergency fund (almost 1 year of income), and save plenty in taxable. Definitely not house-poor with a shared mortgage with my fiancee.

Maybe it's me? Just really getting tired of things not going smoothly every time.
Count your blessings, you could have real problems like some families: family with major health issues, parents with dementia, kids failing in school, losing your job at 50's and not sure you can find another, born poor living in a third world country, etc.

Consider where you are and chill. Good luck!
:sharebeer

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galving
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Re: Extreme Anxiety with Time/Money

Post by galving » Fri Aug 02, 2019 3:09 pm

There's only so much of 'You' to go around. . . ultimately you have to select priority items that you can devote your attention.

When we were going through the same stage of life, new homeowners/wedding planning/2full time careers, we implemented a rule:
"No projects after 9PM."
Without fail any activities past the designated hour ended up in frustration, mistakes, and/or the occasional extra hole in the wall.

Seriously though, your issue seems more to be one of perspective.
Focus more on your wins:
*New House
*New Fence
*Squared Away Emergency Fund
*Etc

fposte
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Re: Extreme Anxiety with Time/Money

Post by fposte » Fri Aug 02, 2019 3:11 pm

In addition to what other people have said, it sounds like you're positing some untroubled, repair-free state as a norm that you have to reach for enjoyment.

And there is no such state. Repairs are not signs of the apocalypse; they're more like filling your gas tank or taking out the trash, just regular stuff you have to do to keep your daily life moving. There is no such thing as a weed-free yard. Would you rather be 80% weed free and do something nice with your partner or 90% weed free and not see them until bedtime? Keep in mind either way you'll have more weeds in a month.

One of the challenges you see people wrestle here with sometimes is the concept of "Enough." How do I know that I can take this vacation or buy this house this year and still afford to retire in twenty years? How do I know I have enough if I retire this year? And the answer is that we all have to decide for ourselves what "enough" is (though we can get help from other bogleheads :D ). It sounds like you might need a stronger internal sense of "enough" that allows for satisfaction despite external imperfection.

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Re: Extreme Anxiety with Time/Money

Post by Starfish » Fri Aug 02, 2019 3:16 pm

Being stressed about weeds and landscaping is such a laughable first world problem.
First, why do you have so much land that it take a year to put in a fence? Get a town house, easy solution.
Why do even care about the sprinkler running on the fence? How is your fence going to pass through the rain and frost?
Why do you have a sprinkler? yellow is ok.
Why would you even have a house without kids?

So on...

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Re: Extreme Anxiety with Time/Money

Post by finite_difference » Fri Aug 02, 2019 3:31 pm

MortgageOnBlack wrote:
Fri Aug 02, 2019 10:08 am
fposte wrote:
Fri Aug 02, 2019 9:56 am
I think if you're an anxious type of person, outsourcing can mean that you just worry about another layer of things.

It's possible you're talking about a kind of anxiety you'd benefit from talking to a doctor about, but maybe we can get at it from the money side here. What do your annual expenses and income look like? Are you doing all this and still not managing to save anything for retirement, or are you doing all this because you desperately want to max out your tax-advantaged space every year even if it kills you?
Thanks to the Internet, I'm obsessed with DIY. Not only that, but I absolutely hate paying anyone to do anything that I'm capable of doing myself (even with hours of obsessing and stress). I hate watching my hard-earned savings diminish. Right now, I'm maxing out retirement, have a sizable emergency fund (almost 1 year of income), and save plenty in taxable. Definitely not house-poor with a shared mortgage with my fiancee.

Maybe it's me? Just really getting tired of things not going smoothly every time.
You’re thinking about it wrong. It’s not diminishing your hard-earned savings. It’s supporting a craftsman and freeing up your time to work on your craft, or to simply relax so that you are well-rested and can focus better on your craft.

If you truly enjoy DIY, then you should be happy when things break!
The most precious gift we can offer anyone is our attention. - Thich Nhat Hanh

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Re: Extreme Anxiety with Time/Money

Post by Atilla » Fri Aug 02, 2019 3:36 pm

Focus on eternity - what really matters.

I have a mental image of a person standing on the beach obsessing about the bit of water cupped in his hands.
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MtnTraveler
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Re: Extreme Anxiety with Time/Money

Post by MtnTraveler » Fri Aug 02, 2019 6:00 pm

So I totally get what you are saying about never really having downtime as it's been a frequent rant of mine. Kids do help as you realize some stuff just isn't worth the stress (water arc marks from sprinkler on the fence) and you will learn to prioritize what tasks have to get done (cut grass as dog is having trouble with it being so tall - yes, fix broken sprinkler that still kind-of works - I'll get to it at some junction). This summer I took on a crazy re-landscaping project that morphed (it always morphs and something always doesn't go as planned) but I had an epiphany a few days ago. Injured myself working on the yard and had to take 2 days off work because I literally couldn't move. I slept (a lot), watched movies, read, etc and I felt more relaxed, complete, and present than I have in a very, very, very long time. Thinking about it I realized that I've been functioning on about 4-5 hrs of sleep a night since like February. No wonder I was burned out and not in a great head space. I need to work on prioritizing sleep as I really am one who needs 8 hrs a night. I learned a long time ago that some tasks don't have to be done 100% to my standard so I'll pay my kid to pull weeds in the flowerbed even though I know it will not be a perfect job but it will be good enough for me to breathe easier when I look out at the back yard.

Determine what projects around the house will really help your mind relax and focus on those. Determine what things you are willing to pay someone else to do as you either a) don't want to do it, b) don't really know how to do it, or c) it'll be faster for someone else to do it cause they know what they are doing. If you still are having issues, look into therapy or talking to your doctor. Being so stressed is no fun and it has consequences down the road.

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Re: Extreme Anxiety with Time/Money

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Fri Aug 02, 2019 6:52 pm

MortgageOnBlack wrote:
Fri Aug 02, 2019 10:25 am
bloom2708 wrote:
Fri Aug 02, 2019 10:11 am
Take things one at a time. Prioritize and lower your standards a bit. Some things are urgent, others can wait.

We have a house, yard, sprinkler, 3 kids, 4 cars to maintain. It doesn't end. You just get better at it and take things in stride.

With a home, something is always not the way you want it. I'm always mowing, pulling weeds or shoveling and snowblowing snow. The seasons roll around.

Keep 4 cars with oil changes, tire rotations, routine maintenance, it just is a continuous circle.

Many determine that renting or living in a condo/townhome where some things are covered is better for them. Simplify, simplify, simplify.

What works for personal finance has good correlation with weight/exercise and home management/maintenance type stuff.
Everything always feels like an emergency to me because of the long-term consequences of letting it go. It's very hard for me to truly prioritize. Examples:
1) Sprinkler running on fence = Fence permanently ruined
2) Gutter Leak = Foundation problems
3) Weeds = Yard will be over-run

I feel like everything is deteriorating right before my very eyes.
Gutter leak - don't climb ladders, get someone else to do it for you. Likely not a leak, could be a clogged gutter.

The good news is fall is coming, the annual weeds will die off. In the fall, spread some Scotts Winterguard with weed preventer. Do this twice, once in mid September and once before Thanksgiving. Come winter, the weeds that are periennial will die off to, but look out, come spring, they'll be back unless you drop some Scotts with Halts to prevent crabgrass in late March/early April. That should reduce the number of weeds for next year.

Your investment - a broadcast spreader and the Scotts. Then make sure you properly water your lawn next year to keep the grass nice and thick and crowd out the weeds which try to get a toe hold in your lawn. The only thing is, if you are like me, who has surrounding neighbors who thinks their weed patch is actually lawn, you will constantly be fighting the weed battle.

Get ready - with a home, you will always have to do some sort of maintenance ti keep things in general repair. Visit your local Home Depot, you will never see that store empty on a weekend. There is always something to be done.
Last edited by Grt2bOutdoors on Fri Aug 02, 2019 6:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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