Post-Spending Regret

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DualIncomeNoDebt
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Post-Spending Regret

Post by DualIncomeNoDebt »

I have this issue where, for larger purchases, I will contemplate how much in future income the current purchase cost us -- and after the purchase, I tend to think about it obsessively. Frankly, I don't like to spend money -- but I can get unhealthy about it. I won't have kids because I have no desire to raise a family, and frankly I don't want to spend money on kids clothes, schooling, college, etc. I refuse to have a wedding because I think it's a massive waste, an opportunity for these charlatans to gouge us for bad food, bad cake, bad clothes, and stupid photos I don't want or need. To hell with the "joyous day," give me the lifetime earnings from the wedding's cost.

Another example, we recently returned from a short vacation. Now that we're back, I start going over what we spent on meals and a couple luxury purchases, and think to myself, "damn, I could have put the $ we spent on this vacation into one of my funds, and it forever would have paid us X per quarter or per annum." I recently replaced an eight year old TV with a new plasma TV, and I really like this plasma TV, but I still think about taking that $3.5k and putting it in a REIT fund or dividend-paying stock. Don't even get me started on cars -- we replaced our cars last year, and we really needed to replace them (my then-current Ford was ten years old and stalling, the significant other's car was 12 years old and on its last legs). So we got two new nice cars and plan to own them long term. But goddamn if I don't think about how expensive and wasteful spending on cars can be (capitalized cost of the car, maintenance and insurance, fuel, etc.).

So, buying things brings me little joy, because I obsess about future income loss. I've tried to temper this by using dividend distributions to make the purchases, but I still regret not putting the quarterly distributions to work. I understand you have to live and you can't take it with you, but what do you all do to avoid this kind of thinking?
NYBoglehead
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Re: Post-Spending Regret

Post by NYBoglehead »

I recommend you speak to someone with health problems or has had a close encounter with death. I am extremely frugal as well and think about the money that I've used to spend on stuff could have been put to better use.

While I save as much as possible and worry about the future, I am fully aware that tomorrow I might be hit by a bus, and all that I have saved will simply pass on. Can't take it with you when you go, might as well take some time to enjoy life while you're at it.

I'm a USMC vet, happy to be here, saving for the future, but recognizing that I can't control when the good Lord calls me home.
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grap0013
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Re: Post-Spending Regret

Post by grap0013 »

Set up a monthly budget for fun things and roll it over to the next month for whatever you don't spend. I like www.mint.com. I have a few set up for this kind of thing. Vacations, his "fun money", her "fun money", etc... This forces you to have some fun and let loose a little bit. I also don't care if my spouse uses her share for kindling, wiping her butt, or new purses. Decreases arguments for sure!
There are no guarantees, only probabilities.
The Wizard
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Re: Post-Spending Regret

Post by The Wizard »

Every recreational travel trip I do, to the Caribbean and elsewhere, leaves me thinking: Jeez, I really need to quit work and do this sort of thing more often...
I think the point is: we need to set a savings/investment plan, maxing out the tax-sheltered plans, fer instance, and then spend the remaining monthly cash-flow with WILD ABANDON...
Attempted new signature...
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Boglenaut
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Re: Post-Spending Regret

Post by Boglenaut »

DualIncomeNoDebt wrote: what do you all do to avoid this kind of thinking?
I think this way of thinking is actually healthy, as long as it is in balance and not truly obsessive. There probably are quite a number of Bogleheads who do this because we understand the time value of money. Mathematically, your thinking is spot on.

That said, for some things that I know we want or need, I just bite the bullet and buy it. So, once bought consider it a "sunk cost" and you'll get over it faster.

http://www.google.com/#hl=en&q=sunk+cos ... 66&bih=594
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bertilak
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Re: Post-Spending Regret

Post by bertilak »

Things to meditate on ...
  • Money may build you a house, but not a home. -- Mark Skousen
  • I would rather have it said that He lived usefully than He died rich. -- Benjamin Franklin
  • Those who have earned the greatest wealth have not always earned the greatest happiness. -- B.C. Forbes
  • Money may be the husk of things, but not the kernel.
    It gives you food, but not appetite.
    Medicine, but not health.
    Acquaintances, but not friends.
    Servants, but not faithfulness.
    Days of joy, but not peace or happiness.
    -- Henrik Ibsen
May neither drought nor rain nor blizzard disturb the joy juice in your gizzard. -- Squire Omar Barker (aka S.O.B.), the Cowboy Poet
noahw
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Re: Post-Spending Regret

Post by noahw »

What are you saving for?
Money is the means not the end.
You need to somehow find the right balance.
yosef
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Re: Post-Spending Regret

Post by yosef »

This post seems like a bit of a cry for help to me. We all have different things that we value enough to spend money on, but when you say you don't want a wedding or kids due at least in part to money, that seems unhealthy. It's fine not to want those things, but IMO money shouldn't factor into life decisions like that. Have you considered professional help? That could at least help you understand whether you've indeed crossed the line from being frugal to having deeper issues with money. You say you'd prefer the returns you'd get on some of the money you've spent to the actual items purchased. Why? As someone else said, money is a means not an end.
rustymutt
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Re: Post-Spending Regret

Post by rustymutt »

NYBoglehead wrote:I recommend you speak to someone with health problems or has had a close encounter with death. I am extremely frugal as well and think about the money that I've used to spend on stuff could have been put to better use.

While I save as much as possible and worry about the future, I am fully aware that tomorrow I might be hit by a bus, and all that I have saved will simply pass on. Can't take it with you when you go, might as well take some time to enjoy life while you're at it.

I'm a USMC vet, happy to be here, saving for the future, but recognizing that I can't control when the good Lord calls me home.
Just having faith [religious reference removed by admin LadyGeek] makes a huge difference in how I feel about everything that I do, or happens. Death even has lost it's sting.
Even educators need education. And some can be hard headed to the point of needing time out.
Muchtolearn
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Re: Post-Spending Regret

Post by Muchtolearn »

OP, I would not feel bad if I were you. I understand fully where you are coming from. You desire security for the unlikely possibilites and get little or negative pleasure out of spending on things. That's ok as long as you significant other can deal with it,.
yeledbed
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Re: Post-Spending Regret

Post by yeledbed »

DualIncomeNoDebt wrote: Frankly, I don't like to spend money -- but I can get unhealthy about it. I won't have kids because I have no desire to raise a family, and frankly I don't want to spend money on kids clothes, schooling, college, etc. I refuse to have a wedding because I think it's a massive waste, an opportunity for these charlatans to gouge us for bad food, bad cake, bad clothes, and stupid photos I don't want or need. To hell with the "joyous day," give me the lifetime earnings from the wedding's cost.
This is EXACTLY how I think, so I hope it's not unhealthy!
DualIncomeNoDebt wrote: So, buying things brings me little joy, because I obsess about future income loss. I've tried to temper this by using dividend distributions to make the purchases, but I still regret not putting the quarterly distributions to work. I understand you have to live and you can't take it with you, but what do you all do to avoid this kind of thinking?
Don't buy "things". Buy experiences. Find a hobby you really enjoy. If you can find an activity you find more exciting than watching your money grow, maybe you will be more comfortable spending your money on it. If that doesn't work, at least find some charities to which you can leave your money, since you won't have heirs. :happy
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boglesmymind
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Re: Post-Spending Regret

Post by boglesmymind »

You're not alone. I feel this way too. I'm on the way this weekend for a week in Las Vegas. I may have a meltdown.
NorCalDad
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Re: Post-Spending Regret

Post by NorCalDad »

OP, I think all of us Bogleheads probably feel this regret to some degree. My approach is that it's better to have this regret when it comes to purchases of things rather than experiences. Don't let frugality stop you from a trip with loved ones or having kids if it's something you only reject because of cost. Yeah, kids can be a drain on finances, but if you're frugal and creative, you can find ways to save on almost everything kid-related.

As for big purchases, I always wait a couple weeks to see if my initial desire subsides, which it typically does. I've often wanted a new iPad upon release but never bought one because I never can justify it in the end.
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bengal22
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Re: Post-Spending Regret

Post by bengal22 »

I would recommend reading Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. I agree with poster that states money is a means to an end not the End itself. I do not think the Boglehead philosphy says anything about obsessing over purchases and avoiding weddings or kids because of cost.

Good Luck with This.
"Earn All You Can; Give All You Can; Save All You Can." .... John Wesley
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Teetlebaum
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Re: Post-Spending Regret

Post by Teetlebaum »

Man walks in to a doctor's office. Holds out his arm and wiggles it around.
Man: "Doc, it hurts when I do this".
Doc: "Well, stop doing it".

If saving/investing is the most important thing to you, then don't spend the money.

I know many people react to what they see as excessive frugality by arguing you'll regret it, but I'm guessing they enjoy spending money. You can't be sure you will regret saving, but at this point you know you regret spending, so haven't you answered your own concern? (Or does your significant other chafe at your refusal to spend?)

In my case my wife & I were (happily) quite frugal until I was able to retire, and since retirement have felt able to engage in what is to us a bit of splurging (but probably still frugal by normal standards).
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XtremeSki2001
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Re: Post-Spending Regret

Post by XtremeSki2001 »

This seems to come up a lot. Every time I see posts similar to this I often wonder .... what is it they're ruthlessly investing/saving for?
A box of rain will ease the pain and love will see you through
SurfCityBill
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Re: Post-Spending Regret

Post by SurfCityBill »

Frankly, I don't mind spending a large sum of money when I feel I'm getting a good value. For instance, your $3,500 plasma. Yes, expensive. But if you're watching it 2 hours a day then it's a good value. You're using it regularly. By the same token, I'd feel terrible spending a large amount of money on golf clubs.
I enjoy golf, but I go so infrequently I'd feel like it was a big waste.

-B
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SnapShots
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Re: Post-Spending Regret

Post by SnapShots »

XtremeSki2001 wrote:This seems to come up a lot. Every time I see posts similar to this I often wonder .... what is it they're ruthlessly investing/saving for?
Yeah! I'm worried about not having enough to spend on what I want to spend it on - because I keep spending it. :D
Things to meditate on ...

Money may build you a house, but not a home. -- Mark Skousen

I would rather have it said that He lived usefully than He died rich. -- Benjamin Franklin

Those who have earned the greatest wealth have not always earned the greatest happiness. -- B.C. Forbes

Money may be the husk of things, but not the kernel.
It gives you food, but not appetite.
Medicine, but not health.
Acquaintances, but not friends.
Servants, but not faithfulness.
Days of joy, but not peace or happiness.
-- Henrik Ibsen
But, seriously, this is a very cool answer. I like it!!!
the best decision many times is the hardest to do
johnny72
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Re: Post-Spending Regret

Post by johnny72 »

herp derp
Last edited by johnny72 on Thu Sep 27, 2012 8:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Grt2bOutdoors
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Re: Post-Spending Regret

Post by Grt2bOutdoors »

I'm close to dropping some serious change on my home. Do I think, wow, if we kept it or invested it, I can retire 1 or 2 years earlier? Sure, that is normal, but I am not thinking about it every single waking or sleeping moment. That is unhealthy.

You have no other obligations than to yourself, if you don't enjoy your life now, when will you ever? Seize the moment!
Don't let yourself become Silas Marnas counting up your sacks of gold coins. Watch A Christmas Carol with George C. Scott in its entirety.
"One should invest based on their need, ability and willingness to take risk - Larry Swedroe" Asking Portfolio Questions
RenoJay
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Re: Post-Spending Regret

Post by RenoJay »

I think many of us on this board are naturally frugal and have some tendencies similar to what you describe, but in your case, it does sound obsessive. (I think my Dad has a similar obsession/aversion to spending which is why I never got to play soccer or sports as a kid...those always involved costs for uniforms, shoes, etc.) You may want to speak to a professional therapist. Also, if you hang out with people who have a lot less than you do, it may help you appreciate what you have and feel a little better about spending.

In the original post, you referred to "we" and your avatar name has "dualincome" in it. How does your significant other feel about your attitudes? It's possible you're driving her/him crazy and could lose the most important person in your life.
Balance
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Re: Post-Spending Regret

Post by Balance »

I can get obsessive over my expenditures as well. I pretty much analyze everything I buy and try to find the best value on my purchases. Always looking for a deal or just keeping older items until they bust. I think you will find a lot of Bogleheads who are pretty frugal. But at the same time if you are questioning your own health then I would be a little concerned. I agree with the other posters in that you should set some goals and also set aside some money that you would be willing to part with for vacations and other "fun stuff". I would also seriously consider the happiness of those around you and make sure they are on board with this type of lifestyle. Luckily my wife is very low maintenance but even she has to kick me once in awhile when I go overboard with the frugality. Sometimes I rant about some of my friends or family members on how they spend too much which I think can be unhealthy as well.

My question for you is, when is your savings going to be enough? When you do reach your end goal how will you transition to spending some of that hard earned money? It is something I think about from time to time as well. I believe that even when my wife and I get to the point where we can retire I will still have a hard time spending it all because of the prior years of frugality. But that is still decades from now and I have a long way to go :)
Default User BR
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Re: Post-Spending Regret

Post by Default User BR »

Beware of false dilemmas. It isn't a choice between not getting married and a big pricey wedding. Weddings can be as expensive or inexpensive as you desire.


Brian
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Alskar
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Re: Post-Spending Regret

Post by Alskar »

The Wizard wrote:Every recreational travel trip I do, to the Caribbean and elsewhere, leaves me thinking: Jeez, I really need to quit work and do this sort of thing more often...
I think the point is: we need to set a savings/investment plan, maxing out the tax-sheltered plans, fer instance, and then spend the remaining monthly cash-flow with WILD ABANDON...
+1: Boy do I agree with this! This is the primary reason I don't consider myself to be a true Boglehead. I fear that I will turn my life into a dessicated husk the way my father did by focusing on saving, when I could have focused on living.
Lagom är bäst
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DualIncomeNoDebt
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Re: Post-Spending Regret

Post by DualIncomeNoDebt »

Balance wrote:My question for you is, when is your savings going to be enough? When you do reach your end goal how will you transition to spending some of that hard earned money?
When we can live entirely off passive investment income. Think Gordon Gekko and "liquid." No office. No day-to-day requirements. No commitments except the ones I choose to make. The ability to do as we please, when we please, with the means to easily do it. The transition will be to spend investment returns only, never touch principal, none of this "percent withdrawal per annum" and hope for the best. I need a big compost pile and I want to pick only the ripe fruit to sustain us, and sustain us well.

We're getting there. But I see the goal recede a bit each time we buy something. Can't shake it. But many posters are correct, could be dead in a week, I understand that.
RenoJay wrote:In the original post, you referred to "we" and your avatar name has "dualincome" in it. How does your significant other feel about your attitudes? It's possible you're driving her/him crazy and could lose the most important person in your life.
I think the chick understands, but it does drive her a bit nuts, sometimes. Before her, I lived very frugally, cheap place, no expenses to speak of. All I need to be happy is a computer, an internet connection, a gym, and an iPad with books. She needs more than I do, meaning getting out a bit more, some purchases, dinners out, etc.

My plan was to be militant about building wealth -- saving around 75% of what I earned solo, with a goal of having serious assets at a young age. The lady changed things a bit -- more expensive place because we needed room, occasional trips, some luxury purchases, etc. Part of me regrets not having seen through the militant plan, though we are still pretty aggressive. She pays nearly all the expenses with her income, I pay the cable bill. So we bank 99% of what I earn, and we max her 401K and Roth each year. She'll sometimes say "other couples" have or do X, Y, Z, so why don't we. I explain these other people likely are in debt, whereas we have zero debt and no financial obligations except rent. She also wants to stop working -- but no way can I countenance that, not when we still have building to do.

So it's likely the normal give-and-take, the difference being we forum participants are thinking hard about these things and are making long-term plans. But I am serious about Gekko and liquid worth. I don't need a jet, but the ability to move around the globe as I see fit, and without financial worry, that is the goal.
edge
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Re: Post-Spending Regret

Post by edge »

Seems like a pretty unhealthy attitude. I suggest figuring out how to make more money so you worry about it less rather than being a complete miser.
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bottlecap
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Re: Post-Spending Regret

Post by bottlecap »

It healthy to be concerned about how much you spend, but not to obsess about it after you have. I think you should consider professional help. You're certainly not frugal - you spend more than you need to based on your examples. To then beat yourself up about it after the fact doesn't sound healthy.

Good luck,

JT
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prudent
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Re: Post-Spending Regret

Post by prudent »

IMHO you are obsessive about it because you don't seem to find enjoyment in the things you spend money on. You aren't talking about blowing 5 figures on gambling in Vegas. You went on a short vacation and did normal things, but now you don't like that you did it and don't seem to find any pleasure in the experience. I think a more balanced attitude would be to see that vacations are healthy, and that your lifestyle gives you the ability to do those things without going into debt, without sacrificing other things and apparently without making a meaningful dent in your long-term financial plan.

To continually regret all non-mandatory spending is not a good approach. I do understand your mindset as I also could be quite content with the basics. My wife is also a pretty frugal person but when we do something beyond the bare essentials, we look back at how we enjoyed the experience, or how our donation helps feed less fortunate families. When we go on vacation, that is money we budgeted for and in the big picture it's just not impactful. So although we could vacation for less, that money is budgeted for, and we spend it to have a fun shared experience with no regrets. We could drive instead of fly, we could stay in much cheaper places, we could eat granola instead of a hotel breakfast... but we don't because we enjoy our vacation more the other way.

The problem with always looking at how a little extra money could grow long-term is it becomes a slippery slope. You could ALWAYS argue that you can spend a little less this month because it could become 10 times that amount years from now. Why flush after doing #1? Look how much you'd save on water! :)

My suggestion would be to budget for non-essentials so that is a core element of your financial plan. Then when you spend it, don't agonize about what that money COULD have grown to. It was money you planned to spend, and you spent it. Since you seem to be the type of person who is a planner, make some non-essential spending part of your plan so you don't see it as unnecessary or spending "extra". Then as long as you are staying within your plan, don't look back. Work with your partner to agree on a number you can both be comfortable with - her happiness and life satisfaction has more value as those few extra dollars in the bank.
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Blue
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Re: Post-Spending Regret

Post by Blue »

There is no security in this life, only opportunity.

The financial independence you seek is not the security blanket that you think it is.
RadAudit
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Re: Post-Spending Regret

Post by RadAudit »

If you really want a life changing experience - study up on the estate distribution laws of your state. If you don't plan to transfer your accumulated wealth to a significant other(s) - the state will.

And then, think for a minute on how and how fast they will spend (blow through[?]) what you've spent a life time to accumulate. I remember, maybe incorrectly, that most inheritances are consumed with in three years of receipt. And those that get your inheritance will not have a sense of gratitude sufficient to repay you - not that you'll be around to notice - for the effort you spent or for the enjoyment you forgo to provide them that inheritance.

That little factoid - whether true or not - was enough for me to come to understand that the only thing money was good for was keeping score and buying things you want or need. And if you want to spend money in the here and now or give it away that's OK.
FI is the best revenge. LBYM. Invest the rest. Stay the course. - PS: The cavalry isn't coming, kids. You are on your own.
sscritic
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Re: Post-Spending Regret

Post by sscritic »

DualIncomeNoDebt wrote: Before her, I lived very frugally, cheap place, no expenses to speak of. All I need to be happy is a computer, an internet connection, a gym, and an iPad with books.
You mean you enjoy paying monthly dues to a gym? And doesn't your internet connection have a monthly cost as well? Skip the gym and go outside. Forget the paid internet connection and go to the library.

Now stop and answer this question: what was there about the gym and the internet connection that made you not regret them the same way you regret, say, the tv? Try to extend that feeling to other purchases.
TA_Lurker
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Re: Post-Spending Regret

Post by TA_Lurker »

DualIncomeNoDebt wrote:So it's likely the normal give-and-take, the difference being we forum participants are thinking hard about these things and are making long-term plans. But I am serious about Gekko and liquid worth. I don't need a jet, but the ability to move around the globe as I see fit, and without financial worry, that is the goal.
Have you two discussed post marriage plans? How soon until children, a first home, daycare, piano lessons, etc. You need to make sure you two are on the same page about these things. You come across as someone who may not be interested in building a family and planting deep roots. How does the fiance feel about building a tangible nest, not just a financial one?
Confused
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Re: Post-Spending Regret

Post by Confused »

Blanked for privacy
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TA_Lurker
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Re: Post-Spending Regret

Post by TA_Lurker »

DualIncomeNoDebt wrote:Another example, we recently returned from a short vacation. Now that we're back, I start going over what we spent on meals and a couple luxury purchases, and think to myself, "damn, I could have put the $ we spent on this vacation into one of my funds, and it forever would have paid us X per quarter or per annum."
DualIncomeNoDebt wrote:My plan was to be militant about building wealth -- saving around 75% of what I earned solo, with a goal of having serious assets at a young age. The lady changed things a bit -- more expensive place because we needed room, occasional trips, some luxury purchases, etc. Part of me regrets not having seen through the militant plan, though we are still pretty aggressive. She pays nearly all the expenses with her income, I pay the cable bill. So we bank 99% of what I earn, and we max her 401K and Roth each year.
Given your astonishingly high savings rate and issues with spending I think you should do a bit of Googling for the "Spender vs. Saver ..." threads from earlier this year. Someone with similar issues to you talked about his situation at length.
bigred77
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Re: Post-Spending Regret

Post by bigred77 »

DualIncomeNoDebt wrote:
Balance wrote:My question for you is, when is your savings going to be enough? When you do reach your end goal how will you transition to spending some of that hard earned money?
When we can live entirely off passive investment income. Think Gordon Gekko and "liquid." No office. No day-to-day requirements. No commitments except the ones I choose to make. The ability to do as we please, when we please, with the means to easily do it. The transition will be to spend investment returns only, never touch principal, none of this "percent withdrawal per annum" and hope for the best. I need a big compost pile and I want to pick only the ripe fruit to sustain us, and sustain us well.

We're getting there. But I see the goal recede a bit each time we buy something. Can't shake it. But many posters are correct, could be dead in a week, I understand that.
RenoJay wrote:In the original post, you referred to "we" and your avatar name has "dualincome" in it. How does your significant other feel about your attitudes? It's possible you're driving her/him crazy and could lose the most important person in your life.
I think the chick understands, but it does drive her a bit nuts, sometimes. Before her, I lived very frugally, cheap place, no expenses to speak of. All I need to be happy is a computer, an internet connection, a gym, and an iPad with books. She needs more than I do, meaning getting out a bit more, some purchases, dinners out, etc.

My plan was to be militant about building wealth -- saving around 75% of what I earned solo, with a goal of having serious assets at a young age. The lady changed things a bit -- more expensive place because we needed room, occasional trips, some luxury purchases, etc. Part of me regrets not having seen through the militant plan, though we are still pretty aggressive. She pays nearly all the expenses with her income, I pay the cable bill. So we bank 99% of what I earn, and we max her 401K and Roth each year. She'll sometimes say "other couples" have or do X, Y, Z, so why don't we. I explain these other people likely are in debt, whereas we have zero debt and no financial obligations except rent. She also wants to stop working -- but no way can I countenance that, not when we still have building to do.

So it's likely the normal give-and-take, the difference being we forum participants are thinking hard about these things and are making long-term plans. But I am serious about Gekko and liquid worth. I don't need a jet, but the ability to move around the globe as I see fit, and without financial worry, that is the goal.
I'm curious, how old are you? Am I safe in assuming your still in your 20s?
Also, how much do you make (relatively, i mean do you personally make over/under 100k/yr)?

I ask these questions because I think you're being a little unrealistic about your reality. Unless you have a REALLY high income I don't think it's possible to amass a fortune large enough to live a care free, globe trotting lifestyle on investment returns only (at a relatively young age) from what will basically be mostly savings (you're not leaving enough time for compounding interest to help you do the heavy lifting). You're going to need a minimum of 1-2 million stashed away. Unless your talking about saving up less and come and go around the world as you please means youth hostiles and a sparse lifestyle.

Do you have a big base from inheritence or family money? Do you make 200k+/yr? Otherwise you're looking at either a lifetime of sparse living (with a short period of actually having to work) or a period of sparse living and a period of living it up. This may be what you want and fit your personality just fine (which is great, more power to you) but I would give some consideration to "consumption smoothing" (god I hate that phrase and can't believe I just used it).

Live a little now, live a little later, work a little more than the bare minimum, and leave yourself with more of a very important thing later in life: options.
MrMiyagi
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Re: Post-Spending Regret

Post by MrMiyagi »

I consider myself pretty frugal/cheap but what you describe sounds extreme like others have mentioned above. I was friends with a guy who's dad was like this too. He was so damn cheap and was constantly hoarding money and saving (stereotypical asian immigrant v. Extreme). His wife and kids were pretty unhappy with it but never showed it.

Let me tell you, when he died rich (very rich because he worked extremely hard), his family spent his money like no tomorrow. Oh I hate to say it, but they seemed much happier too after a while. Why save so hard if you're not going to enjoy it? You earned it! You should enjoy some of the fruits of your labor from time to time. Others may benefit from your sacrifices after you leave this mortal world so if that's your intention, that's great. But from your post, it sounds like you should be spending some of your money and try to die penniless instead. :beer

One approach that may help is to set a savings goal of X amount of money per year, and spend the rest guilt-free.
Last edited by MrMiyagi on Fri Aug 10, 2012 9:01 am, edited 1 time in total.
TA_Lurker
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Re: Post-Spending Regret

Post by TA_Lurker »

DualIncomeNoDebt wrote:She'll sometimes say "other couples" have or do X, Y, Z, so why don't we.
OP, these are not just random questions in her mind nor some kind of phase she'll move past. There is more to this than meets the eye. My guess is this is her way of stating her desired standard of living and you should talk to her about this. Have you two talked in depth about the kind of life you want to build together?
Muchtolearn
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Re: Post-Spending Regret

Post by Muchtolearn »

I have thought about this post a lot as I share much with OP. Here is how I come to terms with it. I would not pay 10 cents for a piece of gum. I happily paid many hundreds of thosuands of dollars to get my daughter debt free through college and medical school. I get pleasure from large donations to charity. I don't care much at all for material possessions nor "experiences" when define by others as "going somewhere". So I think one should spend on what they want and not on what doesn't give them value. And it is to one's own drummer that one should march. As far as I am concerned one can NEVER have enough if they are healthy now and one never knows what one might possibly need money for down the road. Should I become incapacitated or get alzheimer's and be one of those that lasts 10 years, I want enough to be in the best darned facility around and not have to feel bad about it or need help from anybody.
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Toons
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Re: Post-Spending Regret

Post by Toons »

My thoughts:
I think the acquisition of material goods is something that diminishes as one ages in most cases ,regardless of net worth .
I know that when I was in my 20-45 age bracket I was purchasing material goods(with much less discretionary monies) at a much faster clip than I am now,age 61.
Its just not so much about the "stuff" any more.
So having said that ,,go ahead and make some purchases ,,enjoy some material goods with your money,,because eventually your priorities Will change :happy
"One does not accumulate but eliminate. It is not daily increase but daily decrease. The height of cultivation always runs to simplicity" –Bruce Lee
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TomatoTomahto
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Re: Post-Spending Regret

Post by TomatoTomahto »

I agree with you about weddings, but otherwise it sounds like you could use some "talk therapy."

Having been downtown in NYC on 9/11, I've seen many people reassess their relationship to money. A friend had an extensive wine cellar that he hoarded. Since 9/11, wine is for drinking.
DoubleIncomeNoDebt wrote:I think the chick understands, but it does drive her a bit nuts, sometimes
Goodness gracious, I sure hope you're being ironic here.

I hope that you posted in a strange mood, and that it doesn't truly represent your thoughts. You don't sound happy, and you should spend some of your hoarded money on finding a more satisfying frame of mind.
I get the FI part but not the RE part of FIRE.
NateW
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Re: Post-Spending Regret

Post by NateW »

I look at it this way: Just remember "you can't take it with you when you die". So you might was well spend a little, within reason, and enjoy life. There may be a time when you can't. If you don't spend a little, when warranted (everyone deserves a nice vacation), you could end up with a sizable estate in the end if you are too frugal. Think of that bumper sticker on the motor home, "We are out spending our childrens' inheritance."

I could be doing the same, given my situation (I used to somewhat). My wife and I are somewhat behind on saving for retirement (I am 52 and she is 56 and we have about $600,000 socked away, but got started late). But since we are now both maxing out our 401ks and buying Roth IRAs each year, I take the attitude we can splurge a little. We went on a cruise this winter, first ever, and I had no regrets. Paid cash, so no debt was involved. Now if it had to be financed, I would be obsessing.

--Nate
fsrph
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Re: Post-Spending Regret

Post by fsrph »

Agree with a lot of these posts. Spending vs saving should be a balance. There is nothing wrong with buying something you enjoy and just say the heck with the money on this one. Just don't do it too many times. To just save and save for years in the future and deny yourself a few things every now and then seems too strict to me.

Granted money saved today has a time value but how far do you take this? Why stop at big ticket items? Do you deny yourself a $1 newspaper because that dollar could be worth $5 in 25 years? The point about health made by othere is a good one. You could save and save for years and when you finally are ready to retire and do things your health may not permit it. Remember the lines from "Dust in the Wind" by Kansas?

"Don't hang on, nothing lasts forever but the earth and sky.
It slips away, all your money won't another minute buy."

Francis
"Success is getting what you want. Happiness is wanting what you get." | Dale Carnegie
Dandy
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Re: Post-Spending Regret

Post by Dandy »

You don't sound happy.

I'm all for saving/investing especially in these troubled times. Balance is really important. Yikes the weddings in my area are insanely high for one "special" day. So I get the impact on long term financial gain. But having vacation remorse because of a couple of expensive meals or such is kind of off the deep end. You only get one chance at life, at youth, and sometimes at health. So, be frugal but remember money is not an end in itself. It would be sad if you met you money goals and then looked back and really regretted not having more enjoyment or not having the time or health to enjoy it.

If you feel you can't turn off the some of the spending regret maybe you should get some help to sort through how you can modify your thought process to get more balance in your life.
MDfive21
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Re: Post-Spending Regret

Post by MDfive21 »

i will take the other side of this and say that OP may not be the problem here. it sounds a lot like 'the chick/the lady' is pressuring him to spend money he doesn't want to spend. the spender/saver threads will be a golden lesson for the OP in the sense that he may be able to get out of a bad relationship before marriage and kids. i'm not saying that either OP or OP's GF are bad people or that they need therapy, but that they are not in agreement on money issues.

people have goals, and if OP wants to save his fortune (for now, he says), that's fine and he should choose a partner accordingly.. or choose not to tie his finances to anyone at all. the headaches that will come with severe marital disagreement over money will far outweigh the headaches of breaking up now. OP you want to live a simple life, find someone who shares that vision.

nobody 'needs' a $3500 tv. my 32" lcd that cost $500 looks pretty good, and if paying $3500 for a $500 item is the order of magnitude that 'the chick' wants to spend on, it's time to reevaluate.

spender/saver I
spender/saver II
spender/saver III
spender/saver IV
NorCalDad
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Re: Post-Spending Regret

Post by NorCalDad »

Toons wrote:My thoughts:
I think the acquisition of material goods is something that diminishes as one ages in most cases ,regardless of net worth .
I know that when I was in my 20-45 age bracket I was purchasing material goods(with much less discretionary monies) at a much faster clip than I am now,age 61.
Its just not so much about the "stuff" any more.
So having said that ,,go ahead and make some purchases ,,enjoy some material goods with your money,,because eventually your priorities Will change :happy
I agree, Toons. I think the earlier in life people realize this, the better for both their finances and well-being.
DualIncomeNoDebt wrote:She pays nearly all the expenses with her income, I pay the cable bill. So we bank 99% of what I earn, and we max her 401K and Roth each year. She'll sometimes say "other couples" have or do X, Y, Z, so why don't we. I explain these other people likely are in debt, whereas we have zero debt and no financial obligations except rent. She also wants to stop working -- but no way can I countenance that, not when we still have building to do.
Doesn't seem like your life goals and financial values are aligned. Seems like in your mind you are dividing your finances from hers and telling yourself that you save 99% of your money while you may think she is profligate. And you are justifying frugality to her based on what may be a false premise, that everyone around you is only enjoying life by borrowing. May be true of some or most Americans, but there are plenty of people here who have struck the right balance.

Saving is only one side of the equation to accomplish your goals. If you really want to live off passive income at an early age as you suggest, you may need to focus on finding a career that pays gobs of money.
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HomerJ
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Re: Post-Spending Regret

Post by HomerJ »

DualIncomeNoDebt wrote:I have this issue where, for larger purchases, I will contemplate how much in future income the current purchase cost us -- and after the purchase, I tend to think about it obsessively. Frankly, I don't like to spend money -- but I can get unhealthy about it. I won't have kids because I have no desire to raise a family, and frankly I don't want to spend money on kids clothes, schooling, college, etc. I refuse to have a wedding because I think it's a massive waste, an opportunity for these charlatans to gouge us for bad food, bad cake, bad clothes, and stupid photos I don't want or need. To hell with the "joyous day," give me the lifetime earnings from the wedding's cost.

Another example, we recently returned from a short vacation. Now that we're back, I start going over what we spent on meals and a couple luxury purchases, and think to myself, "damn, I could have put the $ we spent on this vacation into one of my funds, and it forever would have paid us X per quarter or per annum." I recently replaced an eight year old TV with a new plasma TV, and I really like this plasma TV, but I still think about taking that $3.5k and putting it in a REIT fund or dividend-paying stock. Don't even get me started on cars -- we replaced our cars last year, and we really needed to replace them (my then-current Ford was ten years old and stalling, the significant other's car was 12 years old and on its last legs). So we got two new nice cars and plan to own them long term. But goddamn if I don't think about how expensive and wasteful spending on cars can be (capitalized cost of the car, maintenance and insurance, fuel, etc.).

So, buying things brings me little joy, because I obsess about future income loss. I've tried to temper this by using dividend distributions to make the purchases, but I still regret not putting the quarterly distributions to work. I understand you have to live and you can't take it with you, but what do you all do to avoid this kind of thinking?
1st thought: You worry too much about money
2nd thought: $3500 for a TV? Maybe you don't worry enough about money. What a crazy purchase, especially for someone who obsesses about money.
Last edited by HomerJ on Fri Aug 10, 2012 1:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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HomerJ
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Re: Post-Spending Regret

Post by HomerJ »

SurfCityBill wrote:Frankly, I don't mind spending a large sum of money when I feel I'm getting a good value. For instance, your $3,500 plasma. Yes, expensive. But if you're watching it 2 hours a day then it's a good value. You're using it regularly.
No, it's still a waste of money no matter how much TV he watches.

Is this a thread from 2002 when large plasma HD TVs were expensive?
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HomerJ
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Re: Post-Spending Regret

Post by HomerJ »

DualIncomeNoDebt wrote:
Balance wrote:My question for you is, when is your savings going to be enough? When you do reach your end goal how will you transition to spending some of that hard earned money?
When we can live entirely off passive investment income. Think Gordon Gekko and "liquid." No office. No day-to-day requirements. No commitments except the ones I choose to make. The ability to do as we please, when we please, with the means to easily do it. The transition will be to spend investment returns only, never touch principal, none of this "percent withdrawal per annum" and hope for the best. I need a big compost pile and I want to pick only the ripe fruit to sustain us, and sustain us well.
So basically, you're doing almost zero fun now so you can do 100% fun later. Maybe it would be better to have a 20% fun your whole life instead of doing nothing for 25 years, and then getting cancer.
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Jay69
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Re: Post-Spending Regret

Post by Jay69 »

DualIncomeNoDebt wrote:I refuse to have a wedding because I think it's a massive waste, an opportunity for these charlatans to gouge us for bad food, bad cake, bad clothes, and stupid photos I don't want or need. To hell with the "joyous day," give me the lifetime earnings from the wedding's cost.
You got a lot of information from the others but do really think a wedding has to be all that?

I don't know, but what would it really cost to have 8-10 close people to meet at a Justice of the Peace, tie the knot, buy them all dinner at the local Old County Buffet (I would choose another place) and print one $0.59 digital photo for your lovley bride.

I would take the gamble, it may work out to be a very good memory,

Just a thought.
Last edited by Jay69 on Fri Aug 10, 2012 1:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"Out of clutter, find simplicity” Albert Einstein
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linuxuser
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Re: Post-Spending Regret

Post by linuxuser »

DualIncomeNoDebt wrote:So, buying things brings me little joy, because I obsess about future income loss. I've tried to temper this by using dividend distributions to make the purchases, but I still regret not putting the quarterly distributions to work. I understand you have to live and you can't take it with you, but what do you all do to avoid this kind of thinking?
Try being in a hospital room and seeing your father having just taken his last breath.

I think you'll want to re-assess what is really important in LIFE.
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