How to get over finance envy

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Paddington79
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How to get over finance envy

Post by Paddington79 »

My husband and I are cautious people. We try to save faithfully, no credit card debt, no car debt, nothing. We save 22 percent per year in a 401k and contribute faithfully to our kids' college fund.
Meanwhile we are faithfully waiting til we have 20 percent down on a house plus extra savings of 30k. I guess the one area where we "indulge" is with eating out, but even then we're trying to cut back. We live pretty modestly and track our expenses.
However. We live in a HCOL. Everywhere I look people our age are buying new homes in these fancy locations, new cars, etc. Our gently used Toyota is one of the shabbier ones at our kids' school parking lot. And we live in a rental!

Either we are in the wrong line of work (we make almost 180k combined) or we are doing something wrong, I can't help but feel. At our age (33) I wonder why we aren't owning a home yet -- and the homes we're looking at are not fancy!
Sometimes it gets depressing. Our two strikes against us, if any, are (a) not being born to money or (b) having grad school debt (which we pay extra on monthly!).

At times I want to yell, What are we doing wrong and what are "THEY" doing right!? Anyone else feel this way - and anyone know how to snap out of it!!? I am not sure if I'm justly aggravated or misperceiving what is out there.
:beer
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prudent
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Re: How to get over finance envy

Post by prudent »

The simple solution is to stop focusing on people who appear to have more than you and stop paying attention to what they have. You don't know if they are drowning in debt and couldn't make their mortgage payment if one of the adults was out of work for a month. The mentality of being envious of others' possessions is a key driver in making people overextend themselves.

I have good friends I see at least once a month and I could not honestly tell you what kind of car ANY of them drive. Color or make, maybe. But not year, model or what they might have cost. 100% truth. I simply don't pay attention. I don't discuss finances with friends or at work.

If you took on credit card debt, cut your 401k savings to 3% and skipped the college fund, would you be able to do all those things the others are doing? Probably. And for all we know, that could be exactly how they are doing it. Would that be the right choice for you? Absolutely not, clearly that does not reflect your personal financial planning.

Feel good about what you are doing. You have your own path to follow. And you'll never know 5, 10 or 20 years down the road how many of those other people have crashed and burned under a mountain of debt or are facing retirement with barely anything to show for it. A lot of times when people sell their home and up and move away it's because their house of cards tumbled down. Remember you only see these things when people are living large. When things go south, they disappear and you never know it.
chipperd
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Re: How to get over finance envy

Post by chipperd »

Sounds like you are doing the right thing, which in my experience has very little to do with what others do or don't do. Stay your course that you feel is best and if you want a bigger house for reasons that have to do with you, not others, change your course
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JMacDonald
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Re: How to get over finance envy

Post by JMacDonald »

You can only do what is right for you. I would bet that other people are drowning in debt.
It appears to me you are doing fine. Stay the course as Jack Bogle would say.
Best Wishes, | Joe
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RyeWhiskey
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Re: How to get over finance envy

Post by RyeWhiskey »

Paddington79 wrote:My husband and I are cautious people. We try to save faithfully, no credit card debt, no car debt, nothing. We save 22 percent per year in a 401k and contribute faithfully to our kids' college fund.
Meanwhile we are faithfully waiting til we have 20 percent down on a house plus extra savings of 30k. I guess the one area where we "indulge" is with eating out, but even then we're trying to cut back. We live pretty modestly and track our expenses.
However. We live in a HCOL. Everywhere I look people our age are buying new homes in these fancy locations, new cars, etc. Our gently used Toyota is one of the shabbier ones at our kids' school parking lot. And we live in a rental!

Either we are in the wrong line of work (we make almost 180k combined) or we are doing something wrong, I can't help but feel. At our age (33) I wonder why we aren't owning a home yet -- and the homes we're looking at are not fancy!
Sometimes it gets depressing. Our two strikes against us, if any, are (a) not being born to money or (b) having grad school debt (which we pay extra on monthly!).

At times I want to yell, What are we doing wrong and what are "THEY" doing right!? Anyone else feel this way - and anyone know how to snap out of it!!? I am not sure if I'm justly aggravated or misperceiving what is out there.
:beer
How about this: I'm 27 and think that you're doing amazing! I have no children (and currently no job) so I can't imagine having to juggle jobs, kids, savings, having no debt at all, and all the while being able to indulge as necessary. So from my perspective you are the only who deserves to be envied. Also, you have no idea what those people are actually going through financially - you are effectively only seeing the "symbol value" of their stuff, not the actual worth or financial situation of anything. So I say forget them and continue working diligently to better your future and if you ever feel envious just remember that there's a fellow Boglehead out there who envies you.

:sharebeer
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Boglenaut
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Re: How to get over finance envy

Post by Boglenaut »

It takes time.

Time is on your side. It is against them.
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pennstater2005
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Re: How to get over finance envy

Post by pennstater2005 »

You'll get your house. I didn't own my first home until I was 33. I have friends who are drowning in debt with mortgages that are well beyond what they can truly afford. They're always talking about the financial mess they'll be in if they lose a job or even get their hours cut. We bought a house that was well below our means and that we can still afford on one income if needed. Know that odds are you're saving significantly more than your peers and you'll enjoy a much more comfortable retirement as a result.
Last edited by pennstater2005 on Mon Jul 08, 2013 8:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Grt2bOutdoors
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Re: How to get over finance envy

Post by Grt2bOutdoors »

It's amazing how a lease or a series of monthly payments in perpetuity can make the poorest person look rich. What is the difference between you and your neighbors? You are on you way to being rich, they will never be rich because they are beholden to the banks, finance companies and employers - without them they have nothing.

You've seen my posts I'm sure - I drive a 17 year old car and live in a HCOL, I park in a commuter lot filled with cars - Bimmers, Benz, Acuras, Range Rovers and cars that are mostly no older than 7 or eight years old - all of the bling names, they are "all" leased. How do I know this? I've struck up conversations with my fellow commuters when they pull in for the first time with the "new" car, congratulating them on their purchase. Their reaction is "oh, it's leased, I could never afford to buy it, it so affordable at $369, $469 or $513 a month with a $2,500 deposit." :shock: :oops: Like my neighbor down the block who upgraded from a jeep to a RangeRover (leased!).

Until you've seen their balance sheet and credit report, believe me when I say 7 out of 10 of your neighbors are running on "fumes".

As far as the homes - have you actually been inside of them? I know of neighbors who are house poor - what I mean is when you enter the home, the rooms are not furnished, not because they don't use those rooms (well that's partially true, but read on why) but because they lacked the money to pay for furniture, sofas, couches, window treatments, etc. They are so leveraged to the hilt, they can't borrow another penny.

Just stay the course, you'll own your own home soon - I didn't buy until I was into my late 30's.
"One should invest based on their need, ability and willingness to take risk - Larry Swedroe" Asking Portfolio Questions
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Boglenaut
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Re: How to get over finance envy

Post by Boglenaut »

Grt2bOutdoors wrote: HCOL
A browser search came up empty in this context... but after 5 minutes I finally figured it out... HIGH COST OF LIVING
Levett
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Re: How to get over finance envy

Post by Levett »

Envy is a hard thing to whip.

Are you sure you are not watching debt in motion?

If you judge your circumstances by the appearance of others, you are not on a good path.

Lev
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Svensk Anga
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Re: How to get over finance envy

Post by Svensk Anga »

For reinforcement on your chosen path, you might want to read "The Millionaire Next Door".

http://www.amazon.com/The-Millionaire-N ... +next+door

Those that put on a show of wealth often have little or nothing to back it up. It was a bit of a revelation to me how those in some occupations feel very pressured to keep up appearances. Feeling secure financially to me has more to do with the 401k balance than the show of McMansion or fancy ride.
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pennstater2005
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Re: How to get over finance envy

Post by pennstater2005 »

Grt2bOutdoors wrote:It's amazing how a lease or a series of monthly payments in perpetuity can make the poorest person look rich. What is the difference between you and your neighbors? You are on you way to being rich, they will never be rich because they are beholden to the banks, finance companies and employers - without them they have nothing.

You've seen my posts I'm sure - I drive a 17 year old car and live in a HCOL, I park in a commuter lot filled with cars - Bimmers, Benz, Acuras, Range Rovers and cars that are mostly no older than 7 or eight years old - all of the bling names, they are "all" leased. How do I know this? I've struck up conversations with my fellow commuters when they pull in for the first time with the "new" car, congratulating them on their purchase. Their reaction is "oh, it's leased, I could never afford to buy it, it so affordable at $369, $469 or $513 a month with a $2,500 deposit." :shock: :oops: Like my neighbor down the block who upgraded from a jeep to a RangeRover (leased!).

Until you've seen their balance sheet and credit report, believe me when I say 7 out of 10 of your neighbors are running on "fumes".

As far as the homes - have you actually been inside of them? I know of neighbors who are house poor - what I mean is when you enter the home, the rooms are not furnished, not because they don't use those rooms (well that's partially true, but read on why) but because they lacked the money to pay for furniture, sofas, couches, window treatments, etc. They are so leveraged to the hilt, they can't borrow another penny.

Just stay the course, you'll own your own home soon - I didn't buy until I was into my late 30's.
Pardon my ignorance. What is a HCOL?
“If you think nobody cares if you're alive, try missing a couple of car payments.” – Earl Wilson
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Boglenaut
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Re: How to get over finance envy

Post by Boglenaut »

Boglenaut wrote:
Grt2bOutdoors wrote: HCOL
A browser search came up empty in this context... but after 5 minutes I finally figured it out... HIGH COST OF LIVING
hicabob
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Re: How to get over finance envy

Post by hicabob »

At that income you could buy a house anywhere in the US with decent credit if that is most important to you. It might end up being a fine investment too. The question becomes priorities.
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englishgirl
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Re: How to get over finance envy

Post by englishgirl »

This is where advancing age is actually a benefit! I can look back on the time that I have envied friends' or acquaintances' material possessions, and can remember those same people going bankrupt or being foreclosed on a few years later. Most of these people have no wiggle room whatsoever, so it just takes one problem for the whole house of cards to tumble down.

You are doing the right thing. You will get there, and be in a much better position than the others.
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nedsaid
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Re: How to get over finance envy

Post by nedsaid »

"They" aren't doing anything right. The lifestyles you see are probably largely financed with debt. If you could see the true financial state of the people you are envying, you wouldn't be envying them. You would be thanking your lucky stars!!!

What do these folks have in savings compared to you? You are solvent with lots of cushion if something goes wrong. How much debt do they have compared to you?

I think you will find there is a lot less than what meets the eye.
A fool and his money are good for business.
RenoJay
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Re: How to get over finance envy

Post by RenoJay »

I have saved faithfully for most of my working career, and now my "revenge" on the people who always had the best stuff is that I'll probably retire at 45, a good 20 years earlier than they will. You're doing the right things except for focusing your energy on what you don't have rather than on what you do have. I will relate, however, that about 7 years ago I got roped into the good life concept for all of about a month and I bought a big fancy house. It was probably the worst financial decision of my life. A house comes with so many unexpected expenses that it changes your life a lot. I really wish I hadn't done it, but it's currently worth so much less than I paid that I'm content to just stay put for another 15 years.
hq38sq43
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Re: How to get over finance envy

Post by hq38sq43 »

A friend likes to opine that what we gain on the oranges we lose on the bananas. The question here, of course, is which is more important: long term financial security or current enjoyment. Your choice.

Best regards,
Harry at Bradenton
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pennstater2005
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Re: How to get over finance envy

Post by pennstater2005 »

Boglenaut wrote:
Boglenaut wrote:
Grt2bOutdoors wrote: HCOL
A browser search came up empty in this context... but after 5 minutes I finally figured it out... HIGH COST OF LIVING
Ahh…thank you. My google search turned up nothing.
“If you think nobody cares if you're alive, try missing a couple of car payments.” – Earl Wilson
Grt2bOutdoors
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Re: How to get over finance envy

Post by Grt2bOutdoors »

Svensk Anga wrote:For reinforcement on your chosen path, you might want to read "The Millionaire Next Door".

http://www.amazon.com/The-Millionaire-N ... +next+door

Those that put on a show of wealth often have little or nothing to back it up. It was a bit of a revelation to me how those in some occupations feel very pressured to keep up appearances. Feeling secure financially to me has more to do with the 401k balance than the show of McMansion or fancy ride.
I've read it so many times, I can literally repeat the verse - "My business does not look pretty, I may not look the part, or act the part", When my British partners first met me, they thought I was one of the truck drivers....they looked over my office, looked at everyone but me. Then the senior guy of the group said "oh, I forgot we are in Texas" I don't own big hats, but I own lots of cattle".

Actually...I just copied it from the book on page 8. :D
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livesoft
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Re: How to get over finance envy

Post by livesoft »

I'm envious because y'all have way more income than we had at that age. We lived in a HCOL area (Long Island, Great Gatsby area) and rented. We had to move to another state to find our first home to buy at age 38. So you all have 5 years to go to catch up to us. :)

I will guess that "They" may have some help from relatives or have decided that debt is worth it.
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WL2034
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Re: How to get over finance envy

Post by WL2034 »

I feel the envy sometimes. Turned 30, six-figure debt from student loans, negative net worth, no flashy possessions, most of my peers from school have nicer things, etc. Mostly I'm happy with my current situation, though--it's not unexpected and I consider myself on track. Bottom line is we all have to make the best decisions for ourselves, and it definitely sounds like you are. Saving 22% in 401k while also saving for college is impressive. I hope to be doing as well as you are soon. A decent percentage of your peers would probably be envious of you if they knew how much you were investing. A larger percentage of them will likely be envious of you when it's time to retire.
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Taylor Larimore
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Two kinds of people.

Post by Taylor Larimore »

Paddington:

At age 89, I have traveled a long road and observed a few things:

In general, there are two kinds of people:

"Outer-directed" who spend their lives trying to impress others.
"Inner-directed" who achieve peace of mind.

There will always be people with more then we have, and many people with less. Try to accept that fact and focus on being comfortable with who you are.

Best wishes.
Taylor
"Simplicity is the master key to financial success." -- Jack Bogle
leonard
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Re: How to get over finance envy

Post by leonard »

Why do you care what other people are doing? Do you seriously care about upgrading a house or a car a few years earlier? Why?
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TomatoTomahto
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Re: How to get over finance envy

Post by TomatoTomahto »

Before the Great Recession, two people who worked for my wife lived in our town. She'd see what their houses looked like, their cars, their vacations, and marvel. She would tell me that she knew their salaries, knew how much bonus they each got, but couldn't figure out how they lived that way unless they had inherited a lot. Well, when it came time to lay them off, it was quickly apparent that their emergency fund was the severance package, and after that, it was all over.
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countdown
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Re: How to get over finance envy

Post by countdown »

Wise words from Mr. Larimore.
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HomerJ
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Re: How to get over finance envy

Post by HomerJ »

My house is paid off and my wife retired at 51, and I'm on track to retire at 55...

A few of my neighbors asked how we managed after my wife quit working... I told them, "well, we finally got the house paid off, so we're able to squeak by on just my salary now"....

They all shake their head, and tell me, "Man, I've got like 27 more years before my house gets paid off"

They do all drive nicer cars than me though.
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Kalo
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Re: How to get over finance envy

Post by Kalo »

Enjoy your kids and family life. Because they will grow up and you can't really get back to where you are today once it's past. You are doing the right things financially, so all that's left is to enjoy the things that really matter, which is friends and family.

Kalo
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Perpetual
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Re: How to get over finance envy

Post by Perpetual »

Paddington79,

When you look at other people, what you see is what they decide to show the world. This can skew your perspective and mislead you into thinking they are doing things right.

What you don't see are the sleepless nights full of worrying about job security and debt, fights between spouses about crazy spending habits, or the massive loans their children will have to take just to be able to go to college because their parents didn't put money in a college fund.

Listen to the wise words of Mr. Larimore. Aim to achieve peace of mind, which given someone of your finances should be a piece of cake as you have nothing to worry about. And know that your children will be incredibly grateful to you.
DualIncomeNoDebt
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Re: How to get over finance envy

Post by DualIncomeNoDebt »

Don't Believe Everything You See

Have you ever been driving on a highway, noticed how many BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Audi vehicles there are, and wondered how so many people have the money to buy all those fancy cars? (I have.) Well, in many cases the drivers may not have the money because they don't own the cars!

Industry-wide, leases comprise about a fifth of all new vehicle registrations, but within the luxury market, lease penetration is more than twice as high at 45%. Three premium makes: BMW, Infiniti and Mercedes-Benz, actually have national lease rates at or above 50%.

Furthermore, several popular compact premium cars have lease rates above 60%, with the Mercedes-Benz C-Class approaching 70%. Leasing is not limited to smaller vehicles, as all five of the leading large premium sedans have lease rates above 50%. Two of every three 7-Series are leased.

In the two largest metropolitan areas, New York and Los Angeles, leasing is substantially more popular than in the rest of the country. Almost two thirds of all premium vehicles registered in the New York metropolitan area are leased, and almost as many in LA. More than two thirds of most small premium cars registered in these two metropolitan areas are leased, and we see similar results for the large premium sedan category.
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linguini
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Re: How to get over finance envy

Post by linguini »

I think it is perfectly natural to feel envy of other people's possessions, especially when you interact very frequently with those who own more than you, whether they can afford it or not. Don't feel ashamed of your envy, but do try your hardest not to let it dictate how you live your life. The easiest way to remind yourself that you are actually very well off is to force yourself to think of and even interact with those who are far less fortunate than yourself. If I ever feel envious, I try to reflect on how there are others who are truly needy and cannot afford proper medicine, clothes, nutrition, education, or shelter. It helps to do a day of volunteer work or make an unscheduled donation to a charity for the needy every once in a while. It keeps you thinking about people who are worse off than you rather than people who seem better off than you, and it also helps put into perspective how much it means to be able to afford antibiotics and fresh water for your child and how little it means to be able to upgrade your Camry for a Lexus.
Vittelx
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Re: How to get over finance envy

Post by Vittelx »

While you might feel behind right now i bet in 10 years time when you are living in your house that you own you will feel ahead.
LFKB
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Re: How to get over finance envy

Post by LFKB »

Lots of great advice in this thread, especially from Taylor (as always).

As a child of someone who lived above their means, I've seen the damage it can do. Struggling with finances and worrying about debt makes things tough, especially when income goes down or unexpected expenses pop up.

I am fortunate enough to have a high income but still live well below by means and am able to help them out financially. I can't solve all their problems, but have seen firsthand the damage having money work against you (interest and financing costs) vs. for you (dividends, stock appreciation, interest payments, etc) can do.

Having said that, everyone needs to find a happy medium of the right amount to save/invest and the right amount to spend to allow them to reach their goals. I'm not sure where exactly you stand on this spectrum, but i do feel some people on here are too conservative and could stand to live a bit more. To each his/her own though.
ER2023
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Re: How to get over finance envy

Post by ER2023 »

linguini wrote:I think it is perfectly natural to feel envy of other people's possessions, especially when you interact very frequently with those who own more than you, whether they can afford it or not. Don't feel ashamed of your envy, but do try your hardest not to let it dictate how you live your life. The easiest way to remind yourself that you are actually very well off is to force yourself to think of and even interact with those who are far less fortunate than yourself. If I ever feel envious, I try to reflect on how there are others who are truly needy and cannot afford proper medicine, clothes, nutrition, education, or shelter. It helps to do a day of volunteer work or make an unscheduled donation to a charity for the needy every once in a while. It keeps you thinking about people who are worse off than you rather than people who seem better off than you, and it also helps put into perspective how much it means to be able to afford antibiotics and fresh water for your child and how little it means to be able to upgrade your Camry for a Lexus.

+1
IlliniDave
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Re: How to get over finance envy

Post by IlliniDave »

Hi Paddington!

Quite possibly what you're seeing in many cases is the illusion of wealth, people in extravagant houses driving expensive cars with a net worth near zero or even less. Dave Ramsey is not particularly popular in these parts, but he's got a great motto: Don't bother keeping up with the Joneses because chances are the Joneses are broke. Of course, some of the people around you may legitimately be wealthy or at least have wealthy families propping them up, and comparing yourself to them isn't really fair. I believe one of the habits most absolutely detrimental to a person's finances is that of comparing themselves to and competing with others in terms of "stuff". It's a natural thing to do, we seem to be wired with that affinity, but it's a never-ending game. There will always be someone (many someones) with more, bigger, fancier stuff; all too often amassed at the price of a mountain of debt.

The trick is simply believing in yourself and your plan. It sounds like you're headed in the right direction, just stay the course. Live well below your means and in time you'll amass wealth. At that point, if it's important to you, you can begin upgrading your lifestyle.

Someone else recommended reading The Millionaire Next Door. I second that recommendation. It's pretty eye-opening, the stark difference between the relatively common illusion of wealth we see in our communities versus those who have truly created wealth for themselves and their families.
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Cash
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Re: How to get over finance envy

Post by Cash »

Move to an area where your shabby Toyota is one of the nicest in the lot? :)

Seriously, I think there are studies that show that people are happier when they perceive themselves to be near the top of the local totem pole.
RenaInTexas
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Re: How to get over finance envy

Post by RenaInTexas »

I was once told; 'if the grass looks greener on the other side, check their water bill'.

They may have had some advantages of old money or help from parents. Or, they may simply be willing to pay a price that you aren't willing to pay (debt).
You are doing it right. Life is a marathon, not a sprint. Your 50, 60, 70, 80 year old self will thank you.
Last edited by RenaInTexas on Tue Jul 09, 2013 6:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
bogleraw
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Re: How to get over finance envy

Post by bogleraw »

I suggest that you guys take a small vacation to a place like Mumbai. Make sure you have a good time but take the opportunity to visit the Dharavi district. Although it is one of the largest slums in Asia, you see hundreds of happy kids playing cricket on the streets and people with smiles on their faces going about their daily lives. You make more in a year than these people make in several lifetimes. I think everybody needs a reminder once in a while that life in North America is truly blessed. :beer
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WeMigr8
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Re: How to get over finance envy

Post by WeMigr8 »

I am you. My ex was like "them", which is why he became my "ex".
He died recently. Left his (newer) wife with nothing but memories of a nice vacation condo financed by a mortgage on their home which they could not afford once he became ill.
They tried for 2 years to sell the condo. No luck.
The bank finally took the condo back and agreed to let her sell their home short.
In her mid-late 50s, she's now widowed and back living with her aged father.
Meanwhile, because I and my (newer) DH have lived a more Bogleheadish lifestyle, we are enjoying our retirement, summer home, winter condo, and our mid-7 figure nest egg.
Houses of cards fall ugly...
It's best not to be in the way when they do...
Last edited by WeMigr8 on Tue Jul 09, 2013 7:08 am, edited 1 time in total.
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fatlittlepig
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Re: How to get over finance envy

Post by fatlittlepig »

how long have you had combined income of 180k. seems like with no outstanding debt, should have enough for down payment by now depending on my first question.

FLP
fatlittlepig
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nisiprius
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Re: How to get over finance envy

Post by nisiprius »

Paddington79 wrote:At times I want to yell, What are we doing wrong and what are "THEY" doing right!? Anyone else feel this way - and anyone know how to snap out of it!!? I am not sure if I'm justly aggravated or misperceiving what is out there.
Yes. I feel that way.

I don't know any easy ways to "snap out of it." I don't experience it to an extent where it troubles me deeply. My thoughts:

Envy is a very natural human emotion. Why shouldn't I expect to feel envy? What am I, some kind of saint? Honest joy at someone else's deserved good fortune must be one of the rarest of all experiences. Envy, yes, I experience envy, and I experience lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, anger, and pride, too. I'll bet there are moments when John C. Bogle, who has described his personal wealth as in the "low double digit millions," feels just the slightest touch of envy for Fidelity's Edward C. Johnson III and his high single digit billions.

You live your life according to your values and make the best of it. You strike some balance between being social and being an independent loner. Life isn't a course and you aren't getting graded in it.

This only just occurred to me--might be worth a try. When you are pretty sure nobody can hear you, why don't you try actually yelling "What are we doing wrong and what are "THEY" doing right?" It might make you feel better or it might make you feel worse; if it makes you feel worse, don't do it again.

P.S. Not really the same topic but I'll bet that every President of the United States sometimes dreams that they are lost in the White House, which has gotten bigger and grown new corridors, and just realized they completely forgot that they had to give the State of the Union message in half an hour, and can't make much progress through the corridors because of the chest-high invisible maple syrup.

And I'll bet that Nobel laureates who have to share a prize wish it had been solo.
Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six, result happiness; Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.
carolinaman
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Re: How to get over finance envy

Post by carolinaman »

You are making $180k at age 33 and have envy problem with what others are doing. You are focusing on the wrong things. You seem to be doing the right things regarding your finances and should be commended for that. There are only a few per cent of families at that level of income and even less who are under 35. Do not worry about what others are doing. You will always find some who make more, have nicer homes and drive fancier cars. So what. Be comfortable and thankful for what you have. You have a bright future if you continue to do things well. Do not screw it up by trying to keep up with the Joneses. Wealth and material things are not the source of happiness. Best wishes.
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Rager1
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Re: How to get over finance envy

Post by Rager1 »

Svensk Anga wrote:For reinforcement on your chosen path, you might want to read "The Millionaire Next Door".

http://www.amazon.com/The-Millionaire-N ... +next+door

Those that put on a show of wealth often have little or nothing to back it up. It was a bit of a revelation to me how those in some occupations feel very pressured to keep up appearances. Feeling secure financially to me has more to do with the 401k balance than the show of McMansion or fancy ride.
And, if you still need more reinforcement that you're on the right path after reading that book, try his other book "Stop Acting Rich"

http://www.amazon.com/Stop-Acting-Rich- ... cting+rich

Both of these books are excellent.

Ed
Call_Me_Op
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Re: How to get over finance envy

Post by Call_Me_Op »

You're still young - give it some time.
Best regards, -Op | | "In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity." Einstein
Colorado13
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Re: How to get over finance envy

Post by Colorado13 »

Only on this forum would people complain about earning $180K.
freebeer
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Re: How to get over finance envy

Post by freebeer »

Paddington79 wrote:My husband and I are cautious people. We try to save faithfully, no credit card debt, no car debt, nothing. We save 22 percent per year in a 401k and contribute faithfully to our kids' college fund.
Meanwhile we are faithfully waiting til we have 20 percent down on a house plus extra savings of 30k. ...Anyone else feel this way - and anyone know how to snap out of it!!?..
From another post it seems you basically have the 20% down plus extra savings (unless you've raised your price target from $450K). So, go buy a house already! Then you'll lose the scarlet letter "R", and be too busy with maintenance, yardwork, and the other pleasures of homeowning to be worried about other folks lifestyles... and when interest rates skyrocket you can pat yourself on the back...
scrabbler1
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Re: How to get over finance envy

Post by scrabbler1 »

I echo the remarks of others here. Paddington, you mentioned that you are paying down grad school debt. Can I assume that your advanced degrees is a reason for your impressive $180k combined annual income? You are paying down that grad school debt, as you posted. How many years are left on that debt given your accelerated payoff? Might a possible game plan be to buy a house after you pay that debt off so you will have money freed up to pay a mortgage? I made sure I paid off my student loans (which were minimal back in the 1980s) before I bought my apartment in 1989. And I always paid cash for my cars which were not flashy but lasted a long time.

As for the general finance envy, having retired at 45 back in 2008 has made people envy of me even though I am hardly flashy in my day-to-day lifestyle which never changed after I retired. If you and your husband can retire early then you will be envied by them as they toil with working into their 60s and 70s. Won't that all be worth it?
SGM
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Re: How to get over finance envy

Post by SGM »

You have no idea how lucky you are.
"Let us endeavor, so to live, that when we die, even the undertaker will be sorry." Mark Twain
Grt2bOutdoors
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Re: How to get over finance envy

Post by Grt2bOutdoors »

SGM wrote:You have no idea how lucky you are.
+1 - My wife tells me that when I sometimes fall victim to "finance envy" of my neighbors who all seemingly own second homes on the beach, SUV bling bling and have limos pick them up for a night on the town. It's all one big mirage!
"One should invest based on their need, ability and willingness to take risk - Larry Swedroe" Asking Portfolio Questions
Grt2bOutdoors
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Re: Two kinds of people.

Post by Grt2bOutdoors »

Taylor Larimore wrote:Paddington:

At age 89, I have traveled a long road and observed a few things:

In general, there are two kinds of people:

"Outer-directed" who spend their lives trying to impress others.
"Inner-directed" who achieve peace of mind.

There will always be people with more then we have, and many people with less. Try to accept that fact and focus on being comfortable with who you are.

Best wishes.
Taylor
+1 Taylor. You are very wise. Sometimes so much can be said with "so little".
"One should invest based on their need, ability and willingness to take risk - Larry Swedroe" Asking Portfolio Questions
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