does frugality result in lower career ambition?

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Go Blue 99
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does frugality result in lower career ambition?

Post by Go Blue 99 » Mon Jun 02, 2014 9:40 am

Do you believe that living a frugal lifestyle can sometimes result in having less career ambition? If you can learn to live and save on less, and not have to worry about keeping up with Joneses, you don’t need as high of a salary. Therefore, you may be reluctant to put in the extra hours and keep chasing the next promotion. Thoughts?

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Re: does frugality result in lower career ambition?

Post by SuperGrafx » Mon Jun 02, 2014 9:52 am

Interesting question.
For me personally, I don't think being frugal has anything to do with my career ambition.
If nothing else, I'm motivated to earn more which in turn allows me to save more and retire sooner.
I've never really been motivated that much by material goods, so that may just be me.

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Re: does frugality result in lower career ambition?

Post by steve_14 » Mon Jun 02, 2014 9:52 am

Frugal people like earning more for the same reason they like spending less - so they end up with more money. I'd say it most commonly results in lower lifetime productivity, since you will probably work fewer total hours (retire early). Lower per-hour productivity is less common, however I'm sure there are plenty of folks who decided not to make that extra 50 mile daily commute to earn an additional $10K/year, and frugality gives you that option.

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Re: does frugality result in lower career ambition?

Post by Novine » Mon Jun 02, 2014 9:55 am

Sure, I can see that. People who through personality or practice learn to temper their need for material things may also not feel the need to ascend the corporate ladder in pursuit of the next job title. Many of those people don't define their lives around their jobs while those climbing the corporate ladder may feel less than adequate if they aren't in pursuit of the next promotion. As long as one is aware of the trade-offs and is content with their place in life, I don't see any problem with this approach.

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Re: does frugality result in lower career ambition?

Post by investor1 » Mon Jun 02, 2014 9:59 am

I don't know if I would say that I am frugal, but I certainly spend very little of my salary which isn't as big as many of the people I see posting on this board. I don't really buy that many things, but the things I do really want tend to be a bit expensive (vacations, etc.). I've minimized many of the things I pay for on a regular basis.

For me, living below my means makes me want to increase my means. Prior to becoming financially reasonable, I felt I had all of the money I needed. Once I realized the cost of the home I want to buy someday along with the cost of a comfortable retirement, I changed my mind. I redirected my cash flow accordingly, and now a want more.

I can see how it might lower ambition if you are fine living out your days with your current lifestyle. If you have any desired at all to level up, or simply retire earlier, you should be good to go.

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Re: does frugality result in lower career ambition?

Post by Random Poster » Mon Jun 02, 2014 10:11 am

Go Blue 99 wrote:Do you believe that living a frugal lifestyle can sometimes result in having less career ambition? If you can learn to live and save on less, and not have to worry about keeping up with Joneses, you don’t need as high of a salary. Therefore, you may be reluctant to put in the extra hours and keep chasing the next promotion. Thoughts?
Possibly.

If all you need to live comfortably is $30K, and you have $1.25 million in taxable investments, plus some more in tax-deferred accounts, I'm sure the question of "why am I still working?" comes up often.

That said, I don't know if one's frugal lifestyle results in having less career ambition---after all, you likely had to have some career ambition in order to earn the amounts needed to allow you to save the amounts that you've got---but it might result in having less of a desire to keep doing what you are currently doing. But perhaps the ambition that once applied to your career gets transferred onto/into something else.

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Re: does frugality result in lower career ambition?

Post by Offshore » Mon Jun 02, 2014 10:14 am

SuperGrafx wrote:Interesting question.
For me personally, I don't think being frugal has anything to do with my career ambition.
If nothing else, I'm motivated to earn more which in turn allows me to save more and retire sooner.
I've never really been motivated that much by material goods, so that may just be me.
Nicely stated. I feel the same.

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Re: does frugality result in lower career ambition?

Post by TareNeko » Mon Jun 02, 2014 10:26 am

My salary is not driven by how much I can spend, but more like how much I can save. As my salary goes up, my spending increases a little, but I try and divert the extra money to savings.

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Re: does frugality result in lower career ambition?

Post by HomerJ » Mon Jun 02, 2014 10:37 am

Go Blue 99 wrote:Do you believe that living a frugal lifestyle can sometimes result in having less career ambition? If you can learn to live and save on less, and not have to worry about keeping up with Joneses, you don’t need as high of a salary. Therefore, you may be reluctant to put in the extra hours and keep chasing the next promotion. Thoughts?
I think this is true... Wife and I have discussed opening a business a couple of times (we see a niche that could be filled), but then we talk more and say "We're on track to retire in 10 years in our 50s, so why bother? We're set now, so what's the point of the added stress and work?"

For the same reason, I have zero desire to be promoted... I'm in a senior tech position, and I'm perfectly happy with this kind of job until I retire (Tech changes fast enough that it's not really a stagnant job anyway).

Doubling my salary wouldn't change my life much at all... I'd just retire earlier... I'd rather work 40 hour weeks for 10 more years, then retire at 55 than work 60 hour weeks for 6 years and retire at 51.

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Re: does frugality result in lower career ambition?

Post by Ged » Mon Jun 02, 2014 10:42 am

I suppose that it could be argued that most people are into instant gratification, so the instant rewards of getting a raise and then spending it all are stronger than the reward of seeing the bank balance increase faster.

However if you have the ant type personality the increasing bank balance is pretty sweet too.

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Re: does frugality result in lower career ambition?

Post by surfstar » Mon Jun 02, 2014 10:43 am

Go Blue 99 wrote:Do you believe that living a frugal lifestyle can sometimes result in having less career ambition? If you can learn to live and save on less, and not have to worry about keeping up with Joneses, you don’t need as high of a salary. Therefore, you may be reluctant to put in the extra hours and keep chasing the next promotion. Thoughts?
You say that like its a bad thing!

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Re: does frugality result in lower career ambition?

Post by heyyou » Mon Jun 02, 2014 10:49 am

My ambition was to retire early. I stayed at my job until I was eligible for retiree health care. What is that "career ambition" that you speak of? :)

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Re: does frugality result in lower career ambition?

Post by Barefootgirl » Mon Jun 02, 2014 11:01 am

I've never thought of those two concepts are being connected, but now that you've brought it up, I think they can be.

In my case, I saw my lifes resources as comprised of three parts - time, money and (ability to deal with stress/energy/hassle/soul selling)

I've made nearly every decision based on a combination of those three factors, so there were times that positions of higher compensation or responsibility did not sufficiently compensate for time or stress/energy/hassle, etc.

Also, at some point, I realized I have more control over frugality than the whims of employers and the markets, so although I've always been confident in my skills, I put more confidence in myself to achieve financial independence rather than through employers/government/other people/the markets/economic conditions.

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Re: does frugality result in lower career ambition?

Post by flyingaway » Mon Jun 02, 2014 11:13 am

I have been frugal for a long time, but I had strong ambition in my early career. A few years ago, I decided that I do not want to pursue career ambition any more since I had other interest (not money related) outside my official job. I do not think there is a strong correlation between frugality and lower career ambition. But awareness of financial independence and desire of early retirement (FIRE) do result in lower career ambition. You do not want to spend lots of extra efforts to move to the career top and then immediately announce early retirement.

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Re: does frugality result in lower career ambition?

Post by VictoriaF » Mon Jun 02, 2014 11:18 am

Some jobs require expensive attire, cars, club membership, and entertaining at home. Those who economize on these expenses do not get such jobs.

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Re: does frugality result in lower career ambition?

Post by Meg77 » Mon Jun 02, 2014 11:21 am

That's an interesting question. I think there is certainly a correlation between earnings and frugality, and there is also a correlation between earnings and ambition. In other words, lower earners tend to be more frugal (often out of necessity), and ambitious people tend to be higher earners, so I think it is safe to say that ambitious people are generally less frugal. The converse would therefore also be true: frugal people tend to be less ambitious. However that doesn't mean that frugality causes or "results in" a lack of ambition.

I think personality also comes into play here regardless of income level. There are certain people who get pleasure from saving and seeing how little they can spend while laughing at all the suckers around them paying full price for things and wasting money on non-essentials. There is also a type of person who delights in climbing the ladder of earnings and/or prestige in the workplace. Further, I think a third type of person may gain satisfaction from building a business. So we have the "Gatherers" (the frugal people who save diligently little by little), the Climbers (the ambitious folks who strive for raises and promotions at work) and the Builders (those who want to create employment or business and enable it to grow).

Sometimes the group members may overlap - I know many notoriously frugal business owners for instance. But it does seem evident to me that Climbers probably enjoy spending the most and are likely the least frugal bunch (which, for the record, is the group I fall into). Those who crave the income and/or status of an advanced career path are probably naturally more inclined to enjoy spending the fruits of their labor - and demonstrating their achievements to others. Higher earners also have less need to be frugal - they may be able to reach their goals without ever pinching many pennies. (It should be noted that frugal folks may be just as likely to have a natural tendency to want to show off their efforts, but it's harder to subtly brag about the often invisible results of frugality - or at least it was before the advent of personal finance blogs).
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Re: does frugality result in lower career ambition?

Post by keystone » Mon Jun 02, 2014 11:41 am

Hmm, I can't speak for others but I can relate to this. I have been at a point the last few years where I feel like I make enough money to fund my lifestyle and put me on the path for early retirement. The extra money that I could get from a promotion just isn't worth the extra headache to me. I have turned down 2 promotions in the last 3 years. Although I take pride in doing my job well, I am not looking for something more in my career and people looking at me from the outside have a tough time understanding this. I am not sure if frugality is the culprit though, I suspect it is more my personality. I'd imagine there are quite a few Bogleheads who would be eager for promotions even if they are already doing well financially.

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Re: does frugality result in lower career ambition?

Post by MrManlyMister » Mon Jun 02, 2014 11:50 am

Go Blue 99 wrote:Do you believe that living a frugal lifestyle can sometimes result in having less career ambition? If you can learn to live and save on less, and not have to worry about keeping up with Joneses, you don’t need as high of a salary. Therefore, you may be reluctant to put in the extra hours and keep chasing the next promotion. Thoughts?
That hasn't been the case with me. I can't speak for all others.

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Re: does frugality result in lower career ambition?

Post by IlliniDave » Mon Jun 02, 2014 11:54 am

Go Blue 99 wrote:Do you believe that living a frugal lifestyle can sometimes result in having less career ambition? If you can learn to live and save on less, and not have to worry about keeping up with Joneses, you don’t need as high of a salary. Therefore, you may be reluctant to put in the extra hours and keep chasing the next promotion. Thoughts?
I think that could be true sometimes. Often, all those extra things that come with heaps of ambition to climb the career ladder are things that are stressful and detrimental to ones life interests outside of work. Frugality shines a light on that being unnecessary from a financial perspective. I don't know if I'd consider frugality causal though, but certainly complementary. A close cousin of that is early retirement: accept the long hours and stress for a period of time then step away.

I don't think a person needs to fear that by being frugal they'll somehow lower their chances for success by sapping motivation.
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Re: does frugality result in lower career ambition?

Post by Fallible » Mon Jun 02, 2014 11:58 am

Go Blue 99 wrote:Do you believe that living a frugal lifestyle can sometimes result in having less career ambition? If you can learn to live and save on less, and not have to worry about keeping up with Joneses, you don’t need as high of a salary. Therefore, you may be reluctant to put in the extra hours and keep chasing the next promotion. Thoughts?
Interesting, and it depends I think on what you're talking about:

_If you're talking mainly about reluctance to put in extra hours and seek promotions for more money than is needed, that might stem from frugality. But it could also be job burnout/bored out, wrong job, etc.

_If you're talking about being content and reasonably happy with the work you're doing and with your lifestyle and more money is not necessary (i.e., needed for the basics), I think that reflects frugality.

_If you're talking just about frugality leading to less career ambition in general, I would say no, based on my frugality and that of others I know well. A career should reflect what one was meant to do in life, not what will pay the most or pay beyond what is needed. Once having found the right career, that and not frugality, would drive one to do whatever it takes to do well, which usually but not always, means extra hours, promotions, etc. One could be in a high-powered career and still be quite frugal.

I'm not quite sure why, but this quote from Pablo Picasso comes to mind: “I'd like to live as a poor man with lots of money.”
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Re: does frugality result in lower career ambition?

Post by asif408 » Mon Jun 02, 2014 12:14 pm

I think it could result in having less career ambition. However, have you considered that there are just some people who are not career ambitious to begin with and see that a frugal lifestyle allows them to live a simpler life? I would fall into that category.

I did change careers recently and really enjoy my current work. With that said, I'm not a Type A personality and don't need my career to define me. My current work gives me a certain level of satisfaction but also allows time for other outside interests and pursuits (something that was lacking in my previous career). I have no desire to move into management. I will never have the earning potential I did in my previous career, but that means little if I wake up every day dreading going to work.

I prefer a simpler life with less money and less headaches. I make enough and I've learned to appreciate what I have more.

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Re: does frugality result in lower career ambition?

Post by patriciamgr2 » Mon Jun 02, 2014 12:17 pm

For people who are striving for early retirement, i believe the opposite is true. One wants to get as far as possible, as quickly as possible. Also, frugality allows employees to take huge career risks--several times I took challenging positions & negotiated for options or incentive pay vs. guaranteed salary increase. LBYM allows a motivated person to "swing for the fences". You can't join a start-up or a turn-around situation if you've got a huge monthly nut associated with luxury housing, vehicle, etc.

Obviously, once a person wants to retire from the primary career, then ambition is redirected into philanthropy, leisure, part-time work, etc.

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Re: does frugality result in lower career ambition?

Post by matjen » Mon Jun 02, 2014 12:17 pm

steve_14 wrote:Frugal people like earning more for the same reason they like spending less - so they end up with more money. I'd say it most commonly results in lower lifetime productivity, since you will probably work fewer total hours (retire early). Lower per-hour productivity is less common, however I'm sure there are plenty of folks who decided not to make that extra 50 mile daily commute to earn an additional $10K/year, and frugality gives you that option.
+1 Completely agree.
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Re: does frugality result in lower career ambition?

Post by FelixTheCat » Mon Jun 02, 2014 12:21 pm

I don't think frugality and career ambition have anything to do with each other. I strive in my career. I also live within my means.
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Re: does frugality result in lower career ambition?

Post by LowER » Mon Jun 02, 2014 12:22 pm

Go Blue 99 wrote:Do you believe that living a frugal lifestyle can sometimes result in having less career ambition? If you can learn to live and save on less, and not have to worry about keeping up with Joneses, you don’t need as high of a salary. Therefore, you may be reluctant to put in the extra hours and keep chasing the next promotion. Thoughts?
No. The more I make, the more frugal I get, though a bit less so lately.

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Re: does frugality result in lower career ambition?

Post by sschullo » Mon Jun 02, 2014 12:22 pm

MrManlyMister wrote:
Go Blue 99 wrote:Do you believe that living a frugal lifestyle can sometimes result in having less career ambition? If you can learn to live and save on less, and not have to worry about keeping up with Joneses, you don’t need as high of a salary. Therefore, you may be reluctant to put in the extra hours and keep chasing the next promotion. Thoughts?
As others have said you are provided options, not available for the stress out debt ridden crowd.
Here was my option: My frugal lifestyle allowed me to more ambitious by returning to college in my 50s and pay for a $9000 tuition for an administrative education credential, which opened a door to a better paying job at my school district. As an interesting side note, my future boss was in the audience when he heard me complain to the board of education about the 403b plan (again). He pulled me aside right there and offering me a position that I had been looking for.

Do you want to be ambitious about your life style and stress out about new car payments or eating out at expensive restaurants every night, or do you want to use your financial free time and money to advance skills and education through out your career?
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Re: does frugality result in lower career ambition?

Post by Zabar » Mon Jun 02, 2014 12:24 pm

One can make the argument either way, of course. Some career tracks require a great deal of ambition but pay relatively little (e.g., classical musician), so frugality is required. For other people (e.g., self-funded entrepreneur), frugality in one's home life can lead to avoiding wasteful spending in a business, which in turn leads to greater success.

To my mind, the key issue for both is the ability to delay gratification. Powerful careers reward it; frugality demands it.

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Re: does frugality result in lower career ambition?

Post by bloom2708 » Mon Jun 02, 2014 12:34 pm

Being financially savvy has definitely allowed me to be less career ambitious. Both my wife and I worked for nearly 20 years at "Giant Software Corp". We have 3 kids (14, 11, 6). As you move up the ladder they want more (time, effort, travel).We felt like we were in a "key phase" for our kids. Last September I quit. Wife stayed. I took a 3 month "sabbatical" and then went back to work from home for a partner org of "Giant Corp".

I work less hours, am home all the time. No more daycare or trying to figure out rides and logistics. My new job is flexible and pays quite a bit less. However I am just fine with that. The wife continues to pursue her ambitious career. My flexibility allows her to be more focused.

If we weren't debt free and have a good start on our retirement savings we couldn't do this. Will it hurt us? Likely come stock award and bonus time it will for me. But cost cutting, being done with daycare type services and other savings seem to have equalized things. Couldn't be happier and I spend a lot more time with the kids.

My ambition is lower, but I don't think that is a bad thing. We are still on track for an "age 55" or so retirement.
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Re: does frugality result in lower career ambition?

Post by VictoriaF » Mon Jun 02, 2014 12:49 pm

It seems that there are two distinct interpretations of a "career ambition." In my earlier message I used the corporate one, which involves working long hours, engaging in the organizational politics, pursuing highly visible projects, and frequently changing jobs for promotions and money. This type of a career ambition limits one's frugality, because to be promotable one must look the part in terms of his attire, car, home, leisure, etc.

The second interpretation is related to one's talents and skills. If one strives to become a top performer, writer, or scientist, he does not need "decorative" expenditures. In fact, people driven by the pursuit of a creative goal tend to disregard activities that stand on their way. In this case, the ambition makes frugality natural, and frugality provides some means for pursuing the ambition.

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Re: does frugality result in lower career ambition?

Post by bhsince87 » Mon Jun 02, 2014 1:21 pm

Hitting "our number" has absolutely lowered my career ambitions. Up until near that point, I don't think frugality diminished my ambition one bit.

On the other hand, it could be argued that since we're frugal, we were motivated to save more along the way. And we also set our desired retirement spending targets lower than others might. So we hit our savings goals much earlier than many folks. So while most of my coworkers around the age of 50 or so are still busting their butts and trying to climb the ladder, I'm content to stay the course in my current position.
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Re: does frugality result in lower career ambition?

Post by EddyB » Mon Jun 02, 2014 1:25 pm

I may be a case of a correlation between (relative) frugality and (relatively) low career ambition, I guess. My family lives on approximately 1/4 of my annual income, which I could easily increase 25% by working full time in my current capacity (or to substantially more, likely 2 to 3 times my current income, by pursuing other alternatives that nobody would say are beyond my talents, but which would require making work my single highest priority). But I can work part time, save a lot of money and still, with some luck, retire when I am 44 (maybe sooner if my wife works once our kids are both in school, but I'm not counting on it). Although it may not appear this way to my colleagues, I don't think I have a lack of career ambition, but rather that I have a much higher degree of "leisure ambition" than most of them. It would seem odd (to me) to characterize my choices as reflecting a lack of career ambition---that's a very one dimensional analysis in comparison to the calculus I've made regarding the shorter and longer term considerations of working vs. leisure, and the consideration of that shorter term vs. that longer term.

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Re: does frugality result in lower career ambition?

Post by pinhead » Mon Jun 02, 2014 1:28 pm

It has in fact made me make more $$ as a consultant. Since I dont have to worry about loans, mortgages etc, I am more picky and and am adamant about my hourly rate.

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Re: does frugality result in lower career ambition?

Post by tractorguy » Mon Jun 02, 2014 2:06 pm

I think there may be correlation between spending style and career ambition but I don't think its cause and affect. IMOP, they are both the result of a particular outlook on life.

I've known many highly competitive people who are ambitious for bigger job titles and also spend a lot on big, expensive things (cars, vacations, etc.). For them, its all about keeping score (in their heads). A bigger job and more stuff means a higher score in the game of life.

Not all successful people fit that mold. I've met quite a few who are driven by a need to be the best at what they do and have no interest in some of the expensive toys the other kind collects. Both types will work long hours and make sacrifices to "get ahead." The second kind are much easier to work for because you generally don't have any problem figuring out how to make them happy and don't have to worry as much about them changing their minds. The first kind are more fun at a party because they usually have good stories and love to tell them.
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Re: does frugality result in lower career ambition?

Post by Fallible » Mon Jun 02, 2014 2:10 pm

Zabar wrote:One can make the argument either way, of course. Some career tracks require a great deal of ambition but pay relatively little (e.g., classical musician), so frugality is required. For other people (e.g., self-funded entrepreneur), frugality in one's home life can lead to avoiding wasteful spending in a business, which in turn leads to greater success.

To my mind, the key issue for both is the ability to delay gratification. Powerful careers reward it; frugality demands it.
This is another reason I think frugality and ambition are basically unrelated, at least as far as career ambition is concerned. But reading the great replies here, it's easy to see why they appear to be related. For example, if one thinks they have made enough money that they no longer need be ambitious, frugality could be a reason for it if they're already content to live frugally. And it may be only one reason.

But is the OP really asking about frugality and ambition? Or is it something else, possibly job dissatisfaction? I wasn't certain about that.
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Re: does frugality result in lower career ambition?

Post by Kalo » Mon Jun 02, 2014 2:12 pm

My frugality is driven by the fact that I do not love working. I want to retire early or semi-retire as soon as possible and therefore spend less/save more to reach that goal. Also I derive a feeling of security that is worth more to me from having funds available than I would gain pleasure from spending those funds on consumer goods.

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Re: does frugality result in lower career ambition?

Post by aj44 » Mon Jun 02, 2014 2:12 pm

I never would of thought it would but it happened to my wife and I. Frugality led to a great financial position which led to the both of us turning down promotions this year which for her would have led to an extra two hours a day commute and for me an extra 2 hours a day of work. It just wasn't worth it, our goal is still early retirement but balanced with current quality of life. There is a happy medium.

If our house wasn't paid off or if we were in debt my answer would likely be different.

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Re: does frugality result in lower career ambition?

Post by investingdad » Mon Jun 02, 2014 2:25 pm

It's funny, but my recent thread about declining to interview for a job because of travel requirements ties EXACTLY to this thread's question. With updward career mobility comes more money, but at the cost of international travel that I'm not interested in due to time spent away from my wife and children.

My wife's position at her employer is more senior than my role. Together we earn a comfortable living. Because we controlled our expenses going all the way back to our 20s, an early retirement is a possibility.

So why do I want to drive for more and more money via promotions and such? Do I need to? Is it worth it? I enjoy my job and I get satisfaction from it. But moving up the ladder past where I am...I'm not sure what the point is. I have time now for the kids soccer practices, shooting pool with them at night, and kicking back on my deck with a beer while grilling up dinner. We're doing pretty well and have a nice balance.

It's like the fisherman and businessman story:

http://www.lifeprinciples.net/SuccessatLife.html

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Re: does frugality result in lower career ambition?

Post by rec7 » Mon Jun 02, 2014 3:10 pm

Go Blue 99 wrote:Do you believe that living a frugal lifestyle can sometimes result in having less career ambition? If you can learn to live and save on less, and not have to worry about keeping up with Joneses, you don’t need as high of a salary. Therefore, you may be reluctant to put in the extra hours and keep chasing the next promotion. Thoughts?
I think this is true because if you make 100k and spend 100k a year. A 100k equals one year. For me a 100k equals five years. So a million for the first guy is ten years of living and 50 years for me. I did not take inflation into account but you get the picture.

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JoMoney
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Re: does frugality result in lower career ambition?

Post by JoMoney » Mon Jun 02, 2014 3:25 pm

I don't know if it's due to frugality, but the fact that I enjoy my job, and have a pretty good path to reach any savings goals, has certainly affected by upward progression. I have no desire to get further into management (which is about the only way I can move up in my current career).
It's just not worth taking a job/position I don't like to earn more money I don't need to reach my goals. I have been guilted into taking management roles before, and I imagine it will happen again. It's nice to know I'm considered for these positions, but at this point it would take an awful lot of money to get me to do a job I don't want to do - and ultimately the money would be going towards getting me out of that job as quick as possible. Better to just stick with the job I don't dread going to every day.
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Re: does frugality result in lower career ambition?

Post by cowboysFan » Mon Jun 02, 2014 6:22 pm

I think in general you have the cause and effect backwards. If you don't have a high income, you have to be frugal in order to save enough money for retirement.

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Re: does frugality result in lower career ambition?

Post by White Coat Investor » Mon Jun 02, 2014 6:27 pm

I sometimes worry (a little) that my blog is going to make it more difficult for me to get medical care in my old age. :)
1) Invest you must 2) Time is your friend 3) Impulse is your enemy | 4) Basic arithmetic works 5) Stick to simplicity 6) Stay the course

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Re: does frugality result in lower career ambition?

Post by VictoriaF » Mon Jun 02, 2014 6:52 pm

EmergDoc wrote:I sometimes worry (a little) that my blog is going to make it more difficult for me to get medical care in my old age. :)
There is always a supply of new whitecoat investors. I have just sent a medical student your way.

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Re: does frugality result in lower career ambition?

Post by Crimsontide » Mon Jun 02, 2014 7:09 pm

Very timely thread, I was just discussing this very subject with DW a few nights ago. I believe in my case it has. Our frugality has allowed us to become basically financially independent, which has led to decreased degrees of stress and worry about career related things that in the past would have resulted in undue feelings of urgency. Its kind of hard to describe the feeling, for me it seems to be somewhere between apathy and contentment :beer

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Re: does frugality result in lower career ambition?

Post by LowER » Mon Jun 02, 2014 7:10 pm

EmergDoc wrote:I sometimes worry (a little) that my blog is going to make it more difficult for me to get medical care in my old age. :)
I agree with your concern. You are, however, just a femtoliter drop in that large bucket. Absolutely zero disrespect intended, in fact, the opposite. Keep up the great work, and thanks.

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Re: does frugality result in lower career ambition?

Post by goodenyou » Mon Jun 02, 2014 7:34 pm

VictoriaF wrote:
EmergDoc wrote:I sometimes worry (a little) that my blog is going to make it more difficult for me to get medical care in my old age. :)
There is always a supply of new whitecoat investors. I have just sent a medical student your way.

Victoria
There will always be an ample supply of desperate non-WhiteCoat Investors that will work for many years. No worries.
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Re: does frugality result in lower career ambition?

Post by ratesguy » Mon Jun 02, 2014 8:12 pm

I think the savings mentality can cause one to lose focus on things that may be even more important.

I admit that I am very focused on financial independence and that leads to plenty of career ambition and frugality. I do wonder sometimes if I won't look back and wish I had done something differently.

I live far from family in a place I can actually make money. I miss the kids b/c of hours and commute, in my mind I could be "independent" in day five years. But our parents will be that much older and their beloved grand kids won't be so cute and little.

I'd love to take 5-10 years off right now but the odds of getting back in at a high level would be slight. There has already been plenty of luck involved to date.

And by the time it's all set, who is to say we don't have SS/Medicare means testing and a wealth tax as we struggle to pay for retiring baby boomers.

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Re: does frugality result in lower career ambition?

Post by PlayingLife » Mon Jun 02, 2014 8:39 pm

You should google discussions around the mega-hit business book "Good to Great", and what it means to be a "Level 5 Leader". This concept talks about some amazing CEO's who are humble people that lead a frugal (although I'm sure frugal to them is probably a bit less frugal to you haha) life. I also do not believe frugality results in lower career ambition.

I'm in a position right now that theoretically will fulfill all my financial needs for my lifetime. However, I am currently working towards two masters degrees, not because I want more money (okay to be honest i have a target salary in mind that isn't too ridiculous, but I think I can achieve that before I'm 40. And I can probably hit this salary without getting the degrees and in staying with my current role), but because I want to be managing a team. It's a challenging position where I get to do what I love to do most, strategize.

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Re: does frugality result in lower career ambition?

Post by rayson » Mon Jun 02, 2014 8:46 pm

It's not frugality, but financial freedom that can potentially lower career ambition. But, frugality can help you achieve financial freedom..

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Re: does frugality result in lower career ambition?

Post by KlangFool » Mon Jun 02, 2014 9:03 pm

TS,

I have no career ambition to be promoted. I have career ambition to be the best engineer that I can be and do a good job.

KlangFool

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Re: does frugality result in lower career ambition?

Post by Sents » Mon Jun 02, 2014 9:08 pm

On the contrary, frugality gives me financial freedom and allows me to focus on my ambitions. As a chemical engineer, scientist, and educator I can then focus on educating the future generation of engineers/scientists and facilitating the development of new technology! :beer
Don't only practice your art, but force your way into its secrets. For it and knowledge can raise men to the divine. | L. Beethoven

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