Spending Money - Surprising Low Fun Return

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Topic Author
KandT
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Spending Money - Surprising Low Fun Return

Post by KandT » Tue Oct 22, 2019 9:29 pm

So having accomplished a lot of my goals and realizing one day hopefully long from now I will exit this earth, I have decided to spend some of the money I have been saving.

Of course, I left retirement alone and kids 529's but I had an emergency account that was swelling so I bought some "toys".

Maybe its why I was attracted to being a boglehead in the first place but I have to say that there is a surprisingly low return on material things. I am not saying I don't like them but for the expense my quality of life needle didn't move much.

I bought a really nice truck (cash) and drove it a few times - the new smell wore off very quickly. I bought the family high end bikes and I am the only one who enjoys riding and I struggle to find time to ride. Went on a little bit of a tool buying spree and I actually like those but dont use them all that often. I did some house upgrades and normal resets pretty quickly.

Quite a let down for things that I had supposedly "withheld" for so many years.

Anyone else have similar experiences?

Waiting_for_Godot
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Re: Spending Money - Surprising Low Fun Return

Post by Waiting_for_Godot » Tue Oct 22, 2019 9:51 pm

My experience along these lines is good and bad. I do not crave the more expensive material goods that ignite the debate about going without for the sake of saving. I do crave tasty, unhealthy food, however, and am constantly trying to burn into my memory that the taste, and how I feel afterwards, isn't worth the frequency that I ate them with in the past. I also have 60 pounds to lose :shock: which means I need to do a better job emphasizing the letdown afterwards and the associated negative impacts.
Last edited by Waiting_for_Godot on Tue Oct 22, 2019 9:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Yooper16
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Re: Spending Money - Surprising Low Fun Return

Post by Yooper16 » Tue Oct 22, 2019 9:53 pm

instead of stuff for you--try stuff for someone else.

We started with 2 now do 3 smallish scholarships to the local U (2k each) One of the best days of the year is when we meet the recipients at the fall banquet.

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1789
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Re: Spending Money - Surprising Low Fun Return

Post by 1789 » Tue Oct 22, 2019 10:00 pm

I am far from retirement but glad to read that you enjoy riding your bike. It is my biggest hobby
"My conscience wants vegetarianism to win over the world. And my subconscious is yearning for a piece of juicy meat. But what do i want?" (Andrei Tarkovsky)

smectym
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Re: Spending Money - Surprising Low Fun Return

Post by smectym » Tue Oct 22, 2019 10:08 pm

KandT wrote:
Tue Oct 22, 2019 9:29 pm
So having accomplished a lot of my goals and realizing one day hopefully long from now I will exit this earth, I have decided to spend some of the money I have been saving.

Of course, I left retirement alone and kids 529's but I had an emergency account that was swelling so I bought some "toys".

Maybe its why I was attracted to being a boglehead in the first place but I have to say that there is a surprisingly low return on material things. I am not saying I don't like them but for the expense my quality of life needle didn't move much.

I bought a really nice truck (cash) and drove it a few times - the new smell wore off very quickly. I bought the family high end bikes and I am the only one who enjoys riding and I struggle to find time to ride. Went on a little bit of a tool buying spree and I actually like those but dont use them all that often. I did some house upgrades and normal resets pretty quickly.

Quite a let down for things that I had supposedly "withheld" for so many years.

Anyone else have similar experiences?
Not surprising, it’s the law of diminishing marginal utility. The guy who absolutely must have transportation to get to his job is overjoyed if his creepy brother-in-law gives him the 13-year-old Ford Fiesta. The guy who on a whim treats himself to a loaded $60,000 Ford F-250, meaning he now needs a 4-car garage, will experience at best transient satisfaction. Nothing wrong with that, it’s just how things work.

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Nestegg_User
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Re: Spending Money - Surprising Low Fun Return

Post by Nestegg_User » Tue Oct 22, 2019 10:24 pm

smectym wrote:
Tue Oct 22, 2019 10:08 pm
KandT wrote:
Tue Oct 22, 2019 9:29 pm
So having accomplished a lot of my goals and realizing one day hopefully long from now I will exit this earth, I have decided to spend some of the money I have been saving.

Of course, I left retirement alone and kids 529's but I had an emergency account that was swelling so I bought some "toys".

Maybe its why I was attracted to being a boglehead in the first place but I have to say that there is a surprisingly low return on material things. I am not saying I don't like them but for the expense my quality of life needle didn't move much.

I bought a really nice truck (cash) and drove it a few times - the new smell wore off very quickly. I bought the family high end bikes and I am the only one who enjoys riding and I struggle to find time to ride. Went on a little bit of a tool buying spree and I actually like those but dont use them all that often. I did some house upgrades and normal resets pretty quickly.

Quite a let down for things that I had supposedly "withheld" for so many years.

Anyone else have similar experiences?
Not surprising, it’s the law of diminishing marginal utility. The guy who absolutely must have transportation to get to his job is overjoyed if his creepy brother-in-law gives him the 13-year-old Ford Fiesta. The guy who on a whim treats himself to a loaded $60,000 Ford F-250, meaning he now needs a 4-car garage, will experience at best transient satisfaction. Nothing wrong with that, it’s just how things work.
while it wasn't a "fully loaded" one, and it wasn't on "a whim" as we tend to be deliberative about such things ... it was a crew cab long bed 4x4 gaser but cost under 40k .... and we already have a four car garage - - still have a stall to spare
..... and, yes, we have given away two prior cars for two different siblings kids ( both still running)

in the four plus years of retirement, we still haven't gone overboard on spending.... we occasionally will spend (just bought new winter apparel (jacket/shoes/ etc) but very often just find we really don't need much new stuff that often and as a result are below 2% wr in our "spendiest" times.
Last edited by Nestegg_User on Tue Oct 22, 2019 10:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Topic Author
KandT
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Re: Spending Money - Surprising Low Fun Return

Post by KandT » Tue Oct 22, 2019 10:27 pm

Yooper16 wrote:
Tue Oct 22, 2019 9:53 pm
instead of stuff for you--try stuff for someone else.

We started with 2 now do 3 smallish scholarships to the local U (2k each) One of the best days of the year is when we meet the recipients at the fall banquet.
smectym wrote:
Tue Oct 22, 2019 10:08 pm
KandT wrote:
Tue Oct 22, 2019 9:29 pm
So having accomplished a lot of my goals and realizing one day hopefully long from now I will exit this earth, I have decided to spend some of the money I have been saving.

Of course, I left retirement alone and kids 529's but I had an emergency account that was swelling so I bought some "toys".

Maybe its why I was attracted to being a boglehead in the first place but I have to say that there is a surprisingly low return on material things. I am not saying I don't like them but for the expense my quality of life needle didn't move much.

I bought a really nice truck (cash) and drove it a few times - the new smell wore off very quickly. I bought the family high end bikes and I am the only one who enjoys riding and I struggle to find time to ride. Went on a little bit of a tool buying spree and I actually like those but dont use them all that often. I did some house upgrades and normal resets pretty quickly.

Quite a let down for things that I had supposedly "withheld" for so many years.

Anyone else have similar experiences?
Not surprising, it’s the law of diminishing marginal utility. The guy who absolutely must have transportation to get to his job is overjoyed if his creepy brother-in-law gives him the 13-year-old Ford Fiesta. The guy who on a whim treats himself to a loaded $60,000 Ford F-250, meaning he now needs a 4-car garage, will experience at best transient satisfaction. Nothing wrong with that, it’s just how things work.
Yep - That's what I got and it sits out in the rain. Now I need a building. I am not upset I bought it but you are right on with the law of diminishing returns. There was a day I would have done about anything for that truck. After a few weeks it is an afterthought.

Topic Author
KandT
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Re: Spending Money - Surprising Low Fun Return

Post by KandT » Tue Oct 22, 2019 10:28 pm

Yooper16 wrote:
Tue Oct 22, 2019 9:53 pm
instead of stuff for you--try stuff for someone else.

We started with 2 now do 3 smallish scholarships to the local U (2k each) One of the best days of the year is when we meet the recipients at the fall banquet.
I like it! - You are right! :sharebeer

helloeveryone
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Re: Spending Money - Surprising Low Fun Return

Post by helloeveryone » Tue Oct 22, 2019 10:36 pm

KandT wrote:
Tue Oct 22, 2019 10:27 pm
Yooper16 wrote:
Tue Oct 22, 2019 9:53 pm
instead of stuff for you--try stuff for someone else.

We started with 2 now do 3 smallish scholarships to the local U (2k each) One of the best days of the year is when we meet the recipients at the fall banquet.
smectym wrote:
Tue Oct 22, 2019 10:08 pm
KandT wrote:
Tue Oct 22, 2019 9:29 pm
So having accomplished a lot of my goals and realizing one day hopefully long from now I will exit this earth, I have decided to spend some of the money I have been saving.

Of course, I left retirement alone and kids 529's but I had an emergency account that was swelling so I bought some "toys".

Maybe its why I was attracted to being a boglehead in the first place but I have to say that there is a surprisingly low return on material things. I am not saying I don't like them but for the expense my quality of life needle didn't move much.

I bought a really nice truck (cash) and drove it a few times - the new smell wore off very quickly. I bought the family high end bikes and I am the only one who enjoys riding and I struggle to find time to ride. Went on a little bit of a tool buying spree and I actually like those but dont use them all that often. I did some house upgrades and normal resets pretty quickly.

Quite a let down for things that I had supposedly "withheld" for so many years.

Anyone else have similar experiences?
Not surprising, it’s the law of diminishing marginal utility. The guy who absolutely must have transportation to get to his job is overjoyed if his creepy brother-in-law gives him the 13-year-old Ford Fiesta. The guy who on a whim treats himself to a loaded $60,000 Ford F-250, meaning he now needs a 4-car garage, will experience at best transient satisfaction. Nothing wrong with that, it’s just how things work.
Yep - That's what I got and it sits out in the rain. Now I need a building. I am not upset I bought it but you are right on with the law of diminishing returns. There was a day I would have done about anything for that truck. After a few weeks it is an afterthought.

Maybe you can take a few days off to enjoy a long weekend and put your expensive bikes in the truck bed along with some camping supplies and a road trip to a nice state/national park with fun trails with the kids/family will bring happiness???
There's got to be some ways that $40k truck can bring happiness! (if not what will I do when i finally buy that TRD pro tundra or tacoma that I drool over periodically but am way to cheap to buy) :D

gr7070
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Re: Spending Money - Surprising Low Fun Return

Post by gr7070 » Tue Oct 22, 2019 11:08 pm

I would agree that things don't equate to happiness. However, some expenditures can help to enrich one's life.

I'm an inherent saver. My wife and i have allowances, for 20 years now. It's not large, but I use it on things I enjoy.

I take guitar lessons. I buy a guitar or an amp to use. Have played on stage at clubs with my family.

I buy a nice mountain bike, gear, etc. and use the heck out of it. I'm in far better physical health.

I've taken small trips with guy friends. Have a blast.

While it's spent on "things" largely those things lead to rewarding experiences.

Without the allowance, piling up, the money would likely have just found itself in my Roth IRA. I'm certain that's true. I don't truly need more money in my IRA; even though I'm not FI. But all my personal finance needs are on target. There is such a thing as enough money.

More *experiences* are worth some amount of money. Some sacrifice to net worth is actually valuable.

I can't recommend a fun money allowance enough to all, savers included. It changed my life for the better. That money spent won't be missed, but my experiences would have been.

KlangFool
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Re: Spending Money - Surprising Low Fun Return

Post by KlangFool » Tue Oct 22, 2019 11:15 pm

KandT wrote:
Tue Oct 22, 2019 9:29 pm

I bought the family high end bikes and I am the only one who enjoys riding and I struggle to find time to ride. Went on a little bit of a tool buying spree and I actually like those but dont use them all that often. I did some house upgrades and normal resets pretty quickly.
KandT

1) When you reach a certain level of wealth, time is more precious than money. So, instead of spending money on material, you may consider spending money to create more leisure time instead. Or something in between.

2) I bought my electric folding bike. It let me substitute some of my short car drives. Hence, I get to bike more.

3) I plan to buy a Karaoke system at home. Hence, I get to sing more.

KlangFool

basspond
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Re: Spending Money - Surprising Low Fun Return

Post by basspond » Tue Oct 22, 2019 11:42 pm

Welcome to the club of realizing that money/stuff isn’t the root of all happiness and contentment. The most worthwhile things I have found out in life is volunteering and giving. I have stuff collecting dust around the house that I thought would bring me endless hours of joy and satisfaction.

fujiters
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Re: Spending Money - Surprising Low Fun Return

Post by fujiters » Wed Oct 23, 2019 1:20 am

KlangFool wrote:
Tue Oct 22, 2019 11:15 pm
KandT wrote:
Tue Oct 22, 2019 9:29 pm

I bought the family high end bikes and I am the only one who enjoys riding and I struggle to find time to ride. Went on a little bit of a tool buying spree and I actually like those but dont use them all that often. I did some house upgrades and normal resets pretty quickly.
KandT

1) When you reach a certain level of wealth, time is more precious than money. So, instead of spending money on material, you may consider spending money to create more leisure time instead. Or something in between.

2) I bought my electric folding bike. It let me substitute some of my short car drives. Hence, I get to bike more.

3) I plan to buy a Karaoke system at home. Hence, I get to sing more.

KlangFool
+1. I recent years, I think having a house cleaner and someone to mow the lawn has given the highest happiness per dollar return for us.
“The purpose of the margin of safety is to render the forecast unnecessary.” -Benjamin Graham

MotoTrojan
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Re: Spending Money - Surprising Low Fun Return

Post by MotoTrojan » Wed Oct 23, 2019 1:46 am

Vacations and great food will always have a high return for me.

mortfree
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Re: Spending Money - Surprising Low Fun Return

Post by mortfree » Wed Oct 23, 2019 2:06 am

OP: you spent money on “things.”

Perhaps you should have directed that money towards experiences (vacations, travel, day trips, sporting events, etc).

That may have moved the needle more than the things.

smectym
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Re: Spending Money - Surprising Low Fun Return

Post by smectym » Wed Oct 23, 2019 2:34 am

mortfree wrote:
Wed Oct 23, 2019 2:06 am
OP: you spent money on “things.”

Perhaps you should have directed that money towards experiences (vacations, travel, day trips, sporting events, etc).

That may have moved the needle more than the things.
First, OP did nothing wrong. OP himself says he’s not a big materialist. He merely reported that he bought a few status objects, almost as a tentative experiment, and he concludes that really, those buys didn’t do much for him. If anything, OP is merely confirming his long-held anti-materialism bias.

I don’t believe that there’s anything significantly different in “buying experiences.” Once you buy something, anything, it
commodifies whatever you bought whether it’s an experience or an SUV. To commodify is to trivialize. One never wants to be the dude at the dude ranch, or the rich guy buying a guaranteed kill on an African safari, or the first civilian billionaire to land on the moon. Increasingly in our time, one would not wish to be a tourist; hatred of tourists has become toxic in many formerly welcoming destinations.

Instead, real experiences will probably find us, at no charge, when we’re not seeking them, and in fact are desperately trying to avoid them. Well: cheaper, anyway

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Re: Spending Money - Surprising Low Fun Return

Post by mortfree » Wed Oct 23, 2019 3:27 am

smectym wrote:
Wed Oct 23, 2019 2:34 am
mortfree wrote:
Wed Oct 23, 2019 2:06 am
OP: you spent money on “things.”

Perhaps you should have directed that money towards experiences (vacations, travel, day trips, sporting events, etc).

That may have moved the needle more than the things.
First, OP did nothing wrong. OP himself says he’s not a big materialist. He merely reported that he bought a few status objects, almost as a tentative experiment, and he concludes that really, those buys didn’t do much for him. If anything, OP is merely confirming his long-held anti-materialism bias.

I don’t believe that there’s anything significantly different in “buying experiences.” Once you buy something, anything, it
commodifies whatever you bought whether it’s an experience or an SUV. To commodify is to trivialize. One never wants to be the dude at the dude ranch, or the rich guy buying a guaranteed kill on an African safari, or the first civilian billionaire to land on the moon. Increasingly in our time, one would not wish to be a tourist; hatred of tourists has become toxic in many formerly welcoming destinations.

Instead, real experiences will probably find us, at no charge, when we’re not seeking them, and in fact are desperately trying to avoid them. Well: cheaper, anyway
Never said it was wrong.

Simply offering up other ways to spend money that might move the needle differently.


:sharebeer

More Please
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Re: Spending Money - Surprising Low Fun Return

Post by More Please » Wed Oct 23, 2019 4:45 am

I used to love to buy jewelry. Retired lifestyle dictates t-shirt and jeans so jewelry sits in safety deposit box. I still enjoy looking at jewelry, then I ask myself’, “how would that look in my safety deposit box”? When you’re young you want things and buy them. When you’re old you try to get rid of the things you so lovingly collected and find them on eBay for cents on the dollar.

fru-gal
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Re: Spending Money - Surprising Low Fun Return

Post by fru-gal » Wed Oct 23, 2019 4:47 am

I haven't had time to commune with all the replies.

These are the things that bring me some happiness spending money:

Donating to causes I care about.
Spending money on something I've been too frugal about, like really improving the exterior of the house, or replacing my too ancient cars, or getting some nice clothes.
Experiences like travel.

Rus In Urbe
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Re: Spending Money - Surprising Low Fun Return

Post by Rus In Urbe » Wed Oct 23, 2019 5:00 am

OP: you spent money on “things.”

Perhaps you should have directed that money towards experiences (vacations, travel, day trips, sporting events, etc).

That may have moved the needle more than the things.
+1

We too are frugal. One modest car, one modest house, lots of savings. The big bang we get from our bucks is travel with friends and family, attending arts events, and hosting parties. We love our DAF (Donor Advised Fund). Putting a hefty load into it each year (thanks, tax deductions!) and portioning it out to non-profits around the world and local groups that do good work gives us tremendous pleasure. We do volunteer work. And we garden (we lavish bucks on our garden!).

Find something meaningful.
Find something that challenges you more than driving a truck.
Find something that will leave a legacy behind----something that will say to the world "I was here and I made a difference."

Then give of your money, time and effort.

Spending money without meaningfulness is always disappointing and the thrill wears off quickly.

Cheers! Rus :beer
I'd like to live as a poor man with lots of money. ~Pablo Picasso

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RickBoglehead
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Re: Spending Money - Surprising Low Fun Return

Post by RickBoglehead » Wed Oct 23, 2019 5:35 am

KlangFool wrote:
Tue Oct 22, 2019 11:15 pm

3) I plan to buy a Karaoke system at home. Hence, I get to sing more.

KlangFool
That could dramatically impact the fun return of your family depending on the quality of your singing. :twisted:
KandT wrote:
Tue Oct 22, 2019 9:29 pm
So having accomplished a lot of my goals and realizing one day hopefully long from now I will exit this earth, I have decided to spend some of the money I have been saving.

Of course, I left retirement alone and kids 529's but I had an emergency account that was swelling so I bought some "toys".

Maybe its why I was attracted to being a boglehead in the first place but I have to say that there is a surprisingly low return on material things. I am not saying I don't like them but for the expense my quality of life needle didn't move much.

I bought a really nice truck (cash) and drove it a few times - the new smell wore off very quickly. I bought the family high end bikes and I am the only one who enjoys riding and I struggle to find time to ride. Went on a little bit of a tool buying spree and I actually like those but dont use them all that often. I did some house upgrades and normal resets pretty quickly.

Quite a let down for things that I had supposedly "withheld" for so many years.

Anyone else have similar experiences?
After a lifetime of spending carefully and investing wisely (most of the time), we're less than 2 years from retirement. Instead of evaluating our retirement based on our currently level of spending, I dramatically increased it and then added some. At this new high level, assuming a zero market return, we have enough money to spend for 25 years.

My plan is to work on a budget, which we've never had. I track all spending, but I don't budget anything. I'm working on building a bottom up budget, using my top level numbers, to create category level budgets to reach that number. I've put in my top level numbers buying a house worth $X in year $Y, buying a boat worth $X in year Y+1, etc. I plan on putting in a number for travel, a number for dining out weekly or more often (we got out less than a dozen times a year presently), a number for spending on toys, etc. I then plan to track to budget (Quicken) to evaluate how we're doing and make course corrections. We'll see how that goes.

I fully expect to have difficulty enjoying parts of my spending. For the last 10+ years, every vacation we've taken has been with a hotel chain in which I had amassed nearly 1 million points (sold and bought homes in 2007 when they gave points for a program long since discontinued). Therefore, every vacation has been thousands less than it would have. For example, we did Oahu and The Big Island for 2 weeks in top hotels with free plane travel and didn't spend $2,000. In retirement, we have no more points. While I may play the points game, I expect to spend $300 a hotels on every trip we take. That will take adjusting.

We bought a bought a few years back to enjoy at a lake property we inherited. Short season (summer) due to weather and work, first season we got a lot of hours on the boat. Second season not as many. This season maybe 25. We hope to use it more during retirement, but spending that kind of money for low usage is frustrating to most people. You have to find a way to not evaluate everything based on money, which I know will be hard for me.

We have an expensive hobby, skiing. Each day on the slopes is $100 - $125pp just for lift tickets. That's crazy. We do it anyway. Family of 4 is $500 a day. I try to ignore it.

They say "money does not buy happiness". Spending on a toy isn't going to come back dollar for dollar. I plan on installing a home brewery system in retirement to replace what I have now which isn't much. It will never "pay off". And it will be hard to figure out what to buy, I'll have to set a time limit on my evaluation. But, when I sit back and drink one of my beers, it gives me pleasure. Even better is when someone drinks one of my beers and likes it.

So, retirement spending will be an adjustment, but we're not going to leave it behind and we can't take it with us. So, we'll make some "good spends" and some "bad spends". Oh well. :sharebeer
Last edited by RickBoglehead on Wed Oct 23, 2019 7:06 am, edited 1 time in total.
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scooterdog
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Re: Spending Money - Surprising Low Fun Return

Post by scooterdog » Wed Oct 23, 2019 5:52 am

Rus In Urbe wrote:
Wed Oct 23, 2019 5:00 am
OP: you spent money on “things.”

Perhaps you should have directed that money towards experiences (vacations, travel, day trips, sporting events, etc).

That may have moved the needle more than the things.
+1

We too are frugal. One modest car, one modest house, lots of savings. The big bang we get from our bucks is travel with friends and family, attending arts events, and hosting parties. We love our DAF (Donor Advised Fund). Putting a hefty load into it each year (thanks, tax deductions!) and portioning it out to non-profits around the world and local groups that do good work gives us tremendous pleasure. We do volunteer work. And we garden (we lavish bucks on our garden!).
+2

One thought that immediately came to mind was 'Hedonic Adaptation', or as wikipedia puts it Hedonic Treadmill. We just get used to super-nice things (and experiences) that only a short time ago was just a dream. It's hard to live in a state of appreciation, to stop and think how darn lucky we are.

OP I'm not too surprised that material things are not the super-high fun return on 'investment' if you have deferred that enjoyment for so long - if you were really 'into' a new truck or a new bike you likely would have done it years earlier (or a less-expensive version) and gotten enjoyment from it along the way.

Over the past few years I've been much more generous in budgeting more for family vacations (last summer we flew to a destination instead of driving, paid a bit more for a nicer hotel, etc), as well as experiences on those vacations. For example, paying a fair amount for white-water rafting and horseback riding in CO, whale-watching in ME etc. and both the pictures and memories are completely worthwhile.

These new experiences are very rewarding as a group, especially as years later we can talk about it and the different things we remember about it. The few thousand dollars seems paltry in comparison, and I struggle to think of any purchase that would give as much enjoyment years later.

I just paid a bill for an expensive AirBnB for an upcoming winter break ski trip with another family. (Expensive for me is anything over $250/night for a family of 5.) After a lifetime of saving and LBYM it is still hard to do.
Rus In Urbe wrote:
Wed Oct 23, 2019 5:00 am
Find something meaningful.
Find something that challenges you more than driving a truck.
Find something that will leave a legacy behind----something that will say to the world "I was here and I made a difference."

Then give of your money, time and effort.

Spending money without meaningfulness is always disappointing and the thrill wears off quickly.

Cheers! Rus :beer
+1

There are so many non-material things that give lasting meaning and joy - Rus puts it well. One area that can have a real impact is working with young people, in whatever capacity.

MikeG62
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Re: Spending Money - Surprising Low Fun Return

Post by MikeG62 » Wed Oct 23, 2019 6:52 am

mortfree wrote:
Wed Oct 23, 2019 2:06 am
OP: you spent money on “things.”

Perhaps you should have directed that money towards experiences (vacations, travel, day trips, sporting events, etc).

That may have moved the needle more than the things.
Agree with this. The younger me wanted to collect things. The current me would rather have experiences.
Real Knowledge Comes Only From Experience

finfire
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Re: Spending Money - Surprising Low Fun Return

Post by finfire » Wed Oct 23, 2019 7:10 am

Suggest donations to charity? Should make you feel better.

Go visit them if possible after the donation , see your money in action.

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JoeRetire
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Re: Spending Money - Surprising Low Fun Return

Post by JoeRetire » Wed Oct 23, 2019 7:49 am

KandT wrote:
Tue Oct 22, 2019 9:29 pm
So having accomplished a lot of my goals and realizing one day hopefully long from now I will exit this earth, I have decided to spend some of the money I have been saving.

Anyone else have similar experiences?
Not me. But I've never "held off" purchasing things that were important. And most toys hold no value for me.

The whole "blow some dough now because some day I will die" thing makes no sense to me. If you live your life well, you spend on meaningful things your whole life and don't try to cram them into your few remaining years.

My wife and I have more money than we will ever spend. As long as we are happy, that's just fine.
Don't be a lemming.

Skeeter1
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Re: Spending Money - Surprising Low Fun Return

Post by Skeeter1 » Wed Oct 23, 2019 7:52 am

Yooper16 wrote:
Tue Oct 22, 2019 9:53 pm
instead of stuff for you--try stuff for someone else.

We started with 2 now do 3 smallish scholarships to the local U (2k each) One of the best days of the year is when we meet the recipients at the fall banquet.
+1

arsenalfan
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Re: Spending Money - Surprising Low Fun Return

Post by arsenalfan » Wed Oct 23, 2019 8:01 am

Empathize entirely.
I'm trading money for time now.
Working far less in 2020, making less, but will have more free time.

KlangFool
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Re: Spending Money - Surprising Low Fun Return

Post by KlangFool » Wed Oct 23, 2019 8:47 am

RickBoglehead wrote:
Wed Oct 23, 2019 5:35 am
KlangFool wrote:
Tue Oct 22, 2019 11:15 pm

3) I plan to buy a Karaoke system at home. Hence, I get to sing more.

KlangFool
That could dramatically impact the fun return of your family depending on the quality of your singing. :twisted:
RickBoglehead,

1) I used to sing in an amateur choir. We did one to two concerts per year.

2) The nest is empty and I work from home.

3) We eat out at least once every week.

4) I do not budget. I am not frugal. I save 50K to 60K per year and spend the rest. My annual expense of 50K to 60K per year leaves plenty of room for discretionary spending.

KlangFool

Quirkz
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Re: Spending Money - Surprising Low Fun Return

Post by Quirkz » Wed Oct 23, 2019 10:12 am

smectym wrote:
Wed Oct 23, 2019 2:34 am

I don’t believe that there’s anything significantly different in “buying experiences.” Once you buy something, anything, it
commodifies whatever you bought whether it’s an experience or an SUV. To commodify is to trivialize.
I'm going to disagree on this one. I've seen from a number of sources that experiences stick with and change us in ways that stuff does not. Now, I'll be the first to admit I've seen it so much it's starting to become a pop-psychology stock line, and that I can doubt the universality and simplified conclusions a little, but I still do think there's something to it.

Of the last 10 electronic gadgets I bought from the past, say, 5 years, 8 of them collected dust before I'd even taken their packaging out to the trash. Conversely, of say, 10 vacations in the past 5 years, I remember parts of all of them vividly and fondly. The "new, fancy, stainless steel microwave" is now "just our microwave" but that trip to the Oregon coast is something I'm dying to recreate the next chance I get. I replaced my phone, and I'm grateful that the battery isn't dying on me daily, but otherwise it's just a phone; camping in Glacier National Park with my oldest daughter is something I'll never forget.

Now maybe there's a different sort of commodifying experiences that you're thinking of -- splurging on a fancy club membership just because it's exclusive, and not because you actually enjoy doing things there -- that could easily be wasteful and ineffective. I don't know if that's the difference here?

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Re: Spending Money - Surprising Low Fun Return

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Wed Oct 23, 2019 10:22 am

mortfree wrote:
Wed Oct 23, 2019 2:06 am
OP: you spent money on “things.”

Perhaps you should have directed that money towards experiences (vacations, travel, day trips, sporting events, etc).

That may have moved the needle more than the things.
Eh....some "experiences" are not that fun - not when you are sitting in hours long traffic to get there, not when the venue is packed with people who like to ruin others fun, not when the team you are rooting for fails to earn their large paychecks, not when it takes you 2 hours to get back home from said sporting events on account of 30,000 people all running for the exit at the same time. Even some of the all inclusive resorts - have hiccups in service.

Spending money is not the answer. The OP needs to look inwards to find true happiness.
"One should invest based on their need, ability and willingness to take risk - Larry Swedroe" Asking Portfolio Questions

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Re: Spending Money - Surprising Low Fun Return

Post by RickBoglehead » Wed Oct 23, 2019 10:24 am

KlangFool wrote:
Wed Oct 23, 2019 8:47 am
RickBoglehead wrote:
Wed Oct 23, 2019 5:35 am
KlangFool wrote:
Tue Oct 22, 2019 11:15 pm

3) I plan to buy a Karaoke system at home. Hence, I get to sing more.

KlangFool
That could dramatically impact the fun return of your family depending on the quality of your singing. :twisted:
RickBoglehead,

1) I used to sing in an amateur choir. We did one to two concerts per year.

2) The nest is empty and I work from home.

3) We eat out at least once every week.

4) I do not budget. I am not frugal. I save 50K to 60K per year and spend the rest. My annual expense of 50K to 60K per year leaves plenty of room for discretionary spending.

KlangFool
1) I used to sing in an amateur choir. We did one to two concerts per year. - Lots of people sing in choirs that aren't good. :wink:

2) The nest is empty and I work from home. Your better half may be hard of hearing. :wink:
Avid user of forums on variety of interests-financial, home brewing, F-150, PHEV, home repair, etc. Enjoy learning & passing on knowledge. It's PRINCIPAL, not PRINCIPLE. I ADVISE you to seek ADVICE.

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Re: Spending Money - Surprising Low Fun Return

Post by SQRT » Wed Oct 23, 2019 10:28 am

I’ve been retired for 13 years, 69 years old. Ended up with a fairly large portfolio and pension that has been able to support lots of “fun” purchases. Examples would include expensive “vacation style” homes, expensive renovations to our homes, several luxury performance cars, very expensive trips including family and friends, cash assistance to family and friends, charitable donations, expensive clothes, jewelry, and art. I would never spend for spending sake, rather I think a lot about what we would enjoy. Generally we do enjoy our spending, immensely. I never lose sight of how lucky we are both in this regard and many others.

Still enjoy doing this. I can see how eventually I might decide to reduce this kind of thing as I just get “tired”. So far, so good though. Just embarking on a very expensive rebuild of our lake house. Haven’t really noticed much “decreasing marginal utility” but maybe a bit. Everybody has a very personal relationship and attitude towards spending. But in the end you can only spend it or give it away, now or later.
Last edited by SQRT on Wed Oct 23, 2019 6:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Broken Man 1999
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Re: Spending Money - Surprising Low Fun Return

Post by Broken Man 1999 » Wed Oct 23, 2019 10:53 am

KlangFool wrote:
Wed Oct 23, 2019 8:47 am
RickBoglehead wrote:
Wed Oct 23, 2019 5:35 am
KlangFool wrote:
Tue Oct 22, 2019 11:15 pm

3) I plan to buy a Karaoke system at home. Hence, I get to sing more.

KlangFool
That could dramatically impact the fun return of your family depending on the quality of your singing. :twisted:
RickBoglehead,

1) I used to sing in an amateur choir. We did one to two concerts per year.

2) The nest is empty and I work from home.

3) We eat out at least once every week.

4) I do not budget. I am not frugal. I save 50K to 60K per year and spend the rest. My annual expense of 50K to 60K per year leaves plenty of room for discretionary spending.

KlangFool
Sounds like you pay yourself first. We did that, and I have told people we lived from paycheck to paycheck. We knew our savings were already taken out, and the balance would pay bills and be spent on discretionary items.

Worked for us. Sounds like you do much the same.

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

KlangFool
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Re: Spending Money - Surprising Low Fun Return

Post by KlangFool » Wed Oct 23, 2019 10:54 am

RickBoglehead wrote:
Wed Oct 23, 2019 10:24 am


1) I used to sing in an amateur choir. We did one to two concerts per year. - Lots of people sing in choirs that aren't good. :wink:

2) The nest is empty and I work from home. Your better half may be hard of hearing. :wink:
RickBoglehead,

1) You missed the whole concept of singing for "Fun".

2) My better half works away from home part-time.

KlangFool

stoptothink
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Re: Spending Money - Surprising Low Fun Return

Post by stoptothink » Wed Oct 23, 2019 10:58 am

Grt2bOutdoors wrote:
Wed Oct 23, 2019 10:22 am
mortfree wrote:
Wed Oct 23, 2019 2:06 am
OP: you spent money on “things.”

Perhaps you should have directed that money towards experiences (vacations, travel, day trips, sporting events, etc).

That may have moved the needle more than the things.
Eh....some "experiences" are not that fun - not when you are sitting in hours long traffic to get there, not when the venue is packed with people who like to ruin others fun, not when the team you are rooting for fails to earn their large paychecks, not when it takes you 2 hours to get back home from said sporting events on account of 30,000 people all running for the exit at the same time. Even some of the all inclusive resorts - have hiccups in service.

Spending money is not the answer. The OP needs to look inwards to find true happiness.
+10000. I'm quite minimalist when it comes to consumer goods, but I still find the statements about spending on "experiences" a little odd. I come home from at least half our vacations glad to be home and thinking "how could anybody live there". In a lot of cases, the "getting there" part almost ruins a trip for me and the idea of vacation (or a live sporting event, concert) is usually a lot more appealing to me than actually doing it. I tried a lot of traveling (I still have to for work) and live events, they don't do it for me for the most part. My greatest experiences and memories, almost unequivocally, have been those which cost almost nothing: crazy hikes with my wife and friends within a few hours of my home, my own athletic competitions, family camping trips, etc. I've enjoyed those far more than any of the 20+ countries I've visited.

Anybody who is trying to spend more money solely to find "happiness" is probably not going to realize it.
Last edited by stoptothink on Wed Oct 23, 2019 10:59 am, edited 1 time in total.

renue74
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Re: Spending Money - Surprising Low Fun Return

Post by renue74 » Wed Oct 23, 2019 10:59 am

Yooper16 wrote:
Tue Oct 22, 2019 9:53 pm
instead of stuff for you--try stuff for someone else.

We started with 2 now do 3 smallish scholarships to the local U (2k each) One of the best days of the year is when we meet the recipients at the fall banquet.
+1. This is a great idea. When I went to college, I was a poor kid from a single family household. I got an academic/financial needs scholarship from the big state school and between that large scholarship plus a few smaller ones, I didn't have any debt after school.

Years later, I actively sought out the doctor who set up the scholarship. I found his daughter and thanked her for "starting" my adulthood debt free.

I look back at that as a definite boost in my financial stability.

That would be a great way to spend some money.

I'm only 45...so I'm not in the spending my money yet thing....but my inlaws are retired and spend as they like. They are pretty frugal, but when they need/want something, they go out and buy it. New tractor...check. Extra 65 acres that were for sale next to their land...check.

They spent 40+ years saving and now anything they want, they buy. They seem happy and they don't buy frivolous things...don't travel much except for church mission trips.

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Re: Spending Money - Surprising Low Fun Return

Post by Lee_WSP » Wed Oct 23, 2019 12:35 pm

KandT wrote:
Tue Oct 22, 2019 9:29 pm
Quite a let down for things that I had supposedly "withheld" for so many years.

Anyone else have similar experiences?
This is probably the crux of the lack of enthusiasm. By suppressing the desire for so long, the payoff likewise may have also been suppressed. If you had scratched the itch immediately, you may have netted more utility at the time. It's all relative and time plays a large role in things.

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Re: Spending Money - Surprising Low Fun Return

Post by johncunningham » Wed Oct 23, 2019 1:48 pm

I feel like I only log in to reply to car related (even tangentially) posts. I have been an aggressive saver, and I'm only 42, but I bought a ten year old convertible last December, and it makes me smile every time I get in it. I guess its only been a year, but the shine hasn't worn off yet. My kids love it, so that helps. I'm not sure how long I'll keep it, but its a toy, and I already have the garage bay for it. When it goes, it will likely be a trade for another toy. For the car folks, its an E93 M3, and I love it.

YMMV, but you gotta buy the things that bring you joy. and everyone is gonna find their "thing" (hopefully)

John

Edit to add... I did have a little bit of concern that I may have some buyers remorse. I am happy to report that I haven't had one iota of a second thought. I still read about cars daily, and I'm always on the lookout for something that could be fun, a good deal, and bring multiple smiles per mile. Again for the cars guys... In a couple years I'm thinking a second generation e63 wagon may be mine. Already looking forward to the day my wife goes for a ride in a 10 year old "grocery getter"

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Abe
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Re: Spending Money - Surprising Low Fun Return

Post by Abe » Wed Oct 23, 2019 1:57 pm

"A tragic irony of life is that we so often achieve success or financial independence after the chief reason for which we sought it has passed away." Ellen Glasgow
Slow and steady wins the race.

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telemark
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Re: Spending Money - Surprising Low Fun Return

Post by telemark » Wed Oct 23, 2019 2:01 pm

We live in an economy based on convincing people to borrow money they don't have in order to buy things they don't need. So much so that the primary measurement of how good a person you are is your credit score. This doesn't mean that spending money is bad, or that it will never bring you happiness. It does mean that you have to learn to ignore the constant marketing we are all immersed in, and figure out for yourself what you enjoy. Because the people trying to sell you stuff don't really care if it makes you happy or not. If anything, happy people probably spend less.

Personally, I find that the anticipation of something often outweighs actually getting it. I will happily spend hours researching something on the internet, reading articles and reviews, and then decide that the one I already have is just fine. But I know what I would buy, if I did need it!

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Abe
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Re: Spending Money - Surprising Low Fun Return

Post by Abe » Wed Oct 23, 2019 2:04 pm

telemark wrote:
Wed Oct 23, 2019 2:01 pm
We live in an economy based on convincing people to borrow money they don't have in order to buy things they don't need. So much so that the primary measurement of how good a person you are is your credit score. This doesn't mean that spending money is bad, or that it will never bring you happiness. It does mean that you have to learn to ignore the constant marketing we are all immersed in, and figure out for yourself what you enjoy. Because the people trying to sell you stuff don't really care if it makes you happy or not. If anything, happy people probably spend less.

Personally, I find that the anticipation of something often outweighs actually getting it. I will happily spend hours researching something on the internet, reading articles and reviews, and then decide that the one I already have is just fine. But I know what I would buy, if I did need it!
Well said...
Slow and steady wins the race.

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Re: Spending Money - Surprising Low Fun Return

Post by Lee_WSP » Wed Oct 23, 2019 2:32 pm

telemark wrote:
Wed Oct 23, 2019 2:01 pm
We live in an economy based on convincing people to borrow money they don't have in order to buy things they don't need. So much so that the primary measurement of how good a person you are is your credit score. This doesn't mean that spending money is bad, or that it will never bring you happiness. It does mean that you have to learn to ignore the constant marketing we are all immersed in, and figure out for yourself what you enjoy. Because the people trying to sell you stuff don't really care if it makes you happy or not. If anything, happy people probably spend less.

Personally, I find that the anticipation of something often outweighs actually getting it. I will happily spend hours researching something on the internet, reading articles and reviews, and then decide that the one I already have is just fine. But I know what I would buy, if I did need it!
I like renting things before committing to them. Or making sure I can resell it.

SQRT
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Re: Spending Money - Surprising Low Fun Return

Post by SQRT » Wed Oct 23, 2019 2:38 pm

telemark wrote:
Wed Oct 23, 2019 2:01 pm
We live in an economy based on convincing people to borrow money they don't have in order to buy things they don't need. So much so that the primary measurement of how good a person you are is your credit score. This doesn't mean that spending money is bad, or that it will never bring you happiness. It does mean that you have to learn to ignore the constant marketing we are all immersed in, and figure out for yourself what you enjoy. Because the people trying to sell you stuff don't really care if it makes you happy or not. If anything, happy people probably spend less
Agree with this. Especially the attention paid to credit scores. Around here you would think it was more important than Net Worth. Happiness is a pretty personal thing. I’m very happy and I spend a lot. I doubt whether they are closely related.

Spending can be fun though. I wonder if fun makes people happy. Not sure.

stoptothink
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Re: Spending Money - Surprising Low Fun Return

Post by stoptothink » Wed Oct 23, 2019 2:52 pm

telemark wrote:
Wed Oct 23, 2019 2:01 pm
We live in an economy based on convincing people to borrow money they don't have in order to buy things they don't need. So much so that the primary measurement of how good a person you are is your credit score. This doesn't mean that spending money is bad, or that it will never bring you happiness. It does mean that you have to learn to ignore the constant marketing we are all immersed in, and figure out for yourself what you enjoy. Because the people trying to sell you stuff don't really care if it makes you happy or not. If anything, happy people probably spend less.

For anybody interested in seeing a crazy example of how powerful advertising and marketing is, I suggest watching the episode on bottled water on Netflix docuseries "Rotten".

smitcat
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Re: Spending Money - Surprising Low Fun Return

Post by smitcat » Wed Oct 23, 2019 4:17 pm

Interesting responses …
-we have had no problems having fun with very low cost activities, causes, and items.
-we have had no problems having fun with average cost activities, causes, and items.
-we have had no problems having fun with higher cost activities, causes, and items.

I am glad that we are were able to learn and do all of them, would not want to have missed any nor any of the future ones either.

gr7070
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Re: Spending Money - Surprising Low Fun Return

Post by gr7070 » Wed Oct 23, 2019 4:26 pm

FWIW I don't see this post that as being germane to the typical American spender.

It's far more applicable to the typical Boglehead. One who is a natural saver, and many who are compulsive savers and some potentially driven by fear and won't spend.

Those towards the later end of that spectrum might find a little more fun creep into their lives if a small amount of extra money flowed out.

Starfish
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Re: Spending Money - Surprising Low Fun Return

Post by Starfish » Wed Oct 23, 2019 4:42 pm

mortfree wrote:
Wed Oct 23, 2019 2:06 am
OP: you spent money on “things.”

Perhaps you should have directed that money towards experiences (vacations, travel, day trips, sporting events, etc).

That may have moved the needle more than the things.
There is no difference. Things give experiences.
I don't understand why would anybody desire a truck or what is a "nice truck" (what is a "nice hammer"?) but a car produces an experience every time you drive it. Same for motorcycle, bicycle, skis, climbing gear, boat, ATV, snowmobile, RV, airplane etc.
If anything buying a thing could be a much better value because you can get a lot more experience from the that thing than from a one time use. On the downside you are stuck with those experiences for long term.

Probably in this case was not even a genuine desire for the thing, just a memory of the desire.

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cheese_breath
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Re: Spending Money - Surprising Low Fun Return

Post by cheese_breath » Wed Oct 23, 2019 4:53 pm

The idea isn't to spend money because you got it. Spend it on things you would really lust for if you didn't have the money to buy them.

Would you lust for the truck or the bikes if you couldn't afford them?
The surest way to know the future is when it becomes the past.

WannabeBogleHead01
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Re: Spending Money - Surprising Low Fun Return

Post by WannabeBogleHead01 » Wed Oct 23, 2019 5:18 pm

For those interested in what actually generates happiness (data-driven, reviewing dozens of studies), I highly recommend the course, “The Science of Well-Being” at Coursera. And it’s free.

https://www.coursera.org/learn/the-scie ... well-being

It’s taught by a Yale professor, and (I’ve read) it’s the most popular class in the history of Yale. Can’t recommend it enough.

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Re: Spending Money - Surprising Low Fun Return

Post by TN_Boy » Wed Oct 23, 2019 6:11 pm

KandT wrote:
Tue Oct 22, 2019 9:29 pm
So having accomplished a lot of my goals and realizing one day hopefully long from now I will exit this earth, I have decided to spend some of the money I have been saving.

Of course, I left retirement alone and kids 529's but I had an emergency account that was swelling so I bought some "toys".

Maybe its why I was attracted to being a boglehead in the first place but I have to say that there is a surprisingly low return on material things. I am not saying I don't like them but for the expense my quality of life needle didn't move much.

I bought a really nice truck (cash) and drove it a few times - the new smell wore off very quickly. I bought the family high end bikes and I am the only one who enjoys riding and I struggle to find time to ride. Went on a little bit of a tool buying spree and I actually like those but dont use them all that often. I did some house upgrades and normal resets pretty quickly.

Quite a let down for things that I had supposedly "withheld" for so many years.

Anyone else have similar experiences?
I guess my experience has been different.

Bought one of those non-beloved by BHer's European sport sedans. Yes, it DID cost more than a used Camry with 100k miles on it. But I've enjoyed driving that thing every .... single .... day.

We've been on a number of expensive (though not wildly so) vacations that we felt were worth every penny.

I've bought in recent years some mid-level camera equipment. Got lots of enjoyment out of it. A while back I had another hobby where the equipment was expensive ... spent the money, well worth it.

I do try and think carefully before spending money on toys. With new hobbies for example, I never start with top of the line stuff; I go with basic stuff; get the good stuff later if the hobby sticks. I have bought a few things and later said "that was a dumb purchase." But not too often.

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