What do fellow savers and frugalateers think

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Tejfyy
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What do fellow savers and frugalateers think

Post by Tejfyy »

Do you sometimes think you could “let go” a bit? Spend more in the certain places? It’s a mindset, a headspace I’m trying to confront.

The situation is this: I currently spend 3/4 of my monthly resources on housing (rent, etc) for a gorgeous place, with conveniences, location etc. that I wholly appreciate and enjoy. I needed a place, I know the landlord, so I took it. And I manage financially; I even come in under budget, which to me is fun.

It’s been a year now and I’ve started asking myself if it’s worth it. In my mind, I have no money to do anything else. I have it yes in savings, but I don’t want to spend it. This expense literally traps me.

Forget all logic, the fact that I live in an expensive, gorgeous city and what I pay is very reasonable. Or that I could “go out and earn more money to have more, if I wanted to.” I’m someone who’s typically forgone nice-to-haves usually because of their cost and my priorities, and consider myself happy and financially successful.

But now I’m wondering if I need to take a risk with this mindset and confront this feeling of entrapment. :confused


I’d love to hear if anyone else has had this experience.
Last edited by Tejfyy on Sat Jan 04, 2020 4:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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timboktoo
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Re: What do fellow savers and frugalatiers think

Post by timboktoo »

I think that when we try to find contentment in spending or in saving, we experience the pains of an extreme. Contentment is found in the balance, in an enlightened understanding of our needs. With 75% of your paycheck going to housing, you are experiencing what it's like to be "house poor".

Write down a list of options, with their pros and cons. Include your feelings and gut responses about each one. Taking a step back and going through the process of writing down everything you're feeling might help you find the right path. It usually helps me when I'm experiencing conflict within myself.

Peace

- Tim
Nyarlathotep
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Re: What do fellow savers and frugalatiers think

Post by Nyarlathotep »

I'm not sure if I would call someone spending 75% of their income on housing "frugal". To me, that seems wildly extravagant and very likely to substantially impede your ability to save and invest.

Personally, I would be thinking long and hard about the trade-off between your infatuation with your living situation and your long term financial goals. I doubt you'll be able to amass much wealth and/or retire early and comfortably unless you dial back your housing budget substantially.

FWIW, I would say the same thing to someone spending extravagantly on vacations and international travel year after year, or someone spending boatloads of money on the latest phones, tablets, and fancy electronics all the time. While these kinds of luxuries certainly make life fun, exciting, and provide lots of current entertainment value, they come at a pretty high cost to your future financial/retirement security and ability to achieve financial independence.
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Sandtrap
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Re: What do fellow savers and frugalatiers think

Post by Sandtrap »

There are no limits to one's ability to justify anything.

j :happy
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Murgatroyd
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Re: What do fellow savers and frugalatiers think

Post by Murgatroyd »

You are simply in the growth process of evaluating what is important to you and potentially learning from mistakes.
jacksonm
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Re: What do fellow savers and frugalatiers think

Post by jacksonm »

Hard to imagine a city desirable enough to justify paying 75% of my income in rent. Care to enlighten us as to where it might be?

If it was going towards a mortgage with a potential for a big payoff some day that might be another story but I don't think I could even get my head around that.
Jack FFR1846
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Re: What do fellow savers and frugalatiers think

Post by Jack FFR1846 »

Can you clarify? I'm not sure you're saying you spend 75% of your PAY on your rent....but 75% of your designated housing budget. Huge difference. 75% of your budgeted housing budget is great. 75% of your pay is just silly.
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anonsdca
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Re: What do fellow savers and frugalatiers think

Post by anonsdca »

I am with the few who think this is not the right course. You are dumping 75% of your income into someone else's wallet. There is no place on earth that is worth that. You are basically contributing 75% of your income to help someone else growth their wealth. I am stunned.
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Watty
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Re: What do fellow savers and frugalatiers think

Post by Watty »

Tejfyy wrote: Sat Jan 04, 2020 11:54 am I currently spend 3/4 of my monthly resources on housing (rent, etc).....
A lot more information would be needed to give any good comments.

The phrase "monthly resources" seems contrived and we do not know if that is related to pay or if you are retired and you have some sort of spending plan you are trying to follow.

We also do not know what sort of savings you have. Depending on your savings you could be living way above your means or you could be a multimillionaire who is being overly frugal.

Likewise we don't know your age for perspective. Comments for a 28 year old in your situation could be a lot different than for a 82 year old.
sambb
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Re: What do fellow savers and frugalatiers think

Post by sambb »

save 20% or more per year, and you'll be fine.
i think about thirds: taxes, expenses, savings/investments each are a third
jacksonm
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Re: What do fellow savers and frugalatiers think

Post by jacksonm »

sambb wrote: Sat Jan 04, 2020 3:07 pm save 20% or more per year, and you'll be fine.
i think about thirds: taxes, expenses, savings/investments each are a third
According to my math, that would mean he would have to live on 5% of his income.
KlangFool
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Re: What do fellow savers and frugalatiers think

Post by KlangFool »

Tejfyy wrote: Sat Jan 04, 2020 11:54 am
The situation is this: I currently spend 3/4 of my monthly resources on housing (rent, etc) for a gorgeous place, with conveniences, location etc. that I wholly appreciate and enjoy. I needed a place, I know the landlord, so I took it. And I manage financially; I even come in under budget, which to me is fun.

It’s been a year now and I’ve started asking myself if it’s worth it. In my mind, I have no money to do anything else. I have it yes in savings, but I don’t want to spend it. This expense literally traps me.
Tejfyy,

You are "House Poor" and you do no like it. So, what is your question?

You have 2 choices:

A) It is worth it for you to be "House Poor". So, do nothing.

B) It is not worth it for you to be "House Poor". So, you spend less on housing. Then, you have the money and freedom to do something else.

You have to compromise and decide what is more important to you.

KlangFool
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Tejfyy
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Re: What do fellow savers and frugalatiers think

Post by Tejfyy »

timboktoo wrote: Sat Jan 04, 2020 12:13 pm I think that when we try to find contentment in spending or in saving, we experience the pains of an extreme. Contentment is found in the balance, in an enlightened understanding of our needs. With 75% of your paycheck going to housing, you are experiencing what it's like to be "house poor".

Write down a list of options, with their pros and cons. Include your feelings and gut responses about each one. Taking a step back and going through the process of writing down everything you're feeling might help you find the right path. It usually helps me when I'm experiencing conflict within myself.

Peace

- Tim
Right on Tim, thank you for the reminder and insight. How true How true. Namaste
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Tejfyy
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Re: What do fellow savers and frugalatiers think

Post by Tejfyy »

Nyarlathotep wrote: Sat Jan 04, 2020 12:34 pm I'm not sure if I would call someone spending 75% of their income on housing "frugal". To me, that seems wildly extravagant and very likely to substantially impede your ability to save and invest.

Personally, I would be thinking long and hard about the trade-off between your infatuation with your living situation and your long term financial goals. I doubt you'll be able to amass much wealth and/or retire early and comfortably unless you dial back your housing budget substantially.

FWIW, I would say the same thing to someone spending extravagantly on vacations and international travel year after year, or someone spending boatloads of money on the latest phones, tablets, and fancy electronics all the time. While these kinds of luxuries certainly make life fun, exciting, and provide lots of current entertainment value, they come at a pretty high cost to your future financial/retirement security and ability to achieve financial independence.
Excellent observation about my pseudo-fragality @Nyarlathotep. Thank you!
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watchnerd
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Re: What do fellow savers and frugalateers think

Post by watchnerd »

Tejfyy wrote: Sat Jan 04, 2020 11:54 am Do you sometimes think you could “let go” a bit? Spend more in the certain places? It’s a mindset, a headspace I’m trying to confront.

The situation is this: I currently spend 3/4 of my monthly resources on housing (rent, etc) for a gorgeous place, with conveniences, location etc. that I wholly appreciate and enjoy. I needed a place, I know the landlord, so I took it. And I manage financially; I even come in under budget, which to me is fun.

It’s been a year now and I’ve started asking myself if it’s worth it. In my mind, I have no money to do anything else. I have it yes in savings, but I don’t want to spend it. This expense literally traps me.

Forget all logic, the fact that I live in an expensive, gorgeous city and what I pay is very reasonable. Or that I could “go out and earn more money to have more, if I wanted to.” I’m someone who’s typically forgone nice-to-haves usually because of their cost and my priorities, and consider myself happy and financially successful.

But now I’m wondering if I need to take a risk with this mindset and confront this feeling of entrapment. :confused


I’d love to hear if anyone else has had this experience.

Sounds like you're house poor.

Most people find that a miserable way to live.

We've never spent more than about 1/3 of our take home on rent/mortgages, which meant we had a lot of money left to save and spend on experiences.
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Bernard
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Re: What do fellow savers and frugalateers think

Post by Bernard »

Your post makes no sense without numbers.

If you make $1,000 per month, and couldn't find a room for $500, but spend $750 per month on a fabulous apartment while eating rice and beans, that's one thing. But if you make $10,000 per month and spend $7,500 for a penthouse apartment while having $2,500 for everything else, it's a totally different thing.
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Tejfyy
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Re: What do fellow savers and frugalateers think

Post by Tejfyy »

Thank you all for your input. It's been enlightening, therapeutic in fact. I hadn't heard the term 'house poor" since the 80s but it hits the nail on the head.

I've got to decide what's important and act on it.

I'm in coastal southern California and the 12% tax bracket for those of you who were curious for more information.
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Re: What do fellow savers and frugalateers think

Post by Unladen_Swallow »

Tejfyy wrote: Sat Jan 04, 2020 11:54 am I’m someone who’s typically forgone nice-to-haves usually because of their cost and my priorities, and consider myself happy and financially successful.
If you are financially successful and happy, there is no problem.

We all derive joy from different things. And that's ok. There is no one way of having a rewarding life. If your finances, or happiness, or desires change, then it might be worth considering new avenues. Until then, have a happy life.
"I think it's much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers which might be wrong." - Richard Feynman
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JAZZISCOOL
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Re: What do fellow savers and frugalatiers think

Post by JAZZISCOOL »

timboktoo wrote: Sat Jan 04, 2020 12:13 pm I think that when we try to find contentment in spending or in saving, we experience the pains of an extreme. Contentment is found in the balance, in an enlightened understanding of our needs. With 75% of your paycheck going to housing, you are experiencing what it's like to be "house poor".

Write down a list of options, with their pros and cons. Include your feelings and gut responses about each one. Taking a step back and going through the process of writing down everything you're feeling might help you find the right path. It usually helps me when I'm experiencing conflict within myself.

Peace

- Tim
This is a wonderful and thoughtful response! It includes both logic and emotion. I also use pros/cons lists fairly often. :happy
KATNYC
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Re: What do fellow savers and frugalateers think

Post by KATNYC »

Tejfyy wrote: Sat Jan 04, 2020 11:54 am Do you sometimes think you could “let go” a bit? Spend more in the certain places? It’s a mindset, a headspace I’m trying to confront.

The situation is this: I currently spend 3/4 of my monthly resources on housing (rent, etc) for a gorgeous place, with conveniences, location etc. that I wholly appreciate and enjoy. I needed a place, I know the landlord, so I took it. And I manage financially; I even come in under budget, which to me is fun.

It’s been a year now and I’ve started asking myself if it’s worth it. In my mind, I have no money to do anything else. I have it yes in savings, but I don’t want to spend it. This expense literally traps me.

Forget all logic, the fact that I live in an expensive, gorgeous city and what I pay is very reasonable. Or that I could “go out and earn more money to have more, if I wanted to.” I’m someone who’s typically forgone nice-to-haves usually because of their cost and my priorities, and consider myself happy and financially successful.

But now I’m wondering if I need to take a risk with this mindset and confront this feeling of entrapment. :confused


I’d love to hear if anyone else has had this experience.
We're in NYC so I get it. I splurged when I was younger but only for a year. We're at 18% for housing expenses now (mortgage, condo fee, electricity, insurance, TV/Internet/phone, house cleaning). We use our disposable income to travel (no kids).
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