Acceptable Lifestyle Inflation & Donations

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hiduplex
Posts: 15
Joined: Sat Jan 19, 2019 11:04 am

Acceptable Lifestyle Inflation & Donations

Post by hiduplex » Sun Mar 01, 2020 11:00 am

I am almost debt free I owner occupy a rental duplex. I rent the other unit out and that rent covers my taxes utilities and other fixed expenses. The duplex is a ranch side by side in a low cost of living area. I should have it paid off in the next year or so. I feel that this is my forever home. I am thinking about what do I want to do with my life and money after I take care of my core expenses.

Actionable Question: Can lifestyle inflation and improvements in one life be worth it especially if main cost drivers are paid off and under control. When do you hit the point of diminishing returns for said improvements?

Is it worth it to tithe 10% of income tithe nonprofit groups most are secular. I feel like a lot of nonprofits groups and people have helped me get to where I am today and I feel I should pay it forward with donations of money and time to various groups. I also like part of that money to go to effective altruism causes around the world.

The guilt I feel the lifestyle inflation sins I have committed...
I ask your forgiveness ;)

I got a new cell phone plan (still have the same Android cellphone) it has data on it and I pay over $30 a month for cell phone service which is more than double what I used to spend. The old plan was just some talk and text.
I really enjoy going to a commercial gym it has a pool and working with a personal trainer sometimes. I spent almost $1,000 hit that gym last year there. I also like eating out and buying books. But don't worry most of the books I have I check out at the library or buy used.

I feel like with the above options none of them are contracted commitments if my health or money to decline I can stop contributing or lower my lifestyle to a more affordable one.

Additional information
I have had some on again off again health problems I've rode in the back of ambulances more than I like to have for my whole lifetime before I was 30 (I am almost 30 years old). I wrote out my will and plan on leaving my money and property to local nonprofits to help people, such as the library I can walk down the street from. parks and food banks etc. I've been single most of my life and plan to be childfree my whole life as well.


I have contributed to my Roth IRA in an S&P 500 index fund since I was a teenager I have that account through Vanguard so it's the low cost. I stopped contributing to it in my late 20s when I bought my duplex. I've always contributed to a 401k and continue to do so. Where I am at now for work I have a 401k but there is no match they have a pension fund that I could get as a lump sum once I make it 10 years there or if I retire at 55 and the plan still around I would get a good pension.

I own two individual stocks, I have a few shares of Berkshire Hathaway class B stock NYSE:BRKB. Realty Income Corporation NYSE:O or the monthly dividend company as it's called I bought it when I was younger before the financial crisis of 2008, I got it for under $25 a share and just had it reinvest dividends. I had a number of individuals stocks but sold them off to pay for the duplex and to follow closer the Bogleheads philosophy.

Since I'm still able to work I'm thinking I'll contribute 10% of my income too works 401k they have no matching. 10% to donations and live off the remaining 80% plus rental income. With having the property paid off I benefit from the homestead bankruptcy exemption the state I live in has no dollar limit for the amount of equity you can have in your property it just has to be a half acre or less which I qualify for. I have a few ideas for a backup plan should my current job end but its union and they have worked with me well in the past.

I gave some money to this site the other day, I am glad that it is ad free and helps a lot of people. https://www.bogleheads.org/support.htm

these 3 post I really like...

How do you live your life?
this is part of the reply by ladders11
"My question is really would he have been happy as a failed inventor. If he were a divorced, broke man living paycheck-to-paycheck as an electrician while he fills his garage with inventions and tries to get things going but they never do.

I wonder if we simply understate the degree to which our outcomes in various facets of life are not up to us."
http://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtop ... &p=1211986

If I Knew Then What I Know Now
By Michael LeBoeuf
https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewt ... ?t=161092

Where to leave money when we die
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=303626

Thank you all for this website I have been reading it for well over 10 years it's really helped me refine my thinking and investment strategy.

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digarei
Posts: 888
Joined: Sat Jul 05, 2014 1:41 am
Location: Sacramento
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Re: Acceptable Lifestyle Inflation & Donations

Post by digarei » Sun Mar 01, 2020 5:24 pm

hiduplex wrote:
Sun Mar 01, 2020 11:00 am

Actionable Question: Can lifestyle inflation and improvements in one life be worth it especially if main cost drivers are paid off and under control. When do you hit the point of diminishing returns for said improvements?

Is it worth it to tithe 10% of income tithe nonprofit groups most are secular. I feel like a lot of nonprofits groups and people have helped me get to where I am today and I feel I should pay it forward with donations of money and time to various groups. I also like part of that money to go to effective altruism causes around the world.

The guilt I feel the lifestyle inflation sins I have committed...
I ask your forgiveness ;)
I think the improvements you elaborate are all worthwhile endeavors.

Are there really “diminishing returns” when giving to help others?

When I was employed I was a relatively large contributor via payroll deduction to various charities. However, my financial awakening came after I had accumulated a large amount of debt. Paying off that debt while jump-starting investment savings led me to reassess my charitable giving: I stopped giving entirely for nearly a decade. A few years before I reached financial independence I was able to start giving again. Now retired, I’m able to give more each year than ever before. It’s a good place to be. No diminished returns.

I don’t believe guilt is especially useful. If you have a sizable emergency fund and a good contingency plan for potential future unemployment, that may be enough. Don’t worry about $30 cell phone plans (although mine is just $10.00 — just saying!) :D
Connect with Bogleheads in Northern California! Click the link under my user info/avatar.

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