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Finances

Postby ShowJumpingRabbit » Wed Jun 13, 2018 8:38 pm

I've always been a bit of a spender, lately I've been a bit better at managing money (by no means good).

So I'm wondering, how materialistic are you ? And are you proud of the way you're dealing with your finances ? Do you have tips ?

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Re: Finances

Postby emillionth » Wed Jun 13, 2018 9:37 pm

ShowJumpingRabbit wrote:So I'm wondering, how materialistic are you ?

As a rule, I don't like to buy or own things that don't serve a function (or preferably two or more).

And are you proud of the way you're dealing with your finances ?

Yes.

Do you have tips ?

Leave room for exceptions. I don't think you can be consistently frugal (and sane at the same time) without letting yourself buy something simply because you feel like it every once in a while. On the other hand, if you have a comfort habit that tends to add up to a significant amount of money, like regularly drinking a particular type of coffee or something like that, then sometimes it's a good idea to find other small pleasures that are either free, cheaper or non-consumable, and then save your expensive coffee or whatever for the "exceptional impulse buy" category. You'll save a lot of money, and it will taste better.

I think these same ideas also apply to bigger things like travel and such, if you have enough money for that. Also, get used to the thought of saving any spare money that you happen to have as the default thing to do with it. It's not free money that you don't have anything to lose by spending it right now. Anything that you don't pay in cash means money that you're borrowing and paying interest for, and you need savings if you want to pay for everything in cash. Also any money that you don't invest means lost earnings. The math is exponential, so those numbers add up over the years. I think that alone can easily be the difference between being forever in debt and being able to retire early.

Also: Never have kids. They're expensive. :P
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Re: Finances

Postby iabsurdlyexist » Wed Jun 13, 2018 11:34 pm

Yes, fairly frugal. I have always managed money well since I don't like being in others debt. So, I currently have no debt but yeah, I did have a mortgage, car debt, credit cards, etc. Credit is a good thing in this day and age as a backup. Sometimes you don't make enough money to save up for a nice car and unreliable cars are a pain. Credit is the same way for things you need now. For me, credit is now a way for me to save free %'s off of stuff. If I wasn't married with 4 kids, I'd be set for life.
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Re: Finances

Postby rfaberry602 » Fri Jun 15, 2018 2:38 am

ShowJumpingRabbit wrote:So I'm wondering, how materialistic are you ? And are you proud of the way you're dealing with your finances ? Do you have tips ?


Not very. I stopped caring about clothing or fashion a while ago. Not that I ever cared for it.. but I at least tried to when I was younger. Not so much now. I have had the same clothes for years and see no need to change.
I only spend money on food, because I'm too lazy to cook. Drugs as well. Other than that, I don't spend money often.
Tips? Well, it's easy to not spend money when you're not really interested in anything. I suggest doing activities that take up the most possible time that are free or low cost. Also, keep in mind that you need money to survive, and those around you would most certainly like your money to survive/advance themselves. So be wise with whom you give it to. Don't fall for any marketing schemes or propaganda. Don't be fear mongered or convinced into needing something you don't have any use for. Don't let other people/things influence or cultivate your identity. If you are a fan of a show/book series or some form of fiction, I suggest not falling into "fandoms" that require you to spend copious amounts of money on rubbish merchandise or memberships to validate your status as a fan.
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Re: Finances

Postby Ashlar » Fri Jun 15, 2018 3:11 pm

When I was young I thought I'd be rich because that's what all the adults around me wanted.

When I failed out of college (twice) I had to get a job and it wasn't bad but underpaid. And I basically just accumulated money since I had roommates.

When I started living alone though that got a lot harder. Then I met someone and spent a lot of money trying to make them comfortable at times. Eventually started to use credit cards... properly at first... but then moving expenses and other things would kick in. Or legal problems. Or medical problems.

Now I'm finally making more money, but for less than a year so-far. I was paying down debts just fine... but then I splurged on computer parts and that knocked out a lot of what I had paid down. In this case, also because I want to help someone (my youngest brother) by hand-me-downing my old computer.

Also I live my life like I'm going to die soon, so it kinda feels like it won't matter in the end. I keep a life insurance policy to cover that.

Basically... I started off super cheap and strict... but eventually I gave up.
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Re: Finances

Postby anathegram » Fri Jun 15, 2018 4:10 pm

I can always find a reason not to spend money
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Re: Finances

Postby muaddib » Fri Jun 15, 2018 6:12 pm

ShowJumpingRabbit wrote:So I'm wondering, how materialistic are you?

Just like the other posters, not very. I've found the real dividing line for me isn't being for or against stuff, but whether it's "productive" or not.

For example, I have zero general interest in clothing, but I'll happily go shopping for specialty outdoor clothing if I have a specific purpose in mind.... BTW I have it on good authority that "base layers" from sporting-goods stores are a rip-off; just buy women's nylons at the discount store.

ShowJumpingRabbit wrote:And are you proud of the way you're dealing with your finances?

I've always been pretty good about managing my expenses and investments, though as I've aged, I see it as less of a character trait and more of a developed skill. I was that weird kid who didn't want a Game Boy Color because I already had a Game Boy, plus I felt it was so much cooler that the bank would pay you for holding your cash.

Steady income OTOH... that's always been tricky for me, for several reasons I've talked about before elsewhere.

ShowJumpingRabbit wrote:Do you have tips?

First, to what both emillionth and Ashlar were hinting at, don't obsess too much about your expenses because it can drive you crazy. It's not sustainable. Instead of seeing your expenses as $x in this category, focus on the goods and services themselves (which is actually one of Adam Smith's main points). If you budget, don't look at it as "I want to shave $100 off my monthly expenses" but think hard about the things you regularly pay for right now, then dump anything that doesn't bring you much personal benefit.

So after you've made sure your expenses match your actual wants, like everyone else brought up, there's dialing your "wants" back towards your genuine "needs." Now the catch is that there are at least two roads you can take.

You can go full cynic like Diogenes and keep cutting out anything that isn't a basic need, but I'd actually counsel against that. I think (including from firsthand experience in my early 20s) that it really reinforces schizoid tendencies. There is another route besides living like a cynic or a miser though.

Just like emillionth mentioned with coffee, you don't have to toss out your wants; you can just simplify them instead. Coffee is a really good example. You can tell from my posts that I'm in love with the stuff, but I try not to think about brands and opinions on quality.

If I'm out during the day and Starbucks is the only coffee-shop nearby, I'll get their smallest cup (which is called a "tall" for some reason :? ), but I'm happy (and prefer the value) with store-brand grounds, or even instant. If anything, I've found that what matters isn't even the brand so much as the blend (e.g. Guatemalan is too acidic for my taste, but if Kona or Sumatra are on sale, holy crap, those are delicious).

So reeling it back in from that tangent, try to simplify your tastes rather than killing them. Don't aim for becoming more like a naked vagrant in the market, but instead picture Shaker economy or Japanese wabi-sabi.

Now, I have a couple other thoughts that I don't think anyone else has brought up, but this post is already getting long. If you're interested, I can discuss those.
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Re: Finances

Postby N1ghty » Mon Jun 18, 2018 8:34 am

I earn more than I can spend and not because I earn too much but mainly because I can't think of anything worth that I really want that is worth spending money on. So I invest surplus in bonds.
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Re: Finances

Postby nis » Mon Jun 18, 2018 9:23 pm

I only spend money on food and video games, and generally go without necessities like new socks/underwear and haircuts in order to have more to spend in these areas.
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Re: Finances

Postby ShowJumpingRabbit » Thu Jun 21, 2018 6:15 am

emillionth wrote:As a rule, I don't like to buy or own things that don't serve a function (or preferably two or more).


An aesthetic function, does it count?

emillionth wrote:Leave room for exceptions. I don't think you can be consistently frugal (and sane at the same time) without letting yourself buy something simply because you feel like it every once in a while.


I feel like it's important to reward oneself for having been disciplined.

emillionth wrote:Also: Never have kids. They're expensive.


:) In the US, they really are. But in Europe, you can find excellent education for free or cheap.

emillionth wrote:Also any money that you don't invest means lost earnings.


Where do you invest?

iabsurdlyexist wrote:If I wasn't married with 4 kids, I'd be set for life.


How did you end up with 4 kids ? Did you stop counting or something :) ?

Ashlar wrote:Now I'm finally making more money, but for less than a year so-far. I was paying down debts just fine... but then I splurged on computer parts and that knocked out a lot of what I had paid down. In this case, also because I want to help someone (my youngest brother) by hand-me-downing my old computer.


Same (or similar), I tend to ruin my own efforts at saving/earning more, by ... spending more :|

muaddib wrote:Don't aim for becoming more like a naked vagrant in the market, but instead picture Shaker economy or Japanese wabi-sabi.


I'm absolutely in love with the principles behind wabi-sabi. But my nature is expansive. I have a few hints as to why, so I may be able to curb this on the long run ...

muaddib wrote:Now, I have a couple other thoughts that I don't think anyone else has brought up, but this post is already getting long. If you're interested, I can discuss those.


Of course, go ahead! I'm all ears.

By the way, I've read On Civil Disobedience, but I intend to finish Walden before answering the Thoreau thread (I'm also moving soon)
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