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Old 06-07-2009, 11:51 AM   #21
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Wow, Midpack, my first impulse is to say you deserve it, especially the camera since you sold off so much stuff recently. That was before I saw the part about the car, you already have a car. I also think you love to plan, nothing wrong with that, maybe you could find another planning topic?

I also sold some stuff recently which justifies a slight change in buying style: I bought some new retiree clothes and am allowing myself to put as much stuff as I can possibly read onto the Kindle. Both of these categories together will cost about half of my selling profits.

I could probably take better pix than this one even with my current camera (also a Canon A560) if I really studied photography; and I believe a better camera would give me a shaper image but for some reason I don't care, maybe I know I'm too lazy to study, etc. So I'm not looking for a better camera, just better angles; had some fun cropping it from a terrible composition, could use some straightening and color boosting.

If you would be a whole lot happier trading in the car and getting other new stuff, think about it, maybe that's you, nothing wrong with that. Part of LBYM is allowing some wiggle room for splurges like early retirement. For some of us ER is the ultimate splurge. (I typed this up before coffee so don't take me too seriously.)
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Old 06-07-2009, 12:29 PM   #22
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But I guess the older I get the more I measure every significant purchase vs FI.
Yeah, me too. I try not to let it become an obsession, though. Still, that has served me well in terms of saving toward FI. It's the reason why I didn't buy more car than I did, and the reason why we bought a small and cheap house with all cash instead of one we could "afford" in terms of monthly payments. I've increasingly come to view debt as a form of enslavement -- along the lines of "I owe, I owe, so off to work I go." I've started looking at major purchases in terms of how much longer I'd have to w*rk in order to pay for it, and sometimes that alone is enough to convince me that I don't really need it even if I can "afford" it.
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Old 06-07-2009, 12:57 PM   #23
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I want to buy a new DSLR camera and I have been researching same a lot...
I want to buy a new high mile-per-gallon car so I have been researching online (too much).
I can't understand why I am still tempted to buy "stuff" that I really don't need. some sort of latent materialism. I couldn't care less what the family/co-workers/neighbors think, so that's not it. And I never buy on impulse, all my purchases are carefully researched (best price, model/feature comparison) before I pull the trigger, I never just walk into a store see something and buy it.

What is this illness (seems almost uniquely American), and how do others control it? Any epiphanies out there?
Sounds to me like you're doing great as far as resisting temptation.
All consumers are bombarded with advertisements, making every item of consumer material look like it is the best thing since sliced bread. A lot of money is poured into the psychology of selling and making every widget look its best so it moves off the shelf.
We are surrounded by visual and audio marketing stimulation. There is no escaping it anymore. I rarely watch TV and I still see it.
Have you ever seen a food commercial on TV right after a big dinner? You are stuffed, so you are not hungry , but doesn't that cheese oozing pizza or fire grilled shrimp dripping butter look awfully good anyway? If you had some set in front of you, I would bet you would eat some. So would I.

So set up a "mad money" fund and have a little fun once in a while.
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Old 06-07-2009, 01:03 PM   #24
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Do you want to know who is a real compulsive shopper? Well, thatīs me! Or better put-I hope it WAS me.
In the last 8 years Iīve bought an average of 4,5 cell phones per year. My record was established on the last three months of last years:3. Or was it 4?
The funny thing is that I donīt like to talk over the phone, only do short sms to wife and son, almost never take photos, never use internet on them -due to my poor sight...Their only regular use is as a Mp3 player, playing audiobooks. But for not more than an hour and a half every day.

Itīs been 4 months since I bought the last one. Donīt know if itīs because I canīt find the model that tempts me or if they are becoming too expensive or...if Iīve started to get bored with them.
I was perfectly aware when I was buying them that after playing with them for a week I was ready for another one.
I broke several promises to my wife and son on not buying another phone in XXX months. A few of them I bought secretly and in consequence had to sell them 2 weeks later -secretly- for a song.

I could go on....
One thing is clear: it wasnīt to show off. I alwas tried to hide this weirdness from my friends who couldnīt care less about cell phones.

Why did I have this absurd obsession? I think it was out of a deep boredom. Whenever I had a hobby that lasted I forgot all about them, like when I cycled. Or now, that I am learning to play the guitar or posting here.
I invite all of you to give me an explanation to this curse of mine. Iīm afraid I may relapse.
Iīm really ashamed of this behaviour. It says so very little of myself.
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Old 06-07-2009, 01:16 PM   #25
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Part of LBYM is allowing some wiggle room for splurges like early retirement. For some of us ER is the ultimate splurge.
Well said.

Back to Midpack's camera. Come on! Even a LBYM'er needs a toy once in a while. Me, I need another trip to Europe. If you can afford it and know not to overdo it, go ahead. I recently got another bout of kidney stone, and let me tell you, when you are hurting, there's nothing that you care about. My brother yesterday said that if you need to spend $1 to "buy happiness" when you are healthy, it's gonna cost you $10 to buy the same when you are not.

Shall I post another song here? Nah, I shall not overdo it.
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Old 06-07-2009, 01:24 PM   #26
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...Why did I have this absurd obsession? I think it was out of a deep boredom. Whenever I had a hobby that lasted I forgot all about them, like when I cycled. Or now, that I am learning to play the guitar or posting here.
I invite all of you to give me an explanation to this curse of mine. Iīm afraid I may relapse.
Iīm really ashamed of this behaviour. It says so very little of myself.
Be glad it is not Thoroughbread race horses.

Alternatively, are you and dh2b related?
If he changes our cell phone service ONE MORE TIME because a new phone came out...

I think it is a Martian (Men are from Mars) thing with electronic gadgets, tools, firearms, vehicles, etc.
The Venusian (Women are from Venus) equivalent is usually clothes, jewelry, shoes, etc.
My weakness? Books and gardening stuff. And chocolate.
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Old 06-07-2009, 01:38 PM   #27
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Be glad it is not Thoroughbread race horses.

Alternatively, are you and dh2b related?
If he changes our cell phone service ONE MORE TIME because a new phone came out...

I think it is a Martian (Men are from Mars) thing with electronic gadgets, tools, firearms, vehicles, etc.
The Venusian (Women are from Venus) equivalent is usually clothes, jewelry, shoes, etc.
My weakness? Books and gardening stuff. And chocolate.
I donīt want to sound tragic or pitiful, but I wish it were a mere weakness, of which I have plenty, thank God. Itīs a true disease-I never go and "visit" my phones. I even hete them as reminders of my condition. I have them hidden. More than once I have forgotten I had a particular model. Part of the problem is that my wife is too understanding. And my son...well he has given up on me!
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Old 06-07-2009, 01:50 PM   #28
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I donīt want to sound tragic or pitiful, but I wish it were a mere weakness, of which I have plenty, thank God. Itīs a true disease-I never go and "visit" my phones. I even hete them as reminders of my condition. I have them hidden. More than once I have forgotten I had a particular model. Part of the problem is that my wife is too understanding. And my son...well he has given up on me!
If it is a compulsion you truly cannot control, see a doctor and discuss it. Sometimes our brains under stress can cause us to do things we normally (no stress) don't want to do, and there is a lot of help out there.
Try to turn something negative into something positive. Can you figure out a way to make your purchases be constructive ? Give that some thought.
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Old 06-07-2009, 02:22 PM   #29
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What is this illness (seems almost uniquely American), and how do others control it? Any epiphanies out there?
The best way I have found to control the purchase impulse is to create a "fun fund". $x/month is put in and can be spent on anything - but it has to be fun.

Camera? Check. Holiday? Check. Household maintenance? Nope.

Oddly, having money available that is specifically set aside for fun endeavors and knowing that the new electronic gizmo can be purchased whenever wanted decreases the desire to purchase.

I figure this is some sort of complex subconscious "scarcity vs. abundance" scenario, but as long as it works, I'm not going to spend too much time delving into the fuzzy psychological details.
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Old 06-07-2009, 02:35 PM   #30
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I'll keep reading, but I wanted to thank you all for taking the time to respond. It's been interesting and very worthwhile, several insights did hit home.

I have been out looking at cameras since my last post, but still didn't buy one...just can't decide if that's good or bad.
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Old 06-07-2009, 03:35 PM   #31
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If you can afford it and it doesn't impact your long term goals...
Well, this is another tricky thing. Let's say you see a great camera for $900. You can say "Spending this $900 is unlikely to make any difference whatsoever in my finances over the rest of my life." and it's probably true. It's even more true when deciding to buy the better beer for $7.45 or the cheaper beer for $5.19.

But I'm not sure that kind of thinking works out over the long term.
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Old 06-07-2009, 03:37 PM   #32
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Well, this is another tricky thing. Let's say you see a great camera for $900. You can say "Spending this $900 is unlikely to make any difference whatsoever in your finances over the rest of my life." and it's probably true. It's even more true when deciding to buy the better beer for $7.45 or the cheaper beer for $5.19.

But I'm not sure that kind of thinking works out over the long term.
Sue it does - if you use the logic "I can buy a lot of $7.45/$5.19 beer if I don't buy that $900 camera..."
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Old 06-07-2009, 03:42 PM   #33
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Sue it does - if you use the logic "I can buy a lot of $7.45/$5.19 beer if I don't buy that $900 camera..."
"You only live once!" "Go for the gusto?"
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Old 06-07-2009, 04:15 PM   #34
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Back to the car, I think it makes sense to research which car you might buy if you got into a wreck or suddenly had major problems with your current car. I'm regularly thinking about this, to have some idea just so I'm not rushed to research and decide if something bad does happen. I've also got a Honda with 80+K miles, and I keep coming to the conclusion that it's far better financially, and probably better ecologically, to hang onto the Pilot for the foreseeable future. It's meeting all of my needs, even if it is bigger than what I really want now. When I bought it, I had some definite reasons to replace my 7 yr old CRV.
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Old 06-07-2009, 05:06 PM   #35
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"You only live once!" "Go for the gusto?"
Careful kids lets not get all crazy!
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Old 06-07-2009, 05:07 PM   #36
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"You only live once!" "Go for the gusto?"
"Full speed ahead"

"What STOP sign ?"
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Old 06-07-2009, 05:08 PM   #37
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I have been out looking at cameras since my last post, but still didn't buy one...just can't decide if that's good or bad.
I would recommend either going with a Canon or Nikon. I bought my DW a Canon Rebel XS last Christmas and she's been very happy with it. Maybe a little too happy -- she's already bought two additional lenses and now wants an external flash Lenses can get super expensive (especially ones with large apertures) but we bought a telefoto for $260 and fixed 50mm f/1.8 for $90 so the lower end ones aren't that expensive.

Amazon usually has some great prices on cameras.

One of the biggest advantages of an SLR is having more control over the depth of field. Notice in this picture how the 6 ball is out of focus - http://www.istockphoto.com/generic_i...ew.php?ID=7271 I don't think it's possible to take a picture like that with a P&S.
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Old 06-07-2009, 05:31 PM   #38
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Ooooh, I love this thread. I am a shopper and not ashamed to admit it. I equate my bargain-hunting with any guy who spends days in the woods in search of a trophy. Just today I found a designer handbag on clearance which will have me grinning for a week, lol.

Also, one of my ER goals is to take several courses in photography and finally invest in a DSLR camera that I can learn how to use! I love digital photos 'cause they can be reviewed and DELETED, ha. (For every 300 shots I take, I get maybe ONE good one.) Anyhow, I'll be interested in camera discussion.

Midpack, don't worry about the urge to treat yourself. Most of us want stuff and as long as it's within your means...enjoy yourself.
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Old 06-07-2009, 05:57 PM   #39
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Also, one of my ER goals is to take several courses in photography and finally invest in a DSLR camera that I can learn how to use! I love digital photos 'cause they can be reviewed and DELETED, ha. (For every 300 shots I take, I get maybe ONE good one.) Anyhow, I'll be interested in camera discussion.
This is a great book for learning about photography - Amazon.com: Understanding Exposure: How to Shoot Great Photographs with a Film or Digital Camera (Updated Edition): Bryan Peterson: Books

I never realized how much went into it until I read the book. As far as classes, I think if you buy a DSLR at Wolf camera they will allow you to take a few of their classes for free. A lot of community colleges will also offer photography classes for pretty cheap.
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Old 06-07-2009, 07:03 PM   #40
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One of the biggest advantages of an SLR is having more control over the depth of field. Notice in this picture how the 6 ball is out of focus - http://www.istockphoto.com/generic_i...ew.php?ID=7271 I don't think it's possible to take a picture like that with a P&S.
You could do it with a non-SLR, but you generally need more control over the aperture.

I did it here after taking the picture. That is, in Paintshop Pro, I selected that part of the image that I wanted blurred, then blurred it. Sorry for getting off-topic.
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