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Old 04-27-2014, 12:19 PM   #41
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If you can take an exquisite photo with your current camera(s), will the new menu on the Fuji camera and the extra megapixels really materially make you a better photographer? Maybe you should focus on using the tools you already have to meet the challenge of making a few great photos, rather than spending more money.

To reward yourself for not buying the camera, go to the movie!
Mo Money - there is one thing this new camera can do that my current one can't. Due to it's leaf shutter, it can flash synchronize at much higher shutter speeds than can a focal plane shutter. This makes it possible to shoot outdoors in sunlight at 1000th sec and f/2 with a small handheld flash, opening the door to some fun creative possibilities. You're right that my existing camera is perfectly capable of taking great pictures, but this one is much more compact. I'm getting fed-up of lugging the heavier gear around with me and think that a smaller, lighter camera will result in more photos, as I'll take it with me more often.

I am under no illusions that the mere act of owning it will make me happier, but I think it will lead to more fun and creative outings and encounters. If (or when) I purchase it, I'll probably end up selling the old camera and lenses, significantly reducing the effective cost. Given that I get a lot of use and enjoyment from my camera, I don't think this is an imprudent purchase.

However, having said all of this, it could well be another 6 months or more before I pull the trigger. Hard to say whether I'll buy it next week or next year. As stated in my OP, I am more concerned about my well-developed ability to talk myself out of buying things, than the other way around.
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Old 04-27-2014, 12:56 PM   #42
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I'm getting fed-up of lugging the heavier gear around with me and think that a smaller, lighter camera will result in more photos, as I'll take it with me more often.

I am under no illusions that the mere act of owning it will make me happier, but I think it will lead to more fun and creative outings and encounters.
This has definitely been the case for me. Hunting for worthwhile shots is what makes photography fun for me. And when the equipment does not get in the way, it is even better.
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Old 04-27-2014, 01:53 PM   #43
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It took me 50-some-odd-years to learn that most of us will earn over a million dollars during our lifetime, and yet most of us will squander it on "stuff" like a fancy stereo, or a big-screen TeeVee, or a smart phone, or cable television or whatever.

Little bits, here and there, add up, and over time, we all dissipate wealth instead of saving it.

A good friend of my Dad's retired at age 40 - back in 1970. How did he do it? We worked for ARAMCO in Saudi Arabia and made a boatload of money for a few years - and banked it all. That was the first part.

The second part was SPENDING - he was cheap as all get out. He drove VW Beetles because they were cheap, not to be stylish. And he lived frugally and was able to "not work" the rest of his life as a result.

The rest of us trade financial freedom for bling - the beads and trinkets that the European settlers used to finagle Manhattan from the Indians. We lease a new car, not realizing it means we have to work a year longer before we retire. We get a fancy new smart phone with a data plan, not realizing that $100 a month, over 30 years at 7% interest comes to $121,287.65 missing from our 401(k) plan.

And a lot of this junk is just that - things our ancestors did without, just fine. I have no cable TV, no smart phone. Combined, that takes $2400 out of my annual budget, and that's a lot.

A $1600 camera is a lot of money for anyone in the middle class. But hey, we've all bought things like this, put it on a credit card, and kidded ourselves that we could "afford it" right? And when the credit card maxes out, we refinance the house and roll over the debt for 30 years. There's the financial meltdown of 2009 in a nutshell.

So, I applaud the OP for agonizing over what might seem to be a "trivial" purchase to some folks. $1600 is a lot of money. Heck, I've bought cars for less than that!

Find one used. Maybe eBay? If you really have to have one, that is.....
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Old 04-27-2014, 03:57 PM   #44
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I think it all has to do with balance and perspective. I worked 32+ years for a major oil company and although I didn't live all that frugally, I didn't go overboard on material things either. Have never paid a penny of credit card interest, paid for my last two homes with cash and have been debt free for well over fifteen years. Dropping $1500 for a camera that I want, is simply no big deal. I think some times we all suffer analysis paralysis deciding on what is best to do. The bottom line is we are all nothing more than biological life forms with a limited time in this physical world and to stress over material purchases is really kind of silly in the over all scheme of things. Just my two cents.
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Old 04-27-2014, 04:27 PM   #45
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I think it all has to do with balance and perspective.
+1. Surely there is a middle ground between spendthrift and miser. And most of us here seem to have found it.
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Old 04-27-2014, 04:32 PM   #46
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I think it all has to do with balance and perspective. I worked 32+ years for a major oil company and although I didn't live all that frugally, I didn't go overboard on material things either. Have never paid a penny of credit card interest, paid for my last two homes with cash and have been debt free for well over fifteen years. Dropping $1500 for a camera that I want, is simply no big deal. I think some times we all suffer analysis paralysis deciding on what is best to do. The bottom line is we are all nothing more than biological life forms with a limited time in this physical world and to stress over material purchases is really kind of silly in the over all scheme of things. Just my two cents.
Well, if you have tons of money, spending is never an issue. Or is it?

Even when making the vaunted "six figure salary" much of one's income is taken up with mortgage, 401(k) savings, taxes, health insurance, auto expenses, kids college fund, etc. Most folks would be lucky to have $10,000 left over at the end of the day. $1600 for a camera represents 16% of disposable income for someone in that situation.

And the situation we are talking about is the OP's. Sure, maybe you can afford the camera, but how does that help the OP, unless you want to gift them one?

I live on a retirement island. Yea, my house is "paid for" and I have no credit card debt, either. But I would have to think long and hard about spending $1600 on a camera.

Why? Because I see my older neighbors and how that works out when they are 70 or 80 and run out of money. It ain't pretty, let me tell you.

Funny thing, when I was a kid, my Mom gave me her old German Leica camera and I took a class in B&W photography from a local artist (she had a battered Hasselblad, of course). Everyone said, "Oh, you should get a new Canon SLR, as that is the latest and greatest!"

35 years later and that old Leica is now a collector's item. Wish I hung onto it.

Sometimes having the "ultimate" whatever ends up being a disappointment.

This is a very odd forum. Most of the postings seem to be about SPENDING money, not saving it. If you really want to retire early, you either need to have a huge amount of savings, or find ways to spend less.

Since most of us don't have the former, the latter is the only option....

Just my two cents, which I want back so I can put into my savings.
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Old 04-27-2014, 04:59 PM   #47
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This is a very odd forum. Most of the postings seem to be about SPENDING money, not saving it. If you really want to retire early, you either need to have a huge amount of savings, or find ways to spend less...
No, it's not odd if you consider that perhaps 1/2 of the forum posters are already early retirees, and the rest ER wannabes. The ERs like myself have saved and scrimped through our life, and now we may want to let loose of our wallet a bit before our time runs out.

Signed someone who survives (so far) a life-threatening disease...

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Sometimes having the "ultimate" whatever ends up being a disappointment...
I agree full-heartedly with this. That's why we never buy the "best" of anything. We normally buy just a-bit-above-average products, and figure that's the most cost-effective level. Well, quite often we cannot afford the best anyway, such as a 6-figure auto or HiFi loudspeakers.
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Old 04-27-2014, 05:23 PM   #48
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PS. Having been on this forum for a while, I know I am not the only one with a 7-figure investable asset (meaning not counting the homes) where that 1st digit is not a "1". I also know I am not the only one who can afford a $1600 camera, but not wanting one because we do not know what to do with it. But on the other hand, if it brings joy to someone who appreciates it, then it's different. A lot of the people here who tell someone else to spend the money are actually tightwads, hence the earlier talk about "delayed gratification" not being "denied gratification".
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Old 04-27-2014, 05:30 PM   #49
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Well, if you have tons of money, spending is never an issue. Or is it?

Even when making the vaunted "six figure salary" much of one's income is taken up with mortgage, 401(k) savings, taxes, health insurance, auto expenses, kids college fund, etc. Most folks would be lucky to have $10,000 left over at the end of the day. $1600 for a camera represents 16% of disposable income for someone in that situation.

And the situation we are talking about is the OP's. Sure, maybe you can afford the camera, but how does that help the OP, unless you want to gift them one?

I live on a retirement island. Yea, my house is "paid for" and I have no credit card debt, either. But I would have to think long and hard about spending $1600 on a camera.

Why? Because I see my older neighbors and how that works out when they are 70 or 80 and run out of money. It ain't pretty, let me tell you.

Funny thing, when I was a kid, my Mom gave me her old German Leica camera and I took a class in B&W photography from a local artist (she had a battered Hasselblad, of course). Everyone said, "Oh, you should get a new Canon SLR, as that is the latest and greatest!"

35 years later and that old Leica is now a collector's item. Wish I hung onto it.

Sometimes having the "ultimate" whatever ends up being a disappointment.

This is a very odd forum. Most of the postings seem to be about SPENDING money, not saving it. If you really want to retire early, you either need to have a huge amount of savings, or find ways to spend less.

Since most of us don't have the former, the latter is the only option....

Just my two cents, which I want back so I can put into my savings.

Don't have tons of money and spending is something I have always watched. Yep, had the six figure salary but lived on much less and saved so I could exit the rat race a little bit earlier than many. If $1600 was 16% of my disposable income, I probably wouldn't even think about spending it on a camera. Again, my two cents, it is all about perspective and balance.
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Old 04-27-2014, 05:54 PM   #50
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This is proving to be quite a spirited conversation. Like many threads, it hasn't gone in completely the direction I initially envisaged but hey - once you launch one of these things into the air, you kind of have to allow it to blow in whichever direction the wind takes it.

The main thrust of my OP was to wonder about the process by which I often end up persuading myself not to buy or do things. FIREd came closest when he said that there may be a bit of denied, as opposed to delayed, gratification going on. Some of you guys are discussing whether a $1600 camera is a prudent purchase and that's fine. In this vein, we could really be talking about the possible purchase of any consumer item, and each of us will have a different answer, ranging from, "That's far too much money to be spending on an Acme Widget", to "Buy it and enjoy it. Life is too short!"

Obviously, there is no one-size-fits-all answer, but our own personal answer will be guided by such considerations as the potential utility to the purchaser. Person A may have little interest in an Acme Widget and so even if it's purchase represents only 1% of his/her income, it will be considered an imprudent purchase. On the other hand, Person B may find this product to be of great use and the source of a lot of continued enjoyment. Even if Person B has a much lower income, and the purchase of the Widget represents a much larger proportion of their income. It may therefore be considered a prudent purchase for this person.
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Old 04-27-2014, 06:01 PM   #51
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Yes, we all have different shoe sizes, and you will have to try on your own shoes, Major Tom. However, this is not the first thread where the OP asked whether to spend money, and more than 1/2 cheered him on.

Shortly after I found this forum, a poster asked whether he should spend $15K (I think) for a vacation, and many replied "just do it". And as I remember, many forgot to ask the OP if he was ER or FI. I think Suze Orman would pound her fists while screaming "Denied, denied, to all of you!"
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Old 04-27-2014, 07:09 PM   #52
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Old 04-27-2014, 07:11 PM   #53
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Old 04-27-2014, 07:31 PM   #54
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You're right that my existing camera is perfectly capable of taking great pictures, but this one is much more compact. I'm getting fed-up of lugging the heavier gear around with me and think that a smaller, lighter camera will result in more photos, as I'll take it with me more often.
Ansel Adams had some gear, too. This is his pack mule.

I think this is more of a philosophical discussion -- delayed gratification, denied gratification, weighing what gratification and when.

You are likely to get the camera, IMV. I would focus (excuse the pun) on using what I already possessed. But I still think you want the toy.... To each his own. My best to you!

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Old 04-27-2014, 07:53 PM   #55
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Ansel Adams had some gear, too. This is his pack mule.

I think this is more of a philosophical discussion -- delayed gratification, denied gratification, weighing what gratification and when.

You are likely to get the camera, IMV. I would focus (excuse the pun) on using what I already possessed. But I still think you want the toy.... To each his own. My best to you!

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All that gear for B&W photos too !
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Old 04-27-2014, 08:05 PM   #56
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You are likely to get the camera, IMV. I would focus (excuse the pun) on using what I already possessed. But I still think you want the toy.... To each his own. My best to you!

-- Mo Money
Thank you! Yes, I probably will get it at some point - and believe me, I am very good at not purchasing things that I deem not necessary. I have only a bicycle for transport, and no cellphone, no cable or satellite subscription. I have no recurring monthly bills other than rent, food and $35 for my land-line and DSL. Not that these other things are bad; far from it. They are simply not of sufficient value to me to warrant spending money on. Other people enjoy other things and, as you say, to each his own.

This particular camera is not the ultimate camera (a word that robert used); it is simply a very good fit for the type of shooting I do. For me, it is not a toy but a well-made tool, and based on the enjoyment and use I derived from the last camera I bought 9 years ago, I think I will derive sufficient utility from this purchase as well.
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Old 04-27-2014, 08:06 PM   #57
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And (not to hijack the thread), but... WHAT A PHOTOGRAPHER!

I used to hate Ansel only because when I was in college, every desk calendar and dorm poster was yet another dam*ed Ansel photo. But then I saw a PBS American Experience documentary on him, and that changed my tune. It's not his fault he's that famous. Poor guy. Went to his death bathing in renown.

Sorry for the digression, Tom. (Moderator: Mercy, please! )
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Old 04-27-2014, 09:51 PM   #58
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It is ironic that the frugal habits we adopt and learn to get us to FIRE can become the same habits that then deny us the capacity to enjoy it when we get there. A recent ERer myself, I too have suffered the overshoot from frugality into potentially miserly behaviour, seeing my initial spending falling well below what I can afford to fund.

I'm in the process of curing this by using a similar discipline that got me to FIRE in the first place ie. instead of having a savings plan that most efficiently gets me to FI, I have a spending plan that most efficiently draws down my pot of gold to meet my retirement goals.

For example, one of my goals for my late 40s is to adventure travel while I am still very physically able to, so I am not afraid to spend on experiences, or enabling items that I will get good use out of, to achieve that goal. To that end, my wife and I went to Queenstown (New Zealand's adventure capital) earlier this year and we will be riding my motorcycle to Uluru (central Australia) from Canberra later this year.

This is not to say that I am throwing money away - I am still more than happy with my 4 year old motorcycle and we traveled cheaply to/from and in NZ using Jetstar and a campervan respectively - rather I am efficiently directing it to exactly where I intended to spend it when dreaming of FIRE all those years ago.

Amusingly, I too have agonised over whether to upgrade my camera from a very capable compact P&S to a mid-level DSLR, in my case as an enabling item to enhance my adventure travel experiences. Mine keeps failing the ongoing usability test, because it is the convenience of pocketing my compact P&S, not so much its technical abilities, and therefore always having it on me that has allowed me to take some (IMO) awesome photos on my travels. I cannot see myself hiking or riding (pedal or motor powered), which is what I do most, with a DSLR hanging around my neck or shoulder, so why buy something expensive that I am not really going to get effective use out of?

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Old 04-28-2014, 08:33 AM   #59
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Ozstache, love the picture and am a bit envious of your plan to adventure ride in Oz. BTW, what are to two animals to the left ? One looks like a camel and the other a big ground hog ?
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Old 04-28-2014, 08:55 AM   #60
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I have a 7-yo camera that works perfectly for my needs, an 11-yo big screen TV that works just fine, I drive my cars for 10 years or more, my house is nice but not a McMansion and no pool...

I'm sure I could spend more if I had it, but I have stuff that works for me, and I don't give a rat's butt about impressing others. And, frankly, I'd be broke just like so many others if I'd have always bought the latest geehaws.

I don't consider being "thoughtful" about purchases to be a vice or a personality defect. I think it's smart!
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