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An interesting article on spending...
Old 09-08-2010, 05:14 PM   #1
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An interesting article on spending...

... needs vs. wants vs. loves. We all go through a decision process in making a purchase, the article quantifies that in a handy matrix. I know that historically I've not been rigorous enough in this regard and so have ended up with a lot of "crap" (albeit nice "crap") in my life and closets:

Surefire way to convert $$ into happiness - CNN.com
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Old 09-08-2010, 06:09 PM   #2
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Pretty much warmed-over stuff paraphrasing Your Money or Your Life, but still worth reading.

I agreed with this passage:
Quote:
I've found that real diamonds give me not one whit more satisfaction than fake ones. If you're scandalized by this confession, real diamonds must matter to you. For you, wearing even the nicest zirconium may feel like a shameful lie. I don't understand this, but I accept it.

On the other hand, when my golden retriever's knees gave out, I paid $12,000 for their surgical repair without a second thought. Even a cursory financial assessment would reveal that this dog produces no useful goods or services whatsoever, and that instead of having him bionically enhanced, I should have whacked him over the head with a shovel. But Bjorn is to me what diamonds are to whoever wrote that song: a girl's best friend.
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Old 09-08-2010, 11:39 PM   #3
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The idea of "psychic value" is straight from YMOYL, though I don't mind hearing it repeated. The matrix is interesting, but the idea of "loving" stuff seems strange to me and maybe dangerous.

I really liked this:

Quote:
Today vast numbers of smart people are pursuing chunks of your $700,000 (or whatever that number is in 2010 dollars). They may lead you into all sorts of less-than-ideal financial decisions
That's something that should be trumpeted from the rooftops.

Here's another, IMO better, recent article about needs and wants:

» addition by subtraction :mnmlist
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Old 09-09-2010, 12:24 AM   #4
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Original or not, it's good advice.

I am a big believer in self imposed cooling off periods before any non-trivial purchase - it always amazes me how many things I do not buy when I just take a few days to think it over.
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Old 09-09-2010, 12:31 AM   #5
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I generally agree, though I think "LOVE but not NEED" could be a slippery slope. I know quite a few women who claim to LOVE their 100+ pairs of shoes.
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Old 09-09-2010, 11:14 AM   #6
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Thanks for posting the link. I enjoyed reading it.
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Old 09-09-2010, 11:23 AM   #7
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Yeah this article reiterates what some other articles have stated: That is, it is relationships and experiences that bring you lasting happiness, not material things.
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Old 09-09-2010, 11:24 AM   #8
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I liked the first article very much, but the second one that Onward posted really resonated with me, as well.
I tend to do exactly as it describes, find new items I need to do whatever it is that I want--accessories for the hobby.
Good reminder that I think I need to print out and put by the computer at home.
Thanks for both of these!
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Old 09-09-2010, 12:11 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Sarah in SC View Post
I tend to do exactly as it describes, find new items I need to do whatever it is that I want--accessories for the hobby.
I've found accessorizing for a hobby is usually more fun than the hobby itself!
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Old 09-09-2010, 12:19 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sarah in SC View Post
...but the second one that Onward posted really resonated with me, as well.
I tend to do exactly as it describes, find new items I need to do whatever it is that I want--accessories for the hobby.
Good reminder that I think I need to print out and put by the computer at home.
Thanks for both of these!
I do this also, gear up for whatever I am going to do. But I have a different take on it than the author does. As long as your hobbies are fairly stable, money spent this way will usually not be wasted. In fact, I think it is fairly efficient spending. My main hobby is dancing. Going to classes is expensive, and I have found that my experience and that of many others is that you really don't remember much of it. You need to start this way, especially to meet others. But afterward, DVDs are the answer. A partner, a wood floor, and some well chosen DVDs and you can lift your performance and enjoyment way beyond what it would otherwise be, and you also get social reinforcment for your skill. A third person to film you occasionally also helps very much, as you can look at you and your partner, and compare to the quality Argentine dancers in your DVDs.

Also, when I lived with my family and two sons I bought or made a lot of high quality barbells and safety gear, including a squat cage. One year of gym membership would have cost more, and it benefitted all of us a lot, as well as gave us something interesting to do together. Same with tennis- I used the same raquet for years, but it was very good one- Yonex RD7. And I had it restrung often.

Probably everything I have ever spent on hobbies for myself and family would be less than a one week family trip to Disneyland, and IMO it was much more valuable.

Ha
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Old 09-09-2010, 12:34 PM   #11
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The last paragraph of the article is the best.

Personally I spend next to nothing on the accessories of whatever I do for joy. Example: DW and I have a Y membership. She swims, same bathing suit as going to the beach. I work out in weight room and gym, old sweat pants, beat up T shirt.

My kayak is hand built by yours truly, no special clothing, just shorts, flip-flops, an old floppy hat and ratty T shirt in summer, jeans and warmer shirts in late fall early spring. Camping in an old trailer.

It is the activity that bring joy not the expensive accessory crap.
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Old 09-09-2010, 01:05 PM   #12
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I don't know...much of the second article just seems to leach all the enjoyment out of life. It is very drab to only think of having only the things that we "need."

You can really get down to a really barebones existence that way, but does it really bring joy?

I do agree that one can go overboard on buying the accessories to do something. In the worst case you buy all the accessories rather than actually doing the activity. In my younger days there were a couple of times that I bought the accessories then found out I didn't really like the activity that much. That was a mistake.

But, for activities that I know I enjoy doing and will do the accessories can add a great deal of enjoyment to life (yes, I could only check books out of the library but I get a lot of enjoyment from buying books that I reread and from having an e-reader).

I liked the first article more. I found useful the concept that for things you need but don't love buy the cheapest you can but for things that you love buy the best that you can. Obviously this can be taken to an extreme. I do love fast powerful computers (that example resonated with me) so I do tend to buy higher end but I always yearn for but never actually buy the highest end gaming computers. And there are things that I need and don't love where it is more economical in the long run to buy something that is longer lasting even if it isn't initially the cheapest.
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Old 09-09-2010, 01:40 PM   #13
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Kats, I see your point, but for those of us who profess to "gear up" for whatever strikes our fancy, it is a useful caution. I don't think I really need most of the stuff I've bought to outfit the boat, or all the hoops I own for hooping, or the shoes for pole dancing...I could have scrimped a bit more and still gained the same utility. And camera gear, do not get me started on that pricey hobby!

But, as Ha said, a good DVD can be very helpful, especially when learning something new that takes a lot of practice. I think moderation is easy with some things, but harder with others. Like beer.
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Old 09-09-2010, 01:45 PM   #14
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This is obviously a very personal balance issue for people. It will probably change as folks go through different phases of their lives, too. I know that I have recently entered into a waning phase. I am cutting back on things I don't need, use, or want.

For instance, with possessions - any time I can identify an item that I don't get any joy from having, I ditch it. I used to keep it around, "just in case," or because I "got a good deal on it", but now I realize that whatever good deal I originally got on that item has long since been negated by the additional burden its presence has imposed on my life. I've had to clean it, store it, pack it, unpack it, yell at the kids for breaking it, fix it, store it somewhere else, etc... and why? Just because I own it? No! I can throw it out, give it away, recycle it, whatever, and thus never have to spend my energy worrying about it again. It's a very liberating feeling.
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Old 09-09-2010, 01:49 PM   #15
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I love to learn and am good at it. So, I tend to cycle thru hobbies. I get into the intitial stages, learning about it, researching and doing it for a while. Then the thrill wears off and I need to find something else to keep my mind active.

Luckily, I can usually Ebay my old hobby stuff so I don't lose all that money.
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Old 09-09-2010, 02:36 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sarah in SC View Post
I tend to do exactly as it describes, find new items I need to do whatever it is that I want--accessories for the hobby.
Good reminder that I think I need to print out and put by the computer at home.
Thanks for both of these!
That fits me too.

Not so much this year, but in past years I've went rather overboard buying clothes and preparing for vacations. Why oh why do I feel I need to look better for complete strangers than I do with people that know me.

I also bought a reformer a couple of months ago for my at home Pilates sessions. I took 6 private lessons (3 more to go) at $50 per lesson. With my hearing I had to go the private route. Anyway, I figured buying the reformer and using books and DVD + my lessons will get me started and in the long run will save me a little money. So far I like it well enough that I hope it will pay for itself over time.

Yep...fits me to a tee.
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Old 09-09-2010, 03:24 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by happy2bretired View Post
Not so much this year, but in past years I've went rather overboard buying clothes and preparing for vacations. Why oh why do I feel I need to look better for complete strangers than I do with people that know me.
Do you know my DW?

(Are you my DW? )...
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Old 09-10-2010, 08:52 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by rescueme View Post
Do you know my DW?

(Are you my DW? )...
Hi hon...when we going on another trip. I need to buy some fun things before we go.
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Old 09-10-2010, 09:52 AM   #19
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Oh, and I love those fancy travel clothes--wrinkle free, quick dry UV protection, convertible pants, you name it! Little laundry soap wafers, travel sized items, special packing cubes, camping towels. Yep, all of it!
Ditto for specialized stuff for the RV and boat--nesting pots and pans, Tervis tumblers, travel grills, tables, etc.
sigh...yes, we've got that disease. In triplicate.
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Old 09-10-2010, 12:42 PM   #20
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Can certainly tell a woman wrote this!
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