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BUYING is such an addictive behavior and is there a cure for it??
Old 04-09-2007, 10:17 AM   #1
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BUYING is such an addictive behavior and is there a cure for it??

All,

I love buying period. The act of buying so addictive that we buy online and just about anywhere we can find a deal. Our recent big ticket item includes a 50" plasma TV which is now $300-$400 less than what we paid for at christmas time... Don't even mention digital cameras, iPod and "fancy" cell phones... they sucked me up dried.

help... how am i suppose to get the RE land if i am keeping doing things like this? does anyone here have the same disease at i do?? what's the cure for it?

enuff

your comment is appreciated
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Re: BUYING is such an addictive behavior and is there a cure for it??
Old 04-09-2007, 10:25 AM   #2
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Re: BUYING is such an addictive behavior and is there a cure for it??

The cure is watching the stuff fill up your house while it depreciates to $0. It doesn't take long to get tired of that.
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Re: BUYING is such an addictive behavior and is there a cure for it??
Old 04-09-2007, 10:32 AM   #3
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Re: BUYING is such an addictive behavior and is there a cure for it??

Before retiring - I would often buy things that I did'nt "need" like more chrome for my bike and "dohickeys" for the RV etc -

But since getting free from work life - I have stopped buying and do not miss it - I spend more time taking care of what I already own and look forward to getting rid of alot of the stuff that I don't use.
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Re: BUYING is such an addictive behavior and is there a cure for it??
Old 04-09-2007, 10:40 AM   #4
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Re: BUYING is such an addictive behavior and is there a cure for it??

Budget (and don't go over budget). Set goals (when do you want to retire, and how do you plan to get there?). Pay yourself first (if you don't see the money, you can't miss it). Hide the credit cards (no more online buying).

Ask yourself things like this when you want to buy: Do I need this? Will this purchase derail my retirement goals? (Answer is YES).

Promise yourself that you will wait a day (week/month) before making a big purchase.

Buy mutual funds instead of things. Say: If I don't buy this electronic-thingie, I can buy more Vanguard Total Stock Market Index and help toward my retirement! Watch your balance go up as a reward.

Buying doesn't have to be addictive. But it will take a while for you to change your mindset. You have to really WANT to RE and have a plan for it, not think of it in the abstract.

How much of your income do you save? Need incentive? Are you competitive? I save 30% of my salary. Others on this board save even more. To get to RE, you'll probably have to join us.

Karen
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Re: BUYING is such an addictive behavior and is there a cure for it??
Old 04-09-2007, 10:40 AM   #5
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Re: BUYING is such an addictive behavior and is there a cure for it??

I dog ear the pages of stuff that interests me in catalogs...then wait a few days...usually end up NOT purchasing...the gloating about not spending $$$ becomes addictive too For the stuff I really want, I make a big deal researching it (pricing, consumer reports, etc) - to get the BEST deal I can find....then gloat about all the $$$ I did save on my "frivolosities" (skis, kayak, mountain bike, the goodies to go with, etc....)

Good luck!
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Re: BUYING is such an addictive behavior and is there a cure for it??
Old 04-09-2007, 10:41 AM   #6
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Re: BUYING is such an addictive behavior and is there a cure for it??

When you are tempted to buy, take a walk around your house and notice all the 'stuff' that you've bought in the past....remember how exciting the time was leading up to the purchase and how you just 'had' to have it.

Then think about how (non) excited you are about that item now, and how quickly that pre-purchase excitement died off once you acquired the item.

Then you tell yourself "Oh but this is different I really want this..." and then buy it anyway

- John
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Re: BUYING is such an addictive behavior and is there a cure for it??
Old 04-09-2007, 10:44 AM   #7
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Re: BUYING is such an addictive behavior and is there a cure for it??

Here's one treatment: Go to garage sales. You can satisfy the urge for much less money -- seriously.

We had an unusually productive Saturday:

Addidas Backpack, perfect condition: Free
Shop Vac (replaced mine that broke months ago): $3
Newer version of Trivial Pursuit: $1
Telephone (to replace one that broke): $1
Four books: $1.50
6 in 1 USB card reader: $1
Shortie wetsuit for Southern California surf trip: $4
O'Neill full wetsuit for when mine wears out: $4
Cookbooks: $1
Sweater for wife to unravel and reknit: 25 cents
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Re: BUYING is such an addictive behavior and is there a cure for it??
Old 04-09-2007, 10:44 AM   #8
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Re: BUYING is such an addictive behavior and is there a cure for it??

Humans enjoy consummation; buying a desired object is a very direct and easily accomplished consummation.

Thus as you have discovered, it can become addictive.

I was very frugal as a child and student and young man, then later got pretty free with money. Mostly since coming to this board I have again backed away from excess consumption.

I have two main techniques to keep it under control. One is displacement. I don't go into a Starbucks and grab a $2.50 coffee every day (in fact I hate Starbucks!) but I do go at least once or twice a week to a good coffee house where I have a very high likelihood of being satisfied with the coffee and the ambiance. I have traded intensity of experience for frequency.

Another ploy is to transfer some buying pleasure to buying food. It is someting I must buy anyway right? I am a picky customer at the fish market or the butcher shop, but I let the sellers know what I am looking for, and I express my appreciation when they have a nice looking steak or filet.

For me this can be a big buying pleasure. I walk home with it and plan how to prepare it. I don't eat cheaply, but it's a lot smaller drain than a diet of plasma TVs!

Another factor which may not have influenced you but can be a goad to buying is the social reinforcement one gets from a good salesperson in a high end establishment. Go shopping for a BMW or an Audi as I recently did with a son for an idea of what I mean. Same with high end women's or men's clothing store. It may be that no one pays as much attention to us, to who we really are or want to be, as a skilled salesman of luxury goods. One defense against that is to strive for a broad range of satisfying social interactions outside of the marketplace.

There are support groups, which may sound corny but I think would likely be quite helpful. I have never considered myself a particualrly addictive personality, but I could become addicted to "Hi, I'm Ha, and I'm powerless over life... "Hi Ha!!!

And donít forget the social reinforcement of frugality found right here on this board. Come frequently and linger!

Ha



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Re: BUYING is such an addictive behavior and is there a cure for it??
Old 04-09-2007, 10:54 AM   #9
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Re: BUYING is such an addictive behavior and is there a cure for it??

One thing I have done to channel my spending desires is to take up an interest in coins, especially bullion. I spend a lot of time researching and looking at various bullion coins, including American Eagles, Chinese Pandas, etc. When you buy a coin, you fullfil your desire to purchase something, and you end up with something that retains most of its value, and sometimes actually increases in value (as opposed to a trinket which usually depriciates to close to zero). Of course there are markups to be paid since coin dealers have to make a living, and there are small buy/sell spreads, but for the most part, you can sell bullion coins for almost as much as you paid for them.
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Re: BUYING is such an addictive behavior and is there a cure for it??
Old 04-09-2007, 11:03 AM   #10
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Re: BUYING is such an addictive behavior and is there a cure for it??

I understand your problem. I think it is something that fills a void in our life, but really never briings the happiness or feeling of contentment that we all crave. I don't know what it is myself, and I question my own abillity to be able to stop when I retire, though I must stop.

Many people on this board have been sucessful it seems in living a frugal life style and denying themselves all the latest and greatest toys available out there.
I simply like "new technology". I don't care about fancy cars, or clothes, or expensive restaurants but do have a hard time not spending money on new technology. Go figure.

I am also a decorating nut, and really enjoy living in a esthetically pleasing enviornment. It need not be a mansion, even a 1000 sq. ft. townhouse might do, but it better be very pleasing to the eye or I won't like living there.

I wilsh I could rid myself of these quirks, but I don't know if I can. I may be able to buy less tech toys when I retire out of necessity, but I don't think I could ever adjust to living in a place that I did not find very pleasing to the eye.

I do believe, however, that spending money on things that are really "not necessary" to have, is going to be a hard habit to break, and does cause me some concern. As an example. I purchased two 32" Sony TV's for the bedrooms last year ($1,600 each) and I have been strugling with NOT buying a large plasma or LCD for the family room. I have an old large 56" rear projection type there now that still works, though the picture sucks in comparison.

Everytime I go into Costco, I make a b-line for the Plasma TV's and get such a strong urge to buy one. I will say that holding out pays, as the prices keep coming down. But buying a new plasma means also buying a new furniture console which would be another $2,000. So it's not just the tv.

Anyway, how alone are we? Anyone else facing similar questions of future descipline in our spending habits. Going from having the money to buy whatever I want when I want it, to not having the money to buy whatever I want when I want it, may be a tough habit to break. I THINK/
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Re: BUYING is such an addictive behavior and is there a cure for it??
Old 04-09-2007, 11:18 AM   #11
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Re: BUYING is such an addictive behavior and is there a cure for it??

Two suggestions:

1. Read "Your Money or Your Life" by Dominguez and Robin. Then calculate how many hours of your life you need to spend at work to buy X.

2. Build and maintain a net worth spreadsheet and value your high-tech goodies at what you could sell them for on the open market (craigslist or ebay or whatever). See how long you like setting fire to $100 bills.

2Cor521
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Re: BUYING is such an addictive behavior and is there a cure for it??
Old 04-09-2007, 11:19 AM   #12
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Re: BUYING is such an addictive behavior and is there a cure for it??

Quote:
Originally Posted by Enuff2Eat
help... how am i suppose to get the RE land if i am keeping doing things like this? does anyone here have the same disease at i do?? what's the cure for it?
"I used to have a drug problem... now I make enough money to afford it."
-- David Lee Roth

Unfortunately it's always easier to reduce your expenses than to boost your income. It'd help a lot if you could understand why you buy and what triggers the urge. But otherwise your buying disease will not get past the "RE land" immigration authorities.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl
Here's one treatment: Go to garage sales. You can satisfy the urge for much less money -- seriously.
That's really impressive!

Spouse does this every Saturday morning for a couple hours... we'll never buy retail sunscreen, bug spray, tchotchkes, or plants ever again. And once or twice a year I'll get a critical-response logistics phone call from her: "Bring $$ and meet me at this address with the Taurus, tarps, and tie-downs right now." Never regretted it.
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Re: BUYING is such an addictive behavior and is there a cure for it??
Old 04-09-2007, 11:30 AM   #13
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Re: BUYING is such an addictive behavior and is there a cure for it??

Nords,
How do you not buy retail sunscreen or bug spray? Plants & other things - totally in agreement...but sunblock from a yard sale

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Re: BUYING is such an addictive behavior and is there a cure for it??
Old 04-09-2007, 11:42 AM   #14
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Re: BUYING is such an addictive behavior and is there a cure for it??

A lot of what we buy is because of marketing. Stay away from ads. All ads. It may mean no more decorating magazines, no more checking out the newspaper sales, no more shopping for fun, no more mall or store walking.

Just getting rid of the magazines and avoiding the stores made me much more satisfied with what I have.

Do some research on what other countries have in middle class families, get some of your time donated to those less fortunate.

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Re: BUYING is such an addictive behavior and is there a cure for it??
Old 04-09-2007, 12:00 PM   #15
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Re: BUYING is such an addictive behavior and is there a cure for it??

sorry, i do not like shopping so i can not relate.
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Re: BUYING is such an addictive behavior and is there a cure for it??
Old 04-09-2007, 12:04 PM   #16
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Re: BUYING is such an addictive behavior and is there a cure for it??

Another thought:

Make a buying list. Put everything on it you want to buy. Divide the list into needs and wants. Only buy the needs.

For me, needs are anything without which my death will be significantly hastened. As I define it, my only needs are air, water, food, shelter (house/clothing), and basic medical and dental care. Everything else is a want.

Right now I probably have about a hundred items on my buy list and only a few on my need list.

2Cor521
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Re: BUYING is such an addictive behavior and is there a cure for it??
Old 04-09-2007, 12:22 PM   #17
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Re: BUYING is such an addictive behavior and is there a cure for it??

Quote:
Originally Posted by SecondCor521
For me, needs are anything without which my death will be significantly hastened. As I define it, my only needs are air, water, food, shelter (house/clothing), and basic medical and dental care. Everything else is a want.

Right now I probably have about a hundred items on my buy list and only a few on my need list.
People's personalities differ so much. What works for one person would seem impossibly dreary for another. I mean satisfying needs only- holy cow!

Anyone who can walk into a Costco and see those fantastic TV screens without at least wanting one must be a different species from me.

Ha

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Re: BUYING is such an addictive behavior and is there a cure for it??
Old 04-09-2007, 12:25 PM   #18
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Re: BUYING is such an addictive behavior and is there a cure for it??

Quote:
Originally Posted by HaHa
Anyone who can walk into a Costco and see those fantastic TV screens without at least wanting one must be a different species from me.
Yeah, probably the species who bought one last year just to see the price cut in half a few months later.
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Re: BUYING is such an addictive behavior and is there a cure for it??
Old 04-09-2007, 12:27 PM   #19
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Re: BUYING is such an addictive behavior and is there a cure for it??

quitting shopping is like quitting living.. no, i meant smoking. it ain't that easy to do.


no excuses, i will try to use some of yours advice.

enuff
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Re: BUYING is such an addictive behavior and is there a cure for it??
Old 04-09-2007, 12:38 PM   #20
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Re: BUYING is such an addictive behavior and is there a cure for it??

Quote:
Originally Posted by HaHa
Anyone who can walk into a Costco and see those fantastic TV screens without at least wanting one must be a different species from me.
Whew, I'm sure that's a relief to both of us...
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