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Old 08-17-2009, 11:12 AM   #21
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What a great topic of discussion with your brother, culture. I have to say that I only wish I could have these types of discussions with the situation you've described.

I agree that beyond the basics, discretionary spending is just that, discretionary. Doesn't have to be justified to anyone else. There is no rational reason in the world for me to have 6 dogs and 6 cats, but that is just one of the things that I spend money on.
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Old 08-17-2009, 11:16 AM   #22
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I think discretionary spending should be whatever you want it to be - - at your discretion. That is why it is called discretionary, IMO.

Some examples of perfectly valid discretionary spending, that I think are OK if they fit into your budget and financial plan and if you really want to spend your money this way, are

(1) travel
(2) ordering a well done steak in a restaurant even though most people think medium rare is better and even though you *could* grill an equally good steak at home and save the money
(3) A "Vote for John Doe" type of t-shirt, even though you won't want to wear it after the elections.
(4) A lavender Ironman watch just because you think it looks cool, even though you have two other perfectly good watches that you could wear, or you could just look at your cell phone instead
(5) Paying for someone to mow your lawn, and then paying gym fees so that you still get some exercise even though you don't mow any more.

Notice that none of these are going to help your net worth in the slightest. I have spent discretionary money on (1), (2), (4), and (5) above and didn't feel even slightly guilty about it. Haven't yet bought a political t-shirt, though!
I see no RV on your list.

I once said to an older colleague, "They say people on their deathbed never regret that they did not spend more time at work. I want to be sure that I would not regret not seeing places in the world that I wanted to see".

He shook his head. "No, people on their deathbed only wish the pain to stop".

It left me speechless.

Soo.... Spend your money, or don't spend it... In the end, it matters little. But, but, but, I still do not want to spend my last days under a bridge.
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Old 08-17-2009, 11:18 AM   #23
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This gets really interesting in a divorce. She gets half your gold coins and you get half her shoe collection. Or not.
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Old 08-17-2009, 11:20 AM   #24
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No, it means paying to de able to all of your exercise in an air-conditioned gym while you let other people mow your yard for several months out of the year when it's 95+ and humid outside.
That's for sure! I quit mowing when I was about 56 because the heat was affecting me more than it did when I was younger. Also, so many men have heart attacks doing stuff like mowing in New Orleans in August, when they are sedentary and older. Even though I am a woman I was thinking it might be a good idea to quit mowing. Besides, the gym is more fun!
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Old 08-17-2009, 11:25 AM   #25
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I see no RV on your list.
No, there will be no RV for me! And the travel I have done was mostly driving up to southern Missouri where I plan to retire, or flying to Oregon to see my daughter. That's about it for me.
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Old 08-17-2009, 11:28 AM   #26
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No, there will be no RV for me!
I know. Scratch the RV and add in a house on city sewer, not a septic tank.
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Old 08-17-2009, 11:33 AM   #27
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I know. Scratch the RV and add in a house on city sewer.
ABSOLUTELY!!! City water, too. None of those well thingies. And cable internet. I have to have my trappings of civilization, y'know.

But I really wouldn't call the house discretionary spending - - in my case, it would fit into my house-buying budget.
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Old 08-17-2009, 11:41 AM   #28
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But I really wouldn't call the house discretionary spending - - in my case, it would fit into my house-buying budget.
Oh, I am sure it would fit in your budget. I don't think any of us here is an ascetic like the Phoenix man in a recent thread who died homeless and left behind $4M.

About septic tanks and a well, I have lived in the suburb all my life and only recently learned about rural living when I bought my 2nd place in the high country. It is actually worry-free so far. There is nothing to fear.
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Old 08-17-2009, 11:42 AM   #29
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Armed with this perspective, you could go back to your brother with that other ER koan: "Should I pay off my mortgage or invest the savings?"
Oddly, we just requested the paperwork to pay it off. The balance is small, and we just want to get rid of it. No analysis done.
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Old 08-17-2009, 11:49 AM   #30
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No, there will be no RV for me!
I forgot that the RV can fit on Frank's list.

However, seeing that you have been and will be living in separate houses, I would wonder if there would be conflicts sharing the tight spaces of an RV. I have been entertaining the idea that my wife and I would enjoy cocooning in a small space, not unlike the treehouses that little kids enjoy. It's the theory anyhow, and it would be interesting to see if it works out that way.
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Old 08-17-2009, 12:08 PM   #31
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I forgot that the RV can fit on Frank's list.
This is true. If he decides to buy one, that's fine with me. He talks about it every now and then, but so far he is still analyzing the lifecycle costs and thinking about it.

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However, seeing that you have been and will be living in separate houses, I would wonder if there would be conflicts sharing the tight spaces of an RV. I have been entertaining the idea that my wife and I would enjoy cocooning in a small space, not unlike the treehouses that little kids enjoy. It's the theory anyhow, and it would be interesting to see if it works out that way.
One of the nice things about our relationship is that we don't have to be together at any particular time if we don't want to be together. If I wasn't reasonably happy or if I felt a need for some "alone time", I would just go home rather than getting cross and cranky. I will always have a home.
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Old 08-17-2009, 12:29 PM   #32
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This is true. If he decides to buy one, that's fine with me. He talks about it every now and then, but so far he is still analyzing the lifecycle costs and thinking about it.
I think that same as travel, or any discretionary spending for that matter, one cannot justify the cost. Either you want it AND can afford it, or you don't. I am beginning to think I, no we, might like it, but we will start small first.

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One of the nice things about our relationship is that we don't have to be together at any particular time if we don't want to be together. If I wasn't reasonably happy or if I felt a need for some "alone time", I would just go home rather than getting cross and cranky. I will always have a home.
What I was thinking is that in the middle of the night, with the RV parked somewhere in the boondock, you cannot say you want to go to the nearest airport to catch a flight home.
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Old 08-17-2009, 03:41 PM   #33
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Oddly, we just requested the paperwork to pay it off. The balance is small, and we just want to get rid of it. No analysis done.
Culture, Culture, Culture...

You mean you just acted without analyzing the optimal outcomes?!? Wthout running FireCalc 17 times? Without reading the 49 threads that deal with this issue?!!?

Shocked, I am, truly shocked

other than that, you seem to be a nice person

ta,
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Old 08-17-2009, 04:13 PM   #34
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With my discretionary money I spoil my daughter ,son in law and grandson and travel . The value in these things are priceless to me .I also looked at RV's today . You guys must be playing those subliminal tapes again because RVing is looking more and more appealing .
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Old 08-17-2009, 04:15 PM   #35
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Maybe a change of terms will help. DW & I each have separate mad money funds, that is actually the label on the spreadsheet. We start off with the premise that what is bought out of these funds does not require consultation or justification.
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Old 08-17-2009, 04:18 PM   #36
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I also looked at RV's today . You guys must be playing those subliminal tapes again because RVing is looking more and more appealing .
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Old 08-17-2009, 04:19 PM   #37
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Oddly, we just requested the paperwork to pay it off. The balance is small, and we just want to get rid of it. No analysis done.
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Old 08-17-2009, 05:05 PM   #38
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Let's see...some personal extremes.

I invested and contributed to my 401(K) religiously while w*rking. Sensible. Correct move. I'm still investing, post FIRE.

OTOH, I saved up enough while w*rking to buy my midlife crisis car, a brand new convertible, designed strictly for vroom vroom burning fossil fuel at will.
It depreciated the day I drove it off the lot, and continues to lose value every time I fire her up and go for a spin. Sigh. But you know what? It's all paid for and I really enjoy it.

I just returned from a dream trip abroad. Took me over a year to save up for it, but it was excellent and it's all paid for too.

I'm OK with both ends of the spectrum.
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Old 08-17-2009, 05:05 PM   #39
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I think that same as travel, or any discretionary spending for that matter, one cannot justify the cost. Either you want it AND can afford it, or you don't. I am beginning to think I, no we, might like it, but we will start small first.
Luckily, whether or not he buys an RV is decision is his to make, one way or another. So I don't have to fuss and worry about it. The last time he mentioned it, he was not encouraged by the lifecycle costs. It matters not to me.

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What I was thinking is that in the middle of the night, with the RV parked somewhere in the boondock, you cannot say you want to go to the nearest airport to catch a flight home.
Don't worry about me! Interactions that may seem like a problem to you, are simply a non-problem for us.
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Old 08-17-2009, 05:06 PM   #40
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...RVing is looking more and more appealing .
...particularly if you have someone to do the driving and handling the drain hose. Oh, you still need to be the flagwoman with a walkie talkie to direct the backing operation.
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