Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Money stress
Old 03-28-2011, 12:50 PM   #1
Dryer sheet aficionado
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 47
Money stress

First post here, just found this forum while searching the web for answers.

This may not seem a problem to some but it's causing me some serious stress.

Having worked and scrimped for decades my wife and I have done well enough to have most anything we've wanted. Nothing over the top, but new cars every 8-10 years, boats, motorcycle, race cars, RV, and a paid off home. All modest middle of the road stuff, but all paid for and all done on a modest salary. All the while slowly building a savings and retirement account like we're supposed to do.
That was the challenge, the game as you will.

Now after doing this for decades it's turned into enough to retire on right now, and more money than I'd ever dreamed we'd ever have. I'm not talking multi millions or anything, but enough for a lower to middle class guy that's worked his butt off knowing what's needed for retirement, and reaching it.
I'm only in my early 50's and my wife has gone to short work weeks but I have no intention of retiring this early, so we decided to just start spending what we make while leaving the savings alone.

The problem is I can't spend it, the guilt or whatever prevents me from doing it without feeling over anxious about how much I'm spending, and my wife isn't much better.
Could be for a new gas grill, I would normally just replace the burner in the old one, or a few thousand dollars for landscaping that I'd normally bust my butt trying to get it done for half that rather than pay someone even though it's getting to be too much for me physically.
And I tie myself in knots justifying it either way I go. If I fix the rusted out 10 year old grill I wonder why I would do that, I'll run an old set of tires one more race rather than spend money on a new set. I'll patch garden hoses rather than go buy a couple of new ones. I've repaired every appliance in our house at least once rather than buy new ones.
All that was done to reach where we are now.

But it's like; now that I won the game I don't know what to do.
Continuing to do as before causes us to question our sanity, enjoying the fruits of our labor causes anxiety.
Old habits die hard I suppose.
__________________

__________________
GRambler is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 03-28-2011, 01:01 PM   #2
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
dex's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 5,105
Do you have a written budget and projections?
Do you have a written projection of your net worth over your estimated lifespan?
If not you should begin with those. They will help with the comfort factor.

Once you get your arms around your annual spending budget you should track your expenses and feel more comfortable spending up to your budget.

Then, in the future, when you question if you are being too tight with your money, spend ... if you are within your budget. Over time you will become more comfortable with spending.
__________________

__________________
Sometimes death is not as tragic as not knowing how to live. This man knew how to live--and how to make others glad they were living. - Jack Benny at Nat King Cole's funeral
dex is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-28-2011, 01:07 PM   #3
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
travelover's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 9,884
I think that you are in good company here. The way I look at it, the game is never clearly won. I plan to self insure for long term care and no one knows the cost of that.

That said, for me the secret to peace of mind is to shut off the voice that says what you should do and to do what you actually want to do. If spending money makes you unhappy and no one is endangered, patch the hoses, fix the BBQ, sod the lawn. Of course, if it causes marital discord, you need to find a compromise.
__________________
Yes, I have achieved work / life balance.
travelover is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-28-2011, 01:15 PM   #4
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: anywhere usa
Posts: 246
Sometimes the satisfaction of a job well done is its own reward. Let the money grow until you find something you really want.

Nothing wrong with leaving something to charity.
__________________
pimpmyretirement is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-28-2011, 01:25 PM   #5
Recycles dryer sheets
JmfromTx's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Houston/Galveston area
Posts: 163
I cut my savings back when my wife passed away in 07. I found that my bank account would grow until I ended up sending the excess to Vanguard anyway. If you cut your saving rate gradually I'll bet you find a point where you have too much cash before you quit saving altogether.
__________________
JmfromTx is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-28-2011, 01:28 PM   #6
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 1,207
I have not lived a spartan life (nice family vacations every year, enough material "toys" to keep us happy etc.). As I near my own retirement I can look at my savings and see I've accumulated enough to live the retirement dream my wife and I want.
My hobby and passion is running - about once a month I fly to different states to run races. This is not inexpensive, but then again why the heck am I working if not to enjoy some of these pursuits?
You've apparently done extremely well, and you should also look upon such "extravagances" as the rewards you've well earned. Treat yourself, sans guilt!
__________________
mystang52 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-28-2011, 01:33 PM   #7
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Kansas City
Posts: 7,408
Having saved and been 'cheap' er thrifty over the decades switching gears was emotionally painful.

I got a lot of mileage/emotional satisfaction early in ER with bib overalls and an old pickup(little 4 banger, 5 speed GMC) with a glaringly rusty fender. I took great pleasure in being eccentric and acting the curmudgeon.

Time marches on - as the portfolio grows I am acting more normaler and spending has drifted up since 1993.

heh heh heh - Lefthanded, INTJ and retired - they can't fire me.
__________________
unclemick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-28-2011, 01:33 PM   #8
Dryer sheet aficionado
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 47
Wow, quick replies around here.
Thanks for the feedback.

Never really done much with any projections or budgets, just mainly gut instinct and common sense to get where we are. But we finally went to a financial planner and she said we could and should start spending some. She said at our present rate of spending our portfolio would double by the time we die.

What I'd done in the past is give myself my own bank account for my hobbies, if money was in it I'd spend it, if not I'd work around it. That was hobby money only, not home repairs and house stuff, we'd mainly do that out of bring home money. So now my wife and I are thinking of creating her a spending account as well and upping my limit.
It'd still only be about 50-75% of our take home after living expenses. We both still contribute to our 401's, but we'd probably try and minimize any savings contributions.

It's kind of a mental thing I guess, if it's in savings we would never touch it except in an emergency or for big ticket items, so to keep the anxiety down we may have to create other accounts to work out of.
__________________
GRambler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-28-2011, 01:36 PM   #9
Full time employment: Posting here.
antmary's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Northern California
Posts: 542
GRambler,

Welcome to the forum! It seems that what is scary is the unknown. I suggest going over to Bogleheads.org forum. They will help you to assess what you have, how much you need monthly for, say, 30 or so years, and a way to create a workable plan.
Best of Luck
__________________
antmary is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-28-2011, 01:39 PM   #10
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Ally's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 1,189
My husband and I are the same way. I feel guilty for spending, especially on myself and he does, too. I am going on a trip with my sister-in-law soon and as soon as I agreed (even though it doesn't cost much), I started stressing out and feeling guilty. So this morning, I went to work and decided to add more out of each paycheck into our retirement funds. Now I don't feel as guilty for spending some. I think it's really hard to change over to spending. I can't imagine how it will feel when we actually retire and start spending.
__________________
Ally is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-28-2011, 01:44 PM   #11
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
freebird5825's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: East Nowhere, 43N Latitude, NY
Posts: 9,017
Welcome, oh kindred spirit.

I'm still replacing the guts on my Thermos gas grill as needed. The grill is so solidly built it will probably outlast me. And I swear by silver duct tape for garden hose repairs. I still go to garage sales to replace well used garden tools.

New isn't always better. It is often smarter to repair an older item than replace it with the cheaply made junk found in our stores.

No guilt for LBYM is allowed here.
__________________
"All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them." - Walt Disney
freebird5825 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-28-2011, 01:50 PM   #12
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Ally's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 1,189
My husband replaces the guts on the grill whenever he needs to, despite the fact that 2 years ago, my daughter and her husband gave him money to buy a new grill. The money is still sitting in his sock drawer.
__________________
Ally is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-28-2011, 01:59 PM   #13
Dryer sheet aficionado
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 47
Right now I'm stressing about spending $400 on some new forged pistons for an engine "I'm" building (to cheap to pay a shop to build it) or I'll use some old cast pistons I have.
Absolutely stupid to put cast pistons in a race engine, but from my old broke days that's what I'd do and just limit the engine RPM's so she'd hold together.

I just can't pull the trigger for stuff like that without feeling guilty.

Wife wants new curtains for the house, about a grand for all the windows. (cheap by some peoples standards) But the last time was 15 years ago and she shopped around for weeks and did the entire house for a couple hundred bucks. She just can't make herself order what she wants and be done with it. "It shouldn't cost that much", is her reply. She'll almost cry about it.
__________________
GRambler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-28-2011, 02:04 PM   #14
Moderator Emeritus
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 11,043
Oh, I know the feeling. Our income and net worth have remarkably increased since the early 2000s, but it is difficult for us to justify spending more. My wife in particular has a hard time spending money. She still apologizes for spending $30 on herself.
__________________
FIREd is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-28-2011, 02:06 PM   #15
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Ally's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 1,189
Omg! Curtains. I feel your wife's pain. We need some and I've been putting it off for several years. When our living room drapes started falling apart, I hung some sheets up and I didn't think they looked bad, but my husband had a fit and made me buy some at least for those windows. I really didn't think the sheets looked bad, since I got the idea from Better Homes and Gardens. My husband said they were hillbilly sheets. (no offense intended to any hillbillies here.)
__________________
Ally is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-28-2011, 02:15 PM   #16
Dryer sheet aficionado
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by FD View Post
My wife in particular has a hard time spending money. She still apologizes for spending $30 on herself.
Ditto here.
My wife buys most of her clothes at thrift stores or consignment shops. Usually new or fairly new name brand high end stuff, but she'll get tops for fifty cents, pants or jackets for a few bucks.
She hates paying retail for anything.

But it also bothers me in the long run as I'll feel bad spending more than she does, which ain't hard since she's such a spend thrift.
I'd never let her know that though since I know she enjoys the thrift shops.
__________________
GRambler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-28-2011, 02:20 PM   #17
Moderator Emeritus
Bestwifeever's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 16,375
Quote:
Originally Posted by GRambler View Post
...What I'd done in the past is give myself my own bank account for my hobbies, if money was in it I'd spend it, if not I'd work around it. That was hobby money only, not home repairs and house stuff, we'd mainly do that out of bring home money. So now my wife and I are thinking of creating her a spending account as well and upping my limit.....
This is a great idea--you can continue your level of spending/not spending (and if you end up with a giant surplus at the end, oh well, better than the opposite), but your wife won't feel she has to emulate you all the time if she doesn't want to.

When DH retired he did the same with a checking account for himself separate from household.
__________________
“Would you like an adventure now, or would you like to have your tea first?” J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan
Bestwifeever is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-28-2011, 02:27 PM   #18
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 213
what helped us get balance was keeping track of all the money we spend. We have years of data so know exactly how much we need to live on. When I found this place we ran firecalc so had an idea of how much we needed to save to meet that figure.

we still don't spend as much as we can but I don't think there is anything wrong with that. Not only for money reasons but for environmental reasons as well. We don't need to go out and buy stuff instead of repairing it for the most part. And I find new stuff in the thrift stores all the time. the food I make at home is much healthier and tastier than restaurant food so we almost always eat at home. Why waste money if you don't have to?

Although we drive old cars in issues of safety we do spend money- good tires, getting brakes done etc.

The worst that can happen is you have an estate to leave to your heirs or favorite charity. That is not so bad as long as you both are happy.
__________________
52andout is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-28-2011, 02:54 PM   #19
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Jay_Gatsby's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,719
Why feel guilty about NOT spending money? Saving money makes you happy. Accept that. Help others who are less fortunate - give a neighborhood kid $500 so he can afford to go for a semester to a trade school (or a couple of classes at a community college). Pay for an old neighbor's medicine so s/he doesn't have to choose between medication and food. If you get such pleasure out of saving money, you can't imagine how much pleasure you'll get by actively helping others. Charities are wonderful institutions, but I've found that simply giving someone I *know* who is in need (not just suffering from self-inflicted financial wounds) makes me happier than a charitable tax deduction.
__________________
He had one of those rare smiles with a quality of eternal reassurance in it . . . It faced, or seemed to face, the whole external world for an instant and then concentrated on you with an irresistible prejudice in your favor. -- The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald
Jay_Gatsby is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-28-2011, 03:17 PM   #20
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
travelover's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 9,884
Quote:
Originally Posted by GRambler View Post
Right now I'm stressing about spending $400 on some new forged pistons for an engine "I'm" building (to cheap to pay a shop to build it) or I'll use some old cast pistons I have.
Absolutely stupid to put cast pistons in a race engine, but from my old broke days that's what I'd do and just limit the engine RPM's so she'd hold together............
If it makes you feel any better, financing a race car seems like reckless spending
__________________

__________________
Yes, I have achieved work / life balance.
travelover is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
What do you do for stress relief ? Moemg Other topics 21 10-30-2007 08:54 PM
Stress and OT Helen Other topics 10 02-21-2007 03:07 PM
stress and work Khan Health and Early Retirement 1 12-04-2006 09:00 PM
How do you Deal with Stress? Craig Young Dreamers 26 09-14-2006 09:13 PM
Any former stress junkies? Leslie Life after FIRE 12 08-13-2005 01:19 PM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:07 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.