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Old 06-27-2014, 06:00 PM   #41
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I tend to be a spender. The needs v. wants thing has never done much to help me with this. That is, lots of things are a mix of need v. want. A place to live is a need. And, you could perhaps rent a 1 room efficiency to meet that need. One can argue that anything beyond that is a want.

Sure, some things are a clear want and aren't "needed" at all. Most things are a mix. I have a desktop computer which I consider a need (not saying that couldn't be met through other devices). On the other hand, I spent $3000 for it, which for me was a compromise (my first priced computer was over $7k). I recognize that there is "want" there in addition to meeting the need.

Anyway -- what has helped me the most -- is that as part of our budget, DH and I each have a personal spending category. We allocate a certain amount to it (currently $200 a month for each of us, but this has varied from year to year). And, we often allocate some amount of "found" money to it. For example, when we were working we put some part of our work bonuses into it (not all of them, just part). Or, we get cash back from Amex. Part of that does to spending money.

The key there is that each of us can spend that money however we want to. We both like things like computers, iPad, shiny electronics so those things come out of that category. Right now I have about $4500 in my spending category. That sounds like a lot, but my next computer will come out of that so I've mentally set aside $4000 of it for things like computer, iPad, etc. The rest of it is what I spend on fun stuff like books, video games, computer software, etc.

At one time we included clothing and personal care (hair, makeup) in this category (when we did the monthly amount received was more than the $200).

Anyway, having this kind of category really helps me because I have to decide do I want to spend $50 for this game or would I rather use it to buy 10 Kindle books, etc.
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Old 06-27-2014, 06:10 PM   #42
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"Needs vs. Wants".

This is what I need.



This is what I want.

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Old 06-27-2014, 06:17 PM   #43
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And I learned to stay out of stores.
That's the key for me too (and that includes online stores). I also try to shut advertisement out of my life. That's tough. Even this LBYM forum can be a source of temptations sometimes (hello Fuji X100S camera)
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Old 06-27-2014, 06:18 PM   #44
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Another poster, Masterblaster, keeps saying that even the modest need above is too much.

He suggests that we aim lower, like in this past post of his: YOYO 27 Year old obsessed with retiring in next 5 years.

Anybody sees Masterblaster lately? What's he up to?
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Old 06-27-2014, 07:19 PM   #45
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I have a specific list of what I call my "mandatory expenses". This is what it takes to maintain a residence, eat three meals daily, and generally just comfortably exist. Everything else is "discretionary", and we just schedule all our wants within the bounds defined by monthly income minus mandatory expenses.

We've lived this way since we got married, and we intend to continue the practice into retirement, whenever that arrives...
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Old 06-27-2014, 07:50 PM   #46
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Wow I really love all the coping mechanisms out there. Staying out of the stores has been so huge for me in controlling myself.

I do have self-diagnosed depression, I haven't pursued official diagnosis because when myself or my H see the pattern starting, eating right, exercising, stopping drinking, seems to put my head back on right. Without proper diagnosis I don't know if I may be bipolar or maybe just clinical.

We took a huge load of stuff to our daughter for her apartment and doing a yard sale tomorrow. I am putting out EVERYTHING we don't need to live with for the next couple of months until our cross country move. It is giving me a huge wake up of my excessive stuff.

I am listening to all of the suggestions, advice and I value all of it.
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Old 06-28-2014, 12:32 AM   #47
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I put myself through school by working in factories, some grubby and dangerous, some clean and sort of nice. Many observations on people and their motivations. And saw how their "choices" held them back. Many many lessons on what not to do. But also what drove them to make the particular choices they did. Observational research by a layman into the world of the behavioral sciences.

So I did my best NOT to duplicate them.

I rarely will buy something if I have a still useable existing one, thinking of tools at the moment. What would I do with the old one? It still works. Maybe not as fast, maybe it's clunkier to handle, heavier, whatever, but still works. Don't want to throw it away... don't want to start a collection of tools of the same type that I will only use the newest... so I stick with the old one. Of course if it is truly a safety issue, that will sway me.

I rarely went to garage sales, started going to some close by that were on my way, I did not seek them out. At one, I saw some neat antique stuff I thought I really wanted. Then I thought, where would I put it? Would I really look at it EVERY DAY and be glad I had it? Why really did I want it? Did I want it, just to HAVE it? Bingo! For me, that was why. I did not NEED it.
I don't need to acquire more things unless they are really useful to something I am doing or are (be serious now) going to do.
I walked away. Actually walked away feeling pretty good. I don't go to garage sales anymore. I don't need to acquire things. They will not really make me happy, more content, nor do I need the "hunt" of things to make me feel good. I'm immune. Maybe that is a sign of getting old, though I hear stories of elderly on shopping binges!

My mantra is: I don't need to ACQUIRE... I need to DIVEST!
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Old 06-28-2014, 12:41 AM   #48
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+1

I have lots of "stuff" already. I do not need, nor want more.

Nowadays, I just want to count my money.

Oh, I spend money on consumables. Food to eat. Booze to drink. Problem is my food is not that expensive, nor my drink. And I do not eat nor drink much.

Gas for my motorhome. There we go. That thirsty beast will take care of the surplus.
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Old 06-28-2014, 09:08 AM   #49
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To overcome impulsive purchases usually I look at the item, then I think something like "I could easily buy it if I really want to - but today I decide that I do not want to buy it". I really take time to enjoy the feeling of "I could" - and walk away.
Then I enjoy very detailed the feedom of being able to walk away.

I might put an item on my list to think about purchasing next month. Usually I have already forgotten why I put it on the list when next month comes.

It is an approach that can be practiced and gives a lot of satisfaction.
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Old 06-28-2014, 02:06 PM   #50
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I also have that urge sometimes. I have developed 3 ways of handling it: first, stay out of stores unless I really need something, two, set aside some spending $$ for times like that and stick to that amount, and three, return things when I get buyer's remorse.


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Old 06-28-2014, 02:34 PM   #51
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For the Grasshopper family, it's never can we afford it, it's where do we put it.
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Old 06-28-2014, 02:47 PM   #52
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A friend of mine, who is a minimalist already, has a "one in, one out" policy.

Before making a purchase, she decides (of what she already has) what she is willing to dispose of (donate, sell, throw away, etc.). Seems to work for her. She doesn't buy much and what she does buy is thought-through beforehand.

omni
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Old 06-28-2014, 03:41 PM   #53
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"Needs vs. Wants".

This is what I need.



This is what I want.

I must be much older than you, because the second photo makes me cringe and groan about upkeep hassles. I'd so much rather live in a smaller, simpler place that wouldn't require so much of my precious time.

Often F and I go for pleasure drives, and sometimes we drive through the wealthier neighborhoods where many of the homes look like that. We marvel that anybody would choose to live in such a grand home, even if they were free (and that is far from the case).

I guess I'd prefer something like this (living on one side, with F living on the other side):
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Old 06-28-2014, 03:51 PM   #54
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We marvel that anybody would choose to live in such a grand home, even if they were free (and that is far from the case)
I think of almost all material possessions as a constraint and liability first and foremost. Same with job-linked status actually, although the right kind can be a huge asset (and attract females ..).

My guess is many people here have the same mindset. Our reward systems are tuned very differently. It's a pretty rare condition it seems with nice side-benefits (FIRE as an option).

We are social deviants
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Old 06-28-2014, 03:55 PM   #55
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I must be much older than you, because the second photo makes me cringe and groan about upkeep hassles...
I would say you are about 7-8 years older.

You are right about it being a hassle. So, the only way I would live in such a place is if I were so rich that a squadron of butler, maids, gardeners would take care of everything so I can concentrate on things that I like. Hmmm... Like what, I ask myself. Like making a different terrine, or trying a different recipe of moules marinières to feed my servants and ask them if they like it (well, I think they would always say it's the best they have had to please me, so that would not work).

But my superior memory reminds me that you once said that if money were no object, you would want a big multi-floor building, and just to live on the top floor to keep away from the riff-raff. So, everybody has his or her fantasy.
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Old 06-28-2014, 04:19 PM   #56
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I would say you are about 7-8 years older.
Ah, I was right. You are a youngster with grand dreams.

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You are right about it being a hassle. So, the only way I would live in such a place is if I were so rich that a squadron of butler, maids, gardeners would take care of everything so I can concentrate on things that I like.
But then you have to hire, pay, and oversee the staff of butlers, maids, gardeners, and so on. It is still a hassle and would impinge upon your free time. You would have acquired what is essentially a small business that you could name "NW-Bound Residence Upkeep Inc.". Then you get to figure out each person's hours, how much they earned, and don't forget the SS and tax withholding for each.

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But my superior memory reminds me that you once said that if money were no object, you would want a big multi-floor building, and just to live on the top floor to keep away from the riff-raff. So, everybody has his or her fantasy.
Hmmm. That's true. I probably didn't really think through that fantasy since I wasn't taking it very seriously.
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Old 06-28-2014, 04:23 PM   #57
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I think of almost all material possessions as a constraint and liability first and foremost. Same with job-linked status actually, although the right kind can be a huge asset (and attract females ..).

My guess is many people here have the same mindset. Our reward systems are tuned very differently. It's a pretty rare condition it seems with nice side-benefits (FIRE as an option).

We are social deviants
I hadn't thought of it that way, but you made a good point!
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Old 06-28-2014, 04:28 PM   #58
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I must be much older than you, because the second photo makes me cringe and groan about upkeep hassles.
You're not the only one...

If anything, we are moving towards living smaller, not larger. The second bedroom in our apartment is mainly a guest bedroom. It has only been used once in 2 years. So DW and I are contemplating moving to a 1-bedroom apartment when our lease is up.
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Old 06-28-2014, 04:36 PM   #59
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Ah, I was right. You are a youngster with grand dreams.
Not a dream. Just a passing fantasy while we are shooting the breeze.

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But then you have to oversee the staff of butlers, maids, gardeners, and so on. It is still a hassle and would impinge upon your free time.
If you were so rich that you did not have to worry that you were way overpaying them, then they would do a really good job serving you.

I recently read Jordan Belfort's memoir, and he had excellent services by paying his helpers 2X to 3X the market rate. Problem solved.

Quote:
Hmmm. That's true. I probably didn't really think through that fantasy since I wasn't taking it very seriously.
I am not convinced that if a $100M bag of cash fell down in your backyard that you would not go out to buy that high-rise building.
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Old 06-28-2014, 04:50 PM   #60
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I am not convinced that if a $100M bag of cash fell down in your backyard that you would not go out to buy that high-rise building.
Have you ever dreamed about buying one of those industrial buildings that has an open first floor with no windows and only garage doors, like a warehouse, and yet has a second floor with one or two luxury apartments? Access to the second floor could be solely by means of a locked elevator. One could drive in, park inside the first floor (closing/locking the garage door remotely). Then one punches in the elevator access code and is swept upstairs to a secure and safe hideaway.

That dream is TOTALLY in the realm of fantasy, although if someone dropped $100M into my bank account legally then who knows?
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