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Why are some vices more acceptable?
Old 07-13-2017, 05:39 AM   #1
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Why are some vices more acceptable?

So last night I had dinner with 3 very good girlfriends that ended up in an argument with 2 of them.
Background: we are all extremely close, friends for 35+ years. been there through marriages, births, deaths of spouses, divorces etc etc. Pretty familiar with each others finances in a general way.
I'm the only semi retired friend. 1 lawyer, 1 accountant, 1 business owner

anyhoo my lawyer friend is getting divorced unfortunately for the 3rd time. we were in the King of prussia mall having dinner and looking for a condo for her.

She mentions that she wants to go to the Jimmy Choo store to look at shoes ( high end shoes, starting price ~800 bucks generally). Our accountant friend says " B, do you really think you should be spending 1000 bucks on a pair of pumps right now".

Lawyer: I have my budget for the condo and I'm good at work
accountant: Yeah but you don't know what will pop up with ex and it could get costly
Lawyer: Didn't you just spend 2500 on Hamilton tickets
Accountant: Yes but that's different, that's not stuff you dont need

lol, and we are off and running. eventually after 15 minutes of this silliness they ask me (I said I wouldn't have spent money on either one of those) and my other friend who was right. We kissed and made up, hey 35 years friendship, we're tight but it did get me wondering...

Why were the shoes a no-no but the theater tickets ok. I see that here a lot too, travel is ok to spend on but say a new camera is not?
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Old 07-13-2017, 05:47 AM   #2
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Why were the shoes a no-no but the theater tickets ok. I see that here a lot too, travel is ok to spend on but say a new camera is not?
When it comes to spending money on goods and services beyond our basic needs there is no correct answer, only personal preference and opinion.
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Old 07-13-2017, 05:49 AM   #3
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As usual, it depends. Some decisions are not strictly financial. Some "spends" are emotional and satisfy an itch/need. Maybe your friend with the shoes feels she needs those shoes to feel good about herself because she is going through a divorce. Just like beauty is in the eye of the beholder, spending decisions are right or wrong depending on how the spender judges them. I drive an 18 yr old truck. My wife drives a brand new (0% interest) fully loaded (heated and cooled seats-yes!) Kia Soul.
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Old 07-13-2017, 05:55 AM   #4
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Sounds like the usual "stuff vs. experiences" argument. The finance gurus say that millenials are looking for experiences now and are less into buying things, but I can see both sides. My major vacations cost the equivalent of MANY pairs of Jimmy Choos and when I come home I have nothing to show except a lot of pictures and stories. I'm perfectly happy with that but others would rather have a closet full of designer clothes and shoes. To me, LBYM is what's important.
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Old 07-13-2017, 06:02 AM   #5
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As usual, it depends. Some decisions are not strictly financial. Some "spends" are emotional and satisfy an itch/need. Maybe your friend with the shoes feels she needs those shoes to feel good about herself because she is going through a divorce. Just like beauty is in the eye of the beholder, spending decisions are right or wrong depending on how the spender judges them. I drive an 18 yr old truck. My wife drives a brand new (0% interest) fully loaded (heated and cooled seats-yes!) Kia Soul.
that's what I thought too. She is feeling uber crappy because this is #3. It's interesting my vice is designer bags, my late husband was great with it because I'm the type that sets goals. so I would see a expensive bag and save for it with what I would call my "lunch" money. He always found it impressive that some times it would take me a couple of years to save up enough but I would stick to it. lol on the rare occasions that we would argue about money he'd get frustration because he could never use old louie against me. I'd always say "do you know how long I saved for this stupid bag...."
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Old 07-13-2017, 06:07 AM   #6
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When it comes to spending money on goods and services beyond our basic needs there is no correct answer, only personal preference and opinion.
+1

This a one reason DW and I carved out individual slush funds in our budget for "stuff we want to buy that the other cannot complain about" . It is a sum of money for each of us that we can choose to spend (or not spend) however we want. There will always be goods and services one of us wants to spend on that the other would question, but each having their own personal slush fund takes care of that.

Same for family and friends. One of my brothers is into cars and I could never see spending on cars what he spends. But I spend on things that he doesn't understand why I spend. Both of us can afford it so it is all good.
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Old 07-13-2017, 06:13 AM   #7
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It's the age old "my" vices are fine "yours" are silly and/or extravagant.
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Old 07-13-2017, 06:13 AM   #8
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Wait, theater tickets can cost 2500 bucks?
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Old 07-13-2017, 06:18 AM   #9
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When it comes to spending money on goods and services beyond our basic needs there is no correct answer, only personal preference and opinion.
Agree. When it's your money being spent, your opinion counts, when it's someone else's money being spent, not so much,
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Old 07-13-2017, 06:25 AM   #10
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You only go around once. If you can afford it and enjoy it, why not! I wouldn't have spent $800 to $1000 on a new pair of shoes. (my last new pair cost me $25) And someone would have to pay me $2500 to go to any theater show. I'd rather go to the dentist.

Now, dropping $100k or so on a new car or spending $10k on a short trip or risking $25k on a weekend at a casino is okay with me.
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Old 07-13-2017, 06:31 AM   #11
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Agree. When it's your money being spent, your opinion counts, when it's someone else's money being spent, not so much,
Precisely.
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Old 07-13-2017, 06:32 AM   #12
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You only go around once. If you can afford it and enjoy it, why not! I wouldn't have spent $800 to $1000 on a new pair of shoes. (my last new pair cost me $25) And someone would have to pay me $2500 to go to any theater show. I'd rather go to the dentist.

....
yep. Neither DW nor I can even imagine spending that kind of money on shoes/clothes or a show (or a lot on a car....). But, if someone can afford it, why not? Money is simply a storehouse of exchange, unless you are Scrooge McDuck. All of this in the category of discretionary spending that can be cut if needed when hard times come....

(We, otoh, save our money for "important" stuff, like travel and taxes. )
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Old 07-13-2017, 06:40 AM   #13
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I've spent a lot of money on what other people consider to be stupid things. So I made it a point a long time ago to not judge people's spending habits. Let them spend whatever $ on whatever makes them happy.
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Old 07-13-2017, 06:55 AM   #14
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Wait, theater tickets can cost 2500 bucks?
whew Hamilton seems to be the hot ticket nowadays. Tickets on average are running 800 bucks a piece on Broadway
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Old 07-13-2017, 07:08 AM   #15
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Wait, theater tickets can cost 2500 bucks?
I think tickets for Hamilton were going for $10,000 at one point.

It seems like there may have been some concern over her spending because of unforeseen divorce costs. Calling the accountant out on something extravagent seems to have led to a knee-jerk response in self defense.

As to why one vice may be okay but another supposedly not? You've got ego and reward and social heirarchy and structures built into brains that process things in some very odd ways.
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Old 07-13-2017, 07:15 AM   #16
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Wait, theater tickets can cost 2500 bucks?
That is why I put my name in for the lottery.

I can't say I do not have my extravagant purchases. And, I am happy I can afford it. But, it is sad we are having this discussion. I think we are far removed from those that find a a few chicken feet to be a luxury for a Sunday dinner. Just felt I had to put this out there.
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Old 07-13-2017, 07:41 AM   #17
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My point of view: if you are spending lots of $$$ on booze & hookers, but you LBYM and you are saving enough to continue that lifestyle in retirement (including medical), you are still being financially repsonsible.

But...

If you are spending what little you have on helping orphans and baby animals, but going further into debt to do that, you are being financially irresponsible. "Morality" has no place in this discussion.
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Old 07-13-2017, 07:46 AM   #18
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I think we are far removed from those that find a a few chicken feet to be a luxury for a Sunday dinner.
Yabbut...they're from Yorkshire.
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Old 07-13-2017, 07:48 AM   #19
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Wait, theater tickets can cost 2500 bucks?
Funny, that was what I got out of the story too...
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Old 07-13-2017, 07:49 AM   #20
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If she has been divorced three times, she has probably wasted a lot more money doing that than spending $800 on shoes.

I applaud them both. Someone has to keep the economy running. It certainly won't be tightwads like me...
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