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more than average savings- average spending
Old 10-14-2006, 08:20 AM   #1
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more than average savings- average spending

I have been reading the average savings thread. It got me to thinking that at least equally as important is average spending. I know there have been polls and threads here before, but it is a heck of a lot easier to reach financial independence if you can get your spending to the 40's per year than the 80's per year for example.

Spending on toys, such as boats, rv's, pools, second homes, luxury cars etc. all really boost up how much you need to save and spend. Is it really important to you, and more importantly is it worth your life energy to try to support all this stuff? Are hours commuting, the added stress and missing out on your family life worth it?
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Re: more than average savings- average spending
Old 10-14-2006, 09:07 AM   #2
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Re: more than average savings- average spending

Its a question of blance. You can save every cent and be miserable or you can send a bit and really raise your quality of life. Just don't hog wild and pass that point of diminsihing returns.
Also if your going to build wealth, your going to need LBYM & a good steady income and time. Lots of time... Sometime I wonder if people here should be using more of their energy finding employment they enjoy rather than trying so despertly to retire early.
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Re: more than average savings- average spending
Old 10-14-2006, 01:12 PM   #3
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Re: more than average savings- average spending

Quote:
Originally Posted by dmpi
Its a question of blance. You can save every cent and be miserable or you can send a bit and really raise your quality of life. Just don't hog wild and pass that point of diminsihing returns.
The first longboard is a necessity.

The second longboard is insurance.

The third one is probably a luxury...
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Re: more than average savings- average spending
Old 10-14-2006, 01:32 PM   #4
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Re: more than average savings- average spending

Quote:
Originally Posted by shorttimer
is it worth your life energy to try to support all this stuff? Are hours commuting, the added stress and missing out on your family life worth it?
It's much more complicated than that shorttimer. Not everyone is stressing or commuting or whatever. For example, I hit FI at around 53, planned to RE at 55 and wound up hanging on until 58. Why? From 53 to 55 I was chickensh*t and felt I was cutting it too close. From 55 to 57, my job got more interesting and I really didn't want to leave. New assignments with international travel, a great team, lots of ego builders, the knowledge I could leave whenever I wanted, etc. Then things turned back for the worse, I got tired of it, reopened my RE plans and, with some substantial financial help from my employer, pulled the switch. I bet there are a lot of stories like mine. The tradeoffs can be very complicated.

But, to answer your question in the simplist way, I wouldn't continue to work if I was unhappy with what I was doing and the extra savings were going towards funding truly discretionary spending.

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Re: more than average savings- average spending
Old 10-14-2006, 04:21 PM   #5
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Re: more than average savings- average spending

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords
The first longboard is a necessity.
Consider the fact that some homeless people survive on nothing. I don't think anything is really a "necessity" anymore.
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Re: more than average savings- average spending
Old 10-14-2006, 07:52 PM   #6
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Re: more than average savings- average spending

Quote:
Originally Posted by dmpi
Consider the fact that some homeless people survive on nothing. I don't think anything is really a "necessity" anymore.
Sure there is. There is no quality of life in being homeless. I think what posters have been saying is that there is a threshold probably in the $30-50k range per year (depending on each person's situation) where one can enjoy a modicum of life's pleasures without breaking the bank. After all, we only pass this way once.

Things like an 'average' house (median in your locale), 1-2 vehicles of average age 5 yrs, health insurance, one 2-3 week vacation per year, internet, cable, phone, basic cable, passes for the average middle class person. I like Nord's analogy with his longboards. One will do, the 2nd provides some luxury, and the third is simply blowing money out the door.

Generally speaking, I was comfortable staying at the one board level, e.g. buying mostly used vehicles to cut down on depreciation, paying cash only for everything (except mortgage), and buying only as much house as the family felt comfortable in (and not to brag about or make a statement to friends and family).
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Re: more than average savings- average spending
Old 10-15-2006, 01:27 AM   #7
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Re: more than average savings- average spending

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords
The first longboard is a necessity.

The second longboard is insurance.

The third one is probably a luxury...
Living in Phoenix, I don't know anything about longboard requirements, but if you replace "longboard" with "hiking boots" I understand.
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Re: more than average savings- average spending
Old 10-15-2006, 03:31 AM   #8
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Re: more than average savings- average spending

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords
The first longboard is a necessity.

The second longboard is insurance.

The third one is probably a luxury...

I have cycled through six windsurfers and I don't know how many sails. I will probably buy my first kite and kiteboard in the spring - who knows where that will take me. I didn't have to put off RE to do the windsurfing but I would have if necessary.

Remember life is about living, not just avoiding work.

Quote:
Originally Posted by youbet
It's much more complicated than that shorttimer. Not everyone is stressing or commuting or whatever. For example, I hit FI at around 53, planned to RE at 55 and wound up hanging on until 58. Why? From 53 to 55 I was chickensh*t and felt I was cutting it too close. From 55 to 57, my job got more interesting and I really didn't want to leave. New assignments with international travel, a great team, lots of ego builders, the knowledge I could leave whenever I wanted, etc. Then things turned back for the worse, I got tired of it, reopened my RE plans and, with some substantial financial help from my employer, pulled the switch. I bet there are a lot of stories like mine. The tradeoffs can be very complicated.
My experience was similar. Work was fine until my mid forties when I went through a very bad period. I expected I would take an early-out when I reached fifty and was eligible to do so when I got there. But by then I had switched jobs (HR to IT) and was enjoying the work. I too was also a little chickensh*t. At 56 I was at the age I had always planned to go and, even though the work was OK, the call to freedom overcame the worries. Thinking back to the bad days about 13 years ago I am glad I had interests like windsurfing and skiing to counterbalance the work angst. That and an understanding wife.
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Re: more than average savings- average spending
Old 10-15-2006, 08:52 AM   #9
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Re: more than average savings- average spending

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords
The first longboard is a necessity.
The second longboard is insurance.
The third one is probably a luxury...
Tennis racquet:

1st is a necessity
2nd is a necessity
3rd is a necessity
so is the 4th, 5th, and so on...

Anyone interested in buying used racquets?
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Re: more than average savings- average spending
Old 10-15-2006, 10:08 AM   #10
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Re: more than average savings- average spending

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords
The first longboard is a necessity.

The second longboard is insurance.

The third one is probably a luxury...
Oh, Oh,

Three kayaks here.....but I need each one....really
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Re: more than average savings- average spending
Old 10-15-2006, 11:41 AM   #11
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Re: more than average savings- average spending

It didn't take me long to figure out that to save $1 I have to make $1.50 from working so being "frugal" gives me an immediate return. Do you ever drive by houses that have their garages open and the garage is completely full of stuff.....ie....junk? So much so that they can't fit one or both of their cars in the garage? I often wonder how long they used all that stuff for and why they don't just toss it out. I don't have this problem because I only buy stuff I need or really really want.
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Re: more than average savings- average spending
Old 10-15-2006, 11:51 AM   #12
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Re: more than average savings- average spending

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam
Tennis racquet
I'm waiting for JonnyM and the rest of the guitar crowd to chime in...

Quote:
Originally Posted by accountingsucks
Do you ever drive by houses that have their garages open and the garage is completely full of stuff.....ie....junk? So much so that they can't fit one or both of their cars in the garage? I often wonder how long they used all that stuff for and why they don't just toss it out.
A guy in our neighborhood parks a '64 Mustang and a late-model Jaguar on the street to make garage room for his valuable card table, exercise equipment, & beer fridge. Of course he's always washing both cars at least twice a week.

I wonder if Jaguar sends someone over to repossess the neglected cars...
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Re: more than average savings- average spending
Old 10-15-2006, 01:33 PM   #13
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Re: more than average savings- average spending

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords
Of course he's always washing both cars at least twice a week.
He probably plays cards and drinks beer 4 times a week, and exercises maybe once
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Re: more than average savings- average spending
Old 10-15-2006, 01:36 PM   #14
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Re: more than average savings- average spending

At least my current obsession collection doesn't take up any room, except on my hard drive. And an iPod to be named later!
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Re: more than average savings- average spending
Old 10-15-2006, 03:26 PM   #15
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Re: more than average savings- average spending

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam
Tennis racquet:

1st is a necessity
2nd is a necessity
3rd is a necessity
so is the 4th, 5th, and so on...

Anyone interested in buying used racquets?
Actually, Nords assessment of longboards is the same for tennis racquets. I play competitive tennis in the USTA. You just need 2, until those wear out. That is unless you think you can break a second string faster than the pro-shop can string the first. Its never happened to me yet.

Azanon
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Re: more than average savings- average spending
Old 10-15-2006, 03:30 PM   #16
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Re: more than average savings- average spending

Quote:
Originally Posted by shorttimer
Spending on toys, such as boats, rv's, pools, second homes, luxury cars etc. all really boost up how much you need to save and spend. Is it really important to you, and more importantly is it worth your life energy to try to support all this stuff? Are hours commuting, the added stress and missing out on your family life worth it?
You make one assumption that is not true for everyone; that our jobs are so horrible that the negatives of working outweight the fun derived from spending the money. I actually enjoy my job for the most part. My motive for saving is more derived from the realization that my job might change for the worse someday, or perhaps desolve alltogether. I simply dislike the vulnerability of not being FI. But my job? Its alright. I wouldnt do it for free, but its not anything I dread.

Personally, i dont spend my money on anything that stresses me more than i enjoy it. That'd be a pretty dumb thing to do, don't you think? The commute? A leisurely 20 minutes, no big deal. The family? I can usually use the break from them.
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Re: more than average savings- average spending
Old 10-15-2006, 03:31 PM   #17
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Re: more than average savings- average spending

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords
The first longboard is a necessity.

The second longboard is insurance.

The third one is probably a luxury...
I see some homebrewers who have a sickness and never stop upgrading their brewing equipment. I can't say I suffer from that problem. If you buy quality equipment, it lasts forever. I finally bought a custom stainless steel system for about $1200 4 years ago. I could have gotten fancy and spent $5 or 10k, but the current system will last decades and makes just as good beer. A quality grain mill will last practically forever. My stainless steel kegs were bought in the late 89s second hand and look pretty much the way they did when I got them.
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Re: more than average savings- average spending
Old 10-15-2006, 05:38 PM   #18
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Re: more than average savings- average spending

I didn't mean this to be offensive or judgemental. I just want to point out that paying attention to both sides of the equation is important.

I myself worked a few extra years to fund what was important to me. Travel for a few weeks to Europe each year was important. (as long as I am able to climb lots of stairs and walk on cobblestones.) I could care less about fancy shoes or clothes.

Some people want three vintage cars, or lots of motorcycles or guitars, which is fine. Just the amount of savings directly coorelates to the amount of spending.
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Re: more than average savings- average spending
Old 10-15-2006, 05:54 PM   #19
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Re: more than average savings- average spending

Quote:
Originally Posted by accountingsucks
It didn't take me long to figure out that to save $1 I have to make $1.50 from working so being "frugal" gives me an immediate return. Do you ever drive by houses that have their garages open and the garage is completely full of stuff.....ie....junk? So much so that they can't fit one or both of their cars in the garage? I often wonder how long they used all that stuff for and why they don't just toss it out. I don't have this problem because I only buy stuff I need or really really want.
For the last 2 months I have been disposing of stuff. Selling most,
but just junking quite a bit. With every "elimination" of "stuff"
I feel a bit more liberated and the house looks better all the time.
I call it my "less is more" approach to decorating. I mentioned
this attitude to my oldest daughter once and she said she was
exactly the same way. Must be in the genes.

JG
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Re: more than average savings- average spending
Old 10-15-2006, 07:29 PM   #20
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Re: more than average savings- average spending

I want to save for a financially secure retirement but I do not want to miss out on living my life now and enjoying it. Does it make sense to deprive yourself from some extras so you can save for a retirement that you may not live long to enjoy? I like to strike a balance between saving for retirement and enjoying some luxuries (pool, cars) even if it means working for a couple of more years.......But that's me.
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