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Old 05-11-2014, 06:34 AM   #21
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Interesting thread. The stuff on the psychological pull regarding social status is fascinating.

I have been fortunate to have had some success climbing the corporate ladder. All through my 20s and 30s I was the guy making fairly decent money who was regarded as frugal by everyone. I wanted all that stuff that signifies social status but I hate debt so waited and waited.

My income went nuts in the past five years or so. Suddenly I drive a BMW and a Porsche and I have a couple of very cool European motorcycles and just bought a boat. Bought a few nice watches too. I am sure there are people who don't know me who think "that guy is probably in debt up to his eyeballs". But all my toys were paid with cash and I am able to save for retirement as well and pay for college for two kids at the same time.

I think I enjoy my "stuff" even more since I had to wait for it and I actually own the stuff. Of course I am still being somewhat frugal - I buy very high end toys that are used and already very depreciated. Can't stand depreciation almost as much as I hate debt.
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Old 05-11-2014, 11:33 AM   #22
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CorporateSoldier I salute you on your success but I am laughing out loud at the same time. Not at you I assure. Living around status hungry over spenders much of my life your approach to your status symbols would be unthinkable to the stress social climbers. They would never consider depreciation and never ever buy used. Only the absolute best brand new. You on the other hand found a way to have your cake and eat it too. That is no small feat and proves that you are still a LBYM expert even if you hide it well.
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Old 05-12-2014, 06:21 AM   #23
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CorporateSoldier I salute you on your success but I am laughing out loud at the same time. Not at you I assure. Living around status hungry over spenders much of my life your approach to your status symbols would be unthinkable to the stress social climbers. They would never consider depreciation and never ever buy used. Only the absolute best brand new. You on the other hand found a way to have your cake and eat it too. That is no small feat and proves that you are still a LBYM expert even if you hide it well.
Thanks Longranger. I should add that I am a car and motorcycle nut so these things are hobbies for me more than they are status symbols. If you never borrow to buy toys and you buy stuff that is completely depreciated, your long term costs are pretty low and you have an asset you can liquidate of needed. Middle aged people with good credit scores can insure this stuff dirt cheap as well. For example, I recently purchased an exotic Italian superbike that I paid cash for and it will cost me about $160 to insure it for the six month riding season. And if I get bored with it in a few years, I can sell it for what I paid. (10 years old, modern classic in perfect condition and low miles. Researched and waited 6 months until I found a screaming deal priced well below market).

You make a good point on thought process. I am not the guy squeezing into a monthly payment to drive a new BMW.
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Old 05-12-2014, 08:21 AM   #24
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When DS was little, I used to tell him we could have anything we wanted, but not EVERYTHING. That's been my philosophy. You're undoubtedly working hard to be earning at that level and you may as well have something you enjoy to show for it. I have little use for cars, but have a safe full of exquisite jewelry and a boatload of memories of travel to wonderful places with DH.

The trick is to avoid buying the whole package- the deluxe vehicles PLUS the penthouse with designer furniture PLUS the closet full of Armani suits... choose your extravagances and live on less than you make.
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Old 05-12-2014, 08:29 AM   #25
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When DS was little, I used to tell him we could have anything we wanted, but not EVERYTHING. That's been my philosophy. You're undoubtedly working hard to be earning at that level and you may as well have something you enjoy to show for it. I have little use for cars, but have a safe full of exquisite jewelry and a boatload of memories of travel to wonderful places with DH.
Much wisdom here.
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Old 06-01-2014, 11:15 AM   #26
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I found early on that the more money I had the less stress I felt from work and life in general. So I started socking away the money early on with no expectation of ER, but just for the stress relief.

Working is actually pretty fun once you remove the stress. Ironically, the more financially secure I get the less likely I want to stop working...
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Old 06-09-2014, 10:21 AM   #27
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I discovered when I ER'd that a significant portion of my spending was on stuff that I bought as a treat to relieve stress or to fit into the social and corporate structure. After ER I quickly came to the realization I didn't really want all that stuff and it was no longer "necessary". My spending habits are much different today.
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Old 06-11-2014, 11:57 AM   #28
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I discovered when I ER'd that a significant portion of my spending was on stuff that I bought as a treat to relieve stress or to fit into the social and corporate structure. After ER I quickly came to the realization I didn't really want all that stuff and it was no longer "necessary". My spending habits are much different today.
Any specifics you can share?
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Old 06-11-2014, 12:50 PM   #29
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Any specifics you can share?
I don't mean to answer for martyp, but I really like this blog post on the subject:

"The ultimate tool for corporations to sustain a culture of this sort is to develop the 40-hour workweek as the normal lifestyle. Under these working conditions people have to build a life in the evenings and on weekends. This arrangement makes us naturally more inclined to spend heavily on entertainment and conveniences because our free time is so scarce.

I’ve only been back at work for a few days, but already I’m noticing that the more wholesome activities are quickly dropping out of my life: walking, exercising, reading, meditating, and extra writing.


The one conspicuous similarity between these activities is that they cost little or no money, but they take time."

Your Lifestyle Has Already Been Designed
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Old 06-11-2014, 01:20 PM   #30
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In a similar vein, this is pretty long but quite interesting and informative.

http://faculty.chicagobooth.edu/ragh...pers/perks.pdf
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Old 06-11-2014, 03:50 PM   #31
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I discovered when I ER'd that a significant portion of my spending was on stuff that I bought as a treat to relieve stress or to fit into the social and corporate structure. After ER I quickly came to the realization I didn't really want all that stuff and it was no longer "necessary". My spending habits are much different today.
+1
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Old 06-11-2014, 03:56 PM   #32
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I’ve only been back at work for a few days, but already I’m noticing that the more wholesome activities are quickly dropping out of my life: walking, exercising, reading, meditating, and extra writing.


The one conspicuous similarity between these activities is that they cost little or no money, but they take time."

Your Lifestyle Has Already Been Designed
Very interesting and with a good bit of truth in it for me at least. I certainly enjoy cheaper things as a retired man of small, but independent, means. (love that phrase!) Today for about $2 I spent an hour talking with a friend, an hour reading the news, and all the while sipping coffee outdoors on a sunny morning.

That is rich! And inexpensive! The only cost was my time.
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Stress, Social Status, and Buying Stuff
Old 06-15-2014, 05:29 PM   #33
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Stress, Social Status, and Buying Stuff

We bought our Porsche cayman s during the 08 downturn used. $40k out the door, 12k miles. Sticker read $70k. Was about the same price as the Hyundai genesis coupe my wife originally wanted. I figured, when we go to sell, Ill probably do better selling the used Porsche than the new Hyundai.

In the mean time, she is waaaaay happier.
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Old 06-18-2014, 12:52 PM   #34
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We bought our Porsche cayman s during the 08 downturn used. $40k out the door, 12k miles. Sticker read $70k. Was about the same price as the Hyundai genesis coupe my wife originally wanted. I figured, when we go to sell, Ill probably do better selling the used Porsche than the new Hyundai.

In the mean time, she is waaaaay happier.
That is a great car. Enjoy!
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Old 06-18-2014, 12:57 PM   #35
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That is a great car. Enjoy!
She does. Believe me. I'm quite happy with my jeep that I know how to turn a wrench on. :-)
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Old 06-28-2014, 06:50 AM   #36
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Working is actually pretty fun once you remove the stress. Ironically, the more financially secure I get the less likely I want to stop working...
As I am getting closer to FIRE, I find myself less satisfied with working. I am less stressed now, and my job is interesting and pays extremely well, yet the more money I accumulate the more I'm enticed to RE and not do anything. Perhaps I'm inherently lazy and my true life's goal is to become a coach potato.
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Old 07-05-2014, 12:48 PM   #37
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As I am getting closer to FIRE, I find myself less satisfied with working. I am less stressed now, and my job is interesting and pays extremely well, yet the more money I accumulate the more I'm enticed to RE and not do anything. Perhaps I'm inherently lazy and my true life's goal is to become a coach potato.

I know that feeling very well. Corporate job pays very well, but there is a tremendous amount of bureaucracy that slows down anything getting done in a reasonable timeframe. Perhaps my life would be better if I simply accepted bureaucracy as part of large corporate life, but the entrepreneur/small company guy in me just chafes at the idea that things should take as long as they do. As money accumulates faster and faster, I'll probably get the itch to try the start up or small company environment, as long as I have sufficient control and authority.


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