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Trying to figure me out
Old 03-14-2009, 10:24 AM   #1
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Trying to figure me out

Hey guys,
Long time no post on here. Hope everyone is well.

I've been staying the course of working hard , being frugal, investing, etc., and I think that I am in a very good place at 27. I found my groove a couple years ago and it's been on autopilot since then.

I do have an issue though, and that's in dealing with others my age, specifically my colleagues at work. I'm in a well paying line of work in a major city, and have been since out of college. Our annual raises are very generous as well. So while most of my colleagues get there raise and move into a fancier apartment, buy a new car, designer clothes, steak dinners, etc., I simply invest more, but I don't talk about it, and clearly, don't have new things to show for.

So, I'm the black sheep here. I don't really fit in with many in my age group. My peers have been trying to figure me out for quite some time, but I didn't think that it would be prudent to say that I save everything, have at least 100x more than you do, and plan on jumping ship early. So I've resorted to giving them the vague version of it, that I'm saving for a down payment (which I am), and I discuss many other interests that I pursue in my free time, which does shock some of them. Some are true, some are fabricated (to get them off my back).

Everyone I work with has money as we have a good income, but the thing is, many of them hang out together and spend all of it. I don't really hang out with them (few times), as they always go out to eat at fancy restaurants, bars (dropping $100-200 in one night is not unusual), etc. I can't justify going out with them when they blow everything, plus, when I leave work, my free time is my free time, no? Nobody hassles the older folks about this, but being young and single, it's like 'um, what do you do in your free time if you're not with us?'

It's frustrating to deal with. I like what I do for work. I like the income and I save it. But I don't like the culture of most. I am good friends with a few who are more practical, and at least one colleague who is a young dreamer and looking to FIRE. It's very common to be in your 20s and blow it all, but here I am at 27 with well over 100k and I'm planning out where to be at 30 then 35, etc. With that said, most think that I am an old man because of my planning and discipline.

Have others here experienced this? Can anyone offer some advice on how to deal with it? It's not the largest issue in the world, but it's frustrating because I am not honest with them, and it's like they cannot see my way of thinking, sans the other young dreamer that I work with. They think that I am weird (which is fine), but I don't want to tell them that they're dumb, I don't want to spend money like crazy, most I don't want to hang out with outside of work (I can't say this to be mean), and I plan on living a life how I want to live in 1-2 decades, without work.
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Old 03-14-2009, 10:44 AM   #2
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You have it figured out already, they don't. You're in a minority, especially at your age, but you're not alone. Seek out others like yourself, and avoid the mainstream folks your age for the most part. More than ever, they are a throwback to unsustainable behavior that has helped usher in the economic mess we're in right now (but it won't last forever)...

· That man is the richest whose pleasures are the cheapest. Henry David Thoreau

· The most important things in life aren’t things. Anthony J. D’Angelo (Sadly some people never learn this, and their lives can be an endless search without satisfaction/happiness)

· The richer your friends, the more they will cost you. Elizabeth Marbury (I make a conscious effort to limit socializing with folks who enjoy spending more than I do)

· There is only one success – to be able to spend your life in your own way. Christopher Marley
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Old 03-14-2009, 11:11 AM   #3
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Don't be expense wise and income foolish.

How you are perceived by those below, same level and above you can influence your future prospects and as a result your income.
So if your spending behavior puts you in a negative light you could be missing out on future income through promotions that outweighs your potential expense savings.
Sometimes you need to spend money on clothes or outings with co workers to be perceived as a team player, promotable, good image etc.

Sometimes you have to spend money to make money.

Do you know how others perceive you, besides being weird - strengths, weaknesses, image, potential, need to learn?

If your being "weird" is the general opinion of you it could hurt your future earnings, delaying when you reach your goal.
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Old 03-14-2009, 11:17 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pavo View Post
Have others here experienced this?
Yes.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pavo View Post
Can anyone offer some advice on how to deal with it? It's not the largest issue in the world, but it's frustrating because I am not honest with them, and it's like they cannot see my way of thinking, sans the other young dreamer that I work with. They think that I am weird (which is fine), but I don't want to tell them that they're dumb, I don't want to spend money like crazy, most I don't want to hang out with outside of work (I can't say this to be mean), and I plan on living a life how I want to live in 1-2 decades, without work.
Perhaps you should start being honest with them. Not everyone will see you're way of thinking no matter your age. The ones that "dis" you will fade with time; the ones that admire you may become friends for life.

You can tell them life is about choices; they have their way of living and dealing with finances and you have your own. Add a big toothy grin.....
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Old 03-14-2009, 12:33 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Pavo View Post
Can anyone offer some advice on how to deal with it? It's not the largest issue in the world, but it's frustrating because I am not honest with them, and it's like they cannot see my way of thinking, sans the other young dreamer that I work with. They think that I am weird (which is fine), but I don't want to tell them that they're dumb, I don't want to spend money like crazy, most I don't want to hang out with outside of work (I can't say this to be mean), and I plan on living a life how I want to live in 1-2 decades, without work.
You are not likely to change, and they are not likely to change. You'll never win a popularity poll. Your way may be better or worse than theirs in various ways. It may truncate your career or it may not. In any case, of all the young guys and gals hanging out at Happy Hour after work, how many will hit the real jackpots?

You will at least have what you save.

However, I couldn't live the way you describe yourself living. I wouldn't like it or even tolerate it, unless it was forced on me by financial necessity.

Last night I went to Happy Hour in a real lively suburban bar and it was really fun. I wish I were 25 again, to have many, many more years of TGIF to look forward to. My date was not a young thing, (more's the pity) but she loved it too. A lively after work bar is like Disney Land for adults; it's about pleasure and escape.

If I were doing my life again, I would spend way more time finding a job and job situation that didn't make me want to bail; and way less planning my retirement.

But everyone is surely different.

Ha
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Old 03-14-2009, 01:55 PM   #6
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Midpack - Thanks, and I do agree with you in many ways. Most of my peers live paycheck to paycheck. They are fine with that. I did do that at one point, and realized how I had nothing. Changed my ways, learned from my parents who are very frugal, learned from others, found this site, etc. The rest is now history.

Dex - Thanks. My work attire is elegant. Khakis at worst, but usually I wear $200 Italian slacks, Brooks Brothers shirts, etc. I made sure to spend a good amount on work attire as I learned this the hard way very early on in my career. I'm always in the office early, usually number 1 or 2 guy in. Sometimes I stay late. Always asking for additional projects. I report to a director who did tell me last summer that I am on track to being a director at my firm, providing I finish certain credentials.

Most people I work with are from a small town, then went to college in a college town, first time in the big city so they think they made it, so to say, in their 20s and live the high life. I was private schooled in the city, then went on to a private uni. in the city, so by the time I was 24, I've already been to almost all the bars and clubs in the city and got it out of my system. Most people that I work with are just starting to experience it all. I spent 10s of thousands on booze prior to 25 - all of my money went on partying. Then, my priorities changed.

bbbam1 - I've found a select few colleagues who are smart in this area, and we do talk quite a bit about our finances, etc.

Haha - Thanks. Interesting. LOL. I got into a great financial firm when times were great, so my plan was to be smart about it. I bought into some property shortly after being hired, which ended up being a smart decision, but it forced me to save more than I would have wanted. I agreed to this commitment given the appreciation and income that would come from it in time. My insane savings plan is temporary as well. I already own 2 rental properties, and I am saving up for my next one. I'm looking to jump out of finance within the next few years anyway. My plan was (is) to work my tail off from 24/25 - 30 (24/25 is when my priorities changes with money).

I have a life outside of work. Last weekend I was at a club until 6 AM and dropped $150 on booze then hooked up with and danced the rest of the night with a Russian cutie. I do live a little (believe it or not) and I do have fun. I'm much more, responsible, with my finances now. Before 24/25, I partied like a madman, including when I was first hired - loads of income coming my way means I get to purchase loads of junk and booze. A number of hook ups and quite a few one night stands as well.

It's just now, entering my later 20s, my mentality has shifted. No offense to anyone, but the banking & corporate life sucks. I don't care about the miles or hotel points, the free lunches & dinners, etc. I want to travel the world. Stay with family in Europe for an extended period of time. Swim in remote areas. I want to sleep in. Name it. But the jobs I really want, are self-fulfilling hobbies more or less, and they don't pay well. I went into finance to make money (and I'm good at what I do). But the baller lifestyle isn't my cup of tea. It's not me.
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Old 03-14-2009, 02:18 PM   #7
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Shakespeare said, "To thine ownself be true." I wouldn't be overly concerned unless you really care what these people think. And truly, you'll be amazed at where you are in 5 years and will be looking back wondering why you did care what they thought. At 45, I'm amazed at how much I don't know about where I'll be - just the broad outlines of what is important to me (RE and FI, travel and being true to who I am, being there for my family and true friends, having a life full of experiences to become a wise old woman).

Bottom line from me: keep on keeping on and don't worry about what they think. If you are doing your job and putting your time and money where you value them to be, consider yourself one hell of a lucky young man to have found that out early in life. Re-read Your Money or Your Life.....
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Old 03-14-2009, 02:38 PM   #8
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Heck, the solution seems simple, given all you've told us about your likes and dislikes. Keep making and socking away the dough, so that sooner rather than later, you can quit doing what you don't like and start doing, full-time, what you do like! That's pretty much everyone's goal on this forum. Most of us have had to wait longer than you will, that's the only difference.

And don't kid yourself...when you're older, you'll still get hit with peer pressure about how you spend your time and your $$. (I certainly do). Fact, there's bound to be peer pressure all the way through the nursing home and up to (but not, one hopes, including) the grave. How much p-p bothers you, and how much you bend to it, is a cost-benefit calculation that only you can make.
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Old 03-14-2009, 02:56 PM   #9
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Thanks guys.

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And don't kid yourself...when you're older, you'll still get hit with peer pressure about how you spend your time and your $$. (I certainly do).
This really seems to be the gist of it. My buddy & I were driving to the gym today and I mentioned this to him. He says 'Remember how we used to treat Chris (Chris is a friend of ours who always received the 3rd degree from us)? Well, you're basically Chris here. How does it feel?"

I actually do enjoy some parts of my job. I enjoy the income. I'm planning for my future. I have fun in my personal time. But most people that I work with - PLEASE LEAVE ME ALONE! I can't say 'that's none of your business' without someone getting all huffy & puffy about it.
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Old 03-14-2009, 03:35 PM   #10
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There is nothing to deal with. What they think of you is in their heads, not yours. Never worry about what another person thinks, his thoughts cannot penetrate you. Also, say nothing, this way you do not provoke any stupid behavior. As a matter of fact, be kind, but not too kind.

You live inside your own head, if you are content, on an even keel, what more could you want?

The greatest joy is peace of mind with freedom to do what you please, you have this. Keep digging inside of yourself, it's apparent you are more introspective than the others, learn about yourself, the rest will take care of itself. There is nothing wrong with enjoying the simple peace of your own company, and enjoying what you enjoy, despite what the "experts" tell us.

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Old 03-14-2009, 06:41 PM   #11
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I can't say 'that's none of your business' without someone getting all huffy & puffy about it.

You're obviously very smart. Try using some of your brain capacity to think of gracious ways to turn aside impertinent or persistent questions. What works best for me, is to subtly turn the conversation to the other person and his/her interests (asking them about something hot at work, especially gossip, usually works like a charm).

Good luck.
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Old 03-14-2009, 07:06 PM   #12
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Gee, I think that if you can afford the expensive clothes, some booze and a hookup once in a while, decent gym, decent food, and decent housing, all the while investing in rental properties as well as in the market, they you have it made. Its something to be proud of, not to shy away from. Just tell 'em "gotta fix the plumbing in house #1 ,
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Old 03-14-2009, 07:13 PM   #13
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I would suggest fabricating excuses on why you cannot spend money. What you do with your money is really none of their business.

Examples;
"I have a lot of student loans, and am trying to get out from under them."

"I am saving up for a downpayment on a McMansion."

"I am helping out a relative with medical expenses."

"I am helping put my younger brother through medical school."

"I racked up $40,000 worth of credit card debt in college."
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Old 03-14-2009, 09:47 PM   #14
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You can adopt a page from my book:

I will worry about others opinions of me only when they are paying my bills.

You dress to the standard, show up early and ask for more work. The boss is happy. Ignore the noise and there is a lot of noise in business.
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Old 03-15-2009, 06:59 AM   #15
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Thanks guys. You seem to understand me better than my colleagues and many peers do.


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You dress to the standard, show up early and ask for more work. The boss is happy. Ignore the noise and there is a lot of noise in business.
Yes crazy connie. The expensive clothes are work only. I learned how to play the game early on after some mishaps. I dress for success in the office. Outside of the office, plain jeans and a t-shirt is fine by me. Trust me, the dress standard isn't what I really want to do - I don't care about designer clothes. But I know that how you dress and carry yourself at work does matter. Same with showing up early and asking for more work. Gotta play a game here. My image and reputation is uber-clean. The noise though, is something that I am not best at dealing with, yet at least. Perhaps it's just another life lesson for me to learn?
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Trying to figure me out
Old 04-29-2009, 10:16 AM   #16
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Trying to figure me out

I can relate. If it was easy, everyone would be rich. It is not, so that is why 10% of the people hold 90% of the wealth. You are making the correct moves in order to build wealth and they are not. In the long run it will pay off well for you and not so well for them. My theory is that I want to be rich not look rich. Stay the course.
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Old 04-29-2009, 10:59 AM   #17
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I think you need some new people to hang out with. Granted, finding other 20-somethings that live a frugal lifestyle might be hard, but well worth it.

Frugality doesn't mean "never have fun", it means have fun whilst keeping the eye "on the prize". You are always welcome here, among us "older folks"........
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Old 04-29-2009, 11:04 AM   #18
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I'm going to go against the grain here just a little bit. There is nothing wrong with spending frivolously on occasion. It's not the quantity but quality that matters. So go out with your work friends every once in a while (once a month), and spend the $100-$200 they do. That way, you won't be ostracized nor will you impact your budget all that much. If you go out once a month with your work friends, your talking about spending somewhere around $1,200-$2,400 in a year. This isn't that much money in the grand scheme of things. What you're buying isn't a good time, but rather a place as "one of the guys". Remember, your work friends are your peers, and will be your network as your career advances. They need to be comfortable around you, and declining to socialize with them will keep you from being able to tap a valuable resource in the future.

Don't worry about the money too much right now. They'll eventually come around to your way of thinking as they get married and have kids (in their early-to-mid-30s).
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Old 04-29-2009, 08:54 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by landonew View Post
I would suggest fabricating excuses on why you cannot spend money. What you do with your money is really none of their business.

Examples;
"I have a lot of student loans, and am trying to get out from under them."

"I am saving up for a downpayment on a McMansion."

"I am helping out a relative with medical expenses."

"I am helping put my younger brother through medical school."

"I racked up $40,000 worth of credit card debt in college."
I second this motion.
A good politician always controls his own press releases.
Feed the jackals 1 single line and stick with that story.
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Old 04-29-2009, 10:50 PM   #20
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Tell them you are saving up to buy an island.

That should shut them up and give you high status.

Then, one day, you might buy an island!
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