Lifestyle, diminishing returns and changes in personal income conundrum.

Andromalia

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Hello there.

First, I want to make clear this is not a topic on bragging about how much you earn, but on how you feel you're the target of scams despite being able to afford them.

The story so far:
I was born in a well-off family, say upper middle-class, the kind that can go to an exotic destination for holidays every year. But my family was also politically leftist leaning, and I learned the value of money by not being given any that my parents thought I didn't deserve. My first full time job was washing the dishes in a french tokyo restaurant, even though I got a pretty decent education (university degree).
I spent most of my life doing jobs I wanted to do, not jobs that had good salaries.
Now that I'm nearing my 50es, the jobs I want to do actually line up with the well paid ones. My income roughly went x4 since 2019 and leaving Blizzard. (Basically, I'm a project Manager/Agilist/Scrum Master type with decades of work experience in various fields).

So, I have money. I could indulge in buying Armani suits, a Lexus or Mercedes/BMW/etc, a Rolex watch or two... but I can't. I have the feeling that should I do so, I'd be scammed. The value for money isn't there. I own a few expensive items, notably an ESP Original, where I have the feeling I'm getting my money's worth. But most of the time I'm not even attracted to "expensive" stuff because I get the feeling that although I can afford it, I feel I'm taken advantage of and endup not buying it.

I still buy nice things, but they endup being those who are mostly leftover by the general public, hence their price being reasonable in my opinion, the prime exemple being I own a few Grand Seikos, who bury Rolex in all metrics that matter and can be had for a fraction of the price. Same goes for furniture, I really dislike the asking prices for quality stuff compared to Ikea and local alternatives. Sure, quality is better and everything, but 15 times the price ? I just can't do it. Again, this is all something I can afford but I just can't tell myself I should buy those.
The crux of it is, I don't have anything else to do with the money. I have retirement funds, life insurance, social security etc covered. I already own my place. I feel that every avenue of spending I have left is to become a victim and I don't really want to become one.

Side note: I put that in the lifestyle forum, maybe it belongs someplace else, mods feel free to move it if necessary, I'm not sure this is the right place.
 

aesthyrian

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The crux of it is, I don't have anything else to do with the money. I have retirement funds, life insurance, social security etc covered. I already own my place. I feel that every avenue of spending I have left is to become a victim and I don't really want to become one.

Side note: I put that in the lifestyle forum, maybe it belongs someplace else, mods feel free to move it if necessary, I'm not sure this is the right place.

The easy solution would be to find a cause(s) you believe in and throw money at it. Donate it, give it directly to those in need, whatever. Then you aren't a victim of unnecessary hype culture and you get to use your money in a positive way which should give you some enrichment.

Or just do drugs.
 

bostjan

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If you spend a bunch of money on expensive stuff, you might one day find out that you own a bunch of expensive stuff and don't have much money anymore. You can always sell the expensive stuff to get more money, but it's almost always less than what you'd have had if you put the money in the bank.

If you are comfortable, why change? If you start spending more money on things you don't really need, you might find yourself becoming dependent on that sort of lifestyle, and then, if your situation changes, you will just be that much more uncomfortable having to adapt.
 

budda

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Yeah this is when you can start volunteering with charities and making monthly or yearly donations.

Law of diminishing returns is a real thing and part of why I dont buy new expensive things. I cant afford nor do I want that hit.
 

tedtan

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Yeah this is when you can start volunteering with charities and making monthly or yearly donations.

Law of diminishing returns is a real thing and part of why I dont buy new expensive things. I cant afford nor do I want that hit.
And how many custom shop Les Pauls have you bought in the past few months? :lol:
 

budda

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And how many custom shop Les Pauls have you bought in the past few months? :lol:
G0 was August :lol:. I did pay more than my next pay in bills today, and have another due when it arrives. Nice part about selling used CS is not losing money..
 

TedEH

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I sometimes feel like I'm in a similar place: as in, I live way below my means - I don't spend what I could. Not because I think it would make me a victim of some kind of scam, but because I don't "value" expensive things very much, compared to what I'm empowered to do by saving it. Maybe that's a different framing of the same concept. Diminishing returns and all that.

As an example - I often wear a combination of ratty clothes and merch I get from bands and work. I could buy a new outfit every week if I want to, but I couldn't care less about clothing. I could afford to eat out at decent restaurants if I wanted to - but I don't. I could buy a nice car if I want to, but my beat up '08 SUV works just fine.

In the mean time, while I don't have a lot of nice things - if something happens to me, my partner, my family, etc, we're covered. It's not just of benefit to me, but I can be a safety net for the people around me. But also, the occasional splurge is pretty great. I bought an FM3 a while back. Was pretty cool. I buy a lot of video game junk 'cause why not.

You know, xmas is coming - if you've got money burning holes in your pockets, I can send you my wish list. :lol:
 

Lemonbaby

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The crux of it is, I don't have anything else to do with the money.

I'll send you my bank account details so you can get rid of that burden (i.e. too much money). You're welcome. :wavey:

And think twice about buying a Rolex. They're in the same price range as Seiko GS and gain value the minute you walk out the ADs door. Try to sell you Grand Seiko... the money's gone.
 

nickgray

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The crux of it is, I don't have anything else to do with the money.
Friend Andromalia, I am in dire need of an ESP Custom Shop guitar...

But seriously, the quality thing is just min/maxing. I don't think it matters how much money you have (relatively speaking), it's just down to being sane with your purchases. Come to think of it, that's probably why you have money in the first place. The guy in an Armani suit riding a BMW probably has issues with compulsive spending and he's probably not even remotely as rich as he's desperately trying to appear (and in any case, BMW and Armani is not really rich rich). To be honest, thinking of Armani and BMW, I just can't imagine anyone else but an obnoxious egotistical asshole reeking of cheap deodorant and cigarettes. I used to work at a convenience store, and I've seen the type occasionally, the BMW stereotype is usually very true :lol:
 

Gudbrand

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You’re making good money now. You won’t forever. I’d save it in index funds until you and anyone you want to support have enough to live comfortably the rest of your life without working. Don’t forget to factor in expenses later in life like medical care.

Don’t wait until you’re financially independent to start asking yourself better questions, either. Instead of asking what should you spend money on, ask yourself how you want to spend your time. What kind of life so you want?

I also think the value is way off on expensive lifestyle products. But you seem to think that you’re supposed to want them just because you have money. Once you’re completely financially independent, if you still feel you’re supposed to buy overpriced toys that are marketed to make you feel rich and powerful while actually separating you from your hard-earned money, at least you can keep working to afford it without jeopardizing your future. However, once you start buying that stuff, it’s hard to avoid lifestyle creep.
 
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metalstrike

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I don't make crazy money but I'm ok. I also don't mind spending on high end craftsmanship pertaining to my hobbies as I value that aspect. But I feel like I got all of my hobby bases covered and don't care about typical show off stuff like fancy cars/clothing/watches etc. I also don't have children so that's a money pit avoided for now.

To be honest, thinking of Armani and BMW, I just can't imagine anyone else but an obnoxious egotistical asshole reeking of cheap deodorant and cigarettes. I used to work at a convenience store, and I've seen the type occasionally, the BMW stereotype is usually very true :lol:

I agree lol. I don't know if it's a known stereotype or not but pretty much every BMW driver I've encountered on the road drives like a complete asshole. Always in a rush, cutting everyone off, tailing people. Like fuck off with that bullshit bro it's a nice car but not that impressive!
 

Metaldestroyerdennis

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I make a solid amount of money. Not senior engineer money, but enough to live very comfortably in a nice area of San Diego. I am sitting on a broken chair right now because I don't want to spend the money to replace it. I still use an Iphone 7 with a cracked screen. My car cost less than one of my guitars and I cringed when I had to spend oil change money last month. My wardrobe was last updated in 2017. All this because my chair, my phone, my clothes etc. are things that get the job done for me rather than things that bring extra joy to my life from having nicer versions of.

Spending money just because you have it is silly IMO. When I was just graduating and coming to grips with having more than $200 at a time in my bank account I read a bunch of books on how to save, invest, etc. My favorite piece of advice was to cut spending on everything you possibly can but then to spend as much as you want on what you love - within reason. If you don't love it, don't spend it.

So I've got some really nice guitars, all the pedals I want, and an Axe-Fx but the rest of my stuff is as budget as I can get. I could absolutely get a nicer desk, monitors, chair, clothes, car etc. but I would rather have that money put into my future or a guitar.
 

Andromalia

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And think twice about buying a Rolex. They're in the same price range as Seiko GS and gain value the minute you walk out the ADs door. Try to sell you Grand Seiko... the money's gone.
They're completely not in the same price range used. The only watches I buy new are the under 1K ones, eg when I want a new Gshock or JDM Seiko. I do have a few luxury pieces but there's no way in hell I buy those new.

That said, I4m not lamenting over not succeeding in spending money, but more over the fact that all the expensive stuff seems not worth the asking price, really. Granted, I'm not into Rolls Royce and 250m² penthouse in Paris territory so there are still limits. It's more like, "why is an iphone 1200€ when it's barely better than my 3 years old Xiaomi I paid 350€ for ?"

I can indulge in some stuff, no problem, though. :D
guitaresdéménagement.jpg
 

TedEH

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"why is an iphone 1200€ when it's barely better than my 3 years old Xiaomi I paid 350€ for ?"
For a whole bunch of reasons, but not the least of which is that there are wealthy enthusiasts in just about any domain who won't care much about the diminishing returns. Remember that this observation remains true whether you can afford it or not.

Any pressure you feel to spend where you won't see any benefit - it's an artificial pressure, and you're doing the right thing to ignore it unless you really want to.
 

budda

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Get offline and watch peer pressure drop.

Also to people who can afford to fix or replace broken things - please go do that.
 

SpaceDock

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One of my buddies told me some people have money and others spent their money showing others they had money.
 

ArtDecade

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Set up a trust to help those on your way out. For now, it is unbecoming to talk about this.
 


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