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Being poor keeps me grounded😁

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Being poor keeps me grounded😁

Old 02-20-24, 04:23 AM
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Being poor keeps me grounded😁

I've never had a particularly high paying job and I was raised to try to stay within my means

That being said, I have always WANTED the latest tech, be it in my love for home audio, photography or cycling.

As such, my cameras are all at least 11 years old, my bike is a 2010 Specialized Tricross Comp and my audio equipment is my smartphone and headphones.

Now, at 63 years old, I realize that I really have enjoyed the stuff 8 have. I am not a fast rider, never have been. I love riding the bike I have. I have won awards and sold photos taken with my 12 year old Nikon D7000s and love listening to my music.

All that that doesn't mean that I still don't WANT the newest fabulous tech.

I spend a lot of time sighing and wanting to run the lottery😁

More's the pity😁
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Old 02-20-24, 05:40 AM
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I've worked my way up to the lower end of six figures USD - not the highest paying job, but not the lowest. I have a house and family. My one bike and my one camera are a lot older and less fancy than yours (both pre-2000). My audio equipment is my Chromebook. Made a little money in photography back in the film days doing weddings and such, but didn't have the money/interest at the time to transition to all new digital equipment and workflow.
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Old 02-20-24, 06:59 AM
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No matter what you make or how much you have/can afford - there will always be a product that is bigger/better faster and cost more than you can afford. (For the most part, Bezos and Musk types aside).

I make an OK living and take care of a family of 5. Up until recently I was the target customer for things like small boats, upgraded vehicles, higher end bikes - not a rich guy, but had some disposable income.

"Had" is the key word. Inflation and cost of living has sucked up just about all of the extra disposable income.

And - the prices of fancy stuff, like high end bikes or even basic boats, has outpaced inflation sometimes by a factor of 2x.

Say you were trying to save for a boat or bike, pay cash... The 5 year price target of the boat was 30k... you saved accordingly. Except the price ends up being 60k++.
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Old 02-20-24, 07:16 AM
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Each of my eardrums had been perforated/burst/busted/etc at least 3 times by the time I was 18. That pretty much keeps me grounded. Very sensitive to pressure changes. I can't go very far down in water and have some trouble flying. That's life.
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Old 02-20-24, 07:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Jughed
No matter what you make or how much you have/can afford - there will always be a product that is bigger/better faster and cost more than you can afford. (For the most part, Bezos and Musk types aside).

I make an OK living and take care of a family of 5. Up until recently I was the target customer for things like small boats, upgraded vehicles, higher end bikes - not a rich guy, but had some disposable income.

"Had" is the key word. Inflation and cost of living has sucked up just about all of the extra disposable income.

And - the prices of fancy stuff, like high end bikes or even basic boats, has outpaced inflation sometimes by a factor of 2x.

Say you were trying to save for a boat or bike, pay cash... The 5 year price target of the boat was 30k... you saved accordingly. Except the price ends up being 60k++.
I've noticed the same thing. Plus, making less as one gets older is not as much fun.
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Old 02-20-24, 08:15 AM
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I would say that you probably appreciate the things you do have more than those who can afford them more easily. Beyond a pretty low threshold, happiness is not significantly related to wealth. At least that has been my experience of increasing wealth over the years. Money doesn’t make you more happy in the long term, but it can cause plenty of stress!
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Old 02-20-24, 08:18 AM
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Indeed. I saw a bloke drive his new Range Rover into his newly rebuilt house the other day and he was a miserable **** because he *****ed and moaned at us about fixing a puncture on the edge of his drive. On a narrow country road.
Plenty of cash, no idea how to enjoy life.

Last edited by choddo; 02-20-24 at 09:58 AM.
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Old 02-20-24, 08:24 AM
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Originally Posted by choddo
Indeed. I saw a bloke drive his new Range Rover into his newly rebuilt house the other day and he was a miserable **** because he *****ed and moaned at us about fixing a puncture on the edge of his drive. On a natrow country road.
Plenty of cash, no idea how to enjoy life.
Yep and those miserable types often appear to forget that health is far more important than wealth.
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Old 02-20-24, 08:33 AM
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Originally Posted by baj32161
I've never had a particularly high paying job and I was raised to try to stay within my means

That being said, I have always WANTED the latest tech, be it in my love for home audio, photography or cycling.

As such, my cameras are all at least 11 years old, my bike is a 2010 Specialized Tricross Comp and my audio equipment is my smartphone and headphones.

Now, at 63 years old, I realize that I really have enjoyed the stuff 8 have. I am not a fast rider, never have been. I love riding the bike I have. I have won awards and sold photos taken with my 12 year old Nikon D7000s and love listening to my music.

All that that doesn't mean that I still don't WANT the newest fabulous tech.

I spend a lot of time sighing and wanting to run the lottery😁

More's the pity😁
In the end, the importance is to look back at your life and feel satisfied about how you lived it. The rest, doesn't matter.
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Old 02-20-24, 08:46 AM
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You are just a few years younger than me. And I have come to the realization that now that I can afford all the "stuff," it just isn't as important to me. The 30-year-old me really wanted a Corvette. The 67 year-old me is just fine driving a 13 year old Honda.

But if I could buy my way into the A-Group with that $15,000 Pinarello, I'd do it tomorrow.
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Old 02-20-24, 09:15 AM
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Thanks for all of the input.

I'm finding that, at this point in my life, I like to use what money I can save on travel. As for my bike...I have never had more fun riding a bike than I've had with this old beast.
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Old 02-20-24, 09:38 AM
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Originally Posted by bblair
You are just a few years younger than me. And I have come to the realization that now that I can afford all the "stuff," it just isn't as important to me. The 30-year-old me really wanted a Corvette. The 67 year-old me is just fine driving a 13 year old Honda.

.
I got to that point before I was even 50. Now at 56 I don’t care about the material things I did in my 20s and 30s. I could buy a lot of expensive stuff now that I simply can’t be bothered with. That doesn’t mean that I don’t still like nice things. But I just realise that they are not worth obsessing over.

The OP is certainly not missing out on anything from what I have experienced with increasing wealth. Probably my happiest days were at Uni when I had almost no money at all. I still enjoyed riding my bike just as much.
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Old 02-20-24, 10:04 AM
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As it is said, "The way to be happy is to make others so." For one thing, you are incredibly wealthy compared to historical norms, just because you are an American. I have close Muslim friends from Azerbaijan who just got their American citizenship. They say that for the first time in their lives, they feel safe. That's real wealth. None of us can say we're poor. I'm having a great time because I have a wonderful, amazing wife and many friends who care about me, all simply because I care about them. We're glad you're here and posting! Good for you and thanks for reminding us of our reality.
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Old 02-20-24, 10:08 AM
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Originally Posted by PeteHski
Money doesn’t make you more happy in the long term, but it can cause plenty of stress!
I would say it's actually the opposite. Many stressful events (family emergencies, health problems, job loss, etc.) can be made much less stressful if you have money.
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Old 02-20-24, 10:48 AM
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Originally Posted by PeteHski
Beyond a pretty low threshold, happiness is not significantly related to wealth. At least that has been my experience of increasing wealth over the years. Money doesn’t make you more happy in the long term, but it can cause plenty of stress!
You mention wealth; much of the relevant research pertains to income -- which is related but obviously not equivalent to wealth. Regarding income, your general conclusion was the consensus for quite some time, but more recent research suggests that the relationship is more nuanced; specifically, that most people's happiness does rise with wealth even beyond some threshold, while a (significantly smaller) group of people reach a 'happiness plateau' at a certain level and then experience no more happiness from rising income.

Interestingly, there is substantial evidence (some from one of the researchers who authored the linked study) that, beyond some relatively low threshold, most people gain more happiness not from more money, but from having more than their peers. This is why the term "conspicuous consumption" is part of the lexicon.
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Old 02-20-24, 10:57 AM
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Originally Posted by tomato coupe
I would say it's actually the opposite. Many stressful events (family emergencies, health problems, job loss, etc.) can be made much less stressful if you have money.
True, there's definitely a minimum income threshold for sure. I was thinking more about when you are well above the point of worrying about living expenses.

For me at this point more wealth would just be more hassle to deal with. If I can't even be bothered to spend the money I already have, then I don't see much point in having more. For example I could go to the bike shop today and splash out £12k on a super bike without putting a dent in our finances. But I know it won't make any difference to my riding enjoyment. So I don't even think about it. 20 year old me would have been straight down there if I had the cash available. I've already got several very expensive assets just sitting around gathering dust and they slightly irritate me when I actually think about them. It's just stuff.
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Old 02-20-24, 11:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Koyote
You mention wealth; much of the relevant research pertains to income -- which is related but obviously not equivalent to wealth. Regarding income, your general conclusion was the consensus for quite some time, but more recent research suggests that the relationship is more nuanced; specifically, that most people's happiness does rise with wealth even beyond some threshold, while a (significantly smaller) group of people reach a 'happiness plateau' at a certain level and then experience no more happiness from rising income.

Interestingly, there is substantial evidence (some from one of the researchers who authored the linked study) that, beyond some relatively low threshold, most people gain more happiness not from more money, but from having more than their peers. This is why the term "conspicuous consumption" is part of the lexicon.
I guess it depends on how people view wealth relative to their peers. I used to be fairly conscious of what my peers had, but now I just don't care and am way more focused on my health and fitness relative to others. Maybe it's because I jumped off the working bandwagon at a relatively early age (mid 40s) and my peers now earn a LOT more. But I've done a hell of a lot more biking and skiing in the last decade than all of them combined!
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Old 02-20-24, 11:10 AM
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So this week a mom at our kid's school is getting kicked out of her lakefront house due to foreclosure after a nasty divorce from her cheating, gay, drug using husband. After his financial shell game fell apart, she finds herself poor and homeless, but with a lot of fancy stuff.

Don't be like her. Private communities, lakefront houses, and fancy stuff mean little. She is desperately moving many car and truck loads of stuff into my basement before the bank comes and changes the locks. I am personally torn between trying to help her and laughing at the fancy stuff that she will probably not have the opportunity to use again for quite some time - a new gas leaf blower, a tall pile of fancy mattresses, snow tires for a Tesla, a drum set for her daughter, giant exercise mats, etc.

If you knew that you were going to lose your home very soon, what would you try to save first, second, and last? That says something about you.

OP is also right about living within your means. Just because somebody has stuff, doesn't mean they can afford it.
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Old 02-20-24, 11:21 AM
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Originally Posted by tomato coupe
I would say it's actually the opposite. Many stressful events (family emergencies, health problems, job loss, etc.) can be made much less stressful if you have money.
This is why, for almost everyone, happiness (which, in some earlier studies, was essentially measured as a lack of unhappiness) does rise steadily up to a threshold for almost everyone. This is where the distinction between wealth and income becomes important: wealth allows one to weather those stressful events, while income may not help with all of them (job loss, in particular).

Originally Posted by PeteHski
True, there's definitely a minimum income threshold for sure. I was thinking more about when you are well above the point of worrying about living expenses.
Yes, this is the idea.

Originally Posted by PeteHski
I guess it depends on how people view wealth relative to their peers. I used to be fairly conscious of what my peers had, but now I just don't care and am way more focused on my health and fitness relative to others. Maybe it's because I jumped off the working bandwagon at a relatively early age (mid 40s) and my peers now earn a LOT more. But I've done a hell of a lot more biking and skiing in the last decade than all of them combined!
In an economic sense, your biking and skiing are consumption items, at least in the sense that you have sacrificed other goods and services (which you could purchase instead -- and which you could purchase in larger quantities if you were still working) in order to enjoy those activities. But I totally get your point. In fact, every time I read a post from someone who's trying to figure out how to afford a 'faster' bike, I think about how much faster that person could be if he stuck with his current bike and simply rode more, which could perhaps (for some people, whose jobs allow the flexibility) be done with less working time.
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Old 02-20-24, 11:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Koyote
In fact, every time I read a post from someone who's trying to figure out how to afford a 'faster' bike, I think about how much faster that person could be if he stuck with his current bike and simply rode more, which could perhaps (for some people, whose jobs allow the flexibility) be done with less working time.
Interesting point, Koyote. Is it more sensible to get faster via spending money earned from hours at a job, or to get faster via the same hours riding on a bike?
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Old 02-20-24, 12:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Jughed
"Had" is the key word. Inflation and cost of living has sucked up just about all of the extra disposable income.
And - the prices of fancy stuff, like high end bikes or even basic boats, has outpaced inflation sometimes by a factor of 2x.
Say you were trying to save for a boat or bike, pay cash... The 5 year price target of the boat was 30k... you saved accordingly. Except the price ends up being 60k++.
I've noticed a lot of people do not understand/accept/reason with this, & it's a serious issue not just for themselves, but others around them.

If you set up 10 years ago to realistically payoff or save for a major purchase greater than 75K that it was then 10 years ago, it will be a pipedream now from the market shifts & strength in dollars.
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Old 02-20-24, 01:15 PM
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Originally Posted by PeteHski
I would say that you probably appreciate the things you do have more than those who can afford them more easily. Beyond a pretty low threshold, happiness is not significantly related to wealth. At least that has been my experience of increasing wealth over the years. Money doesn’t make you more happy in the long term, but it can cause plenty of stress!

Hard to find hard evidence on the following, but really, take it or leave it.
If a person gradually goes from a very low income to an upper middle income level, the stress/health likely will adapt resulting in little to no real major positive changes. The debt number increases as the budget slowly grows, the worries stack on with as you burden yourself with more responsibilities (go from renting to college debt & mortgage) & added liabilities (go from just having a pet to adding in kids & companionship).
Now if you suddenly go from lower income to an immediate upper middle income level (lets say in under six months time) then that might skip a lot of the in-between things that would have absorbed the growth in a slower rate & propped the person up to pursue & actually accomplish goals/dreams.
People with kids or just being with a companion might say, "I wouldnt give up where I am now, & I'll do anything for them"
You probably planned for that & set it as a dream to accomplish.
If not... well, you shouldn't ever give up on the responsibilities & liabilities that you've put yourself in.
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Old 02-20-24, 01:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Koyote

In an economic sense, your biking and skiing are consumption items, at least in the sense that you have sacrificed other goods and services (which you could purchase instead -- and which you could purchase in larger quantities if you were still working) in order to enjoy those activities. But I totally get your point. In fact, every time I read a post from someone who's trying to figure out how to afford a 'faster' bike, I think about how much faster that person could be if he stuck with his current bike and simply rode more, which could perhaps (for some people, whose jobs allow the flexibility) be done with less working time.
Skiing and biking certainly cost money, but it's not like I'm going to buy anything else if I saved that cash. We already have plenty of cash in the bank, plenty of assets and a decent income from my wife's business. If we suddenly had more money, it would make no difference to our lifestyle. Simply because we have no interest in buying a yacht, private jet or mansion. I can't even be bothered to spend more on bikes beyond mid-range spec.

Having worked in F1 motorsport for 2 decades I know plenty of rich people and many of them just worry constantly about tax, their assets and their peer status. There are a few who twig that "stuff" isn't really very important, but others just keep on spending with less and less return in satisfaction. Buying your first Porsche or Ferrari might seem very exciting, but eventually it just becomes the norm. Christmas every day would get boring after a while.

In my 20s and 30s I went through a phase of buying fancy watches, but after I got to about 10 of them I just lost interest. Haven't bought another since. Also bought a few Porsches along the way and eventually got bored with those too. Never did the Ferrari thing though, lol.

Anyway, my point is that the OP isn't really missing out on anything here. Living within his means and enjoying what he has is about as good as it gets.
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Old 02-20-24, 01:36 PM
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Originally Posted by PeteHski
Simply because we have no interest in buying a yacht, private jet or mansion. I can't even be bothered to spend more on bikes beyond mid-range spec.
Everyone's relationship is unique, but experience has shown me eye opening things. Just because you get the vibes, verbal reassurances, & other accommodating support to live a certain lifestyle does not mean it's what the other person had or had in mind. Some bottle that up forever, others don't & show so with getting out of that relationship.
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Old 02-20-24, 02:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Troul
Hard to find hard evidence on the following, but really, take it or leave it.
If a person gradually goes from a very low income to an upper middle income level, the stress/health likely will adapt resulting in little to no real major positive changes. The debt number increases as the budget slowly grows, the worries stack on with as you burden yourself with more responsibilities (go from renting to college debt & mortgage) & added liabilities (go from just having a pet to adding in kids & companionship).
Now if you suddenly go from lower income to an immediate upper middle income level (lets say in under six months time) then that might skip a lot of the in-between things that would have absorbed the growth in a slower rate & propped the person up to pursue & actually accomplish goals/dreams.
People with kids or just being with a companion might say, "I wouldnt give up where I am now, & I'll do anything for them"
You probably planned for that & set it as a dream to accomplish.
If not... well, you shouldn't ever give up on the responsibilities & liabilities that you've put yourself in.
You're just offering your guesses -- basically, making stuff up. I hope you realize that plenty of serious, well-educated people have studied (and continue to study) these phenomena empirically.
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