Author Topic: Addicted to personal finance- leading to poor health and happiness  (Read 1841 times)

epower

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For the past several years, Iíve spent far too much time reading blogs, forums, books and obsessing over my personal finances.

Iíve got to a point where it is all automated. Wages come in, mortgage and index fund payments go out and I live on the rest.

I donít need to think any further but I continue to obsess, check financial news, my index fund and checking account balances and think and lose sleep over trying to maximise everything.

I used to be rather care free about life and much happpier but the more I go down the personal finance rabbit hole the less happy I become.

former player

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Re: Addicted to personal finance- leading to poor health and happiness
« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2017, 01:41:06 AM »
Perhaps you need a new hobby?  Or to pay more attention to the people in your life?  Or to add new people to your life?

The total immersion effect is very obvious on the forum.  For most people it tails off.  Sometimes it does enormous harm before it does - its not uncommon for the obsession to seriously upset existing relationships and not all of them get back on track.

Nederstash

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Re: Addicted to personal finance- leading to poor health and happiness
« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2017, 05:30:32 AM »
It could be something called Supernormal Stimulation. Basically, your brain thinks that more = better. There have been interesting studies showing the same behavior in animals. Some types of songbirds will ignore their own eggs if you put a larger, brighter plastic egg next to their own eggs. Their brains think: eggs = offspring. Awesome eggs = awesome offspring! So they worm their way on top of a much to big plastic egg, which, of course, is empty and offers nothing.

Binge eaters' brains think that food satisfies, so if you're unsatisfied, eat more! Only, their feeling of dissatisfaction doesn't really stem from lack of calories. It could be lack of nutrients, lack of love, companionship, meaning in life etc. But the enhanced flavor of fast food makes their brains think they're really dealing with their 'hunger'.

I myself am prone to binge eating, but since I read about supernormal stimulation, whenever I get a craving, I picture that little bird with flailing legs on top of a garishly decorated empty egg. And I just laugh at myself, eat an orange and call a friend. Lost 5lb in 2 weeks :)

Maybe your problem is similar? Maybe you want a feeling of security or freedom or happiness - and triple checking the investments or stressing to scrape another 10 bucks off the monthly budget is never going to give you that. Find out what you really want and how you can get that.

Maenad

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Re: Addicted to personal finance- leading to poor health and happiness
« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2017, 05:42:01 AM »
Maybe your problem is similar? Maybe you want a feeling of security or freedom or happiness - and triple checking the investments or stressing to scrape another 10 bucks off the monthly budget is never going to give you that. Find out what you really want and how you can get that.

This is a good point. Any time I find myself getting a little too obsessed with financial stuff, it's because something else is lacking or missing or I'm falling short of my ideals in some way or another. I get hyperfocused on financial stuff because it's a way for me to give myself the illusion of control (knowledge=power) without having to actually DO something significantly differently from the current practice.

Then I step back and realize that I feel like crap because I'm not exercising as much as I'd like, or spending quality time on my art/hobby. Facing the unpleasant reality is... unpleasant, but it ultimately helps me be happier.

What unpleasant reality are you avoiding? Bringing it out into the light here can help - you have a built-in support group!

chasesfish

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Re: Addicted to personal finance- leading to poor health and happiness
« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2017, 05:58:08 AM »
I struggle with this every day.  I finally (mostly) stopped buying individual stocks, that was my obsession.  1000s of hours to marginally beat the market, then I got whacked this year compared to the market and have median returns.  Just index and move on

epower

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Re: Addicted to personal finance- leading to poor health and happiness
« Reply #5 on: November 12, 2017, 09:45:04 AM »
Quote
What unpleasant reality are you avoiding? Bringing it out into the light here can help - you have a built-in support group!

Iíd say more friends and regular exercise as especially finding new friends and sticking to regular exercise with a fairly stressful management job I donít have the control over it like Iíd want.

Dicey

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Re: Addicted to personal finance- leading to poor health and happiness
« Reply #6 on: November 12, 2017, 10:23:30 AM »
I think this is more about you than the subject matter. Learn, set up systems, and then get on with your life and let time and compounding do their magic. It's probably just time to cultivate another interest, knowing you've got this handled.

Goldielocks

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Re: Addicted to personal finance- leading to poor health and happiness
« Reply #7 on: November 12, 2017, 11:01:08 AM »
OTOH... with only 47 posts here, maybe you haven't maxed out yet?   :-)
Maybe you are on the wrong blogs / forums.    Delving into finances should be a fun, enjoyable hobby that adds value to your life the more you do it.  Drop whatever is not fun, and start posting here.