Author Topic: Am I buying to much stuff?  (Read 9429 times)

Kaplin261

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Am I buying to much stuff?
« on: November 17, 2016, 06:34:56 AM »
So this all started back in June when my wife I sold our $200k home that only had 1700 sqft. We bought a $350k home for $322k and the homes in this neighborhood range from $350k - $500k. The home we bought is 2,900 sqft.

A lot of our furniture was hand me downs that had been taken care of but not in style any more. So we have extra space now that we feel like we need to fill up plus this old furniture looks even worse now in this fancypants home we now live in.

We started looking on Craigslist but the quality of stuff we found was about what we already have or just slightly better and priced way to high.

We ended up just using Amazon.com to get a couple pieces. mirrors buffet $350, 2 really nice rugs 9'x12' to protect the hardwoods $800, a custom crafted 8' live edge dining table (local) $1100 and a couple other small purchases under $100.

We aren't buying anything on credit, so there no interest or buying something we can't afford. There are many more things we want to furnish our house with probably $6,000 to complete what we want.

Is this Mustachian? Is it ok to want nice things? It's not effecting our savings, we make almost $200k a year and have a fairly large savings.

I know these things have a short life span of less then 15 years and eventually will be back in the same spot.

pbkmaine

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Re: Am I buying to much stuff?
« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2016, 06:40:15 AM »
Sounds like hedonic adaptation. Why did you buy the bigger house?

Kitsunegari

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Re: Am I buying to much stuff?
« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2016, 06:44:08 AM »

Is this Mustachian? Is it ok to want nice things? It's not effecting our savings, we make almost $200k a year and have a fairly large savings.

I know these things have a short life span of less then 15 years and eventually will be back in the same spot.

Is it Mustachian? No.
Is it ok to buy nice things? Yes, if they're worth it to you. We're here to find a balance between what we want now and what we want for our future. It's your call if this expenses are worth it to you. Of course it IS affecting your saving, a small dent is still a dent.

Also, look into Diderot effect, I'm afraid that's your mindset right now.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diderot_effect

Linea_Norway

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Re: Am I buying to much stuff?
« Reply #3 on: November 17, 2016, 06:44:15 AM »
Furniture is something you use every day and one-time investment (for the next 15 years). As long as you can afford it, why not buy some modern and good quality furniture if you enjoy it. But keep looking at the second hand websites whether you can supply it with second hand stuff. We did e.g. invest in a new sofa and 2 arm chairs some years ago, that were all but cheap. But the living room table was a bargain, bought at an internet auction. The dining table and chairs are bought second hand. The amplifier is second hand. The loudspeakers are new.
But if you have a mortgage, or even worse, credit card debts, you should proritize paying down on your debts instead of buying pricey furniture.
« Last Edit: November 17, 2016, 06:46:04 AM by Linda_Norway »

Kaplin261

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Re: Am I buying to much stuff?
« Reply #4 on: November 17, 2016, 06:44:41 AM »
Sounds like hedonic adaptation. Why did you buy the bigger house?

Schools are better, shorter commutes to work, village like neighborhood so we get to walk and ride bikes more instead of using a car. Expected appreciation on the home should be 3%+ and it's basically a new home so no maintenance with tiny yard.

Kaplin261

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Re: Am I buying to much stuff?
« Reply #5 on: November 17, 2016, 06:47:24 AM »
Furniture is something you use every day and one-time investment (for the next 15 years). As long as you can afford it, why not buy some modern and good quality furniture if you enjoy it. But keep looking at the second hand websites whether you can supply it with second hand stuff. We did e.g. invest in a new sofa and 2 arm chairs some years ago, that were all but cheap. But the table was a bargain bought at an internet auction. The dining table and chairs are bought second hand. The amplifier is second hand. The loudspeakers are new.
But if you have a mortgage, or even worse, credit card debts, you should proritize paying down on your debts instead of buying pricey furniture.

I'm proud to say yes we do have a mortgage at 3.45% so instead of sinking my money into a home that other 80% is earning 7%+ with index funds

pbkmaine

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Re: Am I buying to much stuff?
« Reply #6 on: November 17, 2016, 07:07:43 AM »
If it were me, I would keep the old stuff until I found replacements at garage or estate sales or on craigslist. Get quality and it will last far more than 15 years. I have midcentury rustic furniture a family member gave me. It's 50 years old and will last for 50 more.

Kaplin261

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Re: Am I buying to much stuff?
« Reply #7 on: November 17, 2016, 07:12:55 AM »
If it were me, I would keep the old stuff until I found replacements at garage or estate sales or on craigslist. Get quality and it will last far more than 15 years. I have midcentury rustic furniture a family member gave me. It's 50 years old and will last for 50 more.

I can build rustic furniture out of 2x4s and it will probably last 50 years. But will it be something that I love looking at  the next 50 years. Or I should it even matter, if it's functional and not dangerous why can't I just live with it.

pbkmaine

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Re: Am I buying to much stuff?
« Reply #8 on: November 17, 2016, 07:17:36 AM »
I feel that there's so much I can do with fabric that the basic furniture shape is immaterial. That being said, my key criteria are comfort and durability.



This is my sofa. It will outlive me, even if I live to be 100.

FLBiker

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Re: Am I buying to much stuff?
« Reply #9 on: November 17, 2016, 08:35:23 AM »
Also, look into Diderot effect, I'm afraid that's your mindset right now.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diderot_effect

Thank you for sharing this!  I've never heard the phrase before, but it is certainly a phenomenon I have witnessed.  Interesting, too, how it can be triggered by a gift.

caseyzee

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Re: Am I buying to much stuff?
« Reply #10 on: November 17, 2016, 08:46:04 AM »
I think you can do whatever you want with furniture.

About 15 years ago, in my younger, dumber days, I bought a $3500 Thomasville couch.  It is still in great shape, and still the most comfortable couch in the world.  But I do feel like I way overspent.

About 12 years ago, I spent about $3500 on a couch, pair of big arm chairs, 2 side tables, a coffee table, a dining room table, and 6 chairs.  They are all in great shape, although the couch is not the most comfortable.  My kids use this stuff everyday.

I guess my point is, finding furniture that lasts doesn't seem so hard.  Comfort is important to me but I still wouldn't rebuy the expensive couch.  And you have to do what's right for you.

I do have one piece of advice...I belong to a local online garage sale group on Facebook.  I'm guessing your neighborhood has one.  Furniture regularly pops up on there that is way above Craigslist quality, with reasonable prices.  My group just had a full leather sectional available for $300.  You should try to check out those kind of groups.

Enjoy.


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Re: Am I buying to much stuff?
« Reply #11 on: November 17, 2016, 09:56:27 AM »
I just bought a 3000sqft house and furnished the whole thing on craigslist for under $1500.  Got a kingsize bed/bedframe, chaise lounge, loveseat w/ottaman, 2 italian leather sectionals, a ping pong table, 3 side tables, bookshelf, 2 coffee tables, 2 desk chairs, 2 desks, and one more sectional piece.

Takes some effort but its totally doable. 

BeanCounter

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Re: Am I buying to much stuff?
« Reply #12 on: November 17, 2016, 10:22:16 AM »
Sounds like we are in very similar positions. Although we probably didn't get as good of a deal on our house as you did.
Upgrade in house made some of our old furniture look too small or too shabby for the space. We went from 1,500 square feet to close to 3,000. I have now probably spent about $5,000 in furniture for the whole house. What I did was I bought a couple new things, LOTS of stuff from estate sales and consignment shops, and mixed in my old stuff. It's been a slow process, but I've enjoyed it and each new find makes it feel that much more like home.

I have struggled with both the house upgrade, the furniture purchases and renovations that we are planning. Because they are not mustachian. We make just under $200k and have no debt other than the mortgage (which we could pay out of investments if we needed to). The house was much more than we needed, but it put us in a better neighborhood with more kids. The furniture is nicer than just functional pieces, but I really enjoy it when we have guests for dinner which is getting close to once a week. So I have decided that these things have a LOT of value to me. They may put our FI date out 2 more years (by my back of the envelope math) but we have a better balance of living for today vs saving for tomorrow.
In the end we are all just seeking a good balance.

Kaplin261

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Re: Am I buying to much stuff?
« Reply #13 on: November 17, 2016, 10:37:08 AM »
I just bought a 3000sqft house and furnished the whole thing on craigslist for under $1500.  Got a kingsize bed/bedframe, chaise lounge, loveseat w/ottaman, 2 italian leather sectionals, a ping pong table, 3 side tables, bookshelf, 2 coffee tables, 2 desk chairs, 2 desks, and one more sectional piece.

Takes some effort but its totally doable.

I would like to see pictures.

FIFoFum

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Re: Am I buying to much stuff?
« Reply #14 on: November 17, 2016, 10:37:33 AM »
Yes, you are buying or planning to buy too much stuff. More important - it's not clear that you are buying the "right" stuff for improving the quality of your life. 1200 extra sq ft does not, by itself, create functional need. It takes time in any new living space to really appreciate what is a need, what is a want, and what you just thought you had to do to avoid empty space.

It is not frugal to spend $5 to $10K to furnish a home. It can be done cheaper, especially if you are patient or flexible in style (search out minimalist design if you haven't already). Don't forget that you can change things you obtain used too - ugly couches/sofa/chairs can be reupholstered or even covered with nice covers; wood furniture can be stained, painted, etc.

It is ok to want nice things! Not everything has to be frugal or barebones all the time. This is about prioritizing why you want the nice thing and having the patience to be targeted about which nice things you buy and for what reason.

hoping2retire35

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Re: Am I buying to much stuff?
« Reply #15 on: November 17, 2016, 10:49:25 AM »
Look for antique stores that are closing. I would head SW from Richmond just keep looking in small towns. One recently closed down a few things I saw

8X12 rug(oriental(timeless) style; $35
Several bed frames $30-80
Tables; 50-100, higher priced included chairs
armoirs; $40

Had I seen this two weeks ago, it literally would have been cheaper for you to drive two states to where we are, buy a truck load of furniture and take it back to Va. Don't buy anymore expensive stuff.

If you just want new and trendy stuff then you will pay a ton and it won't be mustachian and you won't be saving money. You want furniture that will last, not something that will be out of style in a decade. Also stuff being made now is of cheaper materials and construction methods, it has to be packed and shipped; older stuff will last, see
http://www.ncglobaleconomy.com/furniture/overview.shtml

We don't need any furniture so I didn't buy anything. I told a few people about the recent sale.

Knowing how to sand and restain furniture and some (very) basic carpentry skills can give you very nice furnishings.

Cannot Wait!

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Re: Am I buying to much stuff?
« Reply #16 on: November 17, 2016, 10:59:27 AM »
I think if you have to ask the question;  the answer is yes.

honeybbq

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Re: Am I buying to much stuff?
« Reply #17 on: November 17, 2016, 11:01:54 AM »
We bought a $350k home for $322k

What makes you think the house is worth 350k if you only paid 322k?

I would definitely keep scouring CL, freecycle, goodwill, etc. You can get high quality furniture that will last a long time if you search and are patient.

neo von retorch

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Re: Am I buying to much stuff?
« Reply #18 on: November 17, 2016, 11:22:33 AM »
I think we are about the same age, moved to similar neighborhoods, similar income, etc.

We've lived here since late April. We've bought a 72" x 40" maple table w/ two 18" leafs - for $100. We bought a statement piece designer sofa for $0. We bought a metal bed frame / boxspring platform for about $100 (that was brand new.) I can't think of anything else we bought. Yes, we have rooms that don't have much furniture in that. I'm not sure why that matters. We hope to use them in the future - we're trying our best to have children. But when I show my friends my house, I don't care if I show them "this empty room that hopefully will one day have a kid in it."

Of course, it's your preference, and your money. While you say it's "not affecting your savings" that can't be true. If it is true that means you already had money budgeted to be spent, and you're spending it on furniture instead of something else. What did you give up to use the money for furniture?

Cycling Stache

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Re: Am I buying to much stuff?
« Reply #19 on: November 17, 2016, 11:53:15 AM »
We bought a $350k home for $322k

What makes you think the house is worth 350k if you only paid 322k?

I would definitely keep scouring CL, freecycle, goodwill, etc. You can get high quality furniture that will last a long time if you search and are patient.

I caught this too.  This kind of logic is tempting, but mistaken, and encourages you to feel like you can "splurge" in other areas.

You bought a $322k house.  You paid more than anyone else was willing to pay at that time.  May end up being a good deal, but don't get sucked into the idea that you have instant equity because you didn't pay list.

One of the keys to Mustachianism, I realized, was to ask whether something was worth it, not whether we could afford it.  Whether the furniture or anything else is worth it to you is a question for you to answer, based on an accurate assessment of how much happiness you'll get from the purchase going forward compared to other alternatives.  Whether you can pay for it (i.e., we're not paying on credit) is how sucka consumers think, unless you really can't afford it, in which case we should not be discussing any of this!

Good luck.

Dicey

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Re: Am I buying to much stuff?
« Reply #20 on: November 17, 2016, 12:45:19 PM »
Preface: I'm 58, was single until I was 54. I scrounged, garage saled, super markdown saled, made do with hand me downs, etc. most of my adult life. Somewhere around 45, I called BS and decided to start living like a "grown-up". Did I start buying brand-new? Hell, No! I gave myself permission to get rid of everything I didn't like and replace it with higher-quality used stuff that I loved.

Here is what my place looked like when I sold it. The only change is the borrowed dining room set and side table, because I sold mine before I put my home on the market. I sold it where I bought it: Craigslist. Got $50 more than I paid for it. Oh, and the fancy wool carpet? I worked for the mfr. It was a mis-thread, which meant the product didn't match the samples, but was otherwise fine. Pennies on the dollar. Kitchen was originally Euro-cabinets. I just replaced the doors. Bought stock slab granite and got the spendy back splash on employee discount from the mfr. (my then employer). Whole kitchen probably cost $6k to completely re-do.

http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/18380230_zpid/

Fast forward: DH and I got married and bought a bigger house* once we realized his mom had ALZ and needed to live with us. New house is a great room style and my stuff didn't work. I sold everything, kept some of his newer stuff and bought "new" from CL and a good consignment store. Yup, between selling the old stuff and all of our duplicates at an estate sale, CL and that same consignment store, I got all my money back and then some.

Now I live in a fancy-ass clown house and I love that none of the furniture was purchased new. I happily share that info with anyone who asks.

TL;DR - It's fun to live like a grown-up, but don't buy on credit and don't pay retail. Used cars, used furniture, home ownership and judicial DIY upgrades were our ticket to FI in a HCOLA on low-ish salaries.

*Adding this in light of comments posted while I wrote. We bought our new house on a short sale for $928k cash. Had to outbid 13 other buyers and endure 8 month escrow from hell. Zillow now claims it's worth $1.3m three years later. Now our immediate neighbors are building a brand-new 3k sf house. When it's finished, our "Zestimate" will probably increase by another 100k. All of which is just HCOLA madness. If you live in a flyover state, just lop off a zero and the rest still applies. No hate please. We live in a more "affordable" part of the Bay Area (ha!) and DH walks to work.  Zestimate = guess, not gospel. Don't use it to calculate NW, either.








MayDay

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Re: Am I buying to much stuff?
« Reply #21 on: November 17, 2016, 01:00:33 PM »
I think the main things are to be ok leaving some rooms empty, and to mix and match what you are willing to buy new, and what you can pick up for free/cheap/used/etc. 

There also just isn't a rush.

Also your tastes will change.

The main reason I prefer used home furnishings (with the exception of upholstered stuff- sorry bedbugs!) is that my tastes change!  I was dying for a china cabinet.  Had always wanted one.  4 years later, eh, I'm over it.  I am SO SO glad I spend 150$ used and can get that 150$ back by selling it, rather than spending 1000$ new and feeling stuck with it.  I'm going to replace with with a low buffet that isn't so visually cluttering since it isn't like we have china anyway! 

Kaplin261

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Re: Am I buying to much stuff?
« Reply #22 on: November 17, 2016, 01:10:04 PM »
A picture of my dining room. The chair is one I redid with a drop cloth.

pbkmaine

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Re: Am I buying to much stuff?
« Reply #23 on: November 17, 2016, 01:15:18 PM »
Dining room chairs are one of the easiest things to find. One of my friends got incredibly sturdy ones from a school.

Slee_stack

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Re: Am I buying to much stuff?
« Reply #24 on: November 17, 2016, 02:15:22 PM »
Does looking at furnished rooms give you great pleasure?

I'm probably lame, but wouldn't care if a room looked funny because it didn't have enough and/or the right furniture.


It sounds like this larger house came with other advantages and the only real downside is its size.

You have to be honest with yourself about if more stuff, primarily for the sake of filling un-needed or over large rooms, is really making you happy.

Other than showing off (or trying to look 'normal') to visitors, what are you getting out of it?

Would you get a better return spending that money anywhere else?

Kaplin261

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Re: Am I buying to much stuff?
« Reply #25 on: November 18, 2016, 04:50:56 AM »
Does looking at furnished rooms give you great pleasure?

I'm probably lame, but wouldn't care if a room looked funny because it didn't have enough and/or the right furniture.


Other than showing off (or trying to look 'normal') to visitors, what are you getting out of it?

Would you get a better return spending that money anywhere else?

Subconsciously I think we all like a well decorated space, this is why department stores spend money to be trendy with decor, processed foods  come in fancy packages and why the grocery store spends extra money on fancy lights showcasing the organic produce.

But will I come home every day and enjoy these pieces of art or will I worry myself to death of the amount money I spent even if I did purchase them frugally. I mean I could just used cinderblocks and 2x4's or live minimalistically.

But in the grand scheme of things what is this taking away from my life, say I spend $10,000 every 15 years so I can maintain a modern fashionable home. Once im in my 70's I dont think this would be as important to me but say from 30's to 60's i do this twice and it costs me $20,000 from the $8,000,000 of lifetime earnings. It seems like a pretty small dent for something that I have to see every day of my life.

Plus if I get desperate and have to sell my home, having a turnkey home that looks good on the inside will pay me back. Or if we decide to rent our home on airbnb while we vacation.

neo von retorch

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Re: Am I buying to much stuff?
« Reply #26 on: November 18, 2016, 06:56:59 AM »
Don't worry - there are at least a thousand ways to rationalize anything we want to buy ;)

You're generally right - if you keep the expense a very small fraction of your income, and can still meet the savings and eventual FIRE goals you have set for yourself, it doesn't hurt you. You're aware that you still want to keep the expenses under a certain threshold, and I think you are conscious of the effect the spending will have on when you reach your goals.

Kitsune

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Re: Am I buying to much stuff?
« Reply #27 on: November 18, 2016, 09:50:34 AM »
Does looking at furnished rooms give you great pleasure?

I'm probably lame, but wouldn't care if a room looked funny because it didn't have enough and/or the right furniture.


Other than showing off (or trying to look 'normal') to visitors, what are you getting out of it?

Would you get a better return spending that money anywhere else?

Subconsciously I think we all like a well decorated space, this is why department stores spend money to be trendy with decor, processed foods  come in fancy packages and why the grocery store spends extra money on fancy lights showcasing the organic produce.

But will I come home every day and enjoy these pieces of art or will I worry myself to death of the amount money I spent even if I did purchase them frugally. I mean I could just used cinderblocks and 2x4's or live minimalistically.

But in the grand scheme of things what is this taking away from my life, say I spend $10,000 every 15 years so I can maintain a modern fashionable home. Once im in my 70's I dont think this would be as important to me but say from 30's to 60's i do this twice and it costs me $20,000 from the $8,000,000 of lifetime earnings. It seems like a pretty small dent for something that I have to see every day of my life.

Plus if I get desperate and have to sell my home, having a turnkey home that looks good on the inside will pay me back. Or if we decide to rent our home on airbnb while we vacation.

Honestly.. I'm with you, kinda.

Walking into a well-furnished and well-decorated home DOES give me pleasure. My environment affects my mental state. One of the first rooms we 'decorated' was our bedroom, and it's not like we have frequent guests in there - we're not doing it for anyone else!

When we first moved into the house we're currently in (14 months ago, wow, time is both fast and slow) we were house-poor and we made do with what we had and with hand-me-downs. Since then, we've been slowly decorating off Craigslist/kijiji/facebook - fortunately, we like antiques, and that's most of what can be found for cheap around here, and it suits our country house just fine (like, there's an enameled woodstove in the middle of the living room, you just CAN'T pull off modern furniture in this kind of space). We made finding affordable pieces that fit what we needed a priority. FOR US, it's important (note: it does not follow that it should be important for everyone. Some people like cars instead, no judgement, etc).

IF being at home in a nicely-decorated (to you) house is important, then chosing to spend money on it (and realizing the opportunity/investment cost of what you're spending, and being OK with that sacrifice) is not unreasonable. Is it mustachian (aka: is it what Pete would do)? Proably not. But he has different priorities - it's fine to follow 50%of what he says that applies to your life; he's not a guru who is going to show up at your door and excommunicate you for having different values and priorities.

That said: 800$ on a rug is pricy (I have a gorgeous wool oriental-style 8x10 rug I bought at an estate sale: 25$). LEAVE THE BIG CITY - it's more expensive and harder to find good stuff used in the city, furniture-wise. Kijiji/Craigslist has a nifty option where you can add searches to an RSS feed; when I know what I'm looking for I add them to my Feedly, and usually find something that suits my needs within 2-3 months. Follow searches in small towns 2-3 hours from the bigger city. THAT's where things are cheap. And usually cheaper enough to make it worth renting a truck (3 hours + 40$ rental to save 600$ on something? Um yes. Do that.)

Slee_stack

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Re: Am I buying to much stuff?
« Reply #28 on: November 18, 2016, 11:47:33 AM »
Decoration/furnishing, regardless of expense, just has to be weighed out.

Certainly, society has implanted what a 'normal' room looks like and its logical to tend to want to make your space 'normal'.

A Dining Room should have a Dining Room Table, but if one never uses it, should one still buy a table for it? 

Are we buying it because we truly appreciate the look of the table sitting in there or are we buying it because that's what we are conditioned to expect to exist there?

Kaplin261

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Re: Am I buying to much stuff?
« Reply #29 on: November 18, 2016, 01:56:44 PM »
Does looking at furnished rooms give you great pleasure?

I'm probably lame, but wouldn't care if a room looked funny because it didn't have enough and/or the right furniture.


Other than showing off (or trying to look 'normal') to visitors, what are you getting out of it?

Would you get a better return spending that money anywhere else?

Subconsciously I think we all like a well decorated space, this is why department stores spend money to be trendy with decor, processed foods  come in fancy packages and why the grocery store spends extra money on fancy lights showcasing the organic produce.

But will I come home every day and enjoy these pieces of art or will I worry myself to death of the amount money I spent even if I did purchase them frugally. I mean I could just used cinderblocks and 2x4's or live minimalistically.

But in the grand scheme of things what is this taking away from my life, say I spend $10,000 every 15 years so I can maintain a modern fashionable home. Once im in my 70's I dont think this would be as important to me but say from 30's to 60's i do this twice and it costs me $20,000 from the $8,000,000 of lifetime earnings. It seems like a pretty small dent for something that I have to see every day of my life.

Plus if I get desperate and have to sell my home, having a turnkey home that looks good on the inside will pay me back. Or if we decide to rent our home on airbnb while we vacation.

Honestly.. I'm with you, kinda.

Walking into a well-furnished and well-decorated home DOES give me pleasure. My environment affects my mental state. One of the first rooms we 'decorated' was our bedroom, and it's not like we have frequent guests in there - we're not doing it for anyone else!

When we first moved into the house we're currently in (14 months ago, wow, time is both fast and slow) we were house-poor and we made do with what we had and with hand-me-downs. Since then, we've been slowly decorating off Craigslist/kijiji/facebook - fortunately, we like antiques, and that's most of what can be found for cheap around here, and it suits our country house just fine (like, there's an enameled woodstove in the middle of the living room, you just CAN'T pull off modern furniture in this kind of space). We made finding affordable pieces that fit what we needed a priority. FOR US, it's important (note: it does not follow that it should be important for everyone. Some people like cars instead, no judgement, etc).

IF being at home in a nicely-decorated (to you) house is important, then chosing to spend money on it (and realizing the opportunity/investment cost of what you're spending, and being OK with that sacrifice) is not unreasonable. Is it mustachian (aka: is it what Pete would do)? Proably not. But he has different priorities - it's fine to follow 50%of what he says that applies to your life; he's not a guru who is going to show up at your door and excommunicate you for having different values and priorities.

That said: 800$ on a rug is pricy (I have a gorgeous wool oriental-style 8x10 rug I bought at an estate sale: 25$). LEAVE THE BIG CITY - it's more expensive and harder to find good stuff used in the city, furniture-wise. Kijiji/Craigslist has a nifty option where you can add searches to an RSS feed; when I know what I'm looking for I add them to my Feedly, and usually find something that suits my needs within 2-3 months. Follow searches in small towns 2-3 hours from the bigger city. THAT's where things are cheap. And usually cheaper enough to make it worth renting a truck (3 hours + 40$ rental to save 600$ on something? Um yes. Do that.)

We paid $360 per rug so a total of two rugs for $720 and two pads to go under each for $50 making a grand total of $820 for two very large rugs .

I looked at rugs on Craigslist for months. All of them had some wear to them. And most people wanted $200+ so for us we spent a little more and got what we wanted.

I also don't have a truck, so it makes it difficult to get bigger pieces.

Kitsune

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Re: Am I buying to much stuff?
« Reply #30 on: November 18, 2016, 02:05:26 PM »
We paid $360 per rug so a total of two rugs for $720 and two pads to go under each for $50 making a grand total of $820 for two very large rugs .

I looked at rugs on Craigslist for months. All of them had some wear to them. And most people wanted $200+ so for us we spent a little more and got what we wanted.

I also don't have a truck, so it makes it difficult to get bigger pieces.

Oh, not that amount PER rug! That makes it much more affordable, yeah.

For bigger pieces, sometimes it's worthwhile to rent a truck (around here, there's at  truck rental place that's 10$/hour, by the hour, plus gas, so...). Sometimes buying new is actually the best/most affordable option. Depends on the item and timing and location.

ohsnap

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Re: Am I buying to much stuff?
« Reply #31 on: November 18, 2016, 04:20:33 PM »
Also, look into Diderot effect, I'm afraid that's your mindset right now.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diderot_effect

Thank you for sharing this!  I've never heard the phrase before, but it is certainly a phenomenon I have witnessed.  Interesting, too, how it can be triggered by a gift.

That's funny; I had read Diderot's ode to his old dressing gown many years ago, but I didn't realize they'd named the phenomenon after him!  Frequently when we find ourselves tempted to upgrade something, I'll sigh and tell my husband, "I miss my old dressing gown!"   Right now the item in question is new lighting for our bathrooms. They had been partially remodeled before we bought our 40 yo house, and we continued the remodel EXCEPT we left the old light fixtures.  They now look perfectly hideous & tacky in the modernized bathrooms.

OP, my advice for you is to continue to look for the best price on things you need for your home, as long as you're not neglecting other financial needs.  (With that said, I'm going to take my own advice and order the new light fixtures!  We can afford it and having this unfinished business causes me stress).

Cassie

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Re: Am I buying to much stuff?
« Reply #32 on: November 18, 2016, 04:45:46 PM »
We have found consignment and antique shops to be great places for really nice wood pieces. The couch and chairs, etc I always buy new good quality and it lasts for years.  When I like something I like it for a long time. Having a pleasant, inviting home environment is important to me.  For years I had a country design and about 10 years ago I changed it all to Tuscany feel. It involved getting rid of pics and other decorations but never the actual furniture pieces. If you buy a style of furniture that is classic it does not go out of style and you can choose your style with other cheaper items which are much easier to change out. For instance I am still using the same DR table and chairs that I bought from any antique shop 37 years ago.

Kaplin261

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Re: Am I buying to much stuff?
« Reply #33 on: November 18, 2016, 05:23:56 PM »
We have found consignment and antique shops to be great places for really nice wood pieces. The couch and chairs, etc I always buy new good quality and it lasts for years.  When I like something I like it for a long time. Having a pleasant, inviting home environment is important to me.  For years I had a country design and about 10 years ago I changed it all to Tuscany feel. It involved getting rid of pics and other decorations but never the actual furniture pieces. If you buy a style of furniture that is classic it does not go out of style and you can choose your style with other cheaper items which are much easier to change out. For instance I am still using the same DR table and chairs that I bought from any antique shop 37 years ago.

We have a couple antiques and I'll proably never change those out. But the good antiques are so expensive unless you have some one who wills you some.

icemodeled

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Re: Am I buying to much stuff?
« Reply #34 on: November 18, 2016, 05:51:23 PM »
Wow.. How many is in your family? 2900sqft is huge, at least to me. We are in a 1400 sqft home and it feels perfect for us. It's actually good because we cannot accumulate furniture or items that we don't really need - they would just take up space. Our last home was about 1800 sqft and we wanted to downsize as we didn't use most of the space. Your income is a lot more then ours, so for me.. Yes that sounds insane (furniture and home) but.. I guess if it works well for you and you still save as you need that's great then. Me personally, would of downsized, save faster and retire sooner (if that is what your working for also).

I agree though that we rarely find good furniture on Craigslist. Either it's in poor shape or it's very nice but more expensive then buying new. We were looking for a bedroom set, found one new for $700 (including delivery) at a store comes with 2 dressers, night stands and bed. Ones on Craigslist that compared were over $1000.

Kaplin261

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Re: Am I buying to much stuff?
« Reply #35 on: November 19, 2016, 05:35:34 AM »
Wow.. How many is in your family? 2900sqft is huge, at least to me. We are in a 1400 sqft home and it feels perfect for us. It's actually good because we cannot accumulate furniture or items that we don't really need - they would just take up space. Our last home was about 1800 sqft and we wanted to downsize as we didn't use most of the space. Your income is a lot more then ours, so for me.. Yes that sounds insane (furniture and home) but.. I guess if it works well for you and you still save as you need that's great then. Me personally, would of downsized, save faster and retire sooner (if that is what your working for also).

I agree though that we rarely find good furniture on Craigslist. Either it's in poor shape or it's very nice but more expensive then buying new. We were looking for a bedroom set, found one new for $700 (including delivery) at a store comes with 2 dressers, night stands and bed. Ones on Craigslist that compared were over $1000.

Yeah 2900 sqft is more than we need. However its the only size we could find that met what we were looking for.

I fell in love with the idea of a village like community that MMM wrote about. Now that we live in a community like that I can say we really appreciate this type of community. Our social life is with our neighbors, we walk to the park, we walk to the grocery store and we even walk to a restaurant and have dinner every once in a while. 90% of our driving is our weekly commutes to work, this should be eliminated in the next 5 years.

Our home is the cheapest home sold in this neighborhood. The original owners were in there 60's and painted the home in elegant colors but definitely were not in style for today. They had a lot of antiques and it looked like a grandparents home and this neighborhood attracts young families that want a move in ready home with no work. So we ended up getting a killer deal but had to do a little work and have a imagination.

My utilities on the extra 1200 sqft are actually cheaper! The home being new, leaks less air has better insulation. I even blew in more insulation at our old home trying to fix the high utilities.

I like being around neighbors that can afford a big home.

BeanCounter

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Re: Am I buying to much stuff?
« Reply #36 on: November 19, 2016, 07:43:20 AM »
Don't worry - there are at least a thousand ways to rationalize anything we want to buy ;)

You're generally right - if you keep the expense a very small fraction of your income, and can still meet the savings and eventual FIRE goals you have set for yourself, it doesn't hurt you. You're aware that you still want to keep the expenses under a certain threshold, and I think you are conscious of the effect the spending will have on when you reach your goals.
This post resonated with me. I think it's exactly how we should look at money when we are debt free. Figure out what your FIRE goals are with reasonable timing. That gives you an annual savings goal. Then hopefully you've got money left over that can be spent according to your own values. I'm not sure spending as little as possible and saving everything for the quickest path to FIRE is healthy. Or perhaps if you really hate work and are miserable there then it is the healthier path.

Metric Mouse

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Re: Am I buying to much stuff?
« Reply #37 on: November 19, 2016, 09:11:27 AM »


Yeah 2900 sqft is more than we need. However its the only size we could find that met what we were looking for.

I fell in love with the idea of a village like community that MMM wrote about. Now that we live in a community like that I can say we really appreciate this type of community. Our social life is with our neighbors, we walk to the park, we walk to the grocery store and we even walk to a restaurant and have dinner every once in a while. 90% of our driving is our weekly commutes to work, this should be eliminated in the next 5 years.

Our home is the cheapest home sold in this neighborhood. The original owners were in there 60's and painted the home in elegant colors but definitely were not in style for today. They had a lot of antiques and it looked like a grandparents home and this neighborhood attracts young families that want a move in ready home with no work. So we ended up getting a killer deal but had to do a little work and have a imagination.

My utilities on the extra 1200 sqft are actually cheaper! The home being new, leaks less air has better insulation. I even blew in more insulation at our old home trying to fix the high utilities.

I like being around neighbors that can afford a big home.

I did the exact same thing at your age except the numbers were much worse $442 k to $685 k so no judgement here although for me it was a mistake. 

I bolded your comment to as why do you like this fact?  I personally enjoyed living in a neighbourhood that had regular more working class folks.  When we upgraded neighbourhoods I found a few of the neighbours to be very pretentious.  It was not just me either.  My wife found the same things....hey look at my green gas and my Porche that I wash every Saturday.
[/quote]

For me, I enjoy green gas and don't mind ogling over the neighbor's shiny Porsche. I even occasionally might get a ride in it. It beats the neighbor who fertilizes their weeds with motor oil, to keep them from growing up around the rusted pickup on blocks that she just 'might' fix up one day.

aneel

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Re: Am I buying to much stuff?
« Reply #38 on: November 19, 2016, 04:34:30 PM »
Part of what you need to consider is that you are paying for time. I often struggle with this myself. It takes so long to decide that I need something that I am impatient by the time it comes to make a purchase.

You had all the furniture you needed, but you didn't want to wait for nicer pieces to show up on Craigslist etc. I would pause and see if you can't slowly accumulate the rest in a more mustachian manner.

MsPeacock

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Re: Am I buying to much stuff?
« Reply #39 on: November 19, 2016, 05:15:36 PM »
Most of my furniture i have is used, hand me downs, bought off craigslist, etc. That said, it take a lot of time to find what you want if you have some specific needs/wants. Additionally, you have to have a way to move the furniture - either a truck, a willing friend with a truck, or renting a truck. It can be done, of course.

I also have a ridiculously expensive sectional sofa that I bought nearly 20 years ago. I think it was 3k or something, maybe 4k. I had a very specific idea of what I wanted and this was before the days of craigslist (at least as far as I knew). It has lasted through pets and children and is super comfortable and I don't regret the purchase.

If you can, hold off on any furniture that isn't urgent and give craigslist time to work. Things will crop up there - and looking online is way more efficient than combing through the thrift stores.
« Last Edit: November 21, 2016, 04:48:20 AM by MsPeacock »

Goldielocks

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Re: Am I buying to much stuff?
« Reply #40 on: November 20, 2016, 08:29:01 PM »
Yes, you are buying too many things, a bit too quickly! however, FIRE is not for everyone.


Does buying things impact FIRE or financial goals for you?



mustachepungoeshere

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Re: Am I buying to much stuff?
« Reply #41 on: November 21, 2016, 07:00:06 PM »
Furniture is something you use every day...

It can help to distinguish between furniture you live on versus furniture you live around, then spend accordingly.

http://modernmrsdarcy.com/furniture-you-live-on/