Author Topic: Taming your PJM  (Read 1256 times)

Chranstronaut

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 705
Taming your PJM
« on: May 13, 2019, 07:32:28 AM »
How well have you tamed your Purchase Justification Machine? 

I think I'm a natural Mustachian because my PJM is pretty weak.  I'm still using an iPhone 4s daily.  The camera sucks, and I haven't been able to download new apps in about two years, but it's the perfect size and I honestly just really like it.  I have no interest in buying a new phone until this one is good and dead.

However, I also love buying good food and trying something special at the grocery store.  I struggle to stay on-list and to say no to interesting special ingredients.  So... I mitigated it by switching to Aldi, where the limited inventory dictates what I buy and the prices are really good.  We cut about 35% off our grocery spending and I never feel like I can't get something.  I focus on my health and let myself get special produce but avoid special desserts or alcohol too often.

I'm curious how you mitigate your PJM, or do you not struggle much any more?

Moustachienne

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 304
Re: Taming your PJM
« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2019, 01:37:12 PM »
I really liked the blog post's focus on improving/optimizing what we already own before purchasing something new to address a problem/need/want.

We are finally renovating our 1950's kitchen due to wiring and plumbing issues but while we were waiting and saving, it was incredible how small fixes made a big impact on our enjoyment.  And I mean really small! Like clearing out anything we weren't currently using to free up more space; buying a rack to store baking sheets upright instead of on top of each other; and my personal favourite, getting rid of the one mixing bowl that wouldn't stack nicely with the rest, causing frequent sticking and swearing.  No need for an all new metal bowl set after all!

My PMJ in most areas is quite weak (had an iPhone 4 till last year, wear clothes for many years, borrow books from the library, etc., etc.) but I remember that while I was working that the idea of "treating" myself to new gadgets, new clothes, new books, did crop up.  The "I deserve it and can afford it" creep can be strong!  I love the MMM challenge of creating a great life without the first impulse being to buy something.  There's so much satisfaction in optimizing our lives without mindless consumerism, which then allows us to really enjoy spending mindfully if that really is the best action.

stoaX

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 478
  • Location: SoCal
  • 'tis nothing good nor bad but thinking makes it so
Re: Taming your PJM
« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2019, 01:44:26 PM »
My favorite part of this blog entry is the coining of the term "purchase justification machine".  I gotta work that into my daily vocabulary to ensure all the progress I've made in this area doesn't dissipate over time. 

Chranstronaut

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 705
Re: Taming your PJM
« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2019, 01:47:47 PM »
...it was incredible how small fixes made a big impact on our enjoyment.  And I mean really small!
Oh man, organizing,cleaning and just re-prioritizing what you want in your house has been a huge improvement for us, too.  Our house was in pretty rough shape when we bought it, but each little change is just better and better.  Going KonMari on our stuff and just repairing and repainting some walls makes everything much more pleasant.

...had an iPhone 4 till last year...
Old phone users, unite!

EscapeVelocity2020

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2071
  • Age: 45
  • Location: Houston
    • EscapeVelocity2020
Re: Taming your PJM
« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2019, 03:31:33 PM »

MrsWolfeRN

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 831
Re: Taming your PJM
« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2019, 05:04:02 PM »
Thanks for the link!!! This article looks like it might become a new classic. I am a minimalist at heart in a house full of people and stuff so my purchase justification machine is temporarily shut off.

 I tend to spend way too much time thinking about and trying to optimize every purchase. For example I finally got a faucet with pull down sprayer similar to the one in the article after thinking about it for five years (lost our sprayer when we got an RO for drinking water due to nitrates). Had DH buy it for my Christmas present last year because I couldn't really justify it otherwise. I appreciate how easy it is to wash vegetables compared to before. Definitely enjoy it more after not having one for a while. I even had fun installing it myself, and donated our old perfectly good one to re-store..

MonkeyJenga

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8004
  • Location: Don't Ask
  • Resting up for 2020
Re: Taming your PJM
« Reply #6 on: May 13, 2019, 08:39:15 PM »
My pjm struggles daily. It's weak. I just don't want to buy things, past the point where I really should. I agonized over buying a new phone for months, even though my old one was practically free and interfering with my life. Put off buying sneakers until the heels hurt, and then I could only justify insoles.

Tldr: I will not be buying a Tesla.

Chranstronaut

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 705
Re: Taming your PJM
« Reply #7 on: May 15, 2019, 08:17:26 AM »
Put off buying sneakers until the heels hurt, and then I could only justify insoles.
D: MJ, get thee to a cobbler!  Actually, I guess for sneakers that might not work...  I once repaired $25 Payless dress shoes with a $15 re-heel at the cobbler and I wore them regularly for 10 years.

I have turned into the ultimate crunchy granola hippy when it comes to my feet.  No one would know it because they don't look fancy, but I do have a PJM that is pushing me to buy specialty shoes (>$100 a pair).  I can't stand most shoes after learning how badly narrow heeled shoes fuck up your body, contribute to osteoporosis, pelvic floor dysfunction and destroy the nerves and fine muscle control we ought to have in our feet.  I did drop like $300 last year for my birthday on one pair of Lem's boots and one pair of their sneakers, so the PJM won round 1.  The next step is going barefoot more often, and the PJM can't do anything about it.

I'm just laughing because I predicted this https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/welcome-to-the-forum/mmm-will-own-a-tesla-within-two-years/msg1252898/#msg1252898 along with many others....
Yeah, I feel like it is just a matter of time, haha...  Also, I think it's hilarious to see how "struggling to not buy a Tesla" is coming from the man that misted himself with a water bottle on a cross country drive instead of turning on the A/C!  I'm not riding this struggle bus.  I am perfectly thrilled with my 12 year old Craigslist car, thanks.

EscapeVelocity2020

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2071
  • Age: 45
  • Location: Houston
    • EscapeVelocity2020
Re: Taming your PJM
« Reply #8 on: May 15, 2019, 08:31:48 AM »
Yup, I wish Pete had just bought the Tesla instead of the Leaf way back when.  This post can just as easily be about saving a buck and not getting what you want.  If it is worth the money and you have the money, why buy something cheap and inferior?
« Last Edit: May 15, 2019, 09:21:19 AM by EscapeVelocity2020 »

Philociraptor

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 912
  • Age: 29
  • Location: DFW, TX
  • Eat. Sleep. Invest. Repeat.
Re: Taming your PJM
« Reply #9 on: May 15, 2019, 10:08:44 AM »
The struggle is real. I've become pretty good at putting off general shopping like clothes (just because I hate shopping for clothes, nothing looks good on me, etc.), but I'm always looking for new books to read (small city library has a highly limited digital selection), researching the latest Apple products (iPhone and MBP), and looking at newer, more efficient cars (to replace my 2008 Scion xD). I'm still holding strong on the car, using my 2009 MBP, and rocking the iPhone 7 Plus that my prior company bought for me. So far so good. We definitely have the PJM turned up to 11 when it comes to restaurants and bars though, especially when out with friends or on vacation. Social spending is quickly becoming one of our highest spending categories, even though I'm about to enter year 5 of MMM; we have a pretty new friend group with our weightlifting team, and they like to hang out (and all live) a half hour from our house. Optimization is always needed to keep from backsliding.

Moustachienne

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 304
Re: Taming your PJM
« Reply #10 on: May 16, 2019, 12:13:19 PM »
I'm struck by how much MMM is putting himself in the way of "temptation"; reading all the specs, fan boying on E. Musk, riding in friends' Teslas, sniffing the upholstery, etc!  I'm not sure whether to admire how much he's testing his anti PJM strength or to face punch him for putting himself so close to an edge he's decided he doesn't want to cross for now.

I noticed how much exposure revs up my PJM last month when I had to walk through a mall for some physio appointments.  My internal talk went from "wow, look at all these people buying things I hadn't thought about" to "look at all these things I could buy" to "hmmm, maybe I should buy a few things since I'm here anyway".  I decided I needed to have a firm No Purchases rule while I was walking through the mall or I needed to take a longer outside route to the physio office.  The exposure to "what everyone else is doing" had a very strong effect even though I am by no means a shopper.  We need to set up systems and exposures that support our values not undermine them.  MMM might be a non consumer ninja but he's flying close to the sun imho. :)

MonkeyJenga

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8004
  • Location: Don't Ask
  • Resting up for 2020
Re: Taming your PJM
« Reply #11 on: May 16, 2019, 12:56:48 PM »
We need to set up systems and exposures that support our values not undermine them.

This is a good point that I forgot about. I don't want to buy things now, but I used to. I spent a lot of time on interior design sites, researching photography equipment, browsing clothes or affordable art. I never went crazy, but I waaaanted. I had to stop all of it and focus on other things for the desire to go away.

When I help friends with their budgets, I always recommended unsubscribing from email lists from their favorite stores and taking out their payment information from online stores. Prevent it from being a daily reminder and put up barriers to spending.

Put off buying sneakers until the heels hurt, and then I could only justify insoles.
D: MJ, get thee to a cobbler!  Actually, I guess for sneakers that might not work...  I once repaired $25 Payless dress shoes with a $15 re-heel at the cobbler and I wore them regularly for 10 years.

I have turned into the ultimate crunchy granola hippy when it comes to my feet.  No one would know it because they don't look fancy, but I do have a PJM that is pushing me to buy specialty shoes (>$100 a pair).  I can't stand most shoes after learning how badly narrow heeled shoes fuck up your body, contribute to osteoporosis, pelvic floor dysfunction and destroy the nerves and fine muscle control we ought to have in our feet.  I did drop like $300 last year for my birthday on one pair of Lem's boots and one pair of their sneakers, so the PJM won round 1.  The next step is going barefoot more often, and the PJM can't do anything about it.

The one time I've gotten boots repaired, all they did was glue the broken heels together. I paid $35 just to have them fall apart a week later.

But these sneakers should be ok. The outer shoe is holding up, but I had worn holes through the original insoles. I got orthotic insoles for plantar fasciitis, and the pain has almost entirely gone.

FIREstache

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 216
Re: Taming your PJM
« Reply #12 on: May 19, 2019, 09:26:55 PM »
We need to set up systems and exposures that support our values not undermine them.

This is a good point that I forgot about. I don't want to buy things now, but I used to. I spent a lot of time on interior design sites, researching photography equipment, browsing clothes or affordable art. I never went crazy, but I waaaanted. I had to stop all of it and focus on other things for the desire to go away.

Researching photography equipment is something I spent a lot of time doing back in 2005.  Finally, I blew about $1500 on equipment/lenses back then that I ended up not using much.  I feel it was one of my biggest wastes of money, but I learned a lesson from it.  It was painful to think about how I spent that much on something I didn't use much, so I was less likely to make that same mistake.  I dropped the idea of getting an expensive HD video camera I had been looking into back then, for example.  I've really slowed down in recent years, with minimal discretionary spending, less than $1000 in a year.  I don't feel like I'm restricting myself, I just don't have that desire in recent years for those consumasucka goods that I don't need.  There's no internal struggle - it's a lack of wanting.

Chranstronaut

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 705
Re: Taming your PJM
« Reply #13 on: May 20, 2019, 07:50:45 AM »
But these sneakers should be ok. The outer shoe is holding up, but I had worn holes through the original insoles. I got orthotic insoles for plantar fasciitis, and the pain has almost entirely gone.
That sounds like a win!

Syonyk

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3670
    • Syonyk's Project Blog
Re: Taming your PJM
« Reply #14 on: May 25, 2019, 09:33:03 AM »
I'm struck by how much MMM is putting himself in the way of "temptation"; reading all the specs, fan boying on E. Musk, riding in friends' Teslas, sniffing the upholstery, etc!  I'm not sure whether to admire how much he's testing his anti PJM strength or to face punch him for putting himself so close to an edge he's decided he doesn't want to cross for now.

...

We need to set up systems and exposures that support our values not undermine them.  MMM might be a non consumer ninja but he's flying close to the sun imho. :)

Seriously.  You keep doing that, you end up buying a Tesla at some point, and I expect within a year or so, there will be the "Justifications for why I purchased a Tesla" post from him at this rate.

I (fortunately) learned the lesson the relatively cheap way with motorcycles.  I won't claim they're a cheap way to get around if you ride something with a bit of guts behind it, but the lessons I've learned from motorcycles have saved me an insane amount of money over the years - because they entirely curbed my desire for fast cars.  Commute (and spend your weekends on) on a sport touring bike with a big motor for a couple years, in your mid to late 20s, and it just cures the desire for anything else fast - because nothing else is fast.  My bike was legitimately Tesla-fast - and an awful lot cheaper to buy/maintain.

One of the big things I learned was, "Stop test-riding things unless you're looking to buy!"  If you show up to a variety of motorcycle shops on a clean sportbike in full gear, turns out, they'll let you ride basically anything you want.  BMW more or less looks you over, tosses you the keys, and says "Bring it back sometime today."  Grand fun - and, really, a great way of selling motorcycles, because a brand new bike $30k will be a nicer ride than an older bike obtained as new-old-stock for well under $10k.  And I realized, all it did was just stoke dissatisfaction with my perfectly reasonable bike(s).  So I stopped doing it.

And I apply that to other things as well.  I rarely research anything unless I'm actually in the need to purchase one, and then I try to avoid the whole analysis paralysis thing I'm very prone to.  Find something that looks like it will work, buy it, and if it truly doesn't work, replace it when I know what I need better, but usually it works fine.

In the context of Teslas, beyond my general dislike of unmaintainable things (which a Tesla clearly is), I tend to describe it to people as, "No, I won't take one for a test drive - I'm not sure I can make my will save vs Tesla."  I play a lot of D&D (a wonderful way to have fun with a group of friends around a table for an evening), and it's a good description of the process.  I just don't trust myself not to buy one, even though it would be worse, in just about every way, than our Volt (which I can maintain myself, for a large variety of tasks).

Yup, I wish Pete had just bought the Tesla instead of the Leaf way back when.  This post can just as easily be about saving a buck and not getting what you want.  If it is worth the money and you have the money, why buy something cheap and inferior?

That's a horrible way to look at things.  *checks which site we're on*  Because that approach will creep into every aspect of your life, if you let it, and then all of a sudden you're spending torrents of cash on "nice" things, instead of figuring out what is a reasonable way to fit your needs.

For someone who has built a local life around biking, an expensive long range supercar is silly.  A Leaf accomplishes the same stuff for far less money, and avoids the whole hedonistic adoption treadmill that's far too easy to get stuck on.  It's very, very hard in life to "go back" to what you used to have when it's not as nice as your current stuff, but it's relatively easy to avoid upgrading in the first place.  I've got some friends who have jumped to the $100k class cars early in life, and it's going to cost them a million or so in their life to maintain that level of luxury.  We've decided (quite deliberately) to avoid upgrading to really expensive cars.  We drive a Volt (which is a genuinely nice car, by our standards) as it's cheaper for our regular trips than other options, I've got a 20 year old truck that does just about everything a new truck will (that we care about - no interest in hauling around a 30k lb 5th wheel), and various other forms of older transportation that work.  I'll rent a newer truck on travel just to see what's changed, but in general, I come back from that appreciating my truck.  I work from home, so it's not like the truck sees many miles.  I basically wear a groove in the road from our place to Home Depot/Lowes for things I'm building.

But, no, "I can afford it, therefore I should buy something nice" is not a particularly good way to approach life.  That way leads to some genuinely face-punchy purchases.  One of said friends quite literally spent more on the cars in his driveway than we spent on our house.

John Galt incarnate!

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 318
Re: Taming your PJM
« Reply #15 on: May 25, 2019, 05:33:35 PM »


I'm curious how you mitigate your PJM, or do you not struggle much any more?

The latter.

I am keenly aware that I have  more than one of each of the things I need and want.

That I maintain my PJM at a mere idle is attributable to this awareness.

I am confident that my throttling down  of my PJM is permanent.

2sk22

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 39
Re: Taming your PJM
« Reply #16 on: Today at 06:58:37 AM »

Researching photography equipment is something I spent a lot of time doing back in 2005.  Finally, I blew about $1500 on equipment/lenses back then that I ended up not using much.  I feel it was one of my biggest wastes of money, but I learned a lesson from it.  It was painful to think about how I spent that much on something I didn't use much, so I was less likely to make that same mistake.  I dropped the idea of getting an expensive HD video camera I had been looking into back then, for example.  I've really slowed down in recent years, with minimal discretionary spending, less than $1000 in a year.  I don't feel like I'm restricting myself, I just don't have that desire in recent years for those consumasucka goods that I don't need.  There's no internal struggle - it's a lack of wanting.

Reminded me of my FIL - he bought several thousand dollars worth of high-end photography gear thats mostly sitting unused.

Photography and astronomy are hobbies that can get expensive very quickly. I have a colleague who takes out loans from his 401k to buy new telescopes and associated equipment.