Author Topic: Anybody else feel physically sick buying something expensive?  (Read 4454 times)

Nissykins2

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I bought a car yesterday. We were in the market for a new (used) car. I'd exhaustively researched the car I bought. I got everything I wanted, right down to the color. I should be thrilled, but I have just felt sick all day. The same thing happened when we bought our house. It happens every time we go on a nice vacation. It's like I can't stand to say goodbye to the money I spent, and I am mourning all the other things it could have been used for. I also always feel afraid that I'll realize I should have bought something different. Do any of my fellow mustachians share this affliction?

TheAnonOne

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Re: Anybody else feel physically sick buying something expensive?
« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2017, 06:19:21 PM »
Meh mildly, it certainly stings when my sheets don't make as much progress as I could have in any given month, but after a few months the 'mistakes' fade away.

Ozstache

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Re: Anybody else feel physically sick buying something expensive?
« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2017, 07:48:24 PM »
Yes and it has been exacerbated by the transition from accumulation to FIRE because I am not directly replacing any spent funds with income so it feels a bit like stealing from myself. With a few major purchases I have made over the last year, this feeling has lasted anywhere up to a week until I finally convince myself that the purchase was planned (or at least reasonably anticipated), often coming in well under budget, always under our annual spend cap, and that I will get good use out of the item. It has been a struggle, but I am getting better at being less affected by it!

Peony

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Re: Anybody else feel physically sick buying something expensive?
« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2017, 09:30:12 PM »
I've noticed for a few years now, since being less stupid about finances, that I start to get a bad feeling if I spend too much time in a store, and that includes thrift shops. I don't know how to describe it, but it's kind of ... emotional queasiness? A mood shift toward depression? In any case, it helps me keep my shopping short and sweet. I guess it just feels like there are better things for me to spend my time on. Oddly, I sometimes fall down an online rabbit hole looking for hours at things like beautiful Turkish rugs, and that doesn't seem to have the same effect. Maybe because they're more like art objects.

Dicey

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Re: Anybody else feel physically sick buying something expensive?
« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2017, 01:37:48 AM »
Nope. I'm FIRE and I don't spend money that I can't afford.

I looked at a potential house to flip today. Price is $850k. Will cost up to $200k to rehab. Could sell as high as $1.4M. I find every bit of that exciting.

Khan

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Re: Anybody else feel physically sick buying something expensive?
« Reply #5 on: March 29, 2017, 02:23:50 AM »
I usually stress and such before the purchase, not afterwards. And I turn off my frugality muscles when I've locked onto something and committed to needing it or feeling that an object is worth the life energy it took to acquire it. After I was in the market for a possible replacement car, I felt sick thinking about whether or not I truly needed it(motorcycle + bike). Took me two weeks, but after I came to my decision, I felt nothing but contentment with it. Especially knowing I picked up one of the most efficient need and want-fillers for my personal desires.(1/2 a car buff, Focus ST is barely above bargain basement econoboxes but absolutely scratches that itch for me)
« Last Edit: March 29, 2017, 02:27:05 AM by Khanjar »

kjulez_83

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Re: Anybody else feel physically sick buying something expensive?
« Reply #6 on: March 29, 2017, 03:02:47 AM »
I don't feel physically sick but it does annoy me the amount of energy I expend agonising over how much money I'm spending and what it's doing to my budget and can I even FIRE on the amount I thought because unexpected expenses seem to pop up everywhere.

Like I am currently agonizing over whether I should  spend $700 for my child's 5th birthday or do it at home (and so I should be agonising over it I'm sure you may be thinking :)) I toss up the pros and cons forever and then always feel a bit shit when I decide to actually do the spendy thing because it's not frugal or mustachian. I have to justify everything to myself!

So that is annoying to me but it actually works in the long run bc if I didn't worry about all these things I'd spend all my money all the time like most "normal" people I guess! :)

Linea_Norway

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Re: Anybody else feel physically sick buying something expensive?
« Reply #7 on: March 29, 2017, 06:43:29 AM »
Not really physical sickness, but mental issues. I experience a lot of nervousness/worrying for the housing market. We now live in an expensive house. What if the market goes down? Does would set back our FIRE date with several years.

Khaetra

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Re: Anybody else feel physically sick buying something expensive?
« Reply #8 on: March 29, 2017, 07:04:39 AM »
Nope, not at all.  I am a careful shopper, be it a car (which I too purchased recently), clothing, camera gear or whatever.  I budget for them, research then buy.  I enjoy the things I buy because I put a lot of thought into their purchase.  I have blown big bucks on vacations in the past and will in the future and do not regret it at all, nor did I fret over what I spent.

patchyfacialhair

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Re: Anybody else feel physically sick buying something expensive?
« Reply #9 on: March 29, 2017, 07:18:08 AM »
Only sometimes. But, even in high spending months, we're still a net positive to the net worth, after accounting for 401k contributions and mortgage principal reduction. That's always a good thing.

Khan

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Re: Anybody else feel physically sick buying something expensive?
« Reply #10 on: March 29, 2017, 07:38:19 AM »
Only sometimes. But, even in high spending months, we're still a net positive to the net worth, after accounting for 401k contributions and mortgage principal reduction. That's always a good thing.

The still increasing net worth, even in spite of big purchasing months is something that also puts my mind at ease.

Laura33

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Re: Anybody else feel physically sick buying something expensive?
« Reply #11 on: March 29, 2017, 08:00:55 AM »
Absolutely, 100%.  Last weekend, we almost bought a (used) car, and my stomach was roiling on the drive over.  I was nauseated and had dry heaves when buying my house.  It is horrible. 

The good news is that it seems to pass quickly; by the next day, I am usually fully enjoying and excited about my new purchase.

No, this is not normal.  OTOH, it does help keep frivolous spending down.  :-)

Reynolds531

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Re: Anybody else feel physically sick buying something expensive?
« Reply #12 on: March 29, 2017, 09:47:42 AM »
Sometimes I yell at facebook. "NO WHY DID YOU BUY THAT CAR/HOUSE/BOAT!!"  "YOU CAN'T AFFORD THAT!!"


Slee_stack

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Re: Anybody else feel physically sick buying something expensive?
« Reply #13 on: March 29, 2017, 09:48:21 AM »
On the whole, its probably a good thing to be at this end of the spectrum vs the other so one isn't a consumer sukka.

However, most extremes are bad.  If spending on something that brings fulfillment also brings physical pain, that's truly sad.

I would hate feeling sick buying a replacement tire for my bike.  I do know I would be sick if I couldn't ride my bike.

Maybe folks could try to equate the purchase as a means to realizing happiness?

I know a tire is cheap, but the same idea applies to larger purchases.  For instance, a car might allow one to bring their trail bike with them so they can go ride new trails.
« Last Edit: March 29, 2017, 09:50:44 AM by Slee_stack »

Laura33

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Re: Anybody else feel physically sick buying something expensive?
« Reply #14 on: March 29, 2017, 10:59:21 AM »
On the whole, its probably a good thing to be at this end of the spectrum vs the other so one isn't a consumer sukka.

However, most extremes are bad.  If spending on something that brings fulfillment also brings physical pain, that's truly sad.

I would hate feeling sick buying a replacement tire for my bike.  I do know I would be sick if I couldn't ride my bike.

Maybe folks could try to equate the purchase as a means to realizing happiness?

I know a tire is cheap, but the same idea applies to larger purchases.  For instance, a car might allow one to bring their trail bike with them so they can go ride new trails.

See, this is all very logical and rational.  My problem is that I am not entirely logical and rational about spending money. :-)  The thing I realized this weekend:  to me, spending large sums of money is a big deal; that means I put a lot of pressure on myself to get it "right"; which, in turn, means that I must make the "best" decision.  But because there are always other choices out there, it is impossible to know whether you are making the best decision until years later.  And need for certainty + inability to obtain certainty = stress and nausea.

I am ok when it is small amounts, or when the purchase really is a necessity (e.g., my last car purchase was fine, because my prior car had literally blown up, so there wasn't much of a question).  But big purchases that are "wants" vs. "needs" are a problem.  E.g., our almost-car purchase:  I am considering a used dream car, the kind I have wanted for 30 years.  We found one that would basically be the cost equivalent of replacing what I am driving now (although more expensive to operate and not as practical).  We did the downside risk analysis:  price is good enough that even if I am *completely* wrong about how much I would enjoy this car, we could sell it in a year or two with very little depreciation.  There would be zero impact on FIRE, which is driven by kids' moving out vs. savings.  All in all, it was the "smartest" stupid decision I could make.  And yet it is also completely, entirely frivolous and unnecessary, because what I have is *just fine.*  My innards were completely roiled, and I ended up having a mini panic attack and walking away -- my mind seized on one unexpected issue with the car (clutch) and just froze, and I couldn't let go of that, even though the issue was completely fixable and the car was priced appropriately for its condition.  So, no new fun car for Laura this week -- still not sure whether I am disappointed or relieved.  :-)  [Which, in itself, probably says I made the right call]

Laurenji

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Re: Anybody else feel physically sick buying something expensive?
« Reply #15 on: March 29, 2017, 01:30:49 PM »
I am often this way, and especially was this way when I was younger.

I am less so now because I have worked hard on mitigating this part of my anxieties. The reason I worked hard to do this was because I realized that it's often much more financially sound to pay more up front than to have ongoing recurring costs - the most common examples being cell phones. It's usually cheaper to buy the phone up front and take it to a cheap carrier of your choice than to get a "free" or "reduced" phone from a carrier that then charges you twice as much over the life of the contract. There are other cases as well where it makes sense to buy an expensive, good-quality product up front than have to replace a cheap one every couple months or every year or something.

My mother, who is very frugal, definitely seems to have a severe emotional reaction to having to spend lots of money up front.  My parents strung their old car out for years and years, paying a good $2000-$3000 in repairs every year to meet emissions & get it registered again, when after a couple years of that it would have made much more sense just to get a new car - but the thought of buying a car & spending that money upfront upset my mom so much that it took them a long time to make that plunge. It probably cost them much more in the end than it would have just to scrap it and get a different one.

So yes, I definitely have this tendency, but I try to fight against it. :)

I've noticed

ketchup

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Re: Anybody else feel physically sick buying something expensive?
« Reply #16 on: March 29, 2017, 02:10:06 PM »
For some reason it "feels" better to pay for big business purchases moreso than "personal" purchases.  My stomach churns when paying even a grand for a car, but I'll pay my annual insurance premium on my rental house with a grin and be happy about my GF (pro photographer) buying a new (and needed) fancypants laptop/desktop/camera all in the same year.

use2betrix

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Re: Anybody else feel physically sick buying something expensive?
« Reply #17 on: March 29, 2017, 06:46:33 PM »
I bought a car yesterday. We were in the market for a new (used) car. I'd exhaustively researched the car I bought. I got everything I wanted, right down to the color. I should be thrilled, but I have just felt sick all day. The same thing happened when we bought our house. It happens every time we go on a nice vacation. It's like I can't stand to say goodbye to the money I spent, and I am mourning all the other things it could have been used for. I also always feel afraid that I'll realize I should have bought something different. Do any of my fellow mustachians share this affliction?

God I hop your family doesn't pick up on your misery of spending money on a vacation with them. Talk about a quick way to ruin what should be a good time.

I get annoyed wasting money or spending more for something I "should" have got a better deal on.

In case you haven't read the blog posts, mustachianism is a lifestyle change, it's not about "extreme frugality." If you are getting "physically sick" then you are Off the wrong path of "mustachianism"

Heck, look at MMM blog post about his electric car purchase and you can see his excitement for doing all his research and making what he found to be the best choice.

zinethstache

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Re: Anybody else feel physically sick buying something expensive?
« Reply #18 on: March 29, 2017, 07:33:55 PM »
I've had to deal with that feeling over the course of many large purchases and as others recently FIREd, I am now re-training myself again, this time that it is "OK" to spend money and not be working because that is what this phase of life is all about.

I solved the nausea issue by paying cash for everything ALWAYS. But for our rental propery purchases where cash was not an option I told myself that I was spending money to make money and finally by the third property, no nausea, I'd had rentals for some years by then and we'd made good money on those, this should be a rinse and repeat.

Now I am going thru the nausea everytime the PM calls us as our rental income is our only income (We have a HUGE emergency fund and my 401k im not touching so there are two fallbacks and we could earn NO rental income for some time before we would be in trouble). I am sure once we get used to being FIREd I won't worry about every phone call.

I am a bit nervous not owning a primary residence, our only home goes with us. Granted we can kick out a tenant at any time should the need arise, and we can live in my mom's pasture for free, again we have many fallback plans. I was raised in a family where you always had your "home" - we broke that mold by selling ours to free us up to travel. It's probably more nauseating that buying rentals:)

I will get over it!


brian313313

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Re: Anybody else feel physically sick buying something expensive?
« Reply #19 on: March 29, 2017, 07:43:17 PM »
I'm with ya sometimes. Not always. I hate parting with money. I sometimes feel bad that I return stuff so much. I don't do it intentionally but buyer's remorse sets in. I bought a nice camera lens for myself for Christmas. I'd been thinking about it for over a year then thought I'd splurge. I returned it a month later which was still within the return window because of Christmas. I got some nice pics and felt somewhat guilty but I just couldn't keep it. I'm back to my cheap lens now.

I used to be very poor and a friend from back then says I just can't realize I'm not anymore. Something may be less than a day's wages to me now but it still feels like a week or two worth of wages.

I do know that it's not necessarily a bad thing just because you're feeling bad. Logic & emotion aren't always in sync with each other. One example for me, I bought a set of Bose QC-15 (whenever they were new) for about $300. I got sick over that but couldn't return them. I'm jamming with them now and this has been one of the most used purchases I've ever made. I have no need to upgrade because the sound quality is perfect for me. I just replace the ear pads every year or two as they wear out.

Capt j-rod

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Re: Anybody else feel physically sick buying something expensive?
« Reply #20 on: March 30, 2017, 05:35:58 PM »
I have a different perspective than most. I play the same game as the big boys but for pennies on the dollar. I have a very anti mustache boat. before you punch me in the face, I can literally sell it in a week and make $7500. How? I bought it off a guy who was way upside down in life for a steal. I have an anti-mustache camper. How? I repaired it and made it new again. I could sell it and make $2000 easy. I paid cash for all of these. This was after I maxed out retirements and I still have an over 50% savings rate. Do I get sick when I buy something? Nope. When you know exactly what you are buying and get it for less than the market value, then just sell it. If you just bought a new car for sticker price on a whim? Sick. If you paid more for heated seats and a sun roof? Sick. My toys? Yes they cost money, but I can easily shed them it needed. Most of the guys I fish with pay $75,000 for their boat.