Author Topic: Richer I get the Poorer I feel. Anyone else?  (Read 9261 times)

bob999

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Richer I get the Poorer I feel. Anyone else?
« on: May 17, 2018, 05:15:11 AM »
Hi all,

I have been ready MMM for about five-six years now. I was fairly ignorant about investing and spending before that. I mean I had investment properties and saved about 30% of my salary but I was carefree with spending money. In the last six years my net worth has skyrocketed and my (our) saving rate is around 70%.

The key difference I feel is that 'before' I used to spend $20 here or $50 there without much thought. Now with more money (net worth increasing $1M in last 6 years alone) I feel poor. I mean, I know I am doing well but still the pain of 'wasting' money on $5 coffee (which is rare now days) or similar spending hurts. I have gone from mindless spending to 'intentional' spending. We spend on what is important to us (e.g. travelling) and eliminate all other waste (eating out every day, latest iPhone etc.)

I have family / relatives who are much much worse off than we are but they spend like crazy. A close relative just bought a $80k SUV when they clearly can't afford it and everyone (within our extended family) is congratulating them. I feel bad for not congratulating them but I just can't bring myself to thinking that it is a good decision.

I feel now that we have a 'target number' to achieve FI we are poor because we need to save XX% in order to get there. The 'target' is now a reminder of the journey ahead and the effort required.

Anyways, this is all part of the process I guess. Anyone else feeling poor while getting rich?


DreamFIRE

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Re: Richer I get the Poorer I feel. Anyone else?
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2018, 05:22:11 AM »
I wouldn't say I ever felt "poor", only that I felt I was always being very frugal.  I don't even take vacation get-aways, but I've always been that way and can't say MMM has changed a thing for me.  As the people around me tended to be spendypants, I knew I would be better off in the long run.  And I am, with a 70% to 80% savings rate year after year, I'm at 63X barebones, well past FI and hope to FIRE in 2019 while those other people will continue working.

MrsWolfeRN

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Re: Richer I get the Poorer I feel. Anyone else?
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2018, 05:27:33 AM »
Hi all,

I have been ready MMM for about five-six years now. I was fairly ignorant about investing and spending before that. I mean I had investment properties and saved about 30% of my salary but I was carefree with spending money. In the last six years my net worth has skyrocketed and my (our) saving rate is around 70%.

The key difference I feel is that 'before' I used to spend $20 here or $50 there without much thought. Now with more money (net worth increasing $1M in last 6 years alone) I feel poor. I mean, I know I am doing well but still the pain of 'wasting' money on $5 coffee (which is rare now days) or similar spending hurts. I have gone from mindless spending to 'intentional' spending. We spend on what is important to us (e.g. travelling) and eliminate all other waste (eating out every day, latest iPhone etc.)

I have family / relatives who are much much worse off than we are but they spend like crazy. A close relative just bought a $80k SUV when they clearly can't afford it and everyone (within our extended family) is congratulating them. I feel bad for not congratulating them but I just can't bring myself to thinking that it is a good decision.

I feel now that we have a 'target number' to achieve FI we are poor because we need to save XX% in order to get there. The 'target' is now a reminder of the journey ahead and the effort required.

Anyways, this is all part of the process I guess. Anyone else feeling poor while getting rich?

You are not poor, you are making a choice to get rich instead of act rich. You can't do both. You could dial back the savings a little if you are getting burned out and feel you miss some of the activities you used to do, but do it intentionally. Mindless spending will only make you feel rich for a short time.

FreshPrincess

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Re: Richer I get the Poorer I feel. Anyone else?
« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2018, 05:35:39 AM »
Yes.  And for me, I think it's like what you said... before when I was spending $20-$50 here and there, that was it.  That was the number. $20-$50 blown.  The end.

Now when I DON'T spend the $20-$50 it's because I need it to save for a much larger number... my 1.2mil.  And THAT number makes me feel poor because I'm not there yet and that $20-$50 is "barely" getting me there.

It's mental gymnastics.  I have much more saved now than I did a year ago, but a year ago I felt like I had more money.  And the above is why I think my brain is doing that.

pecunia

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Re: Richer I get the Poorer I feel. Anyone else?
« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2018, 05:47:38 AM »
Quote
I feel bad for not congratulating them but I just can't bring myself to thinking that it is a good decision.

They are eliminating future freedom and you realize it.  It is akin to locking yourself in a cage.  Would you congratulate someone for locking themselves in a cage?

You are looking at all the immediate gratification that you can get and cannot internalize the long term gain.  I think most normal people have that.  Me too.

I guess what has helped me is that I've had to move a few times.  Have you ever moved?  All that junk you've accumulated either has to be moved or jettisoned.  I've looked at some of that junk and the thought crossed my mind, "I didn't use this.  The money is gone."  I try to remember that prior to every purchase.  I am less successful with food, but I try to ask the question, "Does my body need this?" 

Do you think after you have purchased your freedom by giving up those cups of coffee that you will still have regrets?

It certainly is a difficult mental adjustment.  Hopefully, you will receive some good answers here.  You will be helping other people than yourself.

chemistk

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Re: Richer I get the Poorer I feel. Anyone else?
« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2018, 05:56:20 AM »
It's hard to see the forest for the trees.

For many people, even those pursuing financial freedom, it's easy to get caught up in the day-to-day because each drop in the bucket seems so irrelevant. That $20 is 0.00002% of your $1M saved. If you don't have the right perspective it's easy to get upset with yourself for denying that purchase.

But when you're out of the woods and free to do what you want, your future self will be thanking your present self. Hedonic Adaptation or something like that.

The only advice I can give is to try and shed the FOMO/Frustration and find a place (internally) you can go where you can re-center yourself with your goal.


mbl

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Re: Richer I get the Poorer I feel. Anyone else?
« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2018, 06:03:38 AM »


The key difference I feel is that 'before' I used to spend $20 here or $50 there without much thought. Now with more money (net worth increasing $1M in last 6 years alone) I feel poor. I mean, I know I am doing well but still the pain of 'wasting' money on $5 coffee (which is rare now days) or similar spending hurts. I have gone from mindless spending to 'intentional' spending. We spend on what is important to us (e.g. travelling) and eliminate all other waste (eating out every day, latest iPhone etc.)

I have family / relatives who are much much worse off than we are but they spend like crazy. A close relative just bought a $80k SUV when they clearly can't afford it and everyone (within our extended family) is congratulating them. I feel bad for not congratulating them but I just can't bring myself to thinking that it is a good decision.


You've used the buzz words that are culturally acceptable here and you've expressed a negative response to others who have spent in a way that you don't agree with etc, etc...  You feel poor and constrained maybe....not sure, only you can say that.
You don't seem very happy with these feelings.
Must be uncomfortable.

Has it occurred to you that the whole culture of LBYM and efficiency and careful spending is a means to an end...but really it is meant to create a happy lifestyle as it's result.   Now....right now.  Not just as pent up, holding your breath, waiting to have yet more money yet more frugality yet more abstinence.....

It's foolish to engage in the judgmental BS that is so often wallowed in here.  Who cares?  You groove to  your life and leave them to theirs.
You see, a good portion of all this assumes a lengthy and healthy future.    Sometimes it doesn't work out that way and looking back, doing some extravagant and risky things might have been prescient decisions.   What those things might be is very personal and not for others to judge.

Sometimes people here embrace the notions in such an extreme manner that they miss the whole point and create what becomes a somewhat uncomfortable existence.   Particularly when they see others in their family or workplace or friend space enjoying based on spending which is against their MMM cult religion.  Only in that they've made it that way not because MMM was ever meant to be that.

Nothing is guaranteed and time is the most valuable asset.   It takes some life maturity, experience and self awareness to be able to identify when one has taken something to an extreme.   Emotional discomfort might be an indication.

I enjoy reading all that has been shared here by Pete in the beginning and others.  But make no mistake about it,  I don't take my cues from MMM.  I take ideas and insight and learning and apply them to the my life if they resonate.   So much is just common sense and many here if they are already frugally inclined are pretty much in agreement and aren't going to need to make big life changes.   For those who have the come to MMM moment sometimes they go overboard like anyone who has been reformed. 

JMHO

FIRE47

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Re: Richer I get the Poorer I feel. Anyone else?
« Reply #7 on: May 17, 2018, 06:13:49 AM »
Yes absolutely. It's important to realize it will never be enough if you don't have the right attitude. Do you think $20 will suddenly become easier to spend when you are finally done accumulating, leave your job and the markets are having a rough patch? 

Without going too far down the rabbit whole with the philosophy and psychological aspect of this a simple if somewhat superficial fix is to set yourself a monthly allowance that almost needs to be spent and you should be guilt free about it. Viewing every dollar spent as a blow against your long-term goals is a very unhealthy way to look at it.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2018, 06:15:56 AM by FIRE47 »

bob999

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Re: Richer I get the Poorer I feel. Anyone else?
« Reply #8 on: May 17, 2018, 06:17:49 AM »
Yes.  And for me, I think it's like what you said... before when I was spending $20-$50 here and there, that was it.  That was the number. $20-$50 blown.  The end.

Now when I DON'T spend the $20-$50 it's because I need it to save for a much larger number... my 1.2mil.  And THAT number makes me feel poor because I'm not there yet and that $20-$50 is "barely" getting me there.

It's mental gymnastics.  I have much more saved now than I did a year ago, but a year ago I felt like I had more money.  And the above is why I think my brain is doing that.

I used to think that you had to make big investment decisions (e.g. buy investment property) and the $20-$50 didn't really fit into that model of thinking. When I learnt about index funds I realised that even $10 buys me 'freedom'. Every penny counts. So now I compare spending on X versus buying freedom.
I guess that has been a big shift in my thinking.

Dances With Fire

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Re: Richer I get the Poorer I feel. Anyone else?
« Reply #9 on: May 17, 2018, 06:23:25 AM »
[/b]


The key difference I feel is that 'before' I used to spend $20 here or $50 there without much thought. Now with more money (net worth increasing $1M in last 6 years alone) I feel poor. I mean, I know I am doing well but still the pain of 'wasting' money on $5 coffee (which is rare now days) or similar spending hurts. I have gone from mindless spending to 'intentional' spending. We spend on what is important to us (e.g. travelling) and eliminate all other waste (eating out every day, latest iPhone etc.)

I have family / relatives who are much much worse off than we are but they spend like crazy. A close relative just bought a $80k SUV when they clearly can't afford it and everyone (within our extended family) is congratulating them. I feel bad for not congratulating them but I just can't bring myself to thinking that it is a good decision.


You've used the buzz words that are culturally acceptable here and you've expressed a negative response to others who have spent in a way that you don't agree with etc, etc...  You feel poor and constrained maybe....not sure, only you can say that.
You don't seem very happy with these feelings.
Must be uncomfortable.

Has it occurred to you that the whole culture of LBYM and efficiency and careful spending is a means to an end...but really it is meant to create a happy lifestyle as it's result.   Now....right now.  Not just as pent up, holding your breath, waiting to have yet more money yet more frugality yet more abstinence.....

It's foolish to engage in the judgmental BS that is so often wallowed in here.  Who cares?  You groove to  your life and leave them to theirs.
You see, a good portion of all this assumes a lengthy and healthy future.    Sometimes it doesn't work out that way and looking back, doing some extravagant and risky things might have been prescient decisions.   What those things might be is very personal and not for others to judge.


Sometimes people here embrace the notions in such an extreme manner that they miss the whole point and create what becomes a somewhat uncomfortable existence.   Particularly when they see others in their family or workplace or friend space enjoying based on spending which is against their MMM cult religion.  Only in that they've made it that way not because MMM was ever meant to be that.

Nothing is guaranteed and time is the most valuable asset.   It takes some life maturity, experience and self awareness to be able to identify when one has taken something to an extreme.   Emotional discomfort might be an indication.

I enjoy reading all that has been shared here by Pete in the beginning and others.  But make no mistake about it,  I don't take my cues from MMM.  I take ideas and insight and learning and apply them to the my life if they resonate.   So much is just common sense and many here if they are already frugally inclined are pretty much in agreement and aren't going to need to make big life changes.   For those who have the come to MMM moment sometimes they go overboard like anyone who has been reformed. 

JMHO

+1 Great post!

bob999

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Re: Richer I get the Poorer I feel. Anyone else?
« Reply #10 on: May 17, 2018, 06:25:05 AM »


The key difference I feel is that 'before' I used to spend $20 here or $50 there without much thought. Now with more money (net worth increasing $1M in last 6 years alone) I feel poor. I mean, I know I am doing well but still the pain of 'wasting' money on $5 coffee (which is rare now days) or similar spending hurts. I have gone from mindless spending to 'intentional' spending. We spend on what is important to us (e.g. travelling) and eliminate all other waste (eating out every day, latest iPhone etc.)

I have family / relatives who are much much worse off than we are but they spend like crazy. A close relative just bought a $80k SUV when they clearly can't afford it and everyone (within our extended family) is congratulating them. I feel bad for not congratulating them but I just can't bring myself to thinking that it is a good decision.


You've used the buzz words that are culturally acceptable here and you've expressed a negative response to others who have spent in a way that you don't agree with etc, etc...  You feel poor and constrained maybe....not sure, only you can say that.
You don't seem very happy with these feelings.
Must be uncomfortable.

Has it occurred to you that the whole culture of LBYM and efficiency and careful spending is a means to an end...but really it is meant to create a happy lifestyle as it's result.   Now....right now.  Not just as pent up, holding your breath, waiting to have yet more money yet more frugality yet more abstinence.....

It's foolish to engage in the judgmental BS that is so often wallowed in here.  Who cares?  You groove to  your life and leave them to theirs.
You see, a good portion of all this assumes a lengthy and healthy future.    Sometimes it doesn't work out that way and looking back, doing some extravagant and risky things might have been prescient decisions.   What those things might be is very personal and not for others to judge.

Sometimes people here embrace the notions in such an extreme manner that they miss the whole point and create what becomes a somewhat uncomfortable existence.   Particularly when they see others in their family or workplace or friend space enjoying based on spending which is against their MMM cult religion.  Only in that they've made it that way not because MMM was ever meant to be that.

Nothing is guaranteed and time is the most valuable asset.   It takes some life maturity, experience and self awareness to be able to identify when one has taken something to an extreme.   Emotional discomfort might be an indication.

I enjoy reading all that has been shared here by Pete in the beginning and others.  But make no mistake about it,  I don't take my cues from MMM.  I take ideas and insight and learning and apply them to the my life if they resonate.   So much is just common sense and many here if they are already frugally inclined are pretty much in agreement and aren't going to need to make big life changes.   For those who have the come to MMM moment sometimes they go overboard like anyone who has been reformed. 

JMHO

Yes, I have used 'intentional' and 'travel' buzz words but honestly that was our first big change. We made a list of everything we spend money on and decided to reduce spending on eating out etc and increase spending on holidays because we didn't have to have any regrets. The FI goal is important but we had to weigh that against 'future regret of not doing XYZ'.

It is difficult to get the balance right.

"Has it occurred to you that the whole culture of LBYM and efficiency and careful spending is a means to an end...but really it is meant to create a happy lifestyle as it's result.   Now....right now.  Not just as pent up, holding your breath, waiting to have yet more money yet more frugality yet more abstinence....."

This has struck a cord with me. Thank you.



spartanswami

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Re: Richer I get the Poorer I feel. Anyone else?
« Reply #11 on: May 17, 2018, 06:29:01 AM »
I read somewhere that "You can be rich or appear to be rich, it takes too much money to be both". I choose to be rich, it's a choice you make!

bob999

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Re: Richer I get the Poorer I feel. Anyone else?
« Reply #12 on: May 17, 2018, 06:30:54 AM »
Yes absolutely. It's important to realize it will never be enough if you don't have the right attitude. Do you think $20 will suddenly become easier to spend when you are finally done accumulating, leave your job and the markets are having a rough patch? 

Without going too far down the rabbit whole with the philosophy and psychological aspect of this a simple if somewhat superficial fix is to set yourself a monthly allowance that almost needs to be spent and you should be guilt free about it. Viewing every dollar spent as a blow against your long-term goals is a very unhealthy way to look at it.

No, I think it will actually get harder to spend when you have spent a decade or more controlling spending to achieve FI. Its not like I don't spend any money but I think I now cannot justify spending money on things (that I used to spend money on) because I think that they are a waste, no matter how much money I have.



PhilB

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Re: Richer I get the Poorer I feel. Anyone else?
« Reply #13 on: May 17, 2018, 06:33:00 AM »
It's important to keep a sense of perspective and to be happy about the balance between short term and long term wants.  The kid sitting waiting for the second marshmallow is experiencing a lot more hunger than the kid who just ate the first one.  They're also hungrier than they would have been if no-one had even mentioned marshmallows.  The important thing is that they can acknowledge that hunger for what it is and put up with it to get the bigger prize.

FIRE47

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Re: Richer I get the Poorer I feel. Anyone else?
« Reply #14 on: May 17, 2018, 06:43:14 AM »
Yes absolutely. It's important to realize it will never be enough if you don't have the right attitude. Do you think $20 will suddenly become easier to spend when you are finally done accumulating, leave your job and the markets are having a rough patch? 

Without going too far down the rabbit whole with the philosophy and psychological aspect of this a simple if somewhat superficial fix is to set yourself a monthly allowance that almost needs to be spent and you should be guilt free about it. Viewing every dollar spent as a blow against your long-term goals is a very unhealthy way to look at it.

No, I think it will actually get harder to spend when you have spent a decade or more controlling spending to achieve FI. Its not like I don't spend any money but I think I now cannot justify spending money on things (that I used to spend money on) because I think that they are a waste, no matter how much money I have.

I know exactly how you feel - and have been trying to combat this myself. I think this is an important aspect to address rather than to ignore or to pretend that it is a good thing. If every pack of gum comes down to a 40 year compound interest opportunity cost for most people this is not enjoyable or healthy.

I think really what needs to be done is to set a realistic long-term goal, and then once you are on track to meet it you can relax - unless you are just a short period away you shouldn't be viewing this as a race to give up everything for the next 10 years.

Set a long-term goal, include in that long-term plan monthly amounts that you don't have to account for. If you are on track - go nuts, don't beat yourself up over $20.

Without a realistic view of where you want to be as in a realistic long-term goal making some concessions for the here and now, simply "having as much money as I can as quick as possible" is just an itch that can never be scratched. No different than mindless consumption only you are accumulating money instead of objects.

« Last Edit: May 17, 2018, 06:51:40 AM by FIRE47 »

Candace

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Re: Richer I get the Poorer I feel. Anyone else?
« Reply #15 on: May 17, 2018, 06:51:56 AM »
bob999,

Every time I decide to wait for dinner at home instead of getting takeout, I feel powerful. I don't feel deprived.

When I make the decision to forego that cute but outrageously priced dress and wear the perfectly good dresses I already have, I feel powerful. I don't feel deprived. My "internal tape" is telling me how much more I'm going to enjoy having that money for travel or to build my stache. I've gotten to where I can tell when I'm going to regret passing something by for more than that day. If it's something I really want and it will bring me happiness for a relatively long time, sometimes I buy it. But if it's frippery like cable TV or a new phone, or in my case, a new-to-me car, I feel much better about using that money to build my stache (at least, until my car shows signs of dying).

However, if you *feel* you're making yourself poor by saving, take a look at what you're deciding not to buy. It may be that some small portion of that, or a particular thing, is something that will bring you lots of joy in the moment, like a beer out with a buddy every once in a while. If you are saving 70%, that is quite a badass savings rate. I would suggest you look at what spending actually makes you happy for longer than it takes to drink a beer. Memories with friends, for instance, would make me happy for longer. Sometimes a beer isn't just a beer.

Everyone does need to find their balance. Money decisions in my life are made using some logic and some emotional honesty. Good luck finding yours. The journey should be something that makes you feel empowered, kind of like exercise. Yeah, it's tough doing that third set of squats, but I feel like I'm doing something good for myself. I hope you get into a groove that makes you feel good while building your future as well.

MrDelane

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Re: Richer I get the Poorer I feel. Anyone else?
« Reply #16 on: May 17, 2018, 07:07:12 AM »
I was just digging into some old MMM articles yesterday and ran across this one, which I think is very relevant to this discussion:

http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2011/10/02/what-is-stoicism-and-how-can-it-turn-your-life-to-solid-gold/

Quote
To have a good and meaningful life, you need to overcome your insatiability. Most people, at best, spend their lives in a long pursuit of happiness. So today’s successful person writes out a list of desires, then starts chasing them down and satisfying the desires. The problem is that each desire, when satisfied, tends to be replaced by a new desire. So the person continues to chase. Yet after a lifetime of pursuit, the person ends up no more satisfied than he was at the beginning. Thus, he may end up wasting his life.

The solution, the Stoics realized, is to learn to want the things you already have, rather than wanting other things.


I'm not saying it's an easy shift - but when you are able to make the shift in your perception, the feeling of deprivation and sacrifice will not only diminish, it will be replaced with a feeling of luxury and satisfaction.

Like anything else (i.e. healthy eating, exercise, organization, time management) our psychological outlook is a constant work in progress.  We may lose focus and fall into old habits every now again - and that's okay, so long as we work to get back to where we want to be.

terran

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Re: Richer I get the Poorer I feel. Anyone else?
« Reply #17 on: May 17, 2018, 07:10:22 AM »
I think I get what you're saying. Saving massive amounts of money (really saving any money) requires you to live a low income lifestyle, so even though it's not true (we have both a high income and a high net worth, so rich by both standards), we have to adjust our mental models to being "poor" (not having money to burn) in order to achieve the goals we've set for ourselves. We are rich, but we act poor.

On the flip side, modern American culture is all YOLO and LBeyondYM. The cultural norm is to spend (at least) as much they make. They are poor, but they act rich.

As a subculture doing the exact opposite thing as the dominant culture it makes our choices feel even more extreme than they really are. Basically, everyone around us makes us feel poor because outward displays of spending are so much more obvious.

Sometimes it's all a mental thing for you (the family member with the big SUV) and you just need to become ok with it and understand deep down that just because they have a "nicer" car than you and the culture views that as a sign that they're rich and you're poor doesn't mean it's true, or you need to decide that you want to be the cultural definition of rich and put yourself on a more conventional path. Unless you want to really throw it all out the window you'll still look less "rich" than you could look (notice I didn't say "be"), but the difference will be smaller so you won't feel as poor.

Sometimes it's an outward thing. The "nice" version of this is the family member who is just "worried" about you. They think savings is great and all, but they want to make sure you "enjoy yourself" a little. Never mind the fact that what they have in mind might be something you really wouldn't enjoy, and the free activity you're doing instead is something you enjoy.

The funny thing is this comes from both sides of the economic spectrum. On the one hand people who are actually poor making spending choice we would never make so they will never dig themselves out of the hole (my family). This is usually where the outward displays of being rich when they're really not come from. On the other hand people who are actually rich (income and assets) yet are still working past even traditional retirement age (my wife's family). This is usually where the concerned "enjoy yourself" comments usually come from.

Basically you've got reminders of how much you could be spending from people who spend more than you despite having less, and pity for you from people who can and do spend more than you because they've decided to chart a more conventional path.

Of course, then you come around the forums here and find people who really are richer than you are, so then you feel poor even within your subculture :-).

I think there are some people who genuinely can't think of anything (or any experience) they would add to their life no matter what it cost or how much they had. This is really impressive, and I have a lot of things that mainstream culture values that would fall into this category for me, but if you're not zen-buddhist-month-FIRE like this, then I think in some ways you've just got to accept that you'll always feel just a little bit poor. You'll either reach true contentedness where there is nothing you would add to your life (period, end of sentence), or you'll reach the point (which you probably already have) where there's nothing you'd add to your life given the constraints within which you live. I think the second one is nearly universal (accept the few truly content).

Maybe the FIRE subculture could actually be viewed as a kind of continuum between "I want everything and buy everything I possibly can" and "I want nothing that I don't already have." The further towards true contentedness you are, the less poor you'll need to feel to get to and stay at FIRE. Basically, the more you actually don't want deep down if you're really honest with yourself, the less you have to decide to sacrifice. The things you really do want at some level are what make you feel poor. By want I don't mean things you would choose to purchase, but rather things you really can't afford to purchase (a private jet) and things you've decided aren't worth giving up your other goals to purchase (the fancy car). 

Sojourner

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Re: Richer I get the Poorer I feel. Anyone else?
« Reply #18 on: May 17, 2018, 07:12:31 AM »
I don't know who said it, but I keep this thought in mind to help stay grounded...

"Poor people stay poor by acting rich.  Rich people stay rich by acting poor."

Liberty Stache

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Re: Richer I get the Poorer I feel. Anyone else?
« Reply #19 on: May 17, 2018, 07:20:34 AM »
http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2014/05/29/give-yourself-the-gift-of-not-worrying-about-money/

As others have said, think of it in terms of % of NW. No use wasting your precious energy and time at this point worrying about small one offs. Whether you save 71.5% or 70.9% it really doesn't matter, you've done the heavy lifting already and as our fearless leader says, you are already rich. Just don't sign up for any high, reoccurring costs / don't make the $5 or $20 thing an ongoing habit.

mak1277

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Re: Richer I get the Poorer I feel. Anyone else?
« Reply #20 on: May 17, 2018, 07:29:07 AM »
There is no nobility in self deprivation, nor is FIRE a worthy goal if you are genuinely miserable while getting there/after you get there.

I agree that we should strive for being happy with what we have, but you shouldn't expect to snap your fingers one day and change your entire outlook on life.  Make progress towards being happy with "less" every day, but don't stop living the life you want to live.

Gone Fishing

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Re: Richer I get the Poorer I feel. Anyone else?
« Reply #21 on: May 17, 2018, 07:38:30 AM »
Been on a vacation lately?  For me, visiting natural wonders pushes money to the very back of my mind.  I'm sure the exercise from hiking/walking helps, too.

dude

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Re: Richer I get the Poorer I feel. Anyone else?
« Reply #22 on: May 17, 2018, 07:51:00 AM »
Nah, never feel poor, but occasionally I feel like I'm living paycheck to paycheck -- but only because the saving is automated and what I have left over I get to spend! I don't budget. I save what I need to save, and I spend the rest, so I never feel like I'm depriving myself.

As others have said, the FIRE goal is a worthy objective, but you have to do some living in the here and now, because no man is guaranteed tomorrow. If tomorrow you suddenly got a terminal cancer diagnosis, would you feel like you hadn't really lived life to the fullest to that point? I want to live life to the fullest now AND have my freedom later (and by later I mean sooner than normal).

undercover

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Re: Richer I get the Poorer I feel. Anyone else?
« Reply #23 on: May 17, 2018, 08:00:26 AM »
You feel more poor and unhappier because you feel like you're making compromises. To restore balance, you're going to need to shift your perspective in one way or another. Remember that this isn't a contest and you don't have to hit some arbitrary savings amount or total spending # to achieve your goals. Define your goals while taking the good principles you already know.

I agree that you shouldn't be congratulating people who make idiotic purchases, but you also shouldn't let their bad decisions affect you mentally since it has nothing to do with you. Though at some point I do think it's worthwhile to find like-minded people since it's easier to stay on track.

SpreadsheetMan

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Re: Richer I get the Poorer I feel. Anyone else?
« Reply #24 on: May 17, 2018, 08:05:14 AM »
Yes absolutely. It's important to realize it will never be enough if you don't have the right attitude. Do you think $20 will suddenly become easier to spend when you are finally done accumulating, leave your job and the markets are having a rough patch? 

Without going too far down the rabbit whole with the philosophy and psychological aspect of this a simple if somewhat superficial fix is to set yourself a monthly allowance that almost needs to be spent and you should be guilt free about it. Viewing every dollar spent as a blow against your long-term goals is a very unhealthy way to look at it.

I do this. I have fixed size budget categories for "cash" and "hobbies" within my monthly budget. The overall monthly budget is designed to hit my savings target and I spend my cash&hobbies categories on whatever I like and don't analyse them.

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Re: Richer I get the Poorer I feel. Anyone else?
« Reply #25 on: May 17, 2018, 08:34:09 AM »
I kind of work against the grain of many on this site.  I live some in the moment and spend more than I should right now while I'm in good health and have kids at home.  I don't want to look back and think I missed out on the some of the things we've done together as a family.  We have a nice house that we can downsize later and we save a ton for college for the kids.  But we also take 1-2 vacations each year with the kids.  We eat out slightly more than most on here would say is right.  But we are saving 40-45% of our take home pay for FI. 

I look at my parents and they are in their 60's and don't want to travel much and really just spend a lot of time at home.  They have saved a lot of money and will never spend the principal they saved.  Why do I want to miss out on some of the great things we do with the kids (while there at home and want to spend time with us) just so I can have a large nest egg when I'm 75 years old.

It will end up costing me 5 years or so on FI but I don't want to look back and regret things we did not do.  I would not give up any of the past things we have done, which costs future money so that I can RE 5 years earlier.  We still save what I call good money (40-45%).  We almost have the kids college paid for.  We drive reliable cars but not new and we have a nice house in a very good area with awesome schools.  But we live a little right now as well and more than most on here would say is acceptable. 

sol

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Re: Richer I get the Poorer I feel. Anyone else?
« Reply #26 on: May 17, 2018, 08:44:20 AM »
I never feel poor when I deny myself a wasteful purchase.

Sometimes I feel a little smug that I have opted for efficiency over waste, but that's a minor undertone to the overwhelming theme of my financial life, which is that I am using my vast wealth to purchase the one single luxury that most of humanity can never have:  early retirement.

I could buy a million dollar waterfront home, or a fancy sailboat, or a luxury vacation through Europe, but those things are just like the $5 starbucks coffee.  They are fleeting luxuries, consumed in an attempt to find happiness, by people who are unhappy because of their jobs.  Jobs that own them, by depriving them of their freedom.  Real luxury is being able to buy yourself out of your job.

Khaetra

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Re: Richer I get the Poorer I feel. Anyone else?
« Reply #27 on: May 17, 2018, 09:00:41 AM »
I kind of work against the grain of many on this site.  I live some in the moment and spend more than I should right now while I'm in good health and have kids at home.  I don't want to look back and think I missed out on the some of the things we've done together as a family.  We have a nice house that we can downsize later and we save a ton for college for the kids.  But we also take 1-2 vacations each year with the kids.  We eat out slightly more than most on here would say is right.  But we are saving 40-45% of our take home pay for FI. 

I look at my parents and they are in their 60's and don't want to travel much and really just spend a lot of time at home.  They have saved a lot of money and will never spend the principal they saved.  Why do I want to miss out on some of the great things we do with the kids (while there at home and want to spend time with us) just so I can have a large nest egg when I'm 75 years old.

It will end up costing me 5 years or so on FI but I don't want to look back and regret things we did not do.  I would not give up any of the past things we have done, which costs future money so that I can RE 5 years earlier.  We still save what I call good money (40-45%).  We almost have the kids college paid for.  We drive reliable cars but not new and we have a nice house in a very good area with awesome schools.  But we live a little right now as well and more than most on here would say is acceptable.

+1.  Saving money is great, but if it means missing out and being miserable then it's not so great.  The whole point of the blog here is to live a great life and not to be a 'consumer sucka'.  It doesn't mean to hole yourself up, save everything and spend nothing.

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Re: Richer I get the Poorer I feel. Anyone else?
« Reply #28 on: May 17, 2018, 09:05:49 AM »
I never feel poor when I deny myself a wasteful purchase.

Sometimes I feel a little smug that I have opted for efficiency over waste, but that's a minor undertone to the overwhelming theme of my financial life, which is that I am using my vast wealth to purchase the one single luxury that most of humanity can never have:  early retirement.

I could buy a million dollar waterfront home, or a fancy sailboat, or a luxury vacation through Europe, but those things are just like the $5 starbucks coffee.  They are fleeting luxuries, consumed in an attempt to find happiness, by people who are unhappy because of their jobs.  Jobs that own them, by depriving them of their freedom.  Real luxury is being able to buy yourself out of your job.
+1 for Sol!

I'm trading so many things that people think is necessary or that they'd pay for... but getting the freedom to do whatever the hell I want and not need an employer. That's my trade-off. And if I ever decide to want some more money, it's going to be insanely easy negotiate. But as it goes along, more and more things no longer cost money, so even my low expenses keep getting lower. I can only imagine how low it'll be when I have only free time.

Laura33

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Re: Richer I get the Poorer I feel. Anyone else?
« Reply #29 on: May 17, 2018, 09:07:30 AM »
I went the other way.  When I first started out in my career, making more money than I ever dreamed of (low expectations, not huge pay), I still felt poor.  Because I thought making $50K, or $80K, or especially $180K after I married, was SO MUCH MONEY that I could have everything I wanted as a kid -- big pot of savings, big house, nice car, makeup from the mall, etc.  Basically, financial security + a wealthy lifestyle.  But no matter how much I made, I always felt poor, because it still wasn't enough to fund all of that.  And worse:  at each income level, I was exposed to more and nicer things that I never even realized "normal people" bought when I was a poor kid.  I mean, when you're on food stamps, you're not exactly surrounded by people driving BMWs and owning second homes, you know?  But plop me down in a law firm, and damn, my lifestyle was much more constrained than everyone else's.  I remember shortly after I got married getting Conde Nast Traveler, and reading about all these $400+/night hotels as if that was just nothing, and thinking, man, we make $180K, and I'm not even close to being able to afford that, so who are these people who talk about it like it's just a normal part of life?*  I ended up canceling the subscription because it made me feel worse, not better.

OTOH, the MMM philosophy -- and years of experience -- have taught me that chasing stuff willy-nilly will never bring contentment or a feeling of wealth, because there is always something more/better/different.  And the more I focus on what I have (which is pretty fucking awesome), the wealthier I feel.  Honestly, the day that I realized I never had to work again if I didn't want to was one of the most amazing days of my life.  Every day I am conscious of having the privilege of deciding if I want to keep going in to work or not, and there is really no higher privilege than that. 

But I am also older than you.  So I think it is natural when you are building your assets to focus on what you are giving up; it's hard to constantly turn things down, even when you are doing it for all the right reasons and are overall happy with your lifestyle and choices.  But let me tell you, when you're on the other side of the mountain and looking at that nice fat pot o' cash**, that completely goes away.  Now, if I want to buy something stupid that I can't afford, I need to give up something -- my freedom -- to get it.  And in almost every case, the "thing" just doesn't feel worth the mental weight of knowing I "need" a job again, so I can happily go on my way without feeling deprived at all.

*Also note that my version of normal assumed about a 20%-25% savings rate; at the time, I had not yet realized how unusual that was.

** And by "cash," I mean "VTSAX."

Schaefer Light

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Re: Richer I get the Poorer I feel. Anyone else?
« Reply #30 on: May 17, 2018, 09:15:17 AM »
Honestly, the day that I realized I never had to work again if I didn't want to was one of the most amazing days of my life.  Every day I am conscious of having the privilege of deciding if I want to keep going in to work or not, and there is really no higher privilege than that.

That's what I'm saving for.  I want to know what that feels like.

Jrr85

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Re: Richer I get the Poorer I feel. Anyone else?
« Reply #31 on: May 17, 2018, 09:17:59 AM »
Hi all,

I have been ready MMM for about five-six years now. I was fairly ignorant about investing and spending before that. I mean I had investment properties and saved about 30% of my salary but I was carefree with spending money. In the last six years my net worth has skyrocketed and my (our) saving rate is around 70%.

The key difference I feel is that 'before' I used to spend $20 here or $50 there without much thought. Now with more money (net worth increasing $1M in last 6 years alone) I feel poor. I mean, I know I am doing well but still the pain of 'wasting' money on $5 coffee (which is rare now days) or similar spending hurts. I have gone from mindless spending to 'intentional' spending. We spend on what is important to us (e.g. travelling) and eliminate all other waste (eating out every day, latest iPhone etc.)

I have family / relatives who are much much worse off than we are but they spend like crazy. A close relative just bought a $80k SUV when they clearly can't afford it and everyone (within our extended family) is congratulating them. I feel bad for not congratulating them but I just can't bring myself to thinking that it is a good decision.

I feel now that we have a 'target number' to achieve FI we are poor because we need to save XX% in order to get there. The 'target' is now a reminder of the journey ahead and the effort required.

Anyways, this is all part of the process I guess. Anyone else feeling poor while getting rich?

I think I partly deal with the same thing.  Mine is more of realizing that I'm behind though, and I'm only hitting 25% to 38% savings rate (depending on whether you're looking at gross or after tax earnings and how you count pension contributions), not 70%.  And I have made some choices that have drastically limited my earnings growth, which seemed like a fine trade-off at the time, but maybe I would have looked at those trade-offs differently if I had a better idea of how quickly it would get us to FI. 

So whereas before, we would spend money freely and were still doing well by U.S. standards (probably saving 10-15% at the time).  Now, we spend a lot less and are saving a lot more, and our net worth is increasing faster (even while picking up ~$25k a year in additional childcare expenses), but it is psychologically painful to make the even scaled back splurges.  Before a three day anniversary get away wouldn't have generated another thought.  Now I am frustrated that we are about to spend probably $700-800 on a weekend trip.  But I'm hopeful that this would go away once we get far enough along (and really hopeful that our savings rate will jump up when the kids get school aged).   

RookieStache

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Re: Richer I get the Poorer I feel. Anyone else?
« Reply #32 on: May 17, 2018, 09:27:34 AM »
Hi all,

I have been ready MMM for about five-six years now. I was fairly ignorant about investing and spending before that. I mean I had investment properties and saved about 30% of my salary but I was carefree with spending money. In the last six years my net worth has skyrocketed and my (our) saving rate is around 70%.

The key difference I feel is that 'before' I used to spend $20 here or $50 there without much thought. Now with more money (net worth increasing $1M in last 6 years alone) I feel poor. I mean, I know I am doing well but still the pain of 'wasting' money on $5 coffee (which is rare now days) or similar spending hurts. I have gone from mindless spending to 'intentional' spending. We spend on what is important to us (e.g. travelling) and eliminate all other waste (eating out every day, latest iPhone etc.)

I have family / relatives who are much much worse off than we are but they spend like crazy. A close relative just bought a $80k SUV when they clearly can't afford it and everyone (within our extended family) is congratulating them. I feel bad for not congratulating them but I just can't bring myself to thinking that it is a good decision.

I feel now that we have a 'target number' to achieve FI we are poor because we need to save XX% in order to get there. The 'target' is now a reminder of the journey ahead and the effort required.

Anyways, this is all part of the process I guess. Anyone else feeling poor while getting rich?

I think I partly deal with the same thing.  Mine is more of realizing that I'm behind though, and I'm only hitting 25% to 38% savings rate (depending on whether you're looking at gross or after tax earnings and how you count pension contributions), not 70%.  And I have made some choices that have drastically limited my earnings growth, which seemed like a fine trade-off at the time, but maybe I would have looked at those trade-offs differently if I had a better idea of how quickly it would get us to FI. 

So whereas before, we would spend money freely and were still doing well by U.S. standards (probably saving 10-15% at the time).  Now, we spend a lot less and are saving a lot more, and our net worth is increasing faster (even while picking up ~$25k a year in additional childcare expenses), but it is psychologically painful to make the even scaled back splurges.  Before a three day anniversary get away wouldn't have generated another thought.  Now I am frustrated that we are about to spend probably $700-800 on a weekend trip.  But I'm hopeful that this would go away once we get far enough along (and really hopeful that our savings rate will jump up when the kids get school aged).

You literally just described my life. We used to save 10% and are now up to 23%. We have always been extremely frugal but there just isn't room to save more with daycare expenses for child #1 and child #2 on the way, on top of a car payment for 2 more years. Have a long way to go before our last will hit elementary school, but that will feel like quite the raise!

simonsez

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Re: Richer I get the Poorer I feel. Anyone else?
« Reply #33 on: May 17, 2018, 09:34:31 AM »
I think it's partially due to ignorance is bliss (or lack thereof) and a bit of trees vs forest perspective.  When you were more ignorant, it was easier to be happy-go-lucky, especially in the short-term as that was the bulk of focus.  Now that you know what is optimal or at least a vast improvement for your own life including extending many years into the future, it can be difficult to react positively to some of what transpires by those around you.  The saying "the more you know the less you understand" also works here.  It's generally good to be humbled and be aware you do not have all the answers.

Quote
I feel bad for not congratulating them but I just can't bring myself to thinking that it is a good decision.

If lying would make you feel bad, then don't lie.  If you think recognition is better than ignoring, say a generic truism.  "Hey, nice-looking car!" or "Wow, this vehicle is so comfortable!"  You aren't congratulating them, you are just pointing out the obvious (assuming their 80k vehicle is indeed nice, whether or not you think it's a terrible idea is independent of the fact if the hunk of metal looks nice).

mathlete

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Re: Richer I get the Poorer I feel. Anyone else?
« Reply #34 on: May 17, 2018, 09:52:37 AM »
I never feel poor because there are no real issues in my life (such as housing, medical, or food) that I don't have more than enough money to solve.

But I do think I understand the notion a little bit. Albeit in a different sense. When I was 22 and out of college, I was making 3X what I was making in a year at my previous part time jobs. And it was great. Sure, I invested a bunch, and saved up for a house, but there was some spending in there too. I went out on $30 per person dates with my girlfriend. I bought a new (pre-owned) car. I'd go out drinking, spend $100 buying shots for everyone, and not think anything of it.

Seven years later, I'm making much more money. But I still drive the same car. The $30 meals are gone. No more expensive shots. Pretty much 100% of my raises and promotion bumps since I was 24 or 25 have gone into some kind of investing. Two years ago I got a really big pay bump that I'd been working for pretty much since I started my career. I was so excited the day it happened, but later that evening, I just got really intensely sad. Because I knew there was no material change to my life (right now).

It's hard sometimes. Your brain expects certain reward cycles and that makes riding out the bumps along a long term plan difficult. I just keep reminding myself though, that the things I choose to allocate my money towards are what I really value.

FireHiker

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Re: Richer I get the Poorer I feel. Anyone else?
« Reply #35 on: May 17, 2018, 09:58:00 AM »
I kind of work against the grain of many on this site.  I live some in the moment and spend more than I should right now while I'm in good health and have kids at home.  I don't want to look back and think I missed out on the some of the things we've done together as a family.  We have a nice house that we can downsize later and we save a ton for college for the kids.  But we also take 1-2 vacations each year with the kids.  We eat out slightly more than most on here would say is right.  But we are saving 40-45% of our take home pay for FI. 

I look at my parents and they are in their 60's and don't want to travel much and really just spend a lot of time at home.  They have saved a lot of money and will never spend the principal they saved.  Why do I want to miss out on some of the great things we do with the kids (while there at home and want to spend time with us) just so I can have a large nest egg when I'm 75 years old.

It will end up costing me 5 years or so on FI but I don't want to look back and regret things we did not do.  I would not give up any of the past things we have done, which costs future money so that I can RE 5 years earlier.  We still save what I call good money (40-45%).  We almost have the kids college paid for.  We drive reliable cars but not new and we have a nice house in a very good area with awesome schools.  But we live a little right now as well and more than most on here would say is acceptable.

This is absolutely how we live too. For me it isn't my parents so much, although my dad died at 57 due to COPD complications (long time smoker). The thing that both pushed me to find the FIRE community AND encouraged me to "live a little" (but doing the things I really, truly value) is that my very good friend died at 46 due to brain cancer. She was fit and brilliant and did everything "right". It's been almost a year since she died, but she was first diagnosed around the time I came across MMM. We strive to keep our savings rate above 40%, but we have really upped our travel spending the past few years, while we've also cut back on other spending (cable TV, house cleaning, the usual MMM stuff). We've also maxed out our 401k's and HSA. Worst case for us for FIRE (I mean, short of untimely death or actual apocalypse...) is 12 years, if we stay put as we are now until our youngest is through high school. I will be 51. If we downsize sooner or relocate sooner than planned, it could be as early as 5-7 years. I'm okay with those timeframes if it means we can have some fun now, but I'm not willing to add more years to have a fancy new car, new phone every year, cable TV, etc.

tooqk4u22

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Re: Richer I get the Poorer I feel. Anyone else?
« Reply #36 on: May 17, 2018, 10:03:38 AM »
Its a hard feeling BEING wealthy but FEELING poor - completely irrational.  For me its less about comparison and more about work and value.   For me its (1) we worked really hard and prudently to get to where we are and while we may be able to FIRE on the 4% rule but its not like where its so much money that it can't slip away from some event such as unusual medical need or (2) on the spending side its like hey its only $500/month but then you realize that's an extra $150k needed, which is a lot of friggin money so I must be poor. 

I never knew how poor I was until I started making money
« Last Edit: May 17, 2018, 10:24:20 AM by tooqk4u22 »

GrumpyPenguin

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Re: Richer I get the Poorer I feel. Anyone else?
« Reply #37 on: May 17, 2018, 12:01:20 PM »
The richer I get the... way I think about spending really hasn't changed at all.  I simply don't care to spend $5 for a cup of coffee out when I'm almost always happier with what I have at home.  The same with meals.  And I simply don't get any utility out of fancy cars or most things that cost a lot of money.  The more stuff I own, it feels like the more it would own me.

I imagine being frugal would be much more challenging for one who cares about that stuff.

mak1277

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Re: Richer I get the Poorer I feel. Anyone else?
« Reply #38 on: May 17, 2018, 12:08:51 PM »
It only dawned on me that I was rich when I stopped worrying about what I spent. 

Note - I believe this feeling can happen at many different levels of spending.

hucktard

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Re: Richer I get the Poorer I feel. Anyone else?
« Reply #39 on: May 17, 2018, 12:24:27 PM »
It's hard to see the forest for the trees.

For many people, even those pursuing financial freedom, it's easy to get caught up in the day-to-day because each drop in the bucket seems so irrelevant. That $20 is 0.00002% of your $1M saved. If you don't have the right perspective it's easy to get upset with yourself for denying that purchase.

But when you're out of the woods and free to do what you want, your future self will be thanking your present self. Hedonic Adaptation or something like that.

The only advice I can give is to try and shed the FOMO/Frustration and find a place (internally) you can go where you can re-center yourself with your goal.

$20 is 0.002% of 1Million not 0.00002%. You have to multiply the fraction (0.00002) by 100 to get to percent. Sorry couldn't help myself.

chemistk

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Re: Richer I get the Poorer I feel. Anyone else?
« Reply #40 on: May 17, 2018, 01:26:56 PM »
It's hard to see the forest for the trees.

For many people, even those pursuing financial freedom, it's easy to get caught up in the day-to-day because each drop in the bucket seems so irrelevant. That $20 is 0.00002% of your $1M saved. If you don't have the right perspective it's easy to get upset with yourself for denying that purchase.

But when you're out of the woods and free to do what you want, your future self will be thanking your present self. Hedonic Adaptation or something like that.

The only advice I can give is to try and shed the FOMO/Frustration and find a place (internally) you can go where you can re-center yourself with your goal.

$20 is 0.002% of 1Million not 0.00002%. You have to multiply the fraction (0.00002) by 100 to get to percent. Sorry couldn't help myself.

Thanks you! Coffee was still brewing when I wrote that.

o2bfree

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Re: Richer I get the Poorer I feel. Anyone else?
« Reply #41 on: May 17, 2018, 02:31:32 PM »
I remember how I felt in my 20s, making what in today's dollars amounts to about 40% of what I'm making now. I remember how confident and adventurous I felt; I remember the energy and sense of independence. I could buy whatever I wanted, but I felt like I had the world in my pocket, so I what did I really need?

As I've gotten older (nearly 56 now) I've felt an increase in desire for more material comforts and conveniences in my life. I don't think it's much about wanting to impress others. Rather, it's a subtle sense of insecurity that seems related to body aging. I notice that at times when I feel like I'm still 26, that desire for more comfort and convenience isn't there. I feel like Geez, I've hit my FI goal, why don't I give notice? I feel rich!

But on days when my body feels more its age, I'm thinking Geez, why don't I get a cushy new SUV, or redo the kitchen cabinets so I don't have to get on my knees to drag things out, or get cable TV so I don't have to run out and tweak the antenna after every wind storm, or take a cushy vacation and stay in hotels instead of our camper van. Then comes the little voice in my ear: "Everyone else does, why not me?" So then I feel poor.

I just have to reason myself out of it. Not only will a comfort quest not stop me from getting older, it'll just make me even more dissatisfied with life.


sol

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Re: Richer I get the Poorer I feel. Anyone else?
« Reply #42 on: May 17, 2018, 03:11:03 PM »
I just have to reason myself out of it.

This is good advice for most of life's problems.  The judicious application of reason solves most everything.  I'm shocked more people don't try it.

scottish

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Re: Richer I get the Poorer I feel. Anyone else?
« Reply #43 on: May 17, 2018, 07:52:34 PM »
It's hard!   You have to contend with confirmation bias, your emotional state, the opinions of others involved, social proof...

DreamFIRE

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Re: Richer I get the Poorer I feel. Anyone else?
« Reply #44 on: May 17, 2018, 08:14:06 PM »
As I've gotten older (nearly 56 now) I've felt an increase in desire for more material comforts and conveniences in my life. I don't think it's much about wanting to impress others. Rather, it's a subtle sense of insecurity that seems related to body aging. I notice that at times when I feel like I'm still 26, that desire for more comfort and convenience isn't there. I feel like Geez, I've hit my FI goal, why don't I give notice? I feel rich!

I'm several years younger, but as I approached and hit 50, I think my desire for more typical consumer crap dropped.  My car is 11 1/2 years old, and I don't really feel like getting a new one, even though I could buy it for cash.  All the electronic gadgets don't excite me.  My primary computer is over 5 years old, my newest laptop is about 5 years old, I'm happy with both.  I'm using a 1 1/2 year old cheapie smartphone.  I'm happy with my 11 year old bicycle.  No desire for cable TV since I cut the cord in favor of an antenna in my attic.  Not too crazy about vacations while I still work.  I'm having trouble thinking of any expensive material or entertainment items that I would like to spend money on right now, but I have some home improvement/maintenance projects that will suck up some dollars, even doing most of it myself.

Zikoris

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Re: Richer I get the Poorer I feel. Anyone else?
« Reply #45 on: May 17, 2018, 09:10:03 PM »
Hmm... for me, it's the opposite - I feel absolutely ridiculously rich. I mean shit, we have a comfortable six figure net worth, see insane increases every year due to our 65-70% savings rate, and spend about 10% of the year traveling all over the world. Like, this year our travel plans involve England, Czech Republic, Germany, and the Netherlands in the summer, Vietnam in the winter, and four additional smaller trips exploring our part of Canada - and we've paid for it all already. How could we not feel just crazy rich? Our lives are just so amazing and filled with all of our favourite things.

PNW Lady

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Re: Richer I get the Poorer I feel. Anyone else?
« Reply #46 on: May 18, 2018, 12:16:16 AM »
I’ve noticed that I feel much “poorer” about foregoing the $20 here-and-there purchases when I’m in the throes of employment. I wonder if the negative feelings you experience have more to do with the general unhappiness that typically comes with the demands of a job rather than the act of foregoing the $20 purchase. In my experience, the $20 here-and-there purchases are typically impulse buys as an attempt to cope with the stress of a hectic and/or poorly planned day.

I have taken the last year off from my corporate career to decompress and enjoy life and honestly I have been so blissed out by my daily freedom that I have gone days/weeks on end without spending any money (except for weekly groceries) without any effort. This has been the BEST.YEAR.OF.MY.LIFE!!!!!!!!! Just know that it is sooooo worth it, and foregoing those $20 here-and-there purchases will probably be a piece of cake once you are FI.

In the meantime, do the work to create your happiness today, regardless of money. Spend time each day practicing gratitude for what you have and really take a few minutes to reflect on it. Go for a weekly hike out in nature, check out a good book from the library, take a long bath (do guys do that?), spend an evening in listening to your favorite music, volunteer for a worthy cause, invite some buddies over for a poker night, enjoy a leisurely Sunday afternoon meal prepping delicious/healthy/economical food for the week ahead while sipping on some wine and having good conversation with your SO, or whatever floats your boat.

And as others have mentioned, stoicism works wonders. If you normally drive to work, switch things up and walk, bike, or take mass transit for a week. And then when you are out in your community, make it a goal to try and make someone’s day better in some small way (I find that shifting the focus off of me and onto others gives me a nice mental reset).

Good luck!

pecunia

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Re: Richer I get the Poorer I feel. Anyone else?
« Reply #47 on: May 18, 2018, 06:31:12 AM »
Quote
In the meantime, do the work to create your happiness today, regardless of money. Spend time each day practicing gratitude for what you have and really take a few minutes to reflect on it. Go for a weekly hike out in nature, check out a good book from the library, take a long bath (do guys do that?), spend an evening in listening to your favorite music, volunteer for a worthy cause, invite some buddies over for a poker night, enjoy a leisurely Sunday afternoon meal prepping delicious/healthy/economical food for the week ahead while sipping on some wine and having good conversation with your SO, or whatever floats your boat.

Well said - Maybe some of the best things in life are still free or nearly free.

I also noted that these good things mentioned are not too involved with material things.

dude

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Re: Richer I get the Poorer I feel. Anyone else?
« Reply #48 on: May 18, 2018, 07:23:42 AM »
I just have to reason myself out of it.

This is good advice for most of life's problems.  The judicious application of reason solves most everything.  I'm shocked more people don't try it.

HAHAHAHA!!! Amen!!

dude

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Re: Richer I get the Poorer I feel. Anyone else?
« Reply #49 on: May 18, 2018, 07:30:30 AM »
I will say this re:  "feeling poor."  I see and know lots of people who I know make far less than our household, and they spend wildly so they look like they're rich.  You know the type -- the opposite of the Millionaire Next Door type. Remember that old brokerage house (can't remember which) commercial where everyone was walking around with "their number" under their arm?  I kinda wish that were the case in real life, not because I want to flaunt what I have or get into a dick measuring contest, but just because I'm really, really fucking curious to confirm that these people don't have shit put away for a rainy day. You know what I mean?  I suppose its just some inner desire (or more likely insecurity) to have my lifestyle choice(s) validated. Which of course is stupid, because I shouldn't need any outside validation for my choices. Being human is hard and weird sometimes, amirite?