Author Topic: When do hobbies become facepunch-worthy?  (Read 2945 times)

carolinap

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When do hobbies become facepunch-worthy?
« on: April 04, 2017, 12:00:12 PM »
I think a lot of us (or at least me) feel guilty when spend money on no essential things. But when it's time to stop?

To give an example and context, I play sports and I am part of a competitive team in an "unpopular" sport (that means I pay for all my expenses in gear and travels for my on fun and pleasure - I'm an adult and pay my on bills btw). I don't make much money so I'm aware that it puts my financial goals reeeeally behind. Now I got a second job to pay for an overseas trip related to this sport (while saving too little for FIRE). Am I being crazy? Or at least antimustachian?

According to MMM there are a lot of ways to exercise alone or in groups, but I don't feel good about leaving my main source of fun, passion and human connection.

AT THE SAME TIME I kinda judge people for their expenses with non essential things. What if their hobbies include buying a lot of designer bags? Collect rare and expensive baseball cards?

Where do you define the limit?

« Last Edit: April 04, 2017, 12:07:54 PM by carolinap »

patchyfacialhair

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Re: When do hobbies become facepunch-worthy?
« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2017, 12:13:31 PM »
Early retirement isn't a requirement. It's the focus of this forum, sure.

If you think the second job and extra expenses add value to your life, I don't think it's anti-mustachian at all, provided you're still taking care of your future in one way or another.

Vindicated

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Re: When do hobbies become facepunch-worthy?
« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2017, 12:16:44 PM »
I try to step back and view the big picture.  The ultimate goal is to live your perfect life.  What is your perfect life?  It's different for all of us.

You need to identify what your perfect life will look like.  I recently laid mine out in my journal to try to make sense of what I was working towards.  It really helped.  Do this first.

The main driver for most of us is to not have to work in jobs we don't like.  FIRE is typically the largest necessary step that many of us need to take to achieve our perfect state.  That's why it all revolves around FIRE.

So, if you're perfect state involves your sporting activity, then you have to include it.  Whether you cut back to reach FIRE faster or not is all about the finding the balance between which goals are most important, and which you can delay.

Ayanka

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Re: When do hobbies become facepunch-worthy?
« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2017, 12:17:13 PM »
For me it becomes face punchworthy if you can't pay your bills anymore or go into debt for it or you can't save the 15% recommended for normal retirement. Because then you are worse than the advice for an average American and that is pretty bad.

While I sincerely hope you don't tick any of those boxes, it isn't Mustachian. But it doesn't mean it can't be a legit choice if that is what you want to do with your life though. And this doesn't sound like you could still do it in 10 years or that you will be doing it for years?

carolinap

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Re: When do hobbies become facepunch-worthy?
« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2017, 12:24:45 PM »
But it doesn't mean it can't be a legit choice if that is what you want to do with your life though. And this doesn't sound like you could still do it in 10 years or that you will be doing it for years?

That comes to my mind, it's a contact sport and the opportunities in experiences that I have now can be unavailable later.

But I'm 25 and I have less than I should in savings, in my opinion. I'm trying to work on have similar dedication (as in, getting a 2nd job) to my savings that I have to the sport.

I'm still interested in where do you draw "the line" on this subject of expenses x hobbies.

Vindicated

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Re: When do hobbies become facepunch-worthy?
« Reply #5 on: April 04, 2017, 12:30:15 PM »
I'm still interested in where do you draw "the line" on this subject of expenses x hobbies.

Completely based on your personal circumstances.

For instance, if you are currently living off of 70% of your income, saving 15% and spending 15% on your sport, that seems fine.  If you're spending 90% of your income, saving 0%, and spending 15% on your sport, you need a 2nd job to support the sport, and still aren't saving.

We don't know where you're at on this spectrum.

carolinap

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Re: When do hobbies become facepunch-worthy?
« Reply #6 on: April 04, 2017, 12:40:25 PM »
I'm still interested in where do you draw "the line" on this subject of expenses x hobbies.

Completely based on your personal circumstances.

For instance, if you are currently living off of 70% of your income, saving 15% and spending 15% on your sport, that seems fine.  If you're spending 90% of your income, saving 0%, and spending 15% on your sport, you need a 2nd job to support the sport, and still aren't saving.

We don't know where you're at on this spectrum.

I was not expecting to go throught too much detail about my specific case, but I get the point of these questions. There is some point that when the savings percentage go closer and closer to 0% that the hobbies expenses become irresponsible.

Vindicated

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Re: When do hobbies become facepunch-worthy?
« Reply #7 on: April 04, 2017, 01:36:22 PM »
This is a good reference for finding your savings goal and aligning it with your FIRE goal.

http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/01/13/the-shockingly-simple-math-behind-early-retirement/

Save 70% of your income to retire in 8.5 years.  Save 15% to retire in 43 years.

So, if you're saving 15% now (43 years to go) and spending 15% on your hobbies, you could theoretically cut hobbies out to save 30% total.  Thus, accelerating your FIRE timeline from 43 years down to 28 years.

I'm currently only around 10%, since I'm focusing on paying down debt.  However, I'm optimistic that over the next few years I'll be able to increase this beyond 50% or higher. 

SeaEhm

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Re: When do hobbies become facepunch-worthy?
« Reply #8 on: April 04, 2017, 08:54:18 PM »

AT THE SAME TIME I kinda judge people for their expenses with non essential things. What if their hobbies include buying a lot of designer bags? Collect rare and expensive baseball cards?

Where do you define the limit?

Just continue to think about what makes you happy in life. You are paying for the sport as well as the experience it provides.  Continue to calculate where your spending on this sport places you on your financial map/journey.  Is it worth it?  Are you going to be 65 and regret playing or will you regret not playing?

 The older I become, the more I realize I don't care for many material things, however, the material things I do want are very materialistic and pricey.  So I could be that person with the designer handbag collection.  However, if I walk in to my metaphorical closet, look at my $30k handbag collection and smile everyday, then so be it as long as that smile lasts me until I am ready to retire. 

Problem is that what you find joy in your 20s, 30s, and 40s always seems to change.

Laura33

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Re: When do hobbies become facepunch-worthy?
« Reply #9 on: April 05, 2017, 09:29:30 AM »
There are two fundamental mistakes people make with their money:

1.  They overweight current happiness and underweight future happiness; and

2.  They mistake what will make them happy/satisfied long-term.

On the first issue, people tend to choose passing entertainment today over long-term future stability and freedom.  They tend to be overly optimistic (e.g., "no problem, I love my job, and so maybe I'll just work to 70," without realizing that in another 25 years, that job might no longer be awesome or they might get downsized).  Or they think they will be very different in 25 years ("well, I need this huge house now to raise my family, but when it's just me, 400' will be fine"; they don't consider that they are currently establishing a baseline for space and amenities and they might not want to downsize/cut back). 

The problem is that there is no "right" split between Current You and Future You -- it depends on a bunch of things like how much your current hobbies cost, how much you make, how much you hate your job, how stable/unstable your field/employer is, etc.  So my approach is to try to be fairly pessimistic about my assumptions for the future.  That includes assuming that I am still going to be, meaning that if I like certain spendy things now, I am likely to still like variants of certain spendy things in the future.  E.g., maybe you won't be able to play your sport any more, but I bet you'll still want to travel to watch it, maybe coach, etc.  So make sure you are starting from a savings rate that is going to give Future You the same opportunities you would want to have now, and that doesn't lock you into working longer than you may be able to (or be able to tolerate). 

On the second issue, this is the classic "stuff vs. experiences" thing.  There's nothing wrong with a nice purse; the problem is that most people think the purse itelf brings joy, when in reality the joy comes from I Have A New Thing and fades rapidly with the newness.  So they have to keep repeating the cycle with more stuff to continue to be happy.  OTOH, if the stuff you buy is actually the stuff that brings you joy, then it's worth it.  E.g., I have a convertible.  There was a huge surge of joy when I bought it, of course.  But 4 years later, every day I drive to work with the top down I *still* walk into the office with a big-ass smile on my face.  So to me, that was a good purchase. 

It sounds to me like you actually have the second issue pretty dialed in -- you know exactly what makes you happy and and are directing your dollars to that, to the point that you are even willing to take on a second job to allow you to do more of it.  It's not face-punch-worthy to spend money on stuff that actually *does* make you happy on a daily basis!  IMO, you already have half the battle won and are way ahead of many, many people who are still throwing money at the wrong thing. 

So for you, I'd say go back to the first issue, and take another, hard look at Future You.  My sense is that you are so wrapped up in your current passion that you are perhaps undercounting what Future You might need/want, so you might need to figure out ways to move the line a little more towards savings and a little further away from current spend (or find a way to increase your earnings to cover both).  But where that line goes is 100% for you to decide.  When you are spending money on the right things, it's only face-punch-worthy if you mortgage your future needs chasing current wants.

Chris22

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Re: When do hobbies become facepunch-worthy?
« Reply #10 on: April 05, 2017, 09:44:56 AM »
OTOH, if the stuff you buy is actually the stuff that brings you joy, then it's worth it.  E.g., I have a convertible.  There was a huge surge of joy when I bought it, of course.  But 4 years later, every day I drive to work with the top down I *still* walk into the office with a big-ass smile on my face.  So to me, that was a good purchase. 

You're correct about the mistakes people make with their money, but the flip side is that a lot of people on this board make the opposite mistake, that you can't "purchase happiness" because "stuff can never make you happy."  However, like you, I also own a convertible (10 years next month) that makes me deliriously happy to this day.  Too many here would claim that's unpossible.  But it isn't. 

Laura33

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Re: When do hobbies become facepunch-worthy?
« Reply #11 on: April 05, 2017, 12:59:37 PM »
OTOH, if the stuff you buy is actually the stuff that brings you joy, then it's worth it.  E.g., I have a convertible.  There was a huge surge of joy when I bought it, of course.  But 4 years later, every day I drive to work with the top down I *still* walk into the office with a big-ass smile on my face.  So to me, that was a good purchase. 

You're correct about the mistakes people make with their money, but the flip side is that a lot of people on this board make the opposite mistake, that you can't "purchase happiness" because "stuff can never make you happy."  However, like you, I also own a convertible (10 years next month) that makes me deliriously happy to this day.  Too many here would claim that's unpossible.  But it isn't.

I hear a Miata is always the answer.  Unless you want to go fast, of course.  ;-)

Chris22

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Re: When do hobbies become facepunch-worthy?
« Reply #12 on: April 05, 2017, 01:07:24 PM »
OTOH, if the stuff you buy is actually the stuff that brings you joy, then it's worth it.  E.g., I have a convertible.  There was a huge surge of joy when I bought it, of course.  But 4 years later, every day I drive to work with the top down I *still* walk into the office with a big-ass smile on my face.  So to me, that was a good purchase. 

You're correct about the mistakes people make with their money, but the flip side is that a lot of people on this board make the opposite mistake, that you can't "purchase happiness" because "stuff can never make you happy."  However, like you, I also own a convertible (10 years next month) that makes me deliriously happy to this day.  Too many here would claim that's unpossible.  But it isn't.

I hear a Miata is always the answer.  Unless you want to go fast, of course.  ;-)

My car was once described as a "weaponized Miata".  I like that definition :)

honeybbq

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Re: When do hobbies become facepunch-worthy?
« Reply #13 on: April 05, 2017, 02:00:23 PM »
I spend a LOT on my hobbies... and I have too many.. in terms of time management.

But they keep me happy, healthy, and fulfilled. So, what's not to lose?

Just Joe

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Re: When do hobbies become facepunch-worthy?
« Reply #14 on: April 05, 2017, 04:11:14 PM »
I hear a Miata is always the answer.  Unless you want to go fast, of course.  ;-)

Just add a small block Chevy V-8.

TheGrimSqueaker

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Re: When do hobbies become facepunch-worthy?
« Reply #15 on: April 05, 2017, 04:43:56 PM »
Many moons ago I posted a story about a buddy of mine I used to sponsor to compete in a fairly obscure but expensive sport. I think I called it "underwater macramé" or some similar nonsense. It's the kind of "gentleman's" or "hobby" sport where people pay to compete. Because of the specialized equipment and the travel involved, it's impossible to actually make a living through competition alone and most serious competitors have a day job or run a business related to the sport.

My buddy, a bit of a competition junkie who self-identified as a professional athlete, was systematically putting competitions ahead of even the most basic business interests. Not much has changed since the last posting, either: my buddy still doesn't live high on the hog, but hasn't experienced much financial success and also isn't winning consistently. But instead of retrenching, identifying a few key competitions, and focusing on those, my buddy chose to cancel the car insurance in order to afford more distant competitions. One wreck later, and my buddy is without any form of transportation which makes it difficult to compete, teach, or do much of anything else including hold down a conventional job.

moof

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Re: When do hobbies become facepunch-worthy?
« Reply #16 on: April 05, 2017, 04:48:51 PM »
Budgets man.  If you've done a retirement plan, and a household budget and decided you can afford your hobbies and that they are worth it compared to delays in retirement, knock yourself out.  I cannot be your judge as to whether this is a good choice, so you have to tell us if your financial plan is on target or not.

Truly face punch worthy folks usually have done neither step and are putting their hobbies on credit while putting their retirement funds into lottery tickets and lattes.  Perhaps you could look into other things in your life like your food budget, or housing budget and see if there is a way to prioritize your hobby AND savings and get to FIRE reasonably soon by trading off something else to keep your hobby funded.

I have a single budget item of personal allowance that covers things like hobbies, eating out, clothing, and other discretionary expenses.  I feel ZERO guilt when spending any accumulation there on my hobbies and such.  Spending there is already in the plan and does not short change anything else.  Sometimes when I have not spent the accumulation I transfer back excess for bonus investing.

horsepoor

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Re: When do hobbies become facepunch-worthy?
« Reply #17 on: April 05, 2017, 05:39:08 PM »
Budgets man.  If you've done a retirement plan, and a household budget and decided you can afford your hobbies and that they are worth it compared to delays in retirement, knock yourself out.  I cannot be your judge as to whether this is a good choice, so you have to tell us if your financial plan is on target or not.

Truly face punch worthy folks usually have done neither step and are putting their hobbies on credit while putting their retirement funds into lottery tickets and lattes.  Perhaps you could look into other things in your life like your food budget, or housing budget and see if there is a way to prioritize your hobby AND savings and get to FIRE reasonably soon by trading off something else to keep your hobby funded.

I have a single budget item of personal allowance that covers things like hobbies, eating out, clothing, and other discretionary expenses.  I feel ZERO guilt when spending any accumulation there on my hobbies and such.  Spending there is already in the plan and does not short change anything else.  Sometimes when I have not spent the accumulation I transfer back excess for bonus investing.

Pretty much this.  I have a pretty expensive hobby/sport, but I've made the conscious decision to pursue it in lieu of FIRE.  I'll still be able to retire at 57 with a paid-for house, and will be able to live on 2 out of my 3 expected retirement income streams easily.  If all three pan out, I'll be able to pursue my riding hobby in retirement without needing a post-RE part time job.  Caveats are:  I don't have kids, so I'm not doing this at the expense of their college educations, I look for other areas to be frugal, and I'm careful to remember how lucky I am to be able to participate in the sport at any level, and not cry about being broke.  I think face punches are deserved for people who whine about being broke, or are routinely late on bills, etc. yet own multiple horses, are out at horse shows every weekend, need to have the latest equipment, an so on.  To me, RE isn't worth it if I can't own and ride horses with all that free time.