Author Topic: $250k wobble: Envious of friend's excessive lives  (Read 24731 times)

jeromedawg

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Re: $250k wobble: Envious of friend's excessive lives
« Reply #50 on: July 01, 2015, 01:54:23 PM »
I think my new slogan is: "it's almost always more fun competing with friends to see how cheap you can *be* versus competing with friends to see how much an expensive lifestyle you can maintain"

Murse

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Re: $250k wobble: Envious of friend's excessive lives
« Reply #51 on: July 01, 2015, 02:17:48 PM »
Three and half years ago I was $40k in debt. Today I have a net worth of $260k, estimated to grow to $300k by year end. I'm 28 and on target to FI ($500k) by 30 / 31.

I went deep into financial literature (50+ books), moved to a developing country, maxed out my income as a programmer and lived on $1 to $1.5k a month. That combination worked a treat.

However seeing friends on Facebook / Instagram travelling to exotic locations and driving fancy cars bugs me. Either they are doing amazingly well financially (knowing their salaries I suspect not), they're getting parental support (I know some are) or they are making some very poor financial decisions (most likely).

I tell myself I'm sacrificing lifestyle now for future freedom but that doesn't stop me looking at a dream car on auto trader. I've always been a car nut but never been in the position to buy anything exciting (always gone for old Japanese sedans). Now for the first time in my life I'm able to buy one in cash but my financial savviness prevents from doing so (wealthy people buy their toys after they become rich not during the accumulation phase). I protect myself from myself by tying money up in property (forced savings). Everything has become a financial decision; I don't seem to be able to chill out. I'm obsessed with the numbers, always impatient that it's taking too long. And then I question why I'm doing this…

Has anyone else had these wobbles? Ever get annoyed at having money but living like a pauper? How did you find balance?

I call it "Facebook Happy".  People put up what they want others to see.  Usually behind the exotic travel and luxury goods exist some issues; financial, personal, professional.  We had a handful of friends who were putting up stuff like that and several are already divorced, unemployed or bogged down in debt.  Keep your eye on the prize and you'll get to FI sooner than you think.
This, my girlfriend is always telling me how happy so and so is, or how much money so and so has. I always respond with what makes you think that? She says oh well I they posted a picture from a hike and looked really happy, or they have their own apartment and it is filled with stuff. I have to remind her that people only post the things that they are proud of, they don't post when they can't make their payments or when they get in a fight in their relationship and if they do, it's because they want everyone to know how someone else is at fault for their life circumstances

CryingInThePool

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Re: $250k wobble: Envious of friend's excessive lives
« Reply #52 on: July 01, 2015, 02:26:40 PM »
Keep focused;  the wobbles go away.  I'm not sure if it's as someone said above a factor of middle age or just time spent saving for FIRE.  Personally I remember having the wobbles but one day, somewhere around the 3 year mark of my FIRE journey, when I wasn't paying attention they went away.  Now instead of wobbles I mostly pity the 'humble brag' or ask for recommendations so I can learn from their travels.


Midwestache

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Re: $250k wobble: Envious of friend's excessive lives
« Reply #53 on: July 01, 2015, 05:09:02 PM »
Interesting thread. I have been reading it and it seems there is large spectrum of answers. Some people are of the mindset spend money on what makes you happy but do it responsibly whereas others are saying to shun those people so they are not tempted to indulge in what they "think" they want.

The last few months I tried to "in" source many of the things such as house cleaning, yard work, cooking to save some money. However it has ultimately made me and my family quite unhappy. What we realized is that since I work very long and odd hours (sometimes overnight, sometimes 24 hours straight, some days with little sleep) outsourcing things makes our lives easier and makes us happier. Trying to save $80 for a housekeeper every 2 weeks was not worth the bickering of me saying the house is not clean enough. Trying to save $20 for someone to mow the lawn is just not worth it to us. I have also tried to do other house improvement projects such as paint, rebuild cabinets, full bathroom remodel, on my "off" time. This has made DW and I quite unhappy.

We discussed this quite extensively and realized that we should be grateful for what we have, we shouldn't worry about trying to constantly improve our house, our living situation. What we decided is to not do any "extra" handywork ourselves for the rest of the year. We decided to go out and enjoy ourselves, whether it is working out, running, golfing, hiking etc. Our goal now is to just save a certain amount of money each year, and all the excess we will keep in the bank to do what we want with it. (We are still savings > 200K a year, what is that extra 120$ for housekeeping, extra $40 for yardwork gonna really cost us? I do not want it to cost us our relationship).

Thanks for the interesting thread!


ender

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Re: $250k wobble: Envious of friend's excessive lives
« Reply #54 on: July 01, 2015, 05:24:43 PM »
This is inspiring me to post, "excited for tonight's monthly budget date!" on Facebook just to see what happens.

If you can start feeling pity for people who live their lives for things which are ultimately unfulfilling, it will help greatly with jealousy.

When you see a young coworker buy a $30k truck when they are in debt already? Pity, not jealousy, should be the emotion you feel. There's nothing worth being jealous of. But there is plenty to pity.

Erica/NWEdible

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Re: $250k wobble: Envious of friend's excessive lives
« Reply #55 on: July 01, 2015, 07:12:22 PM »
This is inspiring me to post, "excited for tonight's monthly budget date!" on Facebook just to see what happens.
Hah hah! You're a frugality troll. Awesome. :D

hodedofome

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Re: $250k wobble: Envious of friend's excessive lives
« Reply #56 on: July 01, 2015, 07:44:18 PM »
You can buy whatever you want using the income from your investments once you are financially independent. So if you have $1 million from your investments and it's throwing off $30k/yr, use the $20k /yr you don't need and buy whatever you want with it. Or, continue to work full time or side jobs and use all of that money to spend on your hobbies. I'm a car nut too, but I won't have an Eleanor Mustang (dream car) or an old Land Cruiser until my investment income is paying for it.


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hope2retire

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Re: $250k wobble: Envious of friend's excessive lives
« Reply #57 on: July 01, 2015, 07:56:09 PM »
Today I saw two guys in a space of 10 minutes...
One was differently abled and going to work, the second was physically ok, but had no job and was begging at the train station.
Moral of the Story:
1. I thought to myself I should stop complaining for things I don't have and start appreciating things I have. There are much more worse situations one could be in, and many people would give an arm and a leg to be in my shoes ( have a job, staying healthy, FI)
2. When you compare yourself and your situations to someone else that are in apparently better situations, it is only FAIR to also compare yourself and your situations to others who are in much worse situations. This would put you in the average and you should feel good. For every person that are in a better position than you, there is atleast one (mostly  more) person who is worse than you.
3. For many people in this forum you are a motivation. I still cannot fathom, how you went from -40k to +260k in 3.5yrs and that too when you are <30. I would think either i have to win a lottery or print some and try my luck at the bank :) to make it at such a rate. that is ~85k per year

H2R

« Last Edit: July 01, 2015, 08:08:02 PM by hope2retire »

Pooplips

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Re: $250k wobble: Envious of friend's excessive lives
« Reply #58 on: July 01, 2015, 08:06:58 PM »
This is one of the reasons Facebook is a bad thing.  Facebook profiles are a front.  You have two choices, 1. Have the mental strength to realize this, and don't let peoples fake lives bother you. or 2. Get rid of it.

I got rid of it. For me it was a great decision.

+1

+2
Got rid of it January first and haven't looked back. Nothing better than telling someone you don't have Facebook and seeming the look on their face.

MMMaybe

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Re: $250k wobble: Envious of friend's excessive lives
« Reply #59 on: July 01, 2015, 11:08:32 PM »
The key to happiness is to live the life you are actually in and not spending time wishing that it was a different life or somehow a "better" one.

All those people have "Stuff" to take care of and need to run on a rat wheel to pay for all of it. They also have their own issues behind the glittering public faceds. Unless you want that to be your life, then stop wanting theirs!

I have gotten to the point where I look at excessive lifestyles and don't envy them. There is always more stress and work involved having that life, than the more simple one that I do.

I think practicing gratitude for what yoy do have helps. For example if someone suggests that my lifestyle is somewhat less than, I tell them, "Yes I could have been a supermodel that married a billionaire but I'm not...and thats OK" :)


SofiaBourbon

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Re: $250k wobble: Envious of friend's excessive lives
« Reply #60 on: July 02, 2015, 12:37:16 AM »
I've suffered from the successful ex boyfriend (he bought a brand new BMW after our breakup) and Facebook successful/perfect family, marriage, relationships, new cars (as the poster called " brand new whips"  in white BMW and Mercedes 2015; I still don't understand the term since English is not my first language,  why is it a whip? And is white the new black?). One thing I found is, not everyone has the same version of what happiness is. My version of happiness is being divorced, and maybe spending the rest of my life solo, increase my circle of friends by 2 more good ones rather than a large group and maybe go back to school . While also making sure my son is healthy and well rounded. What I'm trying to say is you need to figure out what your happy is. As far as traveling, there is airbnb and credit cards that offer miles; there are also sites for travel hacks, you could also find a part time/weekend job or an easy side contract that will only be 60-90 days or less and the income  will only be to fund a trip. The hardest time I had with being mustachian is that most people are out having expensive dinners and going to expensive bars/breweries while dressing extremely well, getting hair and nails done to meet people so it makes it hard for me to make friends or find dates. I hope this helps.

The Money Leopard

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Re: $250k wobble: Envious of friend's excessive lives
« Reply #61 on: July 02, 2015, 01:12:54 AM »
Delete FB profile.

Problem solved.

Like

The Money Leopard

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Re: $250k wobble: Envious of friend's excessive lives
« Reply #62 on: July 02, 2015, 01:30:30 AM »
The hardest time I had with being mustachian is that most people are out having expensive dinners and going to expensive bars/breweries while dressing extremely well, getting hair and nails done to meet people so it makes it hard for me to make friends or find dates. I hope this helps.

But perhaps these "flash" people in the expensive restaurants / bars are not going to be your type…

nzmamma

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Re: $250k wobble: Envious of friend's excessive lives
« Reply #63 on: July 02, 2015, 01:35:10 AM »
I love my Facebook feed. I am very liberal with the 'delete friend'/ 'I dont want to see this' options, have heaps of local free and cheap events coming up all the time. Just spend an hour changing what you see and that's half the problem solved.
I can't help with the car issue, I am the opposite of a car person (Just last week I had to check the license plate to confirm that it was indeed my car I was walking towards, ha! I've owned it for 3 years).

chesebert

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Re: $250k wobble: Envious of friend's excessive lives
« Reply #64 on: July 02, 2015, 02:30:36 AM »
Talk about e.n.v.y./p.i.t.y. BIL has a 3700ft house, always buys new cars and just bought a brand new Benz E class (had a perfectly fine Lexus). BIL family makes half of our HHI and has no more than 1/5 of our networth.

I had to amuse myself by looking at car enthusiast forums and imagining what a PITA the Benz will be (and the added cost) after it goes off warranty....

 
« Last Edit: July 02, 2015, 02:33:56 AM by chesebert »

Potterquilter

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Re: $250k wobble: Envious of friend's excessive lives
« Reply #65 on: July 02, 2015, 04:29:55 AM »
When I was younger, this was a struggle too.  as you age and see how things turnout, you realizemanyof these people live in a house of cards. Some do OK, manage to get raises or inheritances for example, or buy a house where the real estate rapidly appreciates, but most are still working.

One notable example was an ex friend who always had the fancy car, huge house, luxury vacation. Now that we are 61 we have been retired for a long time, while the last time we saw him he said he was never going to retire.  His excuse was he loved to work. Well last we heard he was let go in a downsize, and getting a job in your early sixties is not easy. They cannot make their payments on unemployment and have not saved much for retirement. Luckily his working wife maybe able to save them if they change their ways.  He has withdrawn from his FI friends who he used to make fun of for being so cheap and he and his wife are in a serious drinking pity party. At bars of all things. We have tried to reach out to them but they are avoiding us.

Anyway my point is you never know when the economy is going to tank, jobs are eliminated when companies consolidate or relocate, and so on. Stay the course, figure out what is truly making you happy and carry on. 

The knitter

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Re: $250k wobble: Envious of friend's excessive lives
« Reply #66 on: July 02, 2015, 05:50:49 AM »
I think envy/pity are both unproductive reactions to other people's spending. I've felt each of those emotions toward people posting ridiculous spending on Facebook, and both feel equally damaging to my own mood.

I'm trying hard  now to even it out and look at the spending the same way I look at MMM's spending.

Something like: "It's possible to live my life in various ways on roughly the same income. I have the freedom to make decisions like him/her or to make other decisions. I'll work of fine tuning what makes me personally happy and make the decisions that reflect that path."

I'm not always very good at this. But when I'm able to adopt this attitude I feel calm. When I'm worried about other people's decisions, whether I want what they have or I look down on what they have done, I feel high anxiety.

One key change I made was the wording I use to answer questions about why I'm not doing something.

I used to say "I can't afford that."

Now I say, "our priorities are different." Or "we haven't budgeted for that."

It's subtle, but has a huge impact on my attitude.




Pigeon

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Re: $250k wobble: Envious of friend's excessive lives
« Reply #67 on: July 02, 2015, 06:12:05 AM »
I'm more frugal than mustachian.  We are in a decent financial situation and if we were willing to give up a lot of things, primarily providing a college education for our kids, we could retire now, but it wouldn't be early retirement by the standards of this board because we are in our 50s.

We have always lived below our means.  It's the way we were both raised.  We don't actively seek out discomfort or deprivation as per the MMM mindset.  But we don't have the rotation of high end new cars, great furniture and McMansions that many of our peers have.

When my kids have complained that their friends have nicer houses (they do), we point out that they don't know the specifics of anyone's financial situation.  I suspect many of these families are in debt up to their eyeballs.  Many of their friends won't get much help with college.   

The things we value are financial stability and the ability to educate our kids.  If I had a huge house but carried a credit card balance, I wouldn't sleep at night and would get no joy from the nice stuff I had.  What makes us happy is having a decent bank balance, knowing we'll be in good shape for a comfortable retirement, and being able to send our kids through college.

When my mom died a few decades ago, the priest came to our house and asked us to describe her.  While most of us had a hard time putting our feelings about her in words, my older brother described her as being "content."  That really struck a chord with me.  She was content, and I think that's a great way to be and strive for it myself.

poorboyrichman

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Re: $250k wobble: Envious of friend's excessive lives
« Reply #68 on: July 02, 2015, 06:15:32 AM »
Try and live a life of quality, and not quantity. Be happy with the "things" you own. But don't let them own you.

This post in ERE blog is a great way of putting the stuff you own into perspective. Everything you own being cheap and crappy is a good way to start being jealous about the nice stuff other people have. Only, you don't need riduclous fancy stuff to be happy. But the few things that you do and own can save you frustration but won't make you happy.

I'm sure you have heard of hedonistic adaptation, but here is all you need to know about buying stuff and the supposed happiness it will bring you.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hedonic_treadmill
« Last Edit: July 02, 2015, 06:51:56 AM by poorboyrichman »

DecD

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Re: $250k wobble: Envious of friend's excessive lives
« Reply #69 on: July 02, 2015, 08:02:27 AM »
Interesting discussion.  It has made me stop and consider if I envy the folks around me who are living it up.

And I realize that I really don't. 

There are the folks who living pretty similar lives to ours, only with slightly nicer cars, and more visits to restaurants, and more takeout, and more purchases of "stuff" for their kids, and fancier vacations, and cable subscriptions, and fancy phones...I can see how their lives are FAR more expensive but without a lot of added VALUE.  I have no envy at all- we're making slightly different decisions, but I think we're making the right ones for us, so I don't envy them their fancy haircuts or the dvd they picked up at Target.  Not a bit.  And these are good friends- who are definitely living within their means, and certainly on target to retire at 65.  But likely not early.

Then there are the friends who are really living different lives.  The trendy condo downtown, frequent trips to Napa and Colorado and L.A., upcoming super-posh guided cycling vacation in France, frequent new gadgets, trendiest of restaurants every weekend.  It's easy to not compare, as they're childless by choice and prioritize other things.  However, I don't have envy here, either.  I know they're still paying student loans, and I know his spendy nature stresses their marriage because she's naturally frugal.  They don't have prospects for early retirement, either.

But that doesn't mean I'm immune- it just means I have different values.  What I find I do envy a little are the people ahead of us on the road to FIRE here on this site.  We're 2-5 years away, depending on choices we make.  And honestly I'm glad we're not there yet, because I'm not quite ready to throw in the towel on the career I worked so long/hard to achieve.  But dragging myself out of bed Monday mornings...and I find myself wishing we were already there!  So I find myself wishing we'd bought a less-expensive house, maybe, to speed us on our road to FIRE.  We might downsize in a year or two (now would be the wrong timing for various reasons).  I find myself hearing about savings rates of 75% and envying that a little- ours is a bit below 60%, I think, and we could do better!!  So I consider what changes I can make to improve our situation.

So I guess- what I envy depends on what I value, and what I perceive is out of my reach.  I don't envy the trip to Disney - if we decide to go to Disney one day, we'll go.  It's not a priority for us now.  I might, on the other hand, envy a long camping trip to Yosemite or Rocky Mountain NP- because that's a trip I'm dying to make but don't have enough vacation time to do it this summer.  I'm not lacking in money, I'm lacking in time.

And that is why I have my sights set on FIRE.


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Re: $250k wobble: Envious of friend's excessive lives
« Reply #70 on: July 02, 2015, 08:11:56 AM »
Interesting discussion.  It has made me stop and consider if I envy the folks around me who are living it up.

And I realize that I really don't. 

There are the folks who living pretty similar lives to ours, only with slightly nicer cars, and more visits to restaurants, and more takeout, and more purchases of "stuff" for their kids, and fancier vacations, and cable subscriptions, and fancy phones...I can see how their lives are FAR more expensive but without a lot of added VALUE.  I have no envy at all- we're making slightly different decisions, but I think we're making the right ones for us, so I don't envy them their fancy haircuts or the dvd they picked up at Target.  Not a bit.  And these are good friends- who are definitely living within their means, and certainly on target to retire at 65.  But likely not early.

Then there are the friends who are really living different lives.  The trendy condo downtown, frequent trips to Napa and Colorado and L.A., upcoming super-posh guided cycling vacation in France, frequent new gadgets, trendiest of restaurants every weekend.  It's easy to not compare, as they're childless by choice and prioritize other things.  However, I don't have envy here, either.  I know they're still paying student loans, and I know his spendy nature stresses their marriage because she's naturally frugal.  They don't have prospects for early retirement, either.

But that doesn't mean I'm immune- it just means I have different values.  What I find I do envy a little are the people ahead of us on the road to FIRE here on this site.  We're 2-5 years away, depending on choices we make.  And honestly I'm glad we're not there yet, because I'm not quite ready to throw in the towel on the career I worked so long/hard to achieve.  But dragging myself out of bed Monday mornings...and I find myself wishing we were already there!  So I find myself wishing we'd bought a less-expensive house, maybe, to speed us on our road to FIRE.  We might downsize in a year or two (now would be the wrong timing for various reasons).  I find myself hearing about savings rates of 75% and envying that a little- ours is a bit below 60%, I think, and we could do better!!  So I consider what changes I can make to improve our situation.

So I guess- what I envy depends on what I value, and what I perceive is out of my reach.  I don't envy the trip to Disney - if we decide to go to Disney one day, we'll go.  It's not a priority for us now.  I might, on the other hand, envy a long camping trip to Yosemite or Rocky Mountain NP- because that's a trip I'm dying to make but don't have enough vacation time to do it this summer.  I'm not lacking in money, I'm lacking in time.

And that is why I have my sights set on FIRE.
If it makes you feel better, I still have 15 years before I hit FI, so be glad you are where you are.

GuitarStv

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Re: $250k wobble: Envious of friend's excessive lives
« Reply #71 on: July 02, 2015, 08:14:14 AM »
Quote
upcoming super-posh guided cycling vacation in France

OK, now I need to leave the thread to avoid feeling some twinges of envy . . .


:P

infogoon

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Re: $250k wobble: Envious of friend's excessive lives
« Reply #72 on: July 02, 2015, 08:47:00 AM »
It's tough not to wobble, even if you know your choices will likely be better in the long run. We live more frugally (older cars, smaller house in a cheaper neighborhood, etc.) than most of our friends, which enables us to save and invest a lot of money and to live on only my income while my wife is home with our young children. But it's sometimes tough to remember that we'll be better off in a decade or two than our friends who are mortgaged to the hilt but living large. A Vanguard balance is nice but it lacks the visceral appeal of a shiny new car.

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Re: $250k wobble: Envious of friend's excessive lives
« Reply #73 on: July 02, 2015, 09:30:57 AM »
I think the interesting thing about Mustachianism is that the outside world will definitely not be impressed while you're in pursuit of FIRE, and even when you achieve FIRE they may not be impressed/congratulatory.  If FIRE is important to you, you have to disregard the instant but fleeting satisfaction of displaying worth through Facebook or in person.

I certainly appreciate some of the finer things in life (trips/eating out), so in order to fit the mustachian "vices" into my FIRE plan I work hard to drive my income up to a point where they make a minimal impact.  On the flipside I cut back on things I don't care about (I don't own a car)

DeltaBond

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Re: $250k wobble: Envious of friend's excessive lives
« Reply #74 on: July 02, 2015, 10:33:11 AM »
I'm finding this is normal for those of us who are more frugal.  Everyone in my husband's family travels 2 or 3 times a year on vacation, "We just HAVE to get away!!!"... I'm thinking, "From what?  Does your life suck THAT much?"  They always invite us, and when we explain that we're not up for it, they give us the ole non-response.  Coworkers travel a lot, as well, but not all of them.  Some are more down to earth about that.  I just think people spoil themselves.  They'll end up having to work longer than they want to, believe me.

When you want something like a snazzy car, and you see a good deal... hold off.  Don't buy it before you're ready just because you see one available that you think is a good deal.  When you're ready, there will be another one for you.

KisKis

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Re: $250k wobble: Envious of friend's excessive lives
« Reply #75 on: July 02, 2015, 11:18:59 AM »
I actually like to keep the high-spending friends around.  I am geographically removed from all of my childhood friends and college classmates, but I will occasionally "like" photos of their vacations and latest high end digs.  Yes, I do get twinges of jealousy, but mostly I like to enjoy things vicariously through their posts.  I agree with "facebook happy" so I try to keep it all in perspective.  Mainly, I want to keep them as friends because when I finally FIRE, I want to use their toys when I blow past their cities in my travels.  Nothing better than having friends with boats or a network for subleasing.  Let them deal with the headache of ownership.  Friends like that are great when you are ready to play and have fun.  They are not so good when trying to discuss your FI goals.  That's what my husband is for.  :)

In the end, DH and I agree that achieving savings goals gives us so much more pleasure than owning more material goods. 
« Last Edit: July 02, 2015, 11:21:58 AM by KisKis »

Bettis

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Re: $250k wobble: Envious of friend's excessive lives
« Reply #76 on: July 02, 2015, 12:12:27 PM »
I actually like to keep the high-spending friends around.  I am geographically removed from all of my childhood friends and college classmates, but I will occasionally "like" photos of their vacations and latest high end digs.  Yes, I do get twinges of jealousy, but mostly I like to enjoy things vicariously through their posts.  I agree with "facebook happy" so I try to keep it all in perspective.  Mainly, I want to keep them as friends because when I finally FIRE, I want to use their toys when I blow past their cities in my travels.  Nothing better than having friends with boats or a network for subleasing.  Let them deal with the headache of ownership.  Friends like that are great when you are ready to play and have fun.  They are not so good when trying to discuss your FI goals.  That's what my husband is for.  :)

In the end, DH and I agree that achieving savings goals gives us so much more pleasure than owning more material goods.

Totally agree.  Plus "high spender" friends often times are really nice people too considering they're your friends.  It's very difficult to fight jealousy at times but be happy with them for what they have and where they've gone if they can truly afford it and if not, you can pity them a little but life's too short to be jealous about material things.  I doubt they think of you as the "poor friend" or "cheap friend" because they don't see fancy pictures on facebook.

greenmimama

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Re: $250k wobble: Envious of friend's excessive lives
« Reply #77 on: July 02, 2015, 05:16:25 PM »
I didn't read all the previous posts, so sorry if this was already said. Once you can FIRE, why not work a few extra years specifically for a certain toy you want, it is your retirement, you get to make the rules.

A car wouldn't make me happy, but it sounds like you would get great enjoyment out of it, so go for it, within reason, who knows if you decide to do that and you are halfway into your savings goal, you might just change your mind. But the point it, you have the freedom to do that.

lbmustache

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Re: $250k wobble: Envious of friend's excessive lives
« Reply #78 on: July 02, 2015, 05:29:28 PM »
I didn't read all the previous posts, so sorry if this was already said. Once you can FIRE, why not work a few extra years specifically for a certain toy you want, it is your retirement, you get to make the rules.

A car wouldn't make me happy, but it sounds like you would get great enjoyment out of it, so go for it, within reason, who knows if you decide to do that and you are halfway into your savings goal, you might just change your mind. But the point it, you have the freedom to do that.

I agree with this! It doesn't make sense to waste money in the "financial building" part of your life, but once you have built it up, you are allowed a few luxuries: like others said, it's not about being miserable and sacrificing everything. You don't need the Maserati, but a BMW doesn't hurt :)

jeromedawg

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Re: $250k wobble: Envious of friend's excessive lives
« Reply #79 on: July 02, 2015, 06:24:49 PM »
I actually like to keep the high-spending friends around.  I am geographically removed from all of my childhood friends and college classmates, but I will occasionally "like" photos of their vacations and latest high end digs.  Yes, I do get twinges of jealousy, but mostly I like to enjoy things vicariously through their posts.  I agree with "facebook happy" so I try to keep it all in perspective.  Mainly, I want to keep them as friends because when I finally FIRE, I want to use their toys when I blow past their cities in my travels.  Nothing better than having friends with boats or a network for subleasing.  Let them deal with the headache of ownership.  Friends like that are great when you are ready to play and have fun.  They are not so good when trying to discuss your FI goals.  That's what my husband is for.  :)

In the end, DH and I agree that achieving savings goals gives us so much more pleasure than owning more material goods.


Totally agree.  Plus "high spender" friends often times are really nice people too considering they're your friends.  It's very difficult to fight jealousy at times but be happy with them for what they have and where they've gone if they can truly afford it and if not, you can pity them a little but life's too short to be jealous about material things.  I doubt they think of you as the "poor friend" or "cheap friend" because they don't see fancy pictures on facebook.

LOL this is a great strategy. I have a coworker who has a very wealthy friend who basically pays for multi-day fishing trips for him (these are the kinds of trips that are upwards of $2000-3000 *at least*) and has been doing this for years now from what my coworker tells me. What a nice arrangement to have! I really wish I had rich friends who owned boats, then I could actually go out and fish with them without trying to fight for space on a rail with the open party boats.

MsGuided

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Re: $250k wobble: Envious of friend's excessive lives
« Reply #80 on: July 02, 2015, 07:14:16 PM »
The "Wobble" evokes so many emotions. Over the years I've been all over the map--feeling envious, then feeling a sense of pride in having old stuff and being a counter-cultural saver type. I'm happy with my choices and, overall, am really temperamentally living a frugal lifestyle (with a few indulgences) than a super upscale, someone else does everything for me to make my lifestyle possible life. But sometimes I wonder what it would feel like to just buy whatever I want and not think about it.

I do question and ponder how so many people we know can possibly afford the lives they lead. I used to say to my DH often "surely  there cannot be that many people making over 400k a year, can there?"  I've learned some live beyond their means, but lots have family help/inheritance etc.

The key is contentment. I'm still working on finding it consistently.

EscapeVelocity2020

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Re: $250k wobble: Envious of friend's excessive lives
« Reply #81 on: July 02, 2015, 09:08:44 PM »
Just for a little more perspective, and I don't know how relevant this is nowadays, but the biggest 'wobble' I had on my way to FI was when tech stocks collapsed in 2000.  I had a meteoric rise in NW followed by a similar downfall (up to 300k NW in my late 20's, then lost half of it).  I constantly kicked myself for not buying a nicer car or rental property.  I kept telling myself, afterwards, that I knew it was too good to be true...  ugh.  But I was able to bide my time, kept my 401k contributions up, and just kept on living below my means (even though my confidence was shaken as to if delayed gratification would ever actually lead to anything...). 

It did work out, especially in 2008/9 when I sheltered some of the excess given to me by irrational exuberance (I sold my international and emerging market funds) and then bought back in when GE was in the single digits.  This time around is a little more unpredictable.  But I just came across this video earlier today (via www.jlcollinsnh.com) - http://www.economicprinciples.org/.  Interesting food for thought. 

At the end of the day, we live in a unique time where knowledge, learning, and sharing is incredibly cheap.  Valuable transactions can be had for much less than in the past (Khan academy, Wade Pfau's working papers, EconTalk.org - like auditing college courses without getting up off the couch - a veritable fire-hose of ideas at our fingertips).  But time is therefore more precious, compounded by distractions and lifetimes of 'quality' entertainment, as well as travel hacking and 'the sharing economy' making all levels of travel more accessible.  The internet continues to disrupt our life in so many positive ways.

We now live in an age where time's value is incredibly high - even when we are 'retired' to become whatever we want to be (entrepreneur or surfer), and money's value is relatively low (low interest rates, low expected long term equity returns...).  But, given this situation, we should only accept a high wage for our hard work, or else strike out on our own to ensure that we get what we deserve. 
« Last Edit: July 02, 2015, 09:46:15 PM by EscapeVelocity2020 »

dess1313

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Re: $250k wobble: Envious of friend's excessive lives
« Reply #82 on: July 04, 2015, 08:47:55 PM »
Dedicate yourself a 'fun' money amount in your budget each month.  Do NOT feel guilty for spending this to do activities or things that you find fun.  You need to enjoy things a little bit now.  Start doing some activities you will find fun later in FIRE.  You don't learn to paint or surf or play the piano in a few days.  Start dabbling in it now.  None of us are guaranteed tomorrow or even next year.  Make your list of things you want to do in FIRE.  See what you can dabble in now. 

As long as you're being responsible, its not a race to see who finishes first.  Its a race for you to be both happy AND independent.  You're on your way well already to being independent, but you need to make sure you're not sacrificing your happiness in the progress.

frugaldrummer

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Re: $250k wobble: Envious of friend's excessive lives
« Reply #83 on: July 06, 2015, 07:22:12 AM »
About the car thing.....a friend recently came over and laughed about the three cars in the driveway....a Jaguar (sons) a BMW (boyfriend) and a 2009 Toyota Matrix (mine).  She was laughing about the fact that I'm the well paid professional but have the lamest car.

Actually I like my car because it's the most economical to operate and suits my needs. But my son and boyfriends purchases are proof of that you don't have to spend a fortune to drive a luxury car. My son's jaguar cost 3800 with 105k miles and is beautiful. Yes repairs cost more but he has a very short commute.
Boyfriend bought BMW wagon for 1500 with 180k miles. It needed some work and he spent very unMustachian amounts on things like paint and stereo and GPS etc. But now he has a "very clean whip" that everyone admires and that he loves driving, all for less than $10k.

My point being, that if you really desire a luxury car, they can be had pretty cheap.
« Last Edit: July 06, 2015, 07:30:58 AM by frugaldrummer »

frugaldrummer

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Re: $250k wobble: Envious of friend's excessive lives
« Reply #84 on: July 06, 2015, 07:38:25 AM »
Now, as to the bigger questions:

What is your long term goal?  Is it to reach FI so that you can quit your job and live in a hut?  Is it to reach FI so you can have financial peace of mind, then keep working toeards a more luxurious lifestyle?  Is it to reach FI so you can quit your soul sucking job and pursue your dreams in a low paying profession like musician?

Depending on your goals, you might wish to stick to your plan or you might decide to loosen up your spending a little bit now in exchange for postponing your FI date by a few years.

Whatever you decide, you're already WAY ahead of your peers.

The Money Leopard

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Re: $250k wobble: Envious of friend's excessive lives
« Reply #85 on: July 08, 2015, 02:06:16 PM »
Now, as to the bigger questions:

What is your long term goal?  Is it to reach FI so that you can quit your job and live in a hut?  Is it to reach FI so you can have financial peace of mind, then keep working toeards a more luxurious lifestyle?  Is it to reach FI so you can quit your soul sucking job and pursue your dreams in a low paying profession like musician?

Depending on your goals, you might wish to stick to your plan or you might decide to loosen up your spending a little bit now in exchange for postponing your FI date by a few years.

I guess I'm still working this part out. I'd like to be FI so I can...

1. work on equity only projects in the tech industry; it would essentially allow me to take risks I can't right now and as such shoot for larger rewards.

2. spend my income on improving my lifestyle. FI for basics, income for the toys.

3. have the time to push my rock climbing, maybe climb something big in Yosemite.


Whatever you decide, you're already WAY ahead of your peers.

Thanks for the encouragement man.

Chuck

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Re: $250k wobble: Envious of friend's excessive lives
« Reply #86 on: July 08, 2015, 03:36:53 PM »
I wobble all the time. Damned near every week. I'll have a stint of getting lunch out with coworkers. Or I'll find myself building a Mercedes with their online tool. I have built a computer gaming rig three different times in my mind, down to pricing out each component on NewEgg.

Don't be ashamed of the fantasy, but don't indulge it. You are two years from freedom. ~Five years from living the lifestyle you currently envy. You are way too close to blow it.

astvilla

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Re: $250k wobble: Envious of friend's excessive lives
« Reply #87 on: July 08, 2015, 04:07:18 PM »
Another way to look at it is that when you are retired, all your friends are still working.  They will then ask, "Hey how'd you get so much money?"  "You can't retire!" "You must be doing something bad!"  "You're lying."  I'm pretty sure they will be as envious of you as you are now envious of them since they'll be working and slaving away while you enjoy freedom to do whatever you want.  They will try and put you down and say you're lazy because of their jealously, similar to how we put down people who spend too much or go into debt for having no self-control or discipline.

Focus on yourself, in the end, it don't matter.