Author Topic: advice if you want to spend, and need to hold back  (Read 4837 times)

sambb

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advice if you want to spend, and need to hold back
« on: April 20, 2014, 07:52:13 AM »
I won't get into my finances, but lately, I have wanted to spend on a few luxuries.  I don't need these luxuries, and after the initial purchase, I bet they won't offer me much happiness.  But still, I covet some of these things.

What is the best way to avoid purchasing and thinking about these things?  I have enough saved and I am doing well on my quest for retirement.

ender

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Re: advice if you want to spend, and need to hold back
« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2014, 07:56:34 AM »
What sort of luxurious we talking about? A new $50k car which will burn up? Or a $50k cabin you can retire to? Or maybe smaller things, like an iPad or Nexus tablet or new clothes?

For bigger ticket items you can probably borrow/rent them for a short period.

Thegoblinchief

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Re: advice if you want to spend, and need to hold back
« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2014, 08:03:50 AM »
For one-time purchases use the stranger test: if a total stranger approached you with the item in one hand and the cash in the other, which would you choose?

I also sometimes add items to my Amazon cart, leave them there for a few days, then come back and see if I still actually want to buy them. Usually I don't.

For purchases that will have recurring expenses, ask yourself whether you would give up the item if it meant you could FI tomorrow. If the answer is yes, then don't make the mistake in the first place.

socaso

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Re: advice if you want to spend, and need to hold back
« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2014, 09:12:27 AM »
I keep a list on my Evernote app on my phone of items I think I desperately want to buy. Writing them down tends to make me forget them and often when I go back to the list I'm surprised I wanted them. If I really can't get them out of my head I'll search for sales, coupons, etc to keep the cost down. This works well for me because I seldom covet really expensive things. If I want something that costs $50-100 that's a high range for me.

swick

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Re: advice if you want to spend, and need to hold back
« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2014, 09:17:29 AM »
Some great resources I have found lately:

http://www.theemotionmachine.com/urge-surfing-how-to-overcome-addictive-behaviors - Very neat post on how to overcome addictive behaviour. I love the surfing analogy.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9XRPbFIN4lk - TED talk with Adam Baker from Man Vs. Debt - really offers some awesome perspectives and is worth a watch.

http://www.nwedible.com/2012/10/mini-money-challenge-occupy-your-brainwhat-you-want-isnt-really-what-you-want.html - Great post and PDF worksheet from Erica at NWEdible. Really good at making you stop and ask yourself what you hope to get from a purchase and does that particular purchase solve the actual issue you are trying to solve.

sambb

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Re: advice if you want to spend, and need to hold back
« Reply #5 on: April 20, 2014, 10:12:36 AM »
thanks to all
I am not obsessive about spending or saving, but I would like to save a little more and spend less (spend 10% less, save 10% more)

it is the temptation that I need to work on - I am not talking about "break the bank" expenditures.  Im in a higher tax bracket, and I am talking about items such as a new iPad (old one is ok), or some new ties, or maybe a nicer computer..

Im not talking about purchases that are extravagant - or maybe they are, if I don't really need them - just want them

dragoncar

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Re: advice if you want to spend, and need to hold back
« Reply #6 on: April 20, 2014, 02:26:32 PM »
Cool I like the stranger test a lot

Thegoblinchief

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Re: advice if you want to spend, and need to hold back
« Reply #7 on: April 20, 2014, 02:34:40 PM »
Didn't have time to find the link earlier, but the stranger test came from http://www.budgetsaresexy.com/2014/04/kick-ass-spending-saving-tips/


Dee

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Re: advice if you want to spend, and need to hold back
« Reply #8 on: April 20, 2014, 03:19:15 PM »
One trick I read that stuck with me is to think of certain items as museum pieces, that are meant to be visited and admired but not taken home. This is especially good for items whose main function is to look good, but can have wide application too. It's a form of window shopping where the experience is not in coveting the items for oneself but just in admiring the items in their habitat, so to speak.

Mr. Frugalwoods

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Re: advice if you want to spend, and need to hold back
« Reply #9 on: April 20, 2014, 04:16:35 PM »
If you buy used, you often have a lower total cost of ownership assuming you later tire of the item and sell it back onto the used market.

Want an xbox5 (or whatever they are up to these days)?  Buy it on craigslist, use it for a while, and then re-sell it.  As long as you don't keep it for more than a couple of months the used price will usually be very similar.  If you note seasonal changes in the used market for your item then you might even turn a small profit.

Of course this assumes no cost of capital usage.  Not worth worrying about if it's $200 for 3 months.  But tying up $15k on a used boat (seriously, never buy a boat) has opportunity costs.

NinetyFour

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Re: advice if you want to spend, and need to hold back
« Reply #10 on: April 20, 2014, 05:03:55 PM »
I'm rarely tempted to buy stuff.  But I did just plunk down $750 for a 3 day hockey camp (and I can only be there for two of the days!).  I'm doing it mostly because a couple of my hockey buddies are going, and I need socializing wherever I can get it, as I am a bit of a recluse.

I also really, really wanted to buy a camper for my truck this year.  But instead of spending $20K on the camper, I have decided to spend it on myself--by some combo of throwing it at my still-too-big mortgage, at my $38,000 loan from TIAA, or into my retirement accounts.

Regarding spending in general, I have found that the very SIMPLE act of waiting can do wonders.  For example, I still plan to get the camper, but simply by putting the purchase off for 2 - 4 years, I have given myself the incredible gift of being able to SAVE right now.  (Interestingly, when I first decided to delay the purchase of the camper, my plan was to buy it 1 year from now.  Then it became 2 years.  Now, as you can see, it's 2 - 4 years.  So how much did I really want it??)

happy

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Re: advice if you want to spend, and need to hold back
« Reply #11 on: April 21, 2014, 02:08:00 AM »
Lots of good advice.
2 additional comments:

1. Keep practicing the various strategies, you can improve with practice.
2. The biggest shift for me came from a deeper change: a combination of ARS saying something like " I buy everything I want, I just don't want much" (hope I'm not misquoting him) and this blog post http://jamesclear.com/identity-based-habits. I'm becoming the kind of person who doesn't want much. 

Thegoblinchief

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Re: advice if you want to spend, and need to hold back
« Reply #12 on: April 21, 2014, 05:08:07 AM »
1. Keep practicing the various strategies, you can improve with practice.
2. The biggest shift for me came from a deeper change: a combination of ARS saying something like " I buy everything I want, I just don't want much" (hope I'm not misquoting him) and this blog post http://jamesclear.com/identity-based-habits. I'm becoming the kind of person who doesn't want much.

Agreed. I'm getting to that point myself.

SKB

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Re: advice if you want to spend, and need to hold back
« Reply #13 on: April 21, 2014, 05:17:35 AM »
I imagine my future self selling it at a garage sale for a small fraction of the cost or all the Craigslist people who don't show up when they say they will. That usually helps snap me out of buying "stuff." Especially if I try to sell previous luxury purchases before buying new stuff. It's nearly impossible.

Another thing I do is replace impulse spending with impulse loan payments to reward myself. It is very reinforcing. If i can resist or cut costs somewhere, I pay the same amount on my student loan I'm trying to kill. Example, if we normally would have spent $50 on restaurant food this weekend and instead we ate leftovers, I make a $50 extra payment.
« Last Edit: April 21, 2014, 05:34:30 AM by SKB »

dragoncar

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Re: advice if you want to spend, and need to hold back
« Reply #14 on: April 21, 2014, 10:52:29 AM »
If you buy used, you often have a lower total cost of ownership assuming you later tire of the item and sell it back onto the used market.

Want an xbox5 (or whatever they are up to these days)?  Buy it on craigslist, use it for a while, and then re-sell it.  As long as you don't keep it for more than a couple of months the used price will usually be very similar.  If you note seasonal changes in the used market for your item then you might even turn a small profit.

Of course this assumes no cost of capital usage.  Not worth worrying about if it's $200 for 3 months.  But tying up $15k on a used boat (seriously, never buy a boat) has opportunity costs.

I watched a TV show last night and found out they are calling the new xbox "Xbox one".  I was really confused for much of the episode until they poked fun at the name.

anisotropy

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Re: advice if you want to spend, and need to hold back
« Reply #15 on: April 21, 2014, 12:38:42 PM »
sambb,

let me hold your CC, cash, and all accounts for you, that way you will not be tempted to spend :)