Author Topic: An expense categorization dilemma - or do I need a face punch?  (Read 4299 times)

HattyT

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Whereas MMM says once you are at FI, your expenses should be stable and even if way more money  appeared, you should..ďDo absolutely nothing differently.Ē
http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/04/02/what-would-you-do-with-way-more-money/

I can see what heís saying in that, if I had more money, I would not buy more cigarettes as I donít smoke.

Yet I still have fantasies about what Iíd spend if I knew I wasnít going to run out of money.
Here are some things I can surely do without, which I have done without.  Yet if I had more money, Iíd want to do more of.  Charitable giving for one.  But also things like purely unnecessary like: Broadway shows, more travel, going on expensive outings with non mustachian friends and family, subsidizing my nieces travel and other extras, supporting far flung friends and family events such as funerals/graduations/ sports/ recitals, even (gasp) more restaurant food.
Iím stumped on how to categorize, quantify an allowance for, prioritize such expenditures.
How does one limit ones tendency for Hedonistic Adaptation?
Do I need a face punch?
Do I lose my MMM credentials if I admit I still have fantasies?
Any ideas?

Cheddar Stacker

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Re: An expense categorization dilemma - or do I need a face punch?
« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2014, 01:47:10 PM »
How does one limit ones tendency for Hedonistic Adaptation? Give yourself a budget for this and stick to it. Otherwise the further you push, the further you'll want to push.
Do I need a face punch? Not from this guy. I'm with you, and I think many others are as well. I sacrifice some of what I want now to secure my future. I think it's ok to an extent, just don't make current you hate future you.
Do I lose my MMM credentials if I admit I still have fantasies? No. Have some fun. Do what you want.

DollarBill

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Re: An expense categorization dilemma - or do I need a face punch?
« Reply #2 on: June 25, 2014, 05:42:40 PM »
I have the same views but I think it's because I've cut back too much. Maybe you can adjust your savings so it doesn't feel like your missing out on things. I've always been a saver but wasted a lot, now I try to get my spending as low as possible. I'm glad I never stumbled upon a large sum of money early in life because I would have never learned how to save my money. I'm more humble today and I appreciate life more but yes I still have urges. I'm at the point now that I'm FI so I wrestle with letting go of the reins but I will continue a high savings rate with a few splurges a year.

I also try to do some of the same things in my past but change the way I do them to save money. I think it's funny how "some of us" think a vacation now is taking a trip to an Island somewhere...I'd be happy taking a 40 min trip to a lake. 

taekvideo

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Re: An expense categorization dilemma - or do I need a face punch?
« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2014, 06:45:07 PM »
Well if your investments start to compound over time, you could be looking at a situation where your expenses drop to 1-2% per year (instead of the 3-4% SWR you started with).  In which case it would probably be safe to give yourself an allowance for stuff like that.  Just make a firm limit on it with conservative numbers, and be willing to cut it if the market ever drops.

rmendpara

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Re: An expense categorization dilemma - or do I need a face punch?
« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2014, 08:12:11 PM »
Whereas MMM says once you are at FI, your expenses should be stable and even if way more money  appeared, you should..ďDo absolutely nothing differently.Ē
http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/04/02/what-would-you-do-with-way-more-money/

I can see what heís saying in that, if I had more money, I would not buy more cigarettes as I donít smoke.

Yet I still have fantasies about what Iíd spend if I knew I wasnít going to run out of money.
Here are some things I can surely do without, which I have done without.  Yet if I had more money, Iíd want to do more of.  Charitable giving for one.  But also things like purely unnecessary like: Broadway shows, more travel, going on expensive outings with non mustachian friends and family, subsidizing my nieces travel and other extras, supporting far flung friends and family events such as funerals/graduations/ sports/ recitals, even (gasp) more restaurant food.
Iím stumped on how to categorize, quantify an allowance for, prioritize such expenditures.
How does one limit ones tendency for Hedonistic Adaptation?
Do I need a face punch?
Do I lose my MMM credentials if I admit I still have fantasies?
Any ideas?

I say if you can afford it, do whatever the heck you want.

arebelspy

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Re: An expense categorization dilemma - or do I need a face punch?
« Reply #5 on: June 25, 2014, 08:22:08 PM »
If I had more money, I would not buy more cigarettes as I donít smoke.

This is a brilliant analogy, and I'm going to steal it for when people ask why I don't have a brand new car or 5,000 square foot house.  I'll ask if they won 50MM in the lottery, would they spend it on cigarettes? Assuming they aren't a smoker, they'll say no.  And then I can point out that just as cigarettes don't interest them, even if they had more money, a new car or giant house doesn't interest me, so even though I have the money, it's irrelevant.  I can afford cigarettes, but I don't buy them for the same reason I can afford that new car, but don't buy it.  I don't want it.

Thanks for that gem!
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theSchmett

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Re: An expense categorization dilemma - or do I need a face punch?
« Reply #6 on: June 26, 2014, 05:02:35 AM »
Is FIRE your only goal? Even MMM spends money on "unnecessary" things.

HattyT

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Re: An expense categorization dilemma - or do I need a face punch?
« Reply #7 on: June 26, 2014, 01:11:21 PM »
Quote
just don't make current you hate future you.
Iím liking that, Cheddar Stacker.  Iím taking that to mean donít overly restrict your life, your fun now because you might want to have even more expensive fun later.  I think Suze Orman gets it wrong when she tells countless people the equivalent of, ĎYou donít have enough now, work another 10 years and then you can fly first class to your Greek cruise when you are retired.í 

Iím feeling it the other way around too.  Donít hijack your future needs because you pissed away the money on indulgences now.  It takes effort not to think about my friends and family who are pissing away their future stability now.  So I guess finding the balance is the thing.  Not to go too far overboard in either direction, but also not to accept the others idea of moderation.  I guess some things you just gotta work on figuring out yourself.  So I am appreciating the forums help.

TheScmett right now, staying FIREd is a main, but not only goal.  I left work a little over a year ago.  I didnít feel my finances were good enough for FI, frankly.  But they were good enough that I had FU money to take a travel opportunity which was too good to let pass.  I figured if necessary, Iíd find something once I got home.  Now my net worth is better now than it was when I quit.  But I am noticing I am spending more than the 4% SWR.  Iím ok with my spending for normal and typical things (while I continue to strive to increase my badassity).  But the extra stuff; travel, moving expenses, rental property expenses and taxes has been difficult to get a handle on.  Thatís where I can use the help around how to quantify allowances for. 

Maybe part of the answer is to just keep living, and keep monitoring, donít be too hard on myself, and be flexible, be ready to take interesting paid gigs as they surface.

Cheddar Stacker

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Re: An expense categorization dilemma - or do I need a face punch?
« Reply #8 on: June 26, 2014, 01:49:04 PM »
Check out this thread which I was thinking about when I posted my comment:

http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/welcome-to-the-forum/frugal-fatigue/

There was another thread around the same time that I can't recall the name of, but the gist was "what if you suddenly inherited $5,000,000? Would it change your lifestyle in any way?"

If anyone else remembers and can find that one, I'd love to give it another look as well. Both threads had a lot of good insight about spending on what's important to you.

Cheddar Stacker

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HattyT

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Re: An expense categorization dilemma - or do I need a face punch?
« Reply #10 on: June 27, 2014, 01:24:27 PM »
Thanks, Cheddar Stacker.

I'll re-read those links.