Author Topic: How do you cope with generational frugality/optimization exhaustion?  (Read 9562 times)

JanetJackson

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 733
  • Location: United States
    • How I actually made $50 just for taking a survey and being in the healthcare marketplace
Hi Friends,
This post may not be in the right place, but it is kind of a question....  I am wondering if anyone else ever feels this way and what you've found has been functional and practical to help quell these emotions?

Today:
Over the weekend, one of my friends was giving away a bag of pants to the thrift store, I spotted some levis in the pile and asked if I could have the bag to sell on Ebay and donate the rest.  Long story short, I sold a few of the jeans and had to go to the post office to drop those and another package off.
      Standing in the VERY busy office, I noticed that there were a lot of teenagers there with their parents.  I didn't think much of it and continued to wait in line (20+ minute wait).
      At one point a woman walks in with her teenage son and apparently sees another parent + kiddo she knows and says a big cheerful hello.  She asks "are you here to get his passport too?" and the parent nods and says "yes, Timmy's going to Spain!"  "Oh how fun," responds the mother, "Keegan is going to India for his winter break- anyways talk to you later"-- and she is ushered into the passport area of the post office.
      I stood there in line, with the pants I so desperately took from my friend to sell for $12, in my thrift store blazer, on my lunch break at the day job (I usually just work through my lunch break because they let me and I'm hourly), and I .... for whatever reason... LOST IT.  Now mind you, I kept it to myself because I don't want to be a public spectacle, but for whatever reason I was absolutely overcome with emotion and in tears immediately.  I can't pinpoint if it was exactly envy, regret, or just plain sadness.
      All I could think of was my life at 16 years old (that's about how old these teens looked). 

Background:
Early 30's, Female, Single, No Children.
I grew up in a poor, but not destitute family.  We were below the poverty line, but we had everything we needed, most certainly, and by many accounts, we were very very lucky and I am certainly grateful for that.  However, my entire life has been based on fairly extreme frugality, and just constantly constantly thinking about money... how to get it, how to save it, how to not spend it, etc. etc.. 
     We could never afford school yearbooks, my mom would take the demos for school pictures and cut around the "sample" marking on it (this was before watermarks were used much), and we line dried our clothing in the basement in the winter even- to save electricity.  We were in the middle of nowhere in the rust belt and my dad was laid off on occasion from his steel shop- at which point we'd usually have to go to a food pantry for a while. 
   We were not desperate, and my parents never took on any debt, but we went through $1000 used cars over and over and over and my dad would work on them in the garage until his hands hurt every weekend, along with our constantly broken hand-me-down lawn mower.  We wore only hand-me-down clothing, never attended family reunions or holidays where we might be expected to bring gifts, etc. etc.  We lived a modest life.
      Currently, I live almost the same life as an adult.  I've never had a job that paid more than 40k, I've never had just one job at a time-usually two or three, I wear hand-me-down clothing or thrift store clothing, etc. etc.  I have always been frugal and saved, and since finding out about FI/Mustachianism/Etc.  I save over 50% of my income (for about 2 years now).

      However, I would have LOVED and cherished the chance to take a trip ANYWHERE at 16.  I would love to go in the future!!!  I just don't know that I'll ever get there.  I actually almost felt like the tears were me feeling happy for those kids- that they'll get this opportunity... and silently hoping that my day will come eventually.  Exhale.
      Sometimes it just feels exhausting to optimize every single thing in my life, to scrape and save in every way possible.  I recently made the mistake of sitting down and spreadsheeting the very few "luxuries" I have left (my $20 gym membership that I use often, my $35 NonProfit sports league membership (which is the only way I see peers and has been the best thing I've ever done for myself), and my at-home coffee expenses among a few other small things that DO add up) I found that if I cut basically all of that out, I could save an additional $2000-2500 a year.  That's great!  Yet, when I think about cutting all of that out, I just feel miserable.  The nicest blanket I have is one that was given to me by the vets office when my dog had surgery, I hadn't been to the dentist in 15 years until this year when I bought a Groupon, etc. etc.  BOO HOO.  Exhale.

Does anyone else have these woe is me moments, and how do you get over it?  I know my life is good - I have an apartment, a reliable used car, I get to have a pet dog and afford her care, and I have a job... but it's hard not to want more, you know?


Any ideas, suggestions, or experiences?  Please be kind, I was crying in a post office today, my ego is already a little bruised.  Ha.




Zikoris

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4010
  • Age: 34
  • Location: Vancouver, BC
  • Vancouverstachian
Re: How do you cope with generational frugality/optimization exhaustion?
« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2017, 01:30:39 PM »
My advice? See if you can figure of a way to do everything. Rejig some of your bigger expenses rather than the $20 ones. It works! I make less money than you, travel to five or six countries a year, and save 60% of my income, so you should be able to swing one or two countries and 50% savings without too much trouble.

Depriving yourself of fun stuff sucks. It's way better to figure out how to do all the cool stuff and still save tons of money.

marty998

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7227
  • Location: Sydney, Oz
Re: How do you cope with generational frugality/optimization exhaustion?
« Reply #2 on: November 27, 2017, 01:32:56 PM »
Hey there. I'm sorry to hear you are feeling this way. It's easy to dismiss feelings and say "comparison is the thief of joy" but sometimes too many straws have accumulated on the camel's back.

Appreciate that small changes and savings you make now will compound into bigger things down the road. You say that you are single, so I'll add your choice of future partner will have a big determining factor on your finances as well.

Keep your head up, keep heading in the right direction and you'll be a winner.

formerlydivorcedmom

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 688
  • Location: Texas
Re: How do you cope with generational frugality/optimization exhaustion?
« Reply #3 on: November 27, 2017, 01:34:58 PM »
Part of the FIRE journey is to decide where the right line is for you between saving and spending.  It doesn't mean that you have to feel guilty about every single penny that you spend.  This isn't a race to see how much you can save - it's a race to meet YOUR goals, whatever those may be.

You're saving over 50% of your income.  That's incredible.  I'm assuming you're out of debt and don't have a pants-on-fire emergency.  In that case:
  • Will you get more value from your gym membership, or from increasing your savings rate?
  • Will you get more personal satisfaction from the occasional splurge (like an international trip) or from holding your savings rate steady?
  • Are your teeth more important than retiring a month earlier?

Only you can figure out where your line is.

Our savings rate ranges from 35-45%.  It could be higher, but we chose to budget for travel, for entertainment, for the kids to do expensive extracurriculars.  We know that will push back retirement, and we're okay with that.  Other families make different choices.

Neither way is wrong.  It's all a continuum, and maybe your questioning means you need to move, even temporarily, to another point on the spectrum.

Frankies Girl

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3565
  • Age: 83
  • Location: The oubliette.
  • Ghouls Just Wanna Have Funds!
Re: How do you cope with generational frugality/optimization exhaustion?
« Reply #4 on: November 27, 2017, 01:41:22 PM »
I'm not going to say a damned thing about how you should buck up or suck it up. I've been there myself and it is freaking awful.

I didn't have it as bad as you, but I grew up with a parent that was so cheap we thought we were much poorer than we actually were and I now have extreme frugality as my default setting. There were plenty of instances where I felt pathetically jealous or stupid about just wanting something a tiny bit nicer or wish I could go out and spurge just one time.

You're moving in the right direction - counting your blessings, seeing that you do have some luxuries that weren't available to you as a child, optimizing for future stuff you want - but I totally TOTALLY get it still really hurts to see others with things you'd love to have/do just easily attained. Human nature and all that.

So the best I could tell you is this: Life obviously isn't fair and will never be so. But please don't let this become an overwhelming negative where you end up coveting things others have to the point where feelings of bitterness and anger become your default. You have done so, so well, and you're still climbing up further and further every single day/month/year. You are so lucky to have the ability to work towards your wants and not just have to slave away struggling to make your basic needs. You absolutely do deserve to have all the things you want ever - but sometimes you have to pick and choose because you didn't get born as lucky as some. Again, it is NOT a personal failing; that's just life. (and yes, that still sucks and it's okay to feel disgruntled about that)

You are valuable. You are strong, hard-working, have intelligence and likely will be quite successful with anything you put your mind to. Hugs and I'm so sorry about the overwhelmed/crying thing.

ixtap

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3009
Re: How do you cope with generational frugality/optimization exhaustion?
« Reply #5 on: November 27, 2017, 01:45:02 PM »
How long did you stand in that line to sell those jeans for $12? What was your actual per hour profit after posting, responding and mailing? The point being, it sounds like you are wearing yourself thin for pennies.

Spend that time doing something for yourself (learning to sit still?) and/or improving your career prospects. If you have had a controlled spend for two years, you shouldn't have to be obsessing over money, you should have good habits in place.

If you are currently saving 50%, why do you despair of ever travelling abroad?

Your regrets seem tied up with an upper middle class lifestyle: yearbooks and trips abroad for teenagers. Instead of comparing your lost youth to others, start a gratitude journal for what you are happy and proud of now.

JanetJackson

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 733
  • Location: United States
    • How I actually made $50 just for taking a survey and being in the healthcare marketplace
Re: How do you cope with generational frugality/optimization exhaustion?
« Reply #6 on: November 27, 2017, 02:05:12 PM »
Hey there. I'm sorry to hear you are feeling this way. It's easy to dismiss feelings and say "comparison is the thief of joy" but sometimes too many straws have accumulated on the camel's back.

Appreciate that small changes and savings you make now will compound into bigger things down the road. You say that you are single, so I'll add your choice of future partner will have a big determining factor on your finances as well.

Keep your head up, keep heading in the right direction and you'll be a winner.

Thanks for the positive response.  I felt really weak "comparing" my life as you mention, but I guess you're right that sometimes the weight just feels heavy, and that's ok.
Jus a quick note, I plan on remaining single, so I don't foresee that as a future factor.


My advice? See if you can figure of a way to do everything. Rejig some of your bigger expenses rather than the $20 ones. It works! I make less money than you, travel to five or six countries a year, and save 60% of my income, so you should be able to swing one or two countries and 50% savings without too much trouble.

Depriving yourself of fun stuff sucks. It's way better to figure out how to do all the cool stuff and still save tons of money.

Thanks for the reply.  To clarify, I once made 40k, I do not now (about 30).  I'd love some suggestions for bigger expense hacking?  I share a studio apartment currently, so rent is low-ish ($475)... I'd love to hear more about how you do this.  I'd probably have a panic attack if I travelled six times a year!  I've only been on a plane twice! Ha.

JanetJackson

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 733
  • Location: United States
    • How I actually made $50 just for taking a survey and being in the healthcare marketplace
Re: How do you cope with generational frugality/optimization exhaustion?
« Reply #7 on: November 27, 2017, 02:11:40 PM »
How long did you stand in that line to sell those jeans for $12? What was your actual per hour profit after posting, responding and mailing? The point being, it sounds like you are wearing yourself thin for pennies.

Sadly, I calculated it to be sure it was an optimal choice.  I was mailing two $12 jeans and a $57 box of homemade soap I sold to a friend. $81 for twenty minutes in line and perhaps 20 minutes to list the items/correspond is much more than my hourly rate.  Normally I would have just gone after work, but I have two dogs I am walking that are on my route home today.  Again, obsessively optimizing.  I love dogs, so that hardly counts... but you get the idea.

Spend that time doing something for yourself (learning to sit still?) and/or improving your career prospects. If you have had a controlled spend for two years, you shouldn't have to be obsessing over money, you should have good habits in place.
Your "learn to sit still" comment actually made me laugh out loud.  I was reading it sitting at my desk waiting for a coworker to input some data and email me back and thumping my leg (I'm one of those awful people who do that) 1000x per second.  HA.  I do have good habits in place, you're right.  Do you have any suggestions for how to quell the need to do MORE all the time?

If you are currently saving 50%, why do you despair of ever travelling abroad?
My 50% is only about 14k/yr, so it's still going to be a LONG time before I can be financially independent in much of any capacity.  I guess that's what bothers me.  I took a "vacation" once in 2009, since then I've been working side jobs over the vacation days to get "double paid!" so I haven't had any actual time off in a while.

Your regrets seem tied up with an upper middle class lifestyle: yearbooks and trips abroad for teenagers. Instead of comparing your lost youth to others, start a gratitude journal for what you are happy and proud of now.

Good idea.  I tried once and couldn't get myself to do it.  I'd write "my dog" every single day and then get frustrated.  Are there any apps or help-alongs for this that you know of?  It seems like a healthy practice.

Zikoris

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4010
  • Age: 34
  • Location: Vancouver, BC
  • Vancouverstachian
Re: How do you cope with generational frugality/optimization exhaustion?
« Reply #8 on: November 27, 2017, 02:22:28 PM »

Thanks for the reply.  To clarify, I once made 40k, I do not now (about 30).  I'd love some suggestions for bigger expense hacking?  I share a studio apartment currently, so rent is low-ish ($475)... I'd love to hear more about how you do this.  I'd probably have a panic attack if I travelled six times a year!  I've only been on a plane twice! Ha.

Well, I don't know what your expenses are, but $475 month rent is only $5,700/year, so you seem to have a lot of leeway. If your normal spending was around $1000/month, you should be able to take a $2,000-$2,500-ish trip every year and still save 50%. That's enough to travel to most parts of the world.

Noodle

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1296
Re: How do you cope with generational frugality/optimization exhaustion?
« Reply #9 on: November 27, 2017, 02:24:45 PM »
I'm sorry to hear that you're having a rough day.

I have a couple of questions for you to think about...

1. What are you saving for?
2. What made you choose a 30K/year job (based on your later comment)?

When I was just out of grad school, and making less than 20K/year (this was some time ago), I saved up for a gently used car and a trip to Europe. I did it by living at a level of frugality that most of my friends and family thought was ridiculous. The funny thing is that I have very happy memories of that time. I had a clear vision of what I was saving for (air conditioning! electric locks! castles!) and I was very excited for my goals. Then it came time to start retirement savings, and I had a much harder time pulling the trigger, and I was much less cheerful about it (thank heavens for automatic payroll deductions). I didn't have a clear vision of what I was saving for, other than not living in a refrigerator box at 70. If you can really clearly envision what you're making these sacrifices now for, it may help. Or perhaps setting your savings goal, automating it, and then cheerfully spending what's left might be better for you.

My second question has to do with the fact that 30K is on the low end of salaries, so I am wondering what it is you are choosing with this job. Maybe it is work you like, or good colleagues/commute (not to be sneezed at!), or flexibility for caregiving, or the opportunity to live in a city you really like. If there are non-monetary benefits keeping you there, then perhaps try to remind yourself of those aspects when money pain starts up. But if not, why not look around for something with a little more income? I remember a particular point when I increased my income by just a few thousand dollars, but the breathing room was amazing.

omachi

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 856
  • Location: Minnesota
Re: How do you cope with generational frugality/optimization exhaustion?
« Reply #10 on: November 27, 2017, 02:34:28 PM »
I had written a lot in a response, but it can be condensed to this. I think your breakdown was less about what the kids were getting and more about what you're contemplating denying yourself. The apparent ease with which the kids get to travel may have brought it on, but it's really that you're considering giving up two things that bring you joy and purpose, just to shorten the amount of time until you're FI.

You can adjust spending and saving to adjust the length of your path to FI. But it can also adjust the difficulty of the path. Even at 50% savings rate, this is a marathon, not a sprint. 50% savings rate from $0 is 15 years to FI at 7% real returns. That's a long time. Taking a year, maybe even two off that sounds good on paper, but it means you have to run harder that whole time. Then you have to run longer if you want to add luxuries back in anyway.

Run at a pace you can tolerate. If that means you have to run a little longer, do it. We live life once. Find things you can do that provide joy and fit in your pace, and enjoy this one life. Don't up the pace to the point where you can't enjoy it. You'll reach FI sooner or later. Don't worry about that. Worry about what life looks like while you do it.

one piece at a time

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 100
Re: How do you cope with generational frugality/optimization exhaustion?
« Reply #11 on: November 27, 2017, 02:44:40 PM »
My 50% is only about 14k/yr, so it's still going to be a LONG time before I can be financially independent in much of any capacity.  I guess that's what bothers me.  I took a "vacation" once in 2009, since then I've been working side jobs over the vacation days to get "double paid!" so I haven't had any actual time off in a while.
WRONG!

You can live on $14k, you know this because you do it already. So to be FIRE you only need $14k x 25 = $350k (total assets, probably including a flat). Once you hit that target you never need to work again. Ever. If you need to compare, compare this to a person with a mortgage and family to support you are much-much closer to having that freedom from work. Your low cost of living has cemented a life free from office politics, drama, etc.

But, working side jobs without any vacation is a little over-the-top. It is great to sure up multiple income streams and have some diversity but I think you should consider some "leave without pay" from your main job so that you can still have a couple of weeks to just chill out, do some self maintenance, walk, and just "be".


koshtra

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 668
  • Location: Portland, Oregon, USA
    • Mole
Re: How do you cope with generational frugality/optimization exhaustion?
« Reply #12 on: November 27, 2017, 02:51:21 PM »
You are fucking amazing. You are totally bucking the system and winning this thing. You're having to work harder and scrape more than most of the people you see around you, and you're doing it from scratch.

You need to be around people who see this and understand the effort. We all need to be appreciated for what the hell we're doing.

Timmy might commit suicide tomorrow. Keegan might hate her life. In fact, the odds that at least one of them is totally wretched are really pretty good. I know, you don't want to cheer yourself up that way often, it's not good for your soul, but sometimes it helps to remember it. The reality is that life sucks for everyone, especially young people, a lot of the time, regardless of what they've got. It's just hard.

You're doing something really hard really well.

Like other folks are saying, you don't have to do without ALL the treats ALL the time :-)

Find your way to people who will appreciate what you're doing, though. You'll need that to sustain you. We all need that. That's why we're hanging out here, for the most part :-)

PoutineLover

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1403
Re: How do you cope with generational frugality/optimization exhaustion?
« Reply #13 on: November 27, 2017, 02:52:25 PM »
I'm also a relatively low earner for this site, and I can't attain the higher savings rates some boast of, but I've made my peace with that. I'm not going to pursue ER to the point that I can't enjoy my current life, so I accept that it will take a little longer but I'll be living a life I enjoy the whole time. In practice that means I don't have roommates, I eat out with friends sometimes, I go on trips and I have a pet. Sure, I could save more if I didn't do any of that, but I'd be more miserable. I chose a relatively inexpensive apartment, I don't have a car, I pack my lunches and I don't waste lots of money on clothes and random stuff, so it balances out. The point of mmm is not to deprive yourself of everything just so you can reach an arbitrary high savings rate, it's more about setting up your life to minimize useless and inefficient spending and appreciating what you have. You have to decide which luxuries are worth it and which ones aren't, and plan your spending accordingly.

Telecaster

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2494
  • Location: Seattle, WA
Re: How do you cope with generational frugality/optimization exhaustion?
« Reply #14 on: November 27, 2017, 02:58:41 PM »

Does anyone else have these woe is me moments, and how do you get over it?  I know my life is good - I have an apartment, a reliable used car, I get to have a pet dog and afford her care, and I have a job... but it's hard not to want more, you know?


Any ideas, suggestions, or experiences?  Please be kind, I was crying in a post office today, my ego is already a little bruised.  Ha.

I think you answered your own question in a way, if you literally worn out to the point of tears, you need to ease off a little bit.  My general advice to anyone seeking the keys to a happy life is develop an in-demand skill set.  Doesn't matter what the skill set is, but you'll always have a decent job. 

One of the best experiences of my life was back packing in Ecuador for a month.  The flight was expensive, but I stayed in cheap places or camped and mostly ate street food or at cheap places.  The cost per day was pretty low.  You could probably travel hack your way to a very close to free flight in a year.

The other thing is you should do is give yourself credit.  You're saving 50% for two years, and so that means only 15 years to FIRE.  That puts you in your late 40s?  That will give you a lot of time to have some great life experiences that lots of people won't get a chance to have. 


JanetJackson

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 733
  • Location: United States
    • How I actually made $50 just for taking a survey and being in the healthcare marketplace
Re: How do you cope with generational frugality/optimization exhaustion?
« Reply #15 on: November 27, 2017, 05:54:03 PM »
I was going to quote and reply, etc. etc. but instead I'd just like to generally say THANKS to everyone who took the time to respond.  Those who had affirming words were very appreciated.  At first I fought back against it, thinking I was being babied... but honestly, sometimes those types of things HELP to hear.

Quick notes:

> It's not so much that I even want to travel, I just want some freedom and carefree/stigma-free joy, really.  I just feel like I learned to pinch a penny before I learned how to feel joy in life.... and that's a tough realization.  I have no firm idea what I want in life.  I suppose if I had to describe it... I'd want a quiet small home with access to free outdoor activities and a good community-focused gym that I can afford to go to (I went to a Crossfit gym for about 4 years on a sponsorship and loved it), I want dogs/pets, I want to learn some basic homesteading due to INTEREST, not necessity, and to have some coffee as the sun rises without having to panic about whether my "work pants" had gone through the wash or not yet so that I can slap them on and go shuffle some papers for someone else and waste time/do some meaningful work while collecting a paycheck and PRAYING for a day off.

> My first year was only about a 20% savings rate, so I'm not quite that far ahead, but I'm working on it!  With student loans I have about $22.00 net worth.


I've recently been considering two parts of my life that I have control over and that I can change.

1. My location.
I moved to the town I'm in now about 7 years ago.  It was for a change of pace, and to be a tad closer to family... over time I've realized that not having a support system here (all of my very good friends are still in the last city I lived in) has been very very hard on me.  It's also still a pretty good hike to see my family... not quite as "easy" as I thought just to pop up there to visit.  I'm very seriously considering moving back to my former city.  I have deep close friendships there, the cost of living is just over 20% less, as I looked up the other day (I worded that weird, but you get what I mean), and the weather is more appropriate for my liking... homes that would suit me rent for a lot less, and/or sell for under 70k (I owned a home there when I lived there that was amazing and perfect {this is where I start to face punch myself for ever leaving} that I purchased for 57k, but I was really struggling at the job of long distance landlord [and didn't know anything about property mgmt companies yet], so I sold it about 3 years ago for 58k).

2. My job.
I've been trying to "go back to school" one class at a time (I currently have an Associates of Science and a formal university certificate, but no Bachelors degree) for... gosh, almost ten years?, and it's SO expensive, and it's like pulling teeth.  I hate the classes, I find the work meaningless, but I have too many aimed credits to change my major.  My current job is good, and the hourly rate is great, but they can only give me 25-30 hours, so I supplement with side work.  Through this side work I have really come to know my talent in working with dogs, and my slightly entrepreneurial spirit.  Although it's CERTAINLY not as prestigious as some other work, I really think I'd have a shot at running a successful dog walking/pet sitting business in my former city (or here).  I currently find it hard to get over the 40k cap in the nonprofit world (that's what my current cert is in) without an undergrad degree... but I do think I could get in the 50-60k realm with a dog walking business.  Plus, I SMILE the whole time I'm walking a dog... and even when I'm doing the more annoying stuff like scheduling or the light book keeping I have to do, it doesn't feel like the same type of stress.  It feels meaningful to me.  So... I might stop trying to "finish" my degree and actually do something I love to do.  I don't know, change is stressful too...  I have a coffee and breakfast meeting on Wednesday morning at 6am before work with a friend/acquaintance who owns a pet sitting business to get some mentorship.  I'm paying them for an hour of their time and buying breakfast.  They know I will likely be moving and wouldn't end up being competition for them, so they're very willing to chat with me... which is nice.


.... Anyways, I'm rambling.  Thanks everyone!

Also, no one ended up mentioning this- but does anyone else ever feel this way?  It's ok if no one does, but I'm just curious.  It might feel nice to know I am not alone.

crispy

  • Guest
Re: How do you cope with generational frugality/optimization exhaustion?
« Reply #16 on: November 27, 2017, 06:19:30 PM »
I grew up really poor, too, so I get where you were coming from. Spending money is sometimes physically painful and stressful. For me, I work hard to balance the saving and spending. Part of it is having children - they shouldn't be deprived because I have issues. So we do make travel a priority while also shopping at thrift stores and saving for college and retirement. We take them to the ballet and theater and encourage their passions while also saying no to frivolous spending.

Saving his important, but it is not the only need I have. I need beauty and culture and relationships so saving without being mindful of other needs makes the savings somewhat meaningless in the long run.


Peony

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 386
Re: How do you cope with generational frugality/optimization exhaustion?
« Reply #17 on: November 27, 2017, 06:22:20 PM »
I'm mom to a couple of lovable but basically undeserving Timmys and Keegans and your post made me tear up. I love the sound of your potential dogwalking business and going back to your old city sounds like it could be a good move. Hang in there. You sound like someone with a ton of potential to do all kinds of interesting and useful things in this world.

JanetJackson

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 733
  • Location: United States
    • How I actually made $50 just for taking a survey and being in the healthcare marketplace
Re: How do you cope with generational frugality/optimization exhaustion?
« Reply #18 on: November 27, 2017, 06:39:55 PM »
I'm mom to a couple of lovable but basically undeserving Timmys and Keegans and your post made me tear up. I love the sound of your potential dogwalking business and going back to your old city sounds like it could be a good move. Hang in there. You sound like someone with a ton of potential to do all kinds of interesting and useful things in this world.
And then your post made me tear up just now.  Ha.  It's like a vicious cycle. 
I got an IUD just a bit before the US election (just in case that wouldn't be provided any longer) so I don't get a period anymore... but today is making me wonder if this is about that time that it would have been arriving.

Thanks for your encouragement.  No kids are undeserving in my opinion... sometimes I guess it's just rationed out in the universe a little differently between some kids and others.  I can tell by your comment that in the very least, they're probably pretty decent kiddos with a helluva mom.

AnnaGrowsAMustache

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1941
  • Location: Noo Zilind
Re: How do you cope with generational frugality/optimization exhaustion?
« Reply #19 on: November 27, 2017, 06:57:45 PM »
What no one has mentioned is that those trips and everything else in those kids is probably financed. You could do that too, anytime you like. You're simply choosing not to. When you look at those type of people in the future, just see the interest rate!

Paul der Krake

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5404
  • Age: 13
  • Location: UTC-10:00
Re: How do you cope with generational frugality/optimization exhaustion?
« Reply #20 on: November 27, 2017, 08:32:21 PM »
You were brutally confronted to the gaping chasm between your situation and theirs, hence the shock.

Now that the shock has passed, should you decide to do something about it, you can either:
- improve your situation, by increasing income (because it sounds like you have nothing left to cut)
- learn to cope so these interactions don't bother you, and be zen like a Buddha
- avoid putting yourself in this situation altogether, by avoiding rich people

or any combination of the above. Alternatively, you can do nothing.

What's the plan here?

Lae1526

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 6
Re: How do you cope with generational frugality/optimization exhaustion?
« Reply #21 on: November 27, 2017, 08:34:21 PM »
Just as encouragement, you are doing very well!  You are making big sacrifices now to achieve your goals, and that is what matters.
That said, I sometimes feel like I am depriving myself and my children, and I know it's easy to get down about it. 
I found it helpful to make a list of priorities for our family's spending, to make sure that our money is going toward things that are most important to us.  We live on a (somewhat self-induced) tight budget. 
I may not be able to take big vacations, but we can do day trips. 
I can find free and cheap things to do around our big city.
I try to find ways to change up the routine so we don't get burned out.  Who knew there were so many ways to eat oatmeal, or rice and beans?  Sometimes even making our pb&j lunch into a picnic seems more fun.
Living this way can be very isolating, since most of our friends/neighbors think we're either destitute or crazy.  One of my goals for the new year is to somehow find more frugal-minded friends, which I hope will help us feel normal.  If teens taking international trips to exotic places is what you're surrounded by, I can definitely understand how you'd feel poor by comparison.

Oh, and I try to read more frugal blogs.  The Prudent Homemaker has a post each week where people comment with their frugal accomplishments, and all their little actions are encouraging to me. 

Good luck!

bogart

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1090
Re: How do you cope with generational frugality/optimization exhaustion?
« Reply #22 on: November 27, 2017, 08:44:24 PM »
Also, no one ended up mentioning this- but does anyone else ever feel this way?  It's ok if no one does, but I'm just curious.  It might feel nice to know I am not alone.

Well ... I don't.  But here are some things I have, that it sounds like you don't or haven't.  My mom paid for me to go to college -- not an extravagant education, but a good one and one that didn't leave me in horrible debt.  I did learn to pinch pennies young -- lived on ~$12K/year in grad school (that I paid for myself, and paid off student loans while doing it), but I also always had family resources (not wealth, but still a safety net) to fall back on, even though I didn't actually make much use of them, they were there.  I've always had decent health insurance provided either by my mom (a gift during grad school, at a time when a policy for an individual ran about $100/month) or by my employer.  And yes, I (now) make a lot more $ than you do, and enjoy what it provides/makes possible. 

So -- yes, you are doing a lot, and it sounds like you are doing it without much of a safety net (and maybe in a position where you are also seeing a possible need to be a safety net to others, like parents, long term?).  And you are doing it in a different era from when I was, in terms of school and such (education costs much more now, health insurance and health care cost much more now.  And we're talking decades here, not centuries). 

All that said ... I did manage to squeeze in trips to Europe (I am not kidding) most of the summers I was in grad school ... back then, for around $1K-$2K for a ~1 month trip?  Airfares have certainly gone up, but not absurdly if you're flexible (about when and where you go), and the basic cheapness of the hostel/train lifestyle remains, if you have the courage/optimism to pursue it.  But if not, that's OK too ... I similarly drove myself across the US camping in national parks and sleeping in my pickup truck or a tent, and that was great, too, and also took a bunch of much shorter trips, ditto.  So -- figure out some things you'd enjoy doing, and do them.  It sounds like you're already setting some goals in that regard; keep working on it (and toward them).  And good luck!

secondcor521

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3648
  • Age: 51
  • Location: Boise, Idaho
  • Big cattle, no hat.
    • Age of Eon - Overwatch player videos
Re: How do you cope with generational frugality/optimization exhaustion?
« Reply #23 on: November 27, 2017, 08:59:01 PM »
Also, no one ended up mentioning this- but does anyone else ever feel this way?  It's ok if no one does, but I'm just curious.  It might feel nice to know I am not alone.

My life is a different story, but yes, I feel the way you described in the OP sometimes (I'm assuming that's what you're referring back to?).  It is very frustrating and I don't know how to let go of it, because in my situation it isn't really necessary any more.  I'm not sure what else to say, except that it might be good to try to figure out a way to let go, at least for a little bit at a time.

One thing I sometimes do is allow myself very cheap indulgences that I know I can afford.  Two that come to mind are giving myself permission not to shop for the cheapest gas and just get it at the grocery store where I get my food, thus enjoying some convenience and lack of stress; and taking as long of a hot shower as I want, even if that is 45 minutes or an hour - probably costs me like $1 in electricity, but I don't care.  Another may be going to a movie at the regular price and not on $5 Tuesdays.  Yours are probably different, but I bet there are things you can think of that may take the edge off and give you a respite from the relentless frugality.  If you do them rarely you won't get used to them.

My vote is for staying single, moving back to your old town, and running a dog walking business, FWIW.  Appreciating the good things as you have done is also a good thing so kudos for that.

undercover

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 990
Re: How do you cope with generational frugality/optimization exhaustion?
« Reply #24 on: November 27, 2017, 09:37:45 PM »
1. Relax. You were born in one of the richest countries in the world and still have plenty of time to navigate your life.

2. Focus on personal development. Invest in yourself as much as possible. I'd probably start with "The Magic of Thinking Big" by David Schwartz. "Losing it" is probably not the reaction you want to have in situations like you were in. To me it's always going to be annoying to hear people brag about their kids or their plans regardless of my own situation, but of course "losing it" is more self-destructive than anything.

3. Once you become the better you, higher income will be sure to follow. There's pretty much no way around being able to achieve goals faster by increasing income.

It's good to develop the skills necessary to be frugal in order to achieve your goals, but frugality is simply a tool. Not to say that it's all about deprivation, but at some point you need to start doing things that are valuable to you and not worry about the price tag. As your net worth grows, your time becomes much more valuable. But your time is also valuable right now. You can't afford to be focusing on things that don't bring you much money or happiness. Work super hard and you will eventually learn to ignore dollar signs as you become stronger and more valuable.

There will definitely come a time when focusing on the cost of something will become irrelevant. I mean coupons are only useful to an extent. Finding "deals" or buying the cheapest in general is only useful to an extent. Selling old stuff on eBay is only useful to an extent. Eating beans and rice is only useful...you get the idea. If you over-focus on optimization then you're missing out on the bigger picture. Don't be cheap. Living an overall low-consumption lifestyle will trump wasting precious energy on relentless optimization. Finding deals on the cheapest X/Y/Z is irrelevant if you rarely use/replace X/Y/Z to begin with.

How have you been investing the past two years? Is it possible to buy a duplex in your old city so that you can live in one side an rent the other? Then, if you ever move, you'll have two rentals.

Classical_Liberal

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1171
  • Age: 44
Re: How do you cope with generational frugality/optimization exhaustion?
« Reply #25 on: November 28, 2017, 02:38:30 AM »
Human beings who are future oriented (like many on here), tend to do a lot of chronesthesia.  When we place ourselves into this potential future or alternative world, we imagine our fantasy will bring us happiness. 

You had such a visceral reaction to this scene, it makes me think you feel unfulfilled in some way and that you believe spending more money or FI will somehow fill that hole.   It may, or it may not.  My experience is that I'm absolutely HORRIBLE at predicting what will or will not make me happy.  I have to live it to know for sure. Personally, I'm much more happy living off 20K a year than I was at 40K, my reasons for that may be weird though. 

In any event, if you think you'll be happier going on a spending frenzy... Do it!  Seriously!  You have a 50% savings rate, screw it for 3 or 6 mos (however long it takes) and spend.  Go on a vacation to Spain, get a bigger place, buy some new clothes, whatever... you can afford it.  After a time, analyze and see if you really are happier, maybe you will be.  If not, at least you know the that lifestyle won't fill the hole.  That knowledge is well worth the price 6 months of savings.

MrThatsDifferent

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2056
Re: How do you cope with generational frugality/optimization exhaustion?
« Reply #26 on: November 28, 2017, 03:46:28 AM »
You. Need. A. Vacation.

I feel you, grew up poor too. One thing though, I always felt that I deserved more/better. I started a practice of rewarding myself and doing what I needed to make myself happy because no one else was going to do that for me. It feels like you donít feel that youíre worthy. You are.  Youíre your best thing.

There are so many ways to have a ďcheapĒ vacation. So hereís what you do, go get a passport immediately, donít worry about where youíre going, just get one (I think theyíre good for 10 years). 

Next, sign up at couchsurfing dot org. You can stay with people for free.

Then, make a list of 3 places youíd like to go overseas and 3 in the US that youíve always wanted to visit.  Get a travel advisor account. Get a journal or use Evernote and start your research on each of the 6 places, what you want to do, visit, etc. Use forums to talk to people to get advice and inside tips. Use Duolingo to learn new words if youíre visiting a foreign country. Dream, and focus.

Now, set aside some money for your vacation. You donít need as much as you think. There are lots of free things in every city. Hell, walking around is free. For food, you already know how to eat cheaply, do similar when traveling. Most expensive thing (if you couch surf) will be transport. There is lots of info on credit card travel hack. If you donít want to do that, use Greyhound Bus in the US or look for cheap flights using Kayak dot com. Always travel on off peak times and leaving on Weds, back on Weds generally will be cheapest.  Use the +/- 3 days to find the cheapest.

Your life isnít in a panic, you donít have to sacrifice everything. No one is guaranteed a tomorrow, so give yourself the gift of adventure. Let everyone know itís your bday/holiday wish and anything that can help would be appreciated.

Be brave. Youíre your best thing. ;-)

Kyle Schuant

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1309
  • Location: Melbourne, Australia
Re: How do you cope with generational frugality/optimization exhaustion?
« Reply #27 on: November 28, 2017, 04:39:11 AM »
They're taking overseas trips that someone else is paying for. You can't do that. But you could perhaps take interstate trips that you pay for.


There are many parts of my own country of Australia I've not seen, or not in years, and would like to see again. And Australia has considerably less diverse landscape and less European history than the US, especially if you add in Canada and Mexico. I mean, you can visit a five hundred year old building.

Dave1442397

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1269
  • Location: NJ
Re: How do you cope with generational frugality/optimization exhaustion?
« Reply #28 on: November 28, 2017, 06:56:06 AM »
Also, no one ended up mentioning this- but does anyone else ever feel this way?  It's ok if no one does, but I'm just curious.  It might feel nice to know I am not alone.

I think almost anyone can feel this way at times, unless you have so much money that it just doesn't matter any more.

I grew up in a time and place where having very little was the norm, and the American lifestyle we saw on TV seemed like a fantasy (the Brady Bunch house? Could a house like that be real?). I used to deliver milk when I was 14, and I remember collecting the weekly milk money from the home of a TV personality. I was shocked to see that not only did they have a TV in the kitchen (wow, more than one TV in a house!), but it was white, to match the decor.

These days, the stuff is not that important to me. What really matters is financial security and good health. You can be financially secure at any income level by living below your means and saving, as you are doing. As for health, please go to the dentist (and doctor) on a regular basis. I missed a year of checkups without even realizing it, and what would have been a filling if they caught it earlier turned into a $1200 procedure.


KBecks

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2350
Re: How do you cope with generational frugality/optimization exhaustion?
« Reply #29 on: November 28, 2017, 07:15:45 AM »
So sorry for the disaster in the post office, and you are coming up with good solutions:

You need to increase your income if you want more things, and I believe you totally can increase your income.  Learn about starting the dog walking business, and be careful about how you set your prices and use your time.  Build up your emergency fund.  Learn about what it takes to eventually expand that business and hire employees or get a location for boarding.  You will need to be practical about your business and the expenses.  Talk to people who do what you want to do.  Set high goals for your income and learn about how you can eventually cover your own health care.

Business is very hard.  You must be determined and willing to learn and stick with it and do it affordably.

Look for better regular jobs. 

Spend money on what is important to you.  It sounds like you have enough funds to go to the dentist but choose not to?  Take care of yourself.  Find the little things that make you happy and make room for them.

Don't be ashamed of your situation.  There's nothing wrong with thrift store clothes!  You are being environmental.

If you don't want to go to india or spain, don't worry about others' travel.

JanetJackson

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 733
  • Location: United States
    • How I actually made $50 just for taking a survey and being in the healthcare marketplace
Re: How do you cope with generational frugality/optimization exhaustion?
« Reply #30 on: November 28, 2017, 07:19:56 AM »
1. Relax. You were born in one of the richest countries in the world and still have plenty of time to navigate your life.

2. Focus on personal development. Invest in yourself as much as possible. I'd probably start with "The Magic of Thinking Big" by David Schwartz. "Losing it" is probably not the reaction you want to have in situations like you were in. To me it's always going to be annoying to hear people brag about their kids or their plans regardless of my own situation, but of course "losing it" is more self-destructive than anything.

3. Once you become the better you, higher income will be sure to follow. There's pretty much no way around being able to achieve goals faster by increasing income.

It's good to develop the skills necessary to be frugal in order to achieve your goals, but frugality is simply a tool. Not to say that it's all about deprivation, but at some point you need to start doing things that are valuable to you and not worry about the price tag. As your net worth grows, your time becomes much more valuable. But your time is also valuable right now. You can't afford to be focusing on things that don't bring you much money or happiness. Work super hard and you will eventually learn to ignore dollar signs as you become stronger and more valuable.

There will definitely come a time when focusing on the cost of something will become irrelevant. I mean coupons are only useful to an extent. Finding "deals" or buying the cheapest in general is only useful to an extent. Selling old stuff on eBay is only useful to an extent. Eating beans and rice is only useful...you get the idea. If you over-focus on optimization then you're missing out on the bigger picture. Don't be cheap. Living an overall low-consumption lifestyle will trump wasting precious energy on relentless optimization. Finding deals on the cheapest X/Y/Z is irrelevant if you rarely use/replace X/Y/Z to begin with.

How have you been investing the past two years? Is it possible to buy a duplex in your old city so that you can live in one side an rent the other? Then, if you ever move, you'll have two rentals.
>I have most of my money in itemized savings accounts (Emergency savings, car repairs, insurance, etc- it works for me to itemize my accounts like this), a little in a Roth IRA, and a little in Vangard.  The savings has about 13,500 in it, which includes car insurance lump payment, saving for a home, pet emergency fund, car emergency fund, and general emergency fund.  My IRA has 1500 and my vanguard account has 500.   I have about 13,900 left in student loans at around a 2% interest rate.  Sorry for all the details, I could post a case study again someday, but I did a while ago and everyone just told me to save more or to make more income, both of which I feel like I'm trying to a fault to do.  I get it, but it was also frustrating.
>To your second point, something like that is a definite plan.  The area is near (within 0-10 miles, depending on where you are in the city) a very popular university, so I had planned on finding a 2 bedroom and hosting an AirBnB with the 2nd room.  It's a thriving area for parents visiting, etc and I think it's very doable without having to have a full-time roommate.  I have a roommate now in a studio apartment, I've had roommates all of my life... I'm very very interested in living alone.  But willing to host short term and think that sounds fun!

Dicey

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 15293
  • Age: 63
  • Location: NorCal
Re: How do you cope with generational frugality/optimization exhaustion?
« Reply #31 on: November 28, 2017, 07:26:30 AM »
I also found daily inspiration at "The Frugal Girl" and "The Non Consumer Advocate". Both sites do a Five Frugal Things feature, and the comments are really helpful.

Next, start planning a trip. Seriously, a huge amount of the joy is in the research, planning and anticipation. Where do you want to go? How can you do it on a dime? Can you credit card hack some or all of it? It doesn't matter when you go, planning and thinking about it are the balm that will soothe in the mean time.

I believe a crucial point is being missed. 25x your current annual expenses isn't going to cut it. You don't want to feel this pinched for the rest if your life. You will need to aim a little higher. Explore ways to boost your income, as that will be the easiest route. Start investing your money well, because compound interest is a girl's best friend.. (see: jlcollinsnh stock series)

I like the moving to your home city and buying a duplex idea. Here's another: I don't know if these work in a lower cost area, but one business that's thriving in many places is Doggy Day Care. Unmustachian as hell, but people do pay good money so their dogs won't be home alone. You can play with dogs all day, then send all but one home at night. Look into getting a PT job at one now, even if it's only for a few hours a week/month, so you can see how it works and if it's a good path for you.

You can do this, JJ!

Linea_Norway

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7420
  • Location: Norway
Re: How do you cope with generational frugality/optimization exhaustion?
« Reply #32 on: November 28, 2017, 07:32:30 AM »
Remember that we are at MMM, not at ERE (early retirement extreme). We are supposed to save a high % of our income, without being extreme and depriving ourselves of living a good life. We should just stop mindlessly spending money on stuff that we don't need. Look at the things that really make your life happier and prioritize some of these.

I felt the same way as you did when I was young and was on a long waiting list for affordable housing. What was I jealous of others who had their own place (even refugees) and what did I feel sorry for myself for having to wait for so long getting an affordable apartment.

But in your case, it is not money you don't have. You just don't prioritize these things. From your 50% salary you could book a week trip to Spain. But is that what you want? Try to find a golden middle way of doing the things you prioritize in life (like your gym membership), while still not becoming a big spendypants.

jlcnuke

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 918
Re: How do you cope with generational frugality/optimization exhaustion?
« Reply #33 on: November 28, 2017, 07:49:57 AM »
While my financial situation is closer to those you were envying than your own, I'd like to emphasize some of the points made earlier.

1. You seem to have made 'saving' the primary goal of your income. While that isn't always a bad thing, your reaction seems to indicate that you've prioritized saving so highly above everything else that you are emotionally hurting yourself with the level at which you deny yourself other things.

2. You have your living expenses down to a VERY low level already. As such, I wouldn't bother trying to squeeze any more mileage out of the "pennies" you are currently spending. The potential gains are likely not worth the sacrifice.

3. As a general rule, saving 50% of your income will let you retire in ~16-17 years (assuming the money is invested in something like a 75/25 portfolio). A 40% investment rate will generally let a person retire in about 21 years instead. The difference in your case is about $3k more spending per year.

4. Examples of international vacations I've done/have booked/planned include:
A. A week long stay at a 5-star all-inclusive resort on the beach in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic with one excursion off the resort - total cost including airfare $2,700.
B. A 5 night trip to Aruba including diving to get certified by PADI - $560 roundtrip airfare, $540 lodging, $500 diving, $500 food, $125 miscellaneous spending -  $2,270.
C. 7 day all-inclusive liveaboard dive trip (lower tier ship, not 5 stars but includes all food/drink and 19 dives) in the Bahamas + 1 day in Nassau - $1120, $100 for the one night in Nassau, $645 roundtrip airfare, $350 misc spending - $2,215

With the exception of 'C', my trips are always to 4 or 5 star resorts. If you catch deals (which I generally don't because I prefer to go on my schedule and book when I want vs. go when the great deals are or wait until some sale happens to plan my vacation), you could do any such trip for probably 30-50% less than I pay, especially if you don't mind going with the 3-star accommodations instead of the 4-5 star places.

I decided last year that getting more "experiences/luxuries now" was worth maybe having to wait a few extra years before retiring because I would shift some "savings" money to "spending" money. That's a personal choice I made, but it sounds like you're emotions are telling you that you aren't satisfied with the amount of spending you currently use for "you".

Yes, getting more income is great - finding a way to progress or job/career so your earnings go up will definitely help allow you to have some lifestyle creep in addition to saving plenty. That doesn't mean you can't give yourself a little lifestyle creep now. IMO, there's no point in living a $15k lifestyle and not being happy about it if you could live a $18-20k lifestyle, enjoy it, and still retire quite early...

omachi

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 856
  • Location: Minnesota
Re: How do you cope with generational frugality/optimization exhaustion?
« Reply #34 on: November 28, 2017, 07:59:55 AM »
Also, no one ended up mentioning this- but does anyone else ever feel this way?  It's ok if no one does, but I'm just curious.  It might feel nice to know I am not alone.

I think this is a good question to ask, and since I've enjoyed reading the responses to it so far, I'll add mine.

Yes. The answer is yes. Even with a six figure income and a bunch of money in the bank due to high savings rates, I still have my moments.

Realistically, I can do pretty much anything I want. Most of the time I don't, because money in the bank is better and the wants that spur these feelings are often just fleeting trifles that will have no real impact. So I have times where I feel like I'm depriving myself, perhaps unnecessarily because the expenditure would be a drop in the bucket, and wonder if I'm not missing something.

I do budget time and money for real, purposeful wants. For me that keeps coming back to travel and good, home prepared food. So when I feel deprived, I know that doing something like preparing a more involved dinner than normal often snaps me out of it. Or sharing a good meal with friends, even if it's at my expense.

For you, it looks like it'd be social exercise and dogs, at least as far as you've explored. Honestly, that seems pretty great. Your gym and social sports outlet are reasonably priced. They're daily things that cost less than just the airfare to some locations, not to mention a week's stay. So maybe instead of going back to the spreadsheets to optimize $20 out of the month, spend that time at the dog park. Bet you and your dog will get more out of it than finding a way to work 14.5 more years instead of 15.

kaypinkHH

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 906
  • Location: North by North East (CAN)
    • My first Journal!
Re: How do you cope with generational frugality/optimization exhaustion?
« Reply #35 on: November 28, 2017, 09:23:28 AM »
I'll add my story to the mix.

I've always been someone who has been future thinking and "sacrificed" in the present to pay off in the future (ie back in high school choosing to spend weekends doing extra credit assignments to get an extra 3%, that gives me a better chance at scholarships, instead of partying with friends).

This continued into adulthood, and it was a few years back and I was living in SUPER HCOL city...away from immediate family, but working a really good job for a new grad, future Mr.HH had also landed a great job. We would see our peers going out for drinks on the weekends/buying new cars/going on vacations or just relaxing, meanwhile we were hauling our butts all over the city to tutor rich kids..making $22/hr (through a 3rd party company). After calculating commuting time back and forth and transit costs, it broke down to 8.83/hr per 1.5 hr session.

One gross cold November day while walking from rich kid's house to the subway, and thinking angrily how I could have better optimized my evening by getting two kids that night instead of just the one, I passed a restaurant full of other mid twenties people, and saw all of them just sitting there enjoying their overpriced food, in their trendy clothes. I started to cry. I was so frustrated that it felt like I was running and running on this treadmill and everyone else was just casually walking around. I was angry, and jealous, and mad that we were living in a HCOL city.

But then somethings changed.

1. I stopped tutoring for the 3rd party company and charged people $40/hr. I made sure to optimize my schedule to hit multiple students in one night.
2. I optimized my schedule even more so that I could start biking, so the commuting costs went away and the 1.5 hrs of commuting turned into free work out time..so double value.
3. I started listening to those "glamorous" people and talks of not being able to afford a house ever, and student loans, and living with mom and dad were the focus over and over again. And I was so grateful that I was using my tutoring money to save for a house (which we eventually bought).

But those moments of jealousy and anger popped up again. Last year, I chose to take a site position working away from home for one year. I made a TON of money, but it was a huge sacrifice to my personal life, and I still felt bad about spending money on restaurant food with coworkers, and I still didn't own fancy clothes...even though I felt like I deserved it. (Although I did spent travel quite a bit last year which made me feel super spoiled!)

But suddenly, here I sit, not even a year later, and all those sacrifices are paying off. Using the money I saved last year as a cushion, we were able to move to our dream city closer to family and friends (and much LCOL and better QOL). We are selling our house that those hours of tutoring helped pay for, for a much bigger profit than expected, and we are on a path to FI/FIRE. I bought my new "fancy" clothes on kijiji, and have gone out a few times with friends to those fancy restaurants. I now probably look like one of those people I envied on my cold walk home 4 years ago.


Point of my story, is hang in there (insert kitten hanging from a tree branch motivational poster). I agree with others, spending your one lunch break to go and make $12 is maybe not worth it. Spending a lunch break at the dog park is worth it. Look into moving back to the previous city. Let the guilt about the previous house sale go..the next house you buy may be the one that makes a ton of money!

And as for your job, you make 30k for 25-30 hours of work, it isn't great, but you do have that "extra" 15-10+ hours to bump yourself up. I personally didn't mind working the 50+ hour weeks (I actually did really enjoy tutoring) as long as my bank account is growing. If you are enjoying your side gigs no harm in continuing to work them!  But...

Consider going back to school, look at scholarships for mature students, or online degrees to compliment your skill set to make you more profitable (a Project Manager 2 year college course for example). Look at the salary you will get when you finish and how many years it will take to "make that back".  I had considered getting an MBA but was terrified of the price, then I heard from so many colleagues that they mostly got scholarships.  Or start your doggy walking/doggy day care side business and see if that grows...wouldn't hurt taking some business classes to support that dream and also give you leverage in your current field. If you really don't want to spend money on school start reading books FOR FREE about running your own business (maybe you have already done this). Take free online courses. This will fill up your time and give you passion/goals to work on FOR YOU!

I truly believe that everyone needs hobbies that do 3 things: 1. Give you physical fitness (you play the social sports and gym! Great)! 2. Make you money (dog walking side gig/online courses (for example)) 3. Nourish your soul- find an activity that makes you happy (maybe it is volunteering at the SPCA, or more work with animals, or maybe it is doing a bit travelling), and this doesn't need to cost money, but it doesn't need to be free either. I personally chose to spend $150 a month for improv classes for a few months...and it was the best "waste of money" ever.

And if all else fails think about how Keegan and Timmy will be so disappointed in 10 years when they realize mom and dad won't pay for their trips any more! Such a rough life.

One last thing, does anyone know or care you were wearing a thrift store blazer?? Probably not..I now take pride in my cheap clothes. Own the frugalness, do not be ashamed!

 
 

Zikoris

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4010
  • Age: 34
  • Location: Vancouver, BC
  • Vancouverstachian
Re: How do you cope with generational frugality/optimization exhaustion?
« Reply #36 on: November 28, 2017, 10:09:44 AM »
Quote
Also, no one ended up mentioning this- but does anyone else ever feel this way?  It's ok if no one does, but I'm just curious.  It might feel nice to know I am not alone.

I'm pretty sure I felt that way when I first moved out on my own at 18 and was too poor to do anything fun. Luckily everyone I was surrounded by was also pretty broke, so it wasn't in my face too much. But I started taking steps to live the life I wanted within a few years as soon as I had some stability, like getting laser eye surgery, having a minor surgery, learning to ballroom dance, and establishing a travel budget, so the negative feelings were short-lived (by the time I was 25, my life was pretty close to perfect).

JanetJackson

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 733
  • Location: United States
    • How I actually made $50 just for taking a survey and being in the healthcare marketplace
Re: How do you cope with generational frugality/optimization exhaustion?
« Reply #37 on: November 28, 2017, 10:17:13 AM »
Wow, thanks for sharing your story.  You took some time to type this all out, and that means a lot- thank you.
I did the same thing in High School, and ended up with a good scholarship (but still some student loan debt).  I used to keep a dry-erase chart next to my bed in high school to track my savings and earnings, and was a bit obsessive.  Surprise, like you, it carried over into my adulthood.
I'll insert some Q's, etc. below ----


I'll add my story to the mix.

I've always been someone who has been future thinking and "sacrificed" in the present to pay off in the future (ie back in high school choosing to spend weekends doing extra credit assignments to get an extra 3%, that gives me a better chance at scholarships, instead of partying with friends).

This continued into adulthood, and it was a few years back and I was living in SUPER HCOL city...away from immediate family, but working a really good job for a new grad, future Mr.HH had also landed a great job. We would see our peers going out for drinks on the weekends/buying new cars/going on vacations or just relaxing, meanwhile we were hauling our butts all over the city to tutor rich kids..making $22/hr (through a 3rd party company). After calculating commuting time back and forth and transit costs, it broke down to 8.83/hr per 1.5 hr session.

One gross cold November day while walking from rich kid's house to the subway, and thinking angrily how I could have better optimized my evening by getting two kids that night instead of just the one, I passed a restaurant full of other mid twenties people, and saw all of them just sitting there enjoying their overpriced food, in their trendy clothes. I started to cry. I was so frustrated that it felt like I was running and running on this treadmill and everyone else was just casually walking around. I was angry, and jealous, and mad that we were living in a HCOL city.

But then somethings changed.

1. I stopped tutoring for the 3rd party company and charged people $40/hr. I made sure to optimize my schedule to hit multiple students in one night.
This is what I do now with my dog -walking an tutoring (I also tutor exceptional ed/special ed students on Saturday).. Once upon a time I worked for a company for BOTH of these side-gigs and found that working on my own was so much better.
2. I optimized my schedule even more so that I could start biking, so the commuting costs went away and the 1.5 hrs of commuting turned into free work out time..so double value.
This is GREAT!  The former city is actually very flat and very temperate, and I biked everywhere down there... after I moved here, I eventually sold my bike.  But sadly, my grandfather, and avid cyclist (and basically superman) passed away last year and I've inherited his very nice bike... I feel like it was almost a sign from the universe to change some things up.
3. I started listening to those "glamorous" people and talks of not being able to afford a house ever, and student loans, and living with mom and dad were the focus over and over again. And I was so grateful that I was using my tutoring money to save for a house (which we eventually bought).
Thank you for saying this.  I do hear this and know that many of my peers have little to nothing saved.  I will have enough in a year to make a fair down payment on my home and still have cushion.  You are right.
But those moments of jealousy and anger popped up again. Last year, I chose to take a site position working away from home for one year. I made a TON of money, but it was a huge sacrifice to my personal life, and I still felt bad about spending money on restaurant food with coworkers, and I still didn't own fancy clothes...even though I felt like I deserved it. (Although I did spent travel quite a bit last year which made me feel super spoiled!)
Do you feel enriched from the experience?
But suddenly, here I sit, not even a year later, and all those sacrifices are paying off. Using the money I saved last year as a cushion, we were able to move to our dream city closer to family and friends (and much LCOL and better QOL). We are selling our house that those hours of tutoring helped pay for, for a much bigger profit than expected, and we are on a path to FI/FIRE. I bought my new "fancy" clothes on kijiji, and have gone out a few times with friends to those fancy restaurants. I now probably look like one of those people I envied on my cold walk home 4 years ago.
I think you have a fair point here.  I could start a small savings fund for "fun money" and "dental" (I did well for not going for 15 years, but I do have 3 small cavities and 3 big-ish ones = $800).  I like finding deals when I can on quality clothing (although I do the capsule wardrobe, although I may revisit this)- and kijiji/craigslist is a great source for this.

Point of my story, is hang in there (insert kitten hanging from a tree branch motivational poster). I agree with others, spending your one lunch break to go and make $12 is maybe not worth it. Spending a lunch break at the dog park is worth it. Look into moving back to the previous city. Let the guilt about the previous house sale go..the next house you buy may be the one that makes a ton of money!

And as for your job, you make 30k for 25-30 hours of work, it isn't great, but you do have that "extra" 15-10+ hours to bump yourself up. I personally didn't mind working the 50+ hour weeks (I actually did really enjoy tutoring) as long as my bank account is growing. If you are enjoying your side gigs no harm in continuing to work them!  But...
To clarify here, I make about 27k from the day job, and about 3-5k from the side jobs.   This varies a little.
Consider going back to school, look at scholarships for mature students, or online degrees to compliment your skill set to make you more profitable (a Project Manager 2 year college course for example). Look at the salary you will get when you finish and how many years it will take to "make that back".  I had considered getting an MBA but was terrified of the price, then I heard from so many colleagues that they mostly got scholarships.  Or start your doggy walking/doggy day care side business and see if that grows...wouldn't hurt taking some business classes to support that dream and also give you leverage in your current field. If you really don't want to spend money on school start reading books FOR FREE about running your own business (maybe you have already done this). Take free online courses. This will fill up your time and give you passion/goals to work on FOR YOU!
This is certainly something I'd like to investigate more.  I did the NP Management program at Duke and got into the intensive program.  I can EASILY say that I learned more through that $1700 two week certificate program than years and years of online undergrad courses, and I loved it!  I took a few Spanish classes recently as well, to add to my resume.  I think I may need to either explore outside of the NonProfit world (burn out is SO REAL in this sector), or investigate maybe doing some consulting for NonProfits while building my own pet care business... I consume Podcasts/AudioBooks/Online Workbooks, etc at a hungry hungry pace, and love to learn, but kind of hate academia.  To clarify, I'm about 9-10 classes (so 30-40 credits) from a BS in Psychology, but I have very little interest in Psych any longer and getting those last 30ish credits will be a heck of an expense.

I truly believe that everyone needs hobbies that do 3 things: 1. Give you physical fitness (you play the social sports and gym! Great)! 2. Make you money (dog walking side gig/online courses (for example)) 3. Nourish your soul- find an activity that makes you happy (maybe it is volunteering at the SPCA, or more work with animals, or maybe it is doing a bit travelling), and this doesn't need to cost money, but it doesn't need to be free either. I personally chose to spend $150 a month for improv classes for a few months...and it was the best "waste of money" ever.
Good points here^
And if all else fails think about how Keegan and Timmy will be so disappointed in 10 years when they realize mom and dad won't pay for their trips any more! Such a rough life.

One last thing, does anyone know or care you were wearing a thrift store blazer?? Probably not..I now take pride in my cheap clothes. Own the frugalness, do not be ashamed!
Ha, good point.  Every now and then I think about how sharp I sometimes/can look and how little I spent to get there.  I am a fan of good quality/life time goods and clothing as an investment.  Patagonia will fix it for life, etc.  Other days I feel like a washed up rat with my hair in a messy (not cute messy either) bun who only remembered to put one eye of mascara on.

koshtra

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 668
  • Location: Portland, Oregon, USA
    • Mole
Re: How do you cope with generational frugality/optimization exhaustion?
« Reply #38 on: November 28, 2017, 10:49:00 AM »
Human beings who are future oriented (like many on here), tend to do a lot of chronesthesia.  When we place ourselves into this potential future or alternative world, we imagine our fantasy will bring us happiness. 

You had such a visceral reaction to this scene, it makes me think you feel unfulfilled in some way and that you believe spending more money or FI will somehow fill that hole.   It may, or it may not.  My experience is that I'm absolutely HORRIBLE at predicting what will or will not make me happy.  I have to live it to know for sure. Personally, I'm much more happy living off 20K a year than I was at 40K, my reasons for that may be weird though. 

In any event, if you think you'll be happier going on a spending frenzy... Do it!  Seriously!  You have a 50% savings rate, screw it for 3 or 6 mos (however long it takes) and spend.  Go on a vacation to Spain, get a bigger place, buy some new clothes, whatever... you can afford it.  After a time, analyze and see if you really are happier, maybe you will be.  If not, at least you know the that lifestyle won't fill the hole.  That knowledge is well worth the price 6 months of savings.

Chiming in with Classical_Liberal here -- I see this from time to time on the MMM forums: if people get too focused on making & saving money, They're at risk of confusing it with being happy. Being happy is a taller order, a bigger project. Financial independence makes you (economically) free. It doesn't make you happy. So if you're grinding away in a joyless life, asking yourself, "when the hell is all this going to make me happy?" The true answer of "well, never" is kind of shocking, even horrifying.

Especially if you come from a background of people who hated to scrimp, who scrimped all their lives and never got anything for it. Ow. Depression time. The vision of a totally futile life.

But, while happiness is harder and more complicated to get in some ways, it's simpler and easier in others. Basically, what makes a person happy, in the long run, is feeling like they're fortunate, and that their life is meaningful, and that people (or dogs, for that matter) care about them. This isn't touchy-feely crap: the evidence for it is quite robust. If you want to be happy you count your blessings, follow a higher purpose (whatever the hell you may think such a thing is), and weave your life into the lives of people who appreciate you.

JanetJackson

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 733
  • Location: United States
    • How I actually made $50 just for taking a survey and being in the healthcare marketplace
Re: How do you cope with generational frugality/optimization exhaustion?
« Reply #39 on: November 28, 2017, 11:24:05 AM »


Chiming in with Classical_Liberal here -- I see this from time to time on the MMM forums: if people get too focused on making & saving money, They're at risk of confusing it with being happy. Being happy is a taller order, a bigger project. Financial independence makes you (economically) free. It doesn't make you happy. So if you're grinding away in a joyless life, asking yourself, "when the hell is all this going to make me happy?" The true answer of "well, never" is kind of shocking, even horrifying.

Especially if you come from a background of people who hated to scrimp, who scrimped all their lives and never got anything for it. Ow. Depression time. The vision of a totally futile life.

But, while happiness is harder and more complicated to get in some ways, it's simpler and easier in others. Basically, what makes a person happy, in the long run, is feeling like they're fortunate, and that their life is meaningful, and that people (or dogs, for that matter) care about them. This isn't touchy-feely crap: the evidence for it is quite robust. If you want to be happy you count your blessings, follow a higher purpose (whatever the hell you may think such a thing is), and weave your life into the lives of people who appreciate you.
Seriously, THANK YOU for your input here.
You're so very very right, they are two very different things.
When I think about my parents lives (they're still alive, just reflecting here).... my mother worked her @ss off for 30 years and was fired 10 months before she was eligible for retirement (and they made her leave that day)- she had spent the last year caring for her dying father and using her PTO and sick time (mind you, NOT missing work she didn't have the time accounted for) and going in on the weekend to make sure she kept up with her hours and maintained both her workflow, and her income.. and they decided to "eliminate and automate" her position at age 61, with thirty years of dedication.  For almost a year, she had no idea how to live.... if not to earn money.  She's gotten interested in some things lately, but I still hated to see her go through that.
My dad was a blue collar union worker at a steel shop; hard and mean, but still a good guy overall.  He HATED his job, hated his boss, and scorned the wealthy (boy do I have stories of growing up his kid....).  He's been retired for almost four years and still tells what I call his "shop Nam stories," (like when they told him he had to wear these special gloves to slide aluminum but it slowed his process down, but they still demanded the same output- "all they care about it the bottom line, they'd kill me for $10 I swear to god"). because he has never had one friend or done anything as a hobby for himself (besides the Tuesday 5am pricing at the really awful golf course that's about 20 miles away maybe 6 times ever).

They have ZERO debt, they own their home (in a really awful part of the country), have good survival skills, and probably have some amount saved and invested... but what they got for it is untreated mental health issues, loneliness, and a purely lost sense of self.  I see this and comment on it often, but have not taken a good enough look in the mirror.  I miss the connection to people I had in my former city (seriously, I went through a divorce there and needed to leave during the initial separation for my safety within a two hour window{while my former partner was at work}, and with one text to just one friend 12+ of my friends and gym-mates were there to quietly, without question, move all of my things to another friends garage and pull me back 'above water' so-to-speak... I will never forget that.  Where I live now, I once got a flat tire and realized I didn't have my car-jack with me... and I realized that I had NOT ONE person I felt like I could call that would help.  That was a sobering moment).
Happiness does matter.
Thanks Classical_Liberal. 

formerlydivorcedmom

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 688
  • Location: Texas
Re: How do you cope with generational frugality/optimization exhaustion?
« Reply #40 on: November 28, 2017, 12:31:17 PM »
with one text to just one friend 12+ of my friends and gym-mates were there to quietly, without question, move all of my things to another friends garage and pull me back 'above water' so-to-speak... I will never forget that.  Where I live now, I once got a flat tire and realized I didn't have my car-jack with me... and I realized that I had NOT ONE person I felt like I could call that would help.  That was a sobering moment).

Go home.  Having that kind of family-of-choice around you is priceless.

You've spent the last few years doing valuable work to recover from your divorce.  I know from experience it takes time to figure out who you are again, without all the baggage and with all the stuff you learned from the failed relationship...and that's after the time you have to spend just existing to even get to recovery.

It sounds like you've healed to a point that you're ready to stop just existing.  Congratulations!  Now you get to make the life that YOU want, and hopefully then your moments of envy will be brief.


diapasoun

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4304
  • Location: California
Re: How do you cope with generational frugality/optimization exhaustion?
« Reply #41 on: November 28, 2017, 04:18:33 PM »
with one text to just one friend 12+ of my friends and gym-mates were there to quietly, without question, move all of my things to another friends garage and pull me back 'above water' so-to-speak... I will never forget that.  Where I live now, I once got a flat tire and realized I didn't have my car-jack with me... and I realized that I had NOT ONE person I felt like I could call that would help.  That was a sobering moment).

Go home.  Having that kind of family-of-choice around you is priceless.

This. There are so many benefits to having people like that in your life. It won't be exactly the way you left it, but nonetheless, you clearly have a bunch of very important people back home in your earlier city.

It's possible that moving back will also alleviate some of your anxieties about money + fun right now, at least if you're anything like me. I personally find that if when I feel less secure because of the world around me (moving/having friends move, political escapades, work issues, etc), I start to save harder and pinch pennies because it's one of the few things that makes me feel more secure -- I feel compelled to sacrifice fun for that security. If you're anything like me, you're also trying to pad the loss of a social security net with a monetary one.

(Also, you're not alone in depriving yourself because of saving/paying down debt being too big a goal -- I've definitely taken it to the misery point too. I moved cross-country to go to grad school. That first year when I made 15k/year in a HCOL area, I paid off $1700 in moving costs in 7 months; at that point I'd earned $10k. I was living on a food stamp budget without foodstamps in order to do that, and it just plain sucked. I used to buy myself an occasional $1.50 cookie cutter as a splurge, because rabbit-shaped biscuits are fun, but it made me so angry that my splurge was a freaking cookie cutter.)

Peony

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 386
Re: How do you cope with generational frugality/optimization exhaustion?
« Reply #42 on: November 28, 2017, 04:50:05 PM »
Just one question about the former city. Is it safe for you to be there? Ex-partner you had to ditch in a hurry is no longer a threat?

datu925

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 17
Re: How do you cope with generational frugality/optimization exhaustion?
« Reply #43 on: November 28, 2017, 09:52:50 PM »
I echo the supporting comments of many others - what you're experiencing is totally understandable and yes, I have moments like that as well. For many Mustachians, even if the overall trajectory is promising, and even if you generally are happy with your life, there are still moments when it feels like a slog. I will say that it seems like you've worked harder than most - good for you.

As for the specific trigger of seeing others presented with amazing travel opportunities... as others have said, you should definitely look into travel hacking. For so many people, international travel represents a certain kind of luxury that they think they can't have, but if you plan your travel as conscientiously as you seem to have organized other parts of your life, you can do it VERY affordably.

To travel on the cheap, I would consider the following as a starting point:
1. Look into credit card churning, which can knock out most/all of your airfare costs.
2. Plan to couch surf, which can knock out all of your lodging costs. It also puts you in greater contact with locals who can actually show you the city.
3. Visit cities with public transportation
4. Plan to cook some of the time (#2 makes this easier)

There are others on this forum with greater expertise in these areas, but feel free to PM me if you'd like a starting point.

kaypinkHH

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 906
  • Location: North by North East (CAN)
    • My first Journal!
Re: How do you cope with generational frugality/optimization exhaustion?
« Reply #44 on: November 29, 2017, 09:55:45 AM »
Glad you appreciated my brain dump :).

To answer your question regarding travel...Mr.HH and I planned to start trying to have kids (and we are now pregnant), so last year was kind of a "DO ALL THE THINGS/SAY YES TO EVERYTHING" year. Was way more expensive than it had to be, but I have 0 regrets. I had a mixture of international trips and more local quick trips and looking back some of the spur of the moment weekend trips were actually some of my favourites. Booking a $300 flight (or better if you can travel hack), and planting myself in a new city for a weekend, away from life's responsibilities had a similar effect to the week long international travels.

I have one friend who is in med school (and has ALL the debt) and was in her last year of classes before rotations and then residency..because of her I ended up in Philadelphia at a Beyonce concert, in Montreal at a music festival and (same weekend) running a crazy obstacle course race. None of this was cheap, but we had a blast, and who knows when we will have the chance to do those things again! 

Save up for your downpayment, then take a tiny tiny fraction of what you were saving to use for "fun money" whether that be travel, or a cross fit membership or something else! Budget it out so it isn't hugely impacting your saving rate, and you will be fine!

MrsPete

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3513
Re: How do you cope with generational frugality/optimization exhaustion?
« Reply #45 on: November 29, 2017, 06:33:45 PM »
You've already receive a lot of good advice -- please do take it to heart!  I'm going to say three things that're just a little different: 

First:

You're allowed to break down every now and again.  Doing so doesn't make you weak; rather, it happens because you're human.  It doesn't mean that you're making bad choices or that you should make any changes.  It just means that sometimes your emotions get the better of you.  Don't beat yourself up about it. 

Second:

Don't assume that these 16-year old world travelers (and their families) have it all together.  No one does.  You saw one small aspect of their lives -- something public, something about which the moms were bragging.  I'm 100% certain that you're better than them in some way.  Maybe they're in debt, maybe Dad's cheating on Mom, or maybe they're supporting a parent who has dementia -- probably it's something entirely different.  The point:  Other people's lives aren't as perfect as they appear.  We all show the best parts of ourselves to the world. 

One last thing: 

I grew up much like you, and when I was younger I often felt like you do.  I never would've believed that 50-year old me would have come so far.  The biggest reason I am financially comfortable today and am very close to retiring:  I started working towards that goal when I was your age.  Stay the course. 
« Last Edit: November 29, 2017, 06:35:40 PM by MrsPete »

JanetJackson

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 733
  • Location: United States
    • How I actually made $50 just for taking a survey and being in the healthcare marketplace
Re: How do you cope with generational frugality/optimization exhaustion?
« Reply #46 on: November 30, 2017, 10:04:34 AM »
Just one question about the former city. Is it safe for you to be there? Ex-partner you had to ditch in a hurry is no longer a threat?
Thank you for asking.  Yes, I believe so- no clue where they are.  It's interesting, I've always had really amazing continued friendships with former partners, and continue to do so... but this one was explosively uncordial, to put it lightly.
But all is well, if they happen to still be there (I don't think so- last I heard was Chicago) we'd likely just pretend we didn't see each other if we ever crossed paths.

JanetJackson

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 733
  • Location: United States
    • How I actually made $50 just for taking a survey and being in the healthcare marketplace
Re: How do you cope with generational frugality/optimization exhaustion?
« Reply #47 on: November 30, 2017, 10:10:33 AM »
Thanks everyone!
I'm definitely looking into moving, and will do so eventually.  I'll probably get another year in at the day job and then start making very firm plans.
Thanks for validating my feelings.  After a day "off" (sort of, I worked about 6 hours) yesterday I feel a little more human today, plus the sun is shining... I'm a MESS when the sun is not shining for more than a few days.  I really do not thrive in the winter.
I don't want to think anything ill of the Keegans of the world; they seemed like good kids... and the parents didn't even seem to be bragging, just exchanging stories.
I'm really not that interested in travel, as I mentioned before... just in a few extra luxuries that I don't have and have a hard time ADMITTING that I want.  It's ok to want things that you don't NEED. 
I'll repeat it for myself... it's ok to want things that you don't NEED.
I bought a pair of jeans with a coupon + a gift certificate I'd gotten for my birthday + $14 and that little splurge felt good.  Yesterday I also bought a coffee OUT while meeting with the potential mentor I'd mentioned earlier.  Normally I would have just purchased her coffee, but I got one for myself too!
Sometimes it's just the little things....

Onward!  Thanks again everyone.

fubarcamry

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 5
Re: How do you cope with generational frugality/optimization exhaustion?
« Reply #48 on: December 16, 2017, 04:26:15 PM »
For learning to sit still, you might learn to meditate. Try the (free) "calm" app. I've heard a lot of people say they can't sit still or couldn't meditate, but that's kind of the whole point of meditation. It teaches you this, resulting in mindfulness and calm becoming a little more of your daily mental state.

JanetJackson

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 733
  • Location: United States
    • How I actually made $50 just for taking a survey and being in the healthcare marketplace
Re: How do you cope with generational frugality/optimization exhaustion?
« Reply #49 on: December 21, 2017, 08:07:51 AM »
Thanks!  I have Insight Timer on my phone as an App, and I like it when I use it... but you're right, ACTUALLY using it is the first step! :)