Author Topic: How to deal with financially irresponsible urges and FOMO  (Read 3529 times)

catmustache

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How to deal with financially irresponsible urges and FOMO
« on: December 14, 2016, 06:17:25 AM »
Hi all,
It's been a while since I posted and maybe too long since I've been punched in the face.  Here's the situation. I'm selling my house for a nice profit (fingers crossed) and moving closer to my work.  Problem is that houses close to my work are substantially more expensive, so to stay in my budget and not pay too much more in housing costs, I'm having to downsize substantially (no more yard, basement, storage space, etc.).
I technically could qualify for a lot more and get a nice house in a nice neighborhood nearby, but it would increase my hosting expenses (180k v 225k).
I know I should just buy the cheaper house logically, but a huge part of me wants to spend more to get the nice house I can show off to my coworkers who live in bigger places than me.

How do I deal with the feeling that I deserve more?


nereo

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Re: How to deal with financially irresponsible urges and FOMO
« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2016, 06:24:53 AM »
...
I know I should just buy the cheaper house logically, but a huge part of me wants to spend more to get the nice house I can show off to my coworkers who live in bigger places than me.

How do I deal with the feeling that I deserve more?
We downsized during our last move to give us a walking commute - overall we're much happier, even with no yard and less storage space (and less stuff!)

How do you deal?  Regarding your co-workers take satisfaction that this decision will let you retire DECADES sooner than they can.  Regarding your own happiness not having a yard, long commute or lots of extraneous stuff directly translates into having more TIME on a weekly basis. 
Once you hit FI and pull the plug you'll no longer be constrained by distance-to-work and you can live in a bigger house with a large yard (if you still want to)

catmustache

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Re: How to deal with financially irresponsible urges and FOMO
« Reply #2 on: December 14, 2016, 09:26:22 PM »
True.  Good points all.  Thanks!

Bracken_Joy

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Re: How to deal with financially irresponsible urges and FOMO
« Reply #3 on: December 14, 2016, 09:50:44 PM »
Try reframing. See the benefits of minimalism, the environmental gains, the lower MONTHLY costs associated, not just the mortgage. Here's some places to start:
http://www.becomingminimalist.com/12-reasons-why-youll-be-happier-in-a-smaller-home/
http://www.financialsumo.com/hidden-costs-of-buying-a-bigger-house/
http://www.wisebread.com/mcmansion-to-mccottage-why-smaller-houses-are-smarter
http://caretomove.com.au/benefits-downsizing-living-minimalist-life/
Peripherally related as well: https://zenhabits.net/fit-setup/

It's not a sacrifice- it's strength, and health, and joy! =) Reframing and embracing will always be better than willpower and deprivation mindset.

skeptic

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Re: How to deal with financially irresponsible urges and FOMO
« Reply #4 on: December 15, 2016, 10:05:52 AM »
It is hard to really talk you out of the expensive house without knowing more about your goals and priorities. I can imagine situations where it could make sense to get the more expensive house if there were true specific reasons (not rationalizations) that the more expensive house met critical needs and values for your life [based on the school system, or wanting a yard or access to a community garden for your existing favorite passtime of gardening]

I guess you have framed this a potentially irresponsible luxury purchase so I could remind you of the greater life satisfaction you'll get from reaching financial independence early, and how happiness comes from experiences and relationships, not things. (Also, the quick ego bump from showing it off to your co-workers will be followed by years of stress and obligation as you pay the thing off, maintain it, pay higher taxes, etc.)

Not sure how long you plan to stay in the house but it's normal for people to move, so this doesn't have to be your "forever" house and match with all your dreams. In fact, saving now will help you to make your next house even closer to what you really want, if this one isn't quite there.

Also: a consistent theme in my life and hearing from others is that it usually makes more sense to spend money/time to fill a need _after_ it is very very clear, not beforehand. So if you think you might possibly make it work in the cheaper place, I would highly encourage making a go of it, and it's likely you'll be happier there and that your own ingenuity will overcome the "flaws" (like you'll learn to cook rice in a pot if there's no longer space for your rice cooker, or you'll make a rooftop garden and cute window boxes now that you don't have a yard, or you'll just discover you don't need a dining room after all as you always assumed you did, etc.)

For size comparison, our home has 212 square feet per inhabitant and we are super happy in it. But the size, location, and price are aligned with our priorities. I'm sure you'll be able to find the home that best matches your priorities, whatever they may be.

MrsDinero

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Re: How to deal with financially irresponsible urges and FOMO
« Reply #5 on: December 15, 2016, 10:09:20 AM »
How do I deal with the feeling that I deserve more?
I think it hinges on this.

You have to decide what you "more" you deserve.

Do you deserve a bigger house? Or do you deserve putting away more money in your retirement accounts?

There is nothing wrong with getting a bigger home, however you need to decide what your ultimate goals are.  Why are you selling your home and moving closer to work?  Is it to save commute time?  Is it to save money?  Both?

ketchup

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Re: How to deal with financially irresponsible urges and FOMO
« Reply #6 on: December 15, 2016, 10:19:18 AM »
How do I deal with the feeling that I deserve more?
I think it hinges on this.

You have to decide what you "more" you deserve.

Do you deserve a bigger house? Or do you deserve putting away more money in your retirement accounts?
This is absolutely the right way to look at it.  You "deserve" to be paid your salary in exchange for your work.  Beyond that, it's just a matter of resource allocation. 

Any idiot can buy things, you don't even need money to buy things anymore.

pbkmaine

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Re: How to deal with financially irresponsible urges and FOMO
« Reply #7 on: December 15, 2016, 10:20:41 AM »
How do I deal with the feeling that I deserve more?
I think it hinges on this.

You have to decide what you "more" you deserve.

Do you deserve a bigger house? Or do you deserve putting away more money in your retirement accounts?

There is nothing wrong with getting a bigger home, however you need to decide what your ultimate goals are.  Why are you selling your home and moving closer to work?  Is it to save commute time?  Is it to save money?  Both?

To me, nothing is more satisfying than a big investment balance. Most of my friends have fancier houses than I do. When they urge me to buy a larger house, I simply say: "I prefer to keep my money in mutual funds." Then I give them a smug grin. Works like a charm.

ReadySetMillionaire

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Re: How to deal with financially irresponsible urges and FOMO
« Reply #8 on: December 15, 2016, 10:46:25 AM »
Other things have been pointed out, but I just can't imagine giving a shit about what coworkers think about the size of my house.

JLR

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Re: How to deal with financially irresponsible urges and FOMO
« Reply #9 on: December 15, 2016, 03:12:06 PM »
An addition to the comment above about buying a bigger house once you FIRE (if you still want to), is to bear in mind how much time you will actually spend in this house. It looks like a case of going to work to pay for an empty house. At least if you buy a smaller house now while spending time at work, and a bigger house in a different location later when FIRE, you will end up spending time in that bigger house. Not time at work to pay for the bigger house.

And, if you have a small place, you can always host your co-workers at a restaurant or other venue if you want to entertain = cheaper than paying for a whole house for those few hours of entertaining.

Mikila

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Re: How to deal with financially irresponsible urges and FOMO
« Reply #10 on: December 15, 2016, 03:17:29 PM »
Stoicism.  Remind yourself that you learned to live without, and remember being happy without the object of your desire.

Lanthiriel

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Re: How to deal with financially irresponsible urges and FOMO
« Reply #11 on: December 15, 2016, 03:34:01 PM »
I am a person who gets sincere satisfaction out of a single family home (no shared walls) with a yard (to play with my dogs) and a garage (I live in a cold climate and like not having to chip my car out of an igloo in the winter). The impact of these luxuries on my quality of life is immense. I also spend a lot of time at home as my hobbies are knitting, reading, and loving on the aforementioned dogs. I am perfectly happy working another two or three years to not have my home life make me miserable for the next 15. That said, my house is 1100 square feet for two people, and I spent a lot of time looking for a smaller space to reduce my utilities costs and time spent cleaning. It's not always about the money.

catmustache

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Re: How to deal with financially irresponsible urges and FOMO
« Reply #12 on: January 11, 2017, 05:23:23 PM »
Thanks for all the responses.  I did go with the cheaper house that's closer to work after all.  I don't love it, but being able to put the extra money leftover from the sale of my old house towards my student loans was satisfying.  Kind of. I just need to remember that once I don't owe the federal government anything, I'll be much better off.  :)

GeneralJinjur

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Re: How to deal with financially irresponsible urges and FOMO
« Reply #13 on: January 11, 2017, 06:27:23 PM »
I know I should just buy the cheaper house logically, but a huge part of me wants to spend more to get the nice house I can show off to my coworkers who live in bigger places than me.

This really stood out to me.  You have coworkers who live in larger homes who will be somewhat impressed by your house that's still smaller than theirs?  I don't get it.  If they live in and value big houses, they will only be wowed by even bigger houses. 

I am glad to hear that you went with the reasonable house.  Congratulations on the wise choice!

Metric Mouse

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Re: How to deal with financially irresponsible urges and FOMO
« Reply #14 on: January 14, 2017, 02:39:22 AM »
Thanks for all the responses.  I did go with the cheaper house that's closer to work after all.  I don't love it, but being able to put the extra money leftover from the sale of my old house towards my student loans was satisfying.  Kind of. I just need to remember that once I don't owe the federal government anything, I'll be much better off.  :)

Congrats! Thanks for the update.