Author Topic: Saving too much?  (Read 5711 times)

ballguyaz

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Saving too much?
« on: April 19, 2016, 08:23:27 AM »
TLDR: Is there such a thing as saving too much?

Ever since I was a kid, my dad taught me to save.  I'd look in the supermarket and electronics store ads every week.  Even to this day, I rarely buy anything that's not on sale.  It bothers me to pay full price for something.  I'm 37, have around 350k in the bank making about 50K a year.  But all my life I've just been saving.  When I'm with friends they always have way more experiences to share than me because I don't go anywhere or go out much (that costs money!).  I spend my free time reading up on ways to make money which is not most peoples definition of fun.

Lately I'm starting to feel that life is passing me by.  I don't have a wife or any kids.  You might ask why I'm saving so much - well, not only was saving taught to me when I was younger as I mentioned before, but I want to be able to support my family when I get married and have kids someday.  I tell myself I save so I don't want to have to worry about money, but the thing is... I'm still always worrying about money!!

Does my rationale make sense or should I start spending more and living life more?

Alex321

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Re: Saving too much?
« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2016, 08:31:17 AM »
The nice thing is that your hard work and diligence have put you in a very good position to live the life you want now. Don't think that you've missed an opportunity, but instead recognize that you have given yourself greater opportunities.


Giro

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Re: Saving too much?
« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2016, 08:33:36 AM »
I think you should research investing now.  You've saved up, now you need those soldiers to start pulling their weight.

You're on the wrong forum if you want people to tell you that you are saving too much.  Most folks on here save at least as much as you if not more.


thd7t

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Re: Saving too much?
« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2016, 08:38:03 AM »
It sounds like you might be saving in the wrong way. You clearly perceive that you are depriving yourself. It also sounds like you may focus too much on pennies and not see the big picture. How much do you save per year? You live alone, so I doubt that you are "over saving" by the standards of this forum, based on your income.

Khaetra

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Re: Saving too much?
« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2016, 08:47:19 AM »
If you are starting to feel that way then you have answered your own question.  The good news is that you can get more out of life, but you don't have to spend a lot to do so.  Look for free/cheap things to do in your area, take up a hobby that involves getting out but doesn't have a high start-up cost, etc.  For instance, this weekend I am going to see Les Miserable: The Ballet and after I am having my friends over for drinks and snacks.  Cost for the performance is $5 and I'll spend probably $15 for food, so all totaled not too bad for a nice Saturday night of fun.

Miss Piggy

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Re: Saving too much?
« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2016, 08:52:13 AM »
Does my rationale make sense or should I start spending more and living life more?

I suspect your feelings are well-founded. I mean, what I read in your post is a bit of fear of missing out on one of your "visions" for your life--having a life partner and raising a family--because you're so focused on saving money. I could see how this might be a cycle...you're not meeting people because you're staying home because you don't want to spend money, and you have little reason to go out because you don't have a "partner" to go out with.

You know...you could start living life more, but in ways that don't necessarily involve spending a lot of money. It doesn't have to be all or nothing. There are lots and lots of free or low-cost activities where you could meet people. (Check out meetup.com - lots of people and groups with various interests and activities.)

nereo

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Re: Saving too much?
« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2016, 09:03:12 AM »
Question:  Is that $350k sitting in a bank account?

To address your question, if you feel like you are missing out on life because of your saving, something is wrong.  It might be that you've tipped too far from frugal to miserly. What would you be doing differently if it didn't cost you any money?  Is it just interacting more with people or specific activities?  If you are feeling left out, the solution isn't "spend like everyone else" - but rather find some meaningful social activities (whether they are free or have some reasonable cost to them). 

Warlord1986

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Re: Saving too much?
« Reply #7 on: April 19, 2016, 09:05:38 AM »
If you feel deprived then you're doing it wrong. Find a hobby, a group of friends, a goal something to focus on that isn't money.

FrugalUndercover

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Re: Saving too much?
« Reply #8 on: April 19, 2016, 09:19:06 AM »
I'll buck the trend.  If you don't go out and feel like you are missing out on life, then I think you should loosen the purse strings.  With moderation and for a few select events - I think some spending will make you reap the benefit of your hard work (and then revert to mustachian levels).  Bonus points if you can live it up without the spending :)

zolotiyeruki

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Re: Saving too much?
« Reply #9 on: April 19, 2016, 09:19:45 AM »
If you feel deprived then you're doing it wrong. Find a hobby, a group of friends, a goal something to focus on that isn't money.
This.  It's more than "save tons of money so you can quit your job."  It's "save tons of money by not spending it on worthless stuff so you can do what you *really* want to do with your life."

So, what is it you *do* want to do with your life?

PhysicianOnFIRE

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Re: Saving too much?
« Reply #10 on: April 19, 2016, 11:18:16 AM »
I call it "Frugal Without a Cause". There's nothing wrong with a money saving mentality, but if it's holding you back from living a fulfilling life, you can certainly afford to spend some of that hard earned dough.

I'm hoping that $350,000 is not literally "in the bank" in a savings account. I'll echo what others have said: if it is, then your nest egg isn't keeping up with inflation. Get it invested in a way that makes you comfortable; perhaps you've already done that.

If a wife and kids are still a part of the plan, you might want to get more serious about that. I got married in my thirties, as did most of my friends. At some age, it can get to be more difficult to find a suitable mate. This isn't the forum to help you much with that though.

Best,
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AZDude

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Re: Saving too much?
« Reply #11 on: April 19, 2016, 11:29:26 AM »
Lots of free or low cost stuff to do in most cities. Also remember that going out does not mean you spend  hundreds of dollars in one sitting. Going to HH with co-workers and just having one drink or even just a water is not a big deal.

BFGirl

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Re: Saving too much?
« Reply #12 on: April 19, 2016, 11:50:02 AM »
There needs to be balance in life.  So, yes, I think you are saving too much if it is impacting your ability to find balance and have a spouse and family if you want one.

I married a man who was always concerned about saving and making more money.  He was so concerned about it that it effectively destroyed our marriage because he wouldn't compromise or seek to work together to achieve financial goals.  We are now divorced and our children have no respect for him.  He spends most of his free time looking through ads and trying to figure out the best way to save that extra penny, but didn't want to spend any of that effort on his relations with the other humans in his life.  We could have never worked another day in our life, but it was still not enough for him and still isn't.  I used to tell him that all he would end up with was his money, and that is pretty much what he has. 

Please make sure that if you find someone you want to share your life with, that the two of you talk about money and that you are on the same page.  Also make sure that you are willing to compromise in a relationship.

Edit to provide examples of what I mean:
 1.  I do craft shows for a side gig, not his thing, I get it.  However, at the end of one of them, I was running a fever and asked if he would spend an hour helping me tear down and pack up.  He refused because he had to go get a $10 water bottle that was on sale at REI.  He also took our teenage son with him and wouldn't let our son help me.
2.  I had surgery.  He left me alone on the day he brought me home because he had to go shopping for the tax free weekend.  It was more important to save those tax dollars (probably less than $100 savings) than to be there to take care of his wife.

(obviously, this is all from my perspective of a 21 year marriage)

« Last Edit: April 19, 2016, 12:08:56 PM by BFGirl »

ballguyaz

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Re: Saving too much?
« Reply #13 on: April 19, 2016, 01:02:46 PM »
I want to thank all of you for your responses.  You've given me a lot to think about. 

I think you should research investing now.  You've saved up, now you need those soldiers to start pulling their weight.
Question:  Is that $350k sitting in a bank account?

I have investments in stocks and high interest savings accounts.  I should've clarified when I said "in the bank" I simply meant that's how much I have total.

So, what is it you *do* want to do with your life?

I want the wife and family, but as Miss Piggy suggested, I think I'm in a cycle of not wanting to spend money, but needing to spend money to actually meet someone.

I used to tell him that all he would end up with was his money, and that is pretty much what he has. 

Thanks for your perspective regarding your ex husband.  Really makes me think.  I don't want to end up like that.

nereo

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Re: Saving too much?
« Reply #14 on: April 19, 2016, 01:15:56 PM »

I want the wife and family, but as Miss Piggy suggested, I think I'm in a cycle of not wanting to spend money, but needing to spend money to actually meet someone.

Others have suggested this too...
Having recently exited my 20s and gone through something similar, I'll say that the best way of meeting someone is to find an activity (or activities) you like to do and then join a group/club that does said activity.  It could be a hiking club or a painting  class or Aikido or ... whatever.  Usually there are low-cost options to join such groups, and then you meet people who already share an interest and (hopefully) are frugal as well.

frugal_c

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Re: Saving too much?
« Reply #15 on: April 19, 2016, 09:35:41 PM »
I think there is a temptation when you are in saving mode to simply not do anything.  It doesn't have to be that way.  You do need to be a bit more creative and sometimes get out of your comfort zone but then are plenty of things to do that are quite reasonably priced.   If that still isn't enough, it is probably worth it to spend a little more.   You only live once.

You should also seriously consider cutting back on the amount of time you spend on cutting costs.  This is an area where there is definitely some low hanging fruit but it quickly becomes a waste of time.  I don't mean to offend but you sound a little obsessive about it and there are better things to do with your time.
« Last Edit: April 19, 2016, 09:37:36 PM by frugal_c »

Cottonswab

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Re: Saving too much?
« Reply #16 on: April 20, 2016, 02:06:14 AM »
Place a threshold value on your time.  Don't continue money making / saving activities that do not have a ROI greater than your threshold value (e.g., $30/hr).  Then ask yourself if some of the activities that you are routinely doing (looking for sales, coupons, etc.) is really worth the time spent.

LAL

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Re: Saving too much?
« Reply #17 on: April 21, 2016, 09:12:47 PM »
Probably have to spend money some to meet someone.  My BIL is still single at 36 and does jujitsu and goes to a gym and takes classes.  He's taken skating classes, played hockey, improv speaking, painting, jewelry making, pottery classes. I know he does it to make friends in general and has plenty of girlfriends.  But i wouldn't say everything he does is cheap but he lives pretty frugally otherwise.