Author Topic: What is your achilles heel?  (Read 10396 times)

catalana

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 119
  • Location: UK
What is your achilles heel?
« on: April 02, 2012, 09:33:08 AM »
I've discovered mine.  And I think I need to apply Jason's guest post to my way of thinking.

It's housing, and more specifically, location.  We're house hunting at the moment, and I am happy about living in a smaller/older/needs work house, but I cannot seem to feel happy about the cheaper locations.

Let's be clear here, they are not bad areas, just not as nice as where I would prefer to live.  The commute is probably only a half mile extra, the public transport less plentiful and the local schools not quite as good.  Probably slightly less green space too - bigger housing estates etc.

I am not sure this fight is one my fledgling MMM mind is quite ready for yet, it is so deeply ingrained!

What is your achilles heel?

arebelspy

  • Administrator
  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 28062
  • Age: -999
  • Location: Seattle, WA
Re: What is your achilles heel?
« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2012, 10:05:18 AM »
Hmm, that's a good question.

For me, it used to be technology.  But sitting here rockin' the original iPad 1, with no desire to upgrade to the 2 or 3, I've pretty much mastered that one.

I guess now our main money leaks would be gambling (for me) - I don't ever go gamble except when friends are in town, as a social thing, but living in Vegas, friends come in to town a lot.  For the wife it'd be little cute things, small purchases that add up over time.  We both have it "under control" and are very conscious about the decisions, but still decide to purchase semi-often.
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and are now settled with two kids.
If you want to know more about us, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out our Now page to see what we're up to currently.

Mactrader

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 142
  • Age: 38
  • Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Re: What is your achilles heel?
« Reply #2 on: April 02, 2012, 11:01:22 AM »
iPhone data plan, DirecTV (although I'm trying to work my way through weening myself off of Fox Soccer Channel and onto Internet streams of varying quality), and stuff/activities for my Kids. Aside from that, we're pretty lean. We have three month old twins, and I've done a pretty good job of instilling some frugality in what they 'need' with my wife, but there are many areas that she refuses to bend on resulting in more spend than I would prefer. We're talking hundreds for half a year, not thousands, so that's a good thing.


IWannaBeFree

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 9
  • Age: 49
Re: What is your achilles heel?
« Reply #3 on: April 02, 2012, 11:23:32 AM »
Travel and vacation spending.  We currently budget $4,000/yr on vacations.  We have reduced our spending on "stuff", but find that the lifetime memories that these family vacations create are priceless.  I'd like to transition this vacation expense to a more MMM'esque $2,000 by taking less of the "Disneyland" type trips, and more of the extreme backpacking/hiking/camping trips.

Good luck with the house hunting...

shedinator

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 300
  • Location: Eudora, KS
Re: What is your achilles heel?
« Reply #4 on: April 02, 2012, 11:40:47 AM »
Dining out. We're both fairly accomplished cooks, and have plenty of recipes that require minimal effort, but there's something about eating out... it's hard to explain. I think the fries we make at home are better than any I've ever had in a restaurant of any quality. So does my wife. We can make an entire meal with a dollar's worth of potatoes and a couple of toppings, and have leftovers.  Yet there are times when the idea of getting in a car, driving several miles to the nearest McDonald's, paying $4 for two "large" orders of fries, and driving several miles home to eat them is a very appealing prospect. Even factoring in the cost of labor necessary to make the same amount of deep-fried potato product, I'm quite confident we'd come out eating the more delicious homemade ones, and get more satisfaction from them, so I really don't understand why we have to remind ourselves of the benefits of eating at home, but we usually have to do so at least once or twice a month. Thankfully, we manage to see reason more often than not.

James

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1680
  • Age: 47
  • Location: Rice Lake, WI
Re: What is your achilles heel?
« Reply #5 on: April 02, 2012, 11:53:26 AM »
I had to think for a while in order to narrow it down to one...

I have bigger issues that I've gotten over in the past couple years, so I'm discounting them while still reminding myself I'll never be completely away from those tendencies.  But right now I'd say it's the "hunter" in me.  I see something cool, so I start looking into it.  Maybe it's the idea of rock climbing, maybe it's the idea of an e-reader, just some new idea of something I might want to do.  So I start researching, and looking into the idea.  But once I'm on that track, I find myself buying things and spending money without ever conciously deciding it's something I want to pursue beyong just gathering info.  All of a sudden I want to be an expert rock climber with great equipment.  I'll buy used equipment on ebay, find an awesome deal from a friend, I'm not going out and paying retail or anything, but do I really need all of that crap?  Usually not.

I'm learning to counter this by putting waiting limits on purchases, which works well if I'm rigid about it.

Mactrader

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 142
  • Age: 38
  • Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Re: What is your achilles heel?
« Reply #6 on: April 02, 2012, 12:11:43 PM »
I had to think for a while in order to narrow it down to one...

I have bigger issues that I've gotten over in the past couple years, so I'm discounting them while still reminding myself I'll never be completely away from those tendencies.  But right now I'd say it's the "hunter" in me.  I see something cool, so I start looking into it.  Maybe it's the idea of rock climbing, maybe it's the idea of an e-reader, just some new idea of something I might want to do.  So I start researching, and looking into the idea.  But once I'm on that track, I find myself buying things and spending money without ever conciously deciding it's something I want to pursue beyong just gathering info.  All of a sudden I want to be an expert rock climber with great equipment.  I'll buy used equipment on ebay, find an awesome deal from a friend, I'm not going out and paying retail or anything, but do I really need all of that crap?  Usually not.

I'm learning to counter this by putting waiting limits on purchases, which works well if I'm rigid about it.

It's taken me five years to get over the 'hunter' quality as you call it. I have/had a basement full of junk from hobbies that I was certain was going to be my next great journey. Only when my first son came around and the free time dried up that I realized that all that junk was weighing me down from really enjoying my time with him and my wife. Even right now, as my son got his first guitar (Disney's Cars steel string!) that I really am tempted to re-ignite my desire to learn how to play myself. I'd have to get a guitar, accessories, and then lessons. Not to mention that I have virtually zero free time at the moment as my evenings are spent caring for my infant twins and helping my wife out with the rest of the housework on top of my demanding job. So I summon the will I've learned in the past five years to push that desire down into something more practical and realistic. I've found that if I let my desire for a new hobby simmer for long enough, it'll either wither away (as it would if I jumped into it with both feet) or come to a fever pitch where I know I should start dabbling.


catalana

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 119
  • Location: UK
Re: What is your achilles heel?
« Reply #7 on: April 02, 2012, 01:24:03 PM »
I have bigger issues that I've gotten over in the past couple years, so I'm discounting them while still reminding myself I'll never be completely away from those tendencies.  But right now I'd say it's the "hunter" in me.  I see something cool, so I start looking into it.
Oooo that one rings bells with me too.

I think I'm just into doing research and finding the "best" deal.  I have exhausted myself trying to plan holidays in the past, by trying the find THE BEST island to visit and THE BEST place to stay at THE BEST price.  I have possibly spent more hours planning it, than I was actually on holiday....

(And yes, I've had a hundred and one hobbies too - all done to a competent level and then dropped).

smedleyb

  • Guest
Re: What is your achilles heel?
« Reply #8 on: April 02, 2012, 04:33:48 PM »
I have bigger issues that I've gotten over in the past couple years, so I'm discounting them while still reminding myself I'll never be completely away from those tendencies.  But right now I'd say it's the "hunter" in me.  I see something cool, so I start looking into it.
Oooo that one rings bells with me too.

I think I'm just into doing research and finding the "best" deal.  I have exhausted myself trying to plan holidays in the past, by trying the find THE BEST island to visit and THE BEST place to stay at THE BEST price.  I have possibly spent more hours planning it, than I was actually on holiday....

(And yes, I've had a hundred and one hobbies too - all done to a competent level and then dropped).

James, let's hear about the bigger issues!

Catalana, I hear you about the deal searching, especially for vacations.  I don't know about you, but I've banned myself from TripAdvisor for at least another 4 months.

Landor n Stella

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 103
  • Location: Utah
    • Heartland House Project Blog
Re: What is your achilles heel?
« Reply #9 on: April 02, 2012, 04:39:09 PM »
Anything under $5 that I want. Today, it was on-sale Easter candy at the pharmacy. I've been really good with stopping all the larger/unnecessary purchases, but put me in a store with things less than $5, and I go crazy. "It doesn't matter" "It's only a few bucks" "We/I deserve a treat" etc runs through my head. Luckily it's things at $5 rather than $500....
And I'm getting better. But it's still hard!
~Stella

Eristheunorganized

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 85
Re: What is your achilles heel?
« Reply #10 on: April 02, 2012, 06:27:04 PM »
Eating out for sure. Especially living next to a city with a wide range of food choices. Can you make Indian/Thai/Japanese food at home? Of course you can, and good too. But the range of food available, some of which would be a huge pain to make (naan, samosas since I don't really fry at home, etc.) makes the city beckon me to it's restaurants.

travelbug

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 261
  • Location: Australia
Re: What is your achilles heel?
« Reply #11 on: April 02, 2012, 09:13:34 PM »
For us it's travel. And Thai food cooked by a Thai person; whatever I do I just cannot get the taste right. We don't eat it very often but when we do, we do it properly.
C

MMMdude

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 322
Re: What is your achilles heel?
« Reply #12 on: April 02, 2012, 10:55:30 PM »
Travel and vacation spending.  We currently budget $4,000/yr on vacations.  We have reduced our spending on "stuff", but find that the lifetime memories that these family vacations create are priceless.  I'd like to transition this vacation expense to a more MMM'esque $2,000 by taking less of the "Disneyland" type trips, and more of the extreme backpacking/hiking/camping trips.

Good luck with the house hunting...

For us I'd say it is travel as well.  This year we are planning three vacations (already had one) although in a normal year it is two.  I went many years without going anywhere so making up for it I guess.  We are lucky in that one trip per year from now on will be a trip to Mexico where we have access to a friend's condo so it is only cost of the flight to get down there.  Actually $4K for travel per year is not that unreasonable really.  Some people go on $10,000 cruises, tours of Europe, etc

Balance

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 47
  • Location: San Francisco, CA
Re: What is your achilles heel?
« Reply #13 on: April 02, 2012, 11:47:25 PM »
It's eating out for us.  Living in the SF Bay Area there are so many good ethnic food options. We try to get good value and go to hole in the wall places that have great food but sometimes lack in the ambiance department. Even at that it is much cheaper to eat at home.

HeidiO

  • Guest
Re: What is your achilles heel?
« Reply #14 on: April 03, 2012, 01:07:28 AM »
   #1 is eating out, for sure.  #2 is gifts.  I am looking at the gift thing right now.  How much of my gift giving is true generosity, and how much is it showing status?  The generosity part is fine, the showing status part...  Not so fine.  My wife and I are both financially more comfortable than our siblings, and she in particular has a precedent of very expensive gifts.  I also always offer to pay when I am with friends, etc. 
  At my job it is very common for the managers to bring snacks.  Some do it every day.  I don't have to, some don't, but it is the norm.  I used to pick up 2 doz bagels, and 4 shmears on my way to work on a somewhat regular basis.  I have been trying instead to bring fruit, (cut up watermelon, Asian pears, etc.) nuts, or other less expensive and more healthy snacks. 
Heidi

TLV

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 492
  • Age: 32
  • Location: Bellevue, WA
Re: What is your achilles heel?
« Reply #15 on: April 03, 2012, 10:52:29 AM »
#1 is car problems for me. We'll be going along with a great savings rate for months and then BAM - car needs an expensive repair. I've done some small things myself, but when the head gaskets or the power steering rack need to be replaced that's beyond me.

This past month (as I described in my Journal thread) I've taken a (hopefully) large step against this - we bought a scion xa, and our problem car is listed on craigslist.

James

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1680
  • Age: 47
  • Location: Rice Lake, WI
Re: What is your achilles heel?
« Reply #16 on: April 03, 2012, 11:16:30 AM »
Only when my first son came around and the free time dried up that I realized that all that junk was weighing me down from really enjoying my time with him and my wife.

I agree, those thoughts are having a strong impact on me as well, I'm focusing less on stuff and more on what I can do with my kids.  Doesn't take much stuff to spend time with them, just a basketball or sled, etc.

James, let's hear about the bigger issues!

Housing was a big one, bigger and better, with big kitchen, etc.  I also had a huge 3/4 ton quad cab truck for a while and was big into having nice vehicles.  I love electronics and have spent a ton on Apple products in the last few years.  All the usually big ticket issues...

Like a lot of others here eating out continues to be an issue, though we are able to keep overall spending for it low since we are in a small town and our choices are pretty limited and low cost.  I worry about what the costs for eating out will be when we move to a bigger town, but we are looking forward to having better choices for those fewer times we will be able to go out.

onehappypanda

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 238
  • Location: Columbus, Ohio
Re: What is your achilles heel?
« Reply #17 on: April 03, 2012, 12:01:16 PM »
Food in general. I love to cook, and I love to try new recipes with unusual items in them. I also love all the usual health food hippie stuff. But the money involved with that can add up very quickly, as I saw when I really started tracking my grocery spending. I'm learning to cook nice things with cheaper (but still healthy!) ingredients now.

On top of that, I love to hit local dive bars and small restaurants. I could care less about fancy dining or chain restaurants. But a small local place with decently priced food and a fun atmosphere? I don't know if I can fully give that up. I can definitely rein it in though, and go out only 1-2x a month instead of the 1-2x a week I did in the past. That's a work in progress.

Self-improvement and the constant urge to perfect things in general has been an issue for me. In the past, I've always been on a mission to make sure that my wardrobe had all the "must-haves" for the season, my apartment looked like something on a decor blog, my pantry was well stocked, etc. etc.. If I got a bike, I wanted a perfect one. If I had a car, it needed to be in good shape. If I was going to be fit, I thought I needed the perfect workout routine (with a fancy diet and supplements to boot). Of course that all took a lot of money, not to mention time and mental energy to research it all. It took awhile for me to learn to give up the constant urge to improve something and live with "good enough". Actually that's still a work in progress too ;)

Osprey

  • Guest
Re: What is your achilles heel?
« Reply #18 on: April 03, 2012, 01:54:35 PM »
I hear you! In my household the biggest money leak is our daily 40km commute and expensive rental. We couldn't bring ourselves to live in the small rural town where we work, even though the rent would've been half of what we're paying now! Despite this I'm still happy with our decision. Please facepunch me.

nondualie

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 60
Re: What is your achilles heel?
« Reply #19 on: April 03, 2012, 03:41:24 PM »
Food, Rent, and Car...by far.

Even just looking at what I've had today without eating out (and I'll certainly second other comments on loving to eat at Thai restaurants...even at $25 for two per trip, it adds up):

Breakfast:

Coffee at home w/ heavy cream - $0.75

Lunch:

Lamb Mergeza Sausage (x2) leftovers - $6.00
1/2 tub of Greek Yogurt - $1.75

Will be making Channa Masala for dinner tonight, prob $5.00 worth and a glass of boxed wine.

That's $14.50-ish for the day.  x30 days = $435/mon just for me.

We were able to do $800/mon for Jan and Feb for food, but pushed to $950 for March for two people.  I have work to do there.

Then there's rent.  I hate commuting by car and don't like spending 1.5-2hrs/day on a bus; so we chose to live walking distance to my work and pay $1,700/mon (incl util and cable).  I'm looking to cut that to $1,100/mon relatively soon, but still, if I was willing to commute and live in a more "transitional" neighborhood, I could get that to $750-ish/mon.

Then there's the car.  We owe $8,500 on a 2006 Accord w/ low miles in perfect condition.  $1,100/yr on insurance.  My wife drives it to school and we use it on the weekends; but we're paying close to $700/mon for that privilege.  She doesn't want to get a smaller/older car though, so I'm a bit stuck with what we have until we can shift the thinking some more.

The rest of it I pretty much have under control...too bad those three categories make a huge dent in the monthly MMM efforts.

HumanCalculator

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 15
  • Age: 35
  • Location: Quebec, Canada
  • crunch... numbers... crunch...
Re: What is your achilles heel?
« Reply #20 on: April 03, 2012, 05:33:31 PM »
I definitely say for me it's good work shirts. I fork over 60$CAD to 90$CAD for a work shirt and at that price I expect to wear it until the elbows give up.In 2010, it cost me around ~400$CAD for 5 works shirts and I'm not planning buying new ones until 2015. Trying to keep the wardrobe to a minimum.

Adventine

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1266
  • Age: 30
  • Location: Manila, Philippines
Re: What is your achilles heel?
« Reply #21 on: April 03, 2012, 06:07:35 PM »
Food. I love going out to eat and trying new restaurants. Life isn't just worth living without good food.

catalana

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 119
  • Location: UK
Re: What is your achilles heel?
« Reply #22 on: April 04, 2012, 02:20:28 AM »
Housing was a big one, bigger and better, with big kitchen, etc.  I also had a huge 3/4 ton quad cab truck for a while and was big into having nice vehicles.  I love electronics and have spent a ton on Apple products in the last few years.  All the usually big ticket issues...
How did you give up the housing dream, James, I am interested....

I live in a lovely rental but still hanker after the big kitchen diner when we buy somewhere....  **embarassed face**

catalana

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 119
  • Location: UK
Re: What is your achilles heel?
« Reply #23 on: April 04, 2012, 02:29:42 AM »
Self-improvement and the constant urge to perfect things in general has been an issue for me. In the past, I've always been on a mission to make sure that my wardrobe had all the "must-haves" for the season, my apartment looked like something on a decor blog, my pantry was well stocked, etc. etc.. If I got a bike, I wanted a perfect one. If I had a car, it needed to be in good shape. If I was going to be fit, I thought I needed the perfect workout routine (with a fancy diet and supplements to boot). Of course that all took a lot of money, not to mention time and mental energy to research it all. It took awhile for me to learn to give up the constant urge to improve something and live with "good enough". Actually that's still a work in progress too ;)
Oh this speaks volumes to me!!!  This would make a brilliant blog post!!!  I wonder if this is a peculiarly female trait so is not something MMM has experienced?

nondualie

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 60
Re: What is your achilles heel?
« Reply #24 on: April 04, 2012, 10:28:20 AM »

Self-improvement and the constant urge to perfect things in general has been an issue for me. In the past, I've always been on a mission to make sure that my wardrobe had all the "must-haves" for the season, my apartment looked like something on a decor blog, my pantry was well stocked, etc. etc.. If I got a bike, I wanted a perfect one. If I had a car, it needed to be in good shape. If I was going to be fit, I thought I needed the perfect workout routine (with a fancy diet and supplements to boot). Of course that all took a lot of money, not to mention time and mental energy to research it all. It took awhile for me to learn to give up the constant urge to improve something and live with "good enough". Actually that's still a work in progress too ;)

This nails it for me.  I see that more as a personal achilles though...one that holds me back from finding some semblance of peace and happiness in this world.  It's a daily challenge to not hold myself to what I perceive as "others'" standards...  Interpersonally as much as materially..

zinnie

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 619
  • Location: Boston
Re: What is your achilles heel?
« Reply #25 on: April 04, 2012, 11:16:35 AM »
Food and wine. We're pretty happy keeping our restaurant patronage at once a month, but I love getting fresh, quality ingredients to cook at home. I love trying out new ethnic grocery stores and making different kinds of meals. And I love love love wine (although I have certainly drastically reduced my price per bottle in the last year).

tweedscholar

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 12
Re: What is your achilles heel?
« Reply #26 on: April 04, 2012, 03:03:03 PM »
Convenience food and my cellphone. Both are unfortunately directly related to my job. I "justify" the $140/mo cellphone bill because it is my only internet (I don't have internet or TV at home, which made life at work very difficult) and I share the plan with 2 family members. It is useful for work: map apps, Googling medications, taking pictures of license plates and car crashes  - sounds morbid, but I'm an EMT so I have to be able to remember the details for legal and medical reports - and being able to check for overtime shifts. None of which is possible with our on-board computers because they're so slow and/or on lock down.
Because I literally spend 12+hrs/day in an ambulance (we can't go back to base, so we just cruise street corners...resist analogies about other ladies who work the night shift on street corners), everything has to be portable. I'm still amazed at how awesome the internet is on a full sized computer.
Food? Portability and convenience. Like I said, 12 hrs a day (or night, as it were) in a truck. It's a sad story. I find myself buying pizza slices and bagels when I already have whole grain rice in my lunch bin. I have made a meal out of M&Ms and chips before on a busy day. Add to that caffeine consumption, which could be >$5/shift (x7shifts/14days) for say...a soda, a coffee and a NOS. YIKES. Spaced out over 12 hrs on the night shift doesn't seeeeeem bad, but it really really is. That's on a particularly Anti-mustachian day, though, which is luckily fewer and farther between these days. The $1.25 microwave rice or similarly priced microwave frozen pasta and veggies are so delicious and convenient - and high in sodium, dammit - and I'm so tired....sigh. It would take up to 25X as much time to make that food for half the price. Same thing happens when my Handsome Boyfriend gets home and neither of us can decide what we want to eat - pizza shop is just around the corner, right?

Luckily, spring is creeping up so the garden will be going in soon, cutting down the food bill with careful planning. Phone can't go away until I get a different job or just quit working outright. What a day that would be. Once I save up enough money for a bicycle, the car will only be used once/wk until fall (when it becomes dangerous to ride in the ever earlier darkness).

sol

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8492
  • Age: 42
  • Location: Pacific Northwest
Re: What is your achilles heel?
« Reply #27 on: April 04, 2012, 03:10:50 PM »
save up enough money for a bicycle, the car will only be used once/wk until fall (when it becomes dangerous to ride in the ever earlier darkness).

I ride year round in the early darkness and rain. $50 in blinky lights will make you blindingly obvious to drivers at night. Much more obvious than you are in the daytime.

Just a thought.

tweedscholar

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 12
Re: What is your achilles heel?
« Reply #28 on: April 05, 2012, 11:39:08 PM »

I ride year round in the early darkness and rain. $50 in blinky lights will make you blindingly obvious to drivers at night. Much more obvious than you are in the daytime.

Just a thought.

The cars are not what I'm afraid of. It's the neighborhoods I have to go through. HQ is not exactly in the classiest part of the city. Many people I know ride with a pistol because of unsavory shennanigans. Shootings and stabbings and robberies, oh my!

velocistar237

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1422
  • Location: Metro Boston
Re: What is your achilles heel?
« Reply #29 on: April 06, 2012, 09:27:10 AM »
I can relate to the "hunter"/"scanner" idea.

Recently, I replaced my whole wardrobe with finds at the thrift store. Eventually, it crept over a little bit into ebay, where it got more expensive.

nondualie

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 60
Re: What is your achilles heel?
« Reply #30 on: April 06, 2012, 02:32:34 PM »

I ride year round in the early darkness and rain. $50 in blinky lights will make you blindingly obvious to drivers at night. Much more obvious than you are in the daytime.

Just a thought.

The cars are not what I'm afraid of. It's the neighborhoods I have to go through. HQ is not exactly in the classiest part of the city. Many people I know ride with a pistol because of unsavory shennanigans. Shootings and stabbings and robberies, oh my!

This stuff is happening more frequently in Seattle too.  The main bike-commuting line from the Eastside to Downtown runs through a pretty seedy part of town and includes a tunnel and lots of empty space parks.  Perfect areas for a mugging.  We've been seeing a lot of more joggers and bicyclists getting held-up over the past few years too... might be real, might be anecdotal, either way, common sense should be used...

Reasonable safety takes precedence over MMM in my opinion.

Mirwen

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 160
  • Location: Las Vegas
Re: What is your achilles heel?
« Reply #31 on: April 07, 2012, 09:42:16 AM »
I have several weak points. 

Spending to make the house nicer.  This is a big one.  I spend quite a bit on home improvements.  OTOH, I'm home nearly all the time so having a nice house is important to me and I did buy a fixer-upper to save money on purchase price.

Spending on my son.  I know he doesn't "need" the stuff, but he's so darn cute and it's so much fun to buy baby stuff.  I don't plan on having a second child, so I keep justifying that he'll only be little for a short time.  I need to work on that.

Hangups associated with being a maximizer.  If you don't know what I'm talking about see http://www.happiness-project.com/happiness_project/2006/06/are_you_a_satis.html.  Basically I spend a lot of time researching stuff and I always have to have the "best."  The thing is, like others have mentioned, sometimes I just want to explore a new topic and I end up buying a bunch of stuff so that I can "do it right."  I can't just make do.  I'm not sure I can change my personality, but I can change my definition of "best." So, that's what I'm working on here.  Best is now what will cost me the least over time.  This has still led me to make some more purchases, safety razor, deep freezer, bread machine, eye surgery.  However, I'm hoping that these will taper off after a while.
« Last Edit: April 14, 2012, 09:03:49 AM by Mirwen »

fruplicity

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 69
Re: What is your achilles heel?
« Reply #32 on: April 07, 2012, 02:11:54 PM »
Travel by far. So funny, we also have averaged $4000 annually over the past few years... is this like a magic MMM community travel number? :)

Part of our problem is that most of our travel is related to visiting friends and family spread out across the U.S. - probably 3-4 trips a year. We take one "big" trip just for ourselves about every other year.

However I agree with everyone who's mentioned the self-improvement/maximizing issue. I see this as more compromising to my time/life energy than my money though.

James

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1680
  • Age: 47
  • Location: Rice Lake, WI
Re: What is your achilles heel?
« Reply #33 on: April 09, 2012, 09:05:05 AM »
Housing was a big one, bigger and better, with big kitchen, etc.  I also had a huge 3/4 ton quad cab truck for a while and was big into having nice vehicles.  I love electronics and have spent a ton on Apple products in the last few years.  All the usually big ticket issues...
How did you give up the housing dream, James, I am interested....

I live in a lovely rental but still hanker after the big kitchen diner when we buy somewhere....  **embarassed face**

I was able to give up the housing dream because I got it and realized it wasn't what I wanted.  :)  It was a hard and expensive way of learning, I don't recommend it...

At some point you need to determine the right space for you.  I'm sure everyone on these forums is in agreement that "More is better" isn't the right attitude, but that is the typical attitude for homebuyers in America.  That doesn't mean you should feel guilty about wanting the big kitchen, I'd argue that is an excellent priority for a house.  My dream house has an average size kitchen, which is pretty big in America.  The difference is that I want one small open living room that combines with the kitchen, and very small bedrooms and bathrooms.  Even with a 1,000 sq ft house you can have a nice big kitchen, it's just about priorities.  And I'm not a tiny house guy, I'm looking to downsize to 1,500 sq ft when I move, I'm at 4,400 now which is just crazy.  Once the kids move out my wife and I dream about having a sub-1,000 house, but that's about 10 years away...