This topic contains 169 replies, has 22 voices, and was last updated by Silje 6 days, 9 hours ago.
- August 2, 2017 at 12:34 pm #695871
I was broke through my entire 20s and though it was stressful, I am grateful in retrospect for the habits I developed, like cooking at home, shopping only sales, hosting clothing swaps, riding my bike a lot for transportation, and doing lots of side hustling for extra cash (cat-sitting, house-sitting, figure modeling, freelance floral designing during holidays, lots of focus groups, etc., I’m probably forgetting some stuff). I also learned to appreciate experiences and relationships much more than stuff money can buy. And that value has remained. Of course, we need money to pay bills, but I value time with family and friends, and experiences like travel and enjoying culture and good food over a fancy home, nice car (don’t even have a crappy car!), lots of clothes, and stuff to fill an apartment. Even has we become more financially comfortable, I don’t feel my values shifting too much or wanting too many things that I made do without for a long time.
Drew and I still don’t own a home. I don’t know if we ever will. And I find myself caring less and less. It’s just not that important to me. I think some of these feelings may also be cultural/ NYC-based. Lots of people rent for life here, and with limited space and so many things to do and see and eat and experience, there’s less value placed on things (that we have to little room for) and more value placed on all that we can take advantage of in the city. We are one of the few families I know in brooklyn who don’t own a car though. But I never miss having one.August 2, 2017 at 10:55 pm #695964
My husband and I were talking about this kind of thing recently. How people who make a lot less than us have brand new smartphones now that contracts are dead and many are essentially leasing a phone. Or people with fancier cars. We share one electric car that we got for nearly free after the tax credits (still paid upfront for it). Recently we have thought about getting a second car again, but are very hesitant. My husband saw that he’s pre-approved for a car loan of up to $90,000 and that’s absurd. There’s no way we could afford a car that much, not to mention we don’t want one that much. On the other side of this, I’ve had friends make comments hinting toward how I can afford what I want and don’t need to be so frugal. While yes, we do make decent money as a couple (especially for not having kids), I’ll invest in a few nice staple things, but I don’t buy things very often. I’ll never let my frugality die.
The one thing that is hard for me is that I work very long hours, and while my pay has increased along with the extra work, I find that it’s easy to want to have services done for me when I have less time in my life. It becomes worth the time for me to have someone clean our house twice a month. Or have groceries delivered. Or pay extra to have medications delivered. I’m curious how other people handle the cost of time vs. money spent on services that are “extras”.August 3, 2017 at 4:54 am #695976
@mylaray it’s totally fine to pay for those services. You have to. Negotiate for the most money you can get, and try to like, not hate, what you do, and then accept that you need some downtime, and hire people for the must-do’s like cleaning and dog walking.
And with certain types of jobs, you have to shell out for better clothes, manicures, shoes, than in a casual, non-client facing environment. It’s just life.August 3, 2017 at 6:20 am #695979
Well, I just read an article all about how “buying time” makes us happier in life. Basically, buying services that allow us to spend our time doing quality things. Example: Paying for a housekeeper and spending the time you save with friends/family. So, I say go for it and enjoy.August 3, 2017 at 6:32 am #695980
I think that everyone needs time to unwind so if you can hire things done so that you get the time you need to be a happy person then it’s not really an extra. Stress is very destructive to the body and over the long run it is probably cheaper to pay for help and get the time you need to relax than it is to pay the copays on all the prescriptions you would slowly end up taking. I’m 54 and when I see the doctor the nurses will comment about how unusual it is that I’m not on any prescriptions. As long as you can afford it then you should do what you need. We all get to prioritize and if you have prioritized help over a second car that is your business. Your friends may have more cars but you may have more help and you both may be happy with your choices. You might also be able to afford the help and the car.August 3, 2017 at 12:57 pm #696079
I think if you can afford it, hiring a housekeeper is one of the best things you can do for yourself, your marriage, and your family, especially if you work full-time and/or have kids that take up a lot of your time and energy (And make a lot of mess!). If I could afford it, I’d probably hire a personal chef to cook a few meals each week for my family! A good friend of mine is a personal chef for someone very famous and successful and to hear her stories of how her employer’s family lives is so interesting — it really is a peek into a vastly different lifestyle. The family has two personal chefs (my friend and then someone to cover her on her days off), a host of housekeepers, a personal stylist, a personal assistant, a trainer, a massage therapist, and then, of course, a team of lawyers and accountants, and tutors for the kids (as well as equestrian coaches, etc.). Once, they were flying abroad for vacation and realized when they got to the airport that they’d forgotten their passports. They had their personal assistant work out the details so that my friend, their chef, brought them their passports in a private fucking helicopter (she started out driving, but traffic was terrible, so they literally had a helicopter go pick her up on the side of the road and then fly her to the tiny airport where rich people keep their private planes).
Anyway, total tangent. But, yeah, buy the services you can afford, whether it’s flying your private chef in a private helicopter to bring you your passports for your luxury vacation, or hiring a housekeeper once or twice a month to clean your bathroom!August 3, 2017 at 1:58 pm #696096
@wendy your comment about ways you saved when you were young and broke reminds me of my lovely mother. She was 21 when I was born and didn’t have much money. She would hand sew me beautiful dresses for almost every occasion. She would buy a trendy item, bring it home then copy it for me. She would use fresh ingredients when she baked as they, then were cheaper than the new fancy less work options. Everything of course tasted better. Her frugal behavior taught me to love sewing, to make as much as I can from scratch and to enjoy the process. It was a lovely lesson that was passed down that at the time she didn’t even realize would become that.August 3, 2017 at 2:00 pm #696098
My husband and I quit smoking in March. We decided to funnel some of the money we’re saving into having our cleaning lady come every week instead of twice a month. It’s something I struggle with because I feel like I *should* be doing it but most of the time I say screw it-we’re overall pretty frugal and I really really hate cleaning. Basically that’s my round about way of saying big thumbs up to buying services that improve your life vs stuff.August 3, 2017 at 5:33 pm #696129
Better yet only buy stuff and services that improve your life. Like this awesome mop on this infomercial. No? I have a thing for infomercials.August 4, 2017 at 8:47 am #696179
I always loved the difficulties with regular tasks at the beginning of infomercials, like these.August 4, 2017 at 10:48 am #696193
@Fyodor, those are great. For the cell phone propping up one that starts around 32 seconds in, my company actually gives out cell phone holders as a promotional item. I thought they were kind of dumb but people seem to like them. I guess having a propped up cell phone is important to people!August 4, 2017 at 11:14 am #696198
I’m 100% for outsourcing work if you’re able. To me, time is just as or more valuable than money. So is living a less stressful life!
I also value experiences and friends/family over things. Because of that, I don’t spend much time/money on decorating our new condo. We’ll go slow with it. Although right now, I’m struggling a bit with that because we’re having a big wedding celebration at our condo and I’m sort of worrying what our friends and family will think of our sparsely decorated home and it was stressing me out.
With the help of my therapist, I was reminded that our friends/family want to celebrate us. They won’t care that our walls aren’t covered in paintings. Or that we haven’t bought new drapes yet.Or that we might not find the chairs we want with our new dining table in time so we’ll rent those.
Anyway, yes to everything Wendy has said! And in the meantime, try to remember people won’t judge me nearly as harshly as I judge myself and if they do, fuck them.