U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Great Debates
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Closed Thread Start New Thread
 
Old 05-04-2010, 11:55 AM
 
5,019 posts, read 12,468,097 times
Reputation: 6952

Advertisements

Quote:
Originally Posted by formercalifornian View Post
It's not too late. Two years ago, we gave away about half of our belongings and moved into a smaller house. If you want a smaller life, too, there's nothing standing in your way but the stuff.

Awww thanks. Tried to DM you. Our house is small by "normal" American standards (~2500 sq ft) but is older and we are in the midst of restoration and preservation. Just feeling a little overwhelmed today!.

The flip side, is that an older home allows us to live "downtown" and with only one car. We actually aren't "stuff" people but going through reno can sure make you feel that way--I haven't "shopped" this much in years.

 
Old 05-04-2010, 01:25 PM
 
5,748 posts, read 10,502,858 times
Reputation: 4494
Most of what we gave away was just stuff that had accumulated over the years because there was never a good time to go through all of it and pass things along to others. Our house still holds all the necessities, but the excess is gone...and we don't miss it! Our new house is significantly smaller, but more than holds the things we love and use every day.

Hang in there with the renovation, Plaidmom.
 
Old 05-04-2010, 06:46 PM
 
Location: California
29,580 posts, read 31,907,081 times
Reputation: 24725
I hate the way they build new homes in my area. Either they are huge Mansions or McMansions sucking up all the land, else they are multi-storied horrors crammed into downtown infills.

I prefer the modest ranch style home, 3B/2b 1500sqft or so on 1/8-1/4 acre lots. It's not practical for developers to build such things anymore and people have been brainwashed into believing they can't possible raise 2 kids in something that small. Hogwash.
 
Old 05-05-2010, 12:04 PM
 
314 posts, read 142,845 times
Reputation: 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by MissNM View Post
I definitely agree that the US does do some things more successfully than other countries. But spending money on things that are unnecessary is not something to be emulated. People should be judged on what they do, not what they have.
I suspect that just as much money is squandered in other countries. Take England for exaple. Their public health agency the largest employer in the world, but their health CARE is dismal. Can't even change sheets in hospitals, and family members do it for thier family-member patients. If you are a 45 YO female and get BC, well, adios to you for whome the cost of saving the life of exceeds the value of the patients remaining years.
 
Old 05-05-2010, 12:58 PM
 
Location: Up in the air
19,126 posts, read 25,789,079 times
Reputation: 16226
Maybe some people prefer to 'live small' so they can afford other things they enjoy. We live small because we enjoy flying, so by living in a smaller house, we can have more money available to pursue our passions. Plus, living on the beautiful California coast, why would I stay indoors? Hell, I live on a beach, I don't want to be cooped up inside a McMansion all day

To each his/her own... but living small and tidy isn't a bad thing.

Last edited by Green Irish Eyes; 06-20-2010 at 04:30 PM.. Reason: Edited out reference to deleted post
 
Old 05-06-2010, 06:45 AM
 
Location: Oxford, England
13,036 posts, read 21,516,228 times
Reputation: 19858
I don't live a Spartan lifestyle by any stretch of the imagination but I like living fairly small.


I had the wealthy lifestyle and it didn't do anything for me. My life is simple, I have what I want and what I need, what else do I need...

Life to me is not one great one upmanship , a way to show my so called "success" by conspicuous consumption . I personally find it vulgar and distasteful when I see people who define themselves as human beings by the size of their house, or the price tag of their possessions.

I am not impressed in the slightest by displays and talk of wealth. Been there, had that. Big Whoop !

What I value is life. The simple pleasures of life, travel, laughter, friendship, art, culture, history, reading, knowledge, fun, sex, love, architecture, food, beauty, archaeology, the things which I find interesting and pleasurable.

Wealth seems to me a way for a lot of people to seek external validation and confirm their "worth" as a human being which is really very sad and a little silly quite frankly.

All the flim-flammery which comes with a lot of wealthy people is nothing but a sign of great internal insecurity. If you need others to be impressed by your displays of wealth then to me there is something really quite needy and a little desperate about it all...

I don't think many people would say they want to be poor. Poverty is a burden for the vast majority of us because it brings stress, to feed, clothe, house yourself etc.. But there is NOTHING wrong with having a very modest income and seeking nothing further.

Being happy in life is what counts. And from personal experience my middle class friends are darn sight happier than my old world of uber-wealthy acquaintances. Living a lavish lifestyle does not bring happiness, self knowledge, tranquility , peace of mind or joy. Those things can belong to anyone rich or poor.

Wealth only clouds your personal issues with shiny baubles and the the belief ( erroneous)that one is somewhat superior and better than other human beings. Wealth is a great mask for a lot of problems more often than not.

Who bloody cares how big my house is , as long as I love it ? I would take my little Edwardian stone cottage over a Mc Mansion with swimming pool anytime. And I don't need 3 SUVs and Cartier Jewellery , thank you very much...

Last edited by Green Irish Eyes; 06-20-2010 at 04:31 PM.. Reason: Edited out reference to deleted post
 
Old 05-06-2010, 11:50 AM
 
Location: 125 Years Too Late...
10,306 posts, read 9,975,609 times
Reputation: 9077
Quote:
Originally Posted by Belinda_Cooperstone1 View Post
Ok even if you watch the home shows or not, Americans live to big. The living room/kitchen not big enough, the master bedroom bathroom not big enough. All I ever see or read nothing is big enough. As a Canadian I would say are you Moderator cut: language me I would love this.
There is really no justifiable reason for the average single person to need any more than around 350 sq ft. For a couple 600 sq ft (and that's pushing it). Kids would add a bit more.

That of course is assuming we're all being honest and not playing the keeping up with the Jones' game and not succumbing to the consumer culture. Of course, that's not the case. And besides, it's a free country. You want to live in a barn and pay for it, good for you. You have that right. But I have the right to call it wasteful and stupid.

Last edited by Green Irish Eyes; 06-20-2010 at 04:32 PM.. Reason: Edited quoted text
 
Old 05-06-2010, 11:54 AM
 
9,856 posts, read 13,013,230 times
Reputation: 5443
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisC View Post
There is really no justifiable reason for the average single person to need any more than around 350 sq ft. For a couple 600 sq ft (and that's pushing it). Kids would add a bit more.

That of course is assuming we're all being honest and not playing the keeping up with the Jones' game and not succumbing to the consumer culture. Of course, that's not the case. And besides, it's a free country. You want to live in a barn and pay for it, good for you. You have that right. But I have the right to call it wasteful and stupid.
There also is no need for a person to own more than two sets of clothes (you can only wear one pair of underwear at a time! Wear one while washing the other) but I bet you own more than just one.

You aren't wasteful and stupid with your clothes, are you?

Some people enjoy bigger houses. Is that really wrong? Don't you have any interests? No one sticks only to their base needs. Everyone has desires and indulgences. Who are you to judge what someone else enjoys?

To me, having money isn't about having stuff. I enjoy the challenge of investing. It is a hobby. I enjoy the risk associated with real estate, mutual funds, stocks and promotions at work. The money is a bi-product, not the goal.

Living small shouldn't be the goal, living within your means should be. If you make 200k/year, by all means enjoy a 4000sqft house. You can afford it. But if you make 30k/year, it would be nothing short of foolish to buy a new car instead of used.
 
Old 05-06-2010, 12:14 PM
 
Location: 125 Years Too Late...
10,306 posts, read 9,975,609 times
Reputation: 9077
Quote:
Originally Posted by hnsq View Post
There also is no need for a person to own more than two sets of clothes (you can only wear one pair of underwear at a time! Wear one while washing the other) but I bet you own more than just one.

You aren't wasteful and stupid with your clothes, are you?
You did notice the part about it being a free country, right? And about it being the business of the McMansion dweller and not mine (other than having my opinion on the matter)?

As for your point: if you were speaking to me from the perspective of your statement (if you had only two sets of clothes), you could, indeed call me wasteful for having more, given that you're right, we can only wear one set at a time. To answer the question, I have 3 pairs of pants (and 2 retired pair that should go in the garbage) because I wash only on weekends and don't like to offend others' olfactory receptors. Shirts... well I have to change those daily, so we're talking about 8 or so (in wearable condition, plus some rags, if I want to wear those). So, yeah, perhaps a bit wasteful. But, then again, there is always the unforeseen event like a torn shirt or ripped zipper. So having an extra is probably logical.

Mind you, when I say that 'living big' is wasteful, I'm not being hypocritical. We're talking about 312 sq ft here. And that's far bigger than I need. I just finished building a 64 sq ft timber frame cabin project (or at least the frame is done) with room for a sleeping loft. Perhaps I'll live in that.

Last edited by Green Irish Eyes; 06-20-2010 at 04:33 PM.. Reason: Edited out reference to deleted post
 
Old 05-06-2010, 01:07 PM
 
9,856 posts, read 13,013,230 times
Reputation: 5443
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisC View Post
You did notice the part about it being a free country, right? And about it being the business of the McMansion dweller and not mine (other than having my opinion on the matter)?
You are entitled to your opinion and I am entitled to mine. That is the beauty of a free country.

Quote:
As for your point: if you were speaking to me from the perspective of your statement (if you had only two sets of clothes), you could, indeed call me wasteful for having more, given that you're right, we can only wear one set at a time. Otherwise we're getting a bit hypocritical, are we not?

To answer the question, I have 3 pairs of pants (and 2 retired pair should go in the garbage) because I wash only on weekends and don't like to offend others' olfactory receptors. Shirts... well I have to change those daily, so we're talking about 8 or so (in wearable condition, plus some rags, if I want to wear those). So, yeah, perhaps a bit wasteful. But, then again, there is always the unforeseen event like a torn shirt or ripped zipper. So having an extra is probably logical.
What do you have? Do you have an apartment? A car? A bike? What do you do for fun? Do you have guitar? Do you go to coffee houses? I am now interested in how you live your life.

Quote:
Mind you, when I say that 'living big' is wasteful, I'm not being hypocritical. We're talking about 312 sq ft here. And that's far bigger than I need. Oh, and I just finished building a 64 sq ft timber frame cabin (or at least the frame is done) with room for a sleeping loft. Perhaps I'll live in that.
Why is it a bad thing to be wasteful? Isn't that the more important question? What is wrong with indulgences, as long as they are under control?

Everything anyone does it because they want to feel important. The guy with the McMansion wants to feel like he is better than anyone else, but you are the same way. You want to live in a 64 sqft cabin (a Tumbleweed house?) because you can tell people you have everything 'figured out'. You don't need the stuff, you don't need the space, you are better than all of us 'sheep'. I have a feeling you only want to live in a small house because it makes you feel more important than anyone else. You do the opposite of what popular culture says and that makes you feel better than anyone else. Typical hipster/hippie mentality. Just as driven by consumerism and popular culture as everyone else.

Sorry - you are not as unique as you think.

Believe it or not, I agree with you on some things. I seriously considered building a tumbleweed house at one point. I now own a 900 sqft townhouse that I share with another person. I only use 600 sqft on a regular basis.

What I don't like is your arrogant attitude and that smug tone you have with everything you say.

But hey - it is a free country. Be arrogant if you want.
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Closed Thread

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Great Debates
Similar Threads
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2018, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top