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Old 12-17-2018, 02:28 PM
 
Location: Tennessee
23,286 posts, read 17,303,045 times
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My parents wanted me to come over to their house over the weekend to sort through some of my belongings that have been left over there from when I moved back to the area in 2016.

I have a 2BR/2BA condo. It's not "full" and neat/tidy, but I have a lot of nice stuff. I bought a new computer, iPhone, and iPad this year. I have a newer model Jeep that does everything I need. I have a five shelf bookcase full of BluRays, video games, and disc-based media. I have a huge music and movie collection on the computer.

My furniture is mostly new and in good shape. I could replace a few odds and ends, but it's nothing urgent. I have most of the hobby stuff I need/want.

When I dug through my stuff at my parents' house, there were six hard drives in a cabinet. Probably dozens of computer parts. All sorts of small electronics.

I'm at a point where I'm sort of sated on purchased and consumer spending. Did you reach a similar decision at some point?
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Old 12-17-2018, 02:56 PM
 
Location: on the wind
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Well, I am not sated to the point I no longer eat, wear clothing, heat the house, etc.

I get your point...just couldn't resist
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Old 12-17-2018, 03:36 PM
 
1,817 posts, read 606,786 times
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I know what you mean. In my first job (1975) every payday I went out and bought clothes. I wasn't over-spending but I was definitely in an accumulation phase. I actually went to malls and bought stuff, "looking for something to want", as one writer put it so aptly.

What probably changed my outlook was being married to, and divorcing, a spendthrift, brand-snob husband. He bought things just to have them, and they had to be the right brands from the right stores even though he didn't have a dime saved and owed on a bunch of credit cards. The curtains and the furniture slipcovers had to be custom-made. The sheets had to be taken to the dry cleaners. I actually still have things from that era- a classic camel hair winter coat that I still wear, some cashmere sweaters that cost $200-$300 20+ years ago, jewelry I bought. One lesson I learned is that the good stuff lasts.

So- after the divorce I took my share of the home equity, bought a smaller house and simplified. I had a darn good job but a big mortgage and a son to support. We started out with no couches (the Ex took a lot of stuff he wasn't supposed to get) and I bought things for the house as I could afford it. When I remarried 7 years later it was to a good man with down-to-earth tastes. We made changes to the house we bought together that made it better for US, not because it wasn't the latest and greatest, and made them only once a year when we could pay for them out of my bonus. Our furniture was a cheerful mix of stuff brought in from our previous houses.

I'm still not much into shopping, on-line or otherwise. If something is in good condition, why throw it out and replace it?

DH and I downsized in 2015, he died in 2016 and I'm still gradually putting things out as Free Stuff on Craigslist to simplify.
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Old 12-17-2018, 11:45 PM
 
1,027 posts, read 500,763 times
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You ask great questions SC.

Iím probably in the minority when I say that for me, there never has been any cause and effect between being sated and taking personal finance seriously. But I agree with your implied premise that they are inextricably linked.

I canít think of a time in my life when I wasnít sated. Iíve never yearned for anything that I was denied because of money. And I say this as someone who was brought up in a lower middle class family.

It took me way too long to take personal finance seriously. Perhaps that was due to my being so easily sated.
I started taking it seriously in 2008, when it seemed like the global economy was collapsing. I learned a great deal here, and on other forums.

I suspect the personal habits Iíve developed are ingrained forever.
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Old 12-18-2018, 01:22 AM
 
25,929 posts, read 28,322,134 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Serious Conversation View Post
My parents wanted me to come over to their house over the weekend to sort through some of my belongings that have been left over there from when I moved back to the area in 2016.

I have a 2BR/2BA condo. It's not "full" and neat/tidy, but I have a lot of nice stuff. I bought a new computer, iPhone, and iPad this year. I have a newer model Jeep that does everything I need. I have a five shelf bookcase full of BluRays, video games, and disc-based media. I have a huge music and movie collection on the computer.

My furniture is mostly new and in good shape. I could replace a few odds and ends, but it's nothing urgent. I have most of the hobby stuff I need/want.

When I dug through my stuff at my parents' house, there were six hard drives in a cabinet. Probably dozens of computer parts. All sorts of small electronics.

I'm at a point where I'm sort of sated on purchased and consumer spending. Did you reach a similar decision at some point?
Yes, I reached it in my early 20s when I lived a very financially unstable life and had little money. It was quite a contrast from my financially stable, middle to upper middle class upbringing. I realized that I could live without name brands and stuff pretty easily without it affecting my happiness. What I hated--reeeeaaally hated--was the financial instability: not knowing where the rent was coming from, having the electricity shut off, etc. I'd much rather live a low end lifestyle with savings than live a nicer everyday lifestyle but be on the financial edge. So when I finally got a decent paying job, I prioritized debt paydown and savings over spending. I did do some travel, as that was one thing we didn't do when I was growing up, but I kept the cost reasonable.
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Old 12-18-2018, 05:35 AM
 
6,794 posts, read 7,192,625 times
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For the most part, I've always taken finances seriously. You gotta always have a decent emergency fund, and spend less than you make.

As for being sated on consumption, I'd say I became much more circumspect about that due to a couple of reasons.
1) Some older relatives either went into nursing homes or died, and sorting through and/or disposing of all their things (even if just for passing on to other family members) -- was so time consuming. OMG, all the stuff they had. Some very good items in great condition that could have been sold, and some items that were just your normal every stuff. But just a lot of it.

On one hand I suppose when you get to be 85, I guess you would have a lot of belongings, and have amassed quite a few things. On the other hand, these folks definitely could have lived with fewer possessions. (I was raised by Depression Era Babies.)

2) So that got me thinking at about age 50 just how much of what I have do I really use?
How any pillows does a sofa need? How many tchotchkes, framed photos, towels, dishes, clothes, shoes, and whatever do I need?
The last two yard sales and donation pickups I gave away clothes I'd never worn, tags still on them.
I looked around one day and asked what the heck is all this crap? It wasn't crap. But you know what I mean. My house was chock full of furniture, and mostly decor items. It hit me when there were more things I wanted to buy, but just really had no place to put them. Realizing that was really a mind-shift for me.

But that's how it is for many people. The decades of your 20s, 30s, and 40s you're in accumulation phase.
The 50s decade of life is split, early 50s accumulation. By late 50s -- especially if you've started to think about retiring and downsizing, and also if you've had to deal with handling loved ones affairs due to death or downsizing, or had your own challenges that made you rethink materialism/consumerism -- you start not buying as much. You already have purchased most of what you need.

But that's no secret. Companies know that. They want to hook consumers with brand loyalty while they're young and "building." That's not to say that older people, such as retirees or those in their latter prime earning years don't spend money. We spend a lot of it. Usually we're just not buying as many things as before. (Dollar amount could be the same though. For example a young person might by furniture a couple of times from cheaper places. An older person who is downsizing may buy new furniture, but buy better quality that costs more per piece. When you're younger you may buy clothes at the Gap. When older you may shop at Bloomingdales.)
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Old 12-18-2018, 10:28 AM
 
Location: The analog world
17,087 posts, read 9,775,519 times
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I've always had minimalist tendencies, so I've never gone really overboard on consumption. As for money, I think by the time I was in my mid-twenties, I buckled down and stuck to a budget. It was all fun and games until my spouse and I started thinking about having children. Then, we got very serious about investing for the future.
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Old 12-18-2018, 10:34 AM
 
Location: NJ
23,922 posts, read 30,054,513 times
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very little is spent on stuff for me. ive always been sated. my house is expensive and i pay for stuff to maintain it. i bought a power washer and a lawn sweeper recently and my wife is like "you keep getting things." in the meantime, i have a few new packages every day delivered of crap that she gets.

she didnt complain about me buying the stuff, just marveling at the notion of me buying stuff i guess. there is no restrictions on how much stuff i purchase (not like there needs to be one). there are certain restrictions on her (a dollar amount budget).
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Old 12-18-2018, 10:54 AM
 
Location: Phoenix, AZ
1,796 posts, read 2,066,121 times
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I've never really been too much into buying "stuff" except when I was younger I was very into my cars and so was always spending money on taking care of it and for parts and modifications to it. Thing is I didn't make much money then so was spending a lot of money I didn't really have and took on debt for it. I was terrible at managing money (thanks to having no example whatsoever from my parents and very little emphasis on it at school) so it wasn't until I became determined to get out of debt on my own and figure out how to live within my means that I gave up the consumerist lifestyle. Much of it was reading a few books (Rich Dad, Poor Dad, Your Money or Your Life) and discovering some blogs like MMM and Early Retirement Extreme that I really got inspired. That was at 36. Five years later almost all debt are paid off and we have over $100k in liquid assets plus a fair amount of home equity, saving and investing over 50% of income. Much more secure now than a few years ago. To be honest, I don't miss most of the "stuff" at all.
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Old 12-18-2018, 02:10 PM
 
12,655 posts, read 9,890,032 times
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My dad has so much stuff that he hasn't sold his old house yet, because he has no place for his stuff. In an effort to avoid becoming like him, I am going the other way and just got rid of a good chunk of my own stuff. My goal is to get to a point where I can decide at a moment's notice to pack my stuff into a van and drive across the country and start fresh in a new city.
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