Hello from the SF Bay Area!

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Hello from the SF Bay Area!

Post by mathiverse »

I'm excited to join the ERE community. For whatever reason, ERE really clicked lately. Maybe from the three months off I took at the end of last year between jobs? Or maybe because I've had to face the frustrating and daunting task of ramping up for a new job? The bright eyed new grad is gone and now it feels a lot more like drudgery. Anyway I realized life could be different and better. However, I've been reading ERE and about FIRE in general since 2015 just with less focus and commitment.

I'm in the process of lowering my expenses. One thing I found interesting is that it took me a lot of thinking and reading to figure out how to view spending less as something other than deprivation. There aren't a ton of accounts of people having to struggle with that. (Shout out to Living a Fi whose article on how he had to struggle through this was really inspiring!) In fact, it seems a lot more common that people were natural born frugal people which I didn't understand. But now I consider myself a frugal person. Hard won and very satisfying. :) (And I'm interested in hearing from other people who had to figure that out for themselves.)

I'm excited to learn more from everyone!

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Re: Hello from the SF Bay Area!

Post by jacob »

That is an interesting distinction because I do think I was naturally born frugal and also born with an innate discount factor that was really low. I could have stared at those marshmallows for hours. When we got $2 for ice cream as kids, I always wanted to know if I could use them to buy a comic instead (it would last forever) or at least some candy (which would last longer than the ice cream).

OTOH, before all this crystallized under the personal finance heading, this only translated a different consumer behavior. I would save up $1000 and then spend it on a hifi CD player ... but refuse to spend $0.5 on a bus ticket and instead carry the damn thing home 4 miles in a backpack. It is more normal to buy a cheap ass player for $100 and then spend the remaining $900.5 on bus tickets because it's more convenient and comfortable.

That said, after I realized that I was on a hedonic treadmill with my recurrent consumption of tech-toys, it was quite easy to transition to eyeing bigger targets instead because my behavior was already aligned.

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Re: Hello from the SF Bay Area!

Post by Clarice »

Augustus wrote:
Sat Feb 09, 2019 11:06 pm
I don't see it as deprivation mainly because I see freedom/free time as the ultimate luxury.
Do you have a clear idea on what you are going to do with this luxury? It seems like quite a few people struggle with it once they achieve FI. It is my concern as well, though I am quite far away from this kind of trouble. ;)


Hello and welcome! A fellow SF Bay Area dweller here... :D Ours is a very expensive part of the country.

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Re: Hello from the SF Bay Area!

Post by prognastat »

Welcome to the forums.

I grew up very much in the working class and as such never had much money. Through probably a combination of predisposition and circumstance I learned that if I wanted things like game consoles/PCs(which I would never get as a gift due to being expensive) I was going to need to buckle down and save for them often needing to save all of my allowance, income from part-time jobs for a full years, and selling the previous console and it's games then work with my whole family and get them to agree to pool the money they would have spent on gifts for a birthday or Sinterklaas with my saved money instead to buy a console for one of those.

This taught me if I wanted something that was important to me that it required work and some level of "sacrifice" which I believe formed my mindset surrounding the "sacrifice" for me and really let me understand that I didn't need any of those little luxuries most people believe they can't live without and that this gives you the power/freedom to pursue what you really want. Really I just changed from a kid that used this behaviour for a relatively small long term reward to applying the same mindset and behaviours to FIRE/ERE making the rewards longer term, but also larger.

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