Frugality and Happiness, video

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sky
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Frugality and Happiness, video

Post by sky » Tue Jan 09, 2018 12:46 pm

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=vRudjy0cub0

TEDx Talk video "The No Spend Year", in which Michelle McGagh claims frugality improves happiness, mental health, relationships and one's personal finances.

16 minutes that I found worthwhile.

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Re: Frugality and Happiness, video

Post by jacob » Tue Jan 09, 2018 3:24 pm

There was a newspaper article series that went with it:
https://www.theguardian.com/profile/michelle-mcgagh

As with other such projects (my own included way back in 2001), one's mental condition follows something akin to an inverse hype cycle. It's exciting the first few weeks, but after the initial excitement fades with 1--2 months, it doesn't make up the shortfall of not-spending competence that's yet to build up. That's when the suck starts. Crossover happens around month 6--9 or so when new skills are enough to get back to the zero-stage in terms of happiness, no longer being frustrated. After that, increased skilled no-spending happiness replaces the previous less-satisfying no-skilled consumerism and it's generally up from there. So the key note here is that there are two transitions that proceed at different rates: one is the framework going from consumerism to non-consumerism (a subjective shift)... and the other one is the development of non-consumer skills, which for most likely start out from square zero (an objective shift).

After my one year, I did start buying things again ... but they were fewer and different things than before when I mainly shopped for gadget-based entertainment.

Similar experience from 2007 (I think this book is what made the buy nothing year "a thing"): https://www.amazon.com/Not-Buying-Year- ... 0743269365 (The number of 1-star reviews is strongly inversely correlated with the market :mrgreen: Few people have anything bad to say in 2008-09. Or maybe "those people" weren't buying books at that time ....)

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Re: Frugality and Happiness, video

Post by sky » Tue Jan 09, 2018 5:20 pm

How much inventory (stuff) did you have on hand before starting the No Spend Year? I assume the proper way is to scrounge stuff for free. I am thinking of something like fishing gear or other hobby stuff.

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Re: Frugality and Happiness, video

Post by jacob » Tue Jan 09, 2018 6:04 pm

My particular example is tricky .. because it was during my second year of grad school and I had moved ~800M/12hr drive to attend... so what I had on hand was about a suitcase's worth. Like this: http://earlyretirementextreme.com/how-t ... itcas.html ...

However, the thing is that the experience of "buying nothing" creates a habit of "not buying much of anything" that stays with you. Since that initial experience, I've had a few years where I've bought nothing (by the rules in the OP, I still pay for food, taxes, transportation, and insurance, so we're mainly talking "stuff")... whereas most years, I've spent a couple of hundred USD on stuff and a few years I've spent more than $500 (like my scroll saw or a bicycle).

Another dimension I should add here is that a lot of this has been funded by selling off my old stuff via amazon and ebay. This is why there's a discussion of depreciation-values in the ERE book. Overall, my overall cost of stuff is very low given how low it is in the first place and how much of my purchases are funded with cash received from selling old stuff.

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Re: Frugality and Happiness, video

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Wed Jan 10, 2018 6:43 am

I think it becomes more than a bit arbitrary where to draw the line between investment and "spending money on stuff" because traders make money by buying and selling, and some stuff is tools/productive asset/inventory. IOW, the exercise of "spend no money" only makes sense in a simple one W2 income source/all spending/shopping = personal consumption model. Difference between passive frugal mode and active frugal mode.

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Re: Frugality and Happiness, video

Post by sky » Wed Jan 10, 2018 8:22 am

It seems like one would be developing two skills: how to be content without things, and how to get things for no money.

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Re: Frugality and Happiness, video

Post by Jason » Wed Jan 10, 2018 1:10 pm

She's a nice lady which helps with the receptivity of the message. It's always scary and important to be reminded how advertising's tentacles has left no branch of human experience immune to affirmation/medication via purchasing. She didn't spend 400 quid(sp) on coffee per se, she spent it to reaffirm her basic humanity i.e. I'm not alive unless I walk down a London street with a cup of coffee in hand.

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Re: Frugality and Happiness, video

Post by jennypenny » Wed Jan 10, 2018 2:30 pm

That was good.

I wonder if abstinence is easier than moderation though. Limiting spending to some minimal amount is probably harder (difficult choices) as opposed to never buying anything that isn't required. Kind of like how dieting is so hard ... abstinence isn't possible.

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Re: Frugality and Happiness, video

Post by LoriMeyers » Wed Jan 10, 2018 2:44 pm

It's exciting the first few weeks, but after the initial excitement fades with 1--2 months, it doesn't make up the shortfall of not-spending competence that's yet to build up. That's when the suck starts. Crossover happens around month 6--9 or so when new skills are enough to get back to the zero-stage in terms of happiness, no longer being frustrated.
I'm glad to hear there is a crossover point, I needed to hear that today. I've been keeping my head down and not spending except for necessities for over a month now, but this week I got hit with the urge to spend. Since all my extra pennies are going towards debt payoff (and my shiny new 401k), it has been frustrating because I can't actually see any tangible progress, other than changing numbers on a spreadsheet. So thanks for the cheer, I'll hold fast.

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Gilberto de Piento
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Re: Frugality and Happiness, video

Post by Gilberto de Piento » Wed Jan 10, 2018 2:51 pm

I wonder if abstinence is easier than moderation though.
This seems to be true for me. Once I know I'm not going to have a good savings rate in a given period I am less likely to avoid unnecessary spending.
Since all my extra pennies are going towards debt payoff (and my shiny new 401k), it has been frustrating because I can't actually see any tangible progress, other than changing numbers on a spreadsheet.
It will still be changing numbers on a spreadsheet but I find creating and achieving goals is helpful, even if they are arbitrary. Pay off the loan, put $1000 in the 401k, $2000 in the 401k, $5000, $10,000, $100,000, etc.

I'm finding that the bigger numbers are a double edged sword because while they are flying by faster thanks to compounding, hitting round numbers has become somewhat old hat. $100,000 and $200,000 were fun.

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Re: Frugality and Happiness, video

Post by Clarice » Wed Jan 10, 2018 9:57 pm

It was an interesting video. Thank you. I am wondering how do you view these yearly experiments in terms of politics? Michelle McGagh's predecessor, Judith Levine, once has said that anti-consumerism to the Left is the same as chastity to the Right - an extreme expression. Would you agree or disagree?

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Re: Frugality and Happiness, video

Post by rref » Fri Jan 12, 2018 8:22 am

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Last edited by rref on Tue Jan 30, 2018 12:50 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Frugality and Happiness, video

Post by ducknalddon » Fri Jan 12, 2018 9:16 am

rref wrote:
Fri Jan 12, 2018 8:22 am
Michelle McGagh: "... by trade I am a financial journalist and I've spent ten years telling everyone what to do with their money and I wasn't actually taking any responsibility for my own."

Journalism, a waste of time!
Isn't that why you don't buy a car from a car mechanic or a house from a builder.

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Re: Frugality and Happiness, video

Post by rref » Sat Jan 13, 2018 1:27 am

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