Hello from the SF Bay Area!

Say hello!!
Post Reply
mathiverse
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2019 8:40 pm

Hello from the SF Bay Area!

Post by mathiverse » Sat Feb 09, 2019 12:19 pm

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!

jacob
Site Admin
Posts: 10901
Joined: Fri Jun 28, 2013 8:38 pm
Location: USA, Zone 5b, Koppen Dfa, Elev. 620ft, Walkscore 73
Contact:

Re: Hello from the SF Bay Area!

Post by jacob » Sat Feb 09, 2019 12:38 pm

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.

Augustus
Posts: 837
Joined: Sat Apr 02, 2016 10:15 am

Re: Hello from the SF Bay Area!

Post by Augustus » 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. So I'm steadily buying myself more and more of the ultimate luxury, not depriving myself. If I had to pick between shiny stuff or free time I'd pick free time any day. Each time I buy a new investment I'm essentially buying a little chunk of time for myself since the roi equates to time I no longer need to work to earn money.

It fits well historically as well. You had workaday laborers and the Gentry who escaped day to day drudgery and the ultimate status symbol was attaining things that workaday people just didn't have time for, education, languages, etc.

User avatar
Clarice
Posts: 241
Joined: Sat Dec 02, 2017 4:45 pm
Location: California

Re: Hello from the SF Bay Area!

Post by Clarice » Sun Feb 10, 2019 10:09 pm

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. ;)

@mathiverse:

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

User avatar
prognastat
Posts: 935
Joined: Fri May 04, 2018 8:30 pm
Location: Texas
Contact:

Re: Hello from the SF Bay Area!

Post by prognastat » Mon Feb 11, 2019 10:40 am

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.

Augustus
Posts: 837
Joined: Sat Apr 02, 2016 10:15 am

Re: Hello from the SF Bay Area!

Post by Augustus » Mon Feb 11, 2019 6:06 pm

Clarice wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 10:09 pm
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.
I have no idea how I'll do in reality, but I suspect it wont be a problem for me. My personality is such that I have more ideas and dreams than time. I took 3 months off about a year ago, I remember being greedy for time even then and thinking that I did not have enough. I don't know what will happen when I actually have years of free time open up in front of me. During the three months I cooked every day, read all the books I wanted to read, started on projects I had always wanted to work on, etc. But mostly I noticed I was happiest when I planned nothing at all and decompressed. I liked mixing in a structured day or two with plans, with 3 days of nothing. When there were too many empty days in a row I got a little depressed, and when there were too many busy days in a row I got depressed. The ideal point was a mix of the two. I remember being happiest when Monday was always a free time day, Tuesday/Wednesday would be a start a project day, and Friday was always a free time day. We'll see what happens, but I've literally got boxes full of projects I want to finish but don't have the time to do. Then there's the whole parenting aspect, what parent in their right minds doesn't want some alone time?

Post Reply