I generally believe that regret is possibly the only nearly useless emotion that we experience. The reality is what happened is done and you can not change that, but people still dwell on it. I was watching a movie last night that seemed to have a theme of regret. So it helped propel my mind down a path that I so rarely visit I figured I would share the results of some of my late night musing.
I don’t actually regret much related to money but there are a few items that come to mind. So here is my list of money related regrets that crossed my mind last night:
- I wish I would taken on a job not for the pay years ago. I’m so enjoying my second job as a Trustee that I wish I would had the idea earlier. I’ve taken jobs where money wasn’t that important, for example, I took a $20,000/year pay cut to move back to Regina. Yet in all those jobs the money was still partly a factor. The Trustee job was the first one where money didn’t matter at all.
- I wish I would have been braver to start my own business. I had ideas over the years but generally fear kept those ideas in check. I think it was lack of any supports to travel down that path earlier in life that kept me back (beyond the fear). I really only learned about a small business once my wife went to open a daycare and now realize it isn’t that hard (not to say it is easy, but it is not impossible either).
- I wish I would have realized earlier that happiness is just as important as money. I think perhaps I wasted a lot of time doing many ‘what if’ analysis on too many things before I realized that in the end the numbers are only part of the answer. It’s ok to do something that isn’t the most logical as long as you know that. Being happy is important even if you have to work a couple of years longer.
So what have you regretted related to your money? If you feel like sharing leave a comment.
Well this blog already deals with one common taboo: money. We discuss a lot about money: spending it, saving it, investing it, how it makes you feel, why we spend it on some things rather than others. So today let’s branch out a bit and double up on the taboo: how much money do you spend on sex in a month?
Now depending on your mind set you might consider that I just ask you if you use a prostitute and how often, which I suppose you could answer, but that really isn’t what I’m getting at. I’m instead wondering how much money do people put towards getting sex since most people would agree that sex helps on the whole being happy in life. Now obviously your costs will vary depending on your relationship status.
- Single. This category likely takes the most money on average to get sex. Dating isn’t cheap. There is the nights out with dinner, perhaps a show or the bar. Depending on how serious you are there can be the little gifts that show you are thoughtful. Not to mention birth control like the pill or condoms. All of that costs money and is related to how much much you spend on sex (either directly or indirectly).
- Serious. I’m including engaged folks and those that move in together (but are under their first year living together) in this category. Your spending on sex now may actually reduce a bit at this point, after all if you share a place you can now share costs which should hopefully offset on your date nights. Not to mention that having sex is just easier since there is less logistics involved in the whole: your place or mine debate. If you go the marriage route let’s face the fact buying a engagement ring is rather like buying a long term bond: you hoping for some long term payout of sex and affection for a large lump sum of cash.
- Early Marriage or Common Law: In your early years of the steady portion of your relationship your costs will dramatically differ depending on if you get married or stay common law. Marriage is an expensive thing to do for trying to secure sex. The wedding itself is expensive, but it is offset by some gifts and the honeymoon is likely the most expensive thing you will spend on sex in your entire life. Then given the divorce rate and the costs associated with not getting sex you have to consider marriage a speculative investment on sex at best. Meanwhile if you go the common law route life can be much easier and less costly on sex. Yet of course our decision to get married or not has nothing to do with logic, but rather emotion so people will keep getting married despite the poor investment it is for a lot of people.
- Longer Term Marriage or Common Law: Now let’s put in those people that have been together for seven years or longer here (where you chance of splitting up drops off). At this point your spending on sex might be almost non existent especially if you have small children. Just the logistics of having sex is hard to do with working around kid’s bedtimes, your libido and the rest of your life can be hard. If you don’t have kids then things could be easier having sex, but likely your direct seduction costs are low compared to when you were single. So on a purely financial front getting to a long term relationship and staying in one can be potentially be a good cost saving strategy on sex. So if your dating a personal finance geek that might be an interesting way to proposing getting more serious: “Honey, let’s reduce our costs on sex and move in together?”
How much do I spend on sex each month? To be honest I don’t have a clue. I’ve never figured it out and I likely won’t in the future. Yet I’m firmly in category four with nine years of marriage. Yet I can say I think I should be spending more on sex than I do now. Dates are an important thing to do (from a sex and relationship point of view) and I’ve been guilty of not doing enough of them lately. So perhaps I do need a new line item on my budget: “date night” or perhaps just “sex.” At least I know I’ll be having an interesting discussion with my wife after this post.
**Just to be absolutely clear this post was written with a strong humour element, so don’t take everything I wrote literally**
Personal finance is an interesting place to spend your time in study. There’s the obvious side of things, the cold hard numbers of what we should do. It’s the place of interest rates and savings plans on neat spreadsheets. Then there is the emotional side of the numbers, the illogical and strangely self reflective part that will either keep you saving more than you should or spending more than you earn regardless of what the spreadsheet says you should do. That second side is where the heart of personal finance really is and that is where I recently determined: I’m ashamed of being wealthy.
Yes, it’s true. Well sort of, actually I’m ashamed of appearing too well off. I can handle being wealthy, but I dislike showing that I am to anyone. It’s an interesting insight for me to realize since it really does guide a lot of my reluctance to spend money on some things, even when I do need or want it. It’s the reason why I own a small car and wear my clothes until the actually start to wear out and why I’ve delayed buying an ebook reader for four months when I could pay for it today with barely a dip in my monthly savings.
So where did this shame come from? Well I’ve personally watched a few people in life that have been well off and the problems that came with being well off and having others know about it. In one case it caused a family rift between two relatives for about five years over a loan that one co-signed for the other and then the other defaulted on. In another case I literally watched someone be driven out of their hometown over being well off and everyone knowing it. The person in question was constantly being bothered to give people money outright or invest in stupid business plans. The constant stress of bad loans that were ruining relationships was too much and to solve the issue he moved away.
Up until recently I didn’t consider how those moments in other people’s lives have affected me. Yet it obviously it has since I’m reluctant to show too much wealth to anyone. This small fact drives a number of behaviours for me including:
- I dislike brand name clothes. I won’t buy them, but I will wear them if someone else buys them for me.
- I have an aversion to being in upper management since I dislike wearing a suit. Despite looking good in one and being able to afford a suit.
- I’m guarded with my face to face conversations with money. I’ll discuss the logical side of it, but I won’t mention my own situation like how I want to pay off my mortgage in the next few years. So as an outlet I discuss money on blogs including this one.
Yet I’m trying to achieve financial independence which can potentially be one of the bigger displays of wealth out there. So what gives? Well that is a bit easier to understand. You see if you doing something that appears to be a job, regardless of how poor you do, will outwardly explain the income. People often don’t look past the obvious. So this explains a bit of my drive to have something of a ‘job’ post retirement, yet at the same time I don’t plan for making any money at that job in my retirement plan.
It’s interesting that in personal finance we like to say you should suppress your emotions in a lot of decisions, but it’s your emotions that direct a lot of your behaviour in the non-obvious parts of your life. So in my case my shame of showing wealth drives a lot of my low spending habits which in turn feeds my savings rate. At the same time that shame can prevent me from enjoying my money to a degree if I’m not aware of the issue and try to over ride that response once in a while.
So do you know what emotion drives you with your money? If you know, please share.