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Money?

posted by Avistew on - last edited - Viewed by 711 users

Is money an inappropriate subject?
I like talking about money. I find it relaxing. I was wondering if other people were in the same case and would like to talk about it.

I know it's often taboo (you're not supposed to ask people how much they earn or stuff like that) but I wasn't sure if it's considered controversial enough to be, well, something to avoid talking about on forums.

Either way, if anyone else is interested, here is a money subject. Well, for now. Who knows what it's going to turn into.

105 Comments - Linear Discussion: Classic Style
  • I agree if it's sad if you actually hate your job, but rest assured that's not the case for me.

    I like my job, it's not too hard, it's not too repetitive, there's lots of different things to do, I can often try out new things, I don't mind being "in the office". Sure, it's not always bright skies, but it's also not like I dread coming to work and I don't sit in my car each morning muttering "I don't want to go, I don't want to go" or something like that.

    Frankly, I don't really see myself doing something different and should I ever lose my job, I honestly have no idea what I'd do.

    But I'm still happier when I'm not at work, when I can really do what I want. It's not that I don't like doing what I have to do for my job, I just like the "free time" stuff more. To me, it's nothing like the famous trick question which of your children you like best. As far as this goes, personally, there IS a definitive answer, only It's certainly not "love-hate", but "love-love better".

    To me there's a difference between liking your job in a "normal" way, and elevating it to some divine reason of your existence.

  • I see what you mean.

    I think it really depends... I mean it could be that from the day you were born what you most wanted to do was say, paint, or act. If you can make a career out of it, I can see it becoming your whole life, you know?

    On the other hand, when it starts as a way to make money, not a passion, not something that fulfills you and is your purpose in life, then making it the center of your life might be a bad idea I guess. Because that would become stressful.

    I do think for most people the off time is more relaxing. Whether you love your job or not, it's still a job, so you probably have deadlines, people to pleases, things to follow, etc. Once you're off work though you don't have to worry about this stuff.

    But for some people, their job being their life makes sense to me. Imagine going to various countries and taking pictures. That sounds like a vacation, right? Well that's some people's job. So yeah, sometimes it does make sense to me. But I agree a job will always have some degree of stress due to being a job.

    Anyway, I agree with your message that you shouldn't forget to live and do things you enjoy in your free time rather than work constantly or be in a "work" spirit even on your time off. But... I still think it depends on your job. I can imagine any creator being able to just turn off their inspiration because they're on a day off, you know?

  • I can see how it can be that way in creative and artistic jobs.

    I've always been of the assumption (perhaps a bad one) that those kind of jobs just don't pay enough.

    I've always wanted to be a writer, ever since my second year of elementary school. Well, I AM a writer, I've published some short stories here or there, but that full novel still hasn't happened yet. I'm not worrying about that, there's still time ;)

    But actually making a living on writing alone? Even when you presume that you have the potential of becoming a bestselling novelist, that process will still take several years. You try to write the best books you can, but a lot time goes into constantly editing your style, becoming better as a writer, finding the right publisher, etc. It's not like one day you can quite your regular job and make the decision of becoming a full-time novelist: you just won't have any income whatsoever. And realistically speaking, your success depends on so much chance and talent, you might only contemplate that if you can rely on other means of support, like living with your parents or marrying someone who earns enough for the both of you.

    So you have to look for a regular, steady job and keep what you'd really like to do as a hobby, hoping for the chance that one day you'll finally deliver that one story a publisher falls in love with and everyone wants to read.

    Perhaps it's different for painters, actors, photographers. Perhaps it's the same. But I think there's a difference in the time it takes to deliver a finished product. Writing a 100 page story used to take me 3 months: when I was living with my parents and only had to go to school. Right now, I've been working on the same projects for years.

    If the thing you really enjoy doing can also deliver you a paycheck, then I applaud that. But not everything has that guarantee.

  • Right, these things usually don't pay. But if they can, then it's ideal of course.

    What I meant is that I feel it's more important to pursue something you're passionate about rather than do something you don't like for the money. Realistically, it would probably make more sense to have a steady part-time job for some income and pursue your passion as another part-time job. Unless you're lucky enough to become extremely successful and live from it.

    I just feel like I'd rather be poor all of my life (as long as I'm rich enough to eat, have a roof over my head, etc) but have a happy, fulfilled life, rather than have a sad life and a big car and house. If my house can fit me that's big enough, I can fit my dreams inside of me and I'll feel like I have all the room in the world [/cheesy line].

    I just wanted to say that "job" isn't always something horrible, if you have an opportunity to make it something you enjoy, do it. I know lots of people who regret never pursuing their dreams, but even the people who pursued them and ended up failing and being poor and stuff seem to say it was worth it.

    Since the topic here is money, I guess what I mean is that money isn't a goal but a means. And sure I'm saving up right now, but that's because I have projects that require money to get started, not just for the pleasure of saving. I'm always interested in ways to save on stuff and how to deal with your budget and everything, but then I'm happy to leave that aside and just live, because once I've sorted all the money things, I can afford to just do things I enjoy, because I know it won't cost me more than it should.

    I don't want to go through life and tell myself "what have I accomplished? What was the point?" I want to be sure every day that I'm working towards something, or doing things that matter, or making a difference. I feel that I'd rather sleep under a bridge and eat every other day than give that up.

  • That's very commendable.

    Yes, the discussion was about money in general, not just where it comes from.

    I have a feeling that many people confuse luxuries with basic needs. Like you say, some people think it's only natural that they "need" a big house and car.

    It's difficult where to draw the line. You can live in a small house, you can use public transportation. Actually, any means of transportation other than your own two feet could be considered a luxury. But when does a house become too small? When you're a couple with four children, say, and you have to live in a one-bedroom appartment with bad heating and plumbing, is a larger residence really a luxury?

    Suppose I won the lottery or something, or received this crazy inheritance, or whatever. I still wouldn't go for the "big house with pool" or "jacuzzi in the back" car. I think I'd really quit my dayjob and go after those dreams. Perhaps in a flash of altruism, brought on by the adrenaline and endorphines of coming into all that extra wealth, I might even help out some other people. What we do with our money is partly dictated by society as much as by personal choice, the thing is to find that harmonic balance and perhaps that's where so many people go wrong, like those guys who keep buying extra stuff while they should be paying their rent or feed their kids.

  • I think on that aspects just like on some others, people get tangled in society's expectations. You'll always have people who get married because they think they're expected to, have 2 kids and a big house, and then wonder why they're not happy since they did everything right? Some people who don't realise there isn't a magic formula and everyone's recipe for happiness is different.

    I think there is also that appearance thing. Wanting people to think you belong to a certain class, or something.
    And then a lot of the time there is the "deserve" argument. "I work hard, I deserve nice things". Well, do you deserve to get in debt over things you don't actually end up using? That's what you should be asking yourself.
    It's probably easier to follow a path that's already been written and is familiar to everyone, but if you're not part of the minority of people this standard path is ideal for, it's not going to bring you much.

    I do think consuming is even more like that than other aspects, though. Because the money you spend will be gained by someone else, and advertisement can be about creating needs where there never were any. People buy something because they don't imagine they could live without it. Yet if you remove it they might not even notice. Some things have just become standard. Sometimes you end up actually needing something just because it's expected that you'll have it, when you wouldn't need it otherwise. I mean, for instance, a credit card, you might not need one but nowadays you get a credit score, and you need a good one for lots of things, so you end up needing to get a credit card. Well, I've never had one, neither has my husband, so you don't have to, but still, it makes things more practical. A need has actually been created.

    And you have the special offers. How often do people buy something just because it's on sale? I have to say, though, if something is one sale half-price for, say five dollars, lots of people buy it, people who, if the same item cost five dollars without being on sale, would have no interest in buying it. It's ridiculous.

    But yeah, the line is hard to find. You need a place to stay, but how big do you need it to be? As you said, you can't live in a one bedroom apartment with two children, I mean you can but it would suck. You'd need a bigger place if you're more people (but here again, even though we're talking about people rather than things, how many people have (more) kids just for status or because it's the norm and not because they actually want them?).
    Similarly, while you can in theory walk everywhere, another way of transportation might be a need depending on your situation, be it a bike, public transit or a personal vehicle.
    I think the important factor to keep in mind is happiness. If you live in conditions that are bad for your emotional or physical health, you're not meeting your needs. But of course in that case some entertainment is also a need.

    And what of people who feel like they need a pool and tennis court in their home to be happy? I'm sure you'll agree that's not a need, but how can we say what is going too far or not?
    I think people are happier if they can satisfy themselves with less. For some people it seems nothing is ever enough. They earn a lot but spend it all, the more they earn, the more they spend. It's like they're trying to fill something, and they're thinking "I'm not happy yet, I should spend more". But I think they've lost sight of what's really important.

    Ultimately, if you spend less than you earn, that's good enough. Beyond that, we can't really judge what's excessive or not, because it's just different from one person to the next. I think it's something to keep in mind when other people are spending on things we personally wouldn't buy. If they can afford it, then good for them.

    Anyway, it's all about your priorities. You might not care about what you eat, and have bland cheap meals, but spend a lot on, I don't know, comic books, because that's important to you. Or you might have no vehicle and use public transit, but eat gourmet food because you don't think you could live without it. So the "needs" will actually be very different from one person to the next.
    However, when you're starting to impose it on other people, that's different. You might be able, personally, to share a one-bedroom apartment with 3 roommates as a student, and all 4 of you might be fine with that. But when you make your partner and kids live in these conditions... it just feels wrong.
    You might be okay with eating ramen day after day, but once again, if you make you family do the same to save money, that becomes wrong.

    Anyway, I think it's interesting to see people's relationship with money. I guess it's fair to say that we all think spending money on adventure games is a reasonable expense, even those of us who don't have much money at all. I'm sure lots of people would think it's crazy.

    What other things that other people might consider luxuries would you be willing to spend on?

    I think personally it's pets. I've only lived a few years of my life without cats and those years were terrible. I wouldn't spend money on getting a cat, since I've always adopted them, but on getting them the best food, on vet bills, on extra money for renting a place or for traveling with a pet, on finding places to travel to that accept pets, etc.
    Lots of people live happily without pets, but I just know I couldn't, so no money I spend that allows me to have them feels like a waste. (I don't buy them clothes and weird stuff though. I mean, they're still pets, not humans. And as for toys, they're cats. They'd leave expensive toys untouched to go play with a piece of string or of paper, anyways.)

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    Tor

    @avistew said: And as for toys, they're cats. They'd leave expensive toys untouched to go play with a piece of string or of paper, anyways.


    ...or the box that the expensive toy came in :3

  • Great post, Avistew. Some of those things crossed my mind as well.

  • I never was able to see myself living in anything but a small house. Or dwelling. Or whatever. I don't take that much space to begin with, I suppose.

  • I'd invest my money in Telltale if they'd let me.

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