A funny thing happened when I wrote about my new year motivation earlier this week. I got a comment that was the exact opposite of what I would have expected. Contrarian said:
So glad to find a finance/money writer who does a little more than just pound on the same tired topics of austerity, minimalism, and simplicity. Blaaa!
While I appreciate living within your means, enjoy being debt free, and eschew buying stuff for it’s own sake, I don’t believe its a sacrilege to desire and strive for a 2+ million dollar home.
It doesn’t matter what the motivation is so long as the motive is right.
Who knows, maybe we’ll end up as neighbors ;-)?
After I got over my initial reaction (“what does ‘austerity’ mean?”), I thought about the comment a little deeper. Honestly, there was a twinge of fear for mentioning that I was even looking at a $2 million home. I mean, this is an economy where unemployment is high and people are doing all they can to save money in anyway possible. That’s why I write those article, right? What kind of example do I set suggesting that I can even seriously look at a $2 million home? It’s not like I play for the Red Sox.
I thank Contrarian for reminding me that is okay to strive for a home worth $2 million. I’m not there… I’m not anywhere close. In fact, I’d need something like $4 million in the bank to even consider such a thing.
It is a question of value. I would love a $2 million dollar home. However, I’m not sure the value is there for me. My wife, me, and my dog don’t take up much space. Wait, my dog, well he can take up a tremendous amount of space. Still, much of that space and the amenities that go with a $2 million dollar home would go to complete waste… unless we were retired and could live a life like the Great Gatsby.
That’s why I put financial freedom above all my financial goals. Once we feel confident we hit that mark, which may not be too much further (I hope), we can look ahead adding luxuries. In the meantime, I’ll look at those luxuries as a reason to push forward with my goals.
I don’t think there’s anything wrong with looking at (or buying) expensive things, if they’re things you’ll really enjoy and find value in. I don’t think a $2 million home would do it for me, but a few round-the-world trips probably would :)
And I’m with you on the financial freedom thing.
Striving for expensive things is okay, as long as you have the means to do so. Part of the problem that so many have run into is that they bought more home than they could afford, and the dumbass banks/gub’ment let them.
Lazyman – surprised to see my comment highlighted in your post. Glad I could offer you some support in your goal to buy a 2 million home. But that’s all the support you’re getting from me … you’ll have to pay for it without my help ;-).
On a serious note – those who aspire to minimalsim are not necessarity more financially responsible than those who desire large and expensive acquisitions.
I ask – who is more financially irresponsible …
a). Guy who makes 40k a year and drives a 20k Honda – or – b). Guy who makes 1 million year and drives a 100k Maserati?
Wishing you all the best and great fortune in 2011!
kosmo @ The Soap Boxers says
There a big “quality of life” factor that means different things to different people.
If you gave me the chance to continue earning what I currently earn while spending my days writing fiction, I’d take that in a heartbeat over doubling my salary and keeping my current job (which I actually don’t dislike). Writing fiction is extremely enjoyable for me – a magnitude greater than simply reading or watching TV because I’m calling the shots (and killing “people” whenever I feel like it.)
Does that mean that I am somehow better than the guy driving the Maserati? Nah – if that works for him, great.