Perpendiculous Programming, Personal Finance, and Personal musings


Spendthrifts and unsolicited advice

Filed under: Uncategorized — cwright @ 11:43 am

Humans have an insatiable need to add their input to everything. Normally it’s polite and tolerable, but often enough it’s not as well. That “often enough” part eventually pushed me into choosing to keep people in the dark most of the time, simply out of simplicity. I don’t care if Car X and better than Car Y, I don’t care if City Z is more expensive than City W, and I already know that Platform N is better than Platform M for certain tasks, so please stop wasting my time…

I don’t care if your anecdotal evidence suggests I’m making a mistake — This one time, I knew this guy who knew this guy who knew this guy who knew this guy who knew this guy who knew this guy who knew this guy who knew this guy who’s brother’s dog’s first owner’s next door neighbor’s experience was the opposite of yours, so your anecdote is canceled out. 1 always makes for a poor statistic in that light.

And because of the decisions I’m making lately (getting a place, getting married, earning non-trivial income, etc), unsolicited advice is coming out of the wood work. I shan’t name names, and it doesn’t really bother me all that much, but it’s been increasingly on my mind lately, so I’ll rant here I guess to get it out of my system.

A month or two ago, I wound up $1500 under budget for the month due to some unexpected income and extra frugality. When word got out, I had lots of suggestions on how to spend that. Spend. But no advice on saving for later. I know better, of course, and stuffed it in my IRA. But that’s so much less sexy than fun new stuff I guess. More recently, as wedding plans progress, lots of people can’t contain themselves, and tell me where I should live, what our house/apartment should have, what brand of cookware we should use, etc. What happened to useful advice, like “make sure she know’s she’s loved”, “make sure to do my portion of what needs to be done”, and “don’t keep score”? Too simple, and not indulgent enough I suppose.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying one should _never_ spend money on anything other than investing. That way leads to dreadfully boring and unfulfilling lives. But for where I am, it’s not going to increase my happiness. That’s why I save it for later. Non-financial things fall into this as well, it’s just trickier to quantify.

What causes this urge? I probably came off a bit frustrated or angry earlier on — I’m not. It just confuses me, and I’m never sure how to gracefully handle such “offers.”

Speaking of being rather spendthrift, this month is shaping up to be a rather expensive one — lots of travel though, which always makes it worth it 🙂 (Right now, I’m in Tennessee!)

1 Comment »

  1. (as I feel the need to add my input….)

    … people have a habit of living vicariously, on various levels, through others. It is also a natural survival instinct for people to raise self worth and social value by making such suggestions. I think it is just a natural quirk of humanity. Hopefully it comes from a genuine place and not the “butt-insky” zone. The part about truly useful advice, that isn’t rooted in materialism and instant gratification truly strikes a chord. Whatever happened to the voices of reason, the true thinkers in society? This is the age of the myopic view.

    Comment by George Toledo — 2008.12.25 @ 12:21 am

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