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Old 17th March 2016, 14:14   #31
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Default Re: What did Money give you?

I want to ask fellow BHPians that isn't our brain being repeatedly fed with words like 'quality-life', big, better, etc. etc. but all in terms of material things.

Can anyone describe each and every word like

Life
Balance
Quality
Need

The more you think you will realise that we unnecessarily thrust all this upon us and unconsciously become judgemental about others, who can say with surety that the person would become happy after moving to 3BHK from say 2BHK or he actually needs that upgrade. Atleast in term of cars we have numerous examples of people moving from big Sedans to Hatchbacks due to traffic and parking constraints which kind of debunks the theory.

I must say that our brain tries to make all of us move towards 'Centralisation' i.e. One size fits all or do as what others are doing and when we are about to achieve that We suddenly realize that every person is unique and must be handled or treated uniquely and when we begin to realise this we can say that the real Maturity has come.
This phenomenon is happening continuously, generation after generations and I have seen this happening in organisations too.

So the moral of the story is that we are never satisfied by our status quo and when we set out to change that, most of the times we end up saying that the older times were better and there our happiness ends.

I hope you get the drift as this is the best way in which I could express my thoughts.
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Old 17th March 2016, 17:43   #32
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Default Re: What did Money give you?

If only people could keep their noses out of others' lives, family included, and let people live like they want to! (SIGH) It's one's own life after all. Personally, when I have money to spare, I spend it on something that makes me happy. If I don't have money to spare, I just manage it wisely. I'd rather spend money on performance enhancement than seat covers, but people are more obsessed with looks than performance. And they go, "Why don't you...". So care a damn, and be free!
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Old 17th March 2016, 19:18   #33
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Default Re: What did Money give you?

Very thought-provoking thread in Team-BHP. Here's my take on this topic:

The Value of Money Today!

Well-heeled (or everything in EMIs) urban folks buy:

- Cup of coffee that costs as much a normal lunch meal
- Buffet lunch for the cost of monthly power bill
- Mobile phones that costs almost a regular two-wheeler
- Cars for the cost of a studio apartment
- Apartments at the cost of an independent house
- Independent villas costing like a farm land
- Apartment interiors look like well-appointed 5-star hotel room
- Villa projects have resort-like amenities
- Distant plots that to reach 'em you need to go on a picnic
- Domestic vacation is so expensive that overseas vacation in neighboring countries seem to be affordable

Are these hyped possessions/experiences? Or do we have displaced aspirations/priorities due to peer pressure?

If I've to explain in our Team-BHP context, just look at the sheer number of car models being launched every other quarter by makers of all variety. Three issues are pertinent here:

(1) Do we have enough roads to drive them? Or these cars safe enough to drive or are these metal junks being dumped in India?
(2) The sheer number of models available at various price points, IMHO, is only to satiate man's ego...the richer man will need a car that is different, exclusive and unique which the average guy can never afford to buy.
(3) An average car aspired by, say, first-time buyers is funded at 13% interest whereas a premium luxury car is funded at 1.99% (OK, conditions apply) or at best zero interest!

Today's generation spends more on "education" to earn less and yet crave to acquire these possessions only to struggle a lifetime to repay the EMIs. The lucky ones earn more only to pay more leaving little to save.

As the saying goes, "One begs for water, another for milk yet another begs for kheer!" . We all run after different things depending upon our earning capacity (forget about repaying capacity & intent) and aspirations. It's a mad mad world out there!

Life gets expensive all the while. And for the bomb we pay, we don't seem to get the value. For e.g., 20 years back the road conditions in cities were much better for the road tax we paid. But today, for the exorbitant road tax (at least in Karnataka) we pay do we see value in the condition of the roads? Pot holed, full of craters, dusty, dug up roads with lots of diversions, haphazard parking, non-working traffic signals, reckless motorists, the list is endless.

We are in a vicious cycle of rat race (whether we know it/like it or not) running after things which we can do without but for our "lifestyle" fashioned by the environment we live in. As someone rightly pointed out in this thread earlier, "We buy things we don't need with money we don't have to impress people we don't like". In short as attributed to Warren Buffet, if we keep buying things we don't need, a day will come where we will have to sell things we need!

What's the whole point winning this mad race when we'll still be rats? Is this all worthy pursuing at all?

After all ours is a nation that showed the world greatness in being simple and leading simpler lives - unassuming & low profile yet content at heart leading meaningful lives. "Simple living and high thinking" was the norm which has degenerated into "high living and simple thinking"!

Answers are hard to come by.

All serious thinking folks...let's hear your views!

Last edited by grkonweb : 17th March 2016 at 19:24. Reason: Additional content
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Old 17th March 2016, 19:45   #34
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Smile Re: What did Money give you?

Earning or any activity is worthy if and only if it brings happiness to ME as an individual. Then the key word now is "happiness"

These are some research findings:

1. Happiness doesn't increase with money (50 K USD per year in USA, is when the linear relation between money and happiness breaks)
2. Happiness is to a large extent pre-determined (You give all the love and comfort to an unhappy person, he'll find a way to be unhappy)
3. Habit drives happiness

These are some definitions:

Happiness by one definition is maintaining consistency between what we think, do and say, by another is to keep working for a purpose, yet another says have the freedom to do what you like, keep producing results in all spheres by utilizing the maximum of your abilities, another one says live the moment, one more is the power of balance, and next is happiness is not in what you get but what you give,.... and so goes the list

Introspection, making introspection a daily habit, is one way to enrich our lives....

Last edited by ravradha : 17th March 2016 at 19:54. Reason: spelling
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Old 18th March 2016, 10:04   #35
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Default Re: What did Money give you?

I enjoy my guilty pleasures as & when mood strikes. Also try to practice minimalism.

Happiness is state of mind. Money can't help you get there. You can be happy with what you have at any given point of time.

Money helps you feel secure & allows you to take risks that you probably can't take some times due to commitments.

No not talking about house or car but Family.
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Old 18th March 2016, 10:08   #36
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Default Re: What did Money give you?

Most of recent research do suggest money can provide happiness. And there is a linearity to a large extent - the drop off/plateau point varying by society (50K looks a bit on lower side for US society - drop off closer to 75K in today's dollar terms). Issue is most older research in the area almost assumed that happiness and meaning are extremely strongly correlated. Even while I was studying some of this like a decade back we assumed humans do meaningful activities in pursuit of happiness.

Some of the recent body of work has started controlling for variables to understand these two aspects better - and increasingly realizing that while there maybe some correlation there are also vast differences. Climbing Everest probably do not give happiness - atleast the climbers Ive met in trails never said they were happy doing anything above base camp or Khumbu icefall altitudes. They honestly said they hated themselves for doing it but still found some meaning.

http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/...aning-in-life/

Also someone was mentioning about memories from travels, vacations and so on. Here also recent research by one of my favorite thinkers (kahneman) suggest nuances. If interested (all of us travel freaks must be), worth listening to the man himself. Might helps where to drive next :-))

https://www.ted.com/talks/daniel_kah...ry?language=en

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Old 18th March 2016, 10:14   #37
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Default Re: What did Money give you?

In my opinion money plays a role of a facilitator in life, people need money to survive in this world except for few cases.
My grandfather always said “Unless you let go off money it will not come back to you” and strangely I have had several occasions in my life which leads me to believe in what my Grandfather said.
It ultimately depends on every person what he/she thinks is going to give them joy or happiness.
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Old 18th March 2016, 10:21   #38
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Default Re: What did Money give you?

Having been at both ends, I can guarantee you this.
There is no satisfying the human psyche, of a majority.
Someone who feels his life lacks that little something without money because he cant buy that special possession, or cater to some whim, will still feel something in his life is lacking when he has money and is satisfying every whim and fancy.
I am at the latter end of the spectrum now, fortunately, and to be fair, its a much better place to be in rather than the former.
Happiness through satisfaction/fulfillment etc (non-material) is easier to achieve, but monetary satisfaction, that takes some getting to, effort wise and stress level wise.

Our folks, on the other hand(for us mid 30's people), they had such fantastic zen!
But that has become more or less unachievable nowadays.
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Old 18th March 2016, 11:09   #39
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Default Re: What did Money give you?

Whilst we are on the topic of happiness, here is an interesting report:


http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-35824033

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Old 18th March 2016, 12:06   #40
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Default Re: What did Money give you?

This is an excellent and extremely relevant thread and I thank all participants who have given their gems of thoughts.

Since the thread started with the question whether for a car lover is it worth investing lots of money in a brand new automobile or to buy a dirt cheap used car and, perhaps, extract the same (or arguably more) pleasure?

I have lots to say about this but from my personal observation I can point out that if anyone watches today the number of new cars being towed on a crane on our roads, you will agree that almost 90% or more at from the uber expensive and uber-luxury german or European variety. While the cheapest cars today offer all basic requirements and at the same time are seldom seen breaking down. I think we all agree that the basic utilitarian cars had reached their peak engineering perfection in the '90s and all the new models that we see launched today are only superficial cosmetic variants of those same perfected machines. The specimens where we see engineering tinkering through software (e.g., VW trying to fool emission tests), insertion of electronics and sensors for just that extra pizzazz actually lead to repeated failures pointing to their being developed in haste or with vague requirements (Agile strategy at work). This is why a true enthusiast who perhaps knows his love and is interested in learning more can pick up used German machines at almost throw-away prices whereas a consumer fooled by marketing gimmick and made mad by inflated income will go for investing in machines to impress his neighbours but will soon be traumatised by the cost and unreliability and will be compelled to put the vehicle on sale albeit at massive loss.

I had read a book in college (which incidentally is my favourite repeated read) and I recommend it to every car lover and inquirer into values: "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance" by Robert M. Pirsig. Besides being a masterpiece in rhetoric, this book is impressive in answering some of these same questions, particularly the first few chapters.

I am gleefully tracking this thread. Thanks again.
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Old 18th March 2016, 20:28   #41
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Originally Posted by grkonweb View Post
What's the whole point winning this mad race when we'll still be rats? Is this all worthy pursuing at all?


Fantastic thread. Everything that I would have wanted to say has probably been said by members already. And Above quoted are exactly my thoughts.

In some sense due to the stage of life I am in now, I feel most things aren't worth it. Few months ago I finally gave up on buying that 3 series or that to be launched X1. Came to the conclusion that the possession would only give fleeting pleasure.

That lazy Sunday brunch that used to give me some relief has also stopped giving any pleasure now.

And other such examples.

Which brings me to the point- what is the purpose of life? Am I to go to that office like a robot so as to get something at the end of every month which will allow me to save for that retirement whenever it comes. But by then wouldn't I be too old to actually enjoy life finally.
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Old 18th March 2016, 21:43   #42
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Default Re: What did Money give you?

@Maven, you are summarizing mid life crisis . on a serious note, if one stops enjoying small things and end up being critical about ever other thing its going to be a tough life ahead.

We live with the biggest assumption and arrogance that there is tomorrow. And even worse is the assumption and arrogance that your friend, family and even foe will live with you tomorrow.

My priorities are fun with family and spend time with Son. Everything else is secondary and that has its impact. I am not growing at the fastest rate compared to my batch mates. They are doing exceptionally well at work, earning twice than me. But i can say i am content and happy.

Thanks to my father and how we grew up, we know what we have is bonus and its just greedy to keep asking more but enjoy with what we have.

I know i may not be here tomorrow, or my dad or my closed ones. So i try to maximize the time we can spend with each other and have a blast. Money is good but i dont want too Money(many)
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Old 18th March 2016, 23:13   #43
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Default Re: What did Money give you?

When I was in college, I used to get 10 rupees a day from my dad for my daily expenses (travel, food etc). Mind you - i went to college in this millennium. anyway, out of that I used to save 5 rupees a day through walking and starving. At the end of my final year, despite my splurging on cassettes and DIY electronic projects, I had managed to save 500 Rs. I changed it into a 500 rupee note, and used to look at it with pride - my very own 500 rupee note.

A year later, i got campus placed, and with a typical software engineer salary. I was cleaning my room one day and came across my savings box. it was my 500 rupee note. But now it was just another 500 rupee note. I was earning two of them every day. It no longer felt special.

Then I thought of all the pain and starvation I went through to save that 500 rupee note, and how futile it seemed it retrospect.

My software Engineer savings were similarly rendered insignificant by my post MBA salary
My Post MBA job savings were again similarly rendered insignificant by my onsite job savings.

and finally my savings were swallowed by family related expenses/obligations, which would have come from other sources/not materialized in the first place if I hadn't saved up so much, and considered "rich"

I felt like an ant who, after working hard to secure himself, was forced by public outrage about his selfishness to give away his supplies to feed all the grasshoppers starving during a rainy day.
I'm beginning to think that maybe this whole grasshopper attitude that everyone is preaching here makes sense after all.

Last edited by greenhorn : 18th March 2016 at 23:22.
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Old 19th March 2016, 05:35   #44
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Default Re: What did Money give you?

Money gives an aggravated sense of insecurity, deepening the craving and yearning to earn more. In teambhp context, sticker I have pasted in the back of my car reads "Fear unlessened by strength, Greed unlessened by money, Pain unlessened by pleasures, Jesus takes away"
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Old 19th March 2016, 13:16   #45
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Great post sayakc. I partially agree though. The tendency of a human being including myself is that if I think what I am doing is right, I will find a way to justify it. I have been guilty of giving in to many immediate gratification like buying that one expensive shirt or that mobile which I never needed in the first place or that HU for the lack of bluetooth in my car etc etc, I call it the Victim of consumption.

This is the exact same attitude I have experienced during my stay in the US, credit is cheap and patience is low; all those flashy "Once in a life time Offer", "Christmas Bonanza", "Black Friday Sale" etc etc creates an urgency in the minds of people to go and buy things that they may not need. Please don't get me wrong here, there are few things that gives us joy, it could not be that every offer/sale/flashy new thing would give us joy.

I have been brought up in a humble and modest society where spending on family and friends was encouraged, saving for retirement was encouraged, financial planning for our kids was highly encouraged and anything that is really a liability was highly discouraged. What I have observed in the past years is that our incomes have gone up, credit is readily available, our lifestyle has changed and our patience level is at an all time low... Market is creating a fantastic consumption story for spending and anybody who doesn't follow are considered fools/outdated/stingy/etc.

What I understand and appreciate is that every one of us is different, our backgrounds are different, what we have been through and what we have ahead of us is different, so I will not judge someone who buys a BMW and I will also not judge someone who walks to work. That's what makes each one of us unique.

It was never about money, money is only a means and what we need is something else.
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