SRS I think I'm OCD about money (long... ugh)

Discussion in 'On Topic' started by Falconer, Feb 23, 2007.

  1. Falconer

    Falconer OT Supporter

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    Maybe "OCD" isn't the correct term, but I find myself thinking about money constantly. My mind is consumed with the notion of acquiring and building wealth to the extent that it's intruding upon my daily activities.

    I think it all stems from a fear of not having enough money. I was talking to my mom the other day and I told her I wouldn't be comfortable unless I had enough money for 10 years of living expenses in a liquid account.

    A little background:

    I'm 26. My previous job was my first job out of college, and I was there for almost 2 years. I worked in systems development, and it sucked. I would work 50, 60, 70 hours a week on salary (no overtime pay) with mandatory weekends and pretty much as much bullshit as you could imagine. This was a big, international HR firm, and our company engagement scores were around 25/100 (which is absolutely horrible). Basically, no one was happy there. People in the development teams had job stress-induced illnesses. I would see people cry at work, etc. Sometimes I'd go home at night at come back the next day and there were still people there who hadn't gone home. One of our programmers worked a 35 hour shift once. People's families would come visit them at work because the employees never got to go home. And all of this for shitty pay and 0-1% raises.

    Alright, so I had been thinking about quitting for a while, but one weekend I decided to finally do it. I gave 2 days notice and quit. I had at least 6 months worth of living expenses saved up in a liquid account at this point, plus I cashed out 21 days of PTO which is over 4 weeks worth of pay, so that was a nice bonus.

    I was so stressed out from that job I was then unemployed for about 6 months, by choice. I was literally so mindfucked from that job that I didn't do much for the next 3-4 months. I would sleep in until noon. I had no motivation to do anything. And through the whole thing, I felt secure because I had enough in the bank for a few more months...

    Anyway, that experience made me realize that I was lucky to be able financially to up and quit my job. There were so many people there who hated it but couldn't quit because they were living paycheck to paycheck.

    I think that now I'm terrified of being in that position again. I'm always asking myself "what if I get fired? What if I have to quit?" Finding a new job is fucking impossible. "What if I can't find a new job?" I'm consumed by the need to have enough money so that not finding a job won't be a problem because I won't need money.

    As a result, this affects my social life. I am a fucking cheapass. I don't go out downtown because I can't afford it. Ok, I'm lying. I can afford it, but I don't want to, because going out and spending $15 per drink is fucking lame. I can't justify spending $50-100 in one night because "what if I have to quit my job? What if I get fired? What if I can't find a job?" I might need the $15 from that drink to buy me a few meals at Wendy's. I don't go to nice places to eat because fast food is cheaper and spending $50 on a meal is pointless when you're getting the same amount of calories that you could get for $4 someplace else.

    I should note, however, that when someone invites you to go someplace, and you say "sorry, I can't afford it," you don't usually get shit because most people are so in debt that they assume you really can't afford it, either (altho that doesn't stop them from doing it). I say "I can't afford it" because I don't want to say "I don't want to waste my money on that."

    Some of my friends give me shit, but I can't help but think "fuck them." Some of my friends my age make $60-100k per year (which I am *insanely* jealous of) and they party like rockstars, yet they only have a few thousand saved up. "What if you lose your job?" I want to ask them. "You'll be fucked because you have no savings." And then I imagine myself in that position and I become terrified... like literally, I have a mini-anxiety attack.

    Now normally I think it's good to be frugal and concerned about your finances, but I think it's consuming me to the point that it's unhealthy. I realized that when I told my mom that I wanted 10 years worth of savings in a liquid account in order to feel "secure," and then I realized that I was 100% serious when I said that. And that 10 years means no change in quality of lifestyle, either. Even thinking about it now, as I'm typing this, makes me think 10 years of savings wouldn't be enough to feel comfortable.

    How do I un-consume myself with money without taking the complete opposite approach and not giving a shit and getting to debt, etc. I know "you only live once" so people are going to tell me to spend more and have fun, but when if after I spend it, I need it, and I don't have it because I pisssed it away on $100 bar tabs?
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2007
  2. the ground folds

    the ground folds rest your trigger on my finger

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    id rather be you than me. i have no value for money at all. im not saying i spend it recklessly but i dont pay attention most of the time. i gamble so money comes and goes.
     
  3. Toasty

    Toasty Naked people have little or no influence on societ

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    Sounds like you're pretty good at managing finances...good for you. If I had a little more sense to be as careful as you were in my early 20s, I wouldn't have spent the few years after that getting out of debt.

    But if managing money consumes you, I agree that isn't healthy. Life isn't all about money right? I think as we will all one day lie on our death beds, the last thing we will think fondly of is how much money we have in the bank.

    What you need to do is turn your skills at money management in your favor such that you wouldn't need to worry so much about it. Have it work for you. Perhaps put portions of that away into more long term investments where your money earns you even more. If you just have that money sitting around in some savings acct, it's just money sitting there waiting to be given to someone else.

    Another method that could help is to plan a budget. Use a spreadsheet and just work out how your cash flow is month to month. Set aside some for retirement, some for bills, some for a rainy day, and don't forget some for fun too. If you plan ahead this way, you may feel more secure in knowing you can freely spend $50 on that next meal without it meaning that you'll suddenly go broke.

    EDIT: I know where you're coming from, now as I'm running my own business, it freaks me out senseless when I don't have "padding" in my bank accounts not knowing month to month how my revenue will be. You have to then realize that it's not the money itself that is causing you to freak, but maybe the insecure feeling that there are things you can't control. Perhaps just accept that feeling and have confidence that you can deal with anything that comes your way in the future WHEN it comes.
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2007
  4. Diesel Fumes

    Diesel Fumes Guest

    Its not a bad thing. Im pretty much exactly like you. Only real downside was that girls I date usually complain about me being cheap, but you know something, to some people money is the only thing that can bring happiness. Thats how it is for me. Theres a huge pot of wealth out there for people and I want a large share. And apparently my life is being controlled by the thought of me getting the biggest share possible.

    The journey will take you down many paths and you will come across a lot of obsticles on the way, but remember to learn from your mistakes, identify the mistakes others make, identify what successful people are doing. It makes life a lot more interesting and it gives you something to work for. Set yourself a goal, stay at or beyond that goal(budget) at all times and you will be destined for a financially comfortable life.
     
  5. Falconer

    Falconer OT Supporter

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    Thanks for the replies. I have investments, a Roth IRA, a 401(k), and a trading account.

    It's not that money makes me happy, per se, it's just that I don't feel comfortable unless I have enough of it. There's enough to worry about in life and I don't want not having enough money to be something else I have to worry about. It's just that thought that consumes me. It sucks.
     
  6. Toasty

    Toasty Naked people have little or no influence on societ

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    Well, if a pile of money were dumped on you today, you may be happy. But we all know that's a temporary feeling.

    I think it's a matter of perspective...go travel a little bit this year and just observe how people outside of what you know are perfectly happy with so much less. Then you can come back and adjust a little. It helps me focus all the time in what's most important in life.
     
  7. calisteph6

    calisteph6 Active Member

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    From your posts here and in the Vag I actually do think you're kinda OCD, but whatever. I make decent money for my age and I spend that shit like water. Needless to say I'm not in debt or anything...but I go to Vegas and drop $500 or go to the store and drop $100 on booze for my friend's party etc etc. I dunno, I think not letting yourself go out with friends just to save money is lame. There are ways to save money and go out. Drink before you go out... Just buy one drink when you go out and then refill with water so you don't get shit from friends. Bring a flask (but be careful and only drink it in the bathroom or alley). It's really good to be frugal and save money, just remember, you can't take that shit with you. And fuck, if you ever get married and then divorced the bitch is gonna take most of it anyway.
     
  8. Darketernal

    Darketernal Watch: Aria The Origination =)

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    Well ask yourself the question , what if i die today? You can't take your money beyond the grave. We had a guy in here who got into a car accident, and while he was ' omg my car' , we were 'be glad you came out alive of it'

    Ok, you have the feeling you need to survive. Which is ok, well once you have a job your income is secured' But what if? That's the thing, you shouldn't base your life on what if, but on what is. And instead of letting your life be guided by fear and disasters, think by yourself 'i can only control the things i can control, and its useless to worry about the things i cannot control, because it might happen regardless of what i do.

    Or in other words, the end of your job is not the end of your life. How many homeless people survive for years without even having a penny? Yeah its the gutter without a doubt, not a recommended place to be at all however these people are far more free from their materialistical conserns then normal people.

    I think i have a story you should definitly read this with a big huge cup of coffee as it is long. http://www.iands.org/ascension.html
     
  9. Falconer

    Falconer OT Supporter

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    Nope. Because I would set it up so that it was continual income and I wouldn't touch the principle.

    That's why i would look into offshore bank accounts and asset protection before I got married. You never know what's going to happen in 10 years and I don't want to lose my money because a woman changed her mind.
     
  10. GlassUser

    GlassUser send an email not a pm OT Supporter

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    When is the last time you went on a vacation that had no financial ramifications?
     
  11. Falconer

    Falconer OT Supporter

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    I haven't taken a vacation. I don't know how much a vacation costs, but I assume I would be able to afford it. That being said, I'd rather have the money. Then again, my last job wouldn't let me use the PTO to take a vacation, anyway. They gave me the PTO, they just wouldn't let me use it without "paying" for it (making up the hours before hand).

    edit - all vacations have financial ramifications by definition if they cost money, even if they cost $0.01.
     
  12. Toasty

    Toasty Naked people have little or no influence on societ

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    Possible.

    Look the point isn't that it's bad you have high goals set for your financial security...but it's not unreasonable to have a budget designed so you can still reach your financial goals while still having some money to spend for fun with your friends. Life doesn't just give you these two extremes....debt or wealth. There's a lot of area in between that you can be comfortable with while you work upwards. You just gotta plan it out so you know exactly how you're going to reach that goal you want.
     
  13. Midgetized

    Midgetized Don't mess with Douche Cat

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    :eek3: I can understand not wanting to spend money on drinks and resturants but I would at least take a vacation. I think you could use one, I get the impression from your posts on here that you aren't really a very happy person. You've gotta reward yourself for your hard work and take time to enjoy life. It's great to want to save money but what good is it if you never have any fun with it? I'm sure you can easily spare a few hundred dollars to get away for a little while.
     
  14. iwishyouwerebeer

    iwishyouwerebeer you shut your cunt Moderator

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    Yeah that's not OCD...

    but good for you for being good with money
     
  15. GlassUser

    GlassUser send an email not a pm OT Supporter

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    Yeah, you need to take a vacation. Take a three-day weekend ad visit decent city somewhere. Augusta, GA, Destin, FL, something like that. With air fare, lodging, etc, you can get by on well under $400. That's not bad for a vacation. Sounds like you need a practical exercise in sitting back and enjoying life.
     
  16. lugoismad

    lugoismad Active Member

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    Sounds like your just frugal.

    I try to get the most bang for my buck when I go out. 4$ glass of import beer...or $1 draught Bud Light? And Whiskey on the Rocks goes even farther, because you can't drink it near as fast.

    Same with food. I eat on the dollar menu when I can.

    But don't take it too far or you'll end up like my ex. Bitch would have panic attacks over 10,000$ in student loans when she graduated.
     
  17. Falconer

    Falconer OT Supporter

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    I'll take 3 day weekends sometimes, I just stay at home and relax and watch TV or play guitar or do whatever.

    I go on business trips occasionally, and while it's not all leisure, I still get to visit different places (hotels/restaurants/bars) mostly on my company's money. It's relatively relaxing.

    The other day I ordered a pint of Guinness and it was $6. I was like wtf? After that I started getting $3.25 bottles.

    I think part of the reason I'm like this is I am very lazy. My goal is to retire ASAP because I don't like working. No, wait, I don't like having to work. I feel like I need to accumulate much wealth now because my laziness will probably overtake me in the future.
     
  18. Falconer

    Falconer OT Supporter

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    :h5:

    Wendy's ftmfw.
     
  19. lugoismad

    lugoismad Active Member

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    Mah Nigga.

    I don't really see you as being OCD about money. I freak out now and then too, usually when I'm doing my loans for school and realise I'm graduating 60k in debt.

    But like today, I needed new brakes on my car. I could pay 80$ for new rotors and pads, or 89$ for a local shop to put on new pads for me and turn the rotors. Hmmm, yeah, I'd rather pay 9$ extra to not spend a few hours getting greasy as fuck under my car.
     
  20. GlassUser

    GlassUser send an email not a pm OT Supporter

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    Yeah, see that's totally different from what I recommended.
     
  21. themadpaki

    themadpaki There is no money. OT Supporter

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    holy shit dude. You're what's on the other side of my mirror.

    I need to be you for a year. Learn the ropes.

    Or just hang out with people like you.
     
  22. Falconer

    Falconer OT Supporter

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    Or go read "Smart Couples Finish Rich" (or some other book like it) and "the Millionaire Next Door."

    I track everything in Excel. I have a line chart on one of the tabs that shows total liquid assets (checking account money + trading account) that I update a few times a month. I like it when the line goes up. I don't like it when the line goes down. Obviously I have an interest bearing checking account (for those of you who were going to say "dude, if you like money so much why is it sitting in a checking account that doesn't pay interest"). :)

    My point is, if you want to get better with money, start tracking everything you spend. You'll start to think about things differently. Save your receipts. Start easy... make an Excel file to track income (paychecks, eBay, finding $5 on the ground) and expenses (bills, things you pay cash for, OT subscriptions, etc.). Record everything. Total everything up at the end of each month. You should have a positive balance (most of the time, sometimes crazy expenses come up and that's what you NEED money for). Just do it for a month and see how it goes. It's 3/2. Start today cuz it's a new month.
     
  23. HatSee

    HatSee Active Member

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    Doesn't really sound OCD, you just sound paranoid. However that doesn't matter, if you have a few months worth of savings to keep yourself afloat in case of an emergency you should be fine. I'd say don't let it get to you, but it sounds like it does, and as for how to become apathetic towards certain things in life I don't know how to teach that to anyone. But if it really bothers you see a doctor, maybe get some pills. :dunno:
     

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