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A Brighter future or living in the now?

Discussion in 'Investor Psychology' started by albanga, 18th Aug, 2015.

  1. albanga

    albanga Well-Known Member

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    Hello All,
    I really wanted to share my thoughts and get some feedback from the amazing PC community.

    Some background: I am 33 and probably around 2 years ago it occurred to me that I should probably stop living in the now and begin to change my life for a brighter future. It was really around the time I got married and realised I could no longer be selfish, especially since we wanted a family (We have our first coming in February :)).

    Since then though I have been somewhat consumed with the idea of creating a brighter future for my family which has resulted in me taking on a lot of additional workloads (9-5 job, side business, renovation, property development to name a few). Between that I usually find myself trawling through the PC boards, reading a book or attending some form of seminar.

    Now whilst I have seen a significant increase in my net worth it has come at a cost, I have become significantly more stressed which has been noted by my wife and family. I no longer understand the concept of "downtime", If I am twiddling my thumbs, I now perceive that as wasted time, I should be learning, right? I analyse a lot of things based on the financial outcome as opposed to the happiness factor (e.g. Holidays, a better product.etc).

    I understand why I and likely many others work hard to create a brighter future but it is more apparent to me lately at what cost? Yes I may build a greater net worth but if it causes problems to my health due to stress then what's the point? What about if it soon starts to effect my marriage because im too focused on the future now the now. My wife who is a spender often says to me "what point is money if you cannot enjoy it". She is definitely a live in the now! And maybe this is part of the reason I have become more of a brighter future person to balance this?

    Anyways I just wanted to express this as I really value this community and all its wisdom. I am sure many of you have had to make major sacrifices to get where you are or are currently making them. If so and you have come out the other side, perhaps you can share the issues you encountered along the way but how your early retirement and "financial freedom" was worth it all. Or if anyone wants to share how there pursuit of a financial freedom come at a cost then I would love to hear it (I think every autobiography I have read from a millionaire come at great costs).

    Thanks for reading for those that have :)
     
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  2. Simon Hampel

    Simon Hampel Founder Staff Member

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    My only advice is to make sure you take the time to enjoy your baby - they grow so fast and the early years are so full of amazing wonders as you watch them grow and develop into a distinct individual with their own personality.

    I think you'll either find yourself feeling guilty that you're spending too much time with your baby and not enough time working for their future, or you'll feel guilty that you're working too hard and not spending enough time with your baby! Try not to let yourself get into that trap - you'll just burn yourself out.

    Give yourself permission to enjoy your child - spending time with them is good for both of you. When you leave to go to work, look forward to the time when you can get back to see them again - there's nothing quite like the excited hugs you get from your kids when you get home. Make the most of your work time so that you can justify taking time for your family as well.

    Your work is important too - give yourself permission to do your job well if this is what you need to help you reach your goals, but you'll need to make judgements about whether spending time above and beyond your normal work day is really getting you closer to your goals, or just making you feel like you are doing something just because.

    Like most things in life - it's about balance. Finding the balance that works for you is something you'll be working on most of your life (since kids have a habit of continuing to change priorities for you as they get older). There is no right or wrong answer - you'll have to find your own way there.
     
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  3. James Bond

    James Bond Well-Known Member

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    I see my colleagues with young families that earn more than me, but are often caught on conference calls until late in the evening and at weekends and never really see their kids. One recently missed his 9-year old daughter's piano recital due to a "business critical issue".

    To my mind these people are not successful.

    I earn about $30k - $50k less than them p.a. I have dinner with my children every night. I do stuff with my family at weekends.

    I have no desire to be promoted to their level, and it hasn't been offered to me, as I have made it clear at my work that I don't want this.

    I consider myself to be more successful than them.

    JB
     
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  4. Coota9

    Coota9 Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    I have 2 teenage girls that seem to have grown up in a heart beat.
    As a father it is ok to "STOP" take the time to engage with your kids,tell them you love them and give them a cuddle.
    Will they remember the big gift you gave them for their birthday??...probably not but they will remember the day you spent at the beach,went on a family holiday..etc.
     
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  5. FireDragon

    FireDragon Well-Known Member

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    My suggestion is to similar to Sim - find a balance between work and life. It's not good for health if you are too stressful. I used to work overtime and work during weekends (for free!) for my employer but due to some political issues in the company, I now only work 9-5 and for the rest of my time I will spend with my family and do some investment / development work. I actually find it less stressful and make more money.

    Edit: Do you sleep well at nights? It's a good indication whether you are too stressful or not. I could only sleep 5 hours when I was too stressful, but I can sleep 7-8 hours nowadays.
     
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  6. beachgurl

    beachgurl Well-Known Member

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    A few years ago I was one of those people who totally lived for the future - hubby and I both earning 6 figure salaries and my head was always in real estate books and at opens.

    6 months after having my second child I was exhausted and found myself not enjoying life or the kids as much as I should. I quit the corporate world and now spend a few days a week on property deals while the kids are in care. We all have a greater balance in life and I have a much better relationship with my kids. Looking back, we could almost have retired now if wed done the hard slog for a few more years and bought up big in Sydney but with my eldest stating school this year I'm sure I would've regretted not spending time with her in this earlier years.

    My youngest starts school in 2017 so while I'm keen to get back out to work to increase the borrowing capacity and ramp up doing development projects I think I will wait another 12-18 months and enjoy the few days a week I have with my little guy rather than focusing on the dollar.
     
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  7. lightbulbmoment

    lightbulbmoment Well-Known Member

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    BALANCE. You never no whats round the corner.
     
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  8. Scott No Mates

    Scott No Mates Well-Known Member

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    Earn & learn while you can then give back to family life until you're back in a position to desire more. By that time you'll know what's importantand how to get it.
     
  9. mrdobalina

    mrdobalina Well-Known Member

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    You've always got time to make more money. Your health and your family are the most important things in the world.

    Like Sim said, enjoy the time with your new bub, as they will grow up so quick.
     
  10. 2FAST4U

    2FAST4U Well-Known Member

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    I make basic sacrifices like not going on holidays, not going out clubbing and driving older cars instead of driving around in brand new sports cars etc. Avoiding going out to the clubs saves hundreds in the cost of drinks and taxis for a night out. Forgoing overseas holidays and driving older cars also saves thousands a year. I've never been overseas for a holiday and don't plan to for a long time. The only time I'll go out clubbing is if it's a special occasion e.g. bucks night. As for consumer goods I'm not a consumerist so I don't waste my money buying the latest phones or Playstations etc. I buy second hand furniture and make my clothes last etc. Just little things like that.

    At the same time I’ll spend money going out on Sunday drives and going out for dinner with my girlfriend and having friends over for BBQ and beers etc. I have a rough budget that I stick to whereby I allocate a certain amount of money, which I’m willing to spend that week. Once that money is gone than I’ll live frugal and will only spend on necessities until pay day. By doing that it helps me not fret over every dollar. Life to me is all about friends and family. Money is just a means of transaction. You control money, don’t let money control you.
     
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  11. LibGS

    LibGS Well-Known Member

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    Enjoy your children while you can, they won't always be children.



    From the moment you hold your baby in your arms you will never be the same

    You might long for the person you were before
    When you had freedom and time
    And nothing in particular to worry about

    You will know tiredness like you never knew it before
    Days will run into days that are exactly the same
    Full of feedings and burping
    Nappy changes and crying
    Whining and fighting
    Naps or a lack of naps
    It might seem like a never-ending cycle

    But don’t forget

    There is a last time for everything
    There will come a time when you will feed your baby for the very last time
    They will fall asleep on you after a long day
    And it will be the last time you ever hold your sleeping child

    One day you will carry them on your hip then set them down
    And never pick them up that way again
    You will scrub their hair in the bath for one last time
    And from that day on they will want to bathe alone

    They will hold your hand to cross the road
    Then will never reach for it again
    They will creep into your room at midnight for cuddles
    And it will be the last night you ever wake to this

    One afternoon you will sing the wheels on the bus and do all the actions
    Then never sing them that song again

    They will kiss you goodbye at the school gate
    The next day they will ask to walk to the gate alone

    You will read a final bedtime story and wipe your last dirty face
    They will run to you with arms raised for the very last time.

    The thing is, you won’t even know it’s the last time
    Until there are no more times. And even then, it will take you a while to realise.

    So while you are living in these times,
    remember there are only so many of them and when they are gone,
    you will yearn for just one more day of them.

    For one last time.


    - Anonymous
     
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  12. MGF

    MGF Well-Known Member

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    I'm on a private forum for dads and there are so many heartbreaking stories that start exactly like yours. Working hard for the family, reaching out to grasp more, trying as hard as they can for their family... until they destroy the family by not being there for the family.

    These men are heartbroken. The signs were all there, they can see it in retrospect but their desire for a better life allowed them to make excuses. Now they're sharing custody, not tucking their daughter into bed at night and are in pain.

    I joined that forum while my partner was pregnant. I'm self-employed and there is a direct link between hours worked and income. More is more, always. I was like you too and like a lot of these other men. I want my partner to be happy. I want our daughter to be provided for. I want security. I want, I want, I want...

    I read and learned and changed my ways. Work hours are set and I don't go over, despite the drop in income. If you're not in dire poverty then what are you working for? The best empty house on the block? A nice car to pick up your kids for that one weekend you get?

    You've recognised it - well done. Now act on your new knowledge. Investing in relationships with your partner and children is the best investment you'll ever make.

    On your deathbed I doubt you'll care anything at all about some potential money you might have made. You'll have lived a happy life with a good relationship with your partner and children.

    You're already rich in the only way that matters - now work to stay that way.
     
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  13. Azazel

    Azazel Well-Known Member

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    Your wife's comment should be the one you listen to the most here.
    If you think you're working hard and sacrificing so that your family benefits, but you're sacrificing time with your family to achieve it...
    You definitely need to find a balance.
    What's the point of burning out thinking you're working hard for your family, and in 10-20 years you find you've just pushed them all away by the time you're ready to enjoy the fruits of your labour.
     
  14. Jamie Moore

    Jamie Moore MORTGAGE BROKER - AUSTRALIA WIDE Business Member

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    Great post Albanga.

    You've touched on a lot of things I've had to deal with. My wife always puts things into perspective and brings me back to reality :)

    I'm a massive planner - planning for the future, planning for retirement, planning for blah.

    I'm getting a lot better at just living in the moment now - kids have helped with that. I don't want them to ever say "dad worked too much" - I make sure that I'm present when at home (try to avoid having a phone on me, etc).

    It so cliche - but it really is all about balance. Nothing wrong with planning/working towards your future - but don't obsess with it - you need to live now too.

    Cheers

    Jamie
     
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  15. albanga

    albanga Well-Known Member

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    Thanks so much for sharing everyone!

    @James Bond I really agree with what you said regarding success. Another friend of mine is quite financially driven and I often say to him how I really envy some of our other friends who are still renting, on a single salary with kids and seem to be so happy and far less stressed than the two of us. Surely being happy is a much greater measurement of success than your bank account.

    I guess for myself I do feel a bit like I am trying to make up for lost time. It is safe to say I really enjoyed my 20s and by the time I met my wife I had about 10k of assets to my name. My wife had a 40k debt to her father in law and I think panic stations kicked in. So by working hard we have been able to drastically turn that around and are now fairly comfortable but it has come at the costs I mentioned above.

    I know the key is balance but my question to the experienced is how do you manage this? Any tips would be greatly appreciated? How do you stop that voice in your head that says "Yeah a trip to Noosa would be nice but it is going to cost us 2k which could be better spent on X"
     
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  16. James Bond

    James Bond Well-Known Member

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    Easy. You have budgets. So you allow $x000 each year for trips to Noosa. $x000 each year for investing. etc etc. So long as you never transfer between budgets then you will be able to do everything you plan to do!

    JB
     
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  17. Foxy Moron

    Foxy Moron Well-Known Member

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    Albanga - is the side business lucrative ? ie Does it yield a better hourly return from your day job, or are you doing that for reasons other than financial ? If it is lucrative, I'd find a way to cut back the hours on your day job, otherwise your mental health will deteriorate if you try to do to much. If the side business is not lucrative - think about ditching it and just doing the day job, plus being a property fiend, plus finding time for your family especially on weekends. The holidays will do you good - you need to re-charge regularly - but do it smart....off-season and bargain bookings online can save a motza. Also suggest taking a breather between property projects. Your self-analysis suggests somethings gotta change as the fun is wearing off things the way you are heading.
     
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  18. bob shovel

    bob shovel Well-Known Member

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    If you are busy now your about to be a hell of a lot busier once bub comes along! you need to look at what your doing and start cutting back or subbying out the tasks. the reno and development see where they are at, get tradies in to finish up the reno works or just put it on hold. same with the development, can it wait or if your into can you look at someone helping to take some of the load off you?
    Sounds like you guys are doing great with the financials but let your wife spend money and book a holiday! i always hesitated when the wife talked about holidays etc but you just gotta let them do it! in the end everyone is happy! after doing renos and wife told me we were going on a holiday she killed it searching for the best deal after going nuts with reno purchases, so it was win/win for all i guess you could say

    work out some goals and your strategy if you havent already. then make sure they are flexible and fit life in! we have nutted some stuff out and have dates and a plan but there is a big BUT -it is flexible, we have aimed high but if along the way we decide to ease up on work or something comes along we'll let the plan get pushed back 5 years but know that its so we can have time with the kids while they are school aged rather than bust our guts while their young. no point being a position to retire when they have moved out and a family of their own!

    And one thing we have found with planning, the more you earn the more you spend! we have some friends who are are both working, kids in daycare and then hear how much credit card debt they have and ridiculous purchases!! so not only they never see the kids they have nothing to show for it! this is not your situation but its just not worth it. we have made a point not to send the kids to day care (may look at one day per week) and work everything around having one of us at home
     
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  19. Soul

    Soul Well-Known Member

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    Albanga,

    Good to see that you asked for help and may members replied with their suggestions.

    I hear what James Bond said, a bit less income from work for work life balance. I follow this mantra.

    You can find many opportunities to buy RE when you are ready, but that is not the case with family life.

    I asked this question to myself 6-7 years ago when I was in Blue mountains driving around Leura. Perhaps the Sun was shinning brightly and I sat down and said to myself Kids grow once, time spent with them will become memories whether they remember it or not, they will stay with me and cannot be taken. That changed the outlook. Afternoons on Saturday/ Sundays are set for a 1-2 hour for family bonding and guess what...kids talk and we listen and I see world from their perspective. Like MGF said , we do other things together.

    This year I asked my kids to give me their wish list and to my surprise they put a couple of things that require least or no money such as playing cricket together. Oh the younger also wanted me to explain why I look for homes when we have one to live in.

    My net worth includes things that money cannot buy.

    Manage your time i.e family time and personal time. Take steps perhaps baby steps at this stage for your passion so you feel that are taking action without compromising on family time.

    Talking on costs to health, It takes time, money, prayers, discipline and fair bit of luck to get out of mess at times. So look after yourself well. You are the backbone of your family.

    Google Leo Babuta..zen habits
     
  20. Redom

    Redom Mortgage Broker Business Member

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    Great post albanga, congratulations on the little one. All in all, you sound like you're doing very very well for yourself by being conscious of it all, your partner sounds wonderful, and your about to grow a family. Sounds like a position most who don't have it would really envy to be in.

    Sometimes for personality types similar to yours, driven/ambitious, its easy to think of it as a sprint rather than a marathon.

    If you take a moment to think about it, with someone of your financial literacy skills, it's quite possible if you map out a 25 year path for you and your growing family, you may find that you'll have more than enough, even with some conservative assumptions. If you do, work to that longer term plan. Cutting it down to 5 years may have a significantly greater toll and the opportunity cost, which may be hard to quantify, will likely be far greater than any $$$ (lack of time with the little one, etc).