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What makes you happy?
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knifecarrier2
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Aug 10, 2012, 12:54 PM
 
I'm pretty lucky. GF & I are doing a lot better. I have a great job, dog, I'm healthy, I have a freshly painted S6 wagon, rad boat, sweet $150 car. But ... at the same time I feel like I'll never be able to afford a house. Ever. I feel like my generation is screwed, as the economy/median income stagnated 10 years ago, while the rich keep getting more and more $. The income gap frightens me, as it usually leads to revolution. But I'm not super content, and I have no idea why. What makes you guys happy?
     
sek929
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Aug 10, 2012, 01:56 PM
 
You're not alone, mostly everyone I know that went to college like they were told their whole life, is making enough to afford only the basics, and will most likely never own their own home.

I am made happy by the simple things. My g/f is amazing, I like my job (even if work is sporadic at best now) and I have a genuine skill that will always be useful. My favorite vacation is camping, where I turn off my cellphone and sit by a fire, shirtless, cooking food all day. All I want for myself is a family, and a modest home to live in with some grass I can mow and a little garden.
     
Uncle Skeleton
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Aug 10, 2012, 01:56 PM
 
One thing that remains consistent from infancy to geriatrics: humans are content when their expectations are met, and anxiety grows from the unexpected. That's why little kids like to watch the same movie hundreds of times, because in most of their life they have little ability to predict what's coming, and that worn out old video is at least one way that they can gain some predictability in their world. As we grow up, we get better at predicting life events before they catch us by surprise. In this way, we "learn" to be happier as we age. But of course, there is still an uncomfortable amount of surprise in most people's lives, and this breeds more unhappiness than we would like. So now that we have identified this route to unhappiness, how can we use this knowledge to choose to live happier? Rather than trying to force the world to meet our expectations, we can try to reduce the number of expectations that may never be reached. This results in a remarkable increase in the amount of happiness in my life. In your post for example, the things that make you anxious are all very long term fears, which ultimately have a high chance of not coming true or not even being relevant by the time they are expected to happen. Chances are high that something else will wipe us out before a plebeian uprising comes to pass, and chances are that you won't want to live in the exact place where you once wished you had been able to buy a house. Life happens, and you'll be happier if you can learn to focus your energy on shorter-term aims over which you have more control. Of all the expectations in your life, try to rank them by certainty, and then throw away the bottom half (the least certain), and see what you can do about making the top half bear fruit. By the nature of certainty, the more-certain things will happen sooner too, which is another plus.

Or to summarize: boobies make me happy. Everything else can que sera sera.
     
Uncle Skeleton
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Aug 10, 2012, 01:58 PM
 
Originally Posted by sek929 View Post
My favorite vacation is camping, where I turn off my cellphone and sit by a fire, shirtless, cooking food all day.  All I want for myself is a family, and a modest home to live in with some grass I can mow and a little garden.
Yeah that's a good one. Also, chopping wood. I don't know what it is about it, but that activity is supremely pleasing to me.
     
sek929
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Aug 10, 2012, 02:08 PM
 
We've burned wood in my household during the winter in a nice cast iron cookstove, nothing like coming in from the cold and a piping hot stove is there to warm your buns on. In his later years my father bought a gas-power wood splitter. With him and I working it for several hours we can create an absolute tower of split wood. Not as manly as doing it by hand, but the results are better.
     
andi*pandi
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Aug 10, 2012, 05:16 PM
 
I remember splitting and hauling wood. I don't crave that part. But I do love the smell and feel of a woodstove fire.

Uncle, that was a very good post about expectations. In my 20s, I thought I'd be sitting pretty by my 30s. I thought once I hit 40k a year there'd be no money stress, I'd have it made. Well, I'm beyond both those numbers now, but still not in that "comfort" zone of not worrying about money. Most of the time I'm too stressed or hectic to worry about being happy. There are lots of good moments, but yes, I expected better by this stage of life.

Rob, it doesn't end when you buy the house. There's always something. The upstairs toilet apparently decided to leak this week and the downstairs ceiling is buckling. Rah. One more hassle to deal with. Don't worry about a house until a) you can't stand having neighbors one wall over, or b) you and the GF want kids.

What makes me happy. When I can take a moment and see my kids be creative. The new puppy deciding to cuddle. Driving my car. Seeing new places. Swimming in the ocean. Planting flowers in the garden.

I think yard work is satisfying because it has a beginning and definite end, and you can see it complete and feel satisfaction. Then every day you can walk past it and still reap the benefits of that work.
     
Laminar
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Aug 10, 2012, 06:20 PM
 
Going from this:



To this gets me going.

Having a drink on the deck with my wife on a cool night is always nice. And that feeling I get in the morning when, lying in bed, I tap my chest a couple of times and the dog scootches closer to snuggle is pretty good, too.
     
Salty
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Aug 10, 2012, 07:48 PM
 
My Thunderbolt Monitor. Seriously though I actually remember getting a bit depressed after buying it because something that I'd only dreamed about for about a decade. (Well what I really wanted was the 30 inch from back when the G5 was introed but close enough.) I think I'm actually a lot more content than most people my age. Despite having no significant other I have an apartment that only eats up about 25% of my monthly income after taxes, I make enough that even after food and all my other fixed expenses I never REALLY have to wonder if I can afford something when I see something I want. (Most of the time little things like an album or something.) I have a job that most days I like even though some days it's rough, the best part I get to work with some of the most fun people I've been around, kind of reminds me of being in college but I'm surrounded by even more geeks.

I remember growing up and seeing people on TV who had gigantic circular drive ways in front of enormous houses, and I thought that sort of thing was attainable. I think I probably started to learn to be happy when I realized just how little I truly needed. Enough money that I didn't need to worry about bills, a bedroom and living room, some basic furniture and regular human contact. I think my mental health also improved when I started writing. I also started realizing that while I may not have a mansion, and I may not have made any sort of large impact with any of my creative endeavours, I'd still accomplished more than enough by the time I was 20 to make most people my age feel insecure. Basically my life is filled with strange and clever stories, and that's all I could really want.
     
besson3c
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Aug 10, 2012, 08:06 PM
 
Salty's Thunderbolt monitor. I love that thing!
     
Eug
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Aug 11, 2012, 12:11 PM
 
     
Lateralus
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Aug 11, 2012, 01:32 PM
 
^Falling knives?
I like chicken
I like liver
Meow Mix, Meow Mix
Please de-liv-er
     
turtle777
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Aug 11, 2012, 08:48 PM
 
It's the little things. Sitting in the sun having a beer. Making myself a great latte. Reading a fine book. Hanging out at the apartment pool. Having co-workers that are genuinely great guys.

Re: feel like my generation is screwed

You are right, we are screwed in that we will be forced to pay for the older generation's living on a debt binge for the last 30 years. We have benefited from this at times as well.

There is no way around it - with all US debt and unfunded liabilities pushing $150 Trillion, there's going to be a massive collapse down the road. It will affect everyone's standard of living.

The best thing you can do is start to live below your means now, because sooner or later, you will have to anyways.

Re: affording a house

I'm not too worried about that. Right now, I'm a happy renter, although I could afford a house. But I don't need one.
And houses will get much cheaper. Just wait till all those baby boomers retire, and the government in a hopeless scramble to raise tax revenues increases property taxes. Houses will become so cheap, and the boomers will have to sell at low prices because they can't afford the taxes on a big ass house no more. We're going to see great bargains down the road.

-t
     
Shaddim
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Aug 13, 2012, 03:11 AM
 
Well, we're going to Pebble Beach this coming weekend for the auto auction. I get a kick out of auctions, and this is my first on-location experience with one specializing in high-end cars. There are three vehicles I'm interested in, two moderately and one majorly; an Alfa, an Aston, and a Jag. This is going to be great.

Also, it's Emma's first big trip and first time on a plane. She loves meeting new people and talking with them (even though we don't know what she's saying), and she's reached the age where she's starting to notice everything around her. Also, she's always smiling and laughing, it's actually been a tonic for me, I'm happier right now than I've ever been before.
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Laminar
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Aug 13, 2012, 03:51 AM
 
Originally Posted by Shaddim View Post
Well, we're going to Pebble Beach this coming weekend for the auto auction. I get a kick out of auctions, and this is my first on-location experience with one specializing in high-end cars. There are three vehicles I'm interested in, two moderately and one majorly; an Alfa, an Aston, and a Jag.
Since you already have an E-Type and a babyhauler, unless this new one is an XJ220 I can't think of one worthwhile.
     
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Aug 13, 2012, 06:11 AM
 
Tough one. I love creating, though. Take house renos for example. I mean, it's a pain at the time, but then you start seeing that this grand dream you had in your head actually start to come to fruition, and it looks ****ing awesome, and then at the end of the day people come and look at what you've done and they tell you how fantastic it is. That feels great. Same thing with food - I love to grille, and it's amazing when I put something down on someone's plate and they can't get over how good it is.

Unfortunately it's tougher to translate that feeling to my actual job, which pays me well enough that I don't need to worry too much about money. But I'm still working on that.
Mankind's only chance is to harness the power of stupid.
     
Phileas
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Aug 13, 2012, 08:00 AM
 
The "affording a house" point is an interesting one.

I was researching a bunch of stuff for a project I am working on, related to off-grid living.

As a result I've found an entire sub culture, people who live in self-built, typically tiny, homes. Even further down the rabbit hole there's people who have taken to living in vans.

Many of these tiny home and van dwellers have been driven into the lifestyle by economic necessity, but for others it is a choice. Reducing their reliance on what we consider "normal" housing means that they don't have to worry about mortgages, utility bills etc. While not for me, at this stage in my life, I found much of the thinking, and the buildings, fascinating.

I also found it reassuring that, in case my life should turn into a pile of poop, I would need only about $30k to get myself shelter.
     
imitchellg5
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Aug 13, 2012, 09:34 AM
 
One of my favorite things is driving for the sake of driving. I know that's probably considered wasteful in 2012, but I love just getting in the car with my girlfriend, taking off in some random direction, and seeing what we discover. Even after very stressful weeks, that can be so relaxing.
     
mattyb
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Aug 13, 2012, 12:48 PM
 
Making my kids laugh.

Sorry its so simple and boring, but now that I'm 40, I'm allowed to be simple and boring.
     
knifecarrier2  (op)
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Aug 13, 2012, 02:59 PM
 
Originally Posted by Laminar View Post
Since you already have an E-Type and a babyhauler, unless this new one is an XJ220 I can't think of one worthwhile.
XJR. Cept for those damn nikasil sleeves.
     
iMOTOR
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Aug 13, 2012, 05:34 PM
 
Originally Posted by imitchellg5 View Post
One of my favorite things is driving for the sake of driving. I know that's probably considered wasteful in 2012, but I love just getting in the car with my girlfriend, taking off in some random direction, and seeing what we discover. Even after very stressful weeks, that can be so relaxing.


     
Eug
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Aug 13, 2012, 06:25 PM
 
Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
^Falling knives?
     
Shaddim
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Aug 13, 2012, 07:13 PM
 
Originally Posted by Laminar View Post
Since you already have an E-Type and a babyhauler, unless this new one is an XJ220 I can't think of one worthwhile.
Actually, I'm interested in a restored and beefed up `52 XK drop top. Also on the radar is a `62 Alfa Spider and a `60 AM DB4. Though, the Aston is an outside possibility and only if I can get it on the low side of the estimated selling price.
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sole
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Aug 13, 2012, 08:54 PM
 
i found this really helpful but unfortunately I am still confused on what direction to take with my life.

I am in my mid 20s, graduated renewable engineer. after working a few years here and there, i find it really hard to stay focused on the work, end up moving on to something else because it gets boring. At the moment, i am sort of looking for work but spending most of the time building a garden in the backyard and I recently finished a six month renovation project.

I have always wanted to have a family and life a simple life where I could earn enough to live comfortably. BUT has I have got older, that goal is not as clear. I don't want to be part of an economy that all is designed to do is consume resource, grow bigger and destroy the planet but at the same it seems impossible to have a family and provide them with good life without being part of the consumption cycle.

one day i am looking at going to some unknown, poor country and work in a farm and the next I look for jobs with good salary so I can save. WHAT TO DO?
     
ShortcutToMoncton
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Aug 14, 2012, 04:31 AM
 
There's a great "entitled generation" response to the Baby Boom generation's disapproval of the Occupancy movement - the gist is that our Baby Boom parents coddled us and conditioned us not to do anything that "doesn't make us happy". So now we're a bunch of lazy do-nothings, because after all, most people in history have been working to survive and because that's what you should do, not necessarily working because it "makes them happy". Everyone's probably happier if they could putter about in the garden all day, but them's the breaks.
Mankind's only chance is to harness the power of stupid.
     
Eug
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Aug 14, 2012, 05:34 PM
 
Speak for yourself.
     
ShortcutToMoncton
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Aug 15, 2012, 03:29 AM
 
I don't think I'm wrong. I think the "not doing something unless it makes me happy" mentality is a pretty damn recent phenomenom. Those who do find work that makes them happy are more likely to succeed, IMO - but for thousands of years, the vast majority of people made work their first priority - and whether it was what they were "happiest" doing was somewhere else below that.
Mankind's only chance is to harness the power of stupid.
     
sole
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Aug 15, 2012, 12:42 PM
 
Baby Boom parents did what every parent wanted for thousands of years, and I am sure you would if you had kids. You would want what is best for them.

The point I was trying to make is that, our generation has a moral responsibility to correct or improve on what is been inherited to us. It is a fact that generations before us used resources, not know what effects it would have or used consumerism to create jobs after world wars. BUT now we know better. We can't keep living like that.

Work to survive: if I was living in a third world county, I don't think I would be concerned about my happiness either, probably a full stomach would be closest thing and I respect anyone that lives in that situation and does well. However that is not my case and not the question, 'what makes you happy?'.
     
Shaddim
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Aug 15, 2012, 06:40 PM
 
Turns out that Emma isn't too thrilled about planes. However, the cute attendant that keeps coming by to play with her has a great rack, and she really enjoys showing it.

Edit: Can't find a job? Apply with Hertz, they'll hire any idiot to work the rental counters. I reserved a big SUV and what they have waiting is an Audi wagon. I ask the woman "how can we fix this? We're going to need more space than that." She replies "it's bigger than you would believe and I think it's prettier."

/facepalm
"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it."
- Thomas Paine
     
Laminar
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Aug 15, 2012, 09:49 PM
 
Originally Posted by Shaddim View Post
Turns out that Emma isn't too thrilled about planes. However, the cute attendant that keeps coming by to play with her has a great rack, and she really enjoys showing it.
I always get the old ladies.
     
Shaddim
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Aug 15, 2012, 10:18 PM
 
Okay, it's a Q5, I still think of it as a wagon. In what world is a Q5 an equal replacement for an Escalade?
"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it."
- Thomas Paine
     
MacinTommy
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Aug 16, 2012, 08:51 AM
 
I can make a list of things that don't make me happy:

  • The cloud that is my student loans looming over my head
  • My underpaying job
  • I need a new car


So, that being said, money would make me happy.
     
knifecarrier2  (op)
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Aug 16, 2012, 09:56 AM
 
I've been putting $150 a paycheck into my savings account. And about $250 a paycheck into my credit card bill. I could now, if I wanted to, completely destroy my CC debt (isn't much, around $1500) with my savings and still be okay. That makes me pretty satisfied.
     
andi*pandi
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Aug 16, 2012, 02:05 PM
 
You should pay it off if you can, or pay more of it. You're paying interest.
     
moonmonkey
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Aug 16, 2012, 10:18 PM
 
Sell your boat and dog and replace them after you own a house.
     
Laminar
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Aug 17, 2012, 01:14 AM
 
Noooo, it's not poor financial decisions, it's previous generations and the rich people that are to blame!!
     
knifecarrier2  (op)
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Aug 17, 2012, 08:06 AM
 
My boat cost me about $5k. Not really all that expensive, esp considering a lot of people buy a new car. All of my vehicles combined would amount to around 15 grand, which doesn't seem ridiculous to me.
     
knifecarrier2  (op)
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Aug 17, 2012, 08:07 AM
 
ehhhh.... Lam:

http://visualizingeconomics.com/2010/02/04/historical-marginal-income-tax-rates/#.UC5sMPVv18E
     
MacinTommy
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Aug 17, 2012, 10:52 AM
 
To many charts and graphs.

My thoughts: let's just create the deathstar and live happily in a galaxy far, far away. Problems solve. Happiness achieved.


After I typed "happiness" I had to make sure I spelled it correctly... looks weird.

All that retarded talk aside: is it making the payments on a house that is an issue for you or is it the whole down payment that is an issue? I used to work in the mortgage department and there are a lot of options and "discounts" for first time home owners with very small down-payment or minimal closing costs. It's still a buyers market right now.
     
Leonard
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Aug 17, 2012, 12:32 PM
 
Originally Posted by Eug View Post
Dammit man, make up your mind... is it the European blonde with the money that makes you happy or the Canadian blonde with the money that makes you happy?
Mac Pro Dual 3.0 Dual-Core
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Aug 17, 2012, 05:36 PM
 
Perspective makes me happy. You can't know your place in the Universe if you can't see past your own nose.
     
Laminar
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Aug 17, 2012, 07:59 PM
 
Originally Posted by knifecarrier2 View Post
My boat cost me about $5k. Not really all that expensive, esp considering a lot of people buy a new car. All of my vehicles combined would amount to around 15 grand, which doesn't seem ridiculous to me.
That's about what I put down on a nice house in a nice neighborhood.
     
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Aug 18, 2012, 04:38 PM
 
A good bowel movement first thing in the morning.
To know your Enemy, you must become your Enemy.”
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Shaddim
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Aug 18, 2012, 06:07 PM
 
The prices are good tonight. Having fun. Met Jay Kay.
"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it."
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moonmonkey
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Aug 19, 2012, 11:41 PM
 
Originally Posted by Laminar View Post
That's about what I put down on a nice house in a nice neighborhood.
Funny that, some people find reasons why they can't buy a house and some people buy a house.
     
turtle777
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Aug 20, 2012, 06:05 PM
 
Originally Posted by Laminar View Post
That's about what I put down on a nice house in a nice neighborhood.
Which means another $75k in debt (mortgage).

I don't think "owning" (LOL in most cases) a house is necessarily better than truly owning a boat and cars outright (since all he has is a little CC debt). Plus, due to his skills, the cars and boat don't have a negative cash-flow (i.e. maintenance) attached to it.

I think he's doing better than most people.

-t
     
Laminar
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Aug 20, 2012, 09:58 PM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
Which means another $75k in debt (mortgage).
I don't think "owning" (LOL in most cases) a house is necessarily better than truly owning a boat and cars outright (since all he has is a little CC debt). Plus, due to his skills, the cars and boat don't have a negative cash-flow (i.e. maintenance) attached to it.
I think he's doing better than most people.
-t
Our definitions of "nice" might be a bit different, $100K won't get you that. My property will increase in value. A 15 year old Audi won't.

And every car has a negative cashflow attached to it.
     
moonmonkey
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Aug 21, 2012, 01:50 AM
 
amen.
     
BLAZE_MkIV
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Aug 21, 2012, 05:33 AM
 
Originally Posted by Laminar View Post
And every car has a negative cashflow attached to it.
Technically not true. Antiques and collector cars increase in value. Anything you'd buy as a daily driver, true.
     
Doc HM
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Aug 21, 2012, 06:14 AM
 
Some friends of ours own this lake with a small island in it. We go there when it's sunny. I can't think of any place that makes me happier.







This space for Hire! Reasonable rates. Reach an audience of literally dozens!
     
OreoCookie
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Aug 21, 2012, 03:42 PM
 
Originally Posted by Laminar View Post
Our definitions of "nice" might be a bit different, $100K won't get you that. My property will increase in value. A 15 year old Audi won't.
And every car has a negative cashflow attached to it.
Prices for properties don't always increase. Especially if you adjust for inflation and include the additional incurred costs due to your mortgage. Owning a car is a necessity to many, and owning a 15-year old car which you repair yourself seems much more cost effective than buying a new one.
I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it.
     
 
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