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View Full Version : How much do you value material goods?



banquo's_bumble_puppy
2005-Mar-09, 12:44 PM
How materialistic are you?

Argos
2005-Mar-09, 01:10 PM
Being an atheist, matter is all thats left to me... But Im not greedy.

Captain Kidd
2005-Mar-09, 01:23 PM
It was a toss up between "Somewhat. Who doesn't like nice things?" and "Not much at all. Health, family and friends are what matters." I ended up going with the somewhat line.

Being an engineer, I tend to like gadgets and the more options the better. Hence a Canon Digital Rebel with extra lens and some other goodies on the way. The D10 and up were beyond what I was willing to pay for a camera. However, my cell phone is the most basic it can be, I hate ringtones, don't seen the need for a camera on it, and it was cheaper.

I also wont get anything unless I can get it without debt. I'd love to have a car with all sorts of goodies, i.e. GPS, Sirus, etc. (the engineer in me again, and local radio is bad) But, since I'm not going to get a loan to buy it, I won't get one. (Until I save up the cash; even then probably not.)

I buy $10 sunglasses as my break/loss rate is pretty high and I don't see how a $200 pair can be considered an "investment" like some claim.

Our house is pretty minimalist inside. Again because mainly Im not going into debt for furniture and were not the extravagant types. My wife being a graphic designer and the artsy type can make cheap stuff look expensive anyways. However, I was really picky on the house itself.

cyswxman
2005-Mar-09, 01:36 PM
I went with the "not much at all" catagory, as I don't really keep up with the latest and newest. I don't even own a pager, cell phone, dvd player. I still use a camera that requires "film". 8-[

Swift
2005-Mar-09, 01:50 PM
It was a toss up between "Somewhat. Who doesn't like nice things?" and "Not much at all. Health, family and friends are what matters." I ended up going with the somewhat line.

Being an engineer, I tend to like gadgets and the more options the better. Hence a Canon Digital Rebel with extra lens and some other goodies on the way. The D10 and up were beyond what I was willing to pay for a camera. However, my cell phone is the most basic it can be, I hate ringtones, don't seen the need for a camera on it, and it was cheaper.

I also wont get anything unless I can get it without debt. I'd love to have a car with all sorts of goodies, i.e. GPS, Sirus, etc. (the engineer in me again, and local radio is bad) But, since I'm not going to get a loan to buy it, I won't get one. (Until I save up the cash; even then probably not.)

I buy $10 sunglasses as my break/loss rate is pretty high and I don't see how a $200 pair can be considered an "investment" like some claim.

Our house is pretty minimalist inside. Again because mainly Im not going into debt for furniture and were not the extravagant types. My wife being a graphic designer and the artsy type can make cheap stuff look expensive anyways. However, I was really picky on the house itself.
Captain Kidd said if perfectly for me. Generally I don't care, except for certain big-boy toys. I bought my RAV4 new, but paid cash, I've had it almost 8 years and have put 170k miles on it. I'd also add that when I do buy things, that generally I'll buy better quality, pay more, but keep it for a long time. My wife and I both love to cook - when we need a new whatever, we buy a good one and use it for the next 10 years. But he's right about the sunglasses. And there is a difference between buying good quality and just getting ripped off.

And to round it off, I do go through periods of guilt about it - why should I buy a new whatever when people are starving. I make up for it with contributions to various causes. :-?

Normandy6644
2005-Mar-09, 02:32 PM
It was a toss up between "Somewhat. Who doesn't like nice things?" and "Not much at all. Health, family and friends are what matters." I ended up going with the somewhat line.

Me too. I don't feel the need to own everything, but I do really enjoy my guitars and DVDs and stuff. Could I survive without them? Of course, but I would prefer not to.

mid
2005-Mar-09, 02:35 PM
"He who dies with the most toys wins"

I'm not that bad really, but I do have occasional bouts of retail therapy that are really not very clever.

ToSeek
2005-Mar-09, 02:54 PM
No question that "stuff" is a big part of my life, but I don't accumulate it just for the sake of doing so. Most of it's books, anyway. ;)

Fram
2005-Mar-09, 03:22 PM
No question that "stuff" is a big part of my life, but I don't accumulate it just for the sake of doing so. Most of it's books, anyway. ;)

I'm a collector, so I do accumulate some stuff just for the sake of doing so (not even as an investment or for scientific reasons), but I try to keep it at a low level (financially), as it isn't important, it's just fun. I voted the second option, like most people here.

Captain Kidd
2005-Mar-09, 05:12 PM
No question that "stuff" is a big part of my life, but I don't accumulate it just for the sake of doing so. Most of it's books, anyway. ;)One of the selling points when we bought our house is that the living room didn't focus on a TV stand. The wall that the TV would normally go has a fireplace in the centered winged by floor-to-(near) ceiling bookcases. I'm currently considering annexing part of another wall to expand them.

Lurker
2005-Mar-09, 05:24 PM
You're talking to a Buddhist pagan here (or is that a pagan Buddhist :-k ) I don't own much of anything at this point; just my books and a few cd's. Since I came late to the "have a life" thing, life's too short for all the things I want to see and do. I don't have time to start in with toys and stuff...

Nicolas
2005-Mar-09, 05:30 PM
I am a collector (for the fun of the collecting as well).

I'm not into the newest technology on many fronts (camera, cell phone, DVD, television, etc). I do have a lot of respect for my material however. I try to keep it as cheap as possible, but I like quality. I bought a new computer, and as that thing cost a lot of money, I am very careful with it.

Naturally I am very careful with my music instruments (though my keyboard is more of a household object than an instrument currently :oops: ).

I own some valuable audio equipment. I didn't pay a lot for it, but its performance is worth a lot to me. Some of the equipment is also financially worth rather much (up to "really much").

So I like material things, but I'm not a freak on every front at all. Though I'm interested in what things are worth, I try to keep expenses as low as possible, so I don't kick on price tags (at least not on big tags, I'm more into looking for the lowest price).

And I like friendship, family and health a lot. An awful lot. These things are very precious to me.

But the fact that I like these elements does not exclude the possibility of liking material things to me. I am attracted to the pleasure of collecting, the beauty of design and the technological performance of material things. Needless to say that my rarest, most beautiful and best sounding audio component (all descriptions refer to that same component) is very precious to me.

I couldn't compare it with how precious my s.o. is to me. It is a totally different feeling. I wouldn't want to miss any of them. They are important on totally different fronts. And I don't possess her :).

Candy
2005-Mar-09, 05:43 PM
I chose "Somewhat. Who doesn't like nice things?"

But it borderlined on materialistic. :-?

I grew up very poor, so having something nice is success to me.

I did buy a condo in a very nice suburb. I got it 20K less than it is worth. But it needs a lot of love, which I've been doing for the past year. I will continue for the next few years. I literally had it gutted. I bought new carpet, had it painted from head to toe, did the window treatment, and bought a new furnace. It still needs the bathrooms and kitchen remodeled. Plus, lots of little things. That's why I had the fix-it guy over yesterday.

I've bought the best furniture over the last three years, a little at a time. The place is almost perfect in that respect. I bought some United Artwork and framed it. I'm just afraid now to put holes in the wall.

I can't afford a new car, but I'm aiming for a BMW SUV. I haven't looked into models, yet. Too far off in Candyland.

I have nice clothes, but I gained so much weight over the last few years to fit into them. So I bought some from the GoodWill. Hence, the personal trainer. I thought best to invest in my health and body. Then new clothes or wear the ones I have.

I need my hair done, but I can just wear it in a bun for now. I want about 5 inches cut off and a new perm. This costs a few hundred bucks and 5 hours to do, so I usually do it once every few years. It still looks good, but I have to spend extra time on it. I hate not being able to just wash the hair and run out the door.

I do my own nails, and they look fabulous.

Did I miss anything? :D

farmerjumperdon
2005-Mar-09, 06:17 PM
I see materialism as a state of mind, not a matter of accumulation of wealth. It's more a matter of how important it is to, whether or not it is a driving force, not a matter of what you have.

I have a lot of goodies for 2 reasons: 1 - I am a packrat and a sentimental fool. I still have my album collection (about 1200 items which were cause to build a special storage unit in the library), my grade school report cards, several sets of encyclopedias (the kind that come in book form), a collection of thousands of matchbooks stored in a collection of mason jars, and on and on. 2 - I've had 40-some years of time to collect all the above.

However, the material things are not the source of my happiness. Actually, some of the stuff is, but mostly for sentimental reasons, not for how much I could sell it for on ebay.

At about age 35 a lightbulb went on when I realized that given the right motivations, I, and just about anybody else, could make more money if you really want to. I mean, it is relatively easy to get a raise and double or triple your income in a relatively short period of time. Just decide how you want to do it, spend a little time getting credentialed or degreed or experienced or whatever, and circulate your resume or hang out a shingle. If you're still in want for more cash, do it all again, or keep doing it. It is not hard to get a job, or get a higher paying job, but it does require a person put forth the effort.

Anyway, I finally realized that what was more valuable to me was my time, not getting more money or goodies. Time with family and friends, time spent on adventure or relaxation or whatever that is not driven by a paycheck or dictated by a schedule. Based on observed behaviors I'd say the average age this happens is probably more like late 40's to early 50's. I do think almost everyone gets there eventually as a result of either recognition of their own mortality, or a shuffling of life's priorities or both.

I am amazed, though I should not be, at how many young people roll their eyes when I tell them that no amount of money, much less what they think will be their paycheck once they think they are "successful" will make them happy. Sure, 6 figures sounds like a boatload of cash to the average college student, but I tell them they will find a way to spend it and want for more. "No way" they say, "That'll be all I ever need." I tell them it will be way more than they need, but will be less than they'll say the want at some future point.

All you need to do to prove that money does not cure anything but the most basic problems (you do need food, clothing, shelter from the storm, etc), is look at the problems rich people have. They still commit suicide, end up in jail (not as often as they should), get divorced; get addicted to dangerous drugs, alcohol, gambling, etc. They have most of the same problems poor people.

Money and goods are not a solution to much that's in need.

2005-Mar-09, 06:26 PM
I don't value anything for purely monetary value...

Yes, I like the things that I like: books, S-F DVDs, and the like. But I've given-up houses and cars. They are more trouble than they are worth IMO.... :D :D :D :D :D :D

teddyv
2005-Mar-09, 06:50 PM
All you need to do to prove that money does not cure anything but the most basic problems (you do need food, clothing, shelter from the storm, etc), is look at the problems rich people have. They still commit suicide, end up in jail (not as often as they should), get divorced; get addicted to dangerous drugs, alcohol, gambling, etc. They have most of the same problems poor people.

Money and goods are not a solution to much that's in need.

I couldn't agree more. Money can solve just about any problem, but it doesn't guarantee happiness.

Myself, like many others here, fall between the "somewhat" and "not so important".

Brady Yoon
2005-Mar-09, 10:06 PM
I like having lots of things, but I never would spend my money on useless things. I usually look for quality over price, but then I take very good care of my stuff. :)

I picked the second choice.

Doodler
2005-Mar-09, 10:07 PM
My only item of value is my computer. I treat mine like a hardcore greasemonkey treats classic cars.

paulie jay
2005-Mar-10, 12:44 AM
I love nice things - or rather things that I perceive to be nice! But I don't see them as status symbols.

So if I was to build a 34 room palace to live in it would be because I like that kind of thing, not becasue I was showing off.

tmosher
2005-Mar-10, 05:11 AM
I like material goods to a point. I don't buy to impress but to make myself happy. My basic theory of material goods is most bang for the buck - I'll spend a couple of extra dollars in the knowledge that what I buy will last and not have to be replaced in a couple of years. Heck, my CD player is late 1980's vintage and it still works perfectly.

I don't spend a lot of money on clothes - I don't even own a suit - haven't needed one since my last job interview.

I'd rather spend $100 on taking my friends out for dinner and drinks then spend that same $100 on some new toy for myself.

Nicolas
2005-Mar-10, 11:57 AM
Heck, my CD player is late 1980's vintage and it still works perfectly.


My equipment is older than myself :lol:

pghnative
2005-Mar-10, 02:30 PM
I voted for "somewhat", since there are some categories (fine dining, electronics, sports equipment, kitchenware) that I like to have the best, while others (clothes, interior decor, cars) that I couldn't care less about. (I'd be happy driving a beat-up Honda Civic stickshift for the rest of my life.

It's interesting that none of us voted for the top category. I wonder how the voting would change if our close friends voted (anonymously) in each of ours place?

Evan
2005-Mar-10, 04:35 PM
As a confirmed atheist I see no spiritual side to this question. I value material goods in direct proportion to what they are good for. I like having a nice house because it is comfortable to live in. I like having a nice car because it it easy and comfortable to drive. I especially like good quality machine tools because I can use them to build things that I can't buy.

I have never that I can think of bought anything in order to impress someone else. I don't care a rats backside about my clothes and where I live you can't even see the "Joneses".

Material goods are a means to an end and not the end in itself.

Brady Yoon
2005-Mar-12, 01:23 AM
There are only a few things I need to live a comfortable life.
1. wife & kids (definitely the most important thing)
2. a good offroad vehicle, for vacations and trips
3. a decent house
4. a good computer & fast internet
5. telescope and astronomy paraphernalia :D
6 . a cell phone
7. an mp3 player of some kind
8. enough money to eat out a couple times every week
9. cable tv and LOTS of video games
10. good poker chips and decks of cards
(more may be added)

My philosophy of life is to focus on family and having a good time together, not impressing neighbors or anything like that. Interior decorating, I can leave up to my future wife. I just want to wake up and know that I am spending my money well, living a happy and good life, and trying new and exciting things every day.

I hope my excitement and love for life never grows thin. :P