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Why do delusional people think their spending will be different than other people’s?

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It is an indisputable fact that anyone who drives a BMW 2-door coupe is an asshole. They talk on their phone loudly, drive recklessly, and wear extremely large sunglasses. In fact, an even better litmus test is observing how these drivers park: If they back into a parking spot instead of parking nose-first like normal people do, you can be 100% certain that you have an asshole on your hands.

 

512916836_f0e0e2b707

Photo by puyo

To find supporting evidence for my theory, I Googled “bmw asshole” and got 1,500+ responses, including this one. I rest my case.

There has only been one exception (he was a startup CTO…who by definition cannot be an asshole). Also, Asians don’t count because they don’t drive BMWs.

The point is this: There are patterns you can recognize. We like to believe we’re individual and different, but the entire field of social psychology illustrates how we mistakenly believe we’re in control of our own lives while systematically underestimating situational and social influence.

As we get older, the vast majority of us fall into predictable patterns: We become more conservative with our investments. We have kids. We spend on things we never imagined we would (like window treatments, homeowners’ insurance, and childcare).

Recently, I wrote a post about the 10 Year Savings Strategy, where I recommended that people who are already saving and investing and maxing out their retirement accounts do one simple thing: Find some people who are 10 years older and ask them what they wish they’d saved for. Then start saving for those things.

This isn’t as sexy as alternative investments or currency arbitrage, but it works. It also forces us to confront the fact that most of us will live very similar lives as everyone else. We’ll start really paying attention to our money around age 40. Our wedding cost will be far higher than we planned. We’ll buy a house.

Sure, there are exceptions. But chances are you’re not going to be one of them. None of us is.

The comments that people submitted to the post were some of the most interesting and infuriating I can remember, prompting me to write a 456-word comment in response. Here are a few selected comments from the original post:

Delusional Guy:

“First of all, I’m not getting married. No, this isn’t just the talk of someone who can’t see far enough into the future. We all know the only benefit of getting married is in avoiding divorce. If you get divorced, you’re screwed. For anyone who would ever put themselves into that situation, I have no sympathy because it is completely avoidable. Marriage is a contract and (especially for guys) if you enter into it, you will be on the losing end from the get go. You recommend getting advice from your elders. What do they tell me? Don’t get married. That’s some advice I’ll be taking because I care too much about my assets.

Actually I see kids as a complete waste of money, time, and freedom. There are many people out there who live child free (and loving it) and I will be one of them. Don’t believe it? Believe it when i get a vasectomy sometime in the near future.”

Smart Person Who Understands The Point of the Post, Not Just The Superficial Words

“Ramit, I really liked this. The take-away was still the same despite that I don’t intend to have children (and neither does my g/f). Plan for large expenses I will encounter on my path in life, whether or not it’s children or lots of travel or whatever hobby I choose. The action is not, “save for children.” The action is: ask and try to predict what your major expenses will be in 10 years and save for it. Don’t think you’re going to be above average and beat the system. Reality is sometimes harsh on us 20-somethings. Realize I am not an exception to every rule. Realize that reality will bite me sometimes and I will want to be prepared.”

Hilarious Person I Want To Marry

“Good lord….To pretend you know exactly what you want now (at say, 25) for when you are 50 is the equivalent of adamantly stating when you are 5 that you hate all boys/girls and will never like them. It’s utterly ridiculous. All you can do is acknowledge that your current self cannot predict everything that will happen in your life, or everything that you will want, but it’s probably going to cost more than you think. So instead of spending so much energy being defensive, why don’t you critically think about his point, and whether you want to apply it to your finances?”

And finally, here’s the response that I left in the comments:

“Exactly. Some phenomenal comments on this post and some very, very stupid ones.

The most absurd thing about many of the negative comments is the inability to take a strategy or tactic and apply it to the commenters’ own lives. If you’re not going to get married (which you probably are, despite what you think now), you’re still going to have many other expenses that you simply can’t predict yet. If you claim you’re determined to have a frugal wedding (which many people say, by the way), then the question to ask is this: “Under what conditions might I find significant future expenses that I didn’t predict?” Ever hear of the hedonic treadmill?

I’m willing to bet one of the commenters who complained this post is “obvious” hasn’t cut costs, automated, created a Conscious Spending Plan, earned more, optimized his spending, maxed out investments, and created sub-accounts for his future 10+ year spending. I’m not being sarcastic — if you have, please let me know and I’ll call you because I’d love to profile you for my readers.

“Obvious” doesn’t mean “easy.” But that’s the point of the post, isn’t it?

As commenter Sara said:

“To pretend you know exactly what you want now (at say, 25) for when you are 50 is the equivalent of adamantly stating when you are 5 that you hate all boys/girls and will never like them. It’s utterly ridiculous. All you can do is acknowledge that your current self cannot predict everything that will happen in your life, or everything that you will want, but it’s probably going to cost more than you think. So instead of spending so much energy being defensive, why don’t you critically think about his point, and whether you want to apply it to your finances?”

Now that I’m writing, let me go on a little bit: One key insight of writing a blog for a large audience has been how entitled people feel in getting a tip that’s exactly written for their specific situation. “I’m 60 and widowed!” people say. Or, “But I’m gonna have a vasectomy!”

A post addressing your specific situation is not going to happen here — you need to use your imagination and think about how to apply them to your life. And I’m not going to water down this blog with equivocations and qualifications (as ec213 points out).

The sad thing about this is the smart people already know this. I have to write this comment for whiners who (1) constantly complain about this site, (2) will never buy anything, and (3) repeatedly threaten to leave.

With that said, I LOVED writing this post and I love reading these comments even more. Look for MORE posts like this.”

 

* * *

By planning to live an ordinary life, you give yourself the means to be extraordinary.

The original post on the 10 Year Savings Strategy is here.

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70 Comments on "Why do delusional people think their spending will be different than other people’s?"

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Tej Shah
6 years 10 months ago

This just got my vote for Greatest Post Ever!!!

I really have no comment besides I couldn’t have said it better. Keep writing Ramit – these posts are what we need to hear: the truth.

Cooper
Cooper
6 years 10 months ago

Woah now, hold on a second. Reversing into parking spaces is a sign that the person is a competent and responsible driver, concerned about safety and considerate of other drivers and pedestrians.

In other words, if you ever see a BMW reversed into a parking space, it must be on loan.

Baker
6 years 10 months ago

I’m 25, married, with a kid already. At this point, I’m 100% certain the my ability to predict my future is in ten years is utterly useless. I’m also convinced that they advice of anyone who is 35 (and was in my shoes at 25) would be absolutely priceless.

I’d rather come to terms with the fact I have no idea what I’m doing than be “delusional.” Great topic.

TOZ
TOZ
6 years 10 months ago

I’d love to say that when I was 16 years old, I said I’d be an 8 year military vet considering the option of reenlisting for another 4. But of course, I’d be lying. My biggest concern was finishing the next level of whatever video game I was on. At least that hasn’t changed in 10 years. XD But I definately have gotten more saving conscious. And I certainly don’t believe I know what I’ll need 10 years from now.

traineeinvestor
6 years 10 months ago
Sorry, but I beg to differ on the characterisation of people who drive 2 door coupe BMW’s – I can give some specific examples. If you want a class of inconsiderate car owners, look no further than people who own SUVs and park them in spaces designed for smaller cars or who complain about their petrol costs. As to the more substantive part of the post (which I think is great), no one can predict the future with sufficient certainty to be able to accurately predict where they will be financially 10 or more years into the future – I… Read more »
fasterthanyou
fasterthanyou
6 years 10 months ago

in some areas, you are required by law to back into reverse angle parking spaces…. seattle has them, DC has them… http://www.mininggazette.com/page/content.detail/id/506269.html?nav=5006

The point about spending patterns is a good one – we all look back and say “boy do I wish things had been different” meaning, I wish I would have done something else… so, if you’re in one of those younger age groups, listen to what this is telling you – realize that later on you’ll most likely have some of the similar remorse. Plan accordingly!

Lee
6 years 10 months ago

Parking backwards is much safer, it prevents accidents when leaving the space, and if you’re lock-to-lock manouvring whilst the cv boots are warm, instead of cold after you’ve returned to your car, they’ll last longer. Preventing accidents and prolonging the life of your car can save you money.

Occupying two spaces, on the other hand, can get you a fine.

My uncle once offered me this money saving tip: Instead of buying a BMW, just write “asshole” accross your forehead, it will have the same effect.

Writer's Coin
6 years 10 months ago

People are funny like that. They want help but they don’t want to spend 5 minutes thinking of how a strategy could apply to them if their situation isn’t EXACTLY described in said strategy.

Show a little creativity and thoughtfulness, people! Don’t expect someone else to do all the work for you.

Jeez….

cukamunger
cukamunger
6 years 10 months ago
Like I tell my younger siblings all the time, we are all trying to follow the easy path and do the things they want. Sometimes the easier long-term path means making slightly more difficult short term decisions. You might want that big screen TV right now, but can you make the payments if something unplanned happens? You might want to go home with that hot guy across the bar, but do you really want to put your relationship with your fiancé in that kind of tension? You might really want to get a few extra hours of sleep, but do… Read more »
Jessica
Jessica
6 years 10 months ago

Funny, that is one of the few posts where I actually read the comments knowing people would have all sorts of “This doesn’t apply to me because…” retorts and I wanted to see Ramit give them he\. Today’s post cracks me up even more (whether it was intended to or not). Thanks for the uplifting post!

jeadly
6 years 10 months ago

I take offense at your disparaging remarks about fancy parking. Honestly! Comparing me to a BMW driver? Ridiculous!

Jirka
Jirka
6 years 10 months ago

All these years, I have waited for someone to tell me who was right in the Seinfeld episode “The Parking Space”, and here goes Ramit 🙂

So True
So True
6 years 10 months ago

So true about the BMW assholes. I have an arrogant vegetarian co-worker who drives a BMW with leather seats. Go figure…

ruthlessmind
6 years 10 months ago
As an owner of a 2006 330 sedan, who’s friends with an Asian guy who drives an E36 M3, I can attest to the fact that yes, we are assholes. We prefer refined German engineering, stiff-yet-dampened handling and the sheer power of a BMW over some bullshit Prius… or other lesser car that is sensible, practical, costs less to own and saves American jobs. But that’s besides the point. Your car says a lot about you. And I’m not talking about status, but what you value. What do you expect from a driving experience? Or what the quality of manufacturing… Read more »
trackback

[…] Read it. It is an indisputable fact that anyone who drives a BMW 2-door coupe is an asshole. They talk on their phone loudly, drive recklessly, and wear extremely large sunglasses. In fact, an even better litmus test is observing how these drivers park: If they back into a parking spot instead of parking nose-first like normal people do, you can be 100% certain that you have an asshole on your hands. […]

Courtney
Courtney
6 years 10 months ago

I am absolutely loving all the defensive comments about parking and BMWs. You are not helping yourself by responding. Just close the browser and walk away.

Great post!

Chad
Chad
6 years 10 months ago
I think it is foolish to generalize like this. . All BMW drivers are assholes. . All Indian people smell like curry. . All middle-eastern men are ter@*ists ! If you get fixated on a thought, of course you will find posts on the internet about it. Example, go to google and type “bmw drivers are awesome”. Then click “I am Feeling Lucky” button. What do you see ? Like Chris Rock said, “Don’t hate the Player, hate the Game.” Stop hating BMW drivers because they are rich enough to drive one. Hate their game, or better still get into… Read more »
RStewie
RStewie
6 years 10 months ago

BMW drivers need to get over themselves. I said it in the military, and I say it now: “BMWs are LT-mobiles, and I don’t want a starter luxury car.”

The only reason BMWs exist is so wanna-be luxury car owners can be assholes. You’ll notice that REAL luxury car owners aren’t worried about running people off the road and passing everyone within sight, and are, instead, contemplating the awesome ambiance within their REAL luxury car and supporting the American worker.

-Mercedes Owner

Minority Fortune
6 years 10 months ago

What a shame that some adults don’t have the ability to take advice and objectively apply it to their situation! The solid advice in here is looking ahead and anticipating changes. Then maybe again, maybe these are the same people double parking into spaces.

Hilarious bit about the BMW drivers, but I have indeed seen some Asian drivers in NYC.

Rick Brewster
6 years 10 months ago
That isn’t a 2-door coupe in that picture. It’s the E90 four-door sedan. *ducks* Also, if the parking lot is mostly empty, and will probably stay that way (Sundays at work?), and if the guy is parked in a corner, he’s probably just trying to avoid door dings. They happen and they suck 🙁 I bought an E46 sedan (the previous body style) in 2004 straight out of college, for several reasons. One, my 1990 Mazda MX6 was a POS and was falling apart. Two, I didn’t want to be bothered all the time by maintenance of my car —… Read more »
ruthlessmind
6 years 10 months ago
Interesting that the Mercedes differentiates himself from the asshole BMW driver by making ellitist, self-righteous statements. More interesting is that all these comments just prove the point made in the post. We are who we are. We like what we like and often reinforce those preferences by bashes those who think/act/feel differently than us. People want to feel like they’ve “arrived” in some way. That they did something meaningful with their life. For some, that means a family, kids, a dog and shed full of shit they’ll never use. For others, that means status, power, position or accomplishments. And a… Read more »
RStewie
RStewie
6 years 10 months ago
Oh, ruthlessmind, you see right through me. Except the part about the gender, but I’m used to that. God forbid a woman consider herself successful without kids. Anyhoo–I absolutely agree with you. Status cars can be fun (yeah, I DO actually get treated differently based on my car), but knowing yourself and allowing that material things are usually fairly immaterial to your happiness really helps clear your vision to get down to what will make you happy and how to get there. The best advice my parents gave me: start saving now. It really does take a lifetime to earn… Read more »
austin
austin
6 years 10 months ago

too bad that isn’t a coupe, rather it’s a BMW E90 Sedan…

Marc
6 years 10 months ago

First of all, that’s not a 2-door BMW. It’s a 4-door E90 3-Series. Second of all, I’m an owner of a 2-door BMW, an M3, and don’t appreciate the stereotype because it’s not true. Granted, that person is a tool for parking like that, but assholes are spread out across many brands.

Nate
Nate
6 years 10 months ago
Your book and website have gotten me excited about getting my finances straight. A good 80% of what I’ve gleaned from the book and blog has needed a lot of tweaking to make sense in my life (expat in Japan, freelancer, already generally frugal), but its still been worth a lot to me. This post hits at the heart of that matter. I’ve read other personal finance books before, but never given them serious consideration because they generally presume that I’m up to my elbows in credit card debt and dream of nothing more than owning a house in the… Read more »
santa claus
santa claus
6 years 10 months ago

just wanted to mention the car next to it was also backed in.

Rory
Rory
6 years 10 months ago

I come here for useful tips on managing my finances, and instead I get slammed in the face with some of the rudest langauge I have ever heard in my life. In all my years on the internet, I’ve never once heard such appalling remarks as the ones in this article. Shame on you, Mr. Sethi, shame on you for making such a broad generalization. In a way it’s typical though – all bloggers are such dicks.

John
John
6 years 10 months ago

What’s hilarious is that you consistently fill posts with comments that intend to inflame, then act like you don’t expect people to focus on them. I understand it’s your style, but on post # whatever the shtick gets old.

Lee
6 years 10 months ago

RE: Twilight Zone:

Oh. As I’m not a BMW driver, I thought this article didn’t apply to me!

Seriously, paragraphs 1-3 seem unrelated to the rest, perhaps a relevant analogy is required. It’s intriguing how a writer blames his readers for missing his incoherent point.

trackback

[…] Ramit Seth discusses why delusional people refuse to believe they’ll have the same spending patterns as everyone else. […]

ruthlessmind
6 years 10 months ago
“I’m 25, married, with a kid already. At this point, I’m 100% certain the my ability to predict my future is in ten years is utterly useless.” – BAKER My point exactly. The principles are simple. Save at LEAST 10% of your income… don’t spend more than 1/3 on housing… and buy a BMW because you get free maintenance on EVERYthing for 5 years (which saves significant expenses). Beyond that, if you’re using credit cards to pay for trips, dinners and electronics, then you’re setting yourself up for disaster. Live within your means. Pay for everything you can with cash.… Read more »
Kevin@OutOfYourRut
6 years 10 months ago
Ramit, this post is incredibly brilliant. But it seems as if the most clairvoyant of the subject posters are on the young side, when people typically are the most certain of what makes the world go round, and how they’ll respond to it. Aging will cure most of them of that. We have to forgive young people for being so certain; they’re fresh out of school and a lot of them still think the answer is “X”, just like it says in their textbooks. I’m going through that with my teenage kids right now. Maybe there’s too much of the… Read more »
Roozbeh
6 years 10 months ago

haha I must say I drive a 335 coupe , I do park reversed and I show finger if someone hunks at me … so i guess you can consider me an asshole. and as for the post content , i agree with 100%.

here is a picture of my car haha

/

JT
JT
6 years 10 months ago

I thought your BMW reference was hilarious! Oh, and the post was good too. OK, the post was actually one of the best ones you’ve written, IMO.

Kinda reminds me of how when we’re kids, we’re SURE we’ll never be like our parents. Then we get older…lo and behold…we say and do some of the same exact things…

trackback

[…] also observes that many people believe that they are the exception to the rule. This can lead some to not prepare properly. You may plan on paying your mortgage in 15 […]

DG
DG
6 years 10 months ago
I had to look at the original link to see if I qualified. I do. I know why, and it doesn’t have anything to do with the thinking of destiny. Once you drive one through a corner at high speed you will understand why these cars are driven like that. My wife’s Infiniti is nothing like it. The Inifiniti is more luxurious and even has more power. It also drives like a barge, hardly the kind of thing my 3 series is. I didn’t buy mine for the status (although the ignorant think as much), or the comfort, so much… Read more »
Scott
Scott
6 years 10 months ago

I figured this would be the easiest way to post this. About a year ago, with the save $1000 in a month challenge, Ramit posted a coupon code for Restaurant.com

There is another special going on, with the code NINETY you can get 90% of the price of the gift certificates (IE a $25 gift cert. now costs $1 instead of $10). They list right on there what the catches are (usually you have to spend $35 or more).

Discount code is good until September 13th.

Foxie @ CarsxGirl
6 years 10 months ago
Naw, I see the point, I’m just thinking the BMW reference is hilarious. 😀 I know lots of people who are ate up about their BMW, and lots of people who have them and are secure in that. I’m friends with the secure crowd, because they have the good ones. (The M3’s and Z3’s and Z4’s and such.) The ate up people are the ones driving around in 325i’s trying to act like they made it big in a fairly cheap car. Or BMW SUV’s. I HATE those — they have a good engine, that’s it. Horrible body, horrible handling,… Read more »
Foxie @ CarsxGirl
6 years 10 months ago
Oh, and about the snarky Mercedes owner…. Sorry, was a huge Mercedes fan for years. Then I went to the car lots of both dealers. I found an M3 on the BMW lot in a manual. I didn’t find a single Mercedes on the lot in a manual. My conclusion? Sure, Mercedes are more luxury… But BMW is more sporty. I like sporty, therefore I’d buy a new BMW before I bought a new Mercedes. (Save for most AMG models, and especially the AMG black series.) Many Mercedes owners are assholes too. Because they think that the car they drive… Read more »
RStewie
RStewie
6 years 10 months ago

The fact that you just called a Honda a “real, proper sports car” lessens the blow of your comment, so: no harm, no foul.

If I want sporty I will drive my other car…the Mustang 5.0LX with the rebuilt engine and wide racing tires. But to go to the grocery store and about town…my Benz is all the sport I need.

I would say more…but I’m still blown away by the Honda comment.

trackback

[…] also observes that many people believe that they are the exception to the rule. This can lead some to not prepare properly. You may plan on paying your mortgage in 15 […]

Bobby
6 years 10 months ago

The truly evolved Teutonic driving experience can only be had in a 1987 Vanagon one pothole away from complete and utter suspension failure. That being said, in my twenties I thought I’d have life mostly figured out by my late-thirties. In my mid-forties, I find myself navigating with less certainty than I ever did.

Bryan
6 years 10 months ago

It is funny how we fall into categories that you said. People who are successful want to show that they made it, so they buy a BMW. It is just a crazy pattern that no matter how hard you try, you are trying to hard if that makes any sense. I know what I am trying to say but I am not sure if it is coming out right. But anyways, live for yourself and if you happen to fall into a stereotype by accident, run with it!

Someones
Someones
6 years 10 months ago
At your age Ramit, you hardly know it all about everyone’s life trajectory. Some of us do indeed live outside of the stereotypes. It is not at all impossible. You and your readers seem to be especially fond of what you think you know about women. (I was pretty disappointed with the sexist attitude that came out in your book every so often, too.) Some commenter above implied that every woman, for instance, is going to have kids. Nope! I never wanted ’em and don’t have them. You really are overgeneralizing here, which you didn’t have to do to make… Read more »
Ryan
Ryan
6 years 10 months ago
This is my first comment. I can’t believe everyone has focused so much on that BMW line. The first sentence in a article is supposed to grab the reader’s attention (great success). I enjoy your articles, your writing style, and your great financial advice. I think trying to plan ahead 10 years is wise financially. Rich people do this and are much more prepared for whatever financial obstacle life throws at them. I’m amazed that so many people have no sense of humor and take everything so personally, but I think the majority of people who actually take away advice… Read more »
Mommy Reporter
6 years 10 months ago

Good advice!! I wish I did take the time to plan better for my financial future… I think it’s never too late, but planning ahead ten years is something that can and should be done no matter where you are in life. Great post!!

cukamunger
cukamunger
6 years 10 months ago

Wow, someones taking Ramit’s advice a bit too personally (pun totally intended). The more serious part of this post just addresses disillusioning yourself from thinking that the laws of finances do not apply to you. Statistically, you will never win the lottery. Statistically, women have the biological clock. Statistically, people are influenced by their surroundings. Being the exception to a rule in one category does not automatically exempt you in every category. Chill out. You don’t have to attack every generalization that doesn’t apply to you.

rachel
rachel
6 years 10 months ago

This is not an attack at the post, just a little good-humored insight.

I completely disagree with the generalization that Asians don’t drive BMWs. The greater Seattle area has a large Asian population and I can tell you that the young Asians love, love, love their BMWs. They also drive like assholes and reverse their cars into parking spots. Otherwise, you hit the nail on the head and I liked this post.

J. Kumar
J. Kumar
6 years 10 months ago
I agree that people who take up two parking spaces and drive arrogantly are a**holes. And, many BMW and Mercedes owners do this, but so do the clowns who have some mundane piece of junk who THINK they have something special. I am an Asian and drive neither one of those two cars. I couldn’t care less for BMW’s and Mercedes. I have a Bentley paid for in cash, not owned by the bank like many Merc and BMW owners. Oh, I reverse into spots at times, only because I have an “Elvis 1” plate on the front. However, I… Read more »
Kevin@OutOfYourRut
6 years 10 months ago
Mommy Reporter (47)–It’s never too late–I agree completely. Even if you’re 60 years old, and you think it’s “too late”, with proper planning and the right effort applied, the next 10 years could be the most significant and important of your life. Maybe if you’re older you won’t have the time value of money working in your favor, but you can still develop a rewarding career, eliminate debt, and get some money put aside so that life will be easier, if not luxurious. Life will never be perfect, but it can always be better and that’s something worth aspiring and… Read more »
Graham Stewart
Graham Stewart
6 years 10 months ago
YEAH, baby! RIGHT ON, R. Stewie.! Looks like Ramit has hit a raw nerve in some people – the truth hurts. So, get over it! ***MANY*** (not all) show-off BMW owners who own this wanna-be-luxury-car brand act more arrogantly than Rolls Royce owners! Why? Because they are legends in their own minds! They act and drive like they and their vehicle are special (NOT!). In our city, there are more BMW owners than Toyotas, it seems. Too ordinary! Anyway, all these facts are besides the point. The whole point of this blog is regarding one’s financial condition – not the… Read more »
Scadman
Scadman
6 years 10 months ago

If you drive a luxury vehicle and you didn’t pay for it in cash, you have successfully placed yourself firmly and directly in the middle of the middle class. Congratulations. You’ve proven that the ability to defer gratification really is the one key to being wealthy. I’ll make sure to give you (and..probably your 4 kids) the standard “boaters wave” from my yacht when I see you gawking at the “rich people” a few years down the road.

Quinton
Quinton
6 years 10 months ago

I too back into parking spots. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this practice. I consider backing into a known empty parking space to be much easier than backing into an active traffic corridor. I picked it up from my father. We drove a 92 Toyota truck, which is a totally sweet truck. Dad even built this custom bumper deal out of some sort of matte black metal piping some 2 1/2″ in diameter. It was frickin sweet.

I guess maybe he wanted to show off the bumper. It was pretty cool. Anyway good post.

Corporate Barbarian
6 years 10 months ago

If you told me twenty years ago that my life would turn out as it has, I would have told you that you were crazy. But your observation is spot on. I’m turning into my parents more every day. I’m going to take your advice, and ask a person who’s 10 years older what they wished they’d saved for. And I’ll funnel this advice to my kids. A great, amusing post.

Vas
6 years 10 months ago
To much time spent on talking about a BMW which was only to make a point. More time and energy should be spent thinking about putting yourself in a better spot rather than blah blah. It’s quite simple! what you put in is what you get out. The only way to get ahead is to sacrifice today for a better tomorrow. Saving money is a start and working hard and smart. I do not believe that you will know exactly what you will be doing in 10 nor have a exact plan however I know that if I do the… Read more »
Mr. Fight Greed
Mr. Fight Greed
6 years 10 months ago
Two ways I will resolve the issues at hand. 1. I will be following all the financial rules (I already am ahead of the game) as prescribed by the experts. It is not at all difficult to become rich enough to pay for a REAL luxury car. Not a pretender. 2. Some of those (BMW drivers included) who will act pompous and think they own the road or the parking space will find their vehicles keyed or tooth picks broken in the door locks – I have made sure of that numerous times. Sure, they have power door lock nowadays,… Read more »
gimena
gimena
6 years 10 months ago
One thing that has yet to be mentioned is that even if something doesn’t happen, you have saved money. Meaning, I am 25, I do not like kids and I don’t want any. I could argue to death that Rammit is wrong, but instead, I am saving up money for kids. Why? Because, I may not want kids now, but in 10 years I may change my mind. If in 10 years I still don’t want children, then I will have X dollars saved. I can now use that money for what ever I want. Same for a wedding. If… Read more »
Lee
6 years 10 months ago

@gimena: Good point. But kids cost a lot more than you could save for, you’ll need an income. You can’t say for sure that you’re not going to get more kids than you planned (e.g. twins).

Saving ahead for kids is a not a bad idea unless you’re relying on your savings to afford them. I’d also rather teach them to save for themselves rather than use my savings! Not talking about nappies of course, but their first car, or degree…

Kevin@OutOfYourRut
6 years 10 months ago

There’s a lot of good stuff in Ramit’s post, but the BMW corner is getting most of the attention in the comments.

Is it that we’re more passionate (and more likely to express an opinion) about things we don’t like than about things we do like???

Sara
Sara
6 years 10 months ago
My favorite delusional commenters are definitely on the wedding post. I especially love the people who claim to do super awesome-but-frugal weddings (aka 200 people for 3K) by getting all their friends and family to “donate” stuff to your cause. That’s not frugal; that’s being an asshole taking advantage of the people who are your friends. Trust me — your grandma doesn’t want to spend your wedding day preparing food for your 200 friends when all of her family is gathered in one place. Speaking of assholes, um, #57, a person who keys other people’s cars and sticks toothpicks in… Read more »
Kevin@OutOfYourRut
6 years 10 months ago

Sara (61)–According to people I know over the age of 70, that frugal wedding you’re describing, complete with donated stuff from family and friends was pretty normal not too long ago! They were called house weddings or backyard weddings.

We’ve gotten a bit over-indulgent with the Roman feasts that pass for weddings today. If that’s a preference, fine, but there are less extravagent ways to do it. And it might not even ruin the marriage 😉

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[…] Will Teach You to Be Rich – Ramit had a provocative post asking why delusional people think their spending will be different from other folks.   My short answer: because they’re, well, delusional!  Am I right?  But […]

Sara
Sara
6 years 10 months ago

Kevin (62) — True, but I’m not talking really about the small, backyard weddings of yesteryear. Not many people have those these days, even those people who get all their friends and family to “help out.”

Rosanne @ ComparedForMe
6 years 10 months ago

I almost laughed out loud with your last sentence. This post really hits home. And I tend to agree that people become more conservative in their investments as they grow older.. they have responsibilities after all.

Liz
Liz
6 years 10 months ago
I read a handful comments saying that young people are full of misguided optimism about how their financial future will be different from their parents’. It’s true, that many will follow that path, but I’m 20, in college, and seeing that all that I’ve learned about money and finance I learned from my parents, who are still living paycheck to paycheck in their mid-50s. Fortunately for me, I’ve REALIZED that I will follow in their footsteps unless I start taking my financial future into my own hands. My dad recommended that I open an IRA as soon as I am… Read more »
Credit Card Chaser
6 years 10 months ago
@ Liz “it’s very possible for young people to consciously make different financial decisions than their parents did.” Couldn’t agree with your more on that point. One of the things that irks me the most about most financial discussions is the probability that someone will play the “it’s not my fault – it’s my ‘s fault. I love your point though that no matter who you are and what your background or upbringing is – one can always take responsibility for their own actions and work to affect the change that they want (wow, that really sounded like it might… Read more »
Credit Card Chaser
6 years 10 months ago

Ok, it looks like I am not allowed to put brackets into comments so what is missing from the above comment is:

“it’s not my fault – it’s my (parents/dog/whatever) ’s fault.”

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[…] Will Teach You to Be Rich – Ramit had a provocative post asking why delusional people think their spending will be different from other folks.  Isn’t that kind of obvious?  They’re […]

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[…] Why do delusional people think their spending will be different than other people’s? […]

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