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How important is having money to you?


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#1 of 41 OFFLINE   Ted Lee

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Posted March 19 2003 - 11:33 AM

this may be too personal a subject, but i thought i'd ask.

sometimes i feel like i put too much emphasis on having money. my girlfriend thinks i'm wayyy too tight with it. she feels that i don't enjoy it as much as i should.

for the record, i have a decent savings. i could go several months without working. so i defintely feel like i'm ready for an emergency. no anxiety there.

i'm not real materialistic. i don't feel like i need to have the latest and greatest toys. of course i do buy frivolous (sp?) stuff once in a while, but i definitely don't feel i'm an excessive shopper.

i sometimes wonder why i worry so much about it. it's clear that i'm not foolhardy, so why can't i just relax?

anyway, i was wondering what you all thought about money? how important is it to you? how do you feel about having it, saving it, or blowing it all. anyone live paycheck to paycheck? how do you feel about? do you worry about it? are you in serious debt? do you care?
 

#2 of 41 OFFLINE   Alex Spindler

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Posted March 19 2003 - 12:45 PM

I'm very carefree with my money. I'm in a situation where I don't really have to be tight with my money and can get most of the things I want. I've never had extremely expensive tastes, so it wasn't too hard to get here.

That said, I am putting away into my 401K, but I have nowhere near the amount of attention, and willpower, of my coworkers to put away money. I also am nowhere near as driven to gain a raise as I am to just do a good job. I hope that it will lead to better things, but I don't get dispirited when it doesn't.

So, in short, I'm not greedy for money, but that's because I'm about at my equilibrium point.

#3 of 41 OFFLINE   Mike Lenthol

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Posted March 19 2003 - 01:26 PM

Let's just say every cent I spend is in a M$ Excel spreadsheet, and every time I drive - the whole way there - my mind is busy crunching the numbers like depreciation and gas costs due to mileage Posted Image yes I'm very disturbed Posted Image Too bad I'm not a treasurer by profession.

#4 of 41 OFFLINE   Morgan Jolley

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Posted March 19 2003 - 01:46 PM

Don't have a job/steady source of income. If I did, I'd set some aside, but I'd have a good amount set aside for free spending. Whenever I get money, it falls right through the proverbial holes in my pocket.

#5 of 41 OFFLINE   Carl Miller

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Posted March 19 2003 - 03:22 PM

I used to be obsessed with saving for my future. I learned the value of "planning" from my father, who was convinced that when he retired he'd be financially comfortable and then able to do the things he had previously put off until retirement...Things like traveling to Europe, taking a cruise to Alaska and buying a Mercedes.

A year after he retired, my father was diagnosed with cancer and then he died about a year after that. He never did take that cruise or buy that Mercedes he always wanted.

Since he died, I've changed my perspective on money. I still save money for the kids college, contribute to my pension and try to bank some cash every month. But I'm also making sure that I live a little now. If that means I'll end up having 10% less money when I retire than I would have had I stuck to my fathers way of doing things, so be it. I'm not going to worry about that.
Carl

#6 of 41 OFFLINE   Jeff Pryor

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Posted March 19 2003 - 04:25 PM

Carl, sorry to hear about your loss. Your father taught you something about money that he never intended.

Truthfully, I hate money because I've never had much of it. Everyone I know makes more than me, including co-workers. It's always been this way no matter how hard I try.

My wife makes the dough here, I just seem to supplement.
Heads I win, tails you lose.

#7 of 41 OFFLINE   Don Black

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Posted March 19 2003 - 04:58 PM

I think the emphasis here should be on the "to you" part. To me, money plays a key role in advancing my personal happiness. I have expensive tastes and like to do expensive things. Consequently, my ability to pay for those things is important.

To others, this might not be the case and that's certainly respectable. As long as you justify things in terms of yourself (or your family), you can't go wrong.

#8 of 41 OFFLINE   Peter Overduin

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Posted March 19 2003 - 09:04 PM

My attitude has changed; now that I have - suddenly it seems - two teenage daughters in the house.

I just bought a boat. I bought it because I think it is the ideal family 'toy' for us at this stage of us being a family. I have woken up - suddenly it seems - to the realization that I have 16 and 13 year old daughters. The boat has been a great tool to make what is a good family; even better. We spend even more time together and my girls spend less time in front of the computer and TV.

Money? Right now; if I can afford the monthly payment, nothing else matters. I realize - suddenly it seems - that I have little time left with my girls still at home before they take off and do the college thing and leave home.

I have made a choice between a bunch of money now spent; and even more money saved for the future. With teo daughters still at home, I say screw the future; I am going to fully enjoy the next couple of years that I know they will still be at home. Give me a choice between 1 grand now, and 10 grand 10 years from now if I put it in a savings account; and I say give me the 1 grand now.

I used to be fixated with my retirement; now I just want to experience the next two years to thier fullest - hence the boat.

Money is just a tool to help me enjoy my family to the fullest. Beyond that, it matters none.
Peter

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#9 of 41 OFFLINE   Mike__D

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Posted March 20 2003 - 12:03 AM

I spend what I make and save very little. I live for today. Of course that might all change when I get married and have a family...

Mike D.

#10 of 41 OFFLINE   Bob Movies

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Posted March 20 2003 - 12:32 AM

My money situation:

I'm graduating from University in a few months, and I have plenty of student loans that I need to pay off. I'm currently looking for a job, since I need to find one after graduation, and right now I have no source of income... But it doesn't really worry me.

I think it's funny coming from my student perspective, since all through school I've been cash strapped. If I get a job paying $35,000 when I graduate it will seem like I'm rolling in dough, because it's so much more than I've ever had.

I agree with Peter - I've gone on a trip every year I've been in school, despite the fact that I don't have a ton of money. I feel that you can't stop living just because you're not rich, and if I've got a bit more debt, who cares?

Maybe I don't understand the financial thing, but as long as you've got enough money saved up to last a few months (which I don't) then why do you need more in the bank? Unless you're saving up for some sort of major purchase (i.e. house down payment) why not spend it?

Within a year or two I'm going to buy a projector so I can watch movies on a 100" screen - is it a good idea financially? I'd rather enjoy the projector than have that money in the bank, unused.

Money is for spending!

#11 of 41 OFFLINE   Carl Johnson

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Posted March 20 2003 - 12:52 AM

Making money is important to me but having it is not. As long as my bills get paid I'm happy.

#12 of 41 OFFLINE   Todd Hochard

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Posted March 20 2003 - 12:55 AM

Quote:
Maybe I don't understand the financial thing, but as long as you've got enough money saved up to last a few months (which I don't) then why do you need more in the bank? Unless you're saving up for some sort of major purchase (i.e. house down payment) why not spend it?
When you're married with a couple of kids, mortgage payment, car payment, and have a need for health insurance, a "couple of months worth" is a substantial amount of cash.

Being financially secure is important to me. I've made lots of sacrifices (the "trophy house," the "trophy vacation," etc.), so that I might provide a bit of security for my family. Sure, it's important to "live a little," but it's also important to ensure that you can keep living.
And, having a bit stashed allows me a bit of freedom in my work that I wouldn't otherwise have. I don't HAVE to be the Yes Man at work- I CAN say no to something I absolutely do not agree with, even if it means losing my job. I don't HAVE to take a transfer under pressure if I choose not to, just to stay liquid. I don't need a job for a couple of YEARS, if it comes to that, without changing our lifestyle one iota. As the sole earner in my early 30s, I can't tell you how liberating that feels to me.

So long as you can provide, and are living within your means, then do what you want. Just make sure you aren't two paychecks away from having everything taken from you. A lot of people I know are. Maybe it's a FL thing.

I grew up fairly poor, so that's likely where my desire for financial security comes from. I've no wish to return to such a life.

Todd
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#13 of 41 OFFLINE   Jefferson

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Posted March 20 2003 - 12:58 AM

Thornton Wilder wrote
"Money is like the sun we walk under...it can kill or it can cure".

I hate the prestige some people attach to those who have it. monetary and material wealth should not be the measure of a man/woman. Just my opinion, but there it is.

#14 of 41 OFFLINE   Ted Lee

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Posted March 20 2003 - 03:33 AM

thx for your opinions guys...you've given me something to think about.

peter - i feel you're doing the right thing...focusing on your family. money is important, but a family should definitely come first.

carl - your experience also strikes a chord with me. my parents both passed away within a year of eachother - i was 19 at the time. they had a pretty decent savings, but i feel that they probably didn't enjoy it either. they certainly didn't get to enjoy themselves - all they did was work and come home.

my mom became sick and her medical bills were pretty extensive...i think that had a big impact on my father and his view about what was happening to his savings. i think that may have been a factor in his suicide.

what's ironic is that my parents were, by no means, in the poorhouse. after my mom passed away i inherited a pretty good sum of money. enough for me to live several years care free and very carelessly.

which ties into my next point. i often feel bad about the way i handled my inheritance. i essentially have nothing to show for it now. i think that has a lot to do with how i now perceive material items and money.

in the grand scheme of things i don't think it matters much anymore. i want to be safe and prepared for emergencies, but i'm so tired of thinking about it all the time.
 

#15 of 41 OFFLINE   Frederick

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Posted March 20 2003 - 03:58 AM

Funny thing about money: there never seems to be enough of it. My wife and I make a good salary, we're not struggling at all. But there are things that we want to do that we can't, at least not right now. And there always seem to be something that pops up. Can you tell I haven't been married that long? The one thing that getting married has taught me is to pay attention to what you're spending and to plan. Before I was married, I was a spend-thrift. DVD's, video games, toys, going out ... all of my bills got paid, but I couldn't tell you what happened to the rest of it. Now I'm a husband, with an 8 year old son who eats like it's his last meal, and big dreams about college and creating Pokemon. Now it's about saving, mutual funds and buying a house. My whole perspective has changed, about life and money. Before I was unhappy because I didn't make enough to buy the "Next Big Thing". Now I'm content in the fact that I make enough to keep us comfortable and happy. Life's funny like that ...


Freddy C.
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actions in an imperfect one ..."

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#16 of 41 OFFLINE   MarkHastings

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Posted March 20 2003 - 04:22 AM

Spending money has always been a great pastime of mine. Sure I can think "If I didn't buy all those DVD's, I'd have an extra $5,000 in the bank", but who cares? As long as my "frivolous" purchases are made with "expendable" cash.

I had a friend (emphasis on HAD) and he would constantly try to put me down because I never had problems buying things. We worked together and made the same amount of money, but he went off and got married, bought a house and had 2 kids while I stayed single.

He always found some way to make me feel bad because I could afford luxuries. If I bought a new DVD player he'd say "Well, it must be nice to buy a new DVD player every year!". Then I'd find myself trying to come with some excuse like "Well, my old player isn't working that well...", etc.

I don't think anyone should have to "justify" spending extra cash as long as you're happy and that extra cash doesn't hurt you financially. As others have pointed out, life's too short and you can't take it with you so enjoy it while you can.

#17 of 41 OFFLINE   Matt Gordon

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Posted March 20 2003 - 06:23 AM

Quote:
i don't feel like i need to have the latest and greatest toys.



Go away. You don't fit in here.



Just kidding Ted. Posted Image Interesting topic!
Spoiler tags are cool.

#18 of 41 OFFLINE   Mike Lenthol

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Posted March 20 2003 - 06:39 AM

Quote:
I hate the prestige some people attach to those who have it.

"Life is just a game, and money is how we keep the score." Posted Image

That's a great quote I heard somewhere.

#19 of 41 OFFLINE   ken thompson

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Posted March 20 2003 - 06:44 AM

A couple of my thoughts....

Money is very important. Saving money is equally important.

I would hate to go along in life doing well with a nice salary and easily being able to afford all of my expenses knowing that I could never retire. Keep in mind if there is any social security at all when we retire the best you'll do is about $1500 a month. Try living on that with no savings. Especially after being used to a big fat salary for all those years.

Another thing is that there comes a point with your savings that you no longer have to work. I hate work. I would rather play. A couple of mil. in the bank and you can goof off to your hearts desire.

Thats how I feel and that what I'd like to do.

#20 of 41 OFFLINE   Ted Lee

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Posted March 20 2003 - 06:44 AM

Posted Image

matt - you should have met me a few years ago. if it was new, hi-tech and (pretty much) useless i had it!

ahh...the good ol' days! Posted Image
 





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