Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Rate Thread
Page 1 of 2 1 2
Thanksgiving, then Black Friday
#447594 11/23/23 04:27 PM
Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 276
Likes: 22
local
OP Online Content
local
Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 276
Likes: 22
Tis the season for thanksgiving. Which means it’ll then be open season for mirthless materialism. Assuming you’ve dealt with your survival obligations first (food, shelter, utilities), you might have just enough disposable income left over to splurge on Black Friday. But should you?

The book “The Science of Happier Spending” by Dunn and Norton suggests a template to maximizing your happiness ROI (return on investment) from spending. Happiness ROI increases if an experience fosters a sense of social connection; adds to the lore of your life that you can retell to family and friends; or is linked to your sense of self. Material possessions provide a low happiness ROI once Maslow’s basic needs are met.

In no particular order:

1. Buy experiences. The lovely toy so fiercely sought hath lost its charm by being caught. Experiences resist the hedonistic treadmill, so different people with the same vacation destination but different itineraries (hitchhiking + hostel vs private jet + luxury hotel) can still experience the same positive emotions.
2. Make it a treat. The habituation of abundance and luxury diminishes appreciation, so it’s better to intersperse a minority of extraordinary with the majority of the ordinary. Your cup of cafe-bought java will feel more special weekly rather than daily.
3. Buy time. Be willing to occasionally pay for convenience and access. According to Dunn and Norton, how you use time is more deeply connected with your sense of self than material possessions (heretical, I know).
4. Pay now, consume later. Anticipating future happiness leads to happiness. Put the pain of payment upfront.
5. Invest in others. Money spent on others (family, friends, community, pets) feels better than spending on yourself.

Before you buy that next audio bauble, consider these alternatives first:
- Embrace streaming. While there are conveniece benefits (vast catalogs, custom playlists, curators, lack of commercials, and good enough audio quality), streaming also incentivizes music discovery, whereas physical media punishes trial and error.
- Satisfy your collecting instinct with software rather than hardware. Finding musical needles in a haystack can be more satisfying than pining for unobtainium gear. Get faster results by corralling music curators and putting them on probation.
- Take someone with you to live music venues. You won’t hear pinpoint imaging, inner detail, chocolatey midrange, air, nor low noise floor, but you’ll enjoy yourself anyway and give the performer a living income.
- Rewind. Revisit albums from your collection, and reserve your favorite playlist for the weekends.
- Sing along to your favorite songs. If there’s an audience, hide the tomatoes.
- Unplug. Not every moment of your life needs a soundtrack.

Most audio products promise the moon but don’t deliver a good ROI. But if hardware is your thing, aim for convenience and perceived realism. Without these, you’re arguably far from reaching the point of diminishing returns:
- subwoofer(s)
- headphone or in-ear monitor with active noise cancellation and tuned to a target curve
- 5 or more speakers (Olive score > 4.0) positioned according to Dolby recommendations
- Multichannel AVR or pre-pro with HDMI switching, eARC, 4K or 8K HDR, Dolby Digital or DTS:X, bass management, and active room correction
- wireless (Chromecast/AirPlay/Bluetooth)
- multipolar surround speakers
- radio + infrared simplified remote

Good hunting. I’ll be sitting out Black Friday tomorrow, but maybe you found something with a great ROI.


Author of "Status 101: How To Keep Up In A World That Keeps Score While Buying Into Buying Less"
Re: Thanksgiving, then Black Friday
Hambrabi #447596 11/23/23 06:31 PM
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 1,892
Likes: 101
connoisseur
Online Content
connoisseur
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 1,892
Likes: 101
Happiness is a disposable income grin

Re: Thanksgiving, then Black Friday
Hambrabi #447597 11/23/23 06:41 PM
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 1,892
Likes: 101
connoisseur
Online Content
connoisseur
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 1,892
Likes: 101
Maximizing happiness may not require money … but it sure helps if your having trouble making ends meet.
Once you’re beyond a that threshold, I agree that spending money doesn’t in itself bring happiness.

Re: Thanksgiving, then Black Friday
Hambrabi #447598 11/24/23 04:30 AM
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 10,490
Likes: 116
M
shareholder in the making
Offline
shareholder in the making
M
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 10,490
Likes: 116
Some are choosing to reward themselves by taking out mortgages on their properties, investing the proceeds, and making off like bandits.


House of the Rising Sone
Out in the mid or far field
Dedicated mid-woofers are over-rated
Re: Thanksgiving, then Black Friday
Hambrabi #447599 11/24/23 12:48 PM
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 1,892
Likes: 101
connoisseur
Online Content
connoisseur
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 1,892
Likes: 101
How’s that going for you? smile

Re: Thanksgiving, then Black Friday
Hambrabi #447600 11/24/23 05:23 PM
Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 276
Likes: 22
local
OP Online Content
local
Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 276
Likes: 22
Inflation is a killer. I'm a Gen X'er (1961-1981) and was mortgage free by 43. My wife and I wouldn't even qualify for a mortgage on our own place today. Millenials (1982-1995?) and Gen Z (1995-2012?) are so screwed.


Author of "Status 101: How To Keep Up In A World That Keeps Score While Buying Into Buying Less"
Re: Thanksgiving, then Black Friday
Hambrabi #447601 11/24/23 06:30 PM
Joined: Dec 2019
Posts: 775
Likes: 40
aficionado
Online Content
aficionado
Joined: Dec 2019
Posts: 775
Likes: 40
I'm finding great success with the second hand market and getting what I feel is a great ROI overall. I am finding great gear that was great 10 - 20 years ago and is of good quality. I am happy with what I have. I have a few different systems now, and while i'll admit they are not the last word in top audiophile lists, I have a variety of systems and different rooms to play in and enjoy. And that is where I enjoy the audio hobby the most....tinkering....trying.....combos of different amps, different speakers, placements, etc. It's great to sit down at my office desk and enjoy it there, or the living room, or the bedroom, or the 5.1 in the basement. Again, all done on a budget but i get great satisfaction from it. Kids love the basic theatre and we have enjoyed a bunch of movies together. We live rural so there is no movie theatre even close to consider going to see a movie. We get cozy down there with our popcorn and treats on our free couch and it's totally awesome! The wife and I have enjoyed a few movies too. I guess i love the variety. Headphones too and few different modest DACS to play with. With 3 kids life is expensive enough and while we're not hurting really, we have to be careful to not get carried away. Finding the balance. I enjoy buying CD's from a nearby second hand store. I think i've spent a total of like 30 dollars over the last year and have a growing selection of cd media again along with my collection a kept from the past. $2 for 10 cd. Vinyl too, the collection is growing. The second hand world is great but my rule is to be selctive and not just buy it bc it's a good deal. Patience is a virture, I enjoy the wait and know there will always be something else out there later. Nice post there Hambrabi.


M60ti Hafler9505 & JFET Pre,Axiom Transformer. M3 Marantz PM7200 Dual 606 Denon 2700 M2 Yammy RX595
Re: Thanksgiving, then Black Friday
Hambrabi #447602 11/24/23 06:50 PM
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 1,892
Likes: 101
connoisseur
Online Content
connoisseur
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 1,892
Likes: 101
Inflation is a killer. Salary's usually lag inflation. Often raises don't cover, so you lose buying power. That's until the employer makes an adjustment because they start losing people to the competition.

If you're on a fixed income it's especially hard. Even when invested well where perhaps you're assuming 2% inflation and a withdrawal rate of 4% ... if you're making only 6%, and inflation goes above plan your either tightening your belt or losing principle (faster than planned) or both. Now that's the simplified version since most investments do not grow in a linear fashion. Inflation will often hit when your investments are down ... it's no fun selling something at a loss when you know it will be a winner in a year or two.

The one place inflation really helps you is if you have a fixed rate mortgage. The lender is the one taking the hit. Your mortgage will start to look smaller and smaller as your salary and investments adjust for inflation. So, if you were lucky enough to take out a large mortgage when they were sub 3% (as I think Mojo was suggesting), can afford to cover it, and invested that money in something producing more than 3% ... you're making money now.

Last edited by rrlev; 11/24/23 06:56 PM.
Re: Thanksgiving, then Black Friday
Hambrabi #447603 11/28/23 10:23 PM
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 1,892
Likes: 101
connoisseur
Online Content
connoisseur
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 1,892
Likes: 101
BTW Bloomberg had an interesting article on inflation today … since the pandemic the cost of living seems to have increased 19% … that about agrees with what I’m seeing. Can’t imagine what the avg American, who pre pandemic didn’t have $400 in emergency cash, is handling this.

Re: Thanksgiving, then Black Friday
Hambrabi #447605 11/30/23 02:15 AM
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 10,490
Likes: 116
M
shareholder in the making
Offline
shareholder in the making
M
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 10,490
Likes: 116
They're handling it very well thanks to government hand-outs that, according to the Federal Bank of San Francisco, balooned the excess savings of the average US family. That number has now been reduced to $3,500/family as Kering has racked up profits from Guccis and Versaces that no one could afford nor needed but bought anyway because money was free.


House of the Rising Sone
Out in the mid or far field
Dedicated mid-woofers are over-rated
Page 1 of 2 1 2

Moderated by  alan, Amie, Andrew, axiomadmin, Brent, Debbie, Ian, Jc 

Link Copied to Clipboard

Need Help Graphic

Forum Statistics
Forums16
Topics24,933
Posts442,426
Members15,611
Most Online2,082
Jan 22nd, 2020
Top Posters
Ken.C 18,044
pmbuko 16,441
SirQuack 13,839
CV 12,077
MarkSJohnson 11,458
Who's Online Now
0 members (), 192 guests, and 0 robots.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Newsletter Signup
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.4