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Not advice or a question, but I wanted to tell my private story of overspending, downing in $40k of credit card debit, getting lucky, and what I learned at the end of it all.(r/povertyfinance)
This may sound a bit pretentious, but it may help someone, so here we go.
A couple of key things you mentioned; the slow adaptation to a higher-than-normal standard of living is sometimes referred to as “lifestyle creep” and is really easy to fall into.
A related topic is that buying things sure does feel good…for a moment. Unfortunately, this “hedonic treadmill” doesn’t endure, and is just as you say: a momentary happiness or sadness doesn’t last.
There’s a lot of people talking about stoicism, or Stoic philosophy, and it’s an interesting mindset to follow. Parts of it boil down to “be comfortable being uncomfortable”. One of the major writers was Seneca, and a favorite passage is in this letter:: ” Set aside a certain number of days, during which you shall be content with the scantiest and cheapest fare, with coarse and rough dress, saying to yourself the while: “Is this the condition that I feared?” ”
This is supposed to remind you that you don’t need luxury to survive; lentils and hamburger helper is fine, not buying new clothes is fine, staying home and reading a book is fine, etc. A reset, an antidote, to being aggressively…