Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Neil Jenman

Australian real estate advisor Neil Jenman was warning about a global real estate crash already three years ago. To his credit, he is not crowing about being right, he is just trying to help the people who have been taken in.

From the article:

"Suggestion Four. DOWNSIZE.

The high cost and the stress of snobbery isn't worth it. Sell your home and move to the western side of the Pacific Highway (you know what I mean).

Get rid of the McMansion in Bella Vista Waters (seriously, there is such a place) and buy yourself a lovely home in a lovely street just 15 minutes away in Blacktown. Before you say, "I'd never live there," go and have a look at it. You can buy a great 4-bedroom home in a quiet street in a wonderful community for less than $300,000.

What would you prefer? That people think you're rich, but you are really stressed out and battling to survive? Or, that people think you are battling, but you have low debt and you are ever-so-happy?

The price of pretending to be prosperous is very high - both financially and emotionally."

I agree. I live well below my means. If I had a big house and a big car, I may have some people who would look up to me for that, but those are not generally the kind of people I want to impress. I prefer the quiet satisfaction of doing well by doing good, no matter if it shows in my material surroundings or not.


Final Identity said...

Spoken like a man who's never really had to do without. :)

First reason people keep on conspicuously consuming is, that there's peer pressure to do so. All our social indicators suggest that you're not contributing properly if you aren't spending everything that you earn, and then some by means of debt financing. If you CAN afford it, you SHOULD buy it, so says our economy. And I think some might feel they weren't "contributing to the economy" if they didn't buy bigger homes.

Then there's the issue of getting a date. Girls like guys who pay them for things. Pay them for sexuality, by taking them out to expensive restaurants. Demonstrate their strong provider status, by showing off expensive cars and stereos. Girls will always say they can't be bought, and that when they feel a guy is just trying to buy their affections, they're turned off. Then they'll respond more positively to the conspicuous consumer than to the quiet saver.

I live well below my means, always have. They have hated me at my workplaces because I never fell for the "work on the weekend" hints. Extra incentives to get me in to the expensive car with the more expensive debt financing plan never really moved me. No wonder I'm single ...

Graham said...

I'm glad that final identity mentioned girls. I'm single and not dating at the moment but it seems to me it's a lot harder to live frugally if you've got a girl to impress and keep happy.