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I remember my early-to-mid twenties. It was a time when every bartender in town knew my name. Even on vacations, I would become a regular within the span of a weekend. I used to spend so much cash in bars, clubs and lounges that lines never existed for me. Anybody who tells you that hot girls get special treatment in the night life spotlight is a rookie. Men who spend are the stuff that V.I.P. lounges are built of.

Last week I read a U.S. News report on why Generation Y is too frugal. Honestly...I didn't know what to make of it, so I'm here to see what you guys have to say about it.

The article paints your generation of 20-somethings as afraid of debt, mommy and daddy dependent, candidates for a lifetime of frugality. Is this how you see yourselves?

I was inclined to dismiss this article as yet another page filler in a slow news day; the calm before another MENA storm or in yesterday's case, Japanese Tsunami. Something happened a few nights ago that changed my mind all together. Allow me to share:

I'm sitting in one of my favorite lounges on a slow weeknight. My Maker's Mark no longer enjoys the finely complimenting cigar it had grown accustomed to over the years. This place is perfect for me due to its dimness and plush seats. When I started coming years ago it was the hot spot for young hotties and wannabee players spending cash. Now its like a Depression era dive with only the tumbleweeds missing. This is a good thing for me as I want some quiet. Except this time, I can't have it. My waitress is making it impossible...

In the span of an hour she's been over to see if I need anything half-a-dozen times, each time attempting clumsily to engage me in some sort of conversation. I don't mind having a pretty young girl's attention, but usually her type does not hover so hard unless there's an ulterior motive. I quickly found out that there was and it came with the unsurprising aura of dollar signs around it.

Apparently, I am her best customer. Amongst the slew of faux compliments she unleashes only one makes sense. I tip really, really well. This is funny to me as I consider myself a reformed spender. But then I realize something crucial...this girl's barely 20, she missed the boom times.

Over the years, I have dated quite a few waitresses and let me tell you fellas: these chicks made bank. It was not uncommon for a girl with good looks and charisma to pull down four figures in a night. We are talking about legit bar work here, no stripping or pole sliding. As I got deeper into conversation with this chick I was shocked by what she told me about her pay. She effectively makes a little better than minimum wage. Her main complaint is that hordes of young guys come in on Friday and Saturday occupying her time with one bottle of Belvedere amongst the seventeen of them. My two bourbons and one Alexander Hamilton are the highlight of her week.

This is an isolated story, of course. I know it doesn't tell the tale of an entire generation, especially the young financier set. It is to me, however, a sign of extreme shifting values from generation to generation. Back in those years, if I had a hundred bucks in my pocket, you can bet that my local fun house was getting $95 of it. You could also bet that even with holes in my pockets at the end of the night, I was still running up and down the block seeing which girl(s) wanted to split a cab. I lived for the moment and tomorrow was a light year away. Looking at how you guys scrounge and save now makes me wonder if perhaps you are missing out on the funnest time of your lives?

Am I wrong to base my opinion on the words of an underpaid waitress and a magazine article...or is there something to this claim? Is your generation just plain cheap?
C'mon guys, I know some of you are ballin' outta control. Come out of the woodwork and tell Midas all about it.

Comments (79)

  • monkeysama's picture

    Yeah....I'm 25 and I'm watching my parents try and sell their house. Everyone in their cul-de-sac is trying to sell at the same time so it's a complete shit show. Neighbors scheming and backstabbing to underbid each other. At least one family had to move because the husband was fired. And this is an upper middle class neighborhood.

    My parents have 1/4 of their savings sunk into the house, so if they don't get a good price they may not be able to pay for their medical care as they get older.

    Seriously, you're saying how terrible it is that my generation isn't dropping benjamins on bottles every weeknight? Where have you been?

  • nutsaboutWS's picture

    I definitely agree with the article. Our generation is much more money conscious because I think money is so much more important than past generations... I am the total opposite of frugal and believe that having a great time requires money. Enjoy your golden years while you're young.

    --
    "Those who say don't know, and those who know don't say."

  • JPM555's picture

    I don't start my BB FT till July. In the meantime I've taken out two no-interest-for-a-year credit cards, am going to Vegas and Europe, and been getting shit-faced 4+ days a week.

    Lever up.

  • sick_willy's picture

    at least for me (23 y/o), i've just been raised that way (not overspending) coming from a blue collar background (and having student debt). Don't get me wrong, there are things that I'd really like to buy that are unnecessary (IWC watch, custom clothing), but then i come back down to earth and realize that i'm not really in a position to do that yet.

    Don't get me wrong, i'm not cheap by any means, I just don't necessarily ball out or spend all my money (though I do go out to dinner with the gf quite a bit which really chips away at the wallet more than you'd think, esp in nyc)...

    ---------------------------
    BossMode

  • technoviking's picture

    one could argue that the boom years are the reason why our generation must live a frugal living now. thanks mom and dad

  • blastoise's picture

    so what the past generations fucked up this country by debt and we are pure evil because we dont want to make the same mistake?

  • bankingftw's picture

    Some of us value consumption later > consumption now.

    Work hard. play hard. decrease SG&A, increase CapEx

    "I swear by my life and my love of it that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for the sake of mine."

  • bfin's picture

    Live fast die young.

    The answer to your question is 1) network 2) get involved 3) beef up your resume 4) repeat -happypantsmcgee

    WSO is not your personal search function.

  • bossman's picture

    MIdas,

    Us and many other generations after us will be paying for the superfluous ways of the earlier generations. No doubt about it. The society has been changing starting in the later 80s. This is not to say your generation did anything wrong, it's just the way the cycle runs.

    Are we missing out on life? Yes and no. We spend less when we go out and we are watchful of our pockets, but we probably enjoy going out less. We find other things to do.

    This isn't true for everyone, but there might be a pretty strong trend here.

    Do what you want not what you can!

  • BruceWayne's picture

    My mantra has always been have as much fun as the moment allows. This past weekend, I dropped over a grand in a night. However, I felt it was well worth it. Went out with two of my best friends and 6 models. While that may seem outrageous to some, I know I'll have money later so heavy consumption today doesn't bother me even if it puts me in a temporary squeeze when the cc bill comes at the end of the month.

  • derivstrading's picture

    i believe you can have a good time without spending a lot. I find the nights out when i get drunk off 20 quid are way better than when dropping 200 in a London club, but that is just my opinion.

    I have also seen my parents build up a solid amount of wealth with absolutely no debt. Granted their income is associated with a higher level of consumption in America, but I dont see that as necessary.

  • IlliniProgrammer's picture

    Let's see.

    -We survived September 11th in high school.
    -We watched the dot-com crash.
    -We watched the Iraq War and all of these warnings that the terrorists were coming again- "if you see something, say something."
    -We watched as oil prices shot past the moon.
    -We watched the worst recession since 1937, perhaps since the early 1930s.
    -We watched as 30% of our coworkers got laid off.

    ARE YOU CRAZY? WHY WOULDN'T WE BE FRUGAL AND NERVOUS ABOUT SPENDING MONEY??? :D

  • ivoteforthatguy's picture

    Considering our generation might be marching off to WWIII we're just trying to save up a little for our orphans and widows.

  • monkeysama's picture

    Yeah, Illini this really pisses me off.

    "Oh dear. Henrietta, I'm afraid the plebeians are not spending as much as necessary. Without debt driven consumer spending what will ever happen to the economy?"

    "It's absolutely dreadful, Alfred! Why they must all be momma's boys and pantywaists. Or, oh perish the thought, they actually think they'll be able to save enough to be filthy rich like us!"

    "Henrietta! That is so rich. Let us have a good chuckle!"

    "Yes, Alfred, let's!"

    *chuckle*chuckle*guffah*chortle*chuckle*chuckle*

    The complete disconnect from reality of the poster as well as the article makes me feel stabby.

    Eat the rich.

  • adapt or die's picture

    I cannot stand all these people that rip generation Y and young people in general. We are the products of the baby boomers terrible decision making! Do you think 20 somethings don't want to be out spending tons of dough at clubs and consuming everything like it's going out of style?! We (young people now) are the first generation that will have a lower standard of living than our parents. The baby boomers had it SOO easy and now they can sit back and call us slackers while we pay for their luxurious 30+ year retirements. Fuck them.

    If you haven't noticed I very much resent the baby boomer generation.

  • In reply to monkeysama
    BruceWayne's picture

    monkeysama wrote:
    Yeah, Illini this really pisses me off.

    "Oh dear. Henrietta, I'm afraid the plebeians are not spending as much as necessary. Without debt driven consumer spending what will ever happen to the economy?"

    "It's absolutely dreadful, Alfred! Why they must all be momma's boys and pantywaists. Or, oh perish the thought, they actually think they'll be able to save enough to be filthy rich like us!"

    "Henrietta! That is so rich. Let us have a good chuckle!"

    "Yes, Alfred, let's!"

    *chuckle*chuckle*guffah*chortle*chuckle*chuckle*

    The complete disconnect from reality of the poster as well as the article makes me feel stabby.

    Eat the rich.

    You're analysis is somewhat flawed. If you want to see what a high savings rate can do to a large, developed economy, check out Japan.

  • In reply to BruceWayne
    bossman's picture

    BruceWayne wrote:
    monkeysama wrote:
    Yeah, Illini this really pisses me off.

    "Oh dear. Henrietta, I'm afraid the plebeians are not spending as much as necessary. Without debt driven consumer spending what will ever happen to the economy?"

    "It's absolutely dreadful, Alfred! Why they must all be momma's boys and pantywaists. Or, oh perish the thought, they actually think they'll be able to save enough to be filthy rich like us!"

    "Henrietta! That is so rich. Let us have a good chuckle!"

    "Yes, Alfred, let's!"

    *chuckle*chuckle*guffah*chortle*chuckle*chuckle*

    The complete disconnect from reality of the poster as well as the article makes me feel stabby.

    Eat the rich.

    You're analysis is somewhat flawed. If you want to see what a high savings rate can do to a large, developed economy, check out Japan.

    Why don't you check out the US economy or Greek for that matter to see what a high spending rate can do!!!! Being frugal is one thing, but consuming more than your income can handle is a way to a very huge fall.

    Frugality can slow the economy, overspending can throw it into a swirl. Basically, the best solution is living by what your income is, with about a 4% savings rate and borrowing advantageously (home or investment).

    Do what you want not what you can!

  • wallstreetballa's picture

    I can't speak from the IB group as I havn;t broken into the industry just yet but I can speak from my personal experiences to now. I'm 22, just finished undergrad and can confess I wrapped up my final year like a rockstar. I'm not talking about the typical college kid who pre drinks there brains out prior to hitting the bar 3 nights a week. I'm talking about bottles and young golddiggers in training 5 nights a week. Your sentence about strictly living for the moment and thinking tomorow a light year away, I couldn;t agree with you more if you wrote this a year ago. But I think there comes a point in time when people grow out of their bar star stages and the way the world is today, we have every right to be frugal. Drinkings fun when your young n dumb but if alchohal was invented today i;m certain it would be illegal.

    Different mindset, different culture, with long term goals in play. Thats how i'd like to think of my generation. All of the smart ones at least. If were fortunate enough to see better days, then bet the house that your waitress will have plenty of excellent customers and not just yourself

  • LIBOR's picture

    I think their is another angle that hasn't been considered yet. Our generation (I'm 21) has basically had everything handed to us our entire lives. When we wanted something, whether it be a toy or video game, most of the time, we got it. Now obviously there are anomalies to this, but the fact is, we are collectively the sons and daughters of the wealthiest generation in American history. I think that because money is never really an issue for us means we don't get a kick out of dropping tons of cash at a bar or club. The diminishing marginal utility of money has made it that we really aren't excited about spending a lot.

    Note: I grew up in suburban middle-class NJ so my worldview might be a bit parochial

  • D M's picture

    I actually recently ripped on my parents for letting their generation fuck everything up for us.

    That said, how is this generation more frugal than others? Maybe people go out and utilize services less often, but that's because you can get the majority of those services at home now. Why should I go out and spend $200 at a bar when I can throw a house party for the same price, have some friends pitch, and have an awesome time? Don't get me wrong, I do both, but there's no point in going out every night of the week.

    Also, let's take a look at housing situations. Even as small a period as 20 years ago many college grads were going back and living with their parents to save up some money while starting their first job. 30, 40, 50 years ago the majority of people lived at home post-college or when first starting a career. Nowadays we have our own places, which is a monstrous expense.

    Are we more intelligent with our money? Yes and no, but as with everything else, spending habits change.

    "You stop being an asshole when it sucks to be you." -IlliniProgrammer
    "Your grammar made me wish I'd been aborted." -happypantsmcgee

  • Studiofan's picture

    This hasnt been talked about in the article but Gen Y does a big chunk of their shopping online, before if you were to splurge on a Cart you would go to the dealership and buy it while today, you can go on ebay from your phone compare prices locally with online and make an informed decission.

  • LeveragedTiger's picture

    I really think this opinion mentions the extremes; you either spend every penny you have, or you're cheaper than a Chinese entrepreneur.

    There's got to be some sort of middle ground where you can make good money and enjoy the high-life, without coming home broke every night or maxing out every form of personal credit.

    "The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it." - George Bernard Shaw

  • karypto's picture

    That's the hard part about deffering pleasure/fun in the short run for someting in the future (say a yacht).

  • In reply to bankingftw
    Virginia Tech 4ever's picture

    bankingftw wrote:
    Some of us value consumption later > consumption now.

    This. I am swimming in hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash (not bad for a 26-year-old state university grad) and a rather large NPV on my future earnings. I am putting my money to work for me now so that instead of blowing my money on alcohol and cheap vacations, I'm ensuring that when I'm 35 I'll be able to build a dream house, drive a nice car, and, most importantly, have a level of freedom that the guy earning $200k per year with no savings doesn't have.

    There is little freedom in poverty when you're 40 and have a bad liver.

  • In reply to Virginia Tech 4ever
    bossman's picture

    Virginia Tech 4ever wrote:
    bankingftw wrote:
    Some of us value consumption later > consumption now.

    This. I am swimming in hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash (not bad for a 26-year-old state university grad) and a rather large NPV on my future earnings. I am putting my money to work for me now so that instead of blowing my money on alcohol and cheap vacations, I'm ensuring that when I'm 35 I'll be able to build a dream house, drive a nice car, and, most importantly, have a level of freedom that the guy earning $200k per year with no savings doesn't have.

    There is little freedom in poverty when you're 40 and have a bad liver.

    I like the last sentence!

    Do what you want not what you can!

  • zeropower's picture

    Those ripping on their parents - i guess they didnt teach you well. Mine taught me to be frugal (i try to be, but hard) and to always always always have some liquid saved for a rainy day.

    Also, each generation has been richer than the last. So i too hope to leave my kids with more than my parents are leaving me with.

  • Mr. Cheese's picture

    After reading many writings from Henry David Thoreau, I've realized there really is no reason to spend money and buy into the social manipulation that is consumerism and consumption. The economic and social freedom that is obtained from not buying into social pressures to uphold appearances/please others/look "cool" is a liberating feeling.

    I'm probably in the minority though. It seems there is a stigma attached to people that are frugal, cheap, economically efficient, etc and whatever else you want to a general apprehension towards wasteful spending. But why? It's irrationality at its finest engaging in conspicious consumption, no matter the level of income. It's not wrong or right, just irrational. I definitely think it's uplifting to see our generation slowly altering their fiscal views. After experiencing everything over the past 10 years, maybe it will finally sink in to the American culture that, contrary to what television and the government tells us, there is nothing wrong with not spending money instead of delayed gratification

    David Brooks had a great article that is related to this discussion in the NYTimes called " The Modesty Manifesto"

  • In reply to Virginia Tech 4ever
    PTS's picture

    Virginia Tech 4ever wrote:
    bankingftw wrote:
    Some of us value consumption later > consumption now.

    This. I am swimming in hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash (not bad for a 26-year-old state university grad) and a rather large NPV on my future earnings. I am putting my money to work for me now so that instead of blowing my money on alcohol and cheap vacations, I'm ensuring that when I'm 35 I'll be able to build a dream house, drive a nice car, and, most importantly, have a level of freedom that the guy earning $200k per year with no savings doesn't have.

    There is little freedom in poverty when you're 40 and have a bad liver.

    +1

    I think in a similar way but make sure i dont miss out on anything i truly want to do today

  • In reply to zeropower
    Mr. Cheese's picture

    zeropower wrote:
    Those ripping on their parents - i guess they didnt teach you well. Mine taught me to be frugal (i try to be, but hard) and to always always always have some liquid saved for a rainy day.

    Or a tsunami...

    Once you lose the material possessions you have, you realize how material and worthless they actually were. The dream house, the "nice" car, the yacht etc. etc. can all be taken away in an instance and you be left with absolutely nothing. It's then when you realize that it doesn't mean anything; that is unless your perception of yourself is tied to your display of material wealth to the world.

  • In reply to zeropower
    ivoteforthatguy's picture

    zeropower wrote:
    Those ripping on their parents - i guess they didnt teach you well. Mine taught me to be frugal (i try to be, but hard) and to always always always have some liquid saved for a rainy day.

    Also, each generation has been richer than the last. So i too hope to leave my kids with more than my parents are leaving me with.

    I don't think he was ripping on his parents for personal matters, but the entire Boomer generation for setting up a fiscal apocalypse with Medicare/SS/Medicaid, letting the military-industrial-congressional complex gobble up 20% of the federal budget, etc.

  • Virginia Tech 4ever's picture

    Mr Cheese, everyone's perception of themselves in finance is related to material possessions. Otherwise, virtually all of us would do something meaningful with our lives. Possessions and money = scorecard of success. So, I'm just saying. If that's truly how you feel, quit and work at an orphanage. My take is that building a nice house when I'm 35 > spending $10,000 per year for a decade drinking myself under the table.

  • Mr. Cheese's picture

    I had a pretty rhetorically neutral tone. Touche!

    I just noticed the rainy day comment and thought of the what's going on in Japan right now. Things like that could happen anytime, anywhere.

  • Bondarb's picture

    I have seen many people who have spent huge and let me give some good advice: Drinking and going out really dont add up to much of an expense, especially relative to what a successful person in this business can make. Also, "toys" like cars and big, high-rent apartments are usually not where people get into trouble....those are 1-time, or at least short-term, expenses that end quickly. The can create some "what was i thinking?" type of regret, but I have never seen somebody really kill themselves with this type of spending. I have however, seen a few very successful people destroy their quality of life after a good run on wall st and it is always the same story...they get married and have a bunch of kids at a very young age, then for whatever reason their career takes a down-turn and their marriage blows-up (which cuts their wealth in half). The wife's settlement usually ends up being calibrated to the time when the guy was killing it and the kids cost like 100k/year in perpetuity. This scenario can take you from being very rich to being very middle-class (and feeling poor) very quickly.

    So basically, drink all you want and buy whatever crap you think will make you happy, but do not ever get married or have kids at a young age unless you are really 100% sure....and absolutely make sure you have a pre-nup when you get married.

  • In reply to IlliniProgrammer
    rafiki's picture

    IlliniProgrammer wrote:
    Let's see.

    -We survived September 11th in high school.
    -We watched the dot-com crash.
    -We watched the Iraq War and all of these warnings that the terrorists were coming again- "if you see something, say something."
    -We watched as oil prices shot past the moon.
    -We watched the worst recession since 1937, perhaps since the early 1930s.
    -We watched as 30% of our coworkers got laid off.

    ARE YOU CRAZY? WHY WOULDN'T WE BE FRUGAL AND NERVOUS ABOUT SPENDING MONEY??? :D

    I was going to post something like this. It's a recession, people are spending less, seriously.

  • Virginia Tech 4ever's picture

    See, this is where I disagree with you, Bondarb, on the partying thing. See, I think certain levels of extraversion are good. But the type of person who is going out and drinking 3-6 nights a week is not doing some very important things--thinking and building his reputation. Sounds moronic for me to re-read that statement, but it's true. My now former co-worker (former because I am no longer with the company) is definitely smarter than me and was better at his job than me. I, however, have much greater upside. While this guy goes out and spends literally his annual bonus (which sucks, frankly, at our level in our business) on alcohol, partying and traveling with a bunch of his loser friends, I'm quietly working on my projects, making a ton of money, and I've been able to impress the hell out of a lot of people in my industry in my submarket (they think I'm a deliberate person, a very hard working person, and a person who has developed a reputation for loyalty and maturity, a reputation for showing up on time and for doing what I say I'm going to do).

    Basically, I've cultivated a lot of respect within my industry while my co-worker is out boozing it up with unimportant people. The guy has few important contacts and is on the fast track to middle management (much faster than me or the average person), but a place where he will basically remain at permanently.

    In sum, it's not just about the money. It's about the opportunity cost. Do you know the kind of time it consumes for one to constantly plan out when, where, and with whom one should drink, dance, party and travel? It's a total waste of talent. Talent I wish I had. But to him, he is living. I told him that we'll see how he feels when his metabolism finally catches up with his lifestyle and when he's making $150k/year at the age of 40 with no savings to show for it.

  • In reply to Virginia Tech 4ever
    IlliniProgrammer's picture

    Virginia Tech 4ever wrote:
    bankingftw wrote:
    Some of us value consumption later > consumption now.

    This. I am swimming in hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash (not bad for a 26-year-old state university grad) and a rather large NPV on my future earnings. I am putting my money to work for me now so that instead of blowing my money on alcohol and cheap vacations, I'm ensuring that when I'm 35 I'll be able to build a dream house, drive a nice car, and, most importantly, have a level of freedom that the guy earning $200k per year with no savings doesn't have.

    There is little freedom in poverty when you're 40 and have a bad liver.

    I will probably have a bad liver at 40, but otherwise, VA Tech sums up my view on this.

  • In reply to IlliniProgrammer
    ivoteforthatguy's picture

    IlliniProgrammer wrote:
    Let's see.

    -We survived September 11th in high school.
    -We watched the dot-com crash.
    -We watched the Iraq War and all of these warnings that the terrorists were coming again- "if you see something, say something."
    -We watched as oil prices shot past the moon.
    -We watched the worst recession since 1937, perhaps since the early 1930s.
    -We watched as 30% of our coworkers got laid off.

    ARE YOU CRAZY? WHY WOULDN'T WE BE FRUGAL AND NERVOUS ABOUT SPENDING MONEY??? :D

    +1

  • In reply to Virginia Tech 4ever
    Bondarb's picture

    Virginia Tech 4ever wrote:
    See, this is where I disagree with you, Bondarb, on the partying thing. See, I think certain levels of extraversion are good. But the type of person who is going out and drinking 3-6 nights a week is not doing some very important things--thinking and building his reputation. Sounds moronic for me to re-read that statement, but it's true. My now former co-worker (former because I am no longer with the company) is definitely smarter than me and was better at his job than me. I, however, have much greater upside. While this guy goes out and spends literally his annual bonus (which sucks, frankly, at our level in our business) on alcohol, partying and traveling with a bunch of his loser friends, I'm quietly working on my projects, making a ton of money, and I've been able to impress the hell out of a lot of people in my industry in my submarket (they think I'm a deliberate person, a very hard working person, and a person who has developed a reputation for loyalty and maturity, a reputation for showing up on time and for doing what I say I'm going to do).

    Basically, I've cultivated a lot of respect within my industry while my co-worker is out boozing it up with unimportant people. The guy has few important contacts and is on the fast track to middle management (much faster than me or the average person), but a place where he will basically remain at permanently.

    In sum, it's not just about the money. It's about the opportunity cost. Do you know the kind of time it consumes for one to constantly plan out when, where, and with whom one should drink, dance, party and travel? It's a total waste of talent. Talent I wish I had. But to him, he is living. I told him that we'll see how he feels when his metabolism finally catches up with his lifestyle and when he's making $150k/year at the age of 40 with no savings to show for it.

    I agree with you to some extent. However, I have seen to many really successful people who go out alot to think that it is necessarily an impediment to success. For some people it is and for some people it isnt. I guess if the choice is really between going out/having a good time and staying in and coming up with brilliant ideas/working then that is different but I dont think thats the realistic choice for most people....i think the choice for most people is going out or sitting at home watching TV.

    Regardless, the real point of my post is that people dont understand how financially irresponsible it is to get married young...for eg your dumb buddy will have more savings even after spending most of his 20's hungover and making less then you if you have kids and get married young and he doesnt....this I can almost guarantee.

  • Virginia Tech 4ever's picture

    That's true. What do they say? It costs $1 million to raise a kid in America?

  • runthetown's picture

    we are frugal as shit because of the ridiculous rise in tuition prices and student loan debt

  • GekkotheGreat's picture

    Clubs in Los Angeles, New York, Vegas, &Miami these days have fixed portion of gratuities... basically 80 dollars per bottle of Belvedere, 150+ or so per bottle for a bottle of Dom or Cristal. And usually you can only let 4 - 5 people in with one bottle. And table minimum would be 2-3 bottles. So usually at those places, waitresses make good money. For the past few years, I partied 2-3 times a week at Hollywood. Now I am over it.

  • In reply to Bondarb
    GekkotheGreat's picture

    Bondarb wrote:
    I have seen many people who have spent huge and let me give some good advice: Drinking and going out really dont add up to much of an expense, especially relative to what a successful person in this business can make. Also, "toys" like cars and big, high-rent apartments are usually not where people get into trouble....those are 1-time, or at least short-term, expenses that end quickly. The can create some "what was i thinking?" type of regret, but I have never seen somebody really kill themselves with this type of spending. I have however, seen a few very successful people destroy their quality of life after a good run on wall st and it is always the same story...they get married and have a bunch of kids at a very young age, then for whatever reason their career takes a down-turn and their marriage blows-up (which cuts their wealth in half). The wife's settlement usually ends up being calibrated to the time when the guy was killing it and the kids cost like 100k/year in perpetuity. This scenario can take you from being very rich to being very middle-class (and feeling poor) very quickly.

    So basically, drink all you want and buy whatever crap you think will make you happy, but do not ever get married or have kids at a young age unless you are really 100% sure....and absolutely make sure you have a pre-nup when you get married.

    this

  • PossumBelly's picture

    My parents were/are quite wealthy, both from an income and savings perspective, but also lived below their means and always taught me to do the same. Never financed cars (or any depreciating asset) or had consumer debt of any kind.

    Even a person of relatively modest means can retire with a sizable nest egg if they exercise fiscal discipline in their working years. I would challenge bondarbs assumption about the causes of financial distress. While divorce and terrible investments may sink the affluent, I think for the average American it is exactly the little things that kill them. Too many trips to target, financing cars, too big of a house payment, etc.

    Regardless of your income, live like no one else and later you can live like no one else.

  • milkchug's picture

    At least among the people I know, we will have much more fun at a dive bar or unpretentious club than places packed with douchebags blowing their paychecks in a single unmemorable night at a club. I don't know how anyone beyond the obscenely rich can justify spending that much money on bottle service. It is delusional to think that not spending hundreds of dollars in single night at a single nightclub = not living life to the fullest. You can have an amazing night out for less than $20.

  • In reply to Virginia Tech 4ever
    Edmundo Braverman's picture

    Virginia Tech 4ever wrote:
    See, this is where I disagree with you, Bondarb, on the partying thing. See, I think certain levels of extraversion are good. But the type of person who is going out and drinking 3-6 nights a week is not doing some very important things--thinking and building his reputation. Sounds moronic for me to re-read that statement, but it's true. My now former co-worker (former because I am no longer with the company) is definitely smarter than me and was better at his job than me. I, however, have much greater upside. While this guy goes out and spends literally his annual bonus (which sucks, frankly, at our level in our business) on alcohol, partying and traveling with a bunch of his loser friends, I'm quietly working on my projects, making a ton of money, and I've been able to impress the hell out of a lot of people in my industry in my submarket (they think I'm a deliberate person, a very hard working person, and a person who has developed a reputation for loyalty and maturity, a reputation for showing up on time and for doing what I say I'm going to do).

    Basically, I've cultivated a lot of respect within my industry while my co-worker is out boozing it up with unimportant people. The guy has few important contacts and is on the fast track to middle management (much faster than me or the average person), but a place where he will basically remain at permanently.

    In sum, it's not just about the money. It's about the opportunity cost. Do you know the kind of time it consumes for one to constantly plan out when, where, and with whom one should drink, dance, party and travel? It's a total waste of talent. Talent I wish I had. But to him, he is living. I told him that we'll see how he feels when his metabolism finally catches up with his lifestyle and when he's making $150k/year at the age of 40 with no savings to show for it.

    I can't disagree with you, but you're making some pretty dangerous assumptions (in my opinion). First and foremost, you're assuming you'll ever see 40.

    Now I realize that a certain amount of prudence dictates that we put the pieces in place to support ourselves well into old age - that's just common sense. But I've literally had dozens of friends who never even made it to 40. Thankfully, for their sake, they didn't waste the little time they had in this life grinding away at meaningless work and were willing to cut loose just about whenever the opportunity arose.

    Believe me, I'm all about delayed gratification and fiscal responsibility. But you have to go wild sometimes. Otherwise you die before you hit your number, or worse, you live to hit your number and find that you're an insufferable bore. Nobody's gonna be there to high five you for your fully intact liver, trust me.

    And if I could trade all my experiences to get back every dollar I've ever thrown across a bar in my life (has to be approaching 7 figures by now) there's no way on Earth I'd do it. Just sayin'.

  • monkeymark's picture

    I've gotta say I've done both, while i was in college I was spending a lot, enjoying myself. But the amount of money you spend and how much fun you're having really aren't that correlated. I've probably had as much fun hanging out with the guys at the local bar/fishing as when I go to Vegas/Scores and blow $600 on a bottle. I'm much more frugal now more because I don't have time to spend that money, or don't see anything that I want in particular.

    Basically I don't think you need to be blowing money to be having the time of your life. It's nice not to have to worry about it and go for a good steak or get a nice bottle of champagne now and then, but if you want to keep doing that you gotta work and plan for it.

    Anyway, going out often and getting bottles every time got really old after awhile. Great experience and lots of fun, but really not necessary.

  • koske's picture

    North American's are CHEAP.

    Coming for Europe I noticed in university espacilly, I would go out with 80 dollars and have a blast of night in my books, measuring how fun a night was, was not correlated to how drunk I got. Which seems to be very important for North American, the more "shittered" you get the more fun you have.....false.

    Biggest pet peeve - when some one says " Hey let go grab a drink" you get to the bar and they say I'll have one bud light and he will have one as well... how much is that each? WTF bro, don't invite me for a drink and then tell me to pay for it, at that point I just pay for both, really show's to me what kind of person they are, they nickel and dime everything.

    OBVIOUSLY this judgment can't be made for all people living in North America, its just a majority of the people I have run into behave like this. I am sure there's a nice people that have good night life etiquette especially in NYC, Chicago, LA etc

    Women on the other hand, like everywhere else in the world are just drink whore's.. that's when a young rookie starts to learn how to play there game. All of us went through this (I hope) when a female approaches, chat's you up, and in the first 5min you offer her a drink.... FAIL. She grabs her vodka cranberry and bounces. You probably got a fake name, maybe a number, and your out $10... its a learning process now you know better.

    Anyways long story short..... don't nickel and dime... if your out with your friends, it will all work it self out at the end of the day,and for those d-bags who you buy a drink for and then disappears when it's there round, speaks volumes about the persons character and personality. Just an observation I've made over the years that hasn't proven me wrong...yet

    - Only time will tell....

  • In reply to koske
    GekkotheGreat's picture

    koske wrote:

    Women on the other hand, like everywhere else in the world are just drink whore's.. that's when a young rookie starts to learn how to play there game. All of us went through this (I hope) when a female approaches, chat's you up, and in the first 5min you offer her a drink.... FAIL. She grabs her vodka cranberry and bounces. You probably got a fake name, maybe a number, and your out $10... its a learning process now you know better.

    They have to earn it these days...

  • Mr. Cheese's picture

    Only average frustrated chumps pays for women's drinks at bars. The second you offer to buy a woman a drink, her chump sensors go off like crazy and she knows she can milk you for at least 2 cherry vodka sours. They know how to play the game, and play it well they do

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