Do you wish you’d have spent more money

Im a second year analyst heading to pe next summer. Since beginning banking, I have: developed almost no memorable experiences, I have gotten almost no play, I have travelled only once, I have not changed my small wardrobe, I've avoided taking almost any ubers, I still haven't fully furnished my apartment, do mediocre quality groceries, etc.

I do have an expensive dinner here and there and buy only the good stuff to drink at home. I live in a luxury apartment building now and that's about it for what i spend money on and qol. I have more in the bank than any of my friends and most others ik in banking my age. Ive always thought I wanted to save for big purchases down the line like a yacht or mountain house. But recently, I'm wondering is it even worth saving for big things or for anything at all right now. I wonder if my life could be better if I just didn't care to drop a few bands at the club, on dates, clothes, a car etc. and not care about what's in my bank account.

When you were an analyst / aso / mid twenties making decent coin, do you wish you had spent more? What on? Do you think it would have made you happier?

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Comments (37)

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Oct 15, 2021 - 10:15am

While it sounds like what you're doing is a bit extreme, you should be happy knowing you're developing a strong foundation for your future years and ultimately, your retirement. If you invest and save the majority of your post-tax earnings, you will be growing potentially millions (assuming consistent market returns) by your mid-late 30s. Think about the optionality you have with that kind of money. You could completely retire and do something you love, be a teacher, take a job in an industry that you love, travel the world, anything. While your friends have to work later in their lives because they decided to indulge in flashy, meaningless purchases, you were diligent and set up yourself up for future years. 

Oct 15, 2021 - 11:55am

Catch 22...if you save money, you think you should have spent more...if you spend it, you'll look back and think you should have saved it. 

Just figure out what you want. For example, if you eat canned tuna fish every night, you can save a lot of money. If you dont mind canned tuna, thats a good deal, if you hate the tuna, you can spend a little more to get something you want. At the same time, it doesn't have to be a steakhouse dinner/seafood tower, there are inbetweens. 

Its like investing, price vs value. If you have something you really want to do, spend on it. If there are things that don't bother you, spend less on that. 

Life is meant to be lived, but don't feel you always need to spend to live. 

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Gen
Oct 15, 2021 - 12:34pm

I think my problem is that 90% of the time I fall back on the mentality that if I don't need it, I don't buy it. If I just want something, I never know if I want it bad enough. And when there are little things like $20-$30 uber vs 40min walk or metro, I'll go with the latter. The very few things I do pull the trigger tend to be pricey, but I know I want them, and they are one-time or long lasting (like my ski gear, for example). I wonder if I should just get the uber every time, order the appetizer and the desert every time, drop for the table, buy the expensive clothes, grab the next round for my friends, get the lower box tickets - it's not like I can't afford it, but it seems wasteful (maybe i just don't want it enough?). Are these feelings of being wasteful and the incremental savings worth thinking twice about it though and feeling like maybe I'm missing out?   

Most Helpful
Oct 15, 2021 - 2:51pm

"I don't need it, so I don't buy it" is actually a good mindset to have. That's how I feel people get caught doing stuff, or spending more on things that don't matter. For example, if your pants keep falling down, you need a belt. If you have $50 to your name, a $5 belt from walmart works; if you're worth $50M, then a $500 belt is fine too. If you don't care about fashion, it doesn't matter ether way, but don't be the person who doesn't buy a belt because "i can just hold my pants up", belt makes your life easier. More often then not, the people with $50 to their name are buying the $500 belt, so at least you have the opposite problem. 

You can also look at it as quality purchases. Is it worth it to have to buy $50 each year because they fall apart, so buy one pair of $300 shoes that lasts years. 

For example, the uber ride. If you're going to see some friends, and running late, I'd say take an Uber, $20 is a good trade I'd say to have more time with family/friends. On the other side, if you don't need to be anywhere at a certain time, and its not bad weather, why not walk. You could get into the small details of taking an uber is harmful for the environment, but try to do the best you can on that, bc if you really thought about that you basically wouldn't do anything (everything affects the environment). Also on the flip side, if you're taking an uber to work every day, maybe you need to move, but if you're trying to get some extra sleep one day, a single day of uber isn't bad. 

I'd also add, don't be a person who hoards money. Meaning, if you're not in debt dont be the person whose "I don't want to go to happy hour because it could cost $10", but that doesn't mean you need to spend $15K on a safari vacation you don't really have an interest in bc your friends are going. 

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Cov
Oct 15, 2021 - 12:07pm

Out of curiosity, how much have you been able to save in NY? If it was a fairly significant amount then I personally would have little regrets as you've built a great foundation in 2 years, built a frugal mindset,  and are presumably still ~25 leaving plenty of time to have more fun the next few years. 

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  • Analyst 2 in IB-M&A
Oct 15, 2021 - 12:54pm

There's certainly a solid middle-ground that can be achieved. Outside of large purchases down the line, what are some more obtainable purchases now that excite you? I've noticed that the gratification level of flashy things like shoes and watches diminishes quicker than something more adventurous to me, like a car, dirt-bike etc. Use some of that money to buy something that will make you smile every day - even if you can't use it every day. 

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Gen
Oct 15, 2021 - 10:31pm

I put some thought into this and there's not a lot of materials things I really care to have. But I realized i really dont want to think about what I order at dinner / brunch or spend on drinks the few nights im able to go out. Ive decided im going to be okay splurging on food and drink whenever i have the opportunity to enjoy them

  • Intern in PE - LBOs
Oct 15, 2021 - 6:54pm

This. If you budget (even though you may not think you NEED to), most of the "guilt" you get from spending "too much" will dissipate, because you gave yourself permission at the beginning of the month to spend a set amount on "excessive" things.

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Oct 15, 2021 - 5:42pm

I'm more of the "FIRE" mindset. If you are very young and that money is actually invested (not rotting away in savings or checking that's worthless, seriously) that compounding gain will be very large as you started young. Many will disagree with me but there is absolutely nothing healthy or safe long term in sitting down working very long hours in front of a computer screen indoors. Humans were not designed for this and have not been adapting well in this century at least. 
 

Make the right choices to give you freedom. And no I'm not taking about freedom in your late 40s or some crap. I'm talking fully financially free by early 30s with the right habits in this industry. It's so possible. 

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Oct 15, 2021 - 6:11pm

It blows my mind seeing some of the personal finance threads about ppl in IB/PE/etc having little to no savings several years in banking on making even higher salaries later. I want to save enough that I don't have to rely on that and have the freedom to slow down whenever I choose. 

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Oct 15, 2021 - 7:48pm

I'm in a similar boat but stuff doesn't make me happy. I've got far more money than anyone I know (besides those with trust funds or got big graduation gifts). It's nice to know that if I never touched my 401k/Roth IRA again, I could retire at 72 with no additional savings (and I'd I die earlier my family /a couple of charities will get nice gifts). I'm walking away from the rat race on my 28th birthday. Exact plans unknown and depend a lot on if I have a husband. Personally would love to do something related to education in a developing country.

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Oct 17, 2021 - 6:34pm

Not sure of the exact numbers but ~32k in a Roth IRA, 7k in my 401k and another 40k split between my checking account, random PAs, and cash. Paid off all student loans. Forever thankful that although my parents aren't wealthy, they knew how the financial aid system works in the US.

Oct 15, 2021 - 10:20pm

It's about balance man. Sounds like you know you'd be a bit happier spending a bit more. Don't feel bad, life is short. Check out Ramit Sethi. He has some good info on psychology of money, saving/investing, etc. He's had a couple good podcasts with Tim Ferriss as well 

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Oct 15, 2021 - 10:33pm

We make plenty of money in IB, but time is valuable. If I have a free few hours, I'm 100% taking the Uber because I want to enjoy that free time and not waste it on a train. I totally get not doing things like getting tables at a club (you can have plenty of fun without the table), but if something saves me time, I'm 100% going to spend the money on it because free time in this job is priceless

Oct 15, 2021 - 11:10pm

A frugal friend of mine once dropped $2k for a weekend with his favorite pornstar the year before she retired and definitely doesn't regret it lol

I paid plenty for Coachella 2019 tickets, a smooth flight there, and a nice place to stay nearby. Worth every cent and also something I might not have a friend group to go with by the time I'm 40 (nor the body to handle the "supplements" I take for these festivals).  

My rule of thumb is the pay up for time-sensitive experiences and to purchase things that pay long dividends to your daily well-being. Examples of expensive things that could be well worth include: a VERY comfortable pair of shoes, a Tesla w/ autopilot for 1.5+ hour car commutes, and LASIK

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  • 4
Oct 17, 2021 - 10:25pm

instagram DM. this was eye opening to me, but I read a report, and also conversations with people I know in the influencer community, that most of these instagram models are actually sugar babies that get pay for pay in the form of hundreds of thousands of dollars from rich dudes, or who are straight up escorts. These small obscure companies that they do posts for, like nutritional supplements or shitty little clothing boutiques, pay maybe a couple thousand dollars. That's a drop in the bucket for getting $10k to spend a weekend with a rich dude.

We're not lawyers. We're investment bankers. We didn't go to Harvard. We Went to Wharton!
  • 2
  • Associate 3 in IB-M&A
Oct 16, 2021 - 12:02am

Saving money is great, but you sound like you're being so frugal that you completely miss out and are upset about it. Don't go crazy, just start saying yes more. You can go out and only buy 1-2 drinks, not a table. You can take MetroNorth or a Zipcar or a cheap flight out of town. It sounds like you're not even living like the average 25 year old who makes 60k. Save money, but if you drop 10k a year on weekends or fun things you actually want to do that's not much given what you will still be saving every year.

  • Associate 3 in PE - Growth
Oct 16, 2021 - 11:35am

Tbh I enjoy spending 6-8 a month and saving the rest.I also max out my 401k.Once a year I reward myself with a nice watch (collect them) or vacation in Europe. It's great you're frugal but enjoy life. You don't really need to be penny pinching if you make over a 160k or more than double that a year.

Oct 16, 2021 - 3:19pm

I always think of these things with the TVM in mind. For example:

You can go on a $2000 trip today or a $6000 trip twenty years from now - which would you prefer? Similarly, would you prefer to spend $20,000 on a car today or $60,000 twenty years from now? 

I find that this helps me guide my spending and strike a balance between saving for the future and living in the present.

  • Analyst 3+ in IB - DCM
Oct 16, 2021 - 3:20pm

The fact that you're asking if you are missing out means you probably are. I think that in of itself is your answer. No one on here can tell you how to spend / save your money. You need to find the balance that makes you feel like you are happy in the moment and content with your future.

Life is short. If you have concrete goals, then budget for them. Anything left over spend enough to make yourself happy today.

FYI you're not going to get a yacht by saving $20 here and there. That's fuck you money, and you better be going for division head or something like that.

Oct 16, 2021 - 4:23pm

One of the greatest pieces of advice for successful business people who make good money and didn't grow up with a trust fund so have to build worth on their own is: "value your time over money and make money maximize the value of your tie." If you don't know anything about fitness and need to get in shape, yeah you can spend hundreds of hours self educating yourself on the internet followed by hundred of hours of wasted piss poor workouts because you don't know your way around the gym.... or you can spend a couple thousand dollars for 4 months worth of personal training at a gym and have the guy whip you into shape and teach you his methods. 

If you don't know how to cook, you can spend time learning and going to the grocery store, or you can pay for a premium for HelloFresh. 

Recently, instead of going out three nights a week and having average nights out, spending that time and money... I've switched to only going out Saturday nights and balling out with my guys while also exponentially increasing my chances of getting laid.

Think about how much your money and time is worth, and spend up to save time, not money. 

You could spend time and money learning how to invest, or you can hire a Barron's Financial Advisor and have him do it for yourself. 

Make your time worth more than your money bro. 

We're not lawyers. We're investment bankers. We didn't go to Harvard. We Went to Wharton!
  • 9
  • Intern in IB - Cov
Oct 17, 2021 - 3:47pm

this is such a retarded take, any time there's some sort of "deep conversation" where you'd expect more experienced people to speak, I just switch my tag from intern to associate year 3 or some shit like that and these retards respond with "wow, what great advice" or whatever because good advice is good advice regardless of WHO is saying it. lmfao big surprise people on the internet lie, who would've thought.

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Oct 17, 2021 - 1:40pm

Easiest way to spend money without too much lifestyle inflation is "buy comfort, experience, and time, but not luxury". If you can get that Uber ride to home compared to the metro, then take the Uber. If you need to spend more on a direct flight vs. indirect flight, always spend on direct flight as you are buying time with $$$. If you have the opportunity to experience something new (new movie, broadway show, skydiving), try to spend it always as most likely you will never have that opportunity again.

But never buy that brand new C-class or Porsche (unless you can really comfortably afford it with all its gas, taxes, and insurance) or Rolex or Christian Louboutin shoes because material consumption will absolutely never give you happiness

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Oct 17, 2021 - 2:30pm

Hmm this is interesting I like it. It's like paying more to live closer for a short walking commute rather than pay that same money for a nicer suit or dress shirt or something.

  • VP in IB - Cov
Oct 21, 2021 - 10:11pm

I disagree. I love my 3 Rolexes. Plus, buying them from the AD makes for a pretty good investment

  • Analyst 1 in S&T - Comm
Oct 17, 2021 - 5:21pm

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  • Associate 2 in IB-M&A
Oct 18, 2021 - 2:12am

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