Spending More Money Is Easy. Finding “Enough” Is Hard

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Starwood Hotels sent me an e-mail with the subject “Family Traditions at St. Regis with Nacho Figueras”. I had no idea who Mr. Figueras was, but you mention “family traditions” and I’m going to click on that like a sucker. It turned out to be a 2-minute YouTube video for a fancy hotel in Aspen, Colorado. Embedded below:

Don’t get me wrong. I have my chosen luxuries, and some of them probably seem stupid and overpriced to others. (I did recently downgrade from Charmin Ultra to Costco toilet paper though. Kids don’t appreciate the good stuff…)

My observation is that there is always a “nicer” version of everything. You can add a zero to the end of any price tag. A meal can cost $5 or $50 or $500. A purse can cost $30, $300, or $3,000. A car can cost $10,000, $100k, or $1 million. I looked it up and found that the St. Regis Aspen runs $1,500-$3,000 a night during the ski season! Likewise, I can have a ski day followed by a board game and s’mores for 1/10th of the cost.

This is why achieving financial freedom is not only about earning more money (although that is certainly important). There are lots of people with high incomes that will work forever as well. You are also challenged with finding a level of spending where you stop look for nicer things. You need to find balance, peace, enough. Otherwise, you will never take control of your time because you’ll stay on that treadmill, going for that something “better” that is just out of reach.

(In case you’re wondering, a standard room at the St. Regis Aspen can be had for 30,000 Starpoints per night.)

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  1. Forget the luxury hotel, I’d be happy with some nachos right now.

  2. Convert those points to Marriott

  3. The Frugal Millionaire says

    Yikes! I thought Nachos Figueras was a snack. I clicked on the post looking for the recipe. Guess I lead a sheltered (albeit inexpensive) life.

    Couldn’t agree more with the point. though. Reminds me of my all time favorite book, “Your Money Or Your Life”.

  4. I am surprised how cringe-inducing that was to me.
    Hopefully that means something positive. Am I immune to advertising? Is this how Alex DeLarge felt?

  5. Ross, I had the same reaction! It felt like a shady salesman was trying to use music & images to rip me off, and he didn’t know how to be subtle about it.

  6. Hi Jonathan,

    I was thinking about your blog when I came across a video of a young guy who just purchased a big house. And, I’m thinking is there a career path that “normal” people can take to get there, not that I want that house, but the ABILITY to purchase it.

    This guy is completely out of my radar and atmosphere, I just happened to come across him.
    DJ Zedd Inside Zedd’s $16 Million Mansion That Has a Skittles Machine | Open Door | Architectural Digest

    DJ Zedd gives an in-depth tour of his $16 million mansion in Benedict Canyon, an area of Los Angeles that’s near Sherman Oaks and northwest of Beverly Hills. Zedd’s self-decorated home is 9,500 square feet with views of the canyon and tons of full-length glass windows.

    The house is structured into three sections: work, living, and sleep. The work section has Zedd’s recording studio and an unfinished gym. The driveway leads into the front entrance, which crosses a moat. A huge wall with cubbies holds art, awards, and silly memorabilia. For instance, Zedd’s Grammy sits next to a poop emoji. At the end of a corridor, before going outside, guests can pick their favorite flavor of the rainbow from the Skittles machine. Zedd also has a server room and a “Costco Room” that contains just about anything he would need if he weren’t able to leave the house for a long time.

    The bathrooms feature automated blinds that can sometimes surprise the person taking the shower early in the morning. The remote-controlled curtains in Zedd’s bedroom make him the happiest of any feature in the house. Outside, the pool has a hidden jacuzzi / hot tub that’s revealed when the pool’s water level drops. The kitchen has four built-in hibachi grills, a pot filler above the stovetop (which Zedd says is the reason he bought the house), and built-in vacuums.

    What are your thoughts? Is there a normal way people could achieve this?

    • If you want to get rich quickly, my opinion is that you need ownership of a business. Something that can scale. Could be writing a book, creating software/app, selling an invention, owning 10 car washes, start-up equity that gets acquired, YouTube channel with a million followers. I don’t know DJ Zedd, but I am assuming that he gets a lot of money from music royalties.

  7. Frugality sounds differently after watching this video.

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