05-13-2014, 07:21 PM
#1
  • Lutebro
  • Senior Member
  • Olympia, WA
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I have been having a major issue lately...... I'll explain as best I can.

My wife and I introduced our newest addition 4 months ago, a beautiful baby girl. We also have a son who turned four in March. Needless to say life is never boring Smile We have had to make many tough decisions. My wife, in her day job, easily makes double what I do but is great with the kids. We don't want to put our kids in daycare.... even for a day! Not that we have anything against other people that do, it's just not for us. We are going to make the decision to have my wife stay home. This is going to make money very tight. We have savings but it won't last forever but we're very fortunate to be able to have what we do. It's going to be scraping the bottom for the foreseeable future.

All that said I am in a predicament. No matter how much I try I keep seeing things that I want. Tons of things that I want. I have quite a collection of nice brushes, very nice brushes, that work very well for me and that I'm happy with. I have narrowed my razors down to the bare essentials and have gotten rid of so many soaps and creams lately. I'm only keeping what I will reasonably use. But I always want more.

Why is it that we always want more? I have great brushes but every time I see another LE brush go up or an M&F that I would love to have I think about what I would have to do to get it. What could I sell... what could I trade? It's never ending. The question is why? The stuff I have I love and works perfectly well for me. I am driving myself crazy! I'm sure 95% of the rest of you have been through this in one form or another and may be able to offer me some advice. You may not be in the exact situation I am in but something similar.

I love my kids more than anything under the sun and would do anything for them and give them every possible opportunity but I still want and dream. I brought them into this world willingly and I am kept with the task of setting them up properly. It's so hard. Advice?

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 05-13-2014, 07:26 PM
#2
  • Agravic
  • Emeritus
  • Pennsylvania, USA
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It's a matter of separating needs from wants ... easier said than done for many of us.

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 05-13-2014, 07:30 PM
#3
  • grantmm
  • Friend of the Badgers
  • Draper, Utah
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//Eagerly anticipating the responses.

I have no kids and no future plans for kids, but the base issue of giving in to "I HAVE TO HAVE THIS!" is a legitimate reality to master.

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 05-13-2014, 07:48 PM
#4
  • Johnny
  • Super Moderator
  • Wausau, Wisconsin, USA
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Rule number 1, family comes first.

Rule number 2, do without until the kids leave the nest.

Wants, many.

Needs, one razor, one, maybe two soaps, three or four after shaves, two brushes.

Every time you get the urge to buy something new, take a good look at the kids. It won't take you long to enjoy what you have but you will never enjoy any material thing more than you will enjoy your family.

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 05-13-2014, 08:25 PM
#5
  • Hanzo
  • Senior Member
  • Oakland, California
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Johnny gives really wise counsel, a real man talking there.

I think looking at it as your hobby will help and having a fixed monthly budget for it will help with compulsive buying.

Family men must have a hobby for happiness. Some interest all there own , a healthy distraction from the worries, anxiety, stress and demands of family life , shaving can be that for you.

For me I value self possession and self control , however I am with you, the shaving hobby addiction can greatly TEST those values. But recognizing that compulsion and obsessiveness are irrational parts of the hobby can help us control our crazy desires and hopefully keep it a constructive and enjoyable interest for you into the future.

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 05-13-2014, 08:44 PM
#6
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(05-13-2014, 07:48 PM)Johnny Wrote: Rule number 1, family comes first.

Rule number 2, do without until the kids leave the nest.

Wants, many.

Needs, one razor, one, maybe two soaps, three or four after shaves, two brushes.

Every time you get the urge to buy something new, take a good look at the kids. It won't take you long to enjoy what you have but you will never enjoy any material thing more than you will enjoy your family.


* Great advice from a wise man........Now, look how much fun he is having with the changes in his shaving gear! Biggrin

Dustin, the insatiable appetite for tangible objects might be a combination of external influences of advertising or such, coupled with a need for internal self-fulfillment. We rarely allow ourselves to consciously and truly fullfil the internal needs and we seem to inadvertently or unknowingly direct our attention to externalities as a substitute as they are, usually, so simple to attain.
A pause in those moments might help you to see how fortunate you really are and that 'need' might just elapse and become less desirable.
Best of luck, my friend! Smile

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 05-13-2014, 09:13 PM
#7
  • Lutebro
  • Senior Member
  • Olympia, WA
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All great advice. I am going to get rid of a couple of the culprits.... a little message on my phone every time something new gets posted to the BST and the BST being the first thing that pops up when I log in Smile Ignorance is bliss right?

I'm going to focus a lot more on enjoying what I have... in life and all my shaving stuff. I have some amazing stuff that I am not using because I'm always searching for the next great thing. I knew if I posted this I would get lots of great advice since I'm sure so many others have been through this before. I am so lucky to have all that I have in both of my worlds and need to appreciate it more.

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 05-13-2014, 09:18 PM
#8
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Dustin, congrats on your decision to have your wife stay at home while your children are young. It won't last forever though. Maybe when both kids begin school, your wife can return to work. Then you can hit every shave store website like a pack of wild dogs.Biggrin

Remember, one sign of maturity is the ability to delay immediate self gratification.

Enjoy your sons. Everything else pales in comparison.

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 05-13-2014, 09:24 PM
#9
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Good advice so far!

IMO, you're just displaying part of the human condition; looking for "better".

When I realized that another cabinet of gear was not going to give me a better shave I stopped and held myself to one cabinet. I now know that in that cabinet I have certain razors I favor and others, not so much. I probably will hold onto the less favored razors just because I demand variety, but the quest, the FIRE for a better shave is at an end. I've been there, at the end of my quest for some time. I simply realized that item X was not going to move me one iota toward a better shave.

Oh, I might try a new something now and then, but I don't need it; it would be "want". But too, I won't order a piece of shave gear if something else is mandatory and cash is tight. It's a matter of priorities. You have your new priorities. I bet your shave is pretty darn good. When you want a new "whatever" just give your kids and wife a hug... priorities. That doesn't mean you're on a starvation diet. That's what Christmas and birthday gifting is for. The wife and I make our wishes for gifting known to each other.

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 05-13-2014, 11:51 PM
#10
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Try trading off your stuff that you do have in order to try out things you havent. Like soaps for soaps, brushes for brushes etc. Cheapest way to experience more without breaking the bank.

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 05-14-2014, 03:07 AM
#11
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“Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity! I say, let your affairs be as two or three, and not a hundred or a thousand; instead of a million count half a dozen, and keep your accounts on your thumb nail.”


― Henry David Thoreau

http://www.ted.com/talks/barry_schwartz_..._of_choice

Less is More

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 05-14-2014, 03:40 AM
#12
  • Arcadies
  • Senior Member
  • Greeneville, TN
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My advice is find a small setup you really enjoy, perhaps 2-3 razors and 2-3 brushes and of course a dozen or so soaps. Then sell the rest and cut back on your forum time.
I've done all of these things and couldn't be happier, I still hang out here, but when I first started this downsizing, I only came to the forum about 2-3 times per week and I avoided the B/S/T forum altogether.

Now that about 6 months have passed, I can pop on here more often and not really feel that urge to buy the next great thing everyone is posting about.

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 05-14-2014, 03:42 AM
#13
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Makes one wonder how the Amish deal with consumerism ? Our society is heavily marketed to and have been for a while. Signs, TV commercials , magazines etc. are the big contributors and most do not realize it. Wet shaving is a very attractive low start up cost hobby for men to get into. Considering other hobbies such as Golf, Home Brewing, Cars, women and you get the point.

Wet shaving for me was to go back to a more simple lifestyle.

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 05-14-2014, 09:34 AM
#14
  • Lutebro
  • Senior Member
  • Olympia, WA
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(05-14-2014, 03:40 AM)Arcadies Wrote: My advice is find a small setup you really enjoy, perhaps 2-3 razors and 2-3 brushes and of course a dozen or so soaps. Then sell the rest......

Here in lies my problem. I have the three TSN brushes which I want to keep. I also have a Shavemac Americana and a custom Anderson brush. I have a vie long horse as well. I also have a Semogue Cerda on it's way to me now.

I don't want to get rid of any of them, especially the TSN collection and the Anderson's. They are all special to me. The cerda will be the only boar and the vie long is the only horse so I can rationalize keeping them as well.

Any advice when this is the issue I'm having? I really want to try but this is my problem at least with the brushes.

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 05-14-2014, 09:45 AM
#15
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I think you're creating a mountain out of a molehill.

You already own those brushes. Keep them. They eat nothing.

Now we discuss future acquisitions and that's where the problem lies. It's simple there. Just cut back or stop altogether.

I don't see a problem.

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 05-14-2014, 09:46 AM
#16
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I say keep the brushes. They're already paid for. If I were you I'd look out for future purchases and just 'accept' what you have.
What has worked for me so far is to set up some 'rules' for me - for instance I can't buy a new soap until I have used up one that I currently own and I can't buy another razor until I sell one I currently have.
Simple rules but so far they are working for me Smile

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 05-14-2014, 09:47 AM
#17
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Those Shavemac Americana's are very nice. If I allowed myself more than one badger, I would order one. My Thater pleases me so that won't happen. If I were you Dustin, I would make some tough choices and at a minimum, pack away all but the essentials , your TRUE #1's in all categories... maybe 2 choices among soaps/creams and aftershaves, and box up the rest and see how bad you really do miss them. Rotate between two brushes if you feel you must. Keep moving forward with the straight razor shaving...keep your favorite DE in the wings as well if that comforts you. At least you recognize the dilemma.

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 05-14-2014, 09:48 AM
#18
  • Lutebro
  • Senior Member
  • Olympia, WA
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Great guys, I appreciate that. Both are great suggestions. Gives me a baseline. I really appreciate the help and can stop stressing now and just have what I have.

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 05-15-2014, 12:11 AM
#19
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IMHO forums like this are a significant contributor to the problem. We feel drawn towards the conversation, but what to talk about? Once we've talked about our current setups and our particular shave technique, we're largely tapped out. You can't really post a SOTD for the 100th time with the same razor, blade, brush, and tub of Prorasso, right? So we buy new product not only to try it, but to give us something to talk about.

So IMHO, one solution is to take up a part of the hobby as a maker. For example, if you could source a small lathe and some tools, you can make brushes. Turning handles gives you something to do other than surfing eBay for vintage Gillettes, posting pictures of in-progress brushes gives you something to discuss, and the finished product can give you something new to enjoy for your "fix" - or something to potentially sell or trade to make that next soap or razor a zero-cost acquisition.

In other words, don't make purchasing or the discussion the hobby - get something else for the hobby and make the discussion a part of the experience. I dunno, that's just where my mind is going lately.

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 05-15-2014, 09:10 AM
#20
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Perhaps it's the old hunting instinct kicking in. You recognize shaving gear as your prey. It's time to be a silverback for now.


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