Saving / Spending Money / Personal Finance

Q: How can you avoid having your lifestyle become more expensive as you make more money?

A: Not sure yet.
- have your money deposited into a trust that pays out a certain amount each month depending on your income (to keep the amount of money at your disposal constant)
- have a second bank account where you transfer money so that you don't see it when you log into your regular bank account

- i want to have a general checklist that i can follow when deciding whether to buy something so that i can be confident that it will more-likely-than-not be a good purchase. i hate buying stuff and then not using it.

- other possible ways of phrasing the problem: "Does the utility from this purchase outweigh the utility of the money you will be trading for it?" "Is there any better way that you could spend this money?" "Is there any better way that you could have spent the time it took you to earn the money you'll be spending on this?"

- I want to have a computer program in which you put in the amount you're planning to spend and see a list of other things you like that you could buy with that money. [this could be a good iphone app]

- think about prices for things in a different way; there are no set fair prices, it's just the price at which the producer thinks marginal benefit = marginal cost. if you're in a small town and have a monopoly on something the cost of having people pissed at you may keep the price lower than if you were selling the same product (with the same monopoly) to people you didn't have to worry about interacting with otherwise.

Ben Franklin speaking through a character in a story: "And further, What maintains one vice would bring up two children. You may think, perhaps, that a little tea, or a little punch now and then, -diet a little more costly, clothes a little finer, and a little' entertainment now and then, can be no great matter; but remember, Many a little makes a mickle. Beware of little expenses; A small leak will sink a great ship, as Poor Richard says again and again"

- John T. Reed on spending money when you're rich:

- Why do you want to buy this item? Is it because you imagine it will be exciting/fun to own/use it? If so, can you imagine any cheaper activity that would be fun/exciting and make you forget about this particular (more expensive) activity?
- Is there any other cheaper item (e.g. one you already own or could borrow or rent) that could serve the same essential function of this item, even if not as well? If so, is it really worth paying the extra amount for the extra features of the more expensive version?

talked to an ecuadorian about his lifestyle:
he estimates it costs 1500/mo for 3-4 kids (he doesn't have any)
he pays $500/mo for his own room at 14th and Columbia NW
he makes 11/hr for 4 hours cleaning at WCX and then works at the metro station doing more cleaning
he says he gets $1500 every 2 weeks, but how is that possible at $11/hr?
i think he also said he has a 9-5 at $15/hr