"...I've always lived cheaply. I live like a student, basically. And I like that, because it means that money is not telling me what to do. I can do what I think is important for me to do. It freed me to do what seemed worth doing. So make a real effort to avoid getting sucked into all the expensive lifestyle habits of typical Americans. Because if you do that, then people with the money will dictate what you do with your life. You won't be able to do what's really important to you."


@charlag "Therefore, I am free to eat things out of my foot." (not RMS, but could be)

finances, frugality, (judgmental) 

@charlag I always found it weird to hear fellow software developers talk about financial insecurity. Like, dude, we're both making like $100k, where is your money even going?

There are lots of legitimate reasons they could be needing that much (health, family, etc.) but then I would learn more about their lifestyles and like... no, they were just spending the money on *things* because they had it, and then being surprised when it ran out.

finances, frugality, (judgmental) 

@varx @charlag

Part of what makes Americans in particular insecure is the lack of a safety net. Everyone who works for a living in the US is a major accident or a mental health break away from utter destitution and even if you have a large income, you can't really save for that. Any cushion will eventually run out. We all live in the shadow of complete disaster and a lot of people mentally compensate for this by doing no planning at all.

finances, frugality, (judgmental) 

@celesteh @charlag I also now recall reading a piece about how if you grow up in poverty, it can be *really* hard to break the habit of spending money as soon as you get it, because it's going to disappear anyway one way or another.

So my childhood setting of financial comfort and certainty may have paved the way for me to stockpile and be frugal.

finances, frugality, (judgmental) 

@varx I'm probably going to surprise you, but not everyone is making that much. Also prices can vary wildly. But I get the point.

software dev salaries 

@charlag Fair point, although it's no surprise. No one talks about their salaries, so employers are free to underpay.

I was offered 67k out of college and didn't negotiate because I didn't know better. Next employer asked my previous salary, and I told them because, again, I didn't know better. Given 88k starting salary. A manager later told me, at the same company, that I was underpaid and raised it to 99k. Now I'm at 106k, and probably should be making 115-120k.

software dev salaries 

@varx @charlag so relevant that we don't know how to talk about this. I don't know your timeframe here, but for me over 15 years a similar arc. Look at your last sentence though, guessing a 10% discrepancy when initially it was 50% (say). Depending on how broad you think of your marketability, my experience is there's a next-door peer or industry that's more likely 100% off. Wild insanity of expectations.


Free Software: Freedom and Cooperation
New York University, May 29, 2001

@charlag I remember being in the audience for this one!

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