Do you spend more on audio than your income allows

I make a very modest living especially for living in Southern California where everything is so expensive. I should not be buying or looking at audio components but I do anyways. Luckily my wife works and we don't have any kids. If I had kids I'd probably have a Bose wave radio because that is all I could afford. BTW- I live in a small house and drive a 25 year old Honda.
Your Honda is just breaking in. Keep it for 25 more yrs. We drive a 16 yr. old Lexus. Screw the new car look. If we had unlimited funds we would still drive the 16 yr old car. Vintage motering is in.

Debt free living is where it is at these days. Going into debt for audio gear is not very smart and I am sure that ALL the members here are NOT doing the loan/credit card thing.

What do you have in your system?
Never, but it is a battle. Overall my system cost me close to half for what it retails by: buying demos/used equipment; doing extensive research in selecting components which punch above their weight, such as Mapletree Audio 2A SE Linestage Preamp, to keep costs down; DIYing a few things; getting lucky and graced by kindness of others. It took much patience and longer than I would have preferred, sold some personal items and worked extra jobs for extra cash. This afforded me a rocking system without debt. However, being human, I do still lust for objects out of my financial reach. Fortunately, when my lust grows out of control I just fire up my system and everything falls back into perspective.
Hey I hear you...same here, instead of paying off my morgage faster, I'm thinking of new equipment. But we all have certain downfalls. Different people spent money on different things. People have been buying 40 K SUV, even though they have no family. I think important thing is to feel good about what we're doing, and if we're on a "budget" and do a certain amount of search so that we don't spend too much more money that we could have with the same results.
Sure, but I spend more than my income allows on everything else, too!
No, but I'm a typical case of Lexus tastes on a Toyota budget, and I am thankful for what I do have in all aspects of life.

I listen to the best equipment and then do extensive research and trial to find satisfying pieces that I can afford that I think are competitive with what I might chose if money were no object, which it is.

The good news is that this strategy has worked for me so far and my bank accounts thank me for it.

BTW I have decent savings but still have two kids to send to college and will have to retire someday, and I own two very well engineered and reliable high mileage Toyotas.
Ahhhhhhh Haaaaaa! Please don't make me laugh, I just had surgery..... It’s the American way man. Got to keep the economy rolling… I’m just doing my part. I am a “consumer.”
Seems there are many 'high mileage' Toyota fans here. So, what are the 'toyota's' in the audio field?

The Toyota's in my system in terms of quality/value are the OHM and Triangle speakers, the mhdt Paradisea DAC, the Musical Fidelity amp, the Roku Soundbridge, the Denon DL103R cartridge, most of the ICs and the Denon player/recorder.

The Audio Research sp16 pre-amp is probably more like a Lexus or BMW but I did get a very good closeout deal on it.

The Dynaudio's came from ebay for a very good price also. I'd say these are more Lexus like in terms of cost and build quality.

The Linn Axis table is pretty old but in its day it may have been the equivalent of Toyota Avalon whereas the Linn SOndek Lp12 was the Lexus.
I would, but what my wife allows kicks in before my guilt level would. Thus I don't have a chance to spend more than I can afford. Get a wife, mine is a great break on unnecessary spending. Come to think of it, she costs me more than an Audiopkile's deam system, but she is worth it.

I'm with you except guilt usually kicks in before my wife!
2chnlben, just made me laugh so we're even!
Funny, my wife is the ONLY thing that would make guilt set in! :-) But she is such a spend thrift I don't ever have to worry about her editoralizing about my relatively frugal audiophile impulse buying. But, in the long run it all evens out and we stay happy.

BTW, Tubers, cash rules. If you keep it on a cash basis it really is hard to overspend.
I actually do drive an old Toyota - 1993 Camry with 183,000 miles (still…knock on wood...going...knock on wood....strong. Knock on wood!). I do however own (name only) and make payments on, a 2009 Dodge Grand Caravan - which is my "wife's car." While I do feel guilty about this "audio addiction" - and I rightfully should at times, it's when I pull up next to some really hot babe in "my" car that I feel a little less of that audio-related guilt. There just ain’t no impressing the ladies in a 1993 Toyota - you know what I mean!
3 years ago I went window shopping at Sounds by Singer in Manahttan and I said to myself: "I can afford to buy all these toys that will decrease in value or I can save up for a new place, but, you can't do both". I moved last week. Newbee is right, cash rules.
My wife says it is okay to purchase gear as long as is not from my pay check. Side work only, thanks summertime. She also said when I die she will just sell it all and the house then move to NC. I will turn over in my grave cause it will probably only be pennies on the dollar. I just know it!
I spend as much as my income will allow, but not more. Half of the fun is dreaming about some piece you can't afford.

I'm frugal in other ways, small house, no kids, no fancy vacations, two old BMW's to drive (not expensive when you works on them for a living). The small house also keeps a leash on me since it will only hold so much gear before I need to liquidate items.
Alright, I'll play, yes, I do spend more than my income allows. I always thought that was part of being an audiophile.... :D

I've been in this hobby for about 33 years now, and have downsized a few times for different reasons. In the last 6 months I have downsized again, but I know I should go further.

Of course my life motto is that I'd rather die owning money than die with a sh!tload of money in the bank. I know others feel differently, but persoanally, I'd rather live a life above my means, than live a life below my means.

I've been at this "addiction" since my mid 20's. I'm now in my late 50's! The way I figure it is if you double my age, I'm DEAD!! Most major possession are PD4!! So I'm going for it before my "tubes" burn out!!
I live within my means until I don't. Every so often something comes along and along with it I go. So vacations are rare but listening to music is not. We pays our money and makes our choices. That's all there is.
I am another who's been at this hobby for 30+ years. Now that the kids are grown and gone I can spend pretty much what I want, even the wife doesn't seem to mind. My problem is I see it as way too self-indulgent. I grew up in a very large family and although we weren't poor, we were not indulged. Frugality has stuck with me.
My modest system, by Audiogon standards, is more than enough.
The Linn LP12 is the Toyota of the hi-fi world, I gave mine to my brother as a gift in 1995 and he still has it and is still running sweetly, I purchased it new in 1977 (with college grant money), was my downfall,lol.I hope he has got rid of that awful Ittok arm though!
I spend as much as I have available on cd's these days, well Mrs Bless does have a horse and that is our biggest expense by far, a real Royal hobby that we commoners have.
I just recently sold my 20 year old Toyota Camry with 239,900 miles for $200. I should have listed it here!

...yes, my car sucked, but my tunes are superb!...
I started a business to justify it. It has been a very great way to enable the equipment expense, meet lots of great people and keep a reference system that I want and use for the business.
Hopefully someday it will blossom into a full time day job!
How much do you love music?How offten do you dream of having a good sound system?Do you listen alot? All those questions will answer your question.You do not have to break the bank to afford a good system.Depending on what you but you can have it 10-20 years. Is that worth it. I think so.
Concerned listener
in 2007, the median anual household income in the u.s.was a bit over 50k gross. you don't have to be an economist to realize that most americans have little free time and little free money. the traditional entry level hi fi will never be 'in the cards' for most music lovers. sitting for an hour or so in front of a stereo is as rare as the traditional family at the dinner table every night.
I spend more than I should occasionally but I generally sell equpiment to cover the majority cost of any new purchase and then use cash not credit to pay the difference. As long as I maintain a certain amount in the bank I feel ok spending extra to finally build a satisfying system. I also routinely work overtime to help support any spending on audio. What is unacceptable to me is to use credit cards, damage, or destroy your savings to buy high end gear.
I don't charge gear on credit, but certainly have an extremely expensive hobby compared to most people, and compared to my income. The way I look at it, since hearing declines with age, why wait till you can't hear to be able to afford a great system. Life is for living, and I get a tremendous amount of enjoyment and stress reduction through listening.
It takes money to get into the hobby, but now I try to sell off something to pay off or offset substantially the 'upgrade' that replaces it. That being said, I am obsessed with gear, no doubt. sometimes i think the music is the means to the gear, not the other way around. i cruise agon daily to window shop, check out the gear and Google to lean more, and read up on these forums. I've given up spending on pretty much every other indulgent item and devote funds almost exclusively to audio. My fun comes from lusting over, reading about and trying new components (no real audio stores around sad), and being the frugaholic that I am, always try for what I consider to be a great deal.

I could spend (save) more responsibly, no doubt. Patience and will power were never my strong virtues.
The way I look at it, since hearing declines with age, why wait till you can't hear to be able to afford a great system

Well said man! Indeed, this excellent excuse has long been a notion that I emphatically embrace.
"The way I look at it, since hearing declines with age, why wait till you can't hear to be able to afford a great system"

Of course, this opens up the question how well must one be able to hear in order to enjoy listening to music?

Interestingly, as I get older and my hearing changes, as it does for us all, but also as the senses I have overall become more "well tuned" per se as a result of experience, it seems I have to spend more and more to get the sound right.

I haven't hit 50 yet, but it seems I may be becoming more of an old codger in some ways sooner rather than later.
Tholt, in most ways your post sounds like me, although I am simply trying to get to a satisfying system after a long trial and error and then be done. For me the trial and error, buying, selling, spending and spending, auditioning, has not been fun. What will be fun is one day sitting back and really enjoying the music I hear from my system. The gear changing and corresponding expense has not been fun.
Foster, that's too bad. i can't imagine doing what I'm doing if it wasn't fun. I find it extremely fun -- the only downside is the considerable cash outlay. I find myself lost in dreaming of upgrades, what's available on agon, and doing research. I'm in the honeymoon period of audiophilism. Those things in and of themselves take up a lot of time I devote willingly. In fact, it's when I can't justify another upgrade that I get antsy. I fully expect and anticipate this obsessive pace to wain, as I get closer to achieving a satisfying stereo and accepting along the way that the 'perfect' sound will for me, probably always sound better then what I actually hear. Great reality check for liking what you have.

Here's hoping you find contentment sooner rather then later.
I'm in the honeymoon period of audiophilism.

Tholt, my friend, you are delusional! You are in fact inexorably ensnared within the clutches of this neurosis we call audiophiledom.
I posted this in another thread but it applies here also.

I think all that matters is if you can afford it without putting everything else in your life on the line, then buy it. It's the same as an expencive car, wine or any other hobby for that matter. If you pay all your bills on time, pay into your retirement and buy the wife, husband or significant other things to keep them happy within reason. You can do whatever you want with the rest, it is your money ya know. This is IMHO.
She's a beautiful mistress that's becoming increasingly harder to please....and more demanding. I pray we can find a happy medium of co-existence before the only thing I have left to sell is my soul.
i've said this on another thread, but coming to an understanding(with yourself) that dimished returns, and 'no' returns (regarding sound) are very real situations. that the hobby is as much obsessive-compulsive behavior as any love for music is real for me. being a music lover and being an audiophile are two exclusively different things. its possible to carry on both hobbies, but the music lover in me (since i was in single digits)knows that the audiophile in me has been 'a fool' more often than not.
As Timrhu says, I am sure your attitude to money is ingrained in childhood. My family was'nt dirt poor, but we never had excess money to spend. Now I am a Doctor and I owe that to my parents struggles with money. Now I am an English, not a US Doctor, so I am not super rich. Still I am pretty well off, but I can not escape my upbringing. I agonize over spending quite moderate amounts on 2nd hand gear, I can in all honesty afford. Spending on the family is fine, not me. It jusy goes with being a white northern European Protestant, no self indulgence allowed.
I think there is a real difference in the US too, not a criticism at all, but yours seems a more consumerist society. I work hard, so I deserve a few toys and why not.
I'm sure this economy is making us all tighten our belts and look a little longer and harder at buying toys.
I only buy when I can pay for the new gear, no credit. I drive a 1993 truck, no payents. I would rather have the money you would tie up into a new car,etc into the gear.

I usually sell a peice off before replacing it with the new gear and that really helps as well. I actually just sold a pre here last week and have the new one coming this week. I can't wait. I have been at this a long time also, since I was 12 and I will be 50 this summer.It is quite an additive hobby, isn't it? Cheers