Money threshold Trigger Action Patterns

In Amer­i­can so­ciety, talk­ing about money is a taboo. It is ok to talk about how much money some­one else made when they sold their com­pany, or how much money you would like to earn yearly if you got a raise, but in many differ­ent ways, talk­ing about money is likely to trig­ger some em­bar­rass­ment in the brain, and gen­er­ate so­cial dis­com­fort. As one ran­dom ex­am­ple: no one dares sug­gest that bills should be paid ac­cord­ing to wealth, for in­stance, in­stead peo­ple quietly as­sume that fair is each pay­ing ~1/​n, which of course com­pletely fails util­i­tar­ian stan­dards.

One more in­ter­est­ing thing peo­ple don’t talk about, but would prob­a­bly be use­ful to know, are money trig­ger ac­tion pat­terns. That would be a trig­ger ac­tion pat­tern that should trig­ger when­ever you have more money than X, for vary­ing Xs.

A triv­ial ex­am­ple is when should you stop car­ing about pen­nies, or quar­ters? When should you start tak­ing cabs or Ubers ev­ery­where? Th­ese are minor ex­am­ples, but there are more in­ter­est­ing ques­tions that would benefit from a money trig­ger ac­tion pat­tern.

An ar­gu­ment can be made for in­stance that one should in­vest in health in­surance prior to cry­on­ics, cry­on­ics prior to paint­ing a house and recom­mended char­i­ties be­fore ex­pen­sive soundsys­tems. But peo­ple never put num­bers on those things.

When should you buy cry­on­ics and life in­surance for it? When you own $1,000? $10,000? $1,000,000? Yes of course those vary from per­son to per­son, cur­rency to cur­rency, en­vi­ron­ment, age group and fam­ily size. This is no rea­son to re­main silent about them. Money is the unit of car­ing, but some peo­ple can care about many more things than oth­ers in virtue of hav­ing more money. Some things are worth car­ing about if and only if you have that many car­ing units to spare.

I’d like to see peo­ple talk­ing about what one should care about af­ter sur­pass­ing spe­cific nu­meric thresh­olds of money, and that seems to be an ex­tremely taboo topic. Seems that would be par­tic­u­larly re­veal­ing when some­one who does not have a cer­tain amount sug­gests a trig­ger ac­tion pat­tern and some­one who does have that amount re­al­izes that, in­deed, they should pur­chase that thing. Some peo­ple would also cal­ibrate bet­ter over whether they need more or less money, if they had thought about these thresh­olds be­fore­hand.

Some sug­gested items for those who want to try nu­meric trig­gers: health in­surance, cry­on­ics, 10% dona­tion to fa­vorite cause, vir­tual as­sis­tant, per­sonal as­sis­tant, car, house cleaner, masseuse, quit­ting your job, driver, boat, air­plane, house, per­sonal clini­cian, lawyer, body guard, etc...

...no­tice also that some of these are re­source satis­fi­able, but some may not. It may always be more worth fi­nanc­ing your anti-ag­ing helper than your cos­tume de­signer, so you’d hire the 10 mil­lionth sci­en­tist to find out how to keep you young be­fore con­sid­er­ing hiring some­one to de­sign clothes speci­fi­cally for you, per­haps be­cause you don’t like unique clothes. This is my feel­ing about boats, it feels like there are always other things that can be done with money that pre­cede hav­ing a boat, though out­side view is that a lot of peo­ple who own a lot of money buy boats.