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An excellent description of frugality
Old 01-06-2014, 08:47 AM   #1
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An excellent description of frugality

While reading the article "A cheapskate’s guide to retirement saving: How to become thriftier without becoming a skinflint", I ran across what I think is an excellent definition of the LBYM, frugal lifestyle many of us here aspire to live:

Quote:
...a life made better not by ownership of real estate, appliances, cars and all manner of material goods, but by greater flexibility and lower levels of debt, more time with family and friends, greater promise of personal development and access to more and better experiences.
Exactly.
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Old 01-06-2014, 09:00 AM   #2
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Nice article. It's good to see the topic of spending addressed in retirement, without the focus on doing without. We spend far too much in this country on stuff we just don't need.

It reminds me of a great book I read last year that I recommend to anyone who might find the topic interesting:

"How to Retire the Cheapskate Way: The Ultimate Cheapskate's Guide to a Better, Earlier, Happier Retirement", by Jeff Yeager.

It's a light read, but very enjoyable for those who believe in LBYM.
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Old 01-06-2014, 09:03 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ready View Post

"How to Retire the Cheapskate Way: The Ultimate Cheapskate's Guide to a Better, Earlier, Happier Retirement", by Jeff Yeager.
Haven't seen him for a while, but Jeff Yeager promotes his books posts here as the Ultimate Cheapskate.
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Old 01-06-2014, 09:07 AM   #4
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more time with family and friends, greater promise of personal development and access to more and better experiences.
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Exactly.
I like that. Another thread had me thinking - how important is having more money, how much is "enough"? As our prosperity increased so did our material well-being, we were able to acquire lots of ‘stuff”. Now that we are retired, much of that stuff is like an anchor, physically and mentally, in a way holding us down and keeping us in place.

I have resisted the belief that spending declines as we age, thinking instead that income falls and pulls down spending. Lately, however, I am beginning to think it may be both, and the desire to spend may start to decline at a much earlier age as people refocus toward those things.
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Old 01-06-2014, 09:20 AM   #5
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Reminds me of the time I was over at my brother's and talking to my SIL about retirement. The discussion moved to budgeting and the concept of having to budget and watch what I spend seemed totally foreign to her. As you guessed, she has a habit of spending first, as questions later
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Old 01-06-2014, 09:54 AM   #6
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Great article, REW, thanks for posting it.
Very practical ideas for how to achieve his definition of frugality. I like how he doesn't promise a magic bullet, overnight transformation. It does take time for many of us to accomplish the transition from a work/consumption lifestyle to being content with what we have (and getting rid of a lot of stuff and square footage!).

Case in point: his example of moving from a 2 bedroom condo in a residential neighborhood to a smaller rental in a more commercial setting. I did much the same thing a couple years ago and love it.

He even has a few digs aimed at the financial services industry! Yet he quotes one FA (Levin) who has a nice definition of FI.
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Old 01-06-2014, 10:09 AM   #7
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Loved the article, REW.

During our accumulation years, most of us are working so hard that we don't have time to figure out or remember exactly what it is that we want in life, and that we are working for. It seems to me that the best thing one can do for oneself while working on LBYM, is to try to get back in touch with who we are and what our wants and needs really are.

IMO it takes less money to buy a few things or experiences that we really want, than it takes to buy a whole bunch of things/experiences that ultimately bring us no satisfaction.

It seems obvious to me that the author of the article found out that what he personally really, really wants is to spend "time and money on meaningful experiences, friends, and family".

Some of us are INTJ's and might tend to be a little more introverted when it comes to our choices and what we really, really want. Maybe spending more time with friends or family is like pulling teeth for some, who instead might long for a few moments of peace and solitude. Maybe not, for others. But as long as we are in touch with ourselves, it is a lot easier to be frugal IMO.
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Old 01-06-2014, 11:46 AM   #8
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Some of us are INTJ's and might tend to be a little more introverted when it comes to our choices and what we really, really want. Maybe spending more time with friends or family is like pulling teeth for some, who instead might long for a few moments of peace and solitude. Maybe not, for others.
I'm not sure if I can blame this solely on my being INTJ but with a very few exceptions, planned social time spent with other people usually requires me to steel myself beforehand and then involves a period of "decompression" afterwards. My SO is not one of those people, thankfully!

Not needing much quantity when it comes to social contact was a big factor in enabling me to save, and has been a significant factor in my being able to live on a modest income in ER. I know the disproportionate number of INTJ's here has been discussed before (though I know there are many extroverts, as well as other "types" of introverts here too.)

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But as long as we are in touch with ourselves, it is a lot easier to be frugal IMO.
I couldn't agree more. Using our resources wisely depends very much on being in touch with our true needs and desires. IMO, frugality can be just as relevant for those with high incomes as it is to those of us at the lower end of the income spectrum.
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Old 01-06-2014, 12:04 PM   #9
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It is a good description. We try to live by it, but we are tempted by (and succumb) things from time to time. I could not have retired early without fully coming to grips with 'the best things in life aren't things.'
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Old 01-06-2014, 12:19 PM   #10
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I'm not sure if I can blame this solely on my being INTJ but with a very few exceptions, planned social time spent with other people usually requires me to steel myself beforehand and then involves a period of "decompression" afterwards. My SO is not one of those people, thankfully!

Not needing much quantity when it comes to social contact was a big factor in enabling me to save, and has been a significant factor in my being able to live on a modest income in ER. I know the disproportionate number of INTJ's here has been discussed before (though I know there are many extroverts, as well as other "types" of introverts here too.)
I agree. In particular, spending money on big banquets, Christmas and theme parties, etc. is a total waste as far as I am concerned. I really do not enjoy them and usually find an excuse not to go. I do enjoy informal dinner parties and host them sporadically. It's nice to see how other people live, and I love to see the architecture and design of their homes, but any notions that I might once have had about having a beautiful stately home have been long abandoned. My 2 bedroom condo has the privacy I need and is just the right size for me. I can justify the second bedroom because I use it as a multipurpose room, and a friend recently stayed overnight during a snowstorm.
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Old 01-06-2014, 01:05 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by REWahoo View Post
While reading the article "A cheapskate’s guide to retirement saving: How to become thriftier without becoming a skinflint", I ran across what I think is an excellent definition of the LBYM, frugal lifestyle many of us here aspire to live:

Exactly.
Excellent article; thanks for posting this.
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Old 01-06-2014, 03:55 PM   #12
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The book has a space on my bookshelf. It's worth reading.

Like most others here DW and I always prefer smaller group gatherings where there is more time to focus on a few individuals than have to endure a large party and the attendant noise and distractions.

I teased a relative who had just come back from a cruise on a large ship and told her we too had just returned from a West Virginia River Cruise. That's one in which you take your 10' boat powered with a 5hp outboard, motor upriver for 30 minutes, and spend the rest of the time drifting back down with the current enjoying your ham & cheese sandwiches and a box of fine wine.

She didn't get it.
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Old 01-06-2014, 06:04 PM   #13
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I like that. Another thread had me thinking - how important is having more money, how much is "enough"? As our prosperity increased so did our material well-being, we were able to acquire lots of ‘stuff”. Now that we are retired, much of that stuff is like an anchor, physically and mentally, in a way holding us down and keeping us in place.
We have been getting rid of stuff and fixing up the house to sell. It feels right. It is scary how much stuff we have sold or given away and not missed at all.

We're looking forward to the time when we can have a lock and go condo or townhouse.
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Old 01-06-2014, 07:35 PM   #14
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I have resisted the belief that spending declines as we age, thinking instead that income falls and pulls down spending. Lately, however, I am beginning to think it may be both, and the desire to spend may start to decline at a much earlier age as people refocus toward those things
After retiring, having much more time to just plain "focus", I've learned a lot about myself. Reading the beforehand comments, many times I found myself saying "yes" to the ideas.

For one, I like the time spent with myself. I'm happy just being with me. And by allowing and being OK with my alone time, I enjoy other's company when around them. And after being away from them, I continue to enjoy my own time again.

Instead of driving to restaurants for diversion, I'm much happier disciplining myself to cook at home and to make healthy choices. Interesting how something as simple as deciding to eat out becomes a habit that ends up costing a lot of money.

I don't think I'm wealthy (materially) but still feel I'll have way more than I need the rest of my life.
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Old 01-06-2014, 10:30 PM   #15
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We just finished moving into a newer house with two less rooms than the house we were in for 20 years. Lots of great memories and lots of STUFF in that old house! This is seen by DW as our "retirement home" and the last one we will buy and live in. (I'm not convinced)

We are still giving away and throwing out things we have accumulated. And the garage is still half full of boxes. I feel like I just delivered a baby!

I even gave away two large Snap On toolboxes and a floor jack (and a pile of other tools). DW gave away 1/2 the stuff in the kitchen cabinets and at least 5 pieces of luggage and several boxes of things from the past. She kept all her clothes from 30 years ago forward, though.

I guess you can say that the majority of stuff we parted with was part of a collection of our life experiences. And there is no repeat performance planned.
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Old 01-06-2014, 10:45 PM   #16
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We did a lot of soul searching this summer when we considered selling our house. Buy one in another state...a larger house here....more property there...?

We decided to stay where we are. With this decision, we've been in the de-cluttering/accumulation mode. Yeppers...

We got rid of a lot of stuff in two rooms and bought new things to better suit our needs. I suppose as time goes by, wanting a change will not be important. Buying 'stuff' is not as much fun as it used to be.
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Old 01-06-2014, 11:06 PM   #17
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Regarding spending money on leisure, it is really personal as to which any of us would enjoy. As I am retired and have more time, my travel mode has become different than what I used to do. I now derive some pleasures from traveling activities that I did not have before, and many do not involve spending more money.

Here's an example. In a past RV trip, when we were at a visitor center in Grand Teton National Park, we happened to be there to listen to a lecture by a historian who taught in a nearby college or university. The subject of the talk was the life of John Colter, who was
... a member of the Lewis and Clark Expedition (1804–1806). Though party to one of the more famous expeditions in history, Colter is best remembered for explorations he made during the winter of 1807–1808, when he became the first known person of European descent to enter the region now known as Yellowstone National Park, and to see the Teton Mountain Range. Colter spent months alone in the wilderness, and is widely considered to be the first mountain man. -- Wikipedia
Coulter was the first white man to have seen the geysers and the surrounding area, and the lecture talked of his encounter with the Blackfoot Indians, which was the inspiration for the movie The Naked Prey that I remembered watching many years ago. I am no history buff, but truly enjoyed that presentation.
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Old 01-09-2014, 06:07 AM   #18
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I agree with this. The best things in life are not things. They are about experiences and sharing time with others. Participating in discussions on this website is one of them.
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It is a good description. We try to live by it, but we are tempted by (and succumb) things from time to time. I could not have retired early without fully coming to grips with 'the best things in life aren't things.'
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Old 01-09-2014, 07:05 AM   #19
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Good article REW. I have no problem practicing tightwaddery. I've done it for decades.
Don't have a lot of stuff.

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Old 01-09-2014, 08:14 AM   #20
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I liked this, from the article as well: “Freedom is a low overhead”

Simple.
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