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Old 01-12-2019, 12:57 PM   #61
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It depends. Were you always a saver? I mean as a kid too? If so, then you are probably not going to change much. You might loosen up a bit, but you will always shop for value.

I was a saver for as long as I can remember, saving my 10 cents a week allowance to buy a Light Bright toy at age 8. Now, nearly 4 years into ER, I still weigh the cost vs. value of most purchases. I don’t mind spending on something of value, but nothing makes my day more than a discount. I don’t think I’ll ever change.
My fifth grade teacher had a play money reward system and had a hard time making it work because I always ended up with all the money and wouldn't spend it. So, yeah, I'm not going to suddenly change several decades later.

I didn't pay as much attention to expenses when we were both working and had kids at home as I just didn't have the time. But in hindsight I do regret that. We could have retired much earlier than we did if we had focused more on optimizing ongoing expenses for 30 years into the future instead of income for the current year.
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Old 01-12-2019, 07:11 PM   #62
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Does a tiger ever change his/her stripes?

I have been a frugal consumer all of my life. We have always had relatively simple needs and wants, at least compared to most around us. LBYM has been a lifestyle long before there was that phrase or acronym. Our 1st mortgage was turned down before we even filled out the application because the amount we wanted to borrow was not enough for the bank to bother with. We are now retired and have enough income stream to not have to worry a lot about what the things we want cost. We feel fortunate for that.

One example of recent LBYM: DW recently needed a new laptop. The older laptop was a consumer grade Samsung and was acting up, not repairable. Her computing needs are small but she wanted one with a DVD drive. She didn't want to bother with the external drive I have. Did you know that DVD drives are no longer standard features anymore? We bought a USED 2 generation old business computer for little more than WIN10 alone would have costs. Being a business computer, it is repairable. I just added a used Bluetooth module for a bit over $5 so now she can download pics from her inexpensive Huawei Android phone.

When I look for an item online either Amazon or eBay or just a Google shopping search, I almost always sort the results by price. I still look at product and seller reviews, then select based on my perceived value. I don't like paying more for an item if it can be had elsewhere for a better price.

It is not like I can't spend more for those items I deem worth the value to me/us. I will pay up for certain "features" or "service". Case in point: I'm currently comparing various Alaska Cruise/Land packages. I'm looking at Balcony Stateroom or probably a Jr suite, even though there is a big $ difference (a couple thou for the 2 of us). But my process is still the same. I chose a cruise line and a particular date and itinerary. Then I revert to my old self and start the search for the best deals on that itinerary. In reality, any one of them would fit our planned budget. Maybe I should just pick one and stop searching for the best value.

Does this mentality of LBYM ever end?
Frugality, living below your means, making sure your $$ works harder than you do, that type of thinking never goes away. Itís the challenge, and the risks, then the eventual rewards in lifeó thatís my adrenaline rush. My $.02.
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Old 01-12-2019, 07:38 PM   #63
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Case in point: I'm currently comparing various Alaska Cruise/Land packages. I'm looking at Balcony Stateroom or probably a Jr suite, even though there is a big $ difference (a couple thou for the 2 of us). But my process is still the same. I chose a cruise line and a particular date and itinerary. Then I revert to my old self and start the search for the best deals on that itinerary. In reality, any one of them would fit our planned budget. Maybe I should just pick one and stop searching for the best value.

Does this mentality of LBYM ever end?

We've been on a couple Alaska Cruises, and I've been on 20 Fishing trips all across Alaska.... IMO - Skip the Land Package, as you'll be 'scenery-ed out' by the time you get there... Go for a Balcony as there is a lot of scenery from the Ship.... An all the rooms are small anyway.



I'd Book about the second week of September, as the kids are back to school by then, so less chaos, and there is a good chance you'll get 'upgraded' to a better room (they discount the cheaper rooms and move everyone 'up') ... We booked a Balcony and ended up with a Suite with Kingsize Bed and Bath with Tub and 2 sinks....
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Old 01-12-2019, 07:42 PM   #64
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We know we can't change things overnight. Our first "phase" is to move from being savers (at times we were savings 30-540% of our pre-tax working income) to "break even" (which, even on our retirement budget, is more than we spent when I worked). Maybe after another six months of this (a full year for my retirement) we will increase our spending even further.

The toughest part is large expenditures. I have been indulging in more woodworking since retiring, and have been spending money on tools that I might agonize over before. Now, it is a not a big deal. However, I want to buy an additional vehicle, either minivan or SUV, as it would be more convenient for some of our hobbies and travel. Buying one brand new would be less than 10% of our cash holdings. But I am still thinking "newly used", but even with that I have been reviewing various vehicles that I come across. Going either way really will not make a difference in our finances, but hard to shake that "saving" mentality completely yet.

I do agree with the comments about still seeking value in ones lifestyle purchases.

The other aspect of being frugal/LBYM is not wanting to stand out. I am prefer to be in the background and not be noticed. I do not want what we have attained financially to be "noticed" by others. If we suddenly started living a "higher" but still affordable lifestyle, certain people might notice that we do not want to, as these people are of the mindset that "if you have, and I don't, it is your fault for not sharing it with me". So it is a balance we are trying to achieve.
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Old 01-13-2019, 04:58 AM   #65
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I think a lot has to do with your experiences as a child with financial insecurity. If you had a parent out of a job for an extended period, the income providing parent became disabled or died, or there was a divorce that left the custodial parent broke, you probably experienced a lot of anxiety about money. It's very hard to overcome that kind of experience. The fear of running out of money motivates you to have a bigger cushion and a fear of spending.

On the other hand, if you had parents that always emphasized having safe and steady employment, never took any risks with their money, and thought it wrong to spend any more than you needed, you probably ended up with the same cushion and fear of spending.
well stated.
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Old 01-13-2019, 09:25 AM   #66
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We've been on a couple Alaska Cruises, and I've been on 20 Fishing trips all across Alaska.... IMO - Skip the Land Package, as you'll be 'scenery-ed out' by the time you get there... Go for a Balcony as there is a lot of scenery from the Ship.... An all the rooms are small anyway.



I'd Book about the second week of September, as the kids are back to school by then, so less chaos, and there is a good chance you'll get 'upgraded' to a better room (they discount the cheaper rooms and move everyone 'up') ... We booked a Balcony and ended up with a Suite with Kingsize Bed and Bath with Tub and 2 sinks....
Thanks for the advice. We've been to AK many times, but only to Kodiak Island. If you don't count spending days in the Anchorage airport waiting for weather to clear on the island. This is our DS's 2nd (and last) tour there in the USCG. We are in the early planning stages of 2 very different visits. One is the cruise already mentioned for the last week of August for the same reason you mention. The other is as a support vehicle for our DS and family to motorcycle from Homer to Prudhomme bay. If the 2nd one actually looks like it might occur, then we may put off the cruise for another year. Then the land package of the cruise would then have little value to us. We'll see how this plays out.
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Old 01-13-2019, 09:50 AM   #67
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I like value, but value is in the eye of the beholder. The OP of buying and upgrading an old computer to me doesn’t make sense. Old technology becomes a hinderance at some point. Kind of like putting news tires on a Pinto. It’s still a bomb, but with new tires.
The price of technology has come down so much. I am sitting here typing this post on 128 GB iPad bought at Costco for $259. Having sold my old 16 GB on eBay for $200. To me that’s being frugal.
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Old 01-13-2019, 10:34 AM   #68
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I am keeping our 2006 Honda. Putting money into replacing the timing belt and refreshing some fluids. Why? We like the car, it is in perfect condition. Only 120K miles. Since retiring we only drive it about six or seven months a year.

Just bought a new computer. Cost of an upgrade, as noted before, was good money after bad. Not a thought...just went out and bought the replacement. We had had it for 7 years so it has paid it's way.

Like others, we buy on value. Price, to us, is often not a good indicator of value.
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Old 01-13-2019, 10:48 AM   #69
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I am keeping our 2006 Honda. Putting money into replacing the timing belt and refreshing some fluids. Why? We like the car, it is in perfect condition. Only 120K miles. Since retiring we only drive it about six or seven months a year.

You were smart to replace that belt. I had a very short commute + free public trans + good bikeways while working which resulted in very low mileage. But the car still aged and the timing belt went, not a good result.

Looking through the manual, I found guidelines for replacement not only based on miles but also years. Iíve paid attention to that with the current car!
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Old 01-13-2019, 11:03 AM   #70
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Having sold my old 16 GB on eBay for $200. To me thatís being frugal.
$200 for a 16 GB iPad!! Be careful, theft is a crime in most states.
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Old 01-13-2019, 11:06 AM   #71
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Just bought a new computer. Cost of an upgrade, as noted before, was good money after bad. Not a thought...just went out and bought the replacement. We had had it for 7 years so it has paid it's way.
Sometimes upgrading an old computer is still the way to go. I added a 440 GB SSD drive to my 2011 iMac a few years back. It still runs well today and cost far less that even the cheapest new iMac without an SSD drive.

However, the latest version of the OS does not support the 2011 models anymore so that may be the last upgrade I do. The SSD cost about $250 as I recall because I got one that plugged into the Thunderbolt port. Opening the iMac to install a cheaper SSD just did not appeal to me.
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Old 01-13-2019, 11:33 AM   #72
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I think this thread has assured me that I'm OK here, often get the idea that primary goal of the majority is to spend all you reasonably can and if you don't you're uselessly depriving yourself.

I overshot when I could have retired because I'd enjoyed my career until the last couple of years, and then there was a quantum pension leap if I stayed the last two. So our lifestyle can be way more than it was working. We're lucky to spend 70% of what Fidelity says we can. But, that's OK. We'll blow big bucks on stupid German convertible for DW and replace a perfectly good 7 yo pickup for me, she's even doing some very pricey optional surgery next month. But we still look for sales, and have a hard time paying for business. Although next time overseas will likely chase it. I marvel at how I use a binder clip on the toothpaste, but will then not blink on buying $250 worth of (absolutely beautiful) clear cherry to make some chairs. I'm sitting here with no power listening to neighbor's genset; I'd buy one in a heartbeat except I don't want to have it stored around here (goal is to get rid of s__t). In 22 years here w no significant outages until last two months with two of a day or more.

Have kids but don't think either need our residual. Could travel more often but frankly only enjoy a few trips a year, just not our thing to travel all the time. Thought about a second place but I'm viscerally opposed to having another residence to worry about when I'm not there. Why would we want a bigger house? Don't use most of it except when kids visit.

So, I've pretty much resigned myself that the pot will continue to build and that's OK. But, the process of shopping is getting a bit more relaxed. Like yesterday, found some halibut and didn't blink at the price. But I did agonize on getting a piece that wasn't bigger than we needed! Anyway, cheers to all those others who just can't drive themselves to spend on stuff that doesn't bring joy or otherwise improve your lives.
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Old 01-13-2019, 04:08 PM   #73
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Iíve also struggled with this since I retired over 7 years ago. On paper we could spend more than twice as much as we do, fortunately weíre comfortable just spending modestly. I tell myself we need to be conservative to make sure our money lasts if (FIRECALC) history does NOT repeat, and then weíll spend more later in retirement - though I realize by then we will probably be so limited physically we canít enjoy the extra spending. Catch-22? Thatís exactly what happened to my Dad, he was only spending about 20% of his income for the last 10+ years if his life - sad. Itís a good question I donít have an answer for either...

I donít mind spending money, but I hate wasting money. So I too am always looking for good value, so Iím selectively frugal? And we keep things we buy longer than most people; cars, appliances, consumer electronics, clothes, sports gear, pretty much everything.

However, I also think this is another ER question that yields different answers for SIRE vs FIRE retirees. The more SIRE you are, the less need to LBYM?
My mom was like that and I knew she never ever spent over her monthly budget. I'm finding I've become my mom and my wife is even worse. It'll be interesting to see how it plays out, we're kind of new at this.
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Old 01-13-2019, 05:13 PM   #74
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Do you let the horse run free?
Freshly retired about 3 years ago. Like others, we have a hard time spending even close to the 3.5% we could. A lifetime of frugality has conditioned our spending habits. My fear is that, if we DO give in to an increase of casual lifestyle enhancement spending, then what? There's an old album Doobie Brothers album (showing my age here) titled "What Were Once Vices Are Now Habits". That is sort of my fear. If we let the horse run free, will we really enjoy the results of the increased spending or will it just become the "new normal" and any future pull back be painful regression. Or worse, a desire to increase spending even more.
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Old 01-13-2019, 05:23 PM   #75
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I gave up the good fight last year. I know that my SWR is around 3%. I just don't do it. I'm building a legacy account, living on about 50K a year, and declining out of state weddings for people that I barely know. That last one in particular. My nephew who I have not been in the same room with in over 10 years and who have not talked to in at least that long is getting married in April in Florida. I'm not going and I'm not sending a check. I know that I could easily take the money out. After all I'm probably gonna pay a ton of tax when I do get around to AMD withdrawing but I just can't let go with the saver mentality. In fact I still save about a 1k a month so that I can travel. I think what I probably should do is take out 3% a year. Put it into an account. And then travel off that but it's really hard to get out of that mentality
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Old 01-13-2019, 05:42 PM   #76
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As I see it, I am not being frugal any more, but spending like a drunken sailor! However, having been careful with my pennies for so many years, like many of us, by now it doesn't take a whole lot for me to feel like I am insanely over-spending. I guess that I am pretty set in my ways at this age.

It's fun to experience that guilty rush of pleasure ("oh my gosh, I must be crazy, that's over the top, I spent a fortune!") without actually endangering my future in any way whatsoever. And then people here sometimes think I am frugal. Ha! Oh yeah, sure I am...

For example on Friday night, I spent $102.15 on Animal Crossing amiibo cards. These are wonderfully fun to have but far from necessary for playing my Animal Crossing video game. Just thinking about that insane, senseless splurge drains the blood from my head and I would never have spent money on silly, childish stuff like that back when I was LBYM'ing. Top that with your fancy sports cars!!
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Old 01-13-2019, 05:44 PM   #77
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There's living frugally and living sensibly. I didn't retire to not spend money. I'm happy others can live off $50k but I don't want to. Can we alter our habits? Absolutely. Do I want to grow my portfolio while I'm retired? Sure. I've made good choices in the past and don't see myself blowing the dough now. So, as we drive our used cars and live in our forever paid off house I will continue to have some nice things intermixed in the equation and travel to exotic locations.
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Old 01-13-2019, 10:28 PM   #78
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For example on Friday night, I spent $102.15 on Animal Crossing amiibo cards. These are wonderfully fun to have but far from necessary for playing my Animal Crossing video game. Just thinking about that insane, senseless splurge drains the blood from my head and I would never have spent money on silly, childish stuff like that back when I was LBYM'ing. Top that with your fancy sports cars!!
I bought two of those Command damage-free wall hooks for like $13.88 a piece so I can start hanging my towels on the wall rather than on the closet door. No idea what that did to my WR. I don't feel like I qualify for the Blow That Dough thread yet.
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Old 01-14-2019, 01:54 AM   #79
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We are about to RE, still a couple more months of megacorp w2 income. We have always been very frugal, but learned a good lesson recently as we prep for ER. Finally we updated/replaced our old hvac system and duck work. Wow! New system saves hundreds of $$ every month on electric bills! I needed to replace that thing for 10 years but was too tight to do so. Some spending saves you money in the long run.....But after saving all these years it is very difficult for me to spend even when it makes sense.
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Old 01-14-2019, 02:46 AM   #80
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+1 for being less frugal after retirement. My accumulation days are over and it is time to enjoy life. I have enough money to last my remaining life and then some (to leave it to my only child). No point being as frugal as before.
+1

If you're still pinching pennies because you have to, you're not FI. If you do it cuz you like it, do what you like. If it's a bad habit that you can't overcome, spend some $ on counseling and start enjoying your hard earned $. The $ is only valuable for what it can buy.
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