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Old 04-16-2008, 01:28 PM   #21
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I do not dress like a slob for LBYM reasons, or to make a point.

I honestly do not notice how I look unless someone points it out. It never crosses
my mind to evaluate it. I put on the top uw, shorts, shirt in each stack in the morning,
but if I close my eyes I do not know what color shorts or shirt I have on, or whether
they have any stains or holes. To me it would be like caring about what your checking
account is down to the penny before leaving the house each morning, instead of
knowing it has a few thousand in it (equivalent to knowing you have some clothes on).
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Old 04-16-2008, 01:54 PM   #22
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It's tough not to pass value judgments regarding spending. Sometimes I read comments on how certain people economize, and I think those people are nuts. But then you realize everyone gets different levels of enjoyment from different purchases.

One of my friends who isn't particularly LBYM made a comment once to "spend money on things you use a lot." It is actually good advice. I watch a lot of movies and TV shows on DVD. So I have a 50" plasma, surround sound, Netflix, HD DVR. On the flip side, I hardly ever use the phone, so I have a prepaid phone that costs $5 per month.

I bought a new BMW 330 three and a half years ago. I drove a number of other vehicles and liked it best. I spend an hour per day in the car, so to me the additional money I spent to get a really nice car was worth it. My wife needed a car last year. She doesn't place much value in what she drives, and she's happy with her Hyundai Elantra (which is actually a pretty nice car).

I still clip coupons and look for sales. I don't make impulsive purchases. The tough part is figuring out which purchases are really worthwhile. Some things that come up here, I've already gone through the mental gyrations of cost/benefit analysis and come up on the "it's worth it" side. But everyone is different.
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Old 04-16-2008, 02:14 PM   #23
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$15 for a haircut!! If that's LBYM, you must have a lot of money!
$12.95 plus tip is about the cheapest I've seen around here. But if my forehead gets any larger, it won't matter much anyhow...
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Old 04-16-2008, 02:19 PM   #24
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It's tough not to pass value judgments regarding spending. Sometimes I read comments on how certain people economize, and I think those people are nuts. But then you realize everyone gets different levels of enjoyment from different purchases.

One of my friends who isn't particularly LBYM made a comment once to "spend money on things you use a lot." It is actually good advice. I watch a lot of movies and TV shows on DVD. So I have a 50" plasma, surround sound, Netflix, HD DVR. On the flip side, I hardly ever use the phone, so I have a prepaid phone that costs $5 per month.

I bought a new BMW 330 three and a half years ago. I drove a number of other vehicles and liked it best. I spend an hour per day in the car, so to me the additional money I spent to get a really nice car was worth it. My wife needed a car last year. She doesn't place much value in what she drives, and she's happy with her Hyundai Elantra (which is actually a pretty nice car).

I still clip coupons and look for sales. I don't make impulsive purchases. The tough part is figuring out which purchases are really worthwhile. Some things that come up here, I've already gone through the mental gyrations of cost/benefit analysis and come up on the "it's worth it" side. But everyone is different.
A+ on this post!
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Old 04-16-2008, 02:57 PM   #25
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LBYM means something different to a person with a $0.5m portfolio than it does to someone with a $5m portfolio...

...I paid $65 bucks for a haircut once; looked about the same as my usual $15 haircut. Certainly not fifty bucks better. What my hair really needs is a hat...

That haircut was worth every penny of the $65.00. It probably would have been worth twice as much. The value is in learning that your $15.00 cut is just as good. Being able to be confident that you are sacrificing nothing to save $50.00 is worth a lot I think. Even if 50 bucks is insignificant to your daily budget you have the satisfaction of knowing that you weren’t taken advantage of. That makes the fifteen dollar cut worth MORE than the sixty five dollar job in my mind.
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Old 04-16-2008, 03:10 PM   #26
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I agree - everyone has different levels and ways of LBYM - so you are right that people shouldn't get jumped on for spending money on things they enjoy.

I consider myself pretty frugal (I save 30% of my salary), but I spend on things that are important to me - which mostly means travel and entertainment costs (my friends and I go out a lot). I bargain shop for clothes, buy used cars, and brown bag my lunch - but call me up for happy hour and I have no problem with it. I have learned over the years that balance is the key and sometimes my first reaction can't be "it costs how much?"
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Old 04-16-2008, 03:33 PM   #27
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Deciding how to spend their money is all about a person's values and goals.

If a person loves their job and can't imagine not working, and doesn't have any major financial goals that require large amounts of savings, there is really no reason for them to save beyond the basics of having an emergency fund, adequate insurance (disability especially), and a modest portfolio for retirement. They can happily spend 90% or so of their income and be on track to meet their goals. If their income is even moderately high, this should allow them to spend in a way that appears frivolous to most of this board's members.

On the other hand, if a low-income family of six wants to own their own antique farmhouse in the country on a single salary, some more extreme LBYM techniques are going to be required (see the Tightwad Gazette).

Most people who have financial goals between these extremes should find a balance between these extremes.
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Old 04-16-2008, 04:13 PM   #28
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If a person loves their job and can't imagine not working, and doesn't have any major financial goals that require large amounts of savings, there is really no reason for them to save beyond the basics of having an emergency fund, adequate insurance (disability especially), and a modest portfolio for retirement.
I agree, but would make one minor point: most disability policies terminate benefits at a certain age of presumed 'normal' retirement (e.g., 62 or 67). Accordingly, it would be prudent to ensure that the "modest" portfolio is sufficient to allow for the possibility of involuntary retirement beyond the end of LTD coverage.
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Old 04-16-2008, 04:15 PM   #29
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I don't know Orchid. There are a lot of us on the board who have mentioned travel budgets that some of the most frugal posters could live on. DW and I lived below our means, and saved a lot, and worked a few more years than we had to so that we could live large in ER. Still below our means, but certainly not a spartan existence. And we do entertain.
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Old 04-16-2008, 04:28 PM   #30
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I think of my investing professor who said if he spends even a penny in the day, he goes home and records it in the computer at night. He also said "money isn't everything"...pause here..."it's the only thing." I can't decide whether that's sick...or just sad to think that way.
He was so into his philosophy that he actually makes fun of people who study art, psychology or anything other than finance. He sees anything other than the study of finance a total waste of time. Sad or sick?

Yeah, donheff, lots of people are afraid to roll with the natives in other countries and gasp! eat the local foods, so they spend to stay in a Ritz Carlton in Paris instead of what I would do, which is stay in a pension--cheaper, more fun and you get to be with the native French that way. I don't get the big travel budgets either, but I like to act like one of the locals always and stay where they stay, eat what they eat and do what they do. I've got great stories to tell my grandkids now if I ever get some...ha!
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Old 04-16-2008, 04:31 PM   #31
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LBYM doesn't mean we should seek virtue in masochistic self-deprivation. In fact, I think it's easier to be thrifty if you indulge yourself by rationally choosing to buy a few things that really matter to you a lot.

Introspection and knowing yourself can really help in LBYM, because if you know the difference between need and want, and if you know what items you want the most, you can make wiser decisions.

You can have plenty of things, but not everything. So, buy what you actually need, and then buy what you really want a lot, but stop before you spend more than your goal. Easy. No deprivation required.

I love my plasma TV. But I did without a lot of other stuff that I didn't want as much, so that I could afford it. Yikes, I'm beginning to sound like Suze Orman. Better quit.
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Old 04-16-2008, 04:36 PM   #32
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I think of my investing professor who said if he spends even a penny in the day, he goes home and records it in the computer at night. He also said "money isn't everything"...pause here..."it's the only thing." I can't decide whether that's sick...or just sad to think that way.
He was so into his philosophy that he actually makes fun of people who study art, psychology or anything other than finance. He sees anything other than the study of finance a total waste of time. Sad or sick?
Far be it from me to judge a professor I don't know.... but.... I have always been able to achieve my financial goals without recording every penny I spend. I give myself an allowance for that sort of stuff, instead. I do keep track of my bills, and check my bank account daily to keep track of debit card purchases and checks, but every penny? To me that's a waste of time.
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Old 04-16-2008, 05:33 PM   #33
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[quote=Orchidflower;644338e is such a thing as quality of life, too, and I have seen my parents and others carry this LBYM's thing so far that they really screwed themselves out of all the fun in life and a decent quality of life--despite the fact that they had a great deal put away.
And one of the most obvious things I saw them destroy for themselves was the caring and love of others. They were so tight that they didn't allow family or friends in, and became very paranoid of others. I guess offering a meal would be too much to do for someone else. /quote]


Maybe I'm wrong but what I got from this it's okay to LBYM's but don't do it at a cost of alienating your family and friends . Spend that money on air fare to see your children and grandchildren . Give gifts when appropriate and invite friends over for dinner . The money you spend will produce much better returns than any stock .
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Old 04-16-2008, 05:47 PM   #34
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[quote=Orchidflower;644338]
I, for one, don't plan to dress like I belong at Good Hope Mission or drive a 25 year old car that might break down in the hood or not eat healthy, balanced foods--with real meat--or go to the annual Thanksgiving dinner here that some charitable fellow sponsors just to LBYM (that would be me and all the other people on food stamps at the meal if I went, which I won't). And, believe it or not, I know a couple with money who lived in the tony neighborhood I'm in now that actually went to this free dinner every year, which, to me, says not only are they moochers but have no pride. Is this just my perception or is the LBYM philosophy?quote]

I see you've met my uncle. The guy has over $1 million in the bank and owns a few houses that are worth another $1 million. I've actually seen him a few times picking out empty pop cans from the recycling depot at the local store. I knew he was a tightwad but that's taking it to a whole new level!!!!
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Old 04-16-2008, 05:55 PM   #35
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To simplify: "Tight with your money, tight with your love" is an old saying, and one that applies often.
I only did this post as I read how too many seem so delighted that they can live subnormal and deprive themselves, and I ask myself "for what purpose is this?" Why take pride in looking like crap all the time, living in a cruddy apartment when you can live in a decent home, eating mediocre meals? I've known one too many of these myself, and I see no glory in this lifestyle.
My parents had a friend who was some IRS employee with an accounting degree. Really smart guy who did the taxes of a fellow who owned an apartment building, so he did his taxes in return for a 3rd floor walkup apartment. How wonderful to draaaaaag your groceries up 3 flights all the time, and draaaaag your laundry down to the wash in the basement.
Then they ate poorly to me like a sandwich for dinner or some other cheap dish like mac n' cheese. Nothing wrong with a sandwich or mac ' cheese, but they never ate good meat with nice side dishes. Always some cheap meal every day.
The wife work handmade clothing, which would be okay IF she was good at it. Her clothing looked handmade and, frankly, crappy, and heaven only knows they weren't stylish.
Never took nice vacations, never went to the movies or out to eat at a decent restaurant.
They had no kids, but by God! they had tons in the bank, which the wife used to brag about all the time.
So, here you have a woman who dresses like crap, never in style and dowdy, crappy cheap food to eat and living in a 3rd floor walkup, no social outlets hardly but with tons and tons of money in the BANK. Big deal. That is not living to me.
I see no glory in living so below your means that you live like this. I am certainly not impressed by it at all or their tons of money in the bank. The banker might be, but I'm not.
Well, I know a couple people who are impressed by all this depriving themselves: their niece and nephew who inherited it all. I'm sure they've had a ball blowing the money that their cheap Aunt and Uncle scrimped for all their lives.
Sometimes the love of money is a total sickness.
Most of us on here subscribe to living beneath your means and saving, but not at the expense of living a decent quality life, I hope.
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Old 04-16-2008, 06:26 PM   #36
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To me FI means you have enough to live the way you want. If you want to live in a trailer and eat beans, great. If you can afford the private jet and penthouse in Paris, that's great too.

Enjoy what you got.
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Old 04-16-2008, 06:40 PM   #37
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I think of my investing professor who said if he spends even a penny in the day, he goes home and records it in the computer at night. He also said "money isn't everything"...pause here..."it's the only thing." I can't decide whether that's sick...or just sad to think that way.
He was so into his philosophy that he actually makes fun of people who study art, psychology or anything other than finance. He sees anything other than the study of finance a total waste of time. Sad or sick?

....
What category would your professor put the study of Dickens?

"Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen six, result happness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery."

- Micawber in David Copperfield
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Old 04-16-2008, 07:03 PM   #38
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Is the problem the 3$ latte or the 3000$ tv's
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Old 04-16-2008, 07:06 PM   #39
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I agree. Regardless of how much money I have, I am always conscious of value.
For me, the question(s) is not "can I afford it?", but "do I really want it? Is it worth the asking price?".
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Beyond that, if you consciously make each spending decision with a careful deliberation of the value it will bring to your life (enjoyment. "karmic benefit" from helping others, re-investing to help enhance your future financial security, etc), then you've gone the rest of the way.
I think in terms of marginal utility. Will these bucks spent on supplies to build an airplane bring me more happiness than if I spent more money on the next best use? If so, then it's okay to plunge ahead.
A huge benefit of being retired is the freedom to make decisions which please you and to care a lot less what other people think. That even includes our friends on this very board. My signature line says it more succinctly . . .
Orchid, there's a big difference between "LBYM frugality" and "deprivation". I think that if you're pursuing your values then you're doing the first. If you're "doing without" then you're doing the latter.

These days I spend more time on life simplification than on saving. For example, instead of clipping coupons we've struck a deal with our teen to let her find/clip the coupons so that we can split the savings with her. Personally I'm pretty happy to dress down and teach our kid the finer points of dumpster-diving. As ClifP can attest, I find dressing for success to be a pretty stressful & uncomfortable experience without much benefit-- I'd rather do without!

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People on this board are not LBYMers, they are LBYM fanatics!
The fact that you express this sentiment here makes me fear that you haven't been reading SimpleLiving.net. The thread on the broken glass in the peanut butter, in particular, is one example of crossing from straightforward frugality to short-sighted dangerous deprivation.

Confused and scared
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Old 04-16-2008, 07:10 PM   #40
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I feel a little guit for ponying up for a travel trailer, but otherwise I am happy to achieve balance while still enjoying life. But it has taken me a while to get there.
[hijack]So, what'd you buy?[/hijack]
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