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LBYM: do we have to do without then?
Old 04-16-2008, 11:00 AM   #1
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LBYM: do we have to do without then?

I see more posts all the time where someone jumps in and insinuates that if you dress decently--and I don't mean designer clothing, but just nicely--or you take flying lessons or whatever that you are GASP! not LBYM.
Yes, I watch sales. Yes, I use coupons for items when I can, although, I admit, I hardly ever clip grocery coupons as I buy little processed foods. Yes, I use the net to find the best deals on whatever I buy. Hell, I can hardly buy things at the retail value anymore as I am such a deal person; BUT, you can carry the LBYM's thing just too far and cut all the pleasures of life out.
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?
Am I the only one who thinks you can carry the LBYM's thing just too darned far? Am I alone here? And, if so, I must sound like a spendthrift to you LBYMers.
There 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. Tight, tight, tight. But was it really worth it to live this lifestyle? I don't think so.
As for me, I'll keep digging for deals on what I want to buy; but, I plan to eat well and enjoy myself, too. I want a quality of life that allows some joy in it, myself. And if that means having someone over for dinner or buying a new expensive tv that should last 15 or more years or taking dance lessons, then I plan to do it. Granted, I will dig for the best deal for the money as I have a heck of a time paying retail anymore, but I will do it after finding the best deal for the money.
I just think you can carry this LBYM attitude way too far in this life.
Just my thoughts...and I'm stickin' to them.
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Old 04-16-2008, 11:14 AM   #2
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Well, I recently posted a LBYM rebuke on a thread asking for advice on high-tech televisions; so I stand corrected.

You are quite right to think that a reasonable amount of balance is required. And it's also fair to say that one person's frivolous luxury item or experience is the essential 'spice of life' to someone else.

That said, it shouldn't come as a huge surprise that many (most?) people on this forum have relatively modest lifestyles that are well below their means. If one believes in FIRE and is not counting on a large inheritance or winning the lottery, some amount of sacrifice limitation in consumption is required.
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Old 04-16-2008, 11:15 AM   #3
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[quote=Orchidflower;644338]
Am I the only one who thinks you can carry the LBYM's thing just too darned far? Am I alone here? And, if so, I must sound like a spendthrift to you LBYMers.
quote]

No, you are not alone . I also dress nicely but like you I look for bargains . I also will not go for a cheap haircut or do without haircuts to save a few bucks . I also will not skip the holidays to avoid gift giving . In fact one of the joys I get from having money is treating my family and friends well . I've lived below my means most of my life but I am not cheap and never will be .
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Old 04-16-2008, 11:27 AM   #4
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People on this board are not LBYMers, they are LBYM fanatics! In theory, as long as you spend less than what you make (no matter what you spend your money on!), it should be enough to qualify you as a LBYMer. But some people can take it to the extreme, and LBYM can turn into "how to look like a poor slob and be proud of it". I think saving money (a lot of money) is a good and very commendable thing, but it should be remembered that at some point we've got to enjoy that money too before we crook because what good is it going to do us to have millions in the bank when we are dead?
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Old 04-16-2008, 11:27 AM   #5
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One person's cheapness is another's frivolity.
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Old 04-16-2008, 11:28 AM   #6
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Anne Scheiber would be the poster child for carrying LBYM to excess. Living in poverty just to enable your large investment portfolio to continue growing is pathetic.

Of course, there are far too many people to mention who go to the other extreme and wind up as bankrupts.
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Old 04-16-2008, 11:29 AM   #7
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LBYM- if you pay cash for things and have more cash left over than things left over, I think you are doing well.
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Old 04-16-2008, 11:31 AM   #8
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Ever hear of the "Witch of Wall Street?" Now there is a true LBYMer.
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Old 04-16-2008, 11:34 AM   #9
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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.
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Old 04-16-2008, 11:35 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by FIREdreamer View Post
I think saving money (a lot of money) is a good and very commendable thing, but it should be remembered that at some point we've got to enjoy that money too before we crook because what good is it going to do us to have millions in the bank when we are dead?
Here's one option (from November, 2005)

Quote:
FINDLAY, Ohio (AP) A woman who died at age 98 bequeathed her $1.1 million estate to the federal government, requesting that it be used to help pay down the $8.1 trillion national debt.

The gift from Margaret Elizabeth Taylor, who died Nov. 9, may be the largest ever to the Treasury Department, spokesman Stephen Meyerhardt said Thursday. "It's the biggest in at least the last 15 years, and most likely the largest," he said. "Needless to say, most donations are much, much smaller."

Attorney Tom Drake, the executor of Taylor's estate, said Taylor made it very clear that her fortune was to be handed over to the government. Her will was filed recently probate court. "It's not what I would have advised her to do with it, but she really wasn't interested in my opinion," he said.

Taylor, of Findlay, had no living siblings or children and her husband died in 1977. She was a staunch Democrat who believed the national debt should be paid off and she wanted to do her part, Drake said.

Bureau of the Public Debt records show that U.S. citizens donated a total of $1.5 million toward debt reduction last year.
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Old 04-16-2008, 11:41 AM   #11
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Here's one option (from November, 2005)

! I guess she couldn't find a more worthy cause than the Federal government! God knows they always need more money!
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Old 04-16-2008, 11:49 AM   #12
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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'm sure that if I had more money, I could spend more. But give me a pair of Levi's anyday over Ralph Lauren/Tommy Hilfiger. Why on earth should I pay $200 for jeans when I can get Levi's on sale for $30, or Kirkland jeans for $12.95. In my experience, the fit and finish of designer clothing is no better. Plus, they always plaster their names/initials all over their products. If I'm gonna be a walking billboard, I should get a rent check...

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...
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Old 04-16-2008, 12:01 PM   #13
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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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Old 04-16-2008, 12:01 PM   #14
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I agree that if you spend less than you make, you're already in the LBYM club.

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 . . .
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Old 04-16-2008, 12:03 PM   #15
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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.
As long as it is aerobatic, you should be fine.
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Old 04-16-2008, 12:29 PM   #16
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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?".
I totally agree with this...BTW, you people buying 50 inch tv's are helping support the economy I personally am happy with my 27 inch tube tv and frankly when we got it we were pretty excited...
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Old 04-16-2008, 12:30 PM   #17
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I totally agree with this...BTW, you people buying 50 inch tv's are helping support the economy I personally am happy with my 27 inch tube tv and frankly when we got it we were pretty excited...
Haha little 27 incher!
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Old 04-16-2008, 12:36 PM   #18
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If you see hell freezing over, well, that's when I will personally spend $200 for a pair of jeans. Or even $100. I watch tv's "What Not to Wear" all the time, and see ladies spending $160 for a pair of jeans when they are given the $5,000 credit card for a new wardrobe. I think that's foolish. $100 for a pair of really well made slacks, yes, but not jeans. Ok..maybe it is just me on this one, but I see $100 jeans as a waste. Those jeans would have to make my butt look like a size 2 to spend that.
My post really is a protest towards jumping on others when they say they have purchased something that gives them pleasure that's even semi-costly. If they can afford roller blading lessons and it doesn't take more to buy the lessons than they can afford, have at it. Sometimes we--on this board--seem to be getting too carried away with this LBYM stuff, I think. Gosh..have some fun, too, in life, folks! It ain't all saving, saving, saving...and you really can't take it with you. Honest.
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Old 04-16-2008, 12:38 PM   #19
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We had a 36" TV. Replaced it with a 61". I knew I want a home theater setup. Amazing part is now DW says she likes the bigger set, and when this one is worn out, about 5 to 10 years we will get even a bigger one. On the other hand SIL could get by on a 9" black and white. As I said in another thread, we watch a lot of TV. Sports, Movies, Shows, News, Weather, you name it, and from time to time we watch it. Don't do Ballet, Symphonies, Zoos, Plays, and such. While that might not work for some, it does for us.

I believe as others, your hobby is your hobby, while I would not spend money on it, I see why you do. If it does not stand in the way of your financial goals, assuming you have goals, then you are most likely LBYM.
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Old 04-16-2008, 12:43 PM   #20
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I paid $65 bucks for a haircut once; looked about the same as my usual $15 haircut. Certainly not fifty bucks better.
$15 for a haircut!! If that's LBYM, you must have a lot of money!
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