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View Poll Results: When did you develop the thrifty/LBYM habit?
I've always been this way, probably born with the gene 64 57.66%
Between age 20-30 17 15.32%
Between 30-40 11 9.91%
Between 40-50 10 9.01%
Between 50-60 5 4.50%
Between 60-70 0 0%
After age 70 0 0%
I'm not an LBYMer, I just come here to watch the crazy people. 4 3.60%
Voters: 111. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 11-20-2009, 06:17 AM   #21
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I became one around age 30. My income surged around then but not my spending habits.
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Old 11-20-2009, 09:57 AM   #22
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With the parents who raised me I could be nothing else but a LBYMer, however, I have had a few years where I broke out of it. But, overall, I have always watched my spending...not as much fun as my live-on-your-credit-card/no saving relatives, but safer. I always counted on having savings = never having to say I was sorry for borrowing = real independence in life!
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Old 11-20-2009, 10:11 AM   #23
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I recall that when I flew to a conference in grad school, the airlines made me sign something that said that my briefcase was already broken so that I wouldn't accuse them of breaking it. I think I had gotten it out of a dumpster.
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Old 11-20-2009, 10:16 AM   #24
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I spent my money like I was going to the electric chair till the age of 47. At that point I finally woke up, DW still likes to spend but I'm a new man.
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Old 11-20-2009, 10:33 AM   #25
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I voted 30-40. It's not that I was ever a spendthrift; I grew up in a LBYM family. But I was as interested as any other young person in having "stuff". I did not go into debt except briefly, to buy cars. But it was when I got established in my career and took advantage of the financial services available that I became conscious of my own responsibility to fund my retirement. The first time I had a financial plan done, the advisor remarked that I was quite frugal. Up till then I had never considered myself frugal, but I guess he was thinking in comparison to some other physicians, who were buying McMansions, boats, fancy cars, etc.
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Old 11-20-2009, 10:56 AM   #26
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I had a extended period, probably between 20-30 where I spent everything I made and a bit more. The only smart thing I did at that time was maximise my pension savings. In my 30s I woke up and realised that "things" did not define who I was.

To this day I don't believe that I consciously LBMM as some do on this forum. We still buy what we want, however I find that my wants are not driven by the same demons that haunted me in my 20s. We are fortunate to have a good income which does allow us to have what we want and still save.

We've never owned a boat, an expensive car or a McMansion and have no desire to do so.
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Old 11-20-2009, 11:37 AM   #27
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I just earned more than I spent. And I am not a miser. Sometimes Ive even spent money for the hell of it. Now that I think about it I still spend as lot of money out of boredom
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Old 11-20-2009, 12:01 PM   #28
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I was always savings oriented but unfortunately indulged in debt to buy what I wanted with one hand while saving with the other. I thought LBYM meant being able to make all the payments and still save/invest.

In my mid-40s, I read a book by Dave Ramsey that changed my mindset. Although I don't go along with some of his investing or SWR opinions, he certainly slapped me upside the head with my borrowing stupidity for non-essential items.

We're now debt free and pouring nearly half of our household income into savings and investments. Wish I had figured this out 20 years earlier We would already be FIREd.
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Old 11-20-2009, 12:10 PM   #29
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I've pretty much been a LBYMer all my life. Simply, I don't like to owe others money and don't like others to owe me money and I think LBYM naturally leads to that.

Some things I don't mind paying for though because it's frustrating try and cut corners to save some money but then have that not work. (For example, quality power tools, and I avoid generic toilet paper )
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Old 11-20-2009, 02:16 PM   #30
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When I was in my twenties, I got the Andrew Tobias book, which talked about buying lots of cans of soda when it was on sale, and keeping it under the coffee table. That appealed to me. Also, his saying "A penny saved is two pennies earned" (related to taxes) resonated with me.
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Old 11-20-2009, 02:35 PM   #31
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Interim report: So far, it looks like there are relatively few "late bloomers" in the group. Over half of respondents have always been savers. I would have guessed that we would have been more evenly split, but only a few of us began to LBYM after our 40s.
Maybe that's a function of the "early" part of "FIRE". At 40 years old, if someone has a hefty balance on the charge cards and two new cars in the driveway with 7 year financing, even if they begin LBYM in a major way, they'd probably be shooting for a comfortable "on time" retirement at 65-70 YO. So, they might be reluctant to hang around here. Too bad, as there's lots to learn no matter when you start.

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Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
When I was in my twenties, I got the Andrew Tobias book, which talked about buying lots of cans of soda when it was on sale, and keeping it under the coffee table. That appealed to me. Also, his saying "A penny saved is two pennies earned" (related to taxes) resonated with me.
Yep, that book struck a chord with me, too. Also, some marketing propaganda from the A.L. Williams company got me thinking. Then it was "Random Walk Down Wall Street" and the hook was set.
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Old 11-20-2009, 02:48 PM   #32
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People will often say that LBYM comes from being around LBYM parents, etc. Well. Not always.

My parents were always very frugal. They paid off their mortgage very quickly, never incurred any debt, never used credit cards and on not a whole lot of income saved an impressive amount (alas, it didn't grow very much as they were true children of the Depression and wouldn't invest in anything except US savings bonds and certificates of deposit).

They were always talking about not spending money, saving, retirement, etc. And, I resented it. I saw my parents as always wanting the cheapest and not paying attention to quality. It used to irritate my mother when we would go into a store to buy me school clothes and I would not look at price tags but the clothes I liked always cost more. She could not see a difference in quality between, say, something made of silk and something made of cheap polyester (not all polyester is cheap but this was]

When I had money of my own I felt like I was let out of jail. I could suddenly buy wonderful and enticing things (this is not to say that my parents never bought me anything, they did. It was just the unrelenting message of don't spend money that seemed to suck the fun out of everything).

So I was a spender. I was always a spender. I lived above my means.

When did I get religion? I spent most of my adulthood in and out of debt. I was fortunate to have a good income. I wasn't an idiot. I knew about the cost of interest and so on. But, I never thought about the possibility of early retirement (if I had I might have changed sooner).

I think I thought of adulthood (pre-retirement) as the time to acquire stuff and spend money on fun things. Everyone I knew who was retired lived very modestly and didn't spend much. I guess I thought there would be time for that. I could save later.

Eventually though I realized I was 50 and didn't have much to show for years of high earnings. By then I was married with kids and I could look ahead and see that, well, later was here.

So we've repaid our debt and are getting ready to downsize but, yeah, it us a long time to get here.
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Old 11-20-2009, 03:51 PM   #33
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I do not recall when it hit me that not spending a dollar was the same as saving a dollar in my savings account. Probably goes back 50+ years ago. I was often teased as a kid by others as a skinflint, cheapo, tightwad, squeezing the buffalo, and probably a few others behind my back.

I wonder what the retirement situation is with those now-grown-up kids?
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Old 11-20-2009, 04:27 PM   #34
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Always lived a little below my means. I put myself thru college and had $2k in the bank some 32 years ago and a $300 debt I got so I could get a credit history. The only time I had any credit card debt was a few years when I was married to a spendthrift. He talked sense but did the opposite. I got promotions and made more than I needed and saved it. I spent some years buying myself treats but never impinged on my savings. I paid off my house and now live on about half of what I make, so I'm pretty sure I can retire comfortably. If something was still usable, I kept it. Now, I need to clean out the accumulation of stuff I really don't need.
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Old 11-20-2009, 04:33 PM   #35
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I voted 40-50 as this was the age of reason for me. We always lived within our means, never any debt beyond credit cards that were always paid off monthly and our mortgage. But retirement plans never really gelled until we were older after the buying sprees following our lean graduate school years.
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Old 11-20-2009, 05:15 PM   #36
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From the beginning.

However lately I've been hell bent on spending - want to make sure I don't leave too much on the table when its time to fold'em....
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Old 11-20-2009, 09:29 PM   #37
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Dad's Credo:

Use it up,
Wear it out,
Make it do, or
Do without.

I don't follow this to a "T", but still pretty closely, as in TV and gadgets. Rarely would I wear clothing until it is threadbare (as dad sometimes still does). OTOH, I do donate a lot of gently used clothing to causes such as typhoon recovery in the Philippines, etc...things that would no longer suit me well in business settings, but are still highly usable.

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Old 11-20-2009, 09:59 PM   #38
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I suppose I've always been a LBYMer except for the years that it took every penny just to get by. I couldn't get much lower than survival.

When we started to earn more money, I saved as much as I could because I knew what it was like not to have money. I didn't want to ever feel that way again. My friends were buying toys and larger homes; I suppose that was their gratification. For me, watching my investments grow gave me greater pleasure.

I'm a low maintenance gal and am very satisfied.
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Old 11-21-2009, 07:49 AM   #39
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Former paper boy here. All I really needed to know about finances I learned from that paper route - everything from capital investment to cash flow. In an otherwise insecure financial family environment, having money in the bank made me feel secure.
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Old 11-21-2009, 08:12 AM   #40
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I remember getting a 25 cents/week allowance as a kid, and saving that up so I could deposit in the savings account that my parents opened for me when I was pretty young. I just didn't see the point of blowing it all on candy like most kids would have back then.
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