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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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Were you always an LBYMer?
Old 11-19-2009, 06:50 AM   #1
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Were you always an LBYMer?

I thought it might be interesting to see how many people here were always LBYM types (saving money from their first jobs, etc) and how many "got religion" later.

This isn't necessarily about when you set your sights on ER--I know I tended to "save up" for things I wanted and went with the least glitzy items that would serve my purposes long before I started worrying about SWR issues.

"Freedom begins when you tell Mrs. Grundy to go fly a kite." - R. Heinlein
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Old 11-19-2009, 07:17 AM   #2
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I was always taught to save for a rainy day. My grandparents and parents were always savers. I was not as tight as my grandparents, no pilot lights on the stove or water heater, and burying gold and silver in the backyard. My dad is 74 and doesn't have a credit card to this day. He has had "accounts" at local businesses, and a line of credit at the bank, but nothing that wasn't paid off at the end of the month. Now I do get a call from him from time to time when he needs my credit card number to order something, but he wont get one.

My grandfather died when he was 60, but except for owning a bunch of rental property, I never knew him to work for anyone else. My father retired at 57, owned his own business, and told me he should have quit sooner. When I told him I planned to ER at 50 he said it was great. My in-laws on the other hand don't get it, they think that if you die owing money you got out ahead.

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Old 11-19-2009, 07:28 AM   #3
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I started LBYM when M>L.
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Old 11-19-2009, 07:44 AM   #4
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I did not get into saving until I was 32 and a single Mom . I knew I had to somehow pay for college for two chidren and start a retirement fund for me . So I started saving all my raises and any extra money I could get . I did save enough to pay for college and retire.
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Old 11-19-2009, 07:50 AM   #5
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I think to some degree I always have been, but I used to be more willing to spend money for "stuff" I didn't need. Since I've been obsessed more determined to FIRE, I started becoming more of a cheapskate -- but as I've said before, sometimes I almost have to force myself to spend some for current enjoyment because I don't want to deprive myself and I've seen too many people saving everything for a future they didn't live to see.
"Hey, for every ten dollars, that's another hour that I have to be in the work place. That's an hour of my life. And my life is a very finite thing. I have only 'x' number of hours left before I'm dead. So how do I want to use these hours of my life? Do I want to use them just spending it on more crap and more stuff, or do I want to start getting a handle on it and using my life more intelligently?" -- Joe Dominguez (1938 - 1997)
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Old 11-19-2009, 07:58 AM   #6
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Youth: LBYM was ingrained in my head for as long as I can remember. My family never had money, in fact quite the opposite. Not terribly poor, but my Mom sure knew how to w*rk a tight budget. She had no choice with 5 kids.
Any extras I wanted were up to me via babysitting and mother's helper jobs. No complaints.

Young adult: I qualified for a lot of merit based and need based financial aid in college. I w*rked at the highest paying jobs I could find to finance the rest. No complaints.

Adult: Our household had a lot of income compared to local COL. During that time, I was socking away between 10-19% of my income and the mortgage was paid off early. When fate made me a 1 income household, I had to make the right moves.

Fast forward to today...for dh2b and I...I have returned to the stretch the dollar days of my youth and as a starving college student. If we want to splurge, we save up for it long term. No complaints.
"All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them." - Walt Disney
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Old 11-19-2009, 08:05 AM   #7
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I learned to LBYM at my mother's knee. Dad never made much and mom didn't work outside the home, but she sure could stretch the little money we had!

Now that we are Fire'd I sometimes have to remind myself to enjoy the financial freedom we have. It's still hard for me to spend on anything that is not an essential.
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Old 11-19-2009, 08:07 AM   #8
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I have always been a "off and on" intentional LBYMer... episodes separated by starvation.
"It's tough to make predictions, especially when it involves the future." ~Attributed to many
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"Those who have knowledge, don't predict. Those who predict, don't have knowledge."~ Lau tzu
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Old 11-19-2009, 08:35 AM   #9
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I've always been one, but to varying degrees.
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Old 11-19-2009, 08:47 AM   #10
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Living within my means was the natural course - not doing so was beyond my comprehension. My means were constrained, and as a passive, not to say lazy, sort it was easier to control desire than expand means. With limited desires and awareness that paying interest brought no pleasure to my life debt was the first recipient of any spare dollars. All followed naturally.
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Old 11-19-2009, 09:03 AM   #11
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I'd always been a saver, and careful with my money, but I got a lot more serious about it when at age 32 I decided I wanted to be able to at least semi-retire in my 40's. That's when I started developing a plan.

I'd have to say that reading the book Your Money or Your Life had quite an impact on my attitude towards spending. It really changed my willingness to spend - it caused me to evaluate whether something was worth the money to me, whereas previously I tended to evaluate spending more on the basis of whether it fit into my budget.
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Old 11-19-2009, 09:18 AM   #12
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I started when I was 25 and bought my first condo for $75K on a $30K salary....just signing all the paperwork made me start strectching my pennies!
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Old 11-19-2009, 10:14 AM   #13
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I've always been a saver and LBYMer. As a kid I shared a room with my older sister. She had lots of new "stuff" and spent everything that came through her hands while I had a savings account and substantial cash in piggy banks. She'd sometimes borrow from me, even into early adulthood. Luckily her DH-2 can handle all her financial needs.

Thriftiness and saving just came naturally to me. DH had no financial compass for most of his life. Money and numbers make him so uncomfortable and itchy that he was happy to have me handling everything. It wasn't until I showed him how future retirement was possible that he could execute a plan toward a goal. He wasn't a big spender, he was just an unconscious spender. He's changed a lot in the past 3 years.
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Old 11-19-2009, 10:40 AM   #14
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I guess I've been a closet LBYMer most of my life. Managed to graduate college with minimal debt and with wife for half of the college yrs. When I entered the military, we took a significant drop in income and started to blow through savings until my income and our spending started to converge again (thankfully before savings reached zero). During my first overseas tour, we were accused of living on the pay of the next higher rank because of all the traveling we did. But we are very frugal travelers and found very good prices on bus/train tours or drove ourselves to our various adventures. Buying souvenirs was never our thing and NO one got their lousy t-shirts, etc... from our trips. ERing from the military at 48, we continue to LBYM even though I planned to augment ret pay with savings until SS eligibility. Some habits are hard to break...
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Old 11-19-2009, 11:01 AM   #15
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I don't know if I can say I was ever that thrifty, but I always lived within my means. I always had an aversion to debt and think I got that from my frugal parents who did have to live on a small salary. Once I graduated from college I was a well paid engineer.

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Old 11-19-2009, 11:13 AM   #16
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I voted between 20-30, though I don't consider myself a "thrifty" guy. Basically, in our 20s is when our means grew larger than our wants & needs. We were able to save without really trying, and never felt deprived.

Now, with 2 kids (and their associated expenses), and reduced income due to job change/recession, we've started cutting coupons and generally trying to cut back on our spending. It's the right thing to do, but I can't say I enjoy it much...
I can't complain, but sometimes I still do.
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Old 11-19-2009, 11:36 AM   #17
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I still remember saving any monetary gifts I received for Christmas, Hanukkah, birthdays or whatever as a kid. I always seemed to be flush with cash but that was because I was always hustling and didn't spend a lot of money. Selling candy bars and lollipops in middle school. Newspaper delivery route in middle school. Part time jobs and full time jobs during high school. Actively pursuing grants and scholarships in college along with very highly paid research gigs, teaching, DJ'ing and other part time work during college.

The most spendthrift I ever was (speaking in relative terms of course) was one summer during high school (must have been between sophomore and junior year) when I would go into town and hang out virtually every night. Coffee shops, fast food, playing pool, alcohol, etc. added up. I remember I had hundreds of dollars when I started the summer and quickly blew through most of the cash. I think that is when I realized that spending $2-3 on a coffee or burger or beer adds up when done frequently. I think I was also viewed as the money tree among less thrifty and more math-challenged friends, so I would often have to leave a tip for the group, or pay for way more than my share of the pizza, beer, "other". Or let someone borrow money, never to receive it back.
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Old 11-19-2009, 11:58 AM   #18
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DW has been a life-long LBYMer. And except for falling off the LBYM band wagon for a couple of years while in college (and getting into a small amount of CC debt), so have I. By the time we started working, we already had an enviable net worth. We continued saving money with our first real pay check and never stopped.
42 y/o, married, retirement portfolio = 43 x annual expenses
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Old 11-20-2009, 04:56 AM   #19
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I grew up this way, got the genes from my folks, mainly my dad. We were a one income family most of the time and mom was a SAHM. If she earned any extra it was from Avon, or babysitting, or the like. She went back to work in her 50s I believe, in elder care. Dad never had a credit balance. Bought his cars with loans, but paid them off in a few months to a year (just to build credit).

Whenever I wanted something, I earned the money for it first. There were never handouts for dates or anything like that. Paid for my own gas in the family car, etc. Paid for college, and paid off the tiny student loan I had when I graduated. Our homes were bought with largish down payments by real estate bubble standards. Only two cars we have ever owned had loans on them, for less than a year in both cases, which was simply in order to build a credit record for when we decided to buy a bigger home. We bought the land to build our dream home in cash, and then built it with cash, over a 3 year period. I hate debt. I hate the feeling of being in bondage...indentured servitude.

Interestingly enough, while they say the nut never falls far from the tree, my three siblings nuts fell miles away from mom and dad's tree, while mine is planted firmly at their roots.

Still working, but that is to save for our FIRE goals.

Find Joy in the Journey...
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Old 11-20-2009, 05:14 AM   #20
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I was free-spending, but not on credit, until my late 20's - early 30's. Didn't save anything, but only borrowed for vehicles such as a motorcycle or airplane. Everything else was cash only. Then I married "Spendarina" who thought that the solution to every "I wanna..." was credit cards or loans.

My parents got deep into cc debt in the late '60's when I was in my teens and that made me highly adverse to cc debt because I saw how long it took them to dig out of that hole.

After the divorce from Spendarina and I bought a house by myself I got serious about being "value-oriented" and giving more consideration to long-term value of what I bought.

I heard the call to do nothing. So I answered it.
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