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Old 12-13-2007, 12:23 PM   #221
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LOL!! Well, thank you. I buy what I want or need. I buy expensive groceries, too, and I buy cheap art now and then. I don't feel deprived at all (though some day I'd like a full digital TV package, I admit). Compared with the East or West Coast, it's not very expensive to live down here (though apparently it's even less in southern Missouri).

As far as shopping goes, it seems like during the week I work all the effing time, and the rest of the time I'm doing laundry or other chores, or sleeping. Who has time to shop? On the weekends, I'm out with Frank. So I really don't have the time to spend very much.

If you're living a content life and only spending 16k to do it, that totally rules.
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Old 12-13-2007, 12:36 PM   #222
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Since You & Frank seem to go out to eat a lot is that included in the 16K budget plus the travel to check out retirement places ??
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Old 12-13-2007, 01:22 PM   #223
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Since You & Frank seem to go out to eat a lot is that included in the 16K budget plus the travel to check out retirement places ??
No, he pays when he takes me out to eat. Bet my grocery budget is STILL bigger than yours, though! I am such a nutrition freak.
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Old 12-13-2007, 01:50 PM   #224
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[quote=Want2retire;588118Bet my grocery budget is STILL bigger than yours, though! I am such a nutrition freak.[/quote]

I know you'd lose that bet since my SO is a really big guy and he has four really big boys who sometimes stop over to eat .
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Old 12-13-2007, 02:03 PM   #225
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You're probably right, then! In the last month, I spent $345.48 on food. That was probably high even for me. Generally my grocery bill is around $300/mo. It's less at the beginning of hurricane season (eating everything in the freezer of my nice new refrigerator/freezer), and more at the end of hurricane season (gradually filling said freezer back up).

I give myself an allowance of $200/week for food, utilities, everything (no mortgage). This is mental, only - - I just check my checking account to see how I'm doing and if I want to buy something special, I wait until the money is there. Days over the 28th day in a month have to be crammed into the adjacent week's allowance. Works for me. Then, when something really vital comes up like a broken A/C, I go ahead and pay for it though one year I waited 3 months in the heat of summer to do that. Usually I would just go ahead, but my urgent expenses were already through the roof that year.

This year I am ahead of budget, on the other hand, and I am going to buy myself a pretty antique side table on Saturday, if I can talk the guy down to a price I can live with. I have been hacking and sawing away at a jungle in my back yard, that my tree trimmer guys want $1000 to cut back and dispose of. I am exhausted because it is very heavy work. I have been working on it on the weekend and every day after work, but my reward to myself is to spend that same money on the table. It's marked at $975, already marked down, but I will try to talk the dealer down maybe to $800. Of course, it might already be sold, and then I'll have another $1000 for my nestegg (which would be nice too, hmmm.... )
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Old 12-13-2007, 02:32 PM   #226
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The other thing I can't quite understand is the desire to have a fully paid off house - do people really think that when they need the money in the house a bank is going to just throw money at them with little or no income? Maybe 5 years ago, but certainly not now. Banks like to loan money to people who don't need it, not the other way around.

I know I feel a lot more comfortable with a relatively small mortage ($150K or so - and for the Wash, DC area, that's tiny) and know I have the money in case of an emergency. If it's all in the house, how do you get at it??

For some of us, it's not really the idea that we're going to take money out of the equity in our house for an emergency, but that we don't have to generate the income to make a monthly house payment. That makes our current cost of living much lower having a house that's paid off and makes us feel more comfortable. I'm guessing with a mortage of $150,000, you're paying $800-1000 or more per month. That's one expense I don't have to worry about right now. It might not make the best financial sense to have a house paid off vs. having a mortgage and investing the money that might have been used to pay off the mortgage but the feeling of not having that money go out every single month is worth a lot. There are other threads here on paying off a mortage, so I guess I don't want to start a new one...just explain why some people pay theirs off early.

Another thing, my house is only valued at around $130k...in California, I'm guessing the same house would be valued at $500k or more. I might be more concerned about getting ahold of the equity if I had $500k tied up in a house. Different market, different view of the equity.
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Old 12-13-2007, 02:33 PM   #227
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I give myself an allowance of $200/week
I was re-reading this and it occurred to me that this would have been such an incredible dream-come-true for me when I was in high school! What a great fantasy.
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Old 12-13-2007, 03:25 PM   #228
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I give myself an allowance of $200/week for food, utilities, everything (no mortgage). This is mental, only - - I just check my checking account to see how I'm doing and if I want to buy something special, I wait until the money is there. Days over the 28th day in a month have to be crammed into the adjacent week's allowance. Works for me. Then, when something really vital comes up like a broken A/C, I go ahead and pay for it though one year I waited 3 months in the heat of summer to do that. Usually I would just go ahead, but my urgent expenses were already through the roof that year.
I read this and my lower brain started churning: "I can back on X and Y and maybe Z..."

Then my conscious part steps in and says: "I don't have to spend less!" As long as the outgo is less than the income there is no reason.

I don't have to play Competitive Frugality (but it's hard to stop).
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Old 12-13-2007, 03:36 PM   #229
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LOL!! Well, thank you. I buy what I want or need. I buy expensive groceries, too, and I buy cheap art now and then. I don't feel deprived at all (though some day I'd like a full digital TV package, I admit). Compared with the East or West Coast, it's not very expensive to live down here (though apparently it's even less in southern Missouri).

As far as shopping goes, it seems like during the week I work all the effing time, and the rest of the time I'm doing laundry or other chores, or sleeping. Who has time to shop? On the weekends, I'm out with Frank. So I really don't have the time to spend very much.
So you live on 16K per year but you make a hefty salary and you put what's left in a portfolio that you don't think you will need much of it in retirement. Hmmmmmmmm.

So Why not get the full digital TV package? You only live once...
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Old 12-13-2007, 04:08 PM   #230
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So you live on 16K per year but you make a hefty salary and you put what's left in a portfolio that you don't think you will need much of it in retirement. Hmmmmmmmm.

So Why not get the full digital TV package? You only live once...
It's a thought. The only thing is, that once I have retired, for me there is no going back because decent jobs in my occupation are uncommon. As far as I am concerned, ER is the end of my earned income, forever (unless I want "Welcome to Wal-Mart" type employment, and frankly I don't want to work even one day more than I have to). I only have 23 more months - - might as well pile as much as possible into the nestegg until then. At least, that's my thinking. Right now I am on the home stretch, so to speak, charging at this in as determined a fashion as I can. Once I have retired and have a good income coming in, I can relax things and start spending.

I hope. Like Khan (who I believe to be more frugal than any of us), I'm not into competitive frugality. On the one hand it is kind of embarrassing; my relatives think I have a screw loose so I try to let them think that I live like they do. But on the other hand, I see people lamenting that they cannot cut back, and often that seems like B.S. to me. I think it would be harder to spend what they spend without having their house fill up with stuff and having to haul it all to the dump and start over every year. I dunno. Guess I may understand that better in the next few years.
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Old 12-13-2007, 06:45 PM   #231
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I think it would be harder to spend what they spend without having their house fill up with stuff and having to haul it all to the dump and start over every year. I dunno. Guess I may understand that better in the next few years.
Well, I don't know what they spend, likely much more than I do. But as I posted earlier in this thread, rent, food, insurance and health care cost me almost $30,000/year. Of that, rent is less than half. And there is no eating out included. And I get Medicare!

In the past I bought plenty stuff, but my new TV is the only thing for quite a few years. If I had plenty money, and I never had to take care of it, remember where it is, clean it or use it if I didn't feel like I might buy some stuff. But I think one or another of these things will always put in a veto.

Ha
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Old 12-14-2007, 12:49 AM   #232
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It's a thought. The only thing is, that once I have retired, for me there is no going back because decent jobs in my occupation are uncommon. As far as I am concerned, ER is the end of my earned income, forever (unless I want "Welcome to Wal-Mart" type employment, and frankly I don't want to work even one day more than I have to).
For many people over 40, perhaps the majority, there is no going back. In some fields, a person of 30 is considered a grizzled veteran.

Looking at the glass as half-full, the media tells us that there are many vital, active seniors who find fulfillment in saying "Hi, my name is (fill in the blank), welcome to Walmart".
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Old 12-14-2007, 12:24 PM   #233
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For many people over 40, perhaps the majority, there is no going back. In some fields, a person of 30 is considered a grizzled veteran.

Looking at the glass as half-full, the media tells us that there are many vital, active seniors who find fulfillment in saying "Hi, my name is (fill in the blank), welcome to Walmart".
Not me, I hope, not ever! For me, the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow is complete, total, never-to-be-reversed FIRE!!

None of this partial ER for me, no occasional consulting, no starting my own business, no making spare change on e-bay, no Welcome to Wal-Mart, no punching the time clock at 6 AM. Nope. Not for me. Not that there is anything wrong with that! It's just not in my plans.
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Old 12-14-2007, 09:49 PM   #234
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Not me, I hope, not ever! For me, the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow is complete, total, never-to-be-reversed FIRE!!

None of this partial ER for me, no occasional consulting, no starting my own business, no making spare change on e-bay, no Welcome to Wal-Mart, no punching the time clock at 6 AM. Nope. Not for me. Not that there is anything wrong with that! It's just not in my plans.
AMEN!!!
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Old 12-15-2007, 08:28 AM   #235
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I am 59, single, still employed, living on less than $16K/yr (actually, $9.6K and the rest has gone for emergencies and unusual large expenses, replacement of big ticket items, and so on).
Wow $16k/yr! I'm impressed...........
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Old 12-15-2007, 09:17 AM   #236
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Wow $16k/yr! I'm impressed...........
Well, as someone pointed out, that does not include my group health insurance at work. That is another $1500/year or so taken out of my paycheck before I see it. And as someone pointed out, Frank takes me out to eat on the weekends so my $3600/year on food would really be $1000 more if I just ate at home, instead. So that would bring it up to $18,500. So don't be TOO impressed! But thanks.
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