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Re: Attitude towards planning purchases an indicator of wealth
Old 10-11-2006, 07:07 AM   #41
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Re: Attitude towards planning purchases an indicator of wealth

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Originally Posted by ladelfina
JG.. we have something in common! No second freezer.. but tons of food, yet mom had to run out to the store when I visited, just to get something.. anything.. to make for dinner.

She eats out all the time and what's in the freezer is whoknowshow old and freezer-burned, while the dry goods are home to flour moths. I think it's just the sensation of not having an "empty" larder or fridge despite the reality that in effect there's 'nothing' in there to eat.. (no fresh vegetables.. but there ARE fourteen bottles of salad dressing!!).. She never cooks for herself anymore beyond toast in the am and the odd scrambled egg--heck, she doesn't even LIKE cooking and never did. With what she really uses she could easily have a dorm/minibar-size fridge.

Ah, well.. who knows how I'll be when I'm in my dotage?? and anyway..she can afford to waste it now if it makes her feel safe; the ROI is no longer the point. Every visit I try and clean out but she hates it.
Yep, no living person knows what lies at the bottom of Mom's chest
freezer .

JG
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Re: Attitude towards planning purchases an indicator of wealth
Old 10-11-2006, 09:34 AM   #42
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Re: Attitude towards planning purchases an indicator of wealth

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martha
A real puzzler is the waxed paper. No apparent use for it, but we sure aren't throwing it away. Suggestions?




use to bake anything that's baked on a flat surface. helps to decrease uneven distribution of heat and decrease undesirable drying of edges or browning. Cut to shape of cake pans or springform pans. Use to cook fish en papillote.
Here's a recipe: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/re...s/views/104017
Tasty!
Also, better for the enviroment than alum foil.

We also buy in bulk, especially non-perishables. Also buy fruit and veggies in bulk from costco since there is no farmer's market near us, which simply means we eat ALOT of a choice of 3-4 veggies/fruits every week.
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Re: Attitude towards planning purchases an indicator of wealth
Old 10-11-2006, 09:43 AM   #43
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Re: Attitude towards planning purchases an indicator of wealth

Way too much wax paper, Toilet paper, bottles of wine....Luckily I don't indulge in those items.

For me though what I have perhaps way too much of are golf-shirts. Lately I think that I have become the Imelda Marcos of Golf Shirts. I find them in the deep-discount racks at various stores and pick up really high quality shirts at the end of the season for next to nothing. At last count I had around 63 golf shirts. Here in SoCal, where it's always sunny, I can and do wear them pretty much everyday. Some of them are a little shop-worn and I wouldn't wear them out of the house. However most of them are good-to-go. If I never bought another shirt I would probably be good for 5-10 years but I keep finding these great deals.

Maybe I could use some of my extra golf-shirts to wrap up your wax paper rolls
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Re: Attitude towards planning purchases an indicator of wealth
Old 10-11-2006, 09:45 AM   #44
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Re: Attitude towards planning purchases an indicator of wealth

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Originally Posted by Martha
We haven't ever had to buy aluminum foil, still working through rolls from deceased relatives. A real puzzler is the waxed paper. No apparent use for it, but we sure aren't throwing it away. Suggestions?




I store my used dryer sheets in it.

JG
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Re: Attitude towards planning purchases an indicator of wealth
Old 10-11-2006, 10:02 AM   #45
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Re: Attitude towards planning purchases an indicator of wealth

In our home swaps, we are amazed at the stuff people keep. These are large family homes with 2 empty nesters. Garages full, basements packed, even spare rooms up to the ceiling. No drawer space at all.

These people are financially comfortable but seem to be immobilized at the thought of geting rid of stuff. And they continue to acquire. And these are not grandmas but contemporary ERs.

We downsized to move into our condo and maintain a rule about something going out whenever something new comes in. And we have spare drawers for them to use when they are here.

Does anyone else get puzzled by this behaviour?

(PS yes I have more golf shirts than I need. Many are collectors from tournaments.)
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Re: Attitude towards planning purchases an indicator of wealth
Old 10-11-2006, 10:07 AM   #46
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Re: Attitude towards planning purchases an indicator of wealth

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Originally Posted by kcowan
Does anyone else get puzzled by this behaviour?
Puzzled? Not at all. My DW is an example of this. When we started out together "last century" (actually married in '69) we had literally nothing (execpt each other).

When things "got better" over the years, she didn't want to give up anything. She always comments that she went through hell to get the "stuff" and was not going to get rid of anything that still might be of "some value".

It's nothing more than having emotional value, not real value.

- Ron
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Re: Attitude towards planning purchases an indicator of wealth
Old 10-11-2006, 11:50 AM   #47
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Re: Attitude towards planning purchases an indicator of wealth

There are different reasons for hoarding. I got and read "Overcoming Compulsive Hoarding: Why You Save & How You Can Stop" but left it with mom (hint, hint).

My memory is not good enough to accurately re-cap the book -I skimmed it quickly very late at night- but it has some decent ideas for how to cut down if it's a problem for you or someone you know.

Some people hoard newspapers and magazines because "there might be something in there" of value to them, yet they never read or go through the back issues. Others, as Ron noted, have sentimental ties to things, keeping a ton of stuff from Dad/Mom/Grandma when just a few choice items could serve the same purpose. That could be tied to some ancient guilt or sense of loss, real or perceived.
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Re: Attitude towards planning purchases an indicator of wealth
Old 10-11-2006, 12:01 PM   #48
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Re: Attitude towards planning purchases an indicator of wealth

Ever seen the TLC show "Clean Sweep" where they help people get rid of their useless accumulation of stuff that is degrading their quality of life?

It's amazing the psychological torture some participants go through in letting go of some of their stuff and/or making choices between stuff. That's why they need counselors to help them get through it.

Fascinating study of human nature.

Audrey
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Re: Attitude towards planning purchases an indicator of wealth
Old 10-11-2006, 12:10 PM   #49
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Re: Attitude towards planning purchases an indicator of wealth

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Originally Posted by Ron'Da
It's nothing more than having emotional value, not real value.
IMO Ron, there's nothing really wrong with that. As long as the accumulation doesn't become onerous due to storage expense or inconvenience, I don't see a problem.

We have some of the same issues here. My shop is full of tools, materials and do-dads I accumulated over the decades and inherited from my Dad. It's tidy but crowded. Frankly, I don't spend much time tinkering there anymore. Yet, I'm inclined to keep it all. When I do invest a few days in some project, it's really satisfying and I enjoy it.

DW is a quilter. Her "hobby room" is loaded with fabrics, machines and apparatus and we both know she could do without a lot of it. But, who cares? She likes having the stuff, we have plenty of room, so why not?

And there are a few more examples around the house. I won't get started telling about my accumulation of camping and fishing gear much of which could be done without but I still chose to hang on to.

The worse case scenario would be needing to unload everything quickly due to an emergency or rapidly changing plans. I bet we, or the kids, could give much of it away to charity and then call in a local estate liquidator and have the balance gone within a few days. Sure, we'd only get a few cents on the dollar, but taking a loss of a few thousand vs. selling it all ourselves would mean little to us or our estate.

I understand there are extreme cases out there where someone has 200 cases of cat food on hand for their twenty-seven cats, but that's an extreme. Needing to own so little so that a couple can live in an efficiency apartment with room to spare is a little extreme too!







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Re: Attitude towards planning purchases an indicator of wealth
Old 10-11-2006, 12:16 PM   #50
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Re: Attitude towards planning purchases an indicator of wealth

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Originally Posted by ladelfina
I got and read "Overcoming Compulsive Hoarding: Why You Save & How You Can Stop" but left it with mom (hint, hint).
I would love to leave that book with my mom, but she might never find it under all of her stuff!

Whenever I read articles about hoarding I feel the need to immediately go get rid of some things - I'm not a hoarder, but worry that one day I might wake up with too much junk.

I'm off to the Goodwill!
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Re: Attitude towards planning purchases an indicator of wealth
Old 10-11-2006, 01:01 PM   #51
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Re: Attitude towards planning purchases an indicator of wealth

I think my father-in-law may have some mayonaise in his refrigerator that dates back to the mid-1980's.
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Re: Attitude towards planning purchases an indicator of wealth
Old 10-11-2006, 02:26 PM   #52
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Re: Attitude towards planning purchases an indicator of wealth

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Originally Posted by youbet
Needing to own so little so that a couple can live in an efficiency apartment with room to spare is a little extreme too!
Can you clarify? Why do you think it's extereme? Maybe extreme for middle class?
1. Probably the average size of the world population habitats are less than this.
2. I have "working class" friends who own very little (although I'm sure, that some of them, given more money, would acquire more "stuff")
3. Even in US there are people who somehow manage to own only 100 items (there was a good thread on simple living forums about it)

Sailor,
who grew up as a part of family of 4 on 500 sq feet and who is moderately successful convincing DW to live aboard a sailboat (I'm guessing an equivalent of less than 300 sq feet apartment for the boat we are planning)
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Re: Attitude towards planning purchases an indicator of wealth
Old 10-11-2006, 02:40 PM   #53
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Re: Attitude towards planning purchases an indicator of wealth

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Can you clarify?
Sure, no problem. I was thinking of the United States and, typically, of people like the participants on this board. (That's who we seemed to be talking about.) I think it would be unlikely that two people currently own so little they could move into an efficiency apartment with room to spare without disposing of a bunch of stuff. A few yes, most no.

Frankly, it's hard to get two students to fit into an efficiency apartment with room to spare........ and if you do, they still want to keep some stuff back at their folk's house!

Sorry if you took the word "extreme" as negative. I was using it in the statistical sense referring to either a very high or very low probability.
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Re: Attitude towards planning purchases an indicator of wealth
Old 10-11-2006, 02:55 PM   #54
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Re: Attitude towards planning purchases an indicator of wealth

Well, we live in the equivalent of an efficiency apartment (a motorhome), and yes we got rid of a whole lotta stuff to do it. That was a really positive experience and really showed me how stuff can be a serious anchor. My life is better now that I prioritized and kept the stuff that really mattered to me and said good riddance to the rest.

Everything is smaller - smaller fridge, smaller closet, fewer appliances, etc. It means lest waste in our case since we have to be deliberate in our choices.

And now we have to live with the philosophy that if we bring in something new, we get rid of something older. Keeps things nice and uncluttered.

We do have a small 5x10 ft climate controlled storage unit where we keep some old photos and slides and a few items we'd enjoy once we move into a house again. It's not stuffed either.
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Re: Attitude towards planning purchases an indicator of wealth
Old 10-11-2006, 03:12 PM   #55
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Re: Attitude towards planning purchases an indicator of wealth

Everything seems to be relative in regard to how much stuff we own and how much space we need!! What's a lot of stuff? A lot of space? How minimal do you have to be to be a card carrying minimalist?

The fella I roomed with for two years at college lives a very "free spirited" life and I love hearing about his adventures. He owns nothing he can't haul in his Subaru station wagon. For the past several years he's been a tech writer and enjoys taking contract jobs in different parts of the country and moving around every few months. And everything moves with him in the Subaru station wagon!

Audry, I can guarantee you that if I showed him the pic of your motor home, his eyes would roll and he'd start talking about the waste of all that space and why have all that "stuff."

I do enjoy hearing about the diverse ways everyone is spending their lives. Thank goodness there is no requirement that we all do it the same!
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Re: Attitude towards planning purchases an indicator of wealth
Old 10-11-2006, 03:19 PM   #56
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Re: Attitude towards planning purchases an indicator of wealth

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Originally Posted by youbet
Sure, no problem. I was thinking of the United States and, typically, of people like the participants on this board. (That's who we seemed to be talking about.) I think it would be unlikely that two people currently own so little they could move into an efficiency apartment with room to spare without disposing of a bunch of stuff. A few yes, most no.
Sorry if you took the word "extreme" as negative. I was using it in the statistical sense referring to either a very high or very low probability.
Thanks for the explanation, no ruffled feathers here, just curiosity. I know that average Merkin house is constantly growing (Acording to preliminary estimates 2455sq ft in 2006).
My comment was rather that in my "anecdotal evidence", I have many working class friends and acquintances, who live in efficiency studios, even with whole families. I probably know more middle class people with houses than people in apartments, but one couple in a small appartment is hardly extreme in my experience.

Trying to quantify our statements, if/when I have enough time on my hands (read: be bored enough during a conference call at work), I could dig a US Census data showing a person/sq ft distribution across US population and if a couple in small apartment (let's say 1 person per 200 sq ft density) is more than 3 sigmas (SD) from the median I'll say you are right


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Re: Attitude towards planning purchases an indicator of wealth
Old 10-11-2006, 03:54 PM   #57
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Re: Attitude towards planning purchases an indicator of wealth

I don't know if any of you followed OAP's old blog, but he posted a few pictures of the place he's staying in sanfran. I'd estimate his "stuff" as taking up about 6 or 8 cubic feet, and he was looking to reduce it by half.

I'm not planning on going quite that far, but for some reason I found it rather inspiring. I'm planning on reducing the amount of stuff I have by quite a lot over the next year. Of course, it helps that I'll be moving in with DGF next fall, and we'll be sharing an 800 sq ft house.
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Re: Attitude towards planning purchases an indicator of wealth
Old 10-11-2006, 04:56 PM   #58
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Re: Attitude towards planning purchases an indicator of wealth

Yesterday I was cleaning out my condo storage locker. It's mostly filled with painting supplies, and I finally moved the painting tools (brushes, pans, plaster knives, dropcloths) all into one box. In the past I had the painting tools scattered in 5 different boxes of paint, and I finally realized that wasn't working for me... I was buying new painting tools rather than going through all 5 boxes to see if I already had the tool I needed.

This is the important lesson: If you don't know exactly where some supply is and how much you have, you might as well not have it. If I have a couple of extra bottles of shampoo hidden in the back of the bathroom closet, I end up buying new shampoo instead of using that up. Use it or lose it.

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Re: Attitude towards planning purchases an indicator of wealth
Old 10-11-2006, 06:02 PM   #59
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Re: Attitude towards planning purchases an indicator of wealth

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Originally Posted by mja
I don't know if any of you followed OAP's old blog, but he posted a few pictures of the place he's staying in sanfran. I'd estimate his "stuff" as taking up about 6 or 8 cubic feet, and he was looking to reduce it by half.
When I saw that I remember thinking that, if I moved alone to another city, I would likely take a laptop, a few clothes and a dop kit and that is about it. I would end up buying some cooking and eating utensils and a TV and keep things simple. It sounds appealing. In the meantime, DW and I have built up a pile of stuff - it just seems too much effort to get rid of it.
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Re: Attitude towards planning purchases an indicator of wealth
Old 10-12-2006, 02:32 AM   #60
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Re: Attitude towards planning purchases an indicator of wealth

Sorry to respond to something way back in this thread but here goes...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martha
A real puzzler is the waxed paper. No apparent use for it, but we sure aren't throwing it away. Suggestions?
I shuck corn, wash it, and wrap it in wax paper like I am wrapping a big candy (twisting to "seal" at both ends), cook it in the microwave for 3 minutes, and it's ready to eat.

I melt chocolate over a double boiler, put some mint extract in, dip Ritz crackers in the mixture, lay out the coated crackers on wax paper and then let them cool. They taste like those Girl Scout Thin Mints.

My mom also wrapped my school sandwiches in wax paper, as Khan's mom did hers.

Regarding planning purchases, I'm not sure it's an indicator of wealth but it sure leads to good cash flow and good use of credit. To the extent that this helps one avoid bad credit rates or get into trouble from overspending, then it contributes to financial ease.
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