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Old 06-17-2014, 10:53 AM   #21
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Of course I know what I am saying is obvious to the smart people on this board, but I thought this article was worth sharing. I think it is further evidence of the widespread mentality in our society that people spend as much as their income and access to credit will allow.
(emphasis mine) Exactly. After all, if people didn't believe that it is normal to spend every cent they can get their hands on, then more of them would be able to stop "working for the man". Many commit to ridiculously long and hard work hours to pay for an inflated lifestyle. Instead of doing that, they could retire and enjoy their lives like we are doing if they understood that this mentality is a crock of untruths.

Past polls of our members have shown a very high median net worth, with quite a few of us having over a million in investible assets, IIRC (I don't have a link but that is my perception). Yet what do we discuss? Ripping dryer sheets in half, how to fix things instead of buying new, how much we can cut our utility expenses, and so on.
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Old 06-17-2014, 11:39 AM   #22
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I have found that the relentless focus on costs has made more of an impact than my investments portfolio. The only extravagance is in dinners out every so often.
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Old 06-17-2014, 11:45 AM   #23
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"The second contractor added on extra work that was unneeded and then called and said if his bid wasn't competitive to let us know and he would work with us on the numbers".

Now that's RICH!
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Old 06-17-2014, 01:28 PM   #24
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I have found that the relentless focus on costs has made more of an impact than my investments portfolio. The only extravagance is in dinners out every so often.
I am surprised there is not more of a focus on costs and expenses on this forum compared to rates of return, annual expenses and net worth. We have found it easier to cut our expenses by 25% or more when we could never make those kinds of risk free returns consistently in the stock market for the next 30 or so years.

A light bulb on controlling costs went on for me when I was flipping through a homesteading magazine at a relative's house and I realized how little the people featured in the magazine were living on per year and getting more fresh air, exercise, sunshine, home cooked meals and family time than we were. We didn't want to grow our own food or do anything labor intensive, but just reading about simple and sustainable living after that helped us to really slash our costs without adding a lot of extra work.

Usually the milestone thread is all about savings and net worth and not expense lowering, even though lowering expenses may often have a greater impact on ability to retire early.
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Old 06-17-2014, 01:33 PM   #25
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I am surprised there is not more of a focus on costs and expenses on this forum compared to rates of return, annual expenses and net worth. We have found it easier to cut our expenses by 25% or more when we could never make those kinds of risk free returns consistently in the stock market for the next 30 or so years.
I think it isn't that we don't think about it, but just that most of us are kind of "past" that part. Meaning, if you are planning to retire early, planning so much for it that you are frequenting this site, then you are already LBYM and pretty cost conscious.

I don't talk about costs because I pay myself first. Max out our 2 401(k)s, extra to the taxable account automatically on pay day etc. We can only spend what is left, and have a good idea of what we can and can't do in a given month.
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Old 06-17-2014, 01:34 PM   #26
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I am surprised there is not more of a focus on costs and expenses on this forum compared to rates of return, annual expenses and net worth.
This forum has traditionally focused on LBYM, not on extreme frugality. You'll find few discussions of how to best filter the shards of glass from a broken jar of peanut butter here - other than in jest.
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Old 06-17-2014, 02:29 PM   #27
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This forum has traditionally focused on LBYM, not on extreme frugality. You'll find few discussions of how to best filter the shards of glass from a broken jar of peanut butter here - other than in jest.
I am just surprised there are not more posts on the LBYM parts then, like the cutting cable threads are always interesting. I actually like this forum because it doesn't focus on the silly extreme frugality with low ROIs per hour of work. But the downsizing, decluttering, low COL places, etc. threads are always of interest to me.
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Old 06-17-2014, 02:34 PM   #28
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I think it isn't that we don't think about it, but just that most of us are kind of "past" that part. Meaning, if you are planning to retire early, planning so much for it that you are frequenting this site, then you are already LBYM and pretty cost conscious.

I don't talk about costs because I pay myself first. Max out our 2 401(k)s, extra to the taxable account automatically on pay day etc. We can only spend what is left, and have a good idea of what we can and can't do in a given month.
That is probably true. We are later to the game than many here. We also live in very high cost of living area so moving and downsizing have a bigger potential impact than if we already lived in a lower cost place.
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Old 06-17-2014, 02:42 PM   #29
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This forum has traditionally focused on LBYM, not on extreme frugality. You'll find few discussions of how to best filter the shards of glass from a broken jar of peanut butter here - other than in jest.
You wastrel! Heat the peanut butter up until it flow easily through a couple layers of cheese cloth. Just don't squeeze to hard or you will spend your saved pennies on band-aids.

And where did you find Peanut butter in glass jars these days?
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Old 06-17-2014, 02:43 PM   #30
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I do not "have" to be rich to know that it is expensive.

Why, just being middle-class is expensive like heck, even for a frugal guy like me who still tackles DIY projects like staining his house exterior.

PS. The reason I am inside BS'ing on the forum and not out there staining right now is the 40-mph wind gust.
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Old 06-17-2014, 04:41 PM   #31
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I have some expensive Hobby's, I golf at the country club and I own an airplane. But I also ERed 7 years ago at 50 and my net worth is doing fine. And if the calculators are correct I have over a 95% of maintaining my spending levels.

If the outlook were to change I can always make some changes myself, but I see no need in leaving a lot of money behind for the kids or government. I see my dad now at 80 and he is being limited to what he can do because of his health, my mother passed away years ago.

So be careful, but have fun to.
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Old 06-17-2014, 09:34 PM   #32
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What a waste of time reading that article. I recall when CNN was respectable.
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