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Re: Compulsive Saving and ER
Old 12-20-2004, 01:36 PM   #21
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Re: Compulsive Saving and ER

Flowgirl:
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Starting this coming year (January 2005) we're switching to the method of having a fixed percentage of each paycheck go directly to retirement savings and not worry about how we spend the rest.
I think she nailed it. Mrs. M & I have chosen to interpret the lifestyle as "Living Within Your Means". Since the savings is essentially automatic plus we both had additional monies withheld for DBP pensions from our checks for our entire careers, the remainder is OURS to er, ah, well blow.

The mistakes of our mispent (joke in there somewhere) youth was "living beyond our means", i.e. incurring debt, and then having to deal with it. Since in recent times as we get closer to my final ER we've converted to living on a cash basis, no credit cards anymore except for rare instances and then full payoff during the grace period, we find ourselves in a fun position of always knowing what is "affordable". We either have the bucks or we don't. If we see some major toy of interest, then we wait until the excess funds build up in the funstuff account and go for it.

I hope this will translate well in FIRE as our expenses, that is to say our spendable dollars after everything is withheld from my paycheck added to DW's ER DBP paycheck, is roughly what we'll be stuck with when I join her in FIREworld. I'm still contributing to a 457 plan that should be able to fund the FunFund for an additional 4k a year once I ER.

Meanwhile we don't feel deprived, we get reasonable toys every year (I'm down to about 2 guitars per year now), and continue to covet gas plasma TV's. I want one, but darn if I'm going to go into debt to buy one.
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Re: Compulsive Saving and ER
Old 12-20-2004, 02:56 PM   #22
 
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Re: Compulsive Saving and ER

I have never been a compulsive saver in my life.
Now, I believe that I have a good sense of when I
am getting off track, using net worth as my primary
guidepost. I am frugal, but I don't sweat every dime.
Also, on EVERY major purchase, I consider carefully
how I will come out if I have to sell at some point.
I have tried budgeting and found it boring and a
waste of my time. What I do seems to be working and
so I will stick with it.

JG
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Re: Compulsive Saving and ER
Old 12-20-2004, 03:04 PM   #23
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Re: Compulsive Saving and ER

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I have a list of things I want to buy, but I made it so when I have an urge to buy something I can refer to the list and decide if what I'm wanting now is more important that what's already on the list. Perhaps I should schedule/budget a periodic purchase from my list (assuming it will add enjoyment to my life).
Well, yours is a very organized form of hedonism. Another approach is spend on anything that gets you a skill that you would like to have. Singing, dancing, music instrument, surfing, snow-boarding, a foreign language. While I can't really remember the "stuff" I had years ago, the skills I acquired are part of me. And some of these things get harder to learn every passing year.

You also can't go wrong spending on fun with women. Someday you will probably be married, and you will definitely look back with fondness on lots of the girls you didn't marry, and the great times you had with them before the advent of Honey-do's; feminine headaches and a bunch of other things that I don't want to depress you with.

Mikey
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Re: Compulsive Saving and ER
Old 12-20-2004, 04:13 PM   #24
 
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Re: Compulsive Saving and ER

Well, I certainly did my share of dating in between my 2 marriages. I must say though that while the highs were
very high, the lows were equally low. I wouldn't trade
the experience, but at my age I am glad it's all behind me.

JG
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Re: Compulsive Saving and ER
Old 12-21-2004, 05:38 AM   #25
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Re: Compulsive Saving and ER

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You also can't go wrong spending on fun with women. Someday you will probably be married, and you will definitely look back with fondness on lots of the girls you didn't marry, and the great times you had with them before the advent of Honey-do's; feminine headaches and a bunch of other things that I don't want to depress you with.

Mikey
That's funny, and probably true. :P

I like the approach of making a tangible list, although I've had a mental one for a couple of years now (one could say I've been going "mental" during that same time). Many of the things on that list are all large purchases that have all been postponed because of my current career situation, of which I've been aware for the past several months. The one thing that I'm learning you can't continue to postpone is a vacation, since going on one will likely give me the clarity to solve my current career situation (or take my mind off it while things percolate among third parties).

Yet I can't help be like Uncle Scrooge and relish in the ever-increasing account balance. There's nothing quite like it, and when it increases without any effort on my part, that's the sweetest of all. Perhaps it's a sense of superiority, in that I saved my money while my contemporaries wasted theirs, and therefore they're working for the same money for which I don't need to work as hard for anymore. Then again, they may have done as Mikey suggested, and have fond memories.
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Re: Compulsive Saving and ER
Old 12-21-2004, 10:28 AM   #26
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Re: Compulsive Saving and ER

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Another approach is spend on anything that gets you a skill that you would like to have. Singing, dancing, music instrument, surfing, snow-boarding, a foreign language. While I can't really remember the "stuff" I had years ago, the skills I acquired are part of me. And some of these things get harder to learn every passing year.
Great advice, mikey!

When I was younger, I loved buying clothes, shoes, and books, but now I enjoy learning and doing more than shopping and having, although I do buy a few books occasionally. Possessions stress me out because of their related activities--mending, dusting, repair, maintenance, storing and sorting, etc.

There was one thread on this forum--about 100 things to do before one dies--that inspired me to make up my list, but I only got to about 45. I do remember that a lot of my entries were about learning and building skills. The approach of the new year provides good occasion to review my list.
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Re: Compulsive Saving and ER
Old 12-22-2004, 04:35 PM   #27
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Re: Compulsive Saving and ER

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Great advice, mikey!

When I was younger, I loved buying clothes, shoes, and books, but now I enjoy learning and doing more than shopping and having, although I do buy a few books occasionally. Possessions stress me out because of their related activities--mending, dusting, repair, maintenance, storing and sorting, etc.
Yes, possessions have a tendency to wear out, often at the most inopportune time. I try to live a minimalist lifestyle, although certain trappings are necessary to be a part of various social circles. As I get older, it seems like there is a great deal of entertaining at each other's houses, at least until the kids arrive, and then it's babysitter time for an adult night out (which come few and far between according to those in-the-know). To do such entertaining, you will need "presentable" furniture, as well as various knick-knacks that people can ooh-and-ahh over when visiting. Likewise, a nice selection of booze is also required.

Quote:
There was one thread on this forum--about 100 things to do before one dies--that inspired me to make up my list, but I only got to about 45. I do remember that a lot of my entries were about learning and building skills. The approach of the new year provides good occasion to review my list.
I need to sit down and make such a list. At one point in time, I had drafted a "dreams list", as well as a "goals list" that laid out concrete steps towards achieving such dreams. Unfortunately, reality had a tendency to interfere one too many times with those dreams, and although I still would like to achieve them, they no longer seem "practical" (i.e., a waste of money or the opportunity cost is too high). Then again, if I really cared about fulfilling such dreams, I wouldn't let a little thing like reality interfere with doing so. Sometimes I feel like a hipocrite.
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Re: Compulsive Saving and ER
Old 12-22-2004, 04:44 PM   #28
 
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Re: Compulsive Saving and ER

Well, I am hangin' onto my dreams. I've been
blindsided repeatedly since I ERed, and some of the
things I expected to be doing now are gone forever
(or going). However, the big picture is still there.
I just hope I live long enough to achieve it, and if I do,
to enjoy it when I arrive.

JG
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Re: Compulsive Saving and ER
Old 12-22-2004, 05:37 PM   #29
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Re: Compulsive Saving and ER

Quote:
Well, I am hangin' onto my dreams. I've been
blindsided repeatedly since I ERed, and some of the
things I expected to be doing now are gone forever
(or going). However, the big picture is still there.
I just hope I live long enough to achieve it, and if I do,
to enjoy it when I arrive.

JG

That's good to hear. Sometimes others (in the form of family or friends) will tell you that having a certain dream isn't practical anymore, and more often than not, you'll believe them. However, whether or not you should achieve a particular dream isn't their decision to make -- it's yours. Nevertheless, it's difficult to shut out the naysayers, since they always cloak their pessimism (or jealousy) in the cloak of "wanting what's best for you".

This relates to compulsive saving in regards to spending your money on what's needed rather than what's wanted. There's always that little voice inside your head making that distinction. Even if you ignore it, the fact that it told you didn't need something takes the joy out of having bought it because you wanted it. :-/
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Re: Compulsive Saving and ER
Old 12-28-2004, 03:36 PM   #30
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Re: Compulsive Saving and ER

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Starting this coming year (January 2005) we're switching to the method of having a fixed percentage of each paycheck go directly to retirement savings and not worry about how we spend the rest. *
I saved 1/3 of each raise. That way, I got to enjoy them and still retired before the standard retirement age, although that was at 52 instead of the 50 as originally planned. Along the way, I managed to take one long and one short weekend vacation each year. Now I just take plan on one long and one short midweek each season saving for them out of my defined benefit pension*:

I still try to save about 250 per month to cover them ... overspent this year b/c of all the remodeling and will need to trim something after 3 more years ... probably remodeling
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