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Old 06-19-2008, 12:53 PM   #61
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Here is a great example of frugality:
They saved almost ALL of their kids babyclothes and toys. Over 30 years later when we had kids, they packed up a trailer and hauled it over to us. Filled the better part of my storage room.
My in-laws saved toys and a few shirts. The wooden German toys are so cute and almost 40 years old.
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Old 06-19-2008, 01:31 PM   #62
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I find that edibility of food is the prime area that I run into trouble with people thinking me bizarre. After having travelled overseas in places without refrigeration, I am comfortable eating leftovers that have been sitting out for a day or so. I'll get a doggie bag at a restaurant and eat my leftovers the next day while travelling. But many people used to refrigerators get very uncomfortable with that, so I've learned to be discreet and only engage in such behavior with people that know me well.
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Old 06-19-2008, 02:39 PM   #63
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I think there is a tremendous pressure to conform in the US to societal/cultural norms and using a word like "bizarre" with a negative connotation -- rather than "different from me", which isn't as negative -- is usually an effort to enforce conformity in order for the person using the word to not have to think about anything as uncomfortable and involving effort as non-conformity.
Well... There's obviously a big difference between being just "different" and being bizarre.
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Old 06-19-2008, 02:42 PM   #64
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I find that edibility of food is the prime area that I run into trouble with people thinking me bizarre. After having travelled overseas in places without refrigeration, I am comfortable eating leftovers that have been sitting out for a day or so. I'll get a doggie bag at a restaurant and eat my leftovers the next day while travelling. But many people used to refrigerators get very uncomfortable with that, so I've learned to be discreet and only engage in such behavior with people that know me well.
When we lived on the boat, we didn't have anything but a lukewarm icebox, so got used to this. I can tell you that a friend still talks incredulously about our keeping mayo unrefrigerated. It is of course fine (before being mixed with other stuff) as are eggs, hard cheese, etc. but the US belief that everything must go into the fridge must be a vast marketing conspiracy of the folks selling those ginormous models.
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Old 06-19-2008, 02:50 PM   #65
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This is all about perspective IMHO. After seeing families living in their one room hand built grass/bamboo/wood huts, all the furor about decorating a McMansion seems beyond bizarre to me. And depending on what part of the world, many of the hut people are in general happier and healthier than your average overstressed desk jockey here. I'm thinking parts of the Yucatan and the South Pacific specifically.
Just picking up on the overstressed American desk jockey, it makes me wonder who has more stress: Sure, working people do have job-related stress. But, it seems to me that many people who are retired early have enormous amounts of financial stress, and no immediate way of solving their financial problems (unless, of course, they return to being desk jockeys...)

So what good is ER when it entails being constantly stressed about money, and using the term "frugal" to refer to their living on the edge of poverty? Seems to me that many ER people have only exchanged one form of stress for another -- possibly worse -- source of stress.
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Old 06-19-2008, 04:59 PM   #66
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So what good is ER when it entails being constantly stressed about money, and using the term "frugal" to refer to their living on the edge of poverty? Seems to me that many ER people have only exchanged one form of stress for another -- possibly worse -- source of stress.
Hey fella, whose Emperor you calling naked?

You some kind of pinko-commie-hippie- nonconformist?

Ha
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Old 06-19-2008, 08:09 PM   #67
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When do you think frugality becomes bizarre? Any real life examples?
My dad buys Kleenex in the rectangular box to "refill" the Kleenex in his square box because the rectangular boxes are less expensive per tissue.
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Old 06-19-2008, 10:49 PM   #68
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My brother in law's father did fairly well running his own business and is now retired with no financial worries. He brags that in his entire life he never bought a new car (which I think is commendable) or a new tire (which I think is bizarre). BIL says that he remembers many times his dad would stop at gas stations to look thru the rack of used tires and often bought the most worn and cheapest ones. Some tires would last less than a month before he needed to replace them.
Jeff
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Old 06-19-2008, 11:55 PM   #69
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Hey fella, whose Emperor you calling naked?

You some kind of pinko-commie-hippie- nonconformist?

Ha
Oh, yeah... Wouldn't want to confuse anyone with... facts.

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Old 06-20-2008, 06:07 AM   #70
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When I said DD not being flexible, in my mind I was comparing my DD to my manager's kids. My manager's kids are just HAPPY to sit in the car seats and our DD HATES being buckled up, so she screams, cries and whines.
DS at 1y.o. behaved same way.
When we had only one kid we traveled around his nap times and doing longer distance driving in the evening. We joke that one of our 2005 vacations was a "2005 Ireland playground tour".
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I'd be curious what you visited in Europe with your little kids (how old are they?) and which places were very child-friendly.
Our kids are 3.5 and 1.5 now.
With kids in Europe we visited Ireland, Greece, Amsterdam, Paris & UK (2005 till 2007).
We are staying two more weeks in Krakow (Poland) and heading to UK for our last week.
Also as far as strapping kids into the seats I have not had them strapped for probably last 3 weeks - while we have a car here I mostly use public transport or a bicycle with child carrier. My kids love street cars and trains & prefer a bicycle vs. a car ride.
As far as child-friendly I would say all of these places have been moderately child friendly (people attitude is great, but I rate only moderately because of smokers everywhere).
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Old 06-23-2008, 07:11 AM   #71
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Yikes! Cheap minds think alike! I've had this Nobel-prize-winning idea for years: We should make cars with detachable butt-ends (giant zippers right behind the front seat - 3 wheels on the front half, 2 on the back), so that you can leave the entire back seat and trunk at home when you don't need it.

Seriously, we can't apparently convince ourselves to drive smaller cars or car pool, but who would haul along the derierra of their car if they didn't need to? And, if you have a Big Car Ego, you'd still have bragging rights ... "You should see my back end! I don't use it much, but it's HUGE!"

Stay Cheap!
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The Smart car is a 2-seater car that has about the same length as a motorcycle. (There is no back seat.) I like the funky styling, I like the fact that the body panels are plastic and can be easily replaced when damaged (of if you want to change the colour of the car) and would like to own an electric version of it. There is an electric version on the way, but it doesn't use the latest electric technology, so won't have the performance and the range that would come with using wheel-motors and Altair-Nano batteries. However if it was offered with that technology, it would still have the shortcoming of not being able to transport 5 adults and some luggage, which I need to do a handful of times each year. The other day it occurred to me that the solution would be a closely coupled trailer with a single bench seat, 2 doors, a capacious trunk and an intercom system to communicate with the front. The trailer would be in the same funcky styling and when in use the overall six wheeled vehicle would work like one of those buses with an articulated section, what we in London call "bendy buses."

It wouldn't be necessary to own the trailer, you would just hire it on the handful of occasions you needed it. The Smart car comes in a limited range of colours, so for those who like things to match, looking good wouldn't be difficult to arrange.
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Old 06-23-2008, 09:41 AM   #72
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Yikes! Cheap minds think alike! I've had this Nobel-prize-winning idea for years: We should make cars with detachable butt-ends (giant zippers right behind the front seat - 3 wheels on the front half, 2 on the back), so that you can leave the entire back seat and trunk at home when you don't need it.
And you could call it a



"Trailer."

Ha ha, just kidding. I'm going to see how easily my rear seats would come out.
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Old 06-23-2008, 11:10 AM   #73
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Here's another twist on that idea. It's been around a long while:



-ERD50
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Old 06-23-2008, 11:34 AM   #74
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The Smart car is a 2-seater car that has about the same length as a motorcycle. (There is no back seat.) I like the funky styling, I like the fact that the body panels are plastic and can be easily replaced when damaged (of if you want to change the colour of the car) and would like to own an electric version of it. There is an electric version on the way, but it doesn't use the latest electric technology, so won't have the performance and the range that would come with using wheel-motors and Altair-Nano batteries. However if it was offered with that technology, it would still have the shortcoming of not being able to transport 5 adults and some luggage, which I need to do a handful of times each year. The other day it occurred to me that the solution would be a closely coupled trailer with a single bench seat, 2 doors, a capacious trunk and an intercom system to communicate with the front. The trailer would be in the same funcky styling and when in use the overall six wheeled vehicle would work like one of those buses with an articulated section, what we in London call "bendy buses."

It wouldn't be necessary to own the trailer, you would just hire it on the handful of occasions you needed it. The Smart car comes in a limited range of colours, so for those who like things to match, looking good wouldn't be difficult to arrange.
i saw them in italy over 10 years ago

they are OK if you are single, but even with 1 child they are way too small

i'm actually surprised they made it to the US. we used to joke that they were death traps
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Old 06-23-2008, 11:54 AM   #75
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the number of factual errors in this post are too numerous to count. However, if you will check the link, current tax rates for median and half median incomes are as low as they have ever been, and even those at twice the median income are not much above 1955 levels. All tax rates have fallen since the mid-1980s.

Historical Federal Income Tax Rates for Family of Four

I love it when Americans, pretty much the least-taxed population in the industrial world, bitch about taxes. But then again, the country was founded on tax rebellion. And yes, I am an American taxpayer.
federal taxes are low, but local property taxes are off the charts in a lot of places to pay for insane retirement benefits

NYC you can get away with $3000 a year in taxes. in most NYC suburbs you will pay at least $6000 a year in taxes. in NJ an OK house in a halfway decent town will cost closer to $10,000 a year in taxes

to compare, my wife and i looked at new Toll Brothers homes north of denver a few years back. $5000 a year in taxes for a $550,000 home that is over 2000 square feet with all the amenities
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Old 06-23-2008, 12:07 PM   #76
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I hope this forum didn't have such a topic or if it did then it was long ago.
The following quote of CaseInPoint from "The Ultimate Cheapskate" thread: http://www.early-retirement.org/foru...tml#post670362 prompted me to start this thread .



The latest example would be this. I'm expecting a boy in Aug. We've also got a 2.5y.o. girl. So, some colleagues at work asked me whether his nursery is ready. I said no, he'll spend almost a year in our bedroom (in DD's crib) and when he moves to his sister's room who'll be moving to a guest bedroom, we'll just hang some pictures maybe. Their reaction "Oh, but don't you need to paint it in blue or something? Isn't your DD's room pink now?" Me: "No, the walls are off white like we bought the house new. We never came around to paint". Should I feel guilty for not decorating the room in the cute colors and buying matching bedding/furniture because my DH and I feel fine as is? Maybe we're lucky we don't have people coming to our house or otherwise they'd make us really guilty and would definitely 'push' us to start shopping and changing our interior.

Another example. When DD passes her crib to her brother, she'll sleep on the thick full size mattress instead of a child's bed. After grandparents leave us (they'll come to help us out in Nov. for 3-4 months), DD will move to the guest bedroom that has a queen size bed.
Our rationale for doing this way is that our house won't become a motel with beds/mattresses stored in each and every room. Do you think this is bizarre because I don't see that way?

80-90% of children's clothes and toys are from garage sales or Goodwill. I know that in a year or two I'll shop more in regular stores for kids if I find nothing good in Goodwill or a consignment shop. It's time (and gas) consuming to drive to various garage sales and find good clothes.

What about you?
ignore these people

for most of history babies slept with their parents. the whole idea of a kids room and making it up is a marketing scam made up in the last 50 years in western countries.


toys are another scam as well. every toy hypes they will make your kid a genius and most are just cheapo pieces of plastic with a few flashing lights
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Old 06-23-2008, 12:44 PM   #77
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i'm actually surprised they made it to the US. we used to joke that they were death traps
Are you surprised motorcycles are legal in North America? Why not? Aren't they even less crashworthy than a Smart Car?

I never understood why peoples' first reaction upon seeing a Smart Car is, "Geez, wouldn't want to get into an accident in that thing." But these same people don't make those same comments when they see someone drive by on a motorcycle. I don't get it. Has the media conditioned us to be fearful of the safety factor of these cars, to keep us buying gas-guzzling behemoths?
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Old 06-23-2008, 01:21 PM   #78
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motorcycles have two wheels, are a lot more manueverable and can ride between cars
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Old 06-23-2008, 01:24 PM   #79
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motorcycles have two wheels, are a lot more manueverable and can ride between cars
Having survived a motorcycle accident, I will take metal around me anytime.........
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Old 06-23-2008, 03:58 PM   #80
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they are OK if you are single, but even with 1 child they are way too small

i'm actually surprised they made it to the US. we used to joke that they were death traps
Yes, the Smart Car fortwo is not for large families. But then, statistics show that the average passenger vehicle typically carries only 1.2 occupants. And those with large families self-evidently don't care much about frugal living, so it's a moot point.

Regarding your 'death trap' crack, the fortwo has many safety features and has successfully undergone extensive testing [see further CanadianDriver: Auto Tech - Smart fortwo crash-test results]. It is allowed in the US because it meets the same standards as other vehicles.

Disclosure: I don't own a Smart Car.
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