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Old 01-18-2016, 09:23 PM   #41
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That's too extreme for me - I throw caution to the winds and heat EVERY room in my small house. Oh, the horror!

I'm all about happy mediums these days.

I have been retired 6 years. When I first retired in winter thermostat was 69 in winter and 75 summer. Now its up to 72 winter and 73 summer. Whats funny is although my best friends dad wont even turn a/c in summer, he sets his at 59 degrees at night during summer. His poor wife freezes to death at night in summer.


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Old 01-18-2016, 09:32 PM   #42
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I'd probably put the temp on 62-64 if it was just me, but there's a wife involved that screams when it goes below 68 (unless she's working out or doing chores). So I acquiesce and don't worry about the extra $100-200 we spend each year on heating.

I find frugality to be like a game too - I'm always optimizing somehow. If it's tedious I don't fret over pennies or dollars but I love nothing more than figuring out how to spend a fraction of what most spend and still get adequate service or products (like free cell phones, free home phone, nearly free TV entertainment, dirt cheap PC/video games, tablets 1/10th the cost of ipads, etc).
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Old 01-18-2016, 09:37 PM   #43
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Personal frugality is fine as long as you don't impose it on others. Turn the heat up for visitors. Don't cheap out (skipping appetizers, drinks) when at a group dinner out, etc.
I'd probably not go out routinely with people that wanted to order all kinds of stuff at a restaurant. I value the time with others, not getting smashed and overindulging (when I'm paying full price).

Maybe that makes me cheap/mean/scrooge-like.

I prefer to host dinner parties, give away food and drink (usually some decent beer, wines, champagne, top shelf liquor), and have a good time. I probably spend no more hosting 10-15 people than I would at one of those dinners out at a swanky restaurant ordering a bunch of apps and drinks and splitting the tab for DW and me with others at the table. And we can hang out for many hours instead of just 1-2 at a restaurant.
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Old 01-18-2016, 09:53 PM   #44
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Don't cheap out (skipping appetizers, drinks) when at a group dinner out, etc.
Skipping appetizers and drinks is a personal choice and not something I'm imposing on other people (and really something the doctor prescribed - light meals and avoid alcohol). I really don't see how this is considered bad form.

Mind, usually when we get together to eat out, only one person/family pays. The others pick the tab on the next get together. For the most part, everything evens out.
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Old 01-18-2016, 10:35 PM   #45
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I think scrooge was fine living his life before. If Bob didn't like his job he could quit, not scrooges fault he had kids he couldn't support. If he doesn't want to spend on himself or others he doesn't have to. He was right they had poor houses for the poor he didn't need to support them. I don't hand out money to bums either and don't pay more generously than needed when I hire people. I do what I want with my money and can be cheap, frugal or generous but have trouble with wasteful or taken advantage of and only help those who help themselves.
People can get caught up in supporting all the people they know because they started it, some still support able bodied children that are over 30 because the children decided to not have a career before having children and need a good lifestyle even if they live off parents who can't save for retirement.
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Old 01-19-2016, 07:40 AM   #46
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I think the problem Scrooge had was lack of a support group. If he'd had access to this forum he probably wouldn't have changed even after the ghostly visitations. He'd have just posted about it and gotten dozens of posts telling him it was just an undigested bit of beef.
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Old 01-19-2016, 08:04 AM   #47
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I think scrooge was fine living his life before. If Bob didn't like his job he could quit, not scrooges fault he had kids he couldn't support. If he doesn't want to spend on himself or others he doesn't have to. He was right they had poor houses for the poor he didn't need to support them. ..........
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Old 01-19-2016, 08:30 AM   #48
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But according to your first post you didn't turn up the heat until your visitor commented on it.
That's true, I had not anticipated the cold snap we had or that she would be cold. As soon as she mentioned the temperature I turned it up and it stayed up for the week she stayed with me.
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Old 01-19-2016, 08:35 AM   #49
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I have been retired 6 years. When I first retired in winter thermostat was 69 in winter and 75 summer. Now its up to 72 winter and 73 summer. Whats funny is although my best friends dad wont even turn a/c in summer, he sets his at 59 degrees at night during summer. His poor wife freezes to death at night in summer.


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I don't have central A/C, I have a window unit in the bedroom that is set to 68 I I use fans in other rooms. I live in the north east so it's only really hot an humid for a few weeks.
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Old 01-19-2016, 09:03 AM   #50
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I don't have central A/C, I have a window unit in the bedroom that is set to 68 I I use fans in other rooms. I live in the north east so it's only really hot an humid for a few weeks.

That is my one nod to frugality. During summer I install a bed room
A/C unit and blast it all night and shut off central air. Saves quite a bit on energy bill. However, I am not a big fan of bugs, and them little boogers can squeeze through every crevice around it and in it. So I may ditch it this year. I do not like unannounced "guests" in my home.


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Old 01-19-2016, 09:04 AM   #51
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a quote I've seen attributed to Ben Franklin, and Francis Bacon, among others.."Money is a wonderful servant but a terrible master",,,

I wouldn't say Scrooge is demonized, but rather portrayed as an exaggeration of what could be considered "worthy" or "admirable" characteristics, to the point that money HAD become his master, not only to the extent of having completely lost the virtue of charity, but having lost touch with those he loved, and those things that brought him happiness, beyond the accumulation of wealth.
It is a cautionary tale, and one worth heeding, as we try to emancipate ourselves from our need to be employed by others.
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Old 01-19-2016, 09:35 AM   #52
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It is a cautionary tale, and one worth heeding
As indeed are (pretty much) all Dickens' stories.
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Old 01-19-2016, 10:21 AM   #53
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I do believe that being "cheap, frugal, stingy" is viewed as a negative trait in our society/culture. While I agree with that view point when it's taken to the extreme, I think a lot of people could benefit from being more frugal. In general, I think frugal people get a bad rap and being frugal should be considered a positive trait.

I'm frugal, but when it comes to comfort in my home I set no limits. For me comfort means cooler. During the winter I'll set the heat to 66/68 depending on how active I am. Absolutely no heat while sleeping. During heat waves I'll set the A/C to 68. If the temp is above 70 at bedtime, I'll turn the A/C on.
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Old 01-19-2016, 12:14 PM   #54
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I do believe that being "cheap, frugal, stingy" is viewed as a negative trait in our society/culture. While I agree with that view point when it's taken to the extreme, I think a lot of people could benefit from being more frugal. In general, I think frugal people get a bad rap and being frugal should be considered a positive trait.
You have said it far better than I did.

I like to state it as the simple bit of mathematical foolishness in my signature

<=> "less equals more"
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Old 01-19-2016, 12:22 PM   #55
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We set our thermostat at 63.

Then we leave and go to Florida for the winter.
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Old 01-19-2016, 01:16 PM   #56
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We set our thermostat at 63.

Then we leave and go to Florida for the winter.
I set mine to 48 before we go. We save enough on our electric bills over the winter to pay for the gas and hotel rooms down and back, with a few nice dinners thrown in.
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Old 01-19-2016, 01:23 PM   #57
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At my high-country home, I leave the thermostat at 45F year round, even when I am there in the winter. I do use a space heater in the bedroom to heat it to 65F. It has large windows facing south, in fact almost the entire facade is glass, such that during the day the interior will heat up to the 60s.

The home plumbing is sloped such that I can open a valve at a corner of the house and drain both cold and hot lines. Keeping the thermostat at 45F is enough so that I do not have to pour antifreeze down the toilets and the sink goosenecks.

It takes some conditioning to stand the cold. I have not been up to my home this winter. So, it would take a few days to acclimatize, the next time I go up.

I had a coworker who grew up in North Dakota. Yet, in the winter here I often saw him shivering. He lost it after living in the low desert for a few years.
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Old 01-19-2016, 01:52 PM   #58
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DH, who is of Scottish extraction, says he's frugal but I'm cheap.

Scrooge's problem was that accumulating money was his only goal, and he never got any joy out of spending or sharing it.

I can be ridiculously tight in areas where I'm indifferent: I wear clothes for years (as long as they're in good repair), we drive cars till they fall apart, and I'm tickled pink that after switching to Ting, the $50 credit I got will pay my bill for 3 months because I'm so careful about using the cellular network.

OTOH, some of our greatest pleasures have been when we loosened up the wallet and went someplace interesting or paid for experiences with DS, DDIL and our granddaughter. They're doing just fine at paying their bills and taking care of our granddaughter, but we paid for them to travel by car with us to a family wedding last year, and when they said they were thinking of joining us on our annual visit to Myrtle Beach at Christmas to visit my parents, we offered to pay for a 3rd plane seat so they wouldn't have to juggle their little girl on their laps. (After looking at airfares they asked if it would be OK if they bought just two seats and we paid for one. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree. )

That was a present for EVERYBODY. We'd planned for them to stay in the hotel with us when we arrived 2 days after they did, but they were having such a great time staying with my parents (and vice versa) that they stayed in my parents' place. We couldn't get a refund on the second hotel room and we didn't even care.

I once heard the adage, "Take care of the pennies and the dollars will take care of themselves" and I guess that's how we operate. Day-to-day we look cheap, but our splurges are things we genuinely enjoy.
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Old 01-19-2016, 02:15 PM   #59
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I like playing the frugal game. I keep a spreadsheet of all my bargains and freebies. It is a fun hobby for me. Every month we have a few projects to increase passive / very easy income or cut recurring expenses. I have a long list and we just knock out a few of the high ROI or fun ones as we have time. Last year we knocked off $2K from our side business expenses, made some extra money on passive get paid to apps and credit card bonuses, I got better at stockpiling and reducing the grocery budget, I learned how to do deal stacking, we discovered several comp ticket lists for events, and we bought a gutter tool off Amazon that eliminated having to hire someone to clean the gutters each year. Every year we have a list like that and added up it has really helped to lower our overall retirement expenses or bring in extra income without too much work.
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Old 01-19-2016, 04:31 PM   #60
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Most of Early Retirees have lived by same rule LBYM and being scrooge is not same. A few years ago I red a story about one composer who was extreme scrooge. He invited his co-worker home once and asked him to bring a bottle of cognac because he explained that despite he had a huge liquor bar, it will be a shame to open even one bottle from it to reduce the spirits collection. Then he added that his wife did not cook anything that night so his "friend" should order something to eat as well and come to him for a dinner. That is the scrooge but if you buy a nice brandy instead of cognac in order to save a few bucks - I think it is more like LBYM.
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