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Old 01-19-2016, 04:41 PM   #61
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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.
Just out of curiosity, and totally OT, don't you have to worry about evaporation in the goosenecks? That's why I do the antifreeze, to keep sewer gases from leaking in. I'm not worried about freezing. Or do you get there often enough it's not a problem? We're gone for at least 6 months, and since it's dry in the winter I'm sure the water would evaporate.
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Old 01-19-2016, 06:24 PM   #62
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Good question. Yes, I once was away for long enough that the toilet bowls got dry. Yet, to my relief, there was absolutely no sewer smell.

I believe it is because we are on a septic tank, and not the city sewer. And as sufficient time has passed for the goosenecks to dry, the septic tank must have dried up also.

Here, the ground is mostly red sandstone, which is quite porous. Even when it rains buckets, there is no standing water after about 3 days. There's no stream for miles around.
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Old 01-20-2016, 05:20 AM   #63
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I don't believe generosity and frugality are opposed to each other.

Consider the miracle of Jesus feeding the multitudes with a lunch.

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When they had all had enough to eat, he said to his disciples, "Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted."
Everyone was generously provided for. No little boy was punished for saying, "Please sir, I want some more." (bonus points for a Dickens reference) Yet nothing was wasted. Scraps weren't thrown away with the attitude, "there's more where that came from."
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Old 01-20-2016, 08:21 AM   #64
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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.

I am at a point in life where I am like you, Athena. Cheap on things I am indifferent too. Which mostly pertains to buying things for myself. I have lost interest in buying things for myself. My GF still acts like a 5 year old when I buy her gifts, so I get way more enjoyment spending $100 on her than $10 on myself.
I am not going to be cheap on being comfortable my house, though. The extra $1-$2 a day spent to wear shorts and tshirts year around inside instead of bundling up in winter or sweating in summer is extreme value to me.


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Old 01-20-2016, 10:20 AM   #65
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Scrooge? You may remember my story of my quite wealthy grandpa who, upon learning that his caregiver had lost her second job, decided to cut her pay.

"I realized that she had no where else to go so half a pay is better than no pay"

He couldn't understand why we'd be horrified!
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Old 01-20-2016, 10:22 AM   #66
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There is nothing wrong with being careful about how one spends money. I always thought that one way Mr. Scrooge could make up for his past ways would have been to help low income people make their coins go further. My guess is he know where to get discounts on everything from food to new hand tools.
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Old 01-20-2016, 11:43 AM   #67
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There is nothing wrong with being careful about how one spends money. I always thought that one way Mr. Scrooge could make up for his past ways would have been to help low income people make their coins go further. My guess is he know where to get discounts on everything from food to new hand tools.
I'm inspired. Next time I see a panhandler, I'll suggest that he move his portfolio to a Vanguard low expense fund.
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Old 01-20-2016, 12:14 PM   #68
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I'm inspired. Next time I see a panhandler, I'll suggest that he move his portfolio to a Vanguard low expense fund.
I often go down to a local coffee shop to read a book, drink some coffee and enjoy the atmosphere. I usually put all my change in the tip jar, but I've started holding a few coins back to give to a guy I regularly pass holding out a cup. There are quite a few panhandlers in the town square, but I just give something to this one guy and say hello and hope it helps.
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Old 01-20-2016, 12:31 PM   #69
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I often go down to a local coffee shop to read a book, drink some coffee and enjoy the atmosphere. I usually put all my change in the tip jar, but I've started holding a few coins back to give to a guy I regularly pass holding out a cup. There are quite a few panhandlers in the town square, but I just give something to this one guy and say hello and hope it helps.
Give a man a fish and he eats for a day, invest in low expense index funds and he buys his fish at Costco.
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Old 01-20-2016, 01:17 PM   #70
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I'm inspired. Next time I see a panhandler, I'll suggest that he move his portfolio to a Vanguard low expense fund.
What's the old saying: "when the panhandler starts giving you stock tips it's time to get out of the market"

Or something like that.
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Old 01-20-2016, 01:37 PM   #71
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Well, we all know there is a difference between frugality and scrooginess. Most of us, particularly those who did not have the fortune of having big stock options and had to save for our retirement, are no stranger to the former.

And there will be more of that behavior in the days ahead, when the market keeps on dropping like today. I myself will not change my spending habits much, I don't think. It's because I will not have the same non-recurrent expenses as in the last 2 years, and my expenses for 2016 should be down by default.
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Old 01-20-2016, 02:02 PM   #72
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Give a man a fish and he eats for a day, invest in low expense index funds and he buys his fish at Costco.
If he could afford a Costco membership he'd never have to go hungry again. The AARP buffet could keep him alive indefinitely.
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Old 01-20-2016, 02:11 PM   #73
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Scrooge? You may remember my story of my quite wealthy grandpa who, upon learning that his caregiver had lost her second job, decided to cut her pay.

"I realized that she had no where else to go so half a pay is better than no pay"

He couldn't understand why we'd be horrified!
That's a great story, Marko, and illustrates the true (before) Scrooge spirit - wealthy folks taking economic advantage of people with less resources.
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Old 01-20-2016, 05:26 PM   #74
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I'm inspired. Next time I see a panhandler, I'll suggest that he move his portfolio to a Vanguard low expense fund.
Well, I was actually thinking of the 'working-poor' like his employee Bob Cratchit.

But, maybe that panhandler is actually worth a fortune like in the book W is for Wasted.
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Old 01-21-2016, 08:11 AM   #75
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If he could afford a Costco membership he'd never have to go hungry again. The AARP buffet could keep him alive indefinitely.
I shop at a great local MA store called Market Basket because the prices are fantastic........99c for a lb of apples, $1.50 for a large wheat loaf etc......but I do still buy some stuff like fresh fish at Wholefoods and I do take advantage of their samples, particularly in the cheese department.
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Old 01-21-2016, 08:39 AM   #76
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iMHO, Mr Potter, of It's a Wonderful Life, is a far nastier person than Mr. Scrooge ever was. And he did not reform.
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Old 01-21-2016, 12:06 PM   #77
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I shop at a great local MA store called Market Basket because the prices are fantastic........99c for a lb of apples, $1.50 for a large wheat loaf etc...
There's a local grocery store that routinely puts onions and fruits on sale at 99c for 3 lbs, or 5 small avocados for 99c. Their oranges are not top notch, but for juicing they are fine. Their apples are not the fancier varieties, but my wife cuts them up for the food dehydrator. And I have my endless French onion soup for dirt cheap.
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