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Old 04-08-2008, 02:27 PM   #81
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The fact that the McMansion owner was judging the kid (who's parents likely got him a throw away car in case he wrecked) while the kid was doing a good deed really shows McMansion's true colors...
And here I was thinking a 2004 Accord is a pretty nice car! Guess it's all relative, as I drive off in my 1998 pile o junk.
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Old 04-08-2008, 02:31 PM   #82
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And here I was thinking a 2004 Accord is a pretty nice car! Guess it's all relative, as I drive off in my 1998 pile o junk.
Sorry if I offended! Didn't mean to. I grew up in an area where most high schoolers got "throw away cars" that were usually a 1- to 2-year-old Corolla/Camry/Civic/Accord. I assumed that the kid was probably from nearby neighborhood of McMansion guy.

I'm sure there were plenty of people that judged me on my (reliable and dependable) 1988 Volvo station wagon I was driving in the early 2000s.
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Old 04-08-2008, 02:35 PM   #83
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Example: When car shopping in 2005, I wanted to go take some test drives and talk to some dealership service managers to supplement reading and internet research. Rather than leave the house in my normal threadbare state, I changed to nice dress slacks and shirt (business casual), put my checkbook and pen in my shirt pocket clearly visible, and headed for the dealerships. Got lots of quick, courteous service including disruptive trips into the service department and multiple test drives. Probably would have never happened had I looked and acted like I was just stepping in off the street to warm up! So, in the ten minutes it took me to change, I probably saved hours by having my requests politely accomodated.
I did the same thing when we bought the MIL's car. I came well dressed from the office, so I got some attention. But I did go to a Ferrari/Bentley dealer once dressed in work out shorts, old t shirt and baseball cap, and received wonderful treatment from the sales staff.
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Old 04-08-2008, 02:40 PM   #84
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Wouldn't be a very good salesman if you judged everyones wealth on the clothing they wore.
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Old 04-08-2008, 02:44 PM   #85
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I think it is in our nature to seek validation and approval from other people, because we desperately want to fit with the rest of the "tribe".
I don't know.......

I live in a very diverse, densely populated urban area. Lots of people. Lots of social values, mores, cultural backgrounds and all that. As indicated in my prior posts, DW and I have for some time felt very comfortable taking a pragmatic approach where we dress and act to fit in where it's of benefit to us, not to avoid humiliation. There just aren't many situations where being overdressed, underdressed, driving an older car, living in a modest home, etc., seem humiliating to us. In fact, we live among so many "tribes" I'm sure there is no way we could avoid ridicule by all regardless of how we lived our lives. So we're just ourselves, try to fit in where it makes sense, and respect that others are different. Not a lot of humiliation involved.

Admittedly, we've never taken the LBYM thing to an extreme. It always seemed like the Pareto Principal applied. Most of the savings benefits were reaped from giving up just a few things and that the final level of extreme LBYM required giving up a lot to accomplish little. So, we didn't. Decent jobs, modest house, modest cars, modest travel, thoughtful expenditures, steady investments. But certainly no duct taped shoes, no "no choice of style or color" catalog clothing purchases, doing without good food or booze, living in a dump or anything like that.....

I do find those on this board who live a more extreme LBYM lifestyle to be very interesting and enjoy reading about your adventures. IMO, these differences between you (plural) and I make you (plural) interesting to me. I think that's why I'm part of this board. I'm not a part of this board because I want or need consensual validation from a group of like-minded LBYM'ers. In fact, I find the threads where an example of a spender is given and then a bunch of LBYMer's pile on with criticism to be a bore.
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Old 04-08-2008, 02:54 PM   #86
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Wouldn't be a very good salesman if you judged everyones wealth on the clothing they wore.
I agree and I'm not trying to imply that you'll never get good service if you're not cleaned up when you go car shopping. I may have picked a poor example since car salepersons' attitudes can be pretty variable. Still, I found that I had better luck establishing communication with the salesperson and getting the keys to the cars I wanted to test drive and an opportunity to talk to the service manager if I dressed and spoke professionally. It seemed to avoid the round of probing questions designed to see if you were a serious potential buyer or just a joy rider. I just wanted to skip that part so I presented myself as what I wanted them to think I was.

Hey, if in your community you get better service dressed in a toga, I say "go for it!"
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Old 04-08-2008, 03:04 PM   #87
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The things people assert on this board often amaze me. There is nothing more sure in social life than the fact that others estimate your status in whatever local subculture is most salient, and treat you accordingly.

It is equally sure that this treatment matters to the treatee- he may be acutely aware of discrimination, he may assert force of will and blow it off, he may tell himself that his "indifference" is a sign of his innate superiority-that he is "plain people" full of inner virtue and hidden wealth, not a showy debt ridden consumer, etc. But unless he is not a primate, it matters, deep in a part of his brain that he may not even monitor very well.

These are rationalizations, and they take mental energy. But they are necessary rationalizations, as we must have ways to stay comfortable while living on much less money than others with whom we come into contact, otherwise we wouldn't be able to stay the course and save the money to FIRE, which for most of us is a transendent goal.

This board has various functions, but I believe one of them is to serve as an alternate social group that helps maintain self esteem when we are giving up so many of the usual signs of social status.

I remember a few times as a young father and husband when I realized that I had likely taken this cheap thing too far, and that my farmer ancestors would have been annoyed at me for not putting on a better face when I was able to do so. It can cost your kids, and it can cost your wife, if she is not as fully invested in finally achieving self supported laziness as you are.

Ha
That is pretty much what I was taught by my parents: that people who were terribly concerned about appearance* and status were morally and intellectually inferior. I don't recall they actually stated such, but it was evident in their behavior.

*They were concerned about appearance in the sense of dressing appropriately and wearing clean, neat clothes when out in public; and I still follow that.
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Old 04-08-2008, 03:12 PM   #88
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I just remember to make sure I wear clean underwear in case I got in an accident.
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Old 04-08-2008, 03:17 PM   #89
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I just remember to make sure I wear clean underwear in case I got in an accident.
I read your words and in my mind I heard my mother's voice........... She must have told me that a zillion times and with a zillion finger wags! Is it 5:00 PM yet? I (sniff sniff) need a little bracer!
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Old 04-08-2008, 03:23 PM   #90
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Still, I found that I had better luck establishing communication with the salesperson and getting the keys to the cars I wanted to test drive and an opportunity to talk to the service manager if I dressed and spoke professionally. It seemed to avoid the round of probing questions designed to see if you were a serious potential buyer or just a joy rider. I just wanted to skip that part so I presented myself as what I wanted them to think I was.
I've encountered this. One Honda dealer wouldn't let me touch their S-2000 because I "obviously" couldn't afford it (jeans, t-shirt, and my Mazda was on its last legs). I told them that the Lexus or Audi dealer down the street might be less judgmental. They of course didn't believe me and rolled their eyes.

I started carrying around my bank statement. In the end, I made an internet purchase.
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Old 04-08-2008, 03:30 PM   #91
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This board has various functions, but I believe one of them is to serve as an alternate social group that helps maintain self esteem when we are giving up so many of the usual signs of social status.
Ha

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Not sure I buy the rest of it, but I think this is pretty accurate.
and i just thought i found more lazy bums.
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Old 04-08-2008, 03:31 PM   #92
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Maybe they teach them at the more expensive dealerships to not judge because you never know . When my husband & I went house shopping when we first moved to Sarasota they ignored us at a lot of model homes . One day we were out for a ride dressed very casually and we stopped at this exclusive developement to see the models ( for a chuckle ) they fawned all over us .
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Old 04-08-2008, 03:33 PM   #93
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Sorry if I offended! Didn't mean to. I grew up in an area where most high schoolers got "throw away cars" that were usually a 1- to 2-year-old Corolla/Camry/Civic/Accord. I assumed that the kid was probably from nearby neighborhood of McMansion guy.

I'm sure there were plenty of people that judged me on my (reliable and dependable) 1988 Volvo station wagon I was driving in the early 2000s.
Nah, no offense taken. I just thought it was funny that I wanted someone else's "throw away car."
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Old 04-08-2008, 03:35 PM   #94
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Several years ago my 88 Buick Lesabre was hit and totaled. At the time we were cash poor and did not want to commit to a car payment. I took the insurance settlement and bought a 83 Buick Lesabre with low miles from a clients mother. This was the old syle Buick as long as a house with plastic molding between the body and bumpers. This was color coded to your paint and looked nice until it became old and brittle and then cracked leaving a large gap that how should I say "not aesthetically pleasing". Being the frugal make that cheap person that I am, I found some flexible black garden edging at Wal Mart and used it to fill the unsightly gap. I thought it went well with the blue body color and was not embarassed about driving "Old Blue". My wife was OK for a while until other teachers that she worked with started making a few comments. After about a year I sold it to my BIL who needed a third family vehicle. People are so caught in status today. Well I must go because the Lexus needs service.

2soon2tell

PS There is nothing like having a potentially fatal disease to teach you what is important and what is not. 14 months and still cancer free
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Old 04-08-2008, 03:49 PM   #95
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Maybe they teach them at the more expensive dealerships to not judge because you never know . When my husband & I went house shopping when we first moved to Sarasota they ignored us at a lot of model homes . One day we were out for a ride dressed very casually and we stopped at this exclusive developement to see the models ( for a chuckle ) they fawned all over us .
I suppose...... Makes sense.....

I know that wherever we go where we look like a good prospect should look, we get lots of attention, sometimes too much. At 60 yo, we fit the description of your typical high end RV buyer. At a recent, large indoor RV show in Rosemont, Ill., vendors of $200k - $500K class A motorhomes were quick to clear the decks to give us a tour, brouchures and in one case, even a thick manual I want'd to take home and read. That probably wouldn't have happened to, say, six young guys, shabbily dressed and walking around the show for kicks. Afterwards, we wandered over to the $8k - $15k pop-ups where we really belonged!
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Old 04-08-2008, 03:55 PM   #96
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I agree and I'm not trying to imply that you'll never get good service if you're not cleaned up when you go car shopping....
My mom stayed employed as a ladies dress saleslady during the depression by going out of her way to wait on Negoes, I mean Negresses (I think that was the word then). Those ladies never tried on the dresses and it was always a final sale. Guess what, none of the other sales ladies could be bothered even though if they didn't sell enough, they didn't have a j*b the next day.

*****

Folks, I'm unclear on the concept of using the words frugal, car and poor in the same idea. But then I live in one of those rare places where you can get around without a rust bucket.
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Old 04-08-2008, 04:24 PM   #97
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I own a 2003 and a 2006..........I guess I have comsumption problems, even though I bought them used and one is paid for, anf one will be by year's end.........
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Old 04-08-2008, 04:34 PM   #98
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Wow - the concept of "throw-away cars" is something I've never encountered before. At least not where a one to two year old car would be considered "throw-away"... When my son was in HS, he drove a car that we originally bought when he was 2. (and we didn't get rid of it as a family vehicle until he was 22.)

As for appearing poor, I understand that people judge by appearances - but I truly don't care. My net worth is not obvious and I plan to keep it that way. I do follow the clean, unholy underwear rule though. (Almost always, Mom, really ... :-) )
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Old 04-08-2008, 05:43 PM   #99
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I don't know.......

I live in a very diverse, densely populated urban area. Lots of people. Lots of social values, mores, cultural backgrounds and all that.
To clarify, when I say "tribe", I don't mean that everyone in the same city, or in the same zip code or even in the same neighborhood belong to a single tribe. People living in one neighborhood may have moved there for a variety of reasons and may have very little in common.

When I am talking about tribes, I am talking about families, churches, country clubs, alumni associations, sport fan clubs, etc... Those are "tribes" of people sharing similar values or experiences on some level. But some neighborhoods can be tribes as well (I am thinking in particular of gated communities here).

It also does not mean that all people belonging to one tribe are identical, otherwise the discussions on this board would be boring if we all agreed all the time. People often belong to many tribes at a time and that's what makes all of us unique. So if on this board we can pretty much all agree that LBYM is the way to go, we can agree on little else. For example you may have the LBYM-childless-babyboomer-republican Vs. the LBYM-with kids-genXer-democrat...

It's really more like a network of tribes and the map of your network defines who you are. I know very few people (if any at all) who feel they don't belong to at least one tribe... As I said, I think human beings need to belong. People who don't feel like they belong anywhere are often the ones who lose it and start shooting innocent bystanders..
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Old 04-08-2008, 06:47 PM   #100
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Post Katrina - Sept 2005 in da North(aka outside of Kansas city) I walked (from Ramada) into the nearest Re- Max about three blocks away in my 'finest Jimmy Buffett shirt', blue jean cutoffs(cut by hand) and loafers held together with Duct Tape and said I wanted to buy a house.

I guessed immediately - they obviously didn't recognize a 'high class Aloha shirt up north if it bit them in the butt.' I was given the look and the most junior saleperson in the office.

She explained later that - nobody believed me when I walked in.

heh heh heh - heck I used to be sooo frugal I would let my Sister buy them and send them to me for Christmas when I lived in New Orleans.

Some people can't see snappy dress when it stares them in the face. My Sister now sends hoodies and sweats for Christmas.
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