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Re: How frugal is too frugal?
Old 05-18-2006, 11:09 AM   #21
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Re: How frugal is too frugal?

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Originally Posted by Cute Fuzzy Bunny

If you're washing off tin foil and plastic wrap, sitting in an uncomfortable house because you wont turn the air down or the heat up, you're eating food you dont like because its cheap, and your clothes look like you should be picking up cans off the side of the road...you're being too frugal.

When half of your waking thoughts are how to knock two bucks off of one of your bills and hand wringing over how much something costs, cut that out.
Dang, that's how I got here in the first place.
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Re: How frugal is too frugal?
Old 05-18-2006, 11:10 AM   #22
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Re: How frugal is too frugal?

..........and sometimes being frugal can reap unexpected rewards. We've been cutting paper towels in half for years (saw this on a post here also). We had in-laws to visit one time and they must have thought we were really slumming, because next time they visited they brought a case of paper towels. *.......and.......we cut those in half when they left....

.......and being too frugal? That's when your lawn furniture used to be your living room furniture.

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Re: How frugal is too frugal?
Old 05-18-2006, 11:16 AM   #23
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Re: How frugal is too frugal?

My favorite example of misguided frugalness is when people drive long distances or wait in long lines for "deals." Somehow they forget to factor in the cost of gas or time-value, and their bargains cost them a small fortune.
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Re: How frugal is too frugal?
Old 05-18-2006, 11:24 AM   #24
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Re: How frugal is too frugal?

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Originally Posted by wab
Here's my theory of frugality:

1) When you make a large purchase, like a house or car, your negotiation skills or lack thereof will overwhelm any sort of daily frugality, so don't sweat the small stuff.

2) The small stuff adds up when it's a recurring expense, so do sweat the relatively small recurring expenses.
This is interesting. But really, for a retired person aren't all expenses recurrent? I may buy a moderate priced car every 5-7 years. I enjoy negotiating and tend to do fine; yet whatever I can save on the purchase of a $22,000 car twice a decade could be swamped by the variation in daily lifestyle expenses. Especially if you have a wife who is into grooming, not hard at all for her to do $250 a month without breaking a sweat.

So it seems to me that one's overall background expectations of comfort, degree of luxury, quality and type of food and entertainment are very important, both to people still working and trying to save, and to retired people.

IMO houses in this context are very important, as is any large investment. Especially for a retired person, screwing up your investing side is likely to be a bigger factor than spending an extra $10K per year. If you are retired, and have $2 million in invested assets, and decide to buy an $800,000 80 year old house in Seattle, well several things could happen, and not all of them would be good.

One thing though that is definitely too frugal is anything that would cause your wife to head down to see a family lawyer. Remember, a wife is a girlfriend with a lien on your assets.

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Re: How frugal is too frugal?
Old 05-18-2006, 11:36 AM   #25
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Re: How frugal is too frugal?

A Scotsman walked into an apothecary dangling a used rubber, and asked the pharmicist, "how much to repair this prophylactic?"

The pharmicist informed him that normally they are not repaired, since a new one only cost about $1.00. But for $.50 he could probably repair it. The Scotsman said "I'll be right back."

He returned an hour later still holding the gross thing, and announced "the rrrrregiment votes rrrreepair!."

THAT's too frugal...
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Re: How frugal is too frugal?
Old 05-18-2006, 11:58 AM   #26
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Re: How frugal is too frugal?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bosco
A Scotsman walked into an apothecary dangling a used rubber, and asked the pharmicist, "how much to repair this prophylactic?"

The pharmicist informed him that normally they are not repaired, since a new one only cost about $1.00. But for $.50 he could probably repair it. The Scotsman said "I'll be right back."

He returned an hour later still holding the gross thing, and announced "the rrrrregiment votes rrrreepair!."

THAT's too frugal...
And that is the first joke I have e-mail to anyone in several years! ROTFLMAO!
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Re: How frugal is too frugal?
Old 05-18-2006, 12:18 PM   #27
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Re: How frugal is too frugal?

Quote:
.......and being too frugal? That's when your lawn furniture used to be your living room furniture.
I thought that was when you know you are a redneck.

Quote:
My favorite example of misguided frugalness is when people drive long distances or wait in long lines for "deals."* * Somehow they forget to factor in the cost of gas or time-value, and their bargains cost them a small fortune.
Not to mention, it isnt very frugal to buy stuff that you wouldnt already buy just because it is a "deal". :P

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Re: How frugal is too frugal?
Old 05-18-2006, 12:27 PM   #28
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Re: How frugal is too frugal?

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Originally Posted by tryan
When a dry sheet becomes tissue paper.* *
Mountain Fresh of Spring Rain? :P
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Re: How frugal is too frugal?
Old 05-18-2006, 12:51 PM   #29
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Re: How frugal is too frugal?

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Originally Posted by setab
Youbet,

One of the points of the farmer story, however, is that he failed to do exactly what you recommend.* He was so busy acquiring stuff, that he failed to pay attention to what was really important.*
setab:

Yep, I understand.* I intentionally took a little different outlook on the farmer's situation.* For me, from the point along life's timeline I'm viewing things from, the crop is in the silo, my effort has been spent and autumn is in the air!* Can't turn back the clock or change anything.* So, it's time to be glad the silo is reasonably full and "eat, drink and be merry!"

From your point of view, still deciding how to invest your time, it's clearly a different perspective!* Just the fact that you're thinking it through gives me confidence you'll make a lot of good decisions!
*

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Re: How frugal is too frugal?
Old 05-18-2006, 01:02 PM   #30
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Re: How frugal is too frugal?

I thought that was when you know you are a redneck.

I think another sign of being a redneck is having appliances on your porch. I used to have a second fridge on my enclosed side porch, but I moved it into the kitchen, so does that mean I have to turn in my redneck badge of honor?

I do have a non-running car in the yard, so does that help redeem me a bit?

I don't know if it will save much in the long run, but here's my rationale for moving the fridge. It actually has to do with frugality. The porch it sat on gets horribly hot in the summertime, and brutally cold in the winter. So I figure that having the fridge in the kitchen will help out with heating and cooling bills since we won't constantly be opening the door to go out there. That fridge is where we keep the beer, so needless to say, that kitchen door gets opened A LOT!

Also, I'm guessing that since the fridge is now in a place where it stays cooler, it won't have to work as hard. And since a fridge puts off heat anyway, I'm guessing it actually helped contribute to the heating of that porch.

I guess on the down-side, having two fridges in the kitchen will put off a bit more heat, and maybe make the air conditioner work a bit harder, but I guess i'm saving electricity in the long run, being frugal, and making FI/RE just a little bit closer. :P
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Re: How frugal is too frugal?
Old 05-18-2006, 01:06 PM   #31
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Re: How frugal is too frugal?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Poundkey
.......and being too frugal? That's when your lawn furniture used to be your living room furniture.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maddy the Turbo Beagle
I thought that was when you know you are a redneck.
Heeeeeeyyyyy.... waitaminnit....

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Re: How frugal is too frugal?
Old 05-18-2006, 01:08 PM   #32
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Re: How frugal is too frugal?

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My acid test has always been about how I reacted to 'unavoidable' or ''bad luck' costs. *If getting a parking ticket (In New York, that is pretty much unavoidable ) ruins my day, then my budget is too tight
So true. *I knew a ridiculously frugal guy in Berkeley a while back. *He had no housing costs (living in a room with a senior citizen in his church), had no vehicle (not even a bicycle as I recall), and basically ate Ramen noodles. * When I drove him on a weekend trip he couldn't afford to split the gas. *

I'll never forget his rant about a ticket he got a while back. *He was driving a friend's car and a cop caught him speeding or something, and wrote him a $45 ticket. *To me $45 is a tremendous bargain for a traffic violation, but to him it was an affront to his humanity. *He told the cop off... how can anyone afford to pay $45 out of the blue... what was the cop thinking ruining his life with this $45 ticket. *Oh the injustice. *Oh the evil man putting down the little guy. *It took him about 20 minutes to express to me all the hate he had for the cop making him pay such a ridiculous amount.

And I wouldn't be surprised if that $45 was his Ramen budget for a couple of weeks, so I can see how it would have thrown him for a loop.

That's too frugal for me.

But really having some perspective is useful. *When you travel around the world you see many people living relatively happy lives on just a few dollars a day. * They are tremendously exposed... it doesn't take a 10 year bear market to wipe them out, it can just take a minor injury or even a week of bad weather. *That level of exposure keeps them very present and alive, living their edge. *And it keeps communities strong because people need the help of their family and community to survive. *
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Re: How frugal is too frugal?
Old 05-18-2006, 01:09 PM   #33
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Re: How frugal is too frugal?

Wha... no old commodes?
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Re: How frugal is too frugal?
Old 05-18-2006, 01:23 PM   #34
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Re: How frugal is too frugal?

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Originally Posted by HFWR
Wha... no old commodes?*
Heck, no, they're proudly displayed in the front yard for the neighbor's viewing pleasure...
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Re: How frugal is too frugal?
Old 05-18-2006, 01:31 PM   #35
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Re: How frugal is too frugal?

I still have the one I replaced around the side of the house. I fill the bowl and tank once a day from the hose and the dogs drink out of it. I get one cleansing "flush" before having to fill it again.

Temporarily out of sight/out of mind with the DW, but she aint thrilled.
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Re: How frugal is too frugal?
Old 05-18-2006, 01:41 PM   #36
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Re: How frugal is too frugal?

A few years ago, when I lived in my condo, I replaced the toilet in the master bedroom. The one that had been in there was one of those One-piece "Low-rider" jobs that were all the rage in the 70's. To get it out of the house, I took it out on the deck off the dining room and dropped it over the edge (2nd story). I was expecting it to bounce when it hit the grass, and maybe shatter on the sidewalk, but it kinda just hit the grass with a solid thunk, and stuck there.

Then I went down, got it, and took it around to the garage, where I was going to put it until I could get rid of it. I had my '57 DeSoto in the garage, which took up most of the space, and the toilet just barely fit behind it, with the bowl under the car and the raised part of the integrated tank just touching the bumper. It was kinda funny to look at, almost like the DeSoto was taking a dump!
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Re: How frugal is too frugal?
Old 05-18-2006, 01:51 PM   #37
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Re: How frugal is too frugal?

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Originally Posted by free4now
But really having some perspective is useful.* When you travel around the world you see many people living relatively happy lives on just a few dollars a day.* *They are tremendously exposed... it doesn't take a 10 year bear market to wipe them out, it can just take a minor injury or even a week of bad weather.* That level of exposure keeps them very present and alive, living their edge.* And it keeps communities strong because people need the help of their family and community to survive.*
Agree completely. Singer Ruby Andrews has a song, "Can't Sing the Blues in an Air Conditioned Room". It was really about her challenges going from a just-scraping-by juke joint performer to being recording success and a hit on the white Southern College circuit.

It's also why lots of financially comfortable people climb rock faces, ski xx black diamond slopes, etc.

For myself, I experience the world as being sufficiently insecure to give me whatever stimulation I need.*

Ha
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