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Old 08-01-2014, 03:18 PM   #21
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I think if you consider yourself frugal than perhaps you are sacrificing. There is always something more you could buy that would bring you some additional happiness.

I can see someone being perfectly happy with a modest lifestyle and not really thinking of being frugal or sacrificing. But then, they would have some reasoning other than frugality for living what others might consider a frugal lifestyle. No need to sacrifice if they are living the way they want, but not necessarily frugal either if it comes with no consideration of cost.

But to me, considering yourself frugal seems to imply a level of sacrifice. Perhaps just of your time to reason through all your purchases and minimize expenses. And certainly there seems to be an element of choice in being frugal, which implies things not bought. The level of sacrifice might be small, and being frugal may make you feel good, but I would think the sacrifice is there.
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Old 08-01-2014, 03:55 PM   #22
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I think if you consider yourself frugal than perhaps you are sacrificing.
What if someone else calls you frugal? This happened to me when I had my very first financial plan done over 20 years ago. I did not know I was frugal until the FA brought it up.
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Old 08-01-2014, 04:09 PM   #23
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Part of living frugally but well is knowing oneself well so one can spend dollars on what really improves the quality of life rather than something that satisfies an immediate but transient need.
This is where we ended up. We spend on what makes us happy and improves our life. Everything else feels wasteful. We landed on a lifestyle that others would definitely call frugal, but we have and do everything we want. Why pay for more? If there is some left at the end then our favorite charity will be very happy...
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Old 08-01-2014, 04:23 PM   #24
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As been said before - everything in moderation - including moderation
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Old 08-01-2014, 04:32 PM   #25
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Both 'frugal' and 'sacrifice' are subjective, so it really depends on the person. I live frugally with no sacrifice, but others might find me not so frugal, and still others might think I sacrifice quite a bit.
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Old 08-01-2014, 04:45 PM   #26
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We've always bought into the "worst" house in the best neighborhood mantra so many of our neighbors think we're beyond frugal and probably would call us cheap. Their lives consist of weekends in Vail, Mexico, etc so it's been interesting. They just can't figure out if we are just poorer than they'd expect or if we're not dealing with a full deck.

It's all relative.
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Is frugality without sacrifice doable?
Old 08-01-2014, 05:08 PM   #27
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Is frugality without sacrifice doable?

Depends on your "wants" vs. your income. The only time I really felt I had to sacrifice was when I was living with my deadbeat first husband, who got downright mean if he didn't get what he wanted. I could either cut back on my wants (mostly travel) or not save. I saved. Current DH and I are on the same page. We moved to a LCOL area, drive nondescript cars and rarely eat out, but we've been traveling together practically since we met. Not squandering money on the rest didn't seem like sacrifice at all.
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Old 08-01-2014, 05:30 PM   #28
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This just all seems so relative, as many I think are pointing out. I think based on the premise of this site, many either start out with or adopt somewhere a long their lifeline a LBYM lifestyle in order to retire early. I don't think we really approached savings with a RE goal; it was more a matter of wanting financial security. Growing up under a depression era father made it just seem like the thing to do. That, and unlike others here enjoyed my career until last few years. So saving, and not WASTING money was the driver. Along the way good things happened (financially as well as otherwise) and next thing you know we were FI. Was there ever "sacrifice" involved? I don't think so. If I had a career as a public school teacher and wanted to get where we are today, damn right there would have been a lot of sacrifice if that's even possible. I think many people might consider us "frugal" as we still have a 11 year old car and could buy a new one with what just happens to be in the temporary (not investments) savings account right now. Frugal? I suppose. Sacrifice? Not in any way. I'll end with the observation that many are willing to exit earlier because they are willing to be more frugal than others; it may or may not be a sacrifice depending on what that frugality entails. We're all different.
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Old 08-01-2014, 05:54 PM   #29
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I believe that frugality without sacrifice is doable. I consider myself frugal, but it's just the way I am wired therefore it does not feel painful.


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Old 08-01-2014, 06:06 PM   #30
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Both 'frugal' and 'sacrifice' are subjective, so it really depends on the person.
Exactly.
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Old 08-01-2014, 06:24 PM   #31
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Frugality gives you piece of mind because you know you live LBYM. As time goes your assets grow and you don't need to care about jobs etc etc

So in the way frugality is not sacrifice but rewarding worry free, stress free life.
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Old 08-01-2014, 06:47 PM   #32
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Frugality without sacrifice requires that one never develops the desire for expensive stuff or habits, or that one learns how to limit such thoughts.
I want that on a bumper sticker for my 1999 Jeep !
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Old 08-01-2014, 07:37 PM   #33
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I think if you consider yourself frugal than perhaps you are sacrificing. There is always something more you could buy that would bring you some additional happiness.

I can see someone being perfectly happy with a modest lifestyle and not really thinking of being frugal or sacrificing. But then, they would have some reasoning other than frugality for living what others might consider a frugal lifestyle. No need to sacrifice if they are living the way they want, but not necessarily frugal either if it comes with no consideration of cost.

But to me, considering yourself frugal seems to imply a level of sacrifice. Perhaps just of your time to reason through all your purchases and minimize expenses. And certainly there seems to be an element of choice in being frugal, which implies things not bought. The level of sacrifice might be small, and being frugal may make you feel good, but I would think the sacrifice is there.
We absolutely do spend more time living frugally. If I had a career like a cancer researcher or human rights lawyer maybe my life would be more rewarding and better spent working 50+ hours with commute at a full time job. But we would rather shop at Costco together during the day and go out for lunch with a coupon than fill out TPS reports:



And the time to reason through purchases and analyze everything to find great deal is actually fun. I figure at least I am not buying 200 bottles of Gatorade and 400 tubes of toothpaste like the extreme coupon people.
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Old 08-01-2014, 07:56 PM   #34
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This is kind of a trick question...right?
....
I had the same thought. I think that by definition that frugality is sacrificing things that perhaps you would like to do but know in the long run you will be better off not to do them.

Each of us draws the line in a different place, and that is fine.
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Old 08-01-2014, 08:01 PM   #35
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jon-nyc's answer is spot on! It is about definition and subjectivity. If you define Frugality as spending on only things that are needed to sustain life, and sacrifice as not being able to have stuff you really can afford then you have one answer. If frugality is having a lifestyle your are comfortable with, and sacrifice is having what you can afford and you are happy with it, there is another answer.

We lived a life style that we were immensely happy in. Two kids graduated college debt free, and we are retired with sufficient funds to do what ever we want when ever we want to. I never remember not making a serious decision because we 'can not afford that'. Does that mean there are things we did not buy, of course! We drove Fords and Honda's not BMW's and Lexus. We lived in average homes, not Mac Mansions. Is that a sacrifice, not for us, maybe so for others.
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Old 08-01-2014, 11:02 PM   #36
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Shared my thoughts here... on my first post.
Sharing 23 years of Frugal Retirement
Now, 25 years... if there was really any sacrifice, either it was not noticed, or forgotten.

Life IS good!
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Old 08-02-2014, 12:05 AM   #37
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What if someone else calls you frugal? This happened to me when I had my very first financial plan done over 20 years ago. I did not know I was frugal until the FA brought it up.
If you are not thinking about being frugal, then you could just naturally hit a spending level that is frugal. There is no sacrifice if you're not giving something up.
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Old 08-02-2014, 12:13 AM   #38
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I'm fairly frugal ($32k annual retirement budget for a family of 5), but don't really feel like we do without anything or make any real sacrifices.

I'm actually thinking about ways to spend more money long term, but coming up mostly blank. Sailing lessons, a hardcore gaming/graphics computer and a new (used) smartphone come to mind, but those won't even set me back $1000 (and even less given 2 of the 3 would be business expenses).
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Old 08-02-2014, 03:04 AM   #39
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Depends on how tightly you define frugality.There is a blogger (donna Freedman) I follow (and have met with) whose definition is along the lines of:

I save everywhere I can to SPEND on what is important to me.This is very much like your approach Alex.

I want to do a lot of extended trip travel & travel w/my kids & grands.I don’t have cable tv or belong to a gym.Don’t need more tv and I walk outside or at a local mall.I save as much as I can on insurance, groceries, HBA, entertainment, eating out, clothes, utilities, cell phone………
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Old 08-02-2014, 05:41 AM   #40
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Frugality without sacrifice requires that one never develops the desire for expensive stuff or habits, or that one learns how to limit such thoughts.
And...if you're happy within yourself, and (from my perspective), with your partner who's also happy, then the lure of external distractions is limited.
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