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is there such a thing as OVER FRUGAL
Old 08-25-2005, 03:08 PM   #1
 
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is there such a thing as OVER FRUGAL

My sister (A), her husband and a child (8yrs) and a younger sister live in ONE bedroom condo in newyork city. yes, one bedroom and one bath. Sister A can easily buy a bigger place and live much more comfortably. They are millionaire (her 1 bedroom condo is around 1/4 million with no mortgage) We as a family constantly beat on her but she kept on smiling and happy as hell the way she living right now.

as for us, we got 4 bedroom and 2.5bath and a finish basement yet my wife and kids still want a full bath in the basement. what's up with that? i am much UNhappier then my sister. Her husband never have to do outside work, trimming the tree, trim the bushes, cut grass and fertilizing (so i can cut the grass again), shovel the snow, checking on the heater nor water heater nor the AC. they enjoy everything else outside the home and just use the home as a place to rest. they believe the more space they got the more junk they buy so less is more...

go figure, is there such a thing as OVER frugal?
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Re: is there such a thing as OVER FRUGAL
Old 08-25-2005, 03:17 PM   #2
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Re: is there such a thing as OVER FRUGAL

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Originally Posted by EricMD
...Sister A [is] happy as hell the way she living right now....

...i am much UNhappier then my sister...
Just goes to show you money can't buy happiness.
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Re: is there such a thing as OVER FRUGAL
Old 08-25-2005, 03:19 PM   #3
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Re: is there such a thing as OVER FRUGAL

Well considering that about 95 percent of the world live as your sister does it can't be all that bad. She may be frugal but it's really her decision to choose as she lives not the family. Many people would rather have a small paid for house than a large house with a big mortgage.

Maybe your sister is smarter than you. Maybe that's why she's a millionaire and you are not.

Personally I wouldn't buy any real estate right now in this market.

However to answer the question - Can one be too frugal ? The answer is yes.

That stash of money that you've saved doesn't amount to much if you look back over your life and have a bunch of regrets.

Another take is that if you die with a big stash of cash then you've been too frugal.

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Re: is there such a thing as OVER FRUGAL
Old 08-25-2005, 03:37 PM   #4
 
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Re: is there such a thing as OVER FRUGAL

They aren't over-frugal if the presence of the 8-year-old doesn't cramp their sex life.
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Re: is there such a thing as OVER FRUGAL
Old 08-25-2005, 03:42 PM   #5
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Re: is there such a thing as OVER FRUGAL

I have a hard time thinking of someone as frugal who chooses to live in New York City.* *To me, thats an automatic disqualifier, regardless the size of your home/apt. That is, unless you're a multi-millionairre and the extreme costs of living there remain inconsequential.
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Re: is there such a thing as OVER FRUGAL
Old 08-25-2005, 03:57 PM   #6
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Re: is there such a thing as OVER FRUGAL

I've got the "4 bedroom and 2.5 bath" home you're talking about, and after considering the space we need, I'd like to downsize to a condo half the size of our current house.

We never use half the house. Maybe if my wife pops out enough babies we might use all the space some day. In the meantime, I'm insuring the extra space, and cleaning it, heating/cooling it, maintaining it, and paying tax on it. I'd give up the yardwork in a heartbeat!

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Re: is there such a thing as OVER FRUGAL
Old 08-25-2005, 04:16 PM   #7
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Re: is there such a thing as OVER FRUGAL

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Originally Posted by azanon
I have a hard time thinking of someone as frugal who chooses to live in New York City.* *To me, thats an automatic disqualifier, regardless the size of your home/apt.* That is, unless you're a multi-millionairre and the extreme costs of living there remain inconsequential.
Wrong... when I was there I had heard of 7 people sharing a one bedroom apartment.... to me that is frugal...
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Re: is there such a thing as OVER FRUGAL
Old 08-25-2005, 05:17 PM   #8
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Re: is there such a thing as OVER FRUGAL

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Originally Posted by EricMD
they enjoy everything else outside the home and just use the home as a place to rest. they believe the more space they got the more junk they buy so less is more...

go figure, is there such a thing as OVER frugal?
Of course. but this isn't an example of that. You just said- they are all happy as can be.

Maybe you want her to spend more so she will be in the same trap that you are in?

Ha
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Re: is there such a thing as OVER FRUGAL
Old 08-25-2005, 05:24 PM   #9
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Re: is there such a thing as OVER FRUGAL

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They aren't over-frugal if the presence of the 8-year-old doesn't cramp their sex life.
according to jeff foxworthy, the way around this is to put a cow bell around their necks.
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Re: is there such a thing as OVER FRUGAL
Old 08-25-2005, 07:11 PM   #10
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Re: is there such a thing as OVER FRUGAL

As an exchange student, I spent about 6 months in an apartment 6ft x 6 ft. Being 6ft 2 I had to sleep diagonally. That was small.
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Re: is there such a thing as OVER FRUGAL
Old 08-25-2005, 07:16 PM   #11
 
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Re: is there such a thing as OVER FRUGAL

My apartment was so small...

How small was it?

My apartment was so small I had to go into the hall to look at pornography the centerfold.
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Re: is there such a thing as OVER FRUGAL
Old 08-25-2005, 07:39 PM   #12
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Re: is there such a thing as OVER FRUGAL

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Originally Posted by TromboneAl
My apartment was so small...

How small was it?

My apartment was so small I had to go into the hall to look at pornography.
I thought the line was "to look at the centerfold."
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Re: is there such a thing as OVER FRUGAL
Old 08-25-2005, 07:59 PM   #13
 
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Re: is there such a thing as OVER FRUGAL

Yes, much better.
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Re: is there such a thing as OVER FRUGAL
Old 08-25-2005, 08:07 PM   #14
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Re: is there such a thing as OVER FRUGAL

Your sister sounds happy. "Happy" isn't necessarily proportional to house size.

I've spent a lot of time in Europe. At first I thought "American's live better because we have much bigger houses and lawns".

Now I think the Europeans "live" better. Rather than spending all their time paying for, mowing, and maintaining "McMansions" - they live in smaller homes, with smalller lawns, closer to activities.

They have a lot more time, a lot less "stuff" and probably a better "life" than many Americans.
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Re: is there such a thing as OVER FRUGAL
Old 08-25-2005, 08:10 PM   #15
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Re: is there such a thing as OVER FRUGAL

Overly frugal is when you have to give up a lot to save money. That's not evident in her case since she is perfectly happy with her living condition.
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Re: is there such a thing as OVER FRUGAL
Old 08-25-2005, 08:38 PM   #16
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Re: is there such a thing as OVER FRUGAL

Quote:
Originally Posted by Delawaredave

I've spent a lot of time in Europe.* *At first I thought "American's live better because we have much bigger houses and lawns".

Now I think the Europeans "live" better.* *Rather than spending all their time paying for, mowing, and maintaining "McMansions" - they live in smaller* homes, with smalller* lawns, closer to activities.

They have a lot more time, a lot less "stuff" and probably a better "life" than many Americans.
I second that observation. There is nothing more pleasent than being in central Amsterdam, Paris, Rome or Copenhagen on a summer's night and realize how much the locals enjoy themselves on the squares, restaurants and parks. I take every opportunity to take that all in during my frequent business travels to Europe.
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Re: is there such a thing as OVER FRUGAL
Old 08-25-2005, 09:03 PM   #17
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Re: is there such a thing as OVER FRUGAL

Life was much simplier (though tough) when we (parents and two siblings) lived in a 10x10 room sharing a kitchen and a bathroom with 5 other families. We did not have to worry about house, rental, car, health or life insurance since we did not own a house or a car, and health care was provided by the government. We did not have to shop for furniture, lawn mower, power tools, etc.
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Re: is there such a thing as OVER FRUGAL
Old 08-25-2005, 09:23 PM   #18
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Re: is there such a thing as OVER FRUGAL

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Originally Posted by AltaRed
There is nothing more pleasent than being in central Amsterdam, Paris, Rome or Copenhagen on a summer's night and realize how much the locals enjoy themselves on the squares, restaurants and parks.* I take every opportunity to take that all in during my frequent business travels to Europe.
I've often wondered why we in the USA didn't set up the same kind of squares as the Europeans.* The people who emigrated from Europe were pretty much the people who designed this country.* The only thing I can think of is that the Europeans that came to this country were the ones that came to work and improve their lives, so they were more concerned with a work environment rather than a leisure-type environment.

I think most of the Europeans tend to live life more in the semi-retirement mode than we do here. The squares are always full with people of all ages, and most of them are the locals, not the tourists.
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Re: is there such a thing as OVER FRUGAL
Old 08-25-2005, 09:42 PM   #19
 
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Re: is there such a thing as OVER FRUGAL

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Originally Posted by HaHa
Of course. but this isn't an example of that. You just said- they are all happy as can be.

Maybe you want her to spend more so she will be in the same trap that you are in?

Ha
i think there is some truth to what you said. yes we are in much more debt then she is. yup, constant spending at Uncle Home Depot and Uncle Walmart. it seems like we can always use something for the house. yesterday, $38 buck at walmart for something... today another $43 at home depot for the trimmer and accessories for the grill. yes, *if it's not for the deck then it's for the bedroom. you know what's funny. Being Asian, eventhough in a 4 bedroom house and a finished basement we always just sleeping in one bedroom. Me, wife and 2 kids (5,6), yup asian style. it sounds strange but it;s very common practice in the east.

i like some of yours suggestion, down size to 1/2 size of what we got and we still only use 1 bedroom.

there is a thing as OVER FRUGAL.....
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Re: is there such a thing as OVER FRUGAL
Old 08-26-2005, 04:51 AM   #20
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Re: is there such a thing as OVER FRUGAL

Yes, there is such thing as over frugal.
For me it is
- If you deny yourself something that would really improve your life just to keep the money sitting on top of all your other money in an account.
- If you spend money on low-quality items with short lifetime and do not realize that you spend more on the long run by doing this.

Your sister and family seem not to suffer from any of these.
Their definition of necessities and conveniences is just not the same as yours.

I like to track my spending regularly. Then I calculate the real hourly wage I get per hour by deducting all business related expenses and using the real working time, including commuting and travel.
Then I can evaluate how long I really have to work to afford my necessities and conveniences.
Sometimes an item is just worth it - sometimes not. Are the accessories for the grill really worth several hours of your lifetime? Only you can decide...

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