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Old 04-18-2011, 12:36 AM   #61
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In the US, waiters' wages are so low because it is a tradition that a big part of their compensation comes from tips. In Europe or elsewhere, it is not true. So, if a waiter or waitress in the US does his/her job, I do feel I "owe" him or her a tip.
Owed or not, the easiest way to improve your experience of going out if you return to the same places frequently is to be a good tipper. I could always eat and drink cheaper at home; so if I go out it is to enjoy an experience. Adding 20-25% to the check, and also not being a schmuck is a guaranteed way to have more fun.

I still laugh about a time when I was about 22 I took a real sweet Greek-American woman to a downtown white tablecloth restaurant in Boston. We had a great time, the food and service were good and fun, and when the check came, I was laboriously trying to work out what might be exactly 15%. She leans in close, takes me by the arm, and whispers-"Aw honey, be a sport!" OK my dear, I hear you! Sport I'll be!

LBYM is cool; but if I can't afford to be stand-up when I go out, I stay home.

Ha
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Old 04-18-2011, 01:42 AM   #62
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LBYM is cool; but if I can't afford to be stand-up when I go out, I stay home.


Ha
Can I use your quote as my signature? It's definitely words to live by during my ER.

I always been a great tipper since I know what it's like to live on tips. Sometime when I'm in very good mood, I tip in excess of a bill to upwards of 50% or more. Then end up eating ramen noodles or spaghetti for a week to get back to LBYM. But when I go out, I do enjoy myself as long as I can control my drinking, I normally tip between 20 to 30 percent and don't have to worry about eating at home for rest of the month.
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Old 04-18-2011, 08:11 AM   #63
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I am in forced LBYM. Living in a place where there is no place to spend money.

Even a simple meal out in my cattle country town is a stretch for a vegetarian.
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Old 04-18-2011, 09:10 AM   #64
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In my day to day living I LBYM not because I have to but because I have been doing it for so long . I do spend more freely while traveling because some of these places you may never see again so do it right .
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Old 04-18-2011, 09:48 AM   #65
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Not sure why his post morphed into one on tipping, there have been plenty of these and opinions are split. Ha totally agree with you. We are big tippers. Had a nice lunch a couple of days ago here in Scottsdale. We sensed the waitress was struggling a bit but service was still great. We gave her a $20 cash tip on a $45 bill. She almost started to cry- said this had made her day. Felt really good.
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Old 04-18-2011, 09:53 AM   #66
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If the market keeps going down like today, I will be living right at my means.

One can never be sure what his means are, particularly in ER.
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Old 04-18-2011, 10:07 AM   #67
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Hey NW-Bound - I purposely wasn't checking the market this morning, as I was still in my early morning happily-waking-up-drinking-coffee-and-taking-it-slowly-routine. You woke me up fully with that revelation!

I agree wholeheartedly with the Andrew Tobias quotes on the difference between frugality and cheapness. I've quoted this before, but someone on these forums some months ago said that she knew she was taking LBYM too far when her "soul felt pinched".
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Old 04-18-2011, 10:55 AM   #68
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I agree wholeheartedly with the Andrew Tobias quotes on the difference between frugality and cheapness. I've quoted this before, but someone on these forums some months ago said that she knew she was taking LBYM too far when her "soul felt pinched".
Yes, I also remember that post, but my memory is failing me about the poster. It was either Khan or Moemg. I did a search but the post did not show up.

Nah! I gave enough money away over the years, so feel no pinching in my soul. Just because I do not get myself a BMW or a Lexus does not mean that I pinch my soul.

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Hey NW-Bound - I purposely wasn't checking the market this morning, as I was still in my early morning happily-waking-up-drinking-coffee-and-taking-it-slowly-routine. You woke me up fully with that revelation!
Better get that motor home now, when your money is still worth something.

The blog by Glenn, the traveling musician, will show you how he never paid to park his motor home. Most importantly, same as Andy Baird, he outgrew his smaller first motor home and had to get a bigger one. In both cases, they cut their teeth on a cheap older motor home first, so it was not a waste.
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Old 04-18-2011, 11:40 AM   #69
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Better get that motor home now, when your money is still worth something.

The blog by Glenn, the traveling musician, will show you how he never paid to park his motor home. Most importantly, same as Andy Baird, he outgrew his smaller first motor home and had to get a bigger one. In both cases, they cut their teeth on a cheap older motor home first, so it was not a waste.
I'm keeping 3 years worth of living expenses in cash, and a small amount on top of that to cover the purchase of a small used RV if I find something I like. That way, I can let the market do what it wants without it bothering me too much, as I enter this ESR phase of my life.

Boondocking will be pretty much the only way I'll be able to afford to full-time, though I notice that Andy stays in NM parks for an average cost of under $5/night including the cost of his annual membership. I can afford that - just not the $25 or $20 a night that some parks charge. Besides, boon-docking appeals on many levels, aside from the financial one.

Better not get ahead of myself though. They say that effective blogging consists of talking about what you've done rather than what you plan to do and similarly, I don't want to spend too much time soliloquizing about RV'ing here just in case my plans don't materialize!
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Old 04-18-2011, 01:46 PM   #70
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Better not get ahead of myself though. They say that effective blogging consists of talking about what you've done rather than what you plan to do and similarly, I don't want to spend too much time soliloquizing about RV'ing here just in case my plans don't materialize!
Once you tell a few thousand Internet strangers what you plan to do, you're gonna have to follow through and do it...
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Old 04-18-2011, 01:51 PM   #71
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Yes, I also remember that post, but my memory is failing me about the poster. It was either Khan or Moemg. I did a search but the post did not show up.

.
Usually your memory is great but not on this one .
It was definitely not me . I am usually frugal but never cheap and sometimes very very generous ! I do remember that it was posted by one of our regular females but it was not me or Khan .
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Old 04-18-2011, 02:50 PM   #72
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Not sure why his post morphed into one on tipping, there have been plenty of these and opinions are split. Ha totally agree with you. We are big tippers. Had a nice lunch a couple of days ago here in Scottsdale. We sensed the waitress was struggling a bit but service was still great. We gave her a $20 cash tip on a $45 bill. She almost started to cry- said this had made her day. Felt really good.
That is wonderful! It put an idea into my head to do the same thing the next time I see a waiter or waitress who might be up against it. How do you tell? Maybe by their age, the look on their face or conversation. Actually we generally go 20% but many times this isn't enough and I can tell by the check total. We stick to 20% regardless, but your post changed my thinking. Thanks for the "tip"!
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Old 04-18-2011, 03:04 PM   #73
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Boondocking will be pretty much the only way I'll be able to afford to full-time, though I notice that Andy stays in NM parks for an average cost of under $5/night including the cost of his annual membership. I can afford that - just not the $25 or $20 a night that some parks charge. Besides, boon-docking appeals on many levels, aside from the financial one.
MT, are you may aware that there are alternatives between the two costs you mention above? Many privately and some publicly owned parks in the southern US offer very affordable monthly rates, usually catering to snowbirds. Most, but not all, charge you separately for electricity and may limit how many months you can stay. Here are a couple of examples:

$395/mo including electricity (available Sept 1 - March 31 only)
$275/mo plus electricity (includes cable tv and wireless internet)

While these two are in "touristy" areas, you can get an even better deal if you're willing/prefer living out in the sticks:

$200/mo plus electricity (includes all the quiet you can stand)
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Old 04-18-2011, 03:10 PM   #74
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Now, back to the subject. DW and I have always been frugal in days past. Now that we are 23 years into retirement we are starting to relax and live a little. I'm 75 and DW is 73. I am of the old school and still watch how much I spend. In that respect, I am a creature of habit. My Mother ruled the roost when it came to the money and I guess I learned from her. Like I said, we've opened (the purse strings) a little. Wonder if anyone else feels like this? After seeing how our kids handle money, and how they can pi$$ it away, why should we concern ourselves. They will always have a good income and retirement. Overall our thinking has changed, especially DW's. She never had much as a child and is really enjoying our current position. You've seen the bumper signs "WE'RE SPENDING OUR CHILDRENS INHERITANCE". Well, that's where we are.
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Old 04-18-2011, 03:11 PM   #75
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While we're on the subject of tipping....

Disclaimer: I've never had a job where I worked for tips, so this is speculation. Perhaps someone can confirm it for me.

It occurred to me that a waitperson at a low-cost (diner, family restaurant, etc.) restaurant is going to have to work a lot more tables (and probably a lot harder, too) to make $100 in tips, as compared to someone at a high-end restaurant.

Also, from what I've observed, a lot of the ladies (they always seem to be ladies for some odd reason) at the low-cost restaurants just seem to be 'down on their luck' a bit more that the servers I've seen at the mid-priced and high-end restaurants. Therefore, I always try to tip them close to 50%, which isn't all that much as the food is relatively inexpensive.

omni
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Old 04-18-2011, 03:19 PM   #76
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While we're on the subject of tipping....

Disclaimer: I've never had a job where I worked for tips, so this is speculation. Perhaps someone can confirm it for me.

It occurred to me that a waitperson at a low-cost (diner, family restaurant, etc.) restaurant is going to have to work a lot more tables (and probably a lot harder, too) to make $100 in tips, as compared to someone at a high-end restaurant.

Also, from what I've observed, a lot of the ladies (they always seem to be ladies for some odd reason) at the low-cost restaurants just seem to be 'down on their luck' a bit more that the servers I've seen at the mid-priced and high-end restaurants. Therefore, I always try to tip them close to 50%, which isn't all that much as the food is relatively inexpensive.

omni
Wow, I am sure they love to see you coming in the door! At the other end, I think that the male bartenders at nice resaurants and upscale hotels make pretty good money. One guy in a hotel I frequent goes ski-ing frequently, another guy has raised 2 kids with a non-jobholding wife. He had to economize- like no car, but he lives in the city and works downtown so it is possible.

Ha
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Old 04-18-2011, 04:06 PM   #77
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I think that the male bartenders at nice resaurants and upscale hotels make pretty good money. One guy I in a hotel I frequent goes ski-ing frequently, another guy has raised 2 kids with a non-jobholding wife. He had to economize- like no car, but he lives in the city and works downtown so it is possible.

Ha
Yup. I recall learning that the Maître D and other wait-staff typically earn six figures at the better places in NYC. Probably the same deal in other large cities.

Then again, the shoe shine guy who worked the trading floor where I used to work drove a Mercedes S Class. Serving folks who make big money can be very lucrative.
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Old 04-18-2011, 05:17 PM   #78
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Also, from what I've observed, a lot of the ladies (they always seem to be ladies for some odd reason) at the low-cost restaurants just seem to be 'down on their luck' a bit more that the servers I've seen at the mid-priced and high-end restaurants. Therefore, I always try to tip them close to 50%, which isn't all that much as the food is relatively inexpensive.
We usually don't tip less than $3-$4, even when we split a sandwich between the two of us for $8-$10 total. The waitress at a low cost restaurant has to earn a living, too.
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Old 04-18-2011, 05:31 PM   #79
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Yes we will spend principle. But for us, it is not a simple answer.

We have a pension, SS x 2 and intend to buy a SPIA. Each will be available at different times in our life.

We will spend more in the early FIRE years than in later years.
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Old 04-18-2011, 06:30 PM   #80
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Usually your memory is great but not on this one .
It was definitely not me . I am usually frugal but never cheap and sometimes very very generous ! I do remember that it was posted by one of our regular females but it was not me or Khan .
My apology. I should not have made the attribution to anyone if I was not sure. However, I never meant that either you or Khan were "cheap". Far from it.

If I remember correctly, the author of the now lost quote meant that one should not be so frugal to the point of "soul pinching". I would go further to say that if one applies Andrew Tobias's philosophy of being frugal with oneself but never to cheat anyone else, then there is no "soul pinching" with any level of frugality. If one simply does not feel the need for certain materialistic things, then why buy it just to show that one can afford it?

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Yes we will spend principle...
I will spend principal, but certainly not principle. The latter is "soul pinching".

Sorry, I could not resist. Heh heh heh...
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