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LBYM Question
Old 03-31-2017, 01:10 PM   #1
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LBYM Question

One of the interesting that we share as a community is the belief in LBYM. Although in no way do I consider myself a cheapskate, I canít help but appreciate various ways to save money. Some of my favorite things include:
1) Paying for everything on my Capital One credit card that pays me 2% on all purchases.
2) Waiting for sales on the items that I want to purchase.
3) Comparing prices of services when contracts come to expiration.
4) Taking advantage of opportunistic travel deals.
I would love to hear some of your favorite ideas that you use to keep expenses down while enjoying a maximum consumer benefit. Is this a topic of interest or am I a fry short of a Happy Meal?
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Old 03-31-2017, 01:40 PM   #2
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I think many of us struggle with the thin line between cheap and frugal.

I have a Citi Double Cash card that also pays 2% on everything (1% when charged and 1% when paid) that has another nifty feature called Price Rewind. You register items that you have purchased and if they find a lower price within a certain time (60 days I think) then they credit you for the difference. Also, if you run across a better price during that time period then you can submit it to them and once they verify it they credit you with the difference.

I had a cell phone I bought a bit spur of the moment back in December for ~$150 and a week or so later say a better deal for $100 and put it in and got a $50 credit.

We have Ooma instead of a landline and it costs us about $4/month... but we do opt for a higher level of service that is $110/year. We could kill the landline entirely but we have had that number for 25 years + so many friends have it and for $160 a year it is worth keeping for now and we can easily afford to do it.

Also, our cellphone service is with a MVNO called Airvoice Wireless that uses the AT&T network and is $30/month each for unlimited voice/texts and 1GB of data. We could find cheaper but it meets our needs and we need to be on AT&T when we are home as other cell signal is bad. We had some lower level plans before which cost less but kept having to monitor and manage data... with these plans we don't come near the 1GB so it is easy for us.

Tradeoffs between convenience and $$$$.
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Old 03-31-2017, 01:45 PM   #3
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Buy used or imperfect new on eBay and then sell what we just replaced on eBay. We've sold over $80,000 of "stuff" on eBay over the last 11 years.
Buy Gourmesso capsules to use in our Nespresso instead of Nepresso branded caps, saves about 40%.
Renegotiate our cable bill EVERY year.
Anything we buy online we always search for a promo code first.
Ask for in state resident rates when booking hotels in Colorado. A number of them have great discounts.
Join AARP for the eye exam and eye glass discounts and coupons.
Get a Costco membership. Just renting a car for one trip saves us 1x to 2x the membership fee alone. Everything else we save on is gravy. No better place to buy personal care items, fruits, veggies, you name it.
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Old 03-31-2017, 01:49 PM   #4
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In the 1970s I used to work out at what was then the "Jewish 'Y'" in Toronto, (the YMHA), and I still recall overhearing an older Jewish lady advising a younger woman "Never buy retail"........it's a dictum that I haven't forgotten, and one I adhere to whenever possible.....(when verbally relating it to others I attempt to say it with a New York Jewish accent...although the lady in question didn't have one).

All in all I've expanded it to "Don't piss your money away".
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Old 03-31-2017, 01:58 PM   #5
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Number one thing you can do is marry someone who agrees with/supports your LBYM ideas. Need to be on the same page. Without this it will be tough to save and retire early. JMHO
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Old 03-31-2017, 02:00 PM   #6
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Definitely 'never pay retail'. Even at Costco where possible I wait until an item I know I use is on sale and then stock up. I can't remember what author talked about the virtues of buying in bulk but he used wine by the case as an example and showed that the 'rate of return' was actually quite good. I believe it was Andrew Tobias. I one up that as I don't drink so a bit of a savings there.
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Old 03-31-2017, 02:01 PM   #7
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Learn to cook.
Avoid malls.
Research everything online before making a needed purchase.
Don't buy tchotchkes. Ever. Not even when you are on vacation in some exotic place. Take a photo instead.
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Old 03-31-2017, 02:10 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Islandtraveler View Post
One of the interesting that we share as a community is the belief in LBYM. Although in no way do I consider myself a cheapskate, I can’t help but appreciate various ways to save money. Some of my favorite things include:
1) Paying for everything on my Capital One credit card that pays me 2% on all purchases.
2) Waiting for sales on the items that I want to purchase.
3) Comparing prices of services when contracts come to expiration.
4) Taking advantage of opportunistic travel deals.
I would love to hear some of your favorite ideas that you use to keep expenses down while enjoying a maximum consumer benefit. Is this a topic of interest or am I a fry short of a Happy Meal?
Do you really value travel? If so, go right ahead. But if not, international travel is the biggest way to throw money down a black hole that I know of. Today, with Google Streetview, the internet, and an increasingly international population, and having spent more of my life outside the country than not, I know that I would not get much value from yet another (and another, and another) international trip.

Along those lines, I try to identify what has a lot of value to me and what doesn't. This helps me to keep my spending down, because I feel satisfied, and don't feel the need to spend as much just to fill the gap.

As for cutting back, I admit that I find cutting back on regular monthly expenses is especially rewarding, because of the way they add up to a lot by the end of the year.

So, for example:

1) I cancelled my landline

2) I switched cell phone carriers from Verizon to CricketWireless, which gave me a free LG smartphone and a $30/month plan with unlimited talk and text, and 1 GB data (which is all I need). That's half the monthly cost of Verizon.

3) I cancelled cable TV and just get TV with a $5 homemade indoor antenna. I have Amazon Prime, and Frank lets me use his Netflix, but I almost never use either one for streaming video.

Monthly savings on these three were $36, $32, and $110, for a total of $178/month or $2136/year.

For now I feel perfectly free to blow that $2136/year on whatever I want. But in the long run, I feel like having lower regular monthly expenses positions me better for cutting back in the event of another 2008-2009 style market crash.
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Old 03-31-2017, 02:10 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pb4uski View Post
I think many of us struggle with the thin line between cheap and frugal.

.

The cheap side of the thin line....

Sharing 23 years of Frugal Retirement Post #124
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Old 03-31-2017, 02:16 PM   #10
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I buy the triple bladed expensive razor blades, but I use them for a month and I shave my head so they get twice the workout. I could probably stretch it over a month, but changing the blade is one of my little luxuries.
I buy my wines direct from the wineries in California. The release prices on value priced, not necessarily their "best" wine is usually 20-40% below retail.
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Old 03-31-2017, 02:29 PM   #11
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Pay yourself first. Make sure money goes into savings automatically and is not sitting in a payroll account tempting you.

Don't buy on credit. Either pay cash or pay the card balance in full every month.
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Old 03-31-2017, 02:34 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by COcheesehead View Post
I buy the triple bladed expensive razor blades, but I use them for a month and I shave my head so they get twice the workout. I could probably stretch it over a month, but changing the blade is one of my little luxuries.
You can stretch them much further with no loss of shaving capability. I go 6 months at a time with no noticeable degradation. I tested it out to 2 years once as an experiment and there was enough downgrade that I didn't want to go further than that. I've even used it on those cheap hotel disposable blades when I forgot my razor on a business trip. It helped that razor shave better from the beginning.

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Old 03-31-2017, 02:36 PM   #13
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More central to the topic of the thread is the philosophy that you can have anything you want but you can't have everything. Make choices on where you want to spend money to enjoy your life.
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Old 03-31-2017, 02:39 PM   #14
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You can stretch them much further with no loss of shaving capability. I go 6 months at a time with no noticeable degradation. I tested it out to 2 years once as an experiment and there was enough downgrade that I didn't want to go further than that. I've even used it on those cheap hotel disposable blades when I forgot my razor on a business trip. It helped that razor shave better from the beginning.

Your post makes me want to see how far I can make one go.
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Old 03-31-2017, 02:42 PM   #15
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More central to the topic of the thread is the philosophy that you can have anything you want but you can't have everything. Make choices on where you want to spend money to enjoy your life.
I agree. Spend money on what you value most and you will always spend wisely.
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Old 03-31-2017, 02:42 PM   #16
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When I buy an item on Amazon, I look to see if any are available as "used", for less. The "used" ones are scuffed boxes or repackaged returns. I've gotten some nice deals that way and always found the merchandise to be new.
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Old 03-31-2017, 02:43 PM   #17
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1. Wife and I only drink water when we go out to Resturants.
2. Wife and I will order ONE large salad at Panera and ask the staff to put the contents in two bowls. Oh, we'll also ask the server for an extra baguette when he brings our salads.
3. I suffer from FOBO. "Fear of Better Offers" which really limits my spending. I feel like such a chump when I purchase something and subsequently (within a few days) find it for a cheaper price.
4. Typically take vacations in the fall - because airfare and hotels are cheaper. I always use a Govt ID at a leisure rate on Hotel stays.
5. I've actually walked into Brooks Brothers (before a date) purchased a shirt or tie - and after the date - took it back and got my money back.
6. Use of Walmart Savings Catcher on IPAD.
7. Consumer Cellular offers $15 a month for 250 minutes of phone service. If I exceed 250 minutes, the cost will increase by $5 for the entire month.
8. I receive the basic 26 cable stations but watch the entire cable package at our local clubhouse/activity center.
9. When staying at a hotel or work, I will take the toilet paper. Some people take towels and soaps. I try to get a roll of toilet paper for each day of my stays.
10. When I used to get Per Diem for work related travel - I was so fortunate to stay in hotels that included breakfast in that I would always be able to pocket the extra meal per-diem.

I could go on - but needless to say my frugality is a lifestyle that I have conditioned myself to and I've been living this way so long that I cannot differentiate between cheap and frugal.

Cheers,

Michael
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Old 03-31-2017, 02:47 PM   #18
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All about stacking the rewards. Getting 5% cash back on my gas last night, with a 10c off coupon was great. Then my wife gets reimbursed for the mileage so we are making money on that. I get some write-offs when consulting so that helps.

Cell phone is paid for since I bought a 5 phone plan and get reimbursed for a portion of that and internet. Then 3 people pay me for the other phones so I make money there.

I also swap credit cards every quarter or so, since I spend about $5k/3mos it makes sense to recapture new sign-up reward pts/miles. I wait for the 50,000+ offers

Costco travel saves me $ on car rentals big time.

I buy electronics refurbished, and donít settle on the first amazon merchant, filtering by price on multiple online shopping sites to find the best deal.

Amazon often pays me to delay shipping items, and then I get 5% cash back when I buy and use the credit card. Got 2bags of groceries for $15 granted it was mostly sugary junk food. But I double dipped once again.

Movie night, its Tuesdays, $5/ticket and free popcorn.

I hear insurance shopping every two years is wise but lately been moving every two years and nothing can beat my carrier when I shop.

Free birthday meals and car-washes, and a free slice of pie for lunch.

I use my military discount anywhere I can, as well as AAA. Saved me over $1500 on my new truck.

I fight any of the feeís I feel are worthless, often spending hours upon hours with customer service agents doing so but it saves me 100s each year.
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Old 03-31-2017, 02:48 PM   #19
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Learn to cook.
Don't buy tchotchkes. Ever. Not even when you are on vacation in some exotic place. Take a photo instead.
You made me Google for that one. And I agree .
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Old 03-31-2017, 02:49 PM   #20
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When I buy an item on Amazon, I look to see if any are available as "used", for less. The "used" ones are scuffed boxes or repackaged returns. I've gotten some nice deals that way and always found the merchandise to be new.

shhh dont tell anyone that!
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FIRE in 2031 @ 50yrs old (+/- 2yrs) w/ a hypothetical $2.5mil portfolio, 3 appreciated homes worth $1.0mil and rental income to fund my gap years until RMD. Assets will go to an inherited IRA where I plan on watching the investments grow until I die or the trust gets executed.
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