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"More Frugal Than Thouism"
Old 08-17-2009, 06:56 PM   #1
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"More Frugal Than Thouism"

The recent threads on discretionary spending and about eating out got me to thinking about this.

Has anyone else noticed an increase in the militancy and the "I told you sos" among the long-time LBYM crowd (or worse, the new converts to being thrifty)? I'm not just talking about suggestions about money management but downright judgmentalness about how one chooses to spend their dollars, even if they can clearly afford to "blow" them and it increases their enjoyment of life?

In another place, not all that long ago I was taken to task as a wasteful squanderer of money because we reported spending $2200 for dining out in 2008. (More than half of this was a social event for us and some friends after church most weeks last year.)

There's always someone who doesn't look at the whole "financial report," but the one line item. And suddenly, you're some wasteful, reckless cretin for having the audacity to spend your money differently than they would.

And when you remind them you have no debt and saved over $25K for savings and retirement last year, do they back off? No. They come back with something like "well it could have been over $27K if you weren't so damn reckless with your money!"

And these days, with cheap being sexy, it's worse than ever. Most of the time I just laugh it off and say "whatever" -- but still, have any of you encountered in increase in the in-your-face tongue-lashings of the LBYMers or the "nouveau cheap" for spending money you can clearly afford to spend if it enhances your life?
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Old 08-17-2009, 07:01 PM   #2
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Yes my brother in law scoffed at what we paid for dinner out recently. This is the same guy who buys NFL Sunday ticket All depends what someone feels is valuable to them.
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Old 08-17-2009, 07:09 PM   #3
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The ideal model of the LBYM philosophy is the Phoenix homeless man who died leaving behind a $4M estate. Anything above the 0% WR is a waste.

I personally do not see any of the "nouveau cheap" that you described. Not in my family. One of my brothers still spends money as he did before; his wife didn't flinch at dropping $1K for a new set of pots and pans.
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Old 08-17-2009, 07:15 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by ziggy29 View Post
In another place, not all that long ago I was taken to task as a wasteful squanderer of money because we reported spending $2200 for dining out in 2008. (More than half of this was a social event for us and some friends after church most weeks last year.)
Good grief. That's only $42/week, for two people? That is very reasonable. In fact, to me it is so low as to be very frugal. I wonder if the reaction was not simply knee-jerk, and if they actually thought about how little you spend.

I only get that from one person, at work, who is the opposite of LBYM. She scoffs a bit because I do not get all the online coupons for clothing stores and such - - and she spends easily 10 times what I spend on clothing.
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Old 08-17-2009, 07:25 PM   #5
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Good grief. That's only $42/week, for two people? That is very reasonable. In fact, to me it is so low as to be very frugal. I wonder if the reaction was not simply knee-jerk, and if they actually thought about how little you spend.
Yeah, I mean, I don't get it. People are asking for financial pictures and what they need to cut back on, and I mention being fortunate enough to max out my 401K and two Roths. They pay no attention to that and can't see the forest through the trees, going straight for a relatively puny discretionary expense.

I think there are just people in the world who aren't happy unless they can tear down the choices of others so they can feel better about their own.
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"Hey, for every ten dollars, that's another hour that I have to be in the work place. That's an hour of my life. And my life is a very finite thing. I have only 'x' number of hours left before I'm dead. So how do I want to use these hours of my life? Do I want to use them just spending it on more crap and more stuff, or do I want to start getting a handle on it and using my life more intelligently?" -- Joe Dominguez (1938 - 1997)

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Old 08-17-2009, 07:30 PM   #6
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I don't care what people spend, as long as they don't also whine about lack of money.
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Old 08-17-2009, 08:05 PM   #7
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We almost always foot the bill for eating out with family or friends. I wonder it that is why no one ever lectures us on our spending?

Audrey

I tell ya ziggy - I would just so ignore all that judgmental crap. It's their problem, not yours.
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Old 08-17-2009, 08:17 PM   #8
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dh2b reported that he got a little bit of flack from co-w*rkers about our recent trip. Nothing major, but he could tell folks were openly envious. He told them all that it took us both a long time to save up.

It just reinforces the common perception that he "landed right" financially with me.
They have no idea that he has assets of his own and we intend to keep it that way. Mum's the word.
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Old 08-17-2009, 08:20 PM   #9
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Yes I have noticed. DW and I haven't much altered our lifestyle because of the economic crisis and even took advantage of the crisis to purchase a few big ticket items at reduced prices. We have been lectured by a few people, mostly LBYM newbies. I have even been told that the economy is in the dumper because of consumeristic people like us. I can't help but laugh. Despite our "high spending" we are still so far ahead of most people in the LBYM department that I take their criticisms for what it must be: humor.
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Old 08-17-2009, 08:25 PM   #10
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Most of the people I know are still working. So...they don't have time to harass me and my spending ways. It will probably start when they retire though....
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Old 08-17-2009, 08:40 PM   #11
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Nope, I don't encounter Frugalistas in everyday life.

As with audreyh1, maybe it's because I often buy them lunches and dinners which of course makes my "eating out" budget category rather large.
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Old 08-17-2009, 09:00 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by NW-Bound View Post
The ideal model of the LBYM philosophy is the Phoenix homeless man who died leaving behind a $4M estate. Anything above the 0% WR is a waste.

I personally do not see any of the "nouveau cheap" that you described. Not in my family. One of my brothers still spends money as he did before; his wife didn't flinch at dropping $1K for a new set of pots and pans.
I thought you were kidding, I guess not


http://www.npr.org/templates/story/s...24&sc=fb&cc=fp
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Old 08-17-2009, 09:06 PM   #13
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Best response? "Why should YOU care what I do with MY money?" Stated more succinctly, MYOB!!
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Old 08-17-2009, 09:07 PM   #14
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While it is true that the LBYM attitude serves us well, there is another side of the coin that we often neglect. It has been called the "paradox of thrift". Namely, what is good for one person is not necessarily good for the entire nation.

Come to think of it, how many jobs in this country are directly involved in production of essential goods and services? We do not "have" to eat out or to travel. Elimination of that wipes out how many million jobs? Nobody "needs" to shop, go to the theaters, the museum, nor the gym. There go a few more million jobs. One does not need to go on...

I don't know if anyone here wants to go back to 100 years ago, when most of the population was involved in agriculture to produce food. I suspect that few would want to "go back to basics", and work the land to provide the others with wholesome organic food that requires the tender loving care such products need.

I am not preaching anything here, just realizing that the difference between developed nations and third-world countries is mainly the availability of leisure activities that keep us from becoming beasts of burden, and that I am fortunate enough that what I look forward to is more than a bowl of rice at the end of day like the poor people in many parts of the world. I have to rethink Thoreau's philosophy here. It may be easy to think of it as "romantic" while surfing the Web in the comfort of the air conditioning.

My point is that extreme frugality is not that good. I must remind myself that availability and consumption of "non-essential" services and goods are not necessarily bad. Even if I do not partake in it, just the fact that they exist may be something I should be grateful for.
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Old 08-17-2009, 09:34 PM   #15
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I have never run into people who criticize my lack of frugality. Most everyone I know are deeply in debt and the few who seem to realize this is a problem like to lecture me (and anyone else who will listen) about how I should be careful not to get in too deep myself. The others don't seem to think debt levels are a problem as long as you can make the minimum payments. I have not felt comfortable enough to explain that I am debt free in these conversations.
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Old 08-17-2009, 09:37 PM   #16
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Nobody makes fun of us for spending too much or failing to live below our means. They make fun of us for failing to spend enough on ourselves. That's OK. Enough is enough and we don't need more. Lots of ways to live a life.

Count me in with Khan: "I don't care what people spend, as long as they don't also whine about lack of money".
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Old 08-17-2009, 10:09 PM   #17
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Interesting thread. Normally we are piling on folks who we think spend too much and aren't smart, cool LBYMer's like us! Now we're piling on people who pile on us for spending too much?

Zig.... these folks who are on your case for over-spending...... Are they members of this board?

I'm confused. Would someone please go start a thread whining that their BIL spends too much and will never make it to FIRE and yadda, yadda, yadda?
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Old 08-17-2009, 11:24 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ziggy29 View Post
The recent threads on discretionary spending and about eating out got me to thinking about this.

Has anyone else noticed an increase in the militancy and the "I told you sos" among the long-time LBYM crowd (or worse, the new converts to being thrifty)?
I've seen a bit. Perhaps it's because some of us, who have been frugal, built up assets, and have investment income are also a bit wary of having anyone know the extent of those assets?

No one we know realizes that we LYBM because they have no idea of our M.
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Old 08-18-2009, 06:35 AM   #19
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I honestly have not encountered this phenomenon. I did get a chuckle out of the "nouveau cheap" phrase though.
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Old 08-18-2009, 06:44 AM   #20
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I don't care what people spend, as long as they don't also whine about lack of money.
Love it.

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