Originally Posted by W2R
Nords can speak for himself, but here's my take on it. Why should he spend an afternoon shopping at the mall or spending online, if he would really rather spend that time surfing? Makes sense to me, anyway.
"Pray for surf", as we used to say back in the day.
Originally Posted by Lsbcal
That would be a good reason to not spend -- too busy having fun. In our house DW would have no problem spending the surplus
Sorry, catching up on missed posts.
We live an extraordinarily frugal lifestyle... more like Amy Dacyczyn than "Millionaire Next Door". Part of it is being dual military-- we've both spent years living under conditions that would have federal convicts rioting in protest. (When your standards are "Oboy, fresh fruit!" and "Yay, no 12-hour midwatch tonight!" then it doesn't take much spending to make you happy.) Another part of it is the things that bring us value tend to be cheap: surfboard wax, family time, bandwidth, library books, volunteering, writing. (We buy 27" CRT TVs off Craigslist. We don't own gaming machines or high-end computers or HDTV. We have standard cable and cheap DSL. Our TiVos are two generations behind the latest tech. We grudgingly own pay-as-you-go cell phones but rarely use them. Spouse bought an $80 Nook off Craigslist several months ago and hasn't even paid for a single download yet.) A final part of that is living a green/sustainable life. We actually enjoy composting, vermiposting, recycling, and reducing our consumption. It's a challenge to find a good piece of used furniture on Craigslist instead of paying retail. And either piece of furniture is far better than what we lived with in the Navy.
When we retired in 2002, our mortgage payments were 40% higher than today. All of those refinancings have really loosened up our cashflow. Spouse's parents also unexpectedly vacated our rental home in 2006 after "retiring" there in 2001, which let us jack up the rent (and catch up on long-overdue maintenance). Our ER plans didn't depend on those happy surprises.
After over nine years of ER we're beginning to think that we have "enough". What happens, though, is that we save up for projected expenses. We regularly grow a car-replacement fund. When we moved into this house 11 years ago we knew we needed to start saving for a familyroom renovation. A few years after moving in we also knew we'd need to start saving for stamped concrete over the lanai/sidewalk's bad FuturaStone. We save the income on our rental property for upgrades between tenants. We fence most of these savings off from our ER portfolio and spend them when the time is right.
2008 turned out to be a great contractor market for stamped concrete. And now that our pet bunny has passed on, we've been spending all of our familyroom renovation fund (and then some). Last month we also finally gave up on our '97 Nissan Altima and ended up replacing it with our second Prius, a 2005. So it's been a busy year, but the ER portfolio hasn't really seen much change.
So although we could scrape a few more bucks out of the bottom of the barrel with yet another mortgage refi, we think we've done enough...