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View Poll Results: Below, Within or Beyond
I try to live below my means 148 70.14%
I try to live within my means 59 27.96%
I try to live beyond my means 4 1.90%
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Old 12-09-2014, 02:59 PM   #41
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I don't try, I actually do live below my means. Trying is for cissies .....
That jumped at me as well - using the word try in this group seems odd. Do or do not. there is no try.






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Old 12-09-2014, 03:04 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by harley View Post
I live well below my means. DW lives a bit above her means. Thus we live within our means.
Same here but she has been given fair warning that in retirement there will be a budget
and the discretionary spending money will be divided equally between us.
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Old 12-09-2014, 03:07 PM   #43
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Same here but she has been given fair warning that in retirement there will be a budget
and the discretionary spending money will be divided equally between us.
Uhuh. Let me know how that works out.
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Old 12-09-2014, 04:08 PM   #44
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Uhuh. Let me know how that works out.
After regaining consciousness when I told her of the equal spending plan I did have some doubts as to how well it was going to work.
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Old 12-09-2014, 04:15 PM   #45
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I am a habitual LBYMer. I have to save every month because I know from experience that stuff breaks and sh*t happens. I'm a terminal optimist but I know that no one knows what's around the corner in life and you are better off having saved for the unknown rather than being caught unprepared. Plus, I love knowing that our money is working for us.

Having money to cover the unexpected turns an emergency into an inconvenience.

DH could EASILY spend every dollar every month. I can't find things to spend any more money on, I have everything I need. Maybe it's a kind of disorder, but to me saving feels better than things.

Yes, opposites attract.
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Old 12-09-2014, 04:38 PM   #46
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For the past 8 years between FIRE at age 48 and eligibility for my FERS pension at age 56,
I most definitely lived below my means. My income sources were a survivor CSRS pension and an immediate fixed annuity (TSP). I was very careful with spending and built up a better emergency cash fallback.

The very recent addition in Nov 2014 of my own FERS pension to my income stream has put me in a much better financial situation. I can now continue larger investments to my retirement portfolio and squander some on my hobbies and resume doing charitable donations. Trips will now be affordable with proper saving.
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Old 12-09-2014, 07:54 PM   #47
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I certainly live below my means, I buy marked down food at supermarkets.
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Old 12-09-2014, 08:08 PM   #48
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Prior to retirement - below
Once retired - within
+2, makes sense to me.
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Old 12-09-2014, 10:07 PM   #49
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Pre ER, LBYM, obviously. Post ER, the minimum acceptable situation is Within Means. Last year my personal expenses were on track but I had to pay more tax than planned, because of an unexpected bonus. This year I am LBYM. Since I do not have a pension I feel I must be more conservative.
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Old 12-09-2014, 10:11 PM   #50
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One could argue that if someone's net worth is increasing that they are living within or below their means. Or perhaps if their net worth is increasing by more than the change in unrealized appreciation of their assets (is expenses are less than income).

And if their net worth is declining then they are living above their means.
I am not sure that this works for everyone, or at least I don't feel it will work for me.
I am fairly sure that my goal, upon the final end of the game (my death and my wife's death), is not to have a huge chunk of ever growing money for someone else to gain.
I am not retired yet, target is for 3Q 2017 at age 50 for both my wife and I, but my goal is to be able to enjoy what we have earned up to that point during our retirement without putting ourselves into excessive risk of running out of money before we both expire. What happens after that I do not care.
I can easily see a point of time in the future where our net worth will be decreasing, and we will not be "living above our means".
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Old 12-10-2014, 12:40 AM   #51
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My experience is similar. I lived well below my means pre-ER. As a result of that conditioning, I now struggle to spend up to my means in ER, despite most of my income coming from a COLA government pension that is as close to being impervious to market conditions as you can get. It's hard to break old habits!
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Old 12-10-2014, 02:24 AM   #52
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And if their net worth is declining then they are living above their means.
Do you apply that to people who are retired and not earning income and who are in the distribution phase?

I would not.
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Old 12-10-2014, 06:32 AM   #53
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This was hard for me to answer since I'm still adjusting to retirement and decumulation, vs accumulation...
+1

I have moved across country, am building a house, and my son appears to be making a career of college. With those expenses, I have been living well above my means since retirement. If you just look at my living expenses, I am living well below my means. There isn't a lot to do that costs money when you live in an isolated area. I voted for above my means right now.
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Old 12-10-2014, 06:52 AM   #54
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+1

I have moved across country, am building a house, and my son appears to be making a career of college. With those expenses, I have been living well above my means since retirement. If you just look at my living expenses, I am living well below my means. There isn't a lot to do that costs money when you live in an isolated area. I voted for above my means right now.
Sounds like your son is the one living above his means.
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Old 12-10-2014, 07:55 AM   #55
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Sounds like your son is the one living above his means.
That would be above MY means.
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Old 12-10-2014, 08:15 AM   #56
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ditto what REWahoo said
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Old 12-10-2014, 01:10 PM   #57
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I (ret) think and the wife especially thinks we live WAY below our means. I tend to be wound tight about $, hopefully I will get more comfortable but honestly if we did spend it would be just to spend. We don't really need or want for anything. Also I think past (horrible) bosses have a contributing effect on my thinking. I'd rather not go through that again.
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Old 12-10-2014, 01:35 PM   #58
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Interesting. Was just reviewing my records last night and was surprised to see I haven't increased my spending in over 10 years. I just keep finding ways to live on less without doing without. The best in life does not cost a lot of money.
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Old 12-10-2014, 02:06 PM   #59
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+1

I have moved across country, am building a house, and my son appears to be making a career of college. With those expenses, I have been living well above my means since retirement. If you just look at my living expenses, I am living well below my means. There isn't a lot to do that costs money when you live in an isolated area. I voted for above my means right now.
Before too long we will not have any kids in college, we will have two Social Security checks coming in and we will have a downsized house or condo. It will make a huge difference in our budget.

We don't live in an isolated area but there are a lot of free things to do near us and we have mainly inexpensive hobbies.

At least I know the college kiddo #1 is at has a maximum number of units each under grad student can take. So we will have at least one graduated and off the payroll before too long, even if it takes reaching the max credit limit.
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Old 12-10-2014, 04:32 PM   #60
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After the VPW thread and running the calculator, I know we are living too far below our means. Will work harder to spend in 2015.
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