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Really frugal? Read on...
Old 05-06-2014, 08:22 PM   #1
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Really frugal? Read on...

I am a cheap @$$ and drive DW a little nuts with my outlook on spending. But it offsets her somewhat misaligned spending priorities. So it works.

Now I KNOW some of you are way more frugal than I, as I have read the exploits of buying a case of white soap from the manufacturer to save a few bucks rather than buy store-bought soap with a manufacturers wrapper at retail. I like that. But, it won't work in this house. But when I read this........oh my!

Confessions Of A Frugal Millionaire | Root of Good
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Old 05-06-2014, 08:26 PM   #2
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Check out the posting date.
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Old 05-06-2014, 08:27 PM   #3
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I think you may have missed something there...
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Old 05-06-2014, 08:29 PM   #4
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Old 05-06-2014, 08:36 PM   #5
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Well, I hope none of us are eating cat food on this forum.

As far as the question of how frugal are you, I find this to be a difficult question to answer. I think all of us have areas of frugality, particularly where it's just not that important to spend money on things. Since I'm not that excited about clothing, I don't spend a lot at expensive department stores. But I suspect I spend more to enjoy a nice home and car than most. I rarely eat out in fancy restaurants, or any restaurants at all for that matter. But I try to buy organic foods at the grocery store or farmer's market.

So am I frugal or not? I think everyone would view the matter differently based on their own life experiences and financial situation. I would say in some areas definitely, while in other areas clearly not. I suspect most of us would find ourselves in this situation.
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Old 05-06-2014, 08:49 PM   #6
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Wow another blogger saying he's retired but has a spouse working while he raises kids and blogs to make money.

Just my opinion . . .

FI means financially independent - you can sleep in all day long and your investments throw off enough passive income to live. No need to blog and have your blog look like a NASCAR with ads, no need to manage rental properties, no need to do anything unless you want to. Again, moo, that would include spouse. He's being supported through spousal income and blogging.

He's certainly not retired at 31. I was an independent consultant for many years and my DW was a stay at home Mom. We had a sizable net worth. I worked for myself and set my own hours. I probably worked as many hours as he does on keeping a blog going. Was I FI? No way. Was my bride retired? Yea, right. Had I retired at 25 because I worked for myself? Ha!
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Old 05-06-2014, 08:59 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by aim-high View Post
Wow another blogger saying he's retired but has a spouse working while he raises kids and blogs to make money.

Just my opinion . . .

FI means financially independent - you can sleep in all day long and your investments throw off enough passive income to live. No need to blog and have your blog look like a NASCAR with ads, no need to manage rental properties, no need to do anything unless you want to. Again, moo, that would include spouse. He's being supported through spousal income and blogging.

He's certainly not retired at 31. I was an independent consultant for many years and my DW was a stay at home Mom. We had a sizable net worth. I worked for myself and set my own hours. I probably worked as many hours as he does on keeping a blog going. Was I FI? No way. Was my bride retired? Yea, right. Had I retired at 25 because I worked for myself? Ha!
Uh... as was mentioned above, check out the date on that blog post...
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Old 05-06-2014, 09:03 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by aim-high View Post
Wow another blogger saying he's retired but has a spouse working while he raises kids and blogs to make money.

Just my opinion . . .

FI means financially independent - you can sleep in all day long and your investments throw off enough passive income to live. No need to blog and have your blog look like a NASCAR with ads, no need to manage rental properties, no need to do anything unless you want to. Again, moo, that would include spouse. He's being supported through spousal income and blogging.

He's certainly not retired at 31. I was an independent consultant for many years and my DW was a stay at home Mom. We had a sizable net worth. I worked for myself and set my own hours. I probably worked as many hours as he does on keeping a blog going. Was I FI? No way. Was my bride retired? Yea, right. Had I retired at 25 because I worked for myself? Ha!
+1
I saw his blog some time ago and was thinking exactly the same thing. I quit my job at 32 or 33 to start my consulting business, like you I set my own hours and worked at home for the most part. I was self employed, not retired!

However... as of last month, I am no longer self employed! About time!
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Old 05-06-2014, 09:05 PM   #9
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Uh... as was mentioned above, check out the date on that blog post...
Wasn't commenting on the article itself, which I recognized as an April Fools post. I was speaking about the man's blog.

The blog title is...

Root of Good
Retired at 33. Life is Good.

One of his main menu articles is about how he Retired at 33. Read his May financial update. He's not retired and he's not financially independent. He probably recognizes that, but "How my wife works, and I raise my kids and blog for a living" probably won't attract as many search hits and ad revenue.
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Old 05-06-2014, 09:10 PM   #10
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However... as of last month, I am no longer self employed! About time!
Congrats! I plan on joining you this year, at least with respect to not working for income.

I will still be quite active though because I recently founded a 501c3 that takes a good bit of my time & money. :::: something I've dreamed of 'retiring' to for many years and funding it is part of the ER budget ::::
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Old 05-06-2014, 09:25 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by aim-high View Post
Wasn't commenting on the article itself, which I recognized as an April Fools post. I was speaking about the man's blog.

The blog title is...

Root of Good
Retired at 33. Life is Good.

One of his main menu articles is about how he Retired at 33. Read his May financial update. He's not retired and he's not financially independent. He probably recognizes that, but "How my wife works, and I raise my kids and blog for a living" probably won't attract as many search hits and ad revenue.
Well, you can PM and ask him if you want. That blog is Fuego's blog.
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Old 05-06-2014, 09:47 PM   #12
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Congrats! I plan on joining you this year, at least with respect to not working for income.

I will still be quite active though because I recently founded a 501c3 that takes a good bit of my time & money. :::: something I've dreamed of 'retiring' to for many years and funding it is part of the ER budget ::::
That's pretty cool. I'm not big on "volunteering" in general but keep busy helping out at my kids' school.

I also like to help out friends and others with finances and investing. I sometimes write about it online at a little blog I maintain.

I'm helping a close friend right now disentangle himself from Ameriprise. Him and his wife have at least a passing interest in becoming FI and cutting back on working hours, so I'm showing him how to save thousands and thousands in investment fees. It's my form of volunteering.
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Old 05-06-2014, 09:56 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by aja8888 View Post
...
Now I KNOW some of you are way more frugal than I, as I have read the exploits of buying a case of white soap from the manufacturer to save a few bucks rather than buy store-bought soap with a manufacturers wrapper at retail. I like that...
If one is frugal, he/she uses no soap. Ditto for deodorant.

Just sayin'...
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Old 05-06-2014, 09:57 PM   #14
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I love the blog, FUEGO. And that post gave me a good chuckle.
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Old 05-06-2014, 10:11 PM   #15
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I love the blog, FUEGO. And that post gave me a good chuckle.
Thanks, glad you like it!

Mrs. FUEGO actually wrote the meat of the "confessions of a frugal millionaire" post and I made it edgy.

What do you think about that image of cat food plated up next to some greens and apples? Or is it foie gras?
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Old 05-06-2014, 10:14 PM   #16
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What do you think about that image of cat food plated up next to some greens and apples? Or is it foie gras?
Give me some crusty bread and I'd eat that. Whatever that is...
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Old 05-06-2014, 10:15 PM   #17
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That's pretty cool. I'm not big on "volunteering" in general but keep busy helping out at my kids' school.

I also like to help out friends and others with finances and investing. I sometimes write about it online at a little blog I maintain.

I'm helping a close friend right now disentangle himself from Ameriprise. Him and his wife have at least a passing interest in becoming FI and cutting back on working hours, so I'm showing him how to save thousands and thousands in investment fees. It's my form of volunteering.
Helping out at your kids school is plenty of volunteering, especially given your kids ages. Time with kids can't be recovered. Mine are both in college which frees up a lot more of my time to invest in my drug of choice. When they were younger I was fortunate enough to work from home and spend a lot of time with them.

From your signature....

Quote:
Recently retired at 33. Loving it so far! Wife is still working for ~1 year. I'm secretly just a stay at home dad with 3 kids (2, 7, and 9) but don't tell anyone.
So I take it from that you really don't consider yourself as Financially Independent and Retired Early based on their traditional definitions?

I think one or both parents staying home is a great choice. That's why I started a consulting business and worked from home even with DW being a stay at home mom. However, I don't consider it FIREd. But like I wrote above, "I'm a SAHD who helps people with Personal Finance Issues and blogs about it to earn some extra money" isn't as sexy as being FIRED at 33. It has to be sexy if you want it to attract an audience and generate link clicks.

A couple of more years saving and some decent market years and you will be truly FIREd. At your age though, you've got a lot of years ahead of you and plenty of unexpected possibilities. Worst case you and/or DW do some paid work you enjoy after raising the kids. Best case, the assets carry you to the grave. I'd say that's a worthwhile risk.
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Old 05-06-2014, 10:34 PM   #18
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Hey FUEGO. I was reading your blog comments and you wrote the following...

Quote:
...
Let’s say I put 30-40 hours per month on average into the blog. On average, I might expect $800/month revenue. That means I’m “earning” $20-25 per hour. That’s not too bad compared to what I used to make per hour.

Or I could be off by a factor of 2 on the time I spend, and it would be $10-12 per hour. That’s just barely minimum wage.

I’m not in it for the money (thank goodness!).
If you're not in it for the money, can I make a few suggestions?

It would be more helpful if the blog didn't look like a NASCAR. Remove the 15+ ads on your April Financial Update. It detracts from your content and message.

Also, the image links that most people would click on to expand a large view of the charts and graphs, goes through another page on your site and redirects to the Personal Capital website. There were 5 of them in that article. I clicked on one thinking I'd see a larger image of the chart. When it redirected me to the Personal Capital site (which I assume you get affiliate credit for) I felt like it was a bait and switch. It makes me not want to read the site.

Focus on supplying great content. Let those who are in it for the money do all the link bait, psychic hotline, ads galore type sites. You'll get a lot more readers that way and help a lot more people.
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Old 05-06-2014, 10:50 PM   #19
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So I take it from that you really don't consider yourself as Financial Independent and Retired Early based on their traditional definitions?

I think one or both parents staying home is a great choice. That's why I started a consulting business and worked from home even with DW being a stay at home mom. However, I don't consider it FIREd. But like I wrote above, "I'm a SAHD who helps people with Personal Finance Issues and blogs about it to earn some extra money" isn't as sexy as being FIRED at 33. It has to be sexy if you want it to attract an audience and generate link clicks.

A couple of more years saving and some decent market years and you will be truly FIREd. At your age though, you've got a lot of years ahead of you and plenty of unexpected possibilities. Worst case you and/or DW do some paid work you enjoy after raising the kids. Best case, the assets carry you to the grave. I'd say that's a worthwhile risk.
I'm just poking fun at myself in my signature line! You can call me what you want and think of me like you want - FIREd, SAHD, kept man, whatever.

DW was going to pull the plug in a few months but they offered her an extra 2-3 months paid time off this summer and next summer so she can spend time with the kids and we can globetrot a bit during the summers. So she's likely to stay at least through August 2015 at this point. 40 hrs/wk, work from home, summers off, full pay, ability to name her terms in other ways.

In terms of finances, we plan on spending $32k per year (including a fat travel allowance). The investment portfolio is hovering around $1.2-1.3 million. That's about a 2.5% withdrawal rate. We'll be okay, since we can cut our spending if necessary.

As for my blog income, it's variable. Long term I might make $600-800 per month or maybe half that or maybe double that. I write when I want. I don't when I don't. In April, for example, I spent virtually zero time on it. It was nice outside. I played and worked in the yard. I laid in my hammock by the lake and read a book. When it's 95 degrees and humid this summer, I might write more. When we aren't traveling. Or maybe I'll do some travel blog posts. Or not.

The income is just gravy at this point.

After starting the blog, someone "discovered" me and asked me to write for a corporate blog for a startup based in Silicon Valley. Hey, sounds neat to me and they offered a ridiculous amount of money for merely putting words on a page. I agreed to do it. Now that I'm 2 articles in to this venture, I have made some decent cash, learned a few new things, and met a couple of interesting people. It amounts to 5-8 hours of work once a month roughly. For doing something I already enjoy doing! And I can turn down work whenever. If the gig goes away, it won't matter a bit.

So am I retired? I'm pretty sure I am. My schedule this week consists of lunches with friends, playdates with my 2 year old, helping a friend with finances, taking the kids to the park, setting up a few lunch/dinner parties in the next few weeks, hanging out with my new neighbor (who has a 2 year old), and helping my mom travel hack some free train trips. Will I do anything "productive"? Yeah, I hope to get my next article on groceries out some time this week. If I have time.

I also have a video conference set up for Thursday with someone else who wants me to write for them. I'm going to ask for a ridiculously high price and see if it sticks. And the work must be awesome - that's going in my engagement contract. Am I dabbling or starting a second career in freelance writing? I wish I could ask my future self. I'm just having fun at what's engaging for now. I'll let others carry on the debate of what box I should check on the Retirement Declaration Form.
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Old 05-06-2014, 10:53 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by aim-high View Post
Wow another blogger saying he's retired but has a spouse working while he raises kids and blogs to make money.

Just my opinion . . .

FI means financially independent - you can sleep in all day long and your investments throw off enough passive income to live. No need to blog and have your blog look like a NASCAR with ads, no need to manage rental properties, no need to do anything unless you want to. Again, moo, that would include spouse. He's being supported through spousal income and blogging.

He's certainly not retired at 31. I was an independent consultant for many years and my DW was a stay at home Mom. We had a sizable net worth. I worked for myself and set my own hours. I probably worked as many hours as he does on keeping a blog going. Was I FI? No way. Was my bride retired? Yea, right. Had I retired at 25 because I worked for myself? Ha!
(Emphasis mine.) I agree with you. Sorry, but I do not consider living off the work of one's spouse something which fits my definition of FI or retirement. A SAHD is no more retired than a SAHM if the spouse is working.
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