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Old 12-04-2008, 07:03 PM   #141
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I always bring my lunch, but that is because I do not eat that synthetic cr*p that the fast-food industry calls "food". I like my home-made goodness better!
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Old 12-04-2008, 07:10 PM   #142
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Rambler, I feel like a spendthrift compared to you, not knowing your income, but of the high job level you hold.

I would restrain from criticizing how someone spends his/her money. But pride in declaring bankruptcy to cheat on payments for luxurious goods, not unavoidable medical bills or due to joblessness, is truly reprehensible.

The bankers and credit card companies are the enablers in this, and we are bailing them out?
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Old 12-04-2008, 08:38 PM   #143
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The bankers and credit card companies are the enablers in this, and we are bailing them out?

I've been criticized on this board for blaming these creatures. They seem to have friends here.

Oh, and for God's sake, don't leave out the lawyers!


And I never mean anything I post in a NEGATIVE way. Nope. Just Happy.
Happy, happy happy. Happy & positive. That's me to a T.

I'm smiling right now as I read about the latest government bailouts. A happy, positive, bailout smile!!
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Old 12-04-2008, 09:15 PM   #144
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Barbarus, people may agree with what you say, but they may not like the way you say it.

I usually try to contain my temper, and not be vindictive. The usual members of this forum are not the financially irresponsible people we denounce. I do not raise my voice with them. In fact, who do I raise my voice to? The people you are angry with do not frequent this forum.
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Old 12-04-2008, 11:29 PM   #145
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The person I mentioned earlier who uses un-used wallpaper as gift wrapping paper would mix pickle juice (juice in a jar of pickles) with olive oil to make home made salad dressing. She always made sure and used the plastic bag the sliced bread came in as a sandwich bag when all bread was gone. She always went to the "almost expired" section of supermarkets first to get stuff half price.
Heeeeyy, doesn't everybody do that?

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This board is great. Never heard of the crab mentality. Learn something new every day
I'd never heard of that analogy before Hawaii, but around here it's cultural. A popular kid twilight activity is catching sandcrabs on the beach, putting them in a five-gallon bucket, and watching the metaphor in action.

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The "reverse crab mentality" here is that both of the above siblings are always quick to say "its not fair that you have -fill in the blank-."
The only consolation I have is that they must be living a miserably stressful life-- like that guy in the credit commercial who's smiling as he rides his tractor mower while the soundtrack says "I'm in debt up to my eyeballs-- somebody please kill help me!"

I guess you could lean back, smile, say "Yeah, I guess it's not fair!" and change the subject...
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Old 12-04-2008, 11:30 PM   #146
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ditto.
i have actually seen live crabs do this. ah, the days of catching fresh blue crab on the lower Hudson River, every 2nd week of August.
Another crab eater? I still remember fondly the time we had crab in St. Michaels, MD. A dozen for each of us, dumped out on a table over butcher paper, salty air blowing in from the Chesapeake Bay, a big mug of beer ...

Still like to have a chance to eat fried soft-shelled crab, two or three of them between hamburger buns like I have seen in a magazine.
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Old 12-05-2008, 04:36 AM   #147
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I would restrain from criticizing how someone spends his/her money. But pride in declaring bankruptcy to cheat on payments for luxurious goods, not unavoidable medical bills or due to joblessness, is truly reprehensible.
You're right. I don't really care how they spend "their" money. What I do not like is having to pay for "their" or at least sis's toys because of bankruptcy. And, I don't like being told that it isn't fair that I have a good income, a paid off home, etc, when I have worked very hard and saved for these things. I don't think I could look another person in the eye and tell them it was not fair that they had a few more bucks than me. Rather than thinking "not fair", I am usually just in awe, and try to learn what I can from them.

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Old 12-05-2008, 07:31 AM   #148
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Well said Rambler. Oh, by the way when I was in the Navy many years ago sandcrabs were also known as civilians.

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Old 12-05-2008, 09:16 AM   #149
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I try not to print a lot and have used the PDF printing for many years, it is easy on the Mac and I tend not to loose files on the computer as fast as on my desk. I never liked using the back of used pages to print on it seemed to increase jams and often the reverse side was a distraction. Until I RE from mega corp I found that there was plenty of good paper available. Like someone else mentioned there always seemed to be a few to many sheets left when refilling the printer. At our office the practice seemed to be to toss the extras on top of the printer or on a near by shelf. These pages never seem to get in the printer, they worry about jams from paper that was not fresh from the wrapper. I would just pickup these stacks of completely unused paper but not fresh from the package from time to time and fed my ink jet printer with paper for free till I retired. Hurt the first time I had to go in to Staples and buy a ream. I have since found that the local GoodWill store often has new reams of paper on the shelf that someone donates for $1-2 per ream, so I stock up when I see it.

I have always been a fan of old cars, but it was amusing back in the 80s when I realized that the local old car show allowed cars older than 15 years old and everything I owned could have been entered in their show.

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Old 12-05-2008, 10:01 AM   #150
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I would like to add something about how I feel regarding spending. I think most readers would agree with me on the following points.

That most of us who frequent this forum treat money as a finite resource. Some have more income than others, depending on how fortunate we are to have skills that society needs at the moment. But none of us is so rich to have more than he/she can spend.

So, how we spend our money is really our business. It's all a matter of priority. Some save maximum, to get out of the rat race ASAP. Some, like myself, started to save for financial security, to be able to sleep at night during crises like this. Up until a few years ago, when I became burnt-out with my work, I never thought I would retire early.

On the other hand, some like my brother believe that they need to enjoy these material things now, when they are still young to "enjoy" it. My brother has said he does not mind living in poverty if he gets struck by a haphazard job cut. It is his choice.

Most of us know how to ration our expenses. It's a personal preference. Some like new fast cars, boats... Some like to eat out. Some like a nice house. I like to travel... But most of us save plenty for our early retirement.

What I find interesting about this forum is how people have different choices. There's more than one road to ER, which is our common goal. Yes?

Some people may find my own car repair masochistic, and would rather cut something else to pay for that. I pack my own lunch when working, but my friends value a few more minutes of extra sleep in the morning. It's our choice.

The different individualistic idiosyncrasies in saving money are interesting. I find it amusing and will not make fun of anyone's way to save. We are not machines after all, not peas in a pod.

By the way, when I first joined this forum, I found a few threads like this one. Reading those, I bursted out laughing a few times. GOOD STUFF! HILARIOUS. I think some of you probably chuckled at my masochistic car repairs, but too polite to laugh at me publicly. It's OK. I don't mind.

Hey, after a few car repairs, I can justify a trip. It's my choice, yes?
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Old 12-05-2008, 10:09 AM   #151
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So, how we spend our money is really our business. It's all a matter of priority. Some save maximum, to get out of the rat race ASAP. Some, like myself, started to save for financial security, to be able to sleep at night during crises like this. Up until a few years ago, when I became burnt-out with my work, I never thought I would retire early.
Definitely.

I've always said there is a difference between LBYM and LAFAPBYM (Living As Far As Possible Below Your Means). The former doesn't have to imply the latter.

Saving for a secure future is critical, IMO, and I think just about all of us compulsive active retirement savers would agree with that. However, we don't KNOW we'll be around to enjoy the tomorrow we're saving for. We DO know, on the other hand, that we are here today. So some "living for today," reasonable budget permitting, is worthwhile and adds enjoyment to life.

And if that means I'm "reckless" or "wasteful" because it means putting (say) $2,000 a month instead of $2,500 a month away in savings and retirement accounts, so be it. If that means I'm "wasting" $500 a month, well, that's your opinion and you're entitled to it ("royal", generic you). But it adds enough to our enjoyment and quality of life today that I don't consider it wasted.

I am a strong LBYMer, but I have no desire to LAFAPBYM. I'm not into complete austerity and self-deprivation if I don't have to. Of course, if you derive pleasure from LAFAPBYM because you get joy from watching your savings deposits grow as rapidly as possible, more power to you -- but even if most of us share a general sense of frugality, we're not all wired to pursue it to the same degree.
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Old 12-05-2008, 01:22 PM   #152
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I don't think I could look another person in the eye and tell them it was not fair that they had a few more bucks than me. Rather than thinking "not fair", I am usually just in awe, and try to learn what I can from them.

R
My siblings are very much like yours when it comes to spending and financial responsibility. And I'm sure they resent me for having the good fortune and work ethic that has made our stations of life quite different. However, it took me a long, long time, with lots of patience, empathy and understanding to agree with them when they made the claim, like your siblings, that it's not fair that I'm financially at a much better place than them.

I've lost friends and have been estranged from my siblings and other family members over the years because, quite frankly, our sense of fairness was different over particular issues. Sometimes the sense of fairness that others have is quite puzzling to me, but I've learned to respect that sense, as well, and its made me more understanding and less hostile to others who might take a different view of what's fair about particular issues or incidents.

Your sense of a "reverse crab mentality" was quite interesting to me. Not sure I'd call it that. Your siblings, like mine, just appear to be arrested in their financial development and one of them appears very immature to gloat about her irresponsibility, something which I have seen when people believe "they are sticking it to the man."
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Old 12-05-2008, 01:49 PM   #153
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I think crab mentality works the other way too. My sis and bro are both in very bad financial shape...sis declared bankruptcy last year. They seem to want everything that I have, that I worked hard, 12-15 hours a day for a long time to save for, and paid hard earned cash for the few toys that I do have.
Apparently most families have a few like that. A nephew has been foreclosed upon years ago, evicted from a rental house for non-payment, but drives a Lincoln Navigator. A BIL has a nice house, three-car garage, takes frequent trips to resorts, but when FIL couldn't pay his property taxes, who were the only ones who could come up with $3k in cash in one day? Us, of course.
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Old 12-05-2008, 03:12 PM   #154
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OMGosh, it's so very simple.....live within (or below) your means and be mindful (not miserly). Save, save, save & enjoy the fruits of your labor, and be thankful. I have endured the comments re: my frugality from friends and family for many years and it made me defensive. Now, I just smile like the cheshire cat. It's interesting when people ask me for budgeting (happy to oblige) or investing (nope) advice. Get off your dang duff, turn off the TV, roll up your sleeves, and "get after it". And oh yeah, quit buying a bunch of needless/useless "crap", try cooking from scratch once in awhile, and drive an economical vehicle without a car payment. Regarding the house - try a fixer (with good bones) in a nice neighborhood. Sure it's hard, but the rewards are truly amazing.
p.s. My brother has made fun of me for years - he who lives in a 1mil+ house w/ guest house, pool, pool house, stables, has a lake house, ski boat, show horses, Lexus, Volvo, Ford SUV, Ford 4 door pickup truck
etc. Anyway, he mentioned to me at Thanksgiving dinner, "I am so proud of you...you are amazing". H'mmmmm. Nice to receive kudos from a younger sibling!

THE MILLIONAIRE NEXT DOOR, is my favorite book, go figure.
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Old 12-05-2008, 11:59 PM   #155
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Sometimes the sense of fairness that others have is quite puzzling to me, but I've learned to respect that sense, as well, and its made me more understanding and less hostile to others who might take a different view of what's fair about particular issues or incidents.
I find this very interesting Chris.
Could you go into a bit more detail on the opposing view of fairness you have encountered?
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Old 12-06-2008, 02:33 AM   #156
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It sounds like your friend may be suffering from "crab mentality".
I think this is right on the money. I believe most spendthrifts know that it isn't wise to live that way, but find themselves unable to discipline themselves and control their childish impulses. Pressuring their friends and relatives to roll in the same poop with them makes them feel better about their bad behavior in a "misery loves company" sort of way.
Nah, it ain't on the money, at all to me. And I bet this isn't really close to understanding the biting remarks the OP is receiving from her friend. In fact, I kinda think this might be a case where the tone of the message is actually causing the OP more grief than the content of the message.

The OP has a friend who wants the OP to spend more and ridicules the OP for being frugal. This is hardly a case of pulling the OP down to a life of misery. In fact, her friend mistakenly believes that the OP is a cheapskate and needs to be extravagant to enjoy life. Her friend does not appear to want to harm the OP, at all, except perhaps in the tone that her message is being conveyed. (snip)

Someone with a crab mentality, to me, is like someone who displays Schadenfreude,(snip)
Two phrases from the Wikipedia article IMO best describe "crab mentality":
"any behavior inhibiting the free actions of another" and “we all like to see our friends get ahead, but not too far ahead.” Crabs don't pull each other back into the bucket out of spite or Schadenfreude—I don't think the crustacean mind has the capacity for that kind of motive. And just as the crabs are not conscious that pulling each other down guarantees that they're all going to die, I think a lot of people who behave like crabs in a bucket do so without ever consciously thinking about why they do it or the likely results.

I imagine the friend might be shocked at the idea that she could be dragging the OP down, but if she succeeds in ridiculing the OP into abandoning those responsible spending habits, that's exactly what she will have done. Maybe the friend doesn't want to harm the OP, but there does seem to me to be a (possibly subconscious) element of wanting to control the OP—trying to get her to act the way the friend wants her to act and to enjoy what the friend enjoys, rather than allow OP to decide for herself what she will do and what is most likely to contribute to her happiness.
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Old 12-06-2008, 08:20 AM   #157
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I try not to print a lot and have used the PDF printing for many years, it is easy on the Mac and I tend not to loose files on the computer as fast as on my desk. I never liked using the back of used pages to print on it seemed to increase jams and often the reverse side was a distraction.
I always buy printers that handle duplex printing and I use FinePrint. This combination saves an incredible amount of paper.
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Old 12-06-2008, 09:20 AM   #158
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I always buy printers that handle duplex printing and I use FinePrint. This combination saves an incredible amount of paper.
I was instantly interested in FinePrint, but at $49.95 I figure it would have to save me 1,665 page prints to make financial sense (figuring 3 cents per page). Perhaps there's some free software that does the same thing.
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Old 12-06-2008, 10:24 AM   #159
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I rarely feel the need to print anything, and when I do, I use el cheapo paper, and print using "draft" mode to save ink.
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Old 12-06-2008, 02:28 PM   #160
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Two phrases from the Wikipedia article IMO best describe "crab mentality":
"any behavior inhibiting the free actions of another" and “we all like to see our friends get ahead, but not too far ahead.” Crabs don't pull each other back into the bucket out of spite or Schadenfreude—I don't think the crustacean mind has the capacity for that kind of motive. And just as the crabs are not conscious that pulling each other down guarantees that they're all going to die, I think a lot of people who behave like crabs in a bucket do so without ever consciously thinking about why they do it or the likely results.

I imagine the friend might be shocked at the idea that she could be dragging the OP down, but if she succeeds in ridiculing the OP into abandoning those responsible spending habits, that's exactly what she will have done. Maybe the friend doesn't want to harm the OP, but there does seem to me to be a (possibly subconscious) element of wanting to control the OP—trying to get her to act the way the friend wants her to act and to enjoy what the friend enjoys, rather than allow OP to decide for herself what she will do and what is most likely to contribute to her happiness.
Well, I don't fully agree with Wikipedia on the concept of crabs in the barrel. I think that crabs in the barrel, from my vantage point, suggests motive and intent to harm another or upgrade your own worth at the expense of others. And my understanding of it approximates the thinking here in the first item I found from a google search: Sep 04 SuccEzine-Crabs in the Barrel Part I

I don't get the sense that the OP's friend is intending to harm the OP or is trying to upgrade her worth at the expense of the OP. The OP's friend wants her to spend more on things or perhaps even berates her as being a tightwad -- things that I have affectionately and without ridicule told my tightwad friends -- surely not actions that will result in financial ruin or that are acts of financial irresponsibility in many cases!
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