Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
selective cheapness
Old 10-19-2007, 10:49 PM   #1
Moderator Emeritus
Khan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Pine Island, Florida
Posts: 6,868
Send a message via AIM to Khan
selective cheapness

I have recently noticed that (in the same month) I am willing to spend $200 on new hardware/software/electronics, but will scour the thrift stores for towels/sheets/T shirts.
__________________

__________________
"Knowin' no one nowhere's gonna miss us when we're gone..."
Khan is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 10-19-2007, 11:12 PM   #2
Full time employment: Posting here.
old woman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 551
I think many of us are like that, we look for what gives us value, you must not value linens and tee shirts as much as equipment.
I find buying high quality is a good idea for things I want to really last and that needs to do work like appliances, tools and wood furniture. I don't put the money into disposables like upolstered furniture that I will replace someday anyhow. I keep my wood furniture forever so go with solid oak that is pretty pricey. I never want to own a 30 year old couch.
__________________

__________________
old woman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-20-2007, 08:43 AM   #3
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Spanky's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Minneapolis
Posts: 4,046
it depends on how one values a certain thing. It's funny that the people would not even think too much about the cost of drinks when they are socializing in a bar but penny pinching when they are shopping for grocery items.

Anyway, I do spend a lot time to shop around for almost anything.
__________________
Spanky is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-20-2007, 09:04 AM   #4
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 87
I enjoy home theatre stuff--hdtv, speakers, and whatnot. But have limited my choices to very reasonable purchases when they have been on sale.

On the other hand, Im so cheap in other areas that I make my own laundry detergent. (No kidding.) Drop me a PM if you are interested.
__________________
ChemEng is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-20-2007, 09:27 AM   #5
Administrator
W2R's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: New Orleans
Posts: 38,822
Quote:
Originally Posted by Khan View Post
I have recently noticed that (in the same month) I am willing to spend $200 on new hardware/software/electronics, but will scour the thrift stores for towels/sheets/T shirts.
To me, that's the key to frugal living. Everybody spends SOME money, but the LBYM'er knows what he/she values and directs spending towards those things. The idea is to enjoy life and not feel deprived, and yet balance that spending with frugality in areas that don't detract from your enjoyment in life or make you feel deprived. If you feel deprived, you might blow a lot more money in the long run.

Having used sheets probably doesn't matter to you very much. Mine aren't used, but I have one set of Wal-Mart sheets which I just wash and put right back on the bed. Never thought about it before and that certainly doesn't make me feel deprived. It might bother someone else, though!

Instead, I spend money on things like my laptop. I could have abandoned my laptop when it cratered and could have just used my desktop, abandoning the wireless connection. But that matters to me (at least enough to spend $450 on a new laptop). The laptop (which I am typing on right now) brings me a lot more pleasure than a whole linen closet full of sheets. It has Vista and I love exploring new operating systems. My kind of fun!
__________________
Already we are boldly launched upon the deep; but soon we shall be lost in its unshored, harbourless immensities.

- - H. Melville, 1851
W2R is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-20-2007, 09:34 AM   #6
Moderator Emeritus
Nords's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Oahu
Posts: 26,616
Quote:
Originally Posted by Khan View Post
I have recently noticed that (in the same month) I am willing to spend $200 on new hardware/software/electronics, but will scour the thrift stores for towels/sheets/T shirts.
The trigger phrase in our house is "bathroom doors".

I think it was an old Cheers episode where one of the women characters was going on and on and on about decorating a place, and one of the men commented that if it was a guy's residence he wouldn't even have bothered to install bathroom doors.

Because of this gender difference I've ceded all décor decisions to my spouse (and what a prescient decision that turned out to be). When she agonizes over a new paint color or fabric style I'll shrug my shoulders and say "bathroom doors". If that meets with disgust then I make a tactical decision and apply Occom's Razor. When she comes bouncing home with new sheets or towels or some incredibly fascinating tchotchke, I manage to say "That looks nice" but if pressed I'll quickly retreat into "bathroom door" territory.

I still have my first post-college bachelor bed linens & bath towels from 1982. The good news is that now they're drop cloths & paint rags. I use them whenever I need to touch up a bathroom door...
__________________
*
*

The book written on E-R.org, "The Military Guide to Financial Independence and Retirement", on sale now! For more info see "About Me" in my profile.
I don't spend much time here anymore, so please send me a PM. Thanks.
Nords is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-20-2007, 09:35 AM   #7
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
ladelfina's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 2,713
Can someone give me permission to throw out / give away some new towels I got from my mom's house that are a color I don't like and have turned out to be not that absorbent? I'm "rich", dammit! (A rich person with inferior towels... sob!)
__________________
ladelfina is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-20-2007, 09:37 AM   #8
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Kansas City
Posts: 7,408
Hmmm - sort of the same ball park. My brain does the barbell - get the 'core' budget super frugal so you can get 'wild and free' with 'the adult toys, travel, and entertainment stuff.'

Of course you can have internal brain pharts - is my 'hot tub' entertainment or basic necessity - do I really need that roadster for basic transportation - assign mental percentages - like 37.4% transportation and 62.6% fun to drive.

But even for a lefthanded, INTJ, en-ga-neer - that sort of thinking fades with time in ER.

heh heh heh - Mostly!
__________________
unclemick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-20-2007, 10:31 AM   #9
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
travelover's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 9,871
Quote:
Originally Posted by ladelfina View Post
Can someone give me permission to throw out / give away some new towels I got from my mom's house that are a color I don't like and have turned out to be not that absorbent? I'm "rich", dammit! (A rich person with inferior towels... sob!)
The Freecycle Network

And the recipients are always so grateful........
__________________
Yes, I have achieved work / life balance.
travelover is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-20-2007, 10:51 AM   #10
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
ladelfina's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 2,713
I knew about Freecycle but assumed it wasn't active in Italy.. thanks for bringing it back to my attention. There's not a group near me (and travel is pretty expensive just to give away junk), but I'm glad the idea is catching on. Italians in general would rather go without than go "used" so there are no used-goods/charity stores that I know of. Casual public garage or yard sales are not allowed for tax reasons! (Bigger ticket items can be sold through classifieds since that is a "private" transaction.) Plus lack of space. I also think people are put off by the idea of the lack of 'privacy' in others' poring over their goods and making personal judgments about the family.

Linens, shoes and clothing I can drop off in a kind of charity collection bin at the supermarket.

I just have to give myself PERMISSION to get rid of things like this that are "still good" even if they are no longer satisfying me in any way.
__________________
ladelfina is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-20-2007, 11:09 AM   #11
Moderator Emeritus
Nords's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Oahu
Posts: 26,616
Quote:
Originally Posted by ladelfina View Post
just have to give myself PERMISSION to get rid of things like this that are "still good" even if they are no longer satisfying me in any way.
In this situation the real trick will be making sure that you aren't busted at the practice of "re-gifting".
__________________
*
*

The book written on E-R.org, "The Military Guide to Financial Independence and Retirement", on sale now! For more info see "About Me" in my profile.
I don't spend much time here anymore, so please send me a PM. Thanks.
Nords is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-20-2007, 11:20 AM   #12
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
kcowan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Pacific latitude 20/49
Posts: 5,693
Send a message via Skype™ to kcowan
I look at it this way: Important items that are capital deserve an investment mentality. Unimportant capital items get filled with bargain items.

Operating/disposible items deserve a frugal treatment. Certain disposible items might deserve extra treatment. We like good towels and sheets, for example, where many others don't. So we shop around to get the best ones we can at the best prices.

(PS to Nords: first thing I did after moving in was to remove the master bathroom door.)
__________________
For the fun of it...Keith
kcowan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-20-2007, 11:21 AM   #13
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
ladelfina's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 2,713
NORDS! I take offense! "Re-gifting" used towels is beyond the pale.

[What color is your bathroom? Salmon and beige by any chance? Xmas is just around the corner for the Nords family!]
__________________
ladelfina is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-20-2007, 01:00 PM   #14
Full time employment: Posting here.
old woman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 551
Find a kid leaving home or a shelter for homeless people to give the towels. I am fussy about towels, I like big but light weight or small and light weight, I don't like thick towels but sometimes buy them for the guest bathroom or get them as gifts. I will end up with thick white towels that become not perfect like a stain or not bright so they work but I don't want them.
Once I ruthlessly went through all my towels and gave any that weren't perfect to clean up the birds from an oil spill when a radio station was collecting. Last time it was someone on Freecycle was trying to help immigrants get started so I got rid of two big bags of towels.
You are rich you can afford to waste, you can throw away perfectly good stuff just because you don't want it. You could throw away a brand new chocolate cake even if you liked it because you decided not to eat it. You don't need to put leftovers in the frig to rot before tossing them, nobody will suffer because you didn't eat your food.
__________________
old woman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-20-2007, 01:26 PM   #15
Moderator Emeritus
Khan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Pine Island, Florida
Posts: 6,868
Send a message via AIM to Khan
Towels and sheets get replaced as they disintegrate.

I grew up close to poor and learned about thrift shops for clothes and sheets and towels; most household electronics are new (10 years, maybe 20) so my brain doesn't include them in the thrift category?

I don't need the bathroom door in warm weather, but it's nice to close the door and turn on the space heater when it's 50F in the AM (definitely not a consideration in Hawaii).

I've never had a clothes dryer, but I have two computers. I'm thinking I won't replace the 18 year old TV when it dies, but will watch on the laptop.
__________________
"Knowin' no one nowhere's gonna miss us when we're gone..."
Khan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-20-2007, 01:28 PM   #16
Moderator Emeritus
Khan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Pine Island, Florida
Posts: 6,868
Send a message via AIM to Khan
Quote:
Originally Posted by ladelfina View Post
NORDS! I take offense! "Re-gifting" used towels is beyond the pale.

[What color is your bathroom? Salmon and beige by any chance? Xmas is just around the corner for the Nords family!]
Send them here; I don't care what color they are.
__________________
"Knowin' no one nowhere's gonna miss us when we're gone..."
Khan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-20-2007, 01:39 PM   #17
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
ladelfina's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 2,713
Quote:
Originally Posted by old woman View Post
You are rich you can afford to waste, you can throw away perfectly good stuff just because you don't want it. You could throw away a brand new chocolate cake even if you liked it because you decided not to eat it. You don't need to put leftovers in the frig to rot before tossing them, nobody will suffer because you didn't eat your food.
oldwoman.. in the end they will not truly be wasted; I would never just throw them in the trash. (Everyone is very concerned about the fate of my iffy towels!!).

What's hard (in a world where so many have very little) is deciding what "luxuries" we do and don't choose for ourselves, given that we have the luxury of choice itself.

If you saw my fridge you'd see few if any abandoned leftovers, and NO chocolate cake!

I'm not a conspicuous consumer, yet I can certainly spend money on "luxuries" when I deem fit .. but there's a too-frugal side that is a magnet for things that "could serve a purpose".. when? I need to be able to let go without feeling guilty. I know my cast-offs can be someone else's bounty. It's more a matter of justifying the replacement that's the hard part. I already have these "perfectly good" towels that I hate!
__________________
ladelfina is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-20-2007, 03:27 PM   #18
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Kansas City
Posts: 7,408
Quote:
Originally Posted by ladelfina View Post
oldwoman.. in the end they will not truly be wasted; I would never just throw them in the trash. (Everyone is very concerned about the fate of my iffy towels!!).

What's hard (in a world where so many have very little) is deciding what "luxuries" we do and don't choose for ourselves, given that we have the luxury of choice itself.

If you saw my fridge you'd see few if any abandoned leftovers, and NO chocolate cake!

Ah what the heck - a little frivolity once in a while is good for the soul! Halloween came early this year - someone slashed one of my old truck(1994 - 251,000 miles) tires last night - spent the big bucks($30) at Tom's used tires for a totally mis matched (brandwise, raised lettering) tire on the same side as my rusty/primed fender.

Since my 2006 SUV was untouched - I may have it 'detailed' to celebrate!

Pssst - Blue Bunny Chocolate Lovers Cones - for those 'bad to the bone occasions'.

heh heh heh - Yep - - it's all about 'free to choose!'
__________________
unclemick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-21-2007, 08:49 AM   #19
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Kansas City
Posts: 7,408
There is another gift/item - remember in high school when you had to read those turgid novels to broaden your traditional education - other than Shakespeare, Austin - I remember the poor dude who had to wear the Albatross around his neck.

This household was 'gifted' to one of the women (When she was still living) a set of dishes/gold plated dinnerware 'that had been in the family' - so I (lucky me) got to buy a made in Missouri glass cabinet to display them.

Other 'Gawd those are ugly' (my sister) to 'hmmm - interesting pattern.', I can't sell or put them down in the basement out of sight because Blondie visits once or twice a year.

The dang thing gathers dust like a magnet.

First cup of coffee grump.

heh heh heh - you can't take it with you - but does anybody else have 'stuff' they are 'expected' to keep but don't really see any sense in it?
__________________
unclemick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-21-2007, 09:00 AM   #20
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Tadpole's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 1,169
Quote:
Originally Posted by ladelfina View Post
Can someone give me permission to throw out / give away some new towels I got from my mom's house that are a color I don't like and have turned out to be not that absorbent? I'm "rich", dammit! (A rich person with inferior towels... sob!)
If the purpose of the towels is decorative, you have my permission to throw them out. If the purpose is for drying oneself, under no circumstance can you toss these towels if they do the job. Grab them from the closet, dry your self, and put them in the hamper. The more you do this, the faster they will wear out.
__________________

__________________
Tadpole is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Selective Service system test Nords Other topics 7 12-31-2006 01:59 PM
Your Cheapness Threshold TromboneAl Life after FIRE 62 05-17-2005 08:57 PM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:40 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.