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So, frugal people, what DO you allow yourselves?
Old 11-16-2005, 09:39 AM   #1
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So, frugal people, what DO you allow yourselves?

I know that pretty much everyone here LBYM and does a good job of saving $$$, investing it, etc.

But how do you "live a little?"
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Re: So, frugal people, what DO you allow yourselves?
Old 11-16-2005, 10:01 AM   #2
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Re: So, frugal people, what DO you allow yourselves?

I'll be the first taker on this one.

Occasional dining out at cheap restaurants (Sam's club pizza, $4 mexican place, etc) - usually use coupons, or free gift cards from credit card rewards program

-"gourmet food" from grocery store on occasion (crab cakes and seafood salad was most recent purchase)

-Vacations - haven't had one in a while due to the new addition to our family, but we're going on a cruise as soon as we can figure out the logistics

-cable, although we just cut back to the basic (first ~25 channels)

-decent, reliable cars (year 2000 Hondas)

-nice house, more than we need

-gifts for ourselves and others

-computer games (perhaps $10 per year on average) and functioning "late model" computers



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Re: So, frugal people, what DO you allow yourselves?
Old 11-16-2005, 10:05 AM   #3
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Re: So, frugal people, what DO you allow yourselves?

Well, for us a big night out is dinner in the garage.

But if we want to really go whole hog, we invite the neighbors over, chose up sides, and smell armpits.
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Re: So, frugal people, what DO you allow yourselves?
Old 11-16-2005, 10:24 AM   #4
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Re: So, frugal people, what DO you allow yourselves?

Quote:
Originally Posted by LRAO
I know that pretty much everyone here LBYM and does a good job of saving $$$, investing it, etc.

But how do you "live a little?"
Sold the Jag...didn't like the way people looked at me. Now drive a 95 Chevy s-10...much more enjoyable ride at a fraction of the cost!

Booked cruise travel with inside staterooms next to the boiler on an old vintage liner in the Bahamas (as a kid), also travelled first class on a modern (small luxury) liner with balcony in Tahiti (as a grown up kid)...enjoyed them both equally as much.

The fond memories (recorder) in your on-board computer head...Priceless!!!


When I wanted a nice Rolex, I bought one in Bangkok from a street vendor for $20 bucks. Saved my $20k in the bank, when it broke, the Rolex "thing" was over. (Still have my Longines/Wittnauer going on 15 years...just have to change the band every 2 years or so!)

You can live a lot, on a little...ITS TRUE!~
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Re: So, frugal people, what DO you allow yourselves?
Old 11-16-2005, 10:29 AM   #5
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Re: So, frugal people, what DO you allow yourselves?

Quote:
Originally Posted by LRAO
But how do you "live a little?"
Ladies & gentlemen, fasten your seatbelts:

Surfing. *If we're really living large then we'll spend an extra $15-20 to rent a small pavilion for the day (with a free picnic table & grill!).

DSL. *Technically I think of that more as a necessity than a luxury.

Reading 100 books from the public library and then splurging at Amazon to add one of them to my own library (or just because the public library wouldn't buy it for me).

Friday night pizza or Chinese take-out. *45-50 Fridays a year, whether we think we've "earned" it or not.

Two or three smaller vacations per year instead of a big overstimulating blowout. *Last week was a trip to Maui, a couple months ago we enjoyed a discount cruise.

Business trips to Thailand.

An occasional spouse lunch at Thai Kitchen or Taco Bell.

Our kid thinks that McDonald's is one of the two greatest places on earth because she only gets us to go there once or twice a year. *(Same for the other one, Disneyland, at the rate of once or twice a decade.)

Shopping at Goodwill, FreeCycle, eBay, pawnshops, & Craigslist. *(Stay with me here!) *When you score a major bargain off one of these fine shopping outlets, paying full retail at Sears or Circuit City just doesn't seem to be as much of a thrill. *That thrill is addictive (and quite rewarding). *After a while you find yourself enjoying the same thrill standard of living from discount places that you used to buy at Sears, but you're also getting the gratification of hunting for bargains that really aren't so hard to find.
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Re: So, frugal people, what DO you allow yourselves?
Old 11-16-2005, 10:31 AM   #6
 
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Re: So, frugal people, what DO you allow yourselves?

We're looking forward to staying in a four star hotel ($52/night from priceline) for six nights. *We're going to have the heat on all the time, use lots of hot water, and watch cable TV. *

Then, we'll get the bellhop in, choose up sides and smell armpits!
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Re: So, frugal people, what DO you allow yourselves?
Old 11-16-2005, 10:49 AM   #7
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Re: So, frugal people, what DO you allow yourselves?

I am willing to splurge a little on experiences rather than stuff. Travel is an experience to me and I may spend a bit more on that vs. buying some 40k vehicle. Things may change as I become full fledged old fart, i.e. when creature comforts provide more value than travel. May buy one of DanTien's top rated toilets.
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Re: So, frugal people, what DO you allow yourselves?
Old 11-16-2005, 10:52 AM   #8
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Re: So, frugal people, what DO you allow yourselves?

I continually get the feeling that we are the ouliers on the Bell Curve, so FWIW:

We eat out twice a week on average.
take 1 long vacation (12 - 14 days) a year, plus 3 or sometimes 4 smaller trips of between 2 and 5 days. (Wildcat is right - travels are experiences that MAY not be available later in life.)
Cinema or theatre or concert once a month on average.

BUT - we are a NO CAR family, so I reckon the above would only come to about the same cost as buying, insuring, maintaining and fueling up a car for a year.

Oh yeah, and we hae th elive in Domestic Helper.

Aside from that it's frugal frugal frugal!

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Re: So, frugal people, what DO you allow yourselves?
Old 11-16-2005, 10:58 AM   #9
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Re: So, frugal people, what DO you allow yourselves?

Quote:
Originally Posted by LRAO
But how do you "live a little?"
I like socializing, like lunches, dinners, house parties. Usually, is very cheap. If at a restaurant with a bunch of people, usually split a cheap meal with girlfriend. At a restaurant/bar, often just have a drink, not a meal. Always bring something to house party, like a bottle of wine.

Where I do the least LBYM is probably apartment and car. Apartment is in nice, safe area, has thick walls for quiet, relatively considerate neighbors, in a convenient location in the city. Have spent very little on cars overall, but current car is relatively new model, with side airbags, safety cage, etc.
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Re: So, frugal people, what DO you allow yourselves?
Old 11-16-2005, 11:11 AM   #10
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Re: So, frugal people, what DO you allow yourselves?

I started to be the first responder, but I'm not even sure I'm frugal. I eat out daily and periodically buy expensive things.

I eliminated debt and am saving rapidly by reducing car expenses, credit rates and the frequency of my buying sprees. Basically I still buy stuff, but I do so less often and try to make sure it's a good value.

Being single with no kids helps a lot.

Some recent examples of spending are 2 used office chairs for $100 each, but these are the kind I have at work (I made sure to get different colors from work to avoid suspicion) and they're industrial Steelcase chairs and are rather indestructible, so I expect them to be around for many years. I spent around $600-$800 on computer equipment this year; I could've spent less at Dell.com, but building it myself I got exactly what I wanted for my purposes and no more. My biggest single expense of the year was the $2500 HDTV + tuner (both with extra features) as a reward for getting debt free, but I still question whether the expense was wise. My largest overall discretionary expense is air travel; I've been flying to visit family every 2 or 3 weeks this year. I work in the airline industry, so this is not quite as expensive as it may sound, but for Thanksgiving and Christmas I really had to fork over the dough to be sure to get there.

It doesn't sound very frugal, but I'm managing to (reduce debt/) save from 15% - 30% of my gross salary, and I don't make as much as most of the working people here who post their incomes. I guess what I've done right is to prioritize spending /saving and not go car- or home crazy.
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Re: So, frugal people, what DO you allow yourselves?
Old 11-16-2005, 11:14 AM   #11
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Re: So, frugal people, what DO you allow yourselves?

For years our dogs have engaged in kind of a variation of your idea, but it wasn't til now that I see the human application.
Sounds good! *Thanks for the tip masterblast *
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Re: So, frugal people, what DO you allow yourselves?
Old 11-16-2005, 11:26 AM   #12
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Re: So, frugal people, what DO you allow yourselves?

I'm certainly not as frugal as most here, but I still manage to save about 40% of my gross salary & bonus.

My wife and I eat out about 3 times a week at moderately priced restaurants, nothing too fancy.

I'm on a first name basis with the employees of my local Best Buy

But my biggest luxury is that I'm into competative trap shooting which is the biggest money pit in my life so far. I love it, but it does chew up a lot of cash.

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Re: So, frugal people, what DO you allow yourselves?
Old 11-16-2005, 11:27 AM   #13
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Re: So, frugal people, what DO you allow yourselves?

Your post about "live a little" is accurate.

If you look at any one of my days, you may not be so impressed because I do "little" things that add up to a lot over the course of a year. *They tend to be those things that people with a full-time job "may" only be able to do on the weekends, and rushed at that.

Sometimes, it's just being able to go to the food store to get fresh ingredients to make a gourmet dinner for the night. *You know, the kind that you can make for $20 that would cost you $100 at a fine restaurant.

Sometimes, in the summer, it could be going camping for the day or having a picnic in a state park.

Sometimes, it's going fishing with my son, or bringing him to the library, or taking him to the bowling alley, or science museam, or bike riding on our local bike path, or going to the beach, or all the other things parents should do with their kids but don't because they are just too busy with their careers.

And sometimes, we take a long trip to Europe, DisneyWorld, Canada, or a cruise.

But mostly, living it up means doing the "little things" that make life enjoyable.



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Re: So, frugal people, what DO you allow yourselves?
Old 11-16-2005, 11:31 AM   #14
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Re: So, frugal people, what DO you allow yourselves?

I hardly ever buy clothes except consignment or clearance, but I spluge on good shoes.

We rarely go to fancy restaurants except with gift certificates, but we splurge on good food at the supermarket (I made whiskey crab soup last night - YUM - *$6.99 worth of crab)

On vacation we stay in cheap hotels, but spend money on scuba diving.

We drive our vehicles for at 8-10 years or 150,000 miles. *Then buy something econmical (So far that has meant Toyotas). *In the past I've bought two new ones but the next one will be used.

I guess I'm not really all that frugal.

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Re: So, frugal people, what DO you allow yourselves?
Old 11-16-2005, 11:49 AM   #15
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Re: So, frugal people, what DO you allow yourselves?

OK.* I'll try to be a little more serious this time.

I felt that the implication of the OP was that we LBYM types are denying ourselves of everthing and that we must really suffer to get where we are. Thus my other post.

In reality I have everything that I want and don't feel in denial at all. I live in a beautiful house in one of the very best parts of the country with my beautiful wife. We eat out alot and drop over $100 a week on restaurants. We take great vacations and I've been all over the world. I tend to stay in upscale hotels.

On the other hand, I save around $10 for every dollar that is spent on extra stuff. I started saving right out of school and over the years that money has really snowballed and will give us some great lifestyle options.

We don't spend much on clothes or buying stuff to impress other people. We live a very comfortable but simple lifestyle.

Could I buy a better car - Sure anything on the lot. But why would I want that, my current car works just fine and we're not out to impress anyone.

Do I feel that I've denied myself ? - Not at all. Others have their BMW's and their designer clothes. I've got financial independence.

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Re: So, frugal people, what DO you allow yourselves?
Old 11-16-2005, 11:59 AM   #16
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Re: So, frugal people, what DO you allow yourselves?

Ditto what Masterblaster said. That explains our "LBYM" lifestyle exactly. We've got everything we need - nice house, nice cars, great food and dining options, healthcare, entertainment. We can buy pretty much anything we wanted, but we don't really want anything else.

Wish we could have more free time... One day we will!!!
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Re: So, frugal people, what DO you allow yourselves?
Old 11-16-2005, 12:04 PM   #17
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Re: So, frugal people, what DO you allow yourselves?

Quote:
Originally Posted by LRAO
IBut how do you "live a little?"
- Mostly organic food
- Good shoes
- Lately, cheap perfume *(I think I have enough now)
- Art classes and materials
- Every few years, trip to Philippines (one coming up in February)
- Maybe a Pilates class in spring after Philippine trip
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Re: So, frugal people, what DO you allow yourselves?
Old 11-16-2005, 12:17 PM   #18
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Re: So, frugal people, what DO you allow yourselves?

It would appear LBYM is relative to your net worth and the resulting income from it. What is splurging from some with limited resources is a necessity for those with more disposable incomes. So the answers you get from the question asked is highly dependent upon actual income in retirement (or in the accumulation stages while working).

There are some die hards that will be highly frugal no matter how much they have squirreled away. Sometimes the hunt is more exciting than the kill.

For me, I don't see much of a change in lifestyle in the first few years of ER. We are planning on higher spending in the early years when we plan on doing more because we CAN and less later when we won't be able to. Good health is a gift to be appreciated. It will fade sooner than we wish (you can't change your genes ) so we plan on living large early on while we can.

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Re: So, frugal people, what DO you allow yourselves?
Old 11-16-2005, 12:18 PM   #19
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Re: So, frugal people, what DO you allow yourselves?

I went thru my spending phase about 4 years ago. I'm pretty content now....BTW, I'm NOT retired or even close to it....

I bought:

a 79 Camaro which I've completely restored

a 65" tv

2 leather couches

4 wheeler for fun

tractor for the yard/snow

re-modeled entire hosue, from floors to ceiling



And now, I'm pretty content. My money each month goes to bills and savngs...and thats it.
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Re: So, frugal people, what DO you allow yourselves?
Old 11-16-2005, 12:48 PM   #20
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Re: So, frugal people, what DO you allow yourselves?

-We take 4-5 vacations a year within the US.
- DH and I like fancy expensive restaurants so we do those about once a month.
- Gourmet Food on occasion.
- Eddie Bauer and LL Bean clothing for DH. I tend to buy mine at Nordstroms.
-Cable TV, High Speed Internet, Cellphones.

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