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Tools/Devices/Items/Equipment that helps you to Live Below Your Means
Old 01-08-2012, 08:22 PM   #1
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Tools/Devices/Items/Equipment that helps you to Live Below Your Means

I am trying to Live Below My Means. I was just wondering if there are particular tools/devices/items/etc. that have helped you in particular in achieving your goal of Living Below Your Means. Is there specific equipment that has helped you to live consistently below your means? For example, cooking equipment would help you to avoid having to eat out consistently and that may help you to LBYM. Having tax software may allow you to do your own taxes instead of paying a tax preparer to do your taxes and that may help you to LBYM, you may own and use your own lawn mower, and that may help you to LBYM.

These are the types of tools/devices/items/etc. that I am looking for. Thanks.
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Old 01-08-2012, 08:27 PM   #2
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Old 01-08-2012, 08:30 PM   #3
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A crock pot & Tax act !
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Old 01-08-2012, 08:30 PM   #4
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A strong set of 'deferred gratification' clamps.
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Old 01-08-2012, 08:35 PM   #5
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I'm sure that many people will come up with plenty of specific ideas but my perspective on it is this - anytime you find yourself thinking, "Oh, I could never live without ______", stop yourself and think of ways in which you can. Leave no expense unturned.

Occasionally, you'll cut something out of your budget that you'll realize you really can't (or really don't want to) do without, and in that case, it's usually pretty easy to backtrack and include it again.

The point of the exercise IMO, is not to spend as little as possible, but to use your money as efficiently as possible. That way, when you do spend a little extra on a luxury, you know you'll truly appreciate it.
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Old 01-08-2012, 08:35 PM   #6
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A pressure cooker is great because you can quickly cook stuff that would otherwise take hours. A chest freezer is helpful as well (I have 3 turkeys I bought at Thanksgiving promotional prices awaiting a trip to my smoker).
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Old 01-08-2012, 08:36 PM   #7
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Just don't fall for the idea of spending money to save money.

For example, someone might say "buy a $200 Keurig coffemaker to save money instead of buying Starbucks!" Yes, that would save a little money, but wouldn't it be even cheaper (if you had no coffeemaker) to buy instant coffee and heat the water in the microwave that you already have?

I guess the really hard core LBYMers would quit drinking coffee entirely, but I am not that dedicated.

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A strong set of 'deferred gratification' clamps.
This is a big help to all of us, even those who are not LBYMers. I love spacing things out and enjoying the anticipation.
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I'm sure that many people will come up with plenty of specific ideas but my perspective on it is this - anytime you find yourself thinking, "Oh, I could never live without ______", stop yourself and think of ways in which you can. Leave no expense unturned.
Oh this is really good advice, too. We don't need nearly as much stuff as we think we do.
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Old 01-08-2012, 08:37 PM   #8
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+1 on the pressure cooker. It's really versatile.
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Old 01-08-2012, 08:45 PM   #9
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CrockPot
Reel lawn mower
Laptop and smart phone ...to replace landline, TV/cable, clock/radio
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Old 01-08-2012, 08:48 PM   #10
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A strong set of 'deferred gratification' clamps.
+1
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Old 01-08-2012, 08:53 PM   #11
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A modest size house. We don't have room for a lot of stuff.
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Old 01-08-2012, 08:54 PM   #12
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The aforementioned clamps, when applied early enough in life, would even have a physiological effect that's long lasting.

They would help one to maintain a low BMI (<25) until the mid 50s at least.
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Old 01-08-2012, 08:57 PM   #13
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To name a few: budgeting software to keep track of my spending, free spreadsheet software to keep track of my investments, vacuum sealer to make food last and buy in bulk, stocking up of foreever stamps, saving on energy (ceiling fans, efficient lighting, digital thermostat instead of manual), subcompact car with good MPG, filtered water pitcher instead of bottled water, OTA TV instead of cable/dish, tools to be a handyman and fix stuff at home first if I can before hiring someone.
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Old 01-08-2012, 09:03 PM   #14
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The biggest tool for me was a "need/want" mental filter. After my divorce I was not sure what my financial situation would be. So I decided to only buy what I needed and not what I wanted. For me, need meant air/water/food/shelter/medical care; everything else was a want.

Now I'm doing better financially and spend money on wants (like taking my kids on trips), but I still know exactly where that line is and am very aware when money leaves my life which side of the line it is on.

Best of all, need/want filters are very cheap to acquire. Mine was free with just a little thinking and a fair amount of discipline.

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Old 01-08-2012, 09:08 PM   #15
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Using the internet, as a research tool to find out how to make certain repairs on my car ( I already have tools) and also on household items, avoiding high labor costs to have a workman do it.
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Old 01-08-2012, 09:23 PM   #16
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Also, if you pay for water and don't have one, get one of these thingys

Amazon.com: Danco 89171 Shut-Off Shower Valve, Chrome: Home Improvement

The lower the water usage when lathering up during the shower.
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Old 01-08-2012, 09:40 PM   #17
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a piece of paper (this can be a back of junk mail) and a pencil. cost is pennies.

write down every penny you spend. Eating out a problem? find simple recipes online. Think about what was around when people lived an entire life with no debt. Betty crocker anyone?

the things you mentioned in your original post are no-brainers. Do people who LBYM send out drycleaning? Heck no. Do they cut their own lawns, cook their own food, pack their lunches, heck yeah!

and do they enjoy it?

You betcha. to keep your motivation up just think about how much your lifestyle impacts how much you spend.
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Old 01-08-2012, 09:42 PM   #18
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Here's my list:

- Ooma for practically free ($3.50/month) home phone service.
- Good antenna for picking up free HD digital TV.
- Tivo to record the free TV; yes this has a small cost, but much cheaper than cable.
- Streaming device (e.g. Roku, PS3 with Playon, etc) for streaming hulu, Netflix, etc.
- Equipment to do own lawn maintenance.
- Tools to maintain cars, house, etc. However, you'll need to know when to call in a pro.
- OBDII scan tool to pull car engine diagnostic codes.
- French press coffee pot and tea kettle for cheap, great coffee.
- Thermal leak detector to determine where extra caulking and installation are necessary.
- Device for measuring electrical use (vampire electric loads).
- CFL light bulbs.
- Programmable thermostat.
- Equipment for making your own beer or wine (never tried this...)
- Whole house fan.
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Old 01-08-2012, 09:47 PM   #19
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Programmable Thermostat. I have two complete HVAC systems, and in 15 years have saved a bunch with 2 setback periods each day.

Spreadsheet to record bills. Old saying is "what is measured is managed." If you can find one leak, it saves years of costs.

Internet connection. Whether it is learning how to invest, how to measure energy costs, or where to get a $500 area rug for $300 delivered (and no tax), there is so much knowledge on the internet it has me lol'n.
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Old 01-08-2012, 09:48 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by W2R View Post
Just don't fall for the idea of spending money to save money.

For example, someone might say "buy a $200 Keurig coffemaker to save money instead of buying Starbucks!" Yes, that would save a little money, but wouldn't it be even cheaper (if you had no coffeemaker) to buy instant coffee and heat the water in the microwave that you already have? ...


And we could just eat dirt instead of going out to lunch too. Instant Coffee!!??

Amazon.com: Aerobie AeroPress Coffee and Espresso Maker: Kitchen & Dining

Amazon.com: Bodum Brazil 8 cup French Press Coffee Maker, 34 oz, Black: Kitchen & Dining

No need for a $200 machine. Choose tools wisely, and live well.

-ERD50
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