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Old 04-22-2016, 09:28 AM   #21
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I earned low wages for the first 20 years of my career, so being frugal was necessary. I also don't like waste, paying interest, or spending $20 for an item when the $8 equivalent was just as good.

My wage increased for my last 15 years of w*rk but my frugal (some may say cheap ) habits never changed. Then, suddenly I was 53 and realized that I was able to retire on a pension that is 40% - 50% higher than my monthly expenses.
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Old 04-22-2016, 09:33 AM   #22
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I learned frugality from a slow and a faster experience:


Fast: I once hit rock bottom for a short period having lived a life of luxury and abundance with no prior experience of frugality. I learned frugality fast and unnecessarily more strictly than necessary (as I didn't know that a modest amount of income was in fact very sufficient!), and coming from a scientific background helped me learn economise efficiently.


Slow: Aid work in developing countries showed me how unnecessarily wasteful we are, and helped me move toward ethics of not consuming extravagantly even if I can, in a world that in some places babies die from shortage of a pack of milk. I am not self punitive, but I respect what life makes available to me.


Once I learned about the art of frugality (which is a completely different phenomenon that being stingy), it felt like a wiser way of managing my life, and freed mef from the pretentiousness of the world of "be wasteful, because you are worth it¨!
I learned that capitalism is in fact based on making us constantly unhappy, so we consume more and more to satisfy this hole in our lives.
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Old 04-22-2016, 09:42 AM   #23
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why am I frugal? because I play cheap golf balls just as well as pro v1s
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Old 04-22-2016, 09:52 AM   #24
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I'm frugal because I have bag lady syndrome--the nightmare of being impoverished as a single woman in retirement. Financial independence and security is hugely important to my psyche. That's why I'm still working and will continue to do so for awhile yet. Luckily I really like my job.
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Old 04-22-2016, 09:53 AM   #25
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Parents were adults during the Depression and WWII. In the 1970's, my Mother was still saving string, aluminum foil, and even cooking fat (yech). Frugality and recycling were our Way.

I never had any spending money, so when I started earning my own, I held onto every nickel any way I could! I think I became an artist so I could have original art without paying for it!
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Old 04-22-2016, 10:14 AM   #26
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Being born greedy and demanding of instant gratification is an early survival tactic. The baby bird first to gulp down the food survives. Learning to aim for long-term goals is a learned skill. Now it is called "being green".
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Old 04-22-2016, 10:22 AM   #27
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why am I frugal? because I play cheap golf balls just as well as pro v1s
+1 While I prefer Titleist and like Pro V1x and Pro V1 I really can't tell the difference between Pro V1, Pro V1x, NXT Tour, or any of the other Titleist models. I guess my game is not that refined. I usually buy used Titleist golf balls but the higher grade used balls that are clean and have no skuffs but I'm fine with living with some marker pen marks. I found a used golf ball outlet in a permanent flea market type place and bought 24 clean, no-skuff NTX Tours for 50 cents each.
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Old 04-22-2016, 10:25 AM   #28
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Over the years I've become more frugal from a conservative (small C) point of view. Conserving resources and lowering my impact. If I repair/repurpose/reuse things I not only save money, I avoid sending the item to the landfill. If I cook food from scratch (vs processed/prepackaged) I not only reduce the packaging trash I generate, I also end up with healthier diet. If I mow my own lawn and clean my own house I am getting some exercise as well as saving money.

It's bonus that doing all this saves money... I'm doing it more for conservation of resources.
This is exactly how I see it.
I don't stand on a bucket and yell for everybody to follow my lead (I'm not that brave and in addition I wouldn't like to be called cheap in return), but I do think that frugality helps the planet and your own health.
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Old 04-22-2016, 10:29 AM   #29
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I would have to say I was born that way. As a kid I would make my Halloween and Easter candy last for months.
You are just like my sister. My candy would be gone within a day or two. Then I would hope that she'd feel sorry for me and hand over some of hers. It didn't work.
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Old 04-22-2016, 10:52 AM   #30
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Not born that way, I don't think. My family was never terribly wealthy and my parents didn't start saving for retirement until very late. We didn't live an extravagant lifestyle growing up, but we never wanted for much most of the time either. DW was probably born that way. I'm definitely the relative spendthrift between the two of us, though I'm not much of one...

When I graduated college, I immediately started saving 10% towards retirement. I didn't view this as "frugality" so much as I just followed the "rules" and dreamed of being well-off, etc. As income rose, my savings rose until I was maxing out my Roth IRA and saving in my TSP every year. Eventually I started maxing TSP and had some money left so I started saving in taxable accounts as well.

Once my dad fell ill four years ago, I got serious about retiring early (as he didn't retire until he was 75 and was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer at 77 and died at 81).

At that point, married, DW and I really made a point of living well below our means. We already did, but we did it just because we made more than we really needed and we were both already wired not to buy a new car every 3 years, etc. It just doesn't make sense.

Looking back through the post, maybe I (we) was (were) born this way. We're both far too practical to want to replace cars, buy too much house, have all the latest clothes, and try to keep up with the Joneses. We like nice things, both drive "responsible" luxury car brands (Infiniti and Acura) but the cars are 8 and 12 years old... We like fancy dinners out, but they're not frequent. We probably spend too much on wine...

... but we're still able to save more than 40% of our gross income each year and are on track to retire without feeling the need to go spend more right now. Maybe once we've got our number and still rising, we'll spend more on luxuries, but I doubt we'll ever get out of control... we're just not wired that way.
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Old 04-22-2016, 10:59 AM   #31
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It began with my parents, we lived comfortably, but not extravagant. Taught to save money from an early age, when my allowance was 25 cents/week. Didn't know as a kid, but I now know my parents lived well below their means.

I married someone who was brought up the same way, mostly by chance, certainly not a prerequisite at the time.

Learned about investing financial independence before I was 30. We've lived below our means all along, reached FI about 12 years ago. We've been lucky...
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Old 04-22-2016, 11:00 AM   #32
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This is exactly how I see it.
I don't stand on a bucket and yell for everybody to follow my lead (I'm not that brave and in addition I wouldn't like to be called cheap in return), but I do think that frugality helps the planet and your own health.
I'm becoming more and more this way, to the point that we may end up buying a Prius. I usually ride my bike 27 miles round trip to/from work at least once a week. I find myself eating less beef due to methane...

I asked my wife yesterday if living in CA and buying a Prius makes us Democrats now...

Maybe I need to go give a second look to MMM.
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Old 04-22-2016, 11:28 AM   #33
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I am frugal because I am do not want to work forever. The reason why I work so hard now, is not because I am a hard worker, it's because I am lazy... At some point (very soon), I no longer want to work.
+1

Yes!!!

I guess most of us have an "unusual" gift of foreseeing the future as substantially a consequence of our present decisions. We see spend now, pay later, with compound interest!
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Old 04-22-2016, 11:33 AM   #34
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I grew up middle class, but not with a lot of extras. I worked my way through college. So for me it is the knowledge of what it takes to get money. I do not like debt, and can hold off on a big purchase until it is necessary, maybe longer than my DW would prefer. Since I have worked FT since 15, or PT during school, I am ready to retire and enjoy the efforts I have put in over last 37 years. Work is just the means to an end for me, it does not define my life.

I do think I can be frugal, but not cheap. To me the difference is knowledge and financial sense to know what is different. Frugal is using money wisely, being cheap is not always making the decision for maximum benefit of the bigger equation.

I have not always been as smart financially as current, but also minimized mistakes early on. Being an engineer, the math part is easy to understand and using logical thinking helps to be better at being frugal. My biggest splurging, if you call it that, would be my old cars. While I have money tied up in them, ultimately they actually go up in value and i am not losing any money on them. They are a big part of my quality of life, the expenses associated with them are an acceptable expense for me.
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Old 04-22-2016, 11:39 AM   #35
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No I wouldn't say I was ever frugal. Certainly LBYM prior to retirement though which resulted in a well funded lifestyle in retirement. A little more difficult to define LBYM in retirement perhaps?

Given our current lifestyle, I doubt anyone would consider it "frugal" although since we are generally just spending divs and pension, I think it is living "at" our means. Seems like a good strategy in retirement?
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Old 04-22-2016, 11:41 AM   #36
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Parents were adults during the Depression and WWII.
There ya go. That was my influence. Actually mom and dad were kids in the depression and young adults in WWII. (Dad is a Purple Heart Vet).

Grandma saved all fat drippings and spread them on bread the next day. That was a typical retirement meal.

Mom grew up in poverty. The pictures we have of her as a child are nearly horrifying.

Dad grew up comfortable since his parents owned a store that nearly fed the neighborhood. I remember Grandma used to bring out her "debt book" to show the 50 year old debts owed. She wasn't bitter, it was just discussion and memories. Rather, the experience of being on the good side of the depression influenced her perhaps as much as being on the other side. She was extremely frugal in retirement.

It all made an impression on me.
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Old 04-22-2016, 11:51 AM   #37
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“Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pound ought and six, result misery.” -- Mr Micawber in "David Copperfield" (Charles Dickens)

Not sure when I first learned this, but I was frugal when we were poor and remain frugal now that we are not poor.
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Old 04-22-2016, 11:52 AM   #38
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Why am I frugal? I don't know. Maybe it was inborn, as my brother does not have the same trait although we grew up together.

It is just good that I share the same philosophy with my wife, and my brother with his. Else, there would be conflicts.
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Old 04-22-2016, 12:07 PM   #39
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“Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pound ought and six, result misery.” -- Mr Micawber in "David Copperfield" (Charles Dickens)

Not sure when I first learned this, but I was frugal when we were poor and remain frugal now that we are not poor.
I wouldn't say the Dickens quote illustrates frugality, rather defines living at or below your means. If you had a seven figure "income" and spent/gifted all of it would that be frugal? Don't think so. At least not in the normal sense of the term.
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Old 04-22-2016, 12:23 PM   #40
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I wouldn't say the Dickens quote illustrates frugality, rather defines living at or below your means. If you had a seven figure "income" and spent/gifted all of it would that be frugal? Don't think so. At least not in the normal sense of the term.
ERs almost by definition live below their means, but many of us (myself included) should probably not be considered frugal. We were not spendthrifts, but our incomes were high enough that we could live comfortably without scrimping, and also save a fair amount of money.
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