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Old 04-22-2016, 12:25 PM   #41
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I'm not frugal per se...

It's just that my money seems way better than anything it could buy !
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Old 04-22-2016, 12:27 PM   #42
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Were you born that way? Did you teach yourself? Did you do it to overcome mistakes or to achieve a goal? Who were your frugal role models?

I was born naturally frugal.


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Old 04-22-2016, 12:30 PM   #43
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I have never wanted to spend a lot of money in one thing (I did spend money on a bunch of little things which didn't really amount to a lot of money) And I always wanted some money left over. I became frugal once I got my heart set on FIRE - I wanted the left over money to get bigger, and any *big* money spending was scrutinized.
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Old 04-22-2016, 12:40 PM   #44
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I would think being frugal is a learned trait, even though I've found several blurbs online suggesting it's genetic. Though none of them were very convincing.

Though while I am frugal, my sister was not at all. Unless it was our mates. Maybe it's genetic and learned. Hmmmmmm...
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Old 04-22-2016, 12:43 PM   #45
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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.

Fair point. I think of "frugal" as not spending more than necessary, not spending frivolously, and being happy with "good enough". As our income increased, our spending increased a little. But since we were LBYM, we made frugal choices.
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Old 04-22-2016, 12:52 PM   #46
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My parents lived through the great depression. My Ma's family ate out of garbage cans. They would sort though the bins at the market where spoiled fruit and veggies were and cut out the bad stuff and eat the rest. Pops remembers eating a lot of potatoes during that time.

So, I got it from them. Pops told me at a young age that I could make a million a year but if I spent a million a year I wouldn't ever have crap, so "save some dough"

Which I did. I then followed his "investment plan" which was a 3 part plan;

1) Save cash for purchases so you don't have to borrow and build up an emergency fund.

2) Save more for a down payment on a house. The mortgage should be your only debt.

3) After that start investing in equities because they will give you the best return.

So by simply not spending all I made and following the "3 rules" I'm one of the millionaires next door. If you saw my house you would never imagine.

Now I find myself really having to force myself to "blow dough" because of all that past frugality and the realization that I want to make the most (have the most fun) with the fruits of my labors before they put me on the other side of the sod.

But I'm trying. Giving it the old college try! Not succeeding though, even after almost 2 years of first class airplane rides, $40 dollar lunches and $800 coffee machines, my net worth has not changed.

I'm just going to have to try harder -
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Old 04-22-2016, 12:57 PM   #47
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Growing up I didn't have a lot of money. Sure, my grandparents liked to throw $5 or $10 my way on birthdays and when they visited me which was nice. But a weekly allowance was small back then in the 1970s and I didn't get my first part-time job until I was 16.


I also saw how my parents handled money. My mom was an avid coupon clipper and I saw how they shopped around when they bought a new car in 1972 (I was 9), choosing a dealer who could offer the car for a $100 less than another (on a $4,000 car, that's significant. They also made sure to get gas at the gas station who charged a penny or two less than the one across the street (this was in 1972 when gas was 30 cents a gallon).


Both my mom and dad were good at fixing things instead of buying new stuff. My mom was good at sewing and often made her own clothing herself. I recall helping my dad change the oil on his VW Beetle, one of several things he did to maintain that vehicle.


I didn't have any expensive hobbies growing up so when you put all of these things together you have the makings of someone who is frugal and will LBYM later in life.
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Old 04-22-2016, 01:22 PM   #48
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Lol, I was born a spendthrift. Any "frugality" is due to enforced circumstances (low income, etc). Thankfully, I also grew up in a cash economy with a frugal mom who tried hard to teach me and I hate paying interest so no high interest credit card debt. Alas, I managed to blow through all my taxable savings in my late 20s so that was a bit of a wake-up call. Now I wouldn't say I'm frugal but I'm certainly much more selective on what I spend my money on and I've started prioritizing savings again.
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Old 04-22-2016, 01:31 PM   #49
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I was pretty much born this way. I always liked budgets and spreadsheets.

We are probably not frugal as in living spartan lives but we still live below our means. I'm okay with leaving money to the kids and charity instead of spending it on consumer goods. There are many extremes of wealth and homelessness where we live. I am far from being one of the super wealthy, but still would rather be part of the solution than the problem.

I also like the idea of sustainable living and self sufficiency. Those are hobbies these days. There's also the "thrill of the hunt" for bargains, freebies and great thrift shop and garage sale finds.
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Old 04-22-2016, 02:09 PM   #50
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Learned. For me I think it's a feeling of security I get from LBYM and having a substantial portfolio . I get much more reward from growing my investments than I do from spending them.
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Old 04-22-2016, 02:10 PM   #51
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Since we started living in Mexico for 6 months, our budget has gone out the window because we are spending 40% less including a one month trip to Europe each year. So we have eased off on the budget for accommodation in Europe. We still prefer taking the train while there.

We also "treat" ourselves to better quality wine more often and splurge on dinners more often. But compared to our tight budget in 2002 - 2008, we are absolutely extravagant!

Also our charitable budget has more than tripled. Gifting to family has doubled.
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Old 04-22-2016, 02:19 PM   #52
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Old 04-22-2016, 02:22 PM   #53
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I was raised to LBYM, but I took a career path that required much investment of risk, time and money, for significant rewards. I was never a wild spender, but I became frugal when my NW almost doubled after an inheritance. Suddenly, I could see ER in my future, and I didn't want to mess it up. I am frugal every day, so that I can achieve my objectives, which include an extravagant vacation/journey that I am currently enjoying, guilt free.
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Old 04-22-2016, 02:27 PM   #54
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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.
Agree. But now that you are retired how would you describe your spending habits?
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Why are you frugal?
Old 04-22-2016, 02:36 PM   #55
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Why are you frugal?

There have been a few posts about the difference between frugality and LBYM. I think of it like this:

- LBYM is the fact that I can afford and budget for $5000 worth of travel each year, but I usually spend ~$3000 each year and put any remainder into investments early in January each year. That way I can afford even more vacations in retirement

- Frugality is picking the airfare that is $100 cheaper, the room that is $30 cheaper, and walking from the hotel to the museum instead of taking a cab when I'm on those vacations. That way I can afford extra trips on that same $3000

Happy to hear different interpretations.
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Old 04-22-2016, 02:41 PM   #56
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That's what I used to do.

Now I pick the airline that has a non-stop and the hotel with a Jacuzzi in the room.

But I always pack some booze in my suitcase because drinks are expensive at hotel bars -
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Old 04-22-2016, 02:45 PM   #57
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Oh don't get me wrong, I'm still picking the 4* or 5* hotel! I'm just picking the cheaper one 😆
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Old 04-22-2016, 02:46 PM   #58
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For me it was learned. As a kid I would spend any money I had almost instantly on candy and comic books. We did get an allowance but I think it started out as a dime and then later a quarter. My parents also grew up in the Depression and WWII so they learned frugality out of necessity. While we had all the necessities there wasn't much extra for luxuries - a day at an amusement park was something that happened maybe once or twice a year at best. Vacations were to see relatives and I was in high school before I saw the inside of a restaurant.

But to me frugality also has a strong connection to efficient use of the means available, and I like efficiency.
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Old 04-22-2016, 03:27 PM   #59
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I'm not frugal per se...

It's just that my money seems way better than anything it could buy !
Really, how could that be? Can't eat it, drive it, wear it. Can certainly give it away. That must be your end game?
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Old 04-22-2016, 03:30 PM   #60
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There have been a few posts about the difference between frugality and LBYM. I think of it like this:

- LBYM is the fact that I can afford and budget for $5000 worth of travel each year, but I usually spend ~$3000 each year and put any remainder into investments early in January each year. That way I can afford even more vacations in retirement

- Frugality is picking the airfare that is $100 cheaper, the room that is $30 cheaper, and walking from the hotel to the museum instead of taking a cab when I'm on those vacations. That way I can afford extra trips on that same $3000

Happy to hear different interpretations.
That's sounds reasonble but will you still do this once your are retired and spending the money that you saved being frugal? That is, when does frugality and LBYM end? Or does it? Does it simply end up go to your heirs?
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