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Re: How's your life going at 33%
Old 02-07-2004, 09:48 PM   #21
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Re: How's your life going at 33%

Also, anyone planning on a budget for retirement should do a sanity check. Answer the question 'how does this budget compare with what I am spending today?' And don't use todays budget to do it unless you have a lot of confidence in it. Take your take home pay, after all periodic savings; Then subtract any extra savings and see if what you spent (or gave away, or lost, or whatever) compares with your budget. Unless you are planning a lifestyle change along with retirement, they should be real close. You should be able to point to specific reasons why they are different. You also have to account for reserves for capital items, as several people have just mentioned.

If you think you can live on less money, I recommend you think real carefully about why. There are some valid reasons for a difference, such as house payments, etc. for the costs to go down, and some reasons the costs might go up, such as for a golfer (which I am not). If you think you will simply be more frugal, it is time for some introspection; why aren't you more frugal now? Because if you were more frugal now, you would be saving more and retiring earlier!

I think doing an exercise like this to validate your plans is an important step. It helps to have some kind of a sanity check on your plans.

Wayne
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Re: How's your life going at 33%
Old 02-08-2004, 06:52 AM   #22
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Re: How's your life going at 33%

Sanity is overrated. Left handed, INTJ, and working career spent mostly in R&D.

'33% That's my story' was the reason I joined this forum. 33% turned out to be about ballpark income over the last ten years. Which did not prevent any of my somewhat 'aggressive' experiments in frugal - there is no need to be PC in ER - provided she doesn't put the ki-bosch on some of them.

Fundamentals are unchanged - LBYM. Running the numbers and practicing before ER is good. So is a 'margin of safety' ah la Ben Graham.
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Re: How's your life going at 33%
Old 02-08-2004, 07:53 AM   #23
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Re: How's your life going at 33%

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Hi TH!

Yes, those are prices based on my tastes. Some could be done for less, I'm sure. I prefer to build my own computers - and I use the very best components I can find. It's a hobby. Costs more than off the shelf. The point is, everyone's needs are different and rather than using rules of thumb (like 33%) it's best to actually know what one's individual costs are today, and go from there.
Me too, but I just built a nice rig last year and sans monitor and printer the parts ran me roughly $500. What the heck are you putting in that box?

Mine has an Antec case with truepower supply, an albatron 845pe motherboard (albatron is run by the guy who used to run Gigabyte, who ER'd and couldnt stand it, went back to work...he took some of gigabytes top engineers, so you get gigabyte features and one of the quietest and most stable/overclockable motherboards around for very cheap money), 512GB crucial DDR 400, Pentium 4 2.6GHz, ATI 9000 graphics card (no fan and excellent output quality for my home theater albeit without blazing speed), cheap ac3 fiber optic sound card to my stereo, seagate 120GB drive with an older 100gb backup disk, cheapo 52x cd writer and a dvd writer. I put in a couple of inexpensive thermal probe fans that run verrrrryyyy sloooooooww when the case is cooler, and speed up automatically as things warm up. Its almost inaudible in regular use...in fact the refrigerator is running in my kitchen about 20 feet away and that noise is drowing out the box.

For those not in the mood to build their own, Dell regularly runs a special with rebates for a built system in the $300-400 range, again without monitor and printer. I think their latest offering was a 2.2-2.4GHz machine with 256mb of ram and an 80gb hard drive...not a bad setup for the average joe!
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Re: How's your life going at 33%
Old 02-08-2004, 08:12 AM   #24
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Re: How's your life going at 33%

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Sanity is overrated. . .
I think you're probably right, but I can't say for sure since I've never actually experienced it myself.
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Re: How's your life going at 33%
Old 02-08-2004, 03:13 PM   #25
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Re: How's your life going at 33%

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What the heck are you putting in that box?
TH,

Two things:

1. Upgrades (whenever the mood strikes, usually every year or two).

2. Software (I don't go crazy here, but I don't skimp either).

I do track all expenses in Quicken and it comes to about $1200 over a typical five years, after accounting for price drops over the past several years. Actually, I keep three systems going - one for me, one for my wife, and one for my daughter. Theirs usually can be upgraded with parts from my system, but not 100% of the time. My prices run very close to those you describe when it comes to individual components. I too use Crucial memory and P4s. And my system is so quiet I can hear a pin drop. The box is very cool too. I started doing this years ago because I didn't want to be dependent upon someone to fix my system when problems developed. Now there's nothing I can't fix.
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Re: How's your life going at 33%
Old 02-08-2004, 04:20 PM   #26
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Re: How's your life going at 33%

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I too use Crucial memory and P4s. And my system is so quiet I can hear a pin drop. The box is very cool too. I started doing this years ago because I didn't want to be dependent upon someone to fix my system when problems developed. Now there's nothing I can't fix.

I've been building PC's since the 8080 was a "new thing", so I've tried to keep myself fresh by continuing to play with the technology and build my new machines. Like you said, doesnt save much money, but the quality is good and the repairs are easier.

I got off on the weenie PC thing for a while, made a nice shoebox machine for my home theater but I got tired of keeping up more than one machine. I also spent the better part of a week sawing up an old 100 disk dvd changer box and fitting pc guts into it to have it blend in better with the rest of my home entertainment stuff. Then I decided I didnt care much about that

Gosh I have so much software and find no trouble getting my hands on newer versions and newer titles due to my ties with the old company that I havent bought any retail in a million years. That would really jack up the cost.

I cant see myself replacing this beast for a long time though. I found through a lot of effort that the "sweet spot" in response time for most current software is roughly a 2GHz Celeron, and the P4 I have now only sees 100% loads when I'm encoding a dvd.
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Re: How's your life going at 33%
Old 02-08-2004, 04:37 PM   #27
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Re: How's your life going at 33%

My first PC was a "Compuadd" 8088. I think they were out of Austin. It had a 20MB HDD and cost around $2,000 with a tiny B&W monitor. I thought it was incredible at the time.
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Re: How's your life going at 33%
Old 02-08-2004, 05:41 PM   #28
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Re: How's your life going at 33%

Just wanted to say thanks for all of the help. *I've re-read a couple of time and will probably do again. *I guess theoretically, my lifestyle will not seem to change that much. *I've tried to calculate my withdrawal amounts to equal my current spending, though I have scrimped a little to save enough for ER and would like to open up just slightly. *To uncluemick's frugal examples I went through period of dumping clothes washer water onto my lawn to save on watering bills. I don't want to do this again. *I did enjoy and learned from Bob's appliance allocations. *Man, Bob - you have a lot of appliances. *Anyway, thanks. *Hope I can give something back in discussion or advice. *This is a great forum for me to spend some time with right now.
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Re: How's your life going at 33%
Old 02-08-2004, 06:30 PM   #29
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Re: How's your life going at 33%

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I've been building PC's since the 8080 was a "new thing"
Wow! You must have been a precocious 12 year old!

The 8080 was intro'd in 1974. Even the 8088 was available about 3 years before IBM did the PC thing.

I considered going into the PC Clone biz about the same time Michael Dell did, but my dad talked me out if it. (I think the conversation went something like, me: "Dad, will you fund my PC Clone biz?" Dad: "No.")
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Re: How's your life going at 33%
Old 02-08-2004, 09:40 PM   #30
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Re: How's your life going at 33%

Actually I was 13/14 when I started building PC's and writing code. Precocious? Perhaps...

My very first was an Elf 6901 bitslice single board machine that had a keypad for input and an LED display for output. I "graduated" to a PDP-8/E with an ASR-33 teletype (WITH PAPER TAPE READER AND PUNCH!) shortly thereafter.

Introduced <> new with regards to real people. Intel was looking for industrial applications for the 80xx for some time before Imsai and Altair thought to create ready made homebrew machines. Ten Grand a pop for a box, an 8080, 2k of ram, 2k of rom with a monitor (OS - not a screen) in it, and then you paid extra for the cassette storage, the tiny basic (and I *may* be tempted by treats to tell you about the time I threw a certain harvard dropout named "Bill" out of the store after he demonstrated the worlds buggiest Basic language interpreter to me), and any other add-ons you thought you might like to fiddle with. That year an odd guy named Russ came in with what may have been the worlds first graphics card, called a Merlin. I couldnt think of a more worthless device at the time...:-/ All 160x80 pixels of it. After the upgrade.
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Be fearful when others are greedy, and greedy when others are fearful. Just another form of "buy low, sell high" for those who have trouble with things. This rule is not universal. Do not buy a 1973 Pinto because everyone else is afraid of it.
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Re: How's your life going at 33%
Old 02-08-2004, 09:50 PM   #31
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Re: How's your life going at 33%

Heh, now you're talking some good geek stuff. I always thought the Elf was based on the 1802, though. I think I still have one in a closet somewhere. And I remember the big blue box well -- an Intellec, right? Ah, those were those days when men were men, and modems were 300 baud.
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Re: How's your life going at 33%
Old 02-09-2004, 09:30 AM   #32
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Re: How's your life going at 33%

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Man, Bob - you have a lot of appliances.
Roger, I plan to make up for all the appliances by cutting back on the clothes budget:

-- Two sweat-shirts
-- Two sweat-pants
-- Two pairs of white socks
-- Two underwear

I'd make it one each, but if I do that my wife wouldn't be able to resist me on wash days. I don't think I can keep up.
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Re: How's your life going at 33%
Old 02-09-2004, 10:46 AM   #33
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Re: How's your life going at 33%

I have a friend who is not frugal, he's downright cheap.
Still working, but here's some of the things he does:
. buys used vehicles at a government auction.
. when the cuff on his trousers rips loose, he staples it.
. when he gets a hole in the sole of his shoe, he cuts a piece of cardboard and puts it inside the shoe.
. when a pair of slacks ripped one day at work, he took a magic marker and wrote on his pants " throw away ". A few days later we saw him wearing the same slacks to work.
. wears socks with holes in them. not small holes - BIG ones with the entire heel holed.
. he's 50 years old and still wearing clothes from high school.
. when a local car dealer was offering free hot dogs just to get customers into the dealership, he took his family to dinner there.
. all his clothes look like they just came out of the wash basket, never folded or hung. Completely wrinkled!
. when our 'group' goes to lunch together, he orders french fries and a glass of water.
This is all true! When we tease him about it ( and we do) he just grins.
.

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Re: How's your life going at 33%
Old 02-09-2004, 10:49 AM   #34
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Re: How's your life going at 33%

Bob Smith,
You know you can go 4 days wearing the same underwear : (1) Front, (2) Back, (3) Inside, (4) Out.

At that rate you wouldn't have to launder, but every 8 days.
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Re: How's your life going at 33%
Old 02-09-2004, 10:51 AM   #35
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Re: How's your life going at 33%

Bob Smith,
OR, be like Kramer, and don't wear any underwear.
Kramer: " Jerry, I'm out there baby, and I'm loving it ".
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Re: How's your life going at 33%
Old 02-09-2004, 10:51 AM   #36
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Re: How's your life going at 33%

YOU had a 300 baud modem? Lucky. After we were done sleeping by clinging to the windowsills and eating hot gravel for breakfast, we hooked up our andersen jacobsen acoustic couplers at a heady 110 baud and went to work!

If my memory serves, and this is a nearly 30 year old memory tainted by a great deal of chocolate pudding consumption, the 6901/6902 were someones second source for the 1801/1802 and were highly overclockable. Somebody and I cant remember who (but I'm thinking hitachi?) made a mainframe type machine out of a bunch of them around 1976-78ish. However I couldnt quickly find any reference to the chip at all.

Ok, you bunch of guys squinting at the screen, pointing and yelling "NERDS!!", cut it out.

Back to our regularly scheduled thread...

By the way Bob, I like good appliances too. I always spend a little more on good ones because it pays in the long haul. I just picked up a set of front loading washer dryers because they're so good to the clothes and use so little water and electricity that they pay for themselves within a short time. And I just bought a new refrigerator...my 18 year old kenmore is starting to make "compressor death imminent" noises. Got a nice bottom freezer energy star model that will pay for itself in the electricity savings alone in 8-10 years. By the way, sams club and costco have some fantastic prices on appliances. The new fridge was $100 cheaper than the identical model at Sears, who refused to honor their "price matching" policy. Delivery was half as much as well.

Referring back to the first page concerns about not wanting to go back to "beater" cars and living a pedestrian lifestyle, that isnt what this is all about. My last "beater" was a '97 Infiniti Q45 I bought for under $20k in 2000, did an afternoon of maintenance on and then drove for 3 years without problems. My new "beater" is a 2000 Ford Expedition, loaded. What I avoid is spending $40-60k on a car that isnt worth that, $200 for a pair of pants and $30 for a plate with a medium rare steak on it.

That having been said, I really enjoyed the "high flying" lifestyle for many years, but at this point I'm completely uncertain why that felt good to me.
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Re: How's your life going at 33%
Old 02-09-2004, 03:05 PM   #37
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Re: How's your life going at 33%

I take used up half dryer sheets and sew them together with lint to make my own underwear.

:P
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Re: How's your life going at 33%
Old 02-09-2004, 03:22 PM   #38
 
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Re: How's your life going at 33%

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OR, be like Kramer, and don't wear any underwear.
Kramer: " Jerry, I'm out there baby, and I'm loving it ".
We call this going commando. Jesse Ventura former Governor of Minnesota, banned these also! - I went into the Navy the same month Ventura did and in Hot climes, it (underwear) was just in the way.

I am also free and loving it !!

I know - more information than you wanted to hear
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Re: How's your life going at 33%
Old 02-09-2004, 04:32 PM   #39
 
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Re: How's your life going at 33%

Hey Cut-throat! Thanks for sharing .

One of my favorite movies is "Predator" starring
the former gov. of Minn. and the current gov. of Calif.
Jesse used a line from the movie for the title of his book.
But, you know that.

John Galt
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Re: How's your life going at 33%
Old 02-09-2004, 04:36 PM   #40
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Re: How's your life going at 33%

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I take used up half dryer sheets and sew them together with lint to make my own underwear.

:P
I made a robot out of discarded microprocessors that goes around the house collecting lint. Then I sew the lint into underwear. Then after I've warn the underwear 4 times, I donate them to charity and take a write-off.
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