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Old 09-15-2015, 02:57 PM   #21
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1. learning how to shop wisely for food and cook at home at a very young age
2. staying out of bars / not smoking (I have a well stocked bar at home)
3. Low cost hobbies (gardening, fishing, camping...)
4. Modest house & autos
5. Most important, marrying someone with similar LBYM values
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Old 09-15-2015, 03:00 PM   #22
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We save approx $1200 per year by dropping our contract cell phone(s) and landline and switching to no-contract cell phone (in our case Tracfone) and internet based "home phone" (Basic Talk).

No loss in quality or coverage for either service.


_B
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Old 09-15-2015, 03:12 PM   #23
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1. Canceled cable TV and landline. Kept internet only. Landline phones use Obi100 + Google Voice. TV consists of OTA, Netflix, and Kodi.

2. Canceled Sprint family plan. Kicked the kids off. Use Ting for our 2 existing smartphones.

3. Canceled ADT security monitoring. Use local company that converted system to wireless and charges about half.

4. Use 3 different no-fee, cash-back credit cards for everything. Average about 3%.

5. Reduce food waste with better meal planning and more frequent shopping, and buy more store brands.

6. Lowered utilities by reprogramming sprinkler system, thermostats, pool pump timer, and outdoor lighting timers. Keep HVAC at 78 in summer and 69 in winter.

7. Stopped using expensive chemicals from the pool store. Converted to the BBB method, which uses household bleach for chlorination and borax for algae control.

8. Buy clothes at the local thrift shop.

9. Hired a company to challenge property tax valuation. All 3 properties reduced.

10. Consolidated auto, home, and umbrella at one company. Price shop every year if rates go up more than 2-3%.

11. Keep cars until they die or become maintenance problem.

12. Fix stuff around the house myself.

13. Eat out only for special occasions, and only nice restaurants that prepare things I can't do at home.
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Old 09-15-2015, 03:18 PM   #24
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Don't think these things were cost savings as much as vehicles to help attain FI at an early date; term life insurance, refinancing and making double house payments, carrying high insurance deductibles, never paying any credit card interest by paying off monthly, paying for cars with cash and having a cost effective wife.
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Old 09-15-2015, 03:38 PM   #25
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1. Dumped the Ex-Wife for a younger fitter model, saving on food costs,plus sized clothing and I do not need a gym membership or fancy sneakers to get my Cardio workouts. My utility bills went up a bit once I lost the "Shade in the summer,warmth in the Winter" effect!
2. Expatting my money and tookus the hell outta Dodge.
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Old 09-15-2015, 03:45 PM   #26
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1) Dropped cable and now watch digital broadcast TV and internet stuff. No Netflix or HBO.

2) I don't drive much. I do my shopping on my bike. Cycling is how I get around most and is also my hobby.

3) Applied to my state for health insurance Premium Assistance, as a result they pay 90% of my health premium because I qualify for Medicaid.

4) I shop at the local low cost supermarket (Market Basket) rather than Whole Foods.

5) My car is 8 years old with 130k miles on it so I dropped insurance for any damage to it.
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Old 09-15-2015, 03:45 PM   #27
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We are late bloomers to "expense optimized living" so we have been able to cut almost $60K a year from our run rate to date (needing $2.4M (60K X 40 years) less in total retirement funding, not including taxes and saving for retirement) and actually improved the quality of our lives. We kind of woke up a few years back and realized for us cutting expenses made more sense and had a much bigger impact on our retirement planning than working another year or two since we weren't making $1M a year in salaries.

Some of our biggest savings have been from:
- Managing our income to qualify for ACA tax credits and financial aid for college
- Utilizing community college and transfer programs to in state public schools
- Doing our own taxes
- Keeping a price book and shopping at discount, ethnic and outlet stores for food - especially Grocery Outlet. We've done a lot to lower our food bill these last few years but this was #1. On my last trip to GO I spent $120 and saved $140 off Safeway retail type prices. We also cook more from scratch and stockpile loss leaders and non-perishable / freezer items from GO at ~75% off retail prices.
- Cutting our expenses made us FI and being FI we could drop our life insurance and disability policies
- We actually saved money by buying one new car and one slightly used car with better MPG and repair records than the older cars we had before.
- We did a lot of little things to cut our energy bill by about 2/3s.
- I discovered the wonders of thrift stores near expensive retail stores (people must tend to drop off donations where they shop).
- And of course, last but not least - thermal cookers.
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Old 09-15-2015, 03:49 PM   #28
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Location: Eagan, MN
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Keep a vehicle a long time
Do your own maintenance, both cars and home
Refinance to lower interest rates
Pick up some side hustle money
Make some of your own things, rather than purchase. Salad dressings are easy.
Buy in bulk where possible
Use gas and restaurant coupons
Use cash back credit cards

The list is numerous...
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Old 09-15-2015, 04:08 PM   #29
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Lots of things.
1. changed cell phone plan
2. Refinanced the house
3. Dropping cable and going OTA + Roku + Netflix
4. Library for books and DVD's
5. Keep cars a very long time
6. Change car and homeowners insurance policies
7. Less eating out - Use groupon a lot when we do
8. Found hotspots in the ceiling and improved insulation in those areas
9. Have a pool and discovered we were running the pump way too long - ~500kw-hr per month savings.
10. Used the Gasbuddy app a lot when gas prices were high
11. Dropped the gym, cycle instead
12. changed the thermostat settings
13. Cash back credit cards


probably more I'm not remembering...
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Old 09-15-2015, 04:16 PM   #30
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Our travel expenses dropped significantly when we started rolling our own trips rather than going with an organized tour company. It's a lot more work though.
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Well, I thought I was retired. But it seems that now I'm working as a travel agent instead!
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Old 09-15-2015, 04:39 PM   #31
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I've used many of the techniques mentioned, but did not specifically see this one:

Buy 10 year old cars (virtually depreciated already) with low miles and well maintained. Not easy to do but a good use of time to check them out. THEN all of the things pointed out about keeping cars a long time are in force: Drop collision coverage, keep a long time (10 years, I hope), lower cost tags, lower cost of maintaining finish (fewer details, don't fix parking dings, etc.) and sell to the scrap yard when no longer serviceable. YMMV
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Old 09-15-2015, 04:56 PM   #32
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Stuff I did in the past few years
* Got rid of the car - rent one when I need it
* Canceled cable, stopped buying DVDs
* Canceled gym subscription
* Applied for discount on public transport off-peak
* Switched cell phone plan, only buy new phone when its broken (vs. old)
* Bought suits from a discount chain vs. expensive local retailer
* Shifted to a bit more low cost self-cooked eating (rice & beans!)

Stuff I plan on doing in the future:
* Do my own accounting
* Move to a cheaper rent location

Since those two items are >70% of my expenses now (excl. discretionary travel) there ain't much else to tackle. Except my coffee habit maybe.
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Old 09-15-2015, 06:33 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by calmloki View Post
Stocking up on booze in California and running it in to Oregon?
Don't you have that backward, given that Oregon is a No Sales Tax state?
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Old 09-15-2015, 06:47 PM   #34
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Our travel expenses dropped significantly when we started rolling our own trips rather than going with an organized tour company. It's a lot more work though.
Isn't that the truth? We go back and forth between both types of trips for just those reasons.

We have many, many entertainment venues in our area, so we generally let what's being discounted on Goldstar.com be the determining factor. We can also see all sporting events for free at our local university in conjunction with our OLLI membership (a Lifelong Learning organization offered at campuses across the country. See The Bernard Osher Foundation | List of Institutes for a list of participating campuses) Our university is also an amazing source for low priced tickets to see performances of every type - from symphonies to Shakespeare to Sondheim.

We've also cut the cord on cable and landline, and switched our cell service to a no contract, low price carrier.
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Old 09-15-2015, 07:03 PM   #35
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M'gosh I feel so inferior . I gotta confess I have not overtly done anything to cut expenses. We don't spend extravagantly, and never did. But I like my lifestyle just as it is so don't anticipate any cost-cutting.
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Old 09-15-2015, 07:27 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beldar View Post
We save approx $1200 per year by dropping our contract cell phone(s) and landline and switching to no-contract cell phone (in our case Tracfone) and internet based "home phone" (Basic Talk).

No loss in quality or coverage for either service.....
+1 Dropped landline and went with Ooma... landline was ~$28/month vs $4 for Ooma and $120/year for Premier services so ~$14/month

Also dropped $120/month traditional cellphone plan in favor of a MVNO plan that costs us $10/month/phone... saving $100/month

Total savings of $1,350/year.
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Old 09-15-2015, 07:59 PM   #37
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Dropped Landline tied to interweb; now have seperate interweb and OOMA
Dropped contract cell and went o no contract w/Consumer Cellular
Never had cable or dish, OTA with online and HDHomerun for viewing on PC
Had an older truck without collision coverage - that one didn't work out so well (maybe another thread there)
Oh, yeah one less vehicle to insure, don't have a truck anymore :-(
DW loves to coupon, told her today while waiting for cashier at WallyMart to scan all of them she could have her own TV show with that :-)
Always mowed my own lawn, maintained my own vehicles, did my own carpentry work
Lived in a Low COL area by choice
Eating out is a rare occasion (but as others mentioned, make it worthwhile when doing it)
Maintaining an appropriate AA has save ma a lot as of late!
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Old 09-15-2015, 08:02 PM   #38
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Quote:
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Don't you have that backward, given that Oregon is a No Sales Tax state?
Oregon has a blue nosed attitude to the devil's brew - you can only buy hard liquor in state authorized stores and the prices, even accounting for California's sales taxes, are about 1/3 higher than the same stuff in California. 'Sides - it makes me feel like a bootlegger buying enough to keep me lubricated for 1/2 a year and running it up the highway.
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Old 09-15-2015, 08:08 PM   #39
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Married the right person.
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Old 09-15-2015, 08:13 PM   #40
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Moved out of Silicon Valley to a much lower cost part of the country.

Having an only child.

Buy gently used cars and when I could, paid cash for them.


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