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Old 09-21-2015, 10:33 AM   #61
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In no particular order.

Bought smallest house in Rich Man's neighborhood, children got world class education for property tax rate vs. private vs. usual poor quality public.

Purchased least expensive in overall cost cars and ran them into the ground.

Married frugal wife.

Maxed all tax advantaged accounts.

You can cut your netflix or cable or whatever all you want but it was the tens of thousands per year that the above saved us that did the trick.
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Old 09-21-2015, 10:38 AM   #62
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Use the library whenever not travelling for extended periods.

Buy used books to read and discard while travelling. (As a family we brought used books with us on our 9 week trip - swapped them all around, then discarded.)

Cook food with in-season ingredients. Tasty and far cheaper than dining out.

Exploit free entertainment activities - like going to the beach, parks, etc.

Exploit senior discounts and child discounts where-ever possible. Kids get cheap bus passes, DH gets an even cheaper bus pass and is acquiring the lifetime senior NPS pass today.

Buy used when possible. My son was thrilled to find video game themed t-shirts at good will. Our piano was bought off craigslist. We always survey local yard sales.

Reduce or eliminate monthly recurring charges: swapped landline to magic-jack, swapped verizon cell phones to Ting, reduced cable bill by more than half, DH cancelled gym membership when he realized he was exercising more frequently on his "death marches" with the dog - supplemented with some free weights.

I've set a mandatory rule against "in game purchases" on video games for my sons. No more "pay to win" games (Hello team fortress 2 and the stupid hats!)

Don't replace items just because there are newer, shinier versions available. Our tv is 9 years old... sure those 4k tv's look nice at Costco... but our tv is still functioning. Same with clothes, same with furniture, same with almost everything.... use it till it has no use left.
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Old 09-21-2015, 10:46 AM   #63
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But then, one needs to balance that tax with the cost of selling the home, moving, buying new home, making new friends, the cost of flying home to visit relatives, etc...

Perhaps it is best to keep on working. One then has money to pay tax and still gets to keep plenty to run a cool AC.
But then, one would be in the wrong forum!

Seriously, for some folks (living in northern Mass for example) moving to NH could be a matter of moving 2 or 3 miles.

Most folks here already just drive an extra mile or two to get liquor, gas, cigs, TVs, laptops, appliances etc. Registering your car/boat in NH is another common pastime (excise tax alone can be $800 each year).
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Old 09-21-2015, 10:58 AM   #64
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The RV was expensive. But having people rent my flat while I travel full time is not bad.

And having friends visiting in the RV for weeks sharing the costs is both fun and frugal.
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Old 09-22-2015, 07:21 PM   #65
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Old 09-22-2015, 07:34 PM   #66
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... And having friends visiting in the RV for weeks sharing the costs is both fun and frugal.
They would have to be very good friends. My RV is small, but even if I have a larger one I don't think I have any friends or even relatives I like to share it with. Not unless they make an RV that has two bedrooms and two baths.
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Old 09-24-2015, 08:14 AM   #67
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In no particular order.

Bought smallest house in Rich Man's neighborhood, children got world class education for property tax rate vs. private vs. usual poor quality public.

Purchased least expensive in overall cost cars and ran them into the ground.

Married frugal wife.

Maxed all tax advantaged accounts.

You can cut your netflix or cable or whatever all you want but it was the tens of thousands per year that the above saved us that did the trick.
I believe the question pertains to post-FIRE, when, hopefully, things like getting married to a like minded person, educating kids economically, and maxing out savings accounts are all been-there, done-that items.

The benefit of minding the small things in FIRE, for us at least, is that the monies freed up can be directed elsewhere as we see fit. We have bumped up several budget lines over the years through efficiency achieved elsewhere, most notably our travel line. And our stockpile of boutique wine and craft beers which we categorize under 'Entertainment.'
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Old 09-24-2015, 10:17 AM   #68
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The biggest for us was to cut out Comcast cable tv. We've been 2-3 years now without it and we are surviving just fine. Saves $100/ month.

Next would be to just simply pay attention to your gas/electric usage. I find that when I pay attention to it, I work on conserving more. It gets my excited to try and optimize it. This is vs. ignoring it and not caring at all. To me it is a win-win....environment wins, I win.

Next on the list is the mortgage interest expense. We are at a point where the PEASE act essentially wipes out the deduction so I'm on a 'get rid of the mortage interest' bender.
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Old 09-24-2015, 10:26 AM   #69
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Originally Posted by NW-Bound View Post
They would have to be very good friends. My RV is small, but even if I have a larger one I don't think I have any friends or even relatives I like to share it with. Not unless they make an RV that has two bedrooms and two baths.
I guess mine is small too compared to many although 33 ft is large here in Europe. So only one bath and guests sleep in the lounge area. I usually have one visitor at a time but when my brother and his two kids came on holiday one summer we had loads of fun. Not all family members have been invited though...
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Old 09-24-2015, 10:51 AM   #70
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... Turn off hot water heater until 3 hours before needed. I only need hot water in the morning so that saves lots of electricity. ...

Actually, not heating the water until you need it is probably not really saving you anything measurable at all (not 'lots'). Modern electric water heaters are well insulated, very little energy is required to keep the water hot, compared to the amount of energy required to get the water hot (which is the same in either case).

If you have to raise the water from say 60 F to 130 F, that is a 70 F increase. But an electric tank may only lose a few degrees overnight. And those are either made up in the morning, or in stages at night. So there is almost no difference at all.

If you want to get really technical, if the average temperature overnight is 125 F rather than being kept at 130 F, it will lose energy at a slightly lower rate (slight less T-delta), but this is minuscule.


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...
2. tankless hot water heater
...
Much the same applies to a tankless.

But more importantly, it seems you both could save much more $$$. Why are you heating hot water? If it's hot, you don't need a water heater, or spend any money on energy.

OK, that probably belongs in the 'pet peeve' thread, but it is a water heater, not a hot water heater. You don't need to heat hot water, it is already hot.

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Old 09-24-2015, 11:00 AM   #71
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But more importantly, it seems you both could save much more $$$. Why are you heating hot water? If it's hot, you don't need a water heater, or spend any money on energy.

OK, that probably belongs in the 'pet peeve' thread, but it is a water heater, not a hot water heater. You don't need to heat hot water, it is already hot.
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Old 09-24-2015, 11:08 AM   #72
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Buy new car for cash, keep until wheels fall off, liability insurance only.
Avoid needless trips in car, saves gas and liability exposure, walk if possible.
Buy condo for cash, avoid mortgage payments.
Air condition a small room, leave rest of home with fans and open windows.
Borrow books/DVDs/CDs from library.
MagicJack for landline replacement.
Internet only cable, used Netflix for a while, then cancelled it.
Target razor blades, no fancy overpriced gizmo blades.
Buy off season clothes on sale.
Do not buy shampoo, use regular soap on hair.
Buy food on sale if possible, with coupons.
Shop at multiple supermarkets for weekly specials.
Never buy snacks/soda out of a machine.
Make sure qualified dividends are enough to avoid paying income tax.
When I was working, put max allowed into 401k.
Keep income under 16k to get free medical, cell phone, and reduced electric rates.
Almost never eat out or go to bars.
Get enough clothes so wash only needs to be done once a month.
Build own computer and use a open source operating system.
No pets.
Stay unattached to avoid alimony, child support, wife expenses.
Stop drinking soda or alcohol.
No financial advisor.
Do not buy apps or music.
Cut own hair. ...maybe in the future.
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Old 09-24-2015, 04:19 PM   #73
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Last week I moved my '79 New Yorker 5th Ave from my regular car insurance to my antique policy. On the regular policy it was $200 a year for liability-only. On the antique, it's $53 a year for full coverage of an agreed value of $4,000.

So, about a $150 per year savings. It's small, but it's a start!
If you don't mind sharing, who issued the antique policy? I am paying 200/yr for an agreed value of 8k.
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Old 09-24-2015, 05:19 PM   #74
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At present, I'm saving some serious money doing corrective and preventative maintenance on our cars. While you don't save much by doing your own oil change as compared to Jiffy Lube, you DO save a boatload by doing a little bit of internet research, finding the service manual for your car, using Auto Zone to check your Maintenance Indicating Lights and buying your own parts for routine stuff like air filter replacements, etc.

In the last six months, I've: replaced both headlights; cleaned the IACV and throttle body in my wife's car, correcting her stall-on-idle issue. That likely saved several hundred dollars in labor, costing less than $20 in parts and fluids and about four hours of my life doing something fun anyway. Just this week, I took my car to Auto Zone to check the MIL code, found that my high idle was due to idle air control issues, so I started simple and inspected/replaced my air filters. Turns out, one of them wasn't seated properly, so instead of having someone hunt down a vacuum leak that didn't exist and renting a car for a day, I fixed that one on my own.

Next up, rear diff lube change, oil change, and cabin air filter change. I suspect it'll cost me ~$80 and about two hours to do all of that rather than the $150+ the shop wants.

Learning to do your own automotive maintenance can save boatloads of money (and give you something to do in retirement!)
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Old 09-24-2015, 05:27 PM   #75
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Old 09-24-2015, 05:54 PM   #76
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Good for you, Nash! My DH is mighty handy with cars and knows his way around the pick and pull, too!

So satisfying to figure the problems it and seems there is a YouTube video available for every repair. He also uses the various forums for specific cars to help diagnose stuff.
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Old 09-24-2015, 06:04 PM   #77
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I believe the question pertains to post-FIRE, when, hopefully, things like getting married to a like minded person, educating kids economically, and maxing out savings accounts are all been-there, done-that items.

The benefit of minding the small things in FIRE, for us at least, is that the monies freed up can be directed elsewhere as we see fit. We have bumped up several budget lines over the years through efficiency achieved elsewhere, most notably our travel line. And our stockpile of boutique wine and craft beers which we categorize under 'Entertainment.'
Yes, ElizabethT! This is exactly what I had in mind when I posted the opening thread. I LBMM, married right, didn't divorce, was lucky with jobs, and learned as much as possible about smart money moves before FIRE. But I didn't have time to research the small stuff, and since I was able to save despite not always doing the cheapest thing, I didn't worry about it. Now I'm making time to find ways to maintain my lifestyle more frugally. And I'm turning to the experts - That's all of you FIRE folks - for advice about how to do that.
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Old 09-24-2015, 06:06 PM   #78
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Great job Nash. I've been maintaining our cars as long as I can remember (and that's a long time). I even considered installing a lift in our garage but DW nixed the idea.

I even have my daughter trained to do simple car maintenance and she has quite a good garage full of tools. Being "handy" can lead you to maintaining appliances and other home contraptions. Plus you can save a good bit of money as you found out.
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Old 09-24-2015, 06:09 PM   #79
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I have decided the best way to cut expenses is to give my wife a vacation to Rome for our 25 wedding aniversity, but then my pastor said what are you going to do on my 50th wedding aniversity I said go visit my wife.
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Old 09-24-2015, 06:23 PM   #80
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My DIY skills have saved me countless money over the years.

It also helps to know the right people. I have an extensive network of family and friends who all enjoy helping each other, and we all benefit from other people's skills. I helped a friend shingle his garage...he did some body work on my car. I helped another friend build a deck...he mudded the drywall in my basement. My brother helped me build a garage...I helped him build a sunroom, etc.
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