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Old 03-28-2011, 03:23 PM   #21
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You should do what makes you happy. After purchasing a lottery ticket, my wife and I often talk about what we'll do if we win and it won't be too different from how we're currently doing. This is who I am so and, if I go out and start spending unnecessary money, that no longer will be me.
When I told my friends I got an used honda accord for 10k, they were amazed and that makes me feel good... my friends might think I'm a cheap but I don't care, I take pride in the fact that I can find something that others can't. This is me and it won't change even if I have a lot money.
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Old 03-28-2011, 03:28 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by GRambler View Post
Ditto here.
My wife buys most of her clothes at thrift stores or consignment shops. Usually new or fairly new name brand high end stuff, but she'll get tops for fifty cents, pants or jackets for a few bucks.
She hates paying retail for anything.

But it also bothers me in the long run as I'll feel bad spending more than she does, which ain't hard since she's such a spend thrift.
I'd never let her know that though since I know she enjoys the thrift shops.
What an interesting finding. It seems my wife is also married to FD AND GRambler.

I had no clue...
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Old 03-28-2011, 03:33 PM   #23
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I blow a lot on vacations but I am the same as you on day to day stuff. I'm putting off buying an iPad because it may be a little cheaper come Christmas - or maybe an Android tablet I like better will come out. Or because DW says, "do you really need that?" The later has made me crush a lot of impulses.
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Old 03-28-2011, 03:35 PM   #24
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If it makes you feel any better, financing a race car seems like reckless spending
Built from old and/or spare parts I'd accumulated, traded or bartered for over the last 20-30 years. Now I'm trying to enjoy getting some good stuff for it.
And I keep telling myself, it's only a hobby, it's only a hobby, it's only a hobby...

I do get a lot of satisfaction that I built the entire car myself in my garage and I'm having just as much, if not more fun as the guys that spent 4-5 times as much on a car they had someone build for them.
Doing a lot with a little takes a talent of it's on.

We don't travel much anymore but hope to change that, we rarely eat out and don't really care to very often, never go to movies but will see an occasional live show.

We still have a standard old style TV. I guess the only big ticket thing we've bought in years is a new washing machine when I couldn't fix the transmission in the old one.
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Old 03-28-2011, 03:39 PM   #25
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GRambler, I did not know I had a twin!

Oh, there's one thing we are different on. I still have not gotten tired of "counting my money", which I do at least once a day using Quicken.

How can one be tired of money? Compared to all other stuff, money is THE BEST. You can convert money to stuff any time. But try to convert stuff back to money, you know it is not so easy.

So, when you still have money in hand, the possibilities that it may bring are endless. Just think about it in your mind should bring pleasure already. And it lasts and lasts. But once that money is spent, it is gone. Gone. For good. No more interest will come from it. No more dividends.

Money rules!
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Old 03-28-2011, 03:50 PM   #26
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Are You a Mental ?

Some classify this behavior, taken to extreme, as a mental disorder.

When being frugal becomes an obsession - NASDAQ.com#

Quote:
Getting to the root of the problem Financial psychologists say they can help severe underspenders by exploring the underlying roots of their anxiety in therapy, whether it's that the patients subscribe to the "money equals security" myth or that they don't think they deserve the things money can buy. "If you help them understand what they feel guilty about or why they're anxious, that can really help," Klontz says.
Of course, underspenders are tough to treat because most of them don't see anything wrong with their behavior -- in fact, they're proud of it -- and the last thing they want to do is spend money for therapy. "Pretty much the only way I see them is if their spouse drags them in," says Settel, the psychiatrist.


Read more: http://community.nasdaq.com/News/201...#ixzz1HvhcVzV8
Quote:
Unlike those who are simply thrifty, chronic underspenders pass up purchases not because they enjoy saving money or making practical sacrifices to reach a larger goal -- but because it physically pains them to part with cash. Their income makes no difference. Some are attorneys making $400,000 a year; others are waiters who make $20,000.
"Underspenders go without things they can afford, and they have trouble enjoying their resources," says Brad Klontz, a financial psychologist and author of "Mind Over Money: Overcoming The Money Disorders that Threaten Our Financial Health." "Severe underspenders neglect basic self care. They don't go to the dentist or doctor because don't want to spend the money."
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Old 03-28-2011, 03:57 PM   #27
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See what I meant?

There are unscrupulous people out there who want you to convert your money into their stuff. Are they doing it for your benefits?

And now, there's this psychologist who wants to get your money in exchange for some therapy sessions, which are not even stuff. Good grief!

I rest my case.
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Old 03-28-2011, 03:57 PM   #28
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I like this response:

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I think that you are in good company here. The way I look at it, the game is never clearly won. I plan to self insure for long term care and no one knows the cost of that.

That said, for me the secret to peace of mind is to shut off the voice that says what you should do and to do what you actually want to do. If spending money makes you unhappy and no one is endangered, patch the hoses, fix the BBQ, sod the lawn. Of course, if it causes marital discord, you need to find a compromise.
Grambler, I have had many of the same feelings about spending more money in retirement than I was accustomed to spending.

Eventually I realized that travelover is right. Who dares to say how much you should spend? I am happiest living as I have always lived but with a few extra luxuries. The nice thing is that I know I need not deny myself whatever I might want, since I don't really want diamonds, yachts, luxurious travel, or other silliness.

I do go to the doctor and dentist when needed, and I buy myself unnecessary items that I just want (like the rice cooker I bought last month - - what fun! Totally overpriced but it plays a little tune when the rice is done.).

And like travelover says, any excess may be taken up by long term care anyway, or else my daughter will inherit it.
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Old 03-28-2011, 04:52 PM   #29
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The problem is I can't spend it, the guilt or whatever prevents me from doing it without feeling over anxious about how much I'm spending, and my wife isn't much better.
Could be for a new gas grill, I would normally just replace the burner in the old one, or a few thousand dollars for landscaping that I'd normally bust my butt trying to get it done for half that rather than pay someone even though it's getting to be too much for me physically.
And I tie myself in knots justifying it either way I go. If I fix the rusted out 10 year old grill I wonder why I would do that, I'll run an old set of tires one more race rather than spend money on a new set. I'll patch garden hoses rather than go buy a couple of new ones. I've repaired every appliance in our house at least once rather than buy new ones.
All that was done to reach where we are now.
But it's like; now that I won the game I don't know what to do.
Continuing to do as before causes us to question our sanity, enjoying the fruits of our labor causes anxiety.
Old habits die hard I suppose.
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Right now I'm stressing about spending $400 on some new forged pistons for an engine "I'm" building (to cheap to pay a shop to build it) or I'll use some old cast pistons I have.
Absolutely stupid to put cast pistons in a race engine, but from my old broke days that's what I'd do and just limit the engine RPM's so she'd hold together.
"But, but, but... I might need that money for something else someday!"

It sounds as if you're using the money numbers to sort through the things that bring you value. You wouldn't normally try to win a race with crappy or unsafe parts or tires or fuel, but maybe winning at racing isn't as important as the satisfaction of building stuff to race. The trick is to find a way that lets you build more racing stuff (that you enjoy) without actually having to sweat the expenses of racing it (which is what lets you build more stuff).

Another thought would be that "doing it right the first time" is usually way cheaper than doing it over. You want to spend the money on higher-quality materials because you value your time & labor (and hassle, perhaps even safety) of doing it again.

My father-in-law, however, is just plain cheap. He'll buy the least-expensive water hose he can find, and then repair it a half-dozen times a year. By the time it's unusable (even by his standards) he's spent more money (and way more time) on it than if he'd bought a high-quality hose... and the high-quality hose would last three times as long.

He was the same way with a vehicle repair. If he'd taken it to the shop, they would've read the OBDII codes and fixed it right the first time before the end of the day for about $250. Instead he spent three weeks and $350 borrowing tools, trying to get various people to "help" with the labor (and breaking other parts), buying more tools, and guessing about which (non-returnable) parts to buy.

Of course both of those examples let him complain happily for years about how miserable he is.

Same standards with a gas BBQ (although I prefer charcoal). You could keep replacing the guts, but maybe it's worth a little more money to buy a higher-quality BBQ that will last longer with less maintenance and gut-replacing. Or maybe you enjoy rebuilding stuff, in which case you could resell rebuilt equipment on Craigslist or eBay. But if BBQing isn't a big deal in your life then you could buy a Weber charcoal kettle and get a decade or two out of it for about $75.

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I just can't pull the trigger for stuff like that without feeling guilty.
Wife wants new curtains for the house, about a grand for all the windows. (cheap by some peoples standards) But the last time was 15 years ago and she shopped around for weeks and did the entire house for a couple hundred bucks. She just can't make herself order what she wants and be done with it. "It shouldn't cost that much", is her reply. She'll almost cry about it.
We're going through the same experience right now with cellular blinds on our bedroom windows. Another way to think of this experience would be to decide that they're different curtains. They're definitely not the same curtains she bought 15 years ago.

First she should consider 15 years of inflation. Between 1995 and 2010 inflation rose 45% (Inflation Calculator: Bureau of Labor Statistics). In addition, the fabric she's buying is made from better materials that will offer more thermal protection and won't fade as much or as quickly. Next, there've been a lot of technological improvements in drapes even over the last 15 years. You'll notice that the mounting hardware is better and easier. Then she could take advantage of the shopping to either look for extremely high-quality construction. Finally she could wait for a sale or see if they'll take less for a huge cash order.

If it makes her feel better then she could skip the gold-threaded material, titanium curtain rods, and remote-controlled motorized cords that can be run on a timer or from a Web browser.

It sounds like she may be crossing the line from frugality to deprivation. Frugality makes you feel good about what you're doing, and just competing in the game (let alone winning it) is at least half of the fun. It could even be as simple as a great story about how she found the Craigslist deal or stalked a manufacturer's website for six months.

However deprivation is just misery and unfulfillment with no satisfaction. She can find that anytime she wants in Cuba or North Korea...
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Old 03-28-2011, 05:01 PM   #30
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How about thinking about 'I'm going to sell this someday and no one is going to give me a dime for a engine with crappy iron pistons in a racing engine' Same for other decisions. 'We can put some cheap curtains and hold together for a while longer but if we use the good stuff, the resale value will be higher'

Still, you are just fooling yourself, and I doubt it will get any easier. DW and I are going through a similar thing now. We have the money, know we will have the money, but I am still going to wait for those tablet computers to get cheaper before I get one.
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Old 03-28-2011, 05:03 PM   #31
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But if BBQing isn't a big deal in your life then you could buy a Weber charcoal kettle and get a decade or two out of it for about $75.
Going off on a complete tangent I have to take you to task for this one. If BBQing (more accurately, grilling) is a big deal in your life, you WANT the Weber charcoal kettle and good hardwood charcoal. Vastly superior to grilling on a gas range.
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Old 03-28-2011, 06:55 PM   #32
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I still don't spend much.
I give away quite a bit.
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Old 03-28-2011, 08:00 PM   #33
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Wow, quick replies around here.
Thanks for the feedback.

Never really done much with any projections or budgets, just mainly gut instinct and common sense to get where we are. But we finally went to a financial planner and she said we could and should start spending some. She said at our present rate of spending our portfolio would double by the time we die.

What I'd done in the past is give myself my own bank account for my hobbies, if money was in it I'd spend it, if not I'd work around it. That was hobby money only, not home repairs and house stuff, we'd mainly do that out of bring home money. So now my wife and I are thinking of creating her a spending account as well and upping my limit.
It'd still only be about 50-75% of our take home after living expenses. We both still contribute to our 401's, but we'd probably try and minimize any savings contributions.

It's kind of a mental thing I guess, if it's in savings we would never touch it except in an emergency or for big ticket items, so to keep the anxiety down we may have to create other accounts to work out of.
Budget & net worth projections are just a tool to help to take the emotional aspects of your situation.

Another mind game would be to think if you were told that you were going to die in a week or so; would you rather have saved some money by not buying something you would have enjoyed or would you have said you should have bought it?

Or maybe you should go back to work if saving money makes you happy. There is nothing wrong with that. The people you leave your money to will appreciate it.

There are many people on this board who will support you in extreme frugalism.

Many people on this board have been in your position. Once you begin to spend and think less about it, it becomes less of an issue.
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Old 03-28-2011, 08:52 PM   #34
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Have you thought about giving your wife the new curtains as a gift? Possibly not the right item, but I find it a lot easier and a lot more pleasurable to give extravagant gifts and to do things for people that are extraordinary than to spend money on myself (though I can do that fairly well, I'm not in your position, though my GF may be).

The curtains may not be the best example, but a gift certificate for a custom suit for your wife, or a gift of $XXX designated to be, not to pay for what she would buy, but specifically to spend ABOVE what she would buy so that the gift is the added luxury for herself and the home. She can shop for the lowest price she would buy, but still indulge in what she really wants to have, and rather than feel guilty, she can feel grateful and warm towards you. And you'll probably enjoy that even more than the new gas grill.

Also, I'm 32 and have never been married. Take the advice for what it's worth!
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Old 03-28-2011, 09:32 PM   #35
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All previous post kidding aside, I do not see that you are doing anything wrong. Let's see...

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..my wife and I have done well enough to have most anything we've wanted. Nothing over the top, but new cars every 8-10 years, boats, motorcycle, race cars, RV, and a paid off home. All modest middle of the road stuff, but all paid for and all done on a modest salary.
So, it appears to me that you do not feel deprived. Or do you? If you are going to regret not getting this or that thing later, then it would not be good.

We have been frugal ourselves, but we never felt deprived. Instead of going first class on just a few things, we like to spread our experiences over a broader range. Instead of one extravagant vacation trip, we would rather take two and see more places. Instead of upgrading to a larger main home (our main home is 2700 sq.ft.), we bought a second home "in the mountain". Instead of each owning a luxurious car, we kept our old cars and added a motor home for traveling, etc...

So people who see us driving run-of-the-mill cars may not appreciate what else we have to enjoy, but no matter. We spend money on what makes us happy, and not to show off.

And about not being able to spend, I would not worry about it. Most people have the propensity to spend too much, not too little. Ever since I have more free time off megacorp, I have found myself spending more. And it is easy to go overboard. Buying a motorhome is just the start. It costs money to operate and to maintain. So, it was a good thing my wife, who brings in no income anymore, has slowed me down and kept me from going overboard on some expenses.

In short, don't worry about underspending. You can always spend more later. But overspend, and you can be in big troubles, just like the stories published in financial magazines of people who went broke. I'd rather not.

PS. How much are the curtains? Why not just get it done? About the TV, they are dirt cheap now, so would not set you back that much. Still, you may be disappointed as there may not be much worth watching anyway.
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Old 03-28-2011, 09:50 PM   #36
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I had to laugh at the multiple references to replacing BBQ guts in this thread. Quite a number of years ago I bought a small but adequate for our purposes propane BBQ. It wiggled a little and the wheels were too small. Using some aluminum braces that were stored in our garage when we bought it I stiffened it considerably and put much bigger nicer tires on it.

When I noticed the burner rusting out, I thought can't be that much but found them wanting about half of what I had paid for the grill. Decided to get a new grill but instead of solid cast metal, the housings on the small grills were now stamped out metal that just seemed cheap.

Indecision overcame me since it still worked just fine, so fast forward three months and grill guts on sale for half price for winter clearance. Kaching! Chicago has been frigid all winter. But as soon as spring has sprung warm, one of my first jobs after putting away the snow blower is replacing those grill guts. lol
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Old 03-28-2011, 10:33 PM   #37
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I have little buckets or allocations of my money to finance my different hobbies so that I don't feel so guilty about spending. So, as long as I am within the budgets of those allocations, I don't feel so guilty. If I had not done this, I would be unwilling to spend but I did not want to retire and not pursue my interests, some of which (unfortunately) require spending some money. Having said that, I've been delaying (for more than a year) buying a new mobile phone to replace my really worn out one. Since I am not a gadget person, I feel really reluctant to spend good money on the mobile phone. Most of my friends have iphones but they only use 10% to 15% of its facilities. I don't need an iphone but really need to replace my mobile with something less embarassing than my current out-dated one.
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Old 03-28-2011, 11:35 PM   #38
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I am not a gadget person, but my son bought me an IPhone for my last Mother's Day and I am in love with it. I am using it right now. I've never had a lap top, so this is wonderful.
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Old 03-29-2011, 06:56 AM   #39
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Indecision overcame me since it still worked just fine, so fast forward three months and grill guts on sale for half price for winter clearance. Kaching! Chicago has been frigid all winter. But as soon as spring has sprung warm, one of my first jobs after putting away the snow blower is replacing those grill guts. lol
I went through a similar process but then I could only get one of the old burners out. The others are rusted in too much to budge. I know I need to drill out the bolts and jerry rig something to attach the new ones but I have been procrastinating for a year. In the meantime I put some tin foil over the leaky areas of the burners.

Edit: of course th real reason I don't just go out and buy a new one is that assembling the dumb thing is more of a hassle than dealing with the rusted burners. And that is the real ER story.
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Old 03-29-2011, 07:25 AM   #40
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Boy oh boy, I never thought I'd find the amount of Kindred spirits that I found here.
I told DW last night over (left over Lasagna) dinner and wine about you guys. I think that alone cheered her up.
BTW, our favorite wine is 3 buck chuck (Charles Shaw) from Trader Joes
Can't help that, we really do like it.

We had a nice talk about dividing some assets up that we can each freely spend and not feel bad about it. Some of the guilt and anxiety is just comments we'll make to each other in jest about how much each spent on something. But when the spender is concerned about it, words said even in jest can sting a lot.
Realizing that between us will help. But we both like telling the other about "the deal" we got on something we purchased. Her especially.

There is no way we'll go on a spending tear since it's not in our nature anyway, but we do realize we should be enjoying it rather than fretting about it.

Thanks guys, this has been a bit of an eye opener for us.
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