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View Poll Results: Do you find it easy to save?
Yes, I have no problem saving a large % of my income. 79 90.80%
No, I have to work hard to save for retirement. 8 9.20%
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Old 07-22-2008, 03:15 PM   #21
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Just curious: were you conditioned by a thrifty parent, or was it self-taught? Is this thriftiness a life-long habit, or something that was consciously developed?
I had a thrifty parent who grew up in the depression and that rubbed off on me I guess. But although I believe that being thrifty/frugal can be learned, I also believe that for some of us it is a trait built into our genes. I know some people that absolutely can not control their spending under any circumstances. I think they missed out on the frugal gene, just as I missed out on the spending gene.
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Old 07-22-2008, 03:31 PM   #22
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Just curious: were you conditioned by a thrifty parent, or was it self-taught? Is this thriftiness a life-long habit, or something that was consciously developed?
A lot of it was from my parents, both lived on small farms in the NE USA during the Depression. I learned not to ask for stuff because I knew there wasn't any spare money (they did work hard to make sure we were adequately fed and housed and clothed). They also instilled a sense that conspicuous consumption was morally and intellectually inferior.

I strayed a bit from thriftiness when young, but never had big debts beyond house and car.

I recall coming home from school and finding my piggy bank raided (with an IOU, later paid back) because gas money was needed to get to work.
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Old 07-22-2008, 03:55 PM   #23
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My wife and I are both frugal by nature and we don't have a problem saving. When I was young and single, I considered my savings account untouchable. Any money that went in was off limits. If I wanted to buy something, I would accumulate the funds in my checking account until I could afford it. I only used credit cards for convenience and never allowed the balance to go higher than I could afford to pay off at the end of the month. As my savings balance grew, my feelings of independence and well being increased and it encouraged me to save more.
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Old 07-22-2008, 05:01 PM   #24
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Saving is pretty easy. We have a small townhouse that either one of us can afford on just one salary and no kids yet.

Interestingly enough, we have friends who have a 2 year old and they find that they actually save more with the kid than they did before having her. Because they eat less dinners out, fewer trips to the bar, etc....
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Old 07-22-2008, 05:22 PM   #25
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I am fortunate that my wife and I are very financially compatible. We never care for conspicuous consumption, nor showing off to friends or neighbors. We do not drool over fancy material stuff, nor are impressed by it.

We both do not like to go shopping. For example, when we need a new pair of shoes, we dash to the shoe store for the purpose, and are done in 15 minutes. Of course when buying larger items, such as an HDTV, we would shop around. Ever since we were married, we never carry credit card balances. Since 30 y.o., I have been paying cash for our cars, which was only 4 or 5 cars ago; we either drove them to the ground, or until they got totaled by the other idiot drivers. Writing a $20-30K check for cars keeps us focused on the car's cost, not the "affordable" monthly payments as most people consider. Oh, I am sure that some consider that is unwise use of money. It is better to borrow, while investing your cash, blah blah blah...

Actually, we did not save for ER intention like some younger forum members. Though our jobs had been reasonably secure, or as secure as they could get in the private sector, we always fretted of layoffs. We hated the insecurity of living paycheck-to-paycheck. We just didn't feel safe, and still don't, if we did not have multi-year expenses stashed up. We saved for financial security. I never thought we would retire early and I still may not, though my wife is pretty sure about herself.

When I read financial articles advising people to have 6-mo of expenses saved up, I just shook my head. How about for the rest of your life, I asked. I did not know that was called FI.
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Old 07-22-2008, 07:07 PM   #26
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While I am not a mega saver like some here---I find it very easy to live a frugal lifestyle. As others have said--time is far valuable than money. I would rather have FI than a bunch of stuff.
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Old 07-22-2008, 07:21 PM   #27
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I like to "spend money" on income-producing assets such as dividend-paying stocks. Once my rising stream of dividends is way more than what I need to LBMM, I might then consider using some of that surplus dividend income in a way that raises my standard of living.

I prefer having the peace of mind that comes from not having to worry about the job market and general economy to buying stuff I can definitely live without.
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Old 07-22-2008, 07:34 PM   #28
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I would have trouble spending all of my monthly salary. I think it helps that I'm single, don't have a car, and don't like owning lots of stuff.
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Old 07-22-2008, 08:06 PM   #29
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I agree with w2r and khan. Savings buys time. Have pretty much all the stuff I need, so being able to RE is more important.
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Old 07-22-2008, 08:10 PM   #30
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My impression is that most of the people around here are not very tempted by material things, and find it easy to save money. Recently FireWhen said "I REALLY HATE TO SPEND MONEY," and that seems to be a pretty common attitude here. Are there a lot of people who've had to work hard to save a large percentage of their income and not spend most of what they earn?
I don't know about a lot of people, but I had to do mental tricks on myself to save, because I like things and experiences that I can buy with money.

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Old 07-22-2008, 08:18 PM   #31
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Saving money has never been a problem for me. DH on the other hand.......
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Old 07-22-2008, 08:18 PM   #32
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I find it difficult to save. I have no debt and yes, I have set aside a good-size chunk for retirement considering my age, but most of my friends want to eat out, go to concerts, go on vacation. And I worry that I'll regret saying no to those things (because I do want to go) just so I could save more. So I continue saving 15% in 401k and maxing my Roth for now.
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Old 07-22-2008, 10:13 PM   #33
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I never considered saving until a couple years ago, but now that it is something I am interested in it has been easy to make the switch to saving. I'm also learning to be wiser with the money I am spending, allowing me to balance quality of life and retirement goals.
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Old 07-22-2008, 10:59 PM   #34
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I have automatic withdrawals set up which really helps me save.
I use the rest for bills and if I feel like spurlging....I save for it or get a pt babysitting gig.
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Old 07-23-2008, 12:58 AM   #35
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I could save about a further 10% of my salary, or I could easily spend 30% more. As it is I have found a reasonable balance that suits me, about 50%.

One can always earn more money but time is irrevocable. It is an unfortunate fact of life that for some, the delayed gratification is never realised. Life is short so don't miss out on too much.
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Old 07-23-2008, 08:13 AM   #36
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We save a lot, somewhere over 40% of gross, some years higher if the bonus is good. Being quite nicely compensated allows for that, since we are basically frugal but do enjoy travelling to Hawaii a couple times a year (at least once is on accumulated air miles, so I don't feel guilty about that). I just got my wife a nice new handbag from a famous brand, but got it at about 65% off the retail price, and she waited a good long time for it. I am no longer interested in brands, except for the brands that my stocks carry. I'm much happier buying shares than I am in buying the latest toy. I do want an RV or travel trailer sometime in the future, when we move back stateside. Saving? Yep, pretty easy...Dow we spend? Yep, when we really want to.

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Old 07-23-2008, 09:15 AM   #37
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It never was right up until I bought my house.

Now it feels like my house runs on hundred dollar bills.

We're still managing to save 25-29% of gross, but it's much more of a fight than it used to be.
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Old 07-23-2008, 10:16 AM   #38
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I don't know about a lot of people, but I had to do mental tricks on myself to save, because I like things and experiences that I can buy with money.

Ha
I repeat myself - thirty years in New Orleans. Let's see if they have combat pay for war zones - do they have party pay for living thirty minutes from the French Quarter??



heh heh heh - Blondie is homesick - Boudreaux's Louisiana Seafood north of here tonight - in the old days would have eaten cheap all week to save for the splurge - but cheaper early ER has and low core budget provides wiggle room.
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Old 07-23-2008, 12:15 PM   #39
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I was very good at saving...thus i had my school loan and mortgage paid off before I was 30 yo. Now that I have some rental and almost paid off...it is easier for me to spend as i fool myself to think that it is not my money and it ok to buy with renters' money. .of course after paying the mortgage and rental expenses.
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Old 07-23-2008, 12:23 PM   #40
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I repeat myself - thirty years in New Orleans. Let's see if they have combat pay for war zones - do they have party pay for living thirty minutes from the French Quarter??


I thought you live IN the French Quarter.
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