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Re: My Confession
Old 02-18-2005, 01:02 PM   #21
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Re: My Confession

here is a post from the SL forum today

Quote:
I'm fortunate in that I'm able to save 67% (or 2/3) of my net income yearly. I live on around $10,000 per year.
Thats below the poverty line.
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Re: My Confession
Old 02-18-2005, 01:16 PM   #22
 
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Re: My Confession

Yep, living on 10K per year makes my $50 per day look
like the lap of luxury. In fact, it would seem to be for a lot of people.

JG
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Re: My Confession
Old 02-18-2005, 01:45 PM   #23
 
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Re: My Confession

Quote:
Xprinter, I think there's more to it than this. I should point out that, like you, I followed the discussion board at the Simple Living Network forum and was not at all impressed with it for three reasons: First, I didn't learn much there, although I did like the Dominguez/Robin book. Second, I don't like the "tone" of the place. It smacks of a cult, with participants convincing each other that their lifestyle of self-denial is the best way. And finally, the SLN folks tend to dwell on every excruciating detail of their self-denial with a cult-like fervor that borders on fanaticism. Many of these folks come across as one-dimensional and just plain weird. Amy Dacyczyn's stuff strikes me the same way. There are obsessive and miserly elements to their thinking that leave me cold. IMHO, the mindset displayed in that forum is one step removed from survivalist types who build underground shelters and stock them with dried food and ammunition. Furthermore, I don't think many of them will actually achieve FI because they tend to focus on piddling expenses that don't amount to squat in the grand scheme of things.
Another great post from Bob Smith!

I have never visited the SLN Forum, nor will I plan to. This lifetstyle actually sounds worse than going back to work for me. And going on 4 years from work, that is a stretch.

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Re: My Confession
Old 02-18-2005, 06:23 PM   #24
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Re: My Confession

I'm sure most people here would agree. What good is retiring early if you can't enjoy your retirement?
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Re: My Confession
Old 02-18-2005, 07:19 PM   #25
 
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Re: My Confession

I think the simple living forum and the ER forum both have their strengths. The ER forum is great for getting ideas on where and how to invest safely. Where the simple living forum and YMOYL shines is helping with this little switch in your head that goes from. " I am stuck in this hell of a Job untill I am dead" to " I have a way to freedom and here is how I do it, and here is how I measure how close I am to being free"
The folks on the sl forum generally have a lot less than the folks here, but enjoy their freedom just as much.
My switch was flicked by "your money or your life" about five years ago.
The other site which does not get much press here is "countryside". The great magazine presents the self sufficient side of the equation. And of course you can also ad a dash of preparedess to spice things up.

There are different tacks that you can take to get to the FI goal. The nice thing about it is that you can pick and choose between the different ideas and come up with a plan that is ideal for you.
What these different groups are about are freedom and security. Thats what we all want.

Security for me is enough money coming in to pay the expenses, A couple years worth of fire wood stacked in the shed, a barn full of hay, and a pantry full of food.

Freedom for me is to do what ever I want when ever I want.

My plan has taken us out of the big city and corporate hell and plopped us on 8 acres of heaven in the Black Hills with an income and expenses in line with the low end of this group. What amazes me is that we can live comfortably on 15% of our former income. Having no debt and paying little in taxes makes all the difference in the world. If your looking for cheap entertainment, Chickens are hillarious.


So don't look at any of the groups out there as Cults or subversive groups. Each train of thought can provide you with little insights to make your life the best it can be.

And of course, It would have not been possible if not for the wonderful wife.
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Re: My Confession
Old 02-19-2005, 04:17 AM   #26
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Re: My Confession

Where the simple living forum and YMOYL shines is helping with this little switch in your head

I think this is an extremely important point. There are hundreds of wonderful strategies discussed at this forum. The sad thing is that they benefit only a small group of people. All middle-class workers would work this stuff if only we could figure out how to flip that switch in their heads. Do that (and I agree with the comments above that BobSmith pointed to a good way to do it--thinking of this as life planning rather than financial planning) and all the rest just follows over time.


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Re: My Confessionlow
Old 02-19-2005, 04:50 AM   #27
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Re: My Confessionlow

living on 10K per year makes my $50 per day look like the lap of luxury.

The 10K number is a shockingly low number. I'm not sure that's entirely bad. I think it can help to shock people re the question of how little one really needs to spend just to stay alive. Very few people will adopt the 10K number as their own number. But they might go from 60K down to 30K after hearing that someonne else is using 10K as their number. The shockingly low number gives people a difference reference point to work form in developing their own plans. There's a lot of stuff you see in movies and TV shows that makes you feel that anyone living a lifestyle that can be purchased for less than $200,000 is a loser, and people need a counter to that to think about if not to adopt as their own number.

My wife and I spent $38,000 last year, and that's with no mortage to cover and no income-tax liability. So that number translates into something a lot higher than 10K. The other side of the story is that, in the year just before we had our first child (and when we were covered by health insurance provided by employers), the two of us spent a combined $20,000. That averages out to $10,000 each.

There are lots of different ways to put the numbers together. So I think it is good to try to avoid a too quick reaction to someone else's numbers; you need to examine the details and consider the person's life goals to know whether the number cited is really too low or too high. I think it is OK to say "that number sounds awfully low to me" or "that number sounds awfully high to me." But you need to keep in mind that you might be surprised if you knew the details.

What's good about these sorts of discussions is that they help people see that high numbers do not necessarily translate into greater happiness. I think it is true that being tight and misrerly really does translate into unhappiness. Misers are a drag. But it is possible for someone to spend an amount that is generally considered indicative of miserliness and still be very generous in spirit if that person is spending that amount for sound reasons. To assess whether the reasons are sound or not, you need to look behind the numbers and examine why the number was chosen by that particular person at that particular time of his or her life.
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    My Confession
Old 02-19-2005, 05:16 AM   #28
 
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    My Confession

Hello *****. Yes, 10K is "shockingly low", but still
doable. Take unclemick's never-to-be-repeated
"personal best". or, my first year 100% out of the workplace. If you
subtract my child support I was pretty close to 10K,and as I recall I had a pretty good time.

To cleverly tie this thread in with Dolly Freed and
"possumism" ....... my first reaction was "how could they do that?". Then I read the book and said to myself:
"Yeah, I could do that." If course, I am pretty
experienced in fishing, hunting and gathering, plus I
come from farm stock. I supppose urban dwellers
(no matter how motivated) would be at a big
disadvantage here. Skinning rabbits on the kitchen table and eating things you found in the woods
(or actual roadkill) might seem a bit unsavory.
Anyway, not to ramble or gush, but I'm sure glad
Blackhills Bob posted this.

JG
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Re: My Confession
Old 02-19-2005, 05:37 AM   #29
 
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Re: My Confession

Quote:
I think the simple living forum and the ER forum both have their strengths. ..
Agreed. The Simple Living forums http://www.simpleliving.net/forums/ cover a much wider range of topics -- not just early retirement. I've learned a lot by reading both web sites.

It looks like posters at the Simple Living forums have a wider range of incomes. Some of the philosophies and more frugal techniques discussed there can permit people with less money to retire early, partially retire, or stay retired.

Skip the info with which you don't resonate. Take what you need and leave the rest.
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Re: My Confession
Old 02-19-2005, 12:41 PM   #30
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Re: My Confession

Quote:
Where the simple living forum and YMOYL shines is helping with this little switch in your head I think this is an extremely important point. There are hundreds of wonderful strategies discussed at this forum. The sad thing is that they benefit only a small group of people.
*****, you better pray that this continues. Face it, ER is an elitest strategy. It's a waste of breath, and counterproductive to those of us who figured it out to seek converts.

Somebody has to be left to tote that barge and lift that bale. We know it ain't gonna be any of us.

Like a concupiscent preacher, we had best keep the good news to ourselves.

Mikey
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Re: My Confession
Old 02-19-2005, 12:55 PM   #31
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Re: My Confession

Quote:
... Face it, ER is an elitest strategy. It's a waste of breath, and counterproductive to those of us who figured it out to seek converts...
Mikey, I don't necessarily disagree with you, but maybe ***** could be persuaded to seek out converts. Like some of my LDS (Mormon) friends, ***** could go on a 2 year mission to say Central America to spread the ER gospel and convert the third world population to the joy of early retirment.

BTW, the LDS church frowns on too many creature comforts during this mission period, so ***** would have to abandon his computer and posting on this board. But this small sacrifice would be for the greater good, right?

REW
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Re: My ConfessionSomebody has to be left to tote t
Old 02-19-2005, 01:15 PM   #32
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Re: My ConfessionSomebody has to be left to tote t

Somebody has to be left to tote that barge and lift that bale.

There has to be productive activity going on or we all are in the soup. That's fair to say.

But I see no conflict between the idea of having more people manage their money well and having productive activity continue. I view the work that I do today as adding more value than the work that I did when I was bringing home a $125,000 salary. There are not as many dollars heading into my pocket. But there is more value being added, in my view.

I'd like to see as many people as possible make that sort of switch. The idea is not to have lots of dollar bills floating about. The idea is to enhance human happiness. I think that human happiness would be enhanced if people managed their money better.

Saving helps build the economy too, you know. It's not just spending that does that. Saving provides the capital needed for all sorts of important projects. So I don't see it as a danger to our economy if more people save effectively. There will always be people working, and I think that's a good thing. But I don't see why there should not be a far larger percentage attaining financial freedom early in life, given the sums that many middle-class workers earn with their labor today.
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Re: My Confession
Old 02-19-2005, 01:24 PM   #33
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Re: My Confession

maybe ***** could be persuaded to seek out converts.

No persuasion necessary, REWanabe!

I long ago made a decision to make this my Life Project. I expect to spend the next 20 years of my life learning about how to win financial freedom early in life and teaching what I learn to those interested in knowing more about the subject.

The early feedback has been extremely gratifying, and I am excited about where I believe our movement is headed in coming years. I of course have no way of knowing in detail what is going to happen. But I foresee lots of exciting stuff.

I think of the people who participate on this forum today as pioneers. I believe that we are building ideas that are going to help lots of people in days to come. I could be wrong, of course. This is just one guy's take. But I do indeed see exciting stuff happening down the road. And I don't think it is all a pipe dream. I think there are a number of signs pointing to a conclusion that a good number of people are ready for some new and more effective ideas as to how to manage their money.
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Re: My Confession
Old 02-22-2005, 08:11 AM   #34
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Re: My Confession

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I was dumbfounded. I like to save also, but I feel you need a life too. We save about 27%. We have a nice home, go out to eat once a week, do not travel, have broadband cable hdtv and modem, cook with premium ingrediants. I would hardly call us extravagent, but if you read that forum we are.
"Having a life" would be defined in many ways by different peoples. Some people don't save much, spend a lot, work a lot until they are old or sick. Since they have two cars and a big home that cost a lot, they feel they shouldn't pay for theater, or to travel, or they can't afford a dinner at the restaurant. I would say they should get a life.

We save a lot (about 35-40% of gross income), have a (rather) small condo, have a single car that we don't use much (less than 3000 miles a year), and prepare our lunch to eat at work. Thus some would say "get a life, Jack!".

On the other hand, we never say no to restaurants, theater, travels, going out of town for the weekend and we love exploring new cities and unknown areas. But we do expense wisely, choosing restaurants that give much for our bucks, we travel cheap or we look for great deals (for instance, by travelling during the spring instead of during the summer). I watch tv less than 1 hour a week (not counting rented movies), we spend a lot of time out of our home, walking in the city, visiting friends; I paint, I learn about finance, I post articles to my blogs, I practice photography, play squash, etc. I'd say that I definitely have a life. I think that having a life has nothing to do with spending.
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Re: My Confession
Old 02-22-2005, 06:08 PM   #35
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Re: My Confession

"I think that having a life has nothing to do with spending."

An excellent observation, IMHO.
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Re: My Confession
Old 02-22-2005, 07:04 PM   #36
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Re: My Confession

Quote:
I think that having a life has nothing to do with spending.
Jack_Key and Indymom,

I agree with your concept, but not with your statement. Having a life definitely has something to do with spending. If you overspend, you don't have a life...at least not one most people enjoy.

REW
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Re: My Confession
Old 02-27-2005, 06:38 PM   #37
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Re: My Confession

Some great points in this thread!

One of my favorite books is also YMOYL - it was one of the first personal finance books I read and it opened my eyes to the possibility of FIRE.

Spending (in the spending for spendings sake meaning) lost a lot if its appeal as I realized that I could be saving for my own freedom instead of that new hifi!

As for minimum budget - living in Thailand I could do it (single/no kids) for $1k/mth - but my own lowest budget will be set at around double that. (and my "highest" will depend on the actual return on nest egg).

Chhers! Ben
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