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Old 08-16-2010, 10:19 AM   #61
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So.... your plan is to be the richest corpse in the graveyard?
I call it the 'Frugal Death Spiral'.
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Old 08-16-2010, 11:21 AM   #62
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Originally Posted by dex View Post
I call it the 'Frugal Death Spiral'.
I do imagine it's hard to changeover from save, save, save to save, spend, spend......After all, you've been saving for 20+ years.
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Old 08-16-2010, 11:39 AM   #63
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Learned about it on this forum. T-Mobile pre-pay and 'Gold Status'.

The first year will cost me $32 for the phone, charger and a $25 card. Add $100 (1000 minutes plus 1 year) to achieve 'Gold Status'. So $132/12 = $11/month the first month ( a little less if you can stretch that first $25 worth). After that, just $10 extends you for another year and rolls over your unused minutes, and adds 35 minutes. I rarely use even 10 minutes a month, so unless my habits change, I won't be spending more than $10/year for many years.

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I'm on T-Mobile prepaid, too. Spent $100 the first year for 1200 minutes (there was a 20% bonus when I bought in) and then $10 per year to keep the service alive. I still have 1100 minutes left.
I use this plan as well. Got it for emergency use, but some of my buddies got my number so I now use the 1000 minutes over the course of a year. But, still pretty cheap cell service.

The item that I end up replacing every 3-4 years is my home computer. My Dell laptop cratered the other day so I go out and buy another one. I wondered how I got along with out pc's, but now I feel I have to have one. I enjoy reading online news papers, forum boards and do all my financial stuff online. But it still galls me to spend several hundred dollars every few years when an item like a tv last much longer. I'm still using my old RCA Home theater tv I bought back in the mid 90's. Oh well......

BTW, speaking of my new laptop.... I decided to try Google Chrome instead of FireFox. This browser moves much faster IMO. Time will tell on how it compares, but so far so good.
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Old 08-16-2010, 11:54 AM   #64
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I do imagine it's hard to changeover from save, save, save to save, spend, spend......After all, you've been saving for 20+ years.
Yes, there have been some threads about that.
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Old 08-16-2010, 03:04 PM   #65
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So.... your plan is to be the richest corpse in the graveyard?

It's one thing to list all the things you're doing without if you can't afford them, or if you're spending your money in other areas (Travel? Boating? Theater?), but I didn't see that in your post. Just a bunch of boasting about how much money you don't spend.

The ultimate goal of money is to be spent. It is a store of value. On it's own, it's just paper. In a retiree's portfolio, it's not even paper. It's just a number on a computer. If you're not spending it, why did you bother saving it? Why not give it away to someone who will appreciate it?
I think perhaps you have read too much into my post.

I agree that there is no point to accumulating merely money for the sake of doing so. I do spend money on travel and hobbies (including sailing), some of which are not inexpensive.

I do not spend money on electronic gadgets, but that reflects my preference rather than any deprivation. If someone wants to spend money on them, that's fine; but there should be no complaint that they are necessities and the cost of living is too high.
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Old 08-17-2010, 01:27 PM   #66
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I agree that there is no point to accumulating merely money for the sake of doing so. I do spend money on travel and hobbies (including sailing), some of which are not inexpensive.
That's what I suspected - I guess I'm just not very familiar with your other posts, so I was a little confused by your comments.

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I do not spend money on electronic gadgets, but that reflects my preference rather than any deprivation. If someone wants to spend money on them, that's fine; but there should be no complaint that they are necessities and the cost of living is too high.
Agreed. However, the cost of housing, health care, and education have all risen at rates exceeding inflation, so it's true that modern living costs more for today's middle class than in recent previous generations. I believe a case could also be made that taxes are more onerous and insidious today than in the past. While income taxes may be relatively low, the combination of property taxes (on more expensive housing), consumption taxes (recycling deposits, fuel surcharges, GST that didn't exist 20+ years ago, etc.), and Ontario's health tax (oops, sorry, "Premium") all add up to create an increased strain on modern paychecks, compared to the Boomers' early years.
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Old 08-17-2010, 01:41 PM   #67
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While income taxes may be relatively low, the combination of property taxes (on more expensive housing ), consumption taxes (recycling deposits, fuel surcharges, GST that didn't exist 20+ years ago, etc.), and Ontario's health tax (oops, sorry, "Premium") all add up to create an increased strain on modern paychecks, compared to the Boomers' early years.
But doesn't it go by choice how big a house people want to live in or how much to consume?
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Old 08-18-2010, 10:28 AM   #68
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But doesn't it go by choice how big a house people want to live in or how much to consume?
Of course. My point was that a modern family "consuming" at the same rate as a comparable family from the 70's is spending more of their budget on the same items, due to the proliferation of recycling deposits, environmental disposal fees, delivery surcharges, spectrum licensing dues, green taxes, and all the other "hidden" taxes the government has encumbered numerous consumables with.
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Old 08-18-2010, 01:17 PM   #69
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Of course. My point was that a modern family "consuming" at the same rate as a comparable family from the 70's is spending more of their budget on the same items, due to the proliferation of recycling deposits, environmental disposal fees, delivery surcharges, spectrum licensing dues, green taxes, and all the other "hidden" taxes the government has encumbered numerous consumables with.
Would that be before or after correcting for inflation?

My impression is that food takes up a smaller percentage of today's average budget than it did in the 1970s.
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Old 08-18-2010, 02:57 PM   #70
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Of course. My point was that a modern family "consuming" at the same rate as a comparable family from the 70's is spending more of their budget on the same items, due to the proliferation of recycling deposits, environmental disposal fees, delivery surcharges, spectrum licensing dues, green taxes, and all the other "hidden" taxes the government has encumbered numerous consumables with.
Like Nords said, I don't know whether you're considering inflation here.
Another thing, IMHO, in the 70's and earlier it was not foreseen how much and how fast the humandkind will grow and nobody predicted how much people will spoil/damage the nature and in order to offset those costs all those fees were created. Sure, the amount of the collected fees help to pad pockets of beauroctrats or a company's bottom line, but if left to people choices it would probably create more chaos than order. However, I do understand your resentment of all the 'hidden' fees and I don't agree with all of them myself especially the ones that are purely for greed.
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Old 08-18-2010, 05:05 PM   #71
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Of course. My point was that a modern family "consuming" at the same rate as a comparable family from the 70's is spending more of their budget on the same items, due to the proliferation of recycling deposits, environmental disposal fees, delivery surcharges, spectrum licensing dues, green taxes, and all the other "hidden" taxes the government has encumbered numerous consumables with.
This stuff is likely bad for the consumer economy, but probably good both directly and indirectly good for the environment. These things are in effect a tax, and whatever gets taxed sees demand for it decrease.

I know it affects me this way. These fees are expensive but most of all annoying, so I just pass on whatever it was that I might have been considering buying.

Ha
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Old 08-18-2010, 09:33 PM   #72
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Your BIL probably pays big $ for a package with lots of minutes, so he thinks nothing of making a bunch of calls over nothing.

And here's another way that impacts us - it really bugs me that so many parents get the 'unlimited texting' for their kids. So their kids text my kids and we pay for each text. "Oh, it's only $15 a month" - making me sound like a cheapskate (well, I am), but that is $180 a year, and look at the taxes/fees on top of that too.

It adds insult to injury as I know that texts cost the carriers almost zero $ to support.

-ERD50
On the other hand, $15/month would only require one to save $4,500 if they took 4% interest earned, or $2,143 @ 8.4% interest earned.

And we kind of lucked out. I started getting text messages from folks at work more often, and when I added unlimited text to our existing plan, we were able to add 2 additional lines for only $20/month more (for both phones) for our older daughters.
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Old 08-18-2010, 09:37 PM   #73
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I use this plan as well. Got it for emergency use, but some of my buddies got my number so I now use the 1000 minutes over the course of a year. But, still pretty cheap cell service.

The item that I end up replacing every 3-4 years is my home computer. My Dell laptop cratered the other day so I go out and buy another one. I wondered how I got along with out pc's, but now I feel I have to have one. I enjoy reading online news papers, forum boards and do all my financial stuff online. But it still galls me to spend several hundred dollars every few years when an item like a tv last much longer. I'm still using my old RCA Home theater tv I bought back in the mid 90's. Oh well......

BTW, speaking of my new laptop.... I decided to try Google Chrome instead of FireFox. This browser moves much faster IMO. Time will tell on how it compares, but so far so good.
In all honesty I don't see why you'd need to do this. We have a computer from 10 years ago. It's one that the kids use to go on the web (running a flavor of Linux). And our laptops are now 4 years old. I have occasionally found a need to put the CD in and completely wipe the drive clean and reinstall the OS (Windows), to clean it up. I don't store any personal documents on them in the first place ... that's what external drives and thumb drives are for.
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Old 08-25-2010, 01:52 PM   #74
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In all honesty I don't see why you'd need to do this. We have a computer from 10 years ago.
Need to for basic web browsing and communication tasks? Probably not.

On the other hand, if you spend a significant amount of your recreation time/budget on computer games, if you like managing all of your media digitally, or if you have take-home work from your job or school that requires you to be able to access the latest versions of popular productivity software on your home PC, then you're looking at probably needing a new one every few years or so. Of course, two of those are luxuries/hobbies, and the other may not be something a person would have to worry about after retirement, but still, there are some reasons for people to upgrade on a regular basis.

Josh
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Old 08-25-2010, 02:13 PM   #75
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My impression is that food takes up a smaller percentage of today's average budget than it did in the 1970s.
Yeah - but you guys dig a pit and cook the pig in your back yard.

It's much less inexpensive for you (wild pigs - as long as you don't get shot by the "cultivators" on your island).

Yeah, been there, done that ...

PS: I love the Maui onions....
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Old 08-25-2010, 02:25 PM   #76
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[QUOTE]In all honesty I don't see why you'd need to do this. We have a computer from 10 years ago.
Need to for basic web browsing and communication tasks? Probably not.

On the other hand, if you spend a significant amount of your recreation time/budget on computer games, if you like managing all of your media digitally, or if you have take-home work from your job or school that requires you to be able to access the latest versions of popular productivity software on your home PC, then you're looking at probably needing a new one every few years or so. Of course, two of those are luxuries/hobbies, and the other may not be something a person would have to worry about after retirement, but still, there are some reasons for people to upgrade on a regular basis.[QUOTE]

Photography is a hobby of mine and I find myself buying anew computer ever 3-4 years. Of course that was before my forced semi-retirement. Now I will think long and hard before replacing my electronics. My cell phone is still paid by my employer and with data it runs about $80 per month for my iPhone. I used to think nothing of buying new software and apps, but now I make do with as much free stuff as I can find or I find that I really don't need the convience of a costly product. I love the latest and greatest in technology, but I know that the build up before I buy is greater then the satisfaction of owning it.
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Old 08-26-2010, 09:08 PM   #77
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Need to for basic web browsing and communication tasks? Probably not.

On the other hand, if you spend a significant amount of your recreation time/budget on computer games, if you like managing all of your media digitally, or if you have take-home work from your job or school that requires you to be able to access the latest versions of popular productivity software on your home PC, then you're looking at probably needing a new one every few years or so. Of course, two of those are luxuries/hobbies, and the other may not be something a person would have to worry about after retirement, but still, there are some reasons for people to upgrade on a regular basis.

Josh
Try downloading just Puppy Linux. It can fit it in a 256M thumb drive with about 120M of space free and the thumb drive is bootable. The browser which supports HTML 4.x & CSS 2.x, can also bring up the Flash websites that I bother to go to. Full email client capabilities are already there. I can open/edit Word/Excel documents (which include Excel functions, etc.). I don't use it often, only because the laptop is much more convenient than the desktop PC that I only have Puppy Linux installed on.

I don't play video games on it (that's what our WII is for).
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Old 08-27-2010, 12:20 AM   #78
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Try downloading just Puppy Linux.
You know, I have an old laptop sitting in a box at home right now. I think the hard drive is shot on it, but I've never gotten around to getting a new one for it because I don't like the fact that I'd be paying the same price for a small, obsolete hard drive (ATA5 interface) as I would be for a brand new, high capacity one!

Maybe I could try something like Puppy Linux and see if it would run that. It could mean I'd have one more useable machine around the house. Not a bad deal. I bet my older girl could do her homework on it without having to fight her sister for the other desktop.

Thanks for mentioning that.

Josh
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