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Time to redouble my efforts
Old 07-21-2004, 08:48 PM   #1
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Time to redouble my efforts

There was a restructuring at my job; thankfully we all still have one, but I now realize how lucky I was to have a job that was fairly enjoyable. Many of the people in my field (IT) no longer have jobs after seeing them shipped overseas.

I know that even though I am saving much of my income, I am also wasting it - on lunches out, on buying books and renting movies, on buying food I never eat before it goes bad, and other areas of my life that really don't contribute either to my ability to retire early or my happiness.

So this is a pledge to myself that I am going to stop wasting this non-renewable resource and buckle down.


Anybody with me?
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Re: Time to redouble my efforts
Old 07-21-2004, 09:28 PM   #2
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Re: Time to redouble my efforts

I'm with you. Just don't forget to have some fun. They key is to place values on your expenses. If buying a latte everyday is your luxury then do it; but you can find other ways to cut back.

If you haven't read Your Money or Your Life then give it a quick read. It's been around for a while. I didn't agree with everything in the book but it gives you a new point of view on spending.

I make a significant income but bring my lunch to work every day, only have basic cable channels and live watching a 10-year old 21" TV. However, I go on nice vacation, belong to a tennis and exercise health club and drive an Acura. It's all about choices.

Here's to frugality!!
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Re: Time to redouble my efforts
Old 07-22-2004, 09:06 AM   #3
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Re: Time to redouble my efforts

Agreed, Mike. Plus, once you are RE, you want to live in a frugal lifestyle anyway - so why not learn it now?

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Re: Time to redouble my efforts
Old 07-22-2004, 11:19 AM   #4
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Re: Time to redouble my efforts

I'm with you Whak. I've been feeling the same way. I hate when I throw out food and waste money other ways, but I also enjoy the luxuries (just posted about my Viao on another board).

Maybe we should start a new "furgality" thread to trade ideas and keep ourselves on track.
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Re: Time to redouble my efforts
Old 07-22-2004, 11:50 AM   #5
 
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Re: Time to redouble my efforts

I hate to waste food also, but with 4 dogs, very little food gets wasted. One advantage to the disgusting
little yappers I guess

John Galt
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Re: Time to redouble my efforts
Old 07-22-2004, 12:08 PM   #6
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Re: Time to redouble my efforts

Two dogs, three cats, and a freezer.

Nothing goes to waste around here.
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Re: Time to redouble my efforts
Old 07-22-2004, 12:37 PM   #7
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Re: Time to redouble my efforts

We have a great library system where I live that solves the problem of buying books and renting movies. If/when I do get the urge to see a "first run" movie, we have a handful of theatres that have $3 and $4 shows.

My redoubling effort is going towards realizing my earnings potential. It so easy to get lazy at a comfortable job with little stress.

I've been frugal for quite a few years now, and I tell ya, I don't feel deprived at all. I see/hear my friends spend their money on the extras of life, then I hear them complain about being broke.

I was laid off and out of work for a year, but managed to like solely on unemployment with extra to spare thanks to practicing frugality. As a matter of fact, my time at home sparked my interest in retiring early. There was sooooo much to do -- away from work! I'll be retiring in my early forties!!!!

I learn something new about being frugal quite often. Here in the city, we have "Restaurant Week" where the chic joints open their doors to us paupers and provide a three course meal for a great price. So, I went. Beautiful restaurant, food was alright -- and in the middle of dinner I thought, "You know, I'm not really missing anything" when it comes to dining at fancy restaurants and such. Once in a while is great, but I'm not breaking my neck or my wallet to keep up with those Joneses. I'd rather have the peace of mind that comes with living within my means.

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Re: Time to redouble my efforts
Old 07-22-2004, 03:07 PM   #8
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Re: Time to redouble my efforts

Quote:
I was laid off and out of work for a year, but managed to like solely on unemployment with extra to spare thanks to practicing frugality. *As a matter of fact, my time at home sparked my interest in retiring early. *There was sooooo much to do -- away from work! *I'll be retiring in my early forties!!!!
Congratulations, Chic. How do you handle housing cheaply in NYC? Or food? My memeory of living there in the 60s even was that a truly terrible apartment cost about my total budget elsewhere. And groceries were nice but expensive.

I sure did love going to Jones Beach in the summer though.

Mikey
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Re: Time to redouble my efforts
Old 07-22-2004, 03:57 PM   #9
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Re: Time to redouble my efforts

Indeed...when I was making "the big bucks" and spending like a drunken sailor, I had a girlfriend in manhattan. Shared a one room apartment with another girl and that ran them over a thousand a month...and this was 15 years ago. When we went out to the local corner market for food I was flabbergasted at the prices for stuff.
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Re: Time to redouble my efforts
Old 07-22-2004, 04:48 PM   #10
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Re: Time to redouble my efforts

French Quarter or Wharehouse dist. New Orleans, California - southern usually in the telling, and Seattle among others are perceived high cost of living areas - but locals seem to find creative ways of adapting. ? How to be creatively frugal in a high cost area? Hmmm - roommates and no car come to mind. Rent - don't own? Free entertainment. My student days in the U dist of Seattle were long ago.
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Re: Time to redouble my efforts
Old 07-22-2004, 08:30 PM   #11
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Re: Time to redouble my efforts

Another pledge:

Start using up all the food in the freezer!
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Re: Time to redouble my efforts
Old 07-22-2004, 10:34 PM   #12
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Re: Time to redouble my efforts

Quote:

Congratulations, Chic. How do you handle housing cheaply in NYC? Or food? My memeory of living there in the 60s even was that a truly terrible apartment cost about my total budget elsewhere. And groceries were nice but expensive.

I sure did love going to Jones Beach in the summer though.

Mikey
Dunno about chic, but there's more to NYC than Manhattan. I grew up in Queens, and when my dear wife and I returned to the city of my birth (remember that scene in "My Blue Heaven"?), we ended up back in Queens. We found a reasonably priced condo, commuted to work in Manhattan via public transportation, and bought groceries, etc. at the places where all the frugal first generation ("off the boat") immigrants shopped. The only real costly things were income taxes (horrific) and the fact that after a certain point even the most devoted city-dweller will pay almost anything for a whiff of clean air and some space from the maddening crowd, if only for a long weekend. We finally moved to "God's Country" (NJ) when we realized that the insane real estate market would never allow us to buy a large enough place to raise a family in Queens.

It can be done.
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Re: Time to redouble my efforts
Old 07-23-2004, 07:38 AM   #13
 
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Re: Time to redouble my efforts

New Jersey eh? I believe that most of the population
gets their information about New Jersey from 'The
Sopranos'. That may be harmless enough I guess.

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Re: Time to redouble my efforts
Old 07-23-2004, 07:44 AM   #14
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Re: Time to redouble my efforts

New Jersey? Which exit
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Re: Time to redouble my efforts
Old 07-23-2004, 08:47 AM   #15
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Re: Time to redouble my efforts

Yup, the secret is to live in the boroughs (and it doesn't hurt that I lucked into a rent stabilized apt. that comes out to just under 1/3 of my yearly income). I hate to see people move to this city just for the sake of moving to this city and feeling like they "just gotta" live in Manhattan.

Amen on needing fresh air and space. My plan is to move out of NY because housing prices are ridiculous. You can get a mousehole in my regular-a** neighborhood for the high $300,000s. What a shame.



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Re: Time to redouble my efforts
Old 07-23-2004, 09:04 AM   #16
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Re: Time to redouble my efforts

Back to redoubling those efforts:

I make a quick sandwich (PB&J or the like) to bring to work along with snacks from home. After a while, you find that you don't need a fantastic lunch, you just need something to put in your belly. My whole attitude about food changed the more frugal I got. I'm not saying you have to exist on beans and oatmeal, but a simple lunch and dinner serves the purpose and saves money. I find that a stew or curry keeps well and can be stored and defrosted quickly so it's not like you have to literally cook everyday. My "staples" are veggie lasagna, indian saag paneer (cheese and spinach dish), rice & beans, and spaghetti. Note: I only learned how to make the above dishes because they taste good and last long. You don't have to become a chef and master of all meals (L*rd knows I'm not one!). Just learn 4 or 5 dishes and you're good to go.

I freeze most everything, including milk, cheese, veggies (green peppers, carrots, etc.), and the above dishes in portions. Before, I would let milk and cheese spoil because I didn't know you could freeze them. Some fruits can be frozen too. You can freeze cheese and veggies, but you should be using them in something that's going to be cooked when used. Milk will turn slightly yellow upon freezing, but a good shake after defrosting brings it right back to white, and it tastes exactly the same as before.
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Re: Time to redouble my efforts
Old 07-23-2004, 11:27 AM   #17
 
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Re: Time to redouble my efforts

Sounds like a good healthy diet, but where are the burgers and hot dogs? Those are quick and easy

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Re: Time to redouble my efforts
Old 07-23-2004, 11:39 AM   #18
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Re: Time to redouble my efforts

I ate PB&J sandwiches or skipped lunch for most of
my career. Harvested the results soon after ER with
a huge crop of gall stones that even surprised my
doctor.

Moral....take a break and eat a well balanced lunch
even on the most hectic days, kids.

Cheers,

Charlie
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Re: Time to redouble my efforts
Old 07-23-2004, 07:50 PM   #19
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Re: Time to redouble my efforts

Sometimes I'll have a simple lunch that has the advantage of needing no refrigerator: I make tuna salad (using a can of preferably oil-packed tuna and a mayo and relish packed liberated from the office cafeteria) and put it on thick rye crackers. Filling and cheap.

We are lucky enough to have free milk (!) there too, so I always keep a box of cereal on hand. I've used that as a cheap and fast lunch too; a good, nutritious cereal (made with whole grains) will do a decent job of filling you up.

And both of these are better than fast food.
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Re: Time to redouble my efforts
Old 07-23-2004, 08:39 PM   #20
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Re: Time to redouble my efforts

On the subject of lunch, here's my experience from my workplace:

My colleagues generally seem spend between $3 - 5 a day minimum and take at least 20-25 minutes to go and buy lunch.

I make my own lunch at 6:30am, just before I leave for work - usually a sandwich (tuna, ham & cheese) or salad / veggie leftovers and some fruit. I takes me around 5 minutes and overall puts a few extra dollars a month on our household food bill. I eat my sandwich and read the newspaper or a book over lunch.

My colleagues constantly complain at the price of food and how they never have any time to read.

Some people just don't seem to get it.

S888
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