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Old 04-02-2017, 04:54 PM   #61
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I don't at all associate negative connotations with "frugal." "Cheap," on the other hand, always reminds me of a graduate school era boyfriend who left a tip for us at the restaurant, left me at the door while he "used the bathroom," and in reality went back and scooped up the tip! I caught him doing it once and even in those poor days was appalled.

Oh--and a quote I like--"Rich or poor, it is nice to have money!"
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Old 04-02-2017, 05:17 PM   #62
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When I landed my first "real" job as an academic attending physician (in Canada) one perk was a financial plan. The adviser (independent) noted "you're very frugal, aren't you?" This was news to me, an immigrant. As far as I was concerned, I was just living normally and saving for the inevitable rainy day. Which was just as well, since there was no pension, only a DC savings plan.
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Old 04-02-2017, 05:51 PM   #63
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Depends on the view.

Where I was born, I am considered filthy rich . Compared to Warren Buffet, I am living under the overpass and get my meals at the soup kitchen.

In real life I am very comfortable.
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Old 04-03-2017, 06:40 AM   #64
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As mentioned by another - Enough, as well as satisfied (not to be confused with settling). Nothing in our society teaches us the meaning of 'enough'. It's always more, more, more. The root of addiction, enough is not enough.
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Old 04-03-2017, 06:50 AM   #65
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Originally Posted by Marita40 View Post
I don't at all associate negative connotations with "frugal." "Cheap," on the other hand, always reminds me of a graduate school era boyfriend who left a tip for us at the restaurant, left me at the door while he "used the bathroom," and in reality went back and scooped up the tip! I caught him doing it once and even in those poor days was appalled.

Oh--and a quote I like--"Rich or poor, it is nice to have money!"
+1 IMO frugal is fine and arguably a virtue.... cheap is not... and what your graduate school era boyfriend did was cheap and you were right to be appalled.

The line between frugal and cheap can often be quite thin.
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Old 04-03-2017, 07:11 AM   #66
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Interesting thread and some very good well described definitions of being cheap! Lol

I was brought up being poor but we had ever thing we needed. So frugal was just being part of each day and you lived to live life simple. Not sure the best way to describe us other then we are frugal and for me it is a positive thing but also need to keep that in respective.
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Old 04-03-2017, 07:15 AM   #67
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What word would be better than frugal, cheap living, cheapskate, tightwad, penny pinching? I don't have the answer - maybe other will. The word should have a positive connotation that puts the person on a positive path. Something like 'Simple Abundance' or
'I live a life of abundance through simplicity."
'I live a life of simple abundance"
The way I put it is, "I'm careful with my money". Sometimes I laugh at myself. I have a cruise to Central America coming up (and I'm flying to Panama City in Business Class) and just booked a trip to Iceland in August (also Business Class). Yesterday I was in the grocery store comparing the 12-roll of brand-name toilet paper to the 6-roll of the house brand (similar types, the house brand was labeled "Compare to (same name brand, same type)". The large name brand had twice the square feet at exactly twice the price but I'd get 10 cents a gallon off gas at my next fillup. Sold!

My philosophy is to minimize what I spend on things that don't matter- my 3-year old cell phone has a low data allowance and I've never gone over it. I've saved a few thousand $$ over the years by purchasing it and using Ting. I just got MagicJack for the landline and am about to cut off Comcast as soon as Google Fiber is up and running, with only Netflix. I rarely buy clothes although I have plenty of well-made classic pieces from before I retired. (Last year DH and I together spent $300 on clothes.) My dirty laundry pile is mostly freebie T-shirts from athletic events. You get the idea.

It can be carried to an extreme but I don't think I'm there. I just looked up Hetty Green, one of the first female millionaires in America. She inherited a lot and invested it wisely but I remember reading that her son had permanent effects from a medical problem (leg injury?) that she ignored for too long to save money on a doctor. She washed only the hems of her dresses (they brushed the ground) to save soap. Her two children had a lot of fun with her money after she died.

I'm definitely not that bad.
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Old 04-03-2017, 09:44 AM   #68
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I'm glad to see this thread. I was never frugal except when both my husband and I were unemployed. So It's nice to know I've always have the right attitude, particularly since day one as in when I was 10. My mom gave me allowance for spending money for 30 days and I spent it in 10. She should have given me 3 times as much, that was my rationale. Even at 10, I knew it frugal and cheap living was not a good idea.

Ok, happy smiling face here. Tongue in cheek comment.
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Old 04-03-2017, 11:09 PM   #69
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Thoreau in "Where I Lived and What I Lived For" (the 2nd chapter of Walden) used the term "live deliberately" rather than frugally or cheaply.
In essence this chapter and "Economy" (the first) is an attempt to achieve FIRE through frugal living, but he explains the goal here. I always remembered the second paragraph below's critique of work or "industry" after reading it as a junior in High School and often think of it when the issue of life in FIRE versus work comes up.

"I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practise resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan- like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms, and, if it proved to be mean, why then to get the whole and genuine meanness of it, and publish its meanness to the world; or if it were sublime, to know it by experience, and be able to give a true account of it in my next excursion. For most men, it appears to me, are in a strange uncertainty about it, whether it is of the devil or of God, and have somewhat hastily concluded that it is the chief end of man here to "glorify God and enjoy him forever."

Still we live meanly, like ants; though the fable tells us that we were long ago changed into men; like pygmies we fight with cranes; it is error upon error, and clout upon clout, and our best virtue has for its occasion a superfluous and evitable wretchedness. Our life is frittered away by detail. An honest man has hardly need to count more than his ten fingers, or in extreme cases he may add his ten toes, and lump the rest. Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity! I say, let your affairs be as two or three, and not a hundred or a thousand; instead of a million count half a dozen, and keep your accounts on your thumb-nail. In the midst of this chopping sea of civilized life, such are the clouds and storms and quicksands and thousand-and-one items to be allowed for, that a man has to live, if he would not founder and go to the bottom and not make his port at all, by dead reckoning, and he must be a great calculator indeed who succeeds. Simplify, simplify. Instead of three meals a day, if it be necessary eat but one; instead of a hundred dishes, five; and reduce other things in proportion. Our life is like a German Confederacy, made up of petty states, with its boundary forever fluctuating, so that even a German cannot tell you how it is bounded at any moment. The nation itself, with all its so- called internal improvements, which, by the way are all external and superficial, is just such an unwieldy and overgrown establishment, cluttered with furniture and tripped up by its own traps, ruined by luxury and heedless expense, by want of calculation and a worthy aim, as the million households in the land; and the only cure for it, as for them, is in a rigid economy, a stern and more than Spartan simplicity of life and elevation of purpose. It lives too fast. Men think that it is essential that the Nation have commerce, and export ice, and talk through a telegraph, and ride thirty miles an hour, without a doubt, whether they do or not; but whether we should live like baboons or like men, is a little uncertain. If we do not get out sleepers, and forge rails, and devote days and nights to the work, but go to tinkering upon our lives to improve them, who will build railroads? And if railroads are not built, how shall we get to heaven in season? But if we stay at home and mind our business, who will want railroads? We do not ride on the railroad; it rides upon us. Did you ever think what those sleepers are that underlie the railroad? Each one is a man, an Irishman, or a Yankee man. The rails are laid on them, and they are covered with sand, and the cars run smoothly over them. They are sound sleepers, I assure you. And every few years a new lot is laid down and run over; so that, if some have the pleasure of riding on a rail, others have the misfortune to be ridden upon. And when they run over a man that is walking in his sleep, a supernumerary sleeper in the wrong position, and wake him up, they suddenly stop the cars, and make a hue and cry about it, as if this were an exception. I am glad to know that it takes a gang of men for every five miles to keep the sleepers down and level in their beds as it is, for this is a sign that they may sometime get up again."
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Old 04-04-2017, 02:57 AM   #70
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I'm glad you posted from Walden. Still one of my favorites. As I recall a railroad was just adjacent to the pond, to his disdain. I loved visiting the area and all the literary associations. Walden Pond is far closer to town than his writing implies; I recall hearing that Thoreau walked almost every day into town for a piece of Mrs. Emerson's pie.
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Old 04-04-2017, 06:01 AM   #71
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The following, I think I also read from Andrew Tobias.

"Frugal is how you treat yourself. Cheap is how you treat others" -- Andrew Tobias
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Old 04-04-2017, 07:07 AM   #72
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NW-Bound: I think you posted that quote back in 2010 when this thread started, too.

Also, I was struck by this from the OP:

Quote:
Try this experiment - say to yourself and let it soak in.
I live frugally.
I live in abundance.

I live cheaply.
I live with gratitude.

I live efficiently.
I live wisely.
My response was, "Yes". To all of those. They are ALL accurate for me. I live frugally and efficiently monetarily; and abundantly, wisely, and with gratitude towards the people around me.

If one uses the Tobias meaning of "cheap", I definitely try not to do that!
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Old 04-04-2017, 10:00 AM   #73
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Depends on the view.

Where I was born, I am considered filthy rich . Compared to Warren Buffet, I am living under the overpass and get my meals at the soup kitchen.

In real life I am very comfortable.
Warren has many or most breakfasts at McDonalds, spending just under $3.00

He still lives in the same house he bought in 1958 -> that's almost 60 yrs..

He might be one of the most frugal folks around.
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Old 04-04-2017, 10:32 AM   #74
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Frugal is fine, but I also realize there are times when you don't want to worry about being frugal... at those times you may spend a lot, but still realize that your frugality made it possible. We recently went on a family trip to Asia with our kids. I could have made it a "frugal" trip. But this was a "once in a lifetime activity" so DW and I said the heck with frugality. I'm sure we could have saved thousands if we approached it "frugally"... but we purposely chose not to worry about it for the trip, and appreciated that our general frugality is what made this "non-frugal" trip possible.

I agree that cheap is more how you treat others. I believe you can be frugal but not cheap. I do not have a problem tipping 25, 30, even 50% at few times when eating out. DW and I are generous in gifting for weddings and graduations. But I do not need the most expensive clothes - the stuff I buy at discount stores, Goodwill, or the occasional garage sale is fine with me.
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Old 04-04-2017, 12:57 PM   #75
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Warren has many or most breakfasts at McDonalds, spending just under $3.00

He still lives in the same house he bought in 1958 -> that's almost 60 yrs..

He might be one of the most frugal folks around.
Not a bad house for 11 million. Original cost reportedly 150K. Good return on investment. Though fifty years ago 150K was big bucks. My first house in 72 was 28K. In NY state 20 miles from Manhattan.
[IMG]https://hips.hearstapps.com/hmg-prod.s3.amazonaws.com/images/warren-buffett-1488322861.jpg?crop=1.00xw:1.00xh;0,0&resize=480:*[/IMG]

Warren Buffett Is Selling His Laguna Beach House - Real Estate Investing

Edit add: tried to copy the house pic, did not work. See it in the article. Suspect he has a couple more squirreled away for rainy days.

I suppose his mickey dee's breakfeasts are actually true, sometimes. Now about his dinners

Edit 2:
Seems old Warren had at least another one in Laguna Beach
"Buffett talks about not timing the market based on macroeconomics, but he did time the housing market perfectly. He bought a Laguna Beach, CA house in 1996 for $1.05 million (at the market bottom), and sold in 2005 for $3.5 million. It's not like he needed the money."
Why Did Warren Buffet Sell His Second Home In California? | MadConomist.com

Guess, Like George Washington, he did sleep in many places. Glad he can do it<

Edit 3

Warren does sample the other side of the tracks as well, mobile homes. No he does not live in them.
" homebuilder (Golden West), the dealer (Oakwood Homes) and the lender (21st Mortgage) were all part of a single company: Clayton Homes, the nation’s biggest homebuilder, which is controlled by its second-richest man — Warren Buffett."

A less than flattering NY Times article: http://www.seattletimes.com/business...s-on-the-poor/
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Old 04-04-2017, 02:11 PM   #76
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Those are his vacation homes. I think he still lives in his original home in the Midwest.
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Old 04-04-2017, 02:46 PM   #77
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..."Buffett talks about not timing the market based on macroeconomics, but he did time the housing market perfectly...
Buffett times the market and picks stocks all the time. His advice to us really means "don't you try to do what I do, because you are you and I am me".

And of course he is correct, because we can just look at what he has and what we have.
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Old 04-04-2017, 02:50 PM   #78
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NW-Bound: I think you posted that quote back in 2010 when this thread started, too. ...
If one uses the Tobias meaning of "cheap", I definitely try not to do that!
I have quoted Tobias more often than that. His are my favorites. I like this man a lot, though his writing falled out of vogue and I have not read much about him in the last 15-20 years.
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Old 04-04-2017, 04:14 PM   #79
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I don't know if Buffet had two CA homes or only one, but from reading the bio book IIRC he bought a house for his first wife when she moved to CA. So that one wasn't primarily intended to be an investment.

Re stock market he is the antithesis of a trader.
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Old 04-04-2017, 05:04 PM   #80
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Warren Buffett bought his house in Omaha, Nebraska, in 1958 for $31,500. The house is stucco and has five bedrooms and 2.5 baths. Buffett has called his house "the third best investment" he ever made, behind only wedding rings.

https://www.fool.com/investing/gener...about-suc.aspx
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