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Frugal and retired - anyone alse?
Old 09-20-2023, 08:32 AM   #1
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Frugal and retired - anyone alse?

Anyone else that lives a life with a frugality-mindset, or maybe Im alone in this? I have always been frugal as long as I can remember (even as a child as well) and there is no good answer to why, I didnt grow up poor for example and my parents werent cheap at all, the opposite is more accurate. And of course being frugal I saved a lot of money naturally from the start, as soon as I got something I just saved it and it went on and on and still do. I did resell stuff too and just add on the price. I also learned how to come up with different ways to save with always compairing prices, finding equal stuff thats more then half price, thinking long term in every little aspect etc etc. Im not one of those "cheapscates" you might seen on Tv, thats not how extreme I am but I can understand many of their thoughts even if Im not that as extreme, as I said. But I dont know many people that live like me that is 1. childfree 2. early retired 3. frugal but at the same time, do enjoy a good meal outside or does buy new clothes etc but always have a frugal mindset to it. So I need to ask, are there more people out there who are just like me?
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Old 09-20-2023, 08:38 AM   #2
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You'll find a lot of like minded folks here. Many will just call it LBYM (Living Below Your Means.)


But that's not me, by a very, very, long shot! Example, I often go to Vegas and drop enough to buy a new car... A really nice new car. OTOH, sometimes I win.... Sometimes.
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Old 09-20-2023, 08:43 AM   #3
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I tend to be frugal on almost all the "little stuff" (don't buy drinks at a restaurant) but near spend thrift on the big stuff (where I live - a HCOL are to be sure.)

Medium stuff: I buy used - but decent cars.

I just rarely feel as if I've intentionally "wasted" money, though I occasionally feel I've been "forced" to over pay (like food at an airport!) YMMV
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Old 09-20-2023, 08:47 AM   #4
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We were forced to be frugal... AKA poor... OK... Financially Challenged... At this point, we are frugal in some areas, but do spend to enjoy ourselves.
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Old 09-20-2023, 08:51 AM   #5
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Same here.
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Old 09-20-2023, 08:53 AM   #6
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I think there are fewer of us on here every year. My first post here was about my "shoestring retirement" plan.

I proudly consider myself a "cheapskate," but to be honest it's more a case of having very clear priorities. I spend what I need to for good quality. I own a boat, which some people might consider discretionary. I make an effort not to spend more than necessary. I'm not into fashion, be it clothing or any product with a name brand prominently displayed on it. I've really got no-one left to impress, and my needs are simple.

I may be an outlier here, but I still can learn a lot from financial wizards who are managing huge portfolios, even if I'm not one of them.
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Old 09-20-2023, 08:54 AM   #7
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To me, "frugal" means denying yourself things that would bring you more utility than the money you're spending. "Keeping up with the Joneses" is on the other extreme, where you buy things that will bring you less utility than the money you're spending. An economist would say that both of these behaviors are irrational.
LBYM is the "sweet spot", and rational from an economic perspective: Buy something if and only if the utility exceeds the cost. I feel like I'm in the sweet spot, as are many others on this forum.
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Old 09-20-2023, 08:58 AM   #8
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"frugal" means different thing to different people. Like to see some examples of your "frugal" activities.
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Old 09-20-2023, 09:01 AM   #9
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I don't like to waste money or things. Perhaps that came from depression era parents and grandparents to a certain extent.

But no - I am not just like you - I am a unique individual with my own personal preferences, viewpoints and beliefs.

"Just remember that you are absolutely unique. Just like everyone else." Margaret Mead
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Old 09-20-2023, 09:04 AM   #10
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Yes, I have the same disease as you have. We never have denied ourselves of anything in life but have always asked the question, do we/I need that.

Splurged more often than I want to remember though but frugal living still to this day.
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Old 09-20-2023, 09:46 AM   #11
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I think that many of us were only able to retire due to frugality. During the years leading up to retirement, I made it a "game" that I would play with myself - - - how little can I spend? Since I knew the money I saved was for retirement (and I really wanted to retire!), I had fun doing that.

I don't spend a lot compared with some people here, although I do spend a lot more than some of our members. Anyway I am very happy with my life as it is now. My total spending averages $41K ($11K for income tax and $30K for the rest).

Now that I am retired, I have enough money to spend more than twice what I do. But I am used to living a more thrifty lifestyle, and happy with it, so why should I? I don't have or want a boat, or a fancy car, or private plane, and I spend little to nothing on clothing. But we do eat out at cheap restaurants, or else get take-out. I don't like to cook so that is a luxury for me and Frank doesn't mind. I don't spend much on recreation although I do have a cable internet access that costs $99/month.

Frank says "Happiness is a do-it-yourself project". I think he's right.
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Old 09-20-2023, 09:53 AM   #12
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I don't think there is a bright line where you are either frugal or not frugal. We have gone through life watching what things cost, buying only cars we can pay cash for, buying used items where we can save money on quality, etc. We still act that way though, truthfully, we don't have to worry much about money any more. It's now just an ingrained habit. I'll shop the internet to save ten bucks on an item, then go out for dinner with wine and a $100 tab. Partially I guess it's the thrill of the hunt, too, aka Thaler's "transaction utility."
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Old 09-20-2023, 10:11 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptTom View Post
I think there are fewer of us on here every year. ....
I agree with you on this. When I first started coming here (in 2010), there were many more discussions on low spending and saving. I haven't seen a post about dryer sheets in a long while.

I'm not saying it's a bad thing, probably just the ebbs and flows of an online forum - or it might be a good thing, that everyone is doing so well that lowering expenses isn't as much of a requirement.
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Old 09-20-2023, 10:21 AM   #14
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Frugal and retired, too

We ERed 10 years ago at 55/61.
It was possible because we are frugal by nature and upbringing. However, we have spent and will spend to enjoy life.

We prefer memories to stuff and now that DH has some mobility issues we are glad that we have travelled a lot up to now.
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Old 09-20-2023, 10:25 AM   #15
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We shop on value. Some would call that frugal, others careful.

We do not mind splashing out for what we consider to be a quality product-personal, food, travel...whatever.

I hate shopping. So I tend to buy certain brands that I know will will wear well and last. Clothing and shoes. Same for vehicles. We will buy a higher end import and think nothing of keeping it for 15 years well maintained.

Many times we will purchase a lower cost item because we perceive it is it better value. Not because we are frugal.

We have always lived below our means, never did lifestyle inflation, never entertained consumer credit. It is why we were able to retire comfortably at 58/59 and work on our respective bucket lists.
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Old 09-20-2023, 10:34 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chris2008 View Post
Frugal and retired, too

We ERed 10 years ago at 55/61.
It was possible because we are frugal by nature and upbringing. However, we have spent and will spend to enjoy life.

We prefer memories to stuff and now that DH has some mobility issues we are glad that we have travelled a lot up to now.
Well I like both (memories/experiences and stuff) although I have really started to pare down my stuff recently. Things I've done/owned/experienced in the past few decades are becoming less viable options for the most part these days. Been there and done that, thankfully.
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Old 09-20-2023, 10:41 AM   #17
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We spent our working years being frugal and working, and working and working... Now that we're retired our goal is not to end up like the scrooge, the riches man in the cemetery. We buy what we want but as a consumer we still try to get some value for our money. We no longer have guilt for spending money. We figure it creates jobs and empowers people to work. That's a lot better than just giving people money.
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Old 09-20-2023, 10:46 AM   #18
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I'm pretty frugal but not cheap. I just generally don't like waste of any type but especially my resources. Plenty of splurges and bad decisions on my path to FIRE. Spending definitely doesn't make me happy. My lowest points coincided with spending spikes and I'm now living off peanuts in RE (skewed by paid off house in a booming area) and loving life!
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Old 09-20-2023, 11:07 AM   #19
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Frugal, LBYM mindset all our lives. We lived with debt, raising kids, rarely ate out other than fast food on the way to a kids game, dance class, etc. Refinanced the mortgage a few times for lower interest. Money was very tight for us while raising kids.

We went to Goodwill sometimes, shop sales and coupons at the grocery store(still do those things)
. Shop Kroger or Safeway rather than Whole Foods.
Saved money every paycheck.
Kept our cars until they pretty much dropped.

Only now, almost 7 years into retirement, with pension and SS on board do we actually have some blow the dough moments.
I still save some of our pension payment in a local savings for "emergencies". And we have a mortgage, low 2.6% 15 year, so not paying that off.
We have some breathing room now in our finances, and for that I am grateful.
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Old 09-20-2023, 11:30 AM   #20
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Raises hand. It is hard to un-frugal.
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