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Old 04-14-2017, 08:02 PM   #41
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I like the "financially responsible" terminology. It recognizes that one can still have "good debt" and spend money on things or experiences one values without being a spendthrift or living above one's means. The reason I worked 3-5 more years beyond when I first reached FI was so that DH & I could live the lifestyle we want without having to worry about funding it.
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Old 04-14-2017, 09:31 PM   #42
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I prefer living within my means. Not above nor below.
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Old 04-15-2017, 04:49 AM   #43
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I also agree with your philosophy, and pretty much practiced it myself, although as a kid my family was better off. I have never had any debt except for the mortgage (now paid off), and a couple car loans at 0% interest. I RE'd last month, and can afford to spend more than I did while preparing for RE.
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Old 04-15-2017, 06:38 AM   #44
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I'm not frugal anymore but I used to be.

I'm not living beyond my means either.
Same here. Much more frugal when saving for retirement.
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Old 04-15-2017, 06:39 AM   #45
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I prefer living within my means. Not above nor below.
It's not clear what you mean by that.

Most folks define living below your means as finding a way to live so that you spend less than you earn in order to save.

Most folks define living above your means as living such that you borrow money to spend more than your income.

So are you saying you spend exactly what you earn? You don't borrow, but you don't save either?
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Old 04-15-2017, 06:44 AM   #46
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The reason I worked 3-5 more years beyond when I first reached FI was so that DH & I could live the lifestyle we want without having to worry about funding it.
I think we have issues with squishy terminology here. Words like "frugal" and "financial independence" seem to mean different things to different people.

I would say you aren't financially independent until you can live the lifestyle you want without having to worry about funding it. So I don't understand how you could have reached FI 3-5 years before that.

Everyone can be financially independent today if they are willing to live a lifestyle they don't want.
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Old 04-15-2017, 07:58 AM   #47
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I don't think anyone would view me as frugal. I spend a fair bit and often pay for family and friends. I'm generally the first person to pull a wallet out. But I am responsible, don't spend more than my means, and hate wasting money. As exnavy said, it's being responsible with money that is important. I stay away from "cheap" people although not surprisingly, they seem to like hanging out with me.
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Old 04-15-2017, 10:07 AM   #48
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From Webster's.

"careful about spending money or using things when you do not need to
: using money or supplies in a very careful way"

Maybe we need a poll "with clear definitions" to see how the forum members view their levels of frugality, or lack of.
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Old 04-15-2017, 10:07 AM   #49
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As exnavy said, it's being responsible with money that is important. I stay away from "cheap" people although not surprisingly, they seem to like hanging out with me.
Interesting that I have gained the undying loyalty of another rich friend by contributing a purchased voucher for a meal before we split the bill. He said that everyone waits for him to pull out his wallet! It p*sses him off!

(His net worth is likely 10x mine but that is not the point!)
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Old 04-15-2017, 10:18 AM   #50
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(....... but that is not the point!)
Indeed - nobody likes a leech.....(except perhaps physicians in the 1800s, and some of their modern day counterparts)
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Old 04-15-2017, 10:37 AM   #51
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It's not clear what you mean by that.

Most folks define living below your means as finding a way to live so that you spend less than you earn in order to save.

Most folks define living above your means as living such that you borrow money to spend more than your income.

So are you saying you spend exactly what you earn? You don't borrow, but you don't save either?
I'm retired and I get checks every two weeks, sometimes I spend it all sometimes I don't and I don't care because in two weeks there will be more.
The weeks I don't spend it all the rest goes into savings, the weeks I do spend it all, oh well.
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Old 04-15-2017, 10:45 AM   #52
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Good point - Some of my least favorite hotels when traveling on business for my mega used to be the ones where every time you leave the room for 5 minutes, someone goes in and fluffs your pillows or puts a piece of chocolate on your desk. I know it is considered great customer service by many, but to me, this always seemed so over the top to the point of creepy...
We were at a place in Laguna Nigel on a company boondoggle and they followed us in the lobby to puff up the cushions wherever we sat. I vowed never to go to one of those on my own nickle!
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For example, if you agree to go out to dinner with others pay your share or pick up the next bill. Or what about picking up the first bill not even knowing if there will be a second!?
Our ROMEO group who goes out for breakfast occasionally has someone volunteer to pay the whole shot. (100 pesos per person) We graciously accept it but usually the person is about to return home so we cannot return the favour this year.
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In my father's case he would hold very large labor day and memorial day parties with 50-80 people showing up (most empty handed). He did this for years, and eventually he noticed a pattern. 1)The same people showed up empty handed. 2)The reciprocity of others seemed completely out of wack. Finally he stopped when he hit his late 60's, though he had long found invitations "forgotten" to be sent to him.
My cousin was in that category. He just enjoyed giving. When he died at 74, 650 people showed up for his funeral. It was a record. The good will that he had generated was amazing. I consider that an object lesson about giving. You never see the appreciation even though it is there.
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I remember building a deck at my aunt's house with help from 1 of her 2 sons and my brother. The son that didn't help spent the day in the house doing nothing while the son that did help was more than willing to return the favour by helping me with a project of my own later that summer. A few years later the lazy son was now in his own house and needed a new roof and since I'm the "roofer" in the family, he looked to me for some help. I refused so he had to hire a roofing crew. Being cheap with his labour that one day a few years earlier cost him $3000.
"What goes around, comes around!"
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Originally Posted by Car-Guy View Post
From Webster's.
"careful about spending money or using things when you do not need to"
My family was guilty of the latter. "Geez Dad why not get a new one!" Some of the things he used had been repaired so often, I felt like saying it but never did out of respect!

(I consider dust busters as disposable since FI. OTOH our cordless phones have been kept going for over 10 years (5 handsets in a large house)!)
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Old 04-15-2017, 11:05 AM   #53
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We were at a place in Laguna Nigel on a company boondoggle and they followed us in the lobby to puff up the cushions wherever we sat. I vowed never to go to one of those on my own nickle!
On ships we tell our cabin stewards not to bother turning down the bed at night......if we want the ***** bed turned down we'll do it ourselves, and they work hard enough as it is.

(On the last trip our steward was concerned that her boss might question her as to why she hadn't done it, so we agreed to leave the 'Do Not Disturb' sign up at all times, except when we wanted the cabin made up.)
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Old 04-15-2017, 01:08 PM   #54
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I take back my bottles for the 5 cent deposit. I just can't stand to put them in our recycle can. I like to make homemade soup that is good for several tasty meals at a very low cost.

On the flip side, when I travel I don't worry about what I spend within reasonable standards (my view anyway).
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Old 04-15-2017, 01:53 PM   #55
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On ships we tell our cabin stewards not to bother turning down the bed at night......if we want the ***** bed turned down we'll do it ourselves, and they work hard enough as it is.
We let them do it for the chocolates!
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Old 04-15-2017, 01:55 PM   #56
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I take back my bottles for the 5 cent deposit.
Our bottles get recycled by the "binners".
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Old 04-15-2017, 02:32 PM   #57
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I'm retired and I get checks every two weeks, sometimes I spend it all sometimes I don't and I don't care because in two weeks there will be more.
The weeks I don't spend it all the rest goes into savings, the weeks I do spend it all, oh well.
Sounds like a perfectly reasonable way to live, provided it makes you happy and you can still achieve your goals this way. Bravo!

If you said that you often spend more than you make, but that you are confident you have sufficient assets to carry you through your life and still leave whatever legacy you plan to (if any), I would say "bravo" as well.

And if you said that you spend what you want and are happy but still find that you end up with extra money that you save each month, I would again say "bravo".

It's not the specific amounts or the "above your means", "below you means" or "at your means" that matters. The only important thing is if you can be happy and still achieve you goals or not.
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Old 04-16-2017, 11:50 AM   #58
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As exnavy said, it's being responsible with money that is important. I stay away from "cheap" people although not surprisingly, they seem to like hanging out with me.
One of our best friends is cheap but he has a great personality and brings us great pleasure. We adjust our spending to match his when we go out. We share an airbnb condo in Nice. We cook in and eat out. Both his cars are newer than both our cars.

We say he is careful and manages to a tight budget.
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Old 04-17-2017, 06:13 AM   #59
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I think we have issues with squishy terminology here. Words like "frugal" and "financial independence" seem to mean different things to different people.



I would say you aren't financially independent until you can live the lifestyle you want without having to worry about funding it. So I don't understand how you could have reached FI 3-5 years before that.



Everyone can be financially independent today if they are willing to live a lifestyle they don't want.


Good point. What I meant was the retirement calculators said we could RE and fund the lifestyle we wanted before we actually did it. We worked another 3+ years to build up a bigger cushion and help offset risk of things turning out differently than we planned.
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Old 04-17-2017, 06:33 AM   #60
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I would say you aren't financially independent until you can live the lifestyle you want without having to worry about funding it.
I like that definition. I RE'd but don't consider myself FI. I do have to watch my spending to stay within my reduced budget. But I wouldn't trade my time for more money by going back to w*rk.
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