Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 05-05-2020, 11:33 AM   #161
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
MRG's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 10,687
Today we spend on things we want.

My parents, both born in 17, lived through a lot. Dad's father was orphaned at age 5 and he died in 29 just before the depression started. My father's memories of not enough food or shelter were part of my upbringing. I had those things but it was very clear they could not be taken for granted.

Wife and I married young with no real skills or career opportunities. We were definitely poor for many years and took advantage of any opportunities to improve our lives. We're very fortunate to be able to enjoy our lives.
MRG is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 05-05-2020, 11:37 AM   #162
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
RobbieB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Central CA
Posts: 8,378
I was frugal to build up a retirement stash.

Now that I'm retired it's time to Blow that Dough!
__________________
Retired at 59 in 2014. Should have done it sooner but I worried too much.
RobbieB is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-2020, 11:47 AM   #163
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
street's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 6,913
Parents that lived through the depression years and wars. Very hard times when my parents grew up and very poor living conditions. Those times molded my parents and was handed down to me to save, not to waste, reuse, work hard and always strive for excellence.
Learned to invest things that we had or could get free to make out life better without spending a fortune to acquire the same results.
I was taught frugal and so glad and a blessing I was brought up that way. I have so much more appreciation for life and earthly things from being taught frugal.
street is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-2020, 12:20 PM   #164
Recycles dryer sheets
chilkoot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: The sticks
Posts: 309
I can relate to several posts made so far (particularly that of samm). But one incident from early on stands out in memory...
One time when I was very young I accompanied my parents to the grocery store. I decided I really needed a $1 sticker book and asked my parents to buy it for me. My dad offered to loan me the $1; I didn’t really get the concept but if saying Yes was what it took to get the stickers then so be it.
When we got home he presented me with a repayment schedule, an eye-opening experience. Ever since, the idea of taking out a loan had a negative connotation and I avoided it whenever possible.
__________________
Iím not much on seizing the day. I just kind of poke it with a stick.
chilkoot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-2020, 12:32 PM   #165
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Amethyst's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 11,412
It seems a little mean to spring the lesson on you like that, when you clearly didn't understand what you were getting into. I bet it made you more cautious about accepting offers without researching them first

Quote:
Originally Posted by chilkoot View Post
My dad offered to loan me the $1; I didnít really get the concept but if saying Yes was what it took to get the stickers then so be it.
When we got home he presented me with a repayment schedule
__________________
If you understood everything I say, you'd be me ~ Miles Davis
'There is only one success Ė to be able to spend your life in your own way.í Christopher Morley.
Even a blind clock finds an acorn twice a day.
Amethyst is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-2020, 08:44 PM   #166
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
Location: High Plains Non-Drifter
Posts: 314
Sadly, I came to appreciate the financial nuts and bolts of FI (e.g., 4% rule) only in my late 40’s, but DW and I have always been debt adverse and cautious with money.

For me, I watched my father as he was forced into early retirement in his 50’s from the steel industry. I was in college at the time. It was jarring to receive that call.

Anyway, from that point on I decided to try as best I could to have life’s major financial commitments behind me by age 50. Compared to my male peers, I had children relatively young (as I didn’t want to be 60 years and trying to put kids through college). I wanted to be mortgage free by age 50. I picked a career that didn’t depend upon corporate overlords. As an ultimate career back-up plan, I learned a trade on the side along the way (DW and I are serious DIY’ers). Materialistic things never interested me — I have zero interest in new cars, new homes, new clothes. We bailed on HCOL and moved to LCOL.

Anyway, I have tried to live my life on the assumption that a financial calamity could befall me in my 50’s. We somewhat have been preparing for Armageddon for 35 years. We never expected it to actually arrive.
WyomingLife is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-2020, 09:02 PM   #167
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Markola's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Twin Cities
Posts: 3,274
These are all such interesting stories to me.
Markola is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2020, 01:55 AM   #168
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
target2019's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Stuck in the mud somewhere in the NJ swamp
Posts: 8,380
I turn off the light switch. That is probably one thing that defines frugality for me. Mother was poor during the Great Depression, and was frugal. She picked up coal from the train tracks, it was like that for her family. My Father was educated and had white collar jobs. That put enough on the table for his family of seven. What I recall is many hand me downs.

Some brothers were spendthrift later in life, and liked to show off. That wasn't me.
target2019 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2020, 04:51 AM   #169
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
DrRoy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Michigan
Posts: 3,941
Quote:
I was frugal to build up a retirement stash.

Now that I'm retired it's time to Blow that Dough!
This is pretty much me, too.
__________________
"The mountains are calling, and I must go." John Muir
DrRoy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2020, 05:09 AM   #170
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 1,276
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrRoy View Post
This is pretty much me, too.
I grew up in a frugal household (Depression-era parents), then I was a poor student for a long time, then I was saving hard for retirement. I had about 18 months of feeling rich - spending what I considered a lot - before this crisis hit. I can go back to poor student living for a few months. Then I'll reassess again.
__________________
FIRED:
July 12, 2018. On safari to stay!
Pellice is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2020, 05:31 AM   #171
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
ER Eddie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 1,687
I'm frugal because I've detached myself, as best I can, from a concern about what others think about me, influences of peer groups, media, and advertisement. I can't claim to be free of all those things, but as I've become more psychologically independent of these forces, my "need" to buy stuff has dropped off.
ER Eddie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2020, 05:39 AM   #172
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
iloveyoga's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Des Moines
Posts: 1,183
This is a good thought provoking thread. I am not always frugal, but I have always been a saver first. In thinking about this, I learned the saving practice mostly from my career in financial services/pension administration. Even when we had very little in our early years, we saved first, it was a habit that stuck.
__________________
Retired in 2013 and we are living the dream!
iloveyoga is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2020, 07:56 AM   #173
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: North
Posts: 3,484
I was not born this way but parents definitely had something to do with it.

In my teenage years I had no clue the value of a dollar. Really not until I got into my mid 20s. I didn't become really "frugal" until bigger goals came along like wanting a home, family etc. I realized I had to sacrifice pointless wants for needs.

I think a big turning point for me was when I quit drinking. Swapping one liquid for "liquidity" opened my eyes to possibilities.

Another turning point someone on ER forum said "Never pay retail" That resonated with me and now it is kinda a game, there is the sticker price, and then the price I am WILLING to pay.
__________________
AA (Stock/Bond/Cash ): 97.5/0/2.5% MIX (Small/Mid/Large): 25/25/50% BLEND(US/Foreign): 100/0%, REIT (Real Estate Equity): ~50% of Assets

FIRE in 2031 @ 50yrs old (+/- 2yrs) w/ a hypothetical $2.5mil portfolio, 3 appreciated homes worth $1.0mil and rental income to fund my gap years until RMD. Assets will go to an inherited IRA where I plan on watching the investments grow until I die or the trust gets executed.
kgtest is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2020, 08:16 AM   #174
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Nemo2's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 8,368
Quote:
Originally Posted by kgtest View Post
Another turning point someone on ER forum said "Never pay retail" That resonated with me .
It resonated with me too.....it's almost 44 years ago since I heard the lady say it, and it found a comfortable corner and settled into what passes for my brain.
__________________
"Exit, pursued by a bear."

The Winter's Tale, William Shakespeare
Nemo2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2020, 08:23 AM   #175
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 5,893
Quote:
Originally Posted by WyomingLife View Post

For me, I watched my father as he was forced into early retirement in his 50ís from the steel industry. I was in college at the time. It was jarring to receive that call.

<snip>

Anyway, I have tried to live my life on the assumption that a financial calamity could befall me in my 50ís. We somewhat have been preparing for Armageddon for 35 years. We never expected it to actually arrive.
My story is similar; Dad was "demoted" from his job managing a district of a large steel company when he was 54. He and Mom landed on their feet- they'd always been savers. They moved to Myrtle Beach, Dad tried his hand at being a stockbroker, became disillusioned for many reasons, and even tried a short stint managing another steel company that was circling the drain. He couldn't prevent it. Mom died in 2016 and Dad is 89 and failing- likely to be moved to a skilled nursing facility after he gets out of rehab due to a stroke over Easter weekend. The resources are there- my siblings in the area have identified a good place and are not frantically searching for a place that accepts Medicaid (he doesn't qualify and we're happy about that).

So- it was an early lesson that you cannot assume that you'll be employed as long as you want to work. I ended up retiring at 61 when politics got toxic. It was a very good decision.

My spending is the "bipolar" type described earlier. I can be a real skinflint in areas that don't matter much to me: clothing (I have plenty, why buy more?), cars (buy used, maintain them, keep till no longer reliable), cleaning my own house and mowing my own lawn. I save my money for Business Class plane tickets and small-ship cruises. Right now that's all on hold, of course.
athena53 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2020, 08:25 AM   #176
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 436
I am not frugal. I am disciplined and a minimalist by nature.
Toocold is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2020, 08:45 AM   #177
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
Location: High Plains Non-Drifter
Posts: 314
Quote:
Originally Posted by athena53 View Post
My story is similar; Dad was "demoted" from his job managing a district of a large steel company when he was 54. He and Mom landed on their feet- they'd always been savers. They moved to Myrtle Beach, Dad tried his hand at being a stockbroker, became disillusioned for many reasons, and even tried a short stint managing another steel company that was circling the drain. He couldn't prevent it. Mom died in 2016 and Dad is 89 and failing- likely to be moved to a skilled nursing facility after he gets out of rehab due to a stroke over Easter weekend. The resources are there- my siblings in the area have identified a good place and are not frantically searching for a place that accepts Medicaid (he doesn't qualify and we're happy about that).

So- it was an early lesson that you cannot assume that you'll be employed as long as you want to work. I ended up retiring at 61 when politics got toxic. It was a very good decision.

My spending is the "bipolar" type described earlier. I can be a real skinflint in areas that don't matter much to me: clothing (I have plenty, why buy more?), cars (buy used, maintain them, keep till no longer reliable), cleaning my own house and mowing my own lawn. I save my money for Business Class plane tickets and small-ship cruises. Right now that's all on hold, of course.
Very similar indeed.

I'm very sorry about the passing of your Mother, and the health of your Father.

After Dad was separated prematurely from the steel industry, he went to work at the local hardware store in our small Midwestern town. I'm certain those fleeting years selling nails and lawnmowers brought him more satisfaction than dealing with office politics over the prior decades in an industry that was circling the drain. He loved chatting with the oldsters who stopped by, less to shop, more to chat. Dad was a chatty kind of guy.

I think a lot about selling nails, too, to be honest. Likely a "grass is always greener" kind of thing. But most days the thought of selling nails has a lot of appeal.
WyomingLife is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2020, 09:16 AM   #178
Recycles dryer sheets
prudent_one's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 259
Another comment on a common theme. Grew up poor, my mother was the rare mom who worked. Dad high school dropout due to horrific family life and not infrequently laid off for lack of work. Kids always sick, lots of medical bills. They didn't make bad decisions, just no opportunity to get ahead. I did lots of reading as a kid and saw that some people fall into good luck, some work hard and are rewarded, and some have terrible outcomes no matter what they did. This terrified me and was determined to not struggle for decades like my parents at least to the best of my ability.

Sold greeting cards door to door at age 10, then did a paper route, got a part-time job after that. Never without a job since age 10 other than the first 2 weeks after our union went on strike in the 80's (after 2 weeks I got a part-time job in a store). Not always good jobs, but employed nonetheless.

Growing up with almost nothing cured me of "wants" - my brain figured out when a long stream of "wants" just goes unsatisfied, it's best to stop wanting. A middle-class living seemed luxurious and still does. A house, a reliable car, a good-paying steady job, enough food? Still incredibly and sincerely thankful for those things. I will not compare myself to others - if I do, it's marveling at how much I have that so many others don't, through no fault of their own in many cases. I will never believe I did it all on my own and thank God for my blessings. Saving for the proverbial rainy day was a top priority so I didn't have to take out terrible loans like my parents did just to survive, keeping them in debt for years.

Drifting a bit off-topic here but for a reason...
When my career blossomed I was able to start helping my parents financially. My dad insisted we could not afford to do it but we forced him to let us help. Some years later we visited my dad a few months after mom passed away. We knew her SS check was no longer coming and had a frank discussion on raising our monthly assistance. At first it was more stonewalling but I just laid it out and said no matter how much he pinched pennies, he cannot afford to live adequately on $19K a year when he's paying $6K of that in rent. He knew I had a good job but I never talked hard numbers with him about our finances. He needed more income but he truly believed we were going to suffer if we gave him more than we already were. So I told him, "Dad, we have a million dollars saved. I promise we can afford it."

He said "No, you don't, you're just saying that to get me to take more money." I asked my wife (in the next room) if it was true that we had a million saved, and she said yes. Then he believed it, and started to cry like a baby. I mean sobbing (the memory makes me tear up even now just writing this). He could not process the idea that one of their kids could ever, EVER do that. So we solved that problem.

We can afford to buy more things and do more things now, but our wants are really nothing. If we go out for a steak dinner, it's still a splurge to us, yet doesn't even register on our budget. But when we can help a friend who is in a bind financially through no fault of their own, and make a real difference in their lives, that's worth more to us than a trip around the world or a new car. We don't need more stuff and we have literally everything we need. So now our tips are much bigger, our donations are bigger. We can read the newsletter from the local food bank and see that more people are being helped and know we were a small part of that. So less frugal in that sense, I suppose.
prudent_one is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2020, 10:36 AM   #179
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Badger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 2,633
Fortunately I had parents who taught me while I was growing up. Once I was on my own it was out of necessity. I think I was one of the lucky ones.



Cheers!
Badger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2020, 01:19 PM   #180
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
iloveyoga's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Des Moines
Posts: 1,183
Quote:
Originally Posted by prudent_one View Post
Another comment on a common theme. Grew up poor, my mother was the rare mom who worked. Dad high school dropout due to horrific family life and not infrequently laid off for lack of work. Kids always sick, lots of medical bills. They didn't make bad decisions, just no opportunity to get ahead. I did lots of reading as a kid and saw that some people fall into good luck, some work hard and are rewarded, and some have terrible outcomes no matter what they did. This terrified me and was determined to not struggle for decades like my parents at least to the best of my ability.

Sold greeting cards door to door at age 10, then did a paper route, got a part-time job after that. Never without a job since age 10 other than the first 2 weeks after our union went on strike in the 80's (after 2 weeks I got a part-time job in a store). Not always good jobs, but employed nonetheless.

Growing up with almost nothing cured me of "wants" - my brain figured out when a long stream of "wants" just goes unsatisfied, it's best to stop wanting. A middle-class living seemed luxurious and still does. A house, a reliable car, a good-paying steady job, enough food? Still incredibly and sincerely thankful for those things. I will not compare myself to others - if I do, it's marveling at how much I have that so many others don't, through no fault of their own in many cases. I will never believe I did it all on my own and thank God for my blessings. Saving for the proverbial rainy day was a top priority so I didn't have to take out terrible loans like my parents did just to survive, keeping them in debt for years.

Drifting a bit off-topic here but for a reason...
When my career blossomed I was able to start helping my parents financially. My dad insisted we could not afford to do it but we forced him to let us help. Some years later we visited my dad a few months after mom passed away. We knew her SS check was no longer coming and had a frank discussion on raising our monthly assistance. At first it was more stonewalling but I just laid it out and said no matter how much he pinched pennies, he cannot afford to live adequately on $19K a year when he's paying $6K of that in rent. He knew I had a good job but I never talked hard numbers with him about our finances. He needed more income but he truly believed we were going to suffer if we gave him more than we already were. So I told him, "Dad, we have a million dollars saved. I promise we can afford it."

He said "No, you don't, you're just saying that to get me to take more money." I asked my wife (in the next room) if it was true that we had a million saved, and she said yes. Then he believed it, and started to cry like a baby. I mean sobbing (the memory makes me tear up even now just writing this). He could not process the idea that one of their kids could ever, EVER do that. So we solved that problem.

We can afford to buy more things and do more things now, but our wants are really nothing. If we go out for a steak dinner, it's still a splurge to us, yet doesn't even register on our budget. But when we can help a friend who is in a bind financially through no fault of their own, and make a real difference in their lives, that's worth more to us than a trip around the world or a new car. We don't need more stuff and we have literally everything we need. So now our tips are much bigger, our donations are bigger. We can read the newsletter from the local food bank and see that more people are being helped and know we were a small part of that. So less frugal in that sense, I suppose.
What a wonderful story of helping your parents, thank you for sharing.
__________________
Retired in 2013 and we are living the dream!
iloveyoga is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Are you unnecessarily frugal? Midpack FIRE and Money 42 02-13-2010 03:45 PM
Are you frugal or a cheap b@$t@rd? Grizz FIRE and Money 108 09-29-2007 07:50 PM
How frugal is too frugal? setab FIRE and Money 36 05-18-2006 12:51 PM
Are you frugal or are you stingy? Martha Other topics 60 03-25-2006 03:30 PM
So, frugal people, what DO you allow yourselves? LRAO FIRE and Money 131 11-25-2005 01:21 PM

» Quick Links

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:15 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.