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Old 02-01-2011, 10:11 AM
 
Location: Sinking in the Great Salt Lake
12,900 posts, read 18,450,622 times
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It seem "frugality" is usually interpreted as "making do with less" which ends up meaning less luxuries and conforts too.

Now I've whined before here about being a poor man in a rich man's world, but something I can't quite articulate deep inside me says it should be totally possible to live what feels like an "extravagant" life without the extravagant price tag that normally comes with it.


Am I deluding myself? Does frugality mean lowering one's expectations of what "the good life" constitutes, or does it just mean doing it smarter?

Any advice or thoughts?
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Old 02-01-2011, 10:26 AM
 
Location: El Paso, TX
3,302 posts, read 3,755,932 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chango View Post
It seem "frugality" is usually interpreted as "making do with less" which ends up meaning less luxuries and conforts too.

Now I've whined before here about being a poor man in a rich man's world, but something I can't quite articulate deep inside me says it should be totally possible to live what feels like an "extravagant" life without the extravagant price tag that normally comes with it.


Am I deluding myself? Does frugality mean lowering one's expectations of what "the good life" constitutes, or does it just mean doing it smarter?

Any advice or thoughts?
I suppose the word can be interpreted different ways. My wife and I interpret being frugal by not spending on this we do not think are necessary. We do not spend for the latest state of the art TV when we have TVs that work just fine.
To us the same applies when buying a car. We do not deprive ourselves from going on trips, going to the movies, buying a house, etc. We simply ask ourselve what we want and what we need.

Do not take me wrong. We do buy things we may want and do not really mean. However, we keep focus on what is our budget and have a structured budget. We do not go beyond limits in other words we also do not live beyond our means. We make sure we save money. That is now paying off. Now, that I am retired from the Army, we had enough money to make sure that if I could not find a job right away we had enough to supplement my retirement pay even though we could still make as the only income, take care.
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Old 02-01-2011, 10:30 AM
 
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
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Frugality means different things to different people, you can still "live the good life" and be frugal. What do you enjoy? Do you have hobbies? Do you have a wife or kids?

When I was single, I would spend $100 or less on groceries in a month because I didn't eat at home very much and didn't really care to cook just for myself. Now that I am engaged to my fiance, we will easily spend $300 on groceries in a month between the two of us. I tend to cook more and we eat out less.

If you drink, frugal may mean buying cheaper beer, drinking Jack Daniels instead of Crown Royal, or having Smirnoff instead of Grey Goose.

Frugality can apply to automobile shopping, opting for a Toyota instead of a Lexus or maybe a Chevy instead of a Cadillac.

It's really dependent on your income, someone who makes 6 figures isn't going to sweat $500 car payments as much as someone making $30k/ year. They aren't going to care about buying a $30 of Crown versus $15 bottle of Jack.

I have a Droid with the $30 data plan along with my fiancee, a frugal person may have a simple cell phone without texting or data coverage.

It's all in your definition of "the good life". Do you enjoy traveling? Traveling is expensive in general but being frugal may mean staying at a Super 8 instead of the Hilton or Ritz Carlton.

I generally don't deprive myself or my fiancee of much but I try to be frugal in small ways such as instead of going out to eat at Morton's Steakhouse or Ruth Chris every Saturday night, we may go there once a month and other times try less spendy places on the weekend. Instead of getting coffee at Starbucks, I brew my own at home and have a mug I bring to work. Instead of going out for lunch on my workdays, I may go out twice during the week and bring something the other three times.

But as far as things I TRULY enjoy ranging from traveling to my vehicles to recreational activities...I generally pay well. I'm saving up for a CTS-V which will be my next big purchase. Instead of wearing a Timex watch, I have a Rolex. Worth the money I paid for it? To me, yes.

Be frugal when you can but indulge when you truly enjoy something. Can you ever have too much of a good thing? In my view, NO.
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Old 02-01-2011, 05:51 PM
 
24,726 posts, read 26,794,844 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chango View Post
Am I deluding myself? Does frugality mean lowering one's expectations of what "the good life" constitutes, or does it just mean doing it smarter?

Any advice or thoughts?
I'd say it's a combination of both.

I think that expensive neighborhood where all your neighbors have higher incomes than yours is wearing on your psyche. I think you're going to have to find a way to earn more or step down to a neighborhood where your income is more similar to that of your neighbors.
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Old 02-08-2011, 11:46 AM
 
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One thing you can do (but it takes time) is go to thrift stores to look for designer or high brand clothes/shoes, etc. No one would guess that my wardrobe is from thrift stores.
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Old 02-08-2011, 01:12 PM
RHB
 
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Being frugal, is having the money to do the things that are important to you, and not spending it on things that aren't. Which doesn't happen without thinking about how/where you spend your money, and figuring out what are the things that are important to you.
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Old 02-08-2011, 04:27 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RHB View Post
Being frugal, is having the money to do the things that are important to you, and not spending it on things that aren't. Which doesn't happen without thinking about how/where you spend your money, and figuring out what are the things that are important to you.
Exactly.

Remember when this story hit the news?:

The Vogel Collection: thoroughly modest Medicis - Telegraph
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Old 02-08-2011, 04:44 PM
 
Location: NC
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To us, being frugal is knowing the difference between what you want and need, and living within your means, all the while enjoying life and investing more in savings than material goods.

that doesnt mean we dont have nice things, we do. but it does mean that we dont spend on things that dont really bring us pleasure.

for example, hubby loves cigars. So he buys them. But not just to collect (as some do)- he smokes what he buys- and enjoys them. it would be wasteful if he bought boxes (which can run upwards of $400 a box) and put them in a humidor and never enjoyed them.

i enjoy See's Chocolates. So... a couple of times a year, I order a box (we dont have a store nearby that sells it- which is probably a good thing LOL).

We spend on things that we truly enjoy, and save most of what we earn. We look for the best deals on things, and generally don't replace anything unless it NEEDS to be replaced.

I buy most of my clothes at 2nd hand shops. Still nice clothes, but why pay full price when I can get a $40 shirt- still with tags on it- for $3???? spend the $3 and put the $37 towards a utility bill or groceries or in savings.
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Old 02-09-2011, 09:33 AM
 
Location: Victoria TX
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Frugal living, in order to be really worth while, needs to be its own reward. For example, I get more pleasure from eating a chicken wing and a french fry I find in a trash barrel (Yes, I look for them) than a whole chicken dinner that I pay for myself.

I buy Bakers Semi-sweet chocolate, at 14c per half-ounce piece. It's always sitting out, and I enjoy the luxury of eating one when I do, and I enjoy knowing that i have the will power to pass it up. It takes me a month to eat an 8-ounce pack, at seven cents a day. I wouldn't want it any other way.
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Old 02-09-2011, 12:48 PM
 
Location: DFW
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A great place to start:

Think about the big ticket items or recurring expenses you have or want. Out of those, what can you go without and still live a great life?

I personally won't spend time to penny pinch on small everyday items like bread, eggs, milk, even gas which only differs a few cents among stores.
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