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Old 02-19-2013, 06:31 AM
 
Location: Whereever we have our RV parked
8,021 posts, read 7,053,519 times
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What does the forum consider, other than complete homelessness or being a beggar, the ultimate in frugal living. I wondered about this because I was wondering about some scenarios that would give you the lowest cost of living.

I have two of my own to contribute. First, my parents. After my dad retired, he found a position working for a very wealthy lady. She built them a house to live in on the grounds of her property. She paid my dad a salary to be the caretaker, he rented out the house he owned, and lived there till he died. She was an old maid, so she would take them along on her vacations and pay their way. On top of that, he had his pension. It was an easy gig, because he could hire people to do some of the hard work, and some days his biggest task was driving his employer into town. (Like Driving Miss Daisy)

Second one I can see is buying a house where housing demand is almost nil, like in a small town on great plains, where nice houses can be purchased in the area of $25,000. That means your taxes and insurance will also be very low. This would be ideal for someone trying to live on SS alone. Anyone else?
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Old 02-19-2013, 07:12 AM
 
Location: Indianapolis
505 posts, read 756,847 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prairieparson View Post
What does the forum consider, other than complete homelessness or being a beggar, the ultimate in frugal living. I wondered about this because I was wondering about some scenarios that would give you the lowest cost of living.
Those are not the products of frugality. Those are the products of living above your means for too long. They certainly would never be considered the ultimate in frugal living.
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Old 02-19-2013, 07:48 AM
 
Location: southwestern PA
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A friend of ours lives totally off the grid - I think HE is the ultimate in frugal living.

He and his wife are not homeless or beggars; they live a great life, complete with organic food, homemade wines, HDTV, smartphone and internet.
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Old 02-19-2013, 08:09 AM
 
Location: USA, Nebraska
102 posts, read 181,698 times
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I think living off the grid, as in, not paying ANY bills is the ultimate. I dream of this, but it is very hard to get this way with neighbors, or not enough experience. I'd like to get into solar power, and cut electricity. There is already a well, just needs some work done to get it going. Though, it would still be nice to have internet and phone as a luxury.
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Old 02-19-2013, 08:47 AM
 
Location: Beavercreek, OH
2,194 posts, read 3,011,892 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prairieparson View Post
Second one I can see is buying a house where housing demand is almost nil, like in a small town on great plains, where nice houses can be purchased in the area of $25,000. That means your taxes and insurance will also be very low. This would be ideal for someone trying to live on SS alone. Anyone else?
Hi Prairieparson--

Except for one problem - retirees want to have lives, too, and often many of those small towns lack those services and amenities (especially access to quality health care, which can often mean a trip to the nearest major city).



The ultimate in frugal living, I think, is to run any purchase through a cost-benefit analysis.

Look at the marginal utility of the $5 you just blew on a Starbucks latte - is it really worth $120 a month? Perhaps it is, because it's the only 45 minutes a day you get away from the office. It's worth the drop in blood pressure.

Or perhaps it's not.

Frugal living is not, repeat not, saving as many as pennies as possible.

Frugal living is about getting the maximum value for your hard-earned dollar.

And if you can get by on spending less money and still enjoy an acceptable standard of living, then by all means do it.
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Old 02-19-2013, 09:35 AM
 
Location: Whereever we have our RV parked
8,021 posts, read 7,053,519 times
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henslava: You make a good point. However, it depends on the person and location. For example, there are some towns like this in west Texas that have very low housing prices, yet are close enough to a major city that good medical care is an hour or less away. Plus, not everyone wants the same thing in retirement. Some people might like going rural and are glad to get out of the city. They would prefer someplace where they can hunt or fish. Rural areas do have golf, high school sporting events, restaurants.

I posted this because I believe that in the future, the average citizen in the USA is going to have a lower standard of living, and lower average income. Lots of people are approaching retirement age with little net worth. So, how can one get along with a very minimal income. Lots of people don't think they can even afford to retire. Well, eventually, no one will employ them. So when that happens, how can they get along on just the little that SS will pay in the future?

I don't think "off the grid" is that big a deal. Yes off the grid might save on electricity, and maybe you have enough wood to heat your house, but you still have the cost of the house, the taxes and insurance, you still need gasoline, vehicles, etc. People still need food medical supplies etc. So "off the grid" is not necessarily minimalist living.
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Old 02-19-2013, 10:45 AM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
16,840 posts, read 51,286,023 times
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There is no "ultimate" any more than there is an ultimate color. The Zen Buddhist monk often exists with working in the fields and a begging bowl. The ultra-rich can perceive frugality in not always buying designer clothes. I once hosted the FAQ for the usenet group on frugality. Members were fairly much in agreement that it was a general concept rather than a specific goal.
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Old 02-19-2013, 11:11 AM
 
652 posts, read 580,925 times
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I have sold a lot of my things. But still have way more than I need. I would like to have one of those 200 sf homes and live on less than 25 a day. Sell off all my things and live in a fifth wheel or small cabin with just what I use every day. I don't need a TV, I have a laptop. Don't need all that I have. I may do it. I have never had a better time than when me and the wife took 4 months each winter for two winters and took our 24 foot TT down south and just stayed at neat places like hot Springs AR for a month then went to Eureka Springs for a Month ect. It was more fun than you can imagine. We only took what we needed.
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Old 02-19-2013, 11:12 AM
 
Location: southwestern PA
20,426 posts, read 35,696,560 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prairieparson View Post

I don't think "off the grid" is that big a deal.
Seriously?
It is huge!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Prairieparson View Post
Yes off the grid might save on electricity, and maybe you have enough wood to heat your house, but you still have the cost of the house, the taxes and insurance, you still need gasoline, vehicles, etc.
No, the guy I know does not SAVE on electricity. He sells his excess to the power company.
His house is paid for and he does pay taxes.
He uses no gasoline; his car is paid for.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Prairieparson View Post
People still need food medical supplies etc. So "off the grid" is not necessarily minimalist living.
He almost never sets foot in a grocery store.
And yes, medical supplies are necessary.

Minimalist is different than frugal, which was the original question.
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Old 02-19-2013, 11:13 AM
 
Location: southwestern PA
20,426 posts, read 35,696,560 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hensleya1 View Post

Frugal living is not, repeat not, saving as many as pennies as possible.

Frugal living is about getting the maximum value for your hard-earned dollar.

And if you can get by on spending less money and still enjoy an acceptable standard of living, then by all means do it.
I like that, a lot!
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