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Old 09-23-2013, 12:00 PM
 
Location: The Boro, TN
2,326 posts, read 1,222,724 times
Reputation: 2183
Red face Frugality in relation to Income

First thing that comes to mind is that the more money you make, the less frugal you become, or the harder times get, the more frugal you become.

I've found that I'm quite the opposite. While my history has hardly been linear, I've found that I'm more frugal than ever now, whereas I'm in the highest income I've had, (I'm 28, make 41,600+, Not a lot by any means, but the most for me so far and rising)
When I was in the 20-25 bracket, while I was living with roommates and paying the lowest rent I have, I spent more on eating out, my cars, and other junk and didn't moderate my spending. Over the years as I've moved around, went to school, gone through broke times and better times, I've learned to become more frugal and have kept going in that way. I'm not in the best situation financially, with still a lot of debt, student loans, credit cards, car loan, etc. I'm starting to save more now, and still living frugal.
I still scour Craigslist for freebies and cheap items (my other thread in this forum goes into detail on how most of my furniture has been free or cheap)
I shop at Aldi for half my stuff and try to buy house brand when at Kroger whenever possible.
I scavenge paper towels.
I try to use the John at work as much as possible for my #2s.
I do multiple pees per flush (recently started this)
I monitor my AC usage (lowest I used it this summer was 74 on a few occasions, mostly used in the 75-76 range, and I've upped it to 78ish in the past few weeks as Summer is winding down, and now I'm barely using it unless it gets muggy inside)
And these have helped as my water and electrical usage has been the lowest in August with my heavy moderation.
I haven't gotten internet installed yet since I moved (moved from IL to TN in May).
Don't plan on getting cable/satellite.
Haven't bought new clothes since 2012, even while getting rid of old ones.

Basically I've been overcompensating for how bad I've been in my life at putting money away, that I'm trying pay down all my debt this year and put a lot of money in the bank. Although once my debt is all down, and I buy a house in the next 6-10 months (hopefully!), and even as my pay rises, I still think I'll be as frugal as ever.

Actually been so frugal that in my current apartment I still have no couch or loveseat, because I've not been able to find a decent one free lol! Or cheap for that matter (but I haven't looked that hard at ones that cost money)


I do eat out once or twice a week and definitely don't skimp on everything, but I just feel that there needs to be a balance and that some things in life that can be cheaped out should be.



So basically...point of this thread, besides me yapping about myself, is...have you followed the trend of more frugal with less money ? Or have you remained frugal or better as your income has gotten better ?
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Old 09-23-2013, 12:06 PM
 
839 posts, read 533,202 times
Reputation: 466
I am probably the same way, when I was 26, as soon as I got a job ($80k) I went out and bought a $40k car cash, all my savings basically went to that car.

Now I am 35 year old, I think twice and three times when everything I am buying is over $100.

I feel like something is wrong with me, maybe cause I have a family and kids who are depending on my income for living.

I am boring as ever.. sigh.
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Old 09-23-2013, 01:13 PM
 
Location: southwestern PA... where the nest is now empty!
9,934 posts, read 11,163,259 times
Reputation: 14190
We spend about the same now on our family/our home as when we had less money coming in...

but now we save more and we give away more than we used to.
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Old 09-23-2013, 01:44 PM
 
1,280 posts, read 526,960 times
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Sweetie, you seem to be on the right track but many of us have a different mindset. Regardless of your salary, if you have debt that will take a year to pay off, many of us would still say that you are still experiencing 'hard times'.

Under no circumstances should you ever look at the amount of your paycheck and say "heck, I can afford to play a little". You look at what you OWE.

Don't forget to fund your retirement.
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Old 09-23-2013, 07:05 PM
 
Location: Oakland CA
7,006 posts, read 9,281,892 times
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Narf -- we pull in 120K a year -- and out here that makes us lower middle class! We're still tightwads. The tightwad thing allows us to buy wonderful things when we want them, and not want everything we see.

There's an old commercial about winning the lottery where the lottery winner guy is in a grocery store standing at the cheese case and said "Like, I can totally buy all this cheese..."

When you have the ability to buy something just to buy something it stops becoming the carrot at the end of the stick that it would be if you couldn't buy it. There's something awful about seeing a coat that's 500 bucks and you love it, but you can't afford it. That coat becomes a symbol of want.

When you can afford it, you can buy it -- or, if you're like me, you can justify your way out of not buying it, but in any case it's just a coat.
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Old 09-23-2013, 10:26 PM
 
1,126 posts, read 724,933 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallysmom View Post
Narf -- we pull in 120K a year -- and out here that makes us lower middle class! We're still tightwads. The tightwad thing allows us to buy wonderful things when we want them, and not want everything we see.

There's an old commercial about winning the lottery where the lottery winner guy is in a grocery store standing at the cheese case and said "Like, I can totally buy all this cheese..."

When you have the ability to buy something just to buy something it stops becoming the carrot at the end of the stick that it would be if you couldn't buy it. There's something awful about seeing a coat that's 500 bucks and you love it, but you can't afford it. That coat becomes a symbol of want.

When you can afford it, you can buy it -- or, if you're like me, you can justify your way out of not buying it, but in any case it's just a coat.
My husband had an offer for $160-170k in the Bay area last January (we were considering Los Gatos, for the schools)... but a few days later I had him turn it down when another offer here in Seattle came through for $145k. $160k in SF/SJ would have meant a reduction in our savings rate, reduction in traveling to see family and a 2 bedroom apartment instead of our 4 bedroom condo (owned) and a healthy savings rate. I don't know how anyone does it there!

Yes, I would agree to the OP. I've realized as I've gotten older (mid-30's) just how much more optimism I had when I was in my 20's than I do now. Although we were never in any debt, we were poor as my husband went through grad school and then he hit some employment bumps until earlier this year. When you've experienced those kinds of hardships and then live to see the bright of day, you tend to want to protect yourself for when the dark times come. For me, I'm actually using more coupons and being more mindful with what we do, when we do it, and how then ever before. I think it's fine.
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Old 09-24-2013, 12:16 AM
 
13,338 posts, read 10,595,056 times
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I haven't followed the trend perfectly, but I've consistently socked away a good portion of my gross income (at least 10%, usually 25% to 33%) since my mid 20s. I do tend to spend a bit more when I make more, but I try to keep the savings rate the same or a bit higher with every pay raise.

I had my pay cut about 2 years ago by over 12% (and my rent went up the same year, too) but I did not cut back on my retirement savings. I did cut back on some lifestyle stuff, but I did end up putting less in my regular savings account even with the cutback in lifestyle.

I generally agree with you that sometimes you can and should cheap out on things. And the time to do that is in your 20s so that you aren't forced to do it later in life. It's a lot easier to skimp on stuff in your 20s than when you get older.
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Old 09-24-2013, 01:31 AM
 
729 posts, read 334,392 times
Reputation: 816
I find myself more frugal than ever as I get older and have higher income and lower expenses than ever before particularly as college expenses are in the past ...
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Old 09-24-2013, 08:26 AM
Status: "Life goes on on on ......." (set 3 days ago)
 
Location: in the miseries
1,746 posts, read 789,763 times
Reputation: 1488
didn't matter how much money I have or had; I'm always frugal. Except when I tip.
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Old 09-24-2013, 08:56 AM
 
1,726 posts, read 1,596,177 times
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Im way more frugal for a lot of the reasons others have mentioned - less optimistic, more realistic. We have alot more money coming in - but I think we are way more mindful in how we spend it.

We're in a pretty goodspot for our age in a lot of ways - we have about $3k a month coming in "for life" and health coverage (military).

We bought two house (one primary and one rental) AFTER the crash. Not bcause we were any smarter than the rest of folks but because we ended being stationed out of the country when the prices started to go insane. Came back and the height of the crazy and there was no way we could afford to think about buying at the time.

However, we had a child late in life (40's) and I'm frugal so that we can afford to give her things (classes , travel, toys) that we didnt have growing up.

It's much easier to not buy "things" because we're at the age where we pretty much have everythng we need and I've found as I've gotten older I care way, way less about what brands/things other people have or think I should have.
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