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Old 12-06-2007, 10:44 PM
Location: in drifts of snow wherever you go
2,493 posts, read 3,070,576 times
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Originally Posted by ayannaaaliyah View Post
Well I live simple because that's the way I was brought up, I'm old school. I never got into the keeping up with the Jone's thing. I keep it simple and make purchases that I can afford to pay for in cash (exception: home; car).

It's great you were brought up that way. I, on the other hand, must learn to curb my evil spendthrift ways. However, I almost never go out to eat. It's a huge waste of money to me, and I never go out to the movies. I just bought a new car -- a 2000 Honda Accord with 73,000 miles. It was a cheap car that's good on gas, and payments are really low. I sure wish I could've got a more exciting car. My bank gave me up to $25,000 in credit, but I couldn't do it. I just couldn't subject myself to those kinds of payments.

I'm not crazy about my job and I hate working for clients that use me and abuse me and toss me out like garbage. (The corporate world is a savage place.) Now that my monthly living expenses are low, I am more empowered, because I don't have to suck up to them anymore. I can say, "Hey, go take a long walk off a short pier because I don't need your stinkin' money." And then I can burn rubber in my Honda.

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Old 12-06-2007, 11:38 PM
Location: Tucson, AZ
2,162 posts, read 7,493,796 times
Reputation: 2891
Good topic Greenie. I live a relatively simple, modest lifestyle in an area where the vast majority of households are the opposite. I live in a 1+1 apartment, have no debt or credit card carryover balances, don't have a lot of clutter or junk around the house, bicycle commute to and from work almost every day, bike or walk to most nearby stores. I avoid "manufactured" food products (like frozen meals in boxes and most stuff in cans) and instead buy mostly fresh fruits and veggies. I do go out to lunch quite often, mostly as a 1 hour escape from the office, but don't go to chain restaurants or junk food places. I own a 5 year old econo car, but don't drive it much except for some occasional out of town trips on weekends or vacations. If gas prices doubled or tripled, it wouldn't hurt me much.
I've been working in the corporate world for almost 30 years, and am financially comfortable. I might retire from my engineering job in about 3 years when I am age 56. I quit a high stress tech management job about 9 years ago, and took a step backwards on the pay scale (from about 115K to 90K) but a step forward in the quality of life scale. My engineering job keeps me plenty busy with lots of projects and is usually pretty interesting, and I don't have anyone working for me now. That alone is a big relief. I never, ever work at home and don't even carry around a cell phone or other form of digital leash.

I am not a fanatic about living simple, I don't skimp on the basics or things that I really need. For example, if I need some dental work done, I would not look around for the cheapest dentist in town, I'll pay extra for a real good dentist who I know and trust. You cannot put a price on the pain that can result from a dentist who doesn't do the job right. I like a certain type of wool blend socks made by Smartwool for everyday wear. They cost maybe $12 a pair, which is 5 times more than the junk at Walmart but hey, if I'm going to wear some socks all day everyday they better be just what I want and not make my feet sweat. I'm not buying them for looks cause you can't see um, this is strictly an issue of basic comfort. This is what I mean about living a relatively simply life, but not being a fanatic about it. We all got to keep things in perspective and balance.
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Old 12-07-2007, 12:41 AM
Location: Indy
664 posts, read 2,575,416 times
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Well, I'll be honest - I'm stuck in the middle between simple living and Lethal.

Right now, I have MAYBE $3500 in credit cards and that's going to be paid off with the quarter. That debt is also old debt. For the last 6 years everything in my house has been paid for in cash - TVs, washer, dryer, frig, etc. I'm also thinking about getting rid of my car because it has a payment attached to it and instead buying a 'beater.' No car payment, cheaper insurance, cheaper plates, but with a higher bill at the pump. While I am not even close to being a shade tree mechanic, I can do the simple things as long as the heads don't have to come off. Hell, to show how much I try and save money (as mentioned in another of GreenMachine's threads), I've even stopped going to the barber and just shave my own hair.

However, that being said, I have been looking for a better job with no success. I have one non-marketable degree (BS in history with minor in cultural anthropology) and am finishing up a second 4 year degree. For the last 2 years I've been looking for a job in field that I am finishing up but with no luck. I do have an associates. My degree is going to be in computer technology with my specialty being in information and network security. My school is known nationally, and is respected. I have currently a 3.0. I have a year's experience in the role of A+ and as an assistant network admin. To top it off, I also have a government security clearance.

And I still can't find a job

In that 2 year time period, I only had 2 interviews.

Reason for no luck? I think that my biggest problem is that I'm still in the Army National Guard. I honestly believe that as soon as they see that on my resume, it goes in the shredder

Unlike lethal, I have a plan. Since I'm a veteran, I am going to use the Patriot Loan from the SBA, and start up my own business. By the end of 2009, I'll have something. Nothing happens over night and for this, I'm going to need a lot of planning.

And for anyone else pissing and moaning about their wages, remember that the military will take people up to the age of 42.

Last edited by Zig'sbird; 12-07-2007 at 12:49 AM..
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Old 12-07-2007, 01:35 AM
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
20,849 posts, read 37,540,192 times
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Originally Posted by GreenMachine View Post

...I just bought a new car -- a 2000 Honda Accord with 73,000 miles. It was a cheap car that's good on gas, and payments are really low. I sure wish I could've got a more exciting car. ... Greenie
I'll have to admit my 30 yr old VW rabbits are not too exciting...but I did have a nice one in 1976 that I had rebuilt from a wreck and painted real racy (the only car I ever got a speeding ticket in...(KoW, Sunsprit will appreciate that I got that ticket coming down "Pawnee Pass" ~ 3AM on a snowy night, CSP was not too impressed...) but... it had to be sold for the down payment on my first house... the ENTIRE house price $16,500 I was age 19, and scared stiff about forking over $128.84 every month and having $12,000 debt... (tho I had been paying $350 / month in rent since I was 16)

funny how we go full circle in life...(you REALLY find this out when you end up doing elder care...) but...I will be renting again as my taxes are too high to own...and... I'm back to driving a Rabbit... (that would not be a new one... this one has 350,000 miles) BTW... I CAN"T burn rubber with 52 hp...
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Old 12-07-2007, 06:04 AM
12,850 posts, read 24,511,901 times
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Seems to me that "stuff" is only one aspect of cost of living, simple and otherwise. There are also services, taxes, healthcare... I'm not interested in stuff at all, although I do have my little dream house (with not-so-dreamy mortgage) after buying a tiny collapsing cheap cottage with a plan to fix it over time for cash. After eight collapsing years, I had to replace it. However, I do find the expense worth the beauty and suitability for living.
However, if the house were paid for today, I'd still have (today, more later) $400/month in taxes, and about $100/month in insurance. There are still utilities, even if the house is small.
Driving alone at night on the highway to my job, I must have a safe, reliable car. If it's in the shop, I have no way to get to work (no second income/car). New eyeglasses as the eyes grow older. Regular dental care. Health insurance. There are so many things that are either necessary or very very desirable that aren't stuff or ego-driven. Of course, I do live in a costly area (eastern Massachusetts) but I think necessary services are a cost everywhere.
Speaking of ego-driven- why do people have to knuckle under to it? Why let advertising and material culture get inside you? If it does (and it's a temptation for most people, in some way or the other), then fight it. We are not consumers, we are citiziens, we are people, we are someone's loved one, or co-worker. We are not little Pac-Man mouths, gobbling up the unsatisfying junk that constant advertising tries to make us "need."
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Old 12-07-2007, 07:55 AM
663 posts, read 2,388,323 times
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After 911, we extensively researched "living off the grid" out of curiosity. This is more like living self-sufficient than living simple, but it was fascinating. We currently live (mostly) simply to reduce our dependency on retailers and banks. In the post 911 economy, we racked up some credit card bills (since paid). We really despised that dependency. I also come from tech-marketing and am very attuned to marketing pressure (and have attuned my child as well).

You could say that living simply is our hobby. We buy on sale or at Goodwill, we drive our cars for 10+ years, we live in a modest house, we attend free events. Occasional travel is our luxury item - but we do it on a shoestring. We're working on eating less fast-food: a crockpot and recipezaar.com may help us. The price we pay for living simply is research but we enjoy research.

Making the choice to live simply has been interesting socially. People, including family, have looked down on us. We've been left behind by friends who strive for the high life. But we've found that other people who live simply rock.
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Old 12-07-2007, 08:05 AM
201 posts, read 832,530 times
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Originally Posted by Zig'sbird View Post

And for anyone else pissing and moaning about their wages, remember that the military will take people up to the age of 42.

1. The military pays like crap and nine out of ten jobs directly lead to nothing in the civilian world. I live right near the biggest naval base in the world, and probably the biggest concentration of military in the country, and you wouldnt believe the number of ex military that are now flipping burgers and working as security or bouncers. Any field that actually translates to high paying private or non military government jobs, like many of the tech fields, are nearly impossible to get in to since they are flooded already, and have a million people waiting before you to be considered for open spots. People spend their whole military career as a "Boatswains Mate" (read "Ship Janitor") waiting to become an electrician or sonar tech.

2. The military has extremely stringent requirements to join. I, personally, have two medical conditions alone that would disqualify me from ever serving.

3. The military is the great destroyer of relationships, especially when its tied up in global military operations. It is not the place for people who are married or who already have a family.
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Old 12-07-2007, 08:08 AM
201 posts, read 832,530 times
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Originally Posted by Zig'sbird View Post

Unlike lethal, I have a plan.

Obviously Lethal has no plan. That is obviously why Lethal went to college and graduated dispite battling tremendous illness, because Lethal intended to float through life.
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Old 12-07-2007, 08:10 AM
Location: southern california
55,237 posts, read 72,484,664 times
Reputation: 47457
yes i am big on auterity. i like dave ramsey the radio talk show host that talks on austerity great stuff.
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Old 12-07-2007, 08:25 AM
201 posts, read 832,530 times
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Originally Posted by GreenMachine View Post

You put a lot of energy -- and writing -- into defending yourself, yet I don't think anyone was attacking you. If you feel you are stuck in a rut with no way out, then so be it. We were just trying to offer suggestions.

All the best to you,


No, actually, sunspirit decided to take it upon himself to assume Im lazy, have poor skills, and basically causing myself to be poor. This is an assumption all people of wealth automatically make about those who arent. The whole time they ignore the fact that it takes a whole lot of poor people to create one wealthy person.
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