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Old 05-02-2009, 08:37 PM
 
Location: Land of 10000 Lakes +
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I live frugally naturally because I live simply. I'm lucky that I can live comfortably.
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Old 05-03-2009, 05:54 AM
Status: "I cannot wait for the heat to break..." (set 4 days ago)
 
Location: Where the sun likes to shine!!
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I've seen what can happen to people who go obliviously through life spending everything they make. My mother was terrible with money and she ended up with nothing. I learned from her mistakes.

My dh is the same way. We are very lucky to have a great life but we place our "security" above any material items. Nothing is more important than our security. No piece of junk is going to take my security away. We choose not to eat out, we choose to buy basic and cheap clothes that look nice, we choose not to have expensive cars, we don't go out to movies, we don't buy jewelry, and hey I even make our own coffee, lol. Life is all about choices. We spend on our investments which is our home and property. When we get to be 60 I don't want to panic that the money will run out.

My dh loves me, we are very happy just to work outside, and we love being together. We are very lucky that we get to live and work together doing the things that we love. What more could I want. I get to share my life everyday with my best friend. I am very blessed and I wouldn't change a thing.

We even get to try new things. Since last summer we built our own off grid house. We have electric because we produce it, we have indoor plumbing and all the regular amenities inside our house. This year I am hoping to start a garden and grow some of my own food. Each year I want to learn something new to become a little more self sufficient.

I do have the cheap gene but I am very generous with workers and laborers.
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Old 05-03-2009, 06:26 AM
 
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I ask, what is wrong with having "stuff" as long as you also have savings, investments, etc.? We could live without changing our lifestyle for over five years on our current investments, 10 years if we were very frugal and cut out everything non-essential. That doesn't include equity in the house and liquidation of some collectibles/valuable articles which would get us another 5+ years.

But we didn't get all that by spending every dime we make. We worked hard, saved our money, and chose carefully when making purchases--especially big ticket items--and were frugal with a lot of our spending habits.
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Old 05-03-2009, 07:39 AM
Status: "I cannot wait for the heat to break..." (set 4 days ago)
 
Location: Where the sun likes to shine!!
20,368 posts, read 25,488,669 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by annerk View Post
I ask, what is wrong with having "stuff" as long as you also have savings, investments, etc.? We could live without changing our lifestyle for over five years on our current investments, 10 years if we were very frugal and cut out everything non-essential. That doesn't include equity in the house and liquidation of some collectibles/valuable articles which would get us another 5+ years.

But we didn't get all that by spending every dime we make. We worked hard, saved our money, and chose carefully when making purchases--especially big ticket items--and were frugal with a lot of our spending habits.
There is nothing wrong with having stuff if you have no debt and you can afford it. I can afford lots of stuff but I just don't like stuff, I hate shopping, and I hate clutter but that's just me.
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Old 05-03-2009, 09:49 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RHB View Post
For me, it's always been a way of life. We didn't have a lot of money growing up, but always enough. I was taught early on, to save a little here and there, allows you to have the money to do the things you want to do. As I grew older, there were leaner times, and times of plenty, but I never lost the frugal ways.

I did (a lot more than I do now) the coupon thing, and it way a game, to see how little I could spend at the store. Last year, I worked on learning to make my own groceries, and do very very little shopping.

I see it more of a lifestyle choice, rather than a need, although there are some who look at us as if we are "poor" because I don't buy a lot of things, reuse things until I can't find another use for them.

I also don't see it as being cheap or stingy, I see it as a matter of choice. I don't see it as being better/worse than anyone else, or the thing that defines me as a person. It's just the way I am.
My background in "frugality" is similar to yours. We didn't have a lot growing up either and my grandmother and mother stretched the pennies until they squeaked, they had to to give us the things we really needed. When we had accumulated enough stuff we didn't need, we had garage sales and even when I was a kid that was fun because I'd put my own stuff in make my own money, money which I knew went further at other garage sales instead of blowing it. That being said, I have blown a lot money in my young adult years, but with time, I seem to have learned that it was not worth it. I enjoy finding really good deals at garage sales, thrift stores, with coupons, on the side of the road, etc., and really hate being a part of mass consumerism. It feels good to buy locally, save money, help the planet, and not add to the coffers of Wal-Mart execs and others like them.

By saving in a lot of areas, I am able to afford some luxuries I might not otherwise be able to afford--like going to restaurants, taking trips, and helping others.

My sister, on the other hand, has nothing to do with it. Everything has to be new and expensive. When I visit, the sheer waste displayed by her and her children is revolting to me. Her kids have to have the most expensive clothes--closets full, the latest and most expensive electronics, every new gadget that comes along, etc., and they really don't appreciate any of it. The kids rarely see their dad because he works such long hours to pay for all of it, either that or he is sleeping, and they are in debt up to their eyeballs because of their huge mortgage, two car payments, other payments, and their lifestyle in general. I enjoy my "historic" home and carry very little debt and besides a car payment, owe less than $5000.
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Old 05-03-2009, 10:14 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by younglisa7 View Post
There is nothing wrong with having stuff if you have no debt and you can afford it. I can afford lots of stuff but I just don't like stuff, I hate shopping, and I hate clutter but that's just me.
I hate shopping and clutter as well. When we moved into this house I made it my mission to not end up with a houseful of junk. We don't have a ton of electronics. My Ipod was purchased from someone we knew who had been given several of them. It was two years old but never used and still sealed in the packaging, we bought it for $75--I think it would have cost around $200 in a store. My son has a bunch of video games, almost all bought secondhand, and none are the "latest greatest." Because of my second job I get a lot of books and CD's mailed to me for free, I give away many of them that I know I'm never going to listen to or read.

I have a rule that other than consumables (food, cleaning supplies, etc.) that anything that comes into the house must replace something going out. I bought a new pair of sandals and threw away two old pair that even my husband was saying "throw those ratty things away!" We've been doing pretty good on the rule, CD's are the one thing that just keep accumulating, but like I said, I don't buy them, they come for free, and I do give a lot of them away to friends and family.

We only have the mortgage and one car payment that has about a year left on it. No credit card or other debt at all. Eh, I owe my friend $10 or so for some Girl Scout cookies she ordered for me, no one came to my house selling them this year.
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Old 05-03-2009, 10:54 AM
 
Location: Some place very cold
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Because I don't make much money anymore, also because after crawling out of debt, I have learned the hard way the value of money and the miracle of compound interest.

Now I have no credit card debt. I pay for most things cash. And I only owe $3,000 on my car, which I would really like to pay off soon.
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Old 05-03-2009, 11:41 AM
 
Location: Kailua Kona, HI
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Being raised by depression era parents on a stock ranch in Missouri, being frugal was nothing notable. It was a way of life. However as a child, I never felt deprived of what little possessions any child would crave, because my parents were so frugal without really showing it off as a badge. My mom saved her tips all year for Christmas presents and new school clothes. We saved green stamps so that on our annual trek to California to see relatives we could go to Disneyland. Wealthier relatives there made sure we had a few nice meals out or other little treats. Needless to say she made every meal from scratch, we rarely had junk food such as Cokes or even koolaide and practically never ate out however on the trip to the larger city for doctor appts or shopping, she would stop at this one cafeteria style restaurant that I thought must be the be-all-end-all of places to eat! LOL
So, I had my doubts that my own children were listening to my "be cautious, get out of debt" sermons until recently. Three of them paid of a vehicle inside of a month's time. One simply paid the last payment on her car, one realized he only owed $x.xx more, happened to get a good commission bonus at work that week so marched into the bank and paid it off, and the one daughter's bf did the same thing when he realized he only owned under $1000 on his truck. All work full time and don't have a whole lot left over at the end of the paycheck but they're learning.

We had a joke about buying things "new". There are 2 types of "new". One is Brand New out of the store. The other is "new to me" meaning bought at a yard sale, consignment shop, or simply some great hand me downs from Auntie or a friend. My best friend would say "What's the big deal with new from the store? You use it or wash it once and it's not new anymore." (meaning, get a good slightly used item for much less and enjoy it just as much) I never scrimped on their shoes though, and made sure that had at least 1 or 2 things that they really really wanted as a kid. You don't have to suffer to be reasonably frugal, after all.
While this current economic situation is tragic for many, there is one possible bright spot; that people get back to the idea of being conservative and not wasteful, and redefining their perception of what is necessary in life. I did grow up with the belief that being thoughtlessly wasteful bordered on a moral issue. Be good stewards of what you have, and considerate of other's needs too.
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Old 05-03-2009, 02:08 PM
 
Location: Home is where the heart is
15,400 posts, read 25,253,389 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KonaKat View Post
Being raised by depression era parents on a stock ranch in Missouri, being frugal was nothing notable. It was a way of life.
That's my story--frugality was part of growing up and it's always been a way of life. It's also something that gives me a certain pride. Something about "getting full use" from an item makes me feel good.

To me, frugality is mostly about not being wasteful. Getting the most out of the things you have. That's just my personality, I also like getting the most out of the hours in a day and out of the people in my life.

But I suppose it's all in how you see yourself. Some people might not consider me frugal. I'm not poor, and although I like to be careful with money I do like to buy nice things if I'm going to use them. You could argue that I'm not frugal since I live in a fairly big house. On the other hand, we have a family-owned business and run it from that house. Also, I don't turn on the AC until June (some in my neighborhood turned it on last week).

So am I frugal or not? I don't know, I just know that I like to get full use out of things and that's always been my way of life.
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Old 05-03-2009, 03:27 PM
 
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I don't think I'm very frugal. I just don't like stuff. I don't like having things around that aren't "alive," having a use and meaning for me.
Later in life, I have come to want more security, savings, etc. I'd say I'm careful, not frugal.
I do also believe in not using up resources, the planet, etc. The best way to recycle is to not buy the stuff in the first place. Even as a kid, I thought people driving big cars was wrong, but didn't really know why I cared.
On the other hand, I'm spending an arm and leg and other stuff for a vacation this summer. I want to ride horses, stay in nice places, and board my six rescue dogs at the time. No frugal nothin' there.
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