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Old 09-15-2009, 01:24 PM
 
Location: Seattle
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Dave Ramsey is great for a lot of people who don't have a lot of self-control, or who are currently in debt (bad debt) and need to get out as fast as possible. It's simple, conservative and it works. That said it's not necessarily optimal financial behavior.

Look, sometimes debt can be fine. It is not always bad. But debt is dangerous in the hands of the wrong people. It can be your best friend or your worst enemy. For most "average" people, it is more often the latter rather than the former. In the hands of the sophisticated, disciplined and intelligent, it can be very valuable and beneficial.

Frugal people can still take on debt, but they will be smart and selective about it. They won't take on debt on depreciating assets generally, and certainly not pay 20% for it. But refusing to ever go into debt for any reason or purpose is suboptimal financial behavior. But giving that advice to most "average" people that need the help of someone like Dave Ramsey is not going to yield good results. Giving that advice to responsible, frugal people can provide a lot of benefit.
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Old 09-15-2009, 04:29 PM
 
Location: Wherever I want to be... ;)
2,539 posts, read 8,575,626 times
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Originally Posted by user_id View Post
Geez, I rarely tip 15%....let alone 20%.
Well I hope you don't eat out much.
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Old 09-15-2009, 04:42 PM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, NC
8,361 posts, read 12,076,227 times
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The difference between being cheap and being frugal:

A person is given exactly $15 to go out to dinner at a sit-down restaurant.

A frugal person buys a $9 hamburger, leaves a $2 tip to his waitress, and pockets $4 for another day.

A cheap person treats himself to an expensive $15 steak but stiffs his waitress out of a tip.

(A financially irresponsible person buys a $15 steak, $3 fries, $2 soda, leaves a $4 tip, and leaves owing $9 more than he was given to spend on dinner.)

Last edited by michgc; 09-15-2009 at 04:52 PM..
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Old 09-15-2009, 08:42 PM
 
1,370 posts, read 1,935,307 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drshang View Post
What it all comes down to is that frugality equals value, not cheap. Value that's obtained within constraints of the income that one obtains.

Buying an $800 office chair can be frugal. At the same time, spending $6 on a hamburger could be a waste of money.

I think too many people in this thread are trying to use "one size fits all" approaches to being frugal. Some people make more money than others, so outsourcing certain types of work makes sense. Some people enjoy preparing/making certain things so if they save money in the process it's a bonus.

My point is this: being frugal and saving money are different. That said, you really can't be frugal if you never save money. But just the act of saving money and not spending money does not make you frugal. An accountant or other professional services (e.g. lawyers) can cost money but return an immediate return on investment.

Most successful business people are pretty frugal - they are shrewd. They understand when you need to save money at any expense but they also know when you need to spend money to generate more money, or when spending money generates more savings over the long term. Being successful at frugality, IMO, requires you to understand in what situations it makes sense to save money and when in makes sense to spend money. It is a thought process more than anything. It requires you to see both sides and shift gears as needed.
Agree
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Old 09-15-2009, 11:41 PM
 
Location: Conejo Valley, CA
12,476 posts, read 16,985,136 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BergenCountyJohnny View Post
And absolutely NOTHING I have said "goes beyond what the word "frugal" denotes in the language."
What you are talking about goes beyond what the word means in the language.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BergenCountyJohnny View Post
I don't say that because I don't believe it's possible for someone to hate making hamburgers; I say it because I don't believe that YOU, in particular, have such a disdain for making a hamburger patty.
Yes because obviously you are a better judge of what I like/dislike than myself. I never suggested that making a hamburger is difficult, rather its work and I do consider it a "chore". You are just yapping about something I never spoke about, while ignoring the important issue. Namely, that "time spent" in itself is not an important measure as people enjoy/dislike different sorts of things. I'd rather spend 20 minutes doing something I'm indifferent about than spend 10 minutes doing something I really don't enjoy.

If you like cooking hamburger's go for it, I just don't think there is anything particularly "frugal" about it.


Quote:
Originally Posted by BergenCountyJohnny View Post
You finally give Cold Stone as an example of such a place.
I clearly stated that cold stone uses emulsifiers in their ice cream, but they do make it daily and its made more like "home made" ice cream than the stuff at the grocery store which needs to stay good for long periods of time. Also, an ingredient list says nothing about how much of such and such is in something, for example the ice cream from the grocery store is going to have far more Mono & Diglycerides than cold stone (I'm not even sure why they put it in cold stone ice cream).

Also, note that any ice cream that does not have as its first ingredient "cream" (they do call it ice cream for a reason) is not premium in any sense.

Anyhow, in regard to your ice cream example I found find it a waste of time and effort to carry around a plastic container filled with ice cream around with me when I go out. Additionally, what you're doing involves pre-planning, when I eat ice cream out its on a whim not because I have planned to so do. The savings involved here is rather small, my time is much better spent thinking about the pounds.

Also, if you are going to respond please don't dedicate the majority of your post to insults, hell don't dedicate any of it to insults. I just skip right over childish rants.
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Old 09-16-2009, 12:08 AM
 
Location: Conejo Valley, CA
12,476 posts, read 16,985,136 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by London Girl View Post
Many people are NOT broke BECAUSE they are frugal.
I don't know, many people following the whole "frugal" thing I find pretty broke. In fact, it seems at times the frugality is a way of dealing (psychologically) with their lack of monetary success. That is to say, it gives them something to feel good about while mocking those that eat out often, drive an expensive car, etc.


Quote:
Originally Posted by London Girl View Post
Whilst you (on another thread) derided those who have actually lived through harsher economic times....
Let's be clear about what I derided, its irrationally trying to justify general claims about something (in the case you refer, the economy) by appealing to your personal experiences and memory of events.

Personal experiences undoubtedly effect people though, but that is a different issue entirely.

Quote:
Originally Posted by London Girl View Post
From your posts, you are clearly someone who feels that anything that would save money must involve wasting time.
No, I'm someone who feels that trying to save pennies is usually a waste of time. Look, I can spend my time thinking about how to save some pennies in my life or I can spend my time thinking about how to save some pounds. For example, by paying attention to the economy I've lost nothing during this recession. Now, how many frugal people have retirement accounts that are down 20%, 30%, etc. I'm imagine a lot...they saved pennies while lost pounds.

Quote:
Originally Posted by London Girl View Post
I suspect that for many who prefer to throw some additive, salt and god knows what else laden frozen meal in the microwave for dinner every night that "precious time" is actually spent slouched on the couch, slack jawed, watching TV.
But so what? What if they prefer to spend their time on the couch rather than in the Kitchen?


Quote:
Originally Posted by London Girl View Post
Many people are frugal and reuse/recycle because they are concerned about the enormous impact of waste upon the environment.
Many people do this, I just don't think it has anything to do with "frugality" its environmentalism. I would encourage people to conserve, I'm just not going to do it = )
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Old 09-16-2009, 11:25 AM
 
1,370 posts, read 1,935,307 times
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[quote=user_id;10777579]
Quote:
I don't know, many people following the whole "frugal" thing I find pretty broke. In fact, it seems at times the frugality is a way of dealing (psychologically) with their lack of monetary success. That is to say, it gives them something to feel good about while mocking those that eat out often, drive an expensive car, etc.
Conversely, many of the "frugal' people I know are FAR from broke. My in-laws for example have always been frugal - as a result they now have a high degree of financial stability and are also in a position where if they decide to take a vacation to Europe or Australia they can do so without needing to borrow any money to facilitate their trip. They drive an (older) Mercedes that they paid cash for, they go out for dinner occasionally but generally prefer to eat at home or with friends or family. Frugality is a habit that pays long term dividends. Whilst skipping that weekly McDonalds for a month won't necessarily save much money short term it might save over $300 per annum - a nice deduction from your house or motor insurance premium for example. Skipping one weekly meal out at even a really cheap chain restaurant might save $1,300 a year.

The frugal people I know do not feel bad about themselves or their situations - on the contrary, they feel sorry for the indebted people that are house-poor, car-poor and who cannot afford the lifestyle that their own frugality enables them to live. As in, being able to take a nice vacation, not worrying about their mortgage payments, not worrying about debt in general, having money set aside for emergencies.

The frugal people I know really don't care if someone drives a brand new BMW or Mercedes IF that person isn't whinging about how their payments on that vehicle are crucifying them. If you CAN afford it, then that's fine. The problem is, many people COULDN'T afford it, but bought it anyway. A frugal person would never put themself in that position.

Quote:
Let's be clear about what I derided, its irrationally trying to justify general claims about something (in the case you refer, the economy) by appealing to your personal experiences and memory of events.

Personal experiences undoubtedly effect people though, but that is a different issue entirely.
OK, I'll take your point about personal experiences and personal memory not being tangible indicators as opposed to statistics for how the economy was functioning back in the 50's or 60's or whenever. That's a reasonable assertion.

However, those experiences are incredibly pertinent to that person's approach to frugality - if you have lived through harsher times and "made do" or "gone without" and not had easy credit as an option then you are unlikely to ever let those memories stop affecting your decisions.

As a side note, if I look at your statement that consumer debt percentages did not increase dramatically between the 50's and 2009 then based on your figures, the actual % increase from 1950 (14.5%) to 2009 (17.5%) is actually a 20.6% rise - which I think is pretty high, (although understandable given the increased availability of credit).


Quote:
No, I'm someone who feels that trying to save pennies is usually a waste of time. Look, I can spend my time thinking about how to save some pennies in my life or I can spend my time thinking about how to save some pounds. For example, by paying attention to the economy I've lost nothing during this recession. Now, how many frugal people have retirement accounts that are down 20%, 30%, etc. I'm imagine a lot...they saved pennies while lost pounds.
So you think that "frugal' people don't pay attention to the economy? My guess is that frugal people pay WAY more attention to the economy than most.

The people that didn't seem to be paying attention to the economy were the people who failed to see the gigantic RE bubble forming and who decided to leverage themselves into more debt just as that bubble was on the way to bursting.

Now if you are assuming that all frugal people religiously pump money into their retirement accounts then sure, they may have lost money "on paper". However, unless they were unfortunate enough to be taking benefits in a market trough, those losses are not crystalised and their portfolios may eventually recover.

For those who loaded up with debt by mortgage equity release and splurged on new cars, RV's, holidays, whatever, then sure, eventually their home value might recover - in the meantime they are stuck with servicing a much larger debt at much greater long term cost, and have less disposable income each month. Which means they're probably not even able to save any money.


Quote:
But so what? What if they prefer to spend their time on the couch rather than in the Kitchen?
Fair enough - if time is so precious and the couch is the best place to spend it then fine. But: if that extra couch time is provided by regularly eating processed food because one can't be bothered to prepare something healthy then it does have a certain "price", no?.


Quote:
Many people do this, I just don't think it has anything to do with "frugality" its environmentalism. I would encourage people to conserve, I'm just not going to do it = )
If you would encourage others, why would you not do it yourself? Maybe you don't drink beer. If you did, wouldn't you spare some couch time once a month to dump them off and collect the deposit? Or would you prefer to just throw them in the trash? Collectively we will all pay the price for pollution and waste. Fortunately not all individuals share your selfish and lazy approach to the environment.
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Old 09-16-2009, 04:18 PM
 
Location: New Jersey
4,085 posts, read 7,454,822 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by user_id View Post
What you are talking about goes beyond what the word means in the language.
Not at all. I gave the denotation of the word (i.e. "what the word means in the language") and I supported it with all of my posts.


Quote:
Originally Posted by user_id View Post
Yes because obviously you are a better judge of what I like/dislike than myself. I never suggested that making a hamburger is difficult, rather its work and I do consider it a "chore". You are just yapping about something I never spoke about, while ignoring the important issue. Namely, that "time spent" in itself is not an important measure as people enjoy/dislike different sorts of things. I'd rather spend 20 minutes doing something I'm indifferent about than spend 10 minutes doing something I really don't enjoy.
You did suggest it was difficult to make a hamburger. You call it "work" which implies it is difficult. You also insisted it takes you 20-30 minutes to do it, which implies it is difficult for you, since most people can make a burger in about ten minutes.

I never said that "time spent" itself is the only consideration. I said several times to you that "costs" include time, as well as money, enjoyment, health, waste, etc. So it's not about time only.

Why do you say stupid things and misrepresent what I have said? Are you stupid or just a liar?

Quote:
Originally Posted by user_id View Post
If you like cooking hamburger's go for it, I just don't think there is anything particularly "frugal" about it.
There is definitely something "frugal" about cooking your own food, whether it's hamburger or anything else. And eating out can be part of a frugal lifestyle, but cooking your own food is a must for a frugal lifestyle, except perhaps in very unique situations.

Quote:
Originally Posted by user_id View Post
I clearly stated that cold stone uses emulsifiers in their ice cream, but they do make it daily and its made more like "home made" ice cream than the stuff at the grocery store which needs to stay good for long periods of time.
Yes, you clearly said that, and then the ingredients list showed that the ice cream you think is "fresh" is the same and has even more artificial colors and flavors than the stuff at the grocery store. So you looked stupid.

Quote:
Originally Posted by user_id View Post
Also, an ingredient list says nothing about how much of such and such is in something, for example the ice cream from the grocery store is going to have far more Mono & Diglycerides than cold stone (I'm not even sure why they put it in cold stone ice cream).
So what? Both ice creams have it. You know why it's in there??? Monoglycerides and diglycerides are different kinds of fat made from vegetables and soybeans. (Most of the fat we consume falls into the triglyceride category.) These ingredients keep the ice cream from separating once mixed. Since only a tiny amount is used, monoglycerides and diglycerides do not contribute any measurable fat calories. That's why they put it in ice cream, cold stone or turkey hill or ben & jerry's or whatever other ice cream they put in.

Quote:
Originally Posted by user_id View Post
Also, note that any ice cream that does not have as its first ingredient "cream" (they do call it ice cream for a reason) is not premium in any sense.
Says who? You? You don't know what you're talking about. Ice cream makers use combinations of milk, cream, and nonfat milk to get the consistency they want. Cream comes from milk; in other words, there is already cream in milk. Also, when they list "cream" it can be anything from light cream to heavy cream. Just because they use more "cream" doesn't mean it's more rich; they can be using light cream while the other is using a heavier cream (but less of it) and delivering a richer product.

The fact of the matter is you just don't know enough to assert that cold stone or any other ice cream using mostly cream is better than one that doesn't. The reason is because you don't know the butterfat content of the creams of each brand and you also don't know the overrun (amount of air mixed in) of each brand. If cold stone's cream is 11% buttefat while Turkey Hill's is 14% butterfat, and if cold stone's overrun is 100% and Turkey Hill's is 80%, then Turkey Hill is the richer product. And, of course, you have no clue what cold stone has.

So why do you make up and present as fact that "any ice cream that does not have as its first ingredient "cream" (they do call it ice cream for a reason) is not premium in any sense"??? The fact of the matter is that "premium" ice creams have a high butterfat content, regardless of whether "cream" is the first ingredient or not.

Why do you make things up and state them as fact? Why do you continue to talk out your ass? Do you enjoy looking stupid?

Quote:
Originally Posted by user_id View Post
Anyhow, in regard to your ice cream example I found find it a waste of time and effort to carry around a plastic container filled with ice cream around with me when I go out. Additionally, what you're doing involves pre-planning, when I eat ice cream out its on a whim not because I have planned to so do. The savings involved here is rather small, my time is much better spent thinking about the pounds.
That's fine. But that wasn't your argument until just now. Until just now, you said this about store-bought ice cream:

"You did not get what I was getting out. You talk about quality, yet you are eating cheap preservative packed pseudo-ice cream out of a paper tub. This stuff does not compare at all to fresh ice cream."
[Are the paper tubs inferior to the paper tubs at Cold Stone? And what makes it "pseudo-ice cream", the fact that it costs less and has fewer additives than Cold Stone "fresh" ice cream?]

"Fresh ice cream is absolutely delicious and does not compare at all to the crap at the grocery store."
[Actually, it does compare, as I showed the ingredients for both and they were comparable, although the store-bought ice cream had fewer additives.]

"Yes I'm a liar, there is no such thing as fresh ice cream its something I made up. Ice cream is suppose to contain a long list of exotic chemicals, that's how grandma would make it too."
[I guess what you're trying to say, in your sarcasm, is that grandma would make it "fresh", like Cold Stone, by adding MORE cellulose gum and annato extract to it than store-bought ice cream, right? And what chemicals are you talking about that are in store-bought ice cream but not in the "fresh" Cold Stone ice cream you insist is "better"???

Quote:
Originally Posted by user_id View Post
Also, if you are going to respond please don't dedicate the majority of your post to insults, hell don't dedicate any of it to insults. I just skip right over childish rants.
Why do you "skip over" what you see as the "childish rants" of others while making entire posts (indeed, an entire thread even) comprised of nothing but your own childish rants??? Kind of a hypocritical double standard on your part, don't you think?

Last edited by BergenCountyJohnny; 09-16-2009 at 04:50 PM..
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Old 09-16-2009, 06:40 PM
 
Location: SoCal desert
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London Girl - EXCELLENT!
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Old 09-16-2009, 08:13 PM
 
Location: Wherever I want to be... ;)
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London Girl--kudos, you rock.

The thing is...we live "frugally" because, for one, we don't make enough money at the moment to live lavishly without going into debt. We're small business-owners, so we don't get a nice, expected paycheck each weekk--our income can be variable at times. We're never been in debt. Ever. We pay off our credit card in full every month.

We're not "broke" by ANY means, and we have money in the bank. But why spend that when you can be just as happy cutting a few corners here (and I mean nothing big...as I said, not shopping for clothes we don't need and eating at home) and there and save it?
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