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Old 05-18-2010, 08:27 PM
 
4,135 posts, read 9,116,913 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnytang24 View Post
I think you're trying too hard to put definitive lines on frugailty. Is having a mortgage bad if you have multiple properties that are bringing in revenue? Is a car payment un-frugal if it results in a significant tax write-off? Is spending 25-30% on necessities frugal or insanity if your income is $12,000/year? How about $100,000,000/year?
Simple answer. Frugal is a definition for us: We have a paid off home and car. Our expenses are water, elec., gas heat, cable/internet, phone, gas and food. Anything beyond that is considered savings or for emergency use, other than the items like clothing or insurance or taxes.

For you, it isn't the same: Write offs are only good when you have enough money/income to use them. I do not know a lot of people who get big write offs on cars.....
If I had multiple properties and was bringing in income on them, wouldn't that income pay the mortgages? Why would I want to rent and waste the money? If you have it to throw around, all power to you. I have no intent of ever worrying about property I don't own.... as to the $12K income, chances are the person is already raking in a lot of govt. benefits for the poor. Those more than make up for lots I spend ( cripe, at $25K, I know people with HEAP for heat and lots of people who get medicaid & food stamps under the poverty limit -- add that to the $$$$ value of their income) ; somehow, I doubt that is your category of living. Is it frugal to use all the programs the rest of us pay for to support those who live on very little .

Your definition is a question, not a definition of frugality. Mine is one of living on the least you can within your means while saving as much as you can.
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Old 05-18-2010, 08:37 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Itz View Post
Using your money wisely.
Example: I needed a washer/dryer for my new home... instead of going "inexpenseive" i bought high quality because this was a purchase that would increase the life of my clothing, I got the HE appliances that would use less water and electricy and I knew this would be a purchase that i would have for 10+ years. I just did the same for my new refrigerator - plus I read the consumer reports, do my research and verify the product I'm spending MORE money on is really worth it.

I hate electric appliances, but I love natural gas.

We had to replace our gas furnace and it was close to needing a new w/h as well. There was a rebate for high efficiency furnaces from our gas company and also the "up to $1500" tax credit. We got a furnace that saved $875 in credit and got us $300 cash. We bargained so we got the 2 done at once for 10% off. [I did not get a high efficiency w/h; it is gas and doesn't cost much - a tankless would have taken years to get the cost back -- no big savings there.] Same as replacing my old dryer a few years back: went from elec. to gas. Add on dropping the heat 3 degrees and 5 at night.

In 4 years, I have dropped our annual gas bill $60/mo and my elec about $20/mo.

When I replace refrigerator and dw, I will go for hi efficiency and expect more savings in electric.
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Old 05-19-2010, 07:40 AM
 
2,073 posts, read 3,677,715 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BuffaloTransplant View Post
Simple answer. Frugal is a definition for us: We have a paid off home and car. Our expenses are water, elec., gas heat, cable/internet, phone, gas and food. Anything beyond that is considered savings or for emergency use, other than the items like clothing or insurance or taxes.

For you, it isn't the same: Write offs are only good when you have enough money/income to use them. I do not know a lot of people who get big write offs on cars.....
If I had multiple properties and was bringing in income on them, wouldn't that income pay the mortgages? Why would I want to rent and waste the money? If you have it to throw around, all power to you. I have no intent of ever worrying about property I don't own.... as to the $12K income, chances are the person is already raking in a lot of govt. benefits for the poor. Those more than make up for lots I spend ( cripe, at $25K, I know people with HEAP for heat and lots of people who get medicaid & food stamps under the poverty limit -- add that to the $$$$ value of their income) ; somehow, I doubt that is your category of living. Is it frugal to use all the programs the rest of us pay for to support those who live on very little .

Your definition is a question, not a definition of frugality. Mine is one of living on the least you can within your means while saving as much as you can.
I have provided no definition. I am only asking how you can put concrete numbers on frugality given such variance in people's income, lifestyles, locality, etc. My examples are to show that investments, such as mortgages, are not necessarily un-frugal. Is it poor business acumen for land developers to pay so much money to develop? The same applies on a smaller scale to individuals with rental properties. A person may never 'own' a property, but they can make money on it by renting it out and knowing the housing market to sell for financial gain.
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Old 05-19-2010, 08:17 AM
 
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Oh what a difficult question...

Well, I think frugal is essentially someone who lives within one's means, very realistically, as in
"I will buy it if I really need it"
"I will buy it if I can pay for it within a timely manner"
"I will not keep up with the Joneses, I have a great sense of personality, and it is not a cookie-cutter one."
"I am not necessarily going to buy the cheapest but the one with the best ratio price/quality"
"I will not be ashamed to use coupons/ buy stuff during sales/clearance items"
"I will always favor quality, and not necessarily buy stuff bc there is a name brand on it"
"I am environmentally friendly; as we have to share this planet with other people and unless your job requires it (pickup truck user e.g., vendor/contractor) you do not need a V8 vehicle." I am not saying you should buy a hybrid but let's be reasonable here...

And most definitely does not mean being cheap/stingy. I mean stuff like not washing clothes and hanging them "to refresh"

But, as always, to each his own.
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Old 05-19-2010, 05:32 PM
 
4,135 posts, read 9,116,913 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnytang24 View Post
I have provided no definition. I am only asking how you can put concrete numbers on frugality given such variance in people's income, lifestyles, locality, etc. My examples are to show that investments, such as mortgages, are not necessarily un-frugal. Is it poor business acumen for land developers to pay so much money to develop? The same applies on a smaller scale to individuals with rental properties. A person may never 'own' a property, but they can make money on it by renting it out and knowing the housing market to sell for financial gain.
I gave a common sense definition as to what we do; our definition of frugality (it happened to be a %). Any bill incurred is paid the month we incur it, we have paid our home & car, most of our money goes into savings and we buy only what we need and when we need it. For us, we manage on a lot less than we bring in.

You can chose to be in debt up to your eyeballs with rentals if that is frugal to you. I think that it is ridiculous to carry loans, esp. when the market is so volatile. [I have friends with a regular home and a vacation one and many are very upset since they foolishly invested in the 2nd home at the high end of the market. ]

I will stick with my version of frugality. I won't ever be bankrupt like some people I know.
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Old 05-20-2010, 08:40 AM
 
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Apparently, frugality means moral superiority.
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Old 06-01-2010, 09:24 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
14,022 posts, read 16,939,432 times
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Default Frugality a moral issue?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MadManofBethesda View Post
Apparently, frugality means moral superiority.
In a sense, I think living furgally is indeed a morally superior way to live. A major driver of our current economic meltdown was people who overextended themselves and lived beyond their means, and the United States is now on its knees as a result. (Note I am not saying this is the only cause, just a major one, as there are other factors at play as well). Wastefullness is, to some extent, a moral issue because it affects other people by its affect on our planet. It all comes down to a question of values, and values and morality cannot be separated.

Of course, one can get too smug and feel too superior about one's frugality, and it can cross the line into fanatacism. No one likes a "holier than thou" attitude, which I suppose was the point of the post quoted above.
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Old 06-02-2010, 09:16 AM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,668 posts, read 71,538,289 times
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I think, unless you are actually poor, frugal living is developing a lifetime mindset that enables you to actually enjoy the "hobby" of reducing your cost of living and still maintaining a lifestlye that suits you. You actually enjoy weighing several one-pound cello-paks of carrots and buying the heaviest one, to get an additional ounce of carrots worth 4c.

If you do not spiritually enjoy being frugal, you are just giving up a lifestlye and getting 4c in return.

If you ARE poor, then it is not a question of frugality. It is a matter of making sacrifices in order to use your limited income in ways that will maximize your chances of economic security and survival.
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Old 06-08-2010, 10:42 PM
 
12,671 posts, read 20,487,421 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yellowsnow View Post
Here's mine. I think frugal living is living well and within your means by finding ways to spend less. What do you think?

I don't think frugal is necessarily cheap, but looking for ways to afford better quality for less.
Living below your means and spending money wisely and better investment for the future.
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Old 06-11-2010, 11:39 AM
 
11,891 posts, read 14,355,740 times
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Wiping your butt with newspaper. Waiting until it rains to take a shower (with your clothes on). Using a hand operated flashlight instead of turning on a light switch. When your shoes wear out, switching to the opposite feet (yes I heard of someone who did that).
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