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Old 01-16-2017, 08:03 AM
 
Location: Loudon, TN
5,792 posts, read 4,846,494 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Serious Conversation View Post
Minimalism is always about one's personal threshold with regard to comfort and how little they can do with. I don't find leaving the heat off all winter in Ohio, eating ramen every night, or most of these "extreme cuts" to be normal or sane. Of course, the people in those communities will come back with the comment that it's society that's screwed up, not their belief system.

I can't imagine how people live with no car in small towns and rural areas. Our local bus system only runs during the weekdays along limited routes in core areas of the city. Anything along the periphery is not serviced. You'd basically have to have a car here in order to get to work, get groceries, etc.

There is a segment of the frugal living and personal finance communities that would view the "no heat in Ohio" deal as smart, even virtuous. There is a vast, normal middle ground between living like this and spending yourself into oblivion.



But if houses like that are $300,000, what are truly nice homes going for? That house is extremely ugly and is a bit sensational, but there is essentially nothing on the market in the city limits of Asheville other than a few ramshackle mobile homes for under $100,000. There is land, but you'd have to build your own homes.

Median household income is just slightly over $32,000. Where does that bunch below the median live? They rent or live in more affordable outlying communities, but that increases commute costs.

These cost-burdened people are going to have a more difficult time saving for retirement.
I don't consider eating ramen every night normal either. At the time (age 18) it was just all the money I had. My roommate left we with no notice and I had to pay the entire rent on my apartment which left me with $50 to live on for the rest of the month after paying for the rent and bus pass. $50 for 30 days. Top ramen was 25 cents a pack, and a quart of milk at that time was less than a dollar. I didn't have any time or interest to cook for myself at that point, just to survive. So milk for breakfast and ramen for dinner was my diet. I don't recommend it unless you want to lose about 25 pounds in a month. I'm not crazy frugal or anything, I just didn't have any money, period. I am frugal, we do keep our t-stat at economical (put on a sweater) settings like daytime 67 degrees in winter, and 60 at night. Now my DH is the crazy frugal one.
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Old 01-16-2017, 08:23 AM
 
Location: Tennessee
23,614 posts, read 17,598,460 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheShadow View Post
I don't consider eating ramen every night normal either. At the time (age 18) it was just all the money I had. My roommate left we with no notice and I had to pay the entire rent on my apartment which left me with $50 to live on for the rest of the month after paying for the rent and bus pass. $50 for 30 days. Top ramen was 25 cents a pack, and a quart of milk at that time was less than a dollar. I didn't have any time or interest to cook for myself at that point, just to survive. So milk for breakfast and ramen for dinner was my diet. I don't recommend it unless you want to lose about 25 pounds in a month. I'm not crazy frugal or anything, I just didn't have any money, period. I am frugal, we do keep our t-stat at economical (put on a sweater) settings like daytime 67 degrees in winter, and 60 at night. Now my DH is the crazy frugal one.
That kind of thing is common right after high school, maybe through your 20s as a broke kid. People look back on that type of thing years later and maybe smile and wear it as a badge of honor. It's different being broke as a teenager or young adult and having to cope like this, and it's another to have resources and do this.

Ultimately, I think someone with resources refusing to do basic things like run the heat in Ohio in the winter is borderline mentally ill. Are they saving to this extreme based on an irrational fear of the future? Do they enjoy this kind of deprivation? Do they enjoy bragging about that level of deprivation to others in a "here, look at me" sense?
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Old 01-16-2017, 08:40 AM
mlb
 
Location: North Monterey County
3,191 posts, read 2,860,347 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Serious Conversation View Post
That kind of thing is common right after high school, maybe through your 20s as a broke kid. People look back on that type of thing years later and maybe smile and wear it as a badge of honor. It's different being broke as a teenager or young adult and having to cope like this, and it's another to have resources and do this.

Ultimately, I think someone with resources refusing to do basic things like run the heat in Ohio in the winter is borderline mentally ill. Are they saving to this extreme based on an irrational fear of the future? Do they enjoy this kind of deprivation? Do they enjoy bragging about that level of deprivation to others in a "here, look at me" sense?
I am reminded - daily - that differences between individuals - as in a couple about what level of "deprivation" or frugality is acceptable are a constant.

What's frugal to my spouse can be deprivation to me....i.e. thermostat wars, personal item purchases, etc.

Luckily - I pay the bills and know more instinctively what we can and cannot afford.

He's just a borne miser and NO is always the first thing out of his mouth.

Luckily I love him. And keep him apprised of our finances.
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Old 01-16-2017, 08:45 AM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
30,691 posts, read 49,476,475 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Serious Conversation View Post
...
But if houses like that are $300,000, what are truly nice homes going for? That house is extremely ugly and is a bit sensational, but there is essentially nothing on the market in the city limits of Asheville other than a few ramshackle mobile homes for under $100,000. There is land, but you'd have to build your own homes.

Median household income is just slightly over $32,000. Where does that bunch below the median live? They rent or live in more affordable outlying communities, but that increases commute costs.

These cost-burdened people are going to have a more difficult time saving for retirement.
There are regions where home prices run $300k to $3M. My experience has been that wages in those regions will be far above $32k/year.

If you were making $32k/year hopefully you would gain the insight needed to leave that region and settle somewhere you can afford to support a family on your wages.
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Old 01-16-2017, 08:58 AM
 
Location: Tennessee
23,614 posts, read 17,598,460 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Submariner View Post
There are regions where home prices run $300k to $3M. My experience has been that wages in those regions will be far above $32k/year.

If you were making $32k/year hopefully you would gain the insight needed to leave that region and settle somewhere you can afford to support a family on your wages.
This is mostly a tourist/retiree area, so yes, prices are higher due to high demand and wages are low due to the types of jobs available. The major metros in NC like Charlotte and Raleigh will likely have substantially higher wages and similar housing prices. Many people also move to Asheville and live a fairly unconventional lifestyle and there isn't the pressure to keep up with Joneses there that exists in many areas of the country.

It's an extreme example, and I agree with you that if you can do no better than a fairly low wage, you need to move to an affordable area, or increase your skills.
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Old 01-16-2017, 09:33 AM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
30,691 posts, read 49,476,475 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Serious Conversation View Post
This is mostly a tourist/retiree area, so yes, prices are higher due to high demand and wages are low due to the types of jobs available. The major metros in NC like Charlotte and Raleigh will likely have substantially higher wages and similar housing prices. Many people also move to Asheville and live a fairly unconventional lifestyle and there isn't the pressure to keep up with Joneses there that exists in many areas of the country.

It's an extreme example, and I agree with you that if you can do no better than a fairly low wage, you need to move to an affordable area, or increase your skills.
During my Active Duty career, we bounced around to many different places. Where we experienced wildly varying regional economies. When I retired I got a number of job offers and the salaries I was offered also contrasted high and low cost regions.

In retiring we migrated to a state with over 3,000 miles of coast line. All of which is tourist region, with high home prices and high taxes. Though we selected to live in a rural area that is just the opposite.

It is funny sometimes how a one hour drive can take you from one paradigm into a completely different paradigm.


My tiny pension more or less dictates that we had to select a cheap place to live
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Old 01-16-2017, 10:39 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles (Native)
25,274 posts, read 15,392,293 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Serious Conversation View Post
This is mostly a tourist/retiree area, so yes, prices are higher due to high demand and wages are low due to the types of jobs available. The major metros in NC like Charlotte and Raleigh will likely have substantially higher wages and similar housing prices. Many people also move to Asheville and live a fairly unconventional lifestyle and there isn't the pressure to keep up with Joneses there that exists in many areas of the country.

It's an extreme example, and I agree with you that if you can do no better than a fairly low wage, you need to move to an affordable area, or increase your skills.
It's kind of amazing that so many do stay in high cost cities . In cities like LA , NYC and SF low income people wouldn't be able to afford to live there without rent control .

Personally I'm against rent control .

I live in L.A and the politicians are always talking about affordable housing but there is never going to be enough affordable housing built to accommodate the need .

There are many parts of the country where one can buy a multi family property like a duplex or 4plex and rent out the other units to pay their mortgage or most of the mortgage.
This can also help them build equity .

FHA downpayment is 3.5%

It's hard to save money on a low income but definitely not impossible.

I really feel that real estate is a better investment option for low income people to gain wealth versus investing in the stock market.

You don't hear often about people that bought a relatively small amount of stock years ago and now it's worth millions, with real estate it's not that rare someone put a downpayment on a property and now it's worth a lot of money .
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Old 01-16-2017, 11:00 AM
 
Location: USA
1,815 posts, read 2,244,798 times
Reputation: 4139
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheShadow View Post
I don't consider eating ramen every night normal either. At the time (age 18) it was just all the money I had. My roommate left we with no notice and I had to pay the entire rent on my apartment which left me with $50 to live on for the rest of the month after paying for the rent and bus pass. $50 for 30 days. Top ramen was 25 cents a pack, and a quart of milk at that time was less than a dollar. I didn't have any time or interest to cook for myself at that point, just to survive. So milk for breakfast and ramen for dinner was my diet. I don't recommend it unless you want to lose about 25 pounds in a month. I'm not crazy frugal or anything, I just didn't have any money, period. I am frugal, we do keep our t-stat at economical (put on a sweater) settings like daytime 67 degrees in winter, and 60 at night. Now my DH is the crazy frugal one.


Boy that brought back memories. My roommate did the same thing, only I had car insurance due at the same time so I had about $5 left for two and a half weeks until payday.


I ate popcorn for those two weeks. That's what I had in the house -- a giant bag of unpopped popcorn and a big jug of oil I'd bought on sale. Nothing but popcorn until payday (and yes, I actually still like popcorn )
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Old 01-16-2017, 11:18 AM
 
Location: Northern California
269 posts, read 154,846 times
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My mom never made much money but managed to retire and get the same amount of money every month that she got while she was working.

She always contributed to her 401K and she spent the last 20 years or so working for local governments so she has CALPERS retirement money coming in every month in addition to social security and her 401K.
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Old 01-16-2017, 11:33 AM
 
Location: Tennessee
23,614 posts, read 17,598,460 times
Reputation: 27693
Quote:
Originally Posted by jm1982 View Post
It's kind of amazing that so many do stay in high cost cities . In cities like LA , NYC and SF low income people wouldn't be able to afford to live there without rent control .

Personally I'm against rent control .

I live in L.A and the politicians are always talking about affordable housing but there is never going to be enough affordable housing built to accommodate the need .

There are many parts of the country where one can buy a multi family property like a duplex or 4plex and rent out the other units to pay their mortgage or most of the mortgage.
This can also help them build equity .

FHA downpayment is 3.5%

It's hard to save money on a low income but definitely not impossible.

I really feel that real estate is a better investment option for low income people to gain wealth versus investing in the stock market.

You don't hear often about people that bought a relatively small amount of stock years ago and now it's worth millions, with real estate it's not that rare someone put a downpayment on a property and now it's worth a lot of money .
If people are born and raised in a certain location, that's where their family and support system is. That level of housing expense is normal to them, and often they cut back everywhere else to sustain that housing budget. Even if the budget is stretched, many remain there for family reasons. Likewise, it's why I'm in Tennessee, at least for now, even though I could make more money elsewhere.

With that said, people born and raised on the coasts who have never lived in "flyover country" often don't realize how inexpensive many small towns and rural areas are. My ex lived in Anderson, IN - it's about 45-60 minutes from job centers in Indianapolis in bad traffic. It's an old auto town where the manufacturing left, so housing prices are depressed. It's not uncommon at all to find a livable, decent home for $50,000 - $75,000.

This condo is in a good neighborhood - half mile or so across from a Walmart, Olive Garden, and other restaurants/businesses, and a mile or so from the interstate to commute back to Indianapolis. It's been tastefully updated - garage and one level so no stairs - for $69,000, and I bet it will sell for less as it's been on the market for more than two months already.

https://www.trulia.com/property/3254...erson-IN-46013

Yes, you will need to commute a bit to a job center and the schools are bad, but that's the reality in any major metro. I don't see why towns like this on the fringes of many mid-sized metros cannot seem to get a boost, yet if you moved that condo twenty miles down the interstate into Fishers, it would fetch three times the price. I, too, don't understand why people who are low income, stuck renting or a rooming house, etc., do not move to an area where things are more affordable if they've been stuck long term.
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