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Old 05-28-2019, 03:31 PM
 
Location: Coastal New Jersey
56,053 posts, read 54,552,165 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NewbieHere View Post
Interesting, I don’t go shoppping just for the fun of it, only when I need something.
Same here. Shopping is not entertaining to me.
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Old 05-28-2019, 03:31 PM
 
Location: Tucson Arizona
3,887 posts, read 1,651,610 times
Reputation: 10199
They left electronics off the list.

A friend upgrades her iPhone every time a new one comes out, and pays hundreds of dollars every year for service.

Other friends have the fanciest computers, which they don't know how to use. (Pang of jealousy here.)

How about spending hundreds a month for premium cable, huge bills from wasting electricity and water, or buying only "designer" brands to impress friends and strangers?

No, I still don't do most of that, and I'm doing so well, I think I'll treat myself to a new computer. Jealousy ain't pretty.

BTW, I like to shop, I just don't buy everything. My mother in law practiced "positive and negative shopping"--she'd buy something one day, return it the next.
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Old 05-28-2019, 03:34 PM
 
Location: DFW
555 posts, read 155,984 times
Reputation: 873
I started reading this because, though I do not intend to fully retire, I would like to retire from my desk job as soon as possible.

Most of my friends household income is about the same as my household income, yet they all seem to be doing ok and not living paycheck to paycheck. We have discussed in detail "what could I be doing wrong" but I am actually much more frugal than they are.

Full disclosure: HH income is about $100,000/year for family of 3 (there are 4, but the oldest is on her own). From there, looking at the list:

Tattoos- not a problem for me!

Vacations- We do go on vacations, but have only done one which I would consider outside the budget (all the way up the Pacific coast 4 of us, about $5500). We only go on when we find a phenomenal deal, and if it is just the hubby and I, no restaurants, no souvenirs, no expensive entertainment. We even share a suitcase so we don't have to pay the baggage fees

Clothes/shoes- I only buy second hand

Hair- I only pay for my hair twice a year, and the rest of the time color and cut it myself. I do my own nails and toenails

College- I took one small loan for my oldest, and no more

Restaurants- as stated before, no eating out. The only time I get a "fancy coffee" is when I have a gift card

Credit card- I have one credit card and keep it under $1000 (if there is an emergency I would need the open credit line)
However, we had to have a new AC unit this year, so I had to take out a $10k loan. Living in Texas, AC is literally life or death

401K- I use my max employer match amount, but this has only been for 2 yeas. I used my last 401k for a down payment on a house

Car- I have never...NEVER... had the car I wanted. My taste is not fancy- car I want is only $30k, but the payments would be $40 outside what I budgeted, so... I bought new rather than used because financing 0% interest was better than 7% (used). In a perfect world, I would have paid cash for a used car, but as stated, I have nothing at all saved

Tchochkes and Toys and Holidays- Don't buy them, and don't do anything extravagant for gifts. Usually the girls get something they need, like a laptop for school, or a plane ride to come home for the holiday

I have 3 jobs, and two of them are teaching fitness classes, so we have no gym membership fees- everyone gets a free membership.

I have already been doing for my entire life what the article suggests and it is not enough......NEXT!
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Old 05-28-2019, 03:34 PM
 
Location: Coastal New Jersey
56,053 posts, read 54,552,165 times
Reputation: 66393
Quote:
Originally Posted by steiconi View Post
They left electronics off the list.

A friend upgrades her iPhone every time a new one comes out, and pays hundreds of dollars every year for service.

Other friends have the fanciest computers, which they don't know how to use. (Pang of jealousy here.)

How about spending hundreds a month for premium cable, huge bills from wasting electricity and water, or buying only "designer" brands to impress friends and strangers?

No, I still don't do most of that, and I'm doing so well, I think I'll treat myself to a new computer. Jealousy ain't pretty.
That's one I don't get, either. I have a friend who has a pretty low income. Money is always tight for her, yet she has to have all the premium channels. Her reasoning is that she loves to watch TV, so she is willing to spend for that.

It's a matter of perspective. I never was a big TV fan, but I like to watch Investigation Discovery. I was annoyed that it cost me an extra $10 to get the package that includes that channel. Now I have HUNDREDS of channels I have no interest in.
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Old 05-28-2019, 03:34 PM
 
2,094 posts, read 712,911 times
Reputation: 5357
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mightyqueen801 View Post
Interesting. My life didn't fit that article. I was just always broke from being married and having a husband with bad habits who cost me a lot of money.
I had one of those, too- he spent money faster than I could make it. Miserable existence. Finances improved significantly after I divorced him.

For me, it's always been about priorities. Travel has always been a splurge (helped by judicious use of airline and hotel loyalty programs). Discount haircuts at Great Clips are fine. I don't use makeup or perfume. I buy well-made, classic clothes and wear them for years, although mostly I live in my freebie T-shirts. I enjoy Starbucks once in awhile but haven't had to pay actual money into my account in years- between the blood bank and filling out marketing surveys, I get enough gift cards. The last time I bought a new car was 1991 (and I drove it over 200,000 miles); now I buy used. Current car is a 2012 Nissan Sentra.

So.. the cheap has balanced out the splurges. I don't think I regret any of my extravagances except MAYBE the expensive tailor-made business clothes I bought in my lat 50s, think I was going to work till 65. I retired at 61. Oops. They still fit, but I have very few occasions for wearing a pin-striped suit.
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Old 05-28-2019, 04:11 PM
 
11,985 posts, read 5,119,111 times
Reputation: 18734
I did pretty good and can honestly say I wasted money on only 2 things on that list. I've never really had a very high income so needed to watch where my money was going.
The last new car I bought was about 20 years ago and that was the bottom of the line stick shift cheapest car they had on the lot and I paid cash for it, and I'm still using an iphone 6 because it works just fine. I have no need to upgrade.
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Old 05-28-2019, 04:13 PM
 
Location: Idaho
1,454 posts, read 1,154,572 times
Reputation: 5487
I consider myself a frugal person and a good saver but I don't agree with all the items on the list being money wasters. My comments in blue.

1. Tattoos. I never have a tattoo. Unless someone has a lot of tattoos, I don't think have one or two special ones will break anybody bank.


2. Vacations. Memory building vacations with family members are well worth the money as long as one does not go into debt or dipping into college/retirement savings. We have never regretted spending money on any of our vacations..

3. College. Picking a college involves many factors. Affordability is one that’s often overlooked. I agree but one also has to consider the ROI (return on investment). Graduates from more prestigious colleges/universities have much better chance getting a job and making more money.

4. Restaurants. Eating out, or buying $4 designer coffee, is expensive and—wait for it—it’s also a luxury. Agree. However, splurging on a great dining experience on some special events is well worth it.

5. Opportunities lost. We do it every day by failing to grab the employer match on our 401(k) plan, not investing in a tax-free Roth IRA, failing to fund a flexible spending account to pay medical costs with pretax dollars, and withholding too much from our paycheck, so we’re essentially making an interest-free loan to the IRS. Agree 100%.

6. Transportation. You don’t “need” an SUV or $40,000-plus pickup truck to get from A to B. Generally agree. However if one can afford it, there is nothing wrong with 'splurging' on a car which you always want After years of driving sensible cars like VW Rabbit, Honda Accord and Toyota Camry, we bought a BMW convertible which we love. Few years ago, we were thinking of selling it to make room for a practical car like a Subaru Outback but decided to give it to our daughter because she loves it.

7. Credit cards. When people say they live paycheck to paycheck, does that include purchases put on credit cards that aren’t paid off that month? Agree only about being in debt with credit cards. We have actually 'earned' money with cash back or frequent flyer mileages with credit cards.

8. Lottery. The lowest-income groups spend the most on lottery tickets, wasting hundreds of dollars a year. Agree. I buy lottery tickets very rarely and only to give them as gifts. However, I don't see anything wrong with people spending few dollars on lottery tickets now and then. It's relatively cheap to have a few days of happy dreams.

9. Clothing. The average adult spends $161 a month on clothing. Yes, this is quite a bit of money. We probably spend less than that amount/year. We buy high quality clothing of timeless or classic style when they are on sale (end-of-season clearance sales are great bargains).

10. Shoes. Surveys suggest the average American woman owns more than 25 pairs of shoes, which they admit they don’t need. Only agree about having too many shoes but expensive, high quality shoes are well worth the money.

11. Tchotchkes and stuff. Generally agree. However, money is well spent if one spends on arts or objects which one love. After many years, we still enjoy looking at some original paintings, Indian potteries and African masks which we had collected over the years. Some of the potteries made by noted artists (with exhibitions at art galleries) are now worth many times more than what we paid but we have no intentions of selling them.

12. Failing to look ahead. Henry Ford said, “Thinking is the hardest work there is, which is the probable reason why so few engage in it.” I still marvel that people spend so little time thinking about retirement. I neither thought nor planned for 'retirement' while working. We simply saved and took advantages of all the retirement saving options (IRA, 401k, HSA etc.).


13. No backup plan. I like to think ahead about “what ifs” and how I’ll deal with them. In my head, I have backups for the backups. I think the greatest backup plan is your flexibility to downsize your lifestyle and/or willing to work hard.


14. Holidays. Somehow, every December, financial caution goes out the window and we pay for it the following year. Agree about reckless holiday spending. Simple or homemade gifts can be appreciated much more than expensive ones.

15. Toys. One study shows that U.S. parents spend $6,500 on toys during a child’s upbringing. The spending is even higher for millennials, who favor “smart” toys—toys that do the thinking for the child. This does not apply to educational toys and some educational toys are not very expensive.

16. Haircuts. The average haircut reportedly costs $28.30 in a barber shop. Many men pay a lot more. We hardly spend any money on our hair. I only went to a hair salon once in my life to have my long hair cut and perm. I did not like it and just keep my hair long and tie it in a bun. My husband only went to the barbershop twice in the last 42 years -the day before the wedding and one time when his resident barber (me) was away on a long business trip. However, I think we are the exceptions. For other folks, they don't have any choice but to go to a hair salon or a barbershop.
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Old 05-28-2019, 04:14 PM
 
11,985 posts, read 5,119,111 times
Reputation: 18734
Quote:
Originally Posted by steiconi View Post
They left electronics off the list.

A friend upgrades her iPhone every time a new one comes out, and pays hundreds of dollars every year for service.

Other friends have the fanciest computers, which they don't know how to use. (Pang of jealousy here.)

How about spending hundreds a month for premium cable, huge bills from wasting electricity and water, or buying only "designer" brands to impress friends and strangers?

No, I still don't do most of that, and I'm doing so well, I think I'll treat myself to a new computer. Jealousy ain't pretty.

BTW, I like to shop, I just don't buy everything. My mother in law practiced "positive and negative shopping"--she'd buy something one day, return it the next.
I do believe excessive or expensive electronics would fall under the category of "toys".
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Old 05-28-2019, 04:35 PM
 
Location: Venus
4,760 posts, read 3,192,317 times
Reputation: 7937
For the past few years or so, I was thinking of putting some $$$$$ aside every year to give to our financial advisor to add to our savings. Then just a few months ago, I asked myself why? What are we saving for? We are already retired. The only thing we owe is our car. And we have enough in our investments for "just in case", and even if "just in case" doesn't happen, the kids will have a nice inheritance. So, without even touching our investments, I have been spending-on the house, just got a new (refurb) computer, and stuff like that. The way I look at it, why not? Just as long as all the bills are paid and there is something for "just in case," what is left might as well be used for our enjoyment and also it will help the local economy. You can't take it with you.


Cat
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Old 05-28-2019, 04:54 PM
Status: "Loving life, wife and job!" (set 8 days ago)
 
Location: USA
996 posts, read 385,162 times
Reputation: 2678
Quote:
Originally Posted by CatwomanofV View Post
For the past few years or so, I was thinking of putting some $$$$$ aside every year to give to our financial advisor to add to our savings. Then just a few months ago, I asked myself why? What are we saving for? We are already retired. The only thing we owe is our car. And we have enough in our investments for "just in case", and even if "just in case" doesn't happen, the kids will have a nice inheritance. So, without even touching our investments, I have been spending-on the house, just got a new (refurb) computer, and stuff like that. The way I look at it, why not? Just as long as all the bills are paid and there is something for "just in case," what is left might as well be used for our enjoyment and also it will help the local economy. You can't take it with you.


Cat
That’s often our philosophy....if it improves the quality of our lives, why not? My wife has always insisted on using my old iPhones as mine were replaced by my employer. Well, I had to return the last one which I upgraded and her’s was about 4 years old and having issues. I went out and purchased a new one for her and it wasn’t the latest & greatest. She’s thrilled with it.

We were on vacation recently. We’re well past buying souvenirs which, coincidently, probably should have been on the list but I spotted a nice pair of shoes I liked in Luxembourg. Not only did I purchase them but I also collected back the VAT on the way out....a whole 10 Euros worth. My wife purchased a couple of scarves and except for Belgium chocolate, that was the extent of our vacation shopping. The chocolate was for my daughter, the person who kept our dog and our favorite neighbor.
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