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Old 02-12-2012, 03:39 PM
 
Location: California Mountains
1,448 posts, read 3,049,275 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chango View Post
It seem "frugality" is usually interpreted as "making do with less" which ends up meaning less luxuries and conforts too.
We are not making do with less; we only eliminated the frivolous spending so we can keep our priority intact. When our income was quadruple of what we have today, travel was our priority. It still is, even though our income now is only 20% of what we earned then.

The comfort level of our daily life and our travel is the same. We still eat well, dress well, travel well, and live comfortably; the only difference is we no longer have the need to surround ourselves with the inessentials.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Chango View Post
Now I've whined before here about being a poor man in a rich man's world, but something I can't quite articulate deep inside me says it should be totally possible to live what feels like an "extravagant" life without the extravagant price tag that normally comes with it.
Of course, it is possible. We have done it, and we are still doing it. Many people had thought we lived an unrealistic life when we decided to reduce our income voluntarily so we could continue to travel extensively. Many people said we were doomed to poorhouse when we went one step further and moved to Europe for a long sting (not for employment since we were no longer in the work force then, but for our dreams and pleasure.) Maybe we were crazy, but it certainly did not (still does not) cost us an arm and a leg to live our life to the fullest.

We have met many people who did the same thing, and their lives were just as rich as can be.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Chango View Post
Does frugality mean lowering one's expectations of what "the good life" constitutes, or does it just mean doing it smarter?
The latter.
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Old 02-12-2012, 03:39 PM
 
Location: Tucson for awhile longer
8,869 posts, read 16,311,226 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plaidmom View Post
Exactly.

Remember when this story hit the news?:

The Vogel Collection: thoroughly modest Medicis - Telegraph
That's one of my favorite tales of all time. PBS did a great special on the Vogels that showed their collection before it was donated, went along with them on some of their acquisition trips, and ended with the donation to the National Gallery and the enormous job of transferring the collection. I think the part that fascinated me the most was how they got all that stuff into their apartment, if not how genuinely respected in the world of contemporary art they are, for their knowledge as much as their purchases.

I have a collection of original art smaller than what's in one of the Vogel's drawers, but I didn't pay nearly as much for it as most people would. I really enjoy art and became friends with a gallery owner who shares my aesthetic — just through how many times I visited her place when no one else was there and we could chat. I ended up doing PR work for her place in exchange for discounts instead of pay. (Similar to what yellowsnow said about the dream kitchen.)

I also got to know many of the artists she represented and ended up buying things right out of their studios. Two of my favorite pieces (one that draws a lot of positive attention from visitors to my house) are things I found in the artists' trash. I asked one artist why she was throwing a watercolor away and she said, "Because I hate it." I asked if I could have it. She said, "Yes, as long as you don't tell anyone I did it." Later she saw it in my house matted and framed and she couldn't believe she had trashed it. "Geez, I could have made some money off that," she moaned. She didn't begrudge me, though. Once when she was desperate I paid her rent and took an oil painting for my pay-back. Sometimes you just have to be in the right place at the right time ... beauty is in the eye of the beholder ... etc., etc.

I believe if you love something and make time to cultivate your interest, the rewards that eventually come can be beyond their monetary value.
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Old 02-12-2012, 05:37 PM
 
Location: Colorado
22,823 posts, read 6,432,246 times
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I don't feel deprived if I feel I can get whatever I choose, but choose not to get it, rather than I don't
have enough money and can't get it. Somehow it makes a difference. During belt tightening
times I see so many things I want to buy....yet when I have the cash I'm not that motivated to
actually buy all that stuff....being frugal and satisfied is wonderful..
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Old 02-12-2012, 07:44 PM
 
15,637 posts, read 26,242,236 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pekemom View Post
I don't feel deprived if I feel I can get whatever I choose, but choose not to get it, rather than I don't
have enough money and can't get it. Somehow it makes a difference. During belt tightening
times I see so many things I want to buy....yet when I have the cash I'm not that motivated to
actually buy all that stuff....being frugal and satisfied is wonderful..
It really is a mindset -- and feels good to know I can spend 60K on a car.... but it's not what defines me and I don't have to. Much better feeling than back when I was just starting out and couldn't afford anything.
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Old 02-13-2012, 07:16 AM
 
Location: On a Farm & by the sea
1,143 posts, read 2,872,764 times
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Love reading these posts. My precious grandparents, now gone, lived through the depression and were ultra frugal. They really influenced me. My precious mama, also gone, was on the other end of the spectrum. Is she wanted to do something, even without the immediate funds, she found a way to make it happen! My grandparents were wonderful but really didn't have a lot of fun in life. My mom had tons of fun but also stress because she wasn't prepared for the unexpected. I am the proud product of those two extremes I agree with those who say being frugal for the sake of seeing the bank account just grow and grow doesn't feel like a good use of my life or resources. Be pragmatic and save enough for the future but enjoy your life every single day. For me, enjoying my life doesn't mean driving or wearing what may impress others I don't know or don't care about. Happiness, again for me, is setting my priorities based on what brings me happiness and spending according to my priorities. There is no judgement here.....it brings some others immense happiness to feel as if they are impressing others with their car, etc.... I'm just not one of those people. Most everyone has limited resources. I think the most unfilled people are the ones who let expectations around them dictate competitive consumption. The happiest seem to be those who figure out what they want, prioritize and do/get what is important to them and their families. Working less and going camping or traveling with family and friends to create memories and bonds that will last a lifetime sounds like a much better investment to me than buying "stuff". Working at a profession you genuinely enjoy and making less $ sounds like the perfect choice to me rather than wasting the one life you have doing what you hate to make more money. Again, no judgements here. It's just how I live my life based on the lessons I learned from those I adored most.
Choose to be happy!!!! Whatever that means to you.
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Old 02-13-2012, 09:50 AM
 
Location: Raleigh NC
1,346 posts, read 3,074,674 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maryolson929 View Post
One thing you can do (but it takes time) is go to thrift stores to look for designer or high brand clothes/shoes, etc. No one would guess that my wardrobe is from thrift stores.
AMEN! I am continually amazed that anyone pays full price for clothes.
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Old 02-13-2012, 09:58 AM
 
Location: MO->MI->CA->TX->MA
7,034 posts, read 14,474,847 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by claud605 View Post
AMEN! I am continually amazed that anyone pays full price for clothes.
Never really understood shopping at Walmart/Target for new clothes.. if I want cheap, I head to Ross, Marshalls, or Goodwill..
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Old 02-13-2012, 10:52 AM
 
13,005 posts, read 18,896,239 times
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It also has to do with your time. If you can save $20 on a pair of shoes, and you make $20 an hour you have saved an hour worked. If, on the other hand you spend an extra 10 minutes in traffic to save $1 in tolls, yielding six dollars an hour, you have wasted more time than the money you saved.
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Old 02-13-2012, 02:25 PM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,554 posts, read 86,928,948 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pvande55 View Post
It also has to do with your time. If you can save $20 on a pair of shoes, and you make $20 an hour you have saved an hour worked. If, on the other hand you spend an extra 10 minutes in traffic to save $1 in tolls, yielding six dollars an hour, you have wasted more time than the money you saved.
That's a spurious argument. Your time is only worth money if you had actually worked during that time for compensation.

You only wasted the toll dollar if you actually WOULD have worked and earned money during that ten minutes. But you wouldn't have, you just would have arrived home ten minutes sooner and waited ten more minutes to be called to supper. That ten minutes was of equal monetary value to you, whether you were sitting at home, or driving your car, and you gained by saving the toll.

I just spent the last hour at the computer. But I did not waste any money at all, because no opportunity would have arisen for me to earn any money during that hour. I would have the same amount of money, no matter what I did during that hour. The chances are extremely remote that I could have earned even ten cents during that hour, no matter how diligently I had tried to be gainfully employed.

Time Is Money only if you have, for that particular increment of time, the inclination and the opportunity to make money.

Last edited by jtur88; 02-13-2012 at 02:38 PM..
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Old 02-15-2012, 07:21 PM
 
13,005 posts, read 18,896,239 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtur88 View Post
That's a spurious argument. Your time is only worth money if you had actually worked during that time for compensation.

You only wasted the toll dollar if you actually WOULD have worked and earned money during that ten minutes. But you wouldn't have, you just would have arrived home ten minutes sooner and waited ten more minutes to be called to supper. That ten minutes was of equal monetary value to you, whether you were sitting at home, or driving your car, and you gained by saving the toll.

I just spent the last hour at the computer. But I did not waste any money at all, because no opportunity would have arisen for me to earn any money during that hour. I would have the same amount of money, no matter what I did during that hour. The chances are extremely remote that I could have earned even ten cents during that hour, no matter how diligently I had tried to be gainfully employed.

Time Is Money only if you have, for that particular increment of time, the inclination and the opportunity to make money.
This is where we disagree. Your leisure time must be worth something. Even if you have no opportunity to earn money. If you like golf you might be willing to forgo earning some extra cash so you can play. I say one reason to be frugal is so as not to spend all your time earning money.
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