That Frugal Thing You Do

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities

That Frugal Thing You Do

Postby Boglenaut » Fri Apr 24, 2009 11:44 am

This being the Boglehead board, I suspect many of us were frugal even before being frugal was the new chic.

So, what's the frugal thing you do?

Have you been doing it since before the recession?

For us, it's having only one car -- a 2004 Civic. We almost bought a second family car in 2006, but realized we just didn't need it. We live in the suburbs and have two kids, but I work from home and my wife takes care of the kids. So as long as we coordinate for my lunch break, we get by fine with one reliable car. Even when my wife worked for 7 months, we were fine as long as I was willing to eat lunch at home.

I love having a lot of space in the garage, one car to maintain, one to insure, etc. We only drive 7K miles a year, so gas isn't even much.
Last edited by Boglenaut on Fri May 20, 2011 11:49 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby dm200 » Fri Apr 24, 2009 11:49 am

On principle (with a secondary frugality motive), I refuse to use bottled water. In the US, 99.99% of municipal water (at considerable expense) is perfectly safe. Bottled water is a scam. [I have to hand it to the marketeers].

In addition, all those plastic bottles clog landfills are an environmental nightmare.
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Frugality

Postby Taylor Larimore » Fri Apr 24, 2009 11:51 am

So, what's the frugal thing you do?


Invest in Vanguard's low-cost mutual funds.
"Simplicity is the master key to financial success." -- Jack Bogle
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Re: Frugality

Postby Boglenaut » Fri Apr 24, 2009 11:54 am

Taylor Larimore wrote:
So, what's the frugal thing you do?


Invest in Vanguard's low-cost mutual funds.


No points there, we all do!! :wink: :wink:
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The $237,329.00 Car.

Postby Taylor Larimore » Fri Apr 24, 2009 12:17 pm

Boglenaut:

This is a post I made 6-years ago. I titled it: "The $237,329.00 Car."

"Link to www.edmond.com and you will find that a 2003 Honda 4-door Civic has a 5-year true Cost-To-Own (CTO) of $22,725. A 2003 4-door SUV Explorer has a 5-year CTO of $46,934. The difference is $24,209 or $4,802/year.

If you invest your annual $4,802 savings at 8%, in 25 years you will have an additional $237,329.00 for your retirement."
"Simplicity is the master key to financial success." -- Jack Bogle
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Postby Boglenaut » Fri Apr 24, 2009 12:23 pm

Wow, thanks.

So think about the difference between our single Civic and our neighbor's 2 SUVs.
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Re: That Frugal Thing You Do

Postby bob90245 » Fri Apr 24, 2009 12:31 pm

Boglenaut wrote:This being the Boglehead board, I suspect many of us were frugal even before being frugal was the new chic.

So, what's the frugal thing you do?

I looked at my budget and decided to attack the biggest expense: rent. Moved out of my one bedroom apartment and into a house with two roommates. Saved $300 a month.

Boglenaut wrote:Have you been doing it since before the recession?

Yes, right before the 2000-02 recession.
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Re: That Frugal Thing You Do

Postby HomerJ » Fri Apr 24, 2009 12:38 pm

Boglenaut wrote:This being the Boglehead board, I suspect many of us were frugal even before being frugal was the new chic.

So, what's the frugal thing you do?

Have you been doing it since before the recession?

For us, it's having only one car -- a 2004 Civic. We almost bought a second family car in 2006, but realized we just didn't need it. We live in the suburbs and have two kids, but I work from home and my wife takes care of the kids. So as long as we coordinate for my lunch break, we get by fine with one reliable car. Even when my wife worked for 7 months, we were fine as long as I was willing to eat lunch at home.

I love having a lot of space in the garage, one car to maintain, one to insure, etc. We only drive 7K miles a year, so gas isn't even much.


You work from home, but go out for lunch???

:)
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Postby Snikda » Fri Apr 24, 2009 12:46 pm

Some of the things I do (and have done for quite some time :) ) to keep my frugal tag are...
- work from home three days a week (this is actually a bigger one than it sounds - less gas/miles for the car, less wear/tear on clothes/shoes, less time sitting in traffic, etc.)
- pack/fix my lunch during the work week regardless of whether i am working from home or in the office
- use the neighborhood clubhouse that has bare minimum weights and cardio equipment to work out vs paying the ~$95/mth for my wife and me to go to a gym
- buy used books instead of new
- matinee movie then dinner vs dinner and the regular priced movie
- buy used cars
- shop for clothes at Marshalls, TJ Maxx, Ross, etc.
- and most important... stay married to my wife who enjoys dinner at Taco Bell, Wendy's, Subway, or Chipotle as much as Maggiano's or Ruth's Chris, who prefers costume jewelry from Claires or Express over Tiffany or Mikimoto (worried she will lose it), and who shares my goal of reducing financial stress from life as much as possible
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Postby HomerJ » Fri Apr 24, 2009 12:47 pm

I've always looked at cars as tranportation only... I want reliable, but don't care about anything else...

My first (and only) new car was Hyundai Excel, which I bought with manual drive, no air conditioning (I lived in New Hampshire at the time), basic radio, and no dashboard cloak...

Cost my $7000, which I paid off very quickly...

All my other cars have been used Hondas or Toyotas... usually 2-3 years old with less than 40k miles. I pay cash for them... drive them for years...

It gives me a smug satisfaction to drive my 2003 Honda Civic to work each morning as I see my neighbors with their giant brand-new SUVs.

HOWEVER...

I'm turning 40 this year... my wife and I are doing well... my daughter could use a car for college... Normally I'd drive this Civic another 4 years... but maybe just maybe... I might look at something more fun....
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Postby Puakinekine » Fri Apr 24, 2009 12:48 pm

You work from home, but go out for lunch???

This is the only sane way to go for a change of scene, which is crucial for sanity when working from home in my humble opinion. Also Boglenaut might be having business lunches. :)
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Postby SpringMan » Fri Apr 24, 2009 12:48 pm

I still have a Fidelity Spartan Intl Index fund with expense ratio of .07 (FSIVX). Looking at the current value which is mid 5 figures and considering it started out in the low 6 figures, I don't know if this qualifies as frugal. To make matters worse, it resides in a Roth IRA so no TLH is allowed.
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Postby EmergDoc » Fri Apr 24, 2009 12:52 pm

Brown bag lunch. And my beater. Which now has two nearly new tires I mounted and balanced myself for free at the base auto-hobby shop after one of my old ones disintegrated. After my friend gave them to me because goodwill wouldn't take them. After I pulled 80 studs (for ice) out of each of them. Does that count?
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Postby retiredjg » Fri Apr 24, 2009 12:59 pm

dm200 wrote:On principle (with a secondary frugality motive), I refuse to use bottled water. In the US, 99.99% of municipal water (at considerable expense) is perfectly safe. Bottled water is a scam. [I have to hand it to the marketeers].

In addition, all those plastic bottles clog landfills are an environmental nightmare.

Agreed. But it is SO convenient to take in the car with you! However, I got tired of the plastic waste and bought a couple of stainless steel bottles to keep in the car. Initial purchase not so frugal, but they pay for themselves in just a year or less.
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Postby fishnskiguy » Fri Apr 24, 2009 1:04 pm

I just did a very frugal thing this morning.

I had to rake out the lawn but did not have any lawn & leaf bags, so I grabbed eight of the 20 gallon bags my wife buys for the kitchen trash container. Filled them up and took them to the town compost pile and emptied them, came home and neatly folded the bags, and put them back under the sink to use in the trash container.

Chris
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Postby troglodyte » Fri Apr 24, 2009 1:12 pm

My list of frugal things. But first I don't want to be accused of Oscar Wilde's definition of a pessimist " He knows the price of everything and the value of nothing"

Mow my own lawn

Do my own pool service

Take my lunch to work and all my kids take their lunch to school

Re-use plastic sandwich bags

Eat leftovers religiously

Dry my clothes on a clothesline

Send my kids to community college for the first 2 years ( Don't knock this till you try it. We have had great success with this)

Believe the best things in life are free, family, camping, go to the beach walk my dogs ect..

Use coupons if we eat out

By used books or use the library

Get 6 dollar hair cuts. There better than the ones I used to get for 14 dollars.

Grow and eat some of the produce we like

Buy used clothes ( We also buy new ones depending on the circumstances)

Buy generic OTC medicine and non brand staple items

I take my marching orders from my father who used to go grocery shopping with his mother for him and his 8 sisters in 1930. He is pushing 90 but I wish many our the politicians and people in my age group would go shopping with him on any given day and they would learn a valuable lesson in physical responsibility.



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Postby TheEthicalAdvisor » Fri Apr 24, 2009 1:17 pm

Hmmm...where to begin:

1.) Use coupons, both manufacture and store combined to double dip.

2.) Obtain a lot of nearly free products from CVS/Walgreens after Extra Care Bucks, Register Rewards, and rebates.

3.) Buy a car and keep it for minimum 10 years

4.) Use restaurant . com to get $25 dining certificates for under $2

5.) Use fatwallet . com to find the best deals for large items (TV, computer stuff, etc)

6.) Eat healthy and well, but not being picky so that I can take advantage of sales, quantity discounts, loss leaders, and coupons.

7.) Buy bread products from day old thrift store.

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Postby DSInvestor » Fri Apr 24, 2009 1:42 pm

I made it a top priority to save for short term and long term goals which were clearly stated. In order to reach those goals, I needed save $X per year or more for 30+ yrs. The more I saved and the earlier I started the less rate of return I need for success. Before I bought anything big like a house or car, I considered the impact of the purchase on my ability to save those $X/yr and my net worth. I bought a reasonably priced home well within my budget with a large down payment and I still drive my 97 Toyota Camry. This gives me lots of room for error in the event that my income declines, which it has.

I found that being frugal on the big stuff has a big impact and gives me the opportunity to save more, live more and avoid credit card debt. However, the little stuff when added up also is significant. American business is really good at separating you and your money $1, $5, $10, $25 $50 at a time. Other posters have already mentioned great examples - bottled water, lawn mowing, soft drink vending machines, cell phones, ringtones etc.
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Postby Specialized » Fri Apr 24, 2009 1:42 pm

(1) Buy lowest octane gas available for my Ferrari

(2) Order house vodka at my club instead of Grey Goose

(3) Cut my personal chef back to five days a week

(4) Don't tip bell boy when I stay at the Waldorf-Astoria
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Postby Stonebr » Fri Apr 24, 2009 1:52 pm

1) I ride my bike to the train station. It saves $4 parking fee and per mile cost of driving 6 miles r/t.

2) Composting: richest fertizer there is. All in my own back yard.

3) Paying for WSJ subscription with frequent flyer miles that are about to expire.
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Postby fire5soon » Fri Apr 24, 2009 1:53 pm

Specialized wrote:(1) Buy lowest octane gas available for my Ferrari

(2) Order house vodka at my club instead of Grey Goose

(3) Cut my personal chef back to five days a week

(4) Don't tip bell boy when I stay at the Waldorf-Astoria


He said frugal, not miserly. :lol:
A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do. - Bob Dylan
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Postby bob90245 » Fri Apr 24, 2009 1:56 pm

troglodyte wrote:My list of frugal things.

Get 6 dollar hair cuts. There better than the ones I used to get for 14 dollars.

Don't mean to make this a competitive sport. But with my hair style short anyway, I ditched the monthly trip to the barber and bought a hair trimmer. I do it myself now.
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Postby Boglenaut » Fri Apr 24, 2009 2:00 pm

Puakinekine wrote:
You work from home, but go out for lunch???

This is the only sane way to go for a change of scene, which is crucial for sanity when working from home in my humble opinion. Also Boglenaut might be having business lunches. :)


Exactly right, except for the business lunch part. I've worked from home since 1997 and would go insane if I could never leave the house. I see people I know every day at lunch so get adult human interactions (other than my wife)

All my income comes from other states and countries... still waiting for a letter from my city thanking me for all the tax revenues I bring in. I brought my job with me.
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Postby fire5soon » Fri Apr 24, 2009 2:08 pm

bob90245 wrote:
troglodyte wrote:My list of frugal things.

Get 6 dollar hair cuts. There better than the ones I used to get for 14 dollars.

Don't mean to make this a competitive sport. But with my hair style short anyway, I ditched the monthly trip to the barber and bought a hair trimmer. I do it myself now.


Same here. I haven't paid for a hair cut since 2003 (except for $20 for the clippers.)
A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do. - Bob Dylan
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Postby House Blend » Fri Apr 24, 2009 2:10 pm

No cable TV since 2004. Movies via Netflix and the occasional theater.

No cellphone contract. Pay-as-you-go.

Brown bag lunch during the work week. Have been doing this roughly forever.
Coffee brewed at home and taken to work in an insulated mug.

The lunch and the coffee are not (for me) primarily about frugality, although that's a side benefit. The main reason is that brown-bagging is healthier, tastier, and makes me less likely to overeat. The office coffee is undrinkable swill, and my coffee brewing is better and much cheaper than the nearby Starbucks and their ilk.

But by far my biggest frugality is choosing to own a modest home that fits my needs, rather than the biggest and swankiest home I could afford. If I were to take out a loan to buy the home that my income and societal/marketing pressure says that I "deserve," I'd be living in a McMansion that would have cost maybe 3 or 4 times more. Never bought in to the American Folly that the bulk of one's wealth should be tied up in home equity. Probably a lot of Bogleheads have similar views.
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Postby jar2574 » Fri Apr 24, 2009 2:30 pm

I take the bus to work and I bring a lunch most days. My wife cuts my hair.
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Postby NYCPete » Fri Apr 24, 2009 2:40 pm

House Blend wrote:No cable TV since 2004. Movies via Netflix and the occasional theater.

No cellphone contract. Pay-as-you-go.

Brown bag lunch during the work week. Have been doing this roughly forever.
Coffee brewed at home and taken to work in an insulated mug.


Ditto on the no cable, netflix, and brownbagging. :thumbsup

I am a big video game player (consoles) and always prefer to wait a little while and buy games used and seldom buy them right when they come out. This has resulted in me being sometimes years behind my gaming friends on what we're all playing, but I've gotten pretty good at sitting on my hands and waiting until a hot new title $50 drops down to the $20 price that I am willing to pay(or less if it's a $20 game that is also used). I've also never outgrown the whole "I'll loan you Super Smash Brothers Brawl for Zelda: Twilight Princess" thing that I was fond of doing when I was 11. :)

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Postby DA » Fri Apr 24, 2009 2:42 pm

I use a pill splitter to turn what would be a $7 drug copayment into a $3.50 copayment.
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Postby TheEternalVortex » Fri Apr 24, 2009 3:02 pm

My housing costs are in the bottom 10% for my area. So I don't really have to save on anything else. That works out better for me.
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Postby Bob B » Fri Apr 24, 2009 3:09 pm

DA wrote:I use a pill splitter to turn what would be a $7 drug copayment into a $3.50 copayment.


I do the same thing. But, not all medications are suitable for splitting. Pills with entric coatings are not good for splitting. Entric coatings allow pills to pass through the stomach and into the intestine while whole and intact. Best to ask your pharmacist before splitting. But, most pills can be split. I am always surprised how little price difference there is between lower and higher dosages.
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Postby nisiprius » Fri Apr 24, 2009 3:09 pm

Before retirement, we did lots of non-frugal things but we avoided a lifestyle that was locked in to them.

The biggest frugal thing we did was to buy a cheap house in 1975 and stay in it--not upgrading as my salary rose. It was a house we could just barely afford on my 1975 salary, but we could afford it. It was about the right size when the kids were in elementary school, a tight squeeze when they were in high school. It's bigger than we need in retirement but not a lot bigger.

The mortgage is paid off, the upkeep is small, the taxes are affordable.
Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six, result happiness; Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.
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Postby Shawn » Fri Apr 24, 2009 3:17 pm

- I drive a 1980 Toyota Corolla (260K miles) purchased in 1985 for $4K. It's my only car.
- I have a 17 year-old TV. It's my only TV.
- I ride a bicycle to work. My $500 "mountain" bike has over 30K miles.
- I've been cutting my own hair for the last 35 years.
- I don't have a cell phone (and never will).
- My exercise/recreation is mostly free (running, bicycling, hiking, etc).
- Standard stuff (shop at Wal-Mart, Target).
- A night on the town is Jack-in-the-Box.

I turn it off when it's not in use - my typical electric bill is $10-$15 a month (about 3.5 KW-hr/day). It's an all electric house, except for heat and hot water.

My annual expenses are about $30K --> $15K for mortgage and property taxes, $5K for charity, $10K for everything else (food, clothes, utilities, auto/home repair, gas, insurance, recreation, gifts, etc). And I live like a king, or so I feel.
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Postby ryuns » Fri Apr 24, 2009 3:24 pm

nisiprius wrote:Before retirement, we did lots of non-frugal things but we avoided a lifestyle that was locked in to them.



Beautifully said. That's my philosophy.

Ryan
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Postby JMacDonald » Fri Apr 24, 2009 3:46 pm

Hi,
I do a lot things that are furgal, but the newest thing for me is taking the Metro in the LA area now whenever I can. I save on gas, parking, and the use of my car. You can't get me to drive into LA anymore.
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Postby Rebecca_S » Fri Apr 24, 2009 4:05 pm

I bike to work and many other places, or walk or use the subway; I also bike for exercise. I've got a fairly nice bike I bought used. I alter clothing to fit better rather than paying a tailor or buying more expensive items. We wash laundry at home and hang to dry, which is more environmentally friendly and keeps clothes looking nice longer. Bring lunch to work most days, though I eat out a lot on weekends.
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Postby johnny » Fri Apr 24, 2009 4:49 pm

House Blend wrote:No cable TV since 2004. Movies via Netflix and the occasional theater.

No cellphone contract. Pay-as-you-go.

Brown bag lunch during the work week. Have been doing this roughly forever.
Coffee brewed at home and taken to work in an insulated mug.

The lunch and the coffee are not (for me) primarily about frugality, although that's a side benefit. The main reason is that brown-bagging is healthier, tastier, and makes me less likely to overeat. The office coffee is undrinkable swill, and my coffee brewing is better and much cheaper than the nearby Starbucks and their ilk.

But by far my biggest frugality is choosing to own a modest home that fits my needs, rather than the biggest and swankiest home I could afford. If I were to take out a loan to buy the home that my income and societal/marketing pressure says that I "deserve," I'd be living in a McMansion that would have cost maybe 3 or 4 times more. Never bought in to the American Folly that the bulk of one's wealth should be tied up in home equity. Probably a lot of Bogleheads have similar views.


HB, my story is very similar although I don't brown bag my lunches. I have bare-bones cable TV service -- basically just an antenna service. There's just not that much on TV that's worth watching.

I have a prepaid cell phone; it costs me $100 a year. Basically I just use it for emergencies, or if I have to call ahead and let someone know I'm running late. I don't understand this idea that we're all supposed to be in constant contact, 24/7...

I have a modest home, too; just a basic townhouse in a nice neighborhood. I could certainly afford a much bigger/nicer house (especially in the current real estate market), but this one has all the room that I need. I too don't buy into the notion that I just have to have the biggest house I can squeeze into, financially speaking.

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Postby beardsworth » Fri Apr 24, 2009 6:30 pm

dm200 wrote:On principle (with a secondary frugality motive), I refuse to use bottled water. In the US, 99.99% of municipal water (at considerable expense) is perfectly safe. Bottled water is a scam. [I have to hand it to the marketeers].

In addition, all those plastic bottles clog landfills are an environmental nightmare.


As you say, most municipal water supplies are "safe" in terms of purification, but many (like ours) also have a fairly strong background aroma of chlorine.

There is more than one way to do bottled water, and (depending on availability in your area), it need not generate any landfill waste at all. We bought 3-gallon glass "carboys" from a place that sells home brewing supplies. Re–use forever unless we ever drop them. :) Nothing at all to put in the household trash or landfill. We take them each week to our grocery that sells do–it–yourself refill water, just shy of distilled purity, for 39¢ a gallon. An average of a couple dollars a week (maybe a bit less in winter, maybe a bit more in summer) doesn't seem unreasonable for water that tastes and smells better than our municipal water.

Marc
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Postby bluemonday » Fri Apr 24, 2009 7:40 pm

-Only pay cash ( unless absolutely necessary)

- Use library for books/videos

-Shop when stuff is on sale

-Have few wants, I consider most to be distractions to living.

-When I buy something, tend to buy quality item even if costs a little more

-Buy older cars ( 5-10 years ) that have been excellently maintained and were good to begin with (most Japanese models ), love that Honda Civic

-Take lunch to work, use tupperware, saves on the plastic bags

-Eat out rarely( saves a lot of money)

-Use plastic grocery bags for trash bags.

-Use public transit when possible

-Account for 98%+ of $ outgo

-Use a prepaid cellphone

-Always be on the lookout for ways to trim expenses

-Buy items in bulk

-Have a vegetable garden

-Look to Craigslist before paying retail

-Barter

-Subscribe to nothing

-Use open source software, just say "no" to paying for corporate-ware. If I do pay for software, it will be to a small developer.
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Postby joe8d » Fri Apr 24, 2009 8:31 pm

Send my kids to community college for the first 2 years ( Don't knock this till you try it. We have had great success with this)


A great suggestion.It is done quite extensively here.We have an excellent 3 campus CC system that works hand and hand with the 2 State schools,Buff State and UB,here to implement that plan
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Postby Blue » Fri Apr 24, 2009 8:46 pm

I don't wear a watch....

cost savings, $5,000

:lol:
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Postby topper1296 » Fri Apr 24, 2009 9:15 pm

I have been cutting my own hair for about 8 years now. Pretty easy to do when it is just buzzed. The clippers were only about $30

Also, this not really frugal per se, but I charge everything I can onto my cash back credit card and then pay the balance off every month.
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Postby Boglenaut » Fri Apr 24, 2009 9:26 pm

DA wrote:I use a pill splitter to turn what would be a $7 drug copayment into a $3.50 copayment.


Just make sure it's OK to do that... some pills should not be split.


Edit - I see Bob beat me to it.
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Postby Boglenaut » Fri Apr 24, 2009 9:38 pm

Stonebr wrote:3) Paying for WSJ subscription with frequent flyer miles that are about to expire.


I've done that.

We spent $510 on our Hawaii Honeymoon.... had tons of miles and hotel points saved. Was really nice. Eloped... my wife wanted a house, not a wedding. She makes me look like a spendthrift.

Last year I got all sorts of financial magazines cheap... and WSJ for $99/year. Somehow, they gave me the "Professional Rate". I do not work in the financial planning industry, but I probably went to some webpage only professionals would go to.
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Postby Cherokee8215 » Fri Apr 24, 2009 10:43 pm

-I don't have cable tv. I have an antenna in my attic and get 3 local channels. Which is OK since I only really watch local news, Family Guy, and Seinfeld reruns.

-I use coupons and stock up in bulk when there's a good sale. I have enough toilet paper and tissues to last about 4 years.

-I take home and use the free shampoo and lotion I get from hotels when traveling for work. I haven't bought any in 2-3 years.

-I pick up all pennies I find on the ground, no matter how dirty they look or who may be watching.

-I don't buy golf balls. I know all the good spots to find lost ones on my course. You'd be surprized how many $45/dozen Pro V1's are just sitting in the woods for the taking.

-Instead of subscribing to magazines, I read them for free at Borders.

-I get my lawn mowers by driving around nice neighborhoods on trash day in early spring. I can usually get them running just by putting in a new spark plug or draining out the old gas. I sometimes sell ones I don't need on craigslist or give them to friends/family.

-I don't buy clothing unless it's priced at least 40% off.

There are probably lots more but these are the first that come to mind.
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Postby preserve » Fri Apr 24, 2009 10:47 pm

Stonebr wrote:3) Paying for WSJ subscription with frequent flyer miles that are about to expire.

-I look up WSJ and FT articles on news.google.com to get it free.
-I don't donate money to charity.
Last edited by preserve on Fri Apr 24, 2009 10:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Cherokee8215 » Fri Apr 24, 2009 10:53 pm

preserve wrote:[
-I don't donate money to charity.


Neither do I, and was afraid to admit it. Thanks for breaking the ice! I give $50/yr to the local volunteer fire department, but that's it.

Edit: I donate used clothing to a local charity thirft shop but that's it. Nothing monetary.
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Postby DSInvestor » Fri Apr 24, 2009 11:01 pm

Cherokee8215 wrote:
preserve wrote:[
-I don't donate money to charity.


Neither do I, and was afraid to admit it. Thanks for breaking the ice! I give $50/yr to the local volunteer fire department, but that's it.

Edit: I donate used clothing to a local charity thirft shop but that's it. Nothing monetary.


Don't feel bad about not donating money. Donation of clothing is a donation and it helps. Donating time may be even more precious than money.

I remember this George Carlin joke:
Religion has convinced people that there’s an invisible man? living in the sky, who watches everything you do every minute of every day. And the invisible man has a list of ten specific things he doesn’t want you to do. And if you do any of these things, he will send you to a special place, of burning and fire and smoke and torture and anguish for you to live forever, and suffer and burn and scream until the end of time. But he loves you. He loves you and he needs money.

bold=my emphasis
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Postby Qtman » Sat Apr 25, 2009 3:24 am

We buy 90% of our clothes at thrift shops, with Americans getting fatter by the day, there are tons of new or almost new clothing that costs virtually nothing. I shudder to pay over $1.50 for a dress shirt or $3 for a pair of jeans or other pants.
Don’t wear yourself out trying to get rich; be wise enough to control yourself. | Wealth can vanish in the wink of an eye. It can seem to grow wings and fly away | like an eagle. - King Solomon
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Postby MnD » Sat Apr 25, 2009 8:11 am

Costco is our primary retail supplier. (Food, clothes, gasoline, meds books, home furnishings, booze, electronics, software, contacts, eye exams ect.)

Live in the same home for 18 years (that we bought when we were both 29 and when our income was 1/4 what it is now). Fix up instead of trade-up.

We keep our cars 12 years on average (top rated consumer reports vehicles for reliability and low cost of ownership). If they start to look shabby we get a cheap re-paint job around year 8 and they look great.

Our toys and hobbies are cheap - running, cycling, gardening, walking, camping, kayaking in nearly new boats we bought off craigslist for 1/4 retail.....

We "add-on" to my business trips for short vacations at a fraction of the cost of doing it stand-alone.

All our investment and savings deposits come out of our paychecks first by direct deposit and allotments. We don't really worry about frugality or budgeting on a day to day basis because what's left over in the checkbooks is 100% fair game for spending.
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Postby sschullo » Sat Apr 25, 2009 8:25 am

It’s a combination of thinking frugally and investing to make your life more enjoyable and simpler. Examples:
1. Investing in solar energy and paying about 75 cents a month on the electric bill. That’s a big deal in the desert. Plan on purchasing an electric car, when available.

2. Investing in a completely automatic coffee maker (the one that grinds the coffee, makes it and cleans itself!) and saving a bundle at Starbucks, but still enjoying coffee.

3. Investing in a home theater system. Saving big bucks and hassle of going to the neighborhood theater.
Use the talents you possess, for the woods would be a very silent place if no birds sang except the best. -Henry van Dyke, poet (1852-1933)
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