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

Postby Boglenaut » Sat Apr 25, 2009 9:26 am

Cherokee8215 wrote:
-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 used to do that, then decided $1.46 for 22.5 oz Suave shampoo (when they had the bonus size) was a lot easier on my back.

I won't pay $15 to check a bag, even if my employer is paying it.
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Postby hudson » Sat Apr 25, 2009 9:30 am

I live in the same 75 model house...since 75.
I drive vehicles until they are worth under $1K....but usually buy new.
I get food from a 1/6 acre garden...Troy Bilt Tiller...78 Model
I just found and use a used book store. If I can't find what I want, I'll buy used from Amazon.
For home use, I build my own desktop computers, and use scrounged components when available.
I don't pay any commissions or loads when investing.
When I go to the beach, I rarely stay on the beach front.
I remodel, pay as you go, doing my own work...where possible. I hire skilled friends from work if possible to do what I can't.
I cut my own grass...my mower is I think a 95 model.
For personal use, I use Tracfone.
I change my own oil/transmission/antifreeze...and do the easier repairs.
I own a canoe rather than a motorized boat.
I keep and ride road and mountain bikes about as long as my vehicles....also build and maintain.

I do a number of non-frugal non-green things including wearing a watch and eating lunch at Taco Bell. I run the heat to 72 and air at 78. I drive to exercise. I spend too much on backpacking stuff. Sometimes, I don't drink cheap beer.
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Postby Boglenaut » Sat Apr 25, 2009 9:33 am

bluemonday wrote:-Only pay cash ( unless absolutely necessary)

- Use library for books/videos


I try to never pay cash unless I have to. I pay the Credit Card off every month, so get the 1 month free loan from the CC company.

I do splurge and buy DVDs, but my price point is $4 and I won't get a Blu-Ray while they are so high priced. We've been getting most of our videos from the library lately.

I use OpenOffice instead of MS Office on our personal (non-work) computers. We use AVG anti-virus.
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Postby Boglenaut » Sat Apr 25, 2009 10:00 am

hudson wrote:I do a number of non-frugal non-green things including wearing a watch and eating lunch at Taco Bell. I run the heat to 72 and air at 78. I drive to exercise. I spend too much on backpacking stuff. Sometimes, I don't drink cheap beer.


In winter, we keep the heat at 65 during the day and 60 at night. In summer, we leave the air conditioning off a lot longer than our neighbors do... we always here their units on when we are comfortable with just the windows open. Our house is pretty energy efficient... our electric bills for a 4 bedroom house with 4 people are just a tiny bit more than the 2 bedroom condo I had when I was single.

Of course, we have CFL lightbulbs all over.
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Postby eggs » Sat Apr 25, 2009 10:23 am

Snikda wrote: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


You also went to a kick ass school. Go knights.

I've been big on consolidating bills lately. It's funny how many subscriptions we pick up along the way, not to mention the way our cell phone bill has creeped up over the years.

I used billshrink.com the other day on our cell phones and we're saving $15 a month now. Not bad.
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Postby dm200 » Sat Apr 25, 2009 10:35 am

We have $1,000 deductible collision and comprehensive coverage on our cars, until we can handle dropping it altogether. This saves money in the long run because the premoums are lower, and if you do have damage in this range that is your fault, the premoums don't go up because of the accident.
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Postby theac » Sat Apr 25, 2009 1:01 pm

You guys have to try this one:

Use bar soap for shaving. It works just fine. I discovered it kind of by accident.

Like everybody else, when I started shaving, many years ago, i went to the store and bought my shaving cream in an aerosol can. But some years ago I started traveling, and since i like to travel light, I ended up buying one of those old-fashioned soap-cakes ($2 or $3--I don't remember) and a shaving brush ($5) that you use to whip up the lather. You know, like in the old western movies.

But after some time it seemed a hassle to "have to" carry my brush and shaving soap. So i decided to try some regular 'ol bar soap and guess what, it worked. All I carry now is a couple of disposable razors. And now I don't need a brush, nor any "special" store bought shaving soap which is way over-priced for what it really is--just another bar of soap. We've been getting scammed by Gillette and the rest of them for years!

P.S. For most of my shaving life I wore a jet-black, short beard, which saves you a lot of money (and time) but that's not why I did it. Have been shaving for about the last 10 years now though.
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Postby smackboy1 » Sat Apr 25, 2009 3:04 pm

- Wash and reuse paper towels, cling film, ziplock bags and aluminum foil.

- Read the daily newspaper at your doctor/dentist's waiting room.

- When eating at restaurants, ask people at other tables if you can take have their uneaten leftovers.

- Expiration dates on food and medications are just suggestions.

- Go food shopping BEHIND the grocery store - in the dumpster i.e. Freeganism.

- Use BOTH sides of toilet paper. In fact get rid of the toilet paper altogether and just use your left hand.

- Get rid of forks, knives and spoons and just eat with your right hand.

- Get rid of hand soap by just remembering which is your left hand which is your right hand.

- When driving, turn off the engine and freewheel down long hills. On the highway lower your aerodynamic drag by tailgating big trucks.

- Wear underwear 2 days in a row by turning it inside out.

- Save on fees by getting all your financial and legal advice on an internet forum from a bunch of total strangers.
Disclaimer: nothing written here should be taken as legal advice, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.
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Postby Ron » Sat Apr 25, 2009 3:22 pm

I stayed married (40 years, so far :lol: ).

I say that toung in cheek, but I worked with a lot of divorced folks who could not plan on an early retirement (even though I did). Most commented that if it wasen't for the divorce, they would have been able to retire early. Must be something to it :roll: ...

- Ron
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Postby preserve » Sat Apr 25, 2009 4:10 pm

Ron wrote:I stayed married (40 years, so far :lol: ).

Ron


So is staying single frugal or not frugal?
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Postby sschullo » Sat Apr 25, 2009 4:26 pm

preserve wrote:
Ron wrote:I stayed married (40 years, so far :lol: ).

Ron


So is staying single frugal or not frugal?


Well, I would think its cheaper for two people to live in one house than one. I don't know, I have not been single in 34 years.
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Postby Ron » Sat Apr 25, 2009 4:29 pm

preserve wrote:So is staying single frugal or not frugal?


Don't know, from a personal basis (since we married fairly young, at age 21).

My opnion (in my specific case) is that it's probably much more frugal to be single (e.g. never married). My wife's passon (other than me :roll: ) is to travel the world, and at a minimum take one foreign and one US based trip for the last dozen years (could be more, but I know we're on our second passports :lol: ... That alone accounts for 20% of our budget.

As for myself, I'm a homebody and spend little. I know if I would be on my own (e.g. if she would pass first) I would probably spend much, much less.

OTOH, I probably would not be as "healthy, wealthy, and wise" without her, I don't have a problem with keeping her around :wink: ...

- Ron
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Postby Boglenaut » Sat Apr 25, 2009 6:25 pm

smackboy1 wrote:- Wash and reuse paper towels, cling film, ziplock bags and aluminum foil.

- Read the daily newspaper at your doctor/dentist's waiting room.

- When eating at restaurants, ask people at other tables if you can take have their uneaten leftovers.

- Expiration dates on food and medications are just suggestions.

- Go food shopping BEHIND the grocery store - in the dumpster i.e. Freeganism.

- Use BOTH sides of toilet paper. In fact get rid of the toilet paper altogether and just use your left hand.

- Get rid of forks, knives and spoons and just eat with your right hand.

- Get rid of hand soap by just remembering which is your left hand which is your right hand.

- When driving, turn off the engine and freewheel down long hills. On the highway lower your aerodynamic drag by tailgating big trucks.

- Wear underwear 2 days in a row by turning it inside out.

- Save on fees by getting all your financial and legal advice on an internet forum from a bunch of total strangers.


My wife wants to know if you are being serious or sarcastic.

I like the last one best.
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Postby Boglenaut » Sat Apr 25, 2009 6:33 pm

If you want to show the other side of your personaility, try this thread.

That Extravagant Thing You Do:

viewtopic.php?t=36702&mrr=1240697484
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Postby Boglenaut » Sat Apr 25, 2009 6:43 pm

If you want to show the other side of your personaility, try this thread.

That Extravagant Thing You Do:

viewtopic.php?t=36702&mrr=1240697484
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Postby Frobie » Sat Apr 25, 2009 7:43 pm

Like the OP, my wife and I are a one-car family. We work in the same complex and carpool. Public transportation is available for me to ride to/from work on the rare occasions when she needs to go elsewhere during the day. Also like the OP, we drive only a total of 6-7k miles/year.

Houston is so automobile-centric that I usually encounter disbelief when I tell folks that we get by with one. Been doing it for nearly 10 years and have no plans to change anytime soon.
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Postby Petrocelli » Sat Apr 25, 2009 7:47 pm

I economize by driving a Mercedes C300. I was tempted to get the E class.
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Postby UKbloke » Sat Apr 25, 2009 8:04 pm

sschullo wrote:
preserve wrote:
Ron wrote:I stayed married (40 years, so far :lol: ).

Ron


So is staying single frugal or not frugal?


Well, I would think its cheaper for two people to live in one house than one. I don't know, I have not been single in 34 years.


You can live with friends or search for roommates.
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Postby Sheepdog » Sat Apr 25, 2009 8:28 pm

$6 haircuts every 8 to 10 weeks whether I need one or not. It should be only $3 because I have only half of the hair I used to have.

I hire maintenance help very rarely. I fix myself if at all possible.

One spouse for almost 49 years. She is very frugal. She buys only things on sale and then only if there is a dire need.

Buy cheap wine and liquor. After one drink I can not tell the difference.

I quit smoking years ago because of cost.

Never buy a new car.

Go to matinee movies....never go in the evening.

Use reward credit cards only. I get back over $1000 annually doing so.

Taught my kids how to make a good living so that they never come home to live again.

Change my underwear only if my dog smells me and then rolls over and moans.

Jim
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Postby isleep » Sat Apr 25, 2009 9:57 pm

preserve wrote:So is staying single frugal or not frugal?


I consider it as 100% guaranteed divorce insurrance.

By getting married, you may save money (though that's debatable), but you stand to lose much of it 50% of the time (along with money you haven't even earned yet). This happened to a co-worker just a couple months ago (he lost his baby daughter and his paycheck is being garnished).

I guess you could consider a pre-nup as divorce insurrance, but very few go that route, and it would have to be iron-clad. But even so, it doesn't remove the psychological impact of divorce (which heavily affects any children involved).
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Postby preserve » Sun Apr 26, 2009 7:55 am

isleep wrote:I guess you could consider a pre-nup as divorce insurrance, but very few go that route, and it would have to be iron-clad. But even so, it doesn't remove the psychological impact of divorce (which heavily affects any children involved).

I'm beginning to think a loyal relationship with will/beneficiary is a better way to go than marriage with pre-nup.
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Postby Ron » Sun Apr 26, 2009 8:02 am

UKbloke wrote:You can live with friends or search for roommates.


I've had both (same person) for the last 40 years 8) ...

- Ron
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Postby Boglenaut » Sun Apr 26, 2009 8:12 am

By the way, in case anyone doesn't know the reference in the thread title:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fzllVlzzeuo

It's silly, but stuck in my head.
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Postby Sam I Am » Sun Apr 26, 2009 9:03 am

Message deleted.
Last edited by Sam I Am on Sat Oct 05, 2013 4:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby ruralavalon » Sun Apr 26, 2009 11:15 am

We have never bought a new car, we have always bought used cars 1 - 2 years old.. This was not a plan, its just that every time the need for another car arose we could always think of a better way to spend that extra money.
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Postby Boglenaut » Sun Apr 26, 2009 5:17 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.


This was big news locally a few years ago... as far as quality of bottled water:

http://www.newsnet5.com/health/9540128/detail.html

and to back up your environmental concern:

http://www.treehugger.com/files/2007/02 ... culate.php
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TV

Postby GIS Guy » Sun Apr 26, 2009 5:59 pm

Hi,

At this stage in my young family there are many more quality things we can do instead of sitting down in front of a tv.

I cancelled our tv service and hooked up an antenna. We still get some great shows in HD, but the most important thing is I spend more time with my wife and kids.

We save $60 a month and quality of life is better.

GIS
Last edited by GIS Guy on Mon Apr 27, 2009 12:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby stratton » Sun Apr 26, 2009 6:01 pm

Live in a state with no income tax. :lol:
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Re: TV

Postby retiredjg » Sun Apr 26, 2009 7:11 pm

GIS Guy wrote:...but the most important thing is I spend more quality time....an nookie time.

:shock: :shock: :shock: Oh my....

(Tee hee.)
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Re: TV

Postby Bob B » Sun Apr 26, 2009 9:52 pm

..
Last edited by Bob B on Mon Apr 27, 2009 8:27 am, edited 2 times in total.
Regards, | Bob |
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Postby giacolet » Sun Apr 26, 2009 10:47 pm

I drive a late model Ford Fusion.

I own an inexpensive condo with low monthly maintenance fees and minimum taxes.

I shave every other day, and my Gilette Fusion blades last two months.

I don't smoke, drink, drink coffee or use cell phones.

I take my lunch to work.

I get a haircut every three months.

I had a $1,000.00 savings last year in unspent budget allocations.

I'm single, my two children are adults, and I occassionally date a frugal, divorced now widowed woman.
May your heart always be joyful. | May your song always be sung. | May you stay forever young. | ----Bob Dylan
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Postby mzhuang » Mon Apr 27, 2009 10:45 am

After I got married, I downsized from an Infiniti SUV to an old Honda Accord (my wife's old car.) In other words, I used to drive a $50k car now I am driving a $2k one.

No I can say, the luxury car experience is fine, but over-rated.
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Postby black jack » Mon Apr 27, 2009 11:25 pm

isleep wrote:
preserve wrote:So is staying single frugal or not frugal?


I consider it as 100% guaranteed divorce insurance.

By getting married, you may save money (though that's debatable), but you stand to lose much of it 50% of the time (along with money you haven't even earned yet). This happened to a co-worker just a couple months ago (he lost his baby daughter and his paycheck is being garnished).

I guess you could consider a pre-nup as divorce insurrance, but very few go that route, and it would have to be iron-clad. But even so, it doesn't remove the psychological impact of divorce (which heavily affects any children involved).


Staying single may be divorce insurance, but it sure ain't health insurance.

RAND Center for the Study of Aging, "Health, Marriage, and Longer Life for Men"
[excerpt]
Effects of Marital Status on Health
Analysis of whether marriage directly affects health produces mixed results. Comparisons of currently married and never-married men show that while the former are generally healthier, this difference cannot be attributed simply to the protective effects of marriage. The self-reported health status of men shows that, by itself, becoming married for the first time does not lead to any noticeable benefits. Comparisons of older married and divorced men, however, show that the relative health levels of the latter drop significantly as they age. By the time divorced men reach age 50, they can expect their health to deteriorate much faster than the health of those who are married. For this group of older divorced men, remarriage offers a direct health benefit, bringing their health up to the level of men who have remained married.

The health benefits obtained by men who stay married or remarry stem from a variety of related factors, including care in times of illness, improved nutrition, and a home atmosphere that reduces stress and stress-related illnesses, encourages healthy behaviors, and discourages unhealthy ones such as smoking and excessive drinking. Influences of this type tend to enhance a man's immediate health status and may often improve his chances for a longer life.

Effects of Marital Status on Mortality after Controlling for Health

As men age, their health declines and the risk of mortality increases. Not surprisingly, however, the level of risk is tied to marital status: married men in their 50s, 60s, and 70s have lower mortality rates than those who are unmarried (never married, divorced, or widowed). For divorced men, this higher risk of death is explained primarily by their poorer health. Among never-married men and widowers, however, excess mortality rates are less related to self-reported health status--a finding that raises questions about the factors that lead to earlier death. Previous research has indicated that part of the marriage advantage stems from co-residence with a partner or with other adults. Never-married men may prefer to live alone, thus forgoing the potential life-extending benefits of social integration.


A health plan I can snuggle with; sounds frugal to me.

OTOH, that means your resources will have to last you for a longer time, so choose wisely (and hope for the best). Like some other posters, I'm pretty 'thrifty' but have a wife who makes me look extravagant.
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Postby Petrocelli » Mon Apr 27, 2009 11:32 pm

My housekeeper was working 5 days a week for us. She now works half days on Tuesday and Thursday.
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Postby wbond » Mon Apr 27, 2009 11:48 pm

How does she tell time?
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Postby ObliviousInvestor » Tue Apr 28, 2009 4:18 pm

Work at home
Have a vegetarian diet
Don't own a car (We live in Chicago, so it's not really difficult.)
Don't smoke or drink

:)
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Postby Die Hard » Tue Apr 28, 2009 7:45 pm

Well, I haven't seen this one listed yet...........or did I miss it?

When I do eat out, I always request my drink in a cup to go making sure of a refill when leaving. Then any cups get put in the dishwasher and re-used. I rarely buy Styrofoam cups any more.
The best way to teach your children about money is to not have any.............
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Postby johnny » Tue Apr 28, 2009 8:00 pm

I forgot to mention -- I make all my phone calls over the internet now. The hardware cost $200, but I have no monthly phone bill. That saves me 40-50 bucks a month.
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Re: TV

Postby rene » Wed Apr 29, 2009 12:51 am

GIS Guy wrote:Hi,

At this stage in my young family there are many more quality things we can do instead of sitting down in front of a tv.

I cancelled our tv service and hooked up an antenna. We still get some great shows in HD, but the most important thing is I spend more time with my wife and kids.

We save $60 a month and quality of life is better.

GIS


Best thing I have ever done was cancel cable/internet/phone provider

I have cellphone thrugh work so that covers my phone. I can use it as a modem so I have internet at home. It's not fast enought to stream netflix video but fine for everything else. I can watch the office on hulu.com if I need to. I have subscrived to netflix so I get my movie fix.

Not only save I money which is nice but it has changed my lifestyle.... try it yourself for a period of 2 weeks. No tv in the house forces you to do things you never thought you had time for... hiking, reading, socializing you name it. The hardest part is the firt week when you wonder what the hell to do with all that time but soon enough you laugh at the people that waste their life with cable
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Postby Ilovevolleyball » Wed Apr 29, 2009 2:52 pm

Hello,

I also got rid of cable. Being a TV addict, that was difficult: But, 5 movies a time at netflix did the trick. :) Over time I have weened off of netlix a little and now am at 3 movies a time.

I use free dialup -get it from girlfriend's work.

I unplug almost everything around the house. Microwave. TV. Computer.
I do not have to pay for heat in my apartment, electric bill is 21-23$ a month.


Mike
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Postby wde » Wed Apr 29, 2009 5:05 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.


+1

Haven't had a "real" haircut since my wedding!
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Postby FrugalInvestor » Wed Apr 29, 2009 6:13 pm

When my wife and I eat out, one of us orders the salad and the other orders the entree and we share. The portions are usually much too large anyway so we end up with the right amount of food for half the price. I do, however, tip as if we had two meals so as not to penalize the server.
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Postby TranceLordSnyder » Thu Apr 30, 2009 8:54 am

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.


My fiance cuts my hair. I got an electric hair trimmer for Christmas last year, and I've been getting my hair cut ever since. What a money saver! 15 a cut every 6 weeks down to nothing! She keeps telling me I need to learn how to cut her hair. Maybe some day! :lol:
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Postby EmergDoc » Thu Apr 30, 2009 10:18 am

TranceLordSnyder wrote:
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.


My fiance cuts my hair. I got an electric hair trimmer for Christmas last year, and I've been getting my hair cut ever since. What a money saver! 15 a cut every 6 weeks down to nothing! She keeps telling me I need to learn how to cut her hair. Maybe some day! :lol:


Sounds familiar. I don't think I've paid for but a handful of haircuts in the last 10 years. It just isn't that tough to do a "military" do.
1) Invest you must 2) Time is your friend 3) Impulse is your enemy | 4) Basic arithmetic works 5) Stick to simplicity 6) Stay the course
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Postby allsop » Thu Apr 30, 2009 12:06 pm

We do not own a car and we would not save any time either by using one. We pay less than $100 a month in transportation costs.
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Postby paddyshack » Mon May 04, 2009 3:50 am

Wow - this thread really scares me - and that excludes the obvious sarcastic ones. If being a Boglehead means cutting my own hair and spending a lot of effort on things generally amount to mouse nuts, then I'm very underqualified. I have no issue paying $20 for a haircut - (I've never liked the look of having my hair all one length - a requirement for the self-haircut).

My rules for being frugal:

-Stay away from hobbies that are complete money pits, including boats, classic cars, airplanes, etc.

- Buy a car that you actually like. Even if it's somewhat more expensive than viable alternatives, you'll keep it nicer and for a longer period of time. And if you spend a lot of time in it, then it's also part of the entertainment budget (but of course account for it as such).

- Allow both myself and my wife to periodically treat ourselves. We'd like to enjoy our time together now, not just in retirement - one does not need to completely compromise the other.

- Find a means of effectively managing our money that doesn't consume our time - and use some of that saved time to educate ourselves in a way that will increase our earning power.
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Postby Karl » Mon May 04, 2009 5:27 am

I've always been CHEAP. The C-word was deemed one of the ultimate insults in our consumer nation.
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Postby retiredjg » Mon May 04, 2009 11:19 am

paddyshack wrote:Wow - this thread really scares me - and that excludes the obvious sarcastic ones. If being a Boglehead means cutting my own hair and spending a lot of effort on things generally amount to mouse nuts, then I'm very underqualified.

I do not think being a Boglehead requires being cheap at all. However, I think people who tend in that direction are likely to end up in the Boglehead camp.
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Postby Karl » Mon May 04, 2009 11:54 am

Hey, I cut my own hair too. It's not like I'm going to pay somebody for a style that takes zero skill. Put guard of length wanted on clipper and go at it. Not exactly rocket science. It's not much of challenge for me to get my hair 3 mm all around.

And the clipper cost under $10 (including tax) at Walmart. I don't like it as much as the better one I had before, but that one died last fall after more than a decade of faithful service. And this new one was the overall best I could find after considerable searching.
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Postby arthurb999 » Mon May 04, 2009 2:50 pm

I'm currently trying to get out of debt so following a lot of the frugal ideas that are included in this thread. It really adds up.
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