I really love the forum, but...

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
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snyder66
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I really love the forum, but...

Post by snyder66 »

There is one thing that I noticed is a recurring theme. I realize that, in one way or another, we all are frugal to some extent. But, One thing that really bothers me is...Whenever someone starts a thread about spending money on a certain purchase. Whether it be a new car, a smartphone, a vacation, etc. Ther is always someone out there that just can't fathom how you can spend money on this particular item. Why is this? If we all all being responsible with our money, presumably have very little debt. Why can't we splurge on someone that we find value in. Live and let live. I'm pretty sure if I dig into that person's finances there is something that I would find outrageous as an expenditure. We all have our own like and dislikes...Like a wise country singer once said: Save your strength for things that you can change, forgive the ones you can't
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Post by hsv_climber »

OTOH, I'd claim the opposite. If someone is really need to ask on the Internet forum either he should (or should not) to buy an X item then it is 90-100% then he is either does not really need it or can not afford it.

When a person really wants/needs something then he won't ask strangers about it.
Wagnerjb
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Post by Wagnerjb »

I agree with your comments, and I suspect some folks honestly struggle with achieving financial balance in their lives. They are driven to scrimp and save, and cannot bring themselves to enjoy the fruits of their sacrifices. The advice they offer is "save as much as you can", rather than "save an appropriate amount".

Thankfully, the vast majority of folks seem to have good balance so I don't let the needlessly frugal ones get to me. They are entitled to their opinion. But I do believe a forum like this loses credibility when it is overrun by a focus on (for example) driving the cheapest car or saving money on 44 cent stamps.

Save an appropriate amount, and enjoy the rest. You earned it.

Best wishes.
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Post by bb »

Threads limited to investing advice avoids the problem.
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Post by Ron »

I would say that most people read these posts and try to frame them in to their own "view" of what is correct (which is only their opinion :lol: ).

I especially like the ones that ask you for an opinion and when you give it, argue with you that it is "incorrect" or mentioned by another that it is wrong (hey, the question was asked, I gave my opinion based upon the OP's request. You don't like it? Tough. Give your own opinion and shut up :twisted: ).

I had one person comment on the car I drove was not in the same manner of what his father drove, at the same age. Heck that was not even the person’s response but based upon what his father "thought".

I've learned over time that you need to toughen up a bit on this (or any other) forum. Give your sincere opinion/answer to a question. If others don't "approve", tough. The best you can do for your own sanity is just to ignore them, and don't engage in any dialogue at all.

I follow the old rule of “what you think of me is none of my business”. It's as simple as that, IMHO.

- Ron
Last edited by Ron on Fri Feb 18, 2011 8:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
wellmoneyed
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Post by wellmoneyed »

hsv_climber wrote:OTOH, I'd claim the opposite. If someone is really need to ask on the Internet forum either he should (or should not) to buy an X item then it is 90-100% then he is either does not really need it or can not afford it.

When a person really wants/needs something then he won't ask strangers about it.
Can I afford and is it normal given my financial position to buy a new Honda Accord? You have lots of readily available data to help you make that decision.

Replace Honda Accord with Ferrari and the data is less available. You might not feel comfortable discussing this with your friends who don't know your financial position. Posting anonymously on a board seems like a pretty good sounding board. Given the frugal nature of the board - not overly helpful. But posting here and on a Ferrari board would likely yield a reasonable view. :D
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Post by bottlecap »

I think its this way because everyone is different and, let's face it, everyone thinks their way is at least a little bit better. In short, the people who post here are human.

Conversely, there is invariably someone who also responds by saying, "Go for it, live a little, you've earned it," without knowing whether that's really the right thing, either.

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Post by NoVa Lurker »

hsv_climber wrote:OTOH, I'd claim the opposite. If someone is really need to ask on the Internet forum either he should (or should not) to buy an X item then it is 90-100% then he is either does not really need it or can not afford it.

When a person really wants/needs something then he won't ask strangers about it.
Agree that when people really need something, they won't ask strangers about it.

It's the "want" category that is tough.

I have never posted a "want" question on this forum, but I completely understand when people do. We have very little training in how to evaluate our wants. As a result, our spending vs. saving decisions can be so haphazard.

Not sure anyone can really help with that too much, though.
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Post by retcaveman »

There's a difference between sharing a point-of-view or one's personal experience or preference vs arguing that someone is "wrong" for doing whatever they want or plan to do.

I am always happy to share my thoughts/opinions about things, but acknowledge that others can accept or reject them.

In deciding what to do, I welcome suggestions for expanding my thinking on issues, but reserve the right to make my own decisions.

My motive in sharing my experience/perspective is an attempt to be helpful, even when that is not aligned with what a poster is doing or planning to do.
"The wants of mortals are containers that can never be filled." (Socrates)
sscritic
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Post by sscritic »

snyder66:

I agree with you about some of the responses we see. People need to lighten up. In the thread on "does buying generics lower your self-esteem," I gave an honest answer of yes. Someone responded with "is this a joke?"

The others who wrote about how smug and superior they feel when they see others not buy generics were being honest, but that's the problem: people feel smug and superior about their own choices, and they can't help spreading the good news about how superior they are.
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Post by staythecourse »

My advice in these situations are always the same:

Spend money on life experiences vs. material goods.

If the new car is going to give you happiness do it. Just don't buy it so you can "run with the joneses" because as much as anyone tries there will always be someone else who has more.

Good luck.
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Post by nokkieny »

Well for one thing we don't know the financial situation of the person buying the item it could be completely different, I have never shot down a purchase, most likely for that reason alone.. But I can say one thing that upsets me and maybe others which would lead to such remarks is being upset with the burden given to each other by those who buy things they can't afford. Might not be the case for the person that bought something here but it was the case for 1 million other people who got bailed out etc..
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Post by rai »

Wagnerjb wrote:I do believe a forum like this loses credibility when it is overrun by a focus on (for example) driving the cheapest car.

Save an appropriate amount, and enjoy the rest. You earned it.

Best wishes.
yea, this is annoying, a person who starts a thread feels he has to give his credibility. For example a poster will start a thread like this: "I have a 12 year old Civic with 200K miles, I change my own oil, we eat pasta at home that costs us $5 per meal, we keep the thermostat at 60 degrees in the winter etc..."

those people may think they are 'the bomb'. "Look at me, I am more frugal than you."

I don't mind it of it's related to what they are talking about. But often it's just random like they want to show how evil it is for someone to buy a nice car or buy something for a value that is more than it's utility.

I was talking to a friend of mine, we both are into (expensive) cars. We were talking about this or that, new wheels or performance modification. Another guy sits down and starts telling us that he drives a 10 year old car with a hundred dents, the bumper is falling off, you can't even see a place where it doesn't have dents (etc..).

I wanted to say "well isn't that special, you want a cookie?"

the point is, me and my friend talking about cars, weren't bothering anyone. We like nice cars, we spend more than necessary for cars. This other guy thought he was being smart, (just as well he could have said: 'you guys are wasting your money on a car, they will get dented, look I am the smart one driving a POS not spending money on a nice car). I wanted to say to him, show me your net worth. Just because I spend money on nice cars or other things does not mean I am not saving as well. I can do both. I don't think I have to live like a monk in order to win a cheapness award. Life is worth living and sometimes you need to spend money to get the better things.
Last edited by rai on Fri Feb 18, 2011 10:39 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by rob »

wellmoneyed wrote:But posting here and on a Ferrari board would likely yield a reasonable view. :D
So your saying we would say yes and them no :wink: On that basis - One hand on a hotplate and the other holding dry ice would make you "comfortable on average" :shock: :D

My only advice on that topic is to NEVER drive one... even an old one (maybe especially an old one) :evil: In fact, don't even look at one. Otherwise you develop this thing that's hard to put in words..... that can probably described better then me by visiting the red car forums :-)
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frugalhen
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Re: I really love the forum, but...

Post by frugalhen »

snyder66 wrote:There is one thing that I noticed is a recurring theme. I realize that, in one way or another, we all are frugal to some extent. But, One thing that really bothers me is...Whenever someone starts a thread about spending money on a certain purchase. Whether it be a new car, a smartphone, a vacation, etc. Ther is always someone out there that just can't fathom how you can spend money on this particular item. Why is this? If we all all being responsible with our money, presumably have very little debt. Why can't we splurge on someone that we find value in. Live and let live. I'm pretty sure if I dig into that person's finances there is something that I would find outrageous as an expenditure. We all have our own like and dislikes...Like a wise country singer once said: Save your strength for things that you can change, forgive the ones you can't
I understand your feeling. I think the key word is BALANCE. Having a mindset that you control and are responsible for your money but not a slave to it is the key.

I believe I am frugal in most things and feel as though it is important to delay gratification of today for something better tomorrow. Having said that, it is important to live life and realize, saving all the money in the world will not allow you to live forever.

It is important not to have any regrets. I regret not taking my dad on a mediterranean cruise before he passed away. I have great memories of him, but there is something to be said for enjoying the temporal wealth you create with those you love.
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Post by KyleAAA »

I've noticed the same thing on such threads, but I just ignore it. No skin off my back.
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Post by englishgirl »

Sometimes I, for one, need to be reminded that there are cheaper options out there that I might enjoy just as well. I can get fixated that I really *need* to have the Maserati*, when actually I might be almost as happy driving a Lexus, and certainly happier with leftover money in the bank.

Also, it helps to use reasonable people as a sounding board - I'm not necessarily going to go with what the majority of people say, but I'm interested in the opinions. And, let's face it, most of us have run out of investing questions to ask. There's only so much advice you can get on a 3-fund index portfolio. So I look on the questions as part serious and part harmless fun.




*obviously, this is not one of my actual problems. Though I was driving behind a Maserati yesterday and did think it was a mighty fine car, it is way out of my league!
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Post by sscritic »

There seem to be two themes running through the responses, but I think that the OP was speaking only about one.

The two themes:
1) We should be respectful of others on the forum that don't make the choices we make.
2) We should have balance in our spending

I believe that the OP was addressing the first issue, not the second. Look at the title of the thread. Look at what he writes first. Having balance only came into his post as an argument for being respectful of others' choices.
I really love the forum, but...
There is one thing that I noticed is a recurring theme. I realize that, in one way or another, we all are frugal to some extent. But, One thing that really bothers me is...Whenever someone starts a thread about spending money on a certain purchase. Whether it be a new car, a smartphone, a vacation, etc. Ther is always someone out there that just can't fathom how you can spend money on this particular item.
This is a question of how we treat each other on the forum.
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Post by DRiP Guy »

Ron wrote: I follow the old rule of “what you think of me is none of my business”. It's as simple as that, IMHO.

- Ron
I like that! Not only did I not know that was an old rule, it's one I've never heard overtly expressed that way before. I find it amusing that last night's Seinfeld rerun happened to be about George running around trying to make a girlfriend of Jerry's like him. The more distaste she eyes George with,and the more hostile she is, the more committed he is to focus on what he can do to change her mind. He loses his own girlfriend over the matter, and obsesses totally. Good program, good cautionary message.
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Post by LadyGeek »

englishgirl wrote:And, let's face it, most of us have run out of investing questions to ask..
May I suggest taking a look at the wiki? The best way to learn something is to try to teach it. The wiki is an excellent way to learn a variety of investing topics.

Pick a topic from: Wiki Articles in Need of Improvement. Then:

- Become a wiki editor and fix it yourself.
- Post an update in the Suggestions for the Wiki thread.
- Post a forum question about the topic, then provide a link in the Suggestions for the Wiki thread.

(Update: Added quote, rephrased comments.)
Last edited by LadyGeek on Fri Feb 18, 2011 10:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Dagwood »

I've noticed this too, but as sscritic said I think it is a question of being respectful of other people's views and how we treat one another.

Only other thing I would add is that reading a divergent set of opinions can be helpful. If I see that people out there do things differently than I do, it can help me to reconsider if whether what I am doing, or spending, is really the best approach for me. I am more likely to undertake such reconsideration when the opposing views are stated respectfully. Naturally, we all get defensive when someone attempts to beat us over the head with his or her views. So being polite is not only right, but it's also likely more persuasive in the longer-term.
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Post by DocHolliday »

If someone posts a question on here regarding a purchase, they deserve any of the responses received. They made the post hoping for responses. Of course, the responses must be taken with a grain of salt at this site because frugal is a reoccuring theme. At least it gives the original poster something to think about.
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Re: I really love the forum, but...

Post by JupiterJones »

snyder66 wrote: Why can't we splurge on someone that we find value in.
I think every single person on this forum would agree that, if your finances are in order, and if there is value in a purchase, it's perfectly okay to splurge on it. (In fact, I think most of us wouldn't even see it as "splurging".)

The conflict arises because "value" is at least partially a subjective concept, for which two different people can have widely different--yet perfectly valid--ideas.

Just about every purchasing decision argument on this forum boils down to people not understanding that previous sentence.

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Post by chaz »

Freedom of speech and differing opinions are OK as long as civility prevails.
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Post by livesoft »

One should be unemotional about their investing.
One should be unemotional about what they read or post on internet forums.
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Post by pochax »

livesoft wrote:One should be unemotional about their investing.
One should be unemotional about what they read or post on internet forums.
except the pleasure derived from the unemotional activity - whether it be investing (with positive results) or scouring internet forums :wink:
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Re: I really love the forum, but...

Post by VictoriaF »

snyder66 wrote:I really love the forum, but... I realize that, in one way or another, we all are frugal to some extent.
This conclusively proves that money can't buy you love.

:twisted:

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Post by marie17 »

I have asked financial questions like you have in the past:
http://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtop ... highlight=

I got very strong conservative comments. Every single one I got, I appreciated. It gave me another view of things. One person was appalled that I had a car loan with my income, despite the fact that the loan interest is 0.9% (which I stated). Still, even that made me think. (I still have the car loan though)

People on this board are very frugal. They are also very smart. And very RICH.
Last edited by marie17 on Fri Feb 18, 2011 12:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by wander »

I think it is nice that you have answers from all aspects then weigh them accordingly.
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Post by sscritic »

It's not just someone asks a question and people answer it in different ways. I think as many, if not more, posts are in response to posts from other posters as are in response to the OP. It is in the secondary responses that you see more of the implied "you are an idiot." These are not directed to the OP, just to each other.
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Post by VictoriaF »

sscritic wrote:It is in the secondary responses that you see more of the implied "you are an idiot." These are not directed to the OP, just to each other.
That would never be directed to you. You were only accused of kidding.

:lol:

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Post by White Coat Investor »

Part of the issue is some of us are in a completely different financial class than others. Those of us who have been living on $40K a year or $60K a year don't interact with people who buy $5K watches anywhere but on this forum. Sometimes it is just a bit of a culture shock to realize there are people with a great deal more income or wealth than ourselves. Likewise, when I see someone talking about what to do with their $3M windfall, it's hard for me to imagine.

Also, every now and then someone needs a slap upside the head to realize they're being stupid with money. Young folks with $4K saved buying $30K cars on credit for instance. No one else in their lives is telling them that's stupid, so we have to.
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Post by bearcub »

,,,,,
Last edited by bearcub on Mon Jun 20, 2011 3:01 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by hsv_climber »

EmergDoc wrote: Likewise, when I see someone talking about what to do with their $3M windfall, it's hard for me to imagine.
EmergDoc, you are also officially allowed to talk on the internet board about what to do with the $3M windfall. :wink:

(It is not like other posters will ask you to show them the actual money).
Last edited by hsv_climber on Fri Feb 18, 2011 12:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Judsen »

I think that as a group we Bogleheads are opposed to "conspicuous consumption" or materialist competition but we are almost all willing to indulge ourselves with our earned rewards. It just depends on what we value and value is key. I for one get a great deal of pleasure in converting a good deal into a better deal. Who doesn't?
We are sometimes frugal with pennies and generous with dollars. The point is we can afford to be generous with dollars because we have been frugal with pennies.
We want a philosophy that has worked for us to be of benefit to our children and their children.
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Re: I really love the forum, but...

Post by Fallible »

snyder66 wrote:There is one thing that I noticed is a recurring theme. I realize that, in one way or another, we all are frugal to some extent. But, One thing that really bothers me is...Whenever someone starts a thread about spending money on a certain purchase. Whether it be a new car, a smartphone, a vacation, etc. Ther is always someone out there that just can't fathom how you can spend money on this particular item. Why is this? If we all all being responsible with our money, presumably have very little debt. Why can't we splurge on someone that we find value in. Live and let live. I'm pretty sure if I dig into that person's finances there is something that I would find outrageous as an expenditure. We all have our own like and dislikes...Like a wise country singer once said: Save your strength for things that you can change, forgive the ones you can't
If I start a thread seeking opinions of others, hopefully that's what I'll get. I may not agree with all of them, but that's not really the point (although it's probably the opinions I DON'T agree with that I most need to hear.) The point is to get those varied opinions, thoughts I've never thought, new alternatives, all of which give me more information and new perspective. For me, the forum does this beautifully.
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Post by monkey_business »

Any expenses beyond basic necessities are purely subjective. From a financial standpoint, the important point is whether the subjective expenses are reasonable given the individual's financial goals. All other considerations are usually up to the individual to ponder.
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Post by tim1999 »

I agree with the OP.

I bet if Ted "Unabomber" Kaczynski posted on this board about his thoughts on frugality and basic no-frills living, it would shut up most of the "frugal preachers" who look down on those who like to live a little and God forbid, not save every dime they earn. :roll:
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Post by eucalyptus »

"Replace Honda Accord with Ferrari and the data is less available. You might not feel comfortable discussing this with your friends who don't know your financial position. Posting anonymously on a board seems like a pretty good sounding board. Given the frugal nature of the board - not overly helpful. But posting here and on a Ferrari board would likely yield a reasonable view."


Pretty much all the discussions here about Accords and the like take place on the Ferrari Boards - cost of ownership, appropriate income for ownership, reliability, safety, even vegan alternatives to leather upholstery.
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Post by verbose »

I understand OP's frustration. The same thing happens on computer programming boards. You ask a "how do I do x" question and the answer is "don't do x". In most cases, this answer is useless and annoying.

However, I've also noticed that many of the purchase thread posters seem to be in love with their future purchase. They're totally caught up in how smart they are to pick brand X over brand Y or get interest rate Z. While this can be valid, it smells of rationalization ("I keep my mortgage for the tax deduction.") and begs to be confronted.
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Post by DRiP Guy »

Cherokee8215 wrote:I agree with the OP.

I bet if Ted "Unabomber" Kaczynski posted on this board about his thoughts on frugality and basic no-frills living, it would shut up most of the "frugal preachers" who look down on those who like to live a little and God forbid, not save every dime they earn. :roll:
I think I saw this on a recent thread:
1) 3.0 ($300 versus $900)
2) 3.0 ($300 versus $900)
3) 1971

Ted

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Post by laughlinlvr »

I was recently told of an individual I once knew (as a woman) who's had sex re-assignment surgery.

One of my first thoughts was that I hoped she wouldn't be scrimping on the health insurance.
Last edited by laughlinlvr on Fri Feb 18, 2011 4:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by zinnia »

I enjoy reading responses to these types of discussions. This is a very civil board. If not, we would see the word cheap used more and frugal used less.
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Post by Atilla »

If you don't care what other people think in an anonymous online forum the problem goes away.

We're going to Vegas in April - gonna gamble and eat in expensive restaurants and stay in a 2-room suite.

And we're going to do it again over the Labor day holiday with some friends joining us.

When we go we take a limo rather than a cab to and from the airport. We like to hit the baggage carousel and see a guy in a suit holding a sign with our last name. :lol:
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Post by Dingle »

I really love this forum but.......

sometime things get misunderstood so badly that it becomes a distraction to the actual meaning
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Post by rec7 »

EmergDoc wrote:Part of the issue is some of us are in a completely different financial class than others. Those of us who have been living on $40K a year or $60K a year don't interact with people who buy $5K watches anywhere but on this forum. Sometimes it is just a bit of a culture shock to realize there are people with a great deal more income or wealth than ourselves. Likewise, when I see someone talking about what to do with their $3M windfall, it's hard for me to imagine.

Also, every now and then someone needs a slap upside the head to realize they're being stupid with money. Young folks with $4K saved buying $30K cars on credit for instance. No one else in their lives is telling them that's stupid, so we have to.
EmergDoc I think you hit the nail on the head. I am low income and some of the stuff I read shocks the daylights out of me. I don't mean any harm to the OP I am just shocked.
Disclaimer: You might lose money doing anything I say. Although that was not my intent. | Favorite song: Sometimes He Whispers Jay Parrack
eucalyptus
Posts: 718
Joined: Tue Apr 24, 2007 1:24 pm

Post by eucalyptus »

Atilla wrote:If you don't care what other people think in an anonymous online forum the problem goes away.

We're going to Vegas in April - gonna gamble and eat in expensive restaurants and stay in a 2-room suite.

And we're going to do it again over the Labor day holiday with some friends joining us.

When we go we take a limo rather than a cab to and from the airport. We like to hit the baggage carousel and see a guy in a suit holding a sign with our last name. :lol:

Wow, that's disgraceful! You're throwing away money you could spend on expensive cars! I just don't understand some people. ;)
leonard
Posts: 5993
Joined: Wed Feb 21, 2007 11:56 am

Post by leonard »

livesoft wrote:One should be unemotional about their investing.
One should be unemotional about what they read or post on internet forums.
What's the motivation to post, then?
Leonard | | Market Timing: Do you seriously think you can predict the future? What else do the voices tell you? | | If employees weren't taking jobs with bad 401k's, bad 401k's wouldn't exist.
tim1999
Posts: 3818
Joined: Tue Dec 16, 2008 7:16 am

Post by tim1999 »

DRiP Guy wrote: 1) 3.0 ($300 versus $900)
2) 3.0 ($300 versus $900)
3) 1971

Ted

:
In all seriousness, this (and photo) gave me the biggest laugh I have had on a long time here...thank you. :D
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DRiP Guy
Posts: 2241
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 4:54 pm

Post by DRiP Guy »

Cherokee8215 wrote:
DRiP Guy wrote: 1) 3.0 ($300 versus $900)
2) 3.0 ($300 versus $900)
3) 1971

Ted

:
In all seriousness, this (and photo) gave me the biggest laugh I have had on a long time here...thank you. :D
I aim to please... well, or at least get a cheap laugh.... :lol:

Seriously, though, I appreciate you taking the time to say something -- sometimes I'm not sure if my attempts at humor are appreciated or just seen as an annoyance. Probably both.... heh heh.
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