The difficulty of discarding frugality?

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midareff
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The difficulty of discarding frugality?

Post by midareff » Wed Nov 13, 2019 9:12 am

I would not say cheap.. well, maybe just a little but mostly best bang for the buck frugal type of guy (couple now) with a modest life style and a high percentage of earnings saved throughout the 46 years I worked. Of course, much more savings in the later years when pay and employment stature had grown, but always very cautious of expenses. LOL, I just remembered my first company stock purchase plan I put in $4 a week to get the company $5 a month matching bucks. .. long, long time ago in a far distant galaxy. Toward the later employment years lunch buddies were dropping $2 or $2.50 on a soda with lunch daily and I'm getting a cup of free municipal water and still investing the extra $40 - $50 a month. That kind of frugal, but eating the same burger, chicken, steak sandwich or whatever. Drove cars long time.. 7 - 11 years generally based on experienced reliability. .. and so forth. Modest but nice residences, never the biggest model on the block or most space in the condo.

Coming up on 8 years retired and thank you dear Uncle Jack. State pension (well funded state) and SS can pay all the monthly bills. Portfolio at VPW withdrawal rate funds travel and luxuries. I'm able to (psychologically) to write the travel check, got over the car life cycle thing 2 years ago but things like a new suit, a new phone after 4 models and such are still a real problem pulling the trigger when they are easily afforded.

Dealing with the fruits of labor has been a bit of an issue for me since the high savings rate days have been gone and frankly, with the bull, decumulation isn't decumulating. Do any of you have problems pulling the trigger despite being well able (not for frivolous items, high end jewelry and such) and how have you handled the issue?

Thanks in advance for all comments.

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Re: The difficulty of discarding frugality?

Post by Raybo » Wed Nov 13, 2019 9:20 am

I'm like you.

I have decided that anything below $1,000 is a spend on impulse amount. Since I don't have many impulses to buy, it works for me. Things above that amount, require some thinking and/or agreement with my wife (who has her own spending calculus :happy ).
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Re: The difficulty of discarding frugality?

Post by michaeljc70 » Wed Nov 13, 2019 9:24 am

My parents easily cover all their expenses with pensions plus have a 7 figure portfolio. Monday my father went for free meals for Veterans Day for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Old habits die hard. I think an incremental approach works best. Repeat spending on the things you enjoy and feel you get the most out of. There really is no reason to spend just to spend because you have the money.

You also don't have to go extreme on things. You don't have to buy a new, expensive car every 3 years. You can buy a nicer car and still keep it 10 years. You can buy a nicer car that is a couple of years old. You can buy a less expensive car and keep it shorter periods. Same with vacations. I spend more on hotels where I will be using the amenities (pool) or the location will be important and less when I am just sleeping there.

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Re: The difficulty of discarding frugality?

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Wed Nov 13, 2019 9:27 am

I'm similar. I make deals with myself. For example, I really like offroading in my Jeep on weekends with a club that gets access to great properties. Protecting the Jeep means spending money on things like skid plates. I've decided that I'll spend $137 on a gas tank skid plate once my RSUs vest and hit my account, Friday. Should yield $10k after taxes. Could you do that? Take a small windfall and earmark a small part of it toward something you'd want?
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Re: The difficulty of discarding frugality?

Post by MikeG62 » Wed Nov 13, 2019 9:32 am

midareff wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 9:12 am
Do any of you have problems pulling the trigger despite being well able (not for frivolous items, high end jewelry and such) and how have you handled the issue?
No I do not. The reason we saved all those years is so we could retire early (me at 53 DW at 51) and live life to the fullest in retirement.

We have a plan and we are trusting that plan and the process we have in place which sets our annual spending.
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Re: The difficulty of discarding frugality?

Post by frugalmama » Wed Nov 13, 2019 9:38 am

I will be following this thread carefully as I could have written it myself. I am a bit behind you...as we aren't nearing retirement yet...but we continue to amass quite a large amount despite our large family and job choices (we downgraded to less stressful jobs about 10 and 20 years ago after we figured out we were going to have way more than enough). I am wired this way - I started my IRA when I got my first job at 16 and am inately a saver. I think some of it is that I like the challenge of frugality, the efficiency of it. I don't like waste.

I think for me it is going to be about living what I'm passionate about as I don't care for lots of "stuff". I love to travel so I can see myself spending on that and possibly taking family members with me. I care about education so I will pay for grandchildren's, etc. if I can. I also like to give...so I will enjoy seeking out causes and making a difference that way (I like the personal interaction so it will probably be needs I find as I volunteer rather than just writing a check).

I do question if I really will be able to let go though as we will definitely retire on more money than we have now and have a much smaller household. I also find security in it...how do we know what the future will bring to us or our family and whether or not we will need it. It helps to have a spouse that is frugal but not AS frugal as my spouse reminds me to "enjoy life" a little more and encourages me to let go. I am curious to know how others have done it. I think I won't disgard it, but rather create the same efficiency in dispersing it as I have in accumulating it if that makes sense. - In a very thoughtful process.

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Re: The difficulty of discarding frugality?

Post by willthrill81 » Wed Nov 13, 2019 9:38 am

I define frugal as attempting to get as much value as you can from the money you spend. Those who are cheap do not want to spend money, likely out of fear. There can be some overlap between the two, but it sounds as though you are mostly frugal but a little cheap. I'm not sure that there is a better 'cure' for being cheap than being generous with one's resources: time, money, and effort.
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Re: The difficulty of discarding frugality?

Post by Vanguard Fan 1367 » Wed Nov 13, 2019 9:40 am

I have read and am experiencing the reality that a lifetime of frugality is difficult to change. But I am at a different level than a loved one who grew up during the depression. That loved one has had a lifetime of living below her means and her means started out pretty low as she was born poor in 1926.

It is nice that this loved one has some nice savings and doesn't ask for financial help.

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Re: The difficulty of discarding frugality?

Post by RickBoglehead » Wed Nov 13, 2019 9:43 am

There have been similar threads to this. We're less than 2 years to retirement, and my plan of attack is to set budgets for specific things and then spend them.

We've never had a budget. We spend carefully, tracking every penny, so we know what we spend. Our spending makes many look like Bill Gates - for example, groceries year to date through end of October, extrapolated out for a full year, work out to less than $70 a week, $280 a month, for two. Dining out adds $15 a week to that number, $60 a month.

So, in retirement, we WANT to dine out more. We want to go out on our boat. Therefore, we will set a budget for the boat of using say $25 in gas a week, and use it. We'll set a dining out budget of say $200 a month, and use it. We'll set a travel budget of $10,000 a year, and use it.

I also plan on buying things that today we over analyze and don't buy, sometimes because "that would be a pain to move". For example, I plan on buying a nice homebrewing setup even though it will never pay off. I plan on having a nice place to do it, even if I have to build a shed or outbuilding.

That's the plan anyway. Our annual spending currently is roughly 60% of what I've budgeted for in retirement, for which we currently have 25 years worth.

My in-laws grew up in the depression. My FIL died in 2017 and said, among other things, "I regret being a cheap SOB". I don't want that regret.
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Re: The difficulty of discarding frugality?

Post by KlangFool » Wed Nov 13, 2019 9:47 am

OP,

1) I save a lot of money. But, I am not frugal.

2) I do "Pay Yourself First" saving method and I spend the rest.

3) I enjoy good food, coffee, and tea.

4) I enjoy good music.

5) I eat out regularly my whole life.

I know what I like and where I would spend more money.

A) I bought an electric bike last year.

B) I will be buying a Karaoke system this week and do some singing at home.

C) I upgraded my tea by buying expensive tea.

In summary, I enjoy certain stuff in life and I would spend more money on it.

What do you enjoy doing?

KlangFool

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Re: The difficulty of discarding frugality?

Post by willthrill81 » Wed Nov 13, 2019 9:50 am

KlangFool wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 9:47 am
I know what I like and where I would spend more money.
This is where most people go off the tracks. Their spending does not reflect what is truly valuable to them. A wise person knows what really brings him value, spends generously on that, and spends little or no more than necessary on everything else.
“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” J.R.R. Tolkien,The Lord of the Rings

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Re: The difficulty of discarding frugality?

Post by midareff » Wed Nov 13, 2019 9:53 am

willthrill81 wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 9:38 am
I define frugal as attempting to get as much value as you can from the money you spend. Those who are cheap do not want to spend money, likely out of fear. There can be some overlap between the two, but it sounds as though you are mostly frugal but a little cheap. I'm not sure that there is a better 'cure' for being cheap than being generous with one's resources: time, money, and effort.
Very good point Will. I'm definitely the former, this wife (not my first) is definitely the second.

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Re: The difficulty of discarding frugality?

Post by midareff » Wed Nov 13, 2019 9:59 am

KlangFool wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 9:47 am
OP,

1) I save a lot of money. But, I am not frugal.

2) I do "Pay Yourself First" saving method and I spend the rest.

3) I enjoy good food, coffee, and tea.

4) I enjoy good music.

5) I eat out regularly my whole life.

I know what I like and where I would spend more money.

A) I bought an electric bike last year.

B) I will be buying a Karaoke system this week and do some singing at home.

C) I upgraded my tea by buying expensive tea.

In summary, I enjoy certain stuff in life and I would spend more money on it.

What do you enjoy doing?

KlangFool
1. through 5. fit here Klang. .. like Genevalia Coffee and have gotten some excellent teas from Tea Spring online. Good service and prompt delivery from China. Perhaps an internet streamer is my kind of match for B.? Yeah, coffee, tea, high quality audio/video, photography, travel.....

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Re: The difficulty of discarding frugality?

Post by KlangFool » Wed Nov 13, 2019 10:08 am

midareff wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 9:59 am
KlangFool wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 9:47 am
OP,

1) I save a lot of money. But, I am not frugal.

2) I do "Pay Yourself First" saving method and I spend the rest.

3) I enjoy good food, coffee, and tea.

4) I enjoy good music.

5) I eat out regularly my whole life.

I know what I like and where I would spend more money.

A) I bought an electric bike last year.

B) I will be buying a Karaoke system this week and do some singing at home.

C) I upgraded my tea by buying expensive tea.

In summary, I enjoy certain stuff in life and I would spend more money on it.

What do you enjoy doing?

KlangFool
1. through 5. fit here Klang. .. like Genevalia Coffee and have gotten some excellent teas from Tea Spring online. Good service and prompt delivery from China. Perhaps an internet streamer is my kind of match for B.? Yeah, coffee, tea, high quality audio/video, photography, travel.....
midareff,

1) Tea -> check out Upton tea
https://www.uptontea.com/

<<Genevalia Coffee>>

2) Not good enough for me. I tend to shop around for our local micro coffee roaster.

<<Perhaps an internet streamer is my kind of match for B.? >>

3) I used to sing in an amateur choir. To really hear everything, you would need a Sony Monitor Headphone. They are used by professional sound engineers for mixing music.

https://www.amazon.com/Sony-MDR7506-Pro ... B000AJIF4E

4) Most music CDs are not good enough. Check out some Audiophile Music CDs

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=Audiophile+M ... _sb_noss_2

KlangFool

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Re: The difficulty of discarding frugality?

Post by Shallowpockets » Wed Nov 13, 2019 10:11 am

I have started to live my life using situational frugality. It could be phrased in reverse since my baseline is frugal. Call it, situational generously (to myself). That is generosity that is not extravagant.
This is where you don’t just go for the cheapest.you are willing to pay up for something that you can afford in your new financial world. Paying up to have the criteria of convenience, better product, one time. Maybe one, maybe all three.
It is not an overall lessening of the pursestrings, it depends on when and where. A few steps over the line of my frugality, but a return to baseline afterwards.
Then I see how it feels afterwards. Because that is when you learn. Do you have regret? Did it break you? Was it “worth it”, even in retrospect.

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Re: The difficulty of discarding frugality?

Post by Cyclesafe » Wed Nov 13, 2019 10:48 am

Ah, the scarce resource is now time. Invest your bounty to maximize your enjoyment of it. Sooner than latter, as one by one the options for pleasure drop away.
"Plans are useless; planning is indispensable.” - Dwight Eisenhower

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Re: The difficulty of discarding frugality?

Post by BlueEars » Wed Nov 13, 2019 10:49 am

This is sort of fun to talk about.

When at restaurants I have to remember to not go after the lower cost dishes just to save money. We will probably replace our 18 year old Camry this coming year. We could easily have afforded a Mercedes but DW loves her car. Might replace with the new hybrid Honda CRV coming out in 2020. :happy

Buy that up to date smartphone. I bought an iPhone XR a year ago and it is really awesome. Great for traveling too. Don't forget to take those trips before it is too late.

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Re: The difficulty of discarding frugality?

Post by flyingaway » Wed Nov 13, 2019 10:56 am

After my younger kid left house for his job in another state, I recently decided that we should experience a larger and more desirable lifestyle than we originally planned, and I started doing One More Year(s) to fund the additional expenses.

For example, I spend more money on heating and cooling house (higher utility bill), watering lawn (higher water bill), resuming a very expensive hobby, traveling to Europe with better hotels and food. I am frugal in nature and I still buy price reduced (one day before their expiration date) donuts at Kroger, but I believe most people have an internal desire for better (more expensive) lifestyle, if money is not a problem (or potential problem). In many cases, we withhold spending (live frugally) when we could spend more money, because we do not know what will happen in the future. We worry about potential money shortfall in the future or in later life. We do not know how long we will live. There are lots of uncertainties in the future.

One way of reducing some uncertainties is to keep working (OMY), which may not be the case if you are retired. I am going to evaluate my situations on an every six month basis.

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Re: The difficulty of discarding frugality?

Post by delamer » Wed Nov 13, 2019 11:03 am

Being in our mid-60’s now, we put a higher value on being comfortable than we did 20 years ago.

So we find it easier to spend on things like nice cars and upgraded airline seats.

And we prioritize spending time with our kids as a family, so anything that encourages that is money well spent (like a nice dinner out).

I stress much less about finding good deals on inexpensive purchases too. My time is worth more than the $10 I’ll save by shopping at multiple grocery stores to get the best price on food staples.

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Re: The difficulty of discarding frugality?

Post by HomeStretch » Wed Nov 13, 2019 11:05 am

It’s a hard mentality to shed for some. It’s good to work on it as it can become more problematic as one ages and needs to spend money to provide day-to-day assistance to continue to live independently IMO,

I see it with parents/in-laws in their 80s. They have trouble recognizing that the most frugal way isn’t the way to go when you need assistance with day-to-day matters. Just one example - while it’s less expensive to go to the store to pickup groceries, if they can’t walk around the store or drive it’s necessary to pay a $5 home delivery fee and forfeit a few coupons.

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Re: The difficulty of discarding frugality?

Post by Afty » Wed Nov 13, 2019 11:22 am

Can you start off with small indulgences, like ordering a more expensive item at a restaurant, buying a daily coffee at your favorite shop, maybe buy a nicer version of something you already have and use a lot, etc.?

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Re: The difficulty of discarding frugality?

Post by willthrill81 » Wed Nov 13, 2019 11:33 am

Cyclesafe wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 10:48 am
Ah, the scarce resource is now time. Invest your bounty to maximize your enjoyment of it. Sooner than latter, as one by one the options for pleasure drop away.
:thumbsup

Far too many ignore that money can be replaced but time cannot.

We would much rather create memories while we're healthy and active than sit on a pile of money when we're unable to do much, although giving to others can still be very enjoyable in the latter stages of one's twilight years.
“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” J.R.R. Tolkien,The Lord of the Rings

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Re: The difficulty of discarding frugality?

Post by NotWhoYouThink » Wed Nov 13, 2019 11:41 am

Watch how your potential heirs spend money. If your kids aren't as frugal with their own money as you are with yours, they won't be as frugal with your money. So do you want to leave it to them to "fritter away" by your standards, or do you want to enjoy it while you can? Probably some of both.

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Re: The difficulty of discarding frugality?

Post by michaeljc70 » Wed Nov 13, 2019 11:43 am

NotWhoYouThink wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 11:41 am
Watch how your potential heirs spend money. If your kids aren't as frugal with their own money as you are with yours, they won't be as frugal with your money. So do you want to leave it to them to "fritter away" by your standards, or do you want to enjoy it while you can? Probably some of both.
Good point. Someone is going to spend it on something sooner or later.

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Re: The difficulty of discarding frugality?

Post by SQRT » Wed Nov 13, 2019 11:46 am

Agree that it is difficult. Time does help somewhat, I think. Doesn’t make sense to spend for spending sake but many (most?) retirees can find something extra to spend or gift on that would be rewarding or enjoyable. In our case it’s mostly luxury cars, luxury travel, gifts to family, and real estate redecorating/rebuilding. Currently 69 so I figure if I don’t do these things now, I’m unlikely to ever. Also, with portfolio at record levels now is the time.

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Re: The difficulty of discarding frugality?

Post by BlueEars » Wed Nov 13, 2019 11:48 am

Afty wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 11:22 am
Can you start off with small indulgences, like ordering a more expensive item at a restaurant, buying a daily coffee at your favorite shop, maybe buy a nicer version of something you already have and use a lot, etc.?
I think this is a great way to get started if one has denied oneself some pleasures over the years. First de-focus on the small savings game.

OK, maybe you order a small coffee instead of a big one but you have started on a path to spending pleasures. Now watch that waist line, maybe some exercise along with those food pleasures. :happy

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Re: The difficulty of discarding frugality?

Post by MikeG62 » Wed Nov 13, 2019 12:12 pm

willthrill81 wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 11:33 am

We would much rather create memories while we're healthy and active than sit on a pile of money when we're unable to do much, although giving to others can still be very enjoyable in the latter stages of one's twilight years.
I’ve heard Charlie Munger say a year or two ago, “if you want to do something or visit someplace don’t wait until you are my age to do it”. Also heard him say, “there is nothing less important to me at my age than money”.
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Re: The difficulty of discarding frugality?

Post by Pitagoras » Wed Nov 13, 2019 12:31 pm

willthrill81 wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 11:33 am

:thumbsup

Far too many ignore that money can be replaced but time cannot.

We would much rather create memories while we're healthy and active than sit on a pile of money when we're unable to do much, although giving to others can still be very enjoyable in the latter stages of one's twilight years.
:thumbsup

It can happen fast, we can get sick, we can die. We should not waste the money unwisely, but it comes a point in life where we should start living it.

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Re: The difficulty of discarding frugality?

Post by flyingaway » Wed Nov 13, 2019 12:45 pm

HomeStretch wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 11:05 am
It’s a hard mentality to shed for some. It’s good to work on it as it can become more problematic as one ages and needs to spend money to provide day-to-day assistance to continue to live independently IMO,

I see it with parents/in-laws in their 80s. They have trouble recognizing that the most frugal way isn’t the way to go when you need assistance with day-to-day matters. Just one example - while it’s less expensive to go to the store to pickup groceries, if they can’t walk around the store or drive it’s necessary to pay a $5 home delivery fee and forfeit a few coupons.
Add $10 more to have them deliver a ready-to-eat meal.

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Re: The difficulty of discarding frugality?

Post by NotWhoYouThink » Wed Nov 13, 2019 1:12 pm

HomeStretch wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 11:05 am
It’s a hard mentality to shed for some. It’s good to work on it as it can become more problematic as one ages and needs to spend money to provide day-to-day assistance to continue to live independently IMO,

I see it with parents/in-laws in their 80s. They have trouble recognizing that the most frugal way isn’t the way to go when you need assistance with day-to-day matters. Just one example - while it’s less expensive to go to the store to pickup groceries, if they can’t walk around the store or drive it’s necessary to pay a $5 home delivery fee and forfeit a few coupons.
"frugal" becomes cheap/abusive when your refusal to spend money causes work for others. If they can afford to pay for housekeeping/laundry/lawn work/home repairs/food delivery, get them started on doing that as soon as possible. Explain that your time has value to you and your family, and that they are taking it from you if they are depending on you for tasks like this.

Not that I'm not willing to help when needed. It's just that we all should help ourselves before expecting help from others.

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Re: The difficulty of discarding frugality?

Post by 123 » Wed Nov 13, 2019 1:13 pm

Over time I have moved from a frugality mindset to adding value, simplification, and down-sizing. I enjoy expenditures more and spend less. When you adopt a mindset to leave a minimum of clutter behind upon your passing, even when you expect that to be years away, it feels good.
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Re: The difficulty of discarding frugality?

Post by HomeStretch » Wed Nov 13, 2019 1:22 pm

flyingaway wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 12:45 pm
Add $10 more to have them deliver a ready-to-eat meal.
NotWhoYouThink wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 1:12 pm
"frugal" becomes cheap/abusive when your refusal to spend money causes work for others. If they can afford to pay for housekeeping/laundry/lawn work/home repairs/food delivery, get them started on doing that as soon as possible. Explain that your time has value to you and your family, and that they are taking it from you if they are depending on you for tasks like this.

Not that I'm not willing to help when needed. It's just that we all should help ourselves before expecting help from others.
Good points. They are working on it. It’s a process to get them to pay for assistance and we are working through it. I would rather spend time with them than spend the entire visit doing chores on top of a 2-hour commute.

OP - it’s good you are thinking about this now as frugality may have to bend to necessity in the future for you to live your best life. Allowing yourself to indulge small “wants” now may help you deal with the transition to paying for necessary assistance later to maintain independence.

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Re: The difficulty of discarding frugality?

Post by cashboy » Wed Nov 13, 2019 1:25 pm

midareff wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 9:12 am
I would not say cheap.. well, maybe just a little but mostly best bang for the buck frugal type of guy (couple now) with a modest life style and a high percentage of earnings saved

I'm able to (psychologically) to write the travel check, got over the car life cycle thing 2 years ago but things like a new suit, a new phone after 4 models and such are still a real problem pulling the trigger when they are easily afforded.

Dealing with the fruits of labor has been a bit of an issue for me since the high savings rate days have been gone and frankly, with the bull, decumulation isn't decumulating. Do any of you have problems pulling the trigger despite being well able (not for frivolous items, high end jewelry and such) and how have you handled the issue?
i am much the same (though not retired as long).

i have found that what works best for me, when it comes to spending, is for me to be 'who i am' rather than 'who i think i should be'. i have been frugal; i am frugal; i will continue to be frugal.

so, if i need a new phone or suit i buy it; if i do not need a new phone or suit i do not buy it (just to have it).

for example, my trusty samsung galaxy s5 is still going strong (and does everything i want) so i will not replace it (yet). :happy

but, i think i need a new suit and should look into getting one. :happy
Three-Fund Portfolio: FSPSX - FXAIX - FXNAX (with slight tilt of CD - CASH - Canned Beans - Rice - Bottled Water)

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Re: The difficulty of discarding frugality?

Post by heyyou » Wed Nov 13, 2019 1:36 pm

Who says that we should discard our previous spending level when we can afford more? That implies we were dissatisfied at the previous level. I didn't notice that.

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Re: The difficulty of discarding frugality?

Post by fposte » Wed Nov 13, 2019 1:49 pm

heyyou wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 1:36 pm
Who says that we should discard our previous spending level when we can afford more? That implies we were dissatisfied at the previous level. I didn't notice that.
I don't think that's necessarily true that it implies dissatisfaction; I can be satisfied and still enjoy more opportunities than I currently do, and a lot of us here quite enjoy our frugality in its own right but still appreciate using our money for things. Of course there are some people who have enough income in the accumulation period that they don't notice much difference, and some people who enjoy a fairly minimalist lifestyle regardless. But for a lot of us it's interesting to think about how to change our mindset to take advantage of some of those opportunities.

I really like Shallowpockets' phrase "situational frugality." For me frugality has been about being informed about my money as well as being careful with it, so I like the idea of retaining some key frugalities while opening up the budget in other areas.

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Re: The difficulty of discarding frugality?

Post by shess » Wed Nov 13, 2019 1:51 pm

midareff wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 9:12 am
Dealing with the fruits of labor has been a bit of an issue for me since the high savings rate days have been gone and frankly, with the bull, decumulation isn't decumulating. Do any of you have problems pulling the trigger despite being well able (not for frivolous items, high end jewelry and such) and how have you handled the issue?
The main thing I've changed is that I'll keep an eye on whether I'm spending more time optimizing a purchase than the purchase is worth. So if there's a $75 version and a $95 version, instead of spending three days reading websites and reviews, I'll try to focus on whether the $95 has any obvious advantages. If it does, instead of spending two hours worrying about whether that advantage is worth $20, I'll just buy the $95 one and move on. I figure as long as I only apply this logic to things under $500 or maybe $1000, I'll have plenty of time to adjust if my spend gets too high.

One nice thing about this is that at some point, I decided it wasn't worthwhile to select gas stations or restaurants based on price (to be fair, I've only ever found one or two really high-priced places I cared for, and they are an hour away). So I've had years without those taking up headspace. Likewise for fees for classes I've been taking, or nice tools for projects I'm working on, etc.

The main minor thing I still watch out for is subscription fees. Don't want to collect too many of those if they aren't being used.

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Re: The difficulty of discarding frugality?

Post by Breezy » Wed Nov 13, 2019 1:57 pm

My ISP is as much behavioral based as nuts & bolts because I'm a compartmentalizer, I'm naturally frugal, and I come from a background where my family had money and lost it. By adding certain behavior-based statements to my ISP, I read them year after year in hopes that I can internalize them, and I think I am:

-- You’ve been saving your whole life. There may be a time when you don’t need to save anymore - embrace that time when it comes! Spend more on travel, the kids, the house, good wine, life! When you’ve “won” the game, celebrate!
-- The goal isn’t to live cheap. It’s to live well. Ideally, we’ll be able to treat ourselves, to live lives of luxury, and to spend plenty on non-essentials. Ideally, we’ll be able to help our children financially and with gifts of time. We want to live in and enjoy the now, with a responsible eye toward the future.

In addition, I track expenses with YNAB and have included the following categories:
-- Future Luxuries ($100/month) - this accumulates and then when I'm booking a hotel room or considering splurging on something, I find myself really happy to spend this allocated money guilt-free and gleefully! I'm getting better and better at spending money on slightly more expensive things & so far, the money spent has always been worth it.
-- Electronics - I regularly set money aside here and then happily buy my Apple products once $$ is accumulated. Psychologically, adding a little bit over time has a way of not making the amount feel so large.
-- "Random Wants" - In this master category, I list things that occur to me as they occur to me, and over time, I either work toward them or delete them. An electric bike, bike hitch for my car, digitizing videos, guest room decor, etc.

Since I have done these things, I've really lightened up in a positive way. With just a few hundred dollars a month, I feel like I'm living large for the first time in my life & it's a good feeling.

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Re: The difficulty of discarding frugality?

Post by flaccidsteele » Wed Nov 13, 2019 2:03 pm

When I think about frugality, the following quote comes to mind:

"There is no reason to grab something that has been manufactured (money) so tightly and worry about losing it. It wasn't even mine to begin with. And it's not going to be mine in the end."

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Re: The difficulty of discarding frugality?

Post by willthrill81 » Wed Nov 13, 2019 2:19 pm

123 wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 1:13 pm
Over time I have moved from a frugality mindset to adding value, simplification, and down-sizing. I enjoy expenditures more and spend less. When you adopt a mindset to leave a minimum of clutter behind upon your passing, even when you expect that to be years away, it feels good.
I would argue that you have probably moved from a cheap mindset to one epitomizing frugality (e.g. spending on what you really value and minimizing everything else).
“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” J.R.R. Tolkien,The Lord of the Rings

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Re: The difficulty of discarding frugality?

Post by JMacDonald » Wed Nov 13, 2019 2:42 pm

michaeljc70 wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 11:43 am
NotWhoYouThink wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 11:41 am
Watch how your potential heirs spend money. If your kids aren't as frugal with their own money as you are with yours, they won't be as frugal with your money. So do you want to leave it to them to "fritter away" by your standards, or do you want to enjoy it while you can? Probably some of both.
Good point. Someone is going to spend it on something sooner or later.
That is what I decided, if I don't spend my money, then someone else will.
Best Wishes, | Joe

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Re: The difficulty of discarding frugality?

Post by Dottie57 » Wed Nov 13, 2019 2:46 pm

I have no problem with small indulgences such as coffee shop spending, a movie online, etc. what I am having problem with is buying a new condo which is slightly bigger than current and has a/c that is not a room a/c , and a 3 season porch. All rooms are slightly bigger. My calculations say I have the money, but I just can’t do it.
Last edited by Dottie57 on Wed Nov 13, 2019 2:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The difficulty of discarding frugality?

Post by nguy44 » Wed Nov 13, 2019 2:47 pm

I have been transitioning into being less frugal - perhaps more LAYM (Living At Your Means) instead of LBYM (Living Below Your Means) in the 17 months I have been retired. Last December's market dip helped (not that I am asking for it to happen again!), as I saw that it did not make a difference in how we could choose to live.

As others have mentioned, time becomes more valuable than money as one ages. So I am fine with spending more to make my wife and I more comfortable. For example, no more looking for the cheapest fare for long flights, we look for the one that is the most convenient and comfortable. Or buying another vehicle (SUV) to give us more driving options based on where we are going and what we need to bring).

But we still do try to avoid to spend just for the sake of spending. We have made mistakes, but nothing major. Silly example, drones have always interested me, so soon after I retired I bought one, not expensive (<$100) to start learning to use and fly. However, I have flown it exactly twice in 17 months. So I did not need to buy it, I could have waited. But, at <$100 this is not going to impact our lifestyle. At least it is still in great condition, should I decide to give it away for sell it for a few bucks on ebay. :happy

Even with spending we still have more than when we retired, thanks to the market, underestimating some of our income, and overestimating some of our expenses (particularly health insurance premiums). While this might make one desire to spend more, we still try to take a measured approach to how we ramp up our spending.

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Re: The difficulty of discarding frugality?

Post by Stoic9 » Wed Nov 13, 2019 3:53 pm

As a kid I was poor, I'm talking third world poor. When I married I handled all savings and investing. Wife handled all check book spending. We are both frugal (she was raised middle class (first world). I started with saving automatically 20% (so roughly living on 65-70% of income after taxes) all the way to 40% by retirement. When I retired my pension was deposited into our checking, wife couldn't believe it was twice 'normal' deposits when I worked. She frugally planned all our travel to Europe and South America. As I entered year 3 of retirement I sat her down to explain where we stood. She said but this isn't real money its like in the stock market. I said what you need to know is you need to spend more money. Happy wife.

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Re: The difficulty of discarding frugality?

Post by shess » Wed Nov 13, 2019 4:29 pm

Dottie57 wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 2:46 pm
I have no problem with small indulgences such as coffee shop spending, a movie online, etc. what I am having problem with is buying a new condo which is slightly bigger than current and has a/c that is not a room a/c , and a 3 season porch. All rooms are slightly bigger. My calculations say I have the money, but I just can’t do it.
OK, yeah, I totally hear you. I managed to splurge on a vehicle a couple years back, just went right out and bought it for cash ... it was a Honda Fit. I got the Sport version, totally blowing the walls off there! But we really need to redo our kitchen, and I'm really reluctant to start the process, because it's going to be annoying and expensive.

That said, the house itself was a big-ticket splurge on our part. It's basically our previous house with a single extra room, but all of the spaces are 10% bigger than the comparable room in the previous house, and the ceiling is a foot or so higher. We live in a HCOL area, and our income only supported a mortgage covering 1/4 of the purchase price, and our previous equity only covered 1/4 of the purchase price, so we made substantial asset sales to make up the difference. The point where our thinking changed from fear to confidence was when I told my wife that after a certain point, a bigger portfolio didn't improve anything, whereas a more comfortable house in a nicer neighborhood would improve many things on a daily basis. I'm glad it was true, there are things we wish were different about the house, but none of them are daily-grind things like "This bathroom's shower is so small".

{It doesn't hurt that our portfolio is still substantial, and that the house has appreciated like 5% per year. The stock we sold appreciated 20% per year, so ouch, but whatever, you can't live in your stock.}

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Re: The difficulty of discarding frugality?

Post by frugalmama » Wed Nov 13, 2019 4:42 pm

Dottie57 wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 2:46 pm
I have no problem with small indulgences such as coffee shop spending, a movie online, etc. what I am having problem with is buying a new condo which is slightly bigger than current and has a/c that is not a room a/c , and a 3 season porch. All rooms are slightly bigger. My calculations say I have the money, but I just can’t do it.
That is me. I'm not sure how to overcome it. However, I really need a larger house and yet, I don't see myself ever pulling the trigger because I can make due with what I have.

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Re: The difficulty of discarding frugality?

Post by midareff » Wed Nov 13, 2019 5:10 pm

KlangFool wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 10:08 am


1) Tea -> check out Upton tea
https://www.uptontea.com/ I will..... although after being in China I did develpop a taste for what they call Emperor although it does vary year to year a bit much.

<<Genevalia Coffee>>

2) Not good enough for me. I tend to shop around for our local micro coffee roaster. OK, sounds great but tastes are different.

<<Perhaps an internet streamer is my kind of match for B.? >>

3) I used to sing in an amateur choir. To really hear everything, you would need a Sony Monitor Headphone. They are used by professional sound engineers for mixing music. LOL, sorry Kland and I get your point....... . to hear everything a great set of 6 foot tall electrostatic speakers will do just fine in a professionally set up and dampered room with the right driving electronics and source, cables, amps, etc.

https://www.amazon.com/Sony-MDR7506-Pro ... B000AJIF4E

4) Most music CDs are not good enough. Check out some Audiophile Music CDs I would agree with you to a significant extent although some players are really superb on redbook. The Sony XA 5400 ES being a former Stereophile A+ rated CD/SACD player being one of them.... anmd not all "Audiophile recordings are what they are advertised to be. Mobile Fidelity Gold for example is highly colored and brass sounding ... Chesky when they were doling them were excellent.... and so on. Not going to go name by name here but we could in another venue.

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=Audiophile+M ... _sb_noss_2

When the image in front of you has the sound of her phloem rolling off her tonsils you are getting close.

KlangFool

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Re: The difficulty of discarding frugality?

Post by midareff » Wed Nov 13, 2019 5:12 pm

cashboy wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 1:25 pm
midareff wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 9:12 am
I would not say cheap.. well, maybe just a little but mostly best bang for the buck frugal type of guy (couple now) with a modest life style and a high percentage of earnings saved

I'm able to (psychologically) to write the travel check, got over the car life cycle thing 2 years ago but things like a new suit, a new phone after 4 models and such are still a real problem pulling the trigger when they are easily afforded.

Dealing with the fruits of labor has been a bit of an issue for me since the high savings rate days have been gone and frankly, with the bull, decumulation isn't decumulating. Do any of you have problems pulling the trigger despite being well able (not for frivolous items, high end jewelry and such) and how have you handled the issue?
i am much the same (though not retired as long).

i have found that what works best for me, when it comes to spending, is for me to be 'who i am' rather than 'who i think i should be'. i have been frugal; i am frugal; i will continue to be frugal.

so, if i need a new phone or suit i buy it; if i do not need a new phone or suit i do not buy it (just to have it).

for example, my trusty samsung galaxy s5 is still going strong (and does everything i want) so i will not replace it (yet). :happy

but, i think i need a new suit and should look into getting one. :happy
A last minute shot I took on an S5 got me started in cell-tography.. amazing camera for its time. Went for two suits today for a long cruise. First suits in maybe 15+ years. A few (cough, cough) extra pounds and such mandated it.

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Re: The difficulty of discarding frugality?

Post by midareff » Wed Nov 13, 2019 5:14 pm

shess wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 1:51 pm
midareff wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 9:12 am
Dealing with the fruits of labor has been a bit of an issue for me since the high savings rate days have been gone and frankly, with the bull, decumulation isn't decumulating. Do any of you have problems pulling the trigger despite being well able (not for frivolous items, high end jewelry and such) and how have you handled the issue?
The main thing I've changed is that I'll keep an eye on whether I'm spending more time optimizing a purchase than the purchase is worth. So if there's a $75 version and a $95 version, instead of spending three days reading websites and reviews, I'll try to focus on whether the $95 has any obvious advantages. If it does, instead of spending two hours worrying about whether that advantage is worth $20, I'll just buy the $95 one and move on. I figure as long as I only apply this logic to things under $500 or maybe $1000, I'll have plenty of time to adjust if my spend gets too high.

One nice thing about this is that at some point, I decided it wasn't worthwhile to select gas stations or restaurants based on price (to be fair, I've only ever found one or two really high-priced places I cared for, and they are an hour away). So I've had years without those taking up headspace. Likewise for fees for classes I've been taking, or nice tools for projects I'm working on, etc.

The main minor thing I still watch out for is subscription fees. Don't want to collect too many of those if they aren't being used.
Amen, avoid those like the curse of the ages.

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Re: The difficulty of discarding frugality?

Post by Dottie57 » Wed Nov 13, 2019 5:19 pm

frugalmama wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 4:42 pm
Dottie57 wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 2:46 pm
I have no problem with small indulgences such as coffee shop spending, a movie online, etc. what I am having problem with is buying a new condo which is slightly bigger than current and has a/c that is not a room a/c , and a 3 season porch. All rooms are slightly bigger. My calculations say I have the money, but I just can’t do it.
That is me. I'm not sure how to overcome it. However, I really need a larger house and yet, I don't see myself ever pulling the trigger because I can make due with what I have.
I think once I liberate some more of tIRA, I may feel more comfortable.

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Re: The difficulty of discarding frugality?

Post by Dottie57 » Wed Nov 13, 2019 5:22 pm

Dottie57 wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 5:19 pm
frugalmama wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 4:42 pm
Dottie57 wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 2:46 pm
I have no problem with small indulgences such as coffee shop spending, a movie online, etc. what I am having problem with is buying a new condo which is slightly bigger than current and has a/c that is not a room a/c , and a 3 season porch. All rooms are slightly bigger. My calculations say I have the money, but I just can’t do it.
That is me. I'm not sure how to overcome it. However, I really need a larger house and yet, I don't see myself ever pulling the trigger because I can make due with what I have.
I think once I liberate some more of tIRA, I may feel more comfortable. Or not.

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