The difficulty of discarding frugality?

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MathIsMyWayr
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Re: The difficulty of discarding frugality?

Post by MathIsMyWayr » Sat Nov 16, 2019 7:25 am

Mel Lindauer wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 5:52 pm
midareff wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 5:21 pm
flyingaway wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 8:56 am
midareff wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 5:38 pm
Very intuitive response IMHO. Have been considering moving to a nicer, larger residence in another part of the state for awhile. Once (physically, the travel thing diminishes) the good problem of excess disposable income rears it's not very ugly head. Why not more comfortable?
I also consider to move to another (warmer and more fun) state after retirement, which means now. But my wife does not want to leave her many friends here. It is unlikely that we will have any chances to have many new friends as we get older.
Hmmmm... make new friends all the time but they can't replace friends of 40, 30, 20 years. All ready in the T shirt and water shorts league living in South Florida.
Two things:
1. Just about everyone in Florida came from somewhere else and find that making new friends is extremently easy.
2. You'd be surprised how many of your old friends come to visit you in Florida, especially in the winter months! :-)
Oppressive heat and humidity, hurricane, biting insects, reptiles,,,
Misery loves company? :twisted:

SQRT
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Re: The difficulty of discarding frugality?

Post by SQRT » Sat Nov 16, 2019 12:13 pm

willthrill81 wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 12:12 am

I don't really think that it matters much if others view you as frugal. In a real way, I view it as aligning your resource usage with your values. That's just rational and efficient. The problem I see with so many is that they just throw money around at things that clearly aren't important to them, often due to what seems to be simply laziness. But it could also be that many people haven't really consciously considered what is really important to them, and as such, they feel pulled in many directions and waste much of what they have.
Yes, I agree. Knowing what’s important to you will make it easier to Efficiently plan your spending. Your liberal definition of frugality makes some sense. But I think this definition is not widely subscribed to. When I referred to others not thinking I was frugal, I was simply thinking that most people wouldn’t know if one was frugal, based on your definition, as they wouldn’t have access to the spender’s underlying rational. Most people simply look at what you spend your money on ie homes, cars, vacations, jewelry, clothes, etc and decide. This will be based on their values not yours and thus not important.

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willthrill81
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Re: The difficulty of discarding frugality?

Post by willthrill81 » Sat Nov 16, 2019 12:41 pm

SQRT wrote:
Sat Nov 16, 2019 12:13 pm
But I think this definition is not widely subscribed to.
That doesn't make it false. And that could also be said of the BH philosophy and even saving significantly.
SQRT wrote:
Sat Nov 16, 2019 12:13 pm
This will be based on their values not yours and thus not important.
No, it's still important. Individuals do not maximize their own utility if their purchases do not align well with their values, and this seems to be very prevalent.
“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

capran
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Re: The difficulty of discarding frugality?

Post by capran » Sat Nov 16, 2019 8:40 pm

I just re-read your post to my wife, as I am even worse that you. We saved to a fault. I went out once in 26 years with my coworkers for a coffee, and felt stressed to buy a basic coffee. So making the transition from saver to spender has been rough. We bought a nice sailboat in 2001 and still live on it for 60-75 days per summer, which we have been doing since 1986. But even that was always done on the cheap. Now, I re-use my breathe-right nose strips that helps sleep (just 2 nights each), so that tells you how bad I still am. I have worked very hard to try to relax a little on some bigger items, like last year and this years planned trip flying premium seating, which is $75 more per person each way. And we are having a major splurge this winter, spending our first month in Mexico at a significantly better condo to celebrate spouses Medicare eligibility. It's almost like any addictive disease, which means it's one day at a time. Some days are better than others.

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Johnnie
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Re: The difficulty of discarding frugality?

Post by Johnnie » Sat Nov 16, 2019 9:07 pm

I am a couple years from retirement and have about "arrived" as far as having enough. I found a recent meme going around about the three levels of wealth useful for giving vocabulary to some of these concepts.

The first level of wealth is escape from debt. I forget if that included mortgage, it might not have.

Level two is you don't need to look at the prices in restaurants anymore. Hoorah, that's me for some years now. I overtip too and pick up checks too. :happy

Level 3 is you don't look at the prices on vacations. First class, five star right down the line. Alas, I may have topped-out at level two. Unsure because I could do that occasionally.
"I know nothing."

GiannaLuna
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Re: The difficulty of discarding frugality?

Post by GiannaLuna » Sun Nov 17, 2019 5:11 am

capran raises a point not often discussed and it hits home with me because I have a friend who "suffers" with this.

He is a self made multi-millionaire in his late 50s. Got there from earnings, DEPRIVATION and market cooperation.

For 30 years, he saved a few dollars each month by allowing the local power company to attach a device that somehow throttled his usage based on time of day. (example. only AC at night only washed clothes at night etc.)

He was proud to tell me he finally got that removed - and he is now allowing himself to enjoy household temps in the 60s (winter temps) - he typically kept his home in the 50s in winter.

As a psychologist, I pause to consider this

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alpenglow
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Re: The difficulty of discarding frugality?

Post by alpenglow » Sun Nov 17, 2019 7:10 pm

KlangFool wrote:
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
+1 on Upton Tea!

tranquility
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Re: The difficulty of discarding frugality?

Post by tranquility » Sun Nov 17, 2019 10:31 pm

michaeljc70 wrote:
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.
I concur with michaeljc70 whole heartedly "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."

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willthrill81
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Re: The difficulty of discarding frugality?

Post by willthrill81 » Sun Nov 17, 2019 10:41 pm

tranquility wrote:
Sun Nov 17, 2019 10:31 pm
michaeljc70 wrote:
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.
I concur with michaeljc70 whole heartedly "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."
:thumbsup

That matches up perfectly with my definition of frugality above, so obviously I like this. :mrgreen:
“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

Miriam2
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Re: The difficulty of discarding frugality?

Post by Miriam2 » Mon Nov 18, 2019 8:42 pm

midareff wrote: 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. . . .
Here's my take - sounds like you're still hung up on the smaller expenses that - when you were younger with a smaller savings - would have made a real difference in your budget, your life, your portfolio, and your retirement.

But that's then and now is now.
midareff wrote: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.
Yes, still hung up on the smaller purchases (for less than $1,000 or $2,000) which for some reason still eat away on your frugality nature, but look, you've been able to ditch that frugality hang-up for what you've learned are wonderful, well-earned, now or never purchases.
midareff wrote: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?
Here's an idea -
Look at your life today and ask whether these things would make your life more comfortable and enjoyable.

If yes, then do it or buy it. You can afford it. You cannot afford to wait or deny yourself.

"One day you turn around and it's summer
Next day you turn around and it's fall
And the springs and the winters of a lifetime
Whatever happened to them all?"


(-- Bob Dylan, "September of My Years")

You know yourself well enough to know that what will make your life more comfortable and enjoyable is not going to be some outrageous extravagance or some ridiculous purchase that would be unaffordable. Everything for you will be affordable.

Tell yourself to just get over that frugality thing from your youth, the old days, and just do it or buy it and enjoy it now 8-)

Easier said than done, but think - how do you psychologically justify spending plenty of money on your fabulous cruises all over the world that have brought you and your wife such pleasure and fun? Then perhaps transpose that rationale to the doing or buying of smaller enjoyable items that are getting hung-up on that old frugality thing.

Raybo already said this up-thread :D
Raybo wrote: 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 ).

Fallible
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Re: The difficulty of discarding frugality?

Post by Fallible » Mon Nov 18, 2019 10:41 pm

If I'm reading the OP right, it may not be frugality that needs discarding, although that depends on how, or how broadly, it's being defined.

To me, frugality is about buying wisely, about common sense and not just about being forced to sacrifice because one lacks the money. When one has the money to buy but can't spend it even wisely, it may be more a matter of changing a habit than doing away with frugality. And with all that's been written about possible frugal genes, frugality probably can’t be discarded anyway.

One dictionary definition of frugality is “the quality of being frugal, sparing, thrifty, prudent or economical in the consumption of consumable resources such as food, time or money and avoiding waste, lavishness or extravagance.” I think no matter how much money one has, they would still want to be smart about their spending, regardless of how much they can spend.

In the words of Warren Buffett: “Whether socks or stocks, I like buying quality merchandise when it is marked down.”
John Bogle on his often bumpy road to low-cost indexing: "When a door closes, if you look long enough and hard enough, if you're strong enough, you'll find a window that opens."

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