Frugality has created buyer's aversion - thoughts?
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Thread: Frugality has created buyer's aversion - thoughts?

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\r\n Dilbert\r\n \r\n
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\r\n I have no idea what the brands are that you are writing about but then, I\'m sixty! Bottom line for me though is you can live a somewhat frugal life and mentality, but still spend on the things that really mean something to you as a result of part of the effort sometimes. For me it\'s usually audio gear, dinners and maybe cars!
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\nYou have to have a little something to make it all worthwhile.\r\n
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\r\n \r\n Last edited by Dilbert; 2017-03-17 at 09:38 PM.\r\n \r\n \r\n
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    \r\n I struggle with the same frugality issues as you. It originally started off as a teenager trying to save and save until my bank account reached $1,000. Man that was a huge milestone. Check.
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    \nThen in my college/uni days, it was about saving enough to buy a good car (which was 11 years old when I bought it). Check.
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    \nThen it was about paying back my OSAP loan ($30k). Every dollar I scrounged up, I threw at my debt. Even gift money from my parents for graduating. OSAP gone. Check.
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    \nNow as a full-time working adult, I find myself saving and saving for a house down the line... a wedding even sooner. But I realize that those are bigger goals that will take a while to get to. So while I still save furiously and enjoy watching my savings go higher and higher, I also do have to battle with myself to buy things for myself for enjoyment. I mean I went to the mall for a clothes shopping spree for the first time in YEARS... I spent $150 and felt like a rich Beverly Hills girl with her daddy\'s credit card. Left feeling like I accomplished a big feat - I spent $150 on myself on some clothes for the first time in years! My girlfriend looked at me like, "seriously? That\'s your idea of a big once-every-few-years spending spree? $150??" Some of us just aren\'t natural spenders
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    \nI\'ve been staring at a $200 hand-made high quality Japanese chef\'s knife. I love to cook, it would be a dream to have. I easily have the money for it in my account, it wouldn\'t even put a hiccup in my funds. But I can\'t pull the trigger! I\'ve had the Amazon link saved in my Favorites for over a week now. Every day I click on it, stare at it in awe, wish I had it, look at the $200 price tag and tell myself "I shouldn\'t even buy this... what am I even thinking. I gotta save MORE! MORE MORE MORE!" It can become a battle with yourself - saving vs spending. You can\'t help but think "If I spend this $50 here, that\'s $50 I can\'t save for later..." But later will never come if you ONLY save! Gotta spend too! Enjoy it, within reason. I told myself I\'m going to take a trip to Philadelphia to see an Eagles game... 2 years ago. Didn\'t do it. The next year, didn\'t do it. Just too scared to spend that ~2k on the tickets + accommodations + road trip expenses. But I deserve it. I know I do. I save vigorously, spend diligently, track my finances like a hawk and have a very bright outlook. So this Fall, I\'m going to Philadelphia no matter what.
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    \nMaybe you should try a "rip the bandaid off" approach. Don\'t think about it, just know that you can afford it and that you deserve it, and click order. Just do it, quickly. You\'ll feel slight regret for a second, and then immediate relief and happiness.
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    \nI\'m gonna go order that chef\'s knife now \r\n
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    \r\n \r\n Last edited by DollaWine; 2017-03-17 at 09:12 PM.\r\n \r\n \r\n
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    \r\n \r\n My monthly budget for food AND entertainment is $300\r\n \r\n
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    Do you live alone or have a family? We are also frugal , but I don;t understand how just $300 can be spent for food AND entertainment.... we spent only for food this year (2.5 month) $2,400 \r\n
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    \r\n Take heart! You are not alone.
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    \nMy formative years were in the depths of the depression. My parent\'s ideology was work hard and, wherever possible save, save save. But for me now, the end is near and it is not worth the effort to reformulate my personality.
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    \r\n I used to be frugal... still am at heart... but when I went back to school (early 40s) to finish off a degree, and since I needed to keep working part-time, I was extremely careful w/ money so as not to run into debt due to tuition. It got to the point where I wouldn\'t even buy a bag of potato chips on sale once in a while... \'do I really need those chips??\'
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    \nBut then my feline companion got quite ill and I had to shell out quite a bit in order to get him back on track, and I lost my sense of frugality.
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    \nFast forward to the present... still in school now doing an \'applied\' masters degree (late 40s), and because I haven\'t had anything meaningful to look forward to in a long time, like the month-long dive vacations I used to be able to take when not in school... I spend like a sailor on a weekend pass via Ebay and Etsy. All good quality stuff, mind you, but nonetheless when I look at how much I\'ve been averaging each month, I could easily have saved for many month-long dive holidays. LOL! I anticipate it stopping pretty much completely once I graduate, go back to work full-time, and can finally start travelling again.
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    \nI say enjoy your life/health while you have it, buy those quality items you listed (that are hopefully on sale in the US... I firmly believe one should never pay full retail for clothing and shoes!) and just continue to be mindful of your spending. Unless something major befalls you like it did me, it doesn\'t sound like this one small shopping spree will turn out to be a \'gateway\' that will be your undoing. \r\n
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    \r\n Quote Originally Posted by DollaWine\r\n View Post\r\n
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    \nI\'m gonna go order that chef\'s knife now
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    Thanks, great response.
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    \nNew sale started tonight at the company selling the jacket I was eyeing. Such a good deal I also added a shirt priced 2-3 times what I normally spend (but big sale for amazing quality), and am excited for them to arrive! Spent about $315 for a jacket + shirt, more than the entire outfit I wore today cost
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    \nYou get your knife?\r\n
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    \r\n \r\n Last edited by motl; 2017-03-17 at 11:10 PM.\r\n \r\n \r\n
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    \r\n I have developed buyer\'s aversion lately. I got really burnt buying my last truck, so I worked my butt off to pay it down and sell it. I have to have reliable transportation though, so I used my LOC to buy a $15,000 vehicle. I\'ve almost paid that half off since August, mainly because I throw as much money as possible at it.
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    \nI do save 10% of my after tax, after savings income for myself as "fun" money because life is short. I\'m currently pushing $1300 in my account. I haven\'t bought myself anything fun in nearly 3 years. Despite putting 60% of my income onto my debt, I can\'t bring myself to spend the 10% fun money, since I still owe money on my vehicle.
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    \nWe have a trip to Edmonton coming up in April as our first getaway in years. Maybe I\'ll be able to bring myself to spend some money on myself eh? LOL\r\n
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    \r\n Life is for Living. Money is for Spending. What\'s the point of being the richest person in the retirement home?
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    \r\nYou don\'t want to be the worst spendthrift, and you probably don\'t want to be the most frugal person either. It is all about finding a good balance of spending now vs saving to spend later. Make a plan to retire at 55 (or earlier if you really want to). You might find a career you want to work in longer, but build in a cushion in case something changes and you decide to pull the rip-cord earlier. Having plans and goals makes it easier not to spend on things that don\'t bring you value. Remembering that a dollar saved now will compound to about $4 in 30 years, so that is how much spending now is taking away from your future. Another approach is the 50/20/30 budget. 50% of your net income on non-discretionary items like housing, food, transportation, utilities, 20% on long-term savings and the remaining 30% on personal discretionary spending. Having a plan and budget plus a way to evaluate what you really value takes the fear and guilt away from discretionary spending.
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    \r\n@DollaWine I bought some Japanese knives a few years ago and the chef\'s knife was in the price range you mentioned, basic mono-steel blades, nothing with a lot of bling, no damascus or hammered finish and my friends don\'t go WoW when they see them. I really enjoy using them. They stay sharp a long time, are light and maneuverable and will last a lifetime. To me that was a worthwhile expenditure. If you have not seen them, check out www.japanesechefsknife.com/, www.japaneseknifeimports.com/, http://www.chefknivestogo.com/ and www.kitchenknifeforums.com/. But make sure it fits in your budget and long term plan. \r\n
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    Invest your time actively and your money passively.
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    \r\n Very true. And I do have a plan that will have me retire in my mid to late-40s if all goes well. I currently save 50-60% of my after tax income. It\'s because I\'m on such a good trajectory that I find it hard to deviate and spend on myself after seeing what full commitment to savings can accomplish.\r\n
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    \r\n You aren\'t alone, I just recently went back to school and was so used to seeing my balance go up that since I\'ve been back it\'s jsut been depleting. While I do work part time my expenses are still more than what I earn (gas, food, rent) but there are somethings you absolutely need to have.
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    \nYou have a good mentality and honestly you do need to live. Aslong as you are paying yourself first and have enough to cover your expenses you are ahead.
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    \nWhen I was working I tried to save atleast 60% of my after tax income to give me some wiggle room.\r\n
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    \r\n I to have struggled with this sort of thing all my life. Frugal parents, not a lot of money and growing up on a farm where everything was reused and waste was a four letter word. In my opinion, being judgey for a moment, it is the ONLY intelligent way to live and to approach your money. To this day, I still secretly despise spendthrifts.
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    \r\nThat being said, what is a virtuous habit can spiral into a debilitating vice. I liked the one analogy upthread of the bag of chips. In school, I used to have the same attitude. Hmm, those chips look good but I\'d rather have the $1 on the bank. Or I\'d rather read a library book than go spend 12$ at the movies with friends (this was *gasp* pre-internet days !!) I have a sister and brother and at holiday gatherings, all our spouses make fun of the siblings for being cheap. My brother still wears t-shirts in public that he has that are older than his daughters (and one of them is in university).
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    \r\nI\'m lucky enough to be semi-retired now in my mid forties and I think we have enough money if I was to stop working entirely. But, old habits die hard. I keep working just enough to cover all our annual expenditures. Our nest egg throws off about the same amount of money but I can\'t bring myself to spend it. And when I do, it is typically spent on other people and what they want instead of myself. It somehow seems easier to spend money on loved ones.
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    \r\nStill, there are worse problems.\r\n
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    "That\'s what I do, I drink and I know things" - Tyrion Lannister
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    \r\n Quote Originally Posted by GreatLaker\r\n View Post\r\n
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    Life is for Living. Money is for Spending. What\'s the point of being the richest person in the retirement home?
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    \r\n Having plans and goals makes it easier not to spend on things that don\'t bring you value. Remembering that a dollar saved now will compound to about $4 in 30 years, so that is how much spending now is taking away from your future.
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    Agree that $ is for spending. My father always said it was only good for the things you could do with it.
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    \r\nYes, thinking of spending now taking away from one’s future can be powerfully motivating.
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    \r\nIn the years when I owed money on my house I was to tight that I squeaked, as my granny would say. But it served me well. Back in the days of 10-12% house mortgages, I would always choose paying down the mortgage above anything that could not wholly be justified. My work colleagues would go out of the office for coffee once (often twice) a day and sit in a coffee shop where they would pay a dollar or whatever, plus tip and tax for a cup of coffee. I almost never did. I would reckon that that $1 for coffee could go to my mortgage. If it went for coffee, then that coffee would cost me $1.10 in the first year (adding interest at 10% that could have been avoided) and an ongoing interest expense thereafter. So I would buy a 2-lb. tin of coffee at Safeway and have coffee at home before work for about 5 cents a cup.
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    \r\nAfter a few years, I would hear people whose incomes were equal to or greater than mine say things to me like “You’re lucky. You’re rich. You own a house in Kerrisdale, a waterfront home in the gulf islands, etc., etc.” Yes, true. But they were going to nice restaurants, buying those Starbucks “tall” coffees (never cared for all that Starbucks jargon), driving their new BMWs, trips to Paris, etc. For me, I had to choose. It was no sacrifice at all to eschew some of those ephemeral things to live in what I found to be very agreeable surroundings every day of the year. I suppose there are some who are content to live in a slum, provided they can come and go in their new cars. We all make choices. Mine are superior to no one’s. When I bought my first Vancouver house, I parked my car in the back yard for a full year to save the approx. $100 annual cost of insuring it. I wanted the house more than the convenience of the car. Well worth it.
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    \r\n Quote Originally Posted by Koogie\r\n View Post\r\n
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    I liked the one analogy upthread of the bag of chips. In school, I used to have the same attitude. Hmm, those chips look good but I\'d rather have the $1 on the bank. Or I\'d rather read a library book than go spend 12$ at the movies with friends (this was *gasp* pre-internet days !!) I have a sister and brother and at holiday gatherings, all our spouses make fun of the siblings for being cheap. My brother still wears t-shirts in public that he has that are older than his daughters (and one of them is in university).
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    A friend in law school liked doughnuts. She would wince at the cost of a dozen of ‘em, but still allow herself to buy them on the “in for a penny, in for a pound” principle. She would say she was in so much debt already, what difference would the cost of the doughnuts make? I kept quiet. I had no debt in law school. I had no “help” from anyone for the costs. I worked part-time and lived frugally. The one splurge was home. I rented a house in a nice part of town. Most students lived in residence or in crappy apartments. I wanted to go home every day to a pleasant environment, with some garden, no sounds coming at me through a wall, etc. To me, well worth it. That continues to this day. As far as where I live is concerned, no expense is too great. My home is my refuge, my castle. Ditto for food. I\'ll pay whatever it takes for quality ingredients. That was not always the way. I ate my fair share of peanut butter sandwiches in my university years, before peanut allergies came into vogue - unheard of in those days.
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    \r\nMy wife grew up in very modest circumstances. It has taken some effort to convince her that I mean it when I tell her do not try to save money on food. Years of working and investing have placed me in a position not to have to pay much attention to the grocery bill. That does not mean we spend recklessly. Again, to quote my daddy: "I don\'t like to be taken."
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    \r\nI dare say I have more than a few shirts older than Koogie’s nieces. They still function as shirts. Why pay to replace them? Today I could afford a closet full of designer shirts, but I see no point. Too old, maybe.
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    \r\nYears ago I had a gf who would buy clothing at Value Village. I refused to even go inside with her. That was one place where I would draw the line. The idea of wearing second-hand garments made me a bit squeamish. One day I broke down and went in with her. I had to make a few furtive glances up and down the street first, lest anyone who knew me should see me entering such a place.
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    \r\nOnce inside, I did a bit of wandering around on my own and I soon found myself tempted by some of the good deals. I became a convert. Of course, even my gf had to keep up pretences. If going to Value Village, she would take along a couple of Holt Renfrew bags to re-pack her purchases. She did not want to be seen on the street or entering her apartment building carrying one of those big plastic bags with “Value Village” emblazoned thereon. She could hold her head high being seen with those Holt Renfrew packagings.
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    \r\nAs an aside, I have to say that Value Village is no longer a good deal. Maybe too many like me started going there. Some of their prices now exceed retail. But there remain some "thrift shop" places where the odd deal can be found.\r\n
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  • \r\n'; pd[1513610] = '\r\n
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    \r\n Quote Originally Posted by Mukhang pera\r\n View Post\r\n
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    Agree that $ is for spending. My father always said it was only good for the things you could do with it.
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    Your father was right, but you are wrong. One of the important things you can do with money is invest it in ways that secure your long term independence and security. ie: NOT spend it.
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    \nPersonally, I think the mere fact that the O/P is agonizing over the decision means he is totally on track. Folks that get into money trouble would have spent it the minute it came into their heads and certainly wouldn\'t be posting here.\r\n
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    \r\n You have to live your life and be able to spend on what\'s important to you. I know for me my motivation to not be overly frugal is that I\'ve had a number of family members either die or get a debilitating disease within months to a couple of years after retirement. (or earlier)
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    \nYou can\'t take it with you, and this is why you need to have financial goals in life (short, medium and long term). If you are saving money, but you don\'t even know what you are saving it for, what is the point? It\'s no different than spending wildly because you have no plan.\r\n
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    \r\n Quote Originally Posted by CalgaryPotato\r\n View Post\r\n
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    You have to live your life and be able to spend on what\'s important to you. I know for me my motivation to not be overly frugal is that I\'ve had a number of family members either die or get a debilitating disease within months to a couple of years after retirement. (or earlier)
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    \nYou can\'t take it with you, and this is why you need to have financial goals in life (short, medium and long term). If you are saving money, but you don\'t even know what you are saving it for, what is the point? It\'s no different than spending wildly because you have no plan.
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    True words...\r\n
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    \r\n Quote Originally Posted by CalgaryPotato\r\n View Post\r\n
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    You have to live your life and be able to spend on what\'s important to you. I know for me my motivation to not be overly frugal is that I\'ve had a number of family members either die or get a debilitating disease within months to a couple of years after retirement. (or earlier)
    \n
    \nYou can\'t take it with you, and this is why you need to have financial goals in life (short, medium and long term). If you are saving money, but you don\'t even know what you are saving it for, what is the point? It\'s no different than spending wildly because you have no plan.
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    I don\'t disagree necessarily, but it\'s not that simple.
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    \nI do know what I\'m saving for - early retirement. I want to be done before I\'m 50 at the very latest. In order for that to happen I need to maintain aggressive savings rates from now until the end. When you say you can\'t take it with you, you\'re right about that and there\'s always the risk that something will happen and I\'ll have a vast amount of unspent money. But there\'s also the reverse worst case scenario. I loosen my spending habits and spend in a way that means I will only be financially independent at 60. Along the way my health puts me in a position where I\'m forced to retire before that happens and I\'m forced to endure a financially uncertain retirement. Or I stay healthy and have to watch a bunch of extra years go by knowing that I could have been retired and enjoying every minute of them.
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    \nWith money there\'s always an opportunity cost. Obviously I\'m not suggesting that spending $2000 on clothes this one time is going to destroy my retirement plans, but it\'s still worth considering because my budget exists for a reason. It\'s a slippery slope once we start making exceptions and \'one time\' purchases. Weighing the pros and cons, I agree that I should go ahead and spend in this instance (and I am). Especially since nearly half of the planned spending is for business attire that I need to refresh for my job. But I don\'t think an instinct to second-guess spending is unhealthy when all spending does (even in small, immeasurable ways) impact what I\'m saving for.\r\n
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    \r\n \r\n Last edited by motl; 2017-03-20 at 04:48 PM.\r\n \r\n \r\n
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    \r\n They say you should dress for the job you want, not the one you have. If well tailored business attire gives you confidence, it may make a difference in the opportunities you get at work. I would call it an investment in your career. That doesn\'t mean you have to splurge on expensive jewellery, manicures, etc. No need to go overboard.
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    \r\nWhen I\'m faced with an expensive discretionary purchase decision, I often calculate how many hours\' work it would take to pay for it (in after tax dollars). That\'s often helpful in clarifying the value of the purchase to me.\r\n
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    \r\n Quote Originally Posted by motl\r\n View Post\r\n
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    I do know what I\'m saving for - early retirement. I want to be done before I\'m 50 at the very latest. In order for that to happen I need to maintain aggressive savings rates from now until the end. When you say you can\'t take it with you, you\'re right about that and there\'s always the risk that something will happen and I\'ll have a vast amount of unspent money. But there\'s also the reverse worst case scenario. I loosen my spending habits and spend in a way that means I will only be financially independent at 60. Along the way my health puts me in a position where I\'m forced to retire before that happens and I\'m forced to endure a financially uncertain retirement. Or I stay healthy and have to watch a bunch of extra years go by knowing that I could have been retired and enjoying every minute of them.
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    \nWith money there\'s always an opportunity cost. Obviously I\'m not suggesting that spending $2000 on clothes this one time is going to destroy my retirement plans, but it\'s still worth considering because my budget exists for a reason. It\'s a slippery slope once we start making exceptions and \'one time\' purchases. Weighing the pros and cons, I agree that I should go ahead and spend in this instance (and I am). Especially since nearly half of the planned spending is for business attire that I need to refresh for my job. But I don\'t think an instinct to second-guess spending is unhealthy when all spending does (even in small, immeasurable ways) impact what I\'m saving for.
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    Don\'t get me wrong, I strongly agree with having budgets. But this is money that is left over after your budgeted savings if I\'m understanding correctly.
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    \nAs for your logic on the early retirement side. Sure there is a chance you can get sick and be unable to work. But I don\'t know if that is the biggest risk. (That could happen just as easily now as at 60, if that is a major concern critical illness insurance would be an easy way to cover that off.)
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    \nYour theory is that if you retire at 50 and you happen to get sick at 60, than you\'ve enjoyed 10 years. My theory is that it\'s better to make sure you enjoy that whole time until 60, whether retired or not because retirement alone isn\'t going to magically make you happier.
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    \nA large amount of people who retire, end up going back to work within a few years, because they didn\'t realize what a void not working would leave in their lives.\r\n
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    \r\n Quote Originally Posted by gardner\r\n View Post\r\n
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    Your father was right, but you are wrong. One of the important things you can do with money is invest it in ways that secure your long term independence and security. ie: NOT spend it.
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    \r\nPersonally, I think the mere fact that the O/P is agonizing over the decision means he is totally on track. Folks that get into money trouble would have spent it the minute it came into their heads and certainly wouldn\'t be posting here.
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    Care to tell me where I am wrong? It comes as a surprise to me at my stage of the game to discover that I have been guilty of some egregious financial imprudence for most of my life.
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    \r\n Quote Originally Posted by gardner\r\n View Post\r\n
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    One of the important things you can do with money is invest it in ways that secure your long term independence and security. ie: NOT spend it.
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    Why are you telling me that? Did I say that money should be spent on frivolities as quickly as it comes in?
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    \r\nMy father was right in that once he had secured his future through sound investing, he allowed himself to spend on what brought him pleasure. He believed that the surplus beyond having needs covered for life was to spend and enjoy. And that he did. He indulged himself and my mother with a home that some would call extravagant, with nice cars, trips, rare single malt scotch and fine British double shotguns. He liked as well to be able to share with his family. Five of brothers and sisters who still lived in his country of origin in northern Europe. He helped several of them to buy homes of their own. Built a barn for one. Perhaps he should have kept that money and invested it, to permit him to die was more money in his jeans. Well, come to think of it, I don\'t think he ever owned a pair of jeans, in all of his nearly 100 years.
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    \r\nWhat I saw in my dad I have tried to emulate. To strike a balance between investing and saving for the future and enjoying some of the fruits today. I am reinforced in that view by a few personal experiences. One such experience was dropping by to visit a man I knew well while growing up. A successful businessman and investor. He always lived well, but I know also that he had set things up so that he could continue to do so throughout a long retirement. I went to see him as I was about to move from Toronto to Vancouver.
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    \r\nAs we sat on his flagstone terrace overlooking his spacious gardener-tended backyard in Lawrence Park, he told me to make sure I enjoyed some of what I earned as I went along and not try to save and invest it all. He was then about 60. He said that he had directed most of what he made to ensure a retirement of wealth. He said: "Right now I have enough money to buy or do just about anything I could ever want. But the one thing I can\'t do is to get out of this chair." He had Parkinson\'s disease. He took his own life a year later.
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    \r\nNext story is also from that time. I moved myself to Vancouver in a rented 5-ton truck. No, I did not need all the space in a 5-ton, but I knew someone else who wanted to move so I carried their stuff as well. They got the move for less than the Tippett Richardson price and I got my move pretty much paid for. Anyway, I digress.
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    \r\nMy first night on the road I stayed with a woman I knew in northern Ontario, in a comfortable lakeside home. She related to me that she and her husband had grown up around there and he came to do well in roadbuilding and such activities. She became a school teacher. In those days, big city teachers made more money than country teachers. His business was not portable to Toronto. She took a teaching job in TO and boarded with a friend. He continued his business up north. They got together when they could. The plan was to maximize their earnings and to save, save, save so they could retire early to their lake and live happily ever after. About 15 years into the plan, he died. No benefit received from their sacrifice. But he went out with money!
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    \r\nHere\'s one more, if you can stand it. I knew a couple who both grew up on farms not far from Toronto. Farming was in their blood. But not easy to make much money, particularly when you had no farmland of your own to begin. They both became school teachers. They did so in the days when one could complete grade 12, go to teachers\' college for a year and then teach. So they were both working as teachers by age 20. They took jobs where they could, often teaching in different locales.
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    \r\nThe couple saved and bought a farm. They worked the farm when not teaching, so they were able to work the farm full-time in summers. To me, it looked like they were slaves to it. They would get up before dawn, do farm chores. They had lots of livestock, grew their own feed, a big garden to feed the family of 4, etc. Endless work. After morning chores, they would head off in different directions to teach at different schools some distance away and return after the school day, jump on their tractors and set to work again until dark. You would have to love it to go at it as they did.
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    \r\nTheir great plan was for both to teach to age 55, to max out their pensions, then devote themselves fully to the farm and having some fun. Things were nicely on track when they severed an acre of the farmland for one of their kids and kid\'s spouse. They all then busied themselves building a house on that acre. At the stage when the house was partly framed and the second floor was no more than joists with some boards to walk on, mum was on the second floor carrying bricks for the chimney. She made a footing misstep and fell between the joists to the floor below. Severed spinal cord. instant paraplegic. No longer able to participate to much extent in the full-time farm life so long awaited. She was about age 53 then. He left teaching early, not so much to farm as to take care of her.
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    \r\nThe several unfortunate episodes mentioned above all occurred when I was in my mid-20s and they have served to remind me ever since to take some time to smell the roses. That includes spending some cash along the way, while putting some (but not all) to work for the future. I thought I had struck a reasonable balance. But gardner speaks with a pretty blunt, self assured "you are wrong". I hope gardner will return to this thread and point out to me, and with some didactic benefit to fellow CMFers, just how I have erred.\r\n
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    \r\n Good stories about living "real" life.
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    \nWe had a trailer in cottage country, and every time I visited I could hear hammering and sawing going on. It went on all year.
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    \nOne day I got curious and went to visit the property. An older gentleman and his wife were building a beautiful home on the lakefront.
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    \nI got to know them and visited them a few times. He was always hammering and sawing away or cutting down trees and splitting wood.
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    \nTheir home was built on rock, and he had scraped out a basement using hand tools. I forget how many chisels he had gone through.
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    \nJust when their retirement home was almost finished, he gets heart problems.
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    \nA few trips to Toronto specialists.......and then a few more and pretty soon he was going back forth all the time.
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    \nThat was it for their dream. Sold the place and moved to Oshawa, Ontario.
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    \nI think about him..........and all that work, when he could have been fishing, sipping on a rum and coke, or riding around on his ATV.
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    \nThat is what me and my buddies were doing for the years he was pounding that cottage together.\r\n
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    Someone planted a tree a long time ago so I can sit in the shade.
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    \r\n Quote Originally Posted by gardner\r\n View Post\r\n
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    Your father was right, but you are wrong. One of the important things you can do with money is invest it in ways that secure your long term independence and security. ie: NOT spend it.
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    \nPersonally, I think the mere fact that the O/P is agonizing over the decision means he is totally on track. Folks that get into money trouble would have spent it the minute it came into their heads and certainly wouldn\'t be posting here.
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    Not spending money and agonizing over small purchases when one can easily afford to buy something is NOT on the right track.
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    \nThe fact that one agnoizes over spending when they don\'t need to may indicate something deeper, that perhaps they do not know how to have some enjoyment and balance in their life. It\'s one thing to not spend when you don\'t have the money or any saving, I am all for those who are in debt or with no savings to reign in all discretionary spending. It\'s another thing when you are only looking for the future but not the present. The problem is the future doesn\'t often come for these people as they have missed the moments.
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    \r\n Quote Originally Posted by motl\r\n View Post\r\n
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    I don\'t disagree necessarily, but it\'s not that simple.
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    \nI do know what I\'m saving for - early retirement. I want to be done before I\'m 50 at the very latest. In order for that to happen I need to maintain aggressive savings rates from now until the end. When you say you can\'t take it with you, you\'re right about that and there\'s always the risk that something will happen and I\'ll have a vast amount of unspent money. But there\'s also the reverse worst case scenario. I loosen my spending habits and spend in a way that means I will only be financially independent at 60. Along the way my health puts me in a position where I\'m forced to retire before that happens and I\'m forced to endure a financially uncertain retirement. Or I stay healthy and have to watch a bunch of extra years go by knowing that I could have been retired and enjoying every minute of them.
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    \nWith money there\'s always an opportunity cost. Obviously I\'m not suggesting that spending $2000 on clothes this one time is going to destroy my retirement plans, but it\'s still worth considering because my budget exists for a reason. It\'s a slippery slope once we start making exceptions and \'one time\' purchases. Weighing the pros and cons, I agree that I should go ahead and spend in this instance (and I am). Especially since nearly half of the planned spending is for business attire that I need to refresh for my job. But I don\'t think an instinct to second-guess spending is unhealthy when all spending does (even in small, immeasurable ways) impact what I\'m saving for.
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    So what are you going to do when you retire early. I know many people who are close to me that saved for the future at the expense of today. They hit their magic early retirement number which is much higher than many i know for their regular retirement and then find that they can\'t being themselves to spend. Previous to retirement, they were saving for early retirement so they could enjoy their later years, then in retirement they didn\'t want to spend because they have no more income coming in and seeing the balance go down was hard for them.
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    \nTo me life is about balancing living and enjoying the moment vs saving for the future. That takes a lot of practice learning about what is important to you, what makes you happy, what is worth it what is not. One doesn\'t just figure it out at 50. I know my measure of success for me is if I can\'t get through without regrets. No regretting that I spent on something (wasting money) and not regretting that I didn\'t spend (missed moments).\r\n
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    \r\n Quote Originally Posted by Plugging Along\r\n View Post\r\n
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    \nSo what are you going to do when you retire early. I know many people who are close to me that saved for the future at the expense of today. They hit their magic early retirement number which is much higher than many i know for their regular retirement and then find that they can\'t being themselves to spend. Previous to retirement, they were saving for early retirement so they could enjoy their later years, then in retirement they didn\'t want to spend because they have no more income coming in and seeing the balance go down was hard for them.
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    \nTo me life is about balancing living and enjoying the moment vs saving for the future. That takes a lot of practice learning about what is important to you, what makes you happy, what is worth it what is not. One doesn\'t just figure it out at 50. I know my measure of success for me is if I can\'t get through without regrets. No regretting that I spent on something (wasting money) and not regretting that I didn\'t spend (missed moments).
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    I think you\'re drawing far too many conclusions based on false assumptions.
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    \nLet me point out that in my OP I expressed frustration with guilt over spending a considerable amount of money on what I consider to be frivolous items. The point here is that I could continue shopping at places like JCrew Factory and spend half of what my OP wishlist has grown too. The goods would be inferior, but I would look fine and spend less money. My guilt came not from spending money but from an attempt to convince myself that spending (more/a lot of) money on things that I don\'t need isn\'t a big deal. Adopting that mentality too often = lifestyle creep.
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    \nMoreover, the idea that because I struggled with this purchase I must not enjoy life or spend money on anything fun is a giant mental leap. My budget is designed to be frugal in areas that are either necessities or aren\'t important to me while allocating funds to hobbies/interests that do (ie. travel). It\'s about prioritizing money to go furthest on what matters while reducing expenses on everything else. Dressing well matters, but I can dress well for cheap - hence the OP struggle. So let\'s not get carried away here. I know how to enjoy life and spend money on what matters to me. I have a very clear idea of what I\'ll do with my time and money once I am partially and/or fully retired. My OP represented a struggle with spending more money than usual on items that I don\'t absolutely need, and I ended up deciding to be OK with it. No regrets.\r\n
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    \r\n That is great to hear.
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    \nFor me personally I would never spend that much on a handful of clothing items, because I don\'t value high value brand name clothing that much. But for you it does sound like something you do desire, even though you struggle to spend on it.\r\n
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    \r\n Quote Originally Posted by CalgaryPotato\r\n View Post\r\n
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    That is great to hear.
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    \nFor me personally I would never spend that much on a handful of clothing items, because I don\'t value high value brand name clothing that much. But for you it does sound like something you do desire, even though you struggle to spend on it.
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    Thanks. I\'ve always resisted the urge and don\'t expect it to continue long-term. The idea is to spend more on staple items that I can keep for years, but I\'m not replacing my entire wardrobe.
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    \nI think part of my issue is that I mixed in necessary business spending with personal spending RE: clothes.
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    \nIn the summer my role is changing and I\'ll be in suits 3-4 days per week. Right now I\'m able to dress casual or business casual. I have few suits and the fit/materials aren\'t great. My dress shoes are very worn down. So I knew going into the summer that I\'d need to buy 1-2 pairs of dress shoes and at least 2 new suits. I\'d already decided to not cheap out on these items due to how much wear I\'ll put on them and because I\'ll be in client-facing situations often.
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    \nBut once I also decided to start adding a few personal/casual items to the list (ie. new spring/fall jacket, boots, etc.) the list and price started to make me nervous. But in reality I need the business attire - can\'t really not buy them - and they are more an investment in myself and career. The personal spending is less than half of the wish list. Still a decent amount versus what I normally spend on clothes, but I think it was easier to get on board mentally when I just excluded the business attire from my calculations. I can\'t not buy that stuff so including it was unfairly ballooning my spending, which caused the guilt. I\'d already somewhat budgeted for the business attire, so it was more about separating the two mentally.\r\n
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    \r\n We are frugal inasmuch as we focus, and we buy, on value, not price.\r\n
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    \r\n I actually feel happier with less things. "The things we own end up owning us."
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    \nI\'ve been trying to incorporate minimalism to my life. I felt better after getting rid of a lot of my things. I hate clutter of things that serve no purpose to me, and I have to really think about my purchases for that reason.
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    \nTwo easy things are having a "capsule wardrobe" where I have enough clothes (I go for well fitting, simple, and as timeless a fashion as possible) for a week, and those clothes are all items that I will for sure wear. Things are only replaced as they wear out. A second thing is only drinking water which is easy since I care about my fitness/physique goals more than sugary/alcoholic drinks and derive a lot of pleasure/happiness out of achieving that tangible success, so it\'s easy to ignore anything that doesn\'t fit into that, especially since it\'s already a habit.
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    \nI want bare walls, minimal furniture I can get away with, but one thing I won\'t cheap out on is the bed/sleeping arrangement.
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    \nAnd well, cars. I love cars. I don\'t want my garage attached to my house. I want my house attached to my garage. You can race a car, but you can\'t race a house.\r\n
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    \r\n Quote Originally Posted by WGZ\r\n View Post\r\n
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    And well, cars. I love cars. I don\'t want my garage attached to my house. I want my house attached to my garage. You can race a car, but you can\'t race a house.
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    Good thinking. In addition to that, when times get tough, you can live in your car, but you cannot drive your house. For the ultimate in frugality.\r\n
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    Invest your time actively and your money passively.
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    \r\n Quote Originally Posted by WGZ\r\n View Post\r\n
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    I actually feel happier with less things. "The things we own end up owning us."
    \n
    \nI\'ve been trying to incorporate minimalism to my life. I felt better after getting rid of a lot of my things. I hate clutter of things that serve no purpose to me, and I have to really think about my purchases for that reason.
    \n
    \nTwo easy things are having a "capsule wardrobe" where I have enough clothes (I go for well fitting, simple, and as timeless a fashion as possible) for a week, and those clothes are all items that I will for sure wear. Things are only replaced as they wear out. A second thing is only drinking water which is easy since I care about my fitness/physique goals more than sugary/alcoholic drinks and derive a lot of pleasure/happiness out of achieving that tangible success, so it\'s easy to ignore anything that doesn\'t fit into that, especially since it\'s already a habit.
    \n
    \nI want bare walls, minimal furniture I can get away with, but one thing I won\'t cheap out on is the bed/sleeping arrangement.
    \n
    \nAnd well, cars. I love cars. I don\'t want my garage attached to my house. I want my house attached to my garage. You can race a car, but you can\'t race a house.
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    \nAgreed on all points.
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    \nOther than people who work in highly highly fashion-oriented corporate type jobs, I never understood how people have a monthly clothing budget. Why would someone NEED to buy clothes EVERY month? Do they get attacked by bears every other week or something? I\'ve never been one to keep up with the latest in-season clothing, and I\'ve always been one to take care of my clothes as far as keeping them in good condition.\r\n
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    \r\n Quote Originally Posted by DollaWine\r\n View Post\r\n
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    Other than people who work in highly highly fashion-oriented corporate type jobs, I never understood how people have a monthly clothing budget. Why would someone NEED to buy clothes EVERY month? Do they get attacked by bears every other week or something? I\'ve never been one to keep up with the latest in-season clothing, and I\'ve always been one to take care of my clothes as far as keeping them in good condition.
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    I think for me, I find it much more cost efficient to buy an item or two every month, as I find things on sale than to try and pick one time per year to replace half my clothing. Also I try to buy things at the end of their seasons to get better value. If you try to buy everything from your winter jackets, to your shorts at the same time, it\'s hard to find things in stock even.\r\n
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    \r\n Quote Originally Posted by DollaWine\r\n View Post\r\n
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    I never understood how people have a monthly clothing budget. Why would someone NEED to buy clothes EVERY month?
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    I doubt the implication is that clothes are bought every month; only that the clothing budget is calculated as a monthly average so that it can be set in perspective with the other expenses that either occur or can also be averaged on a monthly basis.\r\n
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    \r\n Don\'t confuse frugal with an aversion to shopping.
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    \nI am not particularly frugal but I dislilke shopping. I avoid it, shop online where possible,and buy the best quality I can so that I do not have to replace the item and shop yet again. Complete opposite to DW but that is fine....she can go to the mall or downtown by herself.\r\n
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  • \r\n'; pd[1522330] = '\r\n
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    \r\n Quote Originally Posted by ian\r\n View Post\r\n
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    Don\'t confuse frugal with an aversion to shopping.
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    \r\nI am not particularly frugal but I dislilke shopping. I avoid it, shop online where possible,and buy the best quality I can so that I do not have to replace the item and shop yet again. Complete opposite to DW but that is fine....she can go to the mall or downtown by herself.
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    Not sure where I gave off the vibe that I like shopping, but I definitely don\'t. I\'m a natural saver and non-spender. Like you, I also buy what I need in high quality to avoid replacing in the near future. I\'m also a man. Lol.
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    \r\nIn retrospect I can see how my username might be interpreted as a female who likes cheap wine \r\n
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  • \r\n'; pd[1522474] = '\r\n
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    \r\n I think ian was referring to dear wife not OP
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    \r\nI love having a uniform for work because I don\'t even have to think about what to wear. The amount that simplifies my life compared to others makes me realize how shallow people are. My girlfriend for example, will stress excessively about being seen twice in the same thing within a certain timeframe. This also applies to any picture posted to Facebook etc.. hilarious to me but I also understand and pity the constructs of society.
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    \r\nI buy clothes for their function and quality rather than a forced variety. I\'ll buy the highest quality I can find so that not only is it more enjoyable to wear but also doesn\'t need to be replaced as often. I don\'t buy or keep various versions of the same thing for the sake of not being seen in the same colour twice in a row.. We all have a preferred look and feel to our clothes so why wear something else for the sake of wearing something else..
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    \r\nMany highly successful people always dressed the same way\r\n
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    Amat Victoria Curam
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  • \r\n'; pd[1518306] = '\r\n
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    \r\n Quote Originally Posted by WGZ\r\n View Post\r\n
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    I want bare walls, minimal furniture I can get away with, but one thing I won\'t cheap out on is the bed/sleeping arrangement.
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    I\'m gonna go ahead and guess you aren\'t married.. \r\n
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    "That\'s what I do, I drink and I know things" - Tyrion Lannister
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    \r\n Quote Originally Posted by Koogie\r\n View Post\r\n
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    I\'m gonna go ahead and guess you aren\'t married..
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    Funny thing is my Ex would have agreed on all what I said, even the car part. But that was after I "enlightened" her with my wackiness; it definitely rubbed off on her and I could say or do anything and she\'d go along with it, within reason.
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    \nCurrent GF I\'m not sure so sure of yet, but she\'ll come around to the idea of it better than most I\'d say knowing her.
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    \nI think for me it\'s just growing up with a lot clutter and useless junk to know I don\'t want that for myself.
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    \nI keep thinking of how my drawer for eating utensils would contain just two of each utensil. Just like how with my old Honda I could have most of the car disassembled, and all I\'d need is a socket wrench with a 10mm, 12mm, and 14mm deep socket. An extension or two, and a pipe or breaker bar for leverage. A kitchen can\'t be much different from a garage, right? \r\n
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  • \r\n'; pd[1513490] = '\r\n
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    \r\n Quote Originally Posted by motl\r\n View Post\r\n
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    Thanks, great response.
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    \nNew sale started tonight at the company selling the jacket I was eyeing. Such a good deal I also added a shirt priced 2-3 times what I normally spend (but big sale for amazing quality), and am excited for them to arrive! Spent about $315 for a jacket + shirt, more than the entire outfit I wore today cost
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    \nYou get your knife?
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    As I was about to order it I realized it might be better to head to a Japanese knife store downtown and see what they have so I can test them in-person. But I\'ve given myself the rule that I\'m not allowed to leave without buying one
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    \nI did order some clothes that was sitting in my shopping cart for about a month though!\r\n
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  • \r\n'; pd[1512474] = '\r\n
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    \r\n Buy the knife. You EASILY have te money, your love to cook. It will bring you enjoyment, and it\'s one of those practical things you will use for years.\r\n
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    On a \'smart\' device, please excuse autocorrect/when letters are missing.
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    \r\n Quote Originally Posted by motl\r\n View Post\r\n
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    So I\'m typically a very frugal person.
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    I don\'t think you\'re a frugal person. No, you\'re pinching pennies on many things so that you can afford to go on expensive vacations every year. You\'re ok with spending $1,700 on a vacation to Mexico but won\'t spend properly on yourself throughout the year.
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    \r\nWe can\'t take vacations that are farther away than say, a couple hours drive from home. It\'ll be like this for a while still and it got me thinking about what I can do since there are no $2,000 vacations for me. I now eat mostly organic food, buy the best leather boots, buy the top of the line skillets (no cheap teflon), etc. Often, I order the most expensive meals at restaurants. We sip champagne when we thirsty (this one\'s not true -Notorious BIG). I\'m enjoying spreading out the "extras" on me all year and eating the best food at the grocery store is certainly better than exposing myself to Noro virus on vacation.
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    \r\nIs it sour grapes? Could be, but since I have to forego fancy vacations I spend money on myself that I would have given to strangers for a cheap bed in a hotel somewhere.\r\n
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    \r\n Quote Originally Posted by MrsPartridge\r\n View Post\r\n
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    I don\'t think you\'re a frugal person. No, you\'re pinching pennies on many things so that you can afford to go on expensive vacations every year. You\'re ok with spending $1,700 on a vacation to Mexico but won\'t spend properly on yourself throughout the year.
    \r\n
    \r\nWe can\'t take vacations that are farther away than say, a couple hours drive from home. It\'ll be like this for a while still and it got me thinking about what I can do since there are no $2,000 vacations for me. I now eat mostly organic food, buy the best leather boots, buy the top of the line skillets (no cheap teflon), etc. Often, I order the most expensive meals at restaurants. We sip champagne when we thirsty (this one\'s not true -Notorious BIG). I\'m enjoying spreading out the "extras" on me all year and eating the best food at the grocery store is certainly better than exposing myself to Noro virus on vacation.
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    \r\nIs it sour grapes? Could be, but since I have to forego fancy vacations I spend money on myself that I would have given to strangers for a cheap bed in a hotel somewhere.
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    I could afford to go on those vacations either way. And $1700 for 2.5 weeks in Mexico (including kenneling my dog) was a frugal vacation.
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    \r\nI \'penny pinch\' to achieve a high savings rate and pursue early retirement. My vacations are worked into my budgets and serve as rewarding breaks.
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    \r\nPlanned, budgeted items like that are different than spending frivolously on everyday items. Generally speaking.\r\n
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    \r\n Quote Originally Posted by MrsPartridge\r\n View Post\r\n
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    I don\'t think you\'re a frugal person. No, you\'re pinching pennies on many things so that you can afford to go on expensive vacations every year. You\'re ok with spending $1,700 on a vacation to Mexico but won\'t spend properly on yourself throughout the year.
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    \nWe can\'t take vacations that are farther away than say, a couple hours drive from home. It\'ll be like this for a while still and it got me thinking about what I can do since there are no $2,000 vacations for me. I now eat mostly organic food, buy the best leather boots, buy the top of the line skillets (no cheap teflon), etc. Often, I order the most expensive meals at restaurants. We sip champagne when we thirsty (this one\'s not true -Notorious BIG). I\'m enjoying spreading out the "extras" on me all year and eating the best food at the grocery store is certainly better than exposing myself to Noro virus on vacation.
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    \nIs it sour grapes? Could be, but since I have to forego fancy vacations I spend money on myself that I would have given to strangers for a cheap bed in a hotel somewhere.
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    Disagree. That is a matter of choice in my opinion.
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    \nIn the long run, I have found that when you spend a little more money than you normally would on say, shoes, for example, it tends to work out better in the long run as they usually don\'t wear out or look weathered as quickly as the cheaper things do. You are purchasing items made with much better quality materials usually. It can\'t be said for everything you wear but it seems to be my experience with good quality shoes and boots.
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    \nMy wife used to buy 80-120 dollar dress type boots for work and by the end of the winter they were in rough shape for the most part. Some she would get the soles re done and other repairs here and there. The last pair I talked her into getting a good pair at over $300 on sale. They look almost like the day she bought them, over 2 years ago. Well worth the extra money in my eyes.\r\n
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    1. #15
      Senior Member
      Join Date
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      Location
      Toronto
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      Quote Originally Posted by CalgaryPotato View Post
      You have to live your life and be able to spend on what's important to you. I know for me my motivation to not be overly frugal is that I've had a number of family members either die or get a debilitating disease within months to a couple of years after retirement. (or earlier)

      You can't take it with you, and this is why you need to have financial goals in life (short, medium and long term). If you are saving money, but you don't even know what you are saving it for, what is the point? It's no different than spending wildly because you have no plan.
      True words...

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