A contest for tightwads

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OrdinaryAvgGuy

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My recent decision to eliminate cable TV has not been well received by friends and family members who frequently refer to me as a tightwad, cheapo, stingy, thrifty, frugal, a penny-pincher, etc. I have heard them all.

This got me to thinking, I bet many of you started this hobby to save money on beer. I know this was one deciding factor for me. (after 6 hours of brewing, bottling and cleaning for a 6 gallon batch I learned the hard way) There has to be some real tightwads on this forum.

Here's how the contest works.

There are 2 rules to the contest:

  1. You must list ways that you save money each month along with the associated savings
  2. You can not be Jewish. Sorry my jew friends, we want this contest to be fair. :D

For comparison purpose this contest has been broken down into 8 categories: Communication (includes cable/satelite service), car payment, car insurance, health insurance, cell phone, utilities, food and other.

Okay, Ill start

Communications:

Just eliminated cable. Ordered Ooma for phone service $4 per month, internet $45. These are both a must as they are used to pay my bills.

Car payment

Whats this?

Car insurance:

State mandated liability insurance. $41 per month for 2 vehicles

Health insurance:

5k deductible HSA based plan $72 per month (was just over $50 prior to jan 1. Will not get started on this one)

Cell phone

Tracfone baby. I buy the 1 year plan for $200 - 4500 mins. Comes out to $16.66 per month for 375 mins.

Utilities

This is one area that I am not stingy only because I enjoy being comfortable in the summer. Ac stays at 72 degree with electric averaging $130 per month.

Food

Discount shopping when possible. Ollies, Aldi and cringe... Walmart

Other

My wife cuts my hair, refill my car wiper blades to save $7, I only flush it down when brown, wear pants several times until they are soiled or smell, wash my condoms out and reuse them. Just kidding! But I do have a friend that actually does this.

Okay your turn.

Oh, and the winner gets this free book on managing arthritis pain. http://www.all-freemagazines.com/Free-Health-Magazines/Arthritis-Guide-Booklet-Free/

Come on, you know you want it. ITS FREE!
 

JohnSand

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Well, I'm not hardcore, I still pay cable. But my primary way of saving (aside from being cheap!) is not paying any interest. I've only taken three loans in my life, two mortgages and a college loan. I do use credit cards, but pay off at the end of the month. I saved money, never bought anything I couldn't afford, paid off the house. My current car was my most expensive at $6700. Before that I never paid more than $1200 for a car. Of course I fix them myself. And the stove, dryer, toilet, etc. If I need tools or parts, I go to Ebay or craigslist first. I furnished my last house with yard sale stuff (I was single). Now that I'm a homebrewer, I checked the basement for gear. I already have 20 and 32 quart pots, probably paid no more than [email protected]
No debt.
p.s. Don't exclude jewish guys! It's all in fun.
 
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OrdinaryAvgGuy

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Well, I'm not hardcore, I still pay cable. But my primary way of saving (aside from being cheap!) is not paying any interest. I've only taken three loans in my life, two mortgages and a college loan. I do use credit cards, but pay off at the end of the month. I saved money, never bought anything I couldn't afford, paid off the house. My current car was my most expensive at $6700. Before that I never paid more than $1200 for a car. Of course I fix them myself. And the stove, dryer, toilet, etc. If I need tools or parts, I go to Ebay or craigslist first. I furnished my last house with yard sale stuff (I was single). Now that I'm a homebrewer, I checked the basement for gear. I already have 20 and 32 quart pots, probably paid no more than [email protected]
No debt.
p.s. Don't exclude jewish guys! It's all in fun.
Sounds like a solid way of saving. Since the age of 18 I have had nearly 20 credit cards - not a penny of interest.

I used them for 12-18 months interest free to buy income generating products and services and paid them off with proceeded prior to the 0% introductory APR expiring.

I would also like to add that having debt is not a bad thing as many believe. Good, low interest debt, such as debt taken out to purchase income producing property is fantastic IMO.

And the excluding jewish guys was only a joke. Hope you guys don't take it seriously. Of course jews are welcome!
 

Varmintman

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Well I like to make a dime think it is a dollar and do it by growing or shooting much of the food I eat. No cell phone just basic cable and internet.

Funny thing is I enjoy living this way :)
 

Yooper

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I'm a tightwad.

What's cable? What's a smartphone? What's AC?

I'm very thrifty. I wouldn't step foot into a Wal-mart if they were giving away everything in the store, though.

I have everything I need, most everything I could ever want, and want for nothing. I don't need a phone that puts me in contact with the world, 200 channels of garbage, discount stores full of junk, or much else.

We have a huge garden, and don't buy food in the grocery store beyond a few things. We get grass fed beef and chickens and eggs from a friend, we hunt and fish, we don't eat wheat or cereal or those type of boxed foods, so we don't spend much at the grocery store. I NEED my coffee, though! I make wine and beer, and other things we might want (cheese, soap, cider, laundry soap, shampoo, etc).

We buy our clothes at thrift stores (local charities, as according to my husband "GoodWill is too expensive!").

For the "bold stuff":

Communications:
Internet must-have. $375/year. It's cheaper by the year- a month free if you pay by the year. Phone- $31.99/month plus tax.

Car payment: Won't do.

Car insurance: Being older is great. One driver, aged 49, one driver aged 58. Insurance is negligible as is our house insurance and cottage insurance. I think, $139/year for the cottage and about $250/year for our house. Car is more, as we have a new big truck, but it's still not bad. I think adding a 2012 Tundra added $49 for 6 months.

Health insurance: Have as retiree from work, not cheap but not too bad for us. $200/month


Cell phone: Listed above. $31.99/month and the only phone we have. It's our home phone number, but transferred to a cell plan.

Utilities: We live in a cool climate. We have central air. It came with this house. I turned it on once last summer, and it worked. Our biggest expense is heat. It's 62 degrees in most of the house that we heat.

Food: Mentioned above, but we buy coffee and stuff. $150/month or so for things we don't get via barter and stuff we "need" like tea and a oranges at times.

other: I don't buy processed food, clothing, hairspray, etc, so we spend very little. We almost never go out to eat, as we get better food at home usually. Haircuts are rare. We don't have credit card bills, a mortgage for either house (we have a lake house), so we live far below our means. That allowed us to retire very early, and spend winters in south Texas on the coast. We don't live luxiously, but we love our life. I get free magazine subscriptions, or I don't get them. I get news and stock market info online.

The way we live seems impossible for many, as I would never go through a drive thru and spend $3 on a coffee. Or even a $1.25 newspaper. I do have a kick-ass brewing rig, and a house on a lake, though! :cross:
 
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OrdinaryAvgGuy

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Well I like to make a dime think it is a dollar and do it by growing or shooting much of the food I eat. No cell phone just basic cable and internet.

Funny thing is I enjoy living this way :)
Do you have a house phone?
 
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OrdinaryAvgGuy

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I'm a tightwad.

What's cable? What's a smartphone? What's AC?

I'm very thrifty. I wouldn't step foot into a Wal-mart if they were giving away everything in the store, though.

I have everything I need, most everything I could ever want, and want for nothing. I don't need a phone that puts me in contact with the world, 200 channels of garbage, discount stores full of junk, or much else.

We have a huge garden, and don't buy food in the grocery store beyond a few things. We get grass fed beef and chickens and eggs from a friend, we hunt and fish, we don't eat wheat or cereal or those type of boxed foods, so we don't spend much at the grocery store. I NEED my coffee, though! I make wine and beer, and other things we might want (cheese, soap, cider, laundry soap, shampoo, etc).

We buy our clothes at thrift stores (local charities, as according to my husband "GoodWill is too expensive!").

For the "bold stuff":

Communications:
Internet must-have. $375/year. It's cheaper by the year- a month free if you pay by the year. Phone- $31.99/month plus tax.

Car payment: Won't do.

Car insurance: Being older is great. One driver, aged 49, one driver aged 58. Insurance is negligible as is our house insurance and cottage insurance. I think, $139/year for the cottage and about $250/year for our house. Car is more, as we have a new big truck, but it's still not bad. I think adding a 2012 Tundra added $49 for 6 months.

Health insurance: Have as retiree from work, not cheap but not too bad for us. $200/month


Cell phone: Listed above. $31.99/month and the only phone we have. It's our home phone number, but transferred to a cell plan.

Utilities: We live in a cool climate. We have central air. It came with this house. I turned it on once last summer, and it worked. Our biggest expense is heat. It's 62 degrees in most of the house that we heat.

Food: Mentioned above, but we buy coffee and stuff. $150/month or so for things we don't get via barter and stuff we "need" like tea and a oranges at times.

other: I don't buy processed food, clothing, hairspray, etc, so we spend very little. We almost never go out to eat, as we get better food at home usually. Haircuts are rare. We don't have credit card bills, a mortgage for either house (we have a lake house), so we live far below our means. That allowed us to retire very early, and spend winters in south Texas on the coast. We don't live luxiously, but we love our life. I get free magazine subscriptions, or I don't get them. I get news and stock market info online.

The way we live seems impossible for many, as I would never go through a drive thru and spend $3 on a coffee. Or even a $1.25 newspaper. I do have a kick-ass brewing rig, and a house on a lake, though! :cross:
Interesting. I never knew we were so much alike. :confused:

My wife and I are also snow birds. We have a fall-winter-spring lake home in NC and a summer home in PA. NC summers and PA winters suck.

I would shop at Goodwill but prefer to cloth myself with promotional shirts such as bud light and miller light although I despise their product. The remainder of my clothing is donated by my debt overloaded friends and family members who stay in "style"

BTW, tell me about this internet service that you have. Speed? I'm interested as $31 per month sounds like a fair price.
 

JohnSand

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OP: Kind of thought you were joking some. It's a good thing too, I'm 1/8 jewish! :)
I forgot heat, we keep the house cool, 65 day, maybe 62 night, don't heat the upstairs. I wear my clothes until they wear through, and they tend to be gifts. I don't think I've bought a shirt or sweater for years.
Yooper makes a great point: Simple is better. When we're on the boat (1968, bought for cash, do my own repairs), we wonder why we need so much stuff at home. I just spent a week on another boat, and didn't miss tv at all..
 

Yooper

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BTW, tell me about this internet service that you have. Speed? I'm interested as $31 per month sounds like a fair price.
It's a local "fixed wireless" provider. We live in a (very) rural area, and he came in about 10 years ago with this. We love it. We actually don't use it for two months per year, but Bob won't let me cut it for those two months, as he still uses their email server even when we're in Texas. (the house we rent has cable/wireless/AC/etc/ :p).

We put our dock in today, and should be putting the boat in in a few days. (I found the boat via Craigslist, about 60 miles away for a bargain price of $2800 a couple of years ago).

As JohnSand said, we don't really need all the "stuff" we have. I live very simply, really.

I love going kayaking in Texas in a saltwater bay and bringing home a bunch of oysters and some fish and putting both on the grill.

When home, I love sitting by the fire (inside by the fireplace when it's cold, outside when it's not as cold) with my husband and drinking a few beers while listening to music. I walk my dog, talk to the goldfish in my fish pond (that I made with a shovel and some plastic), play with my grandson, play cribbage with my daughter, work a few days a month if I"m lucky, go to the library often (I'm a reader), and spend my days with the most amazing man I ever met.

I think most of these things can't be bought, and it's a good thing as I'm too cheap, er, frugal, to pay for them. :)
 
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OrdinaryAvgGuy

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OP: Kind of thought you were joking some. It's a good thing too, I'm 1/8 jewish! :)
I forgot heat, we keep the house cool, 65 day, maybe 62 night, don't heat the upstairs. I wear my clothes until they wear through, and they tend to be gifts. I don't think I've bought a shirt or sweater for years.
Yooper makes a great point: Simple is better. When we're on the boat (1968, bought for cash, do my own repairs), we wonder why we need so much stuff at home. I just spent a week on another boat, and didn't miss tv at all..
Funny you mentioned a boat. I have a 1960 something 14' jon boat that was donated to me. I take it out fishing on the lake with only a 30lb trolling motor, deep cycle battery and back up ore.

When folks in large, new expensive boats roll by and laugh (yes, this happens quite frequently) I think about how I am just as likely as they are to catch a big fish and don't have a boat payment, have to pay tax and registration fees, pay registration fees on a trailer or pay to maintain my boat. It only requires a new deep cycle battery every 3 years or so.

Not to mention, I am able to go fishing any day of the year, any time of day for as many days as I desire because I'm not at work supporting my spending habits.
 

Yooper

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Not to mention, I am able to go fishing any day of the year, any time of day for as many days as I desire because I'm not at work supporting my spending habits.
Yeah, but that's true of anything you buy!

I know people (ahem, my brother and his wife) who have a lovely home. Lovely. And they both work full-time, killer hours, so they can have this lovely home that they are never in. The kids are in day care, the lawn is mowed by a service (since they don't have time), and Saturday is cleaning day, grocery day, pool cleaning day, etc.

They have this beautiful home in the suburbs, a super nice car, a big Bayliner ($25,000) for Lake Erie, a nice pool, etc.

And they never use the home, the pool, or the boat. Because they don't have time. They have to work incessantly to pay for the home, the pool, and the boat. They sleep in the home. That's about it. And will pay on it for the next 30 years.

I think we're pretty screwed up on what's important. If you asked my brother how important his house and boat was, compared to his family, he'd tell you they weren't at all. But his family never sees him, because he bought such a nice house for them to be in while he's gone 13 hours a day.
 

marubozo

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I think I will lose this contest. I'm anti-tightwad for the most part.

I make a lot of money so I can spend a lot of money. But I adhere to one simple rule. I only buy what I can afford. I can afford cable, so we get cable. I can afford the grocery bills that allow us to eat seafood and steak during the week if we want, so I buy it. I can afford the few extra dollars to keep the house at a comfortable 72 in the dog days of summer and at 68 in the winter, so that's what I do. At the same time, all of the spending remains in check so that putting money into the kids' college funds and our retirement funds isn't compromised. I guess the only true tightwad thing I do right now is drive around a POS beater car that's paid off and probably not even worth $1,000. Since cars aren't important to me, I don't care, and that obviously saves a lot of money. But I'm not going to ****ing clip a few coupons or sweat my balls off at night in the summer just to save a few bucks if it isn't going to affect the more important financial aspects of life. But again, it all falls back on the only buying what you can afford rule. If you don't have the debt man knocking on your door every month, it's easy to get by and not worry about robbing Peter to pay Paul.

Life's too precious and too short to be miserly for the sake of being miserly so that you can wear it as a badge of honor. I'm not saying that's anyone here, but I have some friends who constantly brag about how little they are spending and all the sacrifices they are making just to save what amounts to very little. If that's what they want out of life, more power to them. I just won't participate in willingly restricting many of the pleasures in life unless it became a financial necessity.

I'm sure people will disagree, so flame away. :D
 
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OrdinaryAvgGuy

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It's a local "fixed wireless" provider. We live in a (very) rural area, and he came in about 10 years ago with this. We love it. We actually don't use it for two months per year, but Bob won't let me cut it for those two months, as he still uses their email server even when we're in Texas. (the house we rent has cable/wireless/AC/etc/ :p).

We put our dock in today, and should be putting the boat in in a few days. (I found the boat via Craigslist, about 60 miles away for a bargain price of $2800 a couple of years ago).

As JohnSand said, we don't really need all the "stuff" we have. I live very simply, really.

I love going kayaking in Texas in a saltwater bay and bringing home a bunch of oysters and some fish and putting both on the grill.

When home, I love sitting by the fire (inside by the fireplace when it's cold, outside when it's not as cold) with my husband and drinking a few beers while listening to music. I walk my dog, talk to the goldfish in my fish pond (that I made with a shovel and some plastic), play with my grandson, play cribbage with my daughter, work a few days a month if I"m lucky, go to the library often (I'm a reader), and spend my days with the most amazing man I ever met.

I think most of these things can't be bought, and it's a good thing as I'm too cheap, er, frugal, to pay for them. :)
Sounds like your husband got a good catch. Living the simple life is definitely the way to go.

It took 1 trip to Europe for me to realize this. While I have always been a frugal person, I did accumulate a lot of "stuff". The more stuff you own, the more time you spend maintaining your stuff. This give you less time to enjoy doing the "stuff" you like to do, like brewing beer and fishing.

Since my trip, I sold a bunch of unnecessary stuff (that I purchased used of course) and refuse to allow anything to pass through my front door unless its purpose it to make me money.

I have an 8 year goal to sell all of my possessions with the exception of my laptop which keeps me connected to the world. From here I would like to spend my retirement years aimlessly wondering the globe.
 

Yooper

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Life's too precious and too short to be miserly for the sake of being miserly so that you can wear it as a badge of honor. I'm not saying that's anyone here, but I have some friends who constantly brag about how little they are spending and all the sacrifices they are making just to save what amounts to very little. If that's what they want out of life, more power to them. I just won't participate in willingly restricting many of the pleasures in life unless it became a financial necessity.

I'm sure people will disagree, so flame away. :D
I totally agree with you!

But I'd put it another way- life's too precious and short for me to work until I'm old. I'd rather save a little, sacrifice a little, and retire at the ripe old age of 46.

The stuff people buy, they often can't even remember what it was when they get the credit card bill. By living far below means when the kids were home, we can live the way we want to now.

It's not that my way is "better"- it's just better for me. I'd rather go without a new car, or steak on Tuesday, if it means great freedom to travel when I want and go fishing on Tuesday (instead of having steak).

By giving up a few pleasures at the time, I now have a life of pleasures for myself and my husband. (That sounds dirty. That's not how I meant it. But.............noon is a good time for both of us now that I think about it! :p)
 
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Yeah, but that's true of anything you buy!

I know people (ahem, my brother and his wife) who have a lovely home. Lovely. And they both work full-time, killer hours, so they can have this lovely home that they are never in. The kids are in day care, the lawn is mowed by a service (since they don't have time), and Saturday is cleaning day, grocery day, pool cleaning day, etc.

They have this beautiful home in the suburbs, a super nice car, a big Bayliner ($25,000) for Lake Erie, a nice pool, etc.

And they never use the home, the pool, or the boat. Because they don't have time. They have to work incessantly to pay for the home, the pool, and the boat. They sleep in the home. That's about it. And will pay on it for the next 30 years.

I think we're pretty screwed up on what's important. If you asked my brother how important his house and boat was, compared to his family, he'd tell you they weren't at all. But his family never sees him, because he bought such a nice house for them to be in while he's gone 13 hours a day.
So true. Everyone I know has fallen into the same trap as your brother. Its like one big pissing contest - Jones vs Smiths and there are no winners. I just sit back and enjoy watching them spend their money.

I would have fallen into the same trap but was fortunate to receive some sound advice from an older mentor at a very young age.
 

marubozo

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The stuff people buy, they often can't even remember what it was when they get the credit card bill. By living far below means when the kids were home, we can live the way we want to now.
I think that pretty much sums it up. In all my years as a financial planner, especially during the time I worked for a hospital and managed high-income earners' money, this is 100% true.

I'd sit down with nurses, doctors, and everyone else who was making 85k-250k/year, and it was the same damn story every time. They made all this money, but were still living paycheck to paycheck. For those of us who make a fraction of that, it's dumbfounding, but it's true. Mo money = mo problems.

They made all this money, but all they did was buy stuff with credit. They bought expensive houses, expensive cars, expensive electronics, and they used credit to do so. Even those making six-figures had so much stuff they didn't even know what they were paying for every month and wondered why they didn't have 100 bucks a month to put into their retirement account. It was shockingly sad.

It absolutely blew my mind. If these people just went five or ten years without a 5,000/month mortgage and parking two BMWs in the garage, they would have a huge nest egg or college fund for their kids down the road. Instead, they would come into my office, sit down, and give me some pity party about how they can't afford to take $100 out of each paycheck to go into their 401k, which was matched 100% BTW.

Simply amazing.
 

Ostomo517

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Life's too precious and too short to be miserly for the sake of being miserly so that you can wear it as a badge of honor. I'm not saying that's anyone here, but I have some friends who constantly brag about how little they are spending and all the sacrifices they are making just to save what amounts to very little. If that's what they want out of life, more power to them. I just won't participate in willingly restricting many of the pleasures in life unless it became a financial necessity.

I'm sure people will disagree, so flame away. :D
This! We have the money we have worked for to do what we want so we do. I spend a lot on brewing and beer and she spends hers on whatever she wants, screw being miserable to be cheap. We travel and everything else, and sure lots of work pays for it but its worth it. The one moneysaver.... we will never have kids, neither of us wants em.
 
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OrdinaryAvgGuy

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Life's too precious and too short to be miserly for the sake of being miserly so that you can wear it as a badge of honor. I'm not saying that's anyone here, but I have some friends who constantly brag about how little they are spending and all the sacrifices they are making just to save what amounts to very little. If that's what they want out of life, more power to them. I just won't participate in willingly restricting many of the pleasures in life unless it became a financial necessity.

I'm sure people will disagree, so flame away. :D
I stray away from common luxuries because IMO as a sum they take away from who we are. We too much time playing on smart phones watching football and working to support these habits. This time can be used for more important tasks such as spending time with family and learning more about ourselves. Hell, the Amish may be onto something here.

While I am guilty of enjoying some luxaries, I still know whats really important in life.
 
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OrdinaryAvgGuy

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I think that pretty much sums it up. In all my years as a financial planner, especially during the time I worked for a hospital and managed high-income earners' money, this is 100% true.

I'd sit down with nurses, doctors, and everyone else who was making 85k-250k/year, and it was the same damn story every time. They made all this money, but were still living paycheck to paycheck. For those of us who make a fraction of that, it's dumbfounding, but it's true. Mo money = mo problems.

They made all this money, but all they did was buy stuff with credit. They bought expensive houses, expensive cars, expensive electronics, and they used credit to do so. Even those making six-figures had so much stuff they didn't even know what they were paying for every month and wondered why they didn't have 100 bucks a month to put into their retirement account. It was shockingly sad.

It absolutely blew my mind. If these people just went five or ten years without a 5,000/month mortgage and parking two BMWs in the garage, they would have a huge nest egg or college fund for their kids down the road. Instead, they would come into my office, sit down, and give me some pity party about how they can't afford to take $100 out of each paycheck to go into their 401k, which was matched 100% BTW.

Simply amazing.
I am friends with a couple pharmacist, lawyers, and other high income earners who have to "wait until Friday" before they can go out for a couple drinks. Sad but true.
 

Zuljin

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De-railer!

How are y'all using and maintaining these deep cycle batteries? I used deep cycle on my canoe and a small flat boat for a while. I charged them with a trickle charger. They just didn't last as long as yalls are. Maybe I was slacking on the charging. I dunno.
 
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OrdinaryAvgGuy

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De-railer!

How are y'all using and maintaining these deep cycle batteries? I used deep cycle on my canoe and a small flat boat for a while. I charged them with a trickle charger. They just didn't last as long as yalls are. Maybe I was slacking on the charging. I dunno.
I keep mine in a semi climate controlled environment fully charged in when not in use. Also, I believe it helps to allow the battery to drain almost fully before recharging. Trickle charging is a plus.
 
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OrdinaryAvgGuy

OrdinaryAvgGuy

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Everyone's hating on Walmart. I love going just to People Watch. There are some seriously interesting people in this world. And they all congregate at Walmart.
yes indeed.

I'm not a Walmart hater and have learned how to use it with minimum frustration. I try to shop between the hours of 9am -11am or 7pm to 8pm M-F. Most folks are at work during the first time period and at home stuffing their pie holes during the second time period. Shopping after 9pm is risky because you know only one cashier will be on duty. Weekends.. forget about it.
 

Varmintman

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De-railer!

How are y'all using and maintaining these deep cycle batteries? I used deep cycle on my canoe and a small flat boat for a while. I charged them with a trickle charger. They just didn't last as long as yalls are. Maybe I was slacking on the charging. I dunno.
I just bought new for my camper this year and sadly I bought 12 volt before I read a article on using the 6 volt golf cart batteries. Next time I buy it will be the 6 volt instead. Saying that try charging them before they get to low. Every battery has a life of full discharges and if you do not fully discharge them they will last much longer.
 

Varmintman

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While some folks think it is miserly to live the way I do I do it because I enjoy it. I do not eat out or drink in bars. If it is something I do not need I do not buy it.

I will however spend money on things I need and if it is a tool that I will use to make money I will buy the best. I spend money I just choose to spend it where i want and not where society dictates.
 

DrunkleJon

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I have found that the purchase of a motorcycle is saving me quite a bit of money when it comes to commuting. I get 40 or so mpg on it where my car is lucky to get 26. All vehicles I own are paid in full and bought used. I do my own maintenance.

My only debt is my mortgage payment, and I pay only a fraction of that because being a bachelor in his early thirties with no SWMBO or children I rent out the other half of the house and get the majority of my mortgage covered by rent. I overpay my monthly mortgage payments by a couple hundred dollars a month to reduce interest accrual (you are aware that with a 30 year loan more than half of that time is spent just paying off interest?). I rarely go out to bars or restaurants, my beer is better, my grill makes better food, and my mother taught me to cook. Bringing my own lunch to work saves $7-15/day. Costco allows for bulk meat/fruit/veg purchases that I usually go in on with my roomates or whomever is interested.

I also subscribe to the pay off the credit cards every month approach. I perfer to pay in cash when possible, as it helps me budget. On pay day I will take out whatever I am loosely budgeting myself for fun/restaurants/bars until the next one and if I have the cash in my wallet I can afford what I want to do, otherwise I will save up or hold off. Credit Cards are mainly used for the big purchases of things I can afford, gas, groceries, car/bike parts, etc.

Other things that help is that I have few real needs. I do not smoke, am one of those obnoxiously healthy people who rarely gets sick, take no regular medication, hate OTC drugs, amongst others. As for the house, in the winter the heat is set to 65, summer the AC (if it is even turned on) is set to 75. Windows and ceiling fans whenever possible.

All in all this boils down to the fact that I am currently able to put several hunderd to $1k away a month and at times more. And to those who wonder, I have a well developed social life so my 'thriftiness' does not get in the way much there.


Also, along the lines of things to try. Find out the new inventory days at thrift stores, you can find some really cool/nice stuff there and usually the day before it they drop prices on some items to make room. Found a sweet craps/coffee table there for a song which is now really tying the room together.
 
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OrdinaryAvgGuy

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I've got 3 kids, 2 of them in college, another on the way there. My bank account's like waterfall.

Tell a fireman to watch his water usage while he's fighting a blaze. He'll just laugh.
I hear this from a lot of people.

I subscribe to the the theory that paying for ones own educational expense has several benefits over having them paid for - during and after their study. I can elaborate if anyone is interested.
 

hoppyhoppyhippo

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I'm somewhere between tightwad and I get what I want. If I want something I get it for as cheaply as possible.

For example there are 2 things that I'm pretty much 100% gonna buy, Guldens mustard and Heinz ketchup. Won't get knockoffs of either of them. I may consider a different name brand mustard but usually don't. The other things I've found that I hate the knockoffs of are

Shampoo (been using head and shoulders for years, started using for dandruff kept using cause of how awesome it makes my hair feel)

Dish soap, don't know why this is the case but I bought a bottle of some cheap store stuff from pathmark and it lasted about a month, for about triple the price I'm on month 6 of the Palmolive oxy dish soap. That's just a no brainer to me. I'm sure there's a way I could cut that a little with a better store brand but I'm convinced enough.

Hot Dogs - In no shape way or fashion can anyone convince me that low quality hot dogs are remotely worth their cost. At a dollar an 8 pack or so, I'd rather just not eat them. I typically stock up on hotdogs when I need them. Either on sale (for example last week picked up 5 Hebrew Nationals for under 10 bucks) or buying in bulk at a lower cost per pound (usually Sabrett is the best at that point)

Bacon - Thankfully I have a free source of bacon, because otherwise I'd spend a fortune on them. Again don't need super high quality, but I hate the cheap bacon. I typically go for the kind that's at least 4 bucks a pound but usually go for the kind that's 6+

But to get back to the topic. This is basically how my costs shake down per month

Rent - 600 (can't go much cheaper than that in NJ)
Carpayment - 0
Car insurance - 130 (not willing to take my car to the minimum yet, still holds too much value)
Grocery - 200 (rounding big time on this, sometimes it's much higher sometimes it's much lower also depends on if SWMBO is on a health kick or not, as she'll spend way more on greens than I would cause she's a very picky eater)
Cell - 75 (Smartphone 700 shared mins, unl text, unl data, and insurance, won't be getting the insurance next time though, found a cheaper option for that)
Internet - 55 (Screw optimum)
TV - 7.99 (My half of the Hulu and Netflix bundle we have in the house)

Overall my costs are super low, I just need a better paying job and I can be raking in the benefits of my money saving.
 

BigPicture

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Good Thread!

I thought I was alone............................................ I'm not!

Lot's of good tips here. Let me add my problem.

Utilities are HUGE in my area. I live in a part of California that is very cold in the Winter and very Hot in the summer. It was 96* yesterday. Sure, turning off everything................ all the time has the biggest impact on my bill. But 1 big benefit has been the whole house fan. Turn it on at night & in the morning when it's cool, then shut the windows. The house will remain much cooler than outside for much of the day.
 
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OrdinaryAvgGuy

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I'm somewhere between tightwad and I get what I want. If I want something I get it for as cheaply as possible.

For example there are 2 things that I'm pretty much 100% gonna buy, Guldens mustard and Heinz ketchup. Won't get knockoffs of either of them. I may consider a different name brand mustard but usually don't. The other things I've found that I hate the knockoffs of are

Shampoo (been using head and shoulders for years, started using for dandruff kept using cause of how awesome it makes my hair feel)

Dish soap, don't know why this is the case but I bought a bottle of some cheap store stuff from pathmark and it lasted about a month, for about triple the price I'm on month 6 of the Palmolive oxy dish soap. That's just a no brainer to me. I'm sure there's a way I could cut that a little with a better store brand but I'm convinced enough.

Hot Dogs - In no shape way or fashion can anyone convince me that low quality hot dogs are remotely worth their cost. At a dollar an 8 pack or so, I'd rather just not eat them. I typically stock up on hotdogs when I need them. Either on sale (for example last week picked up 5 Hebrew Nationals for under 10 bucks) or buying in bulk at a lower cost per pound (usually Sabrett is the best at that point)

Bacon - Thankfully I have a free source of bacon, because otherwise I'd spend a fortune on them. Again don't need super high quality, but I hate the cheap bacon. I typically go for the kind that's at least 4 bucks a pound but usually go for the kind that's 6+

But to get back to the topic. This is basically how my costs shake down per month

Rent - 600 (can't go much cheaper than that in NJ)
Carpayment - 0
Car insurance - 130 (not willing to take my car to the minimum yet, still holds too much value)
Grocery - 200 (rounding big time on this, sometimes it's much higher sometimes it's much lower also depends on if SWMBO is on a health kick or not, as she'll spend way more on greens than I would cause she's a very picky eater)
Cell - 75 (Smartphone 700 shared mins, unl text, unl data, and insurance, won't be getting the insurance next time though, found a cheaper option for that)
Internet - 55 (Screw optimum)
TV - 7.99 (My half of the Hulu and Netflix bundle we have in the house)

Overall my costs are super low, I just need a better paying job and I can be raking in the benefits of my money saving.
Nothing wrong with a little brand loyalty. In my house we are loyal to only one product and that Heinz ketchup only because my wife is from Pittsburgh and she prefers the taste.

Looks like you got the right idea with your car insurance. Drop it ASAP when the value of your vehicle tanks.

I tried to explain the concept of self insurance to people for years and they never seem to grasp the concept.

My brother, for example, drives a $2500 car that he insist on carrying the best insurance policy available. He has an excellent driving record, no accidents or tickets in over a decade.

He is paying something like $120 per month for super-deluxe insurance vs $30 per month basic. Over the course of the year he pays an additional $1080 for the collision coverage. At this rate, he is paying the full value of his car every 2 or so years.

Looking at his track record of over 10 years without an accident, I would say the insurance company is winning.

I tell him to buy basic coverage and put the extra $90 into a bank account each month. Take on the 2 year risk and its all icing on the cake from there.

He don't get it..
 
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OrdinaryAvgGuy

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Good Thread!

I thought I was alone............................................ I'm not!

Lot's of good tips here. Let me add my problem.

Utilities are HUGE in my area. I live in a part of California that is very cold in the Winter and very Hot in the summer. It was 96* yesterday. Sure, turning off everything................ all the time has the biggest impact on my bill. But 1 big benefit has been the whole house fan. Turn it on at night & in the morning when it's cool, then shut the windows. The house will remain much cooler than outside for much of the day.
Fans do nothing in the southeast as the humidity makes you miserable at any temperature. Ac or a dehumidifier are necessary if you want to remain comfortable.
 

hoppyhoppyhippo

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My brother, for example, drives a $2500 car that he insist on carrying the best insurance policy available. He has an excellent driving record, no accidents or tickets in over a decade.

He is paying something like $120 per month for super-deluxe insurance vs $30 per month basic. Over the course of the year he pays an additional $1080 for the collision coverage. At this rate, he is paying the full value of his car every 2 or so years.
For me the difference isn't as extreme my car is worth about 6K right now (and should be some time before it's worth under 3K if you give the normal 10% devaluation annually) and my savings when it comes to dropping the extras (already on the lowest IIRC the state allows for allowances) I save 50 bucks a month. A very large amount. but it would take me several years (probably longer than the life of my car) to save up the cost of the car.
 
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I hear this from a lot of people.

I subscribe to the the theory that paying for ones own educational expense has several benefits over having them paid for - during and after their study. I can elaborate if anyone is interested.
I agree - I did it (well, my wife and I did it). But it was damned hard, and I ended up with some loans that took years to pay off. In the case of my spoiled kids, I saved in advance, and they will not need any loans at all. That is a big benefit for them at least.
 
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OrdinaryAvgGuy

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I agree - I did it (well, my wife and I did it). But it was damned hard, and I ended up with some loans that took years to pay off. In the case of my spoiled kids, I saved in advance, and they will not need any loans at all. That is a big benefit for them at least.
My wife and took out over $130k in loans of which very little remains. We keep a little bit of ultra low interest debt just because I like using OP money for basically free. This frees up cash that can be invested for a much higher return.

In a previous post, my theory on parental assistance was not very well received so I decided not to rekindle that fire. I will say that the harder one has it, the stronger one become IMO.
 

Varmintman

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I wonder how much of what we do is because of our parents. My parents were both raised during the great depression and were very frugal. Consequently I do not toss anything that I can reuse and when I do toss it I recycle. I grow food and can much of it for wintertime. I have no debt and refuse to buy anything I cannot pay cash for.

Most important I appreciate the things I have and do not look over the fence wishing I had a newer truck or bigger house. I am content with my life and what I got. For me that is the true meaning of life:D
 

BBL_Brewer

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Honestly, I think the best way to save money is to stay debt free. I know it was already brought up, but it can't be stressed enough. Establising credit, on the other hand, is a good thing. I have a credit card. I only use it for purchasees that i have the money for. It actually saves me money with the cash back rewards. Anything I would normally pay cash for, I use my credit card. I pay it off every week (online banking) and I never get charged interest. I worked for 2 years on a remote Air Force installation in the middle of nowhere strait out of college as a civilian contractor. This did two really big things for me. One, it taught me how many modern conveniences that you can absolutely live without. Two, it enabled me to save enough money to purchase a home outright. The funny thing is, I shopped long and hard and got a killer deal on my house. So good of a deal that it wasn't enough money to entise the bank into giving me a first mortgage. They would gladly give me a second mortgage after I purchased the house (at a much higher interest rate). As it worked out, the greedy mongrels didn't get a flat dime out of me. It kind of worried me blowing most of my wad on a house, but it's the smartest thing I ever did. With a 15 year loan, I could have almost bought another house with the interest.

Like others in this thread, I don't spend money on fancy clothes. I drive used vehicles until the bodies fall off. I do all my own maitenence and repairs. If I have the option the build something rather than buy it I do. I just recently got a cell phone, but only beacause it finally got to where it was the same price as my home phone. So I cancelled my home phone and went cell. I don't have cable or satellite anymore. Got Netfix, and I love it. I don't go out to the bars or sit down restaurants, I have better food and beer than they do anyway. My friends tease me a lot, but I know it's because they're jealous. While they're stuck home working to pay off debt, I'm off traveling, or fishing, or camping or whatever the heart desires. Simple is definitely better.
 
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OrdinaryAvgGuy

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I wonder how much of what we do is because of our parents. My parents were both raised during the great depression and were very frugal. Consequently I do not toss anything that I can reuse and when I do toss it I recycle. I grow food and can much of it for wintertime. I have no debt and refuse to buy anything I cannot pay cash for.

Most important I appreciate the things I have and do not look over the fence wishing I had a newer truck or bigger house. I am content with my life and what I got. For me that is the true meaning of life:D
I have thought about the same thing. My grandparents grew up in the depression era and I'm sure some of this leaked over into my life. To what extent, I'm not sure.

Sounds like you got it figured out. Congrats!
 

BigPicture

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When things are used and abused and I still use it, I feel like it's a badge of honor.

I have a water cooler that is 30+ years old. Wasted! We used it one summer when we sealed asphalt. I will never buy another one!

I use a workbench I made in high school. I'm 50 years old now.

I drove my Toyota till it had 235,000 miles on it and the seats rusted thru the floor. I drove it for 2 more days with a folding lawn chair before I donated it. I couldn't sell it, I wouldn't feel right!
 
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OrdinaryAvgGuy

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Honestly, I think the best way to save money is to stay debt free. I know it was already brought up, but it can't be stressed enough. Establising credit, on the other hand, is a good thing. I have a credit card. I only use it for purchasees that i have the money for. It actually saves me money with the cash back rewards. Anything I would normally pay cash for, I use my credit card. I pay it off every week (online banking) and I never get charged interest. I worked for 2 years on a remote Air Force installation in the middle of nowhere strait out of college as a civilian contractor. This did two really big things for me. One, it taught me how many modern conveniences that you can absolutely live without. Two, it enabled me to save enough money to purchase a home outright. The funny thing is, I shopped long and hard and got a killer deal on my house. So good of a deal that it wasn't enough money to entise the bank into giving me a first mortgage. They would gladly give me a second mortgage after I purchased the house (at a much higher interest rate). As it worked out, the greedy mongrels didn't get a flat dime out of me. It kind of worried me blowing most of my wad on a house, but it's the smartest thing I ever did. With a 15 year loan, I could have almost bought another house with the interest.

Like others in this thread, I don't spend money on fancy clothes. I drive used vehicles until the bodies fall off. I do all my own maitenence and repairs. If I have the option the build something rather than buy it I do. I just recently got a cell phone, but only beacause it finally got to where it was the same price as my home phone. So I cancelled my home phone and went cell. I don't have cable or satellite anymore. Got Netfix, and I love it. I don't go out to the bars or sit down restaurants, I have better food and beer than they do anyway. My friends tease me a lot, but I know it's because they're jealous. While they're stuck home working to pay off debt, I'm off traveling, or fishing, or camping or whatever the heart desires. Simple is definitely better.
I agree with most of what you said but I'm not big on the Dave Ramsey debt free living thinking.

It's all about good debt vs. bad debt. Having good low interest debt is a beautiful thing.

As some may know, one of my favorite investment vehicles is rental properties. Yes, I may have several hundreds of thousands in low interest mortgage debt but it has allowed me to leverage the $hit out of my cash, yielding a steady cash on cash return of 20+% while allowing others to pay down my debt and build equity.

Debt is not always a bad word.
 
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