A contest for tightwads

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Subsailor

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We hunt, fish and forage for a lot of what we eat. Not to save money, just like the flavors better and truth told, traveling to some of the locations definitely offsets the savings potential. The other reason for this, is that was the way I was raised and I cannot abide the flavorless stuff shipped up from outside and I don't want to rely on a limited food supply from the city. We raise chickens for eggs and some meat and rabbits for meat. We garden and have a lot of vegetables and berries.
We prefer to stay far away from Anchorage for most of our efforts.
Land line for phone because cell service is very very sketchy up here away from the city. Internet and cable TV are bundled into this. Since spring is finally here we are spending much more time outside and probably will not see much TV until the first snows.
The Durango is paid for and the VW was just purchased last year, payments are $350 so we pay $400.
We mostly buy what we want when we can afford it. I work for the State and my wife works in the Native Hospital and we have pretty good incomes.
Medically, I am a 70% disabled Vet and so my woife and I are very well covered by the VA and the Native Hospital.
We use the fireplace to offset the costs of running the furnace in the winter, wood is cheap and plentiful for us. No need for an air conditioner, just open the windows in the summer.
We just try to keep our bills paid down each month, not always sucessful but we are not swimming in debt either.
 

DrunkleJon

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Agreed on your parents influencing you, but then again friends and society and everything else does as well. My parents made us save up for things we wanted as kids, and were "cheap" and didn't go in for all the stupid piddily crap that my brother, sister and I wanted. My brother and sister have trouble budgeting where it is almost second nature to me. Personality definitely factors in as well.
 

BBL_Brewer

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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.
I totally agree with you in that respect.
 

ChrisVZ

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I wouldn't consider myself a tight-wad, just smart with my money.
I haven't had cable/tv for over 3 years.
I haven't had a balance on my credit card for nearly 2 years.
I pay an extra $75 on my mortgage every month which will knock 3-4 years off it and save me nearly $40K in payments.
My boat is a row boat with a trolling motor and a little 5hp outboard.
Went 50/50 with my fishing buddy to buy our pickup and pay only liability insurance on it. I do have comprehensive coverage on my car though, only because it is a limited edition and is expensive to repair and it's still worth 1/3 of its original value after 9 years.
I installed a pellet stove and cut my heating costs from $3500 a year to around $1000.
I have a garden for fresh veggies in the summer and get lots of meat for free from family members who hunt.
Installed CFL bulbs in every fixture in my house.
Buy all my furniture except my bed used.
I run my high drain electric devices like my dryer at night when rates are lower.
 
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OrdinaryAvgGuy

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Agreed on your parents influencing you, but then again friends and society and everything else does as well. My parents made us save up for things we wanted as kids, and were "cheap" and didn't go in for all the stupid piddily crap that my brother, sister and I wanted. My brother and sister have trouble budgeting where it is almost second nature to me. Personality definitely factors in as well.
Friends and society surely play a role. Both of my parents were horrible with money, living from one paycheck to another and frugality was more of a necessity than a choice.

I leaned some of my spending habits from them (more of a what not to do) but likely picked up most from a close friend and tons from reading personal finance literature.
 

BBL_Brewer

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I think peer pressure has more to do with it than anything. Some people just don't feel like they get the respect they deserve unless they wear fancy clothes, drive a brand new car and have a half a million dollar house. Personally, I could care less what people think. They're not the ones stuck with the payments. Status means nothing, if you own nothing. There was a big layoff at a place I worked a few years back. A lot of those folks made snyde comments about my beater truck and the fact that I only had a weeks wardrobe worth of work clothes. When the hammer fell, there was a pretty large group of us sitting in a conference room waiting to get canned. Most of them were white as a ghost trying to figure out how to make their payments. I, on the other hand, was thinking about where I wanted to go on vacation.
 
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OrdinaryAvgGuy

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I think peer pressure has more to do with it than anything. Some people just don't feel like they get the respect they deserve unless they wear fancy clothes, drive a brand new car and have a half a million dollar house. Personally, I could care less what people think. They're not the ones stuck with the payments. Status means nothing, if you own nothing. There was a big layoff at a place I worked a few years back. A lot of those folks made snyde comments about my beater truck and the fact that I only had a weeks wardrobe worth of work clothes. When the hammer fell, there was a pretty large group of us sitting in a conference room waiting to get canned. Most of them were white as a ghost trying to figure out how to make their payments. I, on the other hand, was thinking about where I wanted to go on vacation.
Peer pressure has an effect on many folks spending habits.

Society tells us that you should go to college, get a "secure" job, save 10% for retirement, get married, buy an biggie sized house and biggie sized SUV every 4 years, spit out a couple entitled children, buy a bunch of stuff and a bigger house to put your stuff in, play your part as a corporate drone for 30 years and if you don't drop dead of a heart attack at the age of 60, enjoy 10-15 years of your "golden years" popping life extending pills and enjoying your grandchildren.

Acknowledge this trap at a young age and you are golden. Most people figure out its a trap by the time they reach their mid 30's. By then its too late because they have "responsibilities" and debt to pay off.

You gotta be strong and let the others do what they are going to do.

Edit: I don't discount the importance of having children in ones life - Simply a personal belief of delayed parenthood.
 

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Peer pressure has an effect on many folks spending habits.

Society tells us that you should go to college, get a "secure" job, save 10% for retirement, get married, buy an biggie sized house and biggie sized SUV every 4 years, spit out a couple entitled children, buy a bunch of stuff and a bigger house to put your stuff in, play your part as a corporate drone for 30 years and if you don't drop dead of a heart attack at the age of 60, enjoy 10-15 years of your "golden years" popping life extending pills and enjoying your grandchildren.

Acknowledge this trap at a young age and you are golden. Most people figure out its a trap by the time they reach their mid 30's. By then its too late because you have "responsibilities" and debt to pay off.

You gotta be strong and let the others do what they are going to do.
I get what your saying but its almost like your vilifying people that afford to live better. I agree some people are influenced and feel thats what they have to do because society says so. But some like my fiancee and I have money put away and dont make ourselves feel guilty for getting or doing things we want. We are also the type of people that could care less about impressing anyone with what we have, all that matters is we are happy and things are taken care of.
 
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OrdinaryAvgGuy

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I get what your saying but its almost like your vilifying people that afford to live better. I agree some people are influenced and feel thats what they have to do because society says so. But some like my fiancee and I have money put away and dont make ourselves feel guilty for getting or doing things we want. We are also the type of people that could care less about impressing anyone with what we have, all that matters is we are happy and things are taken care of.
If that makes you happy then that all that counts. Many are content with this lifestyle and honestly, its great that things are this way. Otherwise our economy wouldn't exist in its current form.

The reason why I choose not to live a lavished lifestyle is because I know that for every dollar that I spend wisely today I will be able to retire that much sooner. My goal is to reach retirement status before the age of 38 and enjoy raising a child or two without spending all my time away from home working.

If you work, save and spend your extra money there is nothing wrong with this. It is just not my cup of tea.
 

BBL_Brewer

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I get what your saying but its almost like your vilifying people that afford to live better. I agree some people are influenced and feel thats what they have to do because society says so. But some like my fiancee and I have money put away and dont make ourselves feel guilty for getting or doing things we want. We are also the type of people that could care less about impressing anyone with what we have, all that matters is we are happy and things are taken care of.
But you can afford it. That's the difference. If you've got it, you've got it. If you don't got it, don't spend it. The moral of the story here is to live within your means. Do that and you'll never have any worries.
 

DrunkleJon

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Very true that debt is not necesarily a bad word. The only problem is most people do not understand the difference. I wish it were different, but people do not seem to have well developed BS detectors and are born consumers.

Maybe this is a reason I can not stand popular culture much, absolutely refuse to acknowledge the existance of reality TV and find myself agreeing with Louis Black's stand-up comedy.

Also, I sympathize with the nest egg/retirement. I lost my job several years ago and was unemployed for an entire year. I felt no pressure to find a job quickly or settle for something I did not want to do since I had over a years worth of salary saved up. It is nice to be able to not have to worry.
 
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OrdinaryAvgGuy

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But you can afford it. That's the difference. If you've got it, you've got it. If you don't got it, don't spend it. The moral of the story here is to live within your means. Do that and you'll never have any worries.
Exactly my thoughts. Live within your means and either spend or wisely invest your extra money.

If you sacrifice more of your spending money and use it to invest, you can buy financial freedom sooner and to me this is something that you can not put a price tag on.
 
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OrdinaryAvgGuy

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Very true that debt is not necesarily a bad word. The only problem is most people do not understand the difference. I wish it were different, but people do not seem to have well developed BS detectors and are born consumers.

Maybe this is a reason I can not stand popular culture much, absolutely refuse to acknowledge the existance of reality TV and find myself agreeing with Louis Black's stand-up comedy.
Luckily, those who figure this out reap the benefits by selling BS to others. If it wasn't for the uninformed consumer many of us would not have jobs.
 
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OrdinaryAvgGuy

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Sounds like lots thrifty folks.. Now wheres the real tight wads? You know the ones that reuse teabags 3-4 times?
 

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The best is when I'm at the gas station. Filling up my little 4 banger Tacoma that gets 35 mpg when a fella with a HUGE V8 4x4 that sits there empty is crying next to me.

Just a little common sense goes a long way.
 

Subsailor

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Sounds like lots thrifty folks.. Now wheres the real tight wads? You know the ones that reuse teabags 3-4 times?
I don't know how on topic this is, maybe more of do you reuse or save items, idk.
My wife laughs, but I am one of those who rinses/wipes off tinfoil for reuse, saves rubber bands and string and it's amazing the number of things you can do with a brown paper shiopping bag. Plastic drink bottles have become small long term grain and bean storage bottles, 2 liter to 20oz size bottles anyway.
She is constantly on me with the question; Why are we saving this (insert item name here)? For example the tall red Folgers coffee containers. I drill drain holes in them and grow carrots, parsnips and individual tomato plants in them.
It's not that we can't afford things, it's that it just makes sense to use what we've got.
 

BBL_Brewer

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Sounds like lots thrifty folks.. Now wheres the real tight wads? You know the ones that reuse teabags 3-4 times?
I only drink water and beer. I save plastic water bottles and refill them. I reuse paper towels for hand drying. I haven't bought a fishing bobber in I don't know how long (usually pick a few up on the shore every time I go out). Same goes for stringers. I sein for minnows. I'm not above trash digging if it's something useful. I've been known to get creative with cardboard. I've been using an old tv tray and a junk chair for an end table since I bought my house. News papers.......so many uses.
 
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OrdinaryAvgGuy

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I don't know how on topic this is, maybe more of do you reuse or save items, idk.
My wife laughs, but I am one of those who rinses/wipes off tinfoil for reuse, saves rubber bands and string and it's amazing the number of things you can do with a brown paper shiopping bag. Plastic drink bottles have become small long term grain and bean storage bottles, 2 liter to 20oz size bottles anyway.
She is constantly on me with the question; Why are we saving this (insert item name here)? For example the tall red Folgers coffee containers. I drill drain holes in them and grow carrots, parsnips and individual tomato plants in them.
It's not that we can't afford things, it's that it just makes sense to use what we've got.
There is a fine line you have to walk between hording and holding on to items that may be useful in the future.

I yet to master this skill. I'll save 50 Folgers cans for a few years then one day say to myself "WFT am I keeping 50 coffee cans for and commence to throwing them away.

A week later I could really use 50 coffee cans for a project. $hit.... now I gotta go buy something!

My FIL Hoards everything. Now whenever I need something random I hit him up and he gladly gives up the goods. He gets all excited and I think it is because me coming to him for whatnot allows him to justify to his wife packing the garage, barns and house full of all this good stuff. :D

I do like your long term grain storage idea. Will have to start hording some gallon jugs to store my bulk grain.
 

Subsailor

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There is a fine line you have to walk between hording and holding on to items that may be useful in the future.QUOTE]

Yeah, that's the difference between me and one of my brothers. I have learned to say "OK, haven't used this in 2 years so it goes away" but like you I find that often, not every tiime, but often I suddenly have a use for that which I just pitched out or gave away.
My brother actually built a second garage to store his stuff in and needless to say, there has never been a car in that 2nd garage and there's no room left.
 
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OrdinaryAvgGuy

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There is a fine line you have to walk between hording and holding on to items that may be useful in the future.QUOTE]

Yeah, that's the difference between me and one of my brothers. I have learned to say "OK, haven't used this in 2 years so it goes away" but like you I find that often, not every tiime, but often I suddenly have a use for that which I just pitched out or gave away.
My brother actually built a second garage to store his stuff in and needless to say, there has never been a car in that 2nd garage and there's no room left.
I know quite a few people who park their cars in the driveway and store their goods in the garage.

A good friend of mine has a brother that hoards paper. Newspaper, junk mail, magazines, you name it. His house is packed full of nothing but stacks of papers and furniture with papers stacked in some places as high as the ceiling.

He has a narrow path from his front door, through his kitchen to his bathroom and ultimately to his bed - which he shares with you guessed it.. stacks of papers.
 

Yooper

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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
Maybe that's a big part of the way I am.

When I was a kid, we had a small-ish house, but decent cars and a swimming pool. My dad was always pretty thrifty, so we lived within our means. But suddenly, the steel mills were closing and my mom was dying. We didn't lose our house or car, but we struggled a bit to keep afloat through her death. (Medical bills were big at that time, as "insurance" wasn't all that great).

My dad got a job as a mechanic at a bowling alley. He made about 1/2 the money, but we never went without.

My dad retired at 62, getting social security of $1200/month or so for the last 7 years but paying big health insurance premiums and deductibles until he turned 65 (and he had cancer at age 62).

When he died suddenly in January, he had $17,000 in his checking account. He had $30,000 in his savings account. He had $100,000 in a mutual fund. He had a new roof on his house, a paid-off car, etc. No debt. I know an estate of $250,000 isn't a lot- but for a guy who lived on $1200 a month for the last 7+ years, it surprised me!

He squirreled money away. He didn't live miserly- not at all! He just didn't want much. He had everything he needed, and everything he wanted. He was generous, but he didn't want anything for himself.

I think that is how I am. I have lots of things that are great- a house on a lake, a new truck, a new-ish car, a house in town, travel when I want, winter in Texas, etc. But if I didn't have those things, I probably wouldn't be any different than I am now.

I spend money on things if I want to. I just don't choose to do it on things I don't need.

I really do "reduce, reuse, recycle". I reuse just about everything that can be reused, and I don't redecorate my house and buy froo-froos. I don't buy new clothes.

I am self reliant as much as possible. I find that more satisfying than buying junk I don't need.

I don't get happiness from a new pair of shoes- but I get great happiness from paddling my kayak across the lake and watching the loons as I did today.

I have no debt at all, and never will.
 

Jayhem

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I'll play.

True tightwad here!

Communications:

I'm 34 and have NEVER in my life paid for Cable or Satellite TV. Why start now? Plus I have no time to watch TV with all my hobbies I do to save more money! :D

Car payment

The last time I bought a new car was in 2002. I have not paid a car payment since 2007 and never plan to again!

Car insurance:

I have full coverage on my motorcycles but liability on the car. I have never gotten a moving violation ticket so my rates are super low. I pay $24 to insure 2 motorcycles (full coverage) and $50/month to insure my wife's 2007 Camry and my 2000 Tacoma (full coverage on each). :mug:

Health insurance:

Large deductible and only covers 3 doctor's office visit's per year. I pay about $120/month and that includes dental. Being healthy certainly helps me remain a tightwad.

Cell phone

This is the only thing I don't skimp on. I have a Galaxy S3 smartphone but that's because we don't have TV or internet so we have to do it all on the phone from mobile banking to email. I do not have a landline.

Utilities

Super stingy on this! Our central A/C has been busted for 3 years...we use a window A/C unit in the bedroom only in July-August and fans the rest of the summer. In winter we heat the house with a large woodstove and one small oil filled electric radiator in the master bedroom only. I also have a space heater I run in the bathroom in winter before showering. Usually the house is about 61 F all winter. I also cut my own firewood for free, never pay for firewood. Our electric bill runs $50-$80/month mostly from hot water heater use. I run CFL bulbs throughout the house so we don't have to skimp on light use.

Food

Aldi is where most of our groceries come from. For meat we buy 1/4 beef cow off our beef farming inlaws @$3/lb and that lasts us a year easily. I also deer hunt and usually put 2-4 deer/year into the deep freezer (100-225 lbs of venison)! My wife and I cook 90% of the time and go out to eat about once every 10 days.

Other

My wife also cuts my hair! I pee in the yard most of the time, I do all my own car maintenance and repairs, I change my own motorcycle tires, I grow my own vegetable garden every year, we make our own wine, I only buy jeans when my last good pair rips, I request clothes for birthdays and Christmas so I never have to buy clothes but once a year. I lived in a shack in my parent's backyard for 2 years until I could save up a 22% downpayment so I could have a lower mortgage and not have to pay PMI payments on the loan. My mortgage is $750/month on a $160,000 house! You can't rent an apartment for that around here! :ban:
We are trying to have a kid for the tax deduction! Ok, just kidding on that last one.
 
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OrdinaryAvgGuy

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Maybe that's a big part of the way I am.

When I was a kid, we had a small-ish house, but decent cars and a swimming pool. My dad was always pretty thrifty, so we lived within our means. But suddenly, the steel mills were closing and my mom was dying. We didn't lose our house or car, but we struggled a bit to keep afloat through her death. (Medical bills were big at that time, as "insurance" wasn't all that great).

My dad got a job as a mechanic at a bowling alley. He made about 1/2 the money, but we never went without.

My dad retired at 62, getting social security of $1200/month or so for the last 7 years but paying big health insurance premiums and deductibles until he turned 65 (and he had cancer at age 62).

When he died suddenly in January, he had $17,000 in his checking account. He had $30,000 in his savings account. He had $100,000 in a mutual fund. He had a new roof on his house, a paid-off car, etc. No debt. I know an estate of $250,000 isn't a lot- but for a guy who lived on $1200 a month for the last 7+ years, it surprised me!

He squirreled money away. He didn't live miserly- not at all! He just didn't want much. He had everything he needed, and everything he wanted. He was generous, but he didn't want anything for himself.

I think that is how I am. I have lots of things that are great- a house on a lake, a new truck, a new-ish car, a house in town, travel when I want, winter in Texas, etc. But if I didn't have those things, I probably wouldn't be any different than I am now.

I spend money on things if I want to. I just don't choose to do it on things I don't need.

I really do "reduce, reuse, recycle". I reuse just about everything that can be reused, and I don't redecorate my house and buy froo-froos. I don't buy new clothes.

I am self reliant as much as possible. I find that more satisfying than buying junk I don't need.

I don't get happiness from a new pair of shoes- but I get great happiness from paddling my kayak across the lake and watching the loons as I did today.

I have no debt at all, and never will.
Great to hear from others who have a similar take on personal finance.

Sometimes when my wife starts wanting a new car, house, or other unnecessary item, I have to remind her to sit back and appreciate what we already have and that more luxury items will come shortly as we grow our money.

I remind her that at our age 31 and 27, not many people share the same freedom and lifestyle that we have and the best is yet to come. Saying this is usually enough to extinguish the flames of desire.
 

Subsailor

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Great to hear from others who have a similar take on personal finance.

Sometimes when my wife starts wanting a new car, house, or other unnecessary item, I have to remind her to sit back and appreciate what we already have and that more luxury items will come shortly as we grow our money.

I remind her that at our age 31 and 27, not many people share the same freedom and lifestyle that we have and the best is yet to come. Saying this is usually enough to extinguish the flames of desire.
It is very refreshing to see younger folks like yourself displaying wisdom like this. Thanks! (54 and 47)
 
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OrdinaryAvgGuy

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We are trying to have a kid for the tax deduction! Ok, just kidding on that last one.
Even if you were not kidding that's cool in my book.

Sounds like you are the leader in the commumication / cable category.

I'm with you when it comes to peeing in the yard and having the wife cut your hair. :D Good stuff.
 

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I don't consider myself a tightwad, but I like to save money to spend on things I like/enjoy rather than spending it on the basics of life.

-We make our own laundry and dish washing detergents.
-Make our own surface cleaners.
-No home phone.
-"Chase" the 0% interest credit cards doing balance transfers when needed. (Racked up quite a bit of debt in College and 1st couple of years out of college)
-Buy food and other stuff like paper towels and toilet paper in bulk.
-I drive my wifes Van to work when she doesn't need it to save on gas...my truck is a guzzler.
-Don't eat out much at all
-We cook lots of meals that last multiple days...and I almost refuse to throw out food!
 

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I don't know how on topic this is, maybe more of do you reuse or save items, idk.
My wife laughs, but I am one of those who rinses/wipes off tinfoil for reuse, saves rubber bands and string and it's amazing the number of things you can do with a brown paper shiopping bag. Plastic drink bottles have become small long term grain and bean storage bottles, 2 liter to 20oz size bottles anyway.
She is constantly on me with the question; Why are we saving this (insert item name here)? For example the tall red Folgers coffee containers. I drill drain holes in them and grow carrots, parsnips and individual tomato plants in them.
It's not that we can't afford things, it's that it just makes sense to use what we've got.
I do the same thing. Simply because I can

I was reading about how peer pressure will affect how you spend. Nothing could be further from the truth for me. My 2 best friends from high school well heck Jr High are both sitting on very large sums of money. I ran around with 2 other kids whose families are rich beyond belief. For awhile in my life I worked 16 hour days in my business and was trying to keep up with everyone. Things happened in my life and I had to get out of the business and live on what I have saved. I could not be happier in my life.
 

Subsailor

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Prescott Valley
I do the same thing. Simply because I can

I was reading about how peer pressure will affect how you spend. Nothing could be further from the truth for me. My 2 best friends from high school well heck Jr High are both sitting on very large sums of money. I ran around with 2 other kids whose families are rich beyond belief. For awhile in my life I worked 16 hour days in my business and was trying to keep up with everyone. Things happened in my life and I had to get out of the business and live on what I have saved. I could not be happier in my life.
In my teens, I tried to fit in. Wear the same clothes, shoes, hairstyles (it wasn't pretty in the early to mid 70s). I tried to be the top end of style and spent my money freely but I wasn't really getting anything for my bucks. I found that just didn't suit me at all. It took a few years and even went deeply into debt and in my early to mid twenties I returned to the way I was raised and it was the best thing ever for my life. Be myself and be true to myself, be frugal but not stingy, share with others, especially knowledge and skill.
Our tools and equipment we purchase are the best that we can afford for me and my wife, that covers everything from hunting, camping, fishing gear to garden and shop tools and even kitchen cookware (still have my grandmother's cast iron cookware - best stuff on earth).
I'm fixing to retire next year and can honestly say that it should be a comfortable retirement.
 
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