Jump to content

How cheap are you outside investing?


SpecOps
 Share

Recommended Posts

Value investors as a group have at least one thing in common, they like to get $1 for 50 cents. I've heard stories of Buffett buying hail damaged (refurbished) cars because they are at knock down value and similar stories of how the value investing philosophy extends beyond investing.

 

Personally I would say outside investing, I have exactly the same mindset. If I see an item in a shop I like, I'll wait until its been marked down (discounts are pretty regular in the UK) before buying it. Even buying my daily sandwich at lunchtime, I know which shops offer the best value (cheap price but also accounting for how generous the filling is!).

 

For big items I will usually buy second hand, or ex display models unless the item being brand-new affects my enjoyment of it. Like a couple of years ago I bought a new electric piano, found the model I liked, but then found the model as it had been the year before (which it had basically not changed from) and purchased it for cheap from a dealer on ebay looking to offload the "old" stock.

 

My girlfriend thinks I'm crazy (and tight-fisted) but for me it is just a mindset and like Buffett says the philosophy either instantly resonates with you or doesn't

 

So is anyone else like me, and has anyone got any amusing stories of how cheap they've been outside investing?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 93
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

I'm pretty cheap for most things, but not with others.  I guess you could say my wife and I pick what is important to us and we're cheap about everything else.  I live in a 3900 sqft house with a 3 story barn that is bigger than the house, we put in Viking, sub-zero appliances, marble counters,  (not cheap), but my wife makes her own curtains, decorates with yard sale finds, some of our furniture is second hand and even a few pieces from IKEA.  We grow a lot of our own food, we have a huge vegetable garden (45ft by 45ft), we have 18 chickens (we eat a lot of eggs), but we also spend a lot on things like grass fed beef, grass fed butter, pastured heritage breed pork, wild caught salmon, etc.    We never go out to eat, I mean almost never.  My kids ask to go out to eat as part of their birthday presents, because it's something they almost never get to do.  If I eat lunch at all during the week, I pack it.  I never even buy coffee outside the house.  When we go away, we use the camper, so that we can stay cheaply and bring our own food.  I drive older cars (a Hyundai and a Toyota), I've never owned anything like a BMW, Mercedes, Lexus, etc.  Our main TV is still a 32" tube TV.  I have computers that are close to state of the art, but I build them myself and upgrade them a component at a time.  My wife is actually much cheaper than I am, and will keep me in line if I suggest buying some kind of electronic device or something.  We have tracphones. My current phone I paid $149 for the phone and a year of minutes, my wife's phone was even cheaper it's a flip phone with no touch screen.  If I ever did something stupid, like buying her roses for valentines day, I'd get holy-hell for it.  I bought her a potted plant (tulips) and she was even happier when I told her I paid $4 for it.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm exactly the same although I would not call it cheap. I just want to get things for an honest price (or cheaper) or I'll feel ripped off. I buy almost anything I want online for this very reason (except clothes and shoes as I need to try those on).

 

If I buy something for more than I think it's worth (because of situational lack of alternatives) I actually enjoy whatever I bought less because I feel a little ripped off.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm pretty cheap for most things, but not with others.  I guess you could say my wife and I pick what is important to us and we're cheap about everything else.  I live in a 3900 sqft house with a 3 story barn that is bigger than the house, we put in Viking, sub-zero appliances, marble counters,  (not cheap), but my wife makes her own curtains, decorates with yard sale finds, some of our furniture is second hand and even a few pieces from IKEA.  We grow a lot of our own food, we have a huge vegetable garden (45ft by 45ft), we have 18 chickens (we eat a lot of eggs), but we also spend a lot on things like grass fed beef, grass fed butter, pastured heritage breed pork, wild caught salmon, etc.    We never go out to eat, I mean almost never.  My kids ask to go out to eat as part of their birthday presents, because it's something they almost never get to do.  If I eat lunch at all during the week, I pack it.  I never even buy coffee outside the house.  When we go away, we use the camper, so that we can stay cheaply and bring our own food.  I drive older cars (a Hyundai and a Toyota), I've never owned anything like a BMW, Mercedes, Lexus, etc.  Our main TV is still a 32" tube TV.  I have computers that are close to state of the art, but I build them myself and upgrade them a component at a time.  My wife is actually much cheaper than I am, and will keep me in line if I suggest buying some kind of electronic device or something.  We have tracphones. My current phone I paid $149 for the phone and a year of minutes, my wife's phone was even cheaper it's a flip phone with no touch screen.  If I ever did something stupid, like buying her roses for valentines day, I'd get holy-hell for it.  I bought her a potted plant (tulips) and she was even happier when I told her I paid $4 for it.

 

Your wife is an angel!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm pretty cheap for most things, but not with others.  I guess you could say my wife and I pick what is important to us and we're cheap about everything else.  I live in a 3900 sqft house with a 3 story barn that is bigger than the house, we put in Viking, sub-zero appliances, marble counters,  (not cheap), but my wife makes her own curtains, decorates with yard sale finds, some of our furniture is second hand and even a few pieces from IKEA.  We grow a lot of our own food, we have a huge vegetable garden (45ft by 45ft), we have 18 chickens (we eat a lot of eggs), but we also spend a lot on things like grass fed beef, grass fed butter, pastured heritage breed pork, wild caught salmon, etc.    We never go out to eat, I mean almost never.  My kids ask to go out to eat as part of their birthday presents, because it's something they almost never get to do.  If I eat lunch at all during the week, I pack it.  I never even buy coffee outside the house.  When we go away, we use the camper, so that we can stay cheaply and bring our own food.  I drive older cars (a Hyundai and a Toyota), I've never owned anything like a BMW, Mercedes, Lexus, etc.  Our main TV is still a 32" tube TV.  I have computers that are close to state of the art, but I build them myself and upgrade them a component at a time.  My wife is actually much cheaper than I am, and will keep me in line if I suggest buying some kind of electronic device or something.  We have tracphones. My current phone I paid $149 for the phone and a year of minutes, my wife's phone was even cheaper it's a flip phone with no touch screen.  If I ever did something stupid, like buying her roses for valentines day, I'd get holy-hell for it.  I bought her a potted plant (tulips) and she was even happier when I told her I paid $4 for it.

 

Your wife is an angel!

 

Absolutely!  When it comes to marriage you want to get it right the first time, no 20 punch cards.  I met her when I was 17 and I wasn't going to let that one get away.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've been spending a lot of time reading up on clutter. The subject fascinates me. The end result will be thousands, tens of thousands, or even hundreds of thousands of dollars saved if you practice it.

One of the best books I've read on the subject is:

 

The Joy of Less: A Minimalist Living Guide: How to Declutter, Organize, and Simplify Your Life

 

http://www.amazon.com/The-Less-Minimalist-Living-Guide/dp/0984087311/ref=pd_sim_b_3?ie=UTF8&refRID=1EYWSHPTVXA1D230R8JA

 

Enjoy!

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Used to have the same approach .... & it took years to shake.

 

Comes down to money as servant. Investing is just a technique by which to make it, & hopefully you become pretty good at it. But if you do not put the end result to good use (house, travel, education, entertainment, etc) there is little point. Takes a while to get comfortable with the concept, but it is well worth the effort.

 

Back in the early nineties, some university friends & I, split up on international placements to get global experience. Along with business, & wife shopping, we also did some physical goods trading, ultimately culminating in a few hundred tickets to one of the premier all night millennial balls in Vienna. Mozart, ball gowns, tux, the whole nine yards ... A truly unique, once-in-a-lifetime experience... & we ended up flipping the tickets to Benz, for 1000 marks/pop -  simply because we were too cheap.

 

Years later we made a point of buying futures on 10 dozen (112) bottles of Chateau Lafite 1st Cru for delivery 10 years forward, to coincide with when our nephews reach their 20's. The first payment was over 18K (US), & the last one will be 24K (US). But we knew we had conquered cheapness when we did not even bat an eye over the price. Hopefully it will continue when we drink it, & these things are $1,000/bottle. Vienna all over again ..... but this time wiser.

 

SD

 

 

 

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm pretty cheap for most things, but not with others.  I guess you could say my wife and I pick what is important to us and we're cheap about everything else.  I live in a 3900 sqft house with a 3 story barn that is bigger than the house, we put in Viking, sub-zero appliances, marble counters,  (not cheap), but my wife makes her own curtains, decorates with yard sale finds, some of our furniture is second hand and even a few pieces from IKEA.  We grow a lot of our own food, we have a huge vegetable garden (45ft by 45ft), we have 18 chickens (we eat a lot of eggs), but we also spend a lot on things like grass fed beef, grass fed butter, pastured heritage breed pork, wild caught salmon, etc.    We never go out to eat, I mean almost never.  My kids ask to go out to eat as part of their birthday presents, because it's something they almost never get to do.  If I eat lunch at all during the week, I pack it.  I never even buy coffee outside the house.  When we go away, we use the camper, so that we can stay cheaply and bring our own food.  I drive older cars (a Hyundai and a Toyota), I've never owned anything like a BMW, Mercedes, Lexus, etc.  Our main TV is still a 32" tube TV.  I have computers that are close to state of the art, but I build them myself and upgrade them a component at a time.  My wife is actually much cheaper than I am, and will keep me in line if I suggest buying some kind of electronic device or something.  We have tracphones. My current phone I paid $149 for the phone and a year of minutes, my wife's phone was even cheaper it's a flip phone with no touch screen.  If I ever did something stupid, like buying her roses for valentines day, I'd get holy-hell for it.  I bought her a potted plant (tulips) and she was even happier when I told her I paid $4 for it.

 

Your wife is an angel!

 

Does she have a sister? ;)

 

As for me, my car is about 11 years old, no smart phone, no cable. I'd think the only thing I really splurge on is healthier food. I don't trust all the GMOs and other crap that's in our food supply.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This thread resonates with me.  I was born with the cheap gene.  I have been known to go into clothing stores and go straight for the clearance racks.  It's as if nothing else exists; no bargains and I walk out.

 

I do a lot of value arbitrage.  For example if cheap fireplace tools are $20 and expensive ones $100 I'll figure that five cheap sets will last longer than one expensive set.  But I'll go the opposite if things are weighed the other way.  If the higher quality item is $100 and the cheap one $80 I will go for the more expensive item if I know it's higher quality.  I buy high quality skis, backpacking and hiking gear.  We have camping gear that's lasted for 15 years without an issue.

 

We live in a smaller house with an extremely low payment.  I finished the basement on my own for about $4k, it would have cost close to $20k if we paid someone.  I'll probably end up re-doing some bathrooms and our living room this summer.  I'll do everything, refinish floors, tile etc.  I've been tossing around the idea of re-roofing our house on my own, I'm not sure if this is feasible though.

 

Like rkbabank we have a camper we use for vacations.  It's easier to load up the camper and setup for a few days verses spending the time at a hotel.  Plus areas with campgrounds are usually cheaper, and my kids like the freedom.  At a hotel they're confined, at a campground they can ride their bikes or roam around in general, it's easier for everyone.

 

My expensive addiction is skiing, but I've found ways to make it cheap.  I travel to Salt Lake each year for a trip.  I stay for free with my cousin, shop for cheap flights, skip on hill meals etc.  Around here I purchased a season pass at a resort four hours away because I get half price lift tickets at the place an hour away with it, plus a handful of free tickets at other local resorts.  I'll make my money back on that quickly.

 

I even do stupid things like change my own oil to save a few bucks.

 

Almost everything I've done in investing has been driven by my cheapness and desire to figure things out on my own.  In my mind if someone else can do or figure something out then I can as well.  I guess I'm stubborn and probably stupid and waste my own time, but I've learned a ton and started my blog and a few businesses along the way from this mentality.

 

And yes, I'm married and my wife not only tolerates this, but is similar.  She's told me in the past she'd be mad if I bought her roses on Valentines, or even waste money on cards for events.  She says it's crazy to pay $4 or $5 for a piece of paper that's thrown away.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I wouldn't be going out to eat either with that set up, rkba.  When can I come over for dinner?

 

I am pretty frugal.  My family went bankrupt in the 80's during the farm crisis.  We made it out better than a lot of people thanks to my dad having a job and a great work ethic.  Any pain you suffer from being frugal does not compare to the pain you and your family will suffer if you go broke from being too careless.  Also, you should think really hard before you borrow money.  I think this is something a lot of people don't learn until it is too late, and people today think they need a lot more than they really do.  I was half hoping they would let the depression hit back in '08 to restore a little discipline and humility in people.  Ok I am going off on a rant, I'll stop now.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This thread resonates with me.  I was born with the cheap gene.  I have been known to go into clothing stores and go straight for the clearance racks.  It's as if nothing else exists; no bargains and I walk out.

 

I do a lot of value arbitrage.  For example if cheap fireplace tools are $20 and expensive ones $100 I'll figure that five cheap sets will last longer than one expensive set.  But I'll go the opposite if things are weighed the other way.  If the higher quality item is $100 and the cheap one $80 I will go for the more expensive item if I know it's higher quality.  I buy high quality skis, backpacking and hiking gear.  We have camping gear that's lasted for 15 years without an issue.

 

We live in a smaller house with an extremely low payment.  I finished the basement on my own for about $4k, it would have cost close to $20k if we paid someone.  I'll probably end up re-doing some bathrooms and our living room this summer.  I'll do everything, refinish floors, tile etc.  I've been tossing around the idea of re-roofing our house on my own, I'm not sure if this is feasible though.

 

Like rkbabank we have a camper we use for vacations.  It's easier to load up the camper and setup for a few days verses spending the time at a hotel.  Plus areas with campgrounds are usually cheaper, and my kids like the freedom.  At a hotel they're confined, at a campground they can ride their bikes or roam around in general, it's easier for everyone.

 

My expensive addiction is skiing, but I've found ways to make it cheap.  I travel to Salt Lake each year for a trip.  I stay for free with my cousin, shop for cheap flights, skip on hill meals etc.  Around here I purchased a season pass at a resort four hours away because I get half price lift tickets at the place an hour away with it, plus a handful of free tickets at other local resorts.  I'll make my money back on that quickly.

 

I even do stupid things like change my own oil to save a few bucks.

 

Almost everything I've done in investing has been driven by my cheapness and desire to figure things out on my own.  In my mind if someone else can do or figure something out then I can as well.  I guess I'm stubborn and probably stupid and waste my own time, but I've learned a ton and started my blog and a few businesses along the way from this mentality.

 

And yes, I'm married and my wife not only tolerates this, but is similar.  She's told me in the past she'd be mad if I bought her roses on Valentines, or even waste money on cards for events.  She says it's crazy to pay $4 or $5 for a piece of paper that's thrown away.

 

Everything you just said. +1.  My wife feels the same way about cards.  When she buys someone a gift, she'll spend an extra $4 or $5 on the gift and skip the useless card (price is what you spend, value is what you get, or give in this case).  And when sending someone a card is necessary, a $0.99 card gets the job done just as well as a $4.50 card.  Every store has a $0.99 card section if you look.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Lets see-  we have a car each – the newest one is 11 years old

Bought a house last year – have no mortgage now. Looked a new ones nearby – an extra 200k for a house that has a lot of things I don’t need, space I don’t need and a higher tax bill. No thanks.

 

I cook at home a lot – its my creative outlet.

Holidays and flights are always booked at a good price – I won’t go anywhere if I can’t get a deal on it. I was in vegas last week (my annual indulgence). Room - $60 for 6 nights and return flight from florida under 300…

We did a lot of the renovations to the house ourselves – I learnt some plumbing pretty quickly and turned a potential $600 bill from a plumber into a $100 by doing it myself… at the cost of slicing my hands open a couple of times :D

 

Buying from the clearance rack… you mean there are other clothes on sale???

 

We do eat out about once a week, I have cable so I can watch Live sport from Europe (and record the programs we like to watch so I can skip the ads).  I will be renovating the kitchen soon – and trying to work out how much I can do as opposed to a contractor.

I’m having a bar put in on my patio.. as in I’ve spend six months working ut exactly what I want and I’ll build it myself. I think this is more to challenge myself though…

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I buy knockoff printer ink, rather than Canon, for about a dollar a cartridge on Amazon. One time the black ink leaked on me and I had stains on my hands for days. I still buy it. I love knowing that Canon isn't ripping me off.

 

I like doing little repairs that I know my neighbors would call a repairman for. Replacing the gear on my garage door opener, for instance, and it's working fine now. My neighbors would have just replaced the whole thing. I fixed my furnace and haven't blown up yet. Big jobs I try to ignore for as long as possible.

 

Much of my wardrobe is from costco but I've figured out it probably makes more sense to buy better quality.

 

The library system is the biggest bargain I know of.

 

My parents never replaced a useable item. My father used a TWA flight bag up until a couple of years ago.

 

On the other hand I know I waste some money stupidly. Got to go.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm pretty cheap for most things, but not with others.  I guess you could say my wife and I pick what is important to us and we're cheap about everything else.  I live in a 3900 sqft house with a 3 story barn that is bigger than the house, we put in Viking, sub-zero appliances, marble counters,  (not cheap), but my wife makes her own curtains, decorates with yard sale finds, some of our furniture is second hand and even a few pieces from IKEA.  We grow a lot of our own food, we have a huge vegetable garden (45ft by 45ft), we have 18 chickens (we eat a lot of eggs), but we also spend a lot on things like grass fed beef, grass fed butter, pastured heritage breed pork, wild caught salmon, etc.    We never go out to eat, I mean almost never.  My kids ask to go out to eat as part of their birthday presents, because it's something they almost never get to do.  If I eat lunch at all during the week, I pack it.  I never even buy coffee outside the house.  When we go away, we use the camper, so that we can stay cheaply and bring our own food.  I drive older cars (a Hyundai and a Toyota), I've never owned anything like a BMW, Mercedes, Lexus, etc.  Our main TV is still a 32" tube TV.  I have computers that are close to state of the art, but I build them myself and upgrade them a component at a time.  My wife is actually much cheaper than I am, and will keep me in line if I suggest buying some kind of electronic device or something.  We have tracphones. My current phone I paid $149 for the phone and a year of minutes, my wife's phone was even cheaper it's a flip phone with no touch screen.  If I ever did something stupid, like buying her roses for valentines day, I'd get holy-hell for it.  I bought her a potted plant (tulips) and she was even happier when I told her I paid $4 for it.

 

Your wife is an angel!

 

Does she have a sister? ;)

 

2, but unfortunately, let's just say they weren't born with the frugal gene.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I believe being cheap is great as long as it is a natural way of life for you. But I know people who are cheap and are obsessive about it. I even sometimes wonder if they enjoy life??? It is all a big stress for them.

That's why I prefer to concentrate on money that comes in and less on what goes out.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

2, but unfortunately, let's just say they weren't born with the frugal gene.

 

Well, you got the Cinderella of the bunch then, rk! ;)

 

On another note, my ex would call me "stingy" and "cheap". I wouldn't take her out to brunch or pay for her groceries. Seriously, it was brunch in NYC that would have cost around $100 with transportation and the fact that it was an upscale place. And as far as her groceries go, I asked her why I should pay and she said because "I deserve it." Someone deserves to have me pay for her groceries (her parents covered a lot of her living expenses, paid for school, car, etc)??? I even loaned her money (I know...stupid) and she then decided to not pay back. I call that theft. Glad she's an ex! :P

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Used to have the same approach .... & it took years to shake.

 

Comes down to money as servant. Investing is just a technique by which to make it, & hopefully you become pretty good at it. But if you do not put the end result to good use (house, travel, education, entertainment, etc) there is little point. Takes a while to get comfortable with the concept, but it is well worth the effort.

 

Back in the early nineties, some university friends & I, split up on international placements to get global experience. Along with business, & wife shopping, we also did some physical goods trading, ultimately culminating in a few hundred tickets to one of the premier all night millennial balls in Vienna. Mozart, ball gowns, tux, the whole nine yards ... A truly unique, once-in-a-lifetime experience... & we ended up flipping the tickets to Benz, for 1000 marks/pop -  simply because we were too cheap.

 

Years later we made a point of buying futures on 10 dozen (112) bottles of Chateau Lafite 1st Cru for delivery 10 years forward, to coincide with when our nephews reach their 20's. The first payment was over 18K (US), & the last one will be 24K (US). But we knew we had conquered cheapness when we did not even bat an eye over the price. Hopefully it will continue when we drink it, & these things are $1,000/bottle. Vienna all over again ..... but this time wiser.

 

SD

 

 

++++

 

Well said as always SD. I used to have the same mind set, brought up by an especially frugal father who wrote down every expense to the cent in agenda's. That changed when I found my current SO and started enjoying live more and when I learned about the uncertainties in life. As you said, use it as a servant as you can't take it with you in the end. If I would end up with almost nothing, I honestly believe I would adapt as well. The traveling, being generous to others, eating out, .. all experiences that you can't replace by hoarding all that cash and I wouldn't change them for any amount of money! I'm not a real big spender, but holy hell it is FUN to be free of the shackles of cheapness and greed!

(Not that I look down on others here that prefer a cheaper lifestyle. as long as it fits your personality, go for it!)

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Used to have the same approach .... & it took years to shake.

 

Comes down to money as servant. Investing is just a technique by which to make it, & hopefully you become pretty good at it. But if you do not put the end result to good use (house, travel, education, entertainment, etc) there is little point. Takes a while to get comfortable with the concept, but it is well worth the effort.

 

Back in the early nineties, some university friends & I, split up on international placements to get global experience. Along with business, & wife shopping, we also did some physical goods trading, ultimately culminating in a few hundred tickets to one of the premier all night millennial balls in Vienna. Mozart, ball gowns, tux, the whole nine yards ... A truly unique, once-in-a-lifetime experience... & we ended up flipping the tickets to Benz, for 1000 marks/pop -  simply because we were too cheap.

 

Years later we made a point of buying futures on 10 dozen (112) bottles of Chateau Lafite 1st Cru for delivery 10 years forward, to coincide with when our nephews reach their 20's. The first payment was over 18K (US), & the last one will be 24K (US). But we knew we had conquered cheapness when we did not even bat an eye over the price. Hopefully it will continue when we drink it, & these things are $1,000/bottle. Vienna all over again ..... but this time wiser.

 

SD

 

 

++++

 

Well said as always SD. I used to have the same mind set, brought up by an especially frugal father who wrote down every expense to the cent in agenda's. That changed when I found my current SO and started enjoying live more and when I learned about the uncertainties in life. As you said, use it as a servant as you can't take it with you in the end. If I would end up with almost nothing, I honestly believe I would adapt as well. The traveling, being generous to others, eating out, .. all experiences that you can't replace by hoarding all that cash and I wouldn't change them for any amount of money! I'm not a real big spender, but holy hell it is FUN to be free of the shackles cheapness and greed!

(Not that I look down on others here that prefer a cheaper lifestyle. as long as it fits your personality, go for it!)

 

 

I agree with you somewhat.  We do splerge on things that are important to us.  I pay about $18/lb for my coffee for instance.  I justify this by never buying coffee by the cup outside the home (it is inferior anyway) and it is something I enjoy, so I spend the money.  Luckily my wife and I aren't wine people, the only wine we buy is the cheap screw on cap variety for cooking.  A $1000/bottle of wine has no appeal to me as I wouldn't be able to tell the difference anyway.  If you gave it to me as a gift I'd probably cook with it.  :)

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I feel like I'm in the middle on the frugality scale. I will pay up for something if I am going to use it a lot and the function of the more expensive brand is going to make my life easier. Power tools, rock climbing/camping gear, high quality clothing, liquor, and certain kitchen appliances. My wife and I enjoy going out to eat and do so a couple times a week (though she cooks very well at home).

 

I don't pay up for goods that wear out or serve a similar function to expensive goods. Hand tools, furniture (a $600 sofa looks just as nice as a $4k sofa but only lasts 5 years, I'm skeptical any sofa will last 30+ years), cars, services (no cable tv, cheap phone plan, cut my own hair, do almost all repairs myself, expensive coffee).

 

I don't think I'm cheap, I just know what makes me happy. I drive a 14 year old car worth 4k, but I'll buy a $70 bottle of bourbon.     

Link to comment
Share on other sites

(a $600 sofa looks just as nice as a $4k sofa but only lasts 5 years, I'm skeptical any sofa will last 30+ years),

 

5 years?  All of our sofas are much older than that.  We have one that is over 30 years old and one antique chaise lounge that is well over 80 years old (although we don't sit on it very often).  We have an IKEA sofa that gets daily use that is over 5 years old and doing just fine.  What exactly do you do on your sofas?.... wait ... maybe I don't want to know.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Used to have the same approach .... & it took years to shake.

 

Comes down to money as servant. Investing is just a technique by which to make it, & hopefully you become pretty good at it. But if you do not put the end result to good use (house, travel, education, entertainment, etc) there is little point. Takes a while to get comfortable with the concept, but it is well worth the effort.

 

Back in the early nineties, some university friends & I, split up on international placements to get global experience. Along with business, & wife shopping, we also did some physical goods trading, ultimately culminating in a few hundred tickets to one of the premier all night millennial balls in Vienna. Mozart, ball gowns, tux, the whole nine yards ... A truly unique, once-in-a-lifetime experience... & we ended up flipping the tickets to Benz, for 1000 marks/pop -  simply because we were too cheap.

 

Years later we made a point of buying futures on 10 dozen (112) bottles of Chateau Lafite 1st Cru for delivery 10 years forward, to coincide with when our nephews reach their 20's. The first payment was over 18K (US), & the last one will be 24K (US). But we knew we had conquered cheapness when we did not even bat an eye over the price. Hopefully it will continue when we drink it, & these things are $1,000/bottle. Vienna all over again ..... but this time wiser.

 

SD

 

 

++++

 

Well said as always SD. I used to have the same mind set, brought up by an especially frugal father who wrote down every expense to the cent in agenda's. That changed when I found my current SO and started enjoying live more and when I learned about the uncertainties in life. As you said, use it as a servant as you can't take it with you in the end. If I would end up with almost nothing, I honestly believe I would adapt as well. The traveling, being generous to others, eating out, .. all experiences that you can't replace by hoarding all that cash and I wouldn't change them for any amount of money! I'm not a real big spender, but holy hell it is FUN to be free of the shackles cheapness and greed!

(Not that I look down on others here that prefer a cheaper lifestyle. as long as it fits your personality, go for it!)

 

 

I agree with you somewhat.  We do splerge on things that are important to us.  I pay about $18/lb for my coffee for instance.  I justify this by never buying coffee by the cup outside the home (it is inferior anyway) and it is something I enjoy, so I spend the money.  Luckily my wife and I aren't wine people, the only wine we buy is the cheap screw on cap variety for cooking.  A $1000/bottle of wine has no appeal to me as I wouldn't be able to tell the difference anyway.  If you gave it to me as a gift I'd probably cook with it.  :)

 

 

Yes. I wouldn't throw money away on things I don't care deeply about either, wine is one of those things. I believe that's the sweet point; being able to spend enough money on the things you truly enjoy in life while not falling into the trap of careless spending on everything regardless of your personal tastes and preferences.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I second many's view here regarding fitting frugality to your and your significant other's personality.  I am sure that Buffet's extreme frugality likely resulted in friction between him and Susan and his children. 

 

Personally, my wife and I do not pay full price for clothing, except if we need an item right away.  This is 99% of the time.  Everything is from the clearance aisle, Rue La La, outlet stores, etc.  Exercise clothing/equipment is an exception as I've found over time that the right gear lasts longer and pays dividends in that you're not distracted by lack of proper gear.  I'll pay a premium to keep me motivated to work out.  Although, I did buy a Concept 2 rower for 40 cents on the dollar by buying it off a guy who only used it for a few sessions before he realized "it's different than canoeing" 

 

Since we are both foodies, it can get expensive in a town like NYC.  We do eat out.  But when we do, we limit to cuisines that we cannot prepare at home.  There are great ethnic restaurants like Thai, Mexican, Korean, etc in Queens for $15-30 per person.  We both agree that we can skimp on others, but we need to enjoy good food.  We arbitrage our food expenses by buying at wholesale prices from restaurant depot (if you have a large family, you should look into this).  We can buy lobster, gulf shrimps, oysters, hangar steaks, portabella mushrooms, tomatoes, etc at deep discounts to supermarket prices.  Although, you do have to commit to buying in bulk.  I think that the discount is likely 50% ($10 for a 10 pound box of portabella mushrooms!!).  This also eliminates the wasted time that the groceries sits on shelves at the supermarket.  We probably gain 2 days of freshness.  Food is certainly one of our largest expense items.  But it's well worth it.

 

We are delaying the purchase of a house until our children are 4-5 years old when the school district that they attend starts to matter.  Vacations and travel are rare except when we find a good deal on Travelzoo. 

 

So, we pay for things that are at the bottom of the Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs.  Food, Water, Shelter, Warmth.  Many pay for the the stuff on top of Maslow's pyramids by splurging (or even going into debt) on luxury products and a bling lifestyle, we get them for free by associating with friends and family who share similar values and by pursuing careers that are meaningful.  I can't stress enough the importance of the spousal buy in for a lifestyle like this. 

 

On a sliding scale where the left is spendthrift and the right is Buffet.  I think most value investors will do well to veer closer to Buffet, but not exactly copy him.   

 

Interesting article about Mick Jagger's girlfriend

http://nypost.com/2014/03/23/scotts-suicide-reveals-tragic-side-of-citys-glitzy-scene/

 

 

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A lot of times the cheapness is inherited or because of circumstance. In my case like in the case of a lot of others it started with parents. Grandparents and Dad started out as refugees when he was 10. When dad started working could only afford one meal a day for months. Used to walk 10 miles a day because couldn't afford the bus. A ton of other crazy stuff. My 1st job was in 1998 and salary was $100 per month. Makes it really hard to spend money. Amazing luck with wife

 

Cheap about some things

1 - Small house (relatively speaking).

2 - Old Car.

3 - Flip Phone.

4 - Using Slickdeals.com and FatWallet.com when I want to buy something.

5 - Stocking up on kids toys/books during Christmas to give during the year.

6 - Ikea furniture (Quality has improved)

7 - Clothes from Clearance, Costco, Outlet shops

8 - Netflix+Hulu+Amazon Prime instead of Cable

9 - Generic vs Brandname for a lot of items

 

Not with others

1 - Classes for the Kids - Learning a ton of things is the best investment

2 - Eating out - Even though wife is amazing cook one person cant be an expert on Japanese/French/Malaysian/Mexican/Thai

3 - Travel - Memories are always of experiences you have and never of things you buy

4 - Groceries - Organic, non GMO etc

5 - Charity

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share




×
×
  • Create New...