You will often hear us preach that the first step to investing is to get out of debt. And the first step to getting out of debt is to live BELOW your means! How do you Fools do it?Share your ideas and methods, be it brown bagging or foregoing that third vacation home in Aruba!
Share your ideas and methods, be it brown bagging or foregoing that third vacation home in Aruba!Say it ain't so, Twitty! Say it ain't so! Anything but that!!Okay, okay. I'll bite. So what does it actually mean to live below your means. Is it frugality? Is it being cheap? Is it doing without the things you really want? Is it the ultimate in sacrifice?I had an aunt who never had money problems. But one thing that she did was to wash the Reynolds Wrap. Yep! You heard me, she reused aluminum foil. Again and Again.(Curses! Foiled again!)But come to think of it....Why not?Tony...but I still am...Off2Aruba
Thank you. This is now on my favorites list.
Thanks for adding this board! The foil washing story reminded me of people I used to know who kept a big pile of small white towels in the kitchen to use instead of paper towels. Like the size of a dish towel, white terry. White ones can be bleached to bring back to perfectly clean. They used them for anything you would use a papertowel for except not throwing them out...washing instead.(Separate piles for food preparation towels and cleaning towels) You could even get huge bath sheet-towels at an outlet and cut them up and edge the sides. I like not wasting so much paper...I'm not sure if it saves money with all the washing towels, but I may try it. meowiz
My mother washes out plastic baggies (especially the zip-lock kind, but even the sandwich bag kind), and puts them over the sink faucet to dry. It could be really annoying when you weren't paying attention and tried to use the sink. Water would spray EVERYWHERE! I'm frugal, but I've drawn the line on saving plastic baggies! (But I sure am glad she taught me about clipping coupons and comparison grocery shopping. It saves me at least 20% on my food bill each month.)Glad to see this board here...Great idea Fools!Pam
I wash out plastic baggies!! Not necessarily to save money, but to save the environment. My husband finds this to be a MOST annoying habit ...I was thrilled to run across this board this morning. I am feeling rich because I have given myself the summer off - to be a mom and housewife. Three months. I even wrote "HOUSEWIFE" on an application on the employment line! With pride!
Chopsticks standing in a dish drainer are a good way to dry the baggies. I usually buy ziplocks because they last through many washings. Once you can afford not to do this, it's almost impossible to break the habit;)
I put two cup hooks at either end of my upper kitchen cabinets and string one of those temporary clothes lines with attached clips ... lets me hang a few more baggies at a washing ... you're right, RecoveringFool, it's an impossible habit to break!
I'm neither chinese nor japanese but I use chopsticks most of the time. Saves time and water washing dishes.Now, if only my wife can learn the skill.. :-(
But you kill so many trees in the process.J/K :-)
I'm here to learn how to live below my means!
My mother washes out plastic baggiesmy wife does that, too. I thought it was kind of strange at first, but then I saw that we didn't need to buy nearly as many baggies, and I like the savings.
I wash out plastic baggies!! Not necessarily to save money, but to save the environmentright on. that's a good reason, too.
Okay, I admit--there is no purpose to this post, except I can now I say I participated in the first thread on the LBYM board. :-pThanks!Joe
slow night???s'wing - had coffee way too late tonight
You will often hear us preach that the first step to investing is to get out of debt. And the first step to getting out of debt is to live BELOW your means! How do you Fools do it?Share your ideas and methods, be it brown bagging or foregoing that third vacation home in Aruba!I know I'm jumping into this conversation a little bit late, but I usually do it while talking on my cell phone while driving my H2 to my sailboat, which is docked at the lake where I have an overpriced cabin. What do I do? I don't eat shrimp cocktail while driving anymore. The money I save puts me in the black.Spy
And the first step to getting out of debt is to live BELOW your means! How do you Fools do it?I didn't realize there was a board for this. Could someone point me toward some relevant posts on the subject?
Look at your habits first.. Is it a habit that you go out to restuarants ? Smoke ? Drink ? Buy a new car every 3 years ? Buy expensive gifts ? Travel to exotic places every year for vacation ? Then my friend if you will please cut back on any of your habits,, take the money you have saved and become a fool !!!!! It will probably be fun for you to watch your money grow versus watch it fly away !!
Simple a BUDGET is the first step. Write down all your money you are going to make for the month and spend it on paper. Then do some long term forecasting e.g. a year. You will be amazed at how much you spend on different items. I sat down with multiply couples and individuals and found the biggest item or problem is no plan with there money. Most of them cannot believe what they spend in restaurants or on fast food. To start I tell most people to carry a small pocket colander for about one month and write every penny you spend down in it. Most are shocked at what they spend. As far as the washing zip lock bag, how about just buying plastic containers, The washable napkins is something I recommend to people, but a funny story on that actually know a couple who did that but when their parents can to dinner they did not use the cloth napkins because they felt weird. One other point buys your gift cards online at a discount. I could go on and on, because I actually teach this stuff. Anyways once you do a long term budget and change your money spending habits, the living frugal will come easy and you won’t even feel it.
pocket colander Still trying to visualize one.
1. **Got rid of my debt2. Find the best deals on cellphone service (Cut my bill down from $100/mo to $43/mo)3. Stopped taking cabs.4. Walk home from work each day (3 miles, good if you live in a walkable area only)5. Eating more fruits and vegetables, as expensive as they may seem, has cut down my food bill.6. I only buy coffee when on the road -- otherwise I make it at home or get it free at work.7. Huge help -- I got a roommate to cut down on the overpriced cost of renting in NYC (cheaper than moving when factoring in commuting/moving costs).8. Stopped eating at restaurants as a form of socializing. I now eat out only very occasionally.9. Bring my lunch to work.10. Stopped smoking!
One trick I've been using- Every day save your change from every transaction. Never pay with exact change. (If somethings $8.01,pay with dollars then get your .99 and throw it into the jar.It's pay'in for Christmas this year.
Ha! I like this thread.One thing about budgets: I've always had such a hard time with them, but I guess my problem is not what you would expect. Every time I sit down to put together one, I end up stressed out and discouraged because according to every single one of my budgets we end up deep in the red every month. In reality, however, I have been able to save pretty much every month with a rare exception; over the last 12 years (only six of which I've been out of school, by the way) my personal net worth has definitely increased, so I know I'm not just imagining things. I also am trying to do a good job on a budget - estimating things to the best of my ability etc., but always end up with the same result. Well, I finally swore off doing budgets, and we have been just trying to be judicious with our expenses... Works so far!
Simply,I have a similar experience with budgets. I use(d) a budget to plan for the future (now and next year) but not for today or tomorrow. Sounds silly but ...Any budget is strictly a plan. When I was in the Marines earning $80 a month, I had a detailed budget for every penny I made that left $2/mon for entertainment and eating out. It was at times frustrating but I was able to save a little.After a while, I knew my spending needs/habits and the budget was less important for daily/monthly purposes.When I went overseas, I used a budget/spending plan to buy the things that were advantagious to buy overseas. I knew what I could afford and when I could buy it.In planning for retirement, I did a lot of work to derive a resonable budget 15 years ahead of time. I continually revised that as the years went on.Now we are 5 years into retirement and I still use the plan and tweek it as changes occur.It isn't a daily or even weekly thing, more like quarterly.Since we live off savings, I track how much savings are going up on an annual basis to insure we are funded for the future.Genehttp://www.taylortel.net/~gdett2/
Hi Shirtmeister,Just curious, we go out to restaurants with friends frequently to socialize, did you find a substitute social activity in place of this, or ??
I agree with the BUDGET concept 100%. However, I'm looking for budget guidelines in terms of percentages for my son as he is just starting out. I’d like to address this in terms of building the very first budget. He is in college living off campus and knows everything - almost. His mind requires that a budget be defined in terms of Rent XX%, Utilities YY%, Your recommendation to write down all you spend, and look for areas to reduce is okay for established couples looking for areas to FIND money they’ve been spending, and then redirect it to savings or paying off bills, or whatever is required. But what if you don’t have a history? How does one put together an initial budget? I gave my son some guidance based upon a typical mortgage company might like to see 25% of monthly income toward the PTI, and 33% maximum for all monthly payments (CC, Student Loans etc.).Anyone here ever run across a list of basic guidelines to create their very first budget? The kid likes to play with numbers; so if you have any to share please post them.ADV –thanks – ANCE
Living below your means is a definition for the word "SACRIFICE".Giving up some of the things that bring us immediate gratification for the rewards we will receive in the long run, when looking back isn't all that long.
Your recommendation to write down all you spend, and look for areas to reduce is okay for established couples looking for areas to FIND money they’ve been spending, and then redirect it to savings or paying off bills, or whatever is required. But what if you don’t have a history? How does one put together an initial budget? I gave my son some guidance based upon a typical mortgage company might like to see 25% of monthly income toward the PTI, and 33% maximum for all monthly payments (CC, Student Loans etc.). Care needs to be taken with recommended percentages for budgeting. The recommendations give high percentages for servicing current debt. The recommendations also are for those who are working. If you don't have a history, then estimating expenses for the first year and keeping good records is the simplest alternative.
Don't buy what you cannot afford
edfariscal,Welcome to the Motley Fool! Thanks for sharing at Living Below Your Means! If you're starting with post #1, you have a LOT of reading ahead of you!!! I hope you enjoy your time at the Fool and that you keep jumping in!Fool on!TMFHunzi
Call me skeptical, but with a photo of Bill Gates on his/her profile, one stock pick of Apple, and a very first post here, in such a simplistic, curt style without a simple hello or intro of self to the board, my doppel-radar is pinging. Just sayin'Laura
don't strain yourself. just pour it through a shirt pocket.
Chop sticks are re-usable - no washing ;-) A once over with a soapy sponge or dish towel and a good rinse.
Chop sticks are re-usable - no washing ;-) A once over with a soapy sponge or dish towel and a good rinse. Seriously?Far as I recall, "once over with a soapy sponge or dish towel and a good rinse" is called "washing".
briangw's very first post on TMF was:Chop sticks are re-usable - no washing ;-) A once over with a soapy sponge or dish towel and a good rinse.22 minutes later came this reply, undoubtedly making the new person feel warm and toasty inside, convinced he'd found a possible home board:Seriously? Far as I recall, "once over with a soapy sponge or dish towel and a good rinse" is called "washing"....hardly an appropriate snarky pushback for someone's first post. Don't you think an inward smile at a humorous mental lapse would have been better? Nice LBYM PR......jeesh...
Generally, anything that is good for the environment like cutting down fewer trees to make less paper products, also saves you money. So why not kill two birds with a stone?
cabezax100 writes: Generally, anything that is good for the environment like cutting down fewer trees to make less paper products, also saves you money. So why not kill two birds with a stone? Right. But is killing birds with stones really all that good for the environment? Although, I suppose hurling turtles at birds...or jabbing them with crochet hooks...would be worse.Just havin' some fun :PMaking Trax
Generally, anything that is good for the environment like cutting down fewer trees to make less paper products, also saves you money. So why not kill two birds with a stone?Er... trees are a renewable resource that are constantly being cut down and replanted on tree farms just like wheat but on a longer time scale.And what have you got against birds?Desert (hope you're not against Christmas trees too) Dave
Frankly, I have never found budgets all that helpful. What works better for me is to decide what your priorities are. Ask yourself these questions:1. What product or service really contributes to my quality of life?2. What product or service would be neat but will not really make my life better? Of course a lot depends on how you answer these questions. To be effective you need to limit and focus your idea about what the good life is. But here's how it works. My wife and I think that travel is definitely a part of #1. So we do quite a bit of traveling. BUT, we find that while travel is definitely a part of the good life, staying in a 4 star hotel is NOT. Sure, I would prefer to stay in a luxury hotel but it wouldn't enhance the overall experience enough to warrant the expense. So we stay in the cheapest reasonably clean lodging we can find. Or...we would say (we have no other choice) that owning a reasonably reliable, comfortable car is a #1. So we have a choice. Do we buy a 3 year old Ford Focus or a new Mercedes C class? Owning a Mercedes C class would be really cool. It would enhance my ego. If someone were going to give me a car that is what I would want them to get me. But owning that Mercedes is not really going to make my life better...ergo, I buy the 3 year old Ford Focus. So I am not cheap. I spend money on those things that really make for what I think is a good life. But the things that fall under my #2 category, I just forget about them. With that simple decision making rule we are saving thousands of dollars a year.
Generally, anything that is good for the environment like cutting down fewer trees to make less paper products, also saves you money. Commercial forests are renewable resources. Less paper use eventually will result in not only less trees being cut down, but less forests (trees) because they aren't needed.
While I often suggest one read a few weeks to a few months of posts before posting. . . I'm not sure going all the way back to 1998 is necessary. . . Ishtar
Living below your means is easy. Don't buy anything you want. Only buy what you need...and only buy it when you actually have the cash available. Don't buy your way into debt.Ask yourself these questions: Do I want this or do I need it? If I need it, can I wait to buy it at a later time?Can I cover all my monthly expenses and still have cash left over to save or invest?Do I have enough cash on hand to cover myself in any emergency?
ehkurtz ~Sounds like this works for you and this is very good advice. There really is no magic to getting ahead. A lot of folks just don't like to deny self when it comes to the long-term.Robyn
Have a plan. start by having credit card limits well below your potential for borrowing. decide on a lifestyle that you feel comfortable with and stay within it. for practical purposes who needs a 5000 square ft house once the kids are gone and the dog dies? Also take some tim eto learn the basics of investing so that your savings have a chance at growing . never buy an option once yo do you have lit a fuse. Sell them , sell puts to acquire good quality companies and calls to increase income and ultimately your return
start by having credit card limits well below your potential for borrowingI don't care what my credit card limits are.PSU
Wow. This thread was started in 1998. What a blast from the past!Andrea
The best way to get out of debt is to never take any debt on... well, that might not be too practical, but the point is, don't take on BAD debt. Also, don't buy things that you don't need.Where do most people get in trouble?House, Car, optional accessories.House: Is buying right for you? A lot of first time home buyers see what their loan will cost but then forget about HOA, taxes, and upkeep. They also forget that some of the things that they may have gotten for free in their rental (e.g., water, pest control) might now be separate. I actually have gone back to renting the house I live in even though I own multiple rentals - the places I invest in have a better rate of return, but the place I live in wouldn't meet my metrics.BAD DEBT: More house need or than you can afford!Car: Do you really need that Audi A4 or that Chevy Tahoe? Would a Honda Civic do just as well? If you are only going to use the "truck" part of a truck once or twice a year, you are probably better off renting one for those couple of days instead of buying a vehicle that is too big and driving it all the time. Pricier vehicles often have worst financing options, higher insurance payments, and more maintenance costs.BAD DEBT: Paying for more car than you need or can afford!Accessories: Do you need to replace your 42" flat screen that you bought 3 years ago with a new 72" one? Really? Do you need to upgrade all you IKEA furniture to something fancier? Do you really need to go to the Ipad3 when your Ipad2 is just fine. Those purchases start to add up quick.BAD DEBT: Replacing things that are still in perfect working order!When it comes to the little stuff like taking lunch to work instead of buying it, or not going to SBUX every morning I like to take a balanced approach. I'll try to avoid those money sinks, but if I'm tired of PB&J sandwiches I'll go out for lunch a time or two/week. Compared to the BIG items above these are minor. The $3500 you save by not buying that TV is more than you'll save by cutting out 230 lunches at $15 a piece.
When it comes to the little stuff like taking lunch to work instead of buying it, or not going to SBUX every morning I like to take a balanced approach. I'll try to avoid those money sinks, but if I'm tired of PB&J sandwiches I'll go out for lunch a time or two/week.I often took leftovers or a can of soup. It doesn't always have to be sandwiches.Agreed, the big ticket items are huge blips, but a lot of people let that ten to fifteen dollars a day slip through their fingers without being aware of how much money they're losing.There used to be a posted on the boards named TamarianG, and she didn't getting out of debt until she started paying attention to the little expenses she had ignored. That's when she started seeing the waste.Nancy
Just a couple of ideas -No credit cards, use debit card instead. This way you aren't spending what you don't have.Make a set savings amount the first thing you take out of each pay check.It isn't that long before you stop missing it.Save for big purchases instead of paying for them with credit.Try not to indulge in sudden buying. I always get in trouble when I buy on a whim.Good luck to us all - saving is a never ending process.Karen
Learn the definition between a "want' and a "need".The necessities of life, words of my college professor: Food, water & Shelter.Before you purchase anything you should be asking yourself do I want this or do I need this.You do not need those new pair of snowboarding boots. You do not need to buy the filet mignon at the butcher. You may want to but there is always an alternative. One of which is to not purchase anything at all.Try mint.com to help track your finances.
No credit cards, use debit card instead. This way you aren't spending what you don't have. Be very careful about using debit cards. Many banks claim they give the same protection as credit cards, but it is not a legal requirement. When disputing transactions, the cash is gone from your account. I have stopped using debit cards except as an ATM card. We have started to have our debit cards reissued as ATM only (eliminating visa/mastercard cobranding).Overdrafts can be very expensive with debit cards.
Listed not in order......switched to compact florescent lights. For lights left on all night...LED.Installed a solar system, get a small check back at end of year now.Sold SUV. Now own two hybrids, Prius and a Nissan.Wood burning stove, collect junk wood. (I have never bought wood)When we do use the heat it comes on only short bursts...morning and evening..its 35 outside right now and I did use some last night. (hey its xmas...we splurged)One refrigerator. Energy star.Seldom use A/C in summer, swamp cooler works great.I brown bag every day...I forget my lunch I don't eat....my bad!
Pete,Welcome to the Motley Fool! You've found a great board in Living Below Your Means. There are over 800,000 posts on this board! Feel free to browse through the older posts or just jump in to the most current threads. Sounds like you have LBYM well in hand and have great ideas to contribute!Fool On!TMFHunzi
Good advice only if you find yourself spending in these categories. For someone who has already been living frugally because or income restrictions - not so easy.
I know it may seem odd - but I use Quicken Home Finances for everything - so I have every dime I've ever spent for the last 15 years or so - the categories are great and they always seem to improve the software. I just download bank info and categorize as I see fit (many do it automatically) - so then I can click on "spending" and lets say food and see what I spend monthly, quarterly, yeartly etc for any category -- I also have all my investment in it as well -- I love it!!
Share your ideas and methods, be it brown bagging or foregoing that third vacation home in Aruba!Go homeless. I bought a Van and lived in it for a few years while taking college classes and I showered at the gym, I save a lot of money in rent. Presently I now live in an apartment but I have no furniture because I put my money in stocks and I still drive the same van just incase I may need it in the future if things don't work out in the stock market (Plan B).
u have x amount of money coming in u spend less then x amount real simple no rocket science i stock up on things on sale u buy what u need not what u want. just bought new bike after riding 25 dollar one for 15 years u buy 10 year old car drive it fir 10 years ect. dave
u have x amount of money coming in u spend less then x amount real simple no rocket science i stock up on things on sale u buy what u need not what u want. just bought new bike after riding 25 dollar one for 15 years u buy 10 year old car drive it fir 10 years ect. dave Your ideas are intriguing to me and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter.
Your ideas are intriguing to me and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter.You may have to wait until he's finished responding to 876,033 posts. This could take awhile.Nancy
Your ideas are intriguing to me and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter. Did you mean to say "ur ideas r intriguin 2 me n I wish 2 subscribe 2 ur newsletter"?
Did you mean to say "ur ideas r intriguin 2 me n I wish 2 subscribe 2 ur newsletter"? I'm sure my new best friend will appreciate the translation.
Did you mean to say "ur ideas r intriguin 2 me n I wish 2 subscribe 2 ur newsletter"? ___________________________________________You think this is funny? It's crass to say the very least.This is a new person trying to post to this board and as usual if the "regulars" don't like what you have to say, they bash you and hope that you will leave so that they can get on with their mutual admiration society.Shame on you.
This is a new person trying to post to this board Bless your heart.
You think this is funny? It's crass to say the very least.This is a new person trying to post to this board and as usual if the "regulars" don't like what you have to say, they bash you and hope that you will leave so that they can get on with their mutual admiration society.Yes, I'm happy if it keeps the boards from becoming Twitter.
You think this is funny? It's crass to say the very least.This is a new person trying to post to this board and as usual if the "regulars" don't like what you have to say, they bash you and hope that you will leave so that they can get on with their mutual admiration society.Shame on you.Normally I would agree. However people who type in twitter/text shorthand should be slammed down. Punctuation, grammar, and proper spelling exist for a reason, so other people have an idea what the heck the other person is trying to say and with what voice (is it sarcastic, is it a sincere question, it is a more general pondering). It's bad enough when people say "you" when they mean "one" and turn a general statement into an accusation by accident. I can deal with poor spelling or grammar from someone who is obviously trying (English as second language, poor education, etc). This nonsense is more like someone who can't be bothered and gives me a response akin to someone who doesn't aim or flush when using a public toilet.Lara Amber
This nonsense is more like someone who can't be bothered and gives me a response akin to someone who doesn't aim or flush when using a public toilet.Either that or it's a 14 year old pretending to be a grown-up.Tell me, Brooklyn, why do you use standard grammar? Nancy
"to someone who doesn't aim"You mean we're supposed to?
" It's bad enough when people say 'you' when they mean 'one' "not everybody agrees with you on that one:http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/education/grammar/one-versu...
I don't think the one/you has to be done all the time, especially when speaking. I would highly suggest it for online discussion (when tone of voice isn't there to help) especially when one poster is responding to another poster and is mixing together a response to both a specific poster's actions/writing and a general response to the whole thread or general musings on the topic. It helps make it clear that things being said are not an accusation or directed towards one person and can cut the "but I never said that!" escalation from happening.Lara Amber
http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/education/grammar/one-versu......***When I was writing my book I used "one" quite a lot. When editing I changed it to "you". "One" sounded too high falutin' for what I was writing.Reader99
http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/education/grammar/one-versu.........***When I was writing my book I used "one" quite a lot. When editing I changed it to "you". "One" sounded too high falutin' for what I was writing.Reader99Page Not Found
When I was writing my book I used "one" quite a lot. When editing I changed it to "you". "One" sounded too high falutin' for what I was writing.Highfalutin is right! "One" in that usage is waaaaay to pompous and pretentious for most writing. I didn't use it even once in my book:http://desertdavesteotwawkisurvivalguide.blogspot.com/2011/1...
Page Not Found That's because you tried to click on a copied truncated link. The original link is in the following post:http://boards.fool.com/quot-its-bad-enough-when-people-say-y...
When I was writing my book I used "one" quite a lot. When editing I changed it to "you". "One" sounded too high falutin' for what I was writing.Page Not FoundTMF tends to truncate links with dashes in them so when you get to the "page not found" page you'll have to type in the rest of the link to make it work.http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/education/grammar/one-versu...
TMF tends to truncate links with dashes in them so when you get to the "page not found" page you'll have to type in the rest of the link to make it work.That would work if you knew what to type in for the rest of the link. It is far easier to find the original posted link and click on that.
Sometimes "one" works, but mostly it sounds to me like an affectation, as though I'm aspiring to be the Queen of England. I try to think about who really is performing the action in the sentence: not "you," which presumes a false sense of intimacy, not "one" (one of what?), but "the reader" "the taxpayer" "the driver" - whomever I'm writing about
There are few things as character building as having nothing! From an early age I learned to separate my wants from my needs. . . then I worked at reducing my list of supposed needs and never got over how little I could live on if I really had to. It's a challenge that has had the welcome result of having more money to invest; which has resulted in having more money to purchase some of the items on my want list!
Sorry, you can only recommend a post to the Best of once.There are few things as character building as having nothing! From an early age I learned to separate my wants from my needs. . . then I worked at reducing my list of supposed needs and never got over how little I could live on if I really had to. It's a challenge that has had the welcome result of having more money to invest; which has resulted in having more money to purchase some of the items on my want list!You'll go far. As for your neighbor, well there's that new, "gott'a have it" Justin Bieber t-shirt and while at the mall get a new pair of those shoes whose heels light up when you walk and, and, and...
I can relate! We have made similar choices and have similar priorities. A few years ago we traveled around the world for a year with our three young children - on a budget.Priorities:-Fitting as many countries and experiences as we couldSticking to our budgetNot getting split as a groupLesser priorities:-Five star hotels and comfortable limousines.How did we do it? Priorities, Balance/Choices, Flexibility, clear rules & guidelines.1. Stayed in 3 star hotels that had clean linen and bathrooms, and used those savings to take local tours or experience an unforgettable activity (climbing the Himalayas, snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef, Kenyan Safari). After all, if you are going to be up early in the morning and out all day, what you need most is a clean comfortable bed!2. Used lastminute.com to make our hotel reservations the day before arriving in a country - and we got some amazing deals as result, like a 1 bedroom suite in Turkey with 3 meals included for USD 49/night.3. Cut down on hotels by leveraging our vast network of family and friends that we had stayed in touch with over the years, and who spanned covered much of the globe. It was a great opportunity to reconnect.4. Carefully planned our journey for climate so that we could travel with a minimal number of clothes, layering as needed.5. Worked with a great travel agent for our flights and incorporated stopovers to visit 16 countries. E.g. NY-Bangkok flight was actually NY-Vancouver-Hong Kong-Bangkok. (ps we stayed with family in Vancouver and at the Y in Hong Kong)Our kids were 8, 6 and 4 at the time - and what they remember are 'cool' hotels, 'fun' cousins, 'crazy' rides and 'amazing' discoveries. Sometimes, we don't have to spend money to have the richest experiences, and 'sacrifices' don't have to feel painful.It is doable. You can create a budget/plan to focus on what brings you the most reward in life. It probably helped that though we liked nice things, we valued family and travel more, so had always steered our spare money toward that 'reward' pot.Today, we like so many others are striving to send our children to decent universities. So for now, that is our 'reward' pot for the tightening of our belt, and continuing the discipline of living below our means. But never have we regretted the investment of time and spending some of our 'reward' pot on that one year on the road with our three children.
I Built a trailer for my Bike so I can go Grocery shopping, and not use my car in town.I NEVER drive my car above 65 mph.(Miles per gallon drop quickly above 65.
Marry rich. Invest like s fool.
Marry rich. Invest like s fool. You don't need a leg. You need a parrot.I like this game. Who's next?
You'd get used to it if you learned Spanish. The verbs are preceded by "se" to get the same meaning. It seems like work to an English speaker because we don't always use "one."
I remember mom washing foil and I do too, when it's bad toss, same with plastic bags, I'm a tree hugger. I use sponges for wiping up and sterilize them. I bought a HD TV aerial and will get rid of cable soon. THAT will be a huge savings, I only need PBS and can find others on my internet. I will read more and ignore the horrible commercials and news. I often listen to good music for entertainment, a night with my CDs is really cheap entertainment. Focus on the art, not just background music.I have T shirts from 20 years ago in Hawaii, had a rain jacket from college days, that is tossed and have another from a sports store. I live in CA so don't need too many warm clothes or hi end for work. I buy things after Xmas on sale. I don't give gifts, my family and friends don't need 'things'. I do buy quality when it's a major purchase because I think they last longer and I want to hold onto them. My couch is very comfortable and movable cushions so no sink hole in favorite spot, it will last. Economy car was 0% financing and fuel efficient, but wanted the latest in no hands phone calls and safety. With that low payment bought 100,000 mile service contract (car alarm lowered my insurance). In my retirement I'll be seeing a lot of the west, Nat Parks, staying with family and friends, budget motels.
Greetings,I have been living the debt free dream and this is how I did it:-Got divorced from a wife who lived on credit cards, and excess.-Sold our house of 20 years and managed to make a small profit.-Used the procedes from the home sales to pay off all credit card debt.-Found a mexican woman on an international website badoo and moved to her home in TJ. I do pay all food, and utility bills when she asks me.-Minimize expensive shopping: I get alot of things from the "99 Cent" store, especially doggie snacks (I try to stay away from "Petco".)-I shop at the mexican swap meets for vegetables which are typically 65% or more off of the supermarkets.-I work on my own car (Jeep) and don't like expensive dealers.-Heatlh care: I use the smaller hospitals in Mexico: I had gull bladder operation last year and the doctor had been doing gull bladder surgeries for 23 years. I was quoted $20k for this surgery in the U.S. without complications, and got it done for $3,500 in Mexico (there were complications and the operation went twice as long) were the doctors are just as good, all you need is a good recommendation.I have fun figuring out how to save money and I like the challenge of figuring out if I can cut corners. My aim is to save money for retirement not spend it all, since I am 57 years old I know I have limited time till retirement but I still do computer contracting to build my nest egg which needs alot of building, so I think of this as catch up.Note: This is not an easy way to live and not for the faint of heart, but with a good woman I am getting by quite nicely even though I haven't worked for 6 months now. I am trying to find work at this point but I have money put away to get by for a long time to come if I don't find work. I don't say this to brag but I have turned my life around to live frugilly and I have U.S. friends down here in Mexico so I'm not feeling isolated. I have family just over the border and can cross quickly with a Sentri pass so I never feel trapped.
I had gull bladder operation last year and the doctor had been doing gull bladder surgeries for 23 years.That must be some specialized Doc!
What the heck is a gull bladder?Churchy
What the heck is a gull bladder?Opposite of a boy bladder.-synchronicity
What the heck is a gull bladder?Opposite of a boy bladder.I thought it was that little sac of air under the wing that makes that squawking sound.Nancy
Hmmmm. I wonder if I can do a version of this only just across the border in Canada instead of Mexico with the same results.
I thought it was that little sac of air under the wing that makes that squawking sound.Naw. It's actually a little sack of <censored> that steals food right out of your hand and flies away being chased by other flying sacks of <censored>.Churchy
Great thread.I am writing a book on this topic in my free time, the gist of which is: "My folks never made much money but they were smart and frugal so they were able to live like millionaires in retirement. Unfortunately they never talked to me about money (and I was a poor observer), so I made lots of mistakes in my life. Looking back, here's what I should have learned from them had I paid better attention, and that I'd like to pass on to my own kids."My folks did a lot of things differently than people do today. Two of the most important were:1. Pay cash for everything. If you can't afford it, don't buy it.2. Learn to live on 80% or less of your take-home income. Invest 10% and set another 10% aside for emergencies.Because the biggest-ticket items have the greatest impact, let's go there first:My parents took number 1 to the extreme: they never had a mortgage. When my Dad was still single he bought a crappy two-bedroom, one bath house in an ok neighborhood using cash he saved while serving in the Marine Corps. He bought used furniture and kept the house nice inside and out. When he married my Mom, they remodeled it in the evenings and on weekends using materials bartered from local businesses in exchange for repairing the owners' radios and TVs and other electrical equipment, which Dad learned to do in the Marine Corps, a valuable skill in the 1950s. They used the proceeds from the sale of that first house to build a second, much nicer home in a much nicer location, a process they repeated twice more over the next 40 years. Each time, Dad acted as general contractor and bartered his skills for those of his Seattle Fire Department colleagues, many of whom had second jobs as carpenters, electrician, plumbers, etc. In addition to creating lifelong friendships, this frugal (though time-consuming) no-debt approach enabled my folks ultimately to spend their final years a beautiful custom home on a bluff overlooking Puget Sound.Could a person do this today? With mortgage rates so low, one can argue that it's not worth tying up one's cash in a home, though Dad only paid for materials, never labor, and often obtained those at a discount, so his price per square foot was a fraction of the value of the home at move-in. In other words, he probably could have sold each home immediately for a substantial profit. But the market at the time made home ownership attractive as an investment in its own right and, in any event, the point was to build places to live, not to sell.Ok. That got a little long-winded but the point is they never owed anyone for anything. My Dad never even had a credit card until he and my Mom began to travel in their later years and he got a Northwest Airlines card so he could earn miles toward more travel. But he paid it off every month and never paid a dime in interest. Same with cars: 3-5 year old used cars in decent shape that they could drive for 9-10 years. Anyway, you get the point.Number 2 is even more important, and much easier: invest. Dad never bought a share of stock but still managed to retire with about $400,000 in the bank. We have it so much better today with all the investment knowledge that is available. I showed my son the other day that if he invests just $100 per month in an S&P index fund until age 70 he can retire with nearly a million dollars. Now imagine if every time he gets a pay raise he adds 10% to his investable cash and, oh by the way, takes maximum advantage of tax-advantaged investment accounts. Join The Fool and add just a few percentage points to his return and now we're talking some real money.This is one area where my wife and I were smart enough to learn from our parents and, at about 3/5 the way to retirement, we are on track.But we could have done better. We did lots of stupid things that I wish I could take back, and that would allow us to retire earlier, but that at least I've learned going forward.Bottom line is to make yourself valuable to others (not just in exchange for a paycheck), live well within your means (whatever they may be), invest early and often, and learn as you go.I hope this was helpful.Dion
I save for big ticket items, and pay off all credit cards each month. I never pay interest unless buying a home or in the case emergency expenditure like a car. I go right to what I need in a store or shopping mall. No browsing for things I can not afford. I also cook at home and rarely go out to dinner because my husband loves the big ticket foods on the menu. We go out to breakfast for a treat; it is cheaper and takes care of the need to get out.I have never had a money relationship with my children or grandchildren. They are responsible to make their own money; a sense of personal pride goes with that accomplishment for them. Most of my husbands co-workers are broke today and we are on easy street enjoying our retirement years.
Most of my husbands co-workers are broke today and we are on easy street enjoying our retirement years. It is interesting to see the difference across companies. Other than an occassional co-worker who is irresponsible with their finances, most are quite responsible. There is only a 401K (no pension plan). Older employee are retiring. Our employer has been unsuccessful in attempting to delay retirements.
I save and reuse zip locks all the time. And I use towels more than paper towels. I have lots of towels so there are always more if the ones currently in the kitchen are yucky.
I've found that the only way to truly live beneath one's means is to make more money than you can spend.
I've found that the only way to truly live beneath one's means is to make more money than you can spend.
I've found that the only way to truly live beneath one's means is to make more money than you can spend.Or, as I once heard, "Earn more or desire less".Few people will ever make more than they COULD spend.Far more can make more than they SHOULD spend."Can spend" is not LBYM.
Thank you for recommending this post to our Best of feature.You will be able to recommend 6 more posts today. (explain this)Or, as I once heard, "Earn more or desire less".The last few times I've walked through a mall I found a dazzling array of stuff I've no interest in buying or having.My last out of the ordinary purchase was an alarm clock to help my retired rear end get out of bed at the crack of noon.
Dare I say it? Unless it's a residence (or a vacation home on which you can afford the payments), a car or a medical expense you can't live without, don't charge something that you can't pay for at the end of the month. Otherwise, that balance will just keep growing.
Practical suggestion. Train yourself to look at the cost of something more fully. Instead of just looking at the price tag on that new cashmere sweater, add in the sales tax PLUS the 15-25% interest your credit card is going to charge you until it's paid up. Probably it'll be easier to pass up that impulse buy that you don't really need.
List your debts top to bottom largest to smallest.List out needs vs wantsShelter, food, clothing, transportation are needsEverything else is a want and make sure to stop"keeping up with the Jones"begin your debt reduction with smallest debt first, then continue moving up the ladder D Ramsey debt snowballremove the temptation of credit and place 1 credit card away for a true emergency cut all other CC upconsider becoming your own banker, if you have the correct equity and discipline move your traditional mortgage to a HELOC. this workslook up Truth in lending, it gives you the formula for getting out from under your largest debt......the mortgageI'm debt free and wasn't always so, easier to sleep at night
All of the ways you can force yourself to save and invest require a willingness to forgo immediate satisfaction. Force Save. If you spend optional $, force yourself to tip your savings & investment account first. If you are not willing to spend less than you have available by putting yourself on a spending diet, you will never be able to reach a goal. If you do not know the goal, you will never be able to achieve it. Very few people have $M dropped into their lap by their employer or via an inheritance. So, don't count on making the goal anyway other than by saving & investing. If you get a raise, bank it.
Thank you for recommending this post to our Best of feature.All of the ways you can force yourself to save and invest require a willingness to forgo immediate satisfaction.Most people's retirement plan is a rich relative.Their back up retirement plan?The Lottery!
We have decided it is too much of a hassle keeping up with all of our credit card advances at 0% interest, and then rolling the oldest one over when we get another 0% intro offer. We are going to mortgage our paid-off home to pay all of the balances off (about $45,000) and have one payment for 15 yrs at 3.35%, freeing up more of our monthly income to invest in the best foolish recommendations.
We have decided it is too much of a hassle keeping up with all of our credit card advances at 0% interest, and then rolling the oldest one over when we get another 0% intro offer. We are going to mortgage our paid-off home to pay all of the balances off (about $45,000) and have one payment for 15 yrs at 3.35%, freeing up more of our monthly income to invest in the best foolish recommendations.Troll alert.
Hey, happy balloon day!
Hey, happy balloon day!Thanks!! I remember some of my first postings were about budgets. You were one of the first to respond, if I remember correctly! That was in 1998. I can't believe I've been here all these years. It was fun meeting you and I always respected the way you handled your finances - you are a rock star!!I have gotten a great deal out of my time here. It has changed my thinking on a lot of things. I remember being in a lot of debt, then digging out of it. The CC board was a big help in that department - what a wonderful group of people willing to volunteer their time so patiently. You are all still here!Life is calm and things are going well. Of course, we have had bumps in the road and I'm sure we will again. I know that being a part of the Fool has made a huge impact on why we are doing so well now.I plan to work until I'm 70. By then the house should be paid off. We were able to pay for Dash's college tuition in full each year (due to our savings and his Granddad's tuition gifts), so he will graduate next year with zero student debt. Our graduation gift to him!I want to thank everyone who has helped me along the journey. You are all wonderful.Fifi
We are going to mortgage our paid-off home to pay all of the balances off (about $45,000) O.M.G. Be still my palpitating heart! How in the world did you manage to get $45K in credit card debt? I would have nightmares. Horrible, horrible nightmares.But good on you for getting rid of it.AM
Live like it's the Great Depression!
Hello Fools. I am new to TMF and this is my first post on this or any board. I was thrilled to find this board since I have so much "leakage" of money in my life. My main money-saving tip is to simply stop eating out in restaurants as much. That's a killer. Robert
Thank you for recommending this post to our Best of feature.My main money-saving tip is to simply stop eating out in restaurants as much.True dat! Also, brown bagging lunch at work works well.If you peruse past posts you'll find lots of helpful tips too.Welcome Aboard!
Howdy fellow Fools! I just wanted to agree with the eating out. I'm 60 and single again, and I was eating out 7-10 times a week! I've managed to cut back to twice a week now, and I'm saving the difference to add to paying down my last 2 credit cards. I also wanted to reminisce a bit................. I was inducted into Internet investing way back in 1997. I believe it was another forum I used back then, The Silicone Investor I think it was. But everything has changed a LOT since back then! It's also amazing that some of you here have been here almost 20 years. Where has the time gone?! My grandson is 14 and starts high school in the Fall!!Anyhoo................ thanks for keeping the forums up for all of these years. I've joined the Stock Advisor and am looking forward to relearning a few things. Thanks!
................ thanks for keeping the forums up for all of these years.You're welcome, and welcome to the board.Desert Dave
Welcome to the Motley Fool!! Thanks for chiming in - we're excited you're here. LBYM is one of the best forums! Can't wait to see what you have to share with the rest of us. Fool on!TMFHunzi
My gf and I traveled around the world for a year and did so knowing we only had $65 a day to spend on all expenses. Keeping a daily budget using an app allowed us to track every expense. It was by far the most helpful tool in order to make the year a success. Now that we are back, I plan on updating our budget and continue using the app (Simple Daily Budget).
Dear Motley Spy: Using sarcasm to make your point. I like it. The folks on this board have gotten off on the wrong foot and continue to misinterpret what living below your means is all about. You people who have commented above, reusing aluminum foil and baggies is the wrong place to start when trying to live below your means. The starting point is your budget. Make a monthly budget that is less than what you bring home. Stick with it and bingo, you are living below your means. Put the amount you are deleting from your budget into savings. Do not make up the money deleted from your budget by using a credit card. Just do without the money that is no longer a part of your budget and adjust your lifestyle. It will require discipline and sacrifice. First put the money you have removed from your budget in a savings account then later an investment account. An IRA or an employer sponsored retirement plan would be best. When you deposit the money into savings or invest it, consider it untouchable. Wipe its existence from your memory. Do not borrow from it. Do not spend it for anything. Do not let anyone lead you off course. When you have the urge to buy a new TV or go on a cruise, do not use your savings to pay for it. Do not charge the cost of such urges on a credit card. Do without or lower your sights. Instead of a cruise rent a cabin at a state park. Instead of the $3,000 TV at Best Buy, get one at Target for $300.00. You will hear from people who think saving is pointless. They will urge you to spend the money. They will laugh at you for hiding part of your regular income from yourself. IGNORE THEM. Keep living below your means. Keep saving the money you are setting aside from your earnings. Pay yourself first each month by putting your reduction of income in savings or investments. You will get personal satisfaction for being smarter that the people who try to discourage you. If your employer provides a 401k or other retirement plan, start putting your saved money there. Adjust your standard of living so that you are living on your reduced income. Do not use credit cards to make up the reduction of your income. Make the sacrifices and be disciplined and live on the reduced amount. Get started today. Make a budget. If it takes every penny you have to live, start anyway. Put $10.00 in a mayonaise jar. Hide it and never touch it except to put another $10.00 in the jar every payday. That would be the time to start looking for ways to spend less, like reusing aluminum foil or baggies. Set a goal to increase your contribution by $10.00 every 3 months. Keep raising that goal. When you have $100 in the jar move it to a savings account. Everyone's ultimate goal will be different, but if you can get it up to $500.00 per month that you pay yourself before paying anything else, and put that in a carefully selected mutual fund or retirement account, you can retire in comfort. This works. Many people do it. You can find information on web sites or in books on personal finance at the library. People who have stuck with me for this long please consider two suggestions from me that are contrary to the authorities that write on getting out of debt and saving for retirement. You will be told to use your savings achieved from "living below your means" first to pay off debt. Paying off debt is important but in my opinion if you try to pay off debt first you may never get to the point where you start saving and investing. My suggestion is start saving immediately and work the debt payoff into your reduced budget. At the same time stop running up new debt. Second, you will be told that the next step after paying off debt is to create an emergency fund of several month's salary before you start saving. I say do not do that. The reason for that suggestion is that you will never start saving because emergencies will keep coming up so that you never achieve the suggested balance in an emergency fund and never have money to save. Just jump right in to the "live within your means" plan set out above and start saving and deal with emergencies as the arise. Do not postpone savings until you have accumulated an emergency fund. Do not dip into your retirement savings for emergencies unless it is a matter of life or death. This has worked for me. I started with nothing. About 40 years ago my wife and I abandoned efforts to pay off all debt and accumulate a big emergency fund. We jumped straight in to trying to save money. We started by putting $100 per month in a mutual fund and raised that contribution as often as possible. At the same time we worked on reducing debt and accumulating an emergency fund. Through living below our means and saving regularly, my wife and I have accumulated almost 2 million dollars in cash or investment assets, have a paid off our house worth $400,000, and are out of debt. We also have an emergency fund containing $52,000. Do not wait. Start now. Make a budget. You know the rest.
Tndave,Greetings!! Wow! The post you replied to is about 14 years old! I'm not sure the Motley Spy is still among us!! But kudos for starting at the very beginning...a very good place to start! Meanwhile there are about 900,000 post between then and now... if you want to see the highlights click out to the board level and click RECS to sort them by popularity. Otherwise, you might want to click the last post link and come join us in 2017. ;-)Fool on,TMFHunzi
Thanks. I'm new at this. You gave me a good laugh at myself. I don't think I will live long enough to start at the beginning.
Hi TnDave. Though you replied to an old post doesn't make your post irrelevant. Your post reminds us all of the basics of LBYM. I retired early way back when and squirreled my money away into a nice sum.I find myself talking myself through an impulse purchase, asking myself: do I need it?; will I use it?; will something else suffice that I already have?; how important is it really?Wandering the aisles of Costco or some other stores and online.....I think it through. Also, knowing what I already have helps as well as I still wonder why the heck I have two jars of fennel seed.Life is good when one has savings to live on and not worrying about how I'm going to pay my bills.Great first post!Lucky Dog
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