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No. of Recommendations: 9
>>I am very impressed with your sense of self-discipline to go through your daily routine. Aside from wealth accumulation, what keeps you going?<<

For us, LBOM is NOT about wealth accumulation, although that can be a very welcome side-effect! It's about having a vision of what is REALLY important in our life & making choices that contribute to our goals, both personal & financial.

Unlike Bill Gates, we don't have unlimited dollars. We make choices about spending/saving based on what we think is "valuable" to us. Our primary goals are a comfortable place to live; income so we are employed by choice, not need; retirement funds in case good ol' Soc' Sec' isn't so "secure"; funds for the emergencies of life; and "enough" left over to have fun!

Well, by LBOM we paid our mortgage off in 9 years, our cars & belongings are paid for, I've been able to stay home the last 2 years, we maxed out our 401ks & IRSs the past 5 years (& beat the S&P's return), paid our cc bills in full each month and vacationed in Europe for 6 weeks.

It was great to have freedom to see the world & spend time together. If we didn't LBOM we couldn't. When we choose to be frugal by drinking water instead of Coke (sorry KO longs) or going to yard sales & consignment shops, we don't feel deprived (besides, I like H20). Enough cost cutting where it doesn't hurt and gratification postponement of "want to have/don't need to haves" meant we woke up many mornings overlooking the most spectacular vistas in Europe from our tent. (We love the outdoors so we feel enriched by "roughing it" too. Plus you sure can't beat the price!)

We know plenty of people who live paycheck-to-paycheck, have a shiny $40k financed SUV in the drive of their mortgaged-to-the-hilt oversized home with plenty of cc debt. They're always the ones who wonder how we managed to vacation around the world for 3-6 weeks/year when all they could afford was 3 days at Disney World (in full-price resort hotels with full price airline tix).

Our home is modest but comfortable, as are our belongings. We have all the comforts of life. No one knows the difference in the crystal bowl that I bought at a yard sale for $3 vs the identical one for $40 retail. Or that I looked through the classifieds for a week & found a new sofa (still in the plastic) for 40% less than in the store from a young lady who returned home & had no room for it. Or that I found the identical Filene's Basement $225 suit in a consignment shop for $45 (& new).

I think it's because we have goals that we're happy with our cost cutting & life choices. It's a game to find alternatives to retail & buy the same things for far less. Or sometimes, not at all. After all, we do live in the most commercial society. Seeing how other people of the world live their daily lives profoundly effects your sense of what is "enough" & "necessary". Most Americans don't seem to realize how good they have it!

For us, some things Amy Dacyzyn had to say in FZ about return on your dollar, wants/needs, & gratification delay were eye opening. Even if you don't want to use every cost cutting tip offered, the concept of what just a little frugality can bring to your life are great.

Hope you reach the point where you view LBYM as rewarding & freeing, a way to reach your goals, not something that leaves you deprived.

Thanks to all the LBYM Fools! As a new Fool, I loved reading all the great tips. Hope I wasn't too long winded!


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