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Hi Everyone,

I just thought I'd finally write and message and say Hello. So hello!

I've been reading this board for a couple of weeks now. I decided to start from the beginning, and so far I've read a little over 1300 messages. As there are over 7000 messages, it's going to be awhile before I completely catch up but I've decided to read the last 20-30 new messages.

It's really great to see that I wasn't the only one that read The Millionire Next Door. That book really changed my way of thinking. While I don't want to be as... tight - with my money as some of the millionires described in the book, I think that some of the suggestions in there had a lot of merit.

So far in the 1300 messages I've read, many people disagree with the formula used to determine your status as a UAW or PAW. I too and young (24 to be exact) and being that I am still in University (three more semesters left and can't wait to get out! Yay!) and work part time, I used the formula and I am only at half of what my net worth should be to be a PAW. But when you consider that in the space of 5 months I went from a zero net worth to half of a PAW, I guess you could say that I am a PAW. But no matter, I want to be smart with my money, not a tightwad. Though I have credit cards, I've always paid on time and use it mainly for cash for reasons. As I live at home being that I go to University, I bank 100% of my paycheques at work. So what money do I live on? I do technical support outside of my work and I charge quite a bit. I call it the Armand Van Helden rule. If your time is precious to you and someone wants it, then charge through the nose so then if (s)he doesn't want to pay, then you get to enjoy your time and if (s)he does, then you've made some good money. So far it's worked out well. All my saved money goes into invesments.

On the subject of banana bread, I read that thread with great interest as I LOVE banana bread. If some users could post some of their recipies for banana bread (no styrofoam packing peanuts please;), I'd really appreciate it.

On the subject of clothes, when I was in my teenaged years, I shopped at 2nd hand clothing stores - not because it was cool to be "grunge". After all, my teens were in the late 80's. But rather, because that was all I could afford. These days I insist on buying good clothing. While my tastes in clothing would make any PAW seeing my on the street think that I am a UAW, I am a minimalist. I own very very few pieces of clothing but the few pieces I do own I paid good money for. Case in point, I own a total of three sweaters which I just bought this year to replace three that I have worn for over 5 years now. Each of them I paid an average of $50 for. Now that's expensive but when you consider those are the only sweaters I own and wear, I've spent $150 on sweaters. Now for you PAWs, count how many sweaters you own and add up the cost and I'd say we'd be pretty even with the likelihood that I would be ahead.

Being that I am am minimalist, I especially enjoyed the thread on clutter. That was brilliant. Once again, as I said, while I buy expensive and very high quality items. since on a whole I do not own very many material posessions, when you factor that in, I just might be a PAW in UAW's clothing.

Whether I am a PAW or UAW, I don't really care. As I said, I just want to be smart with my money. I like getting high quality items for good deals. And while many are content to buy lesser quality items, I'd rather own very few things but I insist on them being the best. And once in awhile, if I can splurge, I'm happy. I noticed that hair-colouring was a popular splurge. I have a good friend who is a professional hairstylist that charges $40+ to customers who does my hair (not just cuts) for free. My weakness is for cologne. My favourite right now is Dolce and Gabbana. Costs me $55 a bottle which lasts me a year. When you consider the money I save on haircuts ($40x12=$480), the $55 is an inexpensive splurge that I feel gives me value for the money.

I guess what I'm trying to say is this: are there people like me out there who consider themselves to be smart with money but also feel the need for high quality items in their lives? Are there people out there who feel that buying one brand new $50 high quality sweater which you love and cherish and you'll wear for a few years is better than buying five $10 sweaters from a second hand shop which you kind of like buy sort of don't?

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