Author Topic: "I'm frugal, really" - no, no you're not.  (Read 8124 times)

elementz_m

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"I'm frugal, really" - no, no you're not.
« on: November 10, 2017, 05:17:03 AM »
Went to visit my sister recently, and just feel like I have to vent.

She claims to be frugal, but everything about her life flies in the face of that. She never cooks at home, and has so much new stuff every time I see her that I can't quite get my head around it. This time, it was a sofa and a talking robot lady called Alexa (and of course she needed robotic curtains for Alexa to open and close, and multiple sets of speakers for her to talk through, and robot light switches, etc. etc.)

Her income is a bit of a mystery; neither she nor her husband works, they are both students. They get some government grants, and money from their parents, but I don't know exactly how much.

Anyway, the thing that set me off this time is her new sofa (I think Americans might say couch?). It is very nice, a 5 seater sofa for the two of them with reclining seats and USB charging points, and she got it for 1,000 less than the list price. She paid 750, on a student budget, for a sofa. At this point in the conversation, she told me she was frugal, because of the money off - I mean, paying 750 for a sofa is exactly the same as putting 1,000 into savings, right?

I felt spendy when I dropped 90 on ours, because we passed up on several which were cheaper/free, and told her as much. Her justification? They won't be buying another one for a few years. Does she think I replace mine every season?! I added it up today, and her sofa cost more than we paid for every single item of furniture in our house.

Anyone got any other stories about people claiming to live frugally, but actually spending far too much on absolute rubbish?

LadyStache in Baja

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Re: "I'm frugal, really" - no, no you're not.
« Reply #1 on: November 10, 2017, 07:25:32 AM »
Interesting story! Posting to follow, hopefully a story will come to me.
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ketchup

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Re: "I'm frugal, really" - no, no you're not.
« Reply #2 on: November 10, 2017, 07:33:27 AM »
Plenty of people are the "smart shopper" kind of frugal, meaning they might get decent deals on things (like how she "saved" 1,000), but they still buy a bunch of useless shit.

Getting a good deal on stuff matters less and less as you just buy less in general.  I'm not saying they're mutually exclusive, but if I spend $300/mo less on crap than the next guy, I'm not going to lose my mind if I pay $100 for an office chair instead of the $80 he might have paid for the same one.

Askel

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Re: "I'm frugal, really" - no, no you're not.
« Reply #3 on: November 10, 2017, 07:36:22 AM »
Me: Claiming to be frugal by riding to work. On any one of the fleet of expensive bicycles that require an ENTIRE outbuilding to store. 


"I saved four bucks on gas!"
said with a straight face while leaning against $1600 cargo bike

Capt j-rod

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Re: "I'm frugal, really" - no, no you're not.
« Reply #4 on: November 10, 2017, 07:48:36 AM »
My BIL is the exact same... Over 1 million in debt of student loans (his and hers matching of course), cars, home, charge cards... It is endless. He was recently showing me his door bell that is a camera, nest thermostat, wifi door locks, and a camera to watch the dog. He doesn't have a job and his wife is in residency. They needed a stove and bought a $1000 Samsung. Dish washer? $700 Bosch. Anytime something bad happens my MIL bails them out. I'm building a barn and I paid cash. It took me five years of side work and trading labor to get it and not affect the "master fire plan". I installed hardwood floors in my living room with a closeout that I bought wholesale. The sad part is I feel guilty spending the money that I saved for these projects and he is drinking expensive wine and going out for appetizers and sushi with his friends. The barn will allow my business to be run from my house and get everything in out of the weather. I gave him some Home Depot gift cards to work on his house and they built a fire pit and bought lawn furniture. I have used appliances and do all my own projects. Apparently the stress of debt has no ill effects on others, but I hate payments!!!!

boyerbt

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Re: "I'm frugal, really" - no, no you're not.
« Reply #5 on: November 10, 2017, 07:54:02 AM »
My BIL is the exact same... Over 1 million in debt of student loans (his and hers matching of course), cars, home, charge cards... It is endless. He was recently showing me his door bell that is a camera, nest thermostat, wifi door locks, and a camera to watch the dog. He doesn't have a job and his wife is in residency. They needed a stove and bought a $1000 Samsung. Dish washer? $700 Bosch. Anytime something bad happens my MIL bails them out. I'm building a barn and I paid cash. It took me five years of side work and trading labor to get it and not affect the "master fire plan". I installed hardwood floors in my living room with a closeout that I bought wholesale. The sad part is I feel guilty spending the money that I saved for these projects and he is drinking expensive wine and going out for appetizers and sushi with his friends. The barn will allow my business to be run from my house and get everything in out of the weather. I gave him some Home Depot gift cards to work on his house and they built a fire pit and bought lawn furniture. I have used appliances and do all my own projects. Apparently the stress of debt has no ill effects on others, but I hate payments!!!!

How did he amass this with no job to speak of?
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elementz_m

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Re: "I'm frugal, really" - no, no you're not.
« Reply #6 on: November 10, 2017, 08:29:06 AM »
"I saved four bucks on gas!"
said with a straight face while leaning against $1600 cargo bike

I never realised I needed one of these, until I googled it a minute ago and found out they exist. Made in my city for the bargain price of 1,000. Wonder what they'd add for electric assistance? Damn, if only I'd saved more money. I know, I could pay on credit! At 25% interest, it's still cheaper than an SUV, so really I've saved tens of thousands.

I do want one, though. Maybe one day...

talltexan

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Re: "I'm frugal, really" - no, no you're not.
« Reply #7 on: November 10, 2017, 09:39:48 AM »
If you're describing $1,000,000 in student loans and a wife in residency...

Wife could have a (doctor) job making $600,000 within 24 months. Perhaps they are accustomed to a lifestyle of $150,000, and they can clear that debt in four years.

MgoSam

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Re: "I'm frugal, really" - no, no you're not.
« Reply #8 on: November 10, 2017, 11:13:06 AM »
If you're describing $1,000,000 in student loans and a wife in residency...

Wife could have a (doctor) job making $600,000 within 24 months. Perhaps they are accustomed to a lifestyle of $150,000, and they can clear that debt in four years.

It's possible but in my experience (a ton of doctors, lawyers, engineers, business owners in my family) expenses only go up once they get to where they are making big bucks. For many doctors there is the mentality that because they spent so much time in schooling and did a ton of hard work and sacrifice that they "deserve" to spend their income. That definitely is their right of course, but for my cousins I've tried to counsel them to save more and have been largely ignored.

boyerbt

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Re: "I'm frugal, really" - no, no you're not.
« Reply #9 on: November 10, 2017, 11:23:13 AM »
If you're describing $1,000,000 in student loans and a wife in residency...

Wife could have a (doctor) job making $600,000 within 24 months. Perhaps they are accustomed to a lifestyle of $150,000, and they can clear that debt in four years.

How does one become accustomed to a $150,000/yr lifestyle while still in school/residency?
Act. Your. Wage.

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Cali Nonya

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Re: "I'm frugal, really" - no, no you're not.
« Reply #10 on: November 10, 2017, 11:28:18 AM »
LOL.  Well I can't really talk about spendy people thinking they are frugal, but as someone who enjoys DIY stuff I find it funny when I have stories of gutting kitchens to the studs and re-building, or crawling under the house to fix piping (setting retaining walls, doing tile work, re-painting houses, etc), and some guy is all proud since he put together an office chair on the weekend (you know, a brand new one, that really it's just putting on the casters and the arm rests).

But on the flip side, I guess the guy that's proud of putting together a book-shelf that came in a box is still better than the person who would pay someone else to do it.  So this might all be a point of view thing.  I mean, he actually did touch a screw-driver (with his own hands), so that must count for something.

I did work with a lady that was sort of in line with the story the OP told.  She was all about good deals on clothes and cosmetics, but she and her husband had inherited a house (for free!), and then promptly pulled out equity loans after equity loans.  And after years when they started to have roofing trouble (since none of the money pulled out was used on house repairs), they nearly ended up loosing the house.  Luckily family stepped in and bailed them out (two working people with decent salaries and a free house!).  But she never claimed the title frugal (I think she claimed to be practical and hard-working).

And why I am thinking of her is because she always tsk-tsked me for being willing to get dirty and do work on my house.  That wasn't very feminine of me.

:S

elementz_m

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Re: "I'm frugal, really" - no, no you're not.
« Reply #11 on: November 10, 2017, 12:19:41 PM »


I found it. This is exactly the tosh I was talking about. "Frugal...Finance available". Ha!

Edit: My image embed didn't work, I'm bad at this. https://imgur.com/a/xiGfK

Capt j-rod

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Re: "I'm frugal, really" - no, no you're not.
« Reply #12 on: November 10, 2017, 01:07:22 PM »
Sadly everyone thinks a doctor is instant rich... Most general practice docs make $125-150k out of residency. They will never clear that debt because of their mindset. They will get on the perpetual treadmill of life that traps most docs into a lifetime of work and never being able to "afford" the lifestyle without the pay check. Amazingly people keep lending them more money.

MgoSam

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Re: "I'm frugal, really" - no, no you're not.
« Reply #13 on: November 10, 2017, 01:15:20 PM »
Good point Capt J-rod.

A lot of people also forget that being a doctor (even general practice) entails paying a lot for malpractice insurance, professional fees, and continued education....none of which is cheap. The doctors that are making bank are the ones that specialize and get fellowships, but those take additional years of schooling/training to get to and come with higher insurance bills and more continuing education requirements.

Chesleygirl

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Re: "I'm frugal, really" - no, no you're not.
« Reply #14 on: November 10, 2017, 01:40:42 PM »
My BIL is the exact same... Over 1 million in debt of student loans (his and hers matching of course),

How does that happen? Even jointly, I've never heard of spouses owing that much together in student loans. Are they doctors??? Does that include their loans from four-year universities for their undergraduate degrees?

Capt j-rod

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Re: "I'm frugal, really" - no, no you're not.
« Reply #15 on: November 11, 2017, 06:10:10 PM »
yes and yes. Foreign medical school, undergraduate, etc... Bought a home, private loans, cars, charge cards, borrowed from family. You name it they owe it.

remizidae

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Re: "I'm frugal, really" - no, no you're not.
« Reply #16 on: November 11, 2017, 08:49:40 PM »
How does one become accustomed to a $150,000/yr lifestyle while still in school/residency?

Peer pressure, man. When you want to be a doctor/lawyer, you have to dress the part, right? Which means spending money on clothes, accessories, hair, having the right apartment with fancy rented leather furniture, going to restaurants, having the right hobbies. I had classmates who traveled internationally several times a year--and this with near-zero income. I convinced myself at one point that I had to pay some $200 for a purse. I already had purses, but they weren't fancy enough, and what if I had to pull it out on a job interview? I sure felt dumb that time I went to a banquet in a dress from the thrift store, and all the other women had fancy rented designer dresses.

Some of this is rational--looking the part is part of getting hired. You do need to wear a suit. Some of it, though, is superstition, spending money just to alleviate anxiety over the job market and your own inadequacies.

Abe

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Re: "I'm frugal, really" - no, no you're not.
« Reply #17 on: November 11, 2017, 10:47:54 PM »
No one is going to be making $600k a year right after residency, unless they are doing spine surgery in Montana, maybe. Everyone else is earning at $180 - $300 for the first few years. That is still a ridiculous amount of money, though. This couple is in deep shit if they have $1 million in loans, and it will take them a decade at least to pull out.

littlelykke

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Re: "I'm frugal, really" - no, no you're not.
« Reply #18 on: November 12, 2017, 02:10:33 AM »
LOL.  Well I can't really talk about spendy people thinking they are frugal, but as someone who enjoys DIY stuff I find it funny when I have stories of gutting kitchens to the studs and re-building, or crawling under the house to fix piping (setting retaining walls, doing tile work, re-painting houses, etc), and some guy is all proud since he put together an office chair on the weekend (you know, a brand new one, that really it's just putting on the casters and the arm rests).

But on the flip side, I guess the guy that's proud of putting together a book-shelf that came in a box is still better than the person who would pay someone else to do it.  So this might all be a point of view thing.  I mean, he actually did touch a screw-driver (with his own hands), so that must count for something.

[...]

On the other hand, you have to start somewhere ;) The first time I put an IKEA-item together all by myself I was very proud of myself too.

I also was very proud that I painted the walls of my 'dormroom' by myself (in the Netherlands, you don't live on campus, so the room doesn't belong to the uni. You just rent directly from the home-owner with a couple of other roommates). Right now, I'm also glad that I did that myself back then. The room already wasn't in a top notch condition, so there wasn't a lot I could screw up. And by the time I did buy my own house, I already had had a lot of practice, which came in quite handy.

Now I start DIY-ing more and more, and every time I'm proud of myself because I could do it. In time I learned that there's a lot you can do yourself, if you just do some pre-reading or watch a youtube video on the subject here and there. Years ago, when I was so proud I put the IKEA-chair together, I would never have thought there were much more complicated projects, that I could bring to an successful end.

So, he made a start and maybe eventually he'll pick up other, more difficult projects as well :)

Capt j-rod

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Re: "I'm frugal, really" - no, no you're not.
« Reply #19 on: November 12, 2017, 05:06:33 PM »
I worked in the trades for 10 years prior to getting my mech. engineering degree. I have made a to money from the trades I learned by DIY and side work. I still design as a consultant, but I do mostly HVAC, Plumbing and electrical. I just laid hardwood floors in my living room and tiled my dining room. I literally did it for pennies on the dollar. My neighbors think I'm crazy, but I pay cash for all my improvements and get an amazing product. I did my roof two years ago and I'm currently building my garage. It takes me forever, but it all gets done. The neighbors just pay people to do everything, mowing, roof, deck, power washing, snow removal, pool boy, landscaping, cleaning lady... I honestly wonder if they can tie their own shoes. I love the work and I have a ton of pride in my properties.

Goldielocks

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Re: "I'm frugal, really" - no, no you're not.
« Reply #20 on: November 12, 2017, 06:47:27 PM »
A woman at work was telling us at lunch how frugal she was, more than anyone else she knows, because she waited for the Walmart sale to buy frozen meals and single serve greek yogurts, which what she and her daughter only eat for lunch (along with many other sides).   These are the small boxes of frozen pasta+sauce.

The same food cooked yourself would cost half that...   Those single serve yogurts are still pricey...

I kept my mouth shut after mentioning that it was possible to make your own yogurt.

gerardc

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Re: "I'm frugal, really" - no, no you're not.
« Reply #21 on: November 12, 2017, 08:54:11 PM »
How do you learn to build a garage? YouTube videos?

Also, if you rent, are there any DYI projects doable in a small apartment to start learning this hobby (or similar)?

Primm

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Re: "I'm frugal, really" - no, no you're not.
« Reply #22 on: November 13, 2017, 12:26:09 AM »
Me: Claiming to be frugal by riding to work. On any one of the fleet of expensive bicycles that require an ENTIRE outbuilding to store. 


"I saved four bucks on gas!"
said with a straight face while leaning against $1600 cargo bike

I swear I don't know what you're talking about.

It's a $1k mountain bike anyway... and not an entire outbuilding, just the roof space in half of a garage.

Linda_Norway

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Re: "I'm frugal, really" - no, no you're not.
« Reply #23 on: November 13, 2017, 02:05:19 AM »
"I'm frugal, really" - no, no you're not.

I think this applied to my earlier pre-Mustachian self (as DH as well). I did not do mindless spending in large quantities, but we have spent quite a lot of money on fancy stuff where we could have prioritized differently.

Just to name a few:
- a brand new car twice in a row
- quite a few fancy bicycles
- 2 fancy comfy chairs
- 1 week of vacation in a 5 star hotel a 200 euro a night
- 2 high end loudspeakers
- 2 new telescopes bought in a year time
- photo equipment including a new good quality telelens
- the clown house I currently live in

These things were spread over many years, so we still managed to save a lot beside buying this. But we did consider ourselves to be frugal, while still spending a lot on things that we would have bought second hand for a much lower price.

This year I have been a lot more aware of things and have become a lot more frugal than I used to be.

A Definite Beta Guy

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Re: "I'm frugal, really" - no, no you're not.
« Reply #24 on: November 13, 2017, 07:35:20 AM »
Average student debt for a young doctor is $200,000. Put two doctors together and you're at $400,000. Another $60,000 for financed vehicles and 80% financing on a $800,000 home and you're at $1.1 million.

Sad position to be in :(

penguintroopers

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Re: "I'm frugal, really" - no, no you're not.
« Reply #25 on: November 13, 2017, 08:35:06 AM »
I kept my mouth shut after mentioning that it was possible to make your own yogurt.

I looked into doing that, but for me the cost of materials and time didn't really seem to beat the convenience of buying the individual cups at Aldi... so we still buy the cups. Did I miss something?

I've also found the same to be true for pizza. By the time I factored in buying everything and taking the time to make it, I should have just bought a frozen pizza ready to go. Now I know making it myself I could have it really customized, but we're happy with the quality the frozen pizza gives too.

neverrun

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Re: "I'm frugal, really" - no, no you're not.
« Reply #26 on: November 13, 2017, 08:36:56 AM »
How do you learn to build a garage? YouTube videos?

Also, if you rent, are there any DYI projects doable in a small apartment to start learning this hobby (or similar)?

My current plan is to start volunteering with Habitat for Humanity, learn DYI skills with OPH (other peoples houses).

Just Joe

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Re: "I'm frugal, really" - no, no you're not.
« Reply #27 on: November 13, 2017, 09:12:29 AM »
Me: Claiming to be frugal by riding to work. On any one of the fleet of expensive bicycles that require an ENTIRE outbuilding to store. 


"I saved four bucks on gas!"
said with a straight face while leaning against $1600 cargo bike

I swear I don't know what you're talking about.

It's a $1k mountain bike anyway... and not an entire outbuilding, just the roof space in half of a garage.

Hey, every 500 miles you've saved ~$60... I love riding my mtb bike though...

Laura33

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Re: "I'm frugal, really" - no, no you're not.
« Reply #28 on: November 13, 2017, 09:30:58 AM »
Sounds like my SIL.  They're not doing badly -- he is a unionized driver, she does some sort of mid-level marketing job -- but she is basically a professional shopper.  I mean, if you want to know which carseat to buy, call her, because she's already done all the research (thanks, btw!).  She is infamous for returning things over and over, because something else was a better deal, or it didn't fit just right, etc.  She knows deals, coupons, rebates, everything cold.  And yet the reality is that even if you buy five things and return four, you're still buying a thing that you didn't need.  Although if you're the kind of person who needs to shop as a hobby, I guess maximizing your deals and returning almost everything is the most frugal way to go about it.  :-) 

Then again, this is the same SIL who bought a new @$35-40K SUV, and then literally yelled at me when we bought a @$22K one*, because she knows we make more than they do -- it was as if she thought we'd chosen a cheap one just to show them up.

I think people feel "frugal" because we tend to notice everything that Other People Like Us have that we don't, but don't notice everything that we have that Other People Like Us don't.  So if your friends are vacationing to France, going to Florida feels pretty frugal; but at the same time, we don't notice the guy who decided to have the staycation this year because he's saving for XX, or the one who couldn't afford to take the time off (because those guys usually aren't bragging about it). 

It's like we anchor to some expectation of the lifestyle our level of income is "supposed" to provide, and so any time we buy something less than that mental picture, it feels like self-deprivation, and so we tell ourselves we are being frugal.  When in reality, it's usually our lifestyle expectations that are out of whack -- no, you can't make $120K in a HCOL area and have a $700K house and two $40K cars and spend weekends at the mall and travel to Disney and the Caribbean every year and do takeout all the time because you don't cook -- at least, you can't afford to do all of that and still save for retirement and for your kids' college and all those other things you also want.  No matter how much you make, it's always an "or," not an "and."  Acknowledging that, and choosing which "or" you prefer, is called being a mature, responsible adult, but it doesn't make you "frugal."

*DH's vehicle irretrievably broke a week after we signed our mortgage, he wanted new and big and bling, I didn't want to spend money.  So we compromised on a fully-loaded version of a low-end vehicle, which -- surprise! -- did just as well as her higher-end model.
Laugh while you can, monkey-boy

WootWoot

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Re: "I'm frugal, really" - no, no you're not.
« Reply #29 on: November 13, 2017, 12:11:28 PM »
Talking robot ladies named Alexa are just one step on the way to that dystopian future where everyone has androids.

Did you ever notice in sci-fi movies, androids NEVER work out? Think "Blade Runner," "Alien," etc.


solon

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Re: "I'm frugal, really" - no, no you're not.
« Reply #30 on: November 13, 2017, 12:14:32 PM »
Talking robot ladies named Alexa are just one step on the way to that dystopian future where everyone has androids.

Did you ever notice in sci-fi movies, androids NEVER work out? Think "Blade Runner," "Alien," etc.

There was Data. "Fully functional. Programmed in multiple techniques." He seemed to work out alright.

ketchup

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Re: "I'm frugal, really" - no, no you're not.
« Reply #31 on: November 13, 2017, 12:16:08 PM »
Did you ever notice in sci-fi movies, androids NEVER work out? Think "Blade Runner," "Alien," etc.
I'd rather think of Iron Man (Jarvis), Futurama (Bender), and Star Trek (Data). :D

WootWoot

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Re: "I'm frugal, really" - no, no you're not.
« Reply #32 on: November 13, 2017, 12:36:53 PM »
I LOVE Data! Love that episode. Sorry I forgot him!

Talking robot ladies named Alexa are just one step on the way to that dystopian future where everyone has androids.

Did you ever notice in sci-fi movies, androids NEVER work out? Think "Blade Runner," "Alien," etc.

There was Data. "Fully functional. Programmed in multiple techniques." He seemed to work out alright.

jfolsen

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Re: "I'm frugal, really" - no, no you're not.
« Reply #33 on: November 13, 2017, 01:02:01 PM »
You have to build a hundred Lore's before you figure out what went wrong and get a Data.

I LOVE Data! Love that episode. Sorry I forgot him!

Talking robot ladies named Alexa are just one step on the way to that dystopian future where everyone has androids.

Did you ever notice in sci-fi movies, androids NEVER work out? Think "Blade Runner," "Alien," etc.

There was Data. "Fully functional. Programmed in multiple techniques." He seemed to work out alright.

mm1970

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Re: "I'm frugal, really" - no, no you're not.
« Reply #34 on: November 13, 2017, 03:50:42 PM »
No stories like this, but I remember long ago and far away.  I'm pretty frugal.  Used to be more frugal.  But there was a time when I had a grocery budget so tight it squeaked.  I hosted a group mom/ dad/ baby meeting.

There was a mom there who was a SAHM to a newborn (I worked, our babies were the same age).  Her hubby was a post-doc.  She said "you think you are frugal, I'm REALLY frugal."

I didn't continue the convo but I thought it was funny that she figured because they made less money, they were clearly more frugal than me.

Anyway.
« Last Edit: November 14, 2017, 12:59:05 PM by mm1970 »

MrsPete

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Re: "I'm frugal, really" - no, no you're not.
« Reply #35 on: November 13, 2017, 07:32:36 PM »
and she got it for 1,000 less than the list price.
This is why she thinks she's frugal.  She doesn't pay full price. 

Being told I "saved" this or that much is one of my pet peeves, and the grocery store is the worst:  Say you're talking about a fancy cheese, which is usually $10/lb but is on sale for $4 this week ... no, I didn't "save $6 ... the reality is that I would never have bought it at $10, and I consider $4 a splurge. 

When the high school grocery store clerks say, "You saved X amount today!" I try to explain to them that you save at the bank and spend at the store -- most of them can't comprehend it.  I don't do it if my kids are with me though because -- although they understand the concept perfectly well -- they find it embarrassing. 

ketchup

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Re: "I'm frugal, really" - no, no you're not.
« Reply #36 on: November 13, 2017, 07:36:14 PM »
When the high school grocery store clerks say, "You saved X amount today!" I try to explain to them that you save at the bank and spend at the store -- most of them can't comprehend it.  I don't do it if my kids are with me though because -- although they understand the concept perfectly well -- they find it embarrassing.
This drives me crazy like nothing else.  Luckily the only places nearby that do this are clothing/shoe stores, and I haven't had to deal with that in a few years.

solon

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Re: "I'm frugal, really" - no, no you're not.
« Reply #37 on: November 13, 2017, 07:40:48 PM »
The problem is the word "save" has two different, but legitimate, definitions. It can mean "putting money aside for later" and it can mean "paying less than full price" for a product.

No one would argue that putting money aside is a bad idea. And no one would argue paying less than full price is a bad idea. Both are legitimate and useful concepts. The problem comes when we confuse the two definitions. When you save money at the store, you are paying less than full price, which is a good thing. But it is not equal to putting money aside for later, but nobody said it was. I think most people can tell which meaning is intended, from the context.

MrsPete

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Re: "I'm frugal, really" - no, no you're not.
« Reply #38 on: November 13, 2017, 08:12:23 PM »
The problem is the word "save" has two different, but legitimate, definitions. It can mean "putting money aside for later" and it can mean "paying less than full price" for a product.

No one would argue that putting money aside is a bad idea. And no one would argue paying less than full price is a bad idea. Both are legitimate and useful concepts. The problem comes when we confuse the two definitions. When you save money at the store, you are paying less than full price, which is a good thing. But it is not equal to putting money aside for later, but nobody said it was. I think most people can tell which meaning is intended, from the context.
And that very explanation is what embarrasses my kids when I'm at the grocery store check-out! 

ooeei

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Re: "I'm frugal, really" - no, no you're not.
« Reply #39 on: November 14, 2017, 06:58:53 AM »
I've also found the same to be true for pizza. By the time I factored in buying everything and taking the time to make it, I should have just bought a frozen pizza ready to go. Now I know making it myself I could have it really customized, but we're happy with the quality the frozen pizza gives too.

While that's true, the quality is not really comparable. It's like buying frozen fried chicken and cooking it in an oven vs fresh frying it. Cost-wise I think I calculated it out one time, a fresh pizza for us costs $3-8 depending on the toppings and whatnot.

Is the frozen stuff good? Yeah, even the worst pizza is still pizza. But the fresh stuff is REALLY good.

With that being said, we usually make pizza with around 8 total people, since making 3-4 pizzas is only slightly more work and cost than making 1. It's also just a fun thing for me, but I get not everyone would enjoy it.

Goldielocks

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Re: "I'm frugal, really" - no, no you're not.
« Reply #40 on: November 14, 2017, 11:41:15 AM »
I kept my mouth shut after mentioning that it was possible to make your own yogurt.

I looked into doing that, but for me the cost of materials and time didn't really seem to beat the convenience of buying the individual cups at Aldi... so we still buy the cups. Did I miss something?

I've also found the same to be true for pizza. By the time I factored in buying everything and taking the time to make it, I should have just bought a frozen pizza ready to go. Now I know making it myself I could have it really customized, but we're happy with the quality the frozen pizza gives too.

I checked the yogurt prices.   It only really matters if you eat a lot.   If you only eat $10 of yogurt a month, does it really matter?

We eat a lot of yogurt.   Making my own versus buying:
a)  If we can eat 2 gallons of yogurt in under 20 days, reliably, the bulk 2 gallon tub is about the same cost as making it myself.   BUT, this tub gets moldy faster than the smaller quart size tubs that can last 10 weeks in my fridge.  (different brand / handling).   I have thrown out too much yogurt attempting the bulk purchase, so I have stopped.

b)  The 3/4 quart tubs (Activia is actually now only 3/5 of a quart) -- cost 3x to 6x more than making myself, depending on the sales available.

c)  Single serve can also cost 3x to 8x more...   depending on sales.   Greek style is closer to 4x to 6x more than homemade version.

Assuming we can eat 2 gallons of yogurt in a month, then option b) would save me $25 to $45 per month.*
*note, I add a trace of maple syrup or homemade jam or plain, so sweetener is not costed here.

Even better -- when I make Calzones, I make my own ricotta cheese, first, that saves a lot of cost versus buying cheese.   Ricotta is also very easy if you like a soft fresh cheese.


Pizza -- make your own is cheaper than take out.  Hard to make it cheaper than cheap frozen.  I made pizza last night, it was fantastic.  With toppings, but no meat, it cost $10 for the 4 of us to have 2.5 large thin pizzas.  Most comparable to the thin crust Dr. Oetker ones, that cost $3 (on sale) for a medium... and we would need at least $10 of those frozen pizzas to feed us, too.

MgoSam

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Re: "I'm frugal, really" - no, no you're not.
« Reply #41 on: November 14, 2017, 01:21:18 PM »
My mom has always made yogurt and I believe most of my aunts do so. Growing up yogurt was served with dinner each night with some masalas added to it so it makes sense for my mom to make it herself. She would cook it in the oven at a low temperature. She also made roti and most other Indian staples from scratch. I didn't fully appreciate my mom for making so much homemade until I saw that what she does is not typical.

Linda_Norway

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Re: "I'm frugal, really" - no, no you're not.
« Reply #42 on: November 14, 2017, 01:26:31 PM »
My mom has always made yogurt and I believe most of my aunts do so. Growing up yogurt was served with dinner each night with some masalas added to it so it makes sense for my mom to make it herself. She would cook it in the oven at a low temperature. She also made roti and most other Indian staples from scratch. I didn't fully appreciate my mom for making so much homemade until I saw that what she does is not typical.

I did two attempt at making yoghurt (from 0.5 % fat milk). Both times it failed because it fell apart after a while. I found out that it is a lot of work and the milk is not cheap. I don't really save money on it and for me it was not worth it.

PoutineLover

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Re: "I'm frugal, really" - no, no you're not.
« Reply #43 on: November 14, 2017, 01:50:52 PM »
The problem is the word "save" has two different, but legitimate, definitions. It can mean "putting money aside for later" and it can mean "paying less than full price" for a product.

No one would argue that putting money aside is a bad idea. And no one would argue paying less than full price is a bad idea. Both are legitimate and useful concepts. The problem comes when we confuse the two definitions. When you save money at the store, you are paying less than full price, which is a good thing. But it is not equal to putting money aside for later, but nobody said it was. I think most people can tell which meaning is intended, from the context.
This post seems relevant to the discussion: http://www.budgetsaresexy.com/spavings-savings-account/ 
If you buy something you wouldn't have otherwise just because it's on sale, you're spending. If you would have bought it anyway and bank the difference, or decide not to buy it and actually save the money instead, you're spaving!

Goldielocks

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Re: "I'm frugal, really" - no, no you're not.
« Reply #44 on: November 14, 2017, 03:41:09 PM »
My mom has always made yogurt and I believe most of my aunts do so. Growing up yogurt was served with dinner each night with some masalas added to it so it makes sense for my mom to make it herself. She would cook it in the oven at a low temperature. She also made roti and most other Indian staples from scratch. I didn't fully appreciate my mom for making so much homemade until I saw that what she does is not typical.

I did two attempt at making yoghurt (from 0.5 % fat milk). Both times it failed because it fell apart after a while. I found out that it is a lot of work and the milk is not cheap. I don't really save money on it and for me it was not worth it.

Yeah, you have to add skim milk powder and / or gelatin to make good low fat milk yogurt.  Much better to start with whole milk.  The yield cost is 1:1...  For every litre of milk, you get a litre of yogurt...   for greek yogurt it is about 2:1..  2 litres of milk = 1 litre of greek style yogurt.

It is possible that your whole milk is the same cost per litre as yogurt, .... very easy to check next time you are at the store.

2Birds1Stone

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Re: "I'm frugal, really" - no, no you're not.
« Reply #45 on: November 14, 2017, 04:21:23 PM »
Comparison is the thief of joy.
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[a]bort

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Re: "I'm frugal, really" - no, no you're not.
« Reply #46 on: November 15, 2017, 09:11:41 AM »
I sometimes question I am actually frugal, or if I'm just boring. But I think someone made the point above that even though I might spend a few hundred bucks on a luxury office chair, or eat out for lunch more than I should, I shouldn't lose my mind over it because at least I'm not blowing my paychecks on quads, sleds, etc. like most of my peers.

Chesleygirl

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Re: "I'm frugal, really" - no, no you're not.
« Reply #47 on: November 15, 2017, 10:40:55 AM »
The problem is the word "save" has two different, but legitimate, definitions. It can mean "putting money aside for later" and it can mean "paying less than full price" for a product.

No one would argue that putting money aside is a bad idea. And no one would argue paying less than full price is a bad idea. Both are legitimate and useful concepts. The problem comes when we confuse the two definitions. When you save money at the store, you are paying less than full price, which is a good thing. But it is not equal to putting money aside for later, but nobody said it was. I think most people can tell which meaning is intended, from the context.
This post seems relevant to the discussion: http://www.budgetsaresexy.com/spavings-savings-account/ 
If you buy something you wouldn't have otherwise just because it's on sale, you're spending. If you would have bought it anyway and bank the difference, or decide not to buy it and actually save the money instead, you're spaving!

I agree. That's why I don't do recreational shopping any more. Everything is "on sale" and I'll see stuff I don't need and wouldn't have bought, if I hadn't seen it in the store windows.

firelight

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Re: "I'm frugal, really" - no, no you're not.
« Reply #48 on: November 15, 2017, 11:40:55 AM »
My mom has always made yogurt and I believe most of my aunts do so. Growing up yogurt was served with dinner each night with some masalas added to it so it makes sense for my mom to make it herself. She would cook it in the oven at a low temperature. She also made roti and most other Indian staples from scratch. I didn't fully appreciate my mom for making so much homemade until I saw that what she does is not typical.

I did two attempt at making yoghurt (from 0.5 % fat milk). Both times it failed because it fell apart after a while. I found out that it is a lot of work and the milk is not cheap. I don't really save money on it and for me it was not worth it.

Yeah, you have to add skim milk powder and / or gelatin to make good low fat milk yogurt.  Much better to start with whole milk.  The yield cost is 1:1...  For every litre of milk, you get a litre of yogurt...   for greek yogurt it is about 2:1..  2 litres of milk = 1 litre of greek style yogurt.

It is possible that your whole milk is the same cost per litre as yogurt, .... very easy to check next time you are at the store.
I make yogurt every three days (we eat yogurt with every meal like MgoSam) and make most of the Indian stuff at home. We do get some of the hard to make stuff (anything needing more than one hour of prep effort for that dish). The first time a colleague said they bought all the meals outside (we have free breakfast and lunch at work but they preferred to go out), I was so stunned that I didn't know how to react. He not only got meals for himself but also for his family of five. His wife sends him a text at 5 everyday to say what to get where, he orders it and starts from work, pick it up on the way and goes home. He said he's been doing it for the past 15 years. Money issues aside, I'm wondering how much it has affected his health and his family's health.

For yogurt, I use whole milk, heat it a bit more than warm and add the yogurt starter. I then leave it overnight on the counter and it's ready in the morning. We tried getting the yogurt in shop but felt a difference in taste and switched back to home made.

Chesleygirl

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Re: "I'm frugal, really" - no, no you're not.
« Reply #49 on: November 15, 2017, 01:11:29 PM »
I'd like to make my own yogurt. The yogurt in grocery stores is loaded with sugar.