Author Topic: What’s a thing you picked up from these forums that you didn’t know or do before?  (Read 9742 times)

jengod

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What’s a thing you picked up from these forums that you didn’t know or do before?

Mine is so random and not like a good ETF reco but based on a post I read here I glued a magnet to a big Sharpie to keep on our fridge.

That darn fridge Sharpie is so useful. No one steals it bc of the weird magnet and I swear labeling and dating stuff helps us take better care of our things.


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GuitarStv

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The importance of wearing bike shorts while riding a bike.  :P

FrugalFisherman10

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The importance of wearing bike shorts while riding a bike.  :P
Haha I haven't picked this up yet. What's the reason for it? Comfort?
I get there's a bit of facetiousness in your comment, but I also think you meant it

GuitarStv

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The importance of wearing bike shorts while riding a bike.  :P
Haha I haven't picked this up yet. What's the reason for it? Comfort?
I get there's a bit of facetiousness in your comment, but I also think you meant it

I grew up in the 90s.  Baggy stuff was in.  Skin tight stuff . . . not so much.

Bike shorts are more comfortable, actually make you faster, reduce/prevent chafing and saddle sores, and are cooler than pretty much anything else you can wear.

So yeah, once you get over your 'jeeze that's a little tight' misgivings, they're pretty awesome.

draculawyer

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I've always chosen to live insanely close to school/work even though I pay a bit more for it in rent, but now I feel validated. I'm also about to start walking the 0.7 miles to work, which was previously not the best idea due to the issues with construction in the area.

Rhinodad

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A couple of things.

1. The possible ways to save money/earn money/make money go longer. We now buy everything with discounted gift cards. I check 3 different sites to get the best value, and then to make the gift cards go farther, go through topcashback. We also use cash back apps for groceries (which we don't get a ton back, but like $20 per month) that we already buy anyways. I have also used ebay to purchase coupons for things...like $20 off of a $100 order at Lowes. This came in handy when I put LVP down in our basement. Each case of flooring was $52, so ordered 2 cases to get to $104, got the $20 off with the coupon, and used a discounted gift card to purchase through the cashback site. When all said and done, paid like $35/case. I picked up 9 "separate" orders of 2 cases each to get the $20 off of $100, all at the same time.

2. Make sure what you spend your money on does at least one of the following: 1. Increase your net worth (home diy projects, investments), or 2. Truly adds to your happiness through a shared experience or increased quality of life. I don't buy everything cheap, but I do make sure that what I buy is going to improve my happiness.

charis

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A couple of things.

1. The possible ways to save money/earn money/make money go longer. We now buy everything with discounted gift cards. I check 3 different sites to get the best value, and then to make the gift cards go farther, go through topcashback. We also use cash back apps for groceries (which we don't get a ton back, but like $20 per month) that we already buy anyways. I have also used ebay to purchase coupons for things...like $20 off of a $100 order at Lowes. This came in handy when I put LVP down in our basement. Each case of flooring was $52, so ordered 2 cases to get to $104, got the $20 off with the coupon, and used a discounted gift card to purchase through the cashback site. When all said and done, paid like $35/case. I picked up 9 "separate" orders of 2 cases each to get the $20 off of $100, all at the same time.


This sounds promising.  Which app do you use?

GizmoTX

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I learned about the Plan To Eat app here. It's a menu planner, recipe collector, & shopping list all in one, fun to use, & we save mucho time & money using it. It has a 30 day free trial. The initial version is browser based, which means it supports multiple devices, not just mine. There's now a downloadable app for iOS & Android which can be used interchangeably with the browser based one, but they're not yet completely identical.

Rhinodad

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A couple of things.

1. The possible ways to save money/earn money/make money go longer. We now buy everything with discounted gift cards. I check 3 different sites to get the best value, and then to make the gift cards go farther, go through topcashback. We also use cash back apps for groceries (which we don't get a ton back, but like $20 per month) that we already buy anyways. I have also used ebay to purchase coupons for things...like $20 off of a $100 order at Lowes. This came in handy when I put LVP down in our basement. Each case of flooring was $52, so ordered 2 cases to get to $104, got the $20 off with the coupon, and used a discounted gift card to purchase through the cashback site. When all said and done, paid like $35/case. I picked up 9 "separate" orders of 2 cases each to get the $20 off of $100, all at the same time.



This sounds promising.  Which app do you use?


So, we use Topcashback for the actual shopping. The 3 sites I check for discounted gift cards are: Raise (which if you go through Topcashback you get 2% cash back), which tends to have 5% off of any purchase fairly often on top of the discount...great for Gas, Cardpool (Get a Target gift card for 7.5% off usually), and GiftCardZen (Petco, Ikea). I usually check all 3 to see which one has the best deal. Most are electronically delivered to your phone instantly. As far as groceries, we use ibotta, and Checkout 51. Checkout 51 usually has more of what we buy (organic), and both my wife and I have an account.

Mezzie

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The big thing I learned is that I could contribute to a 457 in addition to my 403. I'm not maxing out the 457 yet, but the $1,000 tax-deferred contribution is making a huge difference in my current taxes and my retirement prospects.
« Last Edit: July 30, 2018, 06:48:29 PM by Mezzie »

tralfamadorian

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I learned about the Plan To Eat app here. It's a menu planner, recipe collector, & shopping list all in one, fun to use, & we save mucho time & money using it. It has a 30 day free trial. The initial version is browser based, which means it supports multiple devices, not just mine. There's now a downloadable app for iOS & Android which can be used interchangeably with the browser based one, but they're not yet completely identical.

More expensive than Plan to Eat but we received a yearly subscription to PlateJoy as a gift. It's similar with the menu planner, recipe holder and shopping list but also supplies recipes and portions them to the number of servings. There are options for diet, specific food preferences, seasonality, bulk cooking and general budget. Not all the recipes are a slam dunk but about 20% or so I've printed off to add to my cookbook. 

MDfive21

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i learned to appreciate older, higher mileage cars.  i'm old enough to remember when cars over 90k miles were timebombs waiting to go off and if you got more than 100k you must have hit the car lottery.

my old method of finding a used car was to aim for under 20k miles and maybe 2-3 years old.  i'm now driving a 97 lexus that's not even high mileage yet.  just crossed 80k and plan to keep it til the wheels fall off or i'm so rich i can replace it.  feels luxurious.

yodella

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I learned to freeze leftover tomato paste in ice cube trays, and transfer them once frozen to a ziploc or tupperware to keep in the freezer for long-term use.

I have a few favorite but infrequently made recipes that call for a few tablespoons of tomato paste, and always ended up throwing away the leftovers before I learned this trick.

Rhinodad

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I learned to freeze leftover tomato paste in ice cube trays, and transfer them once frozen to a ziploc or tupperware to keep in the freezer for long-term use.

I have a few favorite but infrequently made recipes that call for a few tablespoons of tomato paste, and always ended up throwing away the leftovers before I learned this trick.

I do this with fruit when it's on sale. I'll cut up pineapple, strawberries, blueberries, banana's, etc. Cut them thin, put on a sheet pan, and put in the freezer for about an hour so they individually freeze. Then put in a freezer ziploc and use them for smoothies/sauces/toppings/stuffing for french toast, etc.

clarkfan1979

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1) New cars are a waste of money. I previously thought a brand-new small compact car was the best financial car choice.
2) I never liked commuting. This website validating my distaste for commuting.
3) You have a choice to "not buy stuff" and instead "buy your freedom" That was the light bulb moment for me.

Cranky

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I did not realize until I read it here that there was a filter in the dehumidifier.

That was pretty gross, but the dehumidifier really does seem to be working more efficiently!

better late

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To do the math.

As someone relatively good with numbers I usually intuited my way through financial choices. Now I do my best to do the math-and I'm learning a lot along the way. Still have a lot more to do.


Adam Zapple

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That I could max out my 457 AND max out my IRA.  I had no idea I could do both.  Extra $10K a year between my wife and I that I now put away for later.

August26th

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Many things. Just a few:

-Backdoor Roth IRA conversion
-Discovery of Personal Capital which I now love (and itís free)
-The awesomeness of low cost index funds, and which exact funds to purchase
-How to leave my financial advisor to move everything to Vanguard
-The ďinvestment orderĒ which I had never heard of

BrightFIRE

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To calculate how many "forever days" I've endowed so far. It's a nice little concrete goal to tally on my way to larger goals, and it somewhat gamifies the progress to FIRE, which I find motivating, since we hit a new forever day about every 8 work days (it was 9 days in 2017, so that's also cool to see). https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/share-your-badassity/i-just-bought-2-days-per-year-of-free-life-indefinitely-363-to-go/

To make a list of little chores that need doing and try to cross one off the list each day. Often, the idea of the chore is worse than the actual chore, and again, making a list gives the satisfaction of crossing it off. We keep the list on an adhesive dry erase sheet on the fridge and attached a dry erase marker to the wall next to the fridge with some adhesive putty.

The blog https://www.askamanager.org/ - it has been a great work resource, especially how to communicate with your boss, set boundaries and expectations, and how to improve your resume and cover letter. As a bonus, the commenters there are some of the most civil and supportive on the internet.

Megma

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The commenters here are like my second favorite on the internet (hard to compete with my gender inclusive sewing board, sorry MMMers). Seriously though everyone is very knowledgeable and helpful, making this a pleasant corner of the internet.

Key things I learned here:
1. FIRE is a thing, and a key point in my life, known as "the first time I had more money than I knew what to do with"
2. I could invest in real estate. I was always vaguely interested in it but didn't really know what or how to do any of it, forums helped me realize it was possible for, like normal people.

I really found MMM at the perfect time in my life. Thank Google!
« Last Edit: August 14, 2018, 07:46:37 PM by Megma »

Pizzabrewer

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I was somewhat aware of all the cc and bank bonuses that are available and had gotten a few. But reading some folks' stories here motivated me to jump in with both feet. In the past 2 months I've racked up almost $1500 with another $600 pending. I've also compiled a list of many more I intend to pursue.

I thank this forum for showing me how easy it is to get all this free money!  I wish I had started earlier as it seems $10k+ per year is very doable.

Cranky

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The commenters here are like my second favorite on the internet (hard to compete with my gender inclusive sewing board, sorry MMMers).

Now that sounds like an interesting place - do tell!

Megma

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The commenters here are like my second favorite on the internet (hard to compete with my gender inclusive sewing board, sorry MMMers).

Now that sounds like an interesting place - do tell!

It's a really awesome Facebook sewing group called the self sewn wardrobe with Mallory Donahue. Lots of awesome people and very inclusive of men and LGBTQ people who sew, which do exist but lots of sewing groups are women dominated (I'm a straight cis woman). It's low drama and people are really supportive and helpful.

Linda_Norway

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Most importantly, the site/forums learned me to calculate what I need to FIRE. Earlier I had no idea at all and had some random very high number on my head and a plan to FIRE at 50. Now I know that that is totally realistic and I can probably shave off a few years.

It also taught me to facepunch myself for wasting money on irrelevant stuff. We have always been able to unconsciously save a lot, but I've also wasted so LOT of money on BS, including a brand new car twice and a clown house. I am thinking very differently now.

One interesting thing to learn about was the true cost of living in a self-owned house versus renting. So far, we are still living in our clownhouse that will have to be sold to be able to FIRE. But in FIRE I will really consider renting as a good and cheap option.

I have learned to think more like a minimalist. My next house will not be so big as our current. And you don't need to store all the stuff you've ever owned, just in case you ever need a part of it later. A (slightly) minimalistic house is nice to live in.

I have learned to prioritize my mental health and will start working 4 days a week from next month. I was too stressed out last year to continue the rat race for 40 hours a week. I need more long weekends. Same for DH who will also ask for reduced hours soon.

Freedomin5

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Biking to work / school. Never thought I could do it, but after reading posts from several other members, I learned that it was possible. And the idea of using baby wipes / wet wipes to wipe sweat was helpful.

I also like the idea of lean FIRE and fat FIRE, and how to calculate those.

And the MMM forum is where I first learned of FIREcalc.

nkt0

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I learned that paying off my mortgage early isn't necessarily the highest priority.

Tass

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I learned to recognize the luxuries I grew up with and had taken for granted, and to stop expecting them from my own life unless they had real value of their own.

I'm still learning that, hopefully.

Also the mortgage thing.

GuitarStv

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Library usage.  It's something that I always used to do as a kid, and then at some point in my adulthood I decided that buying books rather than reading them for free was the way to go.  :P

Linda_Norway

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Library usage.  It's something that I always used to do as a kid, and then at some point in my adulthood I decided that buying books rather than reading them for free was the way to go.  :P

+1
I used the library a lot as a child, but since moving to Norway in 1998 I haven't been at one. Have spent a lot of money on books since then. This year I have started using the local library.

Dicey

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That DH = Dear Husband.

I didn't have a DH when I joined the forum.

Now I do.

Does this count? Hope so, 'cause he's a keeper. ♡♡♡♡♡

Tass

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Oh, I also learned that mutual funds have different expense ratios and that I should care.

boarder42

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1. Not paying down a low interest mortgage. By far the best thing I picked up here. Believe it or not I used to be on the other side of this.
2. Index fund investing.
3. Tax efficiency.
4. Selling tradelines
5. Travel hacking.


tralfamadorian

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I'm sure there are many more but these are the two that come first to mind-

-How HSAs can be an effective non-taxed investment vehicle.

-Roth laddering.

oneday

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That *choosing* simplicity, downsizing, frugality & the like is empowering, not deprivation.

HappierAtHome

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Cutting my own hair! And my husband's.

Erma

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How to teach the concept of saving and investing to spendypants husband.

Megma

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That *choosing* simplicity, downsizing, frugality & the like is empowering, not deprivation.

This is a good one. Having savings really gives you choices and freedom, more than 100 $10 widgets do.

Mezzie

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Cutting my own hair! And my husband's.
Same for me. It's fun!

Goodidea

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1) New cars are a waste of money. I previously thought a brand-new small compact car was the best financial car choice.
2) I never liked commuting. This website validating my distaste for commuting.
3) You have a choice to "not buy stuff" and instead "buy your freedom" That was the light bulb moment for me.
I like #3!

Telecaster

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Instapot. 

Dicey

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Instapot.
+ 2, 'cause we bought 2 of them on Prime Day a couple years ago. We use them a LOT.

nkt0

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Instapot.
+ 2, 'cause we bought 2 of them on Prime Day a couple years ago. We use them a LOT.

It's like a cult within a cult. :D

MishMash

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Instapot.
+ 2, 'cause we bought 2 of them on Prime Day a couple years ago. We use them a LOT.

It's like a cult within a cult. :D

I'm going to third the Instapot, that thing is a beast, and finally let me make good creme brŻlťe and risotto that I didn't have to spend hours attending to lol.

Other then that I'd say running the numbers (and getting a ton of feedback) that made me realize I COULD quit my soul sucking vampire squid of a job and take care of me for a while and we'd be fine.  A year and a half later, I've had badly needed spinal surgery, cleared my mind a bit and have a fresh start.  We've traveled to several states and several countries (have Rome and Greece coming up!) and DH likes the flexibility of never having to do anything house related ever, so the weekends are his to do with what he pleases instead of a mad housework rush.

Compromise was I had to let DH buy his expensive ass new pickup when our 15 year old car flat out died this year.  We looked at used ones but found quite a few that had been salvage titled in the Houston floods on the second hand market.  Even with that expensive cash purchase our investments are up almost 400k from when I quit (and we really haven't saved much as DHs leech of a father moved in for a little over a year of that until we booted him).

Honestly though, I'm getting a bit bored now that I've decompressed.  So I'm looking for a new job, no one wants to touch me with a 1.5yr gap but we are actually not stressing about it, which is nice, because I can tell you I was having a stroke about that before I quit.

Dicey

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Instapot.
+ 2, 'cause we bought 2 of them on Prime Day a couple years ago. We use them a LOT.

It's like a cult within a cult. :D
Jumping back in to 'splain a little. Originally, I wanted an 8-quart IP, as I feed four adult sized humans every day and love to batch cook. On Prime Day, the 6-quart was cheap ($50, IIRC), but the 8-quart wasn't on sale, so two sixes cost less than one eight. After about a year and a half of steady use, they both died. Turns out the batch was defective and Amazon replaced each one with an upgraded model. Yesterday at Costco, I saw the new model for $109.99. Wow!

BTW, it's not a cult, it's a cult-ure. The IP makes great yogurt :p

CatamaranSailor

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I was already a "Frugal Gazette" fan (great newsletter/book set from early 90's) so I though I knew all the money saving tricks. WRONG! So many things picked up from this site and from the various threads (many of which have already been highlighted).

The biggest were:

  • A DIY attitude is awesome...not a necessity because you're poor and "can't afford a professional"
  • Getting the f*ck away from "professional" financial advisors who steer you into high cost funds and charge huge fees
  • Don't start a thread with B42 Titled "Why Paying off the Mortgage Instead of Investing Is Always Best" :)

-Last one was a joke B42...I've enjoyed the various threads examining both sides of THAT issue.

Besides understanding that personal freedom can be achieved by anyone, the best thing has been hearing and reading other's success stories. I'll probably never meet any of you in real life but there are so many people on these threads I'd like to buy a beer!
« Last Edit: August 25, 2018, 08:59:12 AM by CatamaranSailor »

Livingthedream55

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#1 Finding a community where my approach to things, time and money was the norm!
#2 Travel hacking!
#3 For the rare times I rent a car I found https://www.autoslash.com/ always got me the best price (even compared to coupons and spending time comparison shopping rates)

spicykissa

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Index investing. I was scared of investing before.


Dicey

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#1 Finding a community where my approach to things, time and money was the norm!
#2 Travel hacking!
#3 For the rare times I rent a car I found https://www.autoslash.com/ always got me the best price (even compared to coupons and spending time comparison shopping rates)
I totally forgot I discovered Autoslash here! We've used it twice with excellent results. The other one is Costco Travel, which is occasionally even better. We were in Seattle and wanted to rent a car downtown and return it to the airport a week later. Only Costco said ""No problem" and didn't charge extra, plus their rate was great.

ixtap

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I found MMM looking around to see if we were missing something on frugality. According to 99% of the websites available, we weren't. But the ideas here mean that instead of the long sabbatical we we're planning, we can take an extra couple of years to set ourselves up well for the sabbatical to be permanent, even with a higher budget.

Yes, I just said we will be working longer due to MMM and others of his ilk. We were willing to commit to a $30k budget for up to ten years, but not for 50.