Author Topic: Do you ever realize how badass you could have been all along?  (Read 8286 times)

windawake

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 435
  • Age: 31
  • Location: Minneapolis, MN
Oh man, I went to this event last night where ladies learn how to fix our bikes ourselves (Grease Rag Minneapolis), and I learned how to patch a tube.  I can't believe I've been shelling out $6 for new tubes a couple times a year (or however often I get flats) when I could've been using one $3 patch kit to patch 4-5 tubes!  Bike shops always make tube patching sound inefficient and time consuming, but I can tell you that it certainly is not and it makes you feel BA.  Also my first attempt at tube patching seems to have been effective.

What have you come across that made you feel silly for not having done it that way all along?  Others lately for me include using dried beans instead of canned and making homemade granola: cheaper, more environmentally friendly, and more delicious!

Daley

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3963
  • Location: Cow country. Moo.
  • Got that mustache feeling.
Re: Do you ever realize how badass you could have been all along?
« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2012, 10:36:01 AM »
Learning how easy it is to do basic mechanical repair work on an engine was a rather liberating experience for me a while back. Up until that point I was a DIY oil, filter and sparkplug only kind of guy. I was stunned to find out how easy it was to replace a radiator with a friend's help and have been sold on the idea of getting the right tools and keeping around a Haynes/Chilton manual ever since.

As for the innertube thing for you? The only thing more badass than repairing the tube yourself is not having to repair it at all. I've found it even cheaper and easier (in the time is money sense) to invest in good rim tape and a bottle of Slime for the tubes. Totally worth the extra bike weight and I haven't had a flat in months since the transition. *knock wood* Just have to remember to have the stems up top when airing up, which hasn't been near as frequent either.

zinnie

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 606
  • Location: Boston
Re: Do you ever realize how badass you could have been all along?
« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2012, 10:49:42 AM »
YES. Even though I thought I was pretty frugal it wasn't until the last year or two that I realized how many completely unnecessary things I was still buying. Examples: cleaning supplies in plastic bottles (replaced with homemade), paper napkins/ paper towels (replaced with cloth), body wash (replaced with bar soap), canned beans (replaced with dried beans), anything from the grocery store that comes in a plastic container, etc. It makes me cringe to think about how much money I spent on these things over the years! If I had known this 10 years ago I wonder how much more savings I would have...

TheDude

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 467
Re: Do you ever realize how badass you could have been all along?
« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2012, 04:54:17 PM »
As for the innertube thing for you? The only thing more badass than repairing the tube yourself is not having to repair it at all. I've found it even cheaper and easier (in the time is money sense) to invest in good rim tape and a bottle of Slime for the tubes. Totally worth the extra bike weight and I haven't had a flat in months since the transition. *knock wood* Just have to remember to have the stems up top when airing up, which hasn't been near as frequent either.

I hate slime wiht a passion. If you are just riding on the road just pump up  your tires and you really shouldn't be getting that many flats. I commute (its short 1.3mi each way) and I have had one flat in the last year. Good tires, good rim tape and air are all that's need to keep the flats at a minimum.

pachipres

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 10
Re: Do you ever realize how badass you could have been all along?
« Reply #4 on: May 04, 2012, 08:20:28 PM »
Yes, lately I have been thinking if I were really frugal, my dh could be retired by now and he could be doing the homeschooling of our two younger boys and I could be doing my own thing like finishing my degree which I always wanted to finish.  We just lost 13K lending this amount of money to a friend who likely will not pay us back so yes I think of how badass I could have been LOTS!  In saying this, if I feel if we focus too much on this question, we won't have the energy it takes to move forward nor the creativity it takes to be more streamline financially.

Bakari

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1799
  • Age: 39
  • Location: Oakland, CA
  • Veggie Powered Handyman
    • The Flamboyant Introvert
Re: Do you ever realize how badass you could have been all along?
« Reply #5 on: May 04, 2012, 11:54:04 PM »
I think I would be FI by now had I been wise to this whole idea when I was 18.

I was never a major consumer, but if I had money, I spent it. 
I also never earned much to begin with, because I didn't really care much about money.
I had a tendency to quit jobs after 10 months or less (my current one and the bike shop I worked at part time until last year are the only one that lasted longer than that, at 5 years and 6 years and counting) and then I would live off of savings and/or credit card until I found something else.

Besides that, its just little stuff, I don't even know what.  Mostly vehicles, I guess, eating out somewhat, and just... I really have no idea!  I've always lived in an RV, had low energy bills, never had cable or name brand clothes or haircuts at a barber.  And yet, something has changed, because I went from building up to 10k in debt, to 25k in investments in just about 2.5 years.

Regarding flats - our shop never patched because we didn't want to have to fix it again free if the patch didn't hold or if it turned out there were two holes or something.  Its just safer (and faster) to throw in another tube when you have a giant box of them, and the customer is paying.
But when I was riding everyday (as a bike messenger, to mexico, and to the job at the shop) I would expect to get one flat every few years.   I don't really like slime myself, though many people do.  I say just invest in good tires (puncture resistant), and keep them inflated

heybro

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 196
Re: Do you ever realize how badass you could have been all along?
« Reply #6 on: May 05, 2012, 12:17:24 AM »
Minneapolis?

Anyone else from here?

Ever thought of meeting up for MMM fellowship?

windawake

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 435
  • Age: 31
  • Location: Minneapolis, MN
Re: Do you ever realize how badass you could have been all along?
« Reply #7 on: May 05, 2012, 10:59:31 AM »
I'd be into that, this thread over on the Meetup section indicates there are at least 5 or so from MPLS: http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/forum/meetups-and-social-events/madison-wi/

Maybe we should start a new thread on the Ask a Mustachian section or something to see if people want to set something up.

James

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1680
  • Age: 46
  • Location: Rice Lake, WI
Re: Do you ever realize how badass you could have been all along?
« Reply #8 on: May 05, 2012, 02:43:15 PM »
What's funny is that I used to consider myself badass.  I was quite sensible by the normal consumerist standards, I had moderate debt I was easily able to pay for, no CC debt, no huge expenditures for fancy gadgets, cars, furniture, drinking, etc.  I thought I was pretty badass.


Then I realized one day, I'm not.  Since then I figure I'm about half way to where I want to be.  Part of what is holding me back can't be changed, I can't just force the sale of the house, etc.  Other parts get worked on over time, and I've been making better progress as I hang around MMM's great site.


I'm about 90 minutes east of the cities, if I can combine a meetup with a trip to see my family over there I'd certainly enjoy meeting some fellow mustachians.

kaeldra

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 57
  • Location: Seattle, WA
    • Cascadia Inspired
Re: Do you ever realize how badass you could have been all along?
« Reply #9 on: May 05, 2012, 09:50:13 PM »
I feel this way about my environmental impact. I remember I used to think I lived 'so green' in high school. Hah. At least I'm doing better now...

Osprey

  • Guest
Re: Do you ever realize how badass you could have been all along?
« Reply #10 on: May 06, 2012, 06:02:03 AM »
Yes, I used to think the way I grew up, with immigrant parents, was "cheap." When I went out on my own I was mildly consumeristic but patted myself on the back for being "sensible" just for not being in debt! But now I realise that my parents were badass all along and I'm kicking myself for buying a new car, signing on for a long commute, all those restaurant bills and recreational shopping. What a waste!

Dicey

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 10841
  • Age: 61
  • Location: NorCal
Re: Do you ever realize how badass you could have been all along?
« Reply #11 on: May 06, 2012, 11:29:44 AM »
Hooray for you! That's an awesome start, but don't stop at patching tires. A lot of bicycle repairs are not all that difficult. I can clean/grease the chain, adjust my brakes and gears, replace spokes and true my wheels. The more you ride, the more you learn. For the most part, a few simple tools are all you need.

I like the rest of your list as well. To it I'll add: learn how to make your own laundry soap, it's a snap. Try a couple of recipes until you find one that works best for your situation. If you use it, it's also easy-peasy to make your own body wash and liquid hand soap. In fact, once you figure out how very little soap is in those products (especially the foaming kind), you'll be mad about what they charge for it in the stores. Just be sure to save the expensive containers you already have for re-use.

Another favorite is yogurt. So easy, so inexpensive and so much better than store bought. I use both the crock-pot method and the ice chest method, depending on the season. The results taste great mixed with homemade granola.

Buying in bulk is another favorite frugal hack. No paying for extra packaging, less trash to dispose of - a double win.

Can't wait to see what other ideas get posted. Which brings me to my last suggestion: always be on the lookout for ways to make improvements. Large or small, they all add up. You'd be amazed at how many things just aren't that difficult or time consuming. Also, You Tube and Instructables are incredible how-to resources.

windawake

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 435
  • Age: 31
  • Location: Minneapolis, MN
Re: Do you ever realize how badass you could have been all along?
« Reply #12 on: May 06, 2012, 03:56:53 PM »
Great suggestions!  I started this thread in hopes of sharing some great badass ideas, not for shaming people who have made non-mustachian decisions in the past.  I thought it would be helpful for other people to see ways that they could become more BA.  I want to try making yogurt since I looove me some yogurt (with my homemade granola!)  Do you have a link to one of the recipe's that you use?

I've also been making some homemade products, including homemade laundry detergent.  I really love this homemade face wash: http://prairiecottagerose.blogspot.com/2012/01/homemade-face-wash.html  I used that recipe and added 2 drops each of lavender and tea tree oils.  I've also started easing myself into not using shampoo anymore.  I'm using baking soda/tea tree oil for washing and apple cider vinegar for conditioner.  It's super cheap and after my hair has adjusted I can go longer between washes.  I had some hair problems previously (itchy head and frizz) that have abated since I started using this method.

I've also started using freecycle which is a website that helps people give or receive free things.  I just posted on there about getting more pasta sauce jars to use in the bulk section and have already gotten a couple replies!

sowantere

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 39
Re: Do you ever realize how badass you could have been all along?
« Reply #13 on: May 06, 2012, 04:54:20 PM »
My recent thing was I became debt free after 3 years of really crunching down.  Paid off the house, cars etc and wife was able to go seasonal with work and go to college full time cash flowed.  That seems great but I realized I had to go back to work even being debt free so I found ere which led me to this site.  I am now trying to save up money by not having her income which is hard but is happening by cutting out yet more reoccurring costs such as cable and switching to page plus etc.  I am trying to find some side work as well.  My point is while paying down debt I could of cut out more but my wifes income while not much was never in the budget it always went to paying off our house etc and i guess that made of a certain level of comfort or "holding back."  Now that it is no longer there suddenly I am able to cut out more and not feel any real loss of "stuff."  This is an annoying bit of lack of efficiency.  I've worked since I was 13 looking back its amazing how much money has passed thru my fingers only to disappear as of three years ago I never even had a budget.  I come from the dave ramsey crowd where everything is about math of decreasing consumption while making money to throw at debt.  And it is life changing for me and great but I really do like the bigger picture here of being more self sufficient and minimalist.      So thank you for the reminder that there is some things that i want to do yet such as learn to can (jar) food and move closer to work. 
So here is my tidbit for those paying off debt or saving up for retirement, even if you are doing well there is always room for improvement.   I once heard that most people spend 40 hours a week making money but few people spend any real time trying to think of ways to make more.  I do see self sufficiency as a great way to make money by saving it first.  I also wanted to thank you all by reminding me to save money by doing "free" things.  This weekend I went to a dog carnival with family which was free while before it probably would of been a restaurant or going to a movie.  Its silly to think that spending time with family before would of meant all staring at a big screen verses actually doing something together.  What is worse is that i used to be a single parent making very little money and at that time going outside for "free" things was the common thing to do as i couldn't afford the movie so going to something "paid" was an upgrade where it actually was a loss of real quality time.   Yes I did go to a restaurant today instead of packing a picnic so there is always room for improvement.  I think that was because it is "in the budget" so in my mind i am using that portion of money that is allowed so not thinking hard enough about how to not use it at all while still having the satisfaction of a life well lived.  Maybe I need to start throwing down some gauntlets?

Dicey

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 10841
  • Age: 61
  • Location: NorCal
Re: Do you ever realize how badass you could have been all along?
« Reply #14 on: May 06, 2012, 06:53:04 PM »
Sorry, I meant to include the links, but ran out of time. The ice chest method comes from The Frugal Girl blog (another favorite) and the crock pot version came from a friend who got it from a Crock Pot-lover's blog. As Google search should work. Basically, you heat the milk, let it cool a bit, add starter and keep it warm (incubate it) for about eight hours. Same process, two ways of getting there. No added sugar or artificial taste either.

Freecycle is another great resource. When I shop at my 99 Only Store, I look for things that are packaged in Mason-type jars that are threaded for canning rings. That way I get the fruit or pasta sauce that's inside and then have a jar to re-use. I stock up on canning rings and lids on clearance at the end of the summer. BTW, Kristin at TFG has a great homemade granola recipe too. About that laundry soap, I started with TSD's liquid version, but eventually switched to a powdered version, which seems to be more effective in a HE washer using cold water. I think it came from Katy over at the Non-Consumer Advocate.

Just a few random thoughts: I love to be frugal but try to do it in ways that help me and don't hurt others. For example, if I do eat out with friends, I never quibble about how to split the bill even though I'm a vegetarian and usually drink water. Part of the expense is enjoying the company of friends, so a few dollars extra doesn't hurt, as I don't do it that often. I also tip generously to make up for not ordering drinks and for good service and out of sheer gratitude that I don't have to work on my feet all day any more. I am generous at gift-giving occasions. Because I plan ahead, it never gets out of hand or strains the budget. I try to spend wisely, not wantonly.

Another frugal friend uses my trash service. I don't charge her for it, and often make dinner for her on trash night. In return, she alerts me to great grocery deals and checks to see if I need anything when she makes a Costco or Winco run. Win-win, as I have no interest in perusing the sale flyers (I think it actually increases spending for single folks as it's so easy to over buy). Since she's similarly frugal, she knows what a really good deal looks like. Generally, when she finds a screaming deal, she's happy to pick up some of whatever it is for me too.

I really liked your question because of the way you asked it. Frankly, I'm growing weary of how-I-got-myself-out-from-under-a-mountain-of-debt stories. Uh, don't create the mountain in the first place?
It's much more interesting to look at frugal living and FI from your "badassity" perspective. Thanks for posting an awesome question.

Osprey

  • Guest
Re: Do you ever realize how badass you could have been all along?
« Reply #15 on: May 06, 2012, 10:53:01 PM »
Thanks for redirecting! Here are some things I have learned to do:

- Went completely DIY for cleaning products, air freshener, bread and desserts, salad dressing, shampoo, etc. Car washing, hair cutting, coffee brewing and pants hemming are now also DIY and I'm having a blast!
- I have really latched on to the "make do, use it up or go without" way of thinking. So while I'd love to try new cleaning and bread recipes, I won't go out and buy specialty ingredients. Rather make substitutions or find recipes that use what is on hand.
- It's amazing what a difference it's made just to stay away from malls. Now when I go I get a headache from overstimulation and feel uneasy.
- I am buying my fruits and veg from roadside hawkers, of which there are many in my country. It's not a fancy market but the produce is local and in season. Plus, supporting local business and avoiding malls!

Maybe biking is on the horizon but right now I can easily walk to wherever I'd want to bike to...

sideways8

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 123
  • Location: Beach Park, IL, USA
Re: Do you ever realize how badass you could have been all along?
« Reply #16 on: May 07, 2012, 09:55:20 AM »
I could have been more badass much sooner if I had not hung on to a bad relationship. Believe me, that can zap your finances as much as your emotions.

Guitarist

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 210
  • Age: 33
  • Location: Kansas City
Re: Do you ever realize how badass you could have been all along?
« Reply #17 on: May 07, 2012, 02:25:06 PM »
I should have never moved out of my parent's house in college (I lived in the same freaking city of 50,000 for God's sake), I should have biked to and from campus, I should have saved my money... Ugh it still pains me to think about all the mortgage payments I helped make for other people. I should figure out some way to make FI seem attractive to my current SO. I shouldn't have moved as far away from work as I have.

shedinator

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 300
  • Location: Eudora, KS
Re: Do you ever realize how badass you could have been all along?
« Reply #18 on: May 08, 2012, 07:39:35 AM »
body wash (replaced with bar soap)

Interesting. Have you considered pouf sponge? In my experience, a tiny dab of body wash creates enough lather to do all 235 lbs on my frame. I've had the same bottle of body was for 18 months, and it has another 18 months left on it (and yes, I wash myself regularly). I used to go through a bar of soap every 1-2 months.

retirementbound

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 11
  • Age: 33
  • Location: Kansas City
Re: Do you ever realize how badass you could have been all along?
« Reply #19 on: May 08, 2012, 08:49:38 AM »
body wash (replaced with bar soap)

Interesting. Have you considered pouf sponge? In my experience, a tiny dab of body wash creates enough lather to do all 235 lbs on my frame. I've had the same bottle of body was for 18 months, and it has another 18 months left on it (and yes, I wash myself regularly). I used to go through a bar of soap every 1-2 months.

How about bar soap + pouf sponge? That's what I'm using now and it seems to lather up just as well as my body wash did. Thanks for the link!
« Last Edit: May 08, 2012, 08:52:36 AM by retirementbound »

zinnie

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 606
  • Location: Boston
Re: Do you ever realize how badass you could have been all along?
« Reply #20 on: May 08, 2012, 10:46:07 AM »
body wash (replaced with bar soap)

Interesting. Have you considered pouf sponge? In my experience, a tiny dab of body wash creates enough lather to do all 235 lbs on my frame. I've had the same bottle of body was for 18 months, and it has another 18 months left on it (and yes, I wash myself regularly). I used to go through a bar of soap every 1-2 months.

Well, besides cost it's the plastic bottle that I have an issue with. And doesn't it waste a lot of lather to have it all tied up in the loofah? I don't really like those things--plus that's something else to buy when hands work just fine for washing :)

I've tried a few recipes of homemade body wash but haven't found one I liked yet; that is probably an ideal solution, though, as a $1 bar of soap, a tablespoon of glycerine, and a few drops of oil get you 3 huge containers of body wash.

windawake

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 435
  • Age: 31
  • Location: Minneapolis, MN
Re: Do you ever realize how badass you could have been all along?
« Reply #21 on: May 08, 2012, 02:50:06 PM »
Re: body wash - I'm super into Dr. Bronner's castille soap for washing my body and using to wash other things (it's really good for cleaning grease off your bicycle or washing a dog, I also use it as shaving cream).  Co-ops often have Dr. Bronner's in bulk so I just refill my reusable plastic container when needed.  It's cheaper this way and good for the environment.  Plus on goodguide.com (a website that rates products for their environment, health, and social impacts) Dr. Bronner's soap is one of the highest rated personal care products I've seen.

zinnie

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 606
  • Location: Boston
Re: Do you ever realize how badass you could have been all along?
« Reply #22 on: May 08, 2012, 05:36:44 PM »
Re: body wash - I'm super into Dr. Bronner's castille soap for washing my body and using to wash other things (it's really good for cleaning grease off your bicycle or washing a dog, I also use it as shaving cream).  Co-ops often have Dr. Bronner's in bulk so I just refill my reusable plastic container when needed.  It's cheaper this way and good for the environment.  Plus on goodguide.com (a website that rates products for their environment, health, and social impacts) Dr. Bronner's soap is one of the highest rated personal care products I've seen.

Thanks I'll check that out! Hadn't heard of that website, either.

Trebek

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 34
Re: Do you ever realize how badass you could have been all along?
« Reply #23 on: May 08, 2012, 08:02:29 PM »
body wash (replaced with bar soap)

Interesting. Have you considered pouf sponge? In my experience, a tiny dab of body wash creates enough lather to do all 235 lbs on my frame. I've had the same bottle of body was for 18 months, and it has another 18 months left on it (and yes, I wash myself regularly). I used to go through a bar of soap every 1-2 months.

How about bar soap + pouf sponge? That's what I'm using now and it seems to lather up just as well as my body wash did. Thanks for the link!

I don't know about anyone else... but it sounds like I'm the most badass of all! I don't use anything. No soap. No sponge. No body wash or shampoo or conditioner... just water and my hands.

I've never really used any soap as it makes my skin all dry and body wash was just too efforty. I shower every day and have never had anyone say I was not clean or didn't smell nice or anything so as far as I can tell you don't need any of it lol!

Gerard

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1400
  • Location: eastern canada
Re: Do you ever realize how badass you could have been all along?
« Reply #24 on: May 08, 2012, 08:27:33 PM »

I don't know about anyone else... but it sounds like I'm the most badass of all! I don't use anything. No soap. No sponge. No body wash or shampoo or conditioner... just water and my hands.

Same here, except I use a washcloth. Started last fall, after reading about it on a lot of sites. I'm surprised how well it works. I smell better, and don't need deodorant (or lotion in the winter). It might help that I have very short hair.

Of course, I bought a bunch of bar soap just a month or two before starting this, so now I have a bunch of useless soap. Maybe I can use it to make homemade laundry detergent...

windawake

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 435
  • Age: 31
  • Location: Minneapolis, MN
Re: Do you ever realize how badass you could have been all along?
« Reply #25 on: May 09, 2012, 12:50:26 PM »
I use bar soap to make homemade laundry detergent and it smells great and works really well.  You just have to grate up that soap and mix with some borax and washing soda.  I use the recipe from this website: http://www.diynatural.com/homemade-laundry-detergent-soap/

If you can't find washing soda at a store near you (I couldn't) you can make your own with baking soda.  Bake baking soda on a cookie sheet at 400 degrees for an hour and it turns into washing soda, just make sure to store the washing soda in an airtight container or it might revert back to baking soda

With the no-soap thing, did you have an adjustment period where you felt all grimy?  I've stopped using shampoo (baking soda instead) and have been using homemade face wash and only washing my face once a day.  I might be interested in trying the no soap thing too...

Guitarist

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 210
  • Age: 33
  • Location: Kansas City
Re: Do you ever realize how badass you could have been all along?
« Reply #26 on: May 09, 2012, 01:00:10 PM »
With the no-soap thing, did you have an adjustment period where you felt all grimy?  I've stopped using shampoo (baking soda instead) and have been using homemade face wash and only washing my face once a day.  I might be interested in trying the no soap thing too...

I rarely use soap anymore.
I wouldn't say I felt grimy. A few spots just felt... slick. And it was mostly in the under arm area.
The hair might also take a little longer to get caught up on the no shampoo/soap thing.
But I noticed my skin seemed healthier and still is so far. The slick feeling is gone. For me, it took less then a week for any "side affects" to go away.

Gerard

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1400
  • Location: eastern canada
Re: Do you ever realize how badass you could have been all along?
« Reply #27 on: May 09, 2012, 03:53:09 PM »

I wouldn't say I felt grimy. A few spots just felt... slick. And it was mostly in the under arm area.
The hair might also take a little longer to get caught up on the no shampoo/soap thing.
But I noticed my skin seemed healthier and still is so far. The slick feeling is gone. For me, it took less then a week for any "side affects" to go away.

+1 on most of this. I never really had the slick thing, or side effects. I think the lightly-abrasive quality of the washcloth may have helped.

Windawake, thanks for the laundry soap info!