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  1. #1
    this is my winter song EJCC's Avatar
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    Default Extreme Frugality

    What is ERE? - Early Retirement Extreme Wiki

    Anyone trying to live like this, or in any other way that practices "extreme frugality", Mustachianism, anti-consumerist self-reliant living, etc? If so, how? Any recommendations? General feedback?

    I've been starting to ease into it over the past year or so -- slowly but surely. The resources I've been using:
    - Mr. Money Mustache
    - "Your Money or Your Life: 9 Steps to Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Achieving Financial Independence" by Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez
    ~ g e t f e s t i v e ! ~


    EJCC: "The Big Questions in my life right now: 1) What am I willing to live with? 2) What do I have to live with? 3) What can I change for the better?"
    Coriolis: "Is that the ESTJ Serenity Prayer?"



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  2. #2
    Unapologetic being Evolving Transparency's Avatar
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    Oh.... so that's what it's called. That thing I've been trying to do
    "Once the game is over, the Pawn and the King go back into the same box"

    Freedom isn't free.
    "Freedom is the right to tell people what they do not want to hear." ~ Orwell
    I'm that person that embodies pretty much everything that you hate. Might as well get used to it.
    Unapologetically bonding in an uninhibited, propelled manner
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  3. #3
    Theta Male Julius_Van_Der_Beak's Avatar
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    In some respects, yes. I don't own a car, and use public transportation. I also have savings in addition to a 401k. However, I also don't make that much money, and I've had to become reliant on my parents for some things.
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  4. #4
    breaking out of my cocoon SearchingforPeace's Avatar
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    Last year I read a few books in the related topic of decluttering life by having much less, as well as rejecting commercialism. The books shared a common theme of obtaining peace by becoming free. The book on anti-commercialism was pretty insightful.... we buy what we don't need to fill any number of holes in our lives, joining tribes of various types, each with its own set of consumer goals.

    Breaking free of artificial life and engaging in real life becomes life affirming and empowering.

    I really need to work more on this, but I really wish I could get to the place of extreme frugality and enjoying life free of these burdens. ...
    Quote Originally Posted by Archilochus
    The fox knows many things--the hedgehog one big one.
    And I am not a hedgehog......

    -------------------

    Jesus said "Blessed are the peacemakers" not "blessed are the conflict avoiders.....

    9w8 6w5 4w5 sx/so

    ----------------------

    “Orthodoxy means not thinking--not needing to think. Orthodoxy is unconsciousness.”
    ― George Orwell, 1984
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  5. #5
    Happy Dancer uumlau's Avatar
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    I endorse a lot of the kinds of advice I see advocated in those links, but I think that to a degree they are too extreme if you adopt everything.

    The real lesson is that everything is a trade-off. Everything. Other ways of saying this are that everything has a cost, or there is no such thing as a free lunch.

    The things I like about what I read in sites like those is the focus on PAYING ATTENTION to what the trade-offs are. Once you do that, the rest of the advice is redundant.

    What I find extreme is focusing on particular ways of dealing with finances, advocating kind of a minimalist ideal. For some people (especially Enneagram 5s who eat this stuff up like candy and can often do the spartan lifestyle very well) this is great advice. For the rest of us who don't enjoy all of that, we need to CHOOSE how we pay for things in a conscious way, but not necessarily adopt every single practice.

    For instance, I heartily agree with living close to work, with paying for your car in cash (if that means you spend $5k or less on a used car, so be it), not paying for cable TV, the overall sense of anticonsumerism and just not spending money on shit that you don't need. Those things are doable by most people even in the poorest of circumstances.

    However, I'm perfectly happy to accept certain costs that don't seem to be OK with people writing that advice (hence the "extreme" part). I have a mortgage, BUT I found a house that fit my specifications for a reasonable price, I paid 20% down (not something ridiculous), and 10 years later I refinanced it to a 15 year mortgage, saving me $60k in the long run. So far all my cars have been leased or had loans, but my next one won't be, and only my first care (a very cheap one) had a sucky loan that made it cost almost twice its retail price, since I had no credit but needed the car for driving to work. I will PAY for plumbers and electricians to install hardware and gas appliances, because I want the job done right by an expert, not by my own half-assed guesswork. I have a NICE internet connection because that is what I want. While I see the potential for going into real estate investment and/or rental income, there is a reason why not everyone does that, and certain things about the economy wouldn't work if everyone did (or you get a housing bubble ... hmmm ...).

    It's all a trade-off. Calculate how much things will cost you in REAL terms, and then make the call. Sometimes the correct action IS to go into debt. Businesses wouldn't be able to function very well without incurring debt, as income can be sporadic over the year even as the bills are constant. Debt is a measure of risk. If you are borrowing a lot of money or you are only offered a high rate of interest, you are taking a HUGE risk, which is bad. If it's a small amount of money, and/or the interest is low, it is usually a small risk.

    So MY advice to you would be to set your own priorities. If the idea of DIY appeals to you (in ways that it doesn't to me), go for it: it's a strength you can take advantage of. But on the other hand if the shows on cable TV help to make your life more fulfilling, go ahead and pay for it. Figure out what works for you, with an eye to the trade-offs. If you keep track of the trade-offs, of what things REALLY cost you in the long run, you'll be fine.
    An argument is two people sharing their ignorance.

    A discussion is two people sharing their understanding, even when they disagree.
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  6. #6
    this is my winter song EJCC's Avatar
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    ^ FWIW, I've been doing research into this for a long while, so I have a good idea of what I'm looking for. I'm just curious as to what you all are doing.
    ~ g e t f e s t i v e ! ~


    EJCC: "The Big Questions in my life right now: 1) What am I willing to live with? 2) What do I have to live with? 3) What can I change for the better?"
    Coriolis: "Is that the ESTJ Serenity Prayer?"



    ESTJ - LSE - ESTj (mbti/socionics)
    1w2/7w6/3w4 so/sx (enneagram)
    want to ask me something? go for it!
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  7. #7
    Senior Member Santosha's Avatar
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    I was really into the idea of it about 2 years ago, probably watched 100 you-tube clips from people that purchased land, built their own little cabin or dwelling, set up neat growing systems, etc. The idea is still very appealing. Where I grew up, you couldn't purchase a shit-shack for under 180k. When I looked at the total amount paid on a mortgage, even a 15 year with great rates, it seemed insane to me! Debt-slaves. After paying off 2 auto loans in my 20s, (and these weren't even new) I couldn't believe how much I had paid total. And of course, unless your really smart about the make/model average depreciation, and how hard you are on vehicles, after your 5 year loan many don't have much equity. I've paid cash for my last 2 vehicles, used both times. I'm just super careful and analytical about buying vehicles notorious for hitting 300k miles, the known issues with the make/model/year and then I'll pay a well known mechanic 200 to go through it with a fine-tooth comb to identify any current potential dysfunctions. It's worked out great, and I've saved myself a 400 a month car payment and FC insurance for years. But I also don't care that much about fancy vehicles. It's all function for me.

    I moved to a place where, it is not uncommon to find a property going for about 35k. They all need cosmetic work, but the bones are often good. And the idea of remodeling is super appealing to me anyway, because I enjoy that stuff and like to personalize anyway.

    It's very tempting. I could prob have the cash saved for full purchase in 2:years. Spend the next year remodeling. Mortgage/rent free is awesome.

    The problem is, I'm living about 2k miles away from my immediate roots. Not sure if I really want to keep that distance. I'd be able to travel back alot, though.
    Man suffers only because he takes seriously what the gods made for fun - Watts

  8. #8
    Rainy Day Woman MDP2525's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by EJCC View Post
    What is ERE? - Early Retirement Extreme Wiki

    Anyone trying to live like this, or in any other way that practices "extreme frugality", Mustachianism, anti-consumerist self-reliant living, etc? If so, how? Any recommendations? General feedback?

    I've been starting to ease into it over the past year or so -- slowly but surely. The resources I've been using:
    - Mr. Money Mustache
    - "Your Money or Your Life: 9 Steps to Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Achieving Financial Independence" by Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez
    My mother (ISTJ) has lived this way for over 30 years. Most people would have thought she was poor. She is not. She is a millionaire at 50 because of this lifestyle. LBYM is everything. She was raised by a parent who went through the Great Depression and this was drilled into her from early on.

    She is now spending some of that hard earned money renovating her current home and building another one. Because of her investments, the home she built? She broke even on.

    I personally could not live like how she did but I did take certain things to heart.
    ~luck favors the ready~


    Shameless Self-Promotion:MDP2525's Den and the Start of Motorcycle Maintenance
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  9. #9
    Senior Member ceecee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by uumlau View Post

    So MY advice to you would be to set your own priorities. If the idea of DIY appeals to you (in ways that it doesn't to me), go for it: it's a strength you can take advantage of. But on the other hand if the shows on cable TV help to make your life more fulfilling, go ahead and pay for it. Figure out what works for you, with an eye to the trade-offs. If you keep track of the trade-offs, of what things REALLY cost you in the long run, you'll be fine.
    I agree with this as well as knowing what the tradeoffs are. We don't have a car payment. My husband has a 2015 Impala that his job provides, my suv was bought with cash and we have a very handy 1999 GMC truck. We have a mortgage but we refinanced and knocked it down to 15 years and $72k less too.

    We both work from home (my husband travels some) so, no regular commutes. No CC debt (we pay them off every month) and almost all my salary goes to retirement/investing. We do have a boat (cash) because we live on a lake and reasonable fun stuff is good.

    We do have cable and always will. We're sports and HBO series and shows people. But that's the tradeoff part - we save a lot with the vehicles, we can have cable/internet/phone services that are a bit higher. Same with DIY. We do a lot of those projects but you have to know when to call in the pros too. My ENFJ is handy, and our sons are an electrician and plumper, respectively, so we have a big advantage when it comes the house and DIY.

    Food can be a big cost, especially when all our kids are home but I spend around $250-300/mo. for everything. We get sides of beef, lamb and chicken from a local farm twice a year. I can and freeze and I grow a good sized garden. I use some coupons and store specials, I also cook ahead. I think food is a place where you can cut a lot of spending simply by planning ahead and smart shopping.

    Decluttering is one of the most satisfying things to me. I'm not a strict minimalist but I'm very organized and time management is a big deal to me. I suppose all this stuff could be empowering but I never see it like that. I look at it like I'm too lazy to not be this way - I don't want to have to look for anything.
    I like to rock n' roll all night and *part* of every day. I usually have errands... I can only rock from like 1-3.
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  10. #10
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    Default Scarcity and Plenty

    Starting with the Western Enlightenment and the Industrial Revolution, the West and other prosperous societies have overcome scarcity.

    Scarcity has been the condition of most societies for 200,000 years, and indeed modern economics is based on the doctrine of scarcity.

    So just when we are creating societies of plenty and putting frugality out to pasture, we start to feel guilty, we have a guilt neurosis that stops us from enjoying the plenty around us, and so we valourise frugality and shrive ourselves so we can carry out the manners and morals of scarcity.

    So what we need and what we have got is the therapeutic society that changes our psyche from the mindset of scarcity to the mindset of plenty.

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