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February 18, 2010


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Step #1 to saving money is to marry someone that shares your beliefs and values.
It's a no-brainer for people like us that were raised in England during WWII in working class families where money was tight and rationing of almost everything was very severe.

However having seen how my very wealthy "ex" son-in-law (with a multi-million$ annual income) raised his kids by giving them everything their little hearts desired, never taught them to have respect for money, and never did a thing around the house inside or out, I can see that the way you were raised is all important. It's impossible for a spoiled rotten rich kid to ever have the respect for money that I do.

Assuming you have a good education and/or good practical skills you should be able to make money so I will concentrate on the spending side of the equation.

When spending money you need to start by thinking that you want to get the best possible value for every purchase. Some people like to put a value on every hour of their time. I never did that and went with the attitude that if I could do the job myself, and in a satisfactory manner, then I would do it myself.
Consequently I have never used a Car Wash, never hired a gardener, and only on rare occasions have needed to hire a handyman. I also learned how to manage my own money and to make my own investment decisions.

Examples of 'Best Value for Money'.
A good low mileage used car from a reputable dealer is better value than a new car.
eBay has some astounding bargains, e.g. a Zanella, made in Italy, tencel shirt for $20 is now my favorite shirt. Likewise with Coogi and Tundra sweaters, printer ink, and special batteries.
Buying in large quantities at stores such as Costco.
Watching the ads and taking advantage of closeouts and items priced to get you in the door.
Never wasting food by learning how to make the best use from leftovers.
Learning not to judge a bottle of wine by its price but by whether you like it or not.
Not buying a high priced or big name brand just to impress others.
Avoid financial blunders by always reading the fine print on agreements and contracts before signing your name.

Good comment! FMF is great!

After reading Old Limey's comment, here's a question I'm reminded of and struggle with - is it okay to splurge and buy a want that may be overpriced? Let's say you manage your finances well, have no debt and want a Bose Wave stereo. These are nice but way overpriced. Should you do it? Should you feel guilty? It's something you want and will use. You have the money but your guilt prevents you from getting. However, the radio will bring you happiness and enjoyment.

I'm fairly frugal and find myself with guilt when I desire to splurge a bit. Does anyone else experience this?

texashaze --

This post is for you:


I look upon splurging as a way of rewarding yourself occasionally for doing a good job managing your money, so don't feel bad as long as it doesn't become a frequent occurrence and disrupt your long range plans.
Our biggest splurge, now that we have the money and are 75 & 76 is to fly Business Class on international flights. Not only does it get you away from the crying babies and having the seat in front of you right in your lap, but you can actually sleep in a huge recliner that can go horizontal. I also like being pampered by the flight attendants with champagne when we board and plenty of good quality wine and excellent food during the flight. It's also nice when you have a 2 or 3 hour layover to be able to relax in a quiet Club lounge and partake of the refreshments there - in September when we go on a river trip down the Rhine and Moselle it adds $3,800 each to the trip but it's the only splurge this year. I also rationalize it personally because of my wife's artificial hips and I know she wouldn't feel right if I was back in coach.
My son, who makes many business trips, just bought a set of Bose noise cancelling headphones which he raves about and I am borrowing them for the trip - Bose equipment is excellent but very pricey.

I never feel guilty about splurging anymore. My hubby's view of money has rubbed off on me.

Money is a tool. It's to be used for survival and saved for our future survival needs. If both of those criteria are met, we use the rest to make life enjoyable for ourselves and others.

Once we agreed on how much to save (30%-40% every month) and our normal expenses (40%), I haven't felt bad splurging once in a while for a great vacation or a new Shirt Woot shirt. Sure, we are "wasting" 20%-30% of our money a month on what makes us happy (maid, lawn service, potlucks, my charities, his games, etc)

It's not like you can take it with you, right?

Old Limey is looking forward to leaving his children and grandchildren with a great estate. I think that's great for his kids and he's not giving anything up for it, so yay!

Honestly, I hope my grandparents and my parents have a fantastic time with their money and just make sure to leave enough behind to follow through on their burial wishes. My grandparents just took a last minute cruise and bought a new car that rides smoother, so apparently I've inherited their values. :-)

Money Making Ideas? Just what I need, thanks!

Don't think there's much hope for my career (unskilled, unemployed, can't afford to go back to school) but a few income sources (Multiple Streams of Income?) could be huge.

Thanks for all the comments everyone.

@Terry - An author, Michael Masterson wrote a book called Automatic Wealth. In it he goes into great detail on the concept of "Multiple Streams of Income". It's very interesting and inspired me to start my business. Essentially you work a job and then create several businesses -- all of them providing income. Some income sources are up and some are down but the thought is to increase sources to create wealth. He does push copywriting and marketing since it's what he knows best but he also presents good business models on real estate. You should check out the book for more on that topic.

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