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What is the most UN-frugal thing... - Page 2

post #21 of 92
Re: the housing 'debate'...I agree that MOST of the time, it's better to buy and your payments may be less than what rent would be.

BUT, I see the PP's point about rushing into things also. My brother is in that boat. He rushed into buying the house he's in and he HATES it now and wishes they'd never bought it and he can't resell right now because the economy has taken a nosedive around here.

I see ALOT of unfrugal things, and we do some of those ourselves...our biggest one being the cable tv/internet. :
post #22 of 92
The most unfrugal thing I see ALL the time down here in TX.....

Driving a giant SUV - particularly for a long daily commutes, with one or max two people in it.

Buying a huge 3500+ sq ft McMansion way out in the suburbs, setting up oneself to have to drive everywhere, plus all the additional costs of heating, cooling of said giant house, etc.

The least frugal thing I do - probably eating out a lot more than we need to.
post #23 of 92
Lunches.

Tonnes of people at my work buy lunches every day, even though we have two fridges, a convection oven, two microwaves a toaster and a dishwasher. I don't look down on them for it, but I do notice it when I bother.

Buying coffee every day with a muffin for $5. That's a lot of cash!

We use the toughest papertowels around, bounties, in our kitchen, because we feed a raw meat diet to our cats and it's not healthy to use rags and then re-use them. We don't have a washer/dryer, so it's also gross to throw them in the hamper for the two-week wash trip. So, there are good reasons to use paper towels.

Buying everything new.... I know some people that never consider getting used anything, they own department store credit cards and they use them on a regular basis..... Only our table sets are new, and they are wedding and anniversary gifts. And our home is really nice!

I can't wait to actually buy a house and start building equity.
post #24 of 92
buying a brand new living room set with a toddler in the house. its only going to get stained etc and you''l end up buying another one.

i do think buying new can be good, if its when its at a point in your life where the wear and tear on it wont be to bad,eg with teens lol. We buy our furniture from goodwill etc.
post #25 of 92
Just had to put my two cents in on the housing thing. Even though it is a sellers market, and therefore not the greatest time to buy a house, economy-based, if it is a good time based on your family situation & finances, you should do it. It is cheaper compared to renting in most cases - I have a coworker who is renting an apartment, 100 sq ft less than my house, for about $150 more a month, both are 2 bed, 1 bath. My mortgage include taxes & insurance (whereas they'd have to pay insurance seperately from the rent). While I do have to pay for repairs myself, we're still coming out ahead, and as mentioned above, if we need to move, the house can be sold so we'll get our money back, whereas it'd just be gone w/ renting. It's also there if absolutely necessary, to get extra money in an emergency (home equity loan or second mortgage). Where it becomes a problem, causes financial strain, is when you listen to the bank and by the most expensive house THEY say you can get, even though you really can't afford it. (And just having enough in your budget to make the mortgage payment is not being able to afford it!) In our case, we were approved for up to $230,000 for a loan, but the payments were way more than I was comfortable with, we ended up buying one for $90,000, only 6 yrs old so not lots of major repairs to be expected right away, and plenty of house for the 2 of us. Which lets us put an extra $200 a month towards the mortgage, work on cutting down the interest faster, and if repairs are necessary we can easily afford it without wondering how to pay our other bill. Of course, having some in savings is even more important when you own a home too, for that same reason.
We throw away baggies too, but for lunches use tupperware sandwich containers, plus 98% of leftovers go into tupperware too, so not too many baggies anyway. Just don't trust to get them clean enough to ward off germs.
Biggest wastes IMO: taking out loans for stuff you don't really need (or that could wait a couple months while you save the money yourself), driving big trucks or SUV's living in the city - there are good uses for these vehicles, but just that you like it better isn't one, housecleaning & yardwork services (Except maybe big jobs that require machinery that the average individual wouldn't know how to operate). Also, in many cases, full-time daycare, especially w/ very young children. I know, necessary in some cases, but in most (w/ 2 parents), you can make more money for your time if 1 parent works at night.
post #26 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by nmb
Also, in many cases, full-time daycare, especially w/ very young children. I know, necessary in some cases, but in most (w/ 2 parents), you can make more money for your time if 1 parent works at night.
this reminds me of the SAHM's who out their kids in daycare 5 days a week so they can have a break and the kids can socialize.
post #27 of 92
Oh, I could go on and on about this.

My biggies:
--paper towels (both my mom and mil FREAK OUT in my house)
--prepackaged food, especially kids "lunches" (aka cr**)
--hair straightening

But--and I admit these are all from the same friend/aquaintance:
--leasing cars
--hiring a color consultant for your walls and a garden designer for your yard(and then landscaper and gardener)
--buying things that are "the best" or "most desirable" because your contractor told you to (like beaded crown molding and granite slab counters and stainless appliances!)
--personalized license plates
--did I mention hair straightening?
--taking your 2yo out to lunch 3x/week "for fun!
--teeth whitening
--full-day daycare when you really need .5/day 2-3x/week

I'll stop there, this is already too long!
post #28 of 92
So, this is probably a topic for another thread, but what is an acceptable thing to spend one's money on? I.e. what isn't considered a waste?

If I was the paragon of frugality, as conceived by an amalgamation of our individual concepts of frugal perfection, I'd have a *lot* of money each month. What do I get to spend it on guilt-free?
post #29 of 92
i spend on take out or eating out........because its my ownly luxury and me and dh make it into our time.
post #30 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by Herausgeber
If I was the paragon of frugality, as conceived by an amalgamation of our individual concepts of frugal perfection, I'd have a *lot* of money each month. What do I get to spend it on guilt-free?
Hmm... LOL I guess that would be organic food products, a hybrid vehicle (on sale, preferably used), and a clotheline if you can't find rope and pins on your freecycle group! I'd say that you can fairy it to me, but I guess that would be a waste too!

I'm just kidding! We all have our own ideas of what is important to buy and what is a waste to us. That's a free market for ya!
post #31 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by craftymom
--hiring a color consultant for your walls
Ahh, see, this is once again how frugality is in the eye of the beholder. When we moved into our new house, we needed it all painted b/c it was really old white paint. Hired a color consultant, she found the right colors in 2 hours and we had the whole house painted. Her two hours would have cost me 2 months and tons of bad and wasted colors. Frugal for us!

My friends aren't frugal. I mean, they just aren't. They're trust fund babies and dot-commers and things like that, so I can't common on what people do that's not frugal around here--it would take a book. And again, it's in the eye of the beholder.
post #32 of 92
Eating out for lunch depends on the situation. My dad took his lunch to work for years (my parents are very good w/ money, mom was a SAH until my younger brother went to hs, they put both of us all the way through parochrial schools, have NO debt, not even a mortgage! etc), but when his work environment changed he found that it was worth the cost of going to taco bell, subway, etc. for lunch because if he stayed in the office people stopped by all through "lunch" and expected him to set his lunch aside & do work for him, he's always worked way more than 40 hrs a week anyway & he finally acknowledged that in order to keep his stress at a manageable level he needed to get out of the office & spend time w/ people HE wanted to spend time with talking about what he wanted to talk about, and the cost of eating out was worth that for him in his situation.

Also w/ daycare, I know alot of my friends who have wanted to work part-time but have found that day care centers don't do "part time" so they pay the same whether their child is there 1/2 days or full days (or 2 days a week or 5 days a week). And working nights depends a lot on your career. I'm a SAHM now, but when I was working (pre-kids) both dh & I had white collar "office" careers, the type of work we enjoy isn't available for "night shifts".
post #33 of 92
Jkpmomtoboys, I see a housekeeper (which someone else mentioned as a waste) in a similar vein to your color consultant example. A housekeeper can be the money very, very well spent, IMO, if it allows you to work more efficiently and spend more time doing things you value. Personally, I'd rather chase my nephews around a park than spend my precious weekends scrubbing a floor. If I don't have to go into debt to pay for it, why not? I'd rather buy that time for myself and the kiddos than have an equivalent amount of goods from Target or the mall.

Of course, this being MDC, I'm shocked that we didn't get this list of un-frugal habits, because they are such biggies when you have little ones:

Formula-feeding
Disposable diapers
Cribs
Commercial baby food
Processed "kid's food" of all types
post #34 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by Herausgeber
Of course, this being MDC, I'm shocked that we didn't get this list of un-frugal habits, because they are such biggies when you have little ones:

Formula-feeding
Disposable diapers
Cribs
Commercial baby food
Processed "kid's food" of all types
Of course, but then again at mdc we do not use most of this so none of us thought of it But all of the above I have seen incl those little premeasured formula packages for on the go. Also I could never justify commercial baby food when a good size squash is so cheap and can make about 24 servings of baby food for about 10 minutes of work. Dont even get me started on the processed kid foods- I dont consider it food but even more the packaging really irks me. Esp those lunchable things- does that even contain any food?:
post #35 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by Herausgeber
Of course, this being MDC, I'm shocked that we didn't get this list of un-frugal habits, because they are such biggies when you have little ones:

Formula-feeding
Disposable diapers
Cribs
Commercial baby food
Processed "kid's food" of all types
Don't forget all the fancy bedding for the crib, plus the other "must-have" furniture and gadgets that Babies r Us says you need!

Around here I see people spending a ton on fancy cars (Cadillac Escalade, etc) and all the rims and trappings for the cars. Their car payments must be more than rent!
post #36 of 92
Paper towels and wasting food.
post #37 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by PrettyBird
Around here I see people spending a ton on fancy cars (Cadillac Escalade, etc) and all the rims and trappings for the cars. Their car payments must be more than rent!
I always think the same thing
post #38 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by Herausgeber
I mean, I'm sure it happens, but I've never known a family to be driven to bankruptcy by throwing away baggies, using too many paper towels, or getting too many manicures. It always seems to be medical bills, oppressive mortgages and usurious car loans. So I try to do everything in my power to avoid those three things. Make sense?
I certainly agree with this -- planning for whatever may happen in the future is the most important thing one can do for one's financial health. Choosing a lifestyle without excessive fixed expenses allows one to have the savings to deal with the inevitable bumps in the road.

However, frugality isn't necessarily about staying out of bankruptcy. It may be more about living one's financial priorities -- choosing to buy used clothing, for example, may allow a family to eat out once a month. Or go on a nicer annual vacation than they could otherwise afford.

Incidentally, I've never been able to understand why people recycle baggies. I spend about $20 a year on baggies, which is 1/2 of 1% of my total annual grocery budget. This is not something I'm going to stress out over.

On another subject...
Quote:
Originally Posted by p.s
The next proposition may seem nefariously evil on this board: having/raising children can be un-frugal. Kids, evn those raised in the most frugal manner, can be a huge drain on savings.
Absolutely. For one thing, if I didn't have kids, I'd still be working outside the home -- which means we'd have twice as much income as we do now. And while our daughter doesn't really cost us all that much as a toddler, over time I expect those costs to increase.

That said, having kids hasn't negatively impacted our savings at all. What it has impacted is how much money we have to spend on daily living, vacations, etc.
post #39 of 92
Thread Starter 
True, the baggie thing isn't as much about saving as money as I just feel dang wasteful throwing them out ..
post #40 of 92
To me being frugal is not necessarily to keep up from going bankrupt but to not waste things. In return its filled our bank accts and made up debt free so maybe it is:
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