Frugality fail list

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Did
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Frugality fail list

Post by Did » Wed Apr 12, 2017 7:41 am

Want to start a 'best-of' from personal experiences?

1. Wife's uncle bought a Soup Making Machine (TM). Yep, some expensive contraption that you plug in the wall, put in vegetables and water, then it heats and purees them. Bulky.

2. Non FI former workmate paid 20k to fly up rock star to play at wife's 40th birthday. He ended up getting fired after which he got divorced and was forced to sell his house in which he had put in over 2 million (including a roman spa) (his whole wealth pretty much).

3. Same guy bought a 1904 Louis Vuitton suit case for $4,000 to use as a coffee stand in his lounge room. It smelt exactly as you would expect. (No report on resale value post firing).

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BRUTE
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Re: Frugality fail list

Post by BRUTE » Wed Apr 12, 2017 6:22 pm

4.all humans that receive a "windfall" from the IRS and decide to spend it all because "it's not part of the budget"

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C40
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Re: Frugality fail list

Post by C40 » Wed Apr 12, 2017 8:09 pm

5. "I deserve it"

George the original one
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Re: Frugality fail list

Post by George the original one » Wed Apr 12, 2017 8:13 pm

6. "I can't live like that."

OTCW
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Re: Frugality fail list

Post by OTCW » Wed Apr 12, 2017 9:07 pm

7. I have to work until I die anyway, so debt doesn't really matter.

shade-tree
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Re: Frugality fail list

Post by shade-tree » Thu Apr 13, 2017 12:10 am

I don't know if this fits the criteria, but it seems like a fail to me: People at my work who spend a few thousand to take the family on vacation to Disneyland, (or Vegas, if no children) every year or so.

saving-10-years
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Re: Frugality fail list

Post by saving-10-years » Thu Apr 13, 2017 2:48 am

8. Smaller scale that @Did's examples but purchase may occur frequently. My nomination is luxury packaged pre-prepared food with special mentions of.

Pre-prepared vegetables - the sort served in trays, cut up and dressed and ready to put into the oven. Especially when there is almost no prep involved. For example: Prepared Baby Potatoes With Seasoned Butter 385g - only 140% mark up on the same baby potatoes that the same supermarket will sell you undressed. But you need to add to this the costs of disposing of packaging waste, cost of refrigeration, chance of it going off before you can cook them, over-purchasing because one tray did not look like enough (but two is too much).

Pre-made sandwiches or buffet platters for a party at your home. The waste is incredible, only equaled by the cost. The food tastes pretty gross and you will end up throwing lots away (I have been there and done that for a friend who does not like to cook).

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FBeyer
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Re: Frugality fail list

Post by FBeyer » Thu Apr 13, 2017 3:21 am

9. Buying a brand new car.

I cannot fathom why so many people who are supposedly savvy investors will buy an 'asset' with such an extreme bid-ask spread.

7Wannabe5
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Re: Frugality fail list

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Thu Apr 13, 2017 5:24 am

I think there might be interesting, or maybe anti-fragile, exceptions to any or all of these rules of thumb. For instance, the wealthiest man I know told me he always used to pay cash for brand-new Corvettes and ended up driving very high-end cars for net-zero expense over the course of a couple decades. Or, off-the-top-of-my-head, a person could establish a mini-business by setting up a food-cart, hiring some kid for a couple hours a day, picking up a tray of pre-made sandwiches from some outlet store, and marking them up 200%. If/when the opportunity windows close, sell your last Corvette and the food-cart, and move on to some new opportunities.

I think Jacob made the point on some other thread that there is a difference between saving, investing, trading and speculating, and people aren't always aware of which activity they are choosing to engage in. This become more clear if you ever make the mistake of not keeping the double-entry bookkeeping you need to do for your business or businesses completely clear of the single entry bookkeeping most frugal people do for their personal finances. If/when you throw in your own time or life-energy as another factor, it can quickly become a tangled mess.

saving-10-years
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Re: Frugality fail list

Post by saving-10-years » Thu Apr 13, 2017 5:59 am

@7W5 I get what you are saying. But in the sandwiches example I just hate the lack of quality and the waste. Too many corporate sandwich lunches where I knew the food sucked _and_ that it cost far more than real food. I did say
for a party at your home
, so not a business. If it were a business I would hope to be selling something better and throwing less away at the end of the day.

7Wannabe5
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Re: Frugality fail list

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Thu Apr 13, 2017 6:24 am

@saving-10-years: I agree. I think maybe I was attempting to make the point by counter-example that, ultimately, frugality isn't really about money. For instance, there aren't very many people on this forum who would be inclined to say something like "Well, S10Y, now you know that everything in this world, including terrible sandwiches on plastic trays, is all part of God's eternal closed-loop plan, so hush with all that fuss and fretting, baby-girl." (((HUG)))

Scott 2
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Re: Frugality fail list

Post by Scott 2 » Thu Apr 13, 2017 7:02 am

It all depends how much wealth the person has, and what they value.

Tomorrow I'm going to pay a plumber to fix two leaky toilets. I fixed a third toilet five years ago, and can think of three people off hand who would come help me with these. Not very frugal.

But I don't have a plumber I trust. I can use performance on a job I understand, then have the contact ready in an emergency situation. He's based​ a few miles from me, runs his business out of his house, has good reviews, bills in 15 minute increments, etc. But until I work with him, I just won't know. Spending a couple hundred now could save me thousands later.

I can see dropping $20k on the rock star to give your wife a once in a lifetime experience, especially if that's what she values, and you're clearing $200k+ a year.

saving-10-years
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Re: Frugality fail list

Post by saving-10-years » Thu Apr 13, 2017 7:16 am

@7W5 thanks for the hug. Reading this while my son is in the room and his take is that large parties/birthday parties/whatever have evolved from banquets where the whole message was 'Look at me I can afford to spend this exorbitant amount of money'. So I suppose that if its for showing off/grand gesture purposes then perhaps the money spending is the main thing. The gesture? The story? That sort of makes business sense to me.

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BRUTE
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Re: Frugality fail list

Post by BRUTE » Thu Apr 13, 2017 7:41 am

7Wannabe5 wrote:
Thu Apr 13, 2017 5:24 am
Corvettes and ended up driving very high-end cars
how'd he swap the Corvettes for very high-end cars?

7Wannabe5
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Re: Frugality fail list

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Thu Apr 13, 2017 7:58 am

@S10Y: You're welcome. I should probably try to type from my adult feminine energy more often :lol: I think your son is right, but it also, unfortunately, has something to do with tax code and/or rigid adherence to division of labor. The author of "Discards: Your Way to Wealth" makes it very clear that one of the primary ways to profit on the discard market is to take advantage of the tendency inherent in "that's not my line" as in "We make pickles. We don't make pickle jars, and we don't grow cucumbers." I remember one year I was in charge of holiday decorations for a large bookstore, and it was expected that I would just order them, or go maybe go out and buy some and submit receipts to petty cash expenses, but instead I rounded up a few of the artsy kids on staff and set them to the task of crafting some. The decorations they made were higher quality and unique, and everybody had more fun, and I gained management popularity points. Frugality should be Win-Win-Win, not Win-Fail-Make Do Without.

7Wannabe5
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Re: Frugality fail list

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Thu Apr 13, 2017 8:14 am

BRUTE wrote:how'd he swap the Corvettes for very high-end cars?
Ha-ha-ha. Took me a minute. My interest in cars is probably in the bottom .005% of people born in Detroit. He currently drives a Lexus and some variety of new, large Jeep, and he is paying somebody a ton of money to restore a tiny pick-up for which he holds sentimental attachment. He has the bad habit of pulling into his own driveway at about 50 miles per hour, so it's kind of dangerous to be an absent-minded person walking around his backyard. One of my exes owned a 79 Corvette Stingray, and he made me pose for one of those ridiculous female on hood shots. However, I thought it was kind of funny because the car was produced the same year I was 14, so it was like he was stuck in a car and girlfriend time warp.

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Dragline
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Re: Frugality fail list

Post by Dragline » Thu Apr 13, 2017 8:49 am

shade-tree wrote:
Thu Apr 13, 2017 12:10 am
I don't know if this fits the criteria, but it seems like a fail to me: People at my work who spend a few thousand to take the family on vacation to Disneyland, (or Vegas, if no children) every year or so.
Yeah, I have been to people's houses where they have a framed picture of the family at Disney every single year over a series of years. It's like that's how they mark time. It's both insidious and insipid.

Farm_or
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Re: Frugality fail list

Post by Farm_or » Thu Apr 13, 2017 9:07 am

My first marriage, I paid for such a a trip that I did not go on. When I was young, dumb and "in love", paid that trip + $3000 in other debts so"we" could have a fresh start. Should have been my first clue.

Be careful who you choose for spousal company

halfmoon
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Re: Frugality fail list

Post by halfmoon » Thu Apr 13, 2017 9:18 am

10. Big diamond engagement ring that the salesman tells you is an investment.

11. Expensive wedding.

12. Marrying someone who thinks #10 and #11 are essential or even desirable (+1 to @Farm-or).
George the original one wrote:
Wed Apr 12, 2017 8:13 pm
6. "I can't live like that."
When a relative stiffed us on a huge loan we'd given him, he said "I'm not going to live like a pauper the way you two do just to pay you back."

Also agree completely with @FBeyer on the new car thing. That one always blows my mind, especially since it's often because a person doesn't have the cash to buy one used on Craigslist. Should be a clue... :roll:

7Wannabe5
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Re: Frugality fail list

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Thu Apr 13, 2017 9:26 am

I must admit that I broke down one year and took my kids to Universal Studios, rather than camping. I expected to hate the experience, but I actually had a lot of fun and found myself almost instantly addicted to the 3-D Spiderman ride. Kind of like how I rarely go to see movies in the theater, but I paid to see "Moulin Rouge" 3 times in a row because something about the cinematography made a direct hit to the pleasure/endorphin center of my brain. And, I constantly have to remind myself that I have never regretted money spent on season live theater tickets, OTOH, the only sport I have ever enjoyed watching in any venue was horse-racing upon which I had placed very small bets. I doubt that maximum utility is achieved by maintaining "Green Eggs and Ham" attitude about anything and everything produced for mass consumption.

7Wannabe5
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Re: Frugality fail list

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Thu Apr 13, 2017 9:37 am

My first marriage, the rings were the least expensive bands we could buy at a local store and the wedding/reception took place in a public park. My next "engagement" ring was mailed back to suitor in a huff after break-up. My next "marriage", the rings were purchased at a pawn shop, and I traded mine in at another pawn shop for some gold earrings after we split.

So, in retrospect, I would say that whether or not a big diamond ring is frugal depends on whether you are the one giving it or receiving it, and what you are likely to do with it in the event you don't die with it on your finger.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g__ANxxwKIk

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Dragline
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Re: Frugality fail list

Post by Dragline » Thu Apr 13, 2017 9:47 am

7Wannabe5 wrote:
Thu Apr 13, 2017 9:26 am
I must admit that I broke down one year and took my kids to Universal Studios, rather than camping. I expected to hate the experience, but I actually had a lot of fun and found myself almost instantly addicted to the 3-D Spiderman ride. Kind of like how I rarely go to see movies in the theater, but I paid to see "Moulin Rouge" 3 times in a row because something about the cinematography made a direct hit to the pleasure/endorphin center of my brain. And, I constantly have to remind myself that I have never regretted money spent on season live theater tickets, OTOH, the only sport I have ever enjoyed watching in any venue was horse-racing upon which I had placed very small bets. I doubt that maximum utility is achieved by maintaining "Green Eggs and Ham" attitude about anything and everything produced for mass consumption.
Once in a decade or so to a tourist mecca is one thing. But traipsing off every year to the same tourist mecca is actually quite bizarre and unnaturally programmed in a Camazotz-like way when you think about it.

halfmoon
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Re: Frugality fail list

Post by halfmoon » Thu Apr 13, 2017 10:45 am

7Wannabe5 wrote:
Thu Apr 13, 2017 9:37 am
So, in retrospect, I would say that whether or not a big diamond ring is frugal depends on whether you are the one giving it or receiving it, and what you are likely to do with it in the event you don't die with it on your finger.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g__ANxxwKIk
I if I were going to emulate the theme of Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend, I would ask for money instead of diamonds. More buck for the bang, so to speak. ;) Since DH and I combined our finances from the beginning, a diamond would have come out of both our pockets and impacted our joint goals. That's a non-starter for me; in fact, we never bought or wore rings at all.

I do still have the modest ring from my first marriage, which I always intended to return to my former MIL (the ring was her gift). I never got around to it before she died, and I regret that.

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Re: Frugality fail list

Post by Farm_or » Thu Apr 13, 2017 4:07 pm

My DW lost the diamond off her ring digging in a gopher hole. I suspect that she has not requested a replacement due to joint accounting. I couldn't wear a ring because I was an electrician. Electrical current doesn't recognize status symbols

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BRUTE
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Re: Frugality fail list

Post by BRUTE » Thu Apr 13, 2017 6:10 pm

Farm_or wrote:
Thu Apr 13, 2017 4:07 pm
My DW lost the diamond off her ring digging in a gopher hole. I suspect that she has not requested a replacement due to joint accounting. I couldn't wear a ring because I was an electrician. Electrical current doesn't recognize status symbols
graphite ring or some other non conductive material?

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