Living Stingy post on ERE

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steveo73
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Living Stingy post on ERE

Post by steveo73 » Wed Oct 14, 2015 6:16 pm

http://livingstingy.blogspot.com.au/201 ... -year.html

This is a funny one. I love livingstingy as a blog and I love the ERE advice. He does give it to Jacob a bit though.

Personally I can't follow ERE advice to the letter. I have to live a little differently in that I have 3 children and I live in a country where house prices are obscene however I still feel it makes sense for me to own my house.

I think though the maths and ideas that I got from ERE are spot on.

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jennypenny
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Re: Living Stingy post on ERE

Post by jennypenny » Wed Oct 14, 2015 6:36 pm

He's lucky he's got comments disabled. :P

It's not just his lifestyle that's stingy ...

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Re: Living Stingy post on ERE

Post by jacob » Wed Oct 14, 2015 7:12 pm

I received a couple of PMs regarding that sad little hatchet job a couple of weeks ago. And decided to ignore it for what it was ... but since it popped up again, I'll comment on it.

It's a perfect example of the personal incredulity fallacy---"I can not personally understand how something can be true and therefore it can not possibly be true". Unfortunately, whenever anyone commits this fallacy and then makes the mistake to proceed and go into detail, they do nothing but reveal their own personal ignorance to anyone who is better informed.---Which, unfortunately for the author, is a rather large fraction of the pf-space these days.

Here we get the usual silly straw man arguments about section-8 housing, food stamps, the restaurant food diet; that buying clothes, watching movies, and traveling are the predominant means of entertainment, and various other line item examples that are completely representative of the values and spending level of average US consumer.

That is so ... 2010 :? ... Clearly this dude is 2+ Wheaton levels removed when he thinks $25000/person is the absolute limit of his (and hence everybody else's) frugal skills :roll:

That on top of the mentioning the Elio car which I remember was mentioned on the forum a few weeks ago---he probably saw that on the sidebar widget that shows the most recent forum posts---strongly suggests that this article was based on a few minutes of browsing before jumping to conclusions. Of course this explains the incredulity fallacy but it doesn't excuse the concept of writing uninformed baloney based on 5 minutes of research.

Ironically, he got those blog hits because I put him on my blogroll several weeks ago because I also thought he was funny. However, posts like that aren't exactly making anyone smarter and there's also a limit to how much BS I'll personally put up with ... so off the list he goes again.

Problem solved.

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Dragline
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Re: Living Stingy post on ERE

Post by Dragline » Wed Oct 14, 2015 7:22 pm

Some folks don't know what they don't know. Oh, well -- its his own rant space.

steveo73
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Re: Living Stingy post on ERE

Post by steveo73 » Wed Oct 14, 2015 8:38 pm

jacob wrote:Ironically, he got those blog hits because I put him on my blogroll several weeks ago because I also thought he was funny.
I saw your mention of that blog and thought Jacob reads that blog as well. Then I saw that blog link today and thought it was funny. I like that blog but I think he just spends more than yourself. Its just a matter of degree.

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Re: Living Stingy post on ERE

Post by Dave » Wed Oct 14, 2015 9:37 pm

That was painful to read.

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Ego
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Re: Living Stingy post on ERE

Post by Ego » Wed Oct 14, 2015 9:42 pm

I saw this a few days ago and was tempted to write something like, "Hey, my wife and I are doing it," in the comments. Then I realized he doesn't allow comments, so I poked around his site instead. When I found the section documenting his drastic weight loss, it dawned on me what's going on here. It also dawned on me that he is technically right.

He is a boomer who overindulged most of his life and started to suffer the consequences. Recently he began to turn that around. That's great! And now he gives advice to others who are failing and suffering in the same ways he suffered. He is telling them how to stop.

This is very different from what Jacob is doing. Jacob offers ideas to (mostly) young people (ERE by definition is early in life) on how to never get caught in the trap of over-indulging. Jacob shows how to never start down the wrong path. Momentum makes the act of stopping very different from that of never starting.

Young people and those who didn't have free-spending parents can grasp this better than his audience because they don't have fifty years of Boomer programming to overcome. Of course Jacob's advice and example are going to rattle their cages. He is right that his audience would never be able to go from free-spender to $7000 per year. Never.

Offering advice on how to lose a third of your body weight is a whole different kettle of fish from offering advice on how to stay fit for your whole life. The advice you would give chronic debtors is very different from the insights we get here.

Also, he's an attorney. They spend their lives tailoring arguments to fit the conclusions needed by their client. Practice makes perfect. Better to let conclusions flow naturally from the evidence.

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Re: Living Stingy post on ERE

Post by Slevin » Wed Oct 14, 2015 10:47 pm

Ah! I have been called out on my silly hype of the Elio! In refute... well, I somewhat agree with him :lol: . Over-hyped and won't solve my problems.

I do however think that he has set up an incredible straw man by only defining the site by my silly post and the fact that Jacob wrote a book. Never mind he did not read the book to see if it actually contained any good ideas or not, nor did he read many of the blog entries to see if they contained good ideas. He simply said "oh you have something for sale, and promote living on little (to him, impossibly tiny) amounts of money, therefore it is a scam".

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Re: Living Stingy post on ERE

Post by mxlr650 » Wed Oct 14, 2015 11:25 pm

Ego wrote:He is a boomer who overindulged most of his life and started to suffer the consequences. Recently he began to turn that around. That's great! And now he gives advice to others who are failing and suffering in the same ways he suffered. He is telling them how to stop.
What has he achieved that makes him worth listening to?

OTOH, Jacob and few others have lived it to show it is doable:
http://www.nytimes.com/1997/01/27/us/jo ... style.html

It was painful to read that blog post -- not because he was targeting ERE, but because of the annoyance I have for bloggers who cannot put forth an argument succintly and convincingly. It seemed like he got piss drunk and jumped on the keyboard for a while to produce that turd.

One of his complaint seemed to be around book sales, and if he had spent few minutes on the ERE website, it would have been clear that the general reccomendation is to read the book in the library and not buy it. And, 7k is Jacob's limit, and there are others here who spend way less and are definitely not mooching off of the system.

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Re: Living Stingy post on ERE

Post by IlliniDave » Thu Oct 15, 2015 8:10 am

I'd have to say that $7,000 year will not work for me. My threshold is probably up around the $25K the blogger tosses out. But I don't see how that discredits Jacob or others that are leaner and meaner than me. I think the main point the guy was making just to examine what you are doing with your money and hone it down to what makes sense for you rather than try to put your foot in the footprint of someone else every step of the way. He just makes his point with all the grace and dignity of a butthurt adolescent.

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GandK
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Re: Living Stingy post on ERE

Post by GandK » Thu Oct 15, 2015 8:57 am

IlliniDave wrote:He just makes his point with all the grace and dignity of a butthurt adolescent.
That was what bothered me about it. His message wasn't along the lines of, "This seems extreme to me. I'd do it this way instead..." It was, "This is impossible, and to say otherwise is irresponsible." But simple math says it isn't impossible. His thought is rather that it's uncomfortable. And for him, the prospect of discomfort is so unthinkable that he won't examine the math.

Years ago, when I made a serious study of Myers-Briggs and Jung and William James and how people think, I remember the point at which I realized that some people (most people here) take information in and then sort it... but other people sort it on the way in***, with the result that some information - anything deemed "impossible" - never makes it into their thought process at all because they filtered it out before the thinking begins. And whenever I see a serious case of cognitive dissonance in an otherwise sensible person, I now assume that's what's going on. This is a person who judges first and contemplates later. Neurologically. You'd literally have to present the information in a different way in order to make it past their initial filter and cause any sort of analysis to occur.

*** In M-B this is whether the primary function is one of perception or judgment; this is different than whether you have a J or a P at the end of your personality type. The primary function of INTJs, for example, is Introverted Intuition. That (Ni) is a perceiving function. Translation: the order of operations for you INTJs is perceive first, judge second (with Te). I believe this alone would make cognitive dissonance much less likely in your case, and I believe it's why a lot of the discussions here can take place when they can't take place at all on so many other sites.

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cmonkey
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Re: Living Stingy post on ERE

Post by cmonkey » Thu Oct 15, 2015 11:01 am

Its interesting, but a year ago articles like that one would have irritated me and I would have spent the better part of an hour or two thinking about the perfect response I would issue. I read that today (and others over the months) and I didn't feel anything like that, but more of a (proud?) feeling knowing that I was open to what Jacob had to say and that it has completely changed my life for the better and at the same time feeling a bit happy that most folks just can't grasp it. We are members of a very exclusive and I'd like to think happy/stress-free (well as free as you can get) group and should relish every opportunity to realize that we are. I think this might make me somewhat ...stoic?

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Re: Living Stingy post on ERE

Post by bottlerocks » Thu Oct 15, 2015 11:16 am

What really turned me off was the nice soap box he built for himself before cherry picking arguments against a relatively small (when compared to Orman -- huge to me and FIRE in general) personal finance influence. How in the world is it hurtful to encourage people to consume less, build passive income through activities you love/tolerate/are good at, and aim to spend your time doing meaningful things? If you never laid out hard (actual) numbers for your living expenses he'd probably be attacking you at that front instead.
Last edited by bottlerocks on Thu Oct 15, 2015 12:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Living Stingy post on ERE

Post by enigmaT120 » Thu Oct 15, 2015 11:53 am

Is Jacob still posting new entries on the blog, or did one of the random posts of the day get the guy's attention? I ask because I haven't been reading the blog at all. I thought that Jacob had stopped writing posts, and said that everything important was in his book anyway. I have the book.

I am saving myself some time by not reading the guy's post.

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Re: Living Stingy post on ERE

Post by jacob » Thu Oct 15, 2015 12:24 pm

@enigmaT120 -
jacob wrote: Ironically, he got those blog hits because I put him on my blogroll several weeks ago because I also thought he was funny. However, posts like that aren't exactly making anyone smarter and there's also a limit to how much BS I'll personally put up with ... so off the list he goes again.
No, I haven't written a blog post in more than a year, and I've only written about five posts since 2011. Basically updates to the Chicago situation.

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Dragline
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Re: Living Stingy post on ERE

Post by Dragline » Thu Oct 15, 2015 2:57 pm

IlliniDave wrote:He just makes his point with all the grace and dignity of a butthurt adolescent.
I can't stop chuckling every time I read this. Think I will copy it into my journal for future use. :lol:

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Re: Living Stingy post on ERE

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Thu Oct 15, 2015 3:42 pm

I like it. Makes me feel like I have the power of invisibility or a little secret niche below the grid.

jim234
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Re: Living Stingy post on ERE

Post by jim234 » Sun Oct 18, 2015 10:15 am

He says he can't go below 25k, haha.
I live on 14k and have a car and housing (both paid for).

I guess he likes being someone's slave.

ffj
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Re: Living Stingy post on ERE

Post by ffj » Sun Oct 18, 2015 11:24 am

Yeah, that was a very lazy article and full of cheap shots. Discredits anything else he may of written. The dude isn't even remotely interested in learning the truth behind what we do or how it is accomplished.

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Re: Living Stingy post on ERE

Post by Ydobon » Mon Oct 19, 2015 2:28 am

jim234 wrote:He says he can't go below 25k, haha.
I live on 14k and have a car and housing (both paid for).

I guess he likes being someone's slave.
What would your total annual costs be if you had a similar house and they weren't owned outright? Maybe 20k all in? It's not so very different from the total this blogger is listing. Then again, you have already put in the hard yards by paying off your house and car :)

I am in awe of someone who can live on $7k. I think that would be possible in the UK if you shared a room somewhere very urban, used the bus or walked to work and spent no more than £50-75 a month on food (which would pretty much guarantee a vegetarian diet (nothing wrong with that). I personally could not tolerate that level of frugality.

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Re: Living Stingy post on ERE

Post by JamesR » Mon Oct 19, 2015 3:00 am

Maybe more of us should start by going straight to the bare minimum Jacobsian lifestyle, then add on extras afterwards to eliminate the frugality pain points. :P

(I say this while being sort of hypocritical, I don't have enough energy to work full-time and also deal with sub-$100/mo food at the same time)

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Re: Living Stingy post on ERE

Post by jacob » Mon Oct 19, 2015 10:36 am

JamesR wrote:Maybe more of us should start by going straight to the bare minimum Jacobsian lifestyle, ...
The bare minimum lifestyle is just a starting point for those with noob ERE skills. Shouldn't take more than 1-2 years of serious effort to build up the skills and assets to graduate from that level. As you get wealthier, you can leverage your skills more and thus put in less/rarer effort for the same absolute return. I left the minimum level 10+ years ago. The more you know, the less you need to spend. I've just kept spending constant.

See, viewtopic.php?p=99322#p99322

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Re: Living Stingy post on ERE

Post by Nyioves » Mon Jun 06, 2016 9:09 am

I think some of the math questions need to addressed with actual numbers and itemized detail lines for the budget.

You can't just dismiss it as personal incredulity blah blah. That is like saying: I've laid every playboy playmate since 1989 without setting foot in the playboy mansion. Don't believe me? Well that is personal incredulity complex.

The housing number sounds too vague and food number too low. I agree with the other poster -- it is not enough just to list what you rent an RV lot for, as your housing costs alone. Is it a new RV and was it paid for out of your nest egg? If so then depreciation needs to be taken into account since those depreciate more like a car -- therefore not a real asset -- and not like a house. Further, what about maintenance ? Esp. applicable if an old RV.

Further, I think Rob at LS is right on the money. He goes through the math. And makes the case that 7000 bucks / year is very difficult to pull off. Also, the fact that your spouse works so your half is 7000 but you double it to make it 14000 is baloney. There are plenty of housewives around who live on someone else's income -- or could if it ever came down to it. That is not retired. It would not be the same as having a roommate. Your roommate could and would kick you out. Your wife would most likely just support you.

While his 25000/year budget maybe off the mark -- he challenges and makes a good case for -- the BS with 7000 a year. And that is the point. Not his level of frugality vs. yours. Theoretically it is possible but why bother? Your strawman arguments are just specious at best. I don't see it as a strawman. Why not just live off welfare at that point? What would be the point of saving for the nest egg then?

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jennypenny
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Re: Living Stingy post on ERE

Post by jennypenny » Mon Jun 06, 2016 9:19 am

Go through some of the journals if you want to see proof of concept. Jacob isn't the only one living at that level. You'll also notice that there are almost as many ways of living very comfortably at that level as there are forumites who do so.

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Re: Living Stingy post on ERE

Post by inchicago » Mon Jun 06, 2016 10:55 am

I just quickly reviewed this guy's article. I'll read it in depth later, but the first couple of paragraphs were so insulting to Jacob. I for one appreciate the fact that Jacob took the time to write his book and make it available. It's not like he made a fortune from it and I wouldn't care if he did, since it was his time that he used to create it.

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