Motivation in the face of opposistion.
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    Default Motivation in the face of opposistion.

    We are bombarded on a daily basis by the media, friends, acquaintances, and others to spend, spend, spend. What has kept you motivated to buck the trend to consume and stay on the frugal path?

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    Quote Originally Posted by beepete View Post
    We are bombarded on a daily basis by the media, friends, acquaintances, and others to spend, spend, spend. What has kept you motivated to buck the trend to consume and stay on the frugal path?
    The freedom I have gained by living a more simple and minimalist lifestyle far outweighs any temptation I may have to purchase something. The media does not entice me to buy because I avoid television ( don't own one) and listen to public radio or internet radio with minor advertisments. As for friends and acquaintances... they know what my lifestyle choice is and understand that I do not wish to buy things that I do not actually need.

    While there are some wants that I have, those are weighed carefully and never purchased on impulse. They must be something I will use on a regular basis that will add value to my life. Not just something bought on a whim.

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    Super Moderator Spirit Deer's Avatar
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    I think it's a lot of practice. After sticking with frugal habits for a long time, they become second nature and don't require thought. It used to be more necessary for us, but these days I love the challenge of seeing how we can get what we want and need for the lowest cost possible. I've gotten really good at creative repurposing, meaning I make a lot of stuff instead of buying it, often from things that were never meant to be used the way I use them. That's the lifestyle we have, developed over decades. Basically when we find something we want or need, sometimes we just buy it. More often, we figure out if we have something similar already that we can use, or whether we could make it cheaper, if we can comfortably do without it, how we can get it free (without cheating someone else, which isn't frugal, it's just cheap and tacky), or whatever is the best choice for us.

    We've discovered salvaging at our local solid waste transfer station lately. We've always done it in an incidental way, but this year it's been more purposeful. We discovered the construction debris pile and gotten a ton of lumber which we've reused, including 2/3 of the new floor in our greenhouse. Salvaging the composite decking (the brown stuff) saved us about $250 over buying all new decking.


    Here's the shelving we put into our garage over the weekend. The only cost was for the screws to hold it together because we used all salvaged lumber for the 2x4 framing, and scrap OSB for the shelves. The file cabinet is one we've had and intended to get rid of. It's been sitting in the garage for at least a year, waiting for us to make a decision how to get rid of it. But as luck would have it, it was still there when we realized we needed a good way to store extension cords and other tools. So we put it to work in the garage and we're happy we procrastinated about getting rid of it, because by repurposing it, now we don't have to buy or build something else. That's another example of how we repurpose things for uses they weren't meant for.


    We also salvage stuff to use as is. I recently picked up this great 1930's double washtub to use in the greenhouse to mix soil and fill pots. The aluminum grates I use to set pots (not shown) on was salvaged from the appliance area at our waste station and the washtubs came from the recyclable metal area. Our county allows us to legally salvage there. I might get around to paint this someday but it doesn't offend me the way it is.


    I also salvaged this sink and faucet because I'm currently building a large potting cabinet with sink. I'm not using salvaged lumber for that, but I am using damaged lumber that was very deeply discounted. I have a different sink salvaged from a plumber's trash (with permission) so didn't need the sink in the pic.

    I removed the faucet and made this table garden from the stainless steel sink. I have radishes growing in it now.


    The whole thing has become a game to me by now. I love finding a great deal, and free is the most fun of all. Education is key in us not feeling deprived, in that I've had to learn to DIY a lot of stuff. It's pretty easy now with the internet to learn to DIY things. When I started down the path of becoming an autodidact, a lot of it was learning to DIY through trial and error or learning through library books. But since, generally speaking, labor is 2/3 or more of the cost of a project, it literally pays to learn to DIY. And the more money you save by learning to rely on yourself, the more you can spend on things you can't DIY and the less deprived you feel.

    As for feeling bombarded, we've never felt that way. I'm not sure why, except I guess we knew what our goals were and they didn't involve others. If someone else tried to tell us what we should spend our money on, we just ignored it. That includes people who write ads. We couldn't care less what acquaintances think. Real friends never criticized our choices, but supported us. Most of them had similar goals and that probably helped. We've never cared what the neighbors were spending their money on or what their lifestyle was. We never felt the need to compete. All of that made it easy to stay frugal. But it does take practice.

    For us, living frugal does not mean doing without. It means finding ways to get what we need without paying retail any more than we have to.

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    I am not tempted by most new stuff. I walk in a dept. store and to me, the clothes look ugly and no variety. I am used to shopping at thrift stores and paying thrift store prices.

    A car is just to get you around - don't care what it looks like, I am not trying to impress anyone with it.

    My free time is worth more to me than any "thing" I could buy. By keeping my expenses low, I don't need a "real" job and so I have more free time.
    Make America Kind Again.

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    What keeps me motivated?
    1.) FREEDOM!!!!!!!!!! Nothing is worth throwing my money away on as that means less freedom for me. My nephew got a new mustang...beautiful car but I just think about how many hours of his life will be spent on that car. As he is making payments on it for the next 6 years. I drive a 17 year old car and gets me where I need to go, I am happy with it.
    2.) I purposely purchased a home in a neighborhood of which my neighbors make considerably less money than me. They live below their means and they have taught me tricks on how to do so.
    3.) I don't own a television and thus am not bombarded. I subscribe to only a couple magazines.
    4.) I ignore my coworkers and relatives as they spend spend spend and encourage me to do likewise as I know they are not debt free, they all have multiple mortgages, they work 2nd and 3rd jobs and still complain about their bills.
    5.) The last time I walked into a department store I almost choked at the prices!! I have shopped at my local thrifty so long and you get a large brown bag full of clothes for $5.00.
    Blessed and Highly Favored!!!!
    From $78K in debt to debt free and purchased a house and used car with 100% cash...God is sooo Good!!!

    Goals:
    New to me vehicle

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    Quote Originally Posted by josantoro View Post
    I am not tempted by most new stuff. I walk in a dept. store and to me, the clothes look ugly and no variety. I am used to shopping at thrift stores and paying thrift store prices.

    A car is just to get you around - don't care what it looks like, I am not trying to impress anyone with it.

    My free time is worth more to me than any "thing" I could buy. By keeping my expenses low, I don't need a "real" job and so I have more free time.
    Yes! Yes! Yes! I soooo agree!!!
    Blessed and Highly Favored!!!!
    From $78K in debt to debt free and purchased a house and used car with 100% cash...God is sooo Good!!!

    Goals:
    New to me vehicle

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    I have always had to accept that I can't have everything I want. I find it difficult sometimes because a lot of people I'm around earn a lot more money than I do but I remind myself that I have so many wonderful things in my life including a loving family and partner, and my thrifty ways mean I live pretty well considering my low income. I live in one of the nicest parts of London for very cheap rent (still don't know how we did that) so I don't really miss out.
    I love being thrifty and comparing how much cheaper I can get things for!

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    Super Moderator Spirit Deer's Avatar
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    Almost everyone has to accept at some point there are things we can't have. I've almost always been able to find or make or otherwise acquire the things we needed and wanted. I guess that's the art of compromise.

    We used to get brand new company cars at no cost to us, which we were allowed to use for personal use too, whenever they weren't needed for the job. We never liked those any better than the used cars we always owned ourselves, although it was very nice to have a car for which we rarely even had to pay for gas let alone insurance or any other car expense. Husby drove the worst car in the lot at his work (different job) for years and got teased about it by coworkers. It never bothered him. His commute was short and it didn't make any financial sense to take on a car loan or even pay cash for a different car, no matter how much of a rust-bucket our paid-for car became, just to drive back and forth a couple of miles.

    When we moved up here, we bought one of the worst houses in the whole town. It was far from our first choice, but the price was right and it was big enough for our family of seven. We charged it on a credit card. Buying a really crappy house allowed us to get our kids out of the urban environment that was deteriorating, and the downgrade was well worth it because we got in return a much safer, more free environment for our kids to grow up in.

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    I am not, strictly speaking, following the principles of simple living. But I think I am closer to simple living than the consumer culture that seems to be common now.

    I have kind of opted out of popular culture. I have cultivated the fine art of not giving a damn about what is in right now. Occasionally something I like is actually popular, but most of the time it is not.

    Acceptance by family: I think there are two kinds of family members. One type is the unpleasable type. You will never be good enough. They will always find something to criticize. In that case, you might as well just live your life how you want. The other type is the family that will love you no matter what. In that case you can just live your life how you want.

    Okay, maybe there are other types of family out there too. Well there is also the type who will accept you, but only if you live your life exactly how they want. In my mind this is the same as the unpleasable type unless you want to completely deny who you are as person to make them happy.

    Hmm…I think the family I was born into is a bit dysfunctional, so maybe my advice is bad…..

    Acceptance by friends: Okay even my friends think I am a bit eccentric. Probably because I am a bit eccentric. There is some occasional light teasing, but nothing mean spirited. But there is reciprocal respect. In return for their acceptance, I do not give them a hard time about their values or stuff they like. And I do not try to preach my values to them.

    But you have to find friends that you have something in common with. It is real awkward when they spend the whole conversation talking about shows you do not watch. So find people you share a hobby or interest with so you have something to talk about.

    And the last point: Accept being different. Accept that you have chosen not to be a social conformist. Embrace that you are eccentric, independent minded, cultural creative, free thinking or whatever terms you would like to use. And that is not a bad thing to be. But refrain from criticizing the social conformist. There is room for us all to live side by side.
    KathyB

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    I enjoy many of the simple ways of life. I enjoy getting the most for my money.
    I am certainly not a minimalist. Because we have been good stewards of our money, we are debt free & we both were able to leave our high stress jobs early. We both have chosen to work less stressful part time jobs, though we would not have to. My "hobby" is getting the most for our money, whether that is buying used, buying on sale, using coupons, repairing/repurposing or doing without. So I guess the answer to your question is I don't really care about the media or other people. I will do what I want & be happy with my choice.

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    Somehow I was endowed with the gene that cause me to want to "make" stuff instead of "have" stuff. I like the process of making things or doing things instead of acquiring them. So for example I like to make bread or sew clothes or grow vegetables instead of shopping at the grocery or clothing store or going out to eat. My days are filled with "making" or "doing" instead of buying or consuming.

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