It takes courage to be a cheapo

@scheng1 (24812)
Singapore
April 8, 2017 7:52am CST
When I read Early Retirement Extreme written by Jacob Lund Fisker, it sure changes a lot of my perspective about income. I have never ever thought that anyone can save 90% of his income. It just does not seem possible. However, after much research, I manage to get to know some who save 100% of their income. They did not manage so much for the first few years of their working lives, but they saved up and invested about half their income. After a few years, they could live off their investments, and save 100% of their income. Many are already retired in their 40s. They did have the advantage of starting young. Some are known personally to me, and since they are not working, they have no qualm about going round town in T-shirts and shorts, and have lunch with their ex-colleagues who are in office attire. It sure takes a lot of courage to do that. Some will envy you. Some will label you a cheapo, and some think that you are crazy. I just do not think I have the courage to do that, though I am known for my frugality, and I do save more than half my income.
4 people like this
7 responses
@BarBaraPrz (19370)
• St. Catharines, Ontario
8 Apr 17
It's all a matter of priorities, isn't it? Do we really need to keep up with the "Jones" and do and buy everything everyone else does or do our own thing? One person might need to buy new clothes every week where another is happy with what they have and only buy when absolutely necessary. That doesn't mean they're cheap, just happy with what they already have.
4 people like this
@scheng1 (24812)
• Singapore
8 Apr 17
If a person wants to save more than half his income, it is not a matter of just not keeping up with the Jonses. It cuts deeper than that. That means cut out all gift giving for birthdays, Christmas and other events. It also means not going out socially with colleagues for movies, meals and whatever else that they have to spend money with. That is how the label "cheapo" comes from. It takes a lot of courage to tell people that you do not give gifts for anything, nor accept any gift. I have done that, and I can say that it is not easy to face the peer pressure in the office. That was the time when I saved about 70% of my income. On hindsight, I wish that I had the courage to start much, much earlier in life.
1 person likes this
@BarBaraPrz (19370)
• St. Catharines, Ontario
8 Apr 17
@scheng1 Actually, that's being a miser. Giving gifts doesn't need to involve money.
1 person likes this
@scheng1 (24812)
• Singapore
8 Apr 17
@BarBaraPrz Gift giving in office is different. It involves money, and there is a lot of competition. Staff will compare the gifts given by bosses, and they will spread the gossip about that. Some people will display the gifts on their desks to show that they are popular. That is the part of office life I hate very much. Close friends and relatives will not do that, but office politics is a killer.
@sol_cee (14333)
• Saint Vincent And The Grenadines
8 Apr 17
I envy those who can actually say no to unnecessary shopping.
2 people like this
@scheng1 (24812)
• Singapore
8 Apr 17
Yes, I agree, especially when you have to cut out all the gift-giving, and reject all the wedding invitations from friends and colleagues whom you are not closed to.
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@sol_cee (14333)
• Saint Vincent And The Grenadines
8 Apr 17
@scheng1 oh no! Disaster! Lol
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@scheng1 (24812)
• Singapore
8 Apr 17
@sol_cee Actually not. Of course you have to attend to those who are closed to you, but not those from other departments, and not socially closed to you. Over here, one wedding reception that you attend could set you back by $100 at least. That depends on the location of the wedding reception. If it is just someone you see everyday, but not really that close to you, then there is no obligation to attend.
@Morleyhunt (19540)
• Canada
8 Apr 17
Too many people live beyond their means....don't understand the concept of saving. We all have a lot of toys we can do without. That coffee shop coffee costs a lot more than having a coffee at home. One meal in a restaurant will buy me groceries to eat really well for at least four days. I'm a cheapo. I'm not embarrassed about it.
2 people like this
@scheng1 (24812)
• Singapore
8 Apr 17
@Morleyhunt Even if they try to cut out the coffee shop coffee, and do not buy new phones, new clothes or whatever, it is still tough to save half the income. The only way is to cut further, and that means cut out all the gift-givings for Christmas, birthdays and other events. Cutting out on movies and eating out are necessary. I have tried it, and it really is not easy, but I was able to achieve a saving rate of 70% for that year. If I had the courage to continue to turn down invitations for house-warming, weddings and whatever else of those whom I was not closed to, I would have saved much, much more over the years. Most people just extend a blanket invitation to the whole company, and they do not expect all of us to attend. They are just afraid of offending someone whom they miss out, so they rather over-invite than just invite a select few.
2 people like this
@marlina (71254)
• Canada
8 Apr 17
It takes a lot of discipline to manage money wisely.
2 people like this
@paigea (21755)
• Canada
8 Apr 17
You are doing well to save half your income. I did always manage to live on less than I made and save some. But now that I am using those savings to supplement my part time earnings; I wish the savings were a bigger amount. They go down at an alarming rate! If I could live on less, I could quit work altogether I suppose, but I don't want to live on less.
1 person likes this
@scheng1 (24812)
• Singapore
8 Apr 17
@paigea I could live on much less, but I do not want to do so. I still want to go on overseas holiday with my family. Sharing experience is a good way to justify the extra spending, but buying material things is not.
@paigea (21755)
• Canada
8 Apr 17
@scheng1 I agree. You will never regret the trips you take. And if you are living while saving, that sounds like good balance for you and your family. I got to the point where I only have to work part time, and I quit full time work early since my husband was already retired. Most of us could work part time for a long time. If our savings are enough to let us do that, we have done pretty well. Have you ever read the book, Die Broke, ? I forget the author. It is written for American money management but I found the ideas thought provoking.
1 person likes this
@scheng1 (24812)
• Singapore
8 Apr 17
@paigea Somehow the most unforgettable ones are the ones when we traveled on a budget. Hard to forget the days when we had instant ramen on a road trip.
@Corbin5 (99913)
• United States
8 Apr 17
. I think starting early to save a great portion of one's income is wise. I think I started too late to amass a huge savings, but I am good with what I have saved.
1 person likes this
@scheng1 (24812)
• Singapore
9 Apr 17
@Corbin5 yes, it is good to start early, but young people are the ones who will have more difficulty in saving money. For one thing, they have to buy a whole wardrobe of working clothes, shoes and bags. They have to spend money on building relationship, and that means to give birthday gifts to as many people as possible in the company, on top of the usual Christmas gifts or whatever. Their salary start at the bottom, so after deducting all the expenses, and all the money for socializing, and building relationship, plus attending courses and seminars, I do not think they have much money left.
1 person likes this
@sugartoes (39261)
• Greencastle, Indiana
8 Apr 17
I was trying to get my husband to do that before he retired but it went in one ear & out the other & when he retired he didn't have a pot to P in or a window to throw it out of & regrets not listening to me.
1 person likes this
@scheng1 (24812)
• Singapore
8 Apr 17
He will grow more and more bitter as he aged. Instead of blaming himself for not saving, he will blame the government, the society, the rich and whoever else he wants. Such persons are plain stupid in that they fail to admit their own mistakes.