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  1. #41
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    Mar. 12, 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by potteryshop View Post
    Two thoughts for doubters:

    1 - If you have something you could pay off today, but don't choose to because you keep the money in investments - Would you borrow the money just to buy that something if you didn't have it already?

    and

    2 - Why do you buy something you do not need with money you don't have to impress people you don't care about?

    When being debt free is more important than impressing others, you'll get there. It does feel good to enjoy money you did not have to borrow.
    You sound just like someone I know of with the initials DR.



  2. #42
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    Jul. 31, 2007
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    You have a point, Perfect Pony. Part of being debt-free is knowing how to be poor. It's a skill. It's also a way of constructing your identity.

    What I see in these responses is the sense that we are ok with or without money and the stuff bought with it. The poster early on in this thread who noted that she caught flak for living modestly is right on. You have to take pride in your lack of debt... even if no one else knows about it.
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat



  3. #43
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    May. 12, 2000
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    NE TN, USA
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    Quote Originally Posted by JER View Post
    ...While it's easy to scold people for not living within their means, let's not forget that millions of Americans were victimized by various forms of fraud perpetrated by banks and financial entities that operated -- and continue to operate -- as Teflon casinos.
    That's passing off the responsibility. The whole time this was going on, the personal finance magazines, Fox Business News, Bloomberg Information TV, Wall Street Journal, Investors Business Daily, et. al., et. al, et. al. wereconstantly warning people of the risks of these loans. But the suckers chose to sit slack-jawed and glassy-eyed in front of their boob-toobs slurping up the swill the mainstream media was feeding them.
    “There are two ways to conquer and enslave a nation. One is by the sword. The other is by debt.”
    John Adams


    2 members found this post helpful.

  4. #44
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    Jan. 3, 2008
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    Tennessee
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    249

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    halo,
    nope. But I like DR already.



  5. #45
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    Jul. 31, 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank B View Post
    That's passing off the responsibility. The whole time this was going on, the personal finance magazines, Fox Business News, Bloomberg Information TV, Wall Street Journal, Investors Business Daily, et. al., et. al, et. al. wereconstantly warning people of the risks of these loans. But the suckers chose to sit slack-jawed and glassy-eyed in front of their boob-toobs slurping up the swill the mainstream media was feeding them.
    Sorry for the side-track, but "passing off he responsibility" as though borrowers had 100% of that, and banks who supported "liar loans" because they knew they could sell those had none?

    Or folks who decided they didn't want to fund public education via adequate property tax rates didn't play a part? I think many with kids buy more house than they need in order to get into a well-funded school district. Given the cost of private school tuition, I'll bet that some of those people are buying the consumer good of primary education the cheapest way they know how.
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat



  6. #46
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    Feb. 22, 2000
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    passepartout
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank B View Post
    That's passing off the responsibility. The whole time this was going on, the personal finance magazines, Fox Business News, Bloomberg Information TV, Wall Street Journal, Investors Business Daily, et. al., et. al, et. al. wereconstantly warning people of the risks of these loans. But the suckers chose to sit slack-jawed and glassy-eyed in front of their boob-toobs slurping up the swill the mainstream media was feeding them.
    This is exactly what the banksters/financial sector would like you to believe. Anything to keep the focus off their crimes (and the sad truth that the criminal behaviour has not been reined in), not that the DOJ made much of an attempt to go after them.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  7. #47
    Join Date
    Jan. 6, 2001
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    Washington State
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    Thank you for this topic. It is timely, given what day it is (Thanksgiving) and what day tomorrow is (black Friday). I had a great time at the Thanksgiving gathering looking through all the ads for things I don't need. I won't buy most of it, but just looking served the purpose of consumer elation. lol But I also put together a list of horse things on Dover yesterday...and I don't need one of the items...so I won't be buying it.

    I am not debt-free, but am working toward it. Will have the mortgage paid off in another 2 years MOL and that's the only outstanding debt. Originally, the focus was to get the place paid off so I could get rid of the manufactured home I live in and build a modest stick-built home immediately. As I get closer and realize what it will cost to build the new home, I'm seriously considering just putting the extra mortgage payment into savings after the place it paid off until I can pay for the new home in cash. I don't like the idea of having a mortgage after having worked so hard to pay this one off.



  8. #48
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    Oct. 4, 2003
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    Hurdle Mills, NC
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    I'm 66 and debt-free. Yes, luck has had a lot to do with it-- both good and bad, though, so maybe that end's a wash. I own my farm free and clear, also a car (1990 Honda hatchback), truck (2000 Ram 3500), trailer (Gore 4 horse, 1989), 2 tractors.... I also have a modest IRA. Monthly income from boarding and training horses + Social Security + medicare covers basic expenses, but repairs, emergencies, the blah-blah of life, frequently mean I must cut into my IRA. My dream is to keep my expenses low enough not to outlive my IRA so I can leave it and my farm to loved ones interested in keeping the farm going after my demise. I feel fortunate that such a dream is a possibility for me. I don't know how (or if) I'd cope with having to sell the farm to stay alive myself and am very glad I have both enough fitness for work + IRA to keep that kind of decision at bay at least for a while.

    I've always hated debt. I've borrowed for education, house and farm, and medical emergencies-- that's it, but I know all too well that that's been enough to drive many less fortunate Americans into bankruptcy.

    I still feel it (bankruptcy) can happen to any of us at any time-- except, maybe, for the super rich/ top 1%....


    1 members found this post helpful.

  9. #49
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    Jan. 27, 2003
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    CA
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    I'm surprised people are upset with Perfect Pony. She's not out of line in what she's saying. Some people have had easier starts into being debt-free. Others have really had to struggle to get there. Luck can play into it for some. If you live in an area where you can get a starter home for $150k rather than $400k, you will probably have an easier go of it.

    I am close to debt-free ( just my very modest car that I could pay off tomorrow if I wanted. But, I don't own a home and most likely never will unless I move from th "paradise" that I live in. Salaries are low, home prices are high. So be it. I also won't listen to someone tell me I can afford a $2500/month mortgage. After years of debt, I like my simple life style where I know I have savings for emergencies and small splurges every so often. I never want to experience the kind of debt I was in before. I never did have creditors calling, but the stress of trying to keep up with all the payments was awful.

    Being debt- free-isn is wonderfully freeing.
    Keith: "Now...let's do something normal fathers and daughters do."
    Veronica: "Buy me a pony?"


    1 members found this post helpful.

  10. #50
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    Nov. 5, 2002
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    way out west
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    I'm debt free, but paid a high price to get there. Nothing like cancer to give you the reality check and kick in the butt to get your financial house in order. When my late husband was diagnosed at age 43 we fortunately had already purchased life insurance and had great health insurance through his company. Then we proceeded to sell one house and buy a different, much less expensive house, for cash. One that was smaller, more manageable, and one I could live in alone after he passed. Now I have no mortgage, no car payment, no credit card debt (although I still use cards -- just pay them off each month). It's peace of mind for sure. I don't think that qualifies as luck, though. Bad luck mixed with the good foresight to have insurance.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  11. #51
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    Nov. 13, 2009
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    There is good debt and bad debt. It is good to become comfortable with good debt. It is not always straightforward. Racking up credit card debt that you can't pay off each month is bad. Student loan debt is (generally) good debt because it is what permits you to get a job and support yourself. It is not practical or even smart to always wait and save to buy things. If I had waited until I could afford to pay cash for law school...well, I would still be living with my parents. Instead, I'm a lawyer, paying off my debts in a timely fashion and living comfortably in a mortgaged home. We don't live extravagantly at all, but sometimes moving forward in life makes the responsible use of debt prudent.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  12. #52
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    Jul. 14, 2008
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    Carrollton, Ga
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    Quote Originally Posted by SmartAlex View Post
    I often think abou the amount of money I "waste" on unnecessary stuff, and I'm sure I'm pretty low on the curve... when I don't go to the gym enough to justify my membership, or if we don't call family enough to justify the cell phone... the Ancestry.com...the Netflix...the Sirius XM... the occasional Starbucks.

    The trendy American lifestyle makes you think you need all this stuff that ends up costing you hundreds of dollars a year. If not thousands. Back in the 70s-80s we didn't "need" this stuff. We didn't have any idea what we were missing out on either.

    I mean, I wouldn't even consider going away for the weekend anymore without a smartphone, an updated Garmin, and satellite radio. Because dang, what would happen if I had to check my emails, ask directions to a restaurant, or station surf?

    I agree! I am currently saving for a new horse and am amazed at how much I have wasted on junk! I have become very stingy and have built a nice savings towards a new pony. My husband and I are about 2 1/2-3 years from being debt free, with the exception of our mortgage, and I told him that after I pruchase the horse, we will keep going and may be out of debt sooner.



  13. #53
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    Feb. 20, 2010
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    All 'round Canadia
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    Quote Originally Posted by Perfect Pony View Post
    And they own a home in an area where the average home price is several hundred thousand dollars?

    I suppose I should also say debt free and actually own a home, a decent car, have a college degree.
    I should note that this was in response to a poster who knows people debt-free in their 20's.

    So is that the standard now? Own a home, a nice car? Otherwise you're just fake-debt-free?
    I didn't own a house in my 20's. I rented and then I owned a tiny apartment, because that was living within my means. I drove a very used but serviceable car - again, within my means. I was super excited when I could first afford to move up to IKEA furniture. I was debt-free (other than the eventual mortgage for tiny apartment, which I was able to pay off in time).

    This really goes to the core of the issue. The goalposts keep shifting. Do they own a home? A house or an apartment? Well, is it in an area where the average home price is several hundred thousand dollars, because otherwise it obviously doesn't count. Do they have a car? Is it a nice car?

    My parents didn't buy their first house until they were in their mid-40's and managed to save enough for a good down payment. They rented until then - and they considered themselves stable and debt-free. They drove used cars, and I don't mean the off-lease, 2 or 3 year old ones either. They were and are debt-free, living within their means; today this does include a free-standing house with the mortgage paid off. Still old cars though.

    I totally agree that luck, especially of the "major health disaster" sort, plays a role. That can wipe out even very substantial savings and make a person unable to work; of course it plays a role. So do wealthy parents who are willing to bankroll a child's education, car, home, etc.
    But a lot of it is simply not living within one's means. We can see this even on this board, with people taking on more horses than they can afford on their paycheck to paycheck lifestyle, and when things go sour some posters chime in with "here but for the grace of God go I"...uhhh, no, I don't think so. Grace of God had nothing to do with that clusterf***. Your means might be owning a small apartment and an old car, maybe part-leasing instead of owning a horse; you're not somehow entitled to a house and a "nice" car.



  14. #54
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    Dec. 10, 2001
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    PA
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    This thread warm my Frugal little heart. I always feel like I'm the odd man out most places.

    What does it feel like? Peace of mind, empowerment, and it gives you freedom to explore any possibility.

    Do it. You won't regret it.
    OLD FRIENDS FARM-Equine Retirement-We LOVE Seniors!! Spoiling Retirees since 1998
    http://www.angelfire.com/oldfriendsfarm/home.html
    Charter Member of UYA!


    3 members found this post helpful.

  15. #55
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    Nov. 13, 2009
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    Pssst...for those pushing renting instead of buying and mortgaging a home: please note that rent payments are gone forever. Payments on a home mortgage build your credit, at least theoretically build equity (so long as real estate prices hold steady or do not decline drastically and stay down), and result in tax benefits.

    The most "wasted" money I think I ever spent was the $2,000/month for a little apartment in Chicago that was next to a YMCA (the kind people actually lived in), had terrifying elevators, ancient appliances, and kind of a gross smell. And it was right on an El line, which was both convenient and loud. I spend far less than $2,000/mo. on my mortgage (cheaper city), plus I'm building equity instead of throwing money away on rent each month.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  16. #56
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    Oct. 21, 2003
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coanteen View Post
    So is that the standard now? Own a home, a nice car? Otherwise you're just fake-debt-free?
    You totally misunderstand my entire point. The question is, what does it FEEL like. Well there are a hundred ways to be debt free, from being unemployed and dirt poor, to having amassed great wealth. That certainly FEELS different, no? There is a big difference between someone who owes nothing, and also owns nothing, to someone who has a paid off home, car, education.

    How does it feel to be spending thousands a month renting (yet be debt free), or spending half that amount every month paying a mortgage, but technically have that debt?


    4 members found this post helpful.

  17. #57
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    Dec. 10, 2004
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    Canada
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    I can tell you that the value in renting is kind of hidden. My H and I rented the first year of our marriage, saved our down payment and then bought after a year. The reason we rented was because we didn't want to have to deal with any crazy house things when we were just starting our lives together. We rented a townhouse, perfect for the two of us. When something went wrong, we called the landlord and no money came out of our savings account to pay for the fix. That is the nice thing. It allowed us to save the money for the down payment for the house by not having to worry about having that house contingency fund at that time. It was a little bit of piece of mind.

    It's also nice to rent if you don't know where you are going to land permanently. Especially in this market where it's not very easy to sell these days. If you are going to be moving around a lot, renting can be very handy.


    3 members found this post helpful.

  18. #58
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    Jan. 27, 2003
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    I don't think a anyone said renting is better, ( although PP does seem to think she's a bit better than some of us because she owns)...but the point really is living within your means. My means, and the city I live in, means that I will be renting fr the foreseeable future. So what? I do it and I appreciate te freedom of calling he landlord and making him fix things...and I don't have to worry about finding time for yard maintainence. I can barely keep the inside of my house clean on my schedule, add te outside and it would be all over.

    I have enough for a modest down payment, and in some areas, I would be looking for a starter home, and maybe would be in my area if I was married and the was a second income, but it's just me and my one income, so I live within those parameters. Maybe I will move some day where housing is more affordable and salaries are more in line with cost of living ( when you factor those two things in, my town becomes an expensive pace to live...it may be "the happiest place" but we ave our struggles). I could move to the bay area, make thousands more a month at the same job, but the thought of living up there makes me nauseous.

    So rant aside, people shouldn't be judging how others are living debt-free, but rather celebrating each person making te choices to live responsibly within their means and not falling prey to society telling they "deserve" this or "need" that.
    Keith: "Now...let's do something normal fathers and daughters do."
    Veronica: "Buy me a pony?"


    7 members found this post helpful.

  19. #59
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    Jan. 23, 2000
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    Virginia
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    You totally misunderstand my entire point. The question is, what does it FEEL like. Well there are a hundred ways to be debt free, from being unemployed and dirt poor, to having amassed great wealth. That certainly FEELS different, no? There is a big difference between someone who owes nothing, and also owns nothing, to someone who has a paid off home, car, education.
    But it isn't any less debt free to be debt free at twenty or thirty as it is at sixty. Of course, it's not practical for everyone, and it's easier in some places than others. I would say that when I was twenty, and had no debt but didn't own anything beyond my car, I felt reasonably comfortable financially because I lived within my means.

    Of course, that isn't enough, is it? Because I didn't own a "several hundred thousand dollar" house?

    I would imagine that the question here seems to be mostly around the concept of solvency - not the dirt poor, of course, but I reject the notion that it's somehow impossible or at least difficult to be under the age of sixty and to have a paid off mortgage and no credit card debt, and yes, to have a decent car and an education, even without family assistance. And I really don't get the thought that managing that is entirely luck. Partially luck, fine, but not entirely luck.

    I don't disagree with the notion that it was easier for previous generations. The inflation percentages on things like homes and educations have skyrocketed well past the average increase in wages. That makes it much harder.
    ---
    They're small hearts.



  20. #60
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    Jan. 23, 2000
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    So rant aside, people shouldn't be judging how others are living debt-free, but rather celebrating each person making te choices to live responsibly within their means and not falling prey to society telling they "deserve" this or "need" that.
    Can I like this part specifically?
    ---
    They're small hearts.


    4 members found this post helpful.

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