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Frugal Retiring News, Issue 56, Jnauary 2013
January 24, 2014

What will 2014 Bring?

I think this picture that we took from our cabin on a recent cruise sums up my feelings toward 2014.

Sometimes you don't know whether or not you're going or coming.

I don't know whether to laugh or to cry... I keep thinking that our economy must improve because it has been so bad for so long.

Whatever 2014 has in store for each one of us I think the last few years should teach us the importance of being self-reliant... No one cares about us and our families more than us and our families.

Here's a page on self reliance

Frugal tip number one

When we cruise, we like to share a table for breakfast and lunch...It gives us a chance to meet fellow passengers and try and spread the word about Our website.

I find I am often asked what is the number one tip I can give about living frugally.

Assuming that someone has no credit card debt... Something that can kill any retirement plans... I always mention the following.

Here is our best tip for saving money.

Now you may find it somewhat hypocritical to stress the importance of eating your meals at home while stuffing yourself on a cruise ship... But let me explain.

We like to spend the money that we do save on cruises, and that means dining out all the time when we're aboard... We enjoy eating just as much is anyone else.

But when we're home we follow that rule 95 to 98% of the time.

The benefits of eating at home are threefold.

It improves relationships...nothing like dinnertime conversation to communicate with your family.

It improves your health...You always know what you are consuming if you have prepared the food yourself... A restaurant is not meant to improve your health it is meant to provide a product that tastes good.

You also save money... If you make several meals out of one dish you can really save some money.

So there you have it... One tip that improves relationships, improves your health, and saves you money all rolled into one.

If you have not made a New Year's resolution yet, this might be a good place to start.

Frugal living tip number two

When you get on a cruise ship you will observe firsthand the number one reason that you should retire is soon as you can.

Here is our page on early retirement

Cruise ships are full of folks that have obvious health issues... You will see a fair number of walkers, canes, wheelchairs, oxygen bottles etc.

Some of these people are obviously very wealthy... But without your health having a net worth of several million dollars is only going to benefit lawyers accountants and the heirs.

When we do sit down to a meal with people our age, most are stunned that we have been retired for 20 years... They are either still working or just retired.

You have no guarantees on your health lasting forever.

Something to think about.

Now I don't want to scare people who have never taken a cruise to think that everyone is elderly... That's not true, but you can observe enough people in poor health to realize that you would not change places with them no matter how much they have in the bank.

Frugal living tip number three

This is not so much a tip but an observation.

Aren't you getting tired of seeing ads for lawyers promising to reduce your credit card debt, take care of your outstanding income tax deficiency, get you out of student loan debt, encouraging you to join them in lawsuits against giant corporations?

It all sounds so easy, and the ads show smiling people that have got out from underneath debt.

The only problem is, there never was and never will be a free lunch... Guess who is paying for those people to be rewarded for making bad decisions?

All of these situations are caused by people spending money that they do not have.

Guess who's going to pay for it in the end??

That's right, you and me.

We are penalized for showing personal responsibility in our personal finances by higher prices.

Repeat... There is no free lunch.

Excuse the rant, but these popular advertisements makes me sick.

Frugal living tip number four

We can see having to replace our 15-year-old car with 213,000 miles on the odometer in the near future.

If this is you as well you may want to review this page on car buying tips.

A reader wrote in recently to remind me that most depreciation takes place in the first 3 to 4 years... So buying a a good used car makes sense for a lot of us.

This is a personal decision, the only way to justify buying a new car is if you plan to keep it for a very long time... I cannot remember the last car that I replaced with less than 100,000 miles on the current car.

In closing

I appreciate the emails that I received... Especially those that saved a ton of money on their health insurance.

Do not forget refinancing...interest rates are on the rise but you can still save money.

Keep the emails coming, it keeps me going.

It is my hope that you have learned just one or two ways to which you can lower your expenses... If you have I would appreciate you sharing this newsletter with your friends and family and coworkers.

The gift of saving money, and learning the skills necessary to do so is a gift that keeps on giving.

Have a wonderful and frugal 2014.

Gary and Julie

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