Back to Back Issues Page
5Frugal Retiring News, Issue 77, September 2015
September 22, 2015

What we call Fall in Arizona

What we call fall in the desert... Means not having any leaves to rake and burn.

These are called cactus barrel cacti and one of my favorites.

Instead of hearing lawnmowers, we are serenaded by the sound of freedom of F 35's flying in formation out of nearby Luke Air Force Base.

I never tire of hearing the noise of these lethal beauties... F 35 is a little bit louder than the F-16s, they are gradually replacing... I always crane my neck when they come over.

Believe it or not some people do complain about the noise but I not only don't mind it I embrace it... To think of the young men and women, in their late 20s early 30s flying around a multi-million-dollar air plane to keep us safe is a very welcome sound

Frugal Living Tip number One

A trip to the my favorite car repair place,BrakeMasters, this a.m. reminded me to be diligent even at a place that does not work on commission and usually treats me very fairly.

The old check engine light kept coming on... I purchased my own code checker for about $17 from Amazon so I can erase the codes... Anyway they said that I needed a new variable timing solenoid and they wanted $173 for the part.

Remember my old Lexus has 232,000 miles on the odometer.

I said thank you very much... Bid them goodbye and purchased the very same part for $39 an hour later, free shipping on eBay.

Go to YouTube and simply enter what you're trying to do, in this case, replace said solenoid and save the $80 in labor that Brakemasters wanted.

I have more time than money.

In checking for a car repair place always inquire if their technicians are on commission... I buy my tires at a place that does have technicians on commission as I wait for my new tires to be installed I see the techs coming in with various types of old oil and trying to sell expensive repairs...not to me they know better.

My heart goes out to the single moms that you see that try to get a hold of their husbands to see if they want the work done or not...

Mind you I made my living on commission as a commercial real estate broker 20 years ago... And being on commission only allowed us to retire well before most folks.

I called being solely on ducks, no dinner.

So just watch your P's and Q's when you take your car into the shop and don't hesitate to leave the shop if you feel that they are asking for you to pay for repairs that you don't understand or think are too expensive.

Frugal living tip number two

As I mentioned in our last newsletter we have purchased another RV and it seems like I am doing something on the RV every day.

Our particular RV is in good mechanical condition but has suffered from lack of use in the last 10 years and so there seems to be always something needing to be fixed.

We have gutted the interior and are planning on having the floors redone in a Pergo slate and a gray carpet.

The installation of same I will leave to the experts... But we have saved a lot of money by doing the demolition ourselves.

Again you can do a lot of maintenance items yourself by availing yourselves of the expertise available on YouTube... For instance we are replacing all the drawer slides around the driver and passenger seats ourselves... It is not that difficult, after you watch a pro on YouTube show how he or she does it.

Especially if you're not in a hurry... We plan no major trips until the spring which gives us the time to do a lot of things ourselves.

Frugal living tip number three

When you receive our next newsletter, we will be in the eternal city of Rome ready to get on a transatlantic cruise from Rome to Miami... 15 days for $799 a person.

I get a lot of inquiries on how to get these cheap deals... Everyone is different and every cruise line is different... The one source that I do use for fare comparison is Vacations to go...I have never used them to book a cruise.

Preferring to do it myself or lately I have been using a travel agent... I recommend using a lady by the name of Paula Lhotsky her number is 702-478-7480, she is a high energy person that is available almost 24 hours a day 7 days a week and responds very quickly... Tell her I told you to call if you decide to use her.

I don't understand why cruise lines do not give a discount to people that go direct but it's partly because travel agents can field a lot of questions that are very difficult or tiresome to answer... Such as where is the best location for your stateroom, will you get seasick, will there be a lot of kids or no kids... Etc., etc.

Frugal living tip number four

Another money saver when traveling is to use airlines that give you a break on baggage... I do not care that a lot of people call Southwest Airlines a cattle car their free baggage policy saves you tons of money...especially going on a long cruise.

In going to Europe for our cruise we are using our United frequent flyer miles, and they will give you one bag apiece, free if you use the United Explorer plus credit card.

Always be on the lookout for credit card deals that offer lots of free air miles if you spend so much money in the 1st 3 or 4 months... You can use the miles and there's nothing to say that you can cancel the card after your 1st years free dues is up.

I go to, for the latest promotions.

Note credit card debt is probably the number 1 killer of early retirement dreams, so using someone else's money for 30 days with no interest is a great deal only if you pay off the balance every single month.

In closing

Until next time, keep on being frugal and please share this site or this newsletter with your friends... That is the best way you can tell me that you enjoy the tips that you receive every month.

God bless,

Gary and Julie

Back to Back Issues Page