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Frugal Fatigue Strikes Again


Frugal Fatigue Strikes AgainI’m having a Frugal Fatigue attack! Some of you may not be familiar with this deadly enemy of frugal folks so here is a short definition.

Frugal Fatigue: the feeling you get when you are worn down from being frugal for too long.  Basically, you’re thinking that being frugal sucks.

It seems like frugal fatigue rears its ugly head about once a year around the summertime for me. The last time I wrote about frugal fatigue was also in June. The sun is shining, school is out, my purse strings are looser, and I’m more liberal with the credit card. Could it be the nice weather? Anyway, it’s not good. Let’s see the symptoms of the Frugal Fatigue Syndrome.

  • The lust for new gadgets becomes overpowering.
  • You find yourself checking deal sites constantly. This is a terrible habit and it will only lead to spending money.
  • You are building a justification list to support your reason to buy something.
  • You find yourself browsing a store or walking around the mall in your free time. This is an even worse way to spend your time than watching TV. Even Mrs. RB40 is lusting after a new Dooney purse she recently saw at TJ MAXX.
  • You notice other people spending money. The malls are bustling. Parents at summer parades are spending $12 on bubble guns and $3 on yo-yos. It’s not even a real yo-yo, it’s just a ball at the end of an elastic line. If the Joneses are spending, why shouldn’t I spend too?
  • You find yourself swiping the credit cards more lately.
  • You are ignoring the budget or are having a hard time sticking to it.

Usually, it’s easy for me to be frugal, but recently I have been lusting after some new techs. It’s getting more and more difficult to resist the siren calls of these cool techs. I guess a big part of it is gadgets get outdated so quickly. Our gadgets are quite ancient so it’s easy to build a justification list.

Need New Techs…

Here are some techs that I’m drooling over. What do you think? Are they justifiable?

A new laptop – around $500 Mrs. RB40’s laptop was purchased in 2007. That’s ancient for a laptop especially when it was a budget model to begin with. I upgraded her CPU and RAM in 2009 and it helped a bit. I also replaced Window Vista with Windows 7 in 2012.

frugal fatigue strikes again

Even the upgraded CPU (Core Duo) is a dinosaur and it only has 2 GB of memory. Mrs. RB40 has been using this laptop to edit, browse the internet and catch up on her shows. Recently, ABC upgraded their site and now she can’t watch Castle, Modern Family or Scandal anymore, which doesn’t put her in a good mood. The graphic driver crashes and sometimes we get the blue screen of death (Windows crashes.) I reinstalled the driver and updated the flash player, but that didn’t seem to help.

It’s probably time to upgrade to a modern laptop at this point. I’m lusting after the newly released Haswell ultrabooks, but Mrs. RB40 will be very happy with a more affordable notebook. Retailers are clearing out their inventory for the new computers so there are a bunch of good deals now for around $400.

Point and shoot camera – $650

I have a DSLR camera and I’m very happy with the pictures I captured, but I’m tired of lugging the thing around town. Mrs. RB40 has a compact Canon S1000. This camera is the perfect size, but the image quality is pretty crappy. So I have been searching for a new point and shoot camera to replace the S1000 one. It should be relatively small with good picture quality. frugal fatigue sony rx100

Recently I found out about the Sony RX100. From what I read, the picture quality is great because it has a big sensor and a very nice Carl Zeiss lens. It’s not as good as a DSLR, but it blows all the other compact cameras away. I really want to get this because Mrs. RB40 takes a lot of pictures and we shouldn’t have to put up with crappy image quality. Our kid is only young once and we should have nicer pictures of him.OK, I want nicer pictures of him.

$650 is quite expensive though. I heard there will be a new version soon and the price should drop a bit. I’ll keep an eye on it for now.

Smart phone – $300 + $40 monthly plan?

I have been using a pay as you go Tracfone for years now. It works very well for calling, but now I’m ready to join the smart phone revolution.  Yes, I am a very late adopter. I really hate to add a new monthly bill though and a data plan isn’t cheap. I think an unlimited data plan starts at $35 and goes up quickly from there.

A smart phone would be very useful for me. It will enable me to keep tab of my sites while I’m out and about. I also would like a GPS to help me find my way around. Actually, I would be pretty happy with the ability to access Google Maps when I’m lost.

Last week, I read about Republic wireless on Mr. Mustache and this might be a good compromise for me. Their unlimited plan is only $20 per month. The Motorola Defy XT is a bit underwhelming from what I read though. It will still be a huge upgrade from my old phone so this might work out. This would cost $250 + $20/month.

Combat Frugal Fatigue

As you can see, it’s not easy being frugal. You have to have a plan to combat frugal fatigue once it hit. It’s probably time to give in and upgrade those outdated gadgets for us though. Here is my plan.

  • Laptop – This is probably the most urgent item, because I need Mrs. RB40 to be able to go over my posts when she’s home, and she can’t always use her regular desktop at work for editing. I’ll keep an eye out for good sales and get a nice upgrade for Mrs. RB40. Time frame – 1 to 4 months.
  • Sony RX100 camera – This isn’t a big priority so I can put this off for a little while. Maybe there will be a sale around Black Friday. Time frame – 8 to 12 months.
  • Smart phone – This is actually not a big priority for me either. I’ll see if I can get a phone from Republic wireless to review, but if not that’s okay. I really hate to get another monthly bill and I’ve survived without a smart phone so far. I’ll put this off until later. Time frame – after the two items above.

What do you think of my plan to combat frugal fatigue? Well, I guess it’s not really combating it as much as an orderly retreat… Delaying the purchase is still one of the best ways to avoid spending money. I might change my mind and stop lusting after these gadgets after a few months.

What do you do when frugal fatigue strikes? 

Happy Father’s Day everyone! Shameless advertisement below. 🙂

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Joe started Retire by 40 in 2010 to figure out how to retire early. He spent 16 years working in computer design and enjoyed the technical work immensely. However, the job became too stressful and Joe retired from his engineering career to become a stay-at-home dad/blogger at 38. Today, he blogs about financial independence, early retirement, investing, and living a frugal lifestyle.

Passive income is the key to early retirement. This year, Joe is increasing his investment in real estate with CrowdStreet. He can invest in projects across the U.S. and diversify his real estate portfolio. There are many interesting projects available so sign up and check them out.

Joe also highly recommends Personal Capital for DIY investors. He logs on to Personal Capital almost daily to check his cash flow and net worth. They have many useful tools that will help DIY investors analyze their portfolio and plan for retirement.

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{ 61 comments… add one }
  • Roger @ Dadverb July 30, 2013, 8:59 pm

    Hey Joe,
    Great post. We have Republic Wireless. It is not “frugal”, in my opinion, it is downright CHEAP!
    We have Motorola DEFY XT’s with an OLD version of Android (around 2.0, I think).
    Republic Wireless sucks. Avoid it. We will be going to Best Buy Mobile sometime soon to look at our options. We have been longtime Sprint customers, but may change providers.

  • Martin June 19, 2013, 8:13 pm

    this was funny to read. I have the exact same fatigues time to time too. The best way is to turn of the computer and avoid any shopping store around.

  • Tamara June 19, 2013, 6:52 am

    Here’s my two cents worth:
    1) Whatever laptop you buy will be obsolete in two years. How much do you want to spend for something you will need to replace in a few years, and every few years going foward?
    2) $650 is insane. We paid under $199 for our excellent Casio Exilim point and shoot. Check out my recent blog post on our trip to Hawaii – every photo displayed was taken with this camera.
    3) Add up the cost of the phone plus two years of service costs. Still worth it for the rest of your life for a little added convenience? Willing to save more money to support this ‘new’ lifestyle choice? I’m guessing another $20,000 saved should do it. ($20,000 x .04 withdrawal rate = $800, which assumes one phone that lasts 24 months, plus monthly fees.)
    Many people chase technology to the point of no return. If you are a frequent reader of MMM, then you know better. How many of the technology chasers that have already responded to your post are either already retired, or on track to retire soon?
    Something to think about perhaps.

  • Sharon June 19, 2013, 1:41 am

    I just came across your website and totally identify with what I am reading. Am hanging out for retirement. Have new interests and goals to pursue. I also got frugal fatigue just now and have bought a LOT of new toys, but I suppose that they will keep me going for a long while into regiment and I plan to start a frugal fatigue account to make that part of the budget. For years I have been living way under my means and saving hard to retire early so perhaps a blowout was inevitable sometime.

  • Oh man, I’m in the same boat as you about the camera. I got a DSLR but can really use a compact point and shoot camera with a bigger sensor that still has good image quality.

    The Sony RX100 definitely has best quality for compact camera but my gripe with it is that it starts at 28mm and does not have as wide angle as I like. And it’s more than twice the price of my next choice.

    My next choice is Canon S100. I skip S110 because I don’t find the new features attractive enough to justify the price increase, like the touch sensitive screen, etc. You can consider 🙂

  • Ryan June 16, 2013, 4:42 pm

    Hahaha…. I love it. Sometimes, you just need to splurge a little. Especially if you’ve been diligent in saving and frugal for the majority of your life. You deserve it…and what’s the point of living if you’re not enjoying it every now and then. As Dave Ramsey is famous for saying “live like no one else, so later you can live like no one else”
    So I’m going to go out on a limb and say………BUY EVERYTHING!!
    If you can afford it, buy it all. Save up, look for good deals, but then just pull the trigger and pay for it all in cash.
    Happy Wife = A Happy Life. So you should’ve had that new laptop like yesterday! 🙂
    These are DIRT CHEAP nowadays. But…you could go baller status and spring for a new MacBook too. hahahaha!

    Camera – there are SOOO many point and shoots around for much cheaper that are still good quality ones. I don’t know what the latest models are, but I got the Canon Powershot Elph 520HS last year and it takes GREAT pictures…GREAT video(in full 1020 HD also) ..and it’s small and compact. Ohh..and it also has 12x optical zoom. For an everyday camera to carry around…it works great! And as you already know…check out all the deal sites, Amazon, Ebay, etc…

    Smartphone – why not buy an unlocked phone outright and screw the monthly bills! Ebay has TONS of unlocked smart phones that you can get for a good deal. You may pay a little more for the phone upfront…but you’ll save on the monthly bills.
    The smartphone will help you stay connected to your blog, emails, etc…while on the road. BUT, it’s a decision you have to decide if you really NEED or not. Because if you are surviving and doing well without it now…then ask yourself, “how much will this device really improve my life?” or “will it make me become more distracted?..and is this what I want?”

    Either way…….sometimes you just need to enjoy the fruits of your frugality.
    Have fun and Happy Father’s Day!

    • retirebyforty June 16, 2013, 11:15 pm

      Heh heh, yeap I should have got her a laptop sooner. I’ll get right on it.

  • mayanqueen June 16, 2013, 4:15 pm

    A new computer for her, a must! ASAP.
    Keeping up with tech? That will never happen! Wanting Vs. Needing! Tech.? There will always be something that we want but do we need it? I wanted an Ipod, once I got it…I got bored and now I don’t even know where is at. I am glad it was a gift! I think the new generations are gonna have some type of neck, arthritis syndrome! For babyrb40 benefit and safety don’t get a smart phone. If you do you will never look at your baby’s eyes again.
    Just try to go to a movie theater and count all the couples that are waiting for the movie to start, nobody talks to each other anymore! They are all with their little devices having a thumb race.
    Why do I go spend that movie money? I enjoy holding my husband hand while watching a movie and to help the economy. It is fun, we eat dinner before to save.

    As I am driving people crossing the street walk with their heads down punching on their devices too. You need a GPS? No, you don’t. You still read maps, don’t you? You can also get directions before you get there. It is a bit sad. Did you know that many can only function with technology and can’t do simple computations as calculating interests rates without a calculator.
    Ok,Ok, a camera, yes you need a smaller one and maybe sell the old dinosaur one. If your wife needs a camera to watch TV shows, forget it. If she needs it to help you make money, yes by all means get it. We need more families that interact with each other, that watch shows together. Maybe she needs some hobbies, learn fun stuff. Take a jewelry class for example, cake decorating,learn how to lay tiles, yoga videos, sign language, become a public notary in one day…maybe she already did all that.

    While going on vacation nobody should have devices and just ck emails in case of an emergency. Having a simple phone is enough for me, no data plan. This Apple that I am using is almost ten years old, it works great! Mac is the way to go, it never crashes, no viruses!
    A boat? An RV? I say rent whenever you need one. Our neighbors have a boat parked and use it maybe three times a year. I only saw their RV gone twice this year. Remember Need Vs. Want.
    After all the yadah, yadah, I still don’t think that you should deprive of things that you need but don’t buy them if you just want them or because others have them.
    You can always buy them and if you find that you really don’t need them or the items are not what you expected then return them. Costco great place for returning no questions asked.
    Happy Father’s Day!

    • retirebyforty June 16, 2013, 11:14 pm

      One new computer coming right up! 🙂
      Yeah, that’s why I’m undecided about smartphone. People are just addicted to them.

  • BARBARA FRIEDBERG June 15, 2013, 10:01 am

    Okay, here’s my 2 cents. I just got a smart phone a few months ago. Kyocera Event for $60. Seems to do everything I need. Plan: $35/month virgin wireless pay as you go, unlimited data and enough minutes for me. Way to get updated, cheap!

    • retirebyforty June 15, 2013, 10:37 pm

      I’ll check it out. $60 is the right price. 🙂

      • BARBARA FRIEDBERG June 16, 2013, 11:43 am

        I like it. It has a camera, internet, apps. Let me know what you decide.

  • [email protected] June 15, 2013, 6:31 am

    I’ve been having similar issues, and I think that’s only natural to let your guard down once in a while–just don’t let it have lasting repercussions.

  • thepotatohead June 14, 2013, 4:56 pm

    The laptop is definitely ancient in technology terms, I wouldn’t feel to bad about replacing that one. Just make sure you get one with a heavy duty video card and the ability to upgrade memory. You can get decent laptops these days for $5-600 and should last you the next 4-5 yrs, not a horrible amount of money per year for something used everyday I’d say. I’m also having paralysis on cameras. I got a used Pentax DSLR last year and took a lot of great pictures, but I don’t carry it around enough because its big. I was also scared to death of dropping it out of my canoe when I visited the Adirondacks last year, so this time I’m debating about getting a good waterproof camera for when I go back. I’ve been researching waterproof camera’s for probably a year now though lol. Definitely wayyyyyyy over researching it.

    • retirebyforty June 15, 2013, 10:36 pm

      I don’t think we need a heavy duty video card. She only uses it to watch TV shows. She doesn’t play games or anything.
      Good luck finding a nice camera. 🙂

      • thepotatohead June 17, 2013, 9:11 pm

        You mean she isn’t playing the newest Crysis in full 1080p?? :p I probably should have phrased it as buy heavy duty enough to be able to stream HD without a hiccup, or play blue rays without any trouble, not necessarily for gaming. It seems like the file size for streaming stuff keeps growing and growing so buying above and beyond what you need in the video card department probably wouldn’t be a bad idea.

  • The Passive Income Earner June 14, 2013, 1:44 pm

    Your laptop is definitely passed the frugal point in my view … It’s like a car that breaks down every other day. I don’t think you need a lot of justification to replace it. You don’t need to buy the latest Macbook Pro though 🙂

    The phone is an interesting one … It really depends on what you do and where you are. The true benefit I have seen is when you are on the road and need access to something quick. We turned it off when we cross the border and we are without immediate access to maps and searches. It really depends on your daily routine and what you need where. It’s a really nice convenience but it’s not free … I love my Telecom investments !!!

    • retirebyforty June 15, 2013, 10:34 pm

      It’s Mrs. RB40’s laptop. 🙂
      Yeah, I’d better keep her happy. I’ll start looking more seriously when we get back from vacation.

  • Lisa E. @ Lisa Vs. The Loans June 14, 2013, 12:58 pm

    Oh my gosh, I’m suffering from frugal fatigue right now as we speak!!! The summertime definitely brings it out – everyone’s out of school, families are traveling, and friends want to hang out constantly. And all of this just means more spending to a lot of people! We must stay strong and stick through it!! Hehe.

    Also, I like that you set a timeline for the items you want to buy. Not only does it give you time to find a good deal, but you’re also delaying gratification, which is always a plus!

    Keep on fightin’ the good fight!

    • retirebyforty June 15, 2013, 10:32 pm

      Good luck to you too! 🙂

  • Sam @ frugaling.org June 14, 2013, 12:13 pm

    This is such an important phenomenon that occurs to us frugalers. Trying to keep my budget in check and enjoy that process – really enjoying it – has helped make me feel more content with the stuff I already own.

    That, and Apple hasn’t released a new iPhone… 😉

  • Savvy Financial Latina June 14, 2013, 11:54 am

    We are having trouble with budgeting. So many expenses and celebration. It seems every month there’s a birthday, father’s day, mother’s day, holiday, baby shower, etc.

    • retirebyforty June 14, 2013, 12:04 pm

      Sorry to hear that! We’re having some trouble too, but it’s mostly due to the repairs on the rentals. 🙁

  • Maverick June 14, 2013, 11:41 am

    Hey I’d like a smartphone too…latest iPhone with camera would be nice. But I’ll continue to keep my Verizon “dumb-phone” plan and supplement it with my WiFi iPod Touch. I’ll invest the cost differential each and every month!

    • retirebyforty June 14, 2013, 12:03 pm

      That sounds like an interesting compromise. I still would like GPS capability though. Can you do that with your set up?

      • Maverick June 14, 2013, 2:27 pm

        I call it the “reverse Republic Wireless” solution. RW uses WiFi for calls first and cell towers second. No GPS on my cell phone with my voice only plan. I have an older Garmin GPS. (Besides, do I really want the NSA tracking me on a GPS phone?…not that I’m paranoid, ha, ha) I know, I know, it’s 3 devices, but each one is great at it’s dedicated task. The GPS also clips into a mount on my motorcycle. I won’t compromise on a cell phone where the call is dropped. I call friends on their AT&T phones and they still drop off or encounter poor voice quality at times which I find unbelievable given the maturity of the technology today. It never happens when I call other Verizon users or landlines.

  • Strick June 14, 2013, 11:31 am


    Yes I’ve seen this particular strain of the disease (relating to electronics) mostly in the younger generation. But it does appear to be a close cousin to a variation of the bug that afflicts me and my circles as well (relating to new fishing/camping gear and, god forbid, boats…)

    • retirebyforty June 14, 2013, 12:02 pm

      I knew it! 🙂

  • [email protected] June 14, 2013, 10:56 am

    I’m like Greg, I end up researching a lot on big ticket items that I put off the purchase for awhile. Then when I finally buy it, it is usually at a great price, or sometimes after all the researching I decide that I don’t really want or need it.

  • youdontknowmeeh June 14, 2013, 10:44 am

    Hey Joe

    Long time lurker, first time poster. If you can wait for the new model (which will be announced in June 27th) the current RX100 model will go down in price probably.


    Yes the image quality is that good for a point and shoot. I own one myself.

    • retirebyforty June 14, 2013, 12:01 pm

      Thanks!!! I’ll keep a look out for it.

  • krantcents June 14, 2013, 9:43 am

    I haven’t experienced that! Is it a young(er) person’s disease? I do not have a laptop, but my wife bought an iPad (earlier generation), I do not have a smartphone or a digital camera. I did borrow a camera from school for vacation though. I don’t miss it either.

    • retirebyforty June 14, 2013, 12:01 pm

      I think the younger you are, the more techs you want.
      I’m sure older folks lust after different things too, right? Do you want a sailboat or anything like that? 🙂
      Have a great Father’s Day weekend.

  • sin camisa June 14, 2013, 9:34 am

    For camera check Costco; the point and shoots are going for the low $100s and wait for the “instant rebates” and you get them for less. I got my wife a Panasonic with Leica lens that even records at 1080, for $89 a few months ago.

    I got a smart/small phone from Page plus Cell; but I have not data. $50 for 1000 minutes that expire in 4 months. Of course, with no data it is kind of useless. But I like my fuel log app, and a few others.

    • retirebyforty June 14, 2013, 11:59 am

      I’m set on the Sony RX100 or comparable. I want quality pictures. 🙂
      No data? I don’t think that’s going to work for me. Kind of defeat the purpose, doesn’t it?

  • Yarnie June 14, 2013, 9:20 am

    I too have been eyeing the RX100!!! But didn’t hear anything about a new one coming out. Do you have an idea when?

    • retirebyforty June 14, 2013, 11:57 am

      I just heard a rumor, but one comment below said the end of June. Let’s keep a lookout for a nice discount together. 🙂
      I heard it’s already on sales in Japan.

  • [email protected] June 14, 2013, 8:51 am

    I generally end up in analysis paralysis on big ticket items, which works out for my frugal fatigue. I constantly think there is a better deal, then I get bored and move on from the whole purchase. With the smartphone, I am currently analyzing if, based on the apps I use, I can justify the phone paying for itself. Although, that would be an ongoing thing given the data plan.

    • retirebyforty June 14, 2013, 11:56 am

      That’s exactly what I do too. If you delay long enough, you find you don’t really need most of those things you’re lusting after. Some things are more necessary though.

  • Kurt @ Money Counselor June 14, 2013, 8:22 am

    I think you’re on the right track Joe. Your rationale for these acquisitions makes sense mostly :-), and you can satisfy frugality by working to get the best deal you can on each and still meet your needs. We don’t have smartphones either, and I just read that now puts us in the minority among Americans. Oh well; I never had a cell phone at all until 2009. And what’s this laptop thing everyone keeps talking about? 🙂

    • retirebyforty June 14, 2013, 11:55 am

      Hahaha, it’s always fun to hear older folks talk about technologies. You should get together with Krantcents.

      • Kurt @ Money Counselor June 14, 2013, 12:29 pm

        I would if only I could find my hearing aids, dammit.

  • Jonathan June 14, 2013, 8:13 am

    Joe, you are very disciplined with your finances. At the same time, you should enjoy the money you have made and save. What is the point of making and saving money if you can’t enjoy it. You are denying yourself a good life. I am not saying to spend like crazy, but if you need something and you can afford it without denting your financial future, I say go for it. Your subconscious mind will be happy and you will see that it will look for more ways to get you more money so that you can spend some on yourself.

    • retirebyforty June 14, 2013, 11:54 am

      You’re right. That’s why it’s an orderly retreat. 🙂 I just need to spend slowly. Have a great weekend.

  • John S @ Frugal Rules June 14, 2013, 7:58 am

    I hate frugal fatigue and travel is the one I always struggle with. I love to travel and usually find myself trying to find ways to do more of it in the summer. This is a big part of the reason why we budget for vacations and why you do need to allow yourself get out a little steam every once in a while. In regards to the smartphone, not having one is really not an option anymore. It is just so convenient and with running a business it has almost become a necessity.

    • Moon June 14, 2013, 10:15 am

      Same for me John. We are hunker down this year to save up for downpayment on buying our rental property that means we eliminated all domestic and international travel, which is very hard for me. I feel like I am stuck. And it doesn’t help when my twin is a flight attendant of an international airline and I see all the facebook postings that everyday she wakes up in another city!

      • retirebyforty June 14, 2013, 11:53 am

        Sorry to hear that! You just need to get through this year, you can do it!
        We love international traveling too, but strangely I don’t miss it much these days.

  • Pretired Nick June 14, 2013, 7:18 am

    A smartphone is no longer an option in my book. It’s just a necessary tool for everyday living, especially if you have any kind of business. But I think you illustrate why you should always plan for some “pressure-relief” purchase from time-to-time. I’ve gone way too long being frugal at times only to lose my mind and explode with spending when I relax. Delaying is definitely one of your best tactics, though.

    • retirebyforty June 14, 2013, 11:51 am

      We definitely need some pressure relief. We haven’t purchased any gadgets in a long time and it’s hard for a former engineer. 🙂

  • Mona June 14, 2013, 7:14 am

    Go for the laptop first and save up for the phone. I’ll save precious time and frustration. You may find yourself using the phone to take pictures, not SLR quality but good enough for now and it will be with you all the time. The best camera is the one you have in your hand when ready to shoot. If you still want the other camera, wait a year and it will come down in price. Set aside a few dollars a week for it now and if in a year you find you don’t want it you’ve got a nice little fund to spend or not spend. Also, If you go for the smartphone, get one that suits your needs and that you will enjoy using, otherwise, why bother? Years from now, you’ll be happy you took all those pictures and videos of BabyRB40. What you want is not unreasonable yet I feel a bit like the devil on your shoulder whispering in your ear.

    • retirebyforty June 14, 2013, 11:50 am

      That’s what I’m planning. I hate phone cameras. The picture quality is junk, but you’re right about the camera you have in your hand. I love the picture quality of the DSLR, but it’s just too bulky to lug around everywhere.

  • Justin June 14, 2013, 6:09 am

    I was a late adopter of the smartphone but I can tell you it is a life changing device and have never regretted my decision even if it is more expensive. My convenience is more important.

    • retirebyforty June 14, 2013, 11:48 am

      We’ll see. 🙂 Thanks for your input.

  • Alexa @ travelmiamor June 14, 2013, 5:44 am

    I finally bit the bullet and got a smart phone back in 2010. The only reason I waited so long is because I knew that if I had one I would never want to go back to a non-smart phone. And its true, I could never give up my iPhone. I use it too much for GPS.

    • retirebyforty June 14, 2013, 11:48 am

      That’s another thing I hate about upgrading. You can’t go back! 🙂

  • I don’t do well with my recurring attacks of frugal fatigue or debt fatigue. I apparently have no will power at all and end up having take out fast food dinners 5 or 6 nights in a row and going to a restaurant.

    Scrimping and saving all the time gets boring and watching the balance on the HELOC debt get smaller is so0000 frustrating that I fall off the wagon a regular balance.

    If someone knows the answer to staying the course and never falling off the frugal bandwagon I need to know.

    • [email protected] June 14, 2013, 3:38 am

      What works for me when it comes to fast food meals – eat something about an hour before I’m hungry and then start to crave the fast food stuff.
      I’ve got this banana, kale, frozen mango, ground flax seed, etc… smoothie that I make in the AM. I can’t say it’s going to give Jamba Juice competition anytime soon, but it is much better than my first attempt that seemed more like carbonated grass.
      And when I have that before leaving for work, I don’t even have a thought of stopping for a $10 fast food meal on the way.
      Lunch habits are next… I know I can cut there, but prep work seems to be the key to fighting convenience.

    • retirebyforty June 14, 2013, 11:47 am

      For food, you should try making a menu every week.
      We write down what we want to make before we go shopping. That way we have everything we need and know what to cook each day. A menu plan really helps.

      • The desire to avoid cooking and the clean up afterward is very strong no matter how organized I am.

        Sloth is the sin of the 7 deadly sins that I am most guilty of.

  • [email protected] June 14, 2013, 2:25 am

    Have you looked at a Chromebook instead of laptop for Mrs. RB40?
    I saw one briefly, but don’t know a lot about them and haven’t used it day-to-day.
    Could save maybe $200 on the cost.
    I don’t remember seeing if it had a network port, or just wireless.
    I believe it does Flash, and it looks like ABC’s new player is Flash – although it may be dynamic based on what the system supports.
    School districts are looking more to them because of cost, and because most things they’re doing are online instead of installed local anyway.
    If everything she does is online, it may make sense, and save some dollars.

    I’m not a huge camera person, but did want a way to get videos of my new pooch.
    Got a Kodak Playsport ZX5 for a little over $100.
    Not good at still photos. No good in low light. And the built in sharing kinda worked, but I didn’t put much effort into it.
    Very nice video, if outside in decent daylight, even action shots.
    Shockproof, waterproof up to 10 feet – that was on my wish list for what I got.
    Buttons on the back are simple – not a huge amount of options – press the button to record, press another to zoom, press the button again to stop.
    Easily fits in a pocket – that was also important for me – if the camera won’t fit in my pocket then 9 times out of 10 I don’t take it with me.

    Good video of BRB40 on your trips to the park, etc… would be good too.

    And then start up a Frugal Fatigue Fund.
    When you go back to frugal mode, put some of the savings into that ‘fund’ – piggy bank, water jug, or whatever… and then when next June comes around you’ll have a bit to help combat the fatigue and maybe get some cool new things also.

    • retirebyforty June 14, 2013, 11:45 am

      I don’t think Chrome book will work for her. She likes to use MS office and a couple of other software.
      I still like snap shots more than video for some reason. It’s fun to post on Facebook for family and friends.
      Frugal Fatigue fund is a good idea.

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