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Comment Re:Inevitable (Score 1) 412

It's actually quite easy to do.
1) Ditch the commute
2) stop buying shit
3) invest your excess money

At a savings rate of 50% you can retire in 10 years. Many people have already done so, there are blogs about how they did it, from living in an RV, to cycling to work, and not giving up their standard of living. It means you can still have great coffee, just make it at home instead of paying $3/day at Starbucks. It means you can still have great cuisine, but you buy better quality foods and make it yourself. It means you can still get that really cool flashy item you wanted, but after you've thought about it, shopped around, and still decided that you actually do need it and it won't end up in the piles of boxes the next time you move.

Similar story as the parent above, I was spending at least $300 a month on gas just to get to work. After a year of trying everything from daily public transportation, to gym workouts to wait out congestion, we moved to within 5 miles of work. Stress goes way down, free time goes way up, I'm more fit since I bike to work, no longer need a gym membership, saving more money, and fill up the car about once every two months instead of once a week. 4 years from having spent everything I had to move to the US and I now own a house and have a savings rate of around 60%. We eat great, have all the gadgets we could want, eat out still, and look forward to enjoying early retirement after a few more years of working. All this while my wife hasn't had to work while living here. If she did work we could probably retire a couple years earlier.

Comment Re:Penny (Score 1) 702

The $50 coin in Taiwan (worth about $1.50) has latent images of both Chinese and Arabic numerals for 50, by holding it at different angles you see one or the other. I received a counterfeit once and had it rejected at a 7-11 when I tried to spend it.

An interesting side note, while I lived there they had upgraded some of their currency and gave everyone about a year to take their old notes to exchange for the new note currency before banks would stop accepting them and it would become much harder to exchange them for new notes, which would then only be allowed to be exchanged at a few locations, essentially setting an expiration date on old notes.

Comment Re:Ugh... no thanks. (Score 1) 216

I use it often when baking, cooking, or doing something that needs a timer. It's much easier than pulling out the smart phone and finding a timer app, I don't have the mistake of accidentally having it set to silent and ruining anything I'm doing, and it is distinct that it is the oven timer going off. It is also the only clock, other than the one on the microwave right above it, in my entire house. I use my cell for everything else.

Comment Re:great for my wife checking up on her aged paren (Score 1) 216

I'll wait for the RFID enabled food products with pressure sensor shelving so I can cook a meal and have it calculate the precise calories that have left the refrigerator. You'll need to add a similar system to the pantry, and spectral analysis to the garbage disposal, then it should be a done deal.

Really the camera only has to snap a picture when you close the door. If you care to actually see the current state of items then perhaps have a Time Lapse setting, but there isn't really any need to do this.

Comment Re:Excessive bail - based on the offense - also... (Score 4, Insightful) 210

I would add that the bond system is used to justify higher bails as not being excessive. For example, 200,000 bail may be excessive, but oh, guess what, you can just pay 20,000 to the bail bondsman instead, so if you think 200,000 is excessive it isn't because you can just pay 20,000. What most people don't know until they go through something which requires excessive bails is that the bond payment is forfeited even if you show up to court. That person now has the option, if they cannot put up 200,000 and float it until the end of trial, to spend 20,000 as a non-refundable expense to have restricted freedoms restored while awaiting trial, or stay in jail.

When I read the 8th amendment I do not see bonds mentioned as part of consideration for excessive bail, and the bond is essentially an excessive fee paid. Would it be the case that if bonds were done away with that the amount that makes a bail excessive would be much, much lower?

Comment Re: Dump them as fast as you can (Score 1) 177

But this can be easily negated by just keeping a spreadsheet of what medical expenses you have had and keeping the receipts. You can withdraw the money for medical expenses at any time after they have occurred, even 10 or 20 years later. By spending with post tax money and saving the receipts you allow yourself a way to stash a large amount of cash that can be used in early retirement without any penalties.

Comment Re:Oh Great! More Central Planning! Just what we n (Score 1) 413

We first switched to all CFLs, then as LEDs have come down, and with local incentives from utility companies, we have been transitioning to LEDs. The first to be replaced were high use, and practical use ones, such as the lamp we use often in the bedroom, and the ones in the bathrooms where it can be a little annoying to have the light start dim and gradually get bright. For the most part during the summer we hardly even need lights inside due to our south facing windows.

Comment Re: Check your arithmatic (Score 1) 214

As a Mustachian I can tell you that this is the myth. It's not just choosing to live downtown but choosing to live close to work. I used to drive 30 miles through horrible traffic which took 1.5 hours. Now I moved to within a 5 mile radius of WinCo (groceries), Costco, Home Depot, the library, and, most important of all, work. I bike 3 miles in less time than it would take me to go by car.

Comment Re:user error (Score 1) 710

My main mode of transportation is my bicycle, as could have been inferred from my statement of a tank lasting a month and a half it basically gets driven only on the weekend. I'd like to switch to a more fuel efficient model but haven't gotten up to bothering with that.

I agree, it would be nice to have the underbody down better to increase aerodynamics. There's a guy who drives an old Ford F250 Diesel which gets something like 30+MPG because he's done those kinds of modifications.

Comment Re:user error (Score 5, Insightful) 710

I'm sort of the same way, not an environmentalist, just a really cheap mustachian. My average usage each month is about 200kwh and I live lasciviously, I know if I watched my usage a bit more I could greatly decrease this. As I write this I have a fan in my window blowing in and another in the window down the hallway blowing out and can get my house down to 66F at night, and then reach about 72F by the time I get home from work, but grant it we live in the Pacific Northwest where AC is hardly ever needed. We don't use our dryer but sparingly, and I ride a bike to work instead of driving because it seems insane to pay $300+ a month in gas PLUS the $1200+ a year in maintenance to maintain a residence 30 miles away. All of this is done not for the environment but because it's cheaper.

When I do drive a car I hypermile it. My 2002 BMW 525i gets 32+MPG which usually elicits a wide eyed "really?" from people when I tell them. A single tank of gas lasts me about a month and a half. We buy a lot of things used because I figure that buying it second hand will retain the value more than buying it brand new. My wife's wedding ring and her Longine watch were both bought that way, same as my trumpet and my car. Buying used keeps one from going to the dump and lowers demand on new ones to be made. (Of course the ring would have been melted down and formed into new rings, but it still applies to everything else.)

I also happen to be one who believes the scientific research and consensus that climate change is happening, and I wish it had more effect on my decision making, but for now being cheap seems to generally coincide with environmentally friendly. Most of this is from learning to want less shit that doesn't matter and to be perfectly happy living the very luxurious middle class life.

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