Tuesday, October 12, 2021

What is the point of living frugally if money will soon be worthless?


I subscribe to the notion that we are creatures of our habits far more than we care to admit. Like an arrow, our future direction is directed in large part by what we drag along behind us.


I once was "witness" as a second member of management to the discipline of an employee who was responsible for inspecting product near the end-of-the-line.

His job had been given a new item to inspect. The item in question was a "back-up camera" and the connector was at an odd angle that resulted in a less-than-100% connection rate by production. He flat out said "I ain't gonna do it."

Two months later, a vehicle Jumbo had inspected was found to have that option not hooked up.

The issue was exacerbated by the fact the defective vehicle had been shipped to China and they insisted that it be shipped back to the factory for repair. Can we say "$10,000 in shipping costs"? I knew we could.

During the discipline interview, Jumbo admitted his life had turned to shit. His wife was divorcing him. He was having emotional issues. He knew he was supposed to check the back-up camera (put in reverse and see if an image shows up on the monitor) but for some reason, he just could not do it.

The reason I was there as a second member of management was that Jumbo was walking the plank. One more screw-up after this one and he would be fired.

The committeeman suggested that we adjourn the proceedings for a week. The committeeman then had a private meeting with Jumbo where he "suggested" that Jumbo put in his papers to retire.

Jumbo saw the wisdom in the committeeman's suggestion. One week later, Jumbo was no longer on the roster of active employees of the company.

Contrary to popular belief, it is possible to fire a retired person but it is usually not pursued.


Jumbo had the self-awareness to realize that he had habits he could not shake. He realized that by spouting off his mouth he had painted himself into a corner.

He took the wiser path.


Spendthrifts are apt to mock me because I live below my means.

That strikes them as crazy.

I am content with my choices. If the economy goes into the toilet I am happy with cornbread, gravy, potatoes, oatmeal and eggs.

I suspect that what I see as a hiccup in my standard-of-living will be cataclysmic for the spendthrifts. No money for me is an inconvenience. No money for a spendthrift is a life-threatening event.

Your mileage will vary.


  1. What was the Dickens quote about if your expenses were 1 pence below your income you were happy, but 1 pence above you were in misery???

    My wife's brother and his wife are both shop-a-holics who are deeply in debt and have had UAVs repossessed. They don't understand why we live the way we do (frugally).

  2. Very good points... Which many people won't be able to comprehend.
    And when life turns rough, they'll expect someone else to keep up their lifestyle; they are good people to keep out of your lives for many reasons!

  3. The problem with getting rid of money before it turns worthless is that you don't know when (or if) it will happen.

    The same applies to arguments about going into debt before the world ends - what if it doesn't on your schedule?
    What if old debt is redenominated into a new currency and becomes even harder to pay off?

  4. The solution is not to spend all your money before the government makes it worthless. The solution is to convert your money into things that will likely hold their value. Or even if they do lose value, it will never go to zero value.

    That is why real estate, among certain other things, is skyrocketing in price right now. The smart money knows that tangible assets like this are a safer place to park money than stocks, bonds, money markets, and federal reserve notes. For others without the wherewithal to go out buying properties, the safe places to park money might be guns, ammo, food, gold, and silver.

    At the rate our government is debasing the currency with multi-trillion dollar deficits every year, parking savings in tangible assets of your choice is probably not a losing strategy.

    Most people with relatively large account balances in their IRA's and 401K's usually never stop to ponder the fact that it is all just electronic ones and zeros on a server somewhere. How do they redeem it if the grid goes down? Even if nothing like that happens, how many more multi-trillion dollar deficits will it take before even a one million dollar retirement account balance only has the actual buying power of maybe one fifth or one tenth that amount?

  5. Soon a basic simple diet will be a luxury. The house of cards that is the economy is about to go tits up and anyone not prepared will face starvation. Those who are prepared will still find things ugly.


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