WHOLE COSTS and Depreciating Value Purchases

The price of something is not really the cost of something: 
There is a difference between price and Whole Costs.

We buy many things, and those things have a life.  Some things are bought, and disappear, like food.  Some things maintain value after being owned for quite some time.  Some things require a lot of maintenance cost, whether the item retains value or not.

rainbow lambo(Image from: needcars.net)

What we buy has value: what we buy also presents us with windows of opportunity loss.  Considering that cutting small corners in purchases can lead to a full bloom Early Retirement account, being aware of Whole Costs is the ultimate factor in cost savings…

Home Super-Gardens: Grow Your Own Food? Really?

Some feats display how records can be broken, and how incredible things can be done with very little resources. We’ve discussed a great deal about saving money, including on groceries, but this article is going to be a knuckle-ball that will at least get a person thinking.

One Family Grows 6,000LBS of food on 1/10th of an acre

Yes, that’s really happening. People are growing mountains of edible plant foods on almost no land.  This homegrown food can be GMO free, pesticide free, and financially… FREE.

Gardening might not be everyone’s hobby of choice, but remember, when it comes to growing food, nature pitches in with a lot of the work.  Setting up garden space might take some time and resources, and processing your mountain of food might take some time and patience, but great edible produce grown by yourself has the three qualities going for it…


The Costco craze hasn’t simmered, and many people consider the giant warehouse retailer to be a go-to stop for many purchases.  Costco can save a lot with certain purchases, and other times a cool product simply snags your interest.

Costco’s $5 fully cooked rotisserie chickens are an easy dinner with zero work (they sell these at a loss so you come back for more!) and sure you can buy chickens at other stores, but Costco chickens are huge, plump, juicy, and have a better texture than the dry, mushy birds found elsewhere.  At Costco, you can probably find a few mainstays that will shave some serious dollars. Costco’s coffee prices, peanut butter, dried fruits, juice, and many other common items can be incorporated into your yearly shopping routing, for a great discount.

costco-couple(Image from Huffington’ Post)

However, one problem remains: for a few dozen key purchases a year, the $55 per year membership fee is just too much, and it would negate the savings.  Yes, many people use Costco as a grocery mainstay, but the truth is, you will end up paying more for groceries this way.  If you are trying for Great Saver status, grabbing really great deals and ignoring the rest is the best way to utilize Costco.  Hey, there are some ways to chisel down the membership fees…

RETIRE EARLY – What, When … How?

If you’re just starting to read this information, we’ve covered a lot
of details involved in generating massive savings, and avoiding SEVERE pitfalls of spending that almost nobody considers to be financially fatal.  We’ve discussed some of the cool, gritty details of how numbers add up with Compound Interest. We’ve also pointed out direct ways to defer a few common expenses that will revolutionize your future, by saving that money instead.

What does it mean to Retire Early?

couple-on-beach(image from Jessica Sager’s article)

Your personal Early Retirement Saga entails stepping from a foggy, unknown financial future, into the crisp fresh air and green pastures of the promise land of finance, all amidst the treacherous odds given to us by Big Commerce…

My Shaving Razors cost $68,000?

The evolution of the razor blade over the last couple decades has left a wake… that wake is a better, easier shave than other cheap disposables, yet with astronomical costs.  This article will blast you with the potent details:

Mach 3 cartridges cost $25 for 10 cartridges,
and $10 to get the Mach 3 handle.
They do shave great…

As the title of the article says, these blades can cost you up to $68,000 over a lifetime, a disgusting amount, and we’ll dive into the numbers, but first, are there better alternatives?  Many say, absolutely…


It’s probably unpatriotic to skip griping about taxes.  It could also be considered a lame-duck decision to ignore the costs of filing taxes, since the snowball effect of these costs over a lifetime is actually quite large.  Every tax saving achieved through grit and determination could potentially be achieved by our fellow citizens, so it’s a win for everyone, so long as we let everyone into the fold…


The average person spends $245 to have a tax specialist prepare their taxes.  That’s a tall order.  Surprisingly, the IRS actually DOESN’T WANT you to pay that money if you make less than $53,000 a year, or are elderly, or disabled, or don’t speak English well enough to get through it!  Saving $245 a year is actually a big deal, because it translates to saving $57,486 in a lifetime…


The purely motivational aspect of our psyche has a huge impact on taking all initiatives, which truly affects our surge for Early Retirement!!!

Being pro-active means being willing
to derail the current situation
to strive for new solutions.

the rock - elitedaily.com(photo: Dwayne ‘The Rock” Johnson: elitedaily.com)

You’ve probably fathomed the added level of difficulty it would take to run a business, and striving for Early Retirement has a similar added level of difficulty.  Achieving income to cover several decades of life is like running a business now, to provide for yourself later.  Though, creating deep savings is more like a hobby-business, which is cool, because that means it’s easier… 


The biggest reason most people don’t save much money is because setting aside a few dollars doesn’t feel like monumental feat.

The emotional rewards from spending money, instead of saving money, appear more vivid and numerous.  Previously, we’ve talked about how $10 spent today could have become over $160 in a lifetime of savings/investments/payouts.  While that’s cool, that number can also seem just under the bar to insight explosive enthusiasm.  With large numbers involved, we begin to FEEL what saving and investing really means.

Most people think in terms of monthly bills:  we easily think of money in terms of hundreds or thousands of dollars.  We get foggier with smaller amounts of money, especially when talking about the money required to live for just one day

Buy a USED CAR without getting RIPPED OFF

You’re probably owned a used car, maybe even bought one yourself: when the time comes, everyone wonders… what’s the trick to buying a used car without getting ripped off?

The best trick is having a mechanic come look at the car.  Out of sheer complacency, almost nobody is doing this. There are people who know a ton about cars, and they are everywhere, and a simple post to Craigslist or Angie’s List will fulfill this need quickly.

There is nothing worse than to buy a used car based on the positive words of the people selling the car.  People minimize the issues, downplay, ‘forget to mention’, and even straight-up lie. No one sells you a car and first lists the entire roster of things that don’t always work just right.  They don’t talk about better options in other cars you could buy.  They don’t tell you about the problems with this model of car that are looming.  They smile, warm you up, and stick their hand out for cash.

4hbwivtm(image: Captivatedev)

Buying a used car is a great idea, but it’s a situation; and situations require business-like mentalities; problem solver stuff.  Consider that even replacing the door seals on a window could cost you $400 in parts alone!

I know an excellent mechanic who can overhaul engines and repair just about anything on any automobile. In conversations we have come to one conclusion: the dumbest thing you could do is buy a car without an expert opinion, here’s why:

A DEEPER DIP into Great Savings

In our talks about honing in around the Great Saver attitude, and hunkering down for our own personal World War 3 of finance called retirement, we’re usually talking about saving money.

What we haven’t talked about is radical, pro-active savings on the stuff you already know you are going to need in the near future.  Sometimes this means forking over a little extra money today, to save money in long haul.  We’re not talking about canning produce, or hoarding boxed foods (interesting, but not quite the modern trend of our discussions).  What we are talking about is a making a few simple choices at certain times, which will easily enable an extra savings payment every year.  This would be an enormous breakthrough in savings, no doubt.

By now, you’ve probably seen the Super Coupon television shows — where people dumpster dive for newspaper coupons, showing up the grocer with coupon en masse, turning 17 giant baskets of products into their basement food horde for $22…

Image from: pop tower

I can’t promote that kind of behavior; though I can half-applaud it: super couponing is like a micro business, and indeed it does profit – however the profits are limited, and the earnings are not as good as other types of work or business…