Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Cheapskate Next Door

It's been a little while since I last blogged. I will try harder to blog more. For whatever reason, we have been pretty busy this month and I have been too tired to blog after bed time. I am going to try to start blogging during nap/quiet time. We will see how this goes. Back to my post.


This is a book that I recently picked up and read from the library. I am already frugal (at least I like to think so!) so I really didn't think that this book had that many great ideas. It was definitely an interesting and easy read but more geared toward people that love to overspend and don't know what to do. Reading this book is a good step in the right direction.

There are a few points that I would like to talk about because A). I didn't agree with them B). I thought they were interesting

According to this book, I am not the cheapskate I thought I was. This made me a little upset. LOL. Is that weird??
Jeff (the author's) definition of a cheapskate is someone that doesn't have any debt besides a mortgage. We fall into that category except that we have a few mortgages, including our house and some rentals.

In the first chapter Jeff lists 16 Idiosyncrasies of the Cheapskate mind. I was pretty good on most of them but a few I need to improve on.

#2 A Cheapskate Values Time more than Money
He gives the example of a girl that wants to buy a pair of boots for $150. She decides it would be two days wages and not worth it. Here is where the time comes in "Say instead she wanted new boots but instead of buying that $150 for a pair of new boots in the dept. store, the girl then spends 2 days combing yard sales and thrift sales and finds a pair for $20. In terms of time-value she'd have been better off just buying the new pair." Unfortunately, I have done this more than once. I have looked all over for something (OK, maybe not two days, but a few hours) to find it for a better price. Was it worth the time? Probably not.

#3 A Cheapskate Values Value
I know that I haven't always followed this one. I have bought something that was cheaper only to have it not last as long as it would have if I had just spent a little more. This is something we as a family are trying to be better about.

#4 Shopping isn't a Cheapskate Sport
One thing I never thought about (but makes sense) is that bargain hunter and cheapskate are totally different. Basically, a bargain hunter can be a cheapskate but usually a cheapskate is not a bargain hunter only for the fact that cheapskates don't like to shop. Period. I guess I would say that I am more of a bargain hunter than a cheapskate for this one. I don't just buy things because it's a great deal but I don't completely despise shopping. He also said that "cheapskates rarely shop at yard/garage sales, auctions or rummage sales" because they "encourage people to buy things they don't really need." I like yard/garage sales and rummage sales and I am pretty good about not buying things that I don't need. Does it happen sometimes? Of course! But I don't feel like my house is filled with junk and trinkets.

#16 A Cheapskate Answers to a Higher Authority
I am glad that this made the list! Many cheapskates realize that life isn't all about money and because of that, they are able (and willing!) to donate their money.

Maybe this sparked your interest to read the book and maybe it didn't. Either way, I know what points I have to work on to become a better cheapskate!

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