Since I’m home during the day right now working on my freelance writing and blogging, I get to watch tv during the day. It’s so exciting because I get to catch up on some of my favorite shows and also discover new-to-me shows like Extreme Cheapskates.
I was watching Netflix with a sibling who showed me the show and said we should watch it together because they were always being called a cheapskate (for the record – just a frugal person).
If you haven’t seen the show I recommend checking it out on Netflix of Amazon Instant Video:
Why Extreme Cheapskates Are Really Crazy
The show introduced me to a new level of savings and cheapskate lifestyle. I know I’ve been trying to save money by cutting expenses but I would not cut my expenses this far.
The first guy on the show was extremely cheap and proud of it – he considered himself the cheapest man in the world.
How Extreme Cheapskates Save Money
He is on of those people that spends a lot of time and effort to save a tiny bit of money.
- Gets free ketchup packets to refill a ketchup bottle. “I save 70-80 a year on ketchup alone.”
- Reuses paper towels over and over again, leading to saving $2,000 over 10 years.
- Takes 2 ply toilet paper and splits it in half. This nets an extra $6 a month.
- Roy spent $9 on clothes in the last 4 years. He bought one $8 shirt, gave it to a thrift store and bought it back for $1 when they removed the stain.
- Went dumpster diving for his wife’s anniversary present to only spend $10 total on her including a reused card given by someone else changed to a 25th wedding anniversary card with some crossed out words.
- He proposed when he needed periodontal surgery and his wife had a job and health insurance.
The next family on the show was pretty interesting as they paid off a lot of credit card debt with six kids. However after that it got gross and again they focused to much on things that were extreme but didn’t save a ton of money.
- The kids all share the same bath water.
- Older kids get short timed showers.
- Went foraging for free salad fixings to feed the babysitters club kids. Also went to buy expired ingredients for making pizza.
- They reuse cloth toilet paper instead of using paper toilet paper (ew). “As a middle class family that makes a good income, we shouldn’t have to go into debt to buy toilet paper.” Yet the savings for this one? $20 a month.
You’ve got to be kidding me! Are these people for real?
After these first two examples I had to turn the show off and watch something else. I just couldn’t wrap my head around the cheapskate ways because to me it just seems crazy.
Why do these little things that make such a small change and hardly affect your bottom line? This seems crazy to me!
Extreme Cheapskates Are Extremely Crazy
Saving $6 or $20 a month is great.
In fact considering the DISMAL rates of saving in our country, anyone who saves money on a regular basis should be commended. Save money people!
However, saving money is not great when it’s doing something so extreme that it lowers your quality of life. Quality of life is important within reason.
When you are doing something save money that is so extreme that it becomes socially unacceptable (seriously who would want to go to the house with reusable cloth toilet paper?) you probably should reconsider your choices. Saving money isn’t worth it when you are making your life worse or more complicated.
In other words, don’t sacrifice basic hygiene or standards of living just to save money. It’s not worth it.
Personally, I’d rather focus on bigger wins instead of extreme frugality.
Sure I’m trying to be frugal and cut down and save on frivolous spending. But my main goal is to focus on the big wins by working on increasing affiliate marketing income and getting raises at work instead of scrimping so hard and hating my life.
I appreciate frugality and do want to be frugal, especially in areas where it doesn’t affect my life too much or I simply don’t care as much, but overall I think building a business or career that can support you is a better way to live than spending all your hours trying to save precious pennies.
What about you? Are you a cheapskate? Or do you prefer to focus on other things rather than scrimping?