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Thread: What frugal thing do you do that makes you an "extreme cheapskate"?

  1. #11
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    The sun here at high altitude is so brutal that patio umbrellas don't last long. I figure since we will be selling the house that we need to make it look "purty" and maybe enjoy the shade in the meantime.

  2. #12
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    pinkytoe, seems to me that's a FINE thing to spend your money on! that's why we save in some areas, right? - so we can spend in others that are more important to us. Our patio umbrellas are rather superfluous, as our patio is shaded to begin with. So our free umbrellas last for quite a long time. And we would not buy one, because we don't need it. But if our table was in the sun, that would be totally different, and I'd find something else to not have to buy, lol. Enjoy your umbrella!

  3. #13
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    Keep a running list of things needed/wanted and go to village wide garage sales in the spring. THEN, if not found we purchase. Try to buy used before new for most items that matter not to us.

    Get books from library/garage sales and only buy if reference books (and then used).

  4. #14
    Senior Member rosarugosa's Avatar
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    I am extravagant about too many things to call myself a cheapskate, but I do cut those Q-tips in half for application of acne cream, and of course they are the generic, not really Q-tip brand. I have some other frugal behaviors to be sure, but I think that's the one that really would qualify as weird to most people.

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by catherine View Post
    Not too many people are frugal ALL of the time. Everyone has their "gazingus pins." But I think most of us have that one thing that has their family and friends shaking their heads. My mother's best friend ironed used wrapping paper, and she admitted that she spent money on many things, but she hated wasting wrapping paper. I was thinking about this the other day when I swept the floor before I vacuumed. I do that regularly, because the more I can sweep up, the less goes into the vacuum bag and the less frequently I have to replace them. I think that's probably one of my cheapest behaviors. My vacuum cleaner is a Miele, and the vacuum bags are high quality but expensive. I tried doing the Amy D thing and emptying it and reusing it, but it wasn't worth my time and it was really messy. So, I sweep before I vacuum. What makes you an "extreme cheapskate?"
    I took some advice from the Jacob Lund Fisker ERE book while not being so extreme in some cases. I've always been fortunate as a renter to find a less expensive but still nicer place, my 1 bedroom apartment in New Orleans from 2007-2020 was $650/mo with water and gas and recently I moved to a 2-bedroom house north of Lake Pontchartrain (Covington) that is $875 utilities not included. I've had the same 07' Civic since May of 2007, no major issues or accidents, still under $100k miles, with overall cheaper insurance coverage but fairly high liability just in case. Switched to Mint Mobile's $15/month cell phone plan. Try to use AC/heat sparingly. If I have to run errands, trying to do as many in the same trip as possible. Vacation locally, free camping within 15 miles preferred. Put as many bills and purchases on my Southwest card so when I do travel long-distance it's pretty much free. Mostly cook and don't go out, and try to rely on cheaper staple foods like rice, potatoes, etc., and only purchase more expensive things when they're on sale then stock up a little in the freezer. Buy clothes from the thrift store, and try not to wash shorts, pants, and other items that can be worn multiple times in between washes, and wash cold cycle and dry on low heat to minimize deterioration of fabrics. Exercise at home/work or public trails/facilities instead of getting a gym membership. Smaller things like using rags for cleaning, make my own cleaner/toothpaste. Try to buy things used and make sure they are durable/high utility, avoid buying things that aren't necessary and try to work with the things I have (really helps expand creativity--for example my Xanadu plant leaves really do a great job drying plastic baggies). Trim away at the big recurrent expenses and cut away the smaller purchasing habits. My weak spot is probably antique lighting and furniture, but my furnishings are fairly Spartan, and I take good care of my things which should hopefully help retain their value. Also, not loaning money to people, or if you do have a legally binding agreement in place. A few years ago I loaned a huge amount to someone who at the time was a close friend, trusting them without a legal agreement to pay me back, and got burned. Had I not provided the loan and instead invested it, I might be retiring 5-10 years sooner. The mistake also drove me to becoming very attentive to my expenses and purchasing habits however, so in a way I will recuperate some of my losses through the habits the mistake has branded into my subconscious.

  6. #16
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric View Post
    I took some advice from the Jacob Lund Fisker ERE book while not being so extreme in some cases. I've always been fortunate as a renter to find a less expensive but still nicer place, my 1 bedroom apartment in New Orleans from 2007-2020 was $650/mo with water and gas and recently I moved to a 2-bedroom house north of Lake Pontchartrain (Covington) that is $875 utilities not included. I've had the same 07' Civic since May of 2007, no major issues or accidents, still under $100k miles, with overall cheaper insurance coverage but fairly high liability just in case. Switched to Mint Mobile's $15/month cell phone plan. Try to use AC/heat sparingly. If I have to run errands, trying to do as many in the same trip as possible. Vacation locally, free camping within 15 miles preferred. Put as many bills and purchases on my Southwest card so when I do travel long-distance it's pretty much free. Mostly cook and don't go out, and try to rely on cheaper staple foods like rice, potatoes, etc., and only purchase more expensive things when they're on sale then stock up a little in the freezer. Buy clothes from the thrift store, and try not to wash shorts, pants, and other items that can be worn multiple times in between washes, and wash cold cycle and dry on low heat to minimize deterioration of fabrics. Exercise at home/work or public trails/facilities instead of getting a gym membership. Smaller things like using rags for cleaning, make my own cleaner/toothpaste. Try to buy things used and make sure they are durable/high utility, avoid buying things that aren't necessary and try to work with the things I have (really helps expand creativity--for example my Xanadu plant leaves really do a great job drying plastic baggies). Trim away at the big recurrent expenses and cut away the smaller purchasing habits. My weak spot is probably antique lighting and furniture, but my furnishings are fairly Spartan, and I take good care of my things which should hopefully help retain their value. Also, not loaning money to people, or if you do have a legally binding agreement in place. A few years ago I loaned a huge amount to someone who at the time was a close friend, trusting them without a legal agreement to pay me back, and got burned. Had I not provided the loan and instead invested it, I might be retiring 5-10 years sooner. The mistake also drove me to becoming very attentive to my expenses and purchasing habits however, so in a way I will recuperate some of my losses through the habits the mistake has branded into my subconscious.
    Some things I have in common with you:

    I'm a big fan of Jacob Lund Fisker, too. ERE is totally aspirational for me, though, and has never been how I've lived my life but I at least I try to allow the ideas to enlighten my financial decisions.
    I bought my Prius new in '07 and am still driving it (142k miles) and plan to continue, maybe until I die (I'm a lot older than you).
    Have also been majorly burned loaning/cosigning for people as favors.
    Also believe that joining a gym is a waste of money. Reducing dependencies on paid outside labor and machines will keep you in shape.
    Also am conscious of wearing out fabric so I line dry in the summer.
    Also wash baggies.
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
    www.silententry.wordpress.com

  7. #17
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    Joining a gym depends if is a waste of money.. I have a hard time motivating myself to exercise alone BUT if I pay a few dollars and have a set time to go….. I do. Also, I pay a small amount IMO per month for exercise classes, a salt water pool with classes, a multitude of machines, an indoor walking track and 2 times per year can get a customized exercise plan. Plus it allows me to be able to interact with like-minded people. The local senior center charges the same for taking just 2 classes a week. PLUS I can suspend the account when we leave for the winter and just pay for the months I use. So, YLMV!

  8. #18
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by frugal-one View Post
    Joining a gym depends if is a waste of money.. I have a hard time motivating myself to exercise alone BUT if I pay a few dollars and have a set time to go….. I do. Also, I pay a small amount IMO per month for exercise classes, a salt water pool with classes, a multitude of machines, an indoor walking track and 2 times per year can get a customized exercise plan. Plus it allows me to be able to interact with like-minded people. The local senior center charges the same for taking just 2 classes a week. PLUS I can suspend the account when we leave for the winter and just pay for the months I use. So, YLMV!
    Absolutely, some benefit, and others, like me, pay and never go. I used to like the dancercize-type classes. Those were fun--but the one I liked the most was downstairs in my workplace headquarters, so I didn't even have to get in a car. I have spent far too much money on gyms and other exercise programs that I just never used.
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
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  9. #19
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    I go to the gym to use the weight machines. There's an alternative, yea if there was one I liked, you would think I would have found in during a year of pandemic before vaxes, when I dropped the gym membership. I did a lot of things that made me miserable like lifting my legs, hand weights etc., that seemed far more painful and yet oddly ALSO far less effective (I have no idea how both can be true but they were) than going for the gym. And I pined endlessly for the gym.

    I don't think I do anything extreme, but then I never considered free entertainment anything out of the ordinary at all. Most of the time it doesn't cross my mind. It's probably that I never spent much on entertainment and ended up with someone who spends even less. It's a perfectly ordinary weekend if I'm going for walks in nature, or to art galleries (which are free), or a free museum. But then I guess I do some non-free entertainment but that's most often going to a coffee house with a used book. But sure a few times a year I might pay to do something like a play, a musuem, a botanical garden (truthfully I'm often treated those few times a year ). I suppose another thing that might be strange is most of the decorative items in my place are thrifted (no I have not bought from the art galleries, maybe someday). Some furniture is thrifted, some is ebay used, some is new, I really consider that nothing particularly extreme at all, a bit of this, a bit of that, ho hum.
    Trees don't grow on money

  10. #20
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    apNoMore, I hadn't thought about thrifted furniture as odd, but as I look around this 49 year old furnishings...I see that we have new electronics, one china closet we had made, a filing cabinet, one small chest, one book case. a rocker, an oriental rug.I think that's it! Mattresses are newly purchased and appliances. but everything else has been bought at an auction, refinished, gotten from parents. When we first moved here 1973..the house was bare, now it is way too full.

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