Skip to comments."Cheapskate Next Door": The cheapskate's revenge
Posted on 06/17/2010 4:20:41 AM PDT by Daisyjane69
Before the economy imploded, cheapskates were considered a pitiful bunch -- frumpy coupon moms racing across town to save 19 cents on baby wipes, joyless penny-pinchers subsisting on ramen noodles. Meanwhile, the cool kids were starting wine collections and equipping their homes with plasma TVs and stainless-steel kitchen appliances.
Then, in the drop of a Dow Jones average, frugality suddenly became fashionable, and all those still-unpaid-for off-road vehicles and granite countertops became symbols of foolishness and excess, rather than success. Lifestyle sections brimmed with redemptive stories of former mortgage brokers/derivatives traders/entertainment publicists who had suddenly discovered the humble joys of family game night and three-bean soup. The general conclusion: We had all overextended ourselves, and now we all must learn a new way.
This narrative largely neglected the Americans best equipped to speak to the simple life: the people who have always lived frugally. In his new book, "The Cheapskate Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of Americans Living Happily Below Their Means," author Jeff Yeager gives voice to the sensible folks who spent the boom years quietly paying down their mortgages and making their kids earn their allowances (if they got one at all). Yeager surveyed and interviewed more than 300 fellow cheapskates -- traveling the country on his bicycle and crashing on the couches of his thrifty brethren. He quickly discovered a group of people who bore little resemblance to the stereotypical tightwad. Not only do Yeager's cheapskates donate more money to charity than the general population, they also have lower divorce rates and higher education levels. Although their politics and religious views span the spectrum -- from Christian conservative to hippie freegan -- they're united in their rejection of consumer culture, excessive borrowing and waste. They also believe the cheap life is the happiest.
(Excerpt) Read more at salon.com ...
This reminds me of the articles that appeared about how wonderful it would be to be laid off. You'd have lots of free time to explore your hobbies.
Yep, we’re out there.....and probably in here.
and let’s not forget Affluenza!
>> Then, in the drop of a Dow Jones average, frugality suddenly became fashionable
That’s how it SHOULD have been, when the subprime “crisis” hit and high fliers had the rug jerked out from under them.
Those of us who lived within our means, saved, and paid off debt SHOULD have pWn3d those debt monkeys. The value of their accumulated stuff should have approached zero, and we savers should have been able to acquire it at ten cents on the dollar, while they take up residence into Cardboard Box City, permanently broke and unable to ever again repeat their foolish excess.
But, alas, it was not to be. They are just being bailed out at our expense.
Cup of moral hazard, anyone?
Let me convert this pile of trash to the truth in short form.
“WE the dims have ****ed up this nation so badly that you will never enjoy being affluent as a nation again. **** you all... get used to it...
the party of the ass”.
My cheapskateness comes from having very simple tastes.
Being called a “Consumer” instead of a Citizen for the past decade pushed me into the realm of the third-finger salute to advertisers and retail establishmets.
You are being sarcastic but your statement is actually a true one.
Once you realize possessions do not automatically make you happier.
I know many who spent (no pun intended) the boom years really enjoying life with new homes, furniture, all the latest electronic toys, motorcycles, boats, and lots and lots of vacations...all on credit or the equity from their homes. They had a lot of stuff to lose, and lose it they did.
Did all that "stuff" make them happy, perhaps for awhile, but not today. Divorce is common, children don't speak to their parents, and the parents are wondering about their future as their best earning years are coming to an end.
Happiness comes from accepting who you are, not what you own.
To heck with that. It gives me more time to reload my brass.
I didn’t quite read it the way you did (as a pile of trash). It seemed to give grudging respect (at least) to those of us who never bought into the whole credit card mentality. We lived our adult lives the way our middle class parents taught us to: live within your means, save up for what you want, stay out of debt if you can.
Mom & Dad were right. :)
I believe that more of it can be attributed to how one is raised rather than how much one has.
I was taught to be frugal so I wouldn’t have to be frugal later and what I learned is that frugality becomes a way of life and I hate wasting money on anything. Hence my utter hatred of wasteful government...and there’s no better example of “wasteful” anywhere.
I read it the same way that you did.
My house has a big flat screen, and some lovely granite counter tops...but...BOTH were PAID OFF IN FULL before they entered my house. We went without eating out for a long time in order to save up for the TV, the counters were Christmas, Valentines and my birthday last year. :)
Thanks Mom and Dad! You raised me well.
*now the question is...will they see this if I don’t ping them LOL*
Except for the government. Now it's more of a spendthrift than ever.
We agree on the credit way of life... I owe no one. I saw this coming years ago.
After being robbed and then going through a major hurricane I finally got it that if you don’t have too much stuff there isn’t much to steal or clean up. Less sometimes is more. ;)
I totally agree with both of you. Personally, I don’t like possessing many things. My point is that THEY are making that decision for us and then trying to make us believe we are better for that decision. That is the difference.
"If you can't pick it up and run away with it, you don't really own it." Lazarus Long.
As far as the marketers go, I took some marketing courses in college and know their tricks. I am not persuaded by their psychological gimmicks to part people from their money. Stuff will never make someone happy in and of itself. It may bring enjoyment or make life easier but it is not the source of joy in life.
I guess it is a matter of interpretation. I only saw the article as an object lessons. People have choices. This article shows the result of what happens when people choice one path over another.
This is not a new lesson, the story of the grasshopper and the ant tells the same tale.
I visited 'my' superstove every time I went into Lowe's for MONTHS before I could throw down the cash to take it home.
When my husband I joined our denomination nearly 30 years ago I decided that I would consistently and honestly paying a full tithe. Almost immediately, I was able to pay bills and pay down debt that I thought would be impossible.
One memorable Friday afternoon soon after starting to pay tithing, I didn't have enough money to pay the staff of my small business. At about 4:30 p.m. a woman came into the office an made an appointment for a very expensive service. He next statement was, "Can I pay for that in advance?" She handed over in cash the exact amount I needed to cover the salaries for that pay period. Consistently, I found that when I needed the money, a payment would arrive just in time to cover the expenses of the office and my personal needs.
Several things happened as a result of tithing:
1) I stopped worrying about money. I knew I would have enough.
2) I realized that everything belonged to the Lord. In reality "I had nothing to lose"! It was all His anyway ( on loan.)
3) I completely lost my desire for many luxuries that at one time I felt was sooooo important. I just didn't want them anymore.
3)) No matter what I had, whether it was a lot or a little, I would be happy and content. I would always have what I absolutely needed.