I am often accused of being a cheapskate because I always buy used cars instead of new ones and keep them for eight years or more. I’m also the target of this accusation because I almost always brownbag my lunch to work, never pay credit card interest, never borrow money for anything but a home mortgage, and rarely take a real vacation. However, many of those who point the finger at me for being a cheapskate could be accused of the same. What they don’t realize is that there are other ways to be a cheapskate that might be applicable to them. Here is a just a partial list below:
1) Never sending cards, letters, or bill payments via the U.S. Mail. Instead, many people now stick with email and online bill payments to avoid buying stamps. What do stamps cost now, a dollar a piece? Oh wait, they are still less than 50 cents each.
2) Dropping your landline in favor of using your cell phone for all calls. This is very popular nowadays, as it can be a real money-saver. Landlines are very expensive. However, without a landline, you can forget about a home security system – which real cheapskates probably wouldn’t want anyway.
3) Cutting your cable or satellite cord. Lots of people are now dropping their pay TV provider in favor of Internet video. Cable and satellite bills have gotten outrageous over the years, but are still a must if you like live sporting events, which I can't yet do without.
4) Turning your thermostat way up in the summer and way down in the winter. Sure, it’s a great way to save money on energy bills and protect the environment, but I prefer to be comfortable in all seasons, even if I have to spend a few extra bucks.
5) DIYing everything. From plumbing problems to bathroom remodeling, you are going to do it all yorself. It's a sight how much money you'll save - until, of course, you screw it up like I inevitably would. Then it will cost more than hiring than hiring an expert from the get-go.
6) Not giving at least ten percent of your gross income to religious and/or charitable organizations. Many people say they can’t afford do so. What they are really saying is that they are cheapskates.