I’m VERY frugal, and my husband would probably even tell you that I’m an extreme cheapskate.
I’m currently on a three year spending ban, I drive an 18 year old car, and I live in my parents’ basement. There are plenty of crazy things I’d be willing to do in the name of frugality.
I think people sometimes get frustrated when they read an extremely frugal blog because they think “well…I don’t want to do a spending ban or drive a 20 year old car that’s falling apart.” That’s okay!
Everyone has their own unique journey to take. I’ll do a lot of weird things to save money, but there are some things I will NEVER do in the name of frugality.
Here are 9 things I won’t do to save money (or earn extra money).
Note: there is nothing wrong with doing any of the things listed below. If you’re choosing to do any of these things, good for you! I’m not saying you shouldn’t do these things… these are just things I wouldn’t do personally.
Do whatever works for you!
Live in a Tiny Home
I’m fascinated by tiny homes. I like learning about how the architects make use of such a small space and I LOVE the idea of not having a mortgage. How awesome would it be to spend most of your money on traveling or investing like crazy so you could retire early?
It’s a really cool idea, but I would never actually live in a tiny home. I’m a little claustrophobic and I also like to have my own personal space. I’d be fine with sharing a small townhouse with my husband and our pug, but a tiny home is going too far for us.
My pug is a noisy, sometimes smelly dog and in a tiny home there’d be no escaping from his snoring and his burps that smell like farts.
Move to a Small Town
My in-laws live in a small town and we could get a gorgeous brand new three bedroom house there for $175,000. In contrast, something similar in our area would probably cost $350,000 or more. I love how affordable small towns are, but I just can’t stand the thought of living in the middle of nowhere.
I love the convenience of living near the city and there are more job opportunities in the suburbs. If my husband and I lived in small town, we’d have a crazy long commute to work.
Buy an Old House
My husband and I plan to buy an $150,000 townhome in the near(ish) future. This will get us two bedrooms and about 1,100 square feet at best. If we were willing to buy an 100 year old home, we could get two or three times as much space for the same cost.
While I love the idea of getting more space for our money, I’m not willing to purchase an old home that’s likely to have a lot of issues. We could end up spending a small fortune in repairs, which wouldn’t end up saving us much money in the long run!
Live in the Ghetto
Another way to get a larger home for a lower cost would be to live in a less desirable location. We could buy a large, nice house for dirt cheap if we were willing to buy in an unpopular area…but we aren’t.
I lived in a crime-filled area of Minneapolis during my sophomore year of college. After that experience, I have no interest in living in a similar area again, even if it would save a lot of money.
Get Another Roommate
In the 10 years that my husband and I have been together, we’ve never lived together alone. We’ve lived separately, shared an apartment with roommates, and lived in my parents’ basement.
Getting a roommate would save us a lot of money each month, but it just doesn’t feel worth it at this point. We can’t wait to finally live together just the two of us.
Drive a Smart Car
My husband used to drive a Smart car, and I supported this decision a bit reluctantly because I was concerned about safety. It seemed like it would save a lot of money though so I liked that aspect of it.
Nine months after we purchased the Smart car, the engine died and the repair would’ve been $4,500 (more than we paid for the car itself). Not too long before that, the entire back window just randomly fell off (yes, really!) and my husband drove around with plastic wrap as a back window for a couple weeks before he got a new windshield.
My impression with Smart cars is that they’re a bit flimsy and they can end up being much more expensive than expected if they need repairs.
Some extreme cheapskates will do things like reusing paper towels or Ziploc bags, dumpster diving, flushing the toilet less often, or eating expired food. I’m all for saving money, but I don’t have the stomach for doing things like that.
Just thinking about it gives me the heebie jeebies.
Some of these things that I find a little gross might actually be unsafe as well. Eating expired food or meals from a dumpster is an invitation for bacteria and other harmful stuff. I like to save money, but risking safety isn’t worth it in my opinion.
You could end up spending more money than you saved if you need to pay for medical bills later.
I strongly encourage you to sell (or donate) blood if you can. I feel a personal connection to this issue because I have a rare bleeding disorder that prevents my blood from clotting as quickly as it should. There’s a high chance that I’ll need a blood transfusion at some point in my life.
Selling blood is an easy way to earn extra money and potentially save a life at the same time. I will never sell (or donate) my blood because I can’t. My bleeding disorder makes me ineligible to give blood.
One Last Thought
Again, there is nothing wrong with doing these things. Everyone has their own unique path to take, and your journey might look very different from mine.
If you’re doing any of the things above to save, good for you for saving money!
What are some things you’d never do to save money?
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