The Cheapskate Next Door – Book Review

by Pam on December 26, 2011

                                             The Cheapskate Next Door: The Surprising Secrets Of Americans Living Happily Below Their Means by Jeff Yeager

As a fellow cheapskate, I have to admit I absolutely loved The Cheapskate Next DoorI sat down and read it all in one day as it was truly humorous and captured my full attention.  A witty personal finance book is hard to come by so I wanted to highlight this book in particular, as it is both informative and entertaining simultaneously.

The author, Jeff Yeager (who is also a cheapskate) travelled around on his bicycle and visited a whole bunch of other cheapskates.  He stayed in their homes and got a chance to learn some of their money saving tricks.  He also compiled data from a huge survey that he had self-professing cheapskates fill out.  I want to share just a few of these tidbits with you to whet your appetite so that you will want to read this book, too.

Interesting facts determined by surveys filled out by American cheapskates:

-75% say they rarely or never shop at garage sales, auctions, etc.

-Only about 10% have a formal, written household budget.  But 85% do keep track of their spending, at least for a couple of months each year.

-Less than 20% have a formal emergency fund.  Although they all have money set aside as savings, they do not necessarily consider these funds to be specifically for emergencies.

-60% of the time a cheapskate family has one stay at home parent.

-80% teach their kids about personal finance starting at a young age.

-5% of their total food costs is spent on eating out compared to 50% of the general American population’s total food costs.

-Almost 90% only go grocery shopping once per week or less.

-90% wear their clothes until they are completely worn out.

-90% use their local public library regularly.

Did any of those stats surprise you?  When we think of cheapskates we often equate them with penny pinchers, but when the author of this book talks about cheapskates he simply means frugal, money-smart folks, not misers.

If you ever wondered if you would qualify as a cheapskate, see if you have any of the following characteristics:

-They value experiences over stuff and are more prone to spend their money on an experience such as traveling, then to acquire more material possessions.

-They detest wastefulness of money and resources.

-They don’t care about brands or advertising.

-Their frugality is mostly due to their beliefs and values (not about money itself).

-They don’t “spoil” their kids.

-They choose to buy a home for less than what they could qualify for.

-They don’t like shopping.

-They value value.

-They value time more than money.  For cheapskates, money equals time and not the other way around.

-They don’t care about what others think.  (They never try to keep up with the Joneses).

-They rarely regret making a purchase.

-They thrive on delayed gratification – they are not in a hurry to make a purchase.

So, how did you do?  Are you a cheapskate, too?

For more information and tips coming directly from cheapskate experts, check out The Cheapskate Next Door and see how fun and easy it can be to manage your money wisely.  Being frugal is the new trend, after all, but true cheapskates wouldn’t care about that, now would they?

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