04 February 2015

From Spendthrift to Cheapskate in 4 Easy Stagesc

When someone is a new Cheapskate it can sometimes be overwhelming hearing about how other Cheapskates manage to live. Experienced Cheapskates tend to automatically live the Cheapskates way, saving money, time and energy has become an ingrained habit for them and they don't even think about how to stay within budget. Sometimes we forget the stages we went through on our journey to frugality:

S - Spendthrift Extraordinaire - buys name brands
1 - Fiscally Conscious - buys name brands on sale
2 - Bargain Hunter  - has switched to cheaper or generic brands
3 - Novice Cheapskate - makes own at home using commercial mixes
4 - Champion Cheapskate - makes own at home from scratch

Here are some examples of the differing stages and what they could involve:

Washing powder

S - buy brand name, use full scoop
1 - buy on special
2 - use 1/2 scoop
3 - change brands
4 - make Cheapskates Washing Powder

Snacks

S - Buy brand name multi packs
1 - Buy brand name bulk pack and portion out
2 - Switch to generic multi-packs
3 - switch to generic bulk packs and portion out
4 - make your own (pita chips, crackers)

Takeaway Pizza

S - buy from the pizza parlour, have it delivered
1 - buy from the pizza parlour, pick it up
2 - buy from the pizza parlour with a discount voucher, pick it up
3 - switch to fresh pizzas from supermarket
4 - make them at home (see Penny Pinching Pan Pizza) and have 3 for the price of one bought

Nappy Wipes

S - buy brand name
1 - buy brand name on special
2 - buy brand name, cut in half
3 - switch to generic
4 - use wet face washers and a plastic bag

Spray and Wipe

S - buy brand name
1 - buy on special
2 - use less/dilute
3 - cheaper brand
4 - switch to Miracle Spray

Finding your perfect level of Cheapskateness is personal. What is ideal for one person or family may be extravagant to another and make another feel completely impoverished. Not everyone is at the same place on their journey to finding the Cheapskates way and not everyone will find their ideal level of Cheapskating at the same place.

As you travel the road to the Cheapskates way take the time to try each step and evaluate whether it works for you or not. There will be times when a level four change won't bother you at all and other times and situations when you won't be able to cope with anything other than sticking at Spendthrift Extraordinaire (mine is coffee; I have a brand I like that I buy on sale and I won't change it, so for coffee I'm at a level 1).

As you go from buying brand names without a thought, to checking the price and buying if on sale through to switching brands, cutting the amount you use and making things yourself from scratch you will find the level you are happy at. It won't be the same for everything either.  As I've confessed, when it comes to coffee I'm a dedicated spendthrift. And that's ok. I am more than happy to go to Champion level on something that's not as important to me (washing powder for instance) so I can stay at Spendthrift level with the things that are important to me.

Take each stage slowly and remember:  we are all at differing stages. This is your personal journey. Enjoy the trip.


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