Monday, December 22, 2014
Making saving money a game is what works for me – I use it as a challenge! How can I make dinner without buying anything for the next three days, using only what I already have. Can I repair my clothes this weekend so I don’t need another pair of jeans? Can I have fun Friday night without opening my wallet? These are all challenges for me.
I do, however, have many friends for whom being frugal is not a primary concern. For one thing, we do not discuss much our finances with one another; as well, it is very possible that they their budget is very different than mine. I also have friends with whom I have very honest and forthcoming about my frugality and we share tips often. However, when I need a little inspiration, I often look online for articles, blogs, and videos of VERY frugal people. I also read books about budgeting and how to make ends meet.
One series that I have enjoyed on YouTube is Extreme Cheapskates (we do not have TLC at home); some of the extent to which some of the cheapskates go to in order to save a few pennies is WAY more than I would do. However, it’s fun to debate internally whether or not I would use their tricks. Another show, shown only on the Internet, is Cheapsters, where frugal contestants compete in challenges to be the winner of the cheapsters and a prize of $10 000. The first season has challenges such as making a very cheap but tasty meal; decorating an office with items from the dollar store; dressing for a formal event at a second-hand store, and the likes. However, the second season is not as good; the challenges are a bit silly, such as finding quarters in a room with many sofas and racing to get coupons.
Books that I like to read come mostly from the library. For example, I just finished reading The Cold Hard Truth about Men, Women & Money by Kevin O’Leary; yes, Kevin, the ‘mean’ guy on Dragon’s Den (CBC television). Mr. O’Leary has a fantastic chapter about the investment of your post-secondary education and whether the investment is worth it or not. Although I do not agree with all his advice (he barely considers living at home but discourages you from seeking a degree which will not land you a job), he also has good advice, such as working part-time even if it means not graduating as fast, if that means not graduating in debt. A very good read.