When I started my first full-time job after graduating university, I had hardly any money to my name. I desperately wanted to start saving up as much as I could to start a nest egg, and looking back some of the things I did to save money may have been a bit extreme. Although I’ve always considered myself to be frugal not cheap, I can’t deny that I’ve done a lot of cheapskate things that are just downright ridiculous to save a buck or two. Here are just a few of the most cringe-worthy cheapskate things I’ve been hiding in my personal finance closet.
The glass milk bottle
There was this cute mom and pop grocery store near my first place, and not only did they have some great prices, they also sold a lot of organic products too. Since the area I lived in was pretty much hippy-central, I wanted to fit in and buy as many organic goods as I could afford. One of those things was organic milk. It cost $2 for a 1 litre glass bottle of organic milk, but the best part was if you cleaned and returned the bottle, you would get a dollar back. I did this back and forth for well over a year. In retrospect, I probably only saved $26 and wasted more hours than I’d like to mention cleaning and returning those milk bottles. At least I was being green right?
The black flats
I had a pair of black flats that I got for $20 at Payless Shoes. They weren’t anything special except for the fact that I had broken them in so good that they fit my feet like perfect little clouds. I would wear these shoes walking around town, when I went out dancing, and even to work they were just so darn comfortable. They definitely started to show signs of wear after about 6 months or so, but I just kept fixing any rips or marks with a black Sharpie. Those shoes lasted me a good 2 years before they really started to disintegrate. Now that’s how you make $20 stretch to the max!
The taxi dilemma
My HB can attest to this, up until about a year ago I refused to take a taxi home after a long night out. Unfortunately, public transit pretty much shuts down after midnight in Vancouver, so instead of getting a cab home, I would walk. To be fair, Vancouver is a totally walkable city. But when it’s 2am and my HB just wants to be in bed, making him walk 30 minutes with me home just to save ourselves $20 seems kind of ridiculous now that I think about it. And to top it all off, and this is by far the most cheapskate thing I’ve probably done, after our wedding night, I made my HB take public transit with me back to our apartment. We’d just spent over $16,000 on our wedding, I guess I just couldn’t bear to spend another $15 on a cab home. Welcome to married life with Jessica indeed.
What are the most ridiculously cheapskate things you’ve ever done?