We all have shameful, little frugal secrets – ways we stretch a dollar that we’re not so proud of.
So it’s time to air the dirty laundry.
If you’re a fan of Dog Shaming, you’ll love Money Shaming: the financial confessions of 10 of my favorite personal finance bloggers.
We’ll start with the tame ones and move on from there.
The Not-So-Shameful Confessions:
Most of these confessions aren’t that shameful. In fact, I think they’re great ways to save money and most people do this all the time!
Scoping Out Free Food and Drinks
I’m never one to pass up free food, and my fellow bloggers are the same. Joan from Man vs. Debt writes: “Y’know how the wholesale clubs have the people who give out food samples? When I was REALLY broke, I would take my daughter, who was maybe 2 or 3 at the time, there and we would ‘eat lunch out.’ It was kind of our special thing.” Kyle from Amateur Asset Allocator never misses a free happy hour. “Although I’m not particularly ashamed of that!” says Kyle.
Bringing Food into a Movie Theater
This is a widely-adopted, frugal secret: avoid the overpriced movie theater concession stand by sneaking in outside food. “We always buy $1 candy and take it to the movies,” says Kelly from Centsible Life. I do this all the time, too.
J Money from Budgets Are Sexy takes it a step further, bringing in an entire meal: “I used to sneak in double cheeseburgers from McDonalds into the movie theaters so I didn’t have to get gorged with their prices! $1.00 menu item for the win!”
Taking More Than Your Fare Share
If there is free fruit sitting out at a conference or at a hotel, I take more than one piece so I don’t have to buy food later. And by “more than one piece” I mean “I stuff my purse full of bananas. I don’t find that particularly shameful, but I think everyone else giving me the stink eye when I load up on fruit have a different opinion!
Shamefully Embarrassing but Forgivable:
From napkin hoarding, to dumpster diving to couponing: some of these are borderline shameful, but they’re mostly forgivable. Would you do any of the following?
- Todd from Financial Mentor writes: “When I first came out of college and was super-tight with every nickel because I had to be, I shared a meal with a friend and paid for my half with a half-off coupon, 2-for-1 deal. I can still remember the look on my friend’s face when I presented the coupon for my half of the bill. The thought embarrasses me to this day.”
- Karen from Money Saving Enthusiast writes: “When I was on a super tight budget, I once gave my credit card rewards as a gift to my brother, who is much more extravagant than his frugal sister. I thought the money was the same amount as I would have spent on him. I knew I could get away with it…and deal with the momentary headlock he would put me in.”
- Jackie from The Debt Myth says: “You know how if you go to places like In-N-Out they give you a slew of napkins every time? I take all those home and use them up.”
- Doug from The Military Guide writes: “I still get abused by society for dumpster-diving, curbside trash picking, and pulling over the car to pick up aluminum & plastic for recycling. I see it as optimizing resources, but my friends say that I’m giving frugality & financial independence a bad reputation.”
And I’ll round out this category with my own shameful confession: Sometimes I bring a really cheap bottle of wine to a party and just drink the good stuff that everyone else brought 😛
… but please still invite me to your parties!
Pretty Damn Shameful:
Okay, I think this one takes the cake as a pretty damn shameful. Can a person get any cheaper? (Actually, don’t answer that)
Lance from Money Life and More says: “I had a roommate that would split our cable bill down to the penny based on services we used. I didn’t have a problem with that, but when the bill went up $0.21 for taxes he asked if we should split it equally or based on the percentages of our services… I handed him a quarter and told him to keep the change.”
Now it’s your turn to confess: What’s a frugally shameful thing you’ve done that you’re not particularly proud of?
Original photo: Dog Shaming
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