Cheapskates and proud of it: 10 ways cheapskates save money


I am not sure if we are extreme cheapskates or not. Compared to most people I know we are!  We do spend when we need to. But instead of compulsively spending our money, we prefer to be more intentional with our finances and prioritise our spending. We are cheapskates and proud of it!

As I see it, the main attitudes of a cheapskate are as follows:

They plan ahead

Cheapskates always plan for the future rather than blindly getting by. They have an emergency fund. Cheapskates set themselves savings goals. They put money aside for their future in a pension.  You can find out more about retirement savings here.

They budget

A monthly budget enables you to take care of all of your bills, put money by for savings and stop over spending. Meal planning can help with your grocery budgeting.

They buy used

You can pretty much buy everything you need second-hand – apart from food, of course! The internet makes the marketplace for second-hand goods enormous. And it’s not just the online giant eBay. You can also try Gumtree,  Mercari, Shpock, Dpop and more. Don’t forget Facebook Marketplace, charity shops and boot sales too. Cheapskates buy used whenever possible and save lots of money in the process.

They don’t compare themselves to others

Cheapskates don’t try to keep up with the Joneses! They make the best of all that they have. Remember, the household with all the gadgets and the fancy car is very likely to be living on credit. Many truly wealthy people don’t necessarily earn the most: they just save the best.

They aim to save money on EVERYTHING

Cheapskates always look for the best deal. They get lots of quotes for utilities and services and they haggle. Cheapskates never take the first price they are offered.

They make do and mend

Cheapskates don’t rush out to buy something new if something is a bit worn out or broken. They aim to repair, upcycle and revamp. They make do with what they have. For example, instead of buying a new sofa to replace our old cream one, we spent £14 on a cheery new throw.

They live simply

Cheapskates embrace simple living. They prefer a minimalist lifestyle and reduce clutter. The benefits of simple living go beyond money saving, however. Simple living gives you more time and helps you to reduce stress.

They embrace DIY

There are many things that we could currently get someone else to do that we do ourselves. We don’t employ painters, we wash our own cars and we enjoy gardening. Mr S even repaired the roof (despite being terrified of heights). Cheapskates learn DIY skills.

They question every purchase

Cheapskates don’t make impulse purchases. They question every purchase that they make. Cheapskates look at what they already have or can beg or borrow before buying.

They retain control

By planning and budgeting, by not impulse buying, by saving for the future cheapskates keep control of their finances and their lives. Cheapskates might be cheap but they are often also wealthy. According to the book The Millionaire Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of America’s Wealthy, many millionaires don’t necessarily earn the most but they do plan and budget. The often live frugal lives and prioritise saving over spending to secure their long term financial futures.

We are cheapskates and proud! How about you?

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13 thoughts on “Cheapskates and proud of it: 10 ways cheapskates save money

  1. I’m very much a cheapskate. I get upset when people say I’m lucky to have no money worries. But that’s because I am wide what I spend my money on.

  2. When you work hard for your money why would you want to waste it on something you either don’t need or can do yourself? If that’s being a cheapskate then yes, I’m a cheapskate!

  3. Yes we are definitely in this category but I never apologize because it’s gotten us to a really good place in our lives. I just wrote a post about “Frugal Living” last week! Similar thoughts and one I think more people embrace then we know. Great post! Chy

  4. I’m cheapskate insofar as I don’t go shopping for fun, it’s only when we need things. I also have a husband who mends things – mending things seems almost impossible for so many people these days, as they either haven’t the knowledge/skills, or things are made so as to be almost impossible for the ordinary person to mend them. But my husband in his working life was an engineer (and that doesn’t mean a mechanic – a lot of people think engineers go around in greasy overalls, sadly!) and he says if something was manufactured, then it can be dismantled and repaired, and he’s been able to mend all kinds of things. Today, a much more simple task, but one I’d struggle with, was to put new cords through a Venetian blind as the original cords for opening and closing it had frayed. It wasn’t an expensive blind and I’d have been all for throwing it out and getting a new one from Blinds2Go (very good, inexpensive blinds of all kinds) but no, he bought cord for £1 at a picture framing shop, and spent an afternoon repairing it.
    I’m still using pencils that my late uncle used in his office in the 1940s/1950s. Just thought I’d throw that one in, ha ha!
    Margaret P

    • My husband also mends things (another one with an engineering background). He recently used the slats from a wooden bunk bed to make a new top for our garden table!

  5. I’m a bit of both, if the truth be told. I buy quality over quantity and use things till the end of their life.

    What does bother me is the fact that some people manage a “cheapskate” lifestyle by constantly borrowing things and expecting you to be happy to subsidize their lifestyle at no cost to themselves. I’ve leant clothes, shoes, handbags, dinner ware and am happy to do so. Well, until I kept lending the same items to one person who a mutual friend told me that X had such lovely china and that I must really like it since I had copied her!

  6. Cheapskates here too!
    Daughter brought home her boyfriends left over fish & chips last night as he was just going to throw it away! 😀 She was telling us how she can’t understand why others don’t bring home leftovers from restaurants too, as it’s such a waste of food you’ve paid over the odds for anyway!

    I pointed out that it’s probably us who are the odd ones, not only for bringing home any leftovers, but for actively eating only half of the meal in order to do it!! 😀 😀
    I don’t know of anyone else who goes out for a meal planning to only eat half of it, so it will do for 2 meals! 😀

  7. I think ‘cheapskate’ implies meanness and I know from reading your blog for some time that you are not mean. being careful not to overspend or cutting down in order to have money to spend on the things you want to do isn’t being a cheapskate.

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