The Birth and Evolution of a Cheapskate

Today, I’ve decided to end my trial run at being a cheapskate and sign up for the lifetime cheapskate membership program, while feeding my airline mileage addiction along the way.

Some cheapskates aren’t born — they are forged under mountainous loads of debt, mixed with the uncertainty about their financial futures that only a Great Recession can generate.  I am one of those cheapskates.

Two years ago, my wife and I decided to pay off our cars, pay off our credit cards, and live debt free.  We cancelled our cable TV.  We got rid of our phone line.  We started shopping for groceries almost exclusively at Sam’s Club and Costco.  We stopped eating out (or more honestly, we cut way back).

Every day I would listen to the free Dave Ramsey podcast.  I would listen to callers describe in vivid detail the financial train wrecks that where their lives, followed by Dave Ramsey’s mostly common sense (but repetitive) advice.  It kept me focused on the goal.

I bought books on personal finance, like the Automatic Millionaire, the Total Money Makeover, and a few others and voraciously read them.  Along the way, we were able to save up a $1,000 for an emergency fund, pay off our cars, and as of last month, we were finally able to save up a an emergency fund big enough to handle a job loss.

So I decided I would start posting again, as I made the journey towards cheapskate bliss.

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