What’s your definition of cheap? Do you think you’re cheap? Is the person you’re living with – cheap? I got into trouble once because I went on ABC news and talked about MY personal definition of cheap versus frugal…To me, being cheap means wasting time and energy to save money, being inconsiderate or rude or harmful in your pursuit of saving money. And as an example I mentioned some forms of extreme couponing. And boy did that get the couponers MAD! I got SO much hate email…! Now, not all couponing is bad. But I know there are people out there who spend hours a day to cut coupons and all they save is $20 or $30. $20 or $30 is not insignificant BUT when you account for all that time and energy and perhaps the fact that you were cutting coupons while your son needed your help with his science project…(I’m making this up!) that perhaps you’re not being frugal. You’re being CHEAP. And if you’re going to hate me for saying that, that’s OK by me!
And all of this brings me to TODAY’s guest.
Jeff Yeager, dubbed “The Ultimate Cheapskate” by Matt Lauer on NBC’s Today Show, specializes in teaching others how to spend smart in order to spend less and living frugally. He is also an accomplished author of several books on the topic, including “Don’t Throw That Away!” “The Cheapskate Next Door” and “The Ultimate Cheapskate’s Road Map to True Riches”. He hosts The Cheap Life on YouTube which also provides video content about living the good life at a fraction of the cost. If you’re an AARP member, perhaps you may recognize today’s guest as he is one of their saving’s experts.
Before launching his career as a freelance writer, public speaker and media personality in 2004, Jeff spent 24 years working as a CEO and senior executive with national non-profit organizations in Washington DC. During this time, he strictly managed his finances and realized he was able to reduce his dependency on money to the point that he could retire if he wanted. It was then that he made the conscious decision to change careers, since he didn’t have to worry about his paycheck. Jeff also likes to call this the day he became “selfishly employed.” Jeff used his newfound financial freedom to pursue a career in writing and multi-media journalism to help others learn to live with less. Since then, he has appeared on major media outlets including NBC’s Today Show, CNN, FOX News, CNBC among countless others.
Three takeaways from our interview today include:
- Jeff’s take on the word cheap…and why he thinks it shouldn’t get such a bad rap.
- What would “enough” money look like for you?
- His breakthrough career moment…which was not unlike mine
One of my favorite quotes from our interview: “I spend money and consume things wisely, so therefore things don’t consume me.” – Click to Tweet