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The Cheapskate Next Door
Cover of The Cheapskate Next Door
The Cheapskate Next Door
The Surprising Secrets of Americans Living Happily Below Their Means
Borrow Borrow
America’s Ultimate Cheapskate is back with all new secrets for how to live happily below your means, á la cheapskate.  For The Cheapskate Next Door, Jeff Yeager tapped his bargain-basement-brain-trust, hitting the road to interview and survey hundreds of his fellow cheapskates to divulge their secrets for living the good life on less. 
     Jeff reveals the 16 key attitudes about money – and life – that allow the cheapskates next door to live happy, comfortable, debt-free lives while spending only a fraction of what most Americans spend.  Their strategies will change your way of thinking about money and debunk some of life’s biggest money myths.  For example, you’ll learn:  how to cut your food bill in half and eat healthier as a result; how your kids can get a college education without ever borrowing a dime; how to let the other guy pay for deprecation by learning the secrets of buying used, not abused; how you can save serious money by negotiating and bartering; and how – if you know where to look – there’s free stuff and free fun all around you.
     The Cheapskate Next Door also features dozens of original “Cheap Shots” – quick, money saving tips that could save you more than $25,000 in a single year!  Cheap Shots give you the inside scoop on: 
 
— How to save hundreds on kids’ toys;
— What inexpensive old-fashioned kitchen appliance can save you more than $200 a year;
— How you can travel the world without ever having to pay for lodging;
— What single driving tip can save you $30,000 during your lifetime;
— Even how to save up to 40% on fine wines (and we’re not talking about the kind that comes in a box). 
 
From simple money saving tips to truly life changing financial strategies, the cheapskates next door know that the key to financial freedom and enjoying life more is not how much you earn, but how much you spend. 
America’s Ultimate Cheapskate is back with all new secrets for how to live happily below your means, á la cheapskate.  For The Cheapskate Next Door, Jeff Yeager tapped his bargain-basement-brain-trust, hitting the road to interview and survey hundreds of his fellow cheapskates to divulge their secrets for living the good life on less. 
     Jeff reveals the 16 key attitudes about money – and life – that allow the cheapskates next door to live happy, comfortable, debt-free lives while spending only a fraction of what most Americans spend.  Their strategies will change your way of thinking about money and debunk some of life’s biggest money myths.  For example, you’ll learn:  how to cut your food bill in half and eat healthier as a result; how your kids can get a college education without ever borrowing a dime; how to let the other guy pay for deprecation by learning the secrets of buying used, not abused; how you can save serious money by negotiating and bartering; and how – if you know where to look – there’s free stuff and free fun all around you.
     The Cheapskate Next Door also features dozens of original “Cheap Shots” – quick, money saving tips that could save you more than $25,000 in a single year!  Cheap Shots give you the inside scoop on: 
 
— How to save hundreds on kids’ toys;
— What inexpensive old-fashioned kitchen appliance can save you more than $200 a year;
— How you can travel the world without ever having to pay for lodging;
— What single driving tip can save you $30,000 during your lifetime;
— Even how to save up to 40% on fine wines (and we’re not talking about the kind that comes in a box). 
 
From simple money saving tips to truly life changing financial strategies, the cheapskates next door know that the key to financial freedom and enjoying life more is not how much you earn, but how much you spend. 
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Excerpts-
  • Chapter 1 Chapter 1

    The Phrenology of Frugality:

    16 Idiosyncrasies of the Cheapskate Mind

    The statistics on sanity are that one out of every four

    Americans is suffering from some form of mental

    illness. Think of your three best friends. If they

    are okay, then it's you.

    -Rita Mae Brown

    Are you saying that people will be happier if they shop less?" Judging from the way she was sneering at me across the faux-news desk, it was clear that the local noonday TV anchorwoman wasn't asking a rhetorical question. She looked like she'd bought-and was wearing-one of everything that QVC was selling that day. And her clothes clearly weren't all she'd bought. Her extensive cosmetic surgery reminded me of a roadside billboard I once saw for a plastic surgeon just across the border in Mexico: "U Pay 4 UR Face + Hips?. . . I do UR Breasts 4 Free!"

    I'd endeared myself to her earlier by arriving for the interview on my bicycle, in a sweat-stained T-shirt. Suffice it to say that we came from different worlds.

    "But shopping is what we do. Shopping is what makes us happy. Are you crazy?" she said, looking at me like I must have been hitting the box wine in the green room before the interview.

    Well, the cheapskate's brain is definitely wired differently, of that I'm convinced. You don't need to spend much time around us or be trained as a psychiatrist (or local news anchor) to figure that out. Whether we're born that way or we pick up certain attitudes and beliefs about life as we go along, the cheapskate next door sees the world a bit differently than most folks.

    Here's a brief tour of the cheapskate mindset-a synopsis of the sixteen key synapses that set the cheapskate next door apart from the typical American consumer.

    1. The Joneses Can Kiss Our Assets

    "Welcome to the Taj Mahovel!" Jacquie Phelan greeted me with a big smile and friendly hug on the doorstep of the eclectic house in Fairfax, California, where she's lived with her husband, Charlie, for the past twenty-six years.

    As I'd driven down their street, I had trouble spotting addresses on the immaculately maintained, über-yuppiefied, overly remodeled houses that lined the pleasant lane. But when I saw the warren of little outbuildings strung together by pergolas constructed of every type of salvaged material imaginable, I knew I'd arrived at Jacquie's house. This was clearly the house of someone who wasn't concerned about what the Joneses think. This house had to belong to a cheapskate.

    "A few years ago we heard a realtor walking past our house with some prospective buyers, and they were talking about how tacky some of the homes on the street are," Jacquie told me as we sat having lunch under a lean-to made of scrap lumber (aka "The Habitat") in their jungly side yard. "And I piped back to the real estate agent from inside the Habitat, 'It's going to stay that way, too!' "

    My lunch with Jacquie and Charlie, by the way, was chicken soup and a truly tasty array of little finger foods, most of which

    my Freegan hostess told me she'd salvaged the previous evening from dumpsters behind area markets. "Hmm?. . . ?trash-can tapas," I thought to myself. "There's a first time for everything." (Among other journalistic enterprises, Jacquie writes about her unique approach to food and cooking on her blog, "Salivation Army," at phelanfood.wordpress.com.)

    Don't get me wrong: Jacquie and Charlie's house isn't a public hazard or anything like that. In fact, it's kind of cool and rather pretty in its own Hobbit-treehouse-ish way. It's just that it's a house designed to please the people who live in it, and not necessarily the people...

About the Author-
  • Jeff Yeager is the author of The Ultimate Cheapskate’s Road Map to True Riches, and has appeared as a guest correspondent on the NBC Today Show and Discovery’s Planet Green network. 
Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    May 3, 2010
    Yeager (The Ultimate Cheapskate’s Road Map to True Riches) is back with another energetic, likably eccentric lesson on living happily well below your means. Interviewing a variety of self-professed cheapskates, he finds—despite a diversity of lifestyles, backgrounds, and beliefs— common practices and philosophies when it came to money; their knowledge of how to live on less has insulated them from the economic crash. He presents their tips on frugal living in grocery shopping, entertainment, and sensible parenting, but the real value is in Yeager’s persuasive argument that an onset of “Spending Anxiety Disorder” is good for our wallets, our communities, and the environment. If we change the way we think about “want” vs. “need,” we can focus our time and attention on the truly valuable things—family, charity, passions, the early retirement that will make enjoying them longer possible—and if we consume sparingly, thoughtfully, and fully, our possessions will not consume us. Yeager and his “Miser Advisers” are proof that living more frugally isn’t about sacrifice—it’s about making choices every day to live a better, happier, more thoughtful life with less.

  • Booklist

    Starred review from July 1, 2010
    Ah, yes, belt-tightening is the procedure of the day, from how giant businesses conduct themselves to managing ones own personal finances. It is the latter aspect of conservative spending that the author of the popular Ultimate Cheapskates Road Map to True Riches (2007) and of the blog Green Cheapskate addresses in this delightfulyes, delightfulguide for me, you, and everyone else. Personal finance is a universal concern, particularly in these tight economic times. It is a topic that people need to know about but still shy away from. Yeager is here to draw you in and does so easily. He does not use the term cheapskate in a pejorative fashion; after all, he lists himself as one and wishes that all his readers would aspire to cheapskateness. A cheapskate to him is someone who lives below his or her means and does so happily. How to spend less than you are spending now is the program he details; the amazing fact about this book is that in addition to his instructions making perfect sense, like no other book of its kind, this one can be read simply for the humor of the authors prose.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2010, American Library Association.)

  • David Bach #1 New York Times Bestselling author of The Automatic Millionaire and Start Late, Finish Rich "I've written that there are three basic ways to finish rich: spend less, make more, save more. Jeff Yeager has discovered a whole class of happy Americans who pride themselves on mastering the 'spend less' part of the equation. The Cheapskate Next Door proves once and for all that living happily within your means is possible at practically any income."
  • Gregory Karp, syndicated newspaper columnist and author of Living Rich by Spending Smart and The 1-2-3 Money Plan A must-read for those who want to jump off the consumer treadmill and discover what's really important."
  • USA Today "Whether you are a born penny pincher or merely cheapskate-curious, you're bound to learn something from the Cheapskate Next Door."
  • New York Times "The Cheapskate Next Door" by Jeff Yeager, suggests that the simplest solution is to live substantially below your means. Let's deal with Mr. Yeager's book first, because it is the better of the two. One reason is that Mr. Yeager, a former executive with a nonprofit association who now writes about saving money and runs Ultimatecheapskate.com, is so amusing.
    Here's one quick example: Conceding that he may have taken the idea of skimping on new clothing too far, Mr. Yeager tells what he says is a true story about arriving early for a book signing to which he had traveled by bicycle. (Driving costs you money in gasoline and depreciation.)
    "I was dressed as I usually am when I am cycling, in ratty-looking shorts and a faded T-shirt," from a 1978 rock concert, as it turns out, he says. "I decided to take a few moments to relax before the signing, so I sat down on a park bench outside the bookstore with my trusty but tattered 10-speed" next to him.
    "A nicely dressed...
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The Surprising Secrets of Americans Living Happily Below Their Means
Jeff Yeager
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