Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Biggest Cheapskate?

I saw this story on the show 20/20 Vermont Man: Cheap and Proud of It. I love seeing how other people live on very little money. He lives on $15,000 a year which he earns by picking up old items from the trash, refurbishing them and selling them for profit. I assume he likes what he does and considers it a fun hobby. The article says he doesn't have a real job but I think his recycling for profit hobby is a "real job". I wonder how many hours he works at it each day. He has to work enough to earn that $15,000 he needs to maintain his lifestyle, however frugal it may be. He also runs a charity for stray animals. I would consider that a job too. It is great that he can earn a living on the little bit of money that he makes doing what he loves. That is my goal too, to have a job that I love.

I do draw the line at getting married just to get on the spouse's health insurance. I hope there were other factors involved. And asking for people's leftovers in restaurants is too bold for me. I don't go to those kind of restaurants very often anyway. If his wife has the health insurance coverage for both of them I guess she has a job. I could live very well on $15,000 especially if I didn't have to pay for health insurance. I wouldn't consider him the biggest cheapskate though. Lot's of people live on less than $15,000. But I'm glad he is happy with his lifestyle, happiness is a very important part of life and definitely another one of my top goals!

9 comments:

Over the Cubicle Wall said...

Cheapskate has such a negative connotation.

I find it really interesting when people live outside the norm like he is doing.

Daizy said...

It does. I thought they portrayed him in a negative light but I thought most of his ideas were pretty good.

Big Sis said...

He got married just to get on her health insurance? Ugh. Divorce can be much more expensive than the savings on health insurance.

Sharon Rose said...

Hi there-I totally agree that it is important to enjoy your job. I work as a catering assistant in a school-its my lowest paid job I've had, but I soo enjoy it-the school holidays also compensate too! thanks for your well wishes my dear!

Tight Fisted Miser said...

Some of his tactics are a little extreme for me and I live on less than he does.

He has been with his wife for 20 years so I don't think their marriage is based just on his needing health insurance. I didn't get to see the story but it seems he is playing up some aspects of his cheapness for attention. Too bad my GF didn't see this; it would make me look better.

na0 said...

my boyfriend and i watched the video that was online of that guy explaining what he does.
a lot of it we had to just shake our heads in disbelief at.

i found it especially funny when he found bottled water at the store for 10 cents a bottle. is that really a deal? i get my water from the tap for free. i just had to buy a filter a long time ago to make sure it was "clean".
does he recycle the bottles when he's done?

Daizy said...

Big Sis, so true. I guess he doesn't have much to lose.

Hello Sharon Rose, I hope you are feeling better. You job does sound fun. I hope to find a fun job like that when I'm done with the mortgage.

Tight Fisted Miser, get your girlfriend to watch the video on the 20/20 site. I actually missed most of the show on TV because I was channel surfing (all 6 of my channels) and watched the rest of it on the website. He is definitely playing up his cheapness for attention. He seems like the kind of guy who loves to talk to perfect strangers, a good quality for someone who likes to sell used stuff and barter.

na0, I thought the same thing about the 10 cent water! Unlss he's going to sell refreshments (like 25 cent bottles of water?) while he sells his refurbished trash, I can't see how 10 cent water is a deal.

Early Retirement Extreme said...

I saw a clip earlier about "America's cheapest family". They got by on $44,000 a year. I believe that is higher than the median family income?

Maybe we automatically think frugal, when we hear cheap. Seriously, if one can still spend $15k when going to such lengths there must be a serious drain somewhere in the budget.

I guess the media just needs either an outrageous story or someone people can relate to.

Daizy said...

Early Retirement Extreme, I wonder where his money goes too. There were lots of gaps in that story. What income does his wife bring in? Do they support their stray animals themselves or get donations? If he doesn't pay for a mortgage or health insurance he should have a lot left over.