(Guest Post by Darwin)
Frugality has certainly come of age over the past few years following the global financial malaise. I’ve always been into frugalhacks since I grew up in a house with frugal parents. But most of my behaviors would probably be considered relatively tame or routine for this crowd. Some people however, take frugality to a whole new level – it’s really an art form. I’m embarrassed to admit it, but some of these cases actually involve my own family and in-laws. If you’re ready to laugh, cringe or shake your head at some of these attempts to save money, read on…
- Banging on Walls During the Shower – To save both energy expense for hot water and the water bill itself, I grew up in a house where my father would bang on the wall during my showers. This usually occurred about 3-4 minutes into the start of the shower. The bathroom shared a wall with the kitchen, so my parents could hear when the water started and without exception, a few minutes into the start of a nice warm shower, my father would walk up and bang on the wall, signaling that it was time to turn off the water. Not knowing any differently, I grew up thinking this was normal. Fast-forward a few years into college and when my then-fiance came to meet my parents from out of town, she needed to take a shower the next day. She was utterly shocked and in disbelief when she was in the midst of a shower and my father started banging on the wall. It was really quite comedic and the start of an interesting relationship amongst the in-laws. As ridiculous as it sounds, my kids are just starting to get to the age where they take their own showers – maybe I’ll give it a try!
- Saving a Flush – Aside from saving some money on the water bill, it’s always good to be eco-friendly, right? I’m the first to admit that as a guy, I don’t always flush the toilet every time. After all, it just seems so wasteful to flush that much water each time. But alas, I have a family member who took this into a genre all on it’s own. What they do, and they admit this, is they only do the #2 at work. They openly admit that they only use their own toilet on weekends for this and intentionally time their “movement” for working hours.
- “Borrowing” Some Energy When House-Sitting – I have another family member (I know, you’re starting to wonder about me) who lives close to other family members so they volunteer to keep an eye on the house, feed the cats, etc. when they go away. Their trick, and they admitted as much, is when the people are gone, she brings over her laundry and does it at their house to save on the washer/dryer bills. Again, I find this to be really odd, and somewhat obnoxious behavior, but anything to save money!
Well, some of these ideas either really annoyed you, or perhaps gave you some ideas of your own, as well as reminded you of some crazy frugal stories you’re familiar with.
What is the Craziest Frugal Story You’ve Come Across?
This was a guest post by Darwin, an engineer and MBA who takes an “evolutionary” approach to finance, writing about adapting to evolving financial management, tax, investing and savings opportunities. He blogs in a few spots so you can find him on Twitter@EverydayFinance and you’ll find more of his work at QuickQuid – UK’s premier short term loan lender