In the world of living below your means and frugal living, Dave Ramsey is like the coach that gives you an overall philosophy, covers the x’s and o’s and shows you every aspect of how to win the game, while Jeff Yeager is the all-star alumnus whose retired jersey hangs next to the state championship banner his team won. In “The Ultimate Cheapskate,” Jeff takes you on a journey that will make you laugh, provide some awesome insight into the frugal lifestyle, make you chuckle at things you shouldn’t and think twice about how you approach life. This book is an excellent read for forming a defensive strategy with your budget and expenses. The emphasis really struck a chord with me in the fundamental belief that is shared in those of us seeking financial security: Living within your means is not good enough; we need to live below our means.
The single most important piece of information that reinforced and encouraged me in the frugal trail, was making your “starter” home your final home. By not upgrading as your family grows and purchasing a modestly priced home, financial independence becomes that much more attainable. Jeff does an unbelievable job covering just about every aspect of daily life and I am astounded at his objection to the “latte factor” argument (although I find it highly unlikely that I would ever find Yeager in line at any local “Fivebucks,” I’m positive he carries his own cup of homemade joe like the guy in my mirror).
I made a lot of comparisons as I went through it as well, seeing arguably who was the most frugal. And, being originally from Los Angeles, I saw myself as Kobe, and Jeff as Jordan. Jeff has done some amazing feats and sustained his frugal lifestyle for the bulk of his adult life, impressively achieving financial independence all the while not showing concern to the numbers. I, being the rambunctious young new kid on the block, would love nothing more than to dethrone the ultimate cheapskate (yes Jeff, you are the king in my eyes…currently) But thinking about it more, and dropping my competitive sword, I smiled and will always take solace that there is a frugal movement alive and well, and there is a group of us out there making financial responsibility cool.