The Extreme Cheapskates that we’ve featured in Talking Cents are, as the name suggests, extreme. They take savings and penny pinching to a point of sideshow attraction, but their hearts are in the right place (for the most part). There are lessons to be learned from their choices, even if they take it to the extreme. This particular guy, one of the most extreme people featured on the show, freezes his assets. Literally. To avoid credit card debt, he freezes the family’s only credit card in a big block of ice. Watch the video below.
His wife is obviously unhappy about this. She says that he does this to curtail her spending and make sure that they have no credit card debt. While having little to no credit card debt is great, and we encourage this, the lack of communication between them is worrisome. He’s not willing to compromise to make life a little easier for her. Credit cards are available for a reason. Responsible people can use credit cards, pay off the balance each month, and build up their credit scores, making loans easier to get down the line. Unless his wife has a history of abusing the credit card (which doesn’t seem to be the case, since she has to defrost the card each time she wants to use it), keeping it from her seems controlling and unreasonable. Extreme Cheapskates in this case probably aren’t good examples to follow.
Talk to your partner and family about spending. The best way to manage your finances is to take everyone’s needs and wants into account, then agreeing on a course of action. Everyone will have different priorities, but the key to a harmonious family relationship is to try to compromise on a plan that everyone can work towards together. It’s a great idea to save on necessities, but there are ways to do this without encasing your credit card in a block of ice.
Use a budgeting worksheet to figure out your family’s needs. Then, when you figure out how much you are saving per paycheck, you can allot a certain amount for entertainment or other items. It’s not realistic to go through life with a budget that doesn’t allow for any enjoyment purchases. If you work on your budget with your partner, as a team, then you’re more likely to be on the same page and have a more harmonious relationship.
Talking Cents is committed to helping you save on necessities. For the next two weeks (until end of day on August 1), you can enter to win a $250 Visa gift card to make next month’s budgeting a little easier. Visit our Rafflecopter to enter. Please note that you must still be a fan or follower (depending on how you enter) at the drawing date to be eligible to win the prize.
If you’re struggling to pay off debt, ACCC can help. Schedule a free credit counseling session with us today.