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Cheap… and Remiss
Old 07-04-2008, 10:03 AM   #1
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Cheap… and Remiss

Good morning.

I realize that I’ve already breeched forum protocol by jumping right into the conversation before formally introducing myself. It’s true what my poooor wife says about me, “I can’t take you anywhere.”

I’m Jeff Yeager and I live near Washington, DC. I’m 50 years old, and four years ago I essentially retired after working 25 years as a CEO and fundraiser in the nonprofit sector. Well, actually, “retired” is the wrong word; I became, as I like to say, “selfishly employed,” having the financial freedom to do whatever the heck I want, without worrying about collecting a regular paycheck.

Oddly enough – and through no initiative of my own – I’d no sooner dropped out when I was “discovered” by the NBC Today Show, which branded me “The Ultimate Cheapskate.” In reality they only confirmed what my poooooor wife has known for the past 25 years: I am America’s Cheapest Man. I now write about how to enjoy life more by spending less (my first book was published in January – “The Ultimate Cheapskate’s Road Map to True Riches”), and I occasionally rant about that and related topics on the Today Show and on Discovery’s new Planet Green Network.

So, that’s me. I’m really excited to be part of the ER forum, and I’ve already learned a lot by hanging out here the past couple of weeks. I promise to be on my best behavior.

Stay Cheap!
-Jeff Yeager
The Ultimate Cheapskate
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Selfishly employed... (was: Cheap... and Remiss)
Old 07-04-2008, 10:46 AM   #2
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Selfishly employed... (was: Cheap... and Remiss)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ultimate Cheapskate View Post
Good morning.

I realize that I’ve already breeched forum protocol by jumping right into the conversation before formally introducing myself. It’s true what my poooor wife says about me, “I can’t take you anywhere.”

I’m Jeff Yeager and I live near Washington, DC. I’m 50 years old, and four years ago I essentially retired after working 25 years as a CEO and fundraiser in the nonprofit sector. Well, actually, “retired” is the wrong word; I became, as I like to say, “selfishly employed,” having the financial freedom to do whatever the heck I want, without worrying about collecting a regular paycheck.

Oddly enough – and through no initiative of my own – I’d no sooner dropped out when I was “discovered” by the NBC Today Show, which branded me “The Ultimate Cheapskate.” In reality they only confirmed what my poooooor wife has known for the past 25 years: I am America’s Cheapest Man. I now write about how to enjoy life more by spending less (my first book was published in January – “The Ultimate Cheapskate’s Road Map to True Riches”), and I occasionally rant about that and related topics on the Today Show and on Discovery’s new Planet Green Network.

So, that’s me. I’m really excited to be part of the ER forum, and I’ve already learned a lot by hanging out here the past couple of weeks. I promise to be on my best behavior.

Stay Cheap!
-Jeff Yeager
The Ultimate Cheapskate
Jeff:

:confused: I'm curious about that term "selfishly employed" you used in your introduction. Could you elaborate on that? Sounds like my kind of occupation.

Financially Independent Wannabe
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Old 07-04-2008, 11:01 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by egssge View Post
Jeff:

:confused: I'm curious about that term "selfishly employed" you used in your introduction. Could you elaborate on that? Sounds like my kind of occupation.

Financially Independent Wannabe
==========================
Hi - Oh, it's just one of those terms I made up and write about. The idea is to have at least enough financial independence (primarily by SPENDING as little as possible), so that you can do whatever you want to do for a "living." I used to be incredibly focused on "early retirement," but then I realized that, in my case, what I really wanted was the financial freedom to pursue my passions, some of which (like writing) might generate some income. So, once I started thinking like that, I realized that I probably already had enough savings to quit my full-time job and become "selfishly employed," even though my portfolio isn't enough to out and out retire.

So far so good, and in fact I'm now so happy doing what I'm doing that I don't think I'll probably ever fully retire. That said, I know that everyone is different, and I think early retirement is a tremendous goal for a lot of people.

Stay Cheap!
-Jeff Yeager
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Old 07-04-2008, 12:11 PM   #4
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Jeff,

Welcome to the forum. I am also in the D.C. area and retired partially six years ago and fully four years ago. Compared to you I am just an amateur cheapskate. I have found that my earlier cheapskate ways have put us in a position where I can spend alot more freely and still not have to worry about money. Its a wonderful position to be in.

Grumpy
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Old 07-04-2008, 01:00 PM   #5
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Jeff,

Welcome to the forum. I am also in the D.C. area and retired partially six years ago and fully four years ago. Compared to you I am just an amateur cheapskate. I have found that my earlier cheapskate ways have put us in a position where I can spend alot more freely and still not have to worry about money. Its a wonderful position to be in.

Grumpy
Thanks Grumpy. It's good to meet a fellow Brother of the Cheaphood.

Stay Cheap!
-Jeff Yeager
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Old 07-04-2008, 01:31 PM   #6
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I realize that I’ve already breeched forum protocol
There's protocol on this forum? What? Where?

Welcome to the board!

2Cor521
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Old 07-04-2008, 02:10 PM   #7
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Jeff-

A few words about how you originally started to market your writing would be appreciated. Sent manuscripts to a publisher? Literary agent? Online? Self published? Blogging? Did you do any writing before you "retired"? Writing seems to be the thing that gives me "flow". I think that I would like to spend some of the large amount of free time I now have writing, and I am not especially concerned about making money from it, but I doubt that I would have the necessary motivation without the validation that being published would give me. A little free advice from one cheapskate to another?
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Old 07-04-2008, 02:54 PM   #8
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Jeff ,
Welcome ! I feel like I already now you as I read your first book . Some really funny parts but if you need material for a second book this board is the homeland of Ultimate Cheapskates .
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Old 07-04-2008, 02:56 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by noworkethic View Post
Jeff-

A few words about how you originally started to market your writing would be appreciated. Sent manuscripts to a publisher? Literary agent? Online? Self published? Blogging? Did you do any writing before you "retired"? Writing seems to be the thing that gives me "flow". I think that I would like to spend some of the large amount of free time I now have writing, and I am not especially concerned about making money from it, but I doubt that I would have the necessary motivation without the validation that being published would give me. A little free advice from one cheapskate to another?
Sure, I'm happy to share, although my story is rather atypical and a little hard to believe, even for me. I started writing (an offbeat combo of humor and financial advice) a few years ago, and sold very few pieces at first, mostly to some personal finance websites. My big break came when I entered a "Penny Pincher of the Year" contest in the Washington Post, which I soundly lost. But the sponsor of that contest, Michelle Singletary, was going to be a guest on the Today Show, and ended up passing my (losing) contest entry along to the Show. They liked my writing, and asked me if I wanted to be on the show. From that point forward, things have happened very fast for me: a literary agent in NY, a book deal with Random House, various blogging and freelancing opportunities, and just recently a second book (also with Random House) due out in spring 2010. Odd, because the contest that I entered - and lost - had a top prize of $50; it goes to show you, sometimes the most wonderful, unexpected things happen and you get a shot (even if it is a cheap shot).

If you're interested in writing, check out the forums at WritersDigest.com - good advice and friendly folks at all different levels in the business.

Stay Cheap!
-Jeff Yeager
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Old 07-04-2008, 03:02 PM   #10
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Jeff ,
Welcome ! I feel like I already now you as I read your first book . So really funny parts but if you need material for a second book this board is the homeland of Ultimate Cheapskates .
Thanks, and thanks for reading my book. Yeah, I feel like if you've read my book, you not only already know me, but you know what I look like without my clothes on. I can already see that this board is going to play a big role in the writing of my next book.

Stay Cheap!
-Jeff Yeager
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Old 07-15-2008, 01:33 PM   #11
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Thanks, and thanks for reading my book. Yeah, I feel like if you've read my book, you not only already know me, but you know what I look like without my clothes on. I can already see that this board is going to play a big role in the writing of my next book.

Stay Cheap!
-Jeff Yeager
Jeff,

We've got a 7'x15' couch in Minneapolis if you ever need to try out some longboard surfing. Or, if we end up going to another state, we'll be sure to have a suitable couch there.
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Old 07-15-2008, 01:43 PM   #12
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Jeff,

We've got a 7'x15' couch in Minneapolis if you ever need to try out some longboard surfing. Or, if we end up going to another state, we'll be sure to have a suitable couch there.
Thanks Marquette - With that big a couch, I can even bring my pooooor wife along with me!

Stay Cheap!
-Jeff Yeager
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Old 07-15-2008, 01:49 PM   #13
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Thanks Marquette - With that big a couch, I can even bring my pooooor wife along with me!

Stay Cheap!
-Jeff Yeager
If she comes too then we'll take the couch and you guys can have our bed. It's total luxury but also right up your alley. It's a wool mattress but we never got around to getting a bed frame for it. I made a slat frame myself out of some 2x4's and we sleep a few inches off the ground.
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Old 07-20-2008, 12:54 PM   #14
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If she comes too then we'll take the couch and you guys can have our bed. It's total luxury but also right up your alley. It's a wool mattress but we never got around to getting a bed frame for it. I made a slat frame myself out of some 2x4's and we sleep a few inches off the ground.
Thanks for the offer, Marquette. We may just take you up on it. My poooooor wife could use a treat. The other day she said, "Jeff, just ONCE can't we go out to dinner without having to stop at the blood bank first?" Poooooor thing ....

Stay Cheap!
-Jeff Yeager
Author, The Ultimate Cheapskate's Road Map to True Riches
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Old 07-20-2008, 08:37 PM   #15
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Jeff, glad you made a "formal" introduction, and we're glad to have you participate on the board so we could make the welcome official!

Thanks for being so willing to share your experiences and advice with us!
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Old 07-21-2008, 04:26 AM   #16
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Hey Jeff, you should write for Wise Bread again
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Old 07-21-2008, 06:57 AM   #17
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Hey Jeff, you should write for Wise Bread again
Thanks for the kind welcomes.

I hope to start posting again on Wise Bread later this summer. I just got really busy after my book came out in January and couldn't find the time to do it all.

Stay Cheap!
-Jeff Yeager
Author, The Ultimate Cheapskate's Road Map to True Riches
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