|"It's cheaper and not as dangerous."|
An anonymous reader left a comment on my last post and called all the readers that "chime in" here "CHEAP SKATES". There was also a humorous reference to NBA readers giving fruitcakes and free Christmas cards.
I like fruitcake. And free cards. So I wasn't sure if I should be offended or complimented. But it did get me to thinking.
Are NBA readers:
"CHEAP SKATES"? No. Those would be inexpensive footwear for gliding across ice.
"CHEAPSKATES"? No. It is rude to yell in person or online, and shouting it just makes the word sound so negative.
"Cheapskates", however is lower key and is a distinct possibility.
The word was coined in 1892 and described someone who was "a mean, grasping person usually stingy with money". Used this way it has an old fashioned Dickensian ring to it, as in someone who is "being a Scrooge" with their cash. It refers to someone who has taken cash-related common sense too far.
In modern times, though, the word has been upgraded to the point that it is no longer an insult in most circles. Many people today, including those living frugal, simple, non-consumer lives consider themselves cheapskates.
There are cheapskate books and cheapskate blogs. There are cheapskate websites full of cheapskate tips. There is even a website where you can get cheap skates if you are trying to save a few bucks before hitting the ice.
It seems that everyone is getting into the world of cheapskates. And/or cheap skates.
Take Leo Babauta, the author of the popular "Zen Habits" blog. He publicly confessed that he was a cheapskate in his post "The Cheapskate Guide: 50 Tips for Frugal Living". The way he describes it, I am a cheapskate too.
I may even be a cheaperskate. Perhaps some who visit here are too.
However, I doubt there are any NBA readers that pee in jars so they don't have to pay for water to flush the toilet. But even if there were, why would anyone take offence to something someone else was doing that doesn't affect them at all?
It is interesting to note that not spending money could make you open to potential insult, while earning, borrowing and spending to the point of getting into a financial crisis is lauded and seen as normal.
It is not hard to see what is going on here. They want us to spend, even if we don't have any money. They want us to borrow and spend. They want us to spend until it hurts. Spend even if you don't need anything.
Spend, spend, spend. Don't stop. Ever.
No thanks. Better to be a cheapskate. We're frugal, and we are changing the definition of what it means to have money common sense.