Scrooge Strategy

I’m not sure if I’ve ever mentioned that I am a big fan of Ramit’s I Will Teach You To Be Rich. His tips are the only ones that aren’t the same old stuff regurgitated to the masses (except his Save $1,000 in 30 Days series). I always go back to reread his posts on conscious spending and why we are all hypocrites about weddings.

So I wanted to let my readers who haven’t read IWTYTBR know about something that Ramit is offering right now called The Scrooge Strategy. First, I’ll explain why I think this is a cool idea. Then I’ll explain why I won’t be subscribing.

I guess the general idea of The Scrooge Strategy is to be like his Save $1,000 in 30 Days on crack. A lot of the tips were like the PF advice you get anywhere (turn down your thermostat, pack a lunch, sell stuff on ebay), but some were pretty good. This was where I learned about Shop It To Me, which is sort of a sale aggregator that emails you deals on your favorite designers & brands. My goal is to start buying myself better clothes (no more Old Navy!), so this is really useful. I get an email once a week with markdowns. If you’d like an invite, leave me a comment & I will send you an email. (In the interest of full disclosure, if you let me refer you, I build up points that I can redeem for $10 gift cards. Won’t someone help a girl out?!)

Not that I needed any excuses to keep buying clothes.

Anyway, when I say it’s like his previous saving tips on crack, I don’t mean that he’s going to start suggesting that you make your own laundry detergent or washing Ziploc bags. I mean that when he says to call your cable provider for a lower rate, he gives you phone numbers & call scripts. When he explains how to save money on travel, he gives you links and screen caps. There are numerous comments he has included with testimonials from people about how much they’ve saved.

It’s $8/month, though, which may turn you off. After all, this is the internet. We do not pay for things.

The subscription fee is not why I’m not signing up.

I’m already doing most of the things on the Save $1000 in 30 Days, and I don’t know if there’s many ways to go beyond those tips.

  • When Ramit says, “Turn down your thermostat 3 degrees!” I say, “I don’t have a heater.”
  • The Shop It To Me link will only help me SPEND money.
  • Telling me to bring a lunch to work is pointless because I eat out maybe once every 2 months, if that.
  • Offering me call scripts to lower my cable bill is fine, except I already lowered my bill.
  • Putting together a ready-made spreadsheet is very nice, except I love Excel and would much rather put my own together.

In short, I don’t think that the tips are suited for me.

You should only pay money if you think that the program will help you save an equal or greater amount of money. So at $8/month, you’d need to save $96/year. For a person who is not already doing everything they can to be frugal, that will be easy. For me, the tips just won’t be that helpful. For some of you, you probably already know what you need to do, you just haven’t done it. A weekly email might not make you do anything either.

Maybe once I finish school I’ll revisit the idea, since I’ll actually have free time and can look at some of his ideas on how to earn more money in addition to his frugality tips.

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6 Responses

  1. Those 2 posts you cited by Ramit are my favourite too! I even saved them in a Word doc 🙂

    That $8 fee does turn me off too, but quite frankly you and I aren’t his target market 🙂 We already know how to be careful with large purchases like airline tickets, or to consider the time it takes to make detergent vs just buying it (or like me, not using it at all, but finding other ways to sterilize everything).

    Fabulously Broke in the City
    Just a girl trying to find a balance between being a Shopaholic and a Saver.

  2. I love the point you make about how sales notices for non-necessities may actually be counterproductive since you may end up spending money that you otherwise wouldn’t or shouldn’t. (After all speding $17 on a 50% off jeans sale means you just spent $17 for something you don’t need.)

  3. I had pretty much the same thoughts.

    His blog is great because of those posts you mentioned, not because it’ll teach me how to save $$$$. The conscious spending is so key, and I very much agree with his philosophy, and he articulated it better than I could have.

  4. @ FB: Yeah, I didn’t subscribe when he had a free newsletter, so it doesn’t make much sense to do it now! The only thing that might be useful for me is if he talks about making more money, but that won’t be until after my wedding & honeymoon and everything! Not to mention that it could be the same old stuff (sell stuff on eBay, find what YOU like to do!)

    @ Shtinkykat: That was the ultimate deciding factor – his tips are usually about decreasing spending. I don’t spend that much, and I feel like knowing about saving 50% will make me spend the remaining 50%, even if I wouldn’t normally.

    @SP: Exactly! Plus, he can really be a jerk sometimes and it makes me laugh.

  5. I did sign up and the first 8 emails have been nothing spectacular. I just sent an email to un-subscribe and get my refund. Hopefully his tips work for the rest of his subscribers!

  6. Hi Sarah,

    I’m actually working with Ramit on a couple of projects at the moment, and I was wondering if you’d be interested? If you email me at I can give you more info.

    Thanks,

    Janna

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