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Announcing the Scrooge Strategy: Premium savings tips

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Today I’m thrilled to announce something new called The Scrooge Strategy.


In November 2008, I launched the Save $1,000 in 30 Days Challenge, where I offered ultra-tactical tips to save money and earn money using on credit cards, gas, automated savings techniques, and more. (See all the tips.) It turned out to be a huge success. Tens of thousands of people participated. You left over 1,000 comments. Together, we’ve all saved more than a million dollars.

Today, to continue those tips, I’m announcing a new program called The Scrooge Strategy. This is a subscription program that you can sign up for today to get new savings tips — about one per week — and continue saving even more money.

Perfect if you need ongoing strategies, tactics, and reminders about saving money
As a member of The Scrooge Strategy, you’ll receive an email to you each week with a new savings tip. As with prior tips, it will include a fresh way of looking at saving money — not more of the same old boring tips that nobody listens to. As a member, you’ll be able to request a savings tip in your particular challenge area: Maybe it’s eating out, or shopping, or spending too much on electronics. I’m also including a panel of expert writers, who will help you save money and conquer that problem area.

These tips work
I spend hours writing each tip, which tend to be 4-6 pages long. They include super-tactical tips with screenshots, phone numbers, call scripts, and my own tips on what to watch out for. As a member, you’ll get one tip per week — just enough to focus on for the week. Plus, each tip is a constant reminder to stay focused on cutting costs, earning more, and optimizing your spending.

“It’s like having a smart, articulate, and inexpensive financial advisor that calls you all the time to check in.”
–Matthew Earle, Boston, MA

“Tips are excellent–I really like Ramit’s emphasis on psychology and it is slowly but surely making me think about purchases I make, especially unplanned ones.”
–Kevin Foster, Blacksburg, VA

“So far, for 2009 I will be saving $660.60 over the course of the year (and I’ve only made 2 changes so far)!”
–Stacy Miller, St. Albans

Useful even if you’re already incredibly frugal
Remember, The Scrooge Strategy operates under the C.E.O. model of Cutting Costs, Earning More, and Optimizing Your Spending. Even if you’re already incredibly frugal, you can still save money!

How much people saved using my free tips from the 30 Day Challenge

How much people saved

(Click to enlarge)

How people did it

How people did it

(Click to enlarge)

And those were just my free tips. With each Scrooge tip — sent out weekly — I include tons of resources and details that I painstakingly research. Instead of saying, “Create a plan!” I include a spreadsheet with already filled-in data to get you started. Instead of telling you how I saved money traveling to Vegas, I show you the screenshots of the sites I used, including where to get coupon codes and a call script of exactly what to say when you call the hotel. Each tip is full of tactics to save you money, earn you money, and optimize your existing spending.

Contributors include millionaires, famous personal-finance bloggers, and Harvard MBAs
I’ve put together a dazzling panel of contributors. I’ll continue sending my own personal-finance tips, but by signing up, you’ll also receive tips from J.D. Roth (who blogs at Get Rich Slowly), Erica Douglass (who runs and sold her web hosting company for $1 million), and Chris Yeh, (who graduated from Stanford and then, traitorously, went to Harvard for his MBA).

What other people have said about my savings tips
“What really sold me on The Scrooge Strategy is that the step-by-step guides make saving money so easy that I seriously have no excuse not to evaluate my financial goals. Sure, I’ve theoretically known that that I needed to shop around for car insurance… but did I ever get my Google on and actually do it? Not until you laid out a couple of links for me. That tip alone saved me $1800 annually — and BONUS — now I actually know what the hell my insurance covers.”
–Lesly, Houston, TX and Scrooge Strategy member

“This actually really worked for me! So I will be saving $30 a month on cable for the entire upcoming year and receiving an upgrade in service! How fantastic is that!! Love this challenge!! It’s the bomb!”
–Cindy T.

“The one selling point – specific high quality personal finance tips that is logical yet achievable at the same time.”
–Karthik Sainath, San Francisco, CA and a Scrooge Strategy member

“You can save well over a couple thousand dollars just with this tip alone. That’s more than some people save in a whole year.”

“IT IS FANTASTIC! My husband just lost his job (this was after starting Scrooge), but with the savings we’ve implemented so far, and the additional savings coming up soon, I don’t think we are going to be in danger of falling off that financial cliff that many families are teetering on right now…and I really do credit a lot of that to this program. Also…IT DOESN’T MATTER AT ALL whether you make a lot of money, or a little money, this is good information/knowledge for anyone if you are willing to just do it.”
–Stacy Miller, St. Albans and a Scrooge Strategy member

“I just wanted to say Thank You for this challenge! So far this month I’ve saved $264.49 and it’s only the 17th of the month.”
–Mary C.


“I’ve been able to save on my home phone ($20 per month) cell phone ($5 per month) and Gym ($10 per month) resulting in a $420 a year. In addition, being introduced to the concept of having no spending days has helped me to control my expenses, an additional saving of approx $240 a year. By using my cards wisely, I was able to get 2 free round trip tickets this year and a cash back for using my American Express Blue Cash card of $154.”
–Paras Nanavati, Los Angeles, CA and a Scrooge Strategy member

“I have been working on implementing the tips. Since these are all monthly charges, $72 X 12 is $864 dollars (in savings) for a year and that is more than I net in a 2 week pay period. That’s not a bad start!”

“I called my insurance company (progressive), and asked what kind of stuff prompted discounts. Apparently, me being a student saves me about 40$/month! $480/year for a 3 minute phone call. Sweet!”

Bonuses: Sign up first and stick around
I’m throwing in a couple bonuses if you sign up before Thursday, 1/15:

  • Private webcast: I recently threw a webcast to 200 people. If you sign up before Thursday, 1/15/09, I’ll invite you to a private Scrooge-members-only webcast, where I’ll try to answer any questions you can throw at me. What’s the research on asset allocation? How do you negotiate for a complimentary suite at a hotel, or improve your resume? What should you say in your initial email to meet a busy CEO?

  • Free personal-finance books for the first 30 members. If you’re one of the first 30 people to sign up today, I’ll send you a free personal-finance book of your choice: The Bogleheads’ Guide to Investing, The Road to Wealth by Suze Orman, or The Money Book for the Young, Fabulous, & Broke by Suze Orman. Your choice, and I’ll pick up all costs including shipping. These books actually cost more than your first month’s membership, so this is a deal Scrooge would love!!
  • A special bonus gift for long-time members: If you stay subscribed for 12 months and continue saving money, I want to thank you for being a long-term member and saving money using the Scrooge Strategies tips. I’ll be sending you something in the mail — a real, physical gift. I haven’t finalized the details yet, but I promise it’ll be awesome.

Details of membership
These tips are chock-full of tactics, tips, and resources that work. I charge for membership in the Scrooge Strategies program because I spend hours on each tip and I know they’ll save you money (like I wrote about in Stop Being Cheap and Pay Money to Save Money). “But Ramit,” you might say, “how can you charge after you just told us to cancel our subscriptions?” Here’s why: I guarantee you’ll save more than you spend each month. That’s why — because you’ll be saving more than you spend, each month. If your membership fee doesn’t pay for itself, you can cancel your membership at any time (in fact, you can get a 100% refund within 60 days of signing up). There’s no catch. I hate catches.

If you know me, and you’ve been reading my blog for 1 month, or 4 years, you know that I only put out high-quality stuff. I’d like to ask you to give The Scrooge Strategy a try. See if you like it. I have a feeling you will (and if not, you can get your money back). Consider what you spend on lunch twice a week. In exchange for one lunch, let me send you tips that will save you more than the price of the system. You’ll get access to savings tips that will give you new strategies and tactics to save money — by cutting costs, earning more, and optimizing your spending — and get a weekly reminder so you stay on track.

To get started, click here for more details and an instant signup form.

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  1. Ramit, I know you don’t like to see negative comments about your tips, but I have to explain some of my reservations with this Scrooge strategy. I would like to try it, but I get a very “snake oil salesman” vibe about the whole thing. The website is one of those loooong narrow webpages like I expect to see for one-off ebook websites or online infomercials, and I feel that some of the marketing hype about the Save $1000 in 30 Days challenge is deceptive. Take, for example, a note in your email newsletter that one of your readers “saved an astonishing $14040” using the tips. The explanation for this was that she saved $1170 in that first month, which equals $14k per year. No explanation of how that $1170 was specifically saved, and looking at your tips, not all of them are things that can be done month after month after month. Some of them are (highly beneficial) one-off savings.

    I have no doubt that readers have saved a bunch of money with the tips on this website, but I see a lot of fuzzy math and sensationalism. I know you have marketing to do, but I doubt I am alone in thinking that I would be more inclined to sign up for such things if they seemed a little less deceptive and tabloid-esque. On the other hand, I am probably in the minority and you draw more readers and customers with that particular vibe, so to each their own. Just wanted to give some thoughts.

  2. Hey Chris, I completely understand. I’m wary of most long-copy pages, too, which is why I took pains to make sure mine was designed well, backed up with reader testimonials and data, and has good content.

    With that $1170 in particular, I actually reached out to the person, who’s a 27-year-old young woman. I asked her if it was sustainable — in other words, were her savings sustainable enough to save that much each month?

    Her reply:

    “They should be. It was my highest priority to do things that were maintainable. I’ve had lofty goals before and when things are just too hard, too often, I set myself up for failure. So, I took the tips that were the easiest to apply to my lifestyle.”

    I appreciate the feedback and I understand charging for stuff — especially in long-copy pages — can seem a little weird. But I encourage you to try it (and if not, thanks for your feedback anyway).

  3. Well – I’m hesistant as I typically am with things of this nature – but I went ahead and took the plunge. I found a few of the tips in the Save $1000 challenge useful and was able to actually save $1000 for the year by just cutting out two things that I was convinced were unnecessary. Hopefully I qualified for a free book.

  4. Thanks for the honest reply. I’m going to sign up for the Scrooge Strategy because there is really nothing to lose with the 60-day guarantee. Thanks again.

  5. I’ve just signed up and confirmed. How can we tell if we are in the first 30 that get free books? Thanks Ramit, and I wish you luck on a successful launch.


  6. My assistant will notify you by email within the next 24 hours if you’re one of the first 30!

  7. Ramit, I have been a big fan of yours upto now. The first thing I suggest to people when they want to ‘cut back’ is lose the unneccesary subscriptions and yours would be one of those such subscriptions. There are plenty of good free resources out there and can you honestly say that any of your tips are unique to you?

  8. How will writing for the Scrooge Strategy affect writing for I Will Teach You to be Rich? I check this site daily, but only see postings once every few days to once a week. Will it be once ever few weeks now?

  9. Liv: I plan to continue writing on this site — and in fact adding new types of content. Recently I’ve rolled out a 30-day challenge, videos, audio interviews, and more. But to be fair, this is not my primary job and I do most of it for free, so some weeks I just don’t have enough time to post.

    Mark, I agree that you should cut unnecessary subscriptions. If you think this is unnecessary, don’t get it! But I’m guaranteeing that you’ll save more than The Scrooge Strategy costs, so it’s certainly worth a shot on an ROI basis. Of course you can find many tips online (even though many of the Scrooge tips are unique to me). But many people want highly tactical tips delivered to them with clear instructions, phone numbers, call scripts, calculations, and guided suggestions. If this isn’t for you, no problem — but for many people, it’s already saved them thousands.

  10. Ramit, I actually signed up before today. Will I still qualify for the first 30? 🙂