Get my 5-day email funnel that generated $400,000 from a single launch

Want an email sales funnel that's already proven to work? Get the entire word-for-word email funnel that generated $400,000 from a single launch and apply it to your own business.

Yes! Send me the funnel now
Start Here: “The Ultimate Guide to Personal Finance”

Trent says The Scrooge Strategy is “short-sighted” — I respond with a challenge

165 Comments- Get free updates of new posts here

3 0

Do you ever wake up in the morning, roll over, and say, “Man, I wonder what my personal finance brethren said about me as I was sleeping?” No? Hm, I guess it’s just me. Anyway, stay with me today as we weave the story of toilet paper, toothpaste, a rudimentary SWOT analysis, and a $1,000 challenge together. It’s really quite compelling.

Yesterday, I woke up to see this Q&A on Trent’s personal-finance blog, The Simple Dollar:

Reader question: “Are you familiar with…Scrooge Strategy? He has a whole different approach to saving money that avoids most frugality tips. Instead he focuses on things like calling to get your cable/phone/insurance/etc. bills lowered and tackling those major spending habits. His argument is that small frugality tips (those that “only” save $5-$10 per month) take too much effort when trying to implement several at a time over a long time; an argument that I believe is completely valid…”
–TMS

Trent’s reply:

“I think it’s good in concept and attractive for people looking for the big quick fix, but it’s shortsighted.

Let me give you an example. Let’s say I can swap out the incandescent bulbs in my house for CFLs and drop my electric bill about $8 a month. This activity would take me about twenty minutes, just once.

Under the philosophy you describe, such an activity would be a waste of time. Yet, over the course of three years, that activity saves $288 for only 20 minutes worth of effort (actually less than that, since with CFLs you don’t have to change bulbs nearly as often).

There are countless examples like this – little frugal steps that don’t save much money per month, but don’t take much time either. As a result, these efforts pay a huge hourly wage. Ignoring them because the immediate result isn’t splashy is a pretty big mistake, in my opinion.”

Hmm.

First of all, imagine you recently gave birth to a beautiful child, only to hear someone down the street calling it ugly. I hope it’s clear that honor requires me to respond. As a respectable personal-finance blogger, however, my response will take the form of a detailed blog post.

I hope to teach these methods to street criminals later this week.

Now, Trent runs one of the most popular personal-finance blogs on the internet, he is an adviser to Wesabe (as am I), and his blog features many, many excellent tactics for saving money.

But he also caters to a completely different audience than I Will Teach You To Be Rich. He and his readers focus on frugality, on ways to save ever-increasing amounts of money by cutting down on waste, and doing less with what you have. His most popular post of all time is How To Make Your Own Laundry Detergent – And Save Big Money.

I don’t have any issue with frugality, except that I think Americans are horrible at it and, for my audience, it’s a hopeless battle of telling them to say no to things — “no more lattes! no more eating out! no more enjoying life!” — which never lasts.

This is simply basic positioning. Trent has a different focus than I do: He focuses on frugality, and I’ve chosen to focus on helping people define rich and spend extravagantly on the things you love, while cutting costs mercilessly on the things you don’t. I especially focus on psychology and automation because none of us want to be financial “experts” — we just want our money to do the right thing so we can get on with our lives.

So, different strokes for different folks. My tips wouldn’t work very well for Trent’s readers, and his tips wouldn’t work well for mine. We could have just left it at that…

…But then Trent talked about The Scrooge Strategy.

A little bit about The Scrooge Strategy
First of all, to my knowledge, Trent hasn’t tried The Scrooge Strategy, my recently launched premium program for tactical in-depth savings tips. Since he hasn’t tried it, I’m not sure why he dismissed it as “short-sighted.” Especially since I’ve always focused on the long term, and 300+ people are Scrooge members for this very reason.

I could sit here and try to defend the Scrooge Strategy all day, but I’ll let the results from my members speak for me:

“You saved me $600 in interest. I just called American Express yesterday and told them that I just got laid off from work, and they said I can get 0% interest for 6 months, and then about 9% for the next 6 months. Reading your tips definitely gave me the idea to call them and try negotiating. I figured that the worst that could happen was that they would say no, but I would have never expected that American Express would waive interest for 6 months!”
–RV

And then there’s Jonathan Bruck’s savings in 2 weeks:

jonathan-bruck-scrooge-savings
Now come on. I’m Indian, I love Taco Bell, and I use coupons more than twice a week. I know about saving money. But it isn’t just about cutting down on things. “Saving” really consists of Cutting costs, Earning more, and Optimizing your existing spending. And you can’t try to save money on everything.

Focus on the 5 big things, rather than 50 little things
The I Will Teach You To Be Rich philosophy has always been to focus on the long-term, and to focus on big wins that matter. If you start investing early, pick a sensible asset allocation with low-cost funds, save for big events in the next 10 years (wedding, down payment on a house, kids, vacations…), focus on having great credit, and cut costs mercilessly on the things you don’t care about. Do these things and you’ll be ahead of 99% of other people.

But by reducing the number of things to focus on — and picking major, important items — you don’t need to worry about that one-off latte or extra $20 you spent on shoes. If you’re handling your major goals, the minor details fall out of that. Whether it’s spending $21,000/year going out or going out to a nice restaurant, you can handle your goals and use your money without feeling guilty.

What happens if you try to save money on everything?
You can’t. Implementing an ethos of frugality is nice, but it just doesn’t work for the vast majority of people. For Trent’s site, it clearly does — but he has a very, very niche audience relative to most Americans (just as I do…maybe even more so). Yes, we “should” be more frugal, but we’re not. And as you guys know, by focusing on big wins, you have gotten some amazing results on this site.

Like I said, Trent and I have very different styles. For instance, these are some of his recent tips: Baking your own bread (save $104 per year*) or making your own laundry detergent ($70/year).

In fact, yesterday, Trent wrote a post, “The Happy Minimum,” that went like this:

“I began to think more carefully… Did I really need to use that much toilet paper?

[…]

Take pepper, for starters. I will put a large dose of pepper almost reflexively on anything I eat that isn’t sweet. The pepper grinder is a mainstay on our kitchen table…I tasted it first, added just two grinds of pepper, stirred, tried it again, and found that I liked the taste. Ordinarily, I would have just ground twelve or fourteen times without thinking about it.

What about toothpaste? I usually put a big glob on the brush without thinking about it too much. Instead, I put just a tiny bit on my brush, spread it over the bristles, and started brushing. Almost immediately, I had a nice bit of foam in my mouth and my teeth felt wonderfully clean afterwards.

Instead of grabbing two or three Kleenexes to blow my nose, why not just grab one and use it until I absolutely can’t use it any more, then get another if I need it?”

Toilet paper? Kleenex? Seriously? Even if you saved 50% on these for the next 20 years (which would affect your quality of life pretty dramatically), you’re still debating minutiae. You could save more in 1 phone call to negotiate your bank’s fees.

I’d rather focus on tips that save me $600/year or illustrate how to turn $20 into thousands using entrepreneurship.

It’s one thing to criticize my tips. But when you haven’t tried them, I’m not sure it makes sense to call my advice “short-sighted.”

toilet-paper-image
The Ramit/Trent Challenge
Again, a lot of Trent’s advice is really excellent (or I wouldn’t even bother writing this), it’s just for a different audience. So, to make this fun, I propose The Ramit/Trent Challenge.

ramit-trent-challenge
Over a period of 1 month, starting Monday, March 2nd, I say we each pick a group of 50 readers and send them 4 tips. (I’m just going to take the first 50 people that sign up for The Scrooge Strategy.) I propose that we’re also allowed to do one hour of private instruction to them (webcast, phone, email, etc), but no more. We let the tips stand on their own.

At the end, we see which group has saved more — the Scrooge group or the frugality group. And I’m willing to bet, if you are: I suggest the loser pay $1,000 to the charity of their blogs readers’ choice.

Trent — will you take my challenge?

To my readers: Join the Challenge
I’ll wait to hear if Trent accepts, but for you guys, we’ll proceed no matter what.

If you want to join the challenge, follow the instructions below. Whoever signs up today will get the tips and will get to attend the private webcast.

But I’m only taking people who want to win. So if you’re dedicated to following the tips for 1 month (and after that, but ESPECIALLY in the first month), sign up. Otherwise, please don’t ruin my chances at winning this bet in the micro-niche world of personal-finance bloggers. Hey, we all have dreams. Small dreams.

If you want to participate:
1. Sign up at http://www.scroogestrategy.com (all signups include a 60-day money-back guarantee)

2. Once you sign up, email ramit@iwillteachyoutoberich.com with this subject line: “I’m IN for the Ramit/Trent Challenge.”

Whether or not Trent accepts The Challenge, you’ll still get the tips, I’ll invite you to the private webcast, and you guys will save money. And we’ll show the world how much you can save by focusing on the big wins, not every little savings tactic that comes along.

[Edit]: Trent’s response is up.

* * *

* Assume buying bread costs $3 while making it yourself costs $1. 1 loaf/week.

3 0

Related Articles

Untitled design (6)

How to pay off student loans without thinking about it

Student loans are a big kick in the face that the real world has arrived. The average graduate has $28,...

Read More
stretching

The 4 keys to finding ambition

We’re told we should just be happy with what we have… but there’s a difference between being happy ...

Read More

165 Comments

3 0
 

Leave a Reply

165 Comments on "Trent says The Scrooge Strategy is “short-sighted” — I respond with a challenge"

Notify of
avatar

Fabulously Broke
7 years 5 months ago
I COULD NOT AGREE MORE. I personally hate those kinds of tips – saving a tissue paper here, or saving toilet paper rolls for other purposes.. whatever. I only do the things I do, like get rid of shampoo or detergent not to save money, but to save my health & the environment (am a bit of an yuppie hippie mix). He has an okay blog, but I can’t imagine beating myself up over spending $2 on a chocolate bar, or using more than one square of toilet paper roll. I am not wasteful by any means and have turned… Read more »
Patrick
7 years 5 months ago
Ramit, While there is some overlap, I would contend that your audience probably consists of people than can make bigger, more sweeping changes to their finances which results in larger immediate gains. My hypothesis would be that you’ll see this in your challenge results. My guess is that Trent’s audience has already made many of the more sweeping changes, and are now getting down to the truly nitty gritty details which is all that is left. That’s not to say that both aren’t valuable, they just address different stages in the money-saving game. One point where I will give you… Read more »
will
will
7 years 5 months ago

LOL – can’t you guys just get along? I subscribe to both yours and trent’s site, and even though most of trent’s tips don’t apply to me, at least he doesn’t get into a dick swinging contest when someone criticizes his site.

AD
AD
7 years 5 months ago
I saw that post on The Simple Dollar yesterday, and I thought it was an unfair assessment of what you’re doing on IWTYTBR. I like both of your blogs, but I have to agree on the frugal minutiae. The posts like the one on toilet paper and pepper grinds completely lose me. Life is too short to analyze how many squares of tissue I need to “do the job,” so to speak. On the other hand, I liked his post about making breakfast burritos in bulk and freezing them, since I don’t eat fast food and can’t manage to get… Read more »
Angela
Angela
7 years 5 months ago
Wow! Touchy, touchy. No, I don’t think the scrooge strategy is short-sighted. I think, from what I’ve read of it in your posts, it is very interesting and chanllenging and covers most of, if not all of the bases. However, I also agree with Trent about frugality. I have NEVER been a frugal person, but when you’re busted back a few notches as a single mom with a crappy paying job frugality is a necessity. You have to be conscious of the little things. Counting those sheets of toilet paper will help you make it to the next payday when… Read more »
Maria
Maria
7 years 5 months ago
I definitely agree – it’s always better to save money on big-ticket items, especially those you don’t particularly care about. For instance, I’m cutting my rent in half (from $800 to $400!) by moving in with an old Japanese lady in Colma City. Also reducing my gym bill ($75/month to $20/month). This makes it possible to save at least half my salary each month without skimping on seeing friends for meals/drinks/etc., which is what I care most about. Also, I’m saving up for travel (trips to Japan and Ireland planned in the near future), nice clothes (because you need them… Read more »
kat
kat
7 years 5 months ago
Meh. Honestly, I’m getting a little tired of you trying to sell me the Scrooge Strategy. (Sorry, but, I’m allergic to advertising. 🙂 ) Big, sweeping changes are very useful, as is anything that can increase your income. The problem is, I’ve already done all of those things (which is why the 30-day challenge didn’t do much for me). Over the past few years, I’ve made major life changes in the service of spending less money on BS and more money on the things I care about. I mean things like not owning a car and living close to my… Read more »
444
7 years 5 months ago

If you’re going to make coffee at home most days of the week, just make it at home every day of the week. Don’t buy a cup of take-out coffee. Then you can buy a whole pack of t.p. with money you would have spent on a tall latte and you won’t have to worry about stretching out the t.p. to make it to the next payday. No one should have to do that. Take-out coffee just shouldn’t be bought by people questioning whether their t.p. will last all week.

Ellen
7 years 5 months ago
I thought this post was hilarious and fabulous. I love the toilet paper image. Like posters above, I can see the benefit of both types of saving. My car insurance company recently increased my payments by $40 because I moved 5 miles east of my previous residence. Considering I barely drive my car anymore, I thought this was preposterous. I called another car insurance company, got a quote that was about $15 less than what I was paying for the other guy BEFORE the rate increase, and saved a nice chunk of change. I also recently moved in with my… Read more »
CentsInTheCity
7 years 5 months ago
I read both blogs and agree your audiences are different. I think the Scrooge Strategy will save people hundreds of dollars, especially if up until now they haven’t done much to cut costs or manage money. I also think Trent’s blog helps the more frugal reader take cutting costs to the next level. Many of his readers probably have already put into practice the tips in the Scrooge Strategy. As I happen to be a person that is naturally a saver, I instinctively have cut costs on things that are not as important to me. For example, why buy lunch… Read more »
Johanna
Johanna
7 years 5 months ago

This is stupid. If I signed up for a bunch of subscriptions and services I don’t need, I too could cancel them all and “save” thousands of dollars a year. If I took on tens of thousands of dollars in credit card debt, I too could “save” a bundle by negotiating a lower interest rate. But because I chose never to sign up for these things to begin with, that somehow makes ME the loser? Come on.

Mark Newhouse
7 years 5 months ago
I was hoping you’d respond to that when I read it yesterday. And I hope Trent reads your post in the friendly manner in which it appears to be written – and then takes you up on the challenge. However, I don’t think there is any way he has a chance to win as your target audience has a lot more places to save money than Trent’s (if they are counting pepper grains then they likely don’t have a cable bill or buy lattes on a daily basis) so my guess is that he’ll pass. Plus you’ve called him out… Read more »
DollarDream$
DollarDream$
7 years 5 months ago
Hey Ramit First off, even I am a fan of both of your blogs and by now, everybody knows that you two have different styles. Sometimes I get irritated with Trent’s frugaliy tips like making your laundry detergent or today’s post about toilet papers. That’s just not worth my time. I think in today’s world we need to work smarter and not harder. This is not get rich quick thinking, but I am not the guy to make my own laundry detergent!! Two words – PARETO ANALYSIS ! I am sure you know what that is. The famous 80-20 rule.… Read more »
liv
liv
7 years 5 months ago
I check both your sites daily, but Trent’s started out really really good, then started to annoy me greatly because he keeps bashing all these ways of doing things. People ask his opinion on other’s tips and is like “waste of time”…come on!…every little bit helps. I switched out my lightbulbs and use coupons…because it’s just me, going to Costco to buy certain items works out great for me because I don’t have to go back for months to get another helping…but, I can’t stand people who aren’t accepting of other people’s things. So…even though I still check his site… Read more »
Ryan from Going Carless
7 years 5 months ago

I don’t understand why it has to be one or the other. I read both of your blogs. I have employed many of the Scrooge techniques. Then you get to a point where you can’t save any more. That is when Trent’s tips come in. I then have the ability to save even MORE than if I just used your tips.
I understand why you would be offended, but I would see it as two tools for the same end.

SP
SP
7 years 5 months ago
I buy 2-3 (max) bottles of laundry detergent a year. I’ve baked my own bread (just for fun), and you know, yeast is expensive even in the jar, and it didn’t save much at all. Trents recent 2 (2!) posts referring to toilet paper squares honestly made my stomach queasy. I just don’t want to know your TP habits. I have no clue how many squares I use, and I’m happy never knowing. Also, would you recommend switching to CFLs? It is a one time easy tip that most Americans can accomplish (frugality through… shopping!) Changing to CFL’s is not… Read more »
Ben
Ben
7 years 5 months ago

The unspoken difference between these two philosophies is how they approach the value of time and comparative advantage. I could save money by washing and ironing my dress shirts myself. But it takes me forever to iron a shirt to my liking, I hate ironing, and I suck at it. So on balance I’d lose out, terribly, by choosing to save money that way. Better to use that valuable time for learning a new skill, or, heaven forbid, leisure.

Nate @ Money Young
7 years 5 months ago
@ Fabulously Broke. Really? “She who dies with the most gold in the end, is a fool, I say. It means they worked so hard all the way until their death without really enjoying a single penny of it.” You think Trent works hard? When his nights are spent with his wife and he gets to spend any time he wants with his Kids? I envy that lifestyle. I would rather ‘live a little’ with my kids than with my ‘$500/pop technology’. @Will – LOL! @Ramit – I think you need to read the Archives of TSD. Trent did one… Read more »
Sra
7 years 5 months ago

You know what? I don’t buy the claim that CFLs last much longer than regular light bulbs. I’ve lived in my apartment for approximately 7 years. I have changed the CFLs in my bathroom light 3 times during those 7 years. It’s bullocks.

Matt
7 years 5 months ago
Although Ramit’s approach is far more effective for me, I’ve been a reader of both blogs (Ramit’s and Trent’s) for almost two years. When I got a $300 gas heat bill in December, I decided to speed up my showers, and I’m considering giving up driving to work (one mile) for a while to save on fuel and car maintenance. These two choices not only enforce reasonable moderation of consumption, but also require changes in personal habits which bring additional benefits. These two facts make them more justifiable in my judgment than reducing my toilet paper use to levels that… Read more »
Erica Douglass
7 years 5 months ago
A couple of thoughts: First of all, some of the commenters here need to lighten up! Smile a bit! This is all in good fun. 🙂 Secondly, I see a lot of comments — both here and on certain posts on Trent’s blog — where the commenter has pushed frugality to the limit. (Hint: If you’re counting pepper grains or toilet paper squares, you might just be this person!) But even earning $10 extra a month would be huge for these folks. So why don’t more PF bloggers (some of whom clearly know how to earn a FT living online)… Read more »
Lise
7 years 5 months ago

I read both blogs, and I think you’re both behaving childishly.

Trent should have deigned not to comment on the Scrooge Strategy when someone asked. And you, Ramit, did you seriously need to turn this into a steel cage match?

The audiences for both blogs, you might argue, is very different -but as far as readership goes? I think you have significant overlap, and I think this kind of behavior hurts you as much as it hurts him.

Lise
7 years 5 months ago

Sorry, one more thing to add:

@Erica, I didn’t see your comment before, but I wanted to say that you’re absolutely right. I’ve gotten to the point with my frugality where the only way I can have more leeway is just to make more money. There’s not enough in the frugality/PF blogosphere about that, I don’t think.

AD
AD
7 years 5 months ago

Whoa. Some of ya’ll are missing the fact that Ramit does not hate Trent. In fact, he praises him in this post, too. Trent made a comment about Ramit’s product, without subscribing to the product, and Ramit is responding, and having some fun with it.

I don’t think they’re “fighting.” (Can you even fight over the internet? Would be rather geeky, no?)

Dee
Dee
7 years 5 months ago

Hey everyone needs a hobby~Frugalites I am looking at you! 🙂
Personally I am scrappy sometimes, so I can afford the things I need or want.
Hey heads up on the CFLs, my electrician buddy was telling me if you replace all your bulbs in your house, it fries the neutrals in your electrical wiring and poses a fire hazard..why is no one talking about that? A few bulbs here and there is not a big deal, but replace all of them and they cycle differently than the wiring in houses can handle~

carise
carise
7 years 5 months ago

This should be interesting to see. Perhaps the best is to be a Scrooge who has slightly frugal tendencies! When frugality gets to the point where you’re still counting tp squares, though, and you have a comfortable income level, that may be going a little far.

@Ramit, more articles about how to increase income would be great. I’m enjoying the Scrooge Strategy so far but the articles haven’t really applied to me yet (or I’ve somehow already implemented the tips after reading your blog). Still, SS has been a great read.

Jane Winebox
Jane Winebox
7 years 5 months ago
Everything is a cost-benefit analysis, and for the higher earners that you likely attract, time really may be money. Calling my cable company for a better rate once a year when the last promo rate they gave me expires takes me 10 minutes and saves me several hundred dollars a year. I bill my work time at 80/hour, so that’s a good return on my 10 minutes. Clipping coupons and organizing them and driving to multiple stores to save $10 a week? Not worth the time/fuel expended. Sure, I’d save $520 a year vs. the $300 I save by negotiating… Read more »
Anne
Anne
7 years 5 months ago

While I do think the steel cage match would be great fun, I gotta agree that it’s stacked against Trent’s readers (like me). I’ve already done all the big stuff. I could maybe shave another $20-$30/year off my car insurance except I’ve been too lazy to make the call. Otherwise everything else is pretty darn optimized for the way I currently want to live. I’m actively looking for the little tweaks and, at this point, have made the big changes and have yet to make the mental shift to making more money.

Evert
Evert
7 years 5 months ago

You’re so right :). The frugality tips are equivalent to ordering Diet Coke at Mc Donalds when you need to lose 100 pounds. First stop going to Mc Donalds, then maybe switch to Diet Coke.

Frugality tips are ok for optimizing the last few percentages of your spending, but I’d much rather just get the big things right and then get on with life.

Beth
Beth
7 years 5 months ago
Sorry, but I think both Ramit and Trent could take a less from J.D. over at Get Rich Slowly. GHe draws in ideas all over the place and has lots of good tips, but one of the things I like best is that he isn’t out to bash people who disagree with him. He doesn’t appear to react out of anger, and he doesn’t need to put anyone else down in order to build his readership. In short, the guy’s got class. I find the “what I say is better than what he says” kind of mentality to be very… Read more »
Lol
Lol
7 years 5 months ago

Bitch slap!

Ramit will win hands down.

Cathy
7 years 5 months ago
Look, guys. I love you both. Mwah! You have different styles, but I don’t think they are mutually exclusive, and can be complimentary. My life is a mixture of both of what you write about. Most of what you both write about I’ve already done. I read your blogs because I like to participate in the discussions (I’m having a blast in the community discussions). The main thing I’m getting a kick out of on Trent’s site is the DIY stuff. I’m a DIY geek. Most things I try just to try, then decide it’s not practical for every day… Read more »
James
James
7 years 5 months ago
As another commenter pointed out, now that you have a product to sell you’re definitely coming up with new and interesting ways to do it. Having your readers join you on one side of a proverbial challenge, while paying for it, is pretty creative marketing. However, I propose the following rule change to your contest. These changes would provide for a more fair and interesting challenge, relieve the IWTYTBR readers of the burden of financing this challenge through 50 new sign ups, and most importantly offer both you and Trent valuable traffice, exposure, and positive feedback on both of your… Read more »
Lise
7 years 5 months ago

I bet Locke knows how to make DIY laundry detergent. And McGyver.

I nominate this for best comment in the thread!

Battra92
7 years 5 months ago
As I said in the comment on TSD yesterday I think you’re both right and in some ways both wrong. I took Ramit’s advice and I called Progressive yesterday and found out by switching I could save $500 on my car insurance. Yes, that’s more than I could ever save making homemade bread and it took me a grand total of 30 minutes on the telephone. I also put it on a Credit Card so I got rewards points off of it too. Of course when the bill comes due I will pay it off 100% I have automated savings,… Read more »
Cathy
7 years 5 months ago

I gotta wonder if people actually do read Trent’s blog. He talks all the time about improving your education, calling your credit card company to reduce rates, or shopping for new insurance rates.

Mike
Mike
7 years 5 months ago

If I ever find myself counting toilet paper squares to save a few pennies, then I might as well throw in the towel. My life is over.

BSB
7 years 5 months ago

This reminds me of an extremely frugal guy I saw years ago on some late night show. He explained how he will cut open his toothpaste bottle in order to use every last bit of toothpaste. I couldn’t agree more with Ramit. Some very frugal ways of living are just not worth the time.

kat
kat
7 years 5 months ago
Hmm. After leaving my comment above, I went over to the Simple Dollar out of curiosity. I was not a Simple Dollar reader before today, but having gone back and read some of his blog archive, I think he is being misrepresented here. Much of his advice is the same as yours, Ramit, and he definitely does acknowledge that some expenditures aren’t worth the time or effort. I think you (and many commenters) missed the point of the toilet paper post, which (as I read it) is that often, you can cut back on something with no noticeable change to… Read more »
What the hell ?
What the hell ?
7 years 5 months ago

So, if I understand well :

– frugality tips can only be winning in the long term, since you save a few pennies each day
– you, on the other hand, write “Especially since I’ve always focused on the long term”

And you propose a 1 month challenge ???

I’m sorry, but isn’t this a little bit pointless ? Whoever wins won’t matter. Saving 200 bucks in a month does not matter and does not prove in any way “who is the best”. What matters is how much you can save in a lifetime, or at least in a few years.

444
7 years 5 months ago

I don’t know who nagged me into it, but I finally called and switched car insurance (to USAA) and saved about $400 a year.

To celebrate, I threw a party and papered the house with t.p. streamers.

skipadoo
skipadoo
7 years 5 months ago
i like ramit’s blog better than others because his strategies are more practical, especially for higher earners. if you’re a professional with a $400/hr billable rate, it’s cheaper to buy the $4 loaf of bread than spend an hour of billable time to bake it. calling amex to ask them to waive your platinum card fees saves you $400 and takes 20 minutes. could you imagine being a lawyer, doctor, or some other professional with a $100k+ salary asking your guests not to use more than two squares of toilet paper? my sister is a grad student, and makes much… Read more »
adora
adora
7 years 5 months ago

I think one should spend/save according to happiness. It is easy to save for tomorrow, but impossible to send money back to yesterday. Something is worth spending the money. It depends on your expectation of life.

You are both men and Trent has kids, I think. Single girl like me benefit very little from either of your advice because we have very different spending preference. I feel more related to Madam X of “My Open Wallet”.

I do appreciate your advice on increase earnings. Please focus on that.

Some guy
Some guy
7 years 5 months ago

Ramit you’re my hero. I burnt a whole roll of toilet paper as a sacrifice to you.

philo
philo
7 years 5 months ago

Enough with the toilet paper already. I trust Trent is mature enough not to take up your challenge, Ramit. What you don’t read is the subtext of his article, that we can develop a way of life that incorporates self-discipline by being mindful how we use and consume everyday products. In that respect, folks in India are light-years ahead of Americans.

Cathy
7 years 5 months ago

could you imagine being a lawyer, doctor, or some other professional with a $100k+ salary asking your guests not to use more than two squares of toilet paper

Where the heck did this come from? That would be extremely bad form for anyone, whether from a doctor or a waitress. I can’t imagine ANYONE asking their guest to do that.

Cathy
7 years 5 months ago

if you’re a professional with a $400/hr billable rate, it’s cheaper to buy the $4 loaf of bread than spend an hour of billable time to bake it.

I think Martha Stewart’s billable rate is a lot higher than $400/hr. And she bakes bread.

Just sayin’…

DollarDream$
DollarDream$
7 years 5 months ago

To skipadoo

$400 / hr ? Really??

I think people making that much money should not be even reading this or any other blog for that matter. If you read one post for 15 mins, there goes your 100 bucks!

Get real! $400 / hr people are called super-rich, who are probably less than 5% population of America. I am sure they have better things to do.

Margo
Margo
7 years 5 months ago
This showdown is hilarious. Two entirely different audiences — coastal young, single professionals versus middle-American married folks of various employment. There is really no comparison. TSD strikes a chord with me on some of its posts – I am a midwesterner by birth – and helps remind me that there IS another way, when I get wrapped up in the East Coast lifestyle, and that what I have or don’t have is all my choice. It’s easier for IWTYTBR to focus on earning more – taking on a part-time job or freelance projects is much more feasible when there is… Read more »
Amy
Amy
7 years 5 months ago

Ramit,
I will say it again – you’re my hero.
🙂

Green Panda
7 years 5 months ago

I have personally seen the benefit of both types of saving. I did the Save 1k challenge and have followed some of Trent’s tips. Thanks to both sites’ advice, we’ve paid off our car loan and the only debt left is my student loans.

I enjoy reading both blogs and seeing what tips could benefit us personally.

I wasn’t crazy with how Trent reviewed the Scrooge Strategy (if he hasn’t tried, he could’ve just asked his readers to give their experience. with the program), but I don’t believe he meant to offend.

Writer's Coin
7 years 5 months ago

Dude, if this breaks out into an all out gang war, I got your back, homes.

Oh and this is why I’m on your side:

“Whether it’s spending $21,000/year going out or going out to a nice restaurant, you can handle your goals and use your money without feeling guilty.”

Let’s get it on!

Jonathan
Jonathan
7 years 5 months ago
I stopped subscribing to TSD a few months ago because the material no longer resonated with me (despite the fact that I became a dad and would need helpful kiddie hints). TSD hints work as long as the time vs. money equation holds – coupons can easily whack 15-20% off the grocery bill, but they’re not worth it if you have to spend hours and hours clipping and organizing them. Luckily I developed my own way of organizing coupons which takes me ten minutes per week and saves me close to $60 per month. I also picked one store and… Read more »
guinness416
guinness416
7 years 5 months ago

As usual, entertaining stuff Ramit! Beats the badly written “10 ways to save money on cellphone bills” followed by “12 tips for reducing consumption” content on most moneyblogs, that’s for sure. Why on earth are all of these sourpusses whining at you, this is a fun idea. I doubt he will, but hope Trent takes you up on it.

Ryan
Ryan
7 years 5 months ago
I was once a daily reader of The Simple Dollar and although it has a lot of great information… it just got to be “too much”. I consider myself a pretty frugal person, I really cut back on things that I don’t care about and I spend on the things that I do care about… but for me, I like the philosophy of Ramit a little better. I think cutting back on unnecessary spending is absolutely fantastic and I take part in that whenever I can… but it only goes so far. If there is something that I want… I… Read more »
Ryan
Ryan
7 years 5 months ago

Oh and the CFL argument is sort of silly… you need to change yourlight bulbs anyway, why wouldn’t you put in the energy-saving ones?

Adam
Adam
7 years 5 months ago
I have to admit, I check out a few different financial blogs, and sometimes I do find the frugality tips to be useful. Then again, I find some of them to be asinine. The same goes for Ramit, and I’ll admit that I am a scrooge strategy subscriber. I feel like its best for me to get information from all angles and pick out the nuggets that will actually work for me. In my case, I spend a lot of money on dumb stuff that frugality will help me with, but at the same time I can sure stand to… Read more »
Jeff
Jeff
7 years 5 months ago

Mike: If I ever find myself counting toilet paper squares to save a few pennies, then I might as well throw in the towel.

That’s only going to save you money if you’re making your own laundry detergent to keep up with the extra washing you’ll need to do for those towels.

(Too much? I never know.)

Matt
Matt
7 years 5 months ago

I can’t believe no one has mentioned the Ramit vs. Trent pic yet. It’s friggin’ hilarious!

JT
JT
7 years 5 months ago
You should both go on Geraldo and this can be settled once and for all. Seriously though, I like Trent’s blog. He writes from a more mature point of view. I think this blog is good for twentysomethings who really need to get started with getting control over their finances. It makes sense to start with the big ticket stuff. But if you’ve done that and still need (or want) to do more, Trent’s blog is helpful. And for the record, I tried baking bread when I read his post on it, and LOVED it. Found a new hobby. Now… Read more »
Beth
Beth
7 years 5 months ago

I don’t CFLs in any light I’m close to (like my bedside reading lamp). They’re not safe at close distances — they give off radiation and other nastiness. Canada and the UK are investigating the issue (not sure if the US has caught on yet ) so I’m not taking any chances now.

If you doubt what I’m saying, do a little research. Some sites of course are going to say they’re perfectly safe, but it’s interesting to hear the other side of the story too.

MikeV
MikeV
7 years 5 months ago

Nice, Ramit. I cancelled my feed to The Simple Dollar for the very reasons you pointed out. I’m more interested in big picture: like entrepreneurism, investing, and saving on the big items. Kudos for standing up for your philosophies and laying down the challenge!

The Personal Finance Playbook
7 years 5 months ago

I don’t think one month is an adequate amount of time. Of course you can make more with big changes in the short term. I think Trent’s point is that over the long term, the little things can add up, too. In any case, you should have emailed him before posing the challenge. Now he’ll have no choice but to accept. Of course, he probably gives at least 1k per year anyway somewhere (most people do), so the risk is small I guess.

imelda
imelda
7 years 5 months ago
Clearly Ramit was hurt by Trent’s evaluation of the Scrooge Strategy as “short-sighted”. But I would like to point out that the rest of Trent’s comment doesn’t really criticize Ramit’s Strategy. What he actually says, when you read between the lines, is that he’s sorry Ramit is dismissing TRENT’s strategy of saving on small things, too. His use of the word “short-sighted” seems to have set Ramit off, but I think maybe Ramit should re-read Trent’s comment more carefully. It actually seems to me that Ramit is being more dismissive of Trent’s strategy than Trent is being of Ramit’s. So… Read more »
Battra92
7 years 5 months ago

@Matt – about that pic of Ramit vs Trent. Sure it’s funny but I’d rather see Dave “No Cards” Ramsey and Suze “Big Jackets” Orman punch each others’ lights out if we were going to have a boxing match for personal finance tips. ~_^

(my money would be on Dave Ramsey due to the weight difference but also because I’m not as married to FICO scores as Orman is)

wanzman
wanzman
7 years 5 months ago
I read both blogs regularly, and while I think that both writers have good intentions, Ramit’s blog seems to be aimed 100% at earning him money (selling books, ebooks etc.). It is quite transparent that this is all just one big &&& making ooportunity for him. If he happens to help someone along the way, fine. I see Dave Ramsey and Suze Orman envy all over this site. While some of Trent’s posts do go a bit too far, I find him to be quite sincere, and much less in my face when it comes to marketing his wares. Ramit….you… Read more »
wanzman
wanzman
7 years 5 months ago

No, you have to keep the blog around as a medium to cram your book down people’s throats…and to further promote the scrooge strategy.

Ruthie
Ruthie
7 years 5 months ago

Okay, I love frugality tips mostly because they help me remember that I’m trying to save money (seriously, if I use coupons, it helps me to not spend $$ on things I don’t love), and I also love the focus on the big picture items tips (because switching my health insurance to a high deductible HSA plan, even paying for my routine health out of pocket, has saved us $125/month to put into the pre tax HSA) SO, I’m really looking forward to seeing how this challenge plays out. Keep up the great posts!

David
7 years 5 months ago

I’m not a huge fan of frugaling yourself to death, so I can definitely appreciate Ramit’s point of view.

And I don’t think that he was offended or angry at Trent’s feedback – he just found a fun and playful way to respond, that should actually increase traffic for both sites. Sounds like a good idea to me.

David
7 years 5 months ago

@ wanzman:

Nearly every blog has the goal of making money. Why is it so offensive if Ramit profits from his good advice, especially if readers benefit too?

Other blogs have more ads than this site, and you don’t have to buy anything here if you don’t want to. I can’t say I understand your harsh attitude.

Todd
Todd
7 years 5 months ago
@Ramit, Honestly I think you would be more effective you spent time just focusing on the tips. Your tips are mostly good when you do that. You do however spend time calling other tips stupid and retarded (http://www.iwillteachyoutoberich.com/blog/announcing-the-save-1000-in-30-days-challenge/) in an effort to validate your opinion. Then you spend time trying to defend your tips when someone calls them short sighted. I think your comments are far more negative and less constructive than Trent’s comment. I hope you see the irony there. I personally wouldn’t sign up for your service anyhow. Not to stay that the scrooge tips aren’t good. I… Read more »
Tom
Tom
7 years 5 months ago
I love this site Ramit. As a matter of fact I don’t give a f**k about making laundry detergent or how much toilet paper I’m using to wipe my ass. Seriously? Nobody cares about saving 3 cents for using 1 less piece of toilet paper, or turning that pepper grinder one less time. You have saved me so much money and I would like to share that with everyone else. Magazine Subscriptions cancelled: $57.95*12=695/year Told Mom to cancel OnStar: $18.95*12=227/year Called Sprint to negotiate a better rate (found out I get a discount with my employer also): $44.62/month=$535/year Complained to… Read more »
Kevin
7 years 5 months ago

Say what you want about Trent, but he does not charge for his money saving advice. Yes, he has a book, but the cost for the book is less than one month of the scrooge strategy.

I would say one of the keys to saving money is to not pay someone to tell you how to save money.

Cat
Cat
7 years 5 months ago

I have no idea how Ramit has an audience that is both intelligent yet gets so absolutely butthurt over something trivial (and fun and right up his personality alley) like this. Take a break, go read something else and come back to a unicorns crapping rainbows post another day.

444
7 years 5 months ago
Can I turn this thread into a confessional? First: I was just joking; I did not paper the house with t.p. streamers. Now I’ll be serious. Item 2 may be gross but I promise you, less gross than most t.p. confessions. 1. My young daughter, like all kids, likes to grab a roll of t.p. and whoop it up. I am such a bad housekeeper that we never put it on the dispenser thing. So she toddles into the living room with the whole roll and sometimes I just let her go to town. To a point. I do grab… Read more »
Mark
7 years 5 months ago

Assuming Trent finds 50 of his readers that subscribe to your scroogestragegy tips, just advising them to cancel their subscriptions will give him a total saving of $4800 to kickstart his challenge!

Tim
Tim
7 years 5 months ago

Ramit said: “I’m pretty sure this isn’t just 100% designed to make me money, or I would shut down the blog and focus on The Scrooge Strategy entirely. Sorry to see you go.”

That’s a very risky response. It could easily be argued that I Will Teach You To Be Rich merely functions as an ad for The Scrooge Strategy at this point.

Cathy
7 years 5 months ago

Mark: Wow man…that was total ninja.

Courtney
Courtney
7 years 5 months ago
I read both this site and The Simple Dollar (and about 20 others) each day and they all bring different things to the table. They also appeal to a different audience. When you are on your own and single these tips are going to apply more, but when you are 40 and have a family I am sure that you are already a little more conscious about your spending. If you have a couple kids to support I am sure that you are not aimlessly blowing money on OnStar and magazines, you have hit a point in your life when… Read more »
Tom
Tom
7 years 5 months ago
Courtney: I appreciate your personal attack on my OnStar and magazines, but you also overlooked some of the other ways I’ve saved money. Whether I’m 25 with no kids (this is me) and you are 40 (with a family I assume) it doesn’t matter. Some of these tips are not only helping cut corners, but optimizing income. Not only did I cut all of this crap out, but I took on a part-time job to increase my income by about $25,000, bringing my total gross to $69,658 (based on tax return). This is not to brag, but at 25 years… Read more »
Briana
Briana
7 years 5 months ago

Tom:

I am curious…. What magazines do you subscribe to that end up costing you $695.00 per year?

Tom
Tom
7 years 5 months ago

Briana good point. Should have read $55.95/year

J
J
7 years 5 months ago

This post made my day. Hilarious. I love the photoshopped images and especially the toilet paper.

I read both blogs, and I must say that Trent’s toilet paper post had me in stitches when I read it — much as the “make your own laundry soap” did when I read that one. Seems like too much thought for too little reward. I am seriously considering making Trent’s breakfast burritos, though. They look tasty AND frugal!

David
7 years 5 months ago

@ Kevin –

Trent does charge for his advice. He just charges the advertisers.

Kai
Kai
7 years 5 months ago
I found this very amusing, for one, i am one who never has bothered to do things like count how many toilet paper squares are used or anything like that, i found that, how to say it, “grandpa like” or to put it other way, something my grandfather would do, along with going around the house turning off every light and TV/stereo/whatever. I tend to agree a lot more with the tips on this site, i have been reading it for a long time and find it very good, this is my first comment by the way, and just wanted… Read more »
Briana
Briana
7 years 5 months ago

If you can cut your usage of a product down to a level where you are still using “enough,” but see no difference between the lesser amount and the greater amount, then why not use the lesser amount? I wouldn’t pass up a “buy one get one” offer on something that I use every day, so I don’t see why there is so much stigma with the frugal mantra of “use less”.

Kate
Kate
7 years 5 months ago

I would just like to add that the breakfast burrito recipe on Trent’s site is delicious.

But I will never count TP squares.

(Similarly, I am automating my savings like Ramit suggests…but I will never spend $21k/year on partying with my friends, even “consciously”.)

wanzman
wanzman
7 years 5 months ago

Tom said:

“Oh yes, to wanzman: you’re a moron we don’t want you as a part of this site.”

I’m a moron? You are the one who was paying $695 a year for magazine subscriptions and $127 per month in credit card interest.

So I’m the moron? Good Lord, if I had enough idiots like you to be my pupil, I could come up with a strategy that would save billions.

What a sucker….. bragging about saving money in one sentence, then admitting to paying $8 bucks a month for advice that a million other online sources give out for free.

Kai
Kai
7 years 5 months ago
To wanzman: “as of today, you will be losing me” Still around? and here i was thinking you were one that makes up his mind and never goes back… “I am sick of the sell sell sell attitude of this site.” Well i have never spent a dime on this site, and still have gotten a lot out of it, for free. “No, you have to keep the blog around as a medium to cram your book down people’s throats… and to further promote the scrooge strategy.” The blog is way to old to be considered a marketing blog for… Read more »
Beth
Beth
7 years 5 months ago

I’m with Briana. Last night I used that pea sized-amount of toothpaste and it worked pretty well. I probably won’t notice the difference in my grocery bill, but why be wasteful? I use a lot frugality tips simply to cut down on my consumption.

Besides, when gas prices were so high, everyone was trying to consume less. It wasn’t seen as negative then,

Ryan
Ryan
7 years 5 months ago

Haters always amuse me.

Why put so much effort into something that you dislike?

Gabe
Gabe
7 years 5 months ago

Speaking of one time decisions that save you a lot over time I have a question. I wanted to know what type of accounts or investments there are that are tax free. I (think) know that some retirement accounts are tax free, but as I’m still in college and working at an internship, I need the money to be availble to me in the next 6-18 Months. I know there are some accounts that are for eligible health care expenses only that are tax free, but what else is there?

Thanks
Gabe

Briana
Briana
7 years 5 months ago

@Gabe

If it were that easy, no one would ever pay any taxes.

Will you get a W2 from your internship?

Gabe
Gabe
7 years 5 months ago

Briana,

I will get a W2 from my employer. It is as though I am salaried employee, however I have a 6 Month contract. I am able to start a 401(k) through my employer if I want, it just feels like that is a little bit too far in the future as I haven’t ended my schooling.

trackback

[…] del.icio.us, reddit A few days ago, I Will Teach You to Be Rich posted an article entitled Trent says The Scrooge Strategy is “short-sighted” — I respond with a challenge. The basic point of the post was that an average person is better off spending an hour eliminating […]

Jatin
Jatin
7 years 5 months ago

As a fellow Indian, I wanted to drop you a note. Ramit you are REALLY reinforcing the stereotypes about Indians. You are not projecting Indians as frugal but as penny-pinchers and tightwads. I suggest you speak for yourself when you are writing these posts and not for over 1 billion people, millions of whom I am sure are similarly offended by your projection of Indians.

Nick
Nick
7 years 5 months ago

I just happened to see Trent’s post on this matter today and came here to see this side of things. After being here for 10 minutes, you and your site come off as pretentious and fake. This whole site seems like a big money making scheme. Heading back to the simple dollar…..

DCH
DCH
7 years 5 months ago

I’m glad Trent didn’t sink to your level in his response to this post. He simply advises people to “do both” and to take frugality to whatever level of extreme (or not) they are comfortable with. BTW, I just unsubscribed you on my Google Reader…

John
John
7 years 5 months ago

[I deleted this post because it (1) was directly insulting someone else and (2) the commenter didn’t even use his real name (of course). -Ramit]

elsha
elsha
7 years 5 months ago
Whoa there, your comment “no more lattes! no more eating out! no more enjoying life!” — which never lasts.” is totally incorrect! I am a frugal person but I most certainly enjoy life! In fact I think that Trent offers his frugal advise with a disclaimer of never being so frugal that you cross over into being CHEAP, to weigh your frugality so that it does not take away from your quality of life but rather runs side by side. I have always taken from his writing that I should make the most of what I already have so that… Read more »
Jeff
7 years 5 months ago
I gotta say… I’ve been subscribed to both blogs for quite a long time, and this is the first time I’ve considered dropping one. I was a little uncomfortable when I read Trent’s original comment. I was a LOT uncomfortable when I read your post here, and that’s with trying to read it as light and well-meant. (Over the last year, your posts have seemed to be getting a little more angry, and I don’t mean just this one. That’s all fine and everything. It works as a motivator, and especially with the younger skew of the audience you seem… Read more »
Charlie
Charlie
7 years 5 months ago
I’m amazed at how idiotic these last few comments are. I’m literally laughing at all of your idle threats to remove Ramit’s site from your RSS. Even if you unsubscribe from just his newsletter, which has waaaaay less people on it then his blog feed, he’s only losing 0.0004% of his total audience. I’m sure Ramit is living his life in constant paranoia that a few people will drop him, while more than 25,000 people love his stuff. Do you not realize that polarizing readers is how to make things interesting? If you don’t have a few haters, you’re just… Read more »
JanB
JanB
7 years 5 months ago
To suggest this challenge means you do not understand Trent’s readers at all. First, of all most of his readers have done the big 5 (or the obvious cutbacks) and are looking for more. Second, many people who follow Trent are frugal for the sake of not wanting to be wasteful. Finally, not everyone is looking to get rich! In these hard economic times my family is just hoping to not go bankrupt. We own our own business and are doing everything we can to just survive. Trent provides info. beyond the same financial 5 step program reworded on all… Read more »
Ben J
Ben J
7 years 5 months ago
I have a handful of PF bloggers that I regularly read, including Ramit and Trent. I like the fact that different PF bloggers have different audiences because it’s good to have exposure to different ideas and approaches. In my experience with all of PF blogs I read, I get plenty out of some posts and some posts I don’t get much out of at all. Which Ramit acknowledges in this post – “Again, a lot of Trent’s advice is really excellent (or I wouldn’t even bother writing this), it’s just for a different audience.” IMHO one should blend both the… Read more »
Beth
Beth
7 years 5 months ago
Honestly, this whole thread is like a train wreck… Horrible, but I can’t… look… away… 🙂 I could unsubscribe, but according to Charlie that might make me question my manhood (which is funny, since I’m not a man) or worse yet, question what life has become! Noooooooo! Obviously I’m sparring with you here 🙂 But on a serious note, you can’t have it both ways… If Ramit trashing Trent is “fun” and “interesting”, then you can’t turn around and criticize the people who disagree with him. After all, isn’t the controversy in the comments really the point in the end?… Read more »
charlie
7 years 5 months ago
Nice Beth 🙂 I have absolutely no issues with people who criticize or disagree with Ramit. I do, however, think it’s a complete joke when adults act like petulant children and write things like, “O YA WELL IM GOING 2 REMOVE U FROM THE BLOGS I READ!” The amount of importance they attribute to themselves is insane. It’s like they think Ramit’s going to respond by saying, “Wow, I had no idea I was going to lose 4 out of hundreds of thousands of readers because of that last article. I’d like to make a public apology to anyone who… Read more »
jeff
jeff
7 years 5 months ago

i have unsubscribed. i have also unsubscribed from Trent’s blog.

now none of you get the pleasure of saving me money.

i hope you’ve learned your lesson.

Beth
Beth
7 years 5 months ago
Charlie, I agree with you 🙂 The problem is that “give me what I want or I’m going to walk out” is a tactic that adults successfully use offline when they’re trying to get their way — whether they’re trying to motivate a difficult-to-deal with company to actually listen or they’re making impossible demands on a retailer. But using that threat in the online world makes me laugh. I could threaten to unsubscribe, but so what? I’m not paying for anything when I read a blog. Writers and business people have thicker skins than most people think. If we let… Read more »
Matt
Matt
7 years 5 months ago

Ok so lets get this straight… In order to counter the idea that your strategy is SHORT SIGHTED, you propose a competition which lasts for the time period of ONE ENTIRE MONTH!!!!!!

I definitely see the cheeky competitiveness here and it was a good polarising blog post but you have to admit that is pretty ironic…

“To prove to you I am not short sighted, I will beat you in an eye test at arms length!!! Then as the winner you can safely assume my eyes continue to work better than yours into the distance!!!”

Sarah Eliza
7 years 5 months ago
Haha, Matt is completely right. If it’s a matter of dealing with the obvious huge things (and yes, having the techniques to deal with them in the best ways possible), or having already dealt with them and moved on to the smaller things that continue to make a difference in the long run… then yeah. The huge things will make a bigger impact over the course of the month, sure — but that does indeed seem to be Trent’s point exactly. I’m also disappointed by the whole, “My beautiful baby has been called ugly!” thing. Trent didn’t pick a fight,… Read more »
JLP
7 years 5 months ago

I wrote a post once criticizing Trent’s advice to his readers. He didn’t take kindly to it so apparantly he doesn’t like people disagreeing with him either.

trackback

[…] Ramit from “I Will Teach You To be Rich” challenged Trent, from The Simple Dollar, to prove whose money saving tips were more effective. […]

Jeff
7 years 5 months ago
Hmm… maybe I should have been a little clearer (and just for the record, that “jeff” with the lower-case ‘j’ isn’t me). When I said I was considering unsubscribing from one of the blogs that wasn’t a threat, it was simply a way of expressing that I’d rather not continue to endure the marketing and attitude that seem to be overshadowing an otherwise great, and extremely useful blog. I know Ramit could care less whether I or 100 others drop him from our readers. By the same token, I don’t care whether he cares. I get to say what I… Read more »
F
F
7 years 5 months ago

Ramit,

So Trent called your little baby ‘ugly’ huh? Did he? What my eyes see is someone (Trent) defending HIS baby against one of YOUR fans who calls it UGLY. He defends himself by noting that it’s short-sighted to dismiss small savings because you’ve got to look at them long-term to see their value.

Now you turn things around and play the victim? All I can say is that you’re a witty marketeer, haha! 😉

Liza
Liza
7 years 5 months ago

Can I ask what subscribing (or unsubscribing) to a blog has to do with being “a real man”? Last time I checked, we didn’t judge men based on the number of their RSS feeds. (Although the idea intrigues and amuses me…)

Joyful Abode: Domesticity by Trial and Error
I’m so surprised there are so many people here who subscribe to both blogs. I have a feeling your “hard core fans” are totally different audiences. I looked at your blog while you was doing the 30 days to save $1000 thing and it was so ridiculous for where I am in my personal financial situation. Bring your lunch to work a few times a week? I work from home (saving on gas too) and make my lunch every day. My husband “brown bags” every day that he’s not home for lunch too. Reducing interest rates? Doesn’t do anything if… Read more »
Chris Yeh
7 years 4 months ago
Here’s the bottom line on this conflict (full post on my blog: http://chrisyeh.blogspot.com/2009/02/when-frugality-insanity.html) Ramit’s blog is designed for young people with decent incomes who don’t think rationally about their finances, and rightly tackles automated big wins. Trent’s blog is designed for people are are already unusually frugal, and want to improve their frugality by learning about new ways to save even more money. You can even see the different in their styles…Ramit’s is written in an edgy, wiseass tone that in a previous era, would be been dubbed “extreme.” His job is to break through the clutter in an unfocused… Read more »
trackback

[…] 2009, under General A few days ago, I Will Teach You to Be Rich posted an article entitled Trent says The Scrooge Strategy is “short-sighted” — I respond with a challenge. The basic point of the post was that an average person is better off spending an hour eliminating […]

charlie
7 years 4 months ago

@Jeff – My comment was targeted more towards people like wanzman, who was definitely the most extreme of the bunch. Like you said, he definitely seems like a jerk.

@Liza – You missed the joke. Re-read what I wrote.

evie
evie
7 years 4 months ago

I think this post has gotten more comments than ever. Regardless of your point of view, it has certainly got people thinking about personal finance. I like how you always engage us and challenge us.

Mindy
Mindy
7 years 4 months ago
I know I’m a little late coming to this discussion but, unless I missed it among the large volume of comments, no one is counting the amount of time spent making stuff in order to save. The link to the laundry detergent got me thinking about this. Sounds like a hell of a lot of time in order to save 27 cents per load of wash (I’m pretty sure that’s the statistic he quotes). Now, since I have 3 jobs (1 full time, 2 part time), spending that much time making my own liquid detergent is a complete waste for… Read more »
Danielle
Danielle
7 years 4 months ago
Like Mindy, I know I’m a little late to the conversation. Also like Mindy, I’ve wanted to comment on the time costs of some of Trent’s frugal tips. I should probably start by saying that I absolutely love Trent’s blog. This one seems like it might be targeted to a different crowd than the one to which my husband and I belong. Like Joyful Abode, we’ve basically done everything that is a one time, save big idea. We’re in the middle of refinancing our home at $130+/month savings, but other than that, we’re tapped for ideas on saving big. What… Read more »
Eugene Krabs
Eugene Krabs
7 years 4 months ago

Interesting. This is just my personal opinion, but regarding to Trent’s comment, I sort of see a top-down approach advocated by Ramit versus a bottom-up approach advocated by Trent. Perhaps there are more similarities than there are differences. Looking at the same thing from two different angles does not necessarily invalid or even contradict each other’s perspective.

trackback

[…] want when I’m out. My philosophy is much more in line with that of Ramit Sethi, who advocates “cutting costs mercilessly on the things you don’t care about,” than about making my own laundry detergent. (Although for […]

amit jain
amit jain
7 years 4 months ago
Hi Ramit, ****************************************************************** Now come on. I’m Indian, I love Taco Bell, and I use coupons more than twice a week. I know about saving money. But it isn’t just about cutting down on things. “Saving” really consists of Cutting costs, Earning more, and Optimizing your existing spending. And you can’t try to save money on everything. ****************************************************************** Please do not generalize that an Indian Stereotype – That all Indians are into saving money or anything. Although its very nice , but people have already stereotyped Indians as stingy and what not. So someone very respectable like you and the… Read more »
trackback

[…] to their questions is deeply unsatisfying because it involves focusing on the long term: Pick big wins. Focus on helping people before you try to make money. Plan ahead. And most importantly, money […]

trackback

[…] teach you how to be frugal. This is even more funny if you are a regular reader and remember his recent challenge to a frugal blogger about which system works better – frugality or focusing on earning more money (I think both are […]

Jeremy C
7 years 2 months ago

Ok, talking about big savings tips – look at your car insurance, especially if you’re newly married. My wife and I combined ours and just about cut our insurance bills (now bill) in half. The other thing that helped us is that I shopped around right when a couple of traffic infringements dropped off my record, that’s probably another good time.

Jeremy C
7 years 2 months ago

Also, can’t we all just get along ?!!??

Jennlee
Jennlee
7 years 2 months ago

I’m late to the party, but I just wanted to say that once you’ve done those five Ramjit things, or those five things don’t apply to you, then that’s it for the Ramjit strategy. What if i don’t have bank fees or interest rates to negotiate, etc? What if I’ve already shopped for the lowest insurance rates? What if I don’t have a big fat cable package, cell phone, and gym membership to cut?

Tom Ricks
Tom Ricks
7 years 2 months ago

Jennlee-

I believe what Ramit wants us to do once we reach the point of being “streamlined” is to check in on things annually. Set a date to recheck all of those to make sure we’re still getting the best deal. If you don’t have bank fees or interest rates to negotiate, then obviously you won’t be negotiating them right?

trackback

[…] few days ago, Ramit posted an article called “Trent says the Scrooge Strategy is Short-Sighted”. Let me give you some back story. “The Scrooge Strategy” is Ramit’s answer to […]

trackback

[…] will lead to a huge savings over the course of your owning a car (Ramit Sethi would call this focusing on the Big Wins).  This is why, when gas prices were up around $5 last year (as they will undoubtedly be again in […]

trackback

[…] been hammering on the idea of focusing on the big wins instead of worrying about $3 lattes here and there. It’s far better to focus on cutting 25% off the two biggest areas of your spending than to […]

Daniel
Daniel
7 years 1 month ago

Ramit, as I read your example of Trent’s frugality tips, I realized that it was not just about finding little things here and there – Trent is literally looking at reducing his consumption of just about everything.

Which, yes, is perhaps the opposite of being “rich” as you define it.

But if you do consume less of everything, from pepper to toothpaste, my guess is you would see a significant dent in your monthly bills.

Nicolaï
Nicolaï
7 years 1 month ago

Hi,

I currently live on about 10K a year.

I like your blog, but… does any of it apply to me? I don’t have any debt (no mortgage, student loans, credit card balance, etc.), pay for virtually everything except rent in cash, and am in excellent health.

Not sure how to save extra money at this point, apart from counting kleenexes, which is counter-productive.

Any ideas?

Will
Will
7 years 1 month ago
As a reader and fan of both blogs, yours and Trent’s, I want to weigh in. In my opinion, both you and Trent are misconstruing the other’s approach to personal finance. Trent wasn’t being fair when he called the Scrooge strategy “short-sighted.” You espouse big, “fire-and-forget” type frugal moves, which work very well. There’s nothing short-sighted about that at all. It’s quite simply the best effort-to-return ratio one can find. Trent is correct as well — his CFL example is actually very similar to calling for lower credit rates in that the return is definitely worth the effort. And this… Read more »
h
h
7 years 1 month ago

I can’t take Trent seriously. He advices to cut my own hair…just look at him how it looks! When I read it in his advices, I first thought it’s a (bad) joke…than I saw his picture…

Scrooge for the win!

trackback

[…] ramit sethi AND (”i hate frugality”) to tell you that. Refer, instead, to Sethi’s open challenge to Hamm from February (in which he contends a gentlemanly race to see whose readers can save money the quickest) or his […]

trackback

[…] tips. You’ll improve on your finances by making small sustainable changes and looking for big wins. Take care of that and you can have fun comparing interes rates at online […]

trackback

[…] Ramit’s big wins vs. Trent’s frugality? […]

trackback

[…] I Will Teach You To Be Rich Ramit Sethi’s blog is focused on personal finance, entrepreneurship for young professionals. He advocates spending extravagantly on the things you love but but still minimizing cost on all thing you don&#82…. […]

trackback

[…] months ago (why didn’t I write this article sooner?) Ramit at I Will Teach You To Be Rich defended the Scrooge Strategy and made his opinion clear that “big wins” were his priority when it comes to saving […]

trackback

[…] written about why you should focus on the Big Wins instead of trying to save money on stupid $3 lattes. Earning more is one of the Biggest Wins you […]

trackback

[…] I would definitely recommend the program to others. I think the Scrooge Strategy can be a great program for those willing to put some energy into getting big wins. […]

trackback

[…] selling a few things upon eBay and she looked at me skeptically. Weon the subject of both fans of Big Wins, hence I comprehend the non-belief can you in reality make a lot of maintenance selling in marginal […]

Carbulossis Trials
5 months 27 days ago

Oh my goodness! Amazing article dude! Many thanks, However I
am going through difficulties with your RSS. I don’t know the reason why
I cannot join it. Is there anybody else having the same RSS
issues? Anyone who knows the solution can you kindly respond?
Thanx!!

download lagu gratis
5 months 25 days ago

Hockey players learned to visualize setting up scoring plays during their shifts.
You can also imagine situations where you respond the way in which you
wish to, and so you can very quickly create in your
mind those 10 to 21 occasions which make your desired reaction habitual
far more quickly and easily than would otherwise be the case.
The system provides critical capabilities to military firstly.

link vao m88 khong bi chan
5 months 22 days ago

Fabulous, what a blog it is! This web site gives helpful information to us, keep it up.

regalos de empresa originales y baratos
Recompense a sus mejores clientes y socios con un distinguido regalo. Los regalos corporativos pedidos a través de nuestra página web incluyen un servicio peculiar : envío gratuito y nuestro nuevo embalaje para regalo de color marfil y negro, cortesía de el domicilio. para más asesoría y un presupuesto individualizar, contacte con:¿Cuáles son los mejores regalos de empresa para estimular mi canal de ventas? A esta aclaración se encaran muchos directivos y responsables de área por estas datas, y la verdad es que no resulta asequible de responder. Más aún antílope la avalancha de productos y artículos de todo tipo… Read more »
Lilliana
4 months 24 days ago

Wonderful items from you, man. I’ve take into account your
stuff prior to and you are just extremely excellent.

I actually like what you’ve acquired here, really like what you are saying and
the best way in which you say it. You are making it enjoyable and you continue to take care of to stay it sensible.
I can not wait to read far more from you. That is
really a terrific site.

Celleral skin serum
4 months 19 days ago

I used to be suggested this web site by means of my cousin. I am
not positive whether this submit is written via him as no one else know
such targeted approximately my difficulty. You’re wonderful!
Thank you!

硬碟修復
4 months 13 days ago

I don’t know whether it’s just me or if everybody else
encountering issues with your site. It appears as if
some of the text in your posts are running off the
screen. Can somebody else please provide feedback and let me know if this
is happening to them too? This might be a problem
with my browser because I’ve had this happen previously.
Cheers

Kendrick
4 months 12 days ago

I appreciate, lead to I discovered exactly what I was looking for.
You’ve ended my 4 day lenngthy hunt! Good Bless yoou man. Have a great day.
Bye

iphone
4 months 5 days ago

The wonderful device is comprised of excellent camera features
that enable the users to click clear pictures. There are many
sites out there from back in 2009, before Hulu caught on to the “change your IP address” game, that promote the
free proxy called Hotspot Shield. However,
my predictions say that Apple does not look in a hurry to launch its less
expensive i – Phone and thus, its launch could take more time than what
we all are anticipating.

Rosemarie
1 month 21 days ago

The e mail message has an pressing message (the bait) that
says that one thing has occurred that requires you to
‘instantly’ respond.

trackback

[…] was going to be selling a few things on eBay and she looked at me skeptically. We’re both fans of Big Wins, so I understand the skepticism — can you really make a lot of money selling on […]

wpDiscuz