I put the term ‘learning’ in quotes because let’s face it: I don’t think there’s a lot of learning going on at TLC. It’s mostly reality shows that feature some of the most unusual people that they can find. People who are parents to a busload of children, people who are extremely overweight – you name it, they’ve probably got it.

It’s almost like going to a circus and gawking at all kinds of weird people, then calling that educational.

So, while they don’t make a great argument for educational purposes, their shows are interesting to watch, I will admit.

Lately I’ve been watching some of their clips on their YouTube channel, and the one series in particular that got me hooked was their Extreme Cheapskates series.

Obviously, it’s not a good idea to go out and spend every penny that you earn. Typically, it’s recommended that you save around 20-25% of your paycheck for a rainy day, and 50% for necessary expenses. Only 30% of your pay should go towards discretionary spending, for example, eating out at a nice restaurant. This makes sure that you have adequate savings to fall back on, while also balancing your appetite for entertainment.

However, these guys take things to a whole new level.

Would you wash your clothes in your hot tub? No?

How about collecting half eaten packets of nuts on an airplane, from complete strangers?

This show follows some of the craziest cheapskates that I’ve ever seen. The things that they will do to save money is almost comical, like something Mr. Krabs would do.

For example, here’s a man that is one of those cheapskates. Especially in this era of COVID-19, this clip made me cringe, particularly the part where he was fishing things out from the garbage at the movie theatre.

Of course, any normal person would understand that this doesn’t make much sense. How much could a drink and some popcorn possibly cost?

Okay, but even if I were to humor their cheapskate ways, it still doesn’t make any sense.

First off, some of the lengths that they go end up saving so little money. Considering all the time and effort that they put into this, it isn’t even worth it. I remember an episode where some guy washed his clothes in his hot tub and bragged it saved him a couple bucks a month. Instead, why couldn’t he just go out and work for an extra hour? That would already be enough to pay for months of his laundry costs, with plenty of money to spare.

In some cases, it even ends up costing more. I remember when I was a kid, I got a cheap pair of shoes, but guess what? They fell apart barely a year later, and then we had to buy another pair. The next pair that we bought was more expensive, but by then, when you add in the cost of the first pair it actually ended up costing more money over the same period than if we just when with the better pair to begin with.

Some of their practices are downright dangerous too. I recall an episode where a flight attendant collected all the half-eaten packets of nuts from an airplane to create her own trail mix. The problem with that is obvious. Who knows who was eating those? What if they had some sort of infectious disease? If she ends up getting seriously ill, the cost of medicine and treatment would probably end up being more expensive that just buying proper trail mix at the grocery store, for a couple dollars.

Another thing is what exactly are these people saving for? There was another episode where a man spent basically nothing to furnish his home, so it sits almost completely empty. If that’s the case, why did he even bother buying a whole house then? I’m sure if they lived in a small studio apartment it would probably have saved more money right from the get-go. Or buy no house at all and live in a van. I’m sure that saves even more money.

For some of these people though, it’s not even about the money. In fact, sometimes it’s more of a psychological thing. Either through genetics, or through personal experiences, people’s outlook on their finances can be affect by many things aside from the actual need for money.

All the work to ‘save’ money is just something that satisfies their mind, even if it doesn’t make sense, or in some cases, actually costing them more in the long run. It’s hard to believe that some of these people are still alive at this point, not having died of poor hygiene practices.

Hopefully none of you will ever reach a point where you many need to do that. In the meantime, I’m going to go hunting for some deals…

Link to channel here.

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