Why being cheap is making you poor

How many of you guys grew up seeing this in your kitchen?

Story of my life
Story of my life
No lie growing up, I never knew the difference between supermarket plastic grocery bags and trash bags.
To be honest, I wasn’t sure if it was an Asian thing or just my family, but we used to do all of these things just to save money. Things like…
  • At Costco, we would split a $0.59 Coke between the 4 of us. Gotta take advantage of those free refills!
  • I never knew what hot dog or hamburger buns were growing up. We used regular ass sandwich bread.
  • Reusing glass peanut butter and jam jars as drinking glasses (this was before the hipster mason jar trend)

Money forced them to be creative with everyday items. It’s probably one of the reasons why I don’t give a fuck about materialistic things and I’m unbelievably grateful for that.

Back when we didn't have enough chairs LOL
Back when we didn’t have enough chairs LOL

A lot of people don’t know the difference between being cheap and frugal.

  • Being frugal is prioritizing your spending so you can spend on the things you love. Looking back twenty years later, I never felt like I was missing out.
  • Being cheap is about spending less… by any means necessary.
DAS DUH MUDDA NASTY
DAS DUH MUDDA NASTY

So today I wanted to talk about why being cheap will never get you rich and will fuck you over. Here is 3 reasons why…

The world hates cheap ass people!

You know that person who always orders a ton of shit at the restaurant and at the end of the meal they say… Oh my meal was $9.99.
…when really it was $14.99 before tax and tip. In your head you’re like… Stop being a fucking cheap ass.
WHY ARE YOU SO DAMN CHEAP
Cheap people kill the vibe, making you feel used and fucked over. Who wants to be treated like that? Rather than add value to people, they’re always looking out for their own benefit. It’s selfish. 
But here’s a thought.
If you nickel and dime everyone, who will want to help you… or give you investment, business, or job opportunities when they come up? Definitely not that person that screwed you in college for $5. 
YOU DEFINITELY PHO-ED UP MAN
Instead invest in relationships. Buy a friend a meal and expect nothing in return. If you’re truly broke, then do coffee. It doesn’t take much to give to others.

There’s only so much you can save

Back in college, I used to watch extreme couponers on YouTube. SMH.
They would spend hours looking for coupons online and in the newspaper trying to find a slick deal and stock up… often buying shit they didn’t even needMAKE IT RAIN COUPONS
Extreme couponing sounded like a good idea, so I tried it. But I realized a few things about it…
  1. It pisses off your cashier. Trust me they hate you for this.
  2. Every Sunday, you’ll buy like 10 newspapers just for the coupon inserts.
  3. You spend hours looking for deals… all for what? Just to save a few dollars. Bad ROI in my opinion.
AKA it was totally not worth it. Think about it. With all that time, what else could you have done? With those extra 4 hours, you could have negotiated a higher salary or created a business plan. Like seriously with websites like Teespring what’s stopping you from selling shit?
Even your grandma will buy your shit
Even your grandma will buy your shit
Instead of focusing on small wins, you could be focusing your money and time in things that put money in your pocket… AKA assets. Trust me. I’m all for lowering expenses, but you can only save so much. At the end of the day, you have two choices.
  1. You can try to make that $10 feel like $50
  2. … or you can actually make more money.

When was the last time you heard someone getting rich off extreme couponing? Yea me neither.

Money is to be enjoyed, not to be hoarded.

“To live poor and die poor is a tragedy. But to live poor and die rich is insanity.” -Robert Kiyosaki

One of the reasons why I went into pharmacy was because I didn’t want to be broke. Money seemed like the solution to everything when I was in high school deciding my career. Hungry? Money can buy food. Horny? Money can buy the mudda sexy time. Bored? Money can buy you a plane trip around the world.

Pimpin all over the world
Pimpin all over the world

 

So I went to pharmacy school and literally made a 6 figures overnight after passing my boards… and it felt great. Every time I would open my Vanguard account, I would feel a sense of accomplishment, knowing that I was in better financial shape than most people.
Then 3 years went by and my grandmother passed. As I was reflecting in the funeral home, I asked… What is the point of all this money? When am I actually going to enjoy it? 
Even though it felt good to look at my Vanguard account, I felt like shit when I opened my Facebook seeing everyone traveling. See I was addicted. I never went on vacation because I wanted to invest it instead.
Stack that money son
Stack that money son
So I booked a trip to Atlanta… my high school dream. And something hit me. As I stood outside of the hip hop mecca, Magic City, money is meant to be enjoyed. I work hard. My money works hard. So why not enjoy it?
MAGIC CITY MONDAYS
MAGIC CITY MONDAYS
Whether it’s treating out our family and friends or making it rain at strip clubs, money is there so we can take care of the people around us and shortcut the experiences we want in life… not so we can die with it.

What got you here, won’t get you there -Marshall Goldsmith

Let’s talk about my dad for a second.
My family
My family
When my dad was 8, my grandfather died, leaving my grandmother alone supporting her 5 kids. Everyday she would hustle in the sewing factory. Money was was scarce and being cheap was a necessity then.
After graduating college my dad wasn’t broke anymore, but he couldn’t break out of his old habits. My uncle would tell him to invest, but my dad was too stubborn. Instead of investing in the market, he insisted to throw every single dollar in the bank.
… and that decision costed him over $1,000,000. He couldn’t see the cost of not investing.

The thing I learned from my dad was that being cheap makes it hard to see the value in things. Instead of focusing on making more money, an abundance mentality, you’re so focus on fighting for scraps AKA a scarcity mentality.

It’s like living in an episode of The Walking Dead.

SAVAGE MODE
SAVAGE MODE

So take today as an opportunity to break out of that “cheap” mentality. Start investing in people, focus on building assets, and remember why you’re hustling for money. What sort of “cheap” habits are you trying to break? Let me know in the comments!

Until next time,
Kevin Yee
PS…  I’m creating a course about personal finance. Sign up here to be the first to know when it comes out and learn to invest in 20 minutes mini course for free (when it comes out). 
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2 thoughts on “Why being cheap is making you poor

  • March 13, 2017 at 10:43 pm
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    This post is literally my life story. The same way you flew to Atlanta to fulfill a dream, I flew to Japan and I must say, in that moment being immersed in such a different culture to my own I immediately questioned what I had been doing with my money in the last couple of years. Like you said, don’t focus on the small wins, which was what I was doing prior to travelling, therefore missing out on potential big wins.

    Love the blog! Looking forward to more content.

    Reply
  • April 2, 2017 at 2:11 am
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    Interesting read. I don’t like cheap people either. Many times in my life I’ve felt used or taken advantage of financially. You deal with them once or twice and never want to see them again in your life.

    Reply

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