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The Frugal One
It was the heart of winter in Riga, Latvia. Dark. Dark when you got to work, dark when you went home. On those few occasions when the sun did peak out from cloudy skies, the light at 57 degrees north was wan and slanting.
And in walked The Frugal One.
The Frugal One had come to work at the embassy on a temporary basis for a few winter months. He had already retired, enjoying a full government pension. Now he was here TDY, on temporary duty. Housed for free, paid a per diem stipend in addition to a salary, his wife had come along for good measure. Nice work if you can get it.
But The Frugal One had a preoccupation. Getting deals. Good deals. Not great deals on real estate that would change your life forever as you build up wealth, mind you. No, more like: "Get this discount card for TGIFs in Riga. If you bring in your friends five times on separate occasions, you will get 20% off the sixth time you visit."
Then, the next day you bumped into him in the halls of the embassy. "Did I tell you about the TGIF card?.... It's such a good deal. I mean, the discounts." Ok. Fair enough. Thanks for the advice….
Then, the next day. "Have you heard about the discounts you can get at the local grocery if you sign up for their preferred customer program? It's amazing. Can't beat it. If you accumulate enough stars, you can get these amazing free pillows. BTW, did you use that TGIF card yet?"
The man was a nudge. He wouldn't stop. It was a little crazy. And, yes, also a little comical.
Now, I'm all about live and let live. And Mighty Investor certainly preaches that Savings is a core plank in the path to Financial Freedom. But watch out: The Scrooge Mentality is real. It's ridiculous. It can take you over. It can hold you back.
So remember The Frugal One. He had a full pension, traveled the world on someone else's dime, but remained obsessed with the tiniest of savings.