The Frugal Side of Me

You might not know this about me, but one of my many quirks is the delight and adrenaline rush I receive from landing a good deal. I have a bit of an economic fetish. Perhaps my psychiatrist and I should talk about this – but oh, there are so many others topics lined up in the queue. Economics was one of my favorite courses in high school (that and English). When I worked a stint in the corporate world, I was a stock broker – and I still enjoy each time Money magazine lands in my mailbox.

This penchant seems out of sync with the rest of my life and feels like that odd anomaly that counters my reaction to so many other interests and conversations, the ones that make me want to gouge an eye out (any eye, it need not be mine). Not that you care, but my suspicion is that since so much of my life is open-ended, free-flowing and so rarely shows tangible results – this is one arena where I can finish the job and immediately experience the joy of accomplishment. Save a buck. Done.

If you’ll allow me a very odd detour here, I thought I’d share two that are no-brainers for me. Perhaps one of them will help you. If you’d like to add yours below, feel free.

Schwab Bank

I worked for Schwab as a broker, and I love their corporate culture. I’ve gone round and round with banks, and Schwab really is, in my opinion, the crème de la crème. So long as you have an automated monthly deposit, they offer a free interest-bearing account with no minimum deposit required and no monthly balance requirement. You get free checks (always), free online billpay and free ATMs (anywhere). Schwab will reimburse any ATM fee you are charged, up to $9 per month (unlimited if you are also a Schwab brokerage client). And their card is fabulous for international travel. They offer the actual exchange rate for that day and charge currency conversion fee. When we were in the UK, it was cheaper to get pounds as I needed them from the ATM than using a bank. The only downside to this account has been having to mail in check deposits (though they provided postage-paid envelopes to do this). However, as of last month, they have a phone app that allows you to take images of the checks and deposit them from your couch. I’ve been using it for a month now, and it’s amazing. I receive a check in the mail, and I can have the deposit made in 5 minutes.

Blockbuster Express

Blockbuster may be dead, but Blockbuster Express is not. Like RedBox, Blockbuster Express provides kiosks with movies, $1 per night for most rentals (Blockbuster Express has a few hot releases that are $3.99 and guaranteed to be available). The best part, however, is how lavish Blockbuster Express is with their dissemination of codes for free one night rentals (hoping, of course, that you’ll keep it an extra night or two). Coupon Dad lists the current freebie codes. I can’t tell you the last time I paid for a movie at the kiosk. I almost feel guilty. Almost. If you don’t have a Blockbuster Express near you, Inside Redbox offers codes, though RedBox is not as generous.

2 Replies to “The Frugal Side of Me”

  1. Jesus said, Render unto Caesar that which is Casesar's, and unto God that which is God's. He didn't say we couldn't keep the rest. Rock on with the savings!

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