Fifteen Ways Being Uncool Saves Money

I’ve never been “cool” or “popular.” In certain situations with certain people, I can fake it for short periods of time, but the truth always comes out soon enough. Thankfully, I managed to get over this complex at the relatively young age of 16 and I’ve been benefiting from it ever since. In addition to all of the psychological benefits that come with not pretending to be someone you aren’t or trying to meet others’ expectations all the time, I’ve also found that being uncool can save you a whole lot of money.

As an uncool person, here are a few of the many things you won’t have to spend your money on.

A fancy car, or anything nice


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42 Responses to Fifteen Ways Being Uncool Saves Money

  1. Shannon Christman says:

    Don’t forget your savings on country club memberships and subscriptions to the fashion magazines that tell you how to be cool!

  2. Dr. Jackpot says:

    You’re a spendthrift man!!! Get COOL! I live in the national forest and eat acorns and wild spinach and sleep under a pile of pine needles. I don’t sleep well with all those bears around and sometimes the crawlies get in my crotch but the chiggers are the worst. But I’m saving up money for one of them thangs.

  3. princessperky says:

    Heh, I always knew there was an upside to not being cool!

  4. Quitting smoking is also a good way to save money. Be uncool and live longer.

  5. dan says:

    This goes again to show that so many people purchase things in order to try and impress others rather than purchase the things that make them happy.

  6. Nathan R says:

    Personally I don’t know why people want to spend $800 on the first generation products like the IPhone. It seems silly to me. (Many first generation products have inherently big problems relating to the functionality of the product.)

  7. N Lewis says:

    The person who wrote this article could be my identical twin ! I marvel at how little respect people have for the value of money, but then have much more of it than I have or ever earned. Am senior widow, no pensions from either my husband or myself other than government. Along with conservative investing and saving, by the same methods allows me to get along reasonably comfortably,
    so far.
    On sale, is my motto, and 99% of time is it a want or need. One has to have the odd splurge, but even then often is for something on sale.
    Thought I was the only one these days to handle finances this way.
    Thanks again
    N. Lewis
    Toronto Canada

  8. N Lewis says:

    Love this write up.
    Drive 88 Toyota wagon, in good shape, is seldom want not need – one can splurge the odd time – try to take advantage of sales (i.e pool pucks this week reg $39.99 for $29.99 – will need for next year. Try to do sale food shopping for the on sale items if am using anyway and in the area of the store.
    Of course pay bills on time to never have paid interest. Use my charge card which earns me points which then can be used for free food at a particular store,(have $20 free to spend now) as well as deferrring removal of that money from account till next month.
    If oven cooking meat, bake potatoes rather than element on. Saves bit on hydro.
    There are probably lots more of these sensible things, just can think of them as they are instinctive – some people think they are silly, but it’s my dollars I am saving

  9. Lisa says:

    A woman after my own heart! Geeks R Us! I am often caught wearing the same shirt that appears on my driver’s license [grin]. And in all the birthday pictures…

  10. mom2fur says:

    As far as store vs. name brands, I feel you really have to give both a try and see what you like. I’ve never found a decent store brand of paper towels or any kind of plastic storage bag. Store brand t.p. isn’t bad, but I prefer a brand with the initials A.S. (bought at a discount store, btw).
    Bottled water…we’re lucky enough to live in a water district with superior water. Really, it wins awards for being the best tasting water in the state (NY). Sometimes I’ll grab a store bottle on the fly, and I had been refilling those. Then I learned that icky stuff leeches from the plastic. So now I use a refillable bottle and try to remember to bring it with me, LOL!’
    And clothes…fashion names mean nothing to me, but fit and style do. I stick with the classics and do a lot of sewing!

  11. anonyMOUSE says:

    Be careful re-using water bottles. You should only re-use them a limited number of times or risk bacteria growth and other nasty stuff.

  12. anonyMOUSE says:

    And yes even attempting to washing them poses risks (unless you can get some sort of brush down in the bottle).

  13. Kris says:

    I know I’m ridiculously late with this, but there’s a quote from Almost Famous that goes with this post really well: “The only true currency in this bankrupt world … is what you share with someone else when you’re uncool.”

    Great piece!

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  15. Mike Marcoe says:

    I agree with almost everything here. However, the advice about renting in cheaper parts of town needs to be thought out carefully, because you may find yourself in a high-crime area, as I did a few times in the past. As for name-brand groceries, I’ve found that they often taste much better than their generic counterparts (esp. Cheerios).

  16. Chris says:

    I’m from AZ and it’s too hot to be cool here, but to feel cool the biggest money saver here is the 9pm to 9am hours for electric. Not sure if all electric companies do this but your rates are 50% off during “off peak” hours so run those appliances at night or early in the morning. Also those low rates are good all day Saturday and Sunday.

  17. Kathy says:

    Love it, love it, Amy! I’m proud to say that I do most of the aforementioned uncool things, and will work on further geeking myself up with your other suggestions.

    I read an article recently about store brands becoming more and more accepted and actually competitive, so I think we’re seeing the high-priced brands getting knocked down a peg or two.

  18. Lori Ingram says:

    thats the way I have always been. I buy what I need and ocasinaly something I want but I don’t go overboard.

  19. Non-virgin says:

    You forgot the biggest saving you are making by living an uncool life. Just think of all the money other people waste on condoms because their coolness it getting them laid while you sit alone at home watching TV (14″, used, from craigslist) and drinking supermarket brand beer (bought on sale).

  20. monkeybutt says:

    I think it’s good to be frugal to a certain degree. I am frugal with certain things. But I also know some people who are frugal to a fault. So much so that they want to make sure their part of the dinner bill is calculated exactly so they don’t have to pay a penny more. But you have to remember that one day you might wake up, do your morning thing and look forward to the nice day ahead of you. Then you walk outside and get hit by a bus and now you’re nice and dead. Sometimes spending a few bills to have a good time with your friends and make fond memories is really more of an investment in your life, not an expense. Don’t spend money on stupid stuff. But make sure you at least spend it where it matters.

  21. Joel says:

    I l u. you rock !! thanks for this post, it has really put a smile on face in bad times.

  22. leslie d. says:

    It’s great to hear all the uncool ideas; I do most of them, but could work on increasing my uncoolness factor.

    One thing I love about being uncool and conserving my money is having the chance to put some money into a cause I truly believe in! Being uncool with my money leaves me with extra to share when someone around me is in need. I never feel any richer, in this life, than when I can give freely.


  23. wench says:


    I buy cheap shampoo and expensive conditioner. Shampoo is meant to strip dirt off your hair and rinse away; does anyone think it actually adds vitamins? It’s a rip-off. And you don’t need as much as you usually use – you can cut it with water by about 50% before it actually starts to loose effectiveness.

    I’m so lame. 😉

  24. Toni Gregg says:

    I don’t know where you shop that you pay those high prices for hair dye. The $3 kind from Wal-Mart works just as good as the $10 stuff and my $10 haircuts come out absolutely great at the local beauty school.

  25. Carol Sissom says:

    I drive a 1992 Saturn with 387,000 miles on it and it drives great. First engine and transmission. Just take care of the maintenance.

  26. Cindy M says:

    I’m with you but probably even less cool. I cut my own hair (get more compliments now than I ever did, it’s not hard if you keep your style simple). I seldom eat out, get all my CDs and DVDs at the library (reserve ahead of time, car is 8 years old but paid for, thank you very much, always hit the dollar store and use house brand foods, seldom if ever have a drink (could use one more often, ha-ha), buy what few clothes I need at thrift stores. I don’t take a local newspaper, no magazine subscriptions, no dry cleaning. That’s about it, I think. Always looking for ways to be even more uncool. Hey, it’s hip to be square.

  27. romy says:

    I may like the ‘cool’ clothes at LL Bean and J Jill, but I NEVER buy anything at those stores unless it’s been marked down. And I buy food in quantity when there are 2-for-1 offers.

  28. Nancy says:

    I like high priced clothing like Ralph Lauren, because it is so well made.
    HOWEVER, I buy it at Goodwill. My husband is a professional, and all of his shirts are purchased at Goodwill, and all are high end brands. They cost less than five dollars at Goodwill.
    I make most meals from scratch, and make bread in the bread machine. We use store brands, and get most of our staples at loss leader prices. We eat better than most families.
    I hang our laundry outside becasue I love doing it. Cuts down on ironing too.
    We are not low income, but I think it is foolish to waste money. We will not be worrying about how we will survive in our old age, because we will have money saved, invested, and will be debt free.

  29. P. Smith says:

    Excellent subject – keep using it!

  30. Kristin says:

    When my mother-in-law sees my daughter’s closet jam-packed with hand-me-down and thrift store clothes, she says, “I just don’t want her to look like the poor kid in school.” Whaaa? Little does M.I.L. know with all the money we save on “imgage” stuff (on a THREE YEAR OLD!? Come ON!) we plan to retire by age 55.

  31. Barbydoll says:

    I never realized how “cool” I was with 17 yr old Honda Civic in primo condition, (why have an expensive car to sit under the Texas sun all day in employer’s pkg lot), no cell ph, beautiful newer home -but located in the “hood” so lower price when we bought – yet comparable crime rate to the rich zip codes (I work for police), no vac home, never dry cleaning, no alcohol – I am alcoholic (dry for 26 years)& boy what I have saved
    there along with quitting smoking 25 yrs ago, too.

  32. Preeti says:

    Nice to know there are others who think like me. I cut my own hair – have observed the hairstylist in the past, so I take the time to get the feathering just right! Also, never buy out-of season or expensive fruits and vegetables –
    always wait for the prices to come down. For laundry purposes, I have found that adding a few drops of antiseptic liquid (eg. Dettol or Savlon)to the detergent gets the clothes cleaner and brighter, while needing less of the detergent. Well-cut and well-maintained clothes look as good as anything designer. Just get the colours right – in terms of both fashion and personal colouring.

  33. merry says:

    You know all those coffee’s at Starbucks, the cans of pop that are just astronomical that you buy. I don’t. I’m
    frugal. I just drink water out of the fridge that I got out of the faucet. I could go on and on but won’t

  34. Fatica says:

    I am not one of these so-called “cool” people described by the author. However, while reading this article I couldn’t help notice how insecure and judgmental the author sounds. Took me back to high school.

  35. Kaolin says:

    I like to be different, not following the trends like everybody else, doing my own thing. And I suppose all of you do so too.I will only wear clothes with any brand names (advertising) on it when they pay me to do it. We make our own food from pizzas to cookies according to our own tastes without any preservatives and less salt and sugar. Uncool is cool!

  36. ***** says:

    This is stupid. “I save money by wearing a big plastic bag and by wrapping my feet in old news papers, unlike the evil “cool” kids who wear newfangled clothes and shoes.”

    And also, TheWalletSaver are you twelve? Who still considers it cool to smoke?

  37. Roger Oxford says:

    I don’t worry about if other people think I am cool or not. People accept me as I am, if they don’t then they are probably not what I call good friend materal.
    I choose not to define myself by what I drive, what I wear, etc, etc.

  38. mary o says:

    Enough already about the bottled water. The amount of plastic in a bottle is miniscule, and RECYCLABLE!!! If you buy by the case, it’s only about .15 per bottle. Saves me from the drive through at Mc Donalds, and is a lot healthier than soda! I need to drink a lot of water, and refilling from the tap is not an option at my home, the water is undrinkable well water.

  39. mike d says:

    I agree with all of these except for number 3. The thing is, in order to get those discount, you have to go out of your way to find these deals.

    For instance, pop quiz: where’s the nearest flee market from where you live? Most people don’t know, and even if they did, its usually over an hour away worth of driving. As for buying stuff from ebay or craigslist, you have to deal with the wait time and not always reliable sellers. In the end, its not just about being cool, its about saving some time, money can’t buy.

    As for getting your haircut less often, again, saving some money is nice, but the big payoff is avoiding the hassle and saving that hour or two— that you could better use making some comment on an internet site.

  40. mike d says:

    Oh yeah, I almost forgot to mention.

    I guess the author could have slipped in buying anything made by Apple, which is essentially the same hardware only you’re paying for the name. On second thought, its probably better Amy DIDN’T mention it, as that may potentially start a flame war, as it usually happens when you mention computers.

  41. Jake says:

    Hair products arent the same as in the store they actually have 12% more amonia then professional hair color so get your information right

  42. Philip Parsons says:

    I agree most financial people are literally “stingy” with their money, it really is the most pragmatic approach

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