Penny Hoarder – A Website For Obsessive Budgeters

Many interests get more interesting when you stick the word “extreme” on them. Tired of biking? Try extreme biking on dangerous mountain roads! Bored with cooking? Venture into the realms of extreme cooking and freeze your next meal using liquid nitrogen! Can the same principle be applied to budgeting?

The authors of a blog called Penny Hoarder certainly think so. They take traditional personal finance advice and supersize it. If personal finance habits are vehicles, The Index Card is the family sedan, while Penny Hoarder is a customized street racer. Both will get you to the same place, but one will get you there faster (while requiring a lot more work).

It’s difficult to categorize the content at Penny Hoarder. It covers small stuff, like couponing and freebie hunting, all the way up to big stuff, like credit management and remote working setups. The writing is somewhat Internet-centric, with items broken up into lists and embedded hyperlinks for providing more information. While the authors claim to write for people of all ages, most of their readers tend to be tech-savvy. Many of the remote work positions they discuss are in tech support or data manipulation, though some (like cricket farming) are odd enough to appeal to anybody.

The Penny Hoarder authors are a pretty diverse lot. They solicit articles from their readers, but maintain strict editorial control. The result is a diverse mix of styles and subjects, but all of the articles pass a strict quality test. You may find errors or exaggerations, but the content is verified.

The goals of Penny Hoarder articles are similarly all over the board. Some are aimed at people drowning in debt, offering advice on how to tackle the pool head-on. Others are aimed at extremely frugal people, covering topics like which restaurants give free stuff on birthdays. Still others are about “gaming the system,” taking advantage of credit card offers and promotional rates to squeeze a few extra bucks out of the financial system. All of them have one thing in common: They’re about turning your time into money outside the typical 9-5 job.

Make no mistake, Penny Hoarder does not talk about free money. It’s a website for people who really enjoy personal finance. Whether they’re a stay-at-home parent contributing to the household with thrift or a mid-career professional looking for the elusive early retirement, Penny Hoarder readers have to bring their own motivation to the articles. Heavily implied in each of these articles is that the dollars they bring in are worth the cost in time. For many people, that won’t be true. The kind of sacrifice this thrifty behavior calls for may not be justified by the rewards. For some people, though, the idea of getting a few dollars more is satisfying enough to bring enjoyment all its own.

Whether or not you’ll find Penny Hoarder useful depends a great deal on your willingness to put a price on your time. If you wouldn’t trade a minute with friends and family for any price, you’ll probably find these “hacks” a little too extreme. If you and your partner really enjoy your personal finance discussions, this might be another great way to spend time together!

Your turn – What do you think your time is worth? Have you ever seen a time-for-money trade you chose to refuse on principal, or can you use all the cash you can get?