It's been interesting to watch as the millennial generation has rushed to embrace its own 21st century version of penny-pinching. At least in our family, these are the same twentysomethings who only a few years ago rolled their eyes at us "old folks" as we religiously clipped our coupons from the Sunday newspaper and gladly drove an extra block or two to save four cents on a gallon of gas.
Apparently now that saving a buck involves mobile devices and online social networks, it's finally cool. My young nephew (one of the former eye rollers) tried to explain it to me: "You see, Uncle Jeff, it's not just about saving money. It's about community, and social platforms, and networks." Now I was the one rolling my eyes. My ears did perk up however when he started talking about free apps, but then I realized he meant the virtual kind, not a free order to potato skins or nachos like I sometimes score with one of my restaurant coupons from the newspaper.
Don't get me wrong: I think it's great that there's a whole new generation of cost-conscious consumers emerging from cyberspace. I'd much prefer young people with an "iPad addiction" than an "I paid addiction" - as in "I paid too much." But that doesn't mean every online deal, or any deal no matter where you find it, is really a wise use of your funds. In fact some of the special offers my nephew showed me on the group money-saving websites he visits - discounts on everything from chemical peels and laser nail fungus treatment to fitness bootcamps and hypnotherapy - left us both rolling our eyes.
This week's episode of my new web show "The Cheap Life" is all about how to find true bargains online and how to avoid those purchases that you'll likely regret later. And since watching and subscribing to "The Cheap Life" is 100 percent, really, truly FREE, you know it's a good deal. Hope you'll tune in!