Unlocking the Secrets of a Stingy Scoundrel

by Emily Jasper on January 7, 2010

“So, how many waitresses have you pissed off?”

If you follow some of the same blogs I do, you’ve probably already been introduced to Phil Villarreal and his book Secrets of a Stingy Scoundrel: 100 Dirty Little Money-Grubbing Secrets. Essentially, he’s documented 100 different ways you can save the green, even if you’re a little sketchy getting there.

Ok, a lot sketchy.

He’s got tips on saving money on condiments (snagging packets from fast food joints), how to upgrade your furniture (dumpster diving on college move-out weekend), and how to get an easy $20 when buying a car (tell the dealer it’s off if he doesn’t give you 20 bucks).

Plus, there’s a chapter dedicated to the Mr. Pink philosophy: No tipping.

When I talked to Phil, of course I had to ask, “So, how many waitresses have you pissed off?”

“Actually, we had some waitresses show up to a signing in protest based off an article they read. They hadn’t read the chapter from the book, but because they were there, it helped drive people to the signing. Kind of wish there were more of them.”

If you read the chapter “Tipping IS Just a City in China”, Phil actually gives the best tipping advice I’ve ever seen (and I’m an ex-waitress). If you’re out with a waitress or ex-waitress, tip big. “Tips for hot waitresses aren’t tips at all but investments in preferred stock that potentially pay off in dividends of poonanny.”

And that’s totally true. As someone from the biz, I can tell you that you could have worked your butt off impressing me during a date, but if you leave a crappy tip, night’s over.

Of course, as a woman, I have a special place in my heart for the chapter “The Legend of the Cubic Zirconium Heirloom.” Hopefully the title speaks for itself. Phil said, “That’s actually one of my favorite parts of the book. Plus, if you get a girl who goes along with the bit, what friend is going tell you ‘Wow, that doesn’t look like a diamond…’”

I personally love the idea. (Phil told me that little bit of info gave me extra bonus points). I damage or lose my jewelry too much to want thousands of dollars to be caught in the sink drain on a regular basis. My parents still keep some of my pieces at their home in St. Louis. And I’m almost 26.

This book is wonderful to get a quick and funny look at money and how you spend it (or lose it on silly expenses). I highly recommend this as a gift, especially if you want to give a little *hint hint* to someone. You learn some pretty valuable money lessons.

“One real lesson to learn,” Phil told me, “is negotiating your medical bills. I just found out about this tip when my daughter was born. Basically, doctors and hospitals are so afraid that you’ll declare bankruptcy or just stiff them and never pay, they’re willing to give you 25% off if you pay in full in timely manner. Now, they don’t offer you this. You have to call. But making the call to guarantee they’ll get their money can save you money. I’ve talked to about 20 other people this has worked for.”

While I’m not suggesting you do every tip in this book (you’d really be a cheap bastard and no one would like you), pick it up for a new perspective on saving. I promise you, you’ll automatically start thinking about money in a new way.

If you’d like to win a free copy to learn how to be a stingy scoundrel yourself, leave a comment below. One random entry will be chosen and we’ll send you a copy of the book. Do you have your own money-saving tips?


Oh, and the disclaimer: I wasn’t paid to write this(in case you were wondering you sneaky FTC). You can pick up a copy of the book at Amazon.