The Weekly Newspaper serving the citizens of Morenci, Mich., Fayette, Ohio, and surrounding areas.

  • Front.cheers
    MACEE BEERS joins other Fayette Elementary School students for the annual Mini-Cheer performance during the half-time break at the basketball game.
  • Family.3.wide
    CHILDREN at Stair District Library’s Family Story Time toss scarves into the air during an activity. The evening program provided a mix of stories, songs, dancing, crafts and snacks Monday evening. The program is offered at 5:30 p.m. every Monday for five more weeks. The program is designed for three to five year olds and their family.
  • Front.newpaper.2
    THE INTERVIEW—Evelyn Joughin (right) records the interaction with an iPad while Jack Varga, next to her, asks questions of Morenci Elementary School principal Gail Frey. Morenci senior Sam Cool (standing) listens. Cool serves as the editor for the newspaper written by members of Mrs. Barrett’s second grade class.
  • Front.code.2
    WRITING CODE—Brock Christle (left), a Morenci fifth grade student, takes a look at the progress being made by fourth grader Anthony Lewis. Libby Rorick, a sixth grade student, is next in a line of girls trying out the coding tutorials. This year marked Morenci’s second year of participation in the Hour of Code project.
  • Front.gym.new
    REMIE RYAN (left) tries to dodge the foam wand held by Hayden Bays during physical education class at Morenci Elementary School. In the background, Lauryn Dominique and Brooklyn Williams stay clear of the tag. Second grade students were working on cardiovascular health on the first day back from vacation. For the record, Safety Tag is a very difficult sport to photograph.
  • Front.lift
    MORENCI student Dalton McCowan puts everything into a dead lift attempt Saturday morning during the Wyseguy Push/Pull event. Lifters helped raise more than $1,600 for the family of the late Devin Wyse, a former Morenci power-lifter who graduated last year. Commemorative T-shirts are still available by contacting teacher Dan Hoffman.
  • Front.library.books
    MACK DICKSON takes a book off the “blind date” cart at the Fayette library. Patrons can choose a book without knowing what’s inside other than a general category. The books are among those designated for removal so patrons can consider them gifts. In Morenci, new books and staff favorites were chosen from the stacks and must be returned. Patrons get a piece of chocolate, too, to take on their date, but no clue about their “date.” One reader said she really enjoyed her book for a few pages, but then lost interest—so typical for a blind date.

Jeff Yeager, cheapskate, to visit Morenci 2008.08.06

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

They used to call him a cheapskate. Now Jeff Yeager is just looking practical.

All right, so Yeager is still known as a cheapskate—the Ultimate Cheapskate, according to Matt Lauer of NBC’s Today show—but his approach to life is looking more and more sensible to a lot of people facing tough economic times.

Yeager will talk about his life as a cheapskate when he visit’s Morenci’s Stair Public Library at 1 p.m. Aug. 14. The Grand Rapids, Ohio, native is back in his home area for several appearances in Toledo Public Library branches and he agreed to make a visit to Morenci to present his humorous approach to living on the cheap.

Yeager wrote his book, “The Ultimate Cheapskate’s Roadmap to True Riches,” two years ago and it finally made it off the press early this year, about the time that economic hardships were becoming more and more apparent for many Americans.

There’s a silver lining to tough times, he said. It forces many people to reign in their spending habits.

“Most people would be happier if they spent less money and bought fewer things,” Yeager said in an interview Monday.

During the economic expansion of the 1990s, two things happened, he said: Americans went further into debt than any previous generation, and they didn’t become any happier.

“They became stressed out and they wanted more,” he said.jeff.yeager.jpg

It’s odd, Yeager said, how in the last few years shopping has been billed as a patriotic duty—go out and buy more. If that’s the case, he says the most patriotic thing would be to buy something that’s going to break right away or something that’s going to soon become obsolete. This will lead to more trips to the store.

Yeager brings some humor to his financial philosophy, but he realizes there are people who are losing their jobs, losing their houses and genuinely hurting.

At a talk he gave recently, a woman wasn’t so keen on his light-hearted approach. She was nearly crying when she told how her family was forced to cut back. How had it affected them? They had to cancel their cable television service.

Yeager doesn’t expect everyone to go to the lengths of cheapness he does—he once tried to weave dryer lint back into clothing—but he does see value in living on less.

“It’s the only financial advice that will work for almost everyone,” he writes in his book. “It’s about a quality of life you cannot buy, a sense of satisfaction you cannot fake, and an appreciation for other that gives life value.”

Some people are touting his book as a survival guide, but Yeager prefers to call it a revival guide—how to return to some simpler times, to a more sustainable level of consumption.

Next book

After Yeager’s book was published, he went on a promotion tour by bicycle.

“It was a blast to do it,” he said. “I stayed with cheapskates.”

All the money he saved by couch-surfing was turned over to libraries along the way.

His next book is due out in 2010. This is where he will get to know “the cheapskate next door.”

“I’ll be writing profiles of people who know the secrets of living below their means,” he said. “It’s a very positive thing to live below your means.”

Reporter’s note: I wrote an e-mail to Jeff Yeager on a busy afternoon, listing some questions and inviting him to give me a call if it was convenient.

I could have called him, but I kept on with other things I needed to accomplish. In the back of my mind, I kept thinking, “Wouldn’t it be funny if that cheapskate called me and he had to pay the bill?”

Sure enough, I got a call from the world’s biggest cheapskate.

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2016