The Scrapper - could this be you?

Craig the scrapper

Meet the "scrapper," my brother Craig who is a master plumber employed as a maintenance and repair specialist by an urban housing authority. His employer makes good use of his natural skills, experience and specialized training. He makes good use of some of the resources that his employment situation has to offer.

Whenever he performs maintenance or repairs, or has to replace equipment, fixtures or materials, he looks for things that are going to be discarded that have scrap value. He collects this material and turns it in to local salvage yards and recycling centers for cash.

Whether it's brass, aluminum, steel, or simply coins that are left laying around after a rental unit is vacated - it all looks like cash to the scrapper.

Craig is practicing an approach to life that I think is commendable - living off the waste of others. There is no end to the waste we generate in America, so why not take advantage of it?

Fire wood can be had from discarded wood that otherwise turns to waste. Shops are heated with waste oil. Vegetable oil from restaurants is being turned into diesel fuel. Garage sales offer quality goods and materials at rock bottom prices. Trash picking was a hobby among kids when I was young. All of these serve as examples of how waste can be a valuable resource if you know where to look and how to reclaim what others are discarding.

They say that one man's junk is another man's treasure. It's really true. Value is often in the eyes of the beholder. If your employment and/or lifestyle allows you to find scrap material and turn it into cash or something else that is of a useful nature, then there is a world of treasure out there waiting for you.

Our scrapper has found a good way to combine his work activities with reclaiming items of value that others just can't be bothered to mess with. The extra cash in his pocket is his reward for not being wasteful. The money he makes is hard to estimate, but it most certainly adds to whatever he might designate as "mad money."

Reclaiming waste is just one way to practice frugal living. As you know by now, it runs in my family. We all learned the "waste not, want not" lesson on the same playing field. I call it my debt free training grounds.

Done with Scrapper, take me back to Frugal Living Tips

There certainly is a broad scope of topics here at Frugal Living Freedom. When you think about it, money permeates so very many activities in our lives, therefore, being frugal encompasses a wide range of interests, from being employed to taking a vacation, and just about everything in between. Enjoy the variety, pick up some new ideas, and start making frugality a part of your signature.

I'm a big proponent of being debt-free, and I mean entirely debt-free - no mortgage payment. It's not essential for financial freedom, but you'll love the feeling once you get there. If you didn't have a rent or mortgage payment, how much more could you do for yourself with your current level of income? I suspect plenty.

If you ever hope to see an abundance of wealth, you need to plug the hole in your boat. The wealthy don't necessarily make lots of money, instead, they know how to hang onto what they make, and make it work for them.