7 Frugal Lessons I Learned from Charlie Sheen

by Sonja Stewart on 6 March 2011 8 comments
Photo: khilagan

While out of work, Charlie Sheen is winning. There is so much to learn from him. Here are 7 things he taught me about living frugally.

When Un-Employed, Downsize

Don't pay someone to do something you can do yourself. Sure, some people may say that his publicist quit after outrageous comments in interviews. Maybe it was the fallout from erratic behavior. Or maybe, Charlie just realized he needed to get smarter with his cash. Newly unemployed, Charlie can be his own publicist and save all that money he was using on Stan Rosenfield. If you're out of work, learn from Charlie. Who needs an electrician? You can re-wire your own lighting. Tire center to fix your brakes? Get a couple of loaner books from the library and fix them yourself. You're learning a trade, building your resume, and saving money! If Charlie doesn't go back to work as an actor, he can try his hands in a new trade as a publicist. This is what's referred to as “bi-winning.”

Have a Winning Attitude

Just because we're in a downsizing economy, facing higher food and oil prices, under-employment and crumbling local governments, it doesn't mean you won't be able to be hired at the job you're applying to. Stop reading the news for awhile if it starts getting you down. Give yourself a tiger-blood, Adonis DNA, pep-talk before hitting the interview. If you can't afford to celebrate with champagne, or even beer, drink up that milk with gusto. Think of all the delicious fortifying nutrients your body is getting. Clip coupons with panache. Serve leftovers with style. To do frugal living the Sheen way, it's all about attitude.

Surround Yourself with Loved Ones

Let's get this out right now: No, you cannot have your own goddesses to cheer you up. Only Charlie Sheen can do that. However, you can surround yourself with people who love you for free. In fact, invite as many free friends as you can over to your house and celebrate how lucky you are to have what really matters in life: relationships. Bonus: Make it a pot luck and you get a cheap meal as well.

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Make Gold Nuggets

While you may not be able to gain over a million twitter followers in 48 hours, you can take lemons and make lemonade. If you're out of work, think outside of the box to gather other ways of making money. You may not be able to pose with chocolate milk for a million bucks, but look into exploring another aspect of your abilities. Start a blog, or a YouTube account. Study the ways of the Sheen to learn about public media. Being out of work, or under-employed is the perfect time to learn about this wonky world of social media.

Watch the Game with a Few Friends

No, you cannot fly out an entire professional baseball team to watch a movie in your private theater. Only Charlie Sheen can do that. But you can call some friends over to watch a game. It's cheaper than going out and you'll be having just as much fun as you would at the ball park. Plus, watching competitive sports is a wonderful way to boost your morale...as long as you're rooting for a winning team. Team Charlie always wins.

Go On a Mini Vacation when Things Get Discouraging

No, you cannot go to the Bahamas just because you lost your job and are bored with the terrestrial plane we live on. Only Charlie can do that. But you can take your kids and throw up a tent in the backyard for an impromptu camping trip. It's only pathetic if it's raining.

Stay Home

Going out costs a lot of money. Learn from Charlie. Sure, staying indoors away from the loving support of his family and children may be unhealthy. But then again, he's saving money. And as an out of work actor, saving money is important. You can stay home and save money, too. Pick up a video game habit. It's relatively inexpensive, minus the start-up cost, and, being highly addictive, you won't miss spending money and going out in the real world. Who wants to live in the real world, anyway? Charlie doesn't.

As a student of frugal-living, I am always on the watch for real world scenarios from which to learn. Charlie Sheen is teaching me. One mercurial rant at a time.

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Guest's picture
Harm

Is Charlie Sheen saving money by eliminating drugs, alcohol, (and cigarettes, if
applicable)? If so, than he knows what needs to be done, and is doing it. If not,
than he's just another 'entitled', whining, stupid, showbiz weasel.

Sonja Stewart's picture

I think you mean warlock. Not a weasel.

Guest's picture
Helen

Lovely article, but please, please, please, don't encourage people to fix their own brakes. I mean, come on, not everyone is mechanically inclined, and these are BRAKES.

Sonja Stewart's picture

You're absolutely right, Helen. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, don't fix your own brakes. It was meant to be sarcastic. I in no way, shape or form recommend anyone changing their own brakes, unless they have the proper experience. My point is this; given Charlie Sheen's interviews and posts, he probably shouldn't be his own publicist.

My apologies if the sarcasm wasn't as blatant as I would have liked it. But, truly, don't change your own brakes or re-wire your house without extensive training.

(Only Charlie Sheen can re-wire his own house, change his brakes, be his own publicist and be a chocolate milk pusher.)

Guest's picture

Actually, changing brake pads is not difficult at all. If you can follow instructions, you can change brake pads. If the rotor needs replacing, then you'll need a professional.

Sonja Stewart's picture

Kevin, I absolutely will NOT be trying it. Nope. Uh uh. But I appreciate your frugal sense of adventure as well as your hands-on-edness.

Guest's picture
C.J.

Great post. I love the sarcastic subtext beneath some very sound advice! I've been following the Sheen disaster as if I were rubber-necking at an accident on the highway. It's just unbelieveable. His money has gone to his head in a big way. Makes me all the more thankful for the few example of people who get rich gracefully. Thanks for the frugal tips. I love the mini-vacation idea, and my kids LOVE tent camping. We do it in the backyard sometimes in the summer, and they seem to have as much fun (or more) than if we were doing expensive things. We've all learned that you don't need to spend money to have fun....you just need to enjoy who you're with.

Sonja Stewart's picture

Thanks, C.J. I have had the same reaction to the Sheen fiasco. Typically, I ignore entertainment fodder like this, but for some reason, I can't get enough of the Sheen story. It's just so completely unbelievable. I seem to recall the number one rule of fame being, "Never buy into your own hype." Charlie hasn't learned how to handle fame with grace. Yes, he's rich and successful. But just like the prettiest girl in high school, looks, money and fame all fade. What's left is the content of one's character, and he's showing his lack of content at this moment.
We'll see how long the fame and money last.