Crazy things people do to save money

fistful of dollars
fistful of dollars

While many of us clip grocery coupons, buy generic medication and combine shopping trips to conserve gas, a smaller number of Americans take extreme steps when it comes to saving money. How extreme? Well, this article lists five categories of unusual, sometimes shocking steps people have taken to lower their expenses or earn a bit more cash. But do you really need to invite a renter to crash in your spare room, sell your car, turn off the thermostat in wintertime or even restrict your eating to save a few bucks?

The short answer is "probably not," according to Peter Dunn, author of the book 60 Days to Change: A Daily How-To Guide With Actionable Tips for Improving Your Financial Life. "To me that seems pretty extreme," he said when WalletPop got him on the phone to ask what he thought about taking a boarder or going on a starvation diet. For these two examples, he points out that you could literally be putting not only your own health and safety at risk, but that of your family as well. Some ideas, such as getting rid of your car, will only work if you have reliable public transportation that can get you to work, to school and to the store.