There are many types of savers, but I want to talk about three broad categories of extreme savers.
1. Those who extreme save for the sake of saving
Cue Extreme Cheapskates theme music here. These are people who practice extreme frugality as a lifestyle. They oftentimes, (but not always), have some type of neurosis caused by a traumatic event in their past. Kate Hashimoto, (pictured above), began extreme saving / cheap-skating after being laid off from her job some years ago. Nowadays, although she is fully employed as a very well-paid accountant, she refuses to spend money on anything and often takes risks with her health to save a buck. This type of extreme saver gets the headlines and television shows. Depictions of this group in the media often turn the general public away from frugality altogether.
The second two types of extreme savers do not approach frugality as a way of life.
2. Those who extreme save to catch up financially
People in this group approach saving as a means to an end. They practice extreme frugality to get out of debt and/or to shore up investments to ensure a comfortable retirement. These savers are in it for the long haul as it usually takes several years to reverse years of bad financial decisions.
3. Those who extreme save to bide time
People in this group view frugality as a temporary condition to be tolerated until conditions improve. Generally this person is someone who is medical or law school etc., or be someone who lost a high paying job. They are cutting expenses for a few months or years until graduation or the next job comes along at which time their income will explode. It is uncertain whether frugal principles will remain with them or whether they will return to their old ways.
Also Read: Is Extreme Frugality for You?