Author Topic: Cheapskate stories  (Read 131456 times)

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artk2002

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #630 on: April 17, 2013, 10:19:26 PM »
I have to keep my middle child from turning into a hoarder.  He's an aspiring engineer and wants to hold onto just about every single piece of scrap metal or plastic he can find, or wire or tape.

It doesn't matter if toys are broken, he will insist "But I can use it to build something else!"  Now, to give him credit, he is very creative and at 10 years old, he's very good and understands the basics of circuits.  Today, with batteries and some spare bits of wire, he gave a Lego car a homemade motorized propeller.

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Piratelvr1121

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #631 on: April 17, 2013, 10:37:59 PM »
Here's a picture of the motor, and it works.  He even took it to school to show off.   He said his teacher has dubbed him Thomas Edison and every progress report comes home with a note from Mr. S. praising Pirateboy2 for his intelligence and aptitude for engineering.   

They have a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) program in our county and each week I think the kids have some kind of STEM activity which Pirateboy2 absolutely adores.



Really, when he does stuff like this, it's hard to convince him to throw away anything, but I do have my limits.
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Moralia

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #632 on: April 17, 2013, 10:55:55 PM »
Aw!  You should get him a little small parts cabinet for his bits and bobs.  Then if he wants to save things for projects, there's a designated and limited size spot.

http://www.homedepot.com/p/Akro-Mils-16-Drawer-Small-Parts-Storage-Cabinet-10116/203538802#.UW9fB4y9KSM

Of course, he'll probably need this, too...
http://www.makershed.com/Encyclopedia_of_Electronic_Components_Vol_1_p/mkbk17.htm


I don't know if this is thrifty or cheapskatey, but I pick up good stuff from the curb or dumpsters and stash it in my garage for the express purpose of donating on my next thrift shop run.  I usually get about $1000 in tax deductions for doing so.

There was one day when I took in 2 metal ironing boards, only to find a vintage wooden board at the thrift shop for $3.  So I bought it and then took in my metal ironing board later that afternoon. The thrift shop ladies had a very good laugh about that!

Piratelvr1121

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #633 on: April 17, 2013, 11:12:02 PM »
Aw!  You should get him a little small parts cabinet for his bits and bobs.  Then if he wants to save things for projects, there's a designated and limited size spot.

http://www.homedepot.com/p/Akro-Mils-16-Drawer-Small-Parts-Storage-Cabinet-10116/203538802#.UW9fB4y9KSM

Of course, he'll probably need this, too...
http://www.makershed.com/Encyclopedia_of_Electronic_Components_Vol_1_p/mkbk17.htm


I don't know if this is thrifty or cheapskatey, but I pick up good stuff from the curb or dumpsters and stash it in my garage for the express purpose of donating on my next thrift shop run.  I usually get about $1000 in tax deductions for doing so.

There was one day when I took in 2 metal ironing boards, only to find a vintage wooden board at the thrift shop for $3.  So I bought it and then took in my metal ironing board later that afternoon. The thrift shop ladies had a very good laugh about that!

Oooh I need to bookmark those pages, as those would make for great birthday presents for him! 
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars.  You have a right to be here. Be cheerful, strive to be happy. -Desiderata

baglady

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #634 on: April 18, 2013, 12:58:33 AM »
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If you don't need a widget that normally costs $1000, but you buy it because it's 70% off, you haven't saved $700 -- you've spent $300 for a totally useless widget!

Amy Dacyczyn of "Tightwad Gazette" fame offered this handy tip: "Want to save $100,000 this year? Don't buy a Rolls-Royce."
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Thipu1

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #635 on: April 18, 2013, 11:21:40 AM »
This is a small one that happened when Mr. Thipu and I moved into our current home. 

All the big stuff was taken from our two apartments.  However, he had some delicate electronics he didn't trust to the movers.  His parents came over in the evening to finish the move and his mother decided to look in his old refrigerator. 

There were a few bits of food left there including a wilted head of lettuce and a jar of raspberry jam with about a quarter inch of product left in the bottom. MIL  packed these up.  They weren't thrown away. 

When we arrived at our apartment, MIL put the lettuce and the jam in our new refrigerator because these remnants would be, 'Pennies from Heaven'. 

The next morning, they went out with the moving trash. 

snowflake

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #636 on: April 18, 2013, 12:03:03 PM »
Not sure if I shared this before, but the couch reminded me of one more. 

I was once poor and starting out.  I had moved into an apartment and had no couch and was keeping an eye on the local Goodwill to see if I could pick up something worn but serviceable.

I had some friends who lived in a rental house.  This rental house had been passed down through a few rounds of roommates and in the process the garage and backyard had been filled up with stuff of roommates past.

One of these friends found out that I was perusing Goodwill for a couch and offered one to me free.  Said couch had been sitting out in the backyard, exposed to elements for over a year.  I was currently living in a climate that included lots of rain and some snow.  So the couch was understandably coming apart at the seams.  It wasn't a well-made couch to begin with and it was literally disintegrating.  So I said "No thank you."

There then followed several weeks of badgering me to take the couch.  The "benefactor" kept explaining that it was an easy matter to have the couch reupholstered.  I pointed out that the frame was in terrible shape and he insisted that it could be rebuilt too.  Wait! I'm in the market for a $50 couch and you are telling me, "No problem!  Just bring this to a hand artisan and have it rebuilt?"  UM NO!  Further more, any kind of careful repair would be much more expensive than the couch itself.  It was likely a $200 couch at the most originally.

I finally bought a couch that was worn but workable for the grand bargain of $40.  I was very pleased with myself but the person kept going on and on and on about how I really should have saved myself the money by repairing their junker couch. 

I found out later that their landlord had given them an ultimatum to clean up the place.  He and his roommates had been bringing stuff to the dump/Goodwill one car load at the time, but couldn't get rid of the couch that way.  They didn't want to spring the $30 or so that it would require to hire a pickup to move the couch.  So instead they were hoping that I'd spend hundreds of dollars to rescue and rehabilitate that couch.

Wow, with friends like those, who needs credit card companies?

MerryCat

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #637 on: April 18, 2013, 01:29:02 PM »
It's weird how a lot of people pushing old junk on you to "save money" end up costing you more if you take them up on your offer. Relatedly, I'm often surprised by how many cheap people end up spending more by being cheap than they would have otherwise.

I think that the two things that distinguish cheap from thrifty are that (1) for cheap people the feeling of getting a deal is more important than actual savings and (2) while thrity people will do with less for themselves, cheap people are all about what they can make others do without to save themselves money.

siamesecat2965

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #638 on: April 18, 2013, 02:59:42 PM »
It's weird how a lot of people pushing old junk on you to "save money" end up costing you more if you take them up on your offer. Relatedly, I'm often surprised by how many cheap people end up spending more by being cheap than they would have otherwise.

I think that the two things that distinguish cheap from thrifty are that (1) for cheap people the feeling of getting a deal is more important than actual savings and (2) while thrity people will do with less for themselves, cheap people are all about what they can make others do without to save themselves money.

And for the cheapskates out there, they simply can't fathom that sometimes you NEED to spend a little more to get something that will work or last.  Or something you can't do yourself. I have friends who are appalled that I will actually spend money to have someone put highlights in my hair. In their mind, i shoudl be able to do it myself and save money! So not happening. not unless i want to look like a zebra!

Slartibartfast

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #639 on: April 18, 2013, 03:11:29 PM »
Ooh, another one about my FIL:

In the process of renovating all these rental properties FIL has, he ends up filling his trunk with stuff.  The theory is that he might as well haul this stack of two dozen paving stones and three sheets of drywall and two used toilets and who knows what else around, because what if he takes out a mostly-functional toilet from one house and throws it away but then needs to replace a toilet that was in even worse shape at another house?  By keeping used junk in his truck, he won't have to buy new things!

Of course, the extra weight in his truck means extra gas, which probably negates any savings he may receive.  And - in the case of the used toilets, which rode around in his truck for at least two years before he finally got rid of them - they made more work for other people: FIL works at a secure government facility, which means all vehicles have to be inspected every time they come in or out.  Which means some poor security guard had to inspect the same two used toilets for TWO WHOLE YEARS (in addition to the daily construction detritus FIL carries around anyway).

siamesecat2965

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #640 on: April 18, 2013, 03:47:41 PM »
Ooh, another one about my FIL:

In the process of renovating all these rental properties FIL has, he ends up filling his trunk with stuff.  The theory is that he might as well haul this stack of two dozen paving stones and three sheets of drywall and two used toilets and who knows what else around, because what if he takes out a mostly-functional toilet from one house and throws it away but then needs to replace a toilet that was in even worse shape at another house?  By keeping used junk in his truck, he won't have to buy new things!

Of course, the extra weight in his truck means extra gas, which probably negates any savings he may receive.  And - in the case of the used toilets, which rode around in his truck for at least two years before he finally got rid of them - they made more work for other people: FIL works at a secure government facility, which means all vehicles have to be inspected every time they come in or out.  Which means some poor security guard had to inspect the same two used toilets for TWO WHOLE YEARS (in addition to the daily construction detritus FIL carries around anyway).

He sounds like my former landlord! Who was cheaper than cheap. Mind you, he owns two rental houses, and lives in a nice home himself, but he refuses to spend ANY money on maintaining or fixing properly, anything in either house. And when something did need to be fixed, he took a ďwait and see and maybe I can fix itĒ approach.  The one I was in had 4 apts. Mine was on the 3rd floor and had central a/c, in the attic above me.  One day, during a torrential thunderstorm, water began to POUR down my LR wall from the attic. I called him, and he said oh, its just a small leak, Iíll be over sometime.  I said NO, its pouring down you need to come NOW. so he does and its something simple with the a/c unit. Apparently it sits in a pain, with a drain, and somehow the drain had gotten clogged, so the water went everywhere. He then tried to blame it on the guys who had fixed my heat NINE months prior. I donít think so.

The end result was he got up and did whatever to unclog it, but the water had damaged my apt and the one below me. It took him MONTHS to fix, and even then he did a half-a**ed job. 

The best one though was the wasps. I saw them in my apt, and called him. he found (donít know how) a nest under the siding. Now according to the exterminator we called, the best way to deal with these is put some type of powder that kills them around a hole you drill, and they carry it back to the nest and they all die. Cheapo landlord though called an ex. but I think he must have known him since they guy wasnít too interested. LL then drilled a hole, stuck a bug bomb in and let it rip. Scattering these wasps into the wall voids, and rendering my kitchen pretty much useless for a good 6 weeks. He refused to allow a pro to do the job as HE knew best. Shortly thereafter I moved out.

LLís former job was maintenance etc for various companies and he could do some things, but others no, yet he refused to pay anyone to do anything he couldnít do. It really was quite annoying.

Shalamar

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #641 on: April 18, 2013, 05:14:20 PM »
Quote
he refused to pay anyone to do anything he couldnít do

Sounds like my dad.  He's a very  handy guy, and there's a lot he CAN do, but if he finds himself flummoxed by a home repair job, he's convinced that no-one on this earth could fix it.

Case in point:  I visited my parents once and slept in their guest bedroom, which had an ensuite bathroom.  The toilet kept making this loud constant "water trickling" noise that kept me awake.  I mentioned it the next day, and Dad blew his top, yelling "I can't fix it!  I've tried everything!"  I said "Well, can't you call someone?  Because I can't sleep with that racket going on."   

WELL.  You would have thought that I'd spat on his mother.  He was SO insulted.  He didn't call anyone, of course, and I had a miserable visit because I got no sleep.  (I tried ear plugs, putting the pillow over my head - nothing helped.)

A year later, his mother visited and stayed in the same bedroom.  She had the same complaint that I did about the toilet's noise.  (Considering that she was going deaf, that gives you an idea about how loud it was.)  Then, all of a sudden it became a huge priority, and Dad called a plumber immediately.    Problem solved!   ::)

bloo

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #642 on: April 18, 2013, 05:24:06 PM »
It's weird how a lot of people pushing old junk on you to "save money" end up costing you more if you take them up on your offer. Relatedly, I'm often surprised by how many cheap people end up spending more by being cheap than they would have otherwise.

I think that the two things that distinguish cheap from thrifty are that (1) for cheap people the feeling of getting a deal is more important than actual savings and (2) while thrity people will do with less for themselves, cheap people are all about what they can make others do without to save themselves money.

And for the cheapskates out there, they simply can't fathom that sometimes you NEED to spend a little more to get something that will work or last.  Or something you can't do yourself. I have friends who are appalled that I will actually spend money to have someone put highlights in my hair. In their mind, i shoudl be able to do it myself and save money! So not happening. not unless i want to look like a zebra!

Oh you are not kidding!

My DH has been wanting a motor for his boat but I kvetched at the idea of spending $5K. That's a lot of money for us. But it's a Honda.

So at the advice of his friend, Bob, whose property is littered with junk he's going to get around to fixing, DH bought Bob's sister's boyfriend's old motor for $200.

After pouring another $800 into it and still afraid it wasn't going to work, I finally hollered uncle at told DH to go to the local marine shop and buy the dingdangity motor.

Now DH knows 100% of the time that the motor is going to start.

And now everytime DH talks to Bob, Bob whines about what a waste of money that Honda is. Of course, the last time Bob was supposed to take DH out on Bob's boat, Bob's motor died and they had to troll back to shore.  :o

Elfmama

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #643 on: April 18, 2013, 08:51:03 PM »
Quote
If you don't need a widget that normally costs $1000, but you buy it because it's 70% off, you haven't saved $700 -- you've spent $300 for a totally useless widget!

Amy Dacyczyn of "Tightwad Gazette" fame offered this handy tip: "Want to save $100,000 this year? Don't buy a Rolls-Royce."
Oddly enough, DH does not understand this form of math.  I want a quilting machine.  The one that I want, for the features that I want, runs about $5000.  I keep telling him "Look, I'm saving you money.  The top-of-the-line longarm is $18,000. If I get what I want, I've saved you $13,000!"  And he just does. not. get. it!  And so far, neither do I.  :(
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alkira6

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #644 on: April 18, 2013, 09:41:44 PM »
What about the cheapos who push their trash onto you and then in the 1/100 times it turns out to be something nice or even great, they lose it.  One of my friends got some old games and such from an aunt. She had been pushing her to take them for years, so my friend finally took them and was going to trash them.  I came over and after a little googling and a couple of ebay auctions, she netted a little over $300 selling pieces from the torn up games to collectors who were missing pieces and selling a couple of games intact as hey were barely played with.  Aunt lost it when she found out.  This was in 1995 and my friend still hears about how she "ripped her poor aunt off".