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Author Topic: Cheapskate stories  (Read 516541 times)

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Slartibartfast

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #870 on: August 01, 2013, 11:11:13 PM »
There's a hilarious budget making the rounds online (article here), put out by McDonalds to prove their minimum-wage workers can make it without resorting to government assistance.  Except, as many places have pointed out, the budget assumes an 80-hour work week (when most fast food workers can't even get 40 at one job).  And doesn't include things like heat, gas for the car, clothes, or food.  And somehow this employee is supposed to find health insurance for $20/month which is even more laughable when you see that $20 is less than a third of the employee contribution to McDonalds' cheapest health plan (which, in turn, is only available to managers).

I'm sure there are people who are able to work two or more jobs at minimum wage and who do stay afloat, but that budget ain't it.

Elfmama

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #871 on: August 01, 2013, 11:27:50 PM »
There's a hilarious budget making the rounds online (article here), put out by McDonalds to prove their minimum-wage workers can make it without resorting to government assistance.  Except, as many places have pointed out, the budget assumes an 80-hour work week (when most fast food workers can't even get 40 at one job).  And doesn't include things like heat, gas for the car, clothes, or food.  And somehow this employee is supposed to find health insurance for $20/month which is even more laughable when you see that $20 is less than a third of the employee contribution to McDonalds' cheapest health plan (which, in turn, is only available to managers).

I'm sure there are people who are able to work two or more jobs at minimum wage and who do stay afloat, but that budget ain't it.
Many, many years ago, when DD1 was married to her first husband, they had a roommate.  Between the three of them, they were working FIVE minimum-wage jobs, and just barely scraping by.  All too often, food was the cold fried chicken that was one of the perks of one of the fast food jobs.  When DD was no longer able to work at all, due to severe all-day morning sickness, they couldn't scrape by at all.  DD and ex-SIL came to live with us, and I think Friend moved back in with her parents.
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blue2000

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #872 on: August 01, 2013, 11:52:31 PM »
There's a hilarious budget making the rounds online (article here), put out by McDonalds to prove their minimum-wage workers can make it without resorting to government assistance.  Except, as many places have pointed out, the budget assumes an 80-hour work week (when most fast food workers can't even get 40 at one job).  And doesn't include things like heat, gas for the car, clothes, or food.  And somehow this employee is supposed to find health insurance for $20/month which is even more laughable when you see that $20 is less than a third of the employee contribution to McDonalds' cheapest health plan (which, in turn, is only available to managers).

I'm sure there are people who are able to work two or more jobs at minimum wage and who do stay afloat, but that budget ain't it.

Oddly enough, I didn't find the numbers for the expenses to be that far off (single with no car living in Canada, so YMMV - my extra health insurance from work is about $16). I did find the income to be inflated. I agree that you would have to work a LOT of hours to make that much money on minimum wage.

I also think they have the usual budget delusions - mainly that people living on next to nothing have tons of extra spending money and waste it all. "If you just bought one less coffee from the coffee shop, if you just didn't go out to eat as much, etc. etc."

If people had that much money to burn, they wouldn't have to work two jobs!
You are only young once. After that you have to think up some other excuse.

Idlewildstudios

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #873 on: August 02, 2013, 12:52:48 AM »
I'd like to think my MIL is just frugal, but it goes boggle the mind...

When you eat dinner at her house you only get half of a paper napkin since she feels nobody really needs a whole one.  I use cloth napkins, for various reasons, and after she commented on them I figured a set would be the perfect gift for her. She's never used them because no occasion had been considered " fancy" enough.

They also hate to pay for a hotel room.  We travel to another city every year for a event for our daughter.  It drives my ILs bonkers that we waste money staying in a nearby hotel rather than calling up a cousin we see maybe every 3-4 years and asking to stay at her place, half an hour away from the city.
« Last Edit: August 02, 2013, 01:05:16 AM by Idlewildstudios »

MommyPenguin

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #874 on: August 02, 2013, 07:16:49 AM »
I always find those budget things annoying, too.  I don't drink Starbucks at all, so dropping a coffee a month isn't gonna make a difference.  Iced tea and Coke are a lot cheaper.  :)  We don't go out to eat much, and when we do it's fast food, etc.  And I don't buy a ton of new books and CDs every month.  I'm not sure who these people are that they're writing it for, but they sure aren't me!

I think McDonald's is taking the wrong tact if they're trying to convince people that minimum wage is enough to live on.  It probably usually isn't.  But the thing is that minimum wage is a great starter job or a side job.  When you first start working, you're unproven, you don't have any particular skills, and most companies aren't gonna take a risk on you.  Doing a minimum wage job lets you start building your resume, getting references, etc.  THAT'S the argument McDonald's should be making.

We have a family of 6, and I think we're at about $600 a month or so.  We don't go overboard, but we don't cut corners, either, so I'm sure we could get by on less if we needed to.  But I buy plenty of berries in the summer while they're in season, etc., so there are definitely things that we could go without if we needed to.
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Iris

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #875 on: August 02, 2013, 07:25:06 AM »
I'd like to think my MIL is just frugal, but it goes boggle the mind...

When you eat dinner at her house you only get half of a paper napkin since she feels nobody really needs a whole one.  I use cloth napkins, for various reasons, and after she commented on them I figured a set would be the perfect gift for her. She's never used them because no occasion had been considered " fancy" enough.

They also hate to pay for a hotel room.  We travel to another city every year for a event for our daughter.  It drives my ILs bonkers that we waste money staying in a nearby hotel rather than calling up a cousin we see maybe every 3-4 years and asking to stay at her place, half an hour away from the city.

Half a paper napkin? HALF A PAPER NAPKIN? That's just...I never...
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Asharah

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #876 on: August 02, 2013, 08:56:33 AM »
I'd like to think my MIL is just frugal, but it goes boggle the mind...

When you eat dinner at her house you only get half of a paper napkin since she feels nobody really needs a whole one.  I use cloth napkins, for various reasons, and after she commented on them I figured a set would be the perfect gift for her. She's never used them because no occasion had been considered " fancy" enough.

They also hate to pay for a hotel room.  We travel to another city every year for a event for our daughter.  It drives my ILs bonkers that we waste money staying in a nearby hotel rather than calling up a cousin we see maybe every 3-4 years and asking to stay at her place, half an hour away from the city.

Half a paper napkin? HALF A PAPER NAPKIN? That's just...I never...
Did she actually buy them? Or steal them from the fast food place?
Asharah

kckgirl

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #877 on: August 02, 2013, 09:01:27 AM »
When you eat dinner at her house you only get half of a paper napkin since she feels nobody really needs a whole one.

I can't even remember the last time I used only one paper napkin. They're so flimsy that I always need at least two or three, unless I'm eating a non-messy sandwich. I think I'd start bringing my own when dining at her house.
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Twik

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #878 on: August 02, 2013, 09:12:22 AM »
That McDonald's article - wow, that's some scrambled logic. They include a second income, saying, "it doesn't have to be someone working two jobs - it could be a second person contributing to the family income." But then, wouldn't the cost of food go up proportionally? And if the $600 for rent is based on one person in shared accommodation, then you'd have to turn that into $1200 for two.

Honestly, if this is an example of their financial acumen, I'm surprised McDonald's didn't go bankrupt years ago.
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Thipu1

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #879 on: August 02, 2013, 09:14:54 AM »
The generic paper napkins we buy are quite sturdy.  When I need to blow my nose, I prefer the napkins because they hold up much better than tissues. 

exitzero

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #880 on: August 02, 2013, 09:31:40 AM »
Many, many years ago I used to work with a man who was incredibly cheap...I don't remember all the stories now, but we would often shake our heads at how the man could squeeze a nickel. We didn't make bad money at this job, his wife had a good paying job, and he did some freelance work that brought in good money.

One that used to irritate us was that when ever someone had a life changing event, birth, death, major surgery, etc., we would pass an envelope around to collect money for flowers or gift card or something like that. Most people would be in $5 or $10. He would put in a quarter. A QUARTER.

He would listen to the radio for hours in an attempt to win prizes, because his family would never go anywhere unless he won free tickets. He once won 2 free tickets to a movie and called up the radio station and pitched a fit because he couldn't bring his kids with just 2 tickets. They caved and gave him the extra tickets.

He would manage to win a Thanksgiving turkey ever year. One year he won, but it was too late for them to get him the store certificate in time for Thanksgiving, so he bought Burger King the night before Thanksgiving, heated it up on Thanksgiving day and saved the Turkey for the following week.

One day someone in the office ran into someone who lived in the same building as his parents, and we discovered that his cheapness was a family trait. His parents would plug their toaster in the hallway of their apartment building so they didn't have to pay for the electricity.

siamesecat2965

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #881 on: August 02, 2013, 09:48:25 AM »
I always find those budget things annoying, too.  I don't drink Starbucks at all, so dropping a coffee a month isn't gonna make a difference.  Iced tea and Coke are a lot cheaper.  :)  We don't go out to eat much, and when we do it's fast food, etc.  And I don't buy a ton of new books and CDs every month.  I'm not sure who these people are that they're writing it for, but they sure aren't me!

 

Oh me too!  I will splurge on certain things, but not all the time, and if push came to shove, and I needed to cut it to just the basics, i would.  I will admit I like Starbucks, but...I usually just get a cup of basic coffee, and maybe a brownie or cookie. But not even once a month. Every now and then. I have to buy my own k-cups for work, as they provide the machine but not the coffee, but I order in bulk, from Amazon, and its way cheaper than buying a cup of coffee every day, even using 2 a day for my giant mug.

I pay $28.50 for a box of 50, which is .57 for each. using 2, thats slihgtly more than a dollar a cup.

I will eat out, i.e. buy lunch and dinner before my second job, but more often than not I bring my own.

blue2000

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #882 on: August 02, 2013, 12:00:09 PM »
That McDonald's article - wow, that's some scrambled logic. They include a second income, saying, "it doesn't have to be someone working two jobs - it could be a second person contributing to the family income." But then, wouldn't the cost of food go up proportionally? And if the $600 for rent is based on one person in shared accommodation, then you'd have to turn that into $1200 for two.

Honestly, if this is an example of their financial acumen, I'm surprised McDonald's didn't go bankrupt years ago.

Not to mention that if it is two people with two incomes paying for their living expenses, then their whole theory of "you can live on this income" is false. "You can live on this if you have a second job, working spouse, or parental support" is more truthful.
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CakeBeret

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #883 on: August 02, 2013, 12:26:21 PM »
My problem with the McDonald's article is that it's SO out of touch, it's worse than unhelpful. It perpetuates the myth that people CAN live on minimum wage but are too stupid to manage it.

Here's what their budget should look like, from my perspective in the midwest:

Monthly net income: 2060
Income Taxes 206
Rent (entirely feasible for a 1br apartment here) 600
Car Payment 200
Gas 150
Car Insurance 75
Renters Insurance 15
Health Ins & medical costs 200
Utilities 150
Cell phone, basic plan 50
Groceries 200
Car maintenance 25
Clothing 25
Misc 50
Savings 100

Left over at the end of the month: $14

So this person working 60 hours a week, at minimum wage, assuming they have no debt and no dependents, would reasonably be able to save $100/month and have $14 for spending money. A pretty flippin' far cry from the $800 a month McDonalds thinks they will have to throw around.

ETA: I would also like to stress that McDonald's budget doesn't even attempt to account for income taxes.
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shhh its me

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #884 on: August 02, 2013, 12:57:51 PM »
I see that a lot with "suggested" household budgets. For example, $100 in groceries should feed a family of four for a week. I'm not sure where these people are, ages and other particulars, but we (DH, DS & I) spend $150 - 200 per week on food. We don't eat expensive cuts of meat or all organic, or all name brands either.

I could feed us on that for a week, by taking shortcuts, substituting more grains instead of vegetables, but I think that is an unrealistic number to throw around and nearly every budget book I have seen uses $100 per week for four people.

I agree, I spend between $130-150 a week for a family of five and with the way my older 2 can put food away I usually end up having to go to the store halfway through the week to get more snacks.  And that's with watching sales and clipping coupons when I can find them for things I'll buy. And we don't get expensive stuff either.
Just as an FYI food stamps is $126 a week for a family of 4.   I think its pretty near impossibe to eat a long term healthy diet for less.

I'm in the midwest and easily feed 2 adults and a bottomless-pit child on $50/week. We shop mostly at Aldi (a discount store) and I make everything from scratch. We eat healthily, lots of fruits and veggies, meat in moderation, whole grains, few or no sweets or ready-made foods.

To be fair when I did the math it was winter.  So no 5 corns for a dollar or 3 cucumbers for a dollar. The goal was actually to prove that a family of 4 could eat healthily for 126 a week.   I  didn't use Aldis prices because of the distance. I also didn't include any ready made meals or add meat and stir foods , sweets or whats traditionally called  junk food.   

I think it illustrates though how much a budgets can vary by local. 


The McDonald one is just insane ...in the article it said the $20 represented an insurance  co pay not the insurance which I guess is free?  Even if you said other was meant to cover food , clothing , cleaning supplies, hygiene products ect. 

To be fair expenses don't normally double for 2 people. If two people rent a one bedroom apt its still $600 a month (in my experience/area if a 1 bed is 650 the 2 beds are 850 I don't actually recall seeing any 1 bedrooms for less then $650 though ) , cable , internet , phone , heat ect. stay same or close as well.   Though now two people are sharing a car , health insurance and doctors visits and that $100 a month for food , cloths , cleaning supplies and hygiene products. The car insurance is too low by 50% for a single car and a driver with no accidents or tickets.

the thing I found weird was the cable phone , you can get a home phone for what $20 and cable isn't a necessity.  Food, clothing laundry soap, toothpaste (or the supplies to make your own) are.  And I really want to know where can and home insurance are a combined $100.