Author Topic: Cheapskate stories  (Read 226240 times)

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crella

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #870 on: August 01, 2013, 10:07:18 PM »
I never got travel insurance until I heard about two people who went on trips (one to the US and one to France) and then got sick. One of my son's professors was in a car accident and had compound fractures of a leg and the pelvis. His treatment cost $300,000, he got a good portoin of it paid with his Japanese health insurance, and then paid off the remainder for 10 years upon his return to Japan. My gynecologist's wife went to France and got the flu. It wasn't as expensive as the car accident, but he told me they paid a couple thousand dollars for her treatment overseas,"so always get traveler's insurance!'.  I did from then on in. I've only had to use it once, but I was glad I didn't have to pay for the treatments I received out of pocket, it would have been expensive.

Cami

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #871 on: August 01, 2013, 10:12:51 PM »
We didn't get travel insurance until a friend of ours got sick as a dog while in India. The Indian doctors said she got a bacterial infection from food in India. Her travel insurance not only paid for her care in India, it also  paid for her to be flown to NYC when the doctors in India quickly and abruptly decided she would be better off in the United States NOW, be treated in NYC and then flown home finally (2 weeks after her original date).  The insurance covered her ambulance trips and special treatment on board the plane, as well as a nurse to accompany her on the plane. I cannot imagine what the cost of that sort of care would have been.

shhh its me

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #872 on: August 01, 2013, 10:22:52 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.

PastryGoddess

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #873 on: August 01, 2013, 10:30:30 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.

Different states have different amounts. Here in MD the amount is monthly and is a bit more than $126 a week for a family of 4

CakeBeret

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #874 on: August 01, 2013, 11:11:21 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.
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Slartibartfast

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #875 on: August 02, 2013, 12:11:13 AM »
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 #876 on: August 02, 2013, 12:27:50 AM »
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.
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blue2000

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #877 on: August 02, 2013, 12:52:31 AM »
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!
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Idlewildstudios

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #878 on: August 02, 2013, 01:52:48 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, 02:05:16 AM by Idlewildstudios »

MommyPenguin

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #879 on: August 02, 2013, 08:16:49 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.

Iris

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #880 on: August 02, 2013, 08:25:06 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 #881 on: August 02, 2013, 09:56:33 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 #882 on: August 02, 2013, 10:01:27 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 #883 on: August 02, 2013, 10:12:22 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 #884 on: August 02, 2013, 10:14:54 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.