Author Topic: Cheapskate stories  (Read 208313 times)

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exitzero

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #885 on: August 02, 2013, 10:31:40 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 #886 on: August 02, 2013, 10:48:25 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 #887 on: August 02, 2013, 01:00:09 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 #888 on: August 02, 2013, 01:26:21 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 #889 on: August 02, 2013, 01:57:51 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.   


shhh its me

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #890 on: August 02, 2013, 02:06:31 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.

RE the taxes they said they took taxes out at the top .  A single person at that income would not be paying income taxes just SS tax (which is what I think you used)
car insurance would be at least 50% more  rent would likely be slightly more (you can find a home to rent for around $600 a month but then you would be paying heat and water) with the market down as far as it was you could even have a mortgage for $400 a month(if you bought during the exact right  9-24 months , which I'm sure will be the figured uses to base all budgets for the next 30 years) agian then you would have heat , water , and home owners insurance.

exitzero

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #891 on: August 02, 2013, 02:14:16 PM »
What the minimum wage list doesn't take into account is that even if you find an apartment for $600 (more like $1200 around here), you don't just pay the $600 and walk in.
You'll probably need first, last and a security deposit. Where is that $1500 to $2000 going to come from? Then you can't furnish it, even at Goodwill without a good chunk of money.
You need to have a little "cushion" in order to put some money away for these things, never mind money for an emergency.
I have no idea how people who make minimum manage to survive.

Piratelvr1121

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #892 on: August 02, 2013, 02:19:27 PM »
I remember when DH and I got married in 2000, I got a lesson in how cost of living can change from one region to another.  I'd been living in an apartment off campus.  Second story of a Victorian house with 3 good sized bedrooms plus an attic with rooms for storage plus a decent sized kitchen and the rent for this place was $450 a month.   This was in Salisbury, Maryland. 

So when I learned our housing allowance was going to be $690/month, I got excited! Oh, the possibilities! Until I went on apartments.com and looked at apartments in Oceanside, CA.   A one bedroom apartment was $680!  :o  Oy.  We only lived off base for a year though, as once we found out I was expecting my first, we applied for base housing and as fate had it, he was born on the day we were expected to pick up the keys for the house.


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Idlewildstudios

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #893 on: August 02, 2013, 02:44:11 PM »
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?



She does buy them, but then again a $3 pack of paper napkins can last a loooong time when you only use half at a time!
« Last Edit: August 02, 2013, 02:47:36 PM by Idlewildstudios »

Sanity Lost

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #894 on: August 03, 2013, 01:17:18 AM »
Regarding the premise on weekly food budgets.
I can and do manage to feed my family of 5 (plus 2 pets) on about $75 a week. We do eat healthy food and it isn't all veggies. I do have one advantage as my husband does work for a grocery so I can use his 10% discount and the 5% store card in conjunction, so that does factor in, but I could probably cut that down further if I actually remembered to bring in coupons. Another benefit is I shop at stores which give you money off for bringing in your own bags. Saving 20 cents may not sound alot, but it does add up.

Another saving measure is once a month I go to the bread discount store (Habro's or Entemains) and I spend 2/3 of what it cost me for the same stuff at the grocery store. I can usually get the whole grain super  bread for $1.59 a loaf, whereas it's $4.50 for the same thing else where.

I will say that I do miss beef and pork as due to rising costs those are only a once a month treat, (and only if it's on sale).



iridaceae

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #895 on: August 03, 2013, 02:49:50 AM »
Regarding the premise on weekly food budgets.
I can and do manage to feed my family of 5 (plus 2 pets) on about $75 a week. We do eat healthy food and it isn't all veggies. I do have one advantage as my husband does work for a grocery so I can use his 10% discount and the 5% store card in conjunction, so that does factor in, but I could probably cut that down further if I actually remembered to bring in coupons.

Something else all these experts forget is that sometimes your food bill is high for medical reasons. I need to keep my blood sugar down. I rarely buy carbs. Candy and treats is sugar-free (more expensive).  Fruit is usually berries. Fresh fruits veggies low-fat hamburger and never potatoes rice or pasta (I don't like low carb pasta): my food bills have skyrocketed.

Iris

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #896 on: August 03, 2013, 03:05:12 AM »
Regarding the premise on weekly food budgets.
I can and do manage to feed my family of 5 (plus 2 pets) on about $75 a week. We do eat healthy food and it isn't all veggies. I do have one advantage as my husband does work for a grocery so I can use his 10% discount and the 5% store card in conjunction, so that does factor in, but I could probably cut that down further if I actually remembered to bring in coupons.

Something else all these experts forget is that sometimes your food bill is high for medical reasons. I need to keep my blood sugar down. I rarely buy carbs. Candy and treats is sugar-free (more expensive).  Fruit is usually berries. Fresh fruits veggies low-fat hamburger and never potatoes rice or pasta (I don't like low carb pasta): my food bills have skyrocketed.

I always say our food bills have increased 30-50% since the family were diagnosed with coeliacs. Gluten free is expensive!

In general grocery bills are one of those things that are a trade off, I think. I spent a LOT less on groceries when we had less money, but I wasn't working outside the home then and so had more time to make things fresh or from scratch, which is a lot cheaper. Now, though, if DH or I are trying to get something into the slow cooker before work it's a lot quicker to go with pre-cut meat and veges and a recipe base. All of those little extras add up though.
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nutraxfornerves

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #897 on: August 03, 2013, 10:53:32 AM »
I think this is more being a cheapskate as part of setting your priorities, and making it happen--

I met a woman who taught at a small college in a part of the US known for its wildlife. She loved travel to exotic places, but her income wasn't going to let her do that very often. She also loved her job and where she lived, so was not going to seek a better-paying job.

Her college had two long breaks during the year, the usual summer break and a full month in the winter. She spend the summer hunting, fishing, and growing vegetables, plus canning, freezing and preserving. She had most of her food for the year at the price of a lot of labor, but no so much money.

She used the winter break for travel. I met her in Borneo.

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Shea

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #898 on: August 03, 2013, 11:51:01 AM »

My mom reuses ziplock bags all the time. They are really not meant to be washed, and so often have a film of leftover food clinging to the inside.

I do that too, and (no disrespect to your mother) if they have bits of food still inside she's just not washing them thoroughly enough. I give them a good wash inside and out with dish soap, then hang them out to air dry. They're clean and can be used a couple dozen times before they tear and have to be thrown away. I do it less to be frugal (although that's a plus) and more in an effort to be green.


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siamesecat2965

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #899 on: August 03, 2013, 12:47:28 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.

And my issue with it, is where I live, you simply cannot find either your own apt or even one to share for $600 a month. I'ts just not at all possible. I live in NJ; where everything is pricy. my rent, for a 650 sq foot  1 br, with NO w/d, NO central a/c (i have wall units) and with heat/hot water included, just went up from 1170 to 1210.

here's my budget, minus any cc payments, of which I have a lot

Rent: 1210
Electric: 62 (I pay on teh budget plan)
Cable, phone internet 95 (2 year deal which will go up when thats done)
cell phone - 30 (prepaid, no contract)
car payment 240 (just bought a 3 year old car, and finananced 3/4 of it)
food, et.c - 100 a week
gas - 35-40 a week
car ins - 120 per month
rental ins - 200 a year, pd in full every year

just that, nothing else, no credit cards, or anything other than the basic, is over 2200. so no way anyone in my area working for that amount, could even survive