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Author Topic: Cheapskate stories  (Read 501034 times)

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shhh its me

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #885 on: August 02, 2013, 01:06:31 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 #886 on: August 02, 2013, 01:14:16 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 #887 on: August 02, 2013, 01:19:27 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.


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

Idlewildstudios

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #888 on: August 02, 2013, 01:44:11 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, 01:47:36 PM by Idlewildstudios »

Sanity Lost

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #889 on: August 03, 2013, 12:17:18 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 #890 on: August 03, 2013, 01:49:50 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.
Nothing to see here.

Iris

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #891 on: August 03, 2013, 02:05:12 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.
"Can't do anything with children, can you?" the woman said.

Poirot thought you could, but forebore to say so.

nutraxfornerves

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #892 on: August 03, 2013, 09:53:32 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.

Nutrax
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Shea

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #893 on: August 03, 2013, 10:51:01 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.


If a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, librarians are a global threat.

siamesecat2965

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #894 on: August 03, 2013, 11:47:28 AM »
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

o_gal

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #895 on: August 03, 2013, 06:38:02 PM »
Can all the talk about the McDonald's "budget" and how much people spend at the grocery store be moved to its own spin-off thread, please?

Amava

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #896 on: August 04, 2013, 02:36:12 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.

My great-aunt!  She did exactly the same thing, word for word!
And I have to agree those bags were very clean.  To an extreme.

CakeBeret

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #897 on: August 04, 2013, 08:51:06 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.

My mom does clean hers thoroughly and there are no bits of food, but there is a film that seems to never go away. So if she was marinading something in a chipotle marinade, for example, there would be a red, greasy film that smells vaguely of chipotle that no amount of washing can remove.
"From a procrastination standpoint, today has been wildly successful."

siamesecat2965

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #898 on: August 04, 2013, 09:09:18 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.

My mom does clean hers thoroughly and there are no bits of food, but there is a film that seems to never go away. So if she was marinading something in a chipotle marinade, for example, there would be a red, greasy film that smells vaguely of chipotle that no amount of washing can remove.

Those types of bags I won't reuse; anthying that had any kind of sauce, or meat or anything that could possibly harbor germs, I toss. Others, say if i open a loaf of bread not in a bag, and put it in the ziploc, when its gone, I'll reuse that for anotehr round.

Twik

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #899 on: August 04, 2013, 09:13:32 AM »
Plastic, unlike glass or metal, is a permeable material, and can permanently absorb flavours, odours, etc.
My cousin's memoir of love and loneliness while raising a child with multiple disabilities will be out on Amazon soon! Know the Night, by Maria Mutch, has been called "full of hope, light, and companionship for surviving the small hours of the night."