Author Topic: Cheapskate stories  (Read 204835 times)

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SoCalVal

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #930 on: August 05, 2013, 03:32:24 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!

I just have to say that I tend to discount those "helpful hints" that say something like "Make your coffee at home," "Start bringing your lunch" and "Grocery shop with a list."  They assume everyone buys coffee and eats out for lunch everyday and never make a list for the grocery store.  It's a rare thing for me to find money-saving articles that actually have something new and useful in them (some of the time-saving ones, too, like "When you cook, cook for more than one meal").



SoCalVal

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #931 on: August 05, 2013, 03:38:33 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.

Was it a nice apartment you found in Oceanside for $680?  My one-bedroom apartment in Vista (next to Oceanside but inland for those not familiar so Oceanside should've been more expensive given it's adjacent to the ocean) in 2000 started at $780, and I didn't live in a luxury community (it was fairly middle-of-the-road).



siamesecat2965

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #932 on: August 05, 2013, 03:40:09 PM »

 
I just have to say that I tend to discount those "helpful hints" that say something like "Make your coffee at home," "Start bringing your lunch" and "Grocery shop with a list."  They assume everyone buys coffee and eats out for lunch everyday and never make a list for the grocery store.  It's a rare thing for me to find money-saving articles that actually have something new and useful in them (some of the time-saving ones, too, like "When you cook, cook for more than one meal").

Oh I agree. A lot of it is just plain old common sense. The less you spend, the more you have.  that's the philosophy I follow. And shockingly, it works!

Or the "make your own cleaning solution and laundry detergent" and use old rags to clean, vs. paper towels. doesn't work for some of us. I live in an apt and pay to do my laundry, so I suspect its about the same to buy paper towels v. using and washing rags.

Hillia

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #933 on: August 05, 2013, 03:49:24 PM »

 
I just have to say that I tend to discount those "helpful hints" that say something like "Make your coffee at home," "Start bringing your lunch" and "Grocery shop with a list."  They assume everyone buys coffee and eats out for lunch everyday and never make a list for the grocery store.  It's a rare thing for me to find money-saving articles that actually have something new and useful in them (some of the time-saving ones, too, like "When you cook, cook for more than one meal").

Oh I agree. A lot of it is just plain old common sense. The less you spend, the more you have.  that's the philosophy I follow. And shockingly, it works!

Or the "make your own cleaning solution and laundry detergent" and use old rags to clean, vs. paper towels. doesn't work for some of us. I live in an apt and pay to do my laundry, so I suspect its about the same to buy paper towels v. using and washing rags.

There was a popular book many years ago called Your Money or Your Life.  It promoted an approach to financial independence that involved cutting your living expenses to reduce your income requirements.  One tip that made me laugh out loud was 'Don't replace your towels every year'.  Seriously?  I get probably 10 years out of a towel before cutting it up for rags.

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Thipu1

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #934 on: August 05, 2013, 04:33:04 PM »
'Don't replace your towels every year'? Good grief!

We have a few bar towels that still see good service in the kitchen.  Bought them a few years before our marriage and we've been married since 1983. 

Layla Miller

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #935 on: August 05, 2013, 04:46:46 PM »
Unless by "replace" they mean switch out for new ones and wash the first set.  Because washing creates wear and tear on the towels, you see, so if you use the same towel for at least a year...it'll be really, really gross.  ;)
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wheeitsme

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #936 on: August 05, 2013, 05:02:37 PM »
We're pretty cheap wihen it comes to souvenirs. 

A fridge magnet is a must and, if available, a little box or basket made in the area.  We don't bother with anything else unless it's a real grabber.  I did splurge on a sweater in Iceland but that was a very rare case.

We don't bring tribute to anyone any more but, when in Baltimore we do load up on crab-themed stuff because we have a relative who collects things like that and has never been to Baltimore.

My go-to souvenir is a pressed penny. It's cheap, easy to carry and don't take up much room once you get them home. I have some books that display them on my mantle.

We try to get a Christmas ornament. When we look at our tree we see the memories of everywhere we've been!

Piratelvr1121

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #937 on: August 05, 2013, 05:09:26 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.

Was it a nice apartment you found in Oceanside for $680?  My one-bedroom apartment in Vista (next to Oceanside but inland for those not familiar so Oceanside should've been more expensive given it's adjacent to the ocean) in 2000 started at $780, and I didn't live in a luxury community (it was fairly middle-of-the-road).

It was okay, I guess, as apartments go.  There was enough room for just DH and I, a big enough kitchen and such, but I was glad when we could get a place on base.   Okay, just looked it up, it was Summit By The Lake apartments.  The management was pretty nice and they had a well cared for pool.  I just looked it up and found it was 702 sq ft and now it's $960/month.  If I recall correctly, they had up the rent to 690 right before we were offered base housing.  Good timing!

As for shopping without a list? Puhleaze! I end up spending less when I shop without a list cause I forget stuff.  Course I guess you could argue I end up spending more for having to go back when I remember stuff later.
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Arrynne

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #938 on: August 05, 2013, 05:42:13 PM »
2. My father was convinced when we bought our house that the $99K it cost was ridiculous, that we were stupid fools for paying that much, and that our bank must be staffed by idiots to agree to a mortgage because and I quote, "No normal house is worth $99K. Sure, a mansion  maybe. But a regular house? NO regular house costs more than $25K." When my mother then showed hiim the Sunday paper listings for houses, he blustered and flustered and insisted that the listed prices were "inflated" and "any fool" could dicker ANY house down to no more than $25K. Because that is what they'd paid for their house when they'd bought it 20 years before.

Your father would keel over with apoplexy if he saw the quotes to remodel my very small, 60's era galley kitchen.  My quotes ranged between 16k and 37k for new cabinets, flooring, counters and paint.  Appliances not included.  :)

Yvaine

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #939 on: August 05, 2013, 05:44:30 PM »

 
I just have to say that I tend to discount those "helpful hints" that say something like "Make your coffee at home," "Start bringing your lunch" and "Grocery shop with a list."  They assume everyone buys coffee and eats out for lunch everyday and never make a list for the grocery store.  It's a rare thing for me to find money-saving articles that actually have something new and useful in them (some of the time-saving ones, too, like "When you cook, cook for more than one meal").

Oh I agree. A lot of it is just plain old common sense. The less you spend, the more you have.  that's the philosophy I follow. And shockingly, it works!

Or the "make your own cleaning solution and laundry detergent" and use old rags to clean, vs. paper towels. doesn't work for some of us. I live in an apt and pay to do my laundry, so I suspect its about the same to buy paper towels v. using and washing rags.

There was a popular book many years ago called Your Money or Your Life.  It promoted an approach to financial independence that involved cutting your living expenses to reduce your income requirements.  One tip that made me laugh out loud was 'Don't replace your towels every year'.  Seriously?  I get probably 10 years out of a towel before cutting it up for rags.

Yeah, that makes me :o

The towel I used this morning, I bought in 1999. I've got some newer ones too, but the ones from back then are still in circulation.

DoubleTrouble

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #940 on: August 05, 2013, 06:09:59 PM »
I had a medical thing happen to me while travelling in the US (I'm Canadian). I was in a *lot* of pain, and I really should have gone to the ER, because I didn't know what exactly was wrong with me. But I wasn't sure if my work insurance would cover me, so I stuck it out in my hotel room.

Oh, and I wasn't sure how they'd react to a Canadian showing up in ER screaming "I'm in PAIN! GIVE ME DRUGS!"

Interesting. That may explain why my aunt didn't go to my parents' dentist when she was in pain (needed a root canal) & instead cut the trip short to go home to see her dentist. At least they didn't have far to go, my parents live in SE Michigan & my aunts live in Toronto. My Mom was really confused that aunt would wait ;D

Elfmama

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #941 on: August 05, 2013, 07:34:09 PM »
The other thing about "shopping with a list" and buying ONLY what is on the list is that it eventually costs you money, not only the gas to go back and buy things you forgot, but the inability to take advantage of sales that you didn't know about.  Let's say your family uses 2 pounds of butter a month.  Butter is usually $3.50 per pound.  If butter isn't on The List, then you can't take advantage of the manager's special sale where it's $2 per pound. (Butter freezes nicely, BTW.)

Far better is to make up weekly menus, then buy the stuff that you use for that week's menu.  Eliminate most of the snack food impulse items, like cookies and chips and candy.
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Slartibartfast

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #942 on: August 05, 2013, 08:44:28 PM »
The other thing about "shopping with a list" and buying ONLY what is on the list is that it eventually costs you money, not only the gas to go back and buy things you forgot, but the inability to take advantage of sales that you didn't know about.  Let's say your family uses 2 pounds of butter a month.  Butter is usually $3.50 per pound.  If butter isn't on The List, then you can't take advantage of the manager's special sale where it's $2 per pound. (Butter freezes nicely, BTW.)

Far better is to make up weekly menus, then buy the stuff that you use for that week's menu.  Eliminate most of the snack food impulse items, like cookies and chips and candy.

Or to make your list with that week's list of store sales in hand, so you know that you haven't missed any sales.  It makes shopping a lot faster if you know you can breeze down the aisles and not have to be alert to every sale tag out there - you've already taken them all into account while making your list!

Katana_Geldar

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #943 on: August 05, 2013, 08:51:10 PM »
It depends of you have things you urgently need and things you will need soon but could get to take advantage of a sale. Particularly pricey things like cat litter or toilet paper.

PastryGoddess

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Re: Cheapskate stories
« Reply #944 on: August 05, 2013, 09:13:03 PM »
Why is cat litter so darn expensive?