Previous post:

Next post:

You know you are too cheap when…

by retirebyforty on February 22, 2013 · 57 comments

in expenditure, frugality, fun stuffs

Get free update via Email:
RB40 won't spam you

 

I was struggling to figure out a balance between saving and spending money when I wrote – Am I being too cheap?  Since I quit my job, our household income has decreased by almost 60%. That makes it hard to spend money even if we have some surplus at the end of the month. Today, I would like to take a look at the lighter side of being a cheapskate. Add your “too cheap” moments in the comment section!

You know you are too cheap when…

Cheap Happy Valentine

Valentine – Your Valentine’s Day card is this photo posted on your wife’s Facebook page. ;) When you’re a cheapskate, you have to be creative. Of course, this is a collaborative effort with Baby RB40.

Library – You depend on the library for pretty much all your popular entertainment. I love our library system. It’s the only item on the annual tax ballot that I voted for without reservation. Our library system has everything I need for entertainment – books, magazines, music, movies, story time for little RB40, and free internet connection for blogging. Sure there are 918 holds on the Game of Thrones 2nd season and 0 copies right now, but I’m not in a huge hurry to watch it. I’m sure they’ll get a bunch of copies whenever they get around to it.

Pennies – You still pick up a penny from the ground. It’s been a habit for so long that I can’t leave a penny on the sidewalk. Mrs. RB40 can’t help it either. It’s not worth much and you can’t buy anything with it. Do you pick up pennies from the ground?

Do you pick up pennies from the ground?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Money challenges – You come up with strange money challenges like a “no eating out month” or “no new clothing for a year.”  I don’t even know if this really saves money. Even if you succeed at the challenge, it seems like you’re just putting off the purchases. I’m doing well with my no new clothing challenge though.

TP – Your toilet paper is rougher than your college’s locker room TP. Mrs. RB40 went cheap one time and I haven’t forgotten the unnecessary roughness. No more cheap TP!

Coffee – You reuse coffee grounds. My parents re-brewed the coffee in our French press when they were visiting. They said they don’t want too much caffeine, but I suspect they were being super cheap.

Gasoline – You drive out of the way to fill up at a cheap gas station. I think this is fine unless there is a long line. I hate waiting in line and I have better things to do with my time. I wouldn’t drive over a few miles out of my way either.

Cheap Wedding – Aloysa @ My Broken Coin only spent $3,000 on her Cheap Broke-Ass Wedding. That is awesome! We got her beat though. We eloped and didn’t have a wedding at all. I blame it on Mrs. RB40 though. She was supposed to plan the whole thing and she got too stressed out over it. Anyway, we’ll have a lavish vow renewal at our 20th anniversary in Bora Bora (one of the destinations on our travel bucket list.) I’ll plan it this time. :)

HVAC – Your HVAC has been dead for a few years… Our AC went first in 2010 and the heater followed in 2011. Our HVAC is ancient and they don’t even make parts for it anymore. We’d have to replace the whole thing and it probably will cost around $5,000. I’m putting it off for now. The summer isn’t that hot around here and we can hit the pool on those rare 100+ days. Our winter is also mild and we could get by with a couple of portable heaters and our kotatsu table. I’ll have to buy another portable heater for Mrs. RB40 next winter though. She has been complaining about the cold rooms.

Freezing Cheap Fast Food – When I was in college, some of my roommates would stock up a bunch of fast food on big sales days and stick them in the freezer. $1 Big Macs and 50 cent Jack in the Box tacos graced our freezer whenever they were on sale. Yuk!!! I knew how to cook so I didn’t join in for this feast of frozen fast food.

Cheap beer – I’m sure every guy who went to college committed this sin. Crappy watery beer is the most affordable alcoholic beverage and when you’re drinking to get drunk, cheap is the way to go. I haven’t had a Natty Light since college, thank goodness. Now I only have a beer occasionally and I can afford a nice local IPA when I imbibing.

That’s all I can think of for now. What about you? Have you had a cheapskate moment recently? Let’s share some amusing stories to make this Friday go faster for the working folks. 

Get free update via email:
Stay in touch with Joe and see how he handles Retiring by 40 and being a stay at home dad.
We hate spam just as much as you

{ 57 comments… read them below or add one }

KC @ genxfinance February 22, 2013 at 1:30 am

There’s nothing wrong with being cheap. And I pick up pennies on the ground. Hey, they’re still money. ;)

Reply

Greg February 22, 2013 at 2:40 am

Too funny on the ‘Pennies’ section…
I sometimes drop coins and just leave them there figuring it will make somebody else’s day brighter because they found them unexpectedly, and not a major strain on my finances.

On the opposite side…
Pennies, nickels and dimes, I don’t bother with picking up.
Now quarters, that’s different.
That’s a gallon of filtered water at the local water store.
So I guess that’s what it takes for me to quantify it in a way that it makes sense for me?
A penny, nickel, dime don’t buy me anything that I want or need.
A quarter does, so that’s where I become interested.

Reply

My Financial Independence Journey February 22, 2013 at 2:41 am

I am guilty of picking up loose change. But it’s tax free income, so how can I resist?

If /when I get married I will insist that it either be cheap or that someone else pays for it. The honeymoon can be more lavish, but the idea of hosting a big party and paying for a bunch of people I barely know to show up, eat, and get plastered doesn’t sit well with me.

Reply

retirebyforty February 22, 2013 at 12:00 pm

Good idea on the wedding. Spending more on a memorable honeymoon is better than splurging on a big expensive wedding.

Reply

chubblywubbly February 23, 2013 at 2:42 pm

I wanted a small destination wedding, but my hubby and my parents talked me out of it. And I am glad that they did. I loved my wedding day. I loved having 110 of my nearest and dearest present at the wedding. 3 years later, I still look back on it with fond memories.

My engagement ring…how I wish I can sell it without getting a lot of flack. I did not want it, but my parents and hubby thought it would be too weird if I did not get one as every single one of my friends had it. So now I am stuck with a ring that I never wear. It’s not that I don’t like my ring, I actually think it is beautiful. It’s just that I hate wearing wearing rings period. I work with my hands a lot and I find rings to be a hindrance.

Reply

retirebyforty February 23, 2013 at 10:03 pm

Sounds like a great wedding! We don’t wear our rings either. I don’t like how it feels and I don’t want to lose it. I haven’t worn mine in ages.

Reply

Jane Savers @ The Money Puzzle February 22, 2013 at 3:47 am

I may be cheap but I don’t skimp on my TP. I have given up everything else that is fun like movies on the big screen and booze but there has to be a limit.

I only buy the good stuff when it is on sale at Costco and then I stock up.

Reply

retirebyforty February 22, 2013 at 12:01 pm

They should stop making cheap TP…

Reply

[email protected] June 30, 2013 at 10:37 pm

I’ve never paid attention to the pros/cons/merits/prices of TP.
I would just grab one and go.
I don’t do that anymore.
But beyond that, I don’t want to get into details :-)
I grab the Charmin Ultra Strong, and go, regardless of price, now.

I have no financial/familial interest in Charmin or whoever they are a subsidiary of…

I can’t even believe I’m sharing my preference for TP with the world.

Greg

Reply

SavvyFinancialLatina February 22, 2013 at 5:55 am

I have a five gallon water jug I fill up at Wal-Mart.

I have definitely gone cheap on food items and then regretted it.

Reply

retirebyforty February 22, 2013 at 12:02 pm

I’ll try anything once. :) If it’s not good, then I won’t go cheap on it again.

Reply

SavoirFaire February 22, 2013 at 7:42 am

I think everyone has to decide for themselves what is worth spending on and what is not. For example I like having a car that is relatively new. In my experience I find that I don’t want to be worrying about maintenance on a car so we tend to get new or almost new car every few years. We’ve been fortunate to get ahead of the game and always pay cash for a new car (makes the process much easier too). We budget like we are making a car payment and then have the cash saved by the time we want a new car.

I find being a AAA member saves a bit as well. If you go to their website as a member, you can often get really good prices, a lot depends on the time of year and the make/model of what you are buying. I have found that I can get a brand new car for less using the AAA site then I would pay for a 2 or 3 yr old car at a used car dealer. Having a car that’s fairly new means I don’t do much more then simply oil changes, plus you get the latest features (including safety features) and warranties. I have a relative that budgets $2K a year for maintenance on a much older car – this doesn’t make sense to me — note too that he breaks down at least once a year as well. By getting a good deal on the purchase and negotiating a good trade in, it doesn’t cost as much as you think and you save yourself a lot of headaches. As much as I like having a fairly nice car, bottom line is it’s still just transportation.

As far as other items I find belonging to a warehouse club very worth it. We go every week for our food and save quite a bit. If nothing else I get gas there regularly and save at least 5 cents a gallon but lately it’s been a savings of 20 cents a gallon (10 cents is more the norm) – more than pays for the membership. I have to fill up a full tank every week.

I’m fortunate to have a wife that likes to cook so almost all of our meals are at home, we rarely eat out. I do like eating out but generally feel it’s a huge waste of money. For it to be worthwhile I have to eat something unique that we wouldn’t cook at home. We do get the occasional take out though when we don’t want to cook — pizza or Chinese usually.

I am finding that as I get older I need or want much less so it’s getting somewhat easier to save or not spend. I tend to buy a lot less in clothes. I buy just a few things on sale and then give them away a year later and buy just a couple of things again. I read something somewhere that we wear 20% of our clothes 80% of the time – something to think about. I used to be into techie things and didn’t think much of dropping hundreds of dollars at a time, but as I’m getting older it’s nowhere near as important.

I have found that buying in bulk is not always the best. There are many things I buy in a small quantity, even though the per item cost may be a lot more, I would have probably thrown the extra away anyway saving nothing. This way I’m wasting much less and technically saving more.

The thing that bothers me most about saving though is while I’m hardly poor I’m also hardly rich – I feel poor in a sense. Always watching where not to spend money instead. I would love to just walk into somewhere and not think about spending money but even spending $1 on some candy makes me think I shouldn’t be spending that money and I hate this feeling. I have been called cheap and sometimes even selfish but I don’t exactly feel that way. I feel that it’s up to each individual to pull their own weight financially. I ask no one for money or assistance (baring a truly tragic or devastating situation) as it’s up to me to provide for myself and thus work for every penny I earn.

If times are tough I cut way back. I had a very tough year one time and had a food budget of 50 cents a day — it can be done. I did what I needed to do (and it sucked big time). Reminds me of a Charlie Daniels Song “Long Haired Country Boy” — “I ain’t asking nobody for nothing” (yeah it’s a double negative — but you get the point). I used only 1 roll of toilet paper all year — you learn to hold it and go at work or some public place. You watch TV with rabbit ears, leave the lights off, wear more clothes in the winter so you can keep the heat low, etc etc. You basically cut it down to the truly bare essentials. I hope I never have to be in that situation ever again. I pulled myself out as quickly as I could, but it seemed like an eternity and I got very depressed. Regardless I again asked for nothing from anyone I simply did what I had to do to get through it.

My all time biggest fear in life is losing it all financially. This last decade has been so uncertain and it’s killing me. Trying to maintain a balance between saving but still living life is an everlasting dilemma. My second biggest fear is probably cutting back and saving but not really living. I could die in the next minute but could have had so much fun on what I’ve saved up – oh the things I could have done!

I plan like I’m going to live to 90 but will I??????

Reply

retirebyforty February 22, 2013 at 12:08 pm

Great response! We had some tough years when I was young and I wouldn’t want to go back to living that way either. I’m pretty happy right now at a comfortable spending level. Luckily, I don’t really care what other people say or think. I just spend at a level that I’m happy with and don’t try to keep up with the Jones.
I know what you mean about trying to strike a balance between saving and living life. It’s a tough situation. We just try to have fun on the cheap and splurge occasionally. I don’t want to wait until 65 to have fun either. I’ll be too old to enjoy bungy jumping or other thrilling adventures by then.

Reply

Abe March 6, 2013 at 9:50 am

Wow! It seemed like I was reading my own life story. Swear I would have written everything exactly the same about me. Was once in a situation where I was making $360/month i.e. $12/day and had to cover rent,utilities,grocery, commute and everything in that. Life was tough but it sure made me strong. Learned a lot about myself but the biggest lesson was, No One Cares how you decide to live! People who can respect you for “who you are”, are worthy of your friendship then those who care “what you have”.
Now I make decent money but I buy things only when I need them not when I want them. Sometimes I do indulge (ex. wasted $200 in Las Vegas Casino, but have always wanted to do that since as a kid, so yeah, it was worth it).

I would say don’t worry about what if you live till 90 and have not spent all your money, the important thing is, you have self respect and are self reliant in every way and that is what matters to you the most.

Reply

David W February 22, 2013 at 7:46 am

I wait till I’m at work to use the bathroom for the more toilet paper intensive jobs to save on TP.

Reply

retirebyforty February 22, 2013 at 12:09 pm

I can’t do that since I don’t work anymore. I guess I could go to the University’s restroom. It’s only a block away. :)

Reply

JC @ Passive-Income-Pursuit February 22, 2013 at 8:43 am

I’ve avoided the cheap TP as well. Made that mistake once. I’ll pick up most coins that I see since I have a huge jar at home that I throw it all in and when it’s full I take it to Coinstar and get an Amazon gift card (no fee taken out that way) to go and buy something I’ve had my eye on.

I’d never heard of people stocking up on cheap fast food and freezing. I would never do that, just give me a bag of rice and a bag of beans if it ever comes to that point.

Reply

retirebyforty February 22, 2013 at 12:10 pm

College students will do the craziest things especially if they can’t cook. :)

Reply

jim February 22, 2013 at 10:16 am

I figured that picking up a penny takes about 1 second so it is worth about $36 / hour of labor used.
http://www.freeby50.com/2010/11/is-it-worth-it-to-pick-up-penny.html

Reply

retirebyforty February 22, 2013 at 12:11 pm

That’s pretty awesome. Now I just need to find a park with 3,600 pennies. :)

Reply

krantcents February 22, 2013 at 11:02 am

Being on the cheap side means you have to be creative, but you should not do without heat in the winter. I can live without AC, but heat is important even in a mild climate like southern California never mind Portland. Right now I am thinking about remodeling and starting to look at various ways to get it done “cheaply”. I have someone lined up to do the work, but I am holding off. There is no real hurry. I think it is my cheapness creeping out!

Reply

retirebyforty February 22, 2013 at 12:12 pm

Our condo is insulated very well. The residual heat from our appliance and other units keep it around 64 even if we don’t turn any heat on. Have fun with the remodel.

Reply

chubblywubbly February 23, 2013 at 2:49 pm

64 degrees?! That is too cold for me. Heat is something I refuse to save on because getting sick is not worth the money saved.

I am not saying that I want to parade around in shorts and a tee-shirt. During the winter, our heat is set at 75 but I am already dressed in flannel pj’s, sweatshirt, and socks.

krantcents, you might want to consider radiant heat. Expensive to install but worth it in the longer run.

Reply

retirebyforty February 23, 2013 at 10:04 pm

75 is positively balmy. I would be wearing shorts and tshirts at that temp. :)

Reply

Kurt @ Money Counselor February 22, 2013 at 11:06 am

I take “navy showers.” Get wet, turn the water off, wash, turn the water on and rinse. Saves the cost of water and energy to heat it!

Reply

retirebyforty February 22, 2013 at 12:13 pm

I’ll suggest that to the missus. I don’t think she’ll take it well though since a long hot shower is pretty much the highlight of her days. :)

Reply

Nick February 22, 2013 at 11:58 am

I meet several criteria on your list. :) Are you too cheap when you buy a new home at the bottom of the market in a growing, hugely appreciating area and still feel bad about it?

Reply

Aloysa @My Broken Coin February 22, 2013 at 12:54 pm

No heating but portable heaters and kotatsu table? That is cheap, my friend. I used to live with no heating and no hot water (a long time ago and in a different country.) I swore that I will NEVER do that again. Comfort of a warm room is worth a lot to me. :)

Reply

retirebyforty February 23, 2013 at 9:56 pm

I wouldn’t be able to do it at our old house. But here isn’t bad. :)

Reply

Mike February 22, 2013 at 6:27 pm

I tend to find things like Hulu and Youtube good for some of the entertainment that I want. Nothing beats being able to watch the shows that I want to watch for free-and I realize that I am not too picky about waiting a few days to be able to watch the new episode when it comes available. When you realize money isn’t all that important (within reason-one still needs to eat and have a place to sleep), then you lose motivation to go out and spend it.

Reply

retirebyforty February 23, 2013 at 9:58 pm

I like Hulu and Youtube too. These days I just get the shows from the library though. It’s more convenient for me.

Reply

Greg February 22, 2013 at 11:57 pm

I have to admit, I had a cheapskate moment, actually 20 minute’s worth, because of this post and comments. But it didn’t even involve me being a cheapskate.
Over the past maybe 20 years, I’ve probably dropped $10 of pennies, nickels and dimes knowinging, and haven’t a clue how much I dropped unknowingly.
In my fantasy world, I pictured Baby RB40 running up to tell Moma RB40 about the treasure he found, proud of his discovery.
But what I’m hearing is that all you cheapskates are grabbing those coins before Baby RB40 even has a chance to find them?
Wow… I can’t believe you’d take away that aspect for Baby RB40 to experience.
I guess it’s okay if cheapskates pick up the pennies, nickels and dimes I happen to drop, though. $10 goes a long way in that respect, and if it made somebody else happy for a bit, it was probably $10 well spent.
And this all gave me an internal 20 minute chuckle on the drive in to work today.
So $10 for 20 minutes of a good feeling, while driving on the 91 – I think I end up with net happy kind of result.

And after seeing the comments, I think I may see if I can find a ChA meeting, and maybe toss a quarter into the middle of the room and watch from outside a window for the entertainment value :-)

Re: HVAC,
A lot of thoughts there, but I’ve probably already said too much…

Reply

retirebyforty February 23, 2013 at 10:00 pm

Baby RB40 founds a few coins, but he isn’t very good at keeping them. He usually throw them in a fountain or play with a coin until it drops in some unreachable crack. He wouldn’t give the coin to me either. :)
I’ll get the HVAC fixed someday…

Reply

Laurie @thefrugalfarmer February 23, 2013 at 5:29 am

I’m home! I’ve finally found my home with all of the other cheapskates! Mr RB40, yep, we’ve done ‘em all, just about. In fact, we’ve even got the kids trained about picking up coins. Our 6-year-old hit the jackpot yesterday when he found a whole dime on the ground. You should’ve seen his face: you would’ve sworn he’d won the lotto. :-). BTW, Angel Soft TP is cheap on Amazon (use their subscribers program) and amazingly soft for the price.

Reply

retirebyforty February 23, 2013 at 10:00 pm

Oh wow a dime! Score. I’ll check out Amazon. Thanks for the tips.

Reply

MakintheBacon$ February 23, 2013 at 6:32 am

For my sister’s bridal shower, we’re doing eVite for her friends to save money on invites. Also only giving one invite per household and some invites will be hand delivered to save money on postage. I was thinking of doing it with Vistaprint or Staples and having them printed out. They only get thrown out in the end anyway.

I do get the cheap wine most of the time. I’m not a wine aficionado, so I can’t really taste the difference. Ha ha.

Reply

retirebyforty February 23, 2013 at 10:01 pm

What about the old folks who don’t know how to deal with emails? :)

Reply

STEVEN J. FROMM, ATTORNEY, LL.M. (TAXATION) February 23, 2013 at 11:41 am

I get where you are coming from, but no HVAC. Yikes, you are really roughing it. That would not fly in my house!

Reply

chubblywubbly February 23, 2013 at 3:01 pm

I can never be frugal and I have made my peace with it. I get along with frugal types because I truly respect them. The frugal path is not an easy one and requires a lot of sacrifice.

For myself I strive to achieve balance. So while I cannot be frugal 100% of the time, I try to do it 50% of the time. ie. I never buy bottled water and always carry my own water bottle. That has saved me at least $20 a month. But I drink IZZE almost every day because it is just so tasty. See my post on IZZE: http://www.chubblywubbly.com/izze-sparkling-juice/

Reply

Michelle February 23, 2013 at 10:49 pm

I am notorious for picking up change. I make a point of looking everyday. Some weeks I find .25 other weeks around $5. I also found $5 bucks 2 weeks ago and $100 bucks when I voted in 2008! Your post concerned me though because there were several line items that I do on a regular basis. I will just admit to using the Library obsessively-no NETFLEX it costs money. I think I’m a little cheap :) in some ways..But, extravagant in other ways. It’s all about balance.

Reply

retirebyforty February 24, 2013 at 10:33 pm

I look too, but I rarely found anything more than a penny/week. The library is the best! :)

Reply

Sarah Park February 24, 2013 at 2:44 am

It is nice to be cheap at times. You don’t have to live lavishly at all times. But oh, I can’t stand those freezing of fast foods.

Reply

Silly Lily February 24, 2013 at 8:11 pm

Hey man, when is the 20th wedding anniv? I need to save up to spend $. I assume we’re invited. :p

Reply

papadad February 24, 2013 at 11:20 pm

Being frugal does not mean being cheap.
A few things that I think I will never skimp on:

1. Good hand tools. Yes, tools save you money because you can make repairs yourself. Good tools save you money because you make those repairs properly, the first time, versus messing something up and having to call in a real expert later to repair what you “tried” to fix ….

2. a good mattress. Seriously, we spend 40% of our life time asleep. Why be cheap about it and wake up with a back ache. A good night’s sleep leads to better physical and mental health, more waking-hours productivity, and a potentially better “social” life.

3. Well fitting custom made leather shoes. Yep – you can’t beat a pair of well made leather shoes. Good ones will last a life time, and the ROI on a $300 pair of custom made shoes will far outweigh the half-dozen pair of $69 from Discount Shoe City that you would have gone through anyway (that fit just so-so and wear out quickly).

4. car maintenance – dont be afraid to spend a few bucks to maintain your car. Good maintenance far outweighs

5. health insurance – all the money in the bank means nothing when your health is in serious jeopardy. First priority is to stay healthy. But we all get problems now and than, so if you do have a problem, good health insurance should be both dependable and adequate to cover you.

Reply

retirebyforty February 25, 2013 at 2:46 pm

Great list of things to not skimp on. The only thing I don’t agree with is the leather shoes. I’m quite comfortable in my sneakers and now that I don’t work anymore, I don’t need great shoes. :) I’ll keep it in mind the next time I need a nice pair of leather shoes though.

Reply

Little House February 25, 2013 at 6:49 am

I’m all for being cheap, to a point. If it requires being uncomfortable, then no. I like heat, soft TP, and air conditioning. And I do pick up pennies and am thrilled when I find a silver coin; dime, nickel, or quarter. ;)

Reply

101 Centavos February 25, 2013 at 6:34 pm

Cheap beer? Perish the though, life is way too short.
Just discovered Guinness Black Lager. Nummy!

Reply

retirebyforty February 26, 2013 at 4:07 pm

Mmm… Sounds good. I’ll be on the look out for it.

Reply

Sustainable Life Blog February 26, 2013 at 1:54 pm

This is hysterical joe! I know the cheap beer – ours was keystone light.

Reply

Pauline March 3, 2013 at 9:30 am

I have done a few of those and definitely pick up pennies! My BF drinks a new coffee brew in the morning to have it strong then drinks a couple more cups during the day with the same coffee, I don’t drink so can’t judge. And I would never drive out of my way for gas, but do try to fill in the morning before the day is too hot.

Reply

Rebecca April 5, 2013 at 11:44 pm

I have never done this, but my frugal cousin does: After washing his hands, if he dries with a paper towel he will hang up the paper towel to dry out and re -uses Many times.
Another family member of mine: collects cardboard, glass bottles and aluminum cans from everyone he speaks to for recycle money. He also eats all the free samples of food from COSTCO to forego lunch or dinner. Digs into neighborhood dumpsters for discarded Sunday newspaper coupons. Rollerblades to work instead of driving.

Things I do: Ask family/friends for a clipping/split of a plant/flower to start at my house instead of buying a plant at a nursery. Or, self propagate my own plants. Give a plant as a gift (that I’ve split from my garden) in a saved nursery pot/decorative wrap.
Recycle gift wrap/gift bags and ribbon.
Pick up ANY found coin/dollars (yes, I have found dropped currency!)
Ask the neighbor if I may read their newspaper after they are done (cancelled my subscription) Get past issues of magazines from my mom (lives down the block) that she would just otherwise put in the recycle bin. I do not pay for any subscriptions.
Buy bulk at COSTCO and divide/seal-a-meal portions/freeze.
Pack my lunch (have never gone out to lunch in over 25 years while in private practice) Make my own daily French press coffee (only go to Starbucks if given a gift card)
Pack a snack/water in my large purse to the movie theater.
Installed a RO water filter to fill my own daily water bottle; cancelled Sparkletts delivery
Wash and press my own clothing, very few dry clean items worn.
Shop ebay, garage and estate sales rather than retail stores.
Wash and wax my car; have only paid to detail it every 2 years. Own all cars (mine and provided to 3 children) a minimum of 250000 miles.
Not quite able to retire at 40, but at 56…… in S. California

Reply

retirebyforty April 6, 2013 at 4:14 pm

That’s kind of weird. Why not use a hand towel? Dumpster diving is all right with me, but I haven’t done it yet.
Great tips. I do a bunch of these too.
In So Cal? That’s great! I know it’s tough down there because the cost of living is so high.

Reply

Greg April 6, 2013 at 4:52 pm

I was also wondering about the paper towels.
I quit using them.
But I have a prepper friend that stocked up on them in case of emergency.
I just use a sponge and/or a cloth towel for things now that I may have used a paper towel for before.
Paper towels seem to have become a convenience thing that I no longer really need.

Dumpster divers bother me…
I’m a night shift person, so I tend to be out and about after midnight around the house – playing frisbee with the pooch, relaxing in the moonlight, etc…
But a few months ago, I put out my trash bin around 10/11pm, and a few hours later saw somebody rummaging through it, with a flashlight, for almost 1/2 hour.
I don’t know what they found that was so interesting, but it bothered me.
So these days I make my trash bin a place where dumpster divers don’t even want to venture when I put it out.

But in a different respect, I guess I was a virtual dumpster diver.
I did some work with Corian, and I new the local Corian training place put their scraps outside daily. So I’d go there daily to grab them so I could experiment with the material.

I guess dumpster diving bothers me when it’s personal/residential.
When it’s done at a faceless business, okay there.

The mention of Ebay also triggered some thoughts…
I was looking to pay somebody $280 to cut up and take away an above ground jacuzzi. Researched, and found the parts for it were probably worth maybe $3000.
Found a local refurbisher of jacuzzis on Craigslist that paid me $300 for it.
The next day it was gone, and I was $300 richer, instead of $280 poorer.
And I didn’t want to get into the jacuzzi parts resale business, so the $3000 for parts probably wasn’t possible.
I also recently was offering to friends a free treadmill. Ended up selling it instead on craigslist for $500.

I’ve never been a frugal person…
But I’m starting to learn.

Greg

Reply

retirebyforty April 7, 2013 at 3:57 pm

I was thinking of a dumpster and not a trash can. I would be bothered if someone is digging through my trash can too. Our trash can be quite personal, right?
Great job with Craigslist.

Reply

Rebecca April 7, 2013 at 5:17 pm

I said the same thing to my family member: Why not use a hand towel? He asked me: How many times do you use your hand towel before washing it ? And how much do you think you spend in the water/electricity/soap to wash and the gas to dry? He claims in the kitchen, he uses the same paper towel as many times as I use the hand towel before washing it. But he just throws away the towel (after also using it to wipe up a mess).

On the dumpster; a condo HOA dumpster where the recyclables and trash are in separate bins….. After the Sunday paper only (late Sunday or Monday) is when he raids the discarded coupons.

By the way, I consider frugal to be money-managed. Being miserly is a whole other world: i.e.:
1) Buying a promotional item and getting something for free; then returning the promotional item, keeping and selling the free item.
2) When you and a date make equal income; take turns who pays the bill after going out to eat. When I pay, they order the most expensive item; when they pay, they tell you that you can only order the least costly item.
3) Going to a hotel, complaining endlessly with the purpose of either getting an upgrade or a huge discount off the room rate.
I know people who do this AND boast about it ! I like money-managed techniques, I despise miserly actions.

Reply

Stephanie June 30, 2013 at 8:17 pm

This is awesome! I was laughing through most of it. On another note, I always contemplate on reusing coffee grounds but I cherish the taste of a fresh brewed pot too much.

Reply

Tim November 9, 2013 at 5:03 am

I’m so cheap I find it difficult to buy any non-consumable new from the shops as I know I will lose money on it if I had to re-sell.

Saucepans – Charity shop
Car – Used 110k 13years old
Furniture – Free old family/friends hand me downs
White goods – Used from local paper ads

Reply

Leave a Comment