My “Being Cheap” Rant

It all started yesterday morning while my wife and I were out enjoying breakfast at one of our local restaurants. Sitting next to us was a table full of folks debating and complaining about the nickels and dimes they were loosing by thing like Wal Mart not price matching a 47 cent can of the budget brand green beans, and the gas station on their end of town being 2 cents higher per gallon than the station on the other side of town. Whether or not they would get an extra 25 cents per hour on their 4 hour shift at work during the Holidays. And on and on and on…….. I even noticed that between the 6 of them, (And I am not kidding with this) they ordered only 3 breakfasts with extra plates so they could all share. Hey……… If you can’t afford to eat out……Stay Home!

I have family members (I hope they don’t read this, lol) who habitually drive 20 miles to fill up with gas for 5 cents cheaper and then buy a gallon of milk that’s “better” than the milk they can get in their town to justify driving 20 miles to get cheap gas. Then……pour out the last half gallon of milk because it spoiled because they only use about a half gallon anyway. All in the name of saving roughly 75 cents on a tank full of cheap gas.

Later in the day yesterday, I had a craving for Key Lime pie so went to one of the grocery stores to get some. It’s one of those places where you are required to have a store card in order to get a “better price”. That alone aggravates me, but, they were the only ones that had Key Lime pie. So I get my pie and notice the price on the shelf and thought to myself, well its high, but…….it is Key Lime pie so, Oh well, I’ll get it. At the register, it rang up even a dollar higher than the price on the shelf. SO the shelf price isn’t even the price, It’s only the price if you already have the store card. Well I got my pie, but won’t be going there again. Not because of the price, but because of the gimmicks to cater to being cheap.

I just can’t stand the though,t not to mention the extra time and effort required to save a nickel here and a dime there. Including registering a store card in order to get the shelf price. Buying your gas card at Wal Mart in order to get a 3 cent discount at the gas station out in their parking lot. (maybe that’s to get you in the store, betting on you will spend more money once your inside) Browsing papers and ads for hours for dozens of coupons and then trying to spend you money on the “bargains” before they expire.

Well now to the final straw. Recently I got car insurance from a new company a friend had gone to work for and he wanted some of my business. They had a competitive price and so I switched. Only later to find out that my price was based on all kinds of little conditions to get the ” Discounts I  Deserved”. Wait a minute. What makes them think I deserve any special discounts? Especially for doing things like on-line bill pay, attaching gadgets to my car, filling out company surveys. Being a real estate investor, I have to spend enough of my valuable time doing things like that where I don’t have a choice in the matter with banks, I.R.S. Department of Revenue, property management companies and so on. I certainly don’t want to expose myself to even more jacking around with stuff like that for my car insurance too.

Anyway, here’s my take on all of this.  Robert Kiyosaki may have said it best. “You can get rich being cheap, the trouble is, that in the end, your still just cheap! and nobody likes a cheap rich guy!” He relates a story how his parents used to drive all over town to save 10 cents on a pound of pork butt! It’s funny, but its like that everywhere.

As an investor, I spend my time working the income side of the equation. I have literally spent less time making $10,000 on a real estate deal than I’ve spent so far saving $50 on all the messing around I’ve had to do with my car insurance company. Don’t waste my time. It’s too valuable elsewhere! Don’t assume I’m willing to jump through a bunch of hoops in the name of being cheap. Give me your price without the “cheap” gimmicks or let me go somewhere else.

Back to the breakfast table. Instead of complaining about missing the extra quarter per hour on a four hour shift at work (which is one dollar per day if you have trouble with math) go out and find something productive to do that will make you an extra $20. buy something at a yard sale and sell it for and extra $20 on Craigslist.

In the 30 minutes or so the group at the next table spent whining about a total of maybe $1.89 they could have come up with a half a dozen ways to create extra income far in excess of the nickels and dimes they were griping about.

I shudder to think of what their server might have gotten for a tip. I didn’t stay until the end but it wouldn’t have surprised me if it was a pile of loose change.

I guess my point is, we all have the same number of hours and minutes in each day. We all get to choose whether we spend our valuable time saving nickels and dimes, or, spend it creating abundance in our lives.

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