You are not logged in. Login or Signup
Home » Question of the Week » Tightwads » Post 289849 | Search
This is a question Tightwads

There's saving money, and there's being tight: saving money at the expense of other people, or simply for the miserly hell of it.

Tell us about measures that go beyond simple belt tightening into the realms of Mr Scrooge.

(, Thu 23 Oct 2008, 13:58)
Pages: Latest, 18, 17, 16, 15, 14, ... 1

« Go Back

How to Live for Free (ft. Fred Flinstone)
Society tells us we have to pay for everything. This is bollocks, and I'd encourage you to pay for nothing. Not theivery, now, but plain and simple freedom. I can't be arsed posting a longer message than this is already going to be, so in essence, here's a list teaching you how to live for free.

Shelter:
Squat. Squats are not derelict buildings, they are simply buildings housed by persons who do not own or hold a formal lease for the building. Britain has the greatest squatting laws in the world - use them before our political party (singular, because New Labour are just Tories wearing make-up) snatches them away.
Not all squatters are punks or crackheads, some of them are just extremely savvy economical entrepreneurs. The best of them live right next door to you; they have a car and all the keys to their house, and without owning it or paying rent, they can legally occupy it. Here's the wikipedia article on squatting. Have you any excuse to still be paying your rent or mortgage, really?

Of course, there are other things to worry about when living in a squat. You'd need to consider that the house is just a shell: yhere's no water or electricity. That you're officially classed as homeless if you wanted to get a job. That you can't receive post. You can't have a phone line. You can't plant flowers in the garden. You can't inform the police if someone is messing around on your property. Oh, wait, what's that Fred Flinstone?



These are all urban myths, and aren't remotely true?! Hey, thanks! Yabba-dabba-doooo!

Water & Plumbing:
Get a squat. Failing that, use any number of public bathrooms in Tesco or any place like that for giving yourself a quick scrub - if you're sly and manage to keep your clothes clean - which is a whole other problem - nobody's going to throw you out. If you put enough forethought into it, you can get away with anything. Public drinking fountains are great to drink from and store bottles of water from. Alternatively, unless a public toilet specifically states to not drink the water there, drink away.

Clothes:
I'm assuming you're not naked. Getting clothes isn't what's important here, what is important is cleaning the ones you have. You know that water you got from the taps? You know the soap they have there? Stick some of that in a bottle. A tiny bit will go a long way if you really put your back into scrubbing it. Of course, keeping things looking sparkly new isn't important, what is important is keeing them looking clean. Ironing is unneeded for most modern clothes but you'll always find something that does need it. Now, you can always sneak into a hotel and use the trouser press in an open room - I promise, the first time you get away with it, you'll feel like James Bond. After that you tend to become disillusioned with the whole Hotel security thing. We're still assuming you're not in a squat though. Being in one and having an iron tends to sort out most of your problems.

Food:
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freeganism

Cigarettes:
Public ashtrays, whether they're on the top of a bin or mounted on a wall. Learn to love them. Sure, you'll get ash on your hands, but pick up those butts and drop as many of them them in a plastic bag as you can. You can roll up the tobacco left in them with blank newspaper, which isn't as pleasant as cigarette paper but it burns near as well, and you can reuse the butts if you really want, though I'd recommend shelling out a handful of pennies on filters.

Alcohol:
We've all seen The Real Hustle, and we all know what proposition bets are. I'm sure we've all tried them at one time or another, and general wasted an hour or two with them. Again, with a bit of forethought though, you can get pissed every night you want if you just put some time in to think up some generally clever propositions. The greatest thing about these are that they're such a pop-culture phenomenon that most people will instictively accept the bet. With an arsenal of these up your sleeves, and a familiarity with other propositions to defend yourself against, as well as what will be called an arsehole attitude to taking and not giving, then you'll be drinking for free for a long time to come. This part is mostly directed at men. Women have a much easier time getting free drinks - and if you're one of the women who doesn't get free drinks and takes offence at this comment, then you're a fool.

Money:
Work, you can work for the big issue, you can get a proper job, you can sign up at a temp agency and get day work. You can beg too, if you really want. Getting money for doing nothing isn't easy, though you need look no further than Heat magazine to find out the secret of this trade.

Books:
Library. Often, too, second hand book shops will give books away that just aren't selling. Don't be afraid to ask, Bernard Black isn't real (note: Bernard Black may be real), and most of them are happy to give away a tattered old copy of some Jim Thompson or Camus or Greene book, just make sure you know your authors and the kind of book you like to read. You won't find any Dan Brown there, and for a good reason too.

Nights out:
All hail the BBC, and the live recordings are far better than the shit that ends up being broadcast.

Internet:
Libraries, again. Alternatively, if you have a laptop, you'll be able to get into somebody's wireless. You're probably stealing internet already.

I'd write more but I've got bored. If you've anything to add, feel free to do it in the comments, I'll update as I can. Also, do read the comments for more debate.


Edit1: Some people have made objections to the above, and I wouldn't want to preach, so please don't take my word as the be-all-and-end-all, I'm sure you wouldn't anyway, but here we go:

Leeching off society.

If everyone lived like that, there would be no society for you to ponce off. No houses to squat in, no hotels to sneak into, no public bathrooms or water fountains, no libraries or BBC recordings or pubs where you can scrounge a free drink. All of these things exist because they're funded by taxes and consumerism - which you claim to eschew.

I'm all for recycling and using things that would otherwise go to waste, even freeganism for those with such low standards they're happy to eat gone-off food out of a bin. Good for them. But what you're describing is leeching off society.



Of course, no society could sustain a population living off of each other's castaways. However, you, complainer, have decided not to do this. There will always be a majority in your favour, a majority that thinks paying for things affords security. Leeching implies sucking the life from society, as if freegans and squatters had their hands in your pockets, when in actuality, we're stealing out of rubbish bins, and, again, living in unused houses. If we work, taxes are being paid, if we don't work then we're a whole lot less of a drain on society than underclass (not working class, I do specify) scum. Burberry'd up and claiming as much benefit as they can - and yet squatters get the bad reputation. This whole attitude, though, "leeching" on society... we ARE society, as are the under class, the working class, the middle class, the upper class. This is what society is made of. If you're upset at being taxed blame the taxman living in his mansion, not the kid with a broken leg getting free care from the NHS.

Now, I'm not squatting personally, to explain my views on this, which aren't universal. I don't want to preach, because there's nothing more annoying than a loud hippy. But I do believe it boils down to a choice: either you accept your own disenfranchisement (i.e. lack of impact on the larger society, nullified right to vote because, let's face it, any fucking tool can vote, etc.) and decide that your guilt over the shortcomings of other people in our society is no excuse to not profit from the aforementioned shortcomings, knowing, as you do, that you are solely responsible for yourself, OR, you decide that your mortgage/job isn't that bad, you can get by on your wages, and your standard of living would be much increased than it would if you were living in a squat and eating free. The standard of living thing is debateable: a lot of squats are furnished, and everyone knows that milk has a Display date and a Best By date. Nothing is stopping you keeping your job.

Of course everyone can't do it, everyone can't be the Prime Minister, everyone can't be a doctor. But if you appreciate how small and irrelative John Bull living in Hackney is, then I'm sure you'll understand, objectively, how small and irrelative you are to society at large. Your decisions will not bring about the apocalypse, they affect YOU, not society. You have no responsbility for the wellfare of others beyond what the tax-takers demand. Mind you, I have a world of bones to pick with people who are proud of being taxpayers, but another time maybe. I'll try and keep to the topic as much as possible, eh? Also this is getting interactive, like a blog post. Nice discussion all the same, and my apologies too for any ineloquence on my part and clumsy repetition of a statement in order to convery some sort of grand point.

All of this sounds like far more effort than just having a job and buying stuff. Not that I'm knocking it, mind you; I'm just very lazy.

It's about saving money, and that does require some effort. However, if I was making enough money from my job to buy stuff without going through all of this, I wouldn't bother. But one does tend to get caught up in this delightful romantic view of themselves as a poor rascal, naked but for his quick wits and lack of high courtesy, as opposed to common courtesy, and scruples.

I have never heard such a load of tripe...
Apologies in advance for length, but this has really annoyed me.

You are advocating the blatant abuse of the system, not to mention the fact you are also advicating running what is, in effect, a Short Con racket in order to gain free drinks.

Yes, there are such things as squatters rights, but they were designed mainly to protect tenant workers' whose landlords could turf them our without notice merely by changing the terms of their lease, etc. They weren't designed to let a bunch of theiving dog-on-a-string dole scroungers take up residence in someone's property just because it is vacant whilst they are away on a long holiday (this has been documented more than once). Houses may stand empty, but there could be a reason for that - the owner might be trying to save up the money to renovate it, or get planning permission to do work on the property. But that's ok, because your "squatter" can just kick the door in and make themselves at home at the expense of the owner and/or the taxpayer. All the time, causing untold damage to a property, bringing an area down and attracting the usual detritus of smackheads and crack-whores that go along with the average "squat". Yes, there may be pleasant hard-working squatters, but there might also be likeable fascists - both are rare as hens' teeth and the odds are you're going to encounter one of the other sort.

It's this attitude of freeloading that gave us the New Age Traveller - or tree-hugging veggie-pikeys, if you read the Daily Mail - who are happy to sign on, or use NHS doctors, but don't want to pay tax, rent, or National Insurance. Or work. They know their "rights" to the letter and milk the state for all they can, before they move on to the next pitch and let the local residents pay to clean up the damage, rubbish and effluent they have left behind. But that's ok, because they are likely to be middle-class homeowners in a nice area, so fuck 'em, right?

In this country, under the laws of the Magna Carta, you are entitled to renounce your citizenship and become a Free Man of Great Britain - you aren't liable for tax, no law other than Thou Shalt Not Steal and Thou Shalt Not Kill apply and you are allowed to claim, I believe, 2 acres of land for you to live and graze animals on. Of course, you'll need a passport to go to work and you won't be able to use the NHS, call the police if you are robbed, or send your kids to state school, but if you don't want to be part of society, then I suggest that this is the only morally correct route to take. And yes, you can legally grow Marijuana on your land at that point.

The fact is that stealing supplies form public washrooms increases the expenditure on such facilities and, in effect, means they are more likely to be closed down if budgets need to be trimmed. If you squat and steal utilities, all that happens is that other law-abiding citizens are forced to pay increased bills to subsidies your existence. You become, effectively, no more than a parasite, bleeding resources out of a society, whilst mocking those who are providing the things you are stealing for their stupidity. I honestly don't know whether to pity you for your naivety, or loathe you for your arrogance on the subject.

Yes, a free night at the BBC is fine and enjoyable, as is asking if the tatty old books that are about to be binned could come your way instead - that's fine as it doesn't hurt anyone, neither does eating leftovers out of a bin if that's what you so desire - if you want to catch typhoid, salmonella, hepatitis, or god knows what from second-hand food, you go right ahead.

There is no "romance" to such an existence - if you're able to support yourself via work, then you're a prick if you freeload in such a way, if you are truly destitute then Social Services and the rest of the State you seem to dislike so much will provide housing, an income and a route to gainful employment. If you really want to live outside of society, then become a tramp. Don't leech and expect those of us who end up paying the cost, either directly or indirectly, to applaud you for it.

Oh, and before you respond, think on this - my Uncle served 25 years in the military - Marines, Special Boat Service and other branches. He fought in Aden, spent years in the jungle of Belize, saw action all over the world and gave everything for his country. It broke his mind and once he de-mobbed he lived as a wild man on the Surrey Downs, because he couldn't be around people - he'd seen and done things that no-one should be forced to. He never signed on, never squatted, did odd jobs for cash and once every three months walked to Portsmouth to get medical treatment and pick up his military pension from the naval base. He truly lived by his wits (building shelter in the woods, trapping rabbits for food, etc) and, aside from turning up noisily drunk after his mothers' funeral, never harmed anyone. When he died, even the Police turned out in dress uniform to honour a man who gave everything he could for his country. He had nothing, yet he had his pride and the respect of the entire town. Compare that story with that of your drink-scamming, house-stealing, work-dodging schemes and then ask yourself why anyone would condone your suggestions.

Chad.
(, Wed 29 Oct 2008, 14:18, closed)
So tempted
You make it so tempting to live as a freeloading smelly hippy.
(, Wed 29 Oct 2008, 14:38, closed)
Bernard Black isn't real??
Are you sure?
(, Wed 29 Oct 2008, 14:39, closed)
he is real....
I saw him (or his doppelganger) running an antique shop on Ponsonby Road a few years ago.
(, Wed 29 Oct 2008, 15:31, closed)
All of this
sounds like far more effort than just having a job and buying stuff. Not that I'm knocking it, mind you; I'm just very lazy.
(, Wed 29 Oct 2008, 14:41, closed)
Agreed.
Consumerism has made me completely dependent on everyone else packaging my food and building my gadgets.

Excellent write-up nonetheless Mr. Quite, clicked.
(, Wed 29 Oct 2008, 15:18, closed)
Agreed
For the time & effort that goes into the above, I can earn a wage that allows me a much higher standard of living. Why bother?
(, Wed 29 Oct 2008, 15:18, closed)
I thought you always made a loss for tax purposes.

(, Thu 30 Oct 2008, 0:33, closed)
thanks so much for turning me into a Tory... briefly
If everyone lived like that, there would be no society for you to ponce off. No houses to squat in, no hotels to sneak into, no public bathrooms or water fountains, no libraries or BBC recordings or pubs where you can scrounge a free drink. All of these things exist because they're funded by taxes and consumerism - which you claim to eschew.

I'm all for recycling and using things that would otherwise go to waste, even freeganism for those with such low standards they're happy to eat gone-off food out of a bin. Good for them. But what you're describing is leeching off society.

It doesn't even make sense because if you devoted all that time and ingenuity to earning money instead of thieving, you could afford to live a lot better for your efforts.

Now I need to go and wash.
(, Wed 29 Oct 2008, 15:43, closed)
I agree with this
and with whoever said "for the same effort I can work and afford a better standard of living"

the OP is not too preachy which I appreciate, but it still does smack slightly of the same bullshit that The Goat frequently tries to drown us with.
(, Wed 29 Oct 2008, 15:52, closed)
I'm with you there
I hate paying taxes, but if we all didn't pay taxes where would we all be?
(, Wed 29 Oct 2008, 18:07, closed)
im currently not squatting but...
wtf is wrong with it.. i live in london where last time i checked there were close to 70'000 unoccupied properties and about twice as many homeless.. if i was still single and childless i wouldnt be paying rent and thats for certain.

when i have squatted in the past generally speaking we have paid all our bills (electric, gas, water, internet) having 10 or so housemates and no rent makes that a lot easier.


and to whoever made the comment about freeganism - if the food had gone off we wouldnt be eating it would we.. london stores generally throw away 40% of their food stock every day.. if they just gave it away to the homeless instead we wouldnt have to sneak round the back and get it out of the bins
(, Wed 29 Oct 2008, 19:02, closed)
They aren't
saying there is anything inherently wrong with squatting, but the point being made is that if everybody squatted, there would be no incentive to build any houses, in which case there would soon be no places to squat.

And if you are getting everything for free and not earning, you aren't going to be able to afford to maintain the place you are squatting in.

The whole point about food waste from stores has been made earlier and it has been pointed out that giving away food to the homeless is risky as they can leave themselves open to legal action if you contract food poisoning. So throwing the food away isn't good, but that's not the fault of the stores, that's the fault of both legislators for not dealing with this problem, and the leech that first sued a supermarket for getting food poisoning from food they didn't pay for.

Also, say you're squatting in a house and the owner comes up and asks you to leave as they want to either sell it or redevelop the site or whatever else they want to do with their own property. Do you cheerfully wander off and find somewhere else? Do you hell. Evicting anyone from any property is an absolute nightmare.
(, Wed 29 Oct 2008, 20:13, closed)
yeah
but the point is that everybody doesn't squat, that *I* should feel guilty for the middle-class's consumerism is bollocks. If someone tossed a twenty pound note on the ground because it made their wallet look unsightly, you wouldn't think twice about picking it up.

As for freeganism, stores like Sainsbury's which have a freshly baked bread policy throw away -worth a night. Eat that shit up.

Of course, it's not for everyone, and if you don't want to do it, don't. But if you're up for doing, fuckin' do it.
(, Wed 29 Oct 2008, 21:47, closed)
Society doesn't tell us to pay for everything.
Consumerism tells us to pay for everything.
Society tells us that it's easier to pay for everything - how much you pay depends on your income and priorities.

Want food? Buy in bulk, cook things from scratch including low end 'convenience' food like tinned chick peas.

Clothes? Easy peasy. Charity shop/freecycle, needle, thread, dressmaking scissors etc.

Transport? Feet, bikes. Both cheap or free.

Most of us know we can do the above, or more. Most of us don't do it because it erodes our standard of living and leisure time.

Do your best, and try to avoid being a leech on society.
(, Wed 29 Oct 2008, 16:06, closed)
cycling doesn't erode my standard of living
or leisure time. It's often faster cycling through town than driving through it, and it keeps me fit and I can give smug looks at the goons stuck in a traffic jam as glide past :D
(, Wed 29 Oct 2008, 16:12, closed)
Yes, but it depends on each person
Whether it affects you depends on your own situation. For some people it will be a positive advantage, whilst for others it will be a severe issue in their life..
(, Wed 29 Oct 2008, 16:25, closed)
Some of this
Makes perfect sense, you don't have to be a complete bum and most of the things mentioned are in no way hurting society, it's good for the environment too. As for raiding ashtrays, I think I'll keep my day job.
(, Thu 30 Oct 2008, 6:32, closed)
I used to have to walk past a squat everyday on my way to university
It was the most revolting eyesore I've ever witnessed.

I was very glad when it got knocked down and turned into a park.
(, Thu 30 Oct 2008, 10:16, closed)
I have never heard such a load of tripe...
Apologies in advance for length, but this has really annoyed me.

You are advocating the blatant abuse of the system, not to mention the fact you are also advicating running what is, in effect, a Short Con racket in order to gain free drinks.

Yes, there are such things as squatters rights, but they were designed mainly to protect tenant workers' whose landlords could turf them our without notice merely by changing the terms of their lease, etc. They weren't designed to let a bunch of theiving dog-on-a-string dole scroungers take up residence in someone's property just because it is vacant whilst they are away on a long holiday (this has been documented more than once). Houses may stand empty, but there could be a reason for that - the owner might be trying to save up the money to renovate it, or get planning permission to do work on the property. But that's ok, because your "squatter" can just kick the door in and make themselves at home at the expense of the owner and/or the taxpayer. All the time, causing untold damage to a property, bringing an area down and attracting the usual detritus of smackheads and crack-whores that go along with the average "squat". Yes, there may be pleasant hard-working squatters, but there might also be likeable fascists - both are rare as hens' teeth and the odds are you're going to encounter one of the other sort.

It's this attitude of freeloading that gave us the New Age Traveller - or tree-hugging veggie-pikeys, if you read the Daily Mail - who are happy to sign on, or use NHS doctors, but don't want to pay tax, rent, or National Insurance. Or work. They know their "rights" to the letter and milk the state for all they can, before they move on to the next pitch and let the local residents pay to clean up the damage, rubbish and effluent they have left behind. But that's ok, because they are likely to be middle-class homeowners in a nice area, so fuck 'em, right?

In this country, under the laws of the Magna Carta, you are entitled to renounce your citizenship and become a Free Man of Great Britain - you aren't liable for tax, no law other than Thou Shalt Not Steal and Thou Shalt Not Kill apply and you are allowed to claim, I believe, 2 acres of land for you to live and graze animals on. Of course, you'll need a passport to go to work and you won't be able to use the NHS, call the police if you are robbed, or send your kids to state school, but if you don't want to be part of society, then I suggest that this is the only morally correct route to take. And yes, you can legally grow Marijuana on your land at that point.

The fact is that stealing supplies form public washrooms increases the expenditure on such facilities and, in effect, means they are more likely to be closed down if budgets need to be trimmed. If you squat and steal utilities, all that happens is that other law-abiding citizens are forced to pay increased bills to subsidies your existence. You become, effectively, no more than a parasite, bleeding resources out of a society, whilst mocking those who are providing the things you are stealing for their stupidity. I honestly don't know whether to pity you for your naivety, or loathe you for your arrogance on the subject.

Yes, a free night at the BBC is fine and enjoyable, as is asking if the tatty old books that are about to be binned could come your way instead - that's fine as it doesn't hurt anyone, neither does eating leftovers out of a bin if that's what you so desire - if you want to catch typhoid, salmonella, hepatitis, or god knows what from second-hand food, you go right ahead.

There is no "romance" to such an existence - if you're able to support yourself via work, then you're a prick if you freeload in such a way, if you are truly destitute then Social Services and the rest of the State you seem to dislike so much will provide housing, an income and a route to gainful employment. If you really want to live outside of society, then become a tramp. Don't leech and expect those of us who end up paying the cost, either directly or indirectly, to applaud you for it.

Oh, and before you respond, think on this - my Uncle served 25 years in the military - Marines, Special Boat Service and other branches. He fought in Aden, spent years in the jungle of Belize, saw action all over the world and gave everything for his country. It broke his mind and once he de-mobbed he lived as a wild man on the Surrey Downs, because he couldn't be around people - he'd seen and done things that no-one should be forced to. He never signed on, never squatted, did odd jobs for cash and once every three months walked to Portsmouth to get medical treatment and pick up his military pension from the naval base. He truly lived by his wits (building shelter in the woods, trapping rabbits for food, etc) and, aside from turning up noisily drunk after his mothers' funeral, never harmed anyone. When he died, even the Police turned out in dress uniform to honour a man who gave everything he could for his country. He had nothing, yet he had his pride and the respect of the entire town. Compare that story with that of your drink-scamming, house-stealing, work-dodging schemes and then ask yourself why anyone would condone your suggestions.
(, Thu 30 Oct 2008, 13:18, closed)
Great reply.
I'll get back to you in a bit.
(, Thu 30 Oct 2008, 15:44, closed)

« Go Back

Pages: Latest, 18, 17, 16, 15, 14, ... 1