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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)
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This question is now closed.

My mate
isn't exactly tight but he does reuse the tinfoil on his butties that he brings in...
(, Tue 28 Oct 2008, 10:35, 6 replies)
A seaside trip
One day, me and a few mates decided, for no particular reason, to go and visit another mate who lived in Worthing, and go bowling or something.

Not a bad morning, but then we went for lunch at Pizza Hut (I know, sophistication). One mate, Mark, wolfed his way through a good proportion of the pizza, but then refused to pay on the grounds that "he'd only come in for a cup of tea".

We didn't see him the rest of the afternoon, as he wandered off in a sulk because we made him pay his share.
(, Tue 28 Oct 2008, 10:17, 4 replies)
Dreaded Diem
Being my first post I thought I’d make this a good one.

Reading from Express_Bob’s post at being thrifty and mentioning per “per diem” I would like to add some point to the subject in question.
Being a Network Engineer by profession I know that phase very well.

Some background: I have worked for a massive Korean electronics giants’ networking arm and giant ISP from Japan – both employed the per Diem angle. They saw the per diem as a replacement for pay on the business trips as overtime wasn’t payable on those trips due to contract conditions – so normal working hours applied, anything over that or if your task involved working over the weekend - tough shit.

Most of the business trips involved working very long hours to get the job done. If that happened you would be working for only for the “diem” of about 40quid. So the motive to get the job done as soon as possible was very strong and hit bars to burn the money. The electronics’ giant der Diem was paid in dollars just to piss everyone off – so if you had a strong pound you had less money to live off.

So, eating as much as possible in the morning was a must. My fellow Korean engineers were completely used to this piss taking by the bosses and had the ability to cram-in vast quantities of food – even when pissed up from the night before. However, for me I took a little to get used too. Watching these guys eating talking to each other (while still eating) is a sight in itself.

The only ever time I became better off, was when I stayed in Hotel in Hungry who did an excellent breakfast together with lunch and dinner at the factory. And Israel where I got taken out every day for 2 weeks was completely lashed most days. However, these times were very rare – I think all in all I did about 20 biz trips per year.

So spare a thought for those poor sods going on Biz-trips on there own in airports – most don’t have company cards and are on the dreaded Diem.
(, Tue 28 Oct 2008, 10:05, 4 replies)
The news today said that up to a million households may go into negative equity because they borrowed too much
My response when I heard this this morning was "ah-ha-haaa. Bitches"

Because I got a mortgage on a flat I could easily afford, not on ewhere I needed a 100%+ mortgage.

There are 2 senses of the word tight that might apply to me here, but at least I didn't blow my wad.
(, Tue 28 Oct 2008, 10:02, 7 replies)
I don't mind spending money.
But what I object to is 0845 etc numbers. Especially as these aren't included in monthly allowances. Same goes for 0800 numbers, "Free", ffs.


gives 0800, and landline equivalent versions of these sodding rip offs. Especially when the fuckers keep you on hold for God knows how long, with their lists of options.
(, Tue 28 Oct 2008, 10:02, 2 replies)
Back at school
My Latin teacher refused to buy a TV because "it's all rubbish and filth on TV these days".

Many years later he got caught being a nonce. Go figure.
(, Tue 28 Oct 2008, 8:57, 4 replies)
Preventative Maintance
I have a mate who is a mechanic that told me this tale and i saw the aftermath , it wasnt pretty soooooo.

A client came in one day with a v6 saab wanting the cambelt changed . My mate gave him a estimate of around $1000 all up and mentioned "Thats doing the tensioner as well"

"But i dont want the tensioner done"

Its normal pratice to replace the tensioner at the same time as the cambelt on most cars. Usually it has to be removed anyway or is at least easily accessible. Tensioners are relativly cheap , around the $50 mark. Labour is neglible as its 3 bolts and about 2 min to replace.

My mate strongly recommended that the tensioner be replaced at the same time to be on the safe side . However his advice was declined (What would a mechanic with 20 plus years experience know anyway?). The client insisted on not paying for a new tensioner the old one was to be retained. His decision the customer is allways right.

The work was done and the client left happy. Fast forward about six months and the Saab arrives on the back of a tow truck.

Can you guess what happened?

Can you guess which component failed?

A loose cambelt resulted in a spectacular valve / piston interface. The Bill to rectify this damage was just a shade under $5000 in addition to the inconvenience.

A bit of false economy there I think. Not a bad result for the sake of $50
(, Tue 28 Oct 2008, 8:34, 11 replies)
pompus git
A few months back we sold a used car to a man at the other end of the country. We did the deal over the phone and via the internet , nothing particulary unusual these days. Once his funds had been cleared the car was taken to the rail depot to be loaded into their special carridge for the trip north. The customer was paying for this.

The customer called us the following Monday to let us know that he had picked up his new car. the following is the conversation as overheard by myself when the new owner called the salesman.

" Iv got the car and its great , just as you described but their is one thing"

"Whats that"

"Well it arrived at the depot here on saturday and its been sitting in the compound untill now."

At the rail depots the office handling the auto movements is closed on weekends, which normally isnt a problem. The cars still get loaded and unloaded its just that customers cant pickup or drop off vheicles as nobody is there to process the paperwork.

"Its been sitting outside in the compound ALL weekend"

" UM"

"Iv spoken to the people here at the depot and they have been VERY unhelpful and said its not there problem , and WONT do anything"

"So whats the problem ?"

"Well the car is dusty! And they wont pay for me to wash it at the petrol station"

(stifling laughter)

"There isnt a lot we can do about that , we delivered it to the rail yard spotless (And it bloody was too!)We arent responsible for what happens in transit. The car has been shipped over 1000km a little dust isnt unexpected"

Humpff "well i wasnt expecting this"

"As i said......."

"Yes but a wash at the shell station is going to cost me $8. I was expecting a clean car . I dont think i should be out of pocket here . CAN YOU SEND ME A CHECK FOR $8 TO PAY FOR THE WASH ?"

Despite spending over $20k on a car this cheapskate thought we should pay for his carwash because it was a bit dusty. unbeliviable.

Needless to say we did not send him a check for $8 or any other ammount. I would have loved to seen the confrontation in the deopt office over the dust
(, Tue 28 Oct 2008, 6:28, 7 replies)
Dr Barnado
I do give to charity but I prefer to pick my own charity rather than be guilt tripped into it by door to door people. My charity is the RNLI as I mess about in boats whenever I can.

Anyway, there I was siting at home reading when the doorbell rang. I answered it.

"Dr Barnado's home" smiled the woman brightly

"Is he? I didn't know he'd been away" I replied.

"Do you have any idea how many times I've heard that line?" she scowled.

Still didn't give her anything. I might have if she'd laughed though.

(, Tue 28 Oct 2008, 3:33, 7 replies)
Buying half a house
Many years ago some friends bought their very first house.
Took them a long time to get the money together and they were very excited to finally have a place of their very own.
On the advice of more knowing friends, they turned up on moving in day with a box of lightbulbs, fully expecting to have put one in every room.
Turned out to be a very good idea.
However they didnt turn up with any brass light switches, any carpets, or stair rods.
Or any tiled fireplaces, kitchen cupboards, belfast sink or worktops and any scrubbed wood floorboards for the dining room.
Or any old ornate ceiling roses or decorative plaster coving with a grapes design.
Or any turf or shrubs for the front and back garden.
And the beautiful 1920s staind glass windows in the porch had been replaced with plain glass.
The previous owners however did leave them 2 teabags on a saucer on the draining board and a cheery note to have a cuppa when moving in.
(, Tue 28 Oct 2008, 2:35, 8 replies)
My current flatmate
As tight as tight can be.

He works from home, so all day everyday every light in the flat is on, as is the air con, TV, 2 computers etc etc.

Expects me to pay half the bills, i only ever pay the $60 or so i use which leaves him paying $200 which i think is fair, apart from he didnt pay it last month and it was cut off, my fault apparently. Balls to him.

Never buys food. I now refuse to also buy food as he always eats it before i even unpack it, so now we have a mexican standoff, i just buy my food daily and eat it as soon as im home. He hovers around like a hungry dog waiting for scraps.

Same with beer, i normally buy a case to last a week or 2, he will always have about 10 and then deny it, so ive bought a mini fridge which now lives on the balcony with a big padlock on.

Its petty i know.

He said i was being tight. We have lived together over a year and in that time he has bought 1 six pack of beer and thats it. The only reason its lasted this long is that he also works nights most of the week so we rarely see each other.

Im moving out in Dec with my lovely g/f and im not paying him a penny in bills.

In fact, am i the tight one?
(, Tue 28 Oct 2008, 1:19, 10 replies)
are you paying to much for staples ?
look at them, thousands of the little metal buggers costing you money with every click of the stapler.

Well no more: www.thinkgeek.com/homeoffice/supplies/8b70/

It'll pay for itself in a year or so.
(, Tue 28 Oct 2008, 0:14, 3 replies)
As an additional to SnowyTheRabbit's post...
You want a tightwad cunt of a landlord? I once lived in a place where the landlord (reputedly worth in excess of £7 million and at the time owning a quite large DIY store) refused for three years to replace the leaking upstairs bathtub (during which time whenever the upstairs resident (a house converted conveniently for tax reasons into two flats) took a bath, I had to place buckets in the lounge), didn't replace the broken boiler so that every time I wanted hot water I had to unscrew the shower head then switch it on to fill a tub and (and here's the point to it) when the nice neighbours (as opposed to the wankers who lived on the other side) offered in exchange for a small quantity of parts and material to replace the guttering for both himself and the landlord's place, he (the landlord) totally refused on the grounds that he would be giving away some of his stock, in spite of the fact that he would have got the work done for free.

And if you could follow that, join me in a chorus of "what a stupid wanker"
(, Tue 28 Oct 2008, 0:02, 4 replies)
In Morrisons
Our housemate literally threw his toys out of the pram when we decided to buy some prawn mayonnaise sandwich spread.

We had £100 of stuff between four that he could potentially eat, including items that only he wanted to eat. But as the spread went in the trolley, he said: 'I won't eat that, so I'm not paying for it.'

'We'll eat it, so we're getting it. It's only £1.50.'

He then had a cataclysmic breakdown, throwing the spread to the floor.

'Won't eat THAT, won't eat THAT...' as he grabbed another unfavoured item, 'won't eat THAT, and I WON'T EAT THAT!!!'

He didn't come shopping with us again.
(, Mon 27 Oct 2008, 23:29, 5 replies)
I wouldn't say I'm that much of a tightwad
But reading ThornbankJim's post below reminded me.

Clothes. The biggest waste of money ever. If it wasn't so cold and I didn't need pockets to put things in I'd happily spend my life naked. I know people who spend ludicrous amounts of money on clothes. The only time I've spent over £100 on a single item of clothing, it's been made of Gore Tex. I think I've got one shirt somewhere but it'd probably take me a few hours to find it. I reckon I've probably spent less than £200 on clothes in the last 3 years (honestly) by following these rules:

T shirts - free from pubs, or people I know who work in pubs. Or gigs or jobs I've worked on, or bands I've worked for. I have shitloads of t shirts and I've barely paid for any of them. Also applies to jumpers/hoodies.
Socks/pants - guaranteed annual Christmas present from the old dear.
Jeans - you don't need any other type of trousers. Buy reasonably expensive (£50-60) ones and they will last for years and years. Probably because I wear shorts 99% of the time, and they're cheaper anyway.
Shoes - again it's worth spending moderately large amounts of money here. I buy a pair of DCs every 18 months which is quite a decent length of time for them to last when worn every day.
Hand me downs/theft from mates - I'm sure we all know people who'll stop wearing something after they've worn it five times. Make friends with them. I have clothes that were originally quite expensive, not that I'd pay for them.

I call it my contribution to saving the environment, but honestly? I just don't really care much about clothes past their practical aspects (shoes stop you hurting your feet, jumpers keep you warm, trousers have pockets to put your phone and fags in)

Scruffy cunt? You bet. Do I care? No.
(, Mon 27 Oct 2008, 22:59, 9 replies)
I met the owner of lolcats.
He makes about 100k a month.
(, Mon 27 Oct 2008, 22:54, 2 replies)
T shirts
I've decided I don't want to pay for t-shirts that I can afford but could quite frankly design myself. So I do that in my spare time now. I am also too skint to afford decent advertising so ended up posting something on here in the small hope someone would want to buy one, or at least tell me which ones they thought worked.

Does trying to turn an expenditure into an income count as being tight or just opportunistic?

www.jtst.co.uk if you're interested.
(, Mon 27 Oct 2008, 22:38, 13 replies)
My Mum and a Great Aunt
Just remembered this one.

My Mum mentioned to one of my great Aunts that a cake recipie that she was thinking of trying out said that you had to use brown sugar.

So a few weeks later, my Great Aunt Marge presented my Mum with what must have been a carrier bag full of sachets of brown sugar. She had literally gone around having the odd cup of coffee and filling her handbag with sachets of brown sugar.

I can just imagine Mum's face lighting up! She must have spent hours opening up all of those tiny sachets, emptying them into a container so that it would be easy to weigh out.

Now, I didn't know about this until I was eating a slice of this cake and Mum recounted the dilema of not wanting to waste money on buying more than one sort of sugar because of course it that be foolishness.

The worst of it is this, she must have had about half a kilo left after she had made the cake.
(, Mon 27 Oct 2008, 22:24, Reply)
Both my parents (mainly Mum)
I recently visited my parents and took them out to lunch. Now, with them knowing full well that they wouldn't be paying, they picked the cheapest place they could.

Now, it's not that I think you should turn your nose up at a bargain and as it happened, lunch was quite nice. It's just that I know for a fact that they had actively looked for the least expensive place to eat and spent many days thinking about it.

It's something when after paying for a meal for 4, you get change from £20.
(, Mon 27 Oct 2008, 21:19, Reply)
Short and Sweet one this....
My missus and I have birthdays that fall within two days of each other,

This is fantastic for me as it means that I can not forget her birthday, and great for her as she always recieves a present.

...it also seems to please my little brother who gets us a birthday card to share!
(, Mon 27 Oct 2008, 21:09, Reply)
i know i'm a week too late
for the "common" QOTW, and pretty much ignored it at the time as i didn't like it (so someone may have already linked to this), but i thought i'd post it anyway as perhaps there are a few b3tans who would be amused by / cringe at this:


sorry, probably has no place to be posted here.
*heads for door*

(, Mon 27 Oct 2008, 20:54, 12 replies)
It seems everyone is always complaining about money.
All my friends and I make about the same amount. Some didn't go to university, some don't have cars, some still live with their parents. None have kids, are married, nor have particularly expensive girlfriends. And yet, they're always strapped for cash.

I've got a car, two tuitions, an apartment, plenty of nice material things, a girlfriend, and my fair share of bills to pay. I constantly buy games, see movies, and eat at restaurants. No one gives me money...yet I'm never short. Each month I have 1,000 more in the bank than I did the month before.

There's only one difference between my friends and me:

I don't drink any alcohol, ever.
(, Mon 27 Oct 2008, 20:47, 32 replies)
I used to live in a flat in North London owned by a guy who had about 20 flats in the area. Must have been raking it in.

When I moved out, I left a single bag with a duvet in it in the flat as I was going back the next day to meet him and give him back the keys. I had to get the tube to my new place and just couldn't carry everything. He charged me an extra day's rent for leaving the bag. I argued that this was ludicrous, as it hadn't made a blind bit of difference. He agreed, but pointed out that had he decided to move new people in on that morning, or to send a cleaner round the day before (which he wouldn't have, of course, but anyway...) then my bag would have been in the way.

In the end, since it was £17.33 and he was threatening to just take it out of the deposit whether I agreed to it or not, I gave in.

Then he said he wanted to charge us 50p each because he'd run out of cleaning stuff and had to buy bleach for the toilet on the way over. The toilet was immaculate. Made no difference. He argued about it for a full ten minutes. In the end, I offered to scrub the toilet rather than pay the 50p, as a matter of principle.

He stood over me and watched me bleach and scrub it 5 times (with our bleach which we'd generously left in the flat) before giving up and accepting that it was clean enough.

I repeat - the guy had 20 flats. He must have been minted. Why waste 15 minutes watching me scrub a toilet bowl for the sake of a quid?
(, Mon 27 Oct 2008, 20:27, 7 replies)
Actually, whilst we're on the subject...
...of saving money, I thought I'd ask the advice of the group. You see, I'm currently being fleeced by the local council for "unpaid" council tax, which is only unpaid because they cocked up with our direct debits (which they've cleared recognised, even if they won't admit it, because usually an unpaid month gets an immediate threat of magistates' court, whereas this time they're sending us chase letters), so I have decided to fleece them back.

I would like to claim every single last council service that I am entitled to under British law, whether I actually need it or not, so that I'm costing them as much of the ridiculously overblown tax bill they swindle me for each month as possible. This is to be my form of protest -- one which, if successful, I shall publicise as much as possible and encourage others to take up -- and one which I can't actually be put in jail for (unlike that poor heroic woman who refused to pay her tax and went on hunger strike), because everything I'll be claiming *I'll be entitled to*.

So, my request is this: I'd rather not tip anyone official off to what I'm doing, and I'm aware that a number of you fine people work for, have worked for, or have had legal dealings with English councils, so I need suggestions of how I'm going to fleece the buggers in kind. I'm a single (engaged)twenty-eight year old male co-habiting with a woman (my finacee) of the same age in a first-floor flat that we own together. We have a small rear garden (not connected to the property) and a parking space, but no car and no front-garden. Any ideas? Remember, it's important that I do *nothing* illegal...
(, Mon 27 Oct 2008, 19:05, 16 replies)
Oh yeah, I forgot about this one...
Not sure how appropriate this is in the scale of tightness but I'll bore you all with it anyway!

When I was ten, my mother bless her, bought me a brand new AC Milan shirt, I was as happy as a pig in shit when I got it as they had just won the European cup in that shirt.

Anyway, being young, naive and unaware of scale I didn't realise that this top buried me. I mean, I looked like Rick Waller would look if he suddenly shed 8 stone but still insisted on wearing the same t-shirts he wore when he was the size of a beached whale.

This was purely a penny saving tip for the old girl and she was obviously working on the rule of, 'you will grow into that'

Regardless of the enormity of this top I continued to sport it on the playground and remember one guy who's parents are considerably richer than mine giving me a hard time.

Anyway, Im 25 now, and I dug this little gem out the wardrobe about a year back, and guess what, it only bloody fit, not only fit but it actually looked the dogs dick and im sure that top alone got me the ride at a festival last year.

The beauty of it all, and perhaps the most ironic part of the story is, the friend who took the piss out of me, offered me 80 quid for it, as vintage footie tops are apparently all the rage with the fashion cocks these days.

Moral of this story, never throw anything away, apart from used condoms perhaps, or conservative flyers when they land on your door mat.
(, Mon 27 Oct 2008, 18:30, 4 replies)
my old boss part two
Further to my ealier post:
Out the back of the office was a corridor with only half a floor, and off there was the server cupboard. It was maybe 8ft square and was what could only be described as a shithole.

It housed three ancient desktop-cased computers with decrepit 14" goldfish-bowl CRT monitors.

One was the live server (they hosted their clients' sites internally), the work-in-progree server and file storage, and the email server which also doubled as where the backups were copied to.

Also stored on the servers was all the software. Dreamweaver, photoshop and other such stuff. All with the relevant cracks too. None of it was legit.
Windows XP and Office 2003 were genuine. This was because he subscribed to the Microsoft Action Pack for something like £200+VAT per year. So consequently he had Windows Server 2003, 10 licences of WinXP and 10 licences of Office 2003.
He didn't use Server 2k3 on the servers because that would mean having to upgrade all the hardware. So instead, he used NT4. Bear in mind that this was only 4yrs ago. NT4 with no firewall and AVG Free for anti-virus.

All this tightwadness in business did allow him the luxury of a brand new Audi TT Quattro every year.

(, Mon 27 Oct 2008, 18:01, 3 replies)
I've overcome this now, to a degree.
But I used to have a huge aversion to paying for taxis. If it was possible to travel on foot, by train, tube or bus, I would always prefer to do that. No matter what the weather was like or how much longer it would take me.

Occassionally, a friend would stump up for a taxi, but more often than not, quite rightly, they wouldn't fund my aversion, meaning that I would either head out earlier than other people or arrive at our destination later. Or both.

But I took thinks to extremes in the early hours of one Saturday morning, about 10 or so years ago, when I found myself in Trafalgar Square, wandering around aimlessly trying to figure out which nightbus would get me back to Balham.

Now, for those of you familiar with Nightbusses know that there are basically only two types of people on them, jovial, chatty, friendly drunk people or psycopathic, evil, bug eyed drunk people.

And you quickly know which is which.

After about half an hour of not knowing where the hell I was going, I spotted one of the former type waiting for a bus and hit upon my grand plan.

'Excuse me mate, I am so sorry, but I'm trying to get back to Balham but I've got no money on me and I've lost my travelcard, couldn't lend me a quid could you?'

'Sure fella, no worried'

And I wandered off with my shiny pound coin trying to find the correct bus stop.

Until I saw another friendly looking type and repeated my spiel.

Two pound coins now jingling in my pocket, I realised I was onto something.

90 minutes later, I've taken advantage of enough friendly drunks to raise enough money for a dodgy illegal cab back to Balham.

And I realise that its almost 5.30 in the morning and that the tube will be up and running again soon.

So I went and bought a full english breakfast with my bounty.

Then went home by train using my travelcard with my two crisp twenty pound notes that I'd refused to waste on a taxi still snuggly in my wallet.

I never felt guilty about that until I just wrote it down.

Now I feel like an arse.
(, Mon 27 Oct 2008, 17:48, 5 replies)
Tightwad or opportunistic?
My dad when stationed in Korea in the 50's was a lorry driver. After getting his packed lunch of corned-beef sandwiches for his day on the road (this was still in the days of rationing), he would drive over to the American base. The guard on duty would wander over and my dad would point to the lettering on the cab-door.

"BCP 216" my dad would say
"BCP?" enquired the guard
"Bomber Comman, Pousan" my dad would reply.

He'd get waved through and my dad would park up and go in the US version of our NAFFI. Being an affable bloke and that the yanks were extremely friendly and kind, my dad would blag a huge meal out of them.
(, Mon 27 Oct 2008, 17:43, 9 replies)
I begrudge paying for condoms
and am therefore relying on the highly effective* method of natural birth control.

(*"highly effective" = "I've not been knocked up so far")

Length Tight, etc.
(, Mon 27 Oct 2008, 17:37, 36 replies)

This question is now closed.

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