Frugal or Cheap ?

I have asked this question before, with a similar photo, but I ask again, is this cheap or just frugal.

Is this being cheap or just frugal ??

A post shared by Alan Whitton (@bigcajunman) on

Yes, I did buy a special implement, to make sure the transfers went well, but is it frugal? It works very nicely for HP Sauce bottles as well. When I start mixing the cereal (i.e. putting “the bottom” of a box of old cereal into a newer box), then I will know I have become my mother.

Kobo Canada


Entitled or Mistreated Consumers ?

An interesting comment on one of my older posts (the script for customer retention) stated, “…  you’re bottom feeding scum that try to bully everyone for nickels and dimes when you aren’t a top shelf customer to begin with…”. I am assuming that if the writer is an actual call center employee, they do not speak for their employers (officially).

I’d also like to point out that throughout that article I stressed the importance of being polite with folks on the phone (my daughter works in a call center and I know how crazy some people can get).

I am glad that this one article keeps getting folks reading, and hopefully getting better deals, but, things are changing out there. My inability to get to the Customer Retention group to get a better deal (Cable and Phone service), I will be trying again, but there is hope.

Media Maven Preet Banerjee says he has had an interesting “deal” proposed to him. He set up Rogers Internet in his new Fortress of Solitude in Downtown Gotham (North), and realized two weeks later that he might need a higher monthly bandwidth limit. Did this cause him to give up? NO! He called and he must have used one of his Jedi mind tricks because they gave him a higher monthly limit and they charged him less for it? (This was not the deal you negotiated).

We Deserve Better Deals

I realize that not all of us have a Fortess of Solitude or Jedi mind tricks to fall back on to get a better deal, but Ellen Roseman wants us to get those better deals (and wants to make sure we don’t get ripped off). If you have a chance to listen to this up beat lady talk, do it! She told some scary consumer stories, but she also gave me hope that we can all get a better deal (if we just stay persistent).

It is your right as a consumer to get the best deal that you can get.


Found Money: What to do?

Given I am taking some well deserved rest and relaxation, I decided to find yet another chest nut in my archives and this one from 4 years ago fits the bill quite nicely. What should you do with windfall found money? Pay debt is my regular answer but for some reason I was being quite forgiving and verbose about the topic 4 years ago.

Found Money: Windfall or Savings?

Simple Savings Routine

Some people have a very good equation at tax time:

  • Put moneys into RRSP up to Limit
  • Take Tax Rebate from this saving and apply to mortgage as overpayment
  • Repeat method each year

An excellent Savings routine, and if you can do this a good way to build up your RRSP and pay down your mortgage.

Let’s Go On Vacation

Other folks I know view Tax rebate moneys as “found money” and feel  that since it hasn’t been planned for, it can be spent however they wish and they typically use it towards a family vacation. Surprisingly, I don’t think this is a bad thing, if the family vacation is just that and not an excuse to spend more money on vacation and go farther into debt. Vacation and rest is important, as long as it is well planned (financially).

I Hate Tax Rebates

Another group of folks I know, despise getting a tax rebate, because that means the government has had your money for the year, when you could have had it instead, and they make sure their employer takes off as little tax as possible, while ensuring they don’t owe money to the government come April 30th either.

I like this concept as well, and usually try to make sure I pay as little tax as I can.

At the end of it NOT owing money to the CRA is a good thing.

Found Money?

So what if I “find” money (say it falls off the back of a truck, or a relative gives me some)?

If you go with the RRSP routine, it becomes a savings windfall:

  1. Money goes to RRSP and creates a tax rebate
  2. Tax Rebate moneys goes onto Mortgage or into a savings vehicle if Mortgage is paid off.

I like that idea a great deal.

What do you do with found money?


Thrify, Frugal or Cheap?

This one is a fun old post that I did about 5 years ago, and I must admit I still do this with Ketchup, Softener and even Cereal Boxes, but is it cheap or frugal?

Is this thrifty? Frugal? Cheap? A while ago I wrote about how I had become my mother and yet I continue to do things like pictured above. What is this a picture of?

Cheap or Frugal?!?!

When you have bought a new bottle of Fabric Softener but there is still a little left in your old bottle, what do you do?

  • Throw the old bottle out and don’t even think about the small amount left because it is insignificant and unimportant?
  • Keep attempting to use the old one and then throw it out?
  • Do what this picture shows, descanting the remnants of the old bottle into the new bottle?

Do you do this for Ketchup and other condiments?

I have even found a cool universal connection contraption that makes this whole thing much simpler when working with condiments.

Have you ever seen there were only a few Cheerios left in the box so you just dumped them into the new box of Honey Nut Cheerios (thus creating an amalgamation)?

Is this being cheap? Frugal? Crazy?


What is Money?

Another one from my archives that I do like, as it goes back to the things I like to write about: My Family and Money.

Michael James posted yesterday an interesting article about inheritances and how money can disappear or dissipate at least from generation to generation. I commented on it and then spoke to Michael James about it (while watching a Little League baseball game).

I see problems with what a lot of people view what money is to them and without a good understanding of what money’s value is, and what it actually means to you it is very easy to spend it without thinking about it.

The Value of Money

Scenes Series $20 – front / Billet de 20 $ de la série Scènes – recto

Now that is Money to Me!

My eldest daughter and I have been having talks (OK monologues mostly from me) about her spending habits now that she has a part time job. I have tried to get her to understand that just because you earn money, does not mean you have to increase your spending to compensate for this (yes, I know sometimes parents should listen to their own advice too). She doesn’t seem to understand this point, or forgets it a lot, but I think I made a good point with her a couple of days back.

I still have access to her bank account, so I can see where she is spending her money (she doesn’t usually carry cash, she uses her debit card, and that is another problem, but also for another post). I saw that she had spent $6.95 at Pizza Pizza (presumably for lunch), I remembered she had worked a very long shift at her job the previous night and when I drove her home, she complained about how her feet and back hurt, so I tried to use this to explain the value of money to her.

I pointed out that, the lunch she bought and snarfed down without thinking about it, was almost an hour on her feet, scanning food in the express line at Loblaws (where her job is). Did she really think her lunch was worth the hour of standing, scanning products and listening to customers either complain or ask questions about what she was doing? I hope this helps her understand the value of money, I am not sure, but if it causes her to think, before she spends, that is all I can hope for.

I remember when I was younger, and I had a paper route, I got paid 4 cents a paper, for a paper route of 35 papers, for 6 days a week (I got paid more for Saturday paper), but at the end of it, I made about $8.40 a week and then maybe some tips from my customers. I could have easily gone to a movie every week, but luckily I was socially inept, and really cheap, because I knew how hard I worked to make that money, so I didn’t want to just blow it on the first thing I saw.

Wonder when I lost that?

How do you value money? Do you see the work that went into buying that iPOD? All comments appreciated.


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