Tuesday, September 17, 2013

You cheap (grand) mutha...

The entire staff at my job received an email yesterday about a new BJ’s opening up in San Jose. They wanted some select individuals to come and be “guinea pigs” for some new items that will be on their menu. And to add icing on the cake, the meal will be complimentary. That’s right, FREE!! Of course, seeing the words my immediate response was “I am interested”! Go ahead and sign me up!! Is this me being cheap? And are people born with a predisposition to be cheap?

I will never forget when I was about 7 years old, and my grandmother used to babysit me and my 2 siblings La Pria and Justin (Breona wasn’t born yet) after school. There was this amazing taco stand next to my grandmother’s apartment building that had these awesome burritos. I thought they were so yummy and I thought they were made with mayonnaise. Later I found out it was sour cream and I also started hating mayonnaise, but that’s another story. I called my grandmother before she came over and asked her to bring me a burrito. I remember her exact words “Okay—I’ll get it, but you gonna give me my $3 when I get there!” Unfortunately to say, I thought nothing of it and had her $3 ready and waiting for her because she had always been stingy.

My grandmother was not raised to be so tight with money. Her mother, my great-grandmother, was one of the most caring and giving people I have ever known in my life. She was the Black Christian Mother Theresa almost. And with my grandmother as my own mother’s mom, my mother did not take on any of those characteristics from my grandmother. My mom is very similar to my great-grandmother. Both are very loving, caring, and would give you the shoes off their feet. My mom often says “if I have a dime, you have a dime”. And she is not just like that with her kids and family, she loves everyone and would give her last to anyone. I’m glad that I have similar qualities when it comes to giving.

I am definitely not cheap, but I do love something that is free and I do love a bargain. I am definitely the type of person that wants more bang for their buck and will be first in line for the Macy’s one day sale! But obviously I have good reason. I work at a non-profit so I don’t make oodles and oodles of money, but I do love looking nice. But helping the local community is a sacrifice worth taking when it comes to where I work. I don’t find reason to buy expensive bags and excessive diamonds but that’s just me. Maybe if I had the money to trick I would (lol). But wanting something nice at a cheaper price is perfectly fine in my opinion. I don’t want to go into excessive debt at a young age trying to floss. I do nice things for myself (probably more than I should) in moderation and nothing is wrong with that.

So, being stingy and cheap isn’t a genetic trait or a learned quality. It’s something people develop on their own. Some people just have a love for money and a love only for themself. And for that there will be a price to pay. No one wants to have a cheap friend, and no one wants to be in a relationship with a cheapskate! I have seen the show “Extreme Cheapskate” and obviously by the title it is in extreme cases, but the things they do are truly ridiculous. Going to the creek to get water instead of using faucet, eating road kill, peeing in jars to keep water bill down, finding herbs in the local park, using old cloth pieces as toilet paper, searching through trash cans for food and plenty of disgusting other things. One young lady that was on the show even made a meal from dumpster diving and invited friends over!!

Being cheap is unattractive and not a positive quality. Being sensible is acceptable and will help with your future. Nothing is wrong with saving for a rainy day; in fact I highly recommend it. But just make sure to splurge a little from time to time. And also make sure to do nice things for your friends and family so they feel loved and appreciated as well. Don’t feel obligated to keep up with the Joneses, and don’t be so tight your hands are sore. Moderation in spending is the new black!

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