Call him Cheap, but don't strand him in Crapville. That's the word from Financial Freedumb, who writes one of the hippest, smartest & funniest blogs on PFblogs.org.
From sports to advertising to ethics, Financial Freedumb delivers the stories behind the numbers. Check out the cute picture of his dog Brownie.
This week, FF checks into the Frugal Weekend Spa with this guest column. Thanks FF!
Welcome To Crapville, USA!
by Financial Freedumb
Welcome to Crapville, USA! Crapville is a mid-sized city filled with beautiful houses, cars, and people. Fashion is in! Posh restaurants are the fad! And of course, "buy 3 get 1 free" sales a plenty! People in Crapville love to shop...on credit. Who cares if you don't really need it. It's nice and shiny. Plus everyone will be sooooo jealous! Monthly payments you say? I'll take it! What was that, 0 down? Yes, I want it now! Don't you want to move to Crapville? Everything can be had here on credit! Hey, you only live once right? Live it up!
Credit rich and asset poor are these people I'd say. I know, I know...you're thinking, "Geez, can you exagerate the problem anymore? Americans aren't really that in debt."
But really take a look around you...how many people you know can really afford that brand new BMW? Or how about that fancy home with less than 5% down? Maybe even 0 down if you work some magic on the numbers. Sure people can "make it work," but is that really financially responsible? Is that really affording something?
The problem with debt and credit is rooted deep in the psyche of American mentality. Spend, spend, spend!
What's that? Terrorist bombed the World Trade Center? Americans, go out, live your lives! Spend like there's no tomorrow. Terrorists will not shutdown our economy. Spending is supporting America! Don't be un-American and save! How awful you unpatriotic American.
Consider, on the first date, how impressed would you be if your partner took out a couple of coupons or decided to go and eat at your local, fairly nice, but casual diner. I bet you'd think: cheapskate!. From a moneywise perspective, that's great! Isn't it a good thing? Then why would everone be aghast with embarrasment at the thought? Spending tons of money on the first date, on the other hand, is not bad at all.
Or consider, you're with a bunch of friends and you head on over to McDonald's. You're looking at the dollar menu deciding between an ice cream sundae or a fruit parfait, and your friend says, "Just get both, it's only a buck more." To that you respond, "Nah, I'll just get a sundae." And your friend responds, "Jeez, you know you want it, don't be a tightwad." Why? I don't want both, but I should just buy both because it's a "cheap"?
Or imagine the Frugal Dutchess being called the Cheap Dutchess. What negative connotations come along with "cheap?" Society will almost definitely say, "cheap" is not a compliment, but it should be!
I like being cheap. Being cheap is good. Being called cheap is a compliment. Being cheap is smart. I'll be happy when people realize skimping on the fancy smancy features on that new car is SMART, not cheap. So the next time you want to insult someone, go ahead and call them a loosewad.
And the next time someone calls you a tightwad, just say, "Thanks for the compliment!"
Just a few minutes away from Crapville is paradise. Let's all meet there...
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