In order to keep you, dear reader, informed on realistic ways to save for the future, I do a lot of research on how people make ends meet on a tight budget. Some of the ideas are great, but others are just so irritating. Herewith, my top 5 annoying ways to save money.
#1: Families with any more than 3 members all sharing one bathroom. This is prevalent in Country Living type magazines where couples with 4 kids decide they need to get back to what’s “real” in life and move into a farmhouse built in the 1750’s that only has one bathroom. I’ll tell you what’s real – 5 people standing with their legs crossed in the hallway while Dad takes his 30 minutes in the bathroom with his iPad. When your first child starts potty training, you are out of the one-bathroom life stage.
#2: The Tiny House movement. Thanks, HGTV, for ruining Mondays by dedicating the whole evening to people moving into Tiny Houses. Just thinking about these people with 3 kids moving into a 400 square foot house and complaining about the lack of storage, kitchen space and, ah-hem, “privacy” from their kids makes my blood pressure rise. My husband is waiting for the follow up series debut of Tiny House Divorce Court.
#3: Bad tipping of service workers. That extra $2 or $5 you don’t tip won’t mean a thing to you in the long run, but it means a lot to the person on the receiving end struggling to live on less than minimum wage. If you can’t afford to give a decent tip, you should just keep your stingy self at home and eat Ramen.
#4: Having friends move you. Let’s make this clear. You have one occasion of friends moving you for payment of pizza and beer. That is when you move out of your last college living quarters. After that, if you can afford to move to a better place, you’d better be budgeting for paying movers as part of your new elevated rung on the ladder of life.
#5: Pot Lucks. Yes, these have a place in life (office celebrations come to mind), but overall, if you are hosting people for dinner, book club, your kid’s birthday, or whatever, you should provide most of the refreshments. If nothing else, then you know what’s coming and where to put it all. It doesn’t have to be fancy or expensive, but don’t make your guests do the entertaining for you.