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Opinions: Do You Know a Cheapskate?

(Photo credit Getty Images)
(Photo credit Getty Images)

By Susan Hoffman

Cheapskates, tightwads, penny-pinchers, moneygrubbers and misers, chances are we all know one.

They think nothing of sneaking into box seats at sporting events with a purchase of a bleacher ticket, and an invitation to their home comes with conditions like 'Bring Your Own Beer' and 'Potluck Style." During the holidays, they are big on re-gifting or at the very least buying presents that are only on sale, thank goodness for the markdowns that occur before Christmas instead of after! What we also know to be true in many cases is that they are far from broke.

A recently heard about a perfect example, when Becky accepted a dinner date with Todd, who had a reputation for being cheap. She doubted the rumor since he drove an expensive car, wore designer clothes and had invited her to an upscale Corona del Mar restaurant. But when the bill came, instead of paying, he whipped out a gift certificate that he had received for Christmas. 

“It was our first date," Becky said. "So it didn’t make a very good impression especially since he didn’t even offer a tip.”

Becky reluctantly went on two more dates and the pattern continued, the movie had to be a matinee in order to get the cheaper admission, and there was never another evening of cocktails and a nice dinner out, instead it was a six-pack and a frozen pizza in front of the TV. It was that third date, the one with the pizza that was the last straw. Todd had invited Becky to the Christmas boat parade viewing at the Balboa Bay Club, but instead of treating her to dinner, he bought her one drink and hustled her back to his place for the pizza. For Todd, and others like him, he has prioritized how he spends his money, on himself.

Just because people live in an upscale community with nice homes and cars, doesn’t mean they can’t be cheap in other ways. Maybe that’s how they are able to have some of the goodies possibly at the expense of others? 

Take for instance a recent holiday charity event where the cash box came up short along with the toy drive because three guests stiffed the cause.

When Roger was asked to purchase a donation ticket at the door, he waived off the notion by stating that he was just stopping by to say ”Hello.” He did indeed greet friends and left early, but not without first stopping off at the silent auction table to make a bid.

Then there was Carol, who had good intentions yet it never occurred to her to fork over a few bucks to support the event. She assumed that her cookie contribution would suffice as admission. She enjoyed the entire event and also participated in the silent auction even walking away with one of the centerpieces.

The last crasher was probably the least gracious as she boldly slipped in through the kitchen under the guise of being a quasi-volunteer. Ruth bee lined it to the silent auction table to take advantage of the bargains then stuffed a few appetizers into her bag before quietly leaving.

Fortunately the stingy three won nothing that evening except maybe a heap full of disrespect.

What happened to the joy of giving especially during the Christmas season?

What has your experience been with cheapskates? Tell us in the comments.
Liz Weese January 02, 2014 at 02:59 PM
In my opinion many people like this Todd have a lot in the bank, however the people who crashed the charity event are rude. If one wants to support a charity and doesn't have the funds to do so or pay for an event - a simple call to the charity may suffice to put your name on this list if you are usually a patron and/or volunteer goods/services/time which they so dearly need. In the case of Becky however I think her sense of entitlement is out of whack. I see this sense of entitlement throughout Newport where I grew up and it is disappointing to see. Becky, buy your own dinner! 😄

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