In Defense of Cheapness

Cheap
Stingy; miserly. chintzy, closefisted, illiberal, mean, miserly, narrow, niggardly, parsimonious, penny-pinching, penurious, skimpy, skinflint, tight, tight-fisted, ungenerous
Antonyms: extravagant, free-spending, generous, liberal

I was talking to Marlo today about my spending habits. I think I am known to some as being cheap. Currently, I don’t deny that. What some people don’t know is that my spending habits are directly in proportion to my financial situation. I think that is true for most people. But for the past 2 years, my savings have been in decline, and I now find myself as poverty-stricken as when I lived in Chilliwack. Some of my Chilliwack friends call me cheap. They knew me at a time when I was on welfare for a couple years. Before I saved up enough money to move out of Chilliwack, I was working at The Book Man for 2 hours a day (except on Sunday), and then was supplemented by welfare, insofar as I was making exactly the same amount of money working as I was when my only income was from welfare, because I was still below the poverty level.

At the high mark in my bank account, I had over $7000. That was when I was working at Macneill Library Service/National Book Service and drawing professionally at the same time. And that was when I went out to eat every night; and that was when I bought my deluxe 32″ tv to replace the crappy small b&w one; and that was when I took a trip to New York. That was when I didn’t need to pinch my pennies.

Now it’s come full circle and I am po’ again. For the first time in my life, I am in debt. (One of the reasons I didn’t go to university was because I never wanted to be in debt.) So once again I must be spendthrift. I cannot afford nice things. If it wasn’t for the 40% discount at Raincoast I’m pretty sure all this year’s Christmas gifts would be as they were last year – handmade or scrounged.

In summary, I do feel some shame about being known as ‘cheap,’ but the sad fact is until the crazy rich uncle I didn’t know about dies and leaves me his estate, my climb back into the world of faberge eggs and mink stoles will be a slow and ponderous one. Note that once I am there I will crush you all.

Friends I saw this week:
Marlo, Stewie, Paul, Kelly, Michelle, Ken, Warren, Slater, Kathryn, Jon, Jeff, Darcy, Taylor.

Friends I hope to see next week:
The usuals plus: Yvonne, Sheri & Stephane, Ursy, Janet & Brian, if we can get this BIG KAHUNA movie night organized (anyone else interested?); Michelle, Kelly, Paul.

Friends I won’t see this week because Fudge Zombies is cancelled (in part because I’ll be drawing):
Lisa, Palle, Mike J, Don, Pauline

6 Replies to “In Defense of Cheapness”

  1. Don’t confuse being responsible with being cheap! You are a wise fellow, not easily sucked into the consumer whirlwind most of us find ourselves in and the debt that entails. Stay the course and be proud that you can hold your head high and nibble on your crusty bit of bread.

    Also, REALLY sorry about the Saturday get-together. Man, Bev’s xmas thingy sucked hard cheese and I learned to never trust her party sense again! Stewie-Toren Fun-O-Rama is always the first choice.
    –michael

  2. ohhh, Sweetness. I agree with Michael. You are responsible and realistic with money. I, on the other hand, am not. I’m just lucky they’re paying me 16 dollars an hour now, so I’m not in debt. I’m sorry if I mock you sometimes… you just remind me so much of my oldest friend Larissa from high school – she has many of the same penny-pinching habits you do. I love that you live off drawing, even if they don’t pay you what you deserve. It is inspiring and romantic. I, the office drone, in comparison, have No Soul.

  3. Cheap Schmeep, Try SMART! I on the other hand have a personal motto. “Magic beans! What could possibly go wrong!”

    As long as I have my rocket car and my solid gold house…

  4. I have also been labelled as cheap by some. I find those people don’t understand that I just don’t want “things”. There is too much crap out their being consumed later to be tossed on the big pile o’ junk. I don’t want it and I certainly don’t need it. Plus, the shopping cart I keep my stuff in is only so big.

  5. Marlo, Toren, I am a soulless office drone AND I am cheap. Take that.

    I just think that most stuff you don’t really need – and separating what you need from what you want is healthy and good for you. Kind of like tofu.

    Also, when do you want to do this Big Kahuna screening?

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