Didn’t yo momma raise you better than that?

May 19, 2010 · 26 comments

Don’t be “that” guy. You know, the guy that no one likes. I was out to lunch with some people yesterday when one of them pulled an unconscionable, but all to familiar, move. Any guesses as to what they did?

I dread dining out with a large group at a restaurant that doesn’t allow bill splitting.  It always makes paying the bill a mess. At the conclusion of yesterday’s lunch, I watched the bill be passed around from person to person. When it got to one particular individual I heard her say to another friend “Mine was $9.50? So $10 should be good, right?” To which the friend said “Yeah, that’s good.”

WTF!? No that’s not good. That’s the opposite of good. IT”S RUDE! Tax here is 8.75%. That mean’s the absolute least amount she should have paid was $10.33. But let’s not forget tip. Basically, homegirl should have contributed about $12 to cover her portion of the bill.I  didn’t have the nerve to tell her she was being a stingy jerk-face, so I just bit the bullet and threw in an extra two bucks on my portion. Didn’t they take bill splitting 101?! I’m left wondering: How can some people can be so stupid inconsiderate?

That’s not the only financially frustrating story I have…

A few years back, I was looking for a place to live and came across an awesome house  with two rooms for rent. My current roommate and I were interested. We met with our future landlord and told him we wanted a month-to-month lease option. Good news. He was totally fine with it. We ended up agreeing to each pay $700/month in rent (which would include all of our basic utilities: water, garbage, and electricity). We moved in a few days later, without ever actually signing a lease.

After about two months of awesomeness the landlord came by and asked me and my roommate to pay the utility bill. I looked at him confused like “Hey, man we already discussed this before we moved in.” He wasn’t having it and claimed he never agreed to cover our utilities. Since their was no lease, I had no way to prove it (yeah I know, I learned my lesson that leases are CRUCIAL in a landlord/tenant relationship). My roomie and I ended up paying the utility bill and moving out a month later. Boo for crappy landlords.

This last one really gets under my skin. I am actively involved in a high school outreach program. Each year we take about 50 high school kids to summer camp so they can have the best week of their life. About half of these kids come from pretty affluent families and the other half come from families on welfare (no joke). Camp is pretty costly and honestly too expensive for the poorer kids to afford.

A few years back, an anonymous donor gave $30,000 to our area so we could take all 50 kids to camp for free. PRETTY FREAKIN’ AWESOME, RIGHT?! A few weeks after camp, I learned all the low income kids went for free, but the kids that came from wealthy families still had to pay their way. Whoa, not cool. I was really frustrated. The money was donated so ALL kids could go to camp for free, but a lot of the “rich” kids had to pay simply because they could afford to do so.

Let’s just say, I had a very serious conversation with the person in charge expressing my disgust for the way the situation was handled. Everyone should have gone to camp for free and I hate knowing some parents had to pay for their kids for no reason other than “they could afford it.” Ahhh, ANGRY FACE!!!!!!!

I can’t be the only one that has run in to things like this. Can you think of some times you’ve dealth with some SERIOUSLY FRUSTRATING money situations? Anyone ever try and screw you out of a buck? Ever thought to yourself “Didn’t yo momma raise you better than that?” Vent with me people!

{ 26 comments }

1 Frogdancer

Tips are totally optional in Australia. We can’t believe the stupid “you have to pay x% in tips” mentality.

Just pay your wait staff a set pay which is reasonable, then any tips they get are because they actually give good service…. NOT because the customer is guilted to automatically pay it. It means that we get better service because the wait staff are motivated to go the extra mile. It’s a win/win situation. If I ever went to America I’d bitterly resent being TOLD to pay extra simply because it’s expected. A tip is supposed to be a reward…. not to make up what the employer is too stingy to pay..

2 Carolyn

Yes we do find the expected tip a very weird concept Frogdancer. Coincidently today Rove McManus was talking about the concept of tipping (http://www.smh.com.au/travel/traveller-tips/tipping-what-for-aussies-just-dont-get-the-american-way-20100517-v8pw.html).

It really is a concept we just don’t grasp.

3 Larry

I read that article. It’s ridiculous. He spends 90% of his time talking about restroom attendants, which is a very uncommon situation here in the US (you’ll only find it in pseudo-upscale joints and tourist traps), and next to none of his time talking about restaurants, cabs, valets, etc., where tipping here is common and expected.

The guy ought to spend a little more time here in America before telling Australians what our country is like.

4 Sandy L

Been burned by the cheap person in restaurants. After a few times though, he started getting loads of crap and was forced to fork out the dough.

Along those lines, has anyone ever gone out with the person who “oops, forgot their wallet?”

And I had a tenant who was responsible for my snowblower getting stolen. He was just like your cartoon. “It’s not big deal, just call your insurance company.” He really thought there was no financial impact. Um, my deductible is $500, the snowblower was %500..not to mention my rate will go up. Lesson learned. He was mad he had to use a shovel again..but no more expensive perks for losers because they don’t care about your stuff..they barely care about their own stuff.

5 Melissa

Oh man, there’s always a “mooch” in any social group. I remember we had a couple infamous mooches in our social circle in college. “Oops, no wallet tonight” or “Hey guys can I bum X dollars for drinks tonight?” After a while, it gets really old when it’s the same person pulling the same stunt again and again. Best thing to do – and this isn’t easy AT ALL – is call them out on it. It’s fine to loan a few bucks here and there, but it’s not cool when it becomes a bad habit.

If we get takeout with our current social group – which is a broad range of ages – one of the other ladies in the group busts out a calculator and usually figures out the correct amount each person should pay to the dime (inc. tax & tip). There’s really NO excuse to not pay the right amount in this case :)

6 Mysti

I am usually the sucker in the group that ends up paying for all sorts of things.

Two years ago, I was a bridesmaid in a wedding. Long story short, I ended up buying the jewelry for all the girls. Only one actually paid me back, and she was probably the one that had the least amount of money. I wasn’t even “friends” with the other girls, so after the wedding….never saw them again.

Yakezie…

7 Everyday Tips

My father in law is incredibly stingy. Quite often, I would go back to the table and put down a few more dollars in tip. He is well off also, so it drives me insane.

Another type of mooch I come across is not in regards to money, but kids. It is the parent that is always pawning their kids off on you. You know there is a risk you will be stuck with their kid after every soccer game or whatever, so you have to come up with excuses ahead of time. Don’t get me wrong, I have no problem with taking other kids places or having them over. But at times, I have been taken advantage of, and the favor is not returned. (This is especially an issue when the kids are little.)

Also, I refuse to be in charge of class gifts for the teachers. (Or for coaches.) Get that ten dollars out of some people is like getting blood from a rock, and I know I will be screwed over each and every time. At least the last time I got suckered into it, I only bought the present after I received money. Those that didn’t chip in ahead of time were not included.

I am frugal, but I am not cheap. Cheapness drives me crazy.

8 Larry

If the $30K donation was explicitly intended to cover expenses for a specific group of 50 kids, then to charge any kid for their stay in camp was at the least unethical, and it could be illegal. (For example, the parents were fraudulently charged for an expense that was already paid, the camp both realized income and reported a charitable contribution on the donation, the donor may have been deceived as to how his money was being used, etc.) On the other hand, if the donation was intended to cover expenses for kids who otherwise couldn’t afford the camp, that’s a different matter. But it does not sound that way.

Worst situation I ever had was when I had my home painted a few years ago. Why I used this particular painter is another story, but it was impossible to get anything in writing from him, and it was only when he finally gave me his bill that I saw his original estimate had been supplemented by “cost of materials.” In other words, he had low-balled his estimate by pricing the job solely on labor, without ever mentioning his charges for primer and paint. Moral of the story: when you hire a contractor, get everything in writing, make sure all charges are stated, and make sure that the final charge cannot exceed the estimate beyond an agreed-to percentage.

As for tipping, that’s how we do things in the U.S., along with driving on the right side of the road, using the Fahrenheit scale for temperature, and electing corrupt politicians whose only interest is getting nothing done so that they can mount lengthy and expensive re-election campaigns. Tipping is a major part of servers’ income in our restaurants, and unless the server has done a notably poor job, I would not tip less than 15% on the pre-tax amount, 20 as a rule.

9 Money Smarts

My favorite trick that I see happen all the time is when eating out at a restaurant – like you mention – and you’re eating with a large group at the table. It’s always the guy who had the $40 steak who says, “why don’t we just split the bill?”. Of course he ends up only having to pay $30 instead of $40 because we split the bill equally. Tricky tricky.

10 Kors

There’s a guy in my office who does that! Luckily he isn’t that cool, so he’s only invited to office lunches that are practically mandatory, i.e. farewells.

11 Rebecca

I looked at apartments with a couple of friends and the cheapest one we found that was acceptable had three different sized rooms. One of the friends offered to take the smallest room, saying she didn’t really care about room size. Later that week, she brought up that she had friends who divided the rent based on room size and felt that since she was taking the smallest room she should get to pay less than the rest of us. I was ticked. I told her that none of us cared about room size, so none of us were paying a premium for something we didn’t care about. I then volunteered to take the smallest room with an equal division of rent.

12 Miss Alpha

The last guy I dated made a big deal about chivalry and paying for the woman and then slowly 1) started complaining about how much gas was in order to get me to volunteer to drive to save him gas money and 2) started changing plans last minute (because he was “tired”) to avoid having to pay for dinner, movie, etc.

I can’t decide what was the worst part… false values, passive aggression, poor money management or cheapness!

13 H4ck3r

Worst situation I ever had was when I had my home painted a few years ago. Why I used this particular painter is another story, but it was impossible to get anything in writing from him, and it was only when he finally gave me his bill that I saw his original estimate had been supplemented by “cost of materials.” In other words, he had low-balled his estimate by pricing the job solely on labor, without ever mentioning his charges for primer and paint. Moral of the story: when you hire a contractor, get everything in writing, make sure all charges are stated, and make sure that the final charge cannot exceed the estimate beyond an agreed-to percentage.
+1

14 Budgeting in the Fun Stuff

I DESPISE cheap people – the people who stick me with the tax and tip. People who take advantage of me since I’m a pushover until I get angry. People who knowingly ruin, lose, or break other people’s stuff.

Luckily, I don’t keep my feelings bottled up. Every single person who knowingly cheats me or other people around me has been called out (either in jest to make a point or a out-and-out “what do you think you’re doing”) and I hope to continue doing that til I die. I understand that some people can’t stand confrontation or are too shy to stick up for themselves…that’s fine and I’d never think less of them…just step out of my way and I’ll handle it. I don’t make a scene, I just make sure that it’s handled.

The most frustrating money situation recently for me is that my in-laws wanted a $850 porcelain statue they saw on Ebay. They don’t have an Ebay account, so we did what we normally do – I ordered it and they’d write me a check. Well, it was delivered broken. It was insured, but Fedex made it a week long hassle to get the dang thing picked up. The seller then refused to give me a refund until he received his insurance claim. I waited another week before filing a case with Ebay which required me to wait another week before being able to get a refund. Apparently I filed the “incorrect” kind of case, so they closed it a week later, opened another one, and I had to wait another week before escalating it and getting my refund. This statue was ordered April 12th and I just received my full refund yesterday, May 18th after being on hold with Ebay for 45 minutes altogether. All in all, I spent 4 hours on the phone with Fedex, 2 hours on the phone with Ebay, and 5 minutes on the phone with the jerk seller who ended up telling me “It’s Ebay’s problem now.” AAAAAHHHHH!!! Okay, that felt better. :-)

15 Girl Makes Cents

Grrr stories like that make me mad. I went to the states with my friend and a cousin. We ate out for every meal and my cousin would order something expensive with drinks and I would order something normal with water and she would want to split the bill evenly among us. We split it because we are all suckers.

Another time we went out for supper for my friend’s birthday and her boyfriend was the cheapest person I’ve EVER met. There IS a major difference between being CHEAP and being frugal. We ended up wayyyy over paying what we ordered. Then he paid with all the collected money and collected the reward points. We also had to stay at a hotel that night and he came with us because it was under his name. He reserved the room for us and had some rewards point card for that too. So we pay, he reaped the benefits.

16 Girl Makes Cents

Ah I thought I was done but I just remembered something else about this jerk ex-boyfriend of my friend. Together they were in this “business” where they sold video phones. I forget what it’s called ATC or something (Donald Trump has something to do with it).

Anyway basically this “business” is a pyramid scheme. You sign up, then you recruit others to sign up and make a profit on their phone bill.

It was dumb. Who needs a video phone when there is skype or regular cell phones. Plus you could only video call other people who had these phones, otherwise it would just be like a regular phone call. He and my friend would ALWAYS try to push these phones on us. Try to get us to sign up, buy a phone and recruit other people. It was dumb.

They also paid money to go to conferences in San Fransico and other places. It was ridiculous. I hate those people who try to get you to buy into something you don’t want in the first place. Grrrrr.

17 Stephan

wow mysti, thats terrible, i hope you wont make the same mistake again! in regards to tips, i hate that its not on a bill automatically. make it like the rest of the world and get rid of the guessing game. i have dealt with mooches in the past, and like someone said, call them out. i usually bring it up the next few times i see the person if they owe me money, and after a few not so subtle call outs, they pay me back=)

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18 Young Mogul

I have NO PROBLEM whatsoever calling anyone on their BS. I will never let someone get over on me, with my permission. I don’t do the “split check” thing, precisely for this reason. I consider myself frugal, but I will never be CHEAP. And I will never try to pull one over on anyone. It’s a matter of character.

As far as the kids at camp–I agree with the person who said, it depends on how the money was intended. Personally, I see NO problem with the way the money was spent AS LONG AS the remaining amount is used for other less priviledged kids for future summer trips. We all must accept that some things in life are simply NOT fair; there’s no way around that fact. The poor kids didn’t ask to be born to poor parents and if I could afford to pay for my kid, knowing that others could not, I would willing volunteer to pay for my kid to give a less fortunate kid an opportunity. The difference to me is, if we are talking about kids, who do not control the situation they are born into versus adults, who most times–not all the time–are in their financial situation based on their choices.

19 OnceARunner

Well put…I like the difference you make between kids and adults because I absolutely hate being forced to bear the burden of adults who consistently make dumb choices. Don’t get me wrong I don’t mind, and actually like, to help people out but only those who don’t expect it and become dependent upon it or take it for granted. As my great uncle eloquently put it to me one day, he only helps people who help themselves (in other words, those who will use the help to establish their own independence or better their life).

20 StackingCash

It is this fact that has made me anti social. I used to dine out in groups until I just got tired of making up the difference. Much happier now. Also when it comes to tips, I do believe it is optional and should be given out for good service. I don’t like how the tips are calculated from the bill as a percentage. Good service is good service, why do I have to tip more on an expensive meal than a cheaper meal. Because I don’t drink alcohol, I feel I get crap service because my bill wasn’t padded with expensive wine. I feel obligated to order expensive bottled water to compensate. Oh well, just have to eat at home more often I guess.

21 Ryan @ Planting Dollars

I’m not a big fan of dining out with big groups either. If anything I try to grab the check first and put my fair share in so I’m not stuck with everybody’s shortcomings at the end and end up paying double. However, working in the hospitality industry for a large portion of my life it’s thoroughly annoying dealing with separate checks… especially when they’re all cash and they all want change. Please please please don’t do that to your waiter.

22 Brittany Y

I hate the people who don’t know how to add on tax AND the tip to figure out what they owe. Another annoying one is when my girlfriends and I will go out downtown, and many of them will say “oh, I think we need a drink” or “oh, you need a shot” and drag you to the counter. Only problem is, when the bill comes, I don’t see them even beginning to inch toward their clutch for cash/card to pay! I’m always the one to buy my girlfriends drinks…b/c if I want a drink I’m gonna buy myself a drink and not try to wait for a guy like a lot of other girls. I just never seem to get treated back by some of my girls! If I added up what I have paid for others drinks compared to what has been bought for me it would be a very uneven situation! laughable

23 Mariana Z

This happens to me so many times. I feel that my girls would just let me buy them drinks, and they wouldn’t buy me anything in exchange to make it all fair. I try to kill them with kindness so that if they paid for my portion I always ask how much I owe, with hopes that they would think of all the times I paid and I never got any money back. The worst thing is when you’re super drunk and they’re not and they just let you keep on buying all the rounds!

Maybe I shouldn’t have been too drunk in many cases, but as friends they should treat you with fairness right?

24 R

Arg! I hate when people don’t pay enough for their portion of dinner! One time, I went to a friend’s birthday dinner at a restaurant. Part of the group had to leave early so they paid for their part before leaving. Or should that be “paid” for their “part”…I don’t know which part they paid….half of what they owed?? I only got a $10 entree and water, so my part of the bill (my food/tax/tip plus chipping in for birthday girl’s entree & drinks) should’ve only been $20…of course, we were short, so everyone who was left had to pay extra. I ended up forking over an extra $25 just to settle the bill so we could leave. WTF!!!

On the other hand, it’s great to dine out with friends who pay exactly what’s owed! One friend handles the cash (he used to work in a bank), another friend whips out the calculator to figure out what everyone owes, what the tip is, etc. LOL

25 James

thing are only frustrating if they happen time and time again.

i have one friend in particular loves to play the i have not money thing every time.. its to the point where, i won’t even go out with him cus i know he is going to bail on the bill.

26 Steve

wow mysti, thats terrible, i hope you wont make the same mistake again! in regards to tips, i hate that its not on a bill automatically. make it like the rest of the world and get rid of the guessing game. i have dealt with mooches in the past, and like someone said, call them out. i usually bring it up the next few times i see the person if they owe me money, and after a few not so subtle call outs, they pay me back=)

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