I can't afford ... to save money.

in #life5 years ago (edited)

So.... My roommate goes to one or more store almost every day to buy groceries and other necessities. I asked him why he shops so often and one of his many reasons is that he doesn't have enough money to buy larger sizes or buy things he hasn't run out of yet. After all, if he still has two slices of bread he doesn't need to buy it until tomorrow!


When it comes to groceries he is a creature of habit. I'm not sure how someone can eat the same thing almost every day. One item in question comes in a 2.5lb package for $10 and the same product & better brand was available in a 10lb package for $25 on sale (reg $30). He still bought the 2.5lb package. The product has a shelf life of more than 6 months and he'll buy a package every month.

One of his favorite condiments was on sale when I took him shopping one day. Reg $2.50 it was "buy one get one free" and I had coupons. He uses a bottle every three weeks. When I suggested he get 2 since they'd be $0.75 a piece, his answer was... "He couldn't afford it." Really? In 3 weeks (and before his next paycheck) he'll be back to buy another bottle for $2.50!

Repairing things around the house or replacing appliances is like pulling teeth. Rather than spending $1500 (family friend deal at the time) to replace the heating/air unit that was more than 20 years old he spent about $3000 in 5 years to repair it until he finally spent $6000 to replace it. Life expectancy on the unit was only 10-15 years after all.

If it costs $75 to fix a leak he'll spend the extra $10 a month on his water bill. He'll ignore fixing a window until it can no longer be repaired and has to be replaced.

While his financial future is uncertain like most of it us, it isn't that he hasn't had the money on hand to buy smarter or replace/repair necessary items. He's not living paycheck to paycheck. He spends more than most repairs would cost on hobbies, entertainment, and items he never uses! Buying more and driving less could save him 10% or more on regular purchases.

I usually don't mind doing repairs... it's when I hear "I really can't afford $20" when he needs push fittings and copper pipe to fix a leak that I really want to lose it. That was right after he spent $50 on items he didn't need, just wanted.

Sigh, I really hope the washing machine keeps going. I've been putting off figuring out why it won't agitate when it has more than half a load in it. Another day I'll tell you why I've got about 10+ loads of laundry to do for one person. After 2 years there is still laundry that was dirty when I moved in. I found more dirty clothes under a bed.


That mentality that your rommate has is far too common these days, and it keeps a lot of people poor.

It drives me nuts when people who can afford it act this way and then complain about money. Pointing out that if they spend .75 cents today they'll save $1.75 this month is only met with a blank stare and a shrug. Same as when I point out they will spend more to repair something that is way beyond it's expected life expectancy or will cost more to fix the longer it is ignored. lol. I'm really at a loss as to what they are thinking when faced with the math.

Some don't have the cash on hand to take care of expensive repairs or replacements immediately. That's a different ball of wax.

Yup, I totally get that!

It's not always a mentality, just a matter of math -- you can't buy what you can't afford, if you can only afford 2lb meat and milk and cereal and rice, or 10lb meat, might wanna get some variety. ;]

Right, good point!

For those who don't have the funds, you are right. If he didn't have the money I wouldn't mind it.

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