My friends and family think I’m notoriously tight, but I prefer to think of myself as a sub-optimal spender.
While it may be true there are moths in my coin purse, my checkbook is rusted shut and whenever I open my wallet, George Washington blinks at the sunlight, I don’t see myself as being that different than many of my tightwad friends. Here’s a test to see if you are in my league when it comes to being cheap.
1: At your last branding, you A) asked everyone to bring a dish and their own booze, B) served chicken and a vegetarian lasagna made with inexpensive tofu, C) sold your neighbor’s beef at a concession stand.
2: Your ranch truck A) is an Army surplus truck without windows, fenders or hood, B) is so old it doesn’t have seat belts, C) is a horse.
3: When you dine in a restaurant with friends, you A) drink water, share an appetizer with your wife and then argue about your fair share of the bill, b) duck into the restroom, crawl through the window and go home just before the waitperson delivers the check to your table, C) what’s a restaurant?
4: The watch you currently have on your wrist is a A) Timex, B) fake Rolex, C) a fake of a fake Rolex.
5: Whenever you’re running a little short of funds, you A) dig in other people’s couches for loose change when no one is watching, B) consign your wife’s family heirlooms to Benny’s Pawn Shop and Hair Salon, C) go wading for lucky pennies in the church fountain.
6: You enjoy the holiday season because A) the homeless shelter serves a great Christmas dinner, B) you can re-gift the presents people give you throughout the year, for Christmas, C) after Halloween you can gather up enough toilet paper hanging from trees and cars to last your family the entire year.
7: Your squeeze chute is A) older than Methuselah and held together by rust and cobwebs, B) not worth its weight in scrap metal, C) a gate swung up against a fence.
8: You acquire your range bulls by A) purchasing them for beef price in the slaughter run at the auction market, B) taking a pair fence pliers you bought at an estate auction for $1 and cutting your fences, thereby letting your cows get bred by your neighbor’s $5,000 purebred bulls, C) leaving every 10th male a bull when you work your calves at branding.
9: For your silver wedding anniversary, you A) took the wife to McDonald’s where you enjoyed free crackers and tomato soup by mixing two free cups of hot water with some ketchup packages, B) spent the evening quietly at home, had the wife prepare a big meal and you sat in your easy chair and swatted flies with the new flyswatter you got her as a gift, C) presented her a fancy brooch with a huge rock in the middle, which was actually the big kidney stone you passed this year.
10: Your wife has been begging ever since she gave birth to your 10th child for a new house that doesn’t leak, and she constantly complains your satellite dish has more square footage than your home, so you finally agreed to A) move your mobile home under the hay shed so its tin roof wouldn’t leak so bad, B) put some curtains in the tack room and move her in there, C) get a smaller satellite dish.
Answers: If you answered A to most of the questions, you should be ashamed of yourself, squandering money like that. If you answered B to most questions you are responsible and quite possibly could have enough money left at the end of your life to pay for two months in a below-average convalescent center.
If you answered C to all questions, congratulations – you just might be as big a skinflint as I am.
The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of Farm World. Readers may log on to www.LeePitts books.com to order any of Lee Pitts’ books. Those with questions or comments for Lee may write to him in care of this publication.