Author Topic: Unethical ways to save money  (Read 69344 times)

merula

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #200 on: May 15, 2019, 10:30:12 AM »
I would never “steal”  a wedding photographer’s work, but I depise the common model of underpricing labor and making up the difference in prints (it’s similar to how inkjet printer business works).  For our wedding we paid our photographer a fair price and received the raw files on Several DVDs, plus jpegs of a certain number of touches-up photos that they used for a book.  We are authorized to share and duplicate any of these photos.  If a family member wants a print of a photo they are in, they can get it printed low cost from any of the competitive print services.  I know not everyone operates this way, but IMO it’s far superior

I’m sure we could have paid less up front if we agreed to be screwed on the backend, but that’s not really my style

Agree. I love a local photographer and get professional shots of my family yearly. (Facepunches welcome but they will be ignored.) Their pricing model is $30 initial fee for their "kids club", then all sitting are free. They have several prints packages starting at $100, a full-file CD is $200 with a prints package and $400 without.

So every year after the initial sitting, I pay ~$300 for the prints and the CD, and get a bunch of prints I have little use for. (If I want one shot in an 8x10, I order that and end up with two 5x7s and four 4x5s. I can generally give the 5x7s as gifts, but no one can use the 4x5s so now I just have a massive collection of unused 4x5s.)

I'd rather not get any prints from them and just order exactly what shots family members request from Shutterfly or Target or wherever.

dragoncar

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #201 on: May 15, 2019, 10:36:20 AM »
Reporting a real estate loss of 1 billion dollars and deducting it even if the loss was on the bank and not you personally so you do not pay taxes for a decade .

Filing for bankruptcy 6 times .

In the fire community i would say it is all subsidies and freebies/cheapness ....maybe too much. Go read root of good

Let's save the political stuff for the off-topic subforum.

Plus, this thread is about saving money, not losing a fortune handed to you

talltexan

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #202 on: May 15, 2019, 11:55:07 AM »
It's interesting that "reporting a real estate loss of $1 billion" is automatically identified with only one person. Almost like there's something unique about a real estate loss of that amount.

ginjaninja

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #203 on: May 15, 2019, 01:02:03 PM »
I knew someone who was getting divorced and their (soon to be)ex husband "sold" his equity in his business to his father for pennies on the dollar, took out a second mortgage on their home and forged the signature of the wife to secure the loan, transferred all other assets into other people's names, and so much more.  He was trying to protect "his" money because he earned it while she was a SAHM. 

The first thing they discovered was the second mortgage (thanks public records) and because she had an awesome lawyer they got a forensic accountant to go back and track all of the transactions previously mentioned and reverse them.  He kept ignoring requests from the judge to show his financial records, blowing off assigned times to be with his kids, and just overall being a jerk.

He was also trying to gaslight her into thinking she was crazy, claiming that she was making everything up, that he didn't have a new relationship, he didn't take out a loan in her name, etc.  He convinced his whole family that she was a liar and insane.  Lone behold, she caught Ring footage of his new girlfriend showing up at the front door in nothing but a trench coat.

The judge was so fed up with him and after it was all settled she got a huge alimony, child support, and part of the assets that he was trying to hide.

So I guess this is an unethical way to save money, and it didn't work out in the end. 

PMG

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #204 on: May 15, 2019, 02:16:26 PM »
One of my dad's friends used to go to the gas station, which was owned by a local franchise that had their own dairy and specialized in milks and creams, and he would fill a coffee cup with heavy cream, then pay the senior citizen's discounted price, 69c any size.  He'd say, "Well they have the cream out on the coffee bar!"  my dad argued "But that's now how they expect it to be used!"

dragoncar

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #205 on: May 15, 2019, 03:01:40 PM »
Lone behold

This is a new one for me!

ginjaninja

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #206 on: May 15, 2019, 03:40:00 PM »
Lone behold

This is a new one for me!

It looks like I was using the phrase incorrectly it is in fact "lo and behold" lol.

Cgbg

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #207 on: May 15, 2019, 03:59:14 PM »

Along with potentially getting health subsidies (who knows, that's 15+ years from now), I am also structuring my funds in a way that our expected family contribution for the FAFSA will be really low, which will allow our child to get a lot more financial aid for college.


Just be aware- that’s the whole point here. The $5500/ year in federal student loans plus maybe the $6000/year in Pell Grants doesn’t usually cover the cost of attendance for even state universities.
Not always true. Just depends on where you go:

"The undergraduate 2019-2020 estimated tuition & fees at California State University-Long Beach is $6,867 for in-state. For Graduate School, in-state tuition and fees are $8,232 for academic year 2018-2019"

True. Of course much of the CSU system (including Long Beach) is impacted - like 3 ways impacted. Admission is impacted, majors are impacted and individual classes are impacted. Which means you have to get in, get into the major you want and then get all the classes you want- which seems simple but the impaction makes it that much more difficult. In some cases it’s hard to get all the classes you need to get thru in four years. But for those that live locally and can live at home, it’s a great deal.

Oregon has a program similar to Tennessee’s. It’s a great deal. Some folks won’t avoid loans in the last two years.

I’m not opposed to the idea of the maximum federal student loans (~$27k) if that’s the only option for some kids. Taking loans for the remaining COA (i.e. housing) for the first two years while living at home and instead banking the $ for junior and senior year expenses at the state university may be the best bet for non-mustachian middle class folks.

Our commuter state university is $8500/year for tuition alone- fees not included. That’s great for the kids that live in the metro area but not so great if you need to find housing in a major metro area where rents are outrageous.

Folks should also realize that medical coverage is required at universities. Some medical plans cover kids nationwide - ours does - but it’s another expense to consider if you don’t have an acceptable nationwide plan. If the university doesn’t consider your coverage acceptable, then you get billed for university insurance.

And just this year, the federal government changed the tax code so that kids that get full rides- or even close to full rides- have to pay the estate tax rate on any funds not used for tuition, fees and books. So.. full rides generally cover room/board, tuition, fees and sometimes books and travel. Room/board can be by far the highest expense, and your kid gets dinged by a 37% tax rate for that $. My oldest was fortunate that he had a ton of actual earned income (remote consulting firm employee) so the $14k in “free” money used to cover room and board didn’t hit him as hard as if he didn’t have enough income to be considered independent by turbo tax to get his own $12k deduction.

Cgbg

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #208 on: May 15, 2019, 04:00:13 PM »
One of my dad's friends used to go to the gas station, which was owned by a local franchise that had their own dairy and specialized in milks and creams, and he would fill a coffee cup with heavy cream, then pay the senior citizen's discounted price, 69c any size.  He'd say, "Well they have the cream out on the coffee bar!"  my dad argued "But that's now how they expect it to be used!"

This is my favorite one 🤣

Wolfpack Mustachian

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #209 on: May 16, 2019, 04:50:26 AM »
A system that pays you money for religious donation is unethical.  The state should not be in the business of sponsoring private worship.

Not to derail the thread (seriously) because this is a very interesting one, but this is one of those things that really irks me when people imply the government pays you money for non-profit donations...no, it's actually two steps removed from that. It only allows you to not pay income tax on the part of your money that you donate (which with the new standard deduction in America probably affects a fairly small percentage of people anyways). The next step is a tax credit, and even then, many of those only let you get your tax liability to zero dollars where you don't pay the government and they pay owe you. Only some tax credits actually mean the government will pay you money. So, no, it's actually two steps removed from what you said. (I know, I know, queue the xkcd comic of me sitting by the computer not going to bed because someone on the internet is wrong :-) ).

GuitarStv

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #210 on: May 16, 2019, 07:37:15 AM »
A system that pays you money for religious donation is unethical.  The state should not be in the business of sponsoring private worship.

Not to derail the thread (seriously) because this is a very interesting one, but this is one of those things that really irks me when people imply the government pays you money for non-profit donations...no, it's actually two steps removed from that. It only allows you to not pay income tax on the part of your money that you donate (which with the new standard deduction in America probably affects a fairly small percentage of people anyways). The next step is a tax credit, and even then, many of those only let you get your tax liability to zero dollars where you don't pay the government and they pay owe you. Only some tax credits actually mean the government will pay you money. So, no, it's actually two steps removed from what you said. (I know, I know, queue the xkcd comic of me sitting by the computer not going to bed because someone on the internet is wrong :-) ).

I agree with you, and could have chosen my words more carefully.

As far as the point I was trying to make goes though, this is a distinction without difference.  It doesn't matter if this is accomplished by direct taxation and then budgetary redistribution of wealth, or by the exclusionary taxation which favours the religious currently in place.  The end result is government sponsorship of religious worship . . . which is fundamentally wrong.

DadJokes

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #211 on: May 16, 2019, 08:35:50 AM »

As far as the point I was trying to make goes though, this is a distinction without difference.  It doesn't matter if this is accomplished by direct taxation and then budgetary redistribution of wealth, or by the exclusionary taxation which favours the religious currently in place.  The end result is government sponsorship of religious worship . . . which is fundamentally wrong.

Donations to churches do more than just pay the staff. I've seen churches do a lot more good with donated goods and money than a lot of other nonprofits. In my small town alone, various churches fill backpacks with food and give them to children of low income families, repair old, donated vehicles and give them to single parents, and provide housing for the homeless in the winter. In the eyes of the law, the church staff is not different than the staff of a nonprofit, and church service is no different than fundraising activities, which seems fine to me. And I say that as a nonreligious person.

On a related note, one resident of our town lodged a complaint with the school district a couple weeks ago regarding a church giving food to the school to distribute to low income students. It's not like the church actually has contact with the children, and they aren't giving the kids bibles. I think people take the separation of church and state a little too far sometimes. It's only intended to ensure that the government will not force people to adhere to a religion.

MadBikePoet

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #212 on: May 16, 2019, 09:07:36 AM »
Anyone else come to this thread hoping to find novel money saving tips they haven't had the imagination or guts to try yet?

meatgrinder

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #213 on: May 16, 2019, 09:15:43 AM »
My friend's dad would go to Froyo places and fill the tiny free sample cup then put the toppings on the sample. His thinking was that if he wanted a true representation of how it tasted he needed the toppings as well.

Never done it but you could also go to breweries and request to sample beers and leave without buying.

GuitarStv

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #214 on: May 16, 2019, 10:03:56 AM »

As far as the point I was trying to make goes though, this is a distinction without difference.  It doesn't matter if this is accomplished by direct taxation and then budgetary redistribution of wealth, or by the exclusionary taxation which favours the religious currently in place.  The end result is government sponsorship of religious worship . . . which is fundamentally wrong.

Donations to churches do more than just pay the staff. I've seen churches do a lot more good with donated goods and money than a lot of other nonprofits. In my small town alone, various churches fill backpacks with food and give them to children of low income families, repair old, donated vehicles and give them to single parents, and provide housing for the homeless in the winter. In the eyes of the law, the church staff is not different than the staff of a nonprofit, and church service is no different than fundraising activities, which seems fine to me. And I say that as a nonreligious person.

I kinda agree with what you're saying, some churches are very active in helping the community.  But that's an aspect of human nature, not the purpose of the private religious club.

I attended a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu gym that every year raised thousands of dollars to buy educational supplies for underprivileged children and give gifts to poor children for Christmas.  We also did multiple food drives each year.  I certainly didn't expect a tax break for going to the gym though, and wouldn't think that providing one was appropriate.  The purpose of the gym was to learn Jiu-Jitsu.  Just as the purpose of a church is to gather together and worship god(s).  The charity is a nice side benefit.

There's nothing particularly special about being a non-profit organization.  Being a non-profit doesn't mean that you don't rake in money hand over fist . . . it just means that rather than redistribute it to stock holders, you re-distribute that money into organizational goals.  For churches, these goals might range from helping the needy to gay conversion therapy.


On a related note, one resident of our town lodged a complaint with the school district a couple weeks ago regarding a church giving food to the school to distribute to low income students. It's not like the church actually has contact with the children, and they aren't giving the kids bibles. I think people take the separation of church and state a little too far sometimes. It's only intended to ensure that the government will not force people to adhere to a religion.

Without knowing anything of the situation you're describing, it's hard to really draw any conclusions.  There are enough examples of charity from religious organizations being given with strings attached (for example churches providing aid in African countries in the midst of AIDS crisis while also teaching strict anti-condom doctrine) that I suspect the case may have more facets than presented in your comment though.

Wolfpack Mustachian

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #215 on: May 16, 2019, 10:27:44 AM »

I agree with you, and could have chosen my words more carefully.

As far as the point I was trying to make goes though, this is a distinction without difference.  It doesn't matter if this is accomplished by direct taxation and then budgetary redistribution of wealth, or by the exclusionary taxation which favours the religious currently in place.  The end result is government sponsorship of religious worship . . . which is fundamentally wrong.

Fair enough, thank you for the correction. I do not necessarily think it's a distinction without a difference, though. Non-profits including religious ones are certainly "subsidized" (I know you used the term sponsored, but I think this is maybe close to your point) from the standpoint of comparison to businesses that's purpose is to make a profit, but they're really different animals. Non-profits are often times designed to do something like be a functioning entity for people to meet, accomplish a goal, or whatever. They are not trying to make a profit. The government is simply not taking money away from them as if they are a business making a profit on things. Numerous non-profit organizations don't need the government to give them money to exist, but they would surely fold quickly if they had to pay taxes on the money that comes in. I don't really see that as sponsorship but just as a different design. We as a society have decided that we'll not charge non-profits taxes to allow them to do their things whereas they often times would either fold or do less of their thing if they were taxed. For every one megachurch pastor who has a 5 million dollar mansion, there's dozens if not hundreds of smaller churches that either would close down or wouldn't be able to perform the community help they do if they paid out taxes. We either reevaluate our entire strategy on non-profits, single out religions as especially awful non-profits that need to be treated differently than any other non-profit, or come up with another solution.

Dabnasty

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #216 on: May 16, 2019, 12:37:48 PM »

I agree with you, and could have chosen my words more carefully.

As far as the point I was trying to make goes though, this is a distinction without difference.  It doesn't matter if this is accomplished by direct taxation and then budgetary redistribution of wealth, or by the exclusionary taxation which favours the religious currently in place.  The end result is government sponsorship of religious worship . . . which is fundamentally wrong.

Fair enough, thank you for the correction. I do not necessarily think it's a distinction without a difference, though. Non-profits including religious ones are certainly "subsidized" (I know you used the term sponsored, but I think this is maybe close to your point) from the standpoint of comparison to businesses that's purpose is to make a profit, but they're really different animals. Non-profits are often times designed to do something like be a functioning entity for people to meet, accomplish a goal, or whatever. They are not trying to make a profit. The government is simply not taking money away from them as if they are a business making a profit on things. Numerous non-profit organizations don't need the government to give them money to exist, but they would surely fold quickly if they had to pay taxes on the money that comes in. I don't really see that as sponsorship but just as a different design. We as a society have decided that we'll not charge non-profits taxes to allow them to do their things whereas they often times would either fold or do less of their thing if they were taxed. For every one megachurch pastor who has a 5 million dollar mansion, there's dozens if not hundreds of smaller churches that either would close down or wouldn't be able to perform the community help they do if they paid out taxes. We either reevaluate our entire strategy on non-profits, single out religions as especially awful non-profits that need to be treated differently than any other non-profit, or come up with another solution.

If anyone wants to continue this conversation, I made a new thread:

https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/off-topic/taxation-of-religious-organizations/

Wolfpack Mustachian

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #217 on: May 16, 2019, 05:16:05 PM »
Thanks! Good divergence of threads.

rantk81

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #218 on: May 19, 2019, 09:20:41 AM »
Let's get this thread back on topic:  Here's something I did in the last year:
My credit card has a feature, where they will reimburse me for the difference if I buy something, and then later find it for sale somewhere else for a lower price.  This past year, I bought some minor thing, at a local store (for way more than it should cost) as a convenience because I wanted it immediately. The very next day, I filed a "claim" with my credit card, due to finding it for sale at an online retailer for a small fraction of the cost (like 1/5th of the cost).  They reimbursed me.  I try not to abuse this too much, or else they might get rid of this perk for that card.

Roadrunner53

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #219 on: May 19, 2019, 12:01:14 PM »
My Hubs company allowed one pair of safety shoes a year and would reimburse the cost. He bought the new shoes, put in the receipt for reimbursement and as soon as the check hit the checking account, he gave his notice that he was retiring. Plus, the company required that certain rooms in the building required these special shoes. He was issued the shoes a few months before he retired and never wore them. Once he retired I sold them on ebay.

pudding

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #220 on: June 07, 2019, 08:22:03 PM »
I had to put in a new electrical panel at my house last month. I could never figure out why I had 2 panels side by side.

Someone at some time, likely in the 1970's had bypassed the meter to one of the panels.

So for 11 years half my electric was free! 

I got my new bill after installing the new panel and sure enough it's close to 100% more use than same time last year.

Ah well, can't win em all.

dragoncar

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #221 on: June 07, 2019, 11:44:01 PM »
I had to put in a new electrical panel at my house last month. I could never figure out why I had 2 panels side by side.

Someone at some time, likely in the 1970's had bypassed the meter to one of the panels.

So for 11 years half my electric was free! 

I got my new bill after installing the new panel and sure enough it's close to 100% more use than same time last year.

Ah well, can't win em all.

Wow, at least they never tried to back-bill you!  Also kinda lucky you fixed the issue before they found you and accused you of doing it

RetiredAt63

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #222 on: June 08, 2019, 04:44:50 AM »
I had to put in a new electrical panel at my house last month. I could never figure out why I had 2 panels side by side.

Someone at some time, likely in the 1970's had bypassed the meter to one of the panels.

So for 11 years half my electric was free! 

I got my new bill after installing the new panel and sure enough it's close to 100% more use than same time last year.

Ah well, can't win em all.

When you bought your house, the building inspector didn't catch that?!?!?

Aunt Petunia

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #223 on: June 08, 2019, 05:47:23 AM »
I had to put in a new electrical panel at my house last month. I could never figure out why I had 2 panels side by side.

Someone at some time, likely in the 1970's had bypassed the meter to one of the panels.

So for 11 years half my electric was free! 

I got my new bill after installing the new panel and sure enough it's close to 100% more use than same time last year.

Ah well, can't win em all.

When you bought your house, the building inspector didn't catch that?!?!?

Not everyone gets an inspection. I had one house that had an old fuse box next to the breaker box. The fuse box ran a few lights in the basement with old knob and tube wiring. Our theory was that whoever rewired the house was an idiot and wanted to have some light while he was working.

RetiredAt63

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #224 on: June 08, 2019, 08:14:22 AM »
When you bought your house, the building inspector didn't catch that?!?!?

Not everyone gets an inspection.
[/quote]

Around here they are standard.  I am not sure a buyer would be able to get house insurance without it.

Dicey

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #225 on: June 08, 2019, 10:01:35 AM »
When you bought your house, the building inspector didn't catch that?!?!?

Not everyone gets an inspection.

Around here they are standard.  I am not sure a buyer would be able to get house insurance without it.
[/quote]
They're "standard", because they're money makers, but they are not required. I think realtors push them to cover their ass. In fact, how would an insurer even know if you had one or not?

We don't typically get them, because DH has mad skills and typically finds more than an inspector would. It freaked our realtor out the first time we did it, but she's used to it now.

ChpBstrd

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #226 on: June 08, 2019, 10:16:32 AM »
I had to put in a new electrical panel at my house last month. I could never figure out why I had 2 panels side by side.

Someone at some time, likely in the 1970's had bypassed the meter to one of the panels.

So for 11 years half my electric was free! 

I got my new bill after installing the new panel and sure enough it's close to 100% more use than same time last year.

Ah well, can't win em all.

Glad you or someone else didn’t get electrocuted. Most ppl just shut off the house main when they’re about to work on a circuit and don’t check to ensure the circuit is off.

SwordGuy

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #227 on: June 08, 2019, 04:55:49 PM »
Hire people to do work for you and then refuse to pay them.

Go to a bar, order drinks for everyone, then leave without paying.

Set up a charity and siphon off donations into your own pocket.

Set up fraudulent businesses and bilk people out of their money.

Get a government job and then hire your own companies to perform services for the government.



marty998

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #228 on: June 09, 2019, 04:18:39 AM »

TomTX

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #229 on: June 09, 2019, 04:56:37 AM »
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7120777/Champions-League-streaker-22-says-3-8m-stunt-help-retire-30.html

One way to turbocharge your route to FIRE.

Probably NSFW.

They didn't actually post the most revealing of the streak photos.

Sustainable Happiness

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #230 on: June 12, 2019, 07:00:04 AM »
Go to McDicks and get an extra large sugary vacation beverage to mix with your drinks each night. Next evening (or weekend) stop again (or walk across the road) at a McDicks, walk in, fill it up, walk out. Do this for many weeks, rinsing the cup with water to keep it clean.

That was the college special.

talltexan

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #231 on: June 12, 2019, 07:10:20 AM »
Hire people to do work for you and then refuse to pay them.

Go to a bar, order drinks for everyone, then leave without paying.

Set up a charity and siphon off donations into your own pocket.

Set up fraudulent businesses and bilk people out of their money.

Get a government job and then hire your own companies to perform services for the government.

This is sounding like the play-by-play of a NY Times expose.

SwordGuy

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #232 on: June 12, 2019, 07:26:43 AM »
Hire people to do work for you and then refuse to pay them.

Go to a bar, order drinks for everyone, then leave without paying.

Set up a charity and siphon off donations into your own pocket.

Set up fraudulent businesses and bilk people out of their money.

Get a government job and then hire your own companies to perform services for the government.

This is sounding like the play-by-play of a NY Times expose.

And the informed citizen award goes to @talltexan !

Roadrunner53

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #233 on: June 12, 2019, 07:28:28 AM »
One day I was in the grocery store and saw a guy rooting thru something in the meat counter and he kept looking and looking and finally chose a couple of packages and left. I wasn't sure what was the attraction was and thought it might be one of those manager sales so I went over to look at what he was doing. Well, it was boneless chicken breasts but nothing that exciting and nothing was on sale and I just walked away a little ways but was still in the vicinity. All of a sudden the guy comes back again but with a plastic grocery bag in his hand. He started grabbing more packages of the same chicken he was rooting thru and put a bunch of them in his bag and scurried off out of the store! I was in shock! So my theory is that he was looking for a few of the cheapest packages to buy and once he had the receipt he must have felt he could steal more packages and then if stopped he would have a receipt to show. WOW! More than unethical...criminal!

SwordGuy

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #234 on: June 12, 2019, 07:51:26 AM »
One day I was in the grocery store and saw a guy rooting thru something in the meat counter and he kept looking and looking and finally chose a couple of packages and left. I wasn't sure what was the attraction was and thought it might be one of those manager sales so I went over to look at what he was doing. Well, it was boneless chicken breasts but nothing that exciting and nothing was on sale and I just walked away a little ways but was still in the vicinity. All of a sudden the guy comes back again but with a plastic grocery bag in his hand. He started grabbing more packages of the same chicken he was rooting thru and put a bunch of them in his bag and scurried off out of the store! I was in shock! So my theory is that he was looking for a few of the cheapest packages to buy and once he had the receipt he must have felt he could steal more packages and then if stopped he would have a receipt to show. WOW! More than unethical...criminal!

/quote]

Back when I was working in DC a bunch, there was a scandal because the police picked up someone doing this but with expensive items like TVs.  He had done it often enough that they caught on.  The scandal was because he worked at the Bush 2 White House as some kind of advisor.

HMman

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #235 on: June 12, 2019, 08:23:21 AM »
I don't think this is unethical, so if  you think it is, explain it to me.....
I ordered 2 pairs of pants for DH a month ago when they were 15% off (they're an 'every day item', so they usually don't go on sale for any less - at least I didn't remember them ever being cheaper).
They were on sale this weekend for even less, so I ordered two more pair, with the intent of returning them using the first, higher priced receipt (I have 90 days to return).
Seconds after hitting checkout.....I realize they've sent me a promo code for an additional 15% off that I forgot to add.   They have a very stupid on-line system that won't let you cancel an order once submitted, so I order a third set of two pair.  Nor will they do a price adjustment for an on-line purchase.
I'm returning 4 pairs of pants, and it will save me an additional 30% off the original sale price, or more that $28 of after tax dollars.  In my tax bracket, that's certainly worth a 30 minute effort to return them.

I'd be curious to get some other opinions on this kind of tactic. It feels scammy, and definitely rubs me the wrong way, but I can't put my finger on why. One of those things that's on the 'cheap' side of the frugal-cheap spectrum, I guess. Is there an ethical time-limit on this? If you buy pants the day before a sale and return them, is it different than if you buy pants 90 days/max return cutoff before a sale?

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #236 on: June 12, 2019, 08:53:38 AM »
I don't think this is unethical, so if  you think it is, explain it to me.....
I ordered 2 pairs of pants for DH a month ago when they were 15% off (they're an 'every day item', so they usually don't go on sale for any less - at least I didn't remember them ever being cheaper).
They were on sale this weekend for even less, so I ordered two more pair, with the intent of returning them using the first, higher priced receipt (I have 90 days to return).
Seconds after hitting checkout.....I realize they've sent me a promo code for an additional 15% off that I forgot to add.   They have a very stupid on-line system that won't let you cancel an order once submitted, so I order a third set of two pair.  Nor will they do a price adjustment for an on-line purchase.
I'm returning 4 pairs of pants, and it will save me an additional 30% off the original sale price, or more that $28 of after tax dollars.  In my tax bracket, that's certainly worth a 30 minute effort to return them.

I'd be curious to get some other opinions on this kind of tactic. It feels scammy, and definitely rubs me the wrong way, but I can't put my finger on why. One of those things that's on the 'cheap' side of the frugal-cheap spectrum, I guess. Is there an ethical time-limit on this? If you buy pants the day before a sale and return them, is it different than if you buy pants 90 days/max return cutoff before a sale?

Stores are private businesses, each with their own return policies.  Their return policies are part of their business strategy.  If you are complying with the policies of each store, then I have absolutely no problem with it.

better late

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #237 on: June 12, 2019, 09:28:47 AM »
I don't think this is unethical, so if  you think it is, explain it to me.....
I ordered 2 pairs of pants for DH a month ago when they were 15% off (they're an 'every day item', so they usually don't go on sale for any less - at least I didn't remember them ever being cheaper).
They were on sale this weekend for even less, so I ordered two more pair, with the intent of returning them using the first, higher priced receipt (I have 90 days to return).
Seconds after hitting checkout.....I realize they've sent me a promo code for an additional 15% off that I forgot to add.   They have a very stupid on-line system that won't let you cancel an order once submitted, so I order a third set of two pair.  Nor will they do a price adjustment for an on-line purchase.
I'm returning 4 pairs of pants, and it will save me an additional 30% off the original sale price, or more that $28 of after tax dollars.  In my tax bracket, that's certainly worth a 30 minute effort to return them.

I'd be curious to get some other opinions on this kind of tactic. It feels scammy, and definitely rubs me the wrong way, but I can't put my finger on why. One of those things that's on the 'cheap' side of the frugal-cheap spectrum, I guess. Is there an ethical time-limit on this? If you buy pants the day before a sale and return them, is it different than if you buy pants 90 days/max return cutoff before a sale?

Stores are private businesses, each with their own return policies.  Their return policies are part of their business strategy.  If you are complying with the policies of each store, then I have absolutely no problem with it.

Agreed. Stores who run promotions like this expect returns. They make a game out of sales pricing. You’re just playing well.

bacchi

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #238 on: June 12, 2019, 10:53:49 AM »
I knew a landlording guy who would switch price tags/SKUs at a Big Box store. For example, the cheap toilet was marked 20% off. He'd remove the SKU sticker and put it on the expensive toilet and check out.

The store finally caught on and, though they didn't have enough to criminally prosecute, he was banned from that specific store. He then started doing it at stores in neighboring towns.

He was a unethical shit.

dragoncar

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #239 on: June 12, 2019, 11:14:30 AM »
I knew a landlording guy who would switch price tags/SKUs at a Big Box store. For example, the cheap toilet was marked 20% off. He'd remove the SKU sticker and put it on the expensive toilet and check out.

The store finally caught on and, though they didn't have enough to criminally prosecute, he was banned from that specific store. He then started doing it at stores in neighboring towns.

He was a unethical shit.

This is the kind of thing I thought was clever when I was 5.  This isn’t really a good tip because big box stores have tons of cameras and they can easily catch you switching the labels. Everything here is ostensibly unethical but a good tip will still keep you out of jail

Linea_Norway

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #240 on: June 13, 2019, 05:30:34 AM »
In my previous neighbourhood, one the neighbours only paid for "summer trash". This was half the price of normal trash collecting, meant for people with cabins, who are only there in the summer. The trash is not collected in the rest of the year.

We and some other neighbours had big dumpsters together, for the trash of our 4 houses (reduced price for combined containers). The person with the summer trash collection would of course use our large dumpster in the winter. And even our containers were only emptied half the week in winter time. They empty them every week in the summer because of smells. So we often had overfull containers. Eventually we got dumpsters with a lock on them. That worked better.

kpd905

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #241 on: June 13, 2019, 06:00:53 AM »
Let's get this thread back on topic:  Here's something I did in the last year:
My credit card has a feature, where they will reimburse me for the difference if I buy something, and then later find it for sale somewhere else for a lower price.  This past year, I bought some minor thing, at a local store (for way more than it should cost) as a convenience because I wanted it immediately. The very next day, I filed a "claim" with my credit card, due to finding it for sale at an online retailer for a small fraction of the cost (like 1/5th of the cost).  They reimbursed me.  I try not to abuse this too much, or else they might get rid of this perk for that card.

This one reminded me of another credit card method, not sure if it's been mentioned already.  Many credit cards will forgive a purchase if it is small enough and it is the only thing that posts to your statement that month.

Here is a list from Doctor of Credit, could get someone a lot of small Amazon gift cards:

Amex – none (however, this seems to vary – some people get $1 waived or even more.). Recent DP of this.
Bank of America – none (occassionally, they do waive as much as $4.75)
Barclay will forgive $.99 (update: seems they now forgive $1 as well)
Barclay business cards do not forgive (readers have reported $.98 or even $.50 not being forgiven)
BBVA Compass will forgive $1 (source)
Best Buy Citi will forgive $.74 (probably up to $.99) (1), another reader reports (12/23/18) them not forgiving $.99
Capital One will forgive $1
Chase – none (As of November 2014, Chase is no longer forgiving small balances; however, some are still reporting success.)
Citi – none (one report of a waiver for $.27)
Citizens Bank forgives $.99  (ymmv)
Comenity Bank no longer forgives $1.99, unclear if they forgive at all (source)
Crate & Barrel will forgive $1.50
Credit First will forgive $.99 (source)
Discover – Most people get waived up to $2. (In 2018, some people stopped getting that waiver.)
Elan (Fidelity) will forgive $.99 (1)
FIA – none
Fifth Third Bank – none
FNBO Omaha Amex – none
Home Depot card will forgive $.99 (source)
HSBC – none
Kohl’s card will forgive $.99
M&T will forgive $.99
Macy’s Amex – none
NFCU: none
PenFed will forgive $1
PNC – none (won’t forgive $.99)
Sears Citi will forgive $.99
Suntrust – none
Synchrony – none (one report of a waiver here)
Target credit card none
US Bank – will forgive $1 [Note: they will not forgive the small balance in the month that you are charged $0 for the “annual fee”, but the other 11 months you should get the $1 forgiven.]
USAA forgives $.99
Wells Fargo will forgive $1.99

Site with most recent data points here: https://www.doctorofcredit.com/small-balance-waiver-a-k-a-lots-of-free-99-cent-amazon-gcs/

Teachstache

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #242 on: June 13, 2019, 06:50:05 AM »
How about shopping at places that you know treat their workers unfairly? Or buying items that were made with sweat shop labour? If you wouldn't work for some place that would do that to you, would you take advantage when it is done to someone else? Is that unethical, strictly speaking, or is that morality?

One of my beefs about this community (really my only beef) is that many of us enjoy a mustachian lifestyle on the backs of others and then pat our own backs for doing the right thing (by being anti-consumerist). I sense a contradiction. 

You might find that controversial. Have at it.

@Deano , thanks for articulating what I've been feeling.

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ncornilsen

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #245 on: June 13, 2019, 09:00:23 AM »
Unethical savings, or arbitrage opportunity?

I needed 250 bags of 60lb concrete for a yard project that required a bunch of small pours over the course of a few months.

I needed it delivered by a particular time and day. The local, small town place had these bags for $3.75 each, with a $30 delivery fee.

Lowes has the same Sakrete bags of concrete for $2.24, and will deliver for $79, but are pricks about giving me a narrow timeframe, and had to wait 2 or 3 days anyway.

It occured to me that I could purchase the concrete from the local guys for a total of $967.50, then purchase concrete at lowes for $562.50, and return to the other store in batches as large as my truck could haul, for a total savings of $375.

In the end I decided that the local shop was super helpful and delivered promptly, and I'd rather pay $375 to those guys and have them around, then engage in such chicanery.



therethere

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #246 on: June 13, 2019, 09:15:52 AM »
Unethical savings, or arbitrage opportunity?

I needed 250 bags of 60lb concrete for a yard project that required a bunch of small pours over the course of a few months.

I needed it delivered by a particular time and day. The local, small town place had these bags for $3.75 each, with a $30 delivery fee.

Lowes has the same Sakrete bags of concrete for $2.24, and will deliver for $79, but are pricks about giving me a narrow timeframe, and had to wait 2 or 3 days anyway.

It occured to me that I could purchase the concrete from the local guys for a total of $967.50, then purchase concrete at lowes for $562.50, and return to the other store in batches as large as my truck could haul, for a total savings of $375.

In the end I decided that the local shop was super helpful and delivered promptly, and I'd rather pay $375 to those guys and have them around, then engage in such chicanery.

I've got no problem with the buy/return when it's the same store (say online v. in store). I do this a lot for places that make sales/coupons a ridiculous game where the price can change every 24 hours. But to do it locally is unethical since you're returning someone else's product and returning it as if it were their own. The delivery fee is lower because they expect to make up for it by the price of the concrete.

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #247 on: June 14, 2019, 12:52:54 PM »
Unethical savings, or arbitrage opportunity?

I needed 250 bags of 60lb concrete for a yard project that required a bunch of small pours over the course of a few months.

I needed it delivered by a particular time and day. The local, small town place had these bags for $3.75 each, with a $30 delivery fee.

Lowes has the same Sakrete bags of concrete for $2.24, and will deliver for $79, but are pricks about giving me a narrow timeframe, and had to wait 2 or 3 days anyway.

It occured to me that I could purchase the concrete from the local guys for a total of $967.50, then purchase concrete at lowes for $562.50, and return to the other store in batches as large as my truck could haul, for a total savings of $375.

In the end I decided that the local shop was super helpful and delivered promptly, and I'd rather pay $375 to those guys and have them around, then engage in such chicanery.

I've got no problem with the buy/return when it's the same store (say online v. in store). I do this a lot for places that make sales/coupons a ridiculous game where the price can change every 24 hours. But to do it locally is unethical since you're returning someone else's product and returning it as if it were their own. The delivery fee is lower because they expect to make up for it by the price of the concrete.
I think you might be missing the premise of this thread...

Adam Zapple

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #248 on: June 15, 2019, 04:20:29 AM »
When a female chats up a guy at a bar in order to get him to buy her a drink.  Had this happen to me once or twice.

SwordGuy

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #249 on: June 15, 2019, 06:52:07 AM »
When a female chats up a guy at a bar in order to get him to buy her a drink.  Had this happen to me once or twice.

Or possibly she didn't enjoy the chat that much...