Poll

Are you a sucker for free stuff?

Single, yes I am a sucker for free stuff.
5 (8.1%)
Single, no I am not.
8 (12.9%)
In relationship. Woman is a sucker for free stuff, Man is not.
13 (21%)
In relationship. Man is a sucker for free stuff, woman is not.
7 (11.3%)
In a relationship, both partners are a sucker for free stuff.
9 (14.5%)
In a relationship, neither partner is a sucker for free stuff.
20 (32.3%)

Total Members Voted: 61

Author Topic: Are you a sucker for free stuff?  (Read 8448 times)

Mrs MM

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Are you a sucker for free stuff?
« on: September 11, 2012, 09:27:25 AM »
Something interesting came up the other day that I was curious about. 

MMM went to the financial blogger conference and there, they were handing out a bunch of random free stuff.  My inclination might be to take the free stuff and worry about it later.  MMM only took the free stuff that he thought would be useful (which was hardly anything).

I think this is an important distinction in how you view purchases/stuff.  Choosing not to take something, even though it's free is a really powerful superpower.  It shows that you really don't care about the stuff itself, and that having extra things in your life would be a burden.  I'm sure it can go beyond that simple idea for some people too.

In another example, I was given a bunch of free used clothes from a friend to sort through recently, and I ended up keeping almost everything that fit (unless it was horrendous).  The thought of free clothes was really exciting to me. 

Are you a sucker for free stuff?

Also, if you haven't watched this yet, you should.
The Story of Stuff: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gLBE5QAYXp8

smalllife

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Re: Are you a sucker for free stuff?
« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2012, 09:43:48 AM »
Absolutely not, partially because of the waste and excess described in the video.  I'm with MMM: if I don't need it I won't bring it into my life, even if it's free.  "Freebies" at conferences tend to be made cheaply - with all of the environmental and ethical shortcuts and harm that implies.  For me, accepting such freebies is a signal of support (supply and demand) to continue producing said freebies.

Mrs MM

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Re: Are you a sucker for free stuff?
« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2012, 09:55:14 AM »
Absolutely not, partially because of the waste and excess described in the video.  I'm with MMM: if I don't need it I won't bring it into my life, even if it's free.  "Freebies" at conferences tend to be made cheaply - with all of the environmental and ethical shortcuts and harm that implies.  For me, accepting such freebies is a signal of support (supply and demand) to continue producing said freebies.

Well said. 

gecko10x

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Re: Are you a sucker for free stuff?
« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2012, 10:21:33 AM »
Good video; thanks for the link!

tooqk4u22

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Re: Are you a sucker for free stuff?
« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2012, 10:32:31 AM »
I hate taking stuff for the sake of taking it and only take it if I can identify a use or value for it.  My DW on the other hand, complete sucker for free stuff but I don't discourage it because there was a time where she was completely against free/hand me downs/used stuff - now most of kids clothing is that and some furniture and toys.  So if she comes home with something that a neighbor would otherwise have thrown out but it is something we don't need then we can either sell it/donate it/repurpose it or throw it out - so a little more work but a net positive and even if keeps one thing out of a land fill it is better than nothing.

arebelspy

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Re: Are you a sucker for free stuff?
« Reply #5 on: September 11, 2012, 11:58:20 AM »
My wife totally is, I am not. I only want stuff I would pay to have. She will take anything free.

We're quite similar to the OP's demeanors, basically.

Same as tooq also. I wonder if there is a man/woman correlation, or if that's coincidence?

EDIT: Added poll, cause I was curious.
« Last Edit: September 11, 2012, 12:02:26 PM by arebelspy »
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Mrs MM

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Re: Are you a sucker for free stuff?
« Reply #6 on: September 11, 2012, 12:14:28 PM »
Haha!  Nice poll. 

I think it depends more on WHAT the stuff is.  I would take free clothing, but not free speakers.  MMM would be the opposite (although he would probably turn around and sell them).

I don't think this is a man/woman thing.  I think it's a "how far along are you in the process?" thing.  At some point, you think beyond the stuff, but you have to get there first.

I'm sure many of the folks here are pretty hardcore, but there are others who might benefit from asking themselves this question.

AJ

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Re: Are you a sucker for free stuff?
« Reply #7 on: September 11, 2012, 12:30:00 PM »
I don't even think it's a how-far-along-are-you-in-the-process thing. DH wouldn't take free stuff and I totally would, but I'm waaayyy more into FIRE and PF stuff than he is.

For us, it's more of a potential thing. I can look at a run-down house and see what it could be with some elbow grease. DH wants to live in a place that has already been renovated. He just has a really hard time picturing what something could be. That same quality bleeds over into other (less profitable) things. I see free stuff and think 'I could use that' even when I realistically probably wont. I figure I can always throw it out later if it turns out I don't need it.

And, of course, it does depend on what the stuff is. I wouldn't take free clothes (usually t-shirts and I already have too many), but toys (the kids might like them when they visit), office supplies (I know I don't use pencils, but I might), and food - yes.

Uncephalized

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Re: Are you a sucker for free stuff?
« Reply #8 on: September 11, 2012, 12:41:33 PM »
"In relationship. Woman is a sucker for free stuff, Man is not."

I'm the man, by the way. :D

My wife is a bit of a sucker for free stuff, but she's really a sucker for bargains. She loves shopping the thrift stores and estate sales and definitely gets a rush finding things she knows are "treasures" that other people are selling at "trash" prices.

Luckily, two things are happening: first, she is getting really into the idea of FIRE and frugality, so she's consciously modifying her behavior to tone down her focus on buying things. Second, she is so good at it she's turning it into her career--she buys vintage jewelry and antiques for sub-basement prices from people and stores who don't know their history or real value and finds buyers for them who do. She also is very good at spotting things made of precious metals or real gemstones that people think are costume, etc. So her "suckerhood" is actually turning into a pretty handy income stream that only looks like it will keep growing in the coming months and years. I'm even starting to partner with her, helping her keep the books, run listings on auction sites, etc., and business is picking up, so I'm hoping that in the not-too-distant future I'll actually be able to quit my job and work with her instead, which sounds like a lot more fun. :-)

Posthumane

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Re: Are you a sucker for free stuff?
« Reply #9 on: September 11, 2012, 01:12:31 PM »
I'm kind of a sucker for free things, I don't know if I would consider my SO to be one or not. As others have said it depends on what the stuff is, as I wouldn't take clothes, kitchenware, etc. But anything that I might be able to use in the garage either as a tool or as something to make a part from I often will take. We are cleaning out a bunch of buildings at work and the choice when I see something I like is either take it or throw it in the dumpster. I suppose if I don't like it later I can throw it in the dumpster myself with no real loss.

smalllife

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Re: Are you a sucker for free stuff?
« Reply #10 on: September 11, 2012, 01:23:12 PM »
"In relationship. Woman is a sucker for free stuff, Man is not."

I am female, not a sucker for free stuff. 

ShanghaiStashing

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Re: Are you a sucker for free stuff?
« Reply #11 on: September 12, 2012, 02:55:06 AM »
Definitely not a sucker for free stuff, but if I see a deal or nearly free stuff I definitely load-up.

For instance, was just in the Philippines. In a market there they had shorts that fit well and looked great for about $5. I bought 8 pairs and now don't have to shop again for a while.

Sparky

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Re: Are you a sucker for free stuff?
« Reply #12 on: September 12, 2012, 03:00:45 AM »
My woman is crazy about getting 'free stuff' like pens and really junky stuff from student conferences and such. I'm not as I think nearly all the 'free stuff' is junk. However free food is a different story, and being a food junkie I tend to get a bit cheap/free food crazy :)




Russ

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Re: Are you a sucker for free stuff?
« Reply #13 on: September 12, 2012, 09:20:05 AM »
I don't take things just because they're free, but if I see something that I can use or sell that is way undervalued I'll usually pick it up. I used to work in the student machine shop on campus, and the best part of that job was getting first dibs on all the good scrap metal that was left behind at the end of the quarter. I got to make a lot of cool stuff out of some really nice material for free that way. Free food is also great. For the most part though, if I need something I probably already have it and don't need another.

Angelfishtitan

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Re: Are you a sucker for free stuff?
« Reply #14 on: September 12, 2012, 09:36:10 AM »
I am totally a sucker for free stuff, but only if it is stuff I could use. I always take a couple minutes in the mroning to check one of the message boards I frequent to check out what new deals are available that day. Mostly it is food, especially granola bars and similar stuff, but occasionally I have gotten coffee grounds, tea, k-cups (don't own the machine, but my wife's work has one), umbrellas, and even playing cards. I use to take free stuff just for the sake that it was free, but have definately gotten better at decluttering my life in the past couple years.

Orvell

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Re: Are you a sucker for free stuff?
« Reply #15 on: September 12, 2012, 10:09:09 AM »
Gonna casually point out that the poll is only applicable to those in heternormative relationships. :)
« Last Edit: September 12, 2012, 10:28:53 AM by Orvell »

Use it up, wear it out...

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Re: Are you a sucker for free stuff?
« Reply #16 on: September 12, 2012, 10:27:22 AM »
I firmly believe that free stuff comes with a real cost - it has a tendency to become clutter, which drains your mental, and thereby physical, energy.

Peter Walsh wrote a manifesto on the topic, _It's All Too Much: An Easy Plan for Living a Richer Life with Less Stuff_

http://books.google.com/books/about/It_s_All_Too_Much.html?id=fxjx8UFMBf4C

Seems to me very in-line with the mustachian principles espoused here - it's not about the money, it's about living a better, freer life.

arebelspy

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Re: Are you a sucker for free stuff?
« Reply #17 on: September 12, 2012, 11:42:05 AM »
Gonna casually point out that the poll is only applicable to those in heternormative relationships. :)

Nothing was intended by that.

Simply the easiest way to word it based on what I was curious about and trying to capture the majority of readers. 

I suppose there could have been "In a same-sex relationship, and one partner is a sucker for free stuff" option.
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smalllife

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Re: Are you a sucker for free stuff?
« Reply #18 on: September 12, 2012, 02:50:52 PM »
You didn't ask for gender from the single folks out there, which kind of skews your data. 

kisserofsinners

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Re: Are you a sucker for free stuff?
« Reply #19 on: September 12, 2012, 02:56:10 PM »
"In relationship. Woman is a sucker for free stuff, Man is not."

I'm the man, by the way. :D

2nded

alexgodden

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Re: Are you a sucker for free stuff?
« Reply #20 on: September 12, 2012, 03:14:55 PM »
I hate free stuff* - useless clutter that I have to carry home, store, clean etc. I am female, and my boyfriend hates free stuff too (except food, he'll eat anything if it free, especially if it is greasy or sugary).

One of the reasons is that my mum is constantly giving me annoying free stuff. Not gifts, which are lovely, but basically stuff she doesn't want: shampoo she doesn't like; dishes she doesn't need; clothes that don't fit her; even stuff she was given for free and can't use. I then have to lug all this stuff back home from the UK, just to throw it out here. She refuses to throw it out herself, because that would be a waste, and gets very offended if I won't take it. Thinking about it, I should just get better at packing it separately and throw it out at the airport... she always drives me there so sadly no chance to get it to Goodwill on the way.

Anyway, I think that going through this every time I visit for the past 10 years has immunized me against free stuff, despite my gender!

One major exception - I work in the tech industry, and seem to constantly get given free flash drives with logos on them. As I also frequently lose my flash drives, these are fantastic - and it amazes me that I get given for free the amount of storage that would have required billions of dollars and a spare small building 30 years ago.

Melissa

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Re: Are you a sucker for free stuff?
« Reply #21 on: September 12, 2012, 03:29:42 PM »
Neither my husband nor I are suckers for free stuff, assuming we are talking about items you might pick up at a conference or expo event.  However, with three kids I will definately look at 'free' books, toys, or clothing. 

I guess I make a distinction between hand-me-downs and freebies. 

Worsted Skeins

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Re: Are you a sucker for free stuff?
« Reply #22 on: September 12, 2012, 06:10:01 PM »
There really is a difference between sticky notes and children's clothes.  How many sticky notes or other freebie supplies can one really use?  Most of us as parents remember a day when all of our kid's pants are suddenly high waters. It really is nice to have spare jeans, cleats, etc., especially if they were free.

In general I do not take things because they are free.  One exception is food.  I always show interest if someone with a garden or someone who fishes offers me part of their surplus.  That is one door I don't want to close!

kisserofsinners

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Re: Are you a sucker for free stuff?
« Reply #23 on: September 12, 2012, 06:21:06 PM »
Wify says, "free tastes better." This ends up meaning that she grabs fist fulls of candy at the bank and little piles of swedish fish from vedors makes her literally squeel when she's presented with them.

Keeping her happy can be really easy sometimes...

On the other hand i have to stop her from bringing in furnature from the stree that we have no were to put. :)

Uncephalized

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Re: Are you a sucker for free stuff?
« Reply #24 on: September 17, 2012, 11:18:06 AM »
On the other hand i have to stop her from bringing in furnature from the stree that we have no were to put. :)
Haha this part sounds eerily familiar...

WaxOnWaxOff

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Re: Are you a sucker for free stuff?
« Reply #25 on: September 17, 2012, 11:19:42 AM »
No. I hate clutter with a passion. Haaaaaaaaaaaaate it. I'll take free stuff only if it's something I know I'll use.

Nudelkopf

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Re: Are you a sucker for free stuff?
« Reply #26 on: September 17, 2012, 08:41:12 PM »
I like free stuff.. I hate free pens.