Nickled and dimed in America...

ColoKate63 and Maverick1 both make valid points. Neither is 100% wrong or right.

I'm considered "cheap" by my friends, but I have 2 houses in Southern California. One is a rental. I have a Tesla Y Performance (after driving a Honda CRV for 20 years which i still HAVE). I don't upgrade my smart phone every 2 years. I don't spend $ on things I can do myself (3rd party food delivery). I don't buy alcohol when going out to eat (unless required on a shop). I can get an $8 bottle of Kirkland Margarita Mix (alcohol included) from Costco. Drinks at a restaurant/bar generally go for $10 (or more) each. I use coupons all the time and will hoard coupons and look for deals.

As "bad" as some things are here in the US, people from all over the world fight/risk their lives to get here because it's much better than nearly most all other places. Most people do NOT live within their means. My 16 year old daughter with her first job is spending money like she a big baller. I'm waiting for her to run out and really NEED something so I can so "oh well." I get text alerts from her high school checking anytime she spends over $1. It's not to stop her from spending, but to monitor activity on the account. I want her to learn how to be wise with money. Enjoy a portion of it now, but also save/invest in the future.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/05/2022 03:18PM by hbbigdaddy.

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The last three posts all make valid points. I live in a valley, and there is no over-air TV reception. None. Not with the fanciest, tallest antenna one can imagine. I have an "off the books" package with DirectTV and pay $32 a month. They don't like it, but I threaten (regularly) to switch carriers, so they keep me on it. I get about 4 local channels out of Denver, and several others. I have a "smart" tv (a gift from a friend; I would never, ever buy such a thing!), on which I get many free channels, like totally free. Maybe it's stupid, but I live alone, and the TV is on all the time. I don't really "watch TV"; I'm often not in the room with it. But it's sorta "white noise" to me, and if it's not on, it bothers me (silence). Then every tiny sound is a threat. (Only those with PTSD will understand that last sentence.)

Except for socks and underwear, I don't buy new clothing. We have a local grocery, and I save enormous amounts by buying only what I need, and only when it's on sale. I go to Dollar General for household supplies (even cheaper than Walmart, much better customer service, LOL). Chicken Noodle Soup on sale, I buy a case, same with tuna. Currently I'm doing without salad makings (no more garden, since Evelyn passed away), because lettuce and other stuff just too darn expensive.
And, from another side of the issue comes this. It is somewhat comparable to the discussion of unemployment benefits. I abandoned disability benefits for which I am eligible and and pay as I go. Good choice? Bad choice? It was the right choice-- and I am the one who lives with the consequences of it. Only I have describing rights to this situation. My health provider works with me to keep costs as low as possible. I continuously learn how to adapt my world inexpensively as health needs demand it. Just now, I have been able to replace thousands of dollars of home medical supplies with odd but affordable solutions. No government program has supplied me with items that I could re-create from on-hand stuff. [I emphasized that to preclude any indignant who might argue that people in programs cost them the taxpayers, too much money.] My only large expenditure was needed anyway. Over time, I find that I need different furniture in different ways. I bought a strong and well-performing office chair that is customizable for me in general and in specific situations. Odd? To perfectionists in the world who would prefer me to have office furniture for office use and something else for personal use, I say that I understand. I used to be perfectionist to that degree. Now, I look for practical solutions that meet as many needs as possible. You may recall that I am paying for this myself. No program or taxpayers are paying for my choice of primary personal furniture. Mind you, if I were some sort of engineer, I could enter the future of personalized and yet affordable furniture for all who might need this-- and earn some money from my ingenuity. Alas.

@ceasesmith: You have a cheerleader here. I know how it is to live without large sums of money. Since this whole health issue began, I have completed a handful of gigs and am unable to go the wage job. It is not enough money to live on, but I can still do a few job tasks and look forward to more gigs as soon as this is practicable. Above all, I can figure out how to adapt things already in my world to meet the challenges of the evolving needs as this condition resolves. Obviously, you are doing this too. It is amazing how much is possible without certain government programs. If we can do this, others might be able to find the creative solutions that meet the challenges of their monetary and other givens.

At the same time, people who really need the various benefits should feel and be free to receive them without disparagement or presumptions from others. This is why the programs exist. For some people, this is the only or best option. Good for them if they can connect with appropriate assistance. I begrudge them nothing. My remarks are for people who might be able to augment benefits or reduce their need for government programs.

Creativity is always a leap of faith. You're faced with a blank page, blank easel, or an empty stage. - Julia Cameron

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I’ve noticed that everyone who is for abortion has already been born. - Ronald Reagan
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Glad to see there are other "cheap" people out there. My friends and I are experts at free or almost free meals, free entertainment and a host of other sources of wonderful discounts. I wanted to mention regarding health care for seniors the following. l live in California where there are many many choices for Medicare Advantage plans and I know other parts of the country do not offer this amount of choice. I have an advantage plan which is similar to an HMO. Starting this year my advantage plan has additional perks. I think these must have been just recently put into effect by the government as when I see what seems too good to be true from a large company it is usually by court order. In any case this year I had a choice of two additional perks in my Medicare plan out of 12 total. I chose to get a grocery card giving me $50 a month to spend at the grocery for any food or drink. It says healthy food but so far I have had no restrictions. They even paid for my wine the other day. That surprised me. My other choice was a $500 gift card for out of pocket medical expenses. So if you are on Medicare check out the perks now available on the Advantage plans. Some plans waive the monthly fee they take out of your social security instead. I also get $125 a quarter to pay for over the counter pharmacy items which includes such mundane things as toothpaste as well as even CoQ10 and those sorts of things.
Gee, it's some of the Gen Z's and Millennials that preach the points I was making...

ex #1: millennialmoney.com - [www.google.com]

Go back and search for the other examples of web sites to read. Like this first post on Mr. Money Mustache (https://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2011/04/06/meet-mr-money-mustache/) or 50 Jobs over $50k without a degree (https://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2013/07/25/50-jobs-over-50000-without-a-degree-part-1/)

Do you know what the 4% rule is? Go ahead, search for it and read about it.

I can only share good information. I can't make you read nor understand it.

With all due respect,
Maverick1

@ColoKate63 wrote:

@maverick, your argument is the equivalent of “stop eating avocado toast.” In other words, it’s ridiculous and demeaning to the Gen Z and millennials.

Long, fact-filled argument to follow:

I noticed that you did NOT mention the following:

1. That the overall cost of healthcare has increased 4500% since 1980, which is roughly when I graduated high school. Young people are paying huge medical bills; if you are on (socialism alert!) Medicaid or Medicare you probably don’t pay a fraction of their burden.

2. That energy companies (who, BTW, pay no tax due to tax code loopholes that they lobby for) made 177% more profit in Q1-2 of 2022. The increase in gas prices was naked greed. Gas prices hit young people hardest, as their salaries are lowest.

3. That the trades you promote - electrician, plumber, carpenter - beat the absolute hell out of a body and after 30-40 years of ladders and kneeling you’re ending up with arthritis, broken bones, and worse. There’s a reason why my grandparents (from a long line of coal miners) desperately wanted their children to go to college and have white-collar desk jobs.

Also, re: trades - see #1 above, regarding the insane price of healthcare in the USA.

4. The growth of venture capitalists investing in huge apartment communities and property management groups has resulted in a near-monopoly on housing. “Starter” apartments used to be reasonable and affordable for young families. Now big conglomerates like LPG, Greystar, Pinnacle collude to set rental rates and price entry-level job holders out of the market.

@maverick, you mention cable TV. Well, it’s about $100 monthly for basic in my area. YOU go out and buy a house, get medical care, rent a starter apartment with that huge, whopping $100 in savings from your lack of cable.


Edited 4 time(s). Last edit at 08/05/2022 08:54PM by maverick1.
@ceasesmith wrote:


The next morning, while I'm getting ready to go to work, I get a call. Terminated; they were afraid I'd "hurt" myself at work and they'd be on the hook for workmen's comp. Yadda, yadda, yadda.

Essentially you were terminated because you reported a work related injury. You're due compensation. That's what Worker's Comp is for. Sure, they don't want to pay out on the claim. Who would. But you legitimately injured yourself on the job and were fired for it.

It's also a pretty underhanded move to fire you for that.
@JustForFun wrote:

@ceasesmith wrote:


The next morning, while I'm getting ready to go to work, I get a call. Terminated; they were afraid I'd "hurt" myself at work and they'd be on the hook for workmen's comp. Yadda, yadda, yadda.

Essentially you were terminated because you reported a work related injury. You're due compensation. That's what Worker's Comp is for. Sure, they don't want to pay out on the claim. Who would. But you legitimately injured yourself on the job and were fired for it.

It's also a pretty underhanded move to fire you for that.
-----------------------------------------
@ceasesmith
I wholeheartedly agree with @Just For Fun and others in this thread. I applaud your tenacity and can-do spirit. Your willingness to tell your story here makes me believe you will find solutions you may not have otherwise considered. I hope you find something much more rewarding where you are valued, respected, and well-compensated.
At the same time, your situation merits more than a stiff upper lip. I'm not a lawyer, far from it, but, from what you say, ceasesmith, it sounds as if you may have been the victim of wrongful termination. No employers in any state (even an at-will state), should be allowed to defraud employees of the disability benefits they've unfortunately earned as a result of being injured on the job. If their premiums increase, so be it. Perhaps next time they'll think twice before abusing their workers.
After you informed your supervisor of your injury, they owed you a duty of care to make sure you sought treatment and documented your injuries. Please seek out the help you deserve. If you don't not only will you suffer, but others will end up paying the price, too.
And yes, you are better off being out of there.
From what you said, it sounds like perhaps you are in Colorado. Here is the link to the Worker's Compensation Dept in that state. [cdle.colorado.gov] Do check it out if you are so inclined. Best of the best, to you!
Each state has their own rules for what can and can not be done while at work. In my state Ceasesmith probably would not qualify for unemployment as you have to have earned a min of $900 quarterly working at a job which pays into unemployment for one year period starting 18 mos ago to 6 mos ago roughly. She did not work on the job for that long. But disability or workmans comp also has different rules in different states. If there was a written statement as to what the job entailed they would not be able to easily shift duties to something completely different however there would be many workarounds to accomplish getting rid of someone you did not want. Perhaps Ceasesmith was NOT someone they did not like as I cannot imagine her being a problem employee but they finished needing her for what she wanted to do so switched her duties. Common in states where your job as is is not protected. Bottom line what is important here is the rules in the state you live in.
My recollection from years ago is that she actually lives in Nebraska. Very rural western Nebraska where TV signals come from Denver.
This is a starting point for Worker's Compensation in Nebraska: [www.wcc.ne.gov]
@veebeeshops wrote:

From what you said, it sounds like perhaps you are in Colorado. Here is the link to the Worker's Compensation Dept in that state. [cdle.colorado.gov] Do check it out if you are so inclined. Best of the best, to you!

Shopping Southeast Pennsylvania, Delaware above the canal, and southwestern NJ since 2008
There's a lot of talk about workers comp, but if I've read this and other post properly, the back injury was something that happened before being hired not while working.

It is generally the responsibility of the person needing accommodations to come up with a plan. Job applications ask if you can perform the job with reasonable accommodation. You could request to take a break every 30 minutes, but they could have you clock out every 30 minutes for a break.

I know someone in the same situation that does new store setups. They bring a stool and do parts of the job that require more tedious work like stocking cosmetics, crafts, medicine, etc.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 08/07/2022 05:34PM by JasperJohnson.
Quite right, many years ago.

I am not to bend, stoop, lift, twist, stay on my feet more than 20 minutes, or walk more than one block. I can safely lift up to 3 lbs (not 30, just 3, LOL).

Any of these actions will cause back pain. The pain is a warning to quit, sit (preferably in a straightback chair) until the pain stops. Any further damage to my back will result in me being wheelchair-bound.

Cleaning the fridge involved removing the shelves and cleaning them, and the crispers. I really, really needed to sit down after that, as my back had started hurting. She told me "There's no time to sit down on this job". I did ask her to give me a task I could do while sitting. There were none.

I assiduously avoid pain killers, as masking the pain could lead to further injury. When my back starts to hurt, I MUST quit whatever I'm doing.

This was all spelled out and agreed to and documented before I started work. They even gave me paperwork stating that I would never be required to use a ladder, carry, lift, etc., etc., etc. And the first two weeks, sitting at a desk developing training manuals for the different departments, was absolutely heavenly. And I was so proud of myself -- my very first WORD document EVER!

I did not work long enough to qualify for unemployment. less than 3 months.

@JasperJohnson wrote:

There's a lot of talk about workers comp, but if I've read this and other post properly, the back injury was something that happened before being hired not while working.
There are still labor laws that apply in at-will states. They can’t fire you based on age or sex or disability (within reason), etc. They made you sign something but then they changed the parameters. Possibly what you signed isn’t even enforceable. It might be worth a free consultation somewhere.
@ceasesmith wrote:

I live in an "at will" state. Can be terminated without notice for any (or no) reason. And I signed a piece of paper during "on-boarding" that precludes filing for unemployment. And I didn't last long enough to qualify, anyway.

And it isn't age related frailty; I'm 100% disabled, and they knew that going in. I did consider pulling out the big guns (ADA compliant -- it's very reasonable that a disabled worker may need to sit down on the job!) -- but who wants to work somewhere that has made it very plain that they just don't want you there?

smiling smiley
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