Miser Mentality

Living life as a self-proclaimed miser isn’t always easy. I have a weird mentality that can mimic the mindset of someone that has lived through the Great Depression. I was raised by frugal parents but this is ridiculous. There has to be a nice middle ground where you go through life resisting immediate gratification yet still be able to buy things that have the potential to bring you happiness.

Where’s the Sweet Spot?

Many Americans have tried the 72-hour rule where they put something in their shopping cart and wait 72 hours to see if they really want it. I rarely shop or put anything in a virtual cart because I immediately talk myself out of it. Unfortunately, marketing giants have become wise and now know if you put something in your cart if you don’t buy it they will send you an email as a friendly reminder to purchase that item. So you are re-triggered to indulge yourself which makes it hard to resist temptation. Google “abandoned cart marketing” and you will see how gross marketing has become.

My Solution

I have wanted an electric bike for years. Ever since I read about them in my Treehugger newsletter back in 2014. (I also subscribe to The Minimalist newsletter.) So 5 years later here I am still wanting an electric bike. My reasoning is that the last part of my ride is up hill. It makes for a miserable last 10 minutes. Psychologically if you are a little tired you think, “ugh, I won’t be able to get home.” There is also something viscerally defeating about walking your bike up a hill in front of all of your neighbors. I’m (obviously) not opposed to being the weird neighbor but that kind of public defeat is unbearable.

Here’s the solution: Craiglist and Facebook market place! There will always be someone out there that will buy something I want then decide they don’t actually need or want it. Why buy something new that you are not 100% sure you will love? If you can buy it from someone else at a deep discount, that should always be your first step.

So here’s what I bought!

I messaged him with the following, “I’m very interested in your bike but I can’t pay $750. If you ever consider going down to $650, please let me know.” I absolutely have to haggle with every online seller. It’s unfortunate and embarrassing to my family but whatever, you can’t change me. He replied with, “No, my price is firm.” I was sad but I continued to browse for another option. Two days later I received another message, “I will take $700, Happy Father’s Day”, I said, “Yes!”

A brand new version of this bike is $1,2000 PLUS taxes and shipping. OMG. It was so amazing. Mr. Miser drove me to the local police station to meet the owner, they have a monitored drop-off area there that feels safe. However, I’m not 100% sure if it is actually safer than Target. Riding to the meeting spot I was like a small child waiting for my birthday clutching my helmet in my lap.

I took it for a spin around the parking lot and then forced Mr. Miser to do the same. We both shrugged our shoulder because we know nothing about bikes let alone e-bikes. I paid the man, put on my helmet, my 10- year old biking gloves and hit the trail. It took me 25 minutes to bike home from the police station and I was grinning from ear to ear! The last part of my ride I pushed a button and zoomed up the hill. No more gasping for air on the last leg of my ride or embarrassing myself.

I’m so mad that I didn’t buy something sooner. I waited too long to buy something I really wanted because of my overly miserly attitude!

My next goal is to see how much quicker I can bike to work with my new booster.

This Post Has One Comment

  1. For people like us with frugality in our genes, is so hard to buy anything.

    Lately, to avoid taking my frugality too far, I have decided to buy things that I would be happy taking home if they were free. For example, if I am having trouble deciding whether to buy something, I would just ask myself: Would I get this if it was free?

    For example, I would not want to take home a ski boat, even if it was free, since I don’t want to get a pick up truck and all the stuff necessary to pull the thing around, plus I don’t even like riding boats.

    For the above to still let you FIRE, you have to be a minimalist.

    Long term, you either are a minimalist that really buys all he or she wants (no deprivation) while spending very little or you become a frustrated miser.

    My plan however would not work in restaurants since I would eat sushi every day at the restaurant if it was free.

    Just some random thoughts, i hope I made any sense.

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