Top 10 money jerks
by Oct 12th 2010 6:00AM
You know those people that just don't seem to get it when it comes to money etiquette? Whether it's a check-splitting cheat, a mooch, a tireless borrower or one of the seven other money jerks we highlight below, see if you can pick out any of the financial fools in your life.
No. 1: The Check-Splitting Deadbeat
All too often, when dining with a large group of people in a restaurant that does not provide separate checks, the last person to receive the check and accumulated money finds the cash isn't enough to cover the bill. Does he then risk embarrassing members of the group by demanding more money, or pay the shortfall himself? The check-splitting deadbeat hopes for the latter. Or perhaps it's lunch with a friend, but when the check comes said "friend" hands over enough to cover her food and drink, but gives nothing for the necessary tax or tip!
No. 2: The Property Pig
You've finally bought a little patch of Mother Earth that you can call your own. Then you discover your neighbor's fence is two feet over the property line, or the dying limb of his sugar maple is overhanging your garage, or his barking dog is keeping you up all night. Unfortunately for you, he doesn't seem to mind at all. (If this hits close to home, check out: Neighbors From Hell.)
No. 3: The Pilfering Relative
This type of tale galls us: A relative of the just-deceased helps him or herself to a diamond ring or a cherry chiffarobe, from the deceased's household, "just to remember him by." Such tasteless theft, in the midst of grieving, can create a family rift that a lifetime won't heal.
No. 4: The Never-Pitches-In Passenger
Sure, most of us know it's par for the course to chauffeur family members from place to place, but you don't always have to be the designated driver with other auto-owning, license-holding adults, do you? Whether carpooling to a movie, a concert or heading out for night on the town, if this buddy is always a passenger but never pitches in for gas or tolls, he's taking you for a ride.
No. 5: The Pitches-In Passenger
On the other hand, even pitching in for gas and tolls isn't such a great deal when it comes to road trips. An acquaintance of one WalletPop writer once drove a group of his friends to a convention a couple of states away, probably 1,000 miles round-trip, under the typical "I drive, you pay for gas" arrangement. In our writer's opinion, his friend had been ripped off, big time. The trip cost his friend $520 including depreciation, insurance and maintenance. Minus the $160 in gas, he was out of pocket for $360, all for the privilege of chauffeuring his friends.
No. 6: The Perpetual Fundraiser
Ding Dong! She's he-e-re (again)! You're probably hit up by well-meaning fundraisers regularly. Sponsor my run for the cure? Buy some of my kid's Girl Scout cookies? Come to my corn hole tournament benefit? Join us for casino night at the Catholic school? The person who takes the "fun" out of fundraiser is the person who has a new cause every week and hits up the same folks over and over again. To avoid busting your budget, we suggest picking your causes carefully and politely declining those you can't afford.
No. 7: The One-Upper
You buy a rowboat, and your neighbor buys a yacht. Buy a scooter, he buys a Harley. Your oldest gets into Northwestern, theirs has to apply to MIT. Keeping up with one-uppers is a hopeless (and pointless) quest. Let them win -- because as annoying as these type of folks are -- if you take part in the "keeping up with the Joneses" game, you're just as guilty.
No. 8: The Baby(sitter) Maker
Your kids are in the backyard playing, so your neighbor sends little Susie out, too. Pretty soon she's headed out to run some errands, and says, "The girls are playing so nicely, I'd hate to drag Susie away to go from store to store. Would you mind keeping an eye on her for a bit?" Hours pass before Miss Isn't-It-Nice-to-Not-Have-to-Pay-for-a-Sitter gets home. However, when you ask for a similar favor, she's always on the way out or unavailable. Not cool, not cool, at all.
No. 9: The Borrower
How about those who treat your stuff like community property?This is especially true of equipment that we use only occasionally, such as ladders, roto-tillers, chain saws, car jacks, rug shampooers or slide projectors. Nothing is more frustrating than needing your leaf blower only to find it locked in your vacationing neighbor's garage.
No. 10: The Moocher
We saved the best for last: The classic moocher. You know the guy: He's always a quarter short for bus fare, didn't bring a lunch, the book store was out of copies of the book he needed for the course; can he borrow yours? Surely you don't mind, old buddy? Listen up, Mr. Moocher -- we do mind. We really do.
Is there another "money jerk" that should have made our list? Tell us about it in the comments section below.