This post is going to be a bit of a rant. So, get ready. I recently came across a very popular blog site written by a very popular blogger who sort of encourages mooching as a way of saving money. Now, I am not going to name names but this individual truly comes off as a real badass of a person, IMHO.
The blogger doesn’t come right out and say to mooch, but the blogger doesn’t come right out and discourage it either. I know this by the many, many hundreds of comments the blogger’s readers leave. Such as this one:
We have utilized a couple of things you mention in this article. Most notably what I’ll call “cabin hacking” My grandparents and my wife’s parents both have a cabin less than 1 hour from our home that we visit often with our kayaks. When we do use motor boats, our parents have already paid for the gas, insurance, upkeep, etc. And we are simply there to use them and provide company for our family. It sounds terrible, but we get alot of benefit from them rather than using our own money. In fact going to the cabin for us can many times be a money saver on a weekend as the fuel to drive there in our fuel-efficient ford focus is far less than the cost of food we would have eaten or other activities our friends may have invited us to over a particular weekend. Call it mooching, but its a win for both sides. (Just only a financial win for one side) Thanks ‘Name Withheld‘
Provide company for our family? Like your aging grandparents and parents? Who are probably on fixed incomes or dwindling savings but it’s OK for you to bleed them for their gas, food and cabin use without reimbursing them in any way? Who the fuck do you think you are? How about taking your parents or grandparents out for dinner? Or just slipping a twenty-dollar bill somewhere to help offset any costs? How about showing a little bit of kindness and gratitude to your family members who have cared for you for decades? How about a little reciprocation?
There are many, many more comments like this (100+ to be exact). Where do commentors/readers get ideas like this, that it’s OK to mooch off others as a way of saving money? From the blogger source of course! Here’s one of the bloggers recent sentences:
If you like cottages, make yourself useful to a friend who owns a cottage, by always being the one to bring the food or the wine, or donating your time to help with the maintenance or renovations. I helped build a cottage for my in-laws a few years back, and have enjoyed the fruits of our combined labor ever since – at no cost to me or my family. Similarly, if you like boats, volunteer as part of the crew on a real yacht. If you like houses, specialize in building or renovating them, or hosting paying guests in the unused portions. If you like cars, become a car expert rather than just a car consumer.
I left a comment for this particular blogger and let the person know I would never invite them to my home, ever! Why? Because the blogger is only coming to my home to look for something that is good for them. Not for me. How much more selfish can anyone be? How hurtful or disgusting would it be to know the person is only coming over to my home and being nice to me simply to either freeload a night up in my mountain home, or to mooch off my boat or RV? Needless to say, the blogger deleted my comment. How typical. I guess the truth hurts. Didn’t take me too long to figure out what kind of person this blogger truly is. A bottom feeder. One of the worst kinds. You don’t mooch off people to save money, moron. Especially if it is your family. Or worse yet, your friends.
I had this same problem with my own adult children when I owed my Newport RI beach house. They would only come and visit me if I paid for their train fare. This from adult children who earned upwards of $125,000 a year compared to my measly $35,000! I bought all the food, all the wine and provided all the towels, sheets, beach chairs etc. etc. That’s what stupid parents do, I suppose. On Sunday, when they left, I was stuck with doing all the laundry and all the cleaning.
Not once did my own adult children ever offer to pitch in either financially or physically to help allay the costs. After ten years of ownership, Nick and I sold the Newport RI beach house and bought a Florida condo instead. If my adult kids and their respective families want to go to a beach now, they have to shell out thousands of dollars just for a weekend. They have to rent a car (can’t take babies on a train or bus), they have to rent a room (hotel rooms in Newport RI start at $400 a night! yes, you read that right!) or rent an airbNb for $2000 a week. They have to pay for their own restaurant meals or bring their own food, beach chairs, towels, blankets yada, yada, yada. AND if they want to spent a day on a sailboat, similar to the one Nick and I owned, it’s gonna cost them big bucks.
The true moocher that my oldest adult child still is, her husband’s parents live in Annapolis AND own a sailboat. So, they go there now instead of mooching off me. And his parents are way poorer than Nick and I will ever be.
Better them than me, is what I say. Good riddance. Obviously, this kind of ‘stealing’ is prevalent in a particular age group (20 to 40) for both the blogger and my own children. They see this as a cost-effective way of utilizing great value for their money. I don’t agree. I put a stop to it. Hopefully, more retired parents and adults will wake up to this mooching phenomenon and end it once and for all.
Mooching off other people is NOT a way to save money. Just because you brought me a bottle of wine or changed my car’s oil is going to give you entitlement to a $400 equivalent hotel room at my home. Nor the keys to my RV or sailboat. Earn and manage your own accoutrements in your lifetime and pull your own weight! Leaches went out with the 16th century. Cut your losses and move on.
We did and we couldn’t be happier. And richer.