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4 Things I’d Still Be A Cheapskate About Even If I Won The Lottery

Winning a boatload of cash is something I often fantasize about; whether it is via luck in a Las Vegas casino or the Powerball jackpot, the thought of being able to one day gleefully make snow angels in a huge pile of bills will always be a dream of mine.

Part of this dream (after Uncle Sam gets his cut, of course) is the images of the big-ticket items and services I’d purchase (can you say, private chef, personal trainer, housekeeper, masseuse, and hairstylist?), along with all the bills I’d pay off. I’m an adult, and it’s simply the responsible thing to do. But even if I were to become one of the nouveau riche, would buy things just because? Would my attitude towards money automatically change just because there are more zeros are in my bank account?

Actually, for as long as I can remember, I have always been very careful when it comes to my cash. As a never-married woman who is just shy of early AARP status, these days, I am even more sensible about my spending.

From time to time, though, I definitely indulge in a little retail therapy by treating myself to a nice handbag, maybe, or the occasional overpriced tube of lipstick. However, even if I had a mountain of money at my disposal, I know I would still be thrifty about some things.

Apparently, I am not alone.

Two multi-millionaire NBA superstars, the San Antonio Spurs’ Kawhi Leonard and LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers, totally get it. While the former still rolls in a rehabbed 1997 Chevy Tahoe because “it runs” and “it’s paid off,” and with James’ recent admission about his refusal to upgrade to a commercial-free Pandora account, I am totally comfortable admitting that if I were to ever join their tax bracket, I’d still be a “Frugal Franny” about the following:

1. Cell phone upgrades.

Nothing is cooler than having a smartphone with all the bells and whistles — I get it. However, blink once, and the newer version is in your rear-view mirror. And while I neither blame the phone company sales reps for their annoying attempts to push customers to upgrade their phones, nor am I judging those who stand in long lines to buy the latest model, is it really worth it? I don’t think so — especially not for one with just a slightly better camera, or one with only a handful of modified features. Barring a cracked phone screen, as long as I can make calls, send and receive texts and emails, and take decent pictures, I will always ride a phone until the wheels fall off.

2. Athletic shoes.

From Nike to Adidas and beyond, there is no shortage of athletic shoe brands on the market, and now, they have cemented their place as an integral part of the fashion scene. But as sneakers have risen in prominence, so have their price tags! Of course, the stylish Air Jordan brand is immensely popular and has taken the sneaker game to another level. But with an average cost of $160-$180 for a basic pair, I just can’t conceive of splurging on them — or any sneaker, for that matter (that means you, too, Big Baller Brand). And since sneakers are my secondary shoes, anyway, I’d be more than happy to continue to buy them from a discount outlet, rather than forking over the full retail amount.

3. Candles

Candles are one of the most versatile objects in my home. Whether they are used as home décor, an everyday room fragrance, or to “set the mood,” there is something about them that makes me immediately reach for my wallet. Despite whether I already have some at home that haven’t been lit yet, somehow, I always gravitate towards them when I’m shopping. Candles are sold just about everywhere nowadays, but with prices that range from the “dollar store” to “Oprah’s Favorite Things,” how do you decide much you actually need to spend on a jar of glass and wax? I truly love nice, beautifully scented candles and the soft, warm glow that comes with them, but even with my new money, I’m certain I’d never break the bank for them.

4. Movies

At first there was the Blockbuster, then later Redbox. Now, movie buffs have choices including Netflix and VOD (video on demand) to feed their habit. With the advent of these methods, though, the physical movie theater isn’t as popular as it once was. Despite this, for my money, nothing beats the actual theater experience: The aroma of popcorn, the surround sound, the reclining seats and, when I have the patience for it, the live audience reaction are all music to my ears. But today, movie ticket prices are almost as much money as a bag of groceries, especially if you live in a major metropolis like Chicago or New York City. But physical theater aside, I don’t care what the movie is, how heavily it was promoted or how badly I want to see it; I mean, I don’t even care if the movie stars both Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Idris Elba and they are shirtless throughout the entire film, I will never pay full price. (Okay, throw in a shirtless Kofi Siriboe and I will at least reconsider…)

LaShawn Williams is a freelance writer from Chicago, Illinois. She is an arts and entertainment enthusiast who has a serious thing for stand-up comedy, music, and dance. Follow her on Twitter: @MsWilliamsWorld.

Image via Unsplash

  • Mary

    I agree on the Candles and Phone upgrades points, but I don’t think Movies or Tennis Shoes fall into the same category. It’s one thing to say you treat going to a movie as a special event, it’s another to say it’s not worth ever spending money on. Say there’s a movie you’ve been excited for for years and you and a group of friends go together after going out to dinner, that’s a well worth it outing, that could end up cheaper than going out for drinks. As for sneakers, I personally don’t spend a lot of money on them, but my sister’s a runner and for athletes it’s apparently important to have the right kind of support and a good long lasting shoe, and those cost money.

  • Kaylee Kapital

    I feel the same way except for shoes. My nikes are the only ones that are fluffy enough that I can run and my knees don’t hurt. I also live in my running shoes.

    As for movies, Tuesday is $7 day so when Star Wars comes out, I’ll go. But I’m very picky with the movies I see in theaters.

  • Jack

    Yeah, re: shoes – running shoes have special “technology” and foam, cushioning, etc that starts to break down the older it is. So outlet shoes aren’t going to be as good for your feet as new ones.
    But that being said, if it’s just sneakers for casual use then it def. doesn’t matter as much!
    TOTALLY agree on the candles. When I see YouTubers dropping like 70 bucks on a candle, I just imagine that money going up in flames.

    • Mary Harman

      That money literally does go up in flames haha

    • I was going to mention running shoes, too. I pay over $100 for a pair but it’s helped prevent injuries. I find groupons to buy new pairs ($25 for $50 of credit) and that helps.

  • Ella

    This is always a fun game. I would go to so many movies in my expensive shoes if I won the lottery. Then I’d come home and cook for myself :). I’m not sure what an outrageous price point for a candle is…if it’s $30 I’m already spending like a reckless millionaire 🙁

  • Courtney Hoffman

    If you’re just wearing athletic/running shoes to run errands or hop on the elliptical then outlet is totally fine. But if you’re actually running it’s MUCH cheaper in the long run to pay $100+ for the right pair of shoes. I wore cheap outlet shoes when I first started running and wound up developing bone spurs. Since I didn’t have a car and walked everywhere I had to buy all new shoes (not just running–I’m talking alllll new shoes) and get expensive insoles to go in those that I couldn’t/wouldn’t replace. Shoes with proper support and cushioning are not cheap & I could have saved myself so much physical pain and money if I hadn’t let cost make the decision in running shoes for me.

  • Lava Yuki

    I never bought or used a candle so I can’t really relate to that, but I’m pretty cheapskate with things like eye makeup, nightwear and body products like soaps and body lotions. Vitamins, groceries and books are another area where I try cut costs.

    However, I spend a lot of money on getting top quality shoes/ runners, sports clothes, gadgets (laptop, headphones, phones etc) and facial skincare.