absolute bottom dollar

With some people I know, there's something special about spending *any* money on computers, Internet, or cell service. Here come a few examples. These are friends that otherwise drive nice cars and live in real houses, but when it comes to some things, they go insanely cheap.

One friend I know has had the same shitty cell phone for about four years. I can hardly understand a thing he says on it because the audio is so bad. C'mon guy, the cell provider will GIVE you a new one every two years or so if you re-up the contract. No, he's afraid it will bother his old cheap-o plan, so he keeps that barely working monster year after year. Sometimes I just hang up during his calls because I can't hear anything but "mumble-mumble-arr-grarr-mumble."

Another friend has a cell phone in her car that crackles and makes beeping and popping noises while she drives. I asked, "is that thing alright?" She's not sure, but it's just a few dollars every few months to get just a few minutes of talk time. She goes to some beat-up laundromat/store to add time to it. I can imagine the people outside shooting shit into their veins as she walks in to reload that cell phone. Creepy! I'm not sure that phone even works, but it's just a few dollars every few months. She drives a Mercedes, lol.

A relative still has AOL dialup for which she has been paying $4.95 a month for over ten years. It's an old limited AOL service that gives you "just a few minutes" of dialup every month. She'll probably still be paying that $4.95 years after AOL goes under. She never gets on it because she always runs out of time. So, she keeps it because it's cheap, but never uses it because it's so limited. She could get DSL "lite" on an introductory offer for $14.95/month but that's too expensive.

Same relative is still using an old computer with Windows ME on it because new ones are too expensive. I quit going over there to troubleshoot that beast nearly ten years ago. I tell her about decent netbooks for just over $200, but when she hears that, she wants to find one for $100. This relative has a pretty decent Lincoln sitting in the driveway.

7 responses to “absolute bottom dollar

  1. I can sure understand your frustration. 💡 They should be like me. You know all about my 22 year Honda Civic that sometimes squeals when I try to start it. I also have a mobile phone that does the job. It's not a top of the range HTC but my Huawei android is brilliant – and it cost hardly anything to buy. I have it on pay as you go.

  2. I only moved from my Sony Ericsson feature phone to my HTC Wildfire smart phone because it was a free "goodwill gesture" after a complaint. The old one was less fun but did what was needed and did it well.I'm on PAYG too and so it's costing next to nothing. 🙂

  3. operainchicago

    Is very happy I didn't make the list:D

  4. There is a fine line between frugal and absurd, I suppose. At least my excuse for my absurd frugality is that I have a plan, so I can justufy letting my best computer languish with a dead video card — it doesn't even show up in the output of


    I'm writing this on my Windows 2000 ready sandbox machine.If I hadn't recycled my last cell phone I might bend to the pressure of a PAYG service, but eh, I manage without one.

  5. I have a relatively old desktop that runs both Ubuntu and Windows 8.A new HTC EVO 3D.gr. I'll root this baby when I can. Viper ROM, here I come!That Rom better let me customize the processor speed. A dualcore 1.2 Snapdragon processor uses too much battery.

  6. Originally posted by JoshuaPhelps:

    A new HTC EVO 3D.

    I'm gonna keep an eye on those HTC's. I get an upgrade this summer, but I'm quite fond of my Nexus S, so I'll have to decide what to do at upgrade time.I'm keeping my mom on an old basic Sanyo. I could have had it replaced two years ago, but she knows how to use the one she has. I always chuckle at those Jitterbug wireless ads. Those things are expensive if you do any talking at all. Just walk into Sprint and tell them you need a big-button phone for someone elderly. They'll whip out about three suitable models.

  7. Originally posted by slackwrdave:

    They'll whip out about three suitable models.

    I thought Jitterbug was crap. It is. Likewise. Sprint's here to help. 😉

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