As a half-Jew, I am very cognizant of Jewish stereotypes.
One of the biggest of all of them is that Jewish people are very frugal with their finances. Rather, that they are very conservative when it comes to spending money.
Or to put it plainly, we’re cheap.
Jewish people often get ridiculed because they do not want to spend any money, because they will never pay their full portion of the check, and because they will pick up every penny they find on the street. It’s pretty common stereotypes, just like how Asians can’t drive, Spanish people mow lawns, and black people can’t read. Wait, that last one doesn’t sound right.
So like I said, I am very aware of this criticism. Now I don’t purposely try to disprove it by going out and throwing money around — trust me, I don’t go strip clubs so that I could “make it rain” — but I like to think that I am pretty liberal when it comes to spending money.
I usually don’t hesitate to spend money if it’s for something that I truly want, and I often tend to spend money on things that I don’t really need. Additionally, not only will I never hesitate to lend people money, but I won’t even badger them to pay me back. I wouldn’t lend money to someone if I didn’t trust them to repay me, so I usually tend to not bring it up and let them reimburse me on their own schedule. And if it’s only a dollar or two that I lent them, then who cares? If they don’t pay me back, I won’t miss it.
That is definitely something that bothers me. When someone won’t get off your back because you owe them a freaking dollar. Those are the people who give Jews a bad name.
Although to be fair, I am fairly certain that all people are pretty strict when it comes to their own money. It’s kind of an important thing, and unless you’re rich, you’re going to try to maintain as much of it as you can.
However, as liberal as I am, there is one thing that I do with money that can be determined as “cheap.”
I always have a shitload of change at my disposal. Whenever I buy things, and receive said change, I will come home and throw it into a case that sits on top of my dresser. At all times, that case is loaded with change.
Every morning, I will take a bit of that change and put in my pocket. I figure it is always good to carry change around. You never know.
So anytime I buy anything, and the total comes out to say, seven dollars and twelve cents, then I will reach into my pocket, and give the cashier excess of twelve cents so that I can save a dollar. I do this very regularly.
It makes perfect sense! First of all, if I have that change, why wouldn’t I use it? It’s not paper, but it’s still money.
Secondly, do you have any idea how much money you can save by doing this? I’d say that I save about five dollars a week through this habit. That’s over 250 dollars a year that I am saving just because I am prudent enough to carry around change.
And yet, whenever I do it, I can just see the cashier judging me. I can feel their eyeballs on my face as I am weeding through my pocket trying to accumulate the appropriate amount of change so that I can save money.
So my question is, is this “cheap” behavior? Am I being a stereotypical Jew by trying to save one measly dollar?
Here’s my answer: It depends. If the change in your price total is lower than 50 cents, then definitely save the dollar. Reach into your goddamn pocket, pull out two quarters, and run. Run away with your money.
But if it’s more, even if it’s just 52 cents, then let it go. It’s not worth it. If you’re counting through your change, trying to accumulate 68 cents just so you can save a dollar, then that it when you start to come off as a little desperate. So for me, 50 cents is the breaking point. But anything at or below that is absolutely fair game.
In fact, I think people are foolhardy if you don’t employ this strategy. What the hell else are you supposed to do with your change? Go to an arcade? Buy a gumball?
And if you’re one of those people who brings their change to a Coin Star machine, then you’re the biggest Jew in town. Do you have any idea how much effort it takes to load all of your change into a bag, drive to a supermarket, and dump it into a machine, just so you can get nine dollars? That is full-blown Jewish behavior.
It’s one thing to do it with cans. That’s actually fun. And environmentally friendly.
Also, if you drop a dime on the ground and go to pick it up, that’s not “cheap” either. That is just recovering a dropped item. I’d pick up a button if I dropped one too.
Man, I’m really proud of my Jewish heritage, aren’t I? I think I’ll refrain from submitting this blog post with my Birthright application this winter.