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Are Things THAT Tight ?
Old 08-01-2011, 07:16 PM   #1
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Are Things THAT Tight ?

Plan to have a small yard job done tomorrow for about $150-200. The handyman asked if I could pay him in cash since he's unable to utilize any bank because of prior bad checks he's presented. I initially wanted the work done in 3 days but he said he's available tomorrow and that he needs the work BAD !
To the other posters, are things REALLY THAT BAD.....I still see folks eating out and at the malls, but when I talk to folks everyone's crying. If I were doing THAT BAD, I wouldn't be eating out or at the mall spending money I didn't have.......that's so oxymoronic to the FIRE mentality !

Am I missing something here....please opine
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Old 08-01-2011, 07:31 PM   #2
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People eating at the malls aren't suffering the hard times. Housing and construction workers OTOH...
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Old 08-01-2011, 07:32 PM   #3
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Unemployment is very high (and work force participation is low) - but most people still have jobs. Even LBYM types still go out and spend at least some money.
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Old 08-01-2011, 07:35 PM   #4
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even during the Great Depression unemployment was "only" 25%. So yes most people still have jobs, and can go out and eat, but lots (in relative terms to what is considered normal employment these days) of folks are currently out of work (especially in industries like construction) and for them, it is pretty darn serious.
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Old 08-01-2011, 07:37 PM   #5
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Am I missing something here....please opine
I suspect your handyman is not eating out at the mall.

What's missing is visiblity for those who are in tight times at the moment.
I know several in very tight times at the moment - they are pretty much hunkered down, looking for work and finding free things to do for recreation.
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Old 08-01-2011, 07:43 PM   #6
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The people you see at the mall are not the same as your handyman.

I noticed though that there are less traffic at the mall compared to a few years ago and more stores are shuttered.

The guy that does our lawn said that he has fewer customers now and if that continues, he may have to get rid of some workers.
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Old 08-01-2011, 07:44 PM   #7
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Plan to have a small yard job done tomorrow for about $150-200. The handyman asked if I could pay him in cash since he's unable to utilize any bank because of prior bad checks he's presented. I initially wanted the work done in 3 days but he said he's available tomorrow and that he needs the work BAD !
To the other posters, are things REALLY THAT BAD.....I still see folks eating out and at the malls, but when I talk to folks everyone's crying. If I were doing THAT BAD, I wouldn't be eating out or at the mall spending money I didn't have.......that's so oxymoronic to the FIRE mentality !

Am I missing something here....please opine
In my area people who do small yard jobs are hard up for work these days. I had a 23-year-old kid ring the doorbell late one afternoon last week and offer to clean out my foundation beds, weed, use a selective herbicide, add mulch, and so on, for $225. I told him that was too much and he immediately came down to $175. He wanted $100 in advance, so I gave him a check and he started the next day. Then just after starting, he wanted another $20 out of the $75 left, so that he could buy lunch for his workers(I presume fast food or maybe a roadside taco stand). After finishing I paid him the rest in cash.

So, he didn't even have $20 to buy food! In casual conversation later on he told me his rent was late and he was desperate to earn money fast. He had three jobs lined up for that day, but out of that money he had to pay the helpers that he had picked up at Home Depot and buy the mulch and herbicide.

People who do this type of work would often prefer to be paid in cash. This way they don't have to worry about those pesky income taxes.
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Old 08-01-2011, 07:48 PM   #8
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Perhaps he wants to be paid in cash to keep it off the books. I typically get a lower price if I pay in cash not always but usually.
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Old 08-01-2011, 07:50 PM   #9
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I recently had some foundation repair done. After shopping prices I found that most of the contractors bids were about half what they were several years ago.
When the crew showed up ( I soon learned there were two crews) I had as many as 22 workers digging holes or driving piers. They finished in less than 2 days.
The crew chief said that things were indeed slow, but they tried to keep employees working and not lay them off.
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Old 08-01-2011, 08:30 PM   #10
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We were getting painting & wallpapering done . The worker asked could we pay in cash so he could avoid the IRS .We did but my husband was an IRS agent . We chuckled over that one for awhile .
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Old 08-01-2011, 08:55 PM   #11
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Well, feel free, you pay more because he pays less (or nothing).
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Old 08-01-2011, 09:38 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by W2R

In my area people who do small yard jobs are hard up for work these days. I had a 23-year-old kid ring the doorbell late one afternoon last week and offer to clean out my foundation beds, weed, use a selective herbicide, add mulch, and so on, for $225. I told him that was too much and he immediately came down to $175. He wanted $100 in advance, so I gave him a check and he started the next day. Then just after starting, he wanted another $20 out of the $75 left, so that he could buy lunch for his workers(I presume fast food or maybe a roadside taco stand). After finishing I paid him the rest in cash.

So, he didn't even have $20 to buy food! In casual conversation later on he told me his rent was late and he was desperate to earn money fast. He had three jobs lined up for that day, but out of that money he had to pay the helpers that he had picked up at Home Depot and buy the mulch and herbicide.

People who do this type of work would often prefer to be paid in cash. This way they don't have to worry about those pesky income taxes.
Good for you W2R to give a kid an advance to trust him, and good for the kid he followed up and did the job! You have to respect people who go out and initiate work and make some money instead of just sitting home depressed and complaining they can't find a job.
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Old 08-01-2011, 09:40 PM   #13
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I have a handyman who does pressure cleaning and I get a call from him occasionally telling me that he will discount the job if he can come tomorrow because someone else has cancelled.

i give him the work as I get a good deal and the work needs to be done.
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Old 08-02-2011, 01:31 AM   #14
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To the other posters, are things REALLY THAT BAD.....I still see folks eating out and at the malls, but when I talk to folks everyone's crying. If I were doing THAT BAD, I wouldn't be eating out or at the mall spending money I didn't have....
I remember 1974-75 and it was some times difficult to get a seat in a restaurant. Despite 10% unemployment, there are still huge cash generating programs in existence (SS, Unemployment) and they do inject money into the economy.
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Old 08-02-2011, 07:30 AM   #15
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Everyone I know that wants a job has a good one. The market for IT is solid these days.

I had no idea work was so tight for handy man types. I've got some stuff I need done, maybe now is the time for quotes.
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Old 08-02-2011, 08:19 AM   #16
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Everyone I know that wants a job has a good one. The market for IT is solid these days.

I had no idea work was so tight for handy man types. I've got some stuff I need done, maybe now is the time for quotes.
I know a few that "have" jobs but not necessarily "good" ones. They have a job and it pays but they are tolerating the situation until things get better. The work environment is not always "good"

I'm getting handy man types and painters for $15 - 20 an hour which is very cheap in my mind. The quality is ok, something for my renters for sure.
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Old 08-02-2011, 09:56 AM   #17
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Perhaps he wants to be paid in cash to keep it off the books. I typically get a lower price if I pay in cash not always but usually.
Done all the time, hence one of the reasons about half the population pays no taxes. Also can keep getting the food stamps and unemployment if you don't have reportable income. That said, there is a lot of people out there struggling, especially the low income who are competing with illegal aliens. We have problems that aren't going away soon.
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Old 08-02-2011, 10:00 AM   #18
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Ive been looking into having a small building put up in my backyard. 750 sq ft, just a shell, no plumbing, electric, nothing on the inside. Just basically a shed to put my camper, lawnmower, and a truck inside. It's been two month's and Ive asked at least 6 builders that put up sheds, garages ect. Ive only gotten two bid's. One for $21,000 and the other for $40,000. The others either say they are still working on the bid or are just too busy.

So it must be a good time to be in the shed building business.
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Old 08-02-2011, 10:03 AM   #19
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In my area people who do small yard jobs are hard up for work these days. I had a 23-year-old kid ring the doorbell late one afternoon last week and offer to clean out my foundation beds, weed, use a selective herbicide, add mulch, and so on, for $225. I told him that was too much and he immediately came down to $175. He wanted $100 in advance, so I gave him a check and he started the next day. Then just after starting, he wanted another $20 out of the $75 left, so that he could buy lunch for his workers(I presume fast food or maybe a roadside taco stand). After finishing I paid him the rest in cash.

So, he didn't even have $20 to buy food! In casual conversation later on he told me his rent was late and he was desperate to earn money fast. He had three jobs lined up for that day, but out of that money he had to pay the helpers that he had picked up at Home Depot and buy the mulch and herbicide.

People who do this type of work would often prefer to be paid in cash. This way they don't have to worry about those pesky income taxes.

People who do this type of work would not normally pay income taxes... now, if you are being generic and are talking SS... then yes...
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Old 08-02-2011, 10:35 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by ferco View Post
Plan to have a small yard job done tomorrow for about $150-200. The handyman asked if I could pay him in cash since he's unable to utilize any bank because of prior bad checks he's presented. I initially wanted the work done in 3 days but he said he's available tomorrow and that he needs the work BAD !
To the other posters, are things REALLY THAT BAD.....I still see folks eating out and at the malls, but when I talk to folks everyone's crying. If I were doing THAT BAD, I wouldn't be eating out or at the mall spending money I didn't have.......that's so oxymoronic to the FIRE mentality !
Am I missing something here....please opine
I think a check-kiting handyman has many more problems than the economy... and if that's how he treats the banks then how is he treating his customers?
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