Helping Friends Save Money Can Be Bad For Your Back

by Debt Destroyer on September 11, 2008

What was I thinking?

Instead of taking it easy this Labor Day weekend, I ended up helping a friend and his family move into their new place. Normally I wouldn’t help someone move on a holiday weekend, especially when they live 200 miles away from me. But this time was different. You see, it was I who convinced them to move themselves instead of hiring movers.

Me and my big mouth.

Part of me blames you. That’s right I’m throwing the Happy Rock community under the bus. If it wasn’t for all the positive comments I’ve received about saving money, there’s no way I would’ve been stuck schlepping boxes all day long. Ask around I’m not that nice of a guy.

It started when my friend was telling me how he was going to move like they did last time. Hire movers for the big stuff ($300+) and then make several trips in their car with the rest of it. I then questioned his intelligence and suggested renting a truck and getting a bunch of guys and paying them with pizza & beer.

He loved the idea.

He rented a truck and lined up a crew (some neighbors and three 18-yr old cousins) and informed me that he was excited about all the money he was going to save. He also thanked me for bringing the idea up in the first place.

“No problem”, I told him.

And there wasn’t a problem…until his crew all ducked out at the last second. The guilt started to overtake me. So when my wife could arrange to hold a photo-shoot only 45 minutes away from their town, I sprung into action and told him the good news, I’d be there.

Luckily for us, two of neighbors were able to help (a husband & wife team). And if you think I’m a sucker, get this; they’ve only known each other for 4 weeks. Not only did they help, but the wife organized the whole operation and kept us on target so we’d be done by 4:30 (when the rental truck was due back).

She did such a good job that we got the truck back with 20 minutes to spare. Instead of pizza & beer, we were then treated to a dinner at a Mongolian Buffet.

So instead of spending $300 and making countless trips in their car like they did the last time they moved, my friend ended up spending $68 for the truck and $100 for dinner.

Not too shabby.

Now it’s the time where I ask for feedback. Please share your stories of how you were able to help friends or family save money with your suggestions. I have to admit that most of my suggestions are not taken, so I was flattered when my friend tried my idea out. I guess they’re right when they say flattery will get you everywhere.

Until Next time,


{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Ed September 12, 2008 at 8:59 am

No, here is what you do. You have to walk past the sofa bed and grab a lamp. Then, when it is time to move the washing machine and dryer, you get lost in the other places in the house. If anyone asks you what you are doing “I’m just making sure we didn’t miss anything”.
Let the 18yr olds do the heavy lifting.


The First Creditor September 12, 2008 at 12:01 pm

My wife’s family comes in droves when it’s time to move, so it is relatively painless. We hire movers for the big things, (cheap usually around $200), and people even bring food for the troops! Here’s the catch; when one of them moves, I’m there helping. It’s a nice compromise. DD, helping someone move on a holiday weekend? You might be nominated for sainthood posthumously!


M M September 14, 2008 at 12:22 pm

I opened my big mouth at my girlfriend’s home, suggesting they re-tile their floor to match their new tile counters/backsplash. So when they took me up on the suggestion, I was enrolled in knocking out the existing tile with my DH’s hammer-thingy and air compressor. Now at least I have the skills to do the same at my house when we get around to laying our tile! BUT their appraiser (they’re refinancing) said between the counters/backsplash and new floors, they’d added 9K in value to their home at a cost of $900 in tile and free labor! Awesome!


Diana September 14, 2008 at 9:07 pm

I would think twice before I let my mouth open and offer someone a help for weekend moving…My husband is very kind person. He often offer his friens help although it would need him to do something difficult. Many times I told him not to do so, but he keep do that. I never understand the way he thinking at all.


The Happy Rock September 14, 2008 at 10:09 pm

@Ed – Nice one.

@First – Yeah, we have a tight family situation like you so there is always help to be had and also opportunities to give.

@M M – We are hoping for a similar return. I did tile granite in our kitchen a year ago, and we want to tile and put in granite in our 1 bathroom. Hopefully we will see a couple thousand in price for about $1500 in work.


Glory September 15, 2008 at 1:15 pm

What educational stories 😉 Thanks for sharing with us


M M September 16, 2008 at 8:59 am

@ The Happy Rock – awesome – wanna come to Texas and help put in ours? It is really amazing how sweat equity is the best kind – I get a lot of pride/heartwarming feeling from just living in space I’ve worked on. Even if the financial return is not realized until the home is sold/refi’d.


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