I’ve been blogging for about 4.5 years, and I can’t believe I haven’t done this post yet. I have failed you all, and for that, I apologize. Like, from the bottom of my heart, which is approximately 3 sizes too small. FINALLY, A DR. SUESS JOKE ON FINANCIAL UPROAR.
Enough dilly-daddling. It’s time for some unethical life hacks.
The concept is simple. Unethical life hacks are things that make your life easier, but are things that you probably wouldn’t want to do. Some of them are just mean, while others are illegal. And some would make baby Jesus cry. Do you want to make baby Jesus cry?
Uh, yeah. Screw baby Jesus.
Here are 15 of my favorite unethical life hacks, for your amusement. Because this is a financial blog, all of these will save a few bucks or let you earn more money.
Disclaimer: don’t try these at home, for entertainment purposes only, etc. As in, don’t do any of the things I say. That’s good life advice in general, but it’s especially applicable here.
1. Moving sales
Want to save some cash at garage sales or moving sales? Just lowball the crap out of everything you might want. The seller is motivated to sell, and the whole reason why he’s having the sale is to get rid of stuff. You’ll get more deals than Trent Hamm at a clearance sale.
2. Lowball on Craigslist/Kijiji
Alas, this is a little more complicated than just emailing the guy up and giving him an offer of 50% of the list price for his old 32-inch tube TV. Also, why are you buying a tube TV?
Get yourself a nice email account dedicated to spam, and send the seller a nice low-ball offer on the item. Do this more than once if you’re feeling ambitious, using different email accounts, of course.
Then, when you use your real email account to give the seller a slightly less insulting low-ball offer, the seller is much more likely to take it.
3. Calling into work
Fun Nelson story: When I was a manager at a grocery store about 10 years ago, this one very cute cashier phoned in sick. She calmly explained that she had very aggressive diarrhea, and wouldn’t be coming in that day. I didn’t question her much after that.
Or, better yet, don’t even play the sick game at all. If you want a day off, just say you have the dreaded “family emergency.” If your boss questions you, get visibly annoyed and make some crap up about Grandma having a health scare.
4. Invent a family
It’s well known that guys with families tend to make more and are less likely to get fired than their childless peers. Bosses don’t want to fire a family man, since that’ll endanger the welfare of perfectly innocent children. An enterprising employee can use this to his advantage.
If you don’t have kids, just invent some. Either pose with your buddy’s young kids for a picture (but not if he’s black, genius), or just cruise the Google until you find kids that look vaguely like you. Boom. Instant family.
If the boss ever asks why he’s never met the kids, just look as sad as you possibly can, and mutter “…I don’t want to talk about it.”
5. Free food
For this one, I’m just going to give you guys the Reddit screenshot. It’s great.
6. Free drinks
This one is so easy it’s pathetic. I haven’t actually done it, but seen it in action at least a half dozen times.
Next time you go to McDonalds (or any fast food joint) that has a fill-up-your-own-cup drink dispenser, just smuggle in your cup from last time. Walk over to the soda machine, and pour to your heart’s content. Even if somebody catches you, they work at McDonalds. They’re not paid enough to make a big deal about it. This works doubly good when it’s busy.
7. Free windshield repair
Have a big-ass rock chip in your windshield? Sure, you COULD go to the glass shop and take care of it yourself, but that costs money.
Instead, pay attention to the next time you’re following one of those trucks that have a “How’s My Driving” sign on the back. Take down the info, and then call the number and raise all sorts of hell. The company will usually believe you, and you’ll get one free windshield.
Related note: Most big trucking companies only carry liability insurance. It’s cheaper for them to pay for damages out of pocket than it is to carry collision insurance. And now you know.
8. Cheap Satellite TV
I’m not above recycling my own crummy ideas.
Not sure if this works in ‘Murica, but it definitely works in Canada. As long as you have a house with the right satellite dish on the side of it, the TV receiver isn’t smart enough to know it’s in the wrong house. So get your buddy to activate the receiver on his account, and pay him $20 a month for TV. You’re limited to the same package he has, but that’s worth it for $20.
I know somebody who does this in a 12-unit apartment building he owns. Either Bell or Shaw will work, not sure about the others.
Edit: If you live in an apartment, it would probably be pretty easy to do this for wifi too.
9. Cheap steak
Back to Reddit!
I left out the guy’s username, juuuuuuust in case there are cops reading. Did I mention how I don’t recommend you do these actual things? Man, these unethical life hacks are fun.
10. Return already eaten groceries
In Canada, any Loblaw store has a money back guarantee on their private label stuff. If you are unsatisfied in any way, just return it for a full refund. You can even eat the thing first, and pretend it was garbage.
Sobeys is even more generous. They’ll return anything for any reason, provided you have a receipt. You can eat it, and then return something for being worse than roadkill. This works best if you rotate your purchases over a number of Sobeys locations. They might shut you down if you start doing this on a weekly basis.
11. Free Breakfast
Everybody likes free breakfast. The only people who don’t are G.D. COMMIES. Here’s how you get a free one.
Just walk into some hotel that serves free breakfast, and just walk on over and help yourself. If somebody questions you, just make a big stink and threaten to email the owner of the hotel. But nobody is going to question you. They’ll just assume you’re staying there.
12. More free food
This was in an episode of Corner Gas, but apparently it works. Get dressed up nicely, and go to a funeral. Enjoy all the after funeral snacks you can eat. If anyone asks why you’re there, just make up some story about how your grandpa and the deceased were pals back in the day. Nobody is going to make a scene at a funeral.
13. Returning Stuff
Want just about anything for free? Go to the store, and buy it. Then go back to the store with your receipt, walk around for a while, and then grab the same item. Bring it up front to customer service, and “return” it. You’ll get the item for free.
Sure, there’s a small chance that you’ll get caught, but it ain’t likely.
14. Free moving truck
Need to move something across town and you don’t live in rural Alberta were approximately 84% of the population already drives a truck? There’s an easy solution to that.
Just go to your local truck dealership, and ask to test drive one for the day. They’ll usually ask for some kind of collateral (like a copy of your driver’s license), but not much. Use the truck to complete your move, and take it back the next day. Tell the salesman “you’ll think about it.”
15. Vending Machines
We used to do this as kids, so I’m not sure if works anymore. Still, it was a pretty clever unethical life hack for 13-year old Nelson.
Go to the bank and ask for 50-cent pieces. Explain that it’s for a school project or some junk. They might not have any around — because who the hell needs a 50-cent piece — but chances are you’ll get one.
Vending machines think the 50-cent coin is really a toonie. Bam, you just make $1.50 for each one, assuming you’re a Canadian who doesn’t mind screwing a nice little vending machine owner.
And that’s about it, kids. Any unethical life hacks you want to add in the comments? Think of it as doing your duty to your fellow man.