Why are the richest always the tightest?

(123 Posts)
KeepOnKeepingOnAndOnAndOnAndOn Sat 10-May-14 19:33:30

I have friends from all backgrounds. I myself had a middle class upbringing, but both parents are very working class and proud. We were always raised to have respect for money etc

In life I have met some very rich people, at uni my best mate was the richest girl there. She was lovely, but very stingy with her cash. Not with me, I just mean in general.

One of my other mates is also very tight fisted, yet shes bloody loaded. Most of my mates who are normal to skint are very generous and tip Etc.

We are comfortable, not loaded though. I am generous and tip and certainly not a 'taker'.

Its seems the biggest 'takers' in life always see to be the rich. They think nothing of coming over time and time as in for tea/ borrowing money / but never invite people to theirs. Try to dodge outa payin for their share of meals etc.

AIBU to think that rich folk often seem rather tight? Is this why they are loaded!

Alisvolatpropiis Sat 10-May-14 19:37:22

Often that is exactly why they're loaded!

Erm not sure that I agree. I can think of examples of people that I know who are wealthy and money consumes their thoughts constantly. I also know very generous wealthy people. I think if you are less well off and know what it's like to have hard times you might be more inclined to be more generous because you know what it's like. However I know some incredibly tight lower income folk. I really don't think there seems to be a pattern.

youbethemummylion Sat 10-May-14 19:45:29

It is often the way, when we take the Santa Sleigh around at Christmas collecting for charity the days we do the council estates we get far more (more than double) what we get when we go to the nice private estates. I think when you don't have much you have more empathy for others that rely on charity.

Annarose2014 Sat 10-May-14 19:46:22

As above ^. Thats why they're loaded.

I come from a fairly well-off but spectacularly tight family. My Dad won't shop anywhere but Lidl and Aldi, and has never bought a new car in his life. We never had foreign holidays, and they only got central heating in last year. When I was growing up I wore jumpers to bed and had 7 blankets!

We have a limit of £25 for Christmas presents! To this day! If we've spent a bit more (say £40) everyone goes "OoooOOOoooh!" shock

BUT he was happy to give us all deposits for property - bricks 'n mortar, y'see. As a result we all have quite small mortgages, which is better than all the foreign holidays in the world. But I suspect he was only able to give us that cos he was so tight all along!

TucsonGirl Sat 10-May-14 19:46:36

Take care of the pennies and the pounds will take care of themselves.

Icimoi Sat 10-May-14 19:47:29

Someone involved with a charity that helps disabled children told me that what they described as the moneyed middle classes were some of the most grabby. Whereas the poorest families they helped would regularly make donations in gratitude, it always tended to be people from the MMC who would treat them as if they were the NHS, complain like hell if they didn't get the 'service' they thought they were entitled to, and never make a donation. It wasn't universal, of course, but it happened often enough to be noticeable.

beepingbeep Sat 10-May-14 19:47:47

They're the richest cos they're the tightest!

sassysally Sat 10-May-14 19:50:05

how do you think they get rich?

Bowlersarm Sat 10-May-14 19:52:14

No. My richest friends are the most generous.

Yeah, ILs are a bit like this.

He's a "professional" (now retired) who apparently earned more money than I could ever dream of hmm and she went to private schools, then finishing school then became a "housewife and mother" - her terms (aka a lady wot lunches).

He won't turn the heating on "as it's too expensive" so in the winter there is no need to put anything in the fridge (a bottle of water froze in their "storeroom" hmm ) and she haggles in charity shops. Classy.

BravePotato Sat 10-May-14 19:55:14

I was just thinking this.

Friends with minor royals, and they are the tightest of all my friends.

Whilst the mist amazing meal I ever had (slow cooked rib eye, great wine) was at friends who were very very hard up.

Mixed with lots of rich folk, and IMO they think nothing if spending 20k on a horse but are very tight hosts/guests!

WooWooOwl Sat 10-May-14 19:56:15

That's not my experience. I'm more used to the wealthy people I know being generous, but they're choosy about who and what they are generous with. They will give big tips, but only when it's warranted. They will pay for more drinks, but only for close and loyal friends.

Those I know that are very wealthy are the same. They are generous but you would always think so because their generosity comes in the form of large and discreet charity donations to charities they care about, rather than a couple of quid to every charity that presents an opportunity.

I have known a few people who have more money than most be less generous than they could be because they don't want to be taken advantage of, usually because they have been before, and once bitten twice shy.

Mummylion, I think your judgement is incredibly unfair. You don't know that those on the private estate have more disposable cash than those on the council estate, and quite often they probably don't. People live to their means and those with higher income probably also have higher outgoings, so it's reasonable to think they may have less to spare. And unless you have seen all their bank statements then you have no idea which of the two groups make regular or generous direct debit donations.

HotSauceCommittee Sat 10-May-14 19:58:46

"Those with the most screw us with the least". Ever heard that, OP? In my case it applied to the trustafarians at uni. The tights fuckers would be moaning about how skint they were, then stupid old me would buy a round as that was what you did even on an overdraft. I'd then discover they had huge and amazing trust funds that they could dip into anytime they wanted. Fuck that.

Perhaps there are different types of rich? Those who are used to it, have had the benefit of good upbringings, who share (obviously within reason) and are generally kind hearted souls, and those who are just greedy money grabbing tossers? (wild generalisation there!)

onlywhenitsraininginmadrid Sat 10-May-14 19:59:24

There is a difference between tight and careful with money.

Careful with money = shopping at cheaper places, buying second hand car etc

Tight = not getting your round in, not sponsoring a friend doing something for charity etc

I have rich friends who are the former but not the latter

WooWooOwl Sat 10-May-14 20:04:19

Trust funds have generally not been provided by parents or grandparents for people to dip into whenever they want to buy a round for uni mates.

The trust funds I know of cannot just be dipped into willy nilly when the beneficiary fancies a night on the piss and wants to pop down to the hole in the wall with their cash card. The money is protected. That's why it's called a trust fund rather than a bank balance.

x2boys Sat 10-May-14 20:05:12

Maybe it depends on background my uncle is a millionaire has a lovely bhouse with several acres of garden and also a house in Cyprus he is always quite generous he will host most of the family parties probably as he has the room but he was brought up in a terrace house in a rough part of Manchester he made his own money ,my dad is his older brother whereas my dad does not have nearly as much money as him he is certainly not struggling but he is quite tight he would never see either myself or my sister and our families without he would be outraged to buy a takeaway for example and does love aldi!!!

RabbitSaysWoof Sat 10-May-14 20:07:52

I worked for a family who had me sewing up holes in second hand school jumpers that had already had the amount of wear they were made for before purchasing from school lost property, they had a swimming pool ffs.

Nancy66 Sat 10-May-14 20:13:01

not always - look at all those lottery and pools winners who spent the lot and are now broke again

LindaMcCartneySausage Sat 10-May-14 20:13:32

Hmmm, FIL. Without giving too much away, he's made a lot of money and is now extremely wealthy. Worked hard all his life, but mainly chose very shrewd investments and reinvested everything.

But flippin' heck he's tight!! shock Shops at Lidl, refuses to switch on the heating in the depths of winter, darns his own socks, patches his own roof rather than pay a roofer, has never been on a holiday - ever. Wouldn't give to charity, refuses to eat out due to the horrendous expense (this would include his local Harvester)

But he came from abject poverty. Raised by a single mother after his dad died, one of 8 kids. I get why he's tight.

Sneezecakesmum Sat 10-May-14 20:14:54

DH has a farmers widow as a so called friend.

He keeps bees for both of them and guess who ends up footing the bill for all the equipment while she keeps most of the honey which she sells at farmers markets!

She recently sold of some land for 2 fecking million pounds!

Taz1212 Sat 10-May-14 20:16:43

The wealthiest people I know sit on the boards of various charities and do an incredible amount of fundraising. Day to day they may or may not be the most generous <varies by individual> but I wouldn't call any of them "tight".

RiverTam Sat 10-May-14 20:17:01

could be different values, without knowing details it's hard to say. My dad lived a relatively frugal life (did everything in the garden and house himself, own brands all the way, generally pretty tight - that kind of thing). But he paid for our schooling and university, he paid the deposits on houses not just for me and my sister but for at least 2 cousins that I know of, and when he died unexpectedly left us a lot of money. A lot. Which depressed me in a way as I thought it a bit sad he didn't enjoy his money more when he had the chance.

My point is on the face of it you would think he was well-off but tight. But he was very generous with the things he thought important, like education and property.

I never give to charities collecting - because I donate by direct debit, I donate a lot of stuff to charity shops, and I buy a lot in charity shops.

Meloria Sat 10-May-14 20:19:39

Good for your FIL! Why should he pay a roofer if he can do it himself, and why shop at Waitrose for your beans when you can get them in Aldi.

All of the examples quoted in previous posts are thriftiness, not miserliness. No one is denying a child money for medicine or clean clothes. If they choose to re-use and repair clothes or to have their heating off then good for them. Doesn't stop any of us doing what we like with our heating and our wardrobes.

dementedma Sat 10-May-14 20:20:04

We have a collection box for the local food bank in work, and we all buy bags of groceries to put in. The high paid "consultant" with the wealthy husband put in a box of partymix snacks - obviously left over from Christmas.

Somersetlady Sat 10-May-14 20:23:37

Op i think you've just had a bad experience it's not possible to generalise like this about a group of people with any meaning.

Friends of ours have the grandest stately home yet have trouble trying to fund keeping it liveable and heating it yet i know for a fact that some people in the village consider them 'tight'.

I dont think you can judge people on charity donations either especially door to door. I prefer to donate large amounts to a charity i know is wholly voluntary and our local hospital medical scanner fund than ones with high running cost where very little actual goes to the cause after running costs. I assume from reading above my fiver to carol singers or neighbours kids that want sponsoring probable get taken as tight!

As for 'rounds' etc and meals then surely you question the friendship and not the wallet. A cup of tea and packet of biscuits is affordable to all it doesn't have to be fine dining and collectable wines!

Meloria Sat 10-May-14 20:25:37

Too many people on this thread seem to know exactly what others are doing with their money. Maybe dementedma's colleague and husband have high nursing home bills for a relative or are saving hard for IVF or for an existing child to go to uni.

Too many people are quick to judge others on finances they know very little about. Often colleagues joke about how I must be well off because I live in a nice area and dress well and have a decent job. I make sacrifices in other areas to afford certain things but it doesn't mean I have money to throw around in every area of life.

PrincessBabyCat Sat 10-May-14 20:34:45

Good money management is the key to being well off. If you can't manage your expenses you'll be living paycheck to paycheck now matter how much your salary is.

That said, I know lots of people that are rich/well off that are generous. I also know alot of people that make a lot of money and are always broke because they're living above their means. So just because they have a nice car doesn't mean they always have spare money in their bank account.

TallyGrenshall Sat 10-May-14 20:38:15

I know 2 millionaires.

The first one is incredibly tight, not frugal, not careful but fecking tight. Wouldn't even pay her 1€ share for a taxi because that would mean giving the driver a tip, any meals out she works her share out to the penny and refuses to round up to the nearest pound like normal people the rest of us etc

The second couple are not quite that bad but are still tight enough. Never ever buy a round whilst happily accepting drinks from others.

Admittedly a small sample size but they are so unlike everybody else I know with far less money

dementedma Sat 10-May-14 20:40:41

Not IVF in their 50s and both Dcs out of uni and working. I do know the issues some of my other colleagues are dealing with - including single parent, teen with SEN and toxic dependent mother, but she comes up with more than left over nibbles.Hell, a bag of pasta for 50p would have been affordable I reckon, but I suppose its her money, her choice.

CombineBananaFister Sat 10-May-14 20:47:16

Think it's unfair to generalize but also think mean-spiritedness crosses all spectrums.

My dad worked in a very specialist area of building and he always said the low income famailies were generous as they could be for people worse off than them because they know what it feels like. The very rich were equally generous because they could afford to be without it making a dent. The assumed rich were not generous because generally they were living beyond their means and trying to keep their head above water and because of their outgoings they were no better off than the lower income people.

It's about empathy, as you said, and resources and mentality NOT about genuine income.

RabbitSaysWoof Sat 10-May-14 20:47:26

Thinking about it I suppose if I were obviously wealthy (like living in a massive house, high earning job) I would be reluctant to shout people to often for meals/ drinks etc because I would want to be certain my friends where coming out for my friendship and company not a good feed with bubbly.

RiverTam Sat 10-May-14 21:26:06

how do you know they aren't donating to other charities via other means, demetedma?

Flossyfloof Sat 10-May-14 22:15:59

I am rich and I think it is entirely up to me where I shop and whether or not I sponsor friends who are doing things that they want to do for charity. I give to whichever charity I feel like giving to. Or not. I like to think I am generous with friends to the point where I get on my own nerves, insisting on paying for things. It was lovely recently when I made arrangements to go out for lunch and my friend made it clear it was her treat.

KeepOnKeepingOnAndOnAndOnAndOn Sat 10-May-14 22:16:20

Again, I am not talking about being sensible. My mate splashes out on designer clothes, but would never tip. She never pay to enter certain kids play areas if she can get away with it but will expect the free tea you get and eat her way through the biccys laid out. she regurlarly bemoans buying a kid a bday pressie and will hunt for the cheepest card. Just general tight ass behaviour. Yet she is warm and bubbly, so it ahe to dislike her.

KeepOnKeepingOnAndOnAndOnAndOn Sat 10-May-14 22:16:36


MexicanSpringtime Sat 10-May-14 22:51:31

Obviously it takes all sorts, but in my relatively poor block of flats, there is quite a difference in size between the biggest and the smallest, and when I was treasurer you could guarantee that all the people from the smallest flats would pay the administration fee on the dot every month, whereas too many of the people from the fancier flats would be forever thinking of excuses not to pay.

cerealqueen Sat 10-May-14 23:06:07

I would agree with this - my most well of friends gave DD re-gifted things that were stained, and most recently, bagged a lift in our cab on the way home from a party, took us well our of our way and tried to get out of contributing to the fare!

bookishandblondish Sat 10-May-14 23:26:58

I generally think tipping is a key determinant of whether someone is simply careful or selfish. Not tipping when someone is on min wage and no service charge is cheap and selfish and therefore tight.

I lost a lot of respect for a previous employer when they refused to tip a waiter who'd served a table of ten all evening - and done a really good job of being unobtrusive but attentive. The meal would have cost upwards £500 and was business expenses.

softlysoftly Sat 10-May-14 23:42:49

I think sweeping statements are ridiculous.

Family are very well off and have given a car to a long term friend when he lost his job and couldn't get to see his grandkids.

Have given land for a good cause for free.

Make regular donations to select charities and the list goes on.

Sisters in laws are middle/low income and tight as a gnats arse.

So in my knowledge the poorest are the tightest the rich are generous.

Only that statement I know to be bollocks because my personal experience is not reflective of the universe!

LoveSardines Sat 10-May-14 23:48:51

I know what you mean but it is a huge generalisation!

Take for example people like Bill Gates - I understand that he is fairly generous grin

NormHonal Sat 10-May-14 23:51:57

We are cash-"rich" although it rarely feels like it and time-poor.

I give generously of my time to charity and fundraising. We also donate money.

But...It's not just about money.

FWIW we endeavour to be generous hosts, and generous with presents, although I'm aware of having gone OTT in the past so now trying to reign it in a bit.

At university I received a small grant yes I'm that old but could see from my LEA's paperwork that the "rich girl" on campus received waaaay more than I did. Looks can be deceiving.

MelonadeAgain Sat 10-May-14 23:56:00

Possibly because they're busy avoiding getting ripped off by people who notice how much they have?

In life I have met some very rich people, at uni my best mate was the richest girl there

One of my other mates is also very tight fisted, yet shes bloody loaded.

What an awful way to describe people.

KeepOnKeepingOnAndOnAndOnAndOn Sun 11-May-14 07:34:26

Melonade> it may be awful but it is a true observation. I think their behaviour would be deemed horrible, if anything!

javotte Sun 11-May-14 08:45:29

One of my former work colleagues told me she went no contact with her brother "because he was so skint".
In fact, he had won a comfortable (not life-changing) sum at the lottery and had given her his washing machine when hers broke down.
She went N/C because she felt he should have bought her a brand new one. hmm

FraidyCat Sun 11-May-14 09:25:24

My brother and I went to different private schools, where we were from one of the least well-off families. We agreed once that our experience was that the wealthier a friends family, the more generous and hospitable they were.

Peekingduck Sun 11-May-14 09:30:54

I have some friends who are wealthy beyond my dreams. They are generous to charity. They don't donate into every collection box because they have chosen the charities that they support in different ways, including being directors. Those charities benefit greatly let's just put it that way. They are generous to friends, but they don't waste money paying over the odds, they'd still get quotes for a building repair for example! I'm not rich but I also choose which charities I support, rather than putting money into every tin that's rattled. You just can't tell.

lurkerspeaks Sun 11-May-14 09:44:32

I think people here mistake tight for careful.

I am careful, my Dad is careful, I look around for cheap electricity suppliers, I use coupons in restaurants ( huge standing joke with friends), I regularly support a couple of charities but never give to on street collections and I do pay service in restaurants but not if it has been bad.

I always have good food and drink for friends but some of it might come from aldi or the bin ends section!

DogCalledRudis Sun 11-May-14 09:52:28

I remember attending one millionaire's lecture about success.
1) always save
2) never borrow/lend for personal needs (only for business)
3) don't buy things that you don't really need.

claraschu Sun 11-May-14 09:58:52

My parents were rich, but incredibly frugal, never went out for meals, never bought things they considered frivolous, like extra clothes, really believed in "make do and mend". However, they would unobtrusively give thousands to friends or family to fund travel, education, musical instruments: things they valued. (They would also tip generously, on the incredibly unusual occasions that they found themselves in a restaurant.)

I would never criticise someone for deciding they don't want to spend their money on small luxuries, as long as they have generosity of spirit. My father had the reputation of being a skinflint, but my parents left enough money to fund all their grandchildren's university education (in the US, which is way more expensive than here).

FraidyCat Sun 11-May-14 10:06:38

Some additional explanations of why well-off people may seem tight even when they aren't. (Though of course one can be well-of and tight.)

1. The amounts/things you are keeping track of are to small for them to monitor, they haven't noticed they're in the red in your mental account. (I often see money-related AIBUs that I couldn't have written, because I wouldn't have noticed that someone was being "cheeky", or cared if I had noticed.)

2a. They have a different view of money. If you are poor and expect always to live hand-to-mouth, I suppose you may regard any money you don't need before the next pay-day as expendable. On the other hand, if you are well-off enough and of a mind to have an important savings target, for example a £500,000 mortgage you're not confident will be paid off before your job is outsourced to another country, every unnecessary penny spent on something else is a failure to be guarded against. (Though both poor and well-off people can be savers or spendthrifts, so this is as much about outlook as wealth.)

2b. It is illogical for anyone in debt or with an unmet savings target to be giving money away. If you have a mortgage, or don't know that you can pay for everything you'll need for the rest of your life out of savings, perhaps you shouldn't be giving to charity. (Was it Joan Rivers who joked that she didn't know what she could spare, as she wasn't dead yet?) (Though maybe this is an outlook more prevalent among people who haver never considered relying on anyone else, including the state, for their income. I grew up in a country without a social security system, and avoid poverty with the same dedication I devote to avoiding death.)

3. If you get to a position in life where you can afford to give money away, it's extremely unlikely that you will give it to a cold-caller knocking at your door. The intellectual rigour you devoted to accumulating money will be devoted to giving it away, you will choose who to give money to, not chuck random amounts at people who happen to knock on your door. (See Bill Gates.)

ComeHeather Sun 11-May-14 10:08:07

you can't really generalise. me and dh are both self employed and have to be careful as our work is quite seasonal. ..it's feast or famine as they say. We have a cushion of small savings and give to a couple of charities by direct debit. but yes sometimes we do splash out on something if work has been good eg a really nice holiday but then we might have to be very frugal for the following few months. I think all our friends in more stable jobs understand that though so I hope they don't think we are tight. ..we always pay our way and tip etc when we go out.

KERALA1 Sun 11-May-14 10:13:41

Some very rich are generous. Lovely old gentleman in our city self made has given so much away to benefit the area built wing of art gallery, extended local college. Met him at an event and he gifted £10k to dds state primary didn't want any fuss.

WooWooOwl Sun 11-May-14 10:19:33

I generally think tipping is a key determinant of whether someone is simply careful or selfish. Not tipping when someone is on min wage and no service charge is cheap and selfish and therefore tight.

This is simply not true.

Do you tip every time you go through the Tescos checkout because the person serving you is probably on minimum wage?

Do you send your child into school each day with money to give the lunchtime controllers a tip because they are on minimum wage?

No, I thought not.

Tipping is something that should be done as gratitude for exceptional service, not something that should be expected. I agree that when paying a bill of £500 for a meal a tip should be given if the service has been good, but I've never known of an expensive restaurant where a businessman would take clients that doesn't include service charge as part of the bill. High end restaurants nearly always put at least 12% service charge on the bill as standard, in which case there is no need to tip extra.

Nosleeptillbedtime Sun 11-May-14 10:26:01

Because nothing matters more to rich people than their money!

The people in my nct group all come from very privileged backgrounds and are very well off. The are also the most 'I'm alright Jack' unsupportive bunch I have ever come across. I have wondered if this is due to them expecting everything to go their way as it always has. Or maybe they are just individuals who are like that.

SharonTheShark Sun 11-May-14 10:32:43

I'm always a bit suspicious of people who throw their cash around in public displays of wealth. I'm well off but would hate to be thought of as flash.

I think LurkerSpeaks description would fit me too. I am generous but I would hate to feel used.

We have more cash than any of our extended family and it's very noticible that some people think we should always be the ones paying for everything all the bloody time. It's really irritating. My BIL and his wife have had a few large loans from us, including a last minute desperate request for money (a lot) for their very fancy showy wedding. They never paid us back but managed to do work on their house and go on holiday. They have never paid any of their loans back to us. They have no shame. The wierd thing is that, I think, they think we are mean. Yes we can afford it but it doesn't mean I want to pay all the time. angry

Sorry, I'm ranting...

I could go on...

Anyway OP, I think YABU to think the rich are the tightest, it's as wrong saying the poor are the bitterest confused

SharonTheShark Sun 11-May-14 10:33:44

Nosleeptillbedtime. They sound awful. I'd get myself a new group!

Nosleeptillbedtime Sun 11-May-14 10:34:18

Fraidycat, I totally disagree with your point 2b. If you think it is 'illogical' to give money away if you have any debt (including mortgage!) or unmet savings target, then pretty much no one would give money away as they would never meet your extraordinary criteria!
I think the clue to why you have this attitude cones from your terminology. I don't regard giving to charity as .
'giving money away'. I regard it as paying into a better society, combating cruelty, combating injustice. I don't think of these decisions as dictated by logical or illogic but by the more human emotions of empathy and fairness.

Nosleeptillbedtime Sun 11-May-14 10:34:47

Sharon, I have!

KleineDracheKokosnuss Sun 11-May-14 10:43:55

I'm well off and I never give money away to people at the door, because I am very very very careful about money. We were on benefits when I was a child and I will never hand over cash on a whim. It's far to easy for the foundations to be kicked out of your life and to suddenly find yourself unable to pay the mortgage.

That's not to say I don't donate, but I do it direct to a charity via cheque or direct debit, and only after confirming the charity's details on the Charities Commission website. I'd never give money on the doorstep unless I was expecting to (e.g. I know when the Rotary Club 'sleigh' will be round at Christmas).

I also won't buy things I don't really need (because I object to excess buying both because I don't want to spend money I don't need to, and because I view buying stuff I don't need as environmentally irresponsible), and if I can avoid paying full price I will (because that's how we were brought up). I mend the family's clothing myself, repair furniture myself, cook from scratch where possible, etc. It's just good money management.

I also refuse to buy or accept rounds because I hate being indebted to anyone and that sort of thing never works out equally, which leaves me worrying about whether I owe anyone.

OwlCapone Sun 11-May-14 10:44:22

I do find it interesting how it is perfectly acceptable to slag off "rich people" and not those on benefits.

comingintomyown Sun 11-May-14 10:47:10

YABU to generalise

My Dad is very wealthy and has some eccentric habits around saving money and overall is mean

My best friend is wealthy and they are generous and thoughtful , she's always got her wallet out first to pay for lunch.

I agree though people will often assume it's fine to borrow money and not pay it back or other people to foot bills if they are well off. I was temporarily rich and my DB was happy to accept or orchestrate hand outs left right and centre. Horrible.

rookiemater Sun 11-May-14 11:27:21

YABU to generalise, but I do get what you are saying.

Everyone's definition of "tightness" is different.

My parents are pretty wealthy but hate giving money to charity. So DS was collecting for Lepra ( have to say I fundamentally disagree with children being press ganged into chugging their nearest and dearest however worthy the cause) and my DM & DF only gave a couple of pounds - but then gave DS £10 for himself. So on the one hand they were a bit tight, but on the other incredibly generous.

I tend not to sponsor too many people for charity events unless I a) like the person and b) like the cause, but I sponsor a child with a monthly contribution. Does that make me tight?

Interesting thread.

Nosleeptillbedtime Sun 11-May-14 12:30:16

Owl, loads of people think it is okay to slag of those on benefits! Have you never heard of the daily mail?!

Lioninthesun Sun 11-May-14 12:34:42

I dunno but think that perhaps it is precisely because they are taught to respect money that they don't go splashing it about. Isn't that the best way to spot a nouveau riche - brand new car and flash with the cash? wink

Buying rounds and things shouldn't be included in that though, that is just being tight grin

OwlCapone Sun 11-May-14 13:02:39

Owl, loads of people think it is okay to slag of those on benefits!

Not on Mumsnet.

I was only talking about MN but didn't make that clear. On MN is is actually perfectly acceptable to slag off the "rich" but those on benefits are a protected section of the community.

KeepOnKeepingOnAndOnAndOnAndOn Sun 11-May-14 13:03:50

I have asked for my post to be pulled down. I regret posting this and feel awful about judging a friends behaviour so openly. I have reviewed others comments and it has made me think a little harder about myself and my expectations of others. If people are 'tight' it is none of my bloody buisness and I shouldn't get so self righteous about it. I no longer feel in the spirit if this post.

Basically, live and let live is my motto from here on in smile Thanks everyone who has commented thus far.

NearTheWindymill Sun 11-May-14 13:18:23

I think meanness crosses the divides too. My FIL was unspeakably careful but generous in thought; MIL on the otherhand is positively a skinflint and mean in thought.

I don't think you can generalise and I'd also be quite interested to know how wealthy is being defined on this thread. I know many people who look as though they are living incredible lifestyles and I mean £2/£3 million houses, two year old shiny 4x4 volvos, lovely holidays and wardrobes but who underneath the facade have unbelievable levels of debt.

Pagwatch Sun 11-May-14 13:21:58

Oh god yes.
When I was poor I was a lovely warm generous person - salt of the earth and kindness personified.
Now I am well off I am a massive cunt and I regularly kick puppies.

Because, you know - that's what people are like

[true fact]

CharityCase Sun 11-May-14 13:23:24

I think British people, in particular, can also be very cautious of looking flash or embarrassing others with shows of generosity. I was out the other night with a group, and we had a couple of bottles of champagne (between 10 of us). The bill came, and one of the girls, who is a partner in a city law firm, just paid the whole bill and said "my treat", which was generous of her, but some of the other girls felt very uncomfortable about not paying their share (possibly because they knew they couldn't afford to reciprocate), and were pressing their share of the cash on her. So I think sometimes it can backfire.

Pagwatch Sun 11-May-14 13:23:55

I also find that if I go to lunch and just let the bill be divided up then I am fucking stingy and mean.
If I go to lunch and pay for everyone then I am a flash twat who thinks she is better than everyone else.

medic78 Sun 11-May-14 13:24:24

Agree wholeheartedly. I grew up in a working-class poor household. My mum used to feed all the local children with her baking. Many were even poorer than us.
On our wedding day we received a much smaller gift from our qc barrister cousin than we did from our lorry driver one.
This continues now with birthday gifts. The child whose mum is on benefits gave 3 times as much as the family with two working parents. I was actually embarrassed to take it.
Although tbf both my working class parents and dh middle class ones have been equally generous towards us and our siblings. Dh is also generous too.

Pagwatch Sun 11-May-14 13:24:39

X-posted with CharityCase.

HoneyDragon Sun 11-May-14 13:31:05

Pag grin

It's all true. When we raised the money to buy our factory, we didn't work out arses off to look after our staff and pay them a living wage and good bonuses at all.

We charged them for loo roll, but them all on zero hours contracts, and fifty hour shifts and hit their mums with sticks.

After years of being stupidly skint things are looking up and I can't wait to start kicking puppy's and stealing biscuits.

<<eyes up HullyGully thoughtfully>>

Of course now we are not poor we've had to quite rightly downsize the television, stop randomly putting new cars on the drive and sublet the goat.

Pagwatch Sun 11-May-14 13:37:16


Bill Gates - tight fuck
Warren Buffet - skin flint.

MissMilbanke Sun 11-May-14 13:55:21

Somebody posted upfront about never putting money into shaking tins on the high street.

I volunteer for a small local charity. We get one day a year (all through the proper channels in the council) for our small group of volunteers to stand on the street with our tins.

Its very times consuming for very little reward in reality and its sad to think that some people will deliberately not contribute - But its one way we can raise awareness and raise some funds.

I have to say men are always more generous than women !

NearTheWindymill Sun 11-May-14 14:15:07

I'll always put something in one of the those tins Millbanke I will not have any truck with chuggers though or with anyone who calls at the door for sponsorship.

What people don't know is what goes on behind the scenes, be it levels of debt or gift aided standing orders to charities, etc..

TheSpottedZebra Sun 11-May-14 14:51:07

MissMilbanke (ref collection tins) I have to say men are always more generous than women !

But see - it's not a fair measure of generosity really, is it? On the whole, men have more coins to hand, in their pockets, so it's easier for them to safely stop and contribute. Whereas by and large, women have less coinage, and it's in the purse, in the bag, on the shoulder. So they'd have to stop, rearrange bags, rifle through handbag, get out purse, risk dropping cards etc all over the shop...

Preciousbane Sun 11-May-14 15:21:57

I think giving to charity should always be done with a bit of grace, I do give to tin collectors in the street.

There is a lot of hatred for the wealthy on here though I'm still not sure what people on here define as wealthy, it seems to really vary.

I'm not even sure what how I would define it.

flippinada Sun 11-May-14 15:32:30

I think there's a difference between being thrifty (looking after your money, being sensible about spending, budgeting etc) and being miserly (going to ridiculous extremes to save money, being plain old mean).

I'll give you a good example of the latter - a relative of XPs who was very well off and had hundreds of thousands in the bank. They worked in finance and had sold a house in London for cash at the height of the financial boom, so very comfortably off.

When this relative moved back to their home town, hundreds of miles away, they bought a new house which happened not to have a wheely bin. For some reason the council wouldn't replace it so, rather than simply buy a new one (which they could have easily afforded), they drove back to London, collected the bin from their old property and took it back to their new place.

I wonder if it ever occurred to them that they probably spent more in petrol getting to London and back than buying a new bin would have cost?

MissMilbanke Sun 11-May-14 15:38:03

Ahh you have restored my faith in human nature nearthewindymill

and good point zebra I never have any money to hand and always end up having to rummage in bottom of handbags etc

wowfudge Sun 11-May-14 16:10:36

Hmm - interesting. Friend of a friend is very comfortably off. Early 40s, no kids, etc. has already paid off mortgage and owns (outright) another property he lets. He is properly minted and was bemoaning to my friend that he had no one to leave his money to. She suggested charity or, jokingly, herself because she could think of loads of things she'd love to have the money to do.

And there is the answer: this guy is rich in monetary terms, but won't enjoy his money while he is alive. Which I think is odd and sad. Yes, save for your retirement but fgs enjoy life while you can. Travel, indulge in your hobbies, go and do something different. Anything but sit there telling someone less fortunate that you are loaded and don't know what to do with it!

Pagwatch Sun 11-May-14 16:54:55

So your friend of a friend is a tosser.

That's not indicative of any group of people. That's just him.

Rabbitcar Sun 11-May-14 16:58:29

Totally agree.

One example - I worked at a law firm as a trainee and was friends with a partner earning approx. £400k. We went out for lunch and I paid, so the next time, he paid. It was the cheapest cafe (in the City, so not as cheap as it could be, and we did eat in) and the total meal came to £8.

He spent the next week worrying that the 80p tip he had left the waitress was too much.

We didn't go for lunch again. I hate stinginess, especially towards those who could do with a bit of money themselves. Fine, be frugal at home, but not tight towards others.

Tightness is probably one of the things I hate the most in people. Very different from being thrifty/poor, and very unattractive.

Rabbitcar Sun 11-May-14 16:59:39

And I have met very many lovely, generous people who don't have much money at all.

OwlCapone Sun 11-May-14 17:17:38

That must make it fact then.

expatinscotland Sun 11-May-14 17:19:40

I don't have friends who are tight. There is nothing good about stingy people. The second they show themselves up as tight, I delete them from my life.

Pagwatch Sun 11-May-14 17:24:12

I worked in the City for a decade and a half.
My friends and all the people I knew were incredibly generous.

I know a woman with red hair who is something of a twat. Perhaps red heads are twats?

My PIL are so tight it's funny. It doesn't really get you anywhere in the end. They are worth over a million and the inheritance tax DH will have to pay on their estate is double our mortgage. They might as well bloody spend it than give it to the government

manicinsomniac Sun 11-May-14 18:12:53

I disagree. Mean people are mean people regardless of income. And so are generous people.

I only have two friends (a couple) who are millionaires and, obviously, I don't know the ins and outs of what they do with their money. But some things are evident:
* they bought a struggling young man a car so that he would able to do his job.
* they founded, own and partly run their own charity
* one of them manages and finances a drop in shelter
* whenever I go out with them they insist on paying. I don't always let them but the offer is always there, they certainly aren't tight

They also have a fantastic house, cars, holidays, clothes etc but why shouldn't they? I bet they do a lot more for other people with their money than I know about.

NearTheWindymill Sun 11-May-14 18:24:02

Actually MissMillbanke one reason I always put something in a shaker's box, and the charities I can think of off hand are: leukeamia, shooting star appeal, children's cancers, alzheimers, parkinsons, Iris (?) is because inevitably I think the people holding the can have been touched by tragedy relating to the charities they are collecting for and to help in this way is part of the process of bereavement and coming to terms with what has happened. I often ask if they have been affected by the illnesses they are collecting for and they usually tell me all about their husband or wife or child or niece/nephew, etc..

KERALA1 Sun 11-May-14 18:42:42

My sisters ils are hilarious very wealthy but stay in youth hostels and shop at aldi religiously also keen on cutting out coupons. Then super generous paid off both kids mortgages rather than saving it for iht

Ewieindwie1 Sun 11-May-14 18:56:20

DH is always generous: stands up first and offers to buy drinks when out in groups, tips generously and rarely discusses money. He works hard but isn't interested in money. It's probably of the most appealing and loveable things about him. He is generous with time too. Maybe those things are linked?

grovel Sun 11-May-14 18:57:09

I worked for a mult, multi, multi millionaire. He was tighter than tight in everyday life. He also gave millions to charity on the quiet. Very hard to generalise.

specialsubject Sun 11-May-14 19:14:13

Bill Gates tight, eh? The below is funded largely from him selling his shares.


I'm sure plenty of other people do the same. They may of course not shout about it. BTW the most efficient way to give to charity in the UK is a direct donation to the charity online - do it via justgiving etc and while your name may show up, that's 6% straight off it.

the playground insult 'tight' does not apply to those who don't waste a fortune on sparkly tat at retailmas, cards that get thrown away next day, food they don't eat, brands etc etc. That is called 'having a brain'.

however not paying your way and not giving a bit of time is mean.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Sun 11-May-14 19:26:44

Prefer to give to charity by direct debit as they get gift aid. I do sponsor DC in things but it annoys me slightly when there isn't a gift aid option as the charity is throwing money away.

Pagwatch Sun 11-May-14 19:46:11


Did you really not get that I was being sarcastic - having quoted the two people who have made the greatest charitable donations in history, Bill Gates and Warren Buffet.

Pagwatch Sun 11-May-14 19:47:12

<wanders off to find a brain>>

specialsubject Sun 11-May-14 20:13:50

no,I didn't. Sorry. But no need for too violent toy-throwing, sarcasm doesn't always show in writing.

and there are plenty on here who would hate Bill Gates because he (Shock horror) looks like a 'geek' and has made money from (double shock horror) science.

wowfudge Sun 11-May-14 20:15:57

The guy I mentioned is incredibly tight with his money - he'll be leaving a sizeable estate with his house, flat and the savings that he never spends at this rate. Yet he is the sort of person who doesn't tip in restaurants, counts up his exact bill on the rare occasions he eats out with others and doesn't leave a penny more. Oh and a few weeks ago, my friend had arranged to go round to his place to watch a film in the evening and asked whether some other friends she was with that afternoon could come along. He said yes then emptied his wine rack in the kitchen so he didn't have to share his wine!

I think it's terribly sad that he doesn't have the imagination to be able to enjoy his money and is so miserly.

OwlCapone Sun 11-May-14 20:33:13

Friend of a friend of a friend's dog walker's cousin is committing benefit fraud. This means that all benefit claimants are scrounging scum.

Oh no, wait a minute... hmm

OwlCapone Sun 11-May-14 20:33:36

That was sarcasm in case anyone is confused.

RiverTam Sun 11-May-14 20:37:28

and there are plenty on here who would hate Bill Gates because he (Shock horror) looks like a 'geek' and has made money from (double shock horror) science.

what??? Why would anyone on MN hate him because he's a geek who made his money through science? Is there something in that statement that also doesn't show in writing, because I just don't get that at all. Especially as, as Pag said, he very famously donates enormous amounts to charity to the extent that I believe he's not leaving anything (or relatively little) to his children.

Pagwatch Sun 11-May-14 20:40:20

I wasn't toy throwing confused

You're being a bit odd now.

To be honest your telling me I didn't have a brain when you just misunderstood my post, might have warranted an apology rather than accusing me of 'toy throwing'

CountessVronsky Sun 11-May-14 20:51:55

Wealthy people can be either generous or stingy. There's no correlation.

I think some wealthy people might worry they would be seen as showboating if they are overly generous with it.

Ragwort Sun 11-May-14 20:53:18

It does surprise me when people can't put a few coppers in a charity collecting box, as does the comment 'I don't carry cash' hmm - unless you are the Queen grin.

We do collections for our local Food Bank at supermarkets and it is always interesting who does and doesn't give a few tins - yes, I know some people might be giving a standing order of a few hundred pounds a month but surely it wouldn't kill anyone to give us a couple of tins of beans? And yes, I am thinking about our local celebrity grin.

NearTheWindymill Sun 11-May-14 21:06:57

Rag My church takes food bank donations on the first Sunday of the month. Every month I forget and feel guilty and hope no-one clocks it. But I hope some people at least realise that I cook 80 dinners every six weeks for homeless charity and forgive me.

Please don't assume that the people who don't give do nothing else - sometimes there just isn't time to run back in and pick up something else although if I've had it I've taken a bag of pasta and cereal out of my own trolley and shopped again later.

Pagwatch Sun 11-May-14 21:10:42

I'm intown so much and I get really self conscious if there are lots of people collecting. I end up doing a really odd awkward 'look, already donated' mine.
Chuggers piss me off and if they approach me when I have DS2 I literally snub them as he gets über stressed by my talking to strangers. I look so rude <dies a bit>>

WooWooOwl Sun 11-May-14 21:15:57

Lots of people don't carry cash though!

I don't, I usually have an emergency tenner, but I rarely need cash for anything. Even the car park in town accepts cards.

I also don't donate to food banks, I don't see what's interesting about who does and doesn't choose to donate to them. I have plenty going out of my bank account to charities of my own choosing each month, I have two regular voluntary jobs and stand there with collection tins for a chosen charity as well. You really can't tell anything about someone tightness or generosity to charity based on whether they choose (or remember) to pick up a couple of extra tins as they're going round a supermarket.

NearTheWindymill Sun 11-May-14 21:17:39

Cripes woowoo I like to have a goodly wad on me at all times blush.

DocDaneeka Sun 11-May-14 21:34:19

Another one who doesn't carry cash.

Cards, or go without at chez Daneeka.

Pagwatch Sun 11-May-14 21:40:31

I carry cash because I fucking hate wankers who take 15 minutes to pay for a fucking coffee with a fucking card. Tossers!

<lies down>

NearTheWindymill Sun 11-May-14 21:43:15

I wouldn't dream of putting less than £30.00 on a card. I withdraw x amount on a Friday for the week. I find it hones the mind to spend actual wadly, notey money that you can rustle.

Vijac Sun 11-May-14 21:46:50

I agree with poster up thread about charity donations. Weathly want to give to charity and have the charity claim tax back. Sometimes their companies will also donate a percentage of what they donate in addition. So they may avoid putting £2 in every charity box that goes around in order to give more efficiently.

BillyBanter Sun 11-May-14 22:03:11

You can't get rich from being frugal. There has to be money to be frugal with.

It was also my experience that the richer people in my village gave less and wanted more when we used to go round collecting for poppies.

Big Issue sellers do better in poorer areas than better off areas.

There are of course generous and tight people across the social spectrum. But generally the richer you are the less empathy you have for those less fortunate than yourself. You have all this money because you are worth it and have been financially astute therefore poorer people are not worth it and have not been financially astute.

'I work hard for my money' Like someone on 3 minimum wage jobs doesn't!

OwlCapone Sun 11-May-14 22:08:38

But generally the richer you are the less empathy you have for those less fortunate than yourself.

Total bollocks.

BillyBanter Sun 11-May-14 22:32:15
UtterFool Mon 12-May-14 01:00:16

Although Billy, if you're relatively wealthy then you are already likely to prop up society more due to higher taxation. Therefore why should you give even more away to the poor?

BillyBanter Mon 12-May-14 01:34:35

Because I'm not a Cunt, and I recognise it's luck as much as judgement.

Propping up society more. giving away EVEN MORE!! to the poor. Gimme a break. My heart's bleeding here.

mimishimmi Mon 12-May-14 02:09:59

It's not been my experience at all. Many wealthy people are acutely aware of their good fortune and do support worthy causes. However, others around them often have their hand out and often expect to be bailed out or at least have things paid for (dinner etc) every time they're with their well-off friend/relative. That gets tiresome. I've known tight people across the economic spectrum and there's usually a good reason/explanation behind it.

UtterFool Mon 12-May-14 06:48:26


What were you saying earlier about empathy? Sorry but it seems like double standards to me.

Or a huge chip on your shoulder.

BillyBanter Mon 12-May-14 08:42:37

No chip. I'm not poor. Never have been. I'll concede to a yearning for social justice for those who are. I can empathise with rich or well off people wanting more, there is always something more to want. I just don't sympathise with it.

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