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Is it me or is this TOO tight to be normal behaviour?

(123 Posts)
TightwadCity Mon 18-Mar-19 14:19:56

I'm interested in opinions on the behaviour of a friend of mine. For background her house is fully paid for and she has a LOT of savings which she is saving for her old age apparently although she is already drawing her pension. We go out quite regularly for lunch and shopping but she never spends a single penny on these trips. We both have grandchildren and I like to buy mine little treats such as a new T-Shirt or a book or some favourite sweets etc, but she never does anything for her DGC , never takes them anywhere and is SO mean about Christmas/Easter/Birthdays that it makes me want to scream. She makes comments to me about spoiling my children/grandchildren which, like her, I can easily afford to do. Her DC's have commented to me about her tightness so I know I'm not imagining it but it has got to the point that it is sucking the joy out of our trips for me. There was the same issue over where to have lunch as she wouldn't spend more than £3 which of course severely restricted where we could eat - in the end I started paying for lunch for both of us on every trip. AIBU to be struggling to get my head round all this and how would you deal with it?

NuffSaidSam Mon 18-Mar-19 14:25:12

Going out to lunch but refusing to pay more than £3 and then expecting you to pay is completely mad!

Not constantly buying her grandchildren stuff they probably don't need is fine. That's good for the environment and the children and for her DD/DS house (less junk to store!)

Re. What you can do about it - suck it up or don't go for lunch with her anymore. Why don't you have her over for a coffee instead?

Who knows why she's so tight? If you don't, it's unlikely any of us complete strangers will know!

Aquamarine1029 Mon 18-Mar-19 14:25:48

Paying for her lunch is outrageous. Stop being such a mug! I would tell her very clearly that these outings are at an end and why. You appreciate her wanting to save money, but she's doing so at YOUR expense. She is massively taking the piss.

StillMe1 Mon 18-Mar-19 14:26:20

Has your friend recently acquired money when maybe she was a bit pressed for money before?
Could be that she does not want to accept that she is now old, and this is the time she has been saving/worrying about.
£3.00 would not really buy much anywhere. I am surprised that you can actually find somewhere at that price.
She may feel or has had experiences where she feels that people are only interested in her money and not her as a person.
It is hard to know.

Drum2018 Mon 18-Mar-19 14:28:54

I wouldn't be going out anywhere with her. Have her over for coffee to save yourself money and then go out with friends who pay their way.

PuzzlingPuzzle Mon 18-Mar-19 14:31:45

She’s taking you for a ride, stop paying for her lunch! If you find it hard to say no then in future don’t meet her over a meal time, go for a coffee instead and she should have no issue sticking to her £3 budget.

What she does/doesn’t buy her grandchildren isn’t really any of your business though.

HollowTalk Mon 18-Mar-19 14:32:11

You're mad to pay for her lunch! And she's mad to think £3 will get anything, either.

Will she leave everything to her children?

HollowTalk Mon 18-Mar-19 14:32:41

What does she think shopping involves? Does she buy anything for herself?

TightwadCity Mon 18-Mar-19 14:33:15

No, not short of money, when she worked she saved her earnings and refused to put them in the family pot. No idea why or how her DH allowed this to happen.
I'm just interested in whether you think her behaviour is normal - she even takes sauce sachets when we're out so she doesn't have to buy a bottle of ketchup.

chaoscategorised Mon 18-Mar-19 14:33:34

It's none of your business. Maybe she has a lot of savings and a house paid off because she's careful with money? If she's so tight you end up paying for lunch, then don't offer to pay or don't go out with her - she's obviously very obsessive about money, but you already know this, so just stop doing it. I very much doubt you're going to change her mind now!

TightwadCity Mon 18-Mar-19 14:40:15

Yes, she intends to leave it all to her children but they could do with some help now really. I don't really understand the concept of sitting on all the family money and watching your children struggling that's all. She does occasionally buy things for herself but invariably returns them for a refund.
I take the point that her behaviour towards her grandchildren is none of my business though. I just feel a bit sorry for them as she could be taking them on lovely outings that's all.

Supersimpkin Mon 18-Mar-19 14:47:17

Don't pay for her lunch.

MikeUniformMike Mon 18-Mar-19 14:48:59

£3. Bag of chips. Take bottled water with you. Better still take sandwiches.

Cornishclio Mon 18-Mar-19 14:50:17

I certainly would not pay for her lunch. Yes, it is strange behaviour and I am with you and like treating my DDs and DGDs to meals out, toys, clothes etc and think it is better to do while we are alive rather than make them wait for any inheritance. They need it more when their kids are little and they still have mortgages to pay.

You cannot really say anything about her being mean with her money to her family though as that is her call but I would quickly call her out on any comments about you spoiling them by saying you remember struggling at your childrens ages bringing up children and paying a mortgage and it gives you joy to help them out if you can. She must be a real skinflint if keeping all her money to herself is enjoyable for her.

Don't pay for her lunch. You are only encouraging her. You could make a joke of it and go to a reasonable price café or coffee shop or wherever and say you hope she finds something there within her budget. Just order your own lunch or don't go out with her anymore. That would do my head in.

SchadenfreudePersonified Mon 18-Mar-19 14:50:20

How many lunches have you paid for?

That means she has saved X x £3. It must have added up to enough for her to buy you both a decent lunch by now! Or you could ask her for £3 each time to offset your costs (and then put it very openly into a charity box). She sounds awful!

Not spending money on unneeded clothes, or a lot of gifts is fine, but to sponge off someone for lunch each time is appalling!

Surely you have other friends you could go out with?

GreenFingersWouldBeHandy Mon 18-Mar-19 14:51:08

Stop paying for her lunch. Take it in turns to pick where to go. If she doesn't like the venue, ask her to suggest a 'suitable' one. Or just cancel. Life's too short for that crap.

Dippypippy1980 Mon 18-Mar-19 14:54:06

It almost sounds like a mental health issue. But not your place to diagnose or treat.

She will probably always have this broken relationship with money - meet for a walk or a coffee, nothing expensive. No more buying her lunch. If she suggests lunch explain you find her budget very restrictive and ask if she has money worries.

Ellisandra Mon 18-Mar-19 14:54:23

It doesn’t really matter why she doesn’t spend money - that’s her business.

Either go for the £3 lunch (I’m sure wherever lunch is £3, you can choose to spend more on yourself) or just meeting her at 2pm and take lunch out of the equation. Madness to be paying for her every time.

LakieLady Mon 18-Mar-19 14:55:07

I think some people are tight because they have very real anxiety about money and ending up poor. No matter how much money they have, it will never make them feel financially secure.

But some people are just tight.

Only you can judge which camp your friend is in!

BarbaraofSevillle Mon 18-Mar-19 14:56:34

No it's not normal. Have you asked her why she appears to be afraid of spending her money?

Does she think it will run out and leave her penniless?

Does she think modern life is too expensive and too frivalous? Things have changed hugely over the last 20-30 years and what used to be an enormous luxury - like getting lunch out, or even a ready made sandwich, is now a regular thing for a lot of people, so she might be stuck in a mindset that these things are too expensive?

I'd try and encourage her to go to nicer places at least half the time, ie one week you pick somewhere, then she does the next time or may be just get a coffee if she doesn't want to spend, or eat at home before or after the trip.

The taking of sauce sachets is a bit mad - even Heinz only costs a pound or two for a small bottle, and it lasts much longer than the bottle says.

thedisorganisedmum Mon 18-Mar-19 14:58:14

Being tight is one thing

Being happy to let other pay for you is just rude. Stop paying for her lunch! Go for a coffee instead, she can have tap water.

woollyheart Mon 18-Mar-19 14:59:07

Agree that you should stop paying for lunch. She is setting the rules but not having to take the consequences. I'm not why you go shopping if she is not interested - could you do something else that she is more interested in?

Alsohuman Mon 18-Mar-19 15:01:58

One of my friends is like this. Single, no kids, mortgage free. She won’t spend anything at all. I used to sub her until I realised she had more money than me! I’ve stopped now. She hasn’t even got anyone to leave her ££££££ to.

BumbleBeee69 Mon 18-Mar-19 15:03:28

She has money because people like you pay for everything for her. flowers

TightwadCity Mon 18-Mar-19 15:04:27

To be fair this has been going on for years but is much worse lately.
Her family have told me they are at their wits end with her. For example she refused to buy 2 tickets for an event for her DS for a birthday as only one of the tickets was for his use and she didn't want to pay for somebody else to go with him. I have spoken to her about it in a jokey way but she doesn't think she's tight hence me wondering if it is my imagination but I don't think it is.
I realise two things from this thread though, one is that she obviously isn't going to change and the other is that her treatment of her family is none of my business, so thanks for pointing that out. I think I need to like it or lump it as the saying goes.Think I will have to step back a bit for the sake of my sanity. Such a shame as she used to be such good company but is a thorough misery now if I'm honest.

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