Don't Be A CF

Jared Dillian's picture
Rank: King Kong | 1,809

Mod Note (Andy) - as the year comes to an end we're reposting the top discussions from 2015, this one ranks #45. This one was originally posted 2/6/2015.

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I used to go to this barbershop back in the day. All the barbers were drag queens. No kidding! It was great. They were also practical jokers. They used to do things like leave remote-controlled fart machines out on the sidewalk and blast people as they walked by.

So after the haircut you would go in the back room to pay, and one day they had their appointment book out, and I looked, and next to some of the names it had the letters "CF." I asked, "what is CF?"

"Cheap f*ck," he said.

I got a kick out of that. I was relieved to see that there was no CF next to my name. But that's only because I tipped more than normal at that place, because it was so awesome. Usually I was a pretty bad tipper. At restaurants, I would tip the minimum necessary, 15%, which is below average by most people's standards.

Especially for a Wall Street guy.

I used to be a legendary CF. You can ask all the guys I worked with at Lehman. Instead of going out for lunch, I used to bring in a 49 cent can of baked beans, pop off the top with a can opener, and eat beans out of a can with a plastic fork at the desk. I used to make fun of these guys getting $20 lunches. Ha ha, you losers are spending 20 bucks on lunch, I am eating for 49 cents.

Thing is, they thought I was the loser. And they were right.

There is something to be said for frugality. Saving $10-$20 a day on food adds up after a while. At the end of a year, it's a real number. But eating baked beans out of a can is taking it a little bit too far.

My reputation as a CF extended outside of work. We'd go to a bar afterwards. They used to call me "Alligator Arms" (because I could never reach my wallet).

I am no longer a CF. But seven years later, I am still trying to live down that reputation.

I think it is the worst thing in the world to be a CF. You leave a trail of destruction wherever you go. People remember acts of financial unkindness. Children will remember that you wouldn't pay for the college that you wanted to go to. Or, on a smaller scale, your friends will always remember you as the guy who demanded a reduction on the dinner bill because someone ate some of your fries.

I know a number of people who suffer from this affliction. They have it bad. And these are people with lots of money, people who have more money than they know what to do with. If you have a seven-figure bank account, you probably shouldn't be clipping coupons, or stiffing the guy that mows your lawn, or making people chase you down to pay an invoice. Or tipping like an absolute jackass.

Some people think that it isn't rational to give big tips to people you are never going to see again. Okay, maybe it isn't rational, unless you think it is rational to be a dick. But it is perfectly rational to be a good tipper in neighborhood places you go to often. If you are tipping 30-35%, nobody is ever going to be unhappy to see you.

But these people, these CFs, they have a serious mental illness. They think they are always on the verge of bankruptcy. Probably this is because of some scare they had in their upbringing. Maybe Dad's business failed and everyone was eating ramen noodles for a year. Maybe they just were the poor kid in school, with the other kids driving Jaguars and BMWs. These kinds of financial indignities can last a lifetime, or else, take years of therapy to unwind.

Take it from a former CF. It's taken a lot of work to change my behavior on this. And you know what I've found? The more generous you are, the more it comes back to you. And that's not just a corny Facebook meme. That's really true. Let me put it to you this way. If I am on the verge of going bankrupt, I am not going to wish that I had that $5 tip back. People don't go bankrupt because of big tips. They go bankrupt because they get the big financial decisions wrong.

There are a few things that you can do to make or break your personal finances:

1) Buy a home (or second home)
2) Start a business
3) Take out too much debt

Everything else is secondary, including your trading and investing. Making 8% instead of 10% is not going to mean the difference between solvency and insolvency. But when you start screwing around with debt, that is another story. But nobody ever, ever screws up their life by not being a CF all the time.

I have heard of a funeral where the children were so sick of their CF father that they threw cash into the grave as the casket was being lowered. "Here's your f---ing money," they said. Financial wounds, for whatever reason, just don't heal.

Think about that if you are one of those guys who is tight with a buck. Trust me, everyone is well aware of your reputation. Being known as a generous person is one of the best things in the world. People will always remember.

Comments (80)

Jan 5, 2015

love this Jared.

curious what @"IlliniProgrammer" has to say

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Best Response
Jan 5, 2015
thebrofessor:

love this Jared.

curious what @IlliniProgrammer has to say

The difference between thrift and cheap is a pretty fine line, but it comes down to possessions vs people.

Order a PBR for $2.50, but leave a $1.50 tip.

Buy a house in a really nice school district; give everyone their own bedroom; don't get an extravagant downstairs.

It's good to be a generous person. It's not good to get on the consumption treadmill. I think you can do one while avoiding the other and I don't necessarily disagree with Jared. (For the record, my lunch is a $1.00 PB&J... I guess I am less frugal)

John Wesley had an old saying- work all you can and save all you can so you can give all you can. Warren Buffett is sort of the classic example of that behavior. He's thrifty; he eats at Dairy Queen; he lives in a moderate house; nobody thinks he's that cheap after he gave the vast majority of his lifetime income to charity. When Roger Ebert visited the film Festival in Champaign, he'd always go to Steak and Shake, eat a $5 burger and leave a $100 tip.

Look, I don't work in a client relations role. Expensive dinners, nice watches, designer suits, and fast cars don't help me. A fast computer does help me some, and I spend a few hundred more than I should getting a faster CPU and more RAM every few years. I spend a little bit extra to put vegetables in my diet. But outside of that, I just want to have a reputation of being as generous with others as I am with myself.

There are different philosophies about this. As a kid, the people I respected the most growing up- the people I most wanted to be like- were people who earned a lot of money but lived fairly moderate lifestyles. They were hardworking, disciplined, competent, and secure. They didn't need to prove anything, and they didn't see any value in a more glamorous lifestyle. And they still tipped well.

I really do think the Midwestern approach is better for the soul than the East Coast approach. Don't waste energy and money trying to prove stuff to people you don't even care about- and who don't really care about you. Do spend money and energy on the stuff that matters- your health, your life outside of work, and your friends and family.

But I think the worst part of conspicuous consumption is that however much you give, it gets diluted by all of the other money you are spending- and also by all of the other money people are seeing you spend. So spend money on people like you drive a BMW... But drive a rusty honda.

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Jan 5, 2015

I'll give you props, this is eloquently stated. Especially for the second biggest troll in WSO history behind Brady4MVP (which I'm fairly certain isn't also you).

I agree that there is a difference between being frugal and cheap. When you start interfering with others, you've crossed the line. If you've interfered with the basics of living for someone at your income level, you might have as well. There's no need to be ostentatious, but, if you're making seven figures, you can probably stop buying shoes at Cole Haan.

(Apologies for typos, Sharon had a few drinks this evening as well)

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Jan 5, 2015

My dad is kind of a CF. Whenever we go out to eat, and even when we have a bunch of people with us, he will never tip more than 15%. And then that's also on the pre tax amount, and also discounts drinks still I'm pretty sure.

Because we have a family credit card (My parents each have one, and me and my sister have one for emergencies, or to buy myself a birthday present, etc.) whenever we go out to eat I always make sure that I'm the one that gets the bill so that way I know the server is getting a proper tip. If he gets the bill before I can get it, I'll even try to fill it in for him too. I like to say I'll do it because that way he doesn't need to get out his glasses.

I'm sure over the course of the year, if I went from being a generous tipper, to a normal 20% tipper, I'd save a decent amount of money, but in the end, that money would just end up buying my fiance a purse or something that she doesn't need so it's not like I would be saving it anyways! At least this way, I'm making the world a happier place!

side note: I also think that working and or having an SO work in a an environment that is based off of tips helps your mindset towards this a lot. I worked in a restaurant back in high school and never knew how important not being CF was before I started working there. Top that off with my fiance being a hair dresser and people not being a CF can turn a terrible day around for her because she doesn't ever expect a tip from anyone. (Even though they always give a tip)

Jan 5, 2015

Yep. No one talks about the "downside" of being a cheap fuck.

No girls, no friends, no fun, no personality, no interesting stories.

Money is great. Money is awful if you have no one to spend it with.

Jan 11, 2015

"Money is awful if you have no one to spend it with." That is completely subjective... All I want is to be left alone.

"No girls, no friends, no fun, no personality, no interesting stories."
Some people have no issues with being alone and not every group of friends or women will completely shut someone down just because they are cheap. Stop it. I have had zero issues throughout my time in school and while working.

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Jan 5, 2015

My roommate is a CF. Even though he is a genuinely nice guy the first thing I always say when someone who doesn't know him asks about him is that he is a CF.

Jan 5, 2015

Reminds me of the show extreme cheapskate. I love that show. 30-35% is a bit too much for tip imo. 25% is plenty.

Jan 5, 2015

Life is about living. Be smart with your money, but fucking other people with someone's cheapness isn't cool. Tip appropriately. Buy drinks every now and then. Splurge when warranted.

You can't take it with you. I'll never get the desire to save far beyond your ability to ever spend. And the people that save the most aren't going to magically become spendthrifts. They'll just die with the money.

To each their own, but when your cheapness impacts others it isn't cool.

Jan 5, 2015

one of my partners is like this, work 8 figures and still packs his own lunch (and not just for health reasons).

@"Disjoint" if American wages for service jobs were what they were in the UK, the system would be different. tips are required for them to earn a livable wage. if you know the economics, then my bad, but most people don't know that the service industry's minimum wage is 50-75% lower than the federal minimum wage, because of tipping.

Jan 5, 2015
thebrofessor:

one of my partners is like this, work 8 figures and still packs his own lunch (and not just for health reasons).

@Disjoint if American wages for service jobs were what they were in the UK, the system would be different. tips are required for them to earn a livable wage. if you know the economics, then my bad, but most people don't know that the service industry's minimum wage is 50-75% lower than the federal minimum wage, because of tipping.

Yea it's an absolute shocker. Or the fact that the minimum wage is so low that tax payers have to subsidise McD and Wall Mart employees. There is something seriously messed up with the system - that includes the absolutely insane tipping culture you guys have.

Jan 5, 2015

Do you tip people at McDonalds?

Glad I am in the UK and don't have this bs culture of tipping. They include service charge now a days, and that yank bull sh.t is slowly getting into the culture here. I don't like it. At least no need to tip at the pub.

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Jan 5, 2015

Totally agree. I don't mind tipping at all if service is decent or the bill was lower than I was expecting or just in a good mood/drunk. But tipping all the time because I'm scared of being a CF? That's almost as miserable as actually being a CF.

Colourful TV, colourless Life.

Jan 5, 2015

my mother taught me to only be cheap to myself and be generous to others. Generosity in the long run will pay you back in spades just be careful of wasting it on leeches.

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Jan 5, 2015

This is one of my biggest pet peeves. I hate when someone is being a CF, especially at a bar or restaurant when tipping. Leaving a $5 tip versus a $1 tip when there was good service (or a similar situation as such, you know the people who say "why the hell should I tip them they just bring me food") leaves a bad taste in my mouth, and in some ways I think reflects on their character. Just my two cents. But wait give me my two cents back.

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Jan 5, 2015

Money is a vehicle that allows you to experience life. If you are a CF, ask yourself what have I not bought that would make me exponentially happier?

Jan 5, 2015

What I don't like is that tipping and if the service was good or not has no relationship at all. 18% for terrible service as the expected minimum here in nyc? I want to tip nothing for terrible service... So because terrible services is still rewarded with around 20% and tipping more than 25% is just crazy, the whole incentive kind of goes away... everybody ends up with about the same amount...With cabbies this is crazy too. They don't say a word to you scream in arabic into their phones and are pissed if you leave less than 20% tip...

Jan 7, 2015
zewa:

What I don't like is that tipping and if the service was good or not has no relationship at all. 18% for terrible service as the expected minimum here in nyc? I want to tip nothing for terrible service... So because terrible services is still rewarded with around 20% and tipping more than 25% is just crazy, the whole incentive kind of goes away... everybody ends up with about the same amount...With cabbies this is crazy too. They don't say a word to you scream in arabic into their phones and are pissed if you leave less than 20% tip...

'totally agree with this..

Jan 5, 2015

Tipping culture is great. Service in Europe blows.

People need to realize that minimum wage workers are going to give the minimum effort regardless of pay. This idea that fast food workers will all of a sudden embody professional attributes if only they were paid more is a fallacy. The reason why many of them are working for minimum wages perennially is because they call off work all the time, show up drunk, let people steal, etc.

People like to paint this perfect picture of hard working people who get fucked, but the reality is completely different.

Jan 5, 2015
TNA:

Tipping culture is great.

I'd throw a caveat with this statement. Tipping culture is great so long as appropriate tips are given to reward the level of service provided. Far too often, I see people still leaving 20% tips for shit service or Mr. Cheapskate leaving 10% tips for a fantastic waiter.

There is nothing I hate more than the person that doesn't match the tip with the level of service they receive. In cases where I am overly impressed, whether I am paying on the company or my personal dime, I will tip in excess of expectations to send a message that the waiter/waitress has done a superior job and thus, deserves a reward.

In other cases (I remember a specific horrific NJ diner experience) where orders are forgotten or messed up severely (I'm not talking medium instead of medium rare steak) or the wait staff is being downright rude, I'll make sure they know it. Not only with a tip, but a note explaining myself.

We musn't forget, tipping is a sliding scale and is an incentive for someone to provide quality service.

(This can be applied more broadly to various industries: hair/barber, taxi/limo, etc.).

Jan 6, 2015
TNA:

Tipping culture is great. Service in Europe blows.

People need to realize that minimum wage workers are going to give the minimum effort regardless of pay. This idea that fast food workers will all of a sudden embody professional attributes if only they were paid more is a fallacy. The reason why many of them are working for minimum wages perennially is because they call off work all the time, show up drunk, let people steal, etc.

People like to paint this perfect picture of hard working people who get fucked, but the reality is completely different.

Oh my... Where to start with that comment.... I hope most of it was a joke.

Europe = multiple countries.
Go to France - service is fast efficient professional. No tips - waiters make a living out of their jobs and it's a career. They will be 100 times more efficient than some acne laden teen in the US. I guess you don't get the sucking up with it, but you get what you ordered for with no errors.
Go to England - varies from all end of the spectrum due to the high amount of immigrants coming from all over the place
Go to Greece - Sloppy as hell
Go to Russia - Some of the best service I've had in the world
Go to Ukraine - very average
In the US varies a fuck load regardless of tipping.
etc...

Tipping culture is shit, it's not at all justified, as some of the posters have said, you can get shit service and still be expected to pay 18%.

I'd rather have the company pay its workers without me having to subsidise their salary and have it included on the price. In the US you basically have tons of free loaders thanks to the tipping culture. Basically you are subsidising people who can't be arsed to tip.

Now to your second comment - I hope you are joking, but sadly I've met plenty of people who say the things you are saying and are believing it. A lot of those people did not have the opportunities you and I had. I employ people on minimum wage for some of the construction projects I have, they are immigrants who sometimes do not know the language and will work 10x harder than a native worker who will charge 5x higher than minimum wage. At 15 I worked in some minimum wage jobs, with people who were not employable elsewhere due to a pure lack of skills. Not everyone was raised with parents or where given any sets of skills except for their bare hands. Sure some people might booze and not be able to hold a job, just like I know a lot of bankers who do the same thing, and are sometimes very far from being functional.

So why pay above minimum wage? The problem is that you cannot live on it - and unless you want to keep subsidising those people via benefits like a fucking idiot, I suggest you start getting companies to pay a tiny bit more, dole out a bit less money for its shareholders, and don't have your state swell up your taxes.

The tipping culture is a sorry excuse for a socialist state.
With too low of a minimum wage - if they don't make the cash via tips they need to get benefits to survive = Extra taxes
With a tipping system - you get a bunch of freeloaders = reminds me of a lot of country in "Europe" as you so like to call it, which for the most part are socialise.

Fuck tipping - have employers pay a decent wage and that's it.
end of.

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Jan 7, 2015
Disjoint:

The tipping culture is a sorry excuse for a socialist state.
With a tipping system - you get a bunch of freeloaders = reminds me of a lot of country in "Europe" as you so like to call it, which for the most part are socialise.
Fuck tipping - have employers pay a decent wage and that's it

*Ahem. Servers screaming for 50% tips get no respect from me, but you're not thinking this all the way through. They don't tip in Europe BECAUSE they are more socialist and therefore require a higher wage for servers. Here, the system is more capitalist but the caveat is that servers don't have any power to enforce their end of the social contract. When people take advantage of that.....that's the definition of a CF. Besides, tipping decently carries the same currency that spending lots of money does: it's a tangible sign of success. Success begets success, jump on the bandwagon. Don't be a crook. Put out.

And while we're on the topic, not all servers take a bad tip lying down. I had a friend back when I was a bartender who had no problem throwing a small tip back in a CF's face and then siccing their buddies on them: the guys who hang out in bars and know the bartender well are usually not the nicest people to anger. Sure they're going to get a free beer out of it, but the simple fact is that they kind of like violence...and you really don't stand a chance. I never did (I didn't need to, I was good at my job) but the last people you want to screw with are the people you trust to take care of you. Common sense as far as I'm concerned. To quote Tyler Durden:

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Jan 5, 2015

lol one of my buddies is known to be cheap - once I took some of his food and he took some of mine, and he was like, pay me an extra dollar since you took my food

never forgotten

speed boost blaze

Jan 5, 2015
Jared Dillian:

Mod Note (Andy): WSO readers qualify for a $100 discount to Jared's Daily Dirtnap daily market newsletter...just email [email protected]

and mention "WSO Monkey Discount" You can follow Jared on twitter at @dailydirtnap

I used to go to this barbershop back in the day. All the barbers were drag queens. No kidding! It was great. They were also practical jokers. They used to do things like leave remote-controlled fart machines out on the sidewalk and blast people as they walked by.

So after the haircut you would go in the back room to pay, and one day they had their appointment book out, and I looked, and next to some of the names it had the letters "CF." I asked, "what is CF?"

"Cheap f*ck," he said.

I got a kick out of that. I was relieved to see that there was no CF next to my name. But that's only because I tipped more than normal at that place, because it was so awesome. Usually I was a pretty bad tipper. At restaurants, I would tip the minimum necessary, 15%, which is below average by most people's standards.

Especially for a Wall Street guy.

I used to be a legendary CF. You can ask all the guys I worked with at Lehman. Instead of going out for lunch, I used to bring in a 49 cent can of baked beans, pop off the top with a can opener, and eat beans out of a can with a plastic fork at the desk. I used to make fun of these guys getting $20 lunches. Ha ha, you losers are spending 20 bucks on lunch, I am eating for 49 cents.

Thing is, they thought I was the loser. And they were right.

There is something to be said for frugality. Saving $10-$20 a day on food adds up after a while. At the end of a year, it's a real number. But eating baked beans out of a can is taking it a little bit too far.

My reputation as a CF extended outside of work. We'd go to a bar afterwards. They used to call me "Alligator Arms" (because I could never reach my wallet).

I am no longer a CF. But seven years later, I am still trying to live down that reputation.

I think it is the worst thing in the world to be a CF. You leave a trail of destruction wherever you go. People remember acts of financial unkindness. Children will remember that you wouldn't pay for the college that you wanted to go to. Or, on a smaller scale, your friends will always remember you as the guy who demanded a reduction on the dinner bill because someone ate some of your fries.

I know a number of people who suffer from this affliction. They have it bad. And these are people with lots of money, people who have more money than they know what to do with. If you have a seven-figure bank account, you probably shouldn't be clipping coupons, or stiffing the guy that mows your lawn, or making people chase you down to pay an invoice. Or tipping like an absolute jackass.

Some people think that it isn't rational to give big tips to people you are never going to see again. Okay, maybe it isn't rational, unless you think it is rational to be a dick. But it is perfectly rational to be a good tipper in neighborhood places you go to often. If you are tipping 30-35%, nobody is ever going to be unhappy to see you.

But these people, these CFs, they have a serious mental illness. They think they are always on the verge of bankruptcy. Probably this is because of some scare they had in their upbringing. Maybe Dad's business failed and everyone was eating ramen noodles for a year. Maybe they just were the poor kid in school, with the other kids driving Jaguars and BMWs. These kinds of financial indignities can last a lifetime, or else, take years of therapy to unwind.

Take it from a former CF. It's taken a lot of work to change my behavior on this. And you know what I've found? The more generous you are, the more it comes back to you. And that's not just a corny Facebook meme. That's really true. Let me put it to you this way. If I am on the verge of going bankrupt, I am not going to wish that I had that $5 tip back. People don't go bankrupt because of big tips. They go bankrupt because they get the big financial decisions wrong.

There are a few things that you can do to make or break your personal finances:

1) Buy a home (or second home)

2) Start a business

3) Take out too much debt

Everything else is secondary, including your trading and investing. Making 8% instead of 10% is not going to mean the difference between solvency and insolvency. But when you start screwing around with debt, that is another story. But nobody ever, ever screws up their life by not being a CF all the time.

I have heard of a funeral where the children were so sick of their CF father that they threw cash into the grave as the casket was being lowered. "Here's your f---ing money," they said. Financial wounds, for whatever reason, just don't heal.

Think about that if you are one of those guys who is tight with a buck. Trust me, everyone is well aware of your reputation. Being known as a generous person is one of the best things in the world. People will always remember.

I've been on or around WSO for many years now, and I've got to say that this is the best and most refreshing post I've read here. Worthy of all silver bananas.

Jan 5, 2015

I am a pretty big CF.

It doesn't pay - my uncle hasn't talked to me since Christmas after he said, "you have how much, and you come to Christmas empty handed?" I donate to charities, but only the lowest amount, like $15 to help inner city children afford stuff like pencils and erasers for school. I show up empty-handed to about all events.

When this guy says it's hard to stop, he is not kidding. My g/f and I both work in consulting/management and earn, in our late 20s, over 200k in the south Dayton/North Cincy area, ~ 550k lifestyle in Manhattan.

So my uncle stopped talking to me, my mom/dad both know I'm an extreme cheap ass, and people at work know I pack the 4 for $5 Progressive soups, and an apple every day. It's like a $1.90 lunch. I scavenge managers specials at grocery stores, getting there on Sundays or after big games to pick up the over supply. At 28, I have everything under a student subscription - digitally - FROM NTY, WSJ, and even have tried to get the economist through a corporate subscription. so, yes, everyone will remember you are a cheap ass and you have shit tons of money and don't share.

My father in his late 60s and he put some of this money in some bullshit front-loaded REIT that only returned 6.5%, so I went on about him just moving it into simple S&P ETFs, this is like 3 years ago. Few weeks ago, I was explaining the returns he missed; he looked at me and said, "I'm almost 70; I don't really give a fuck about money anymore."

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Jan 5, 2015
Stickler:

I am a pretty big CF.

It doesn't pay - my uncle hasn't talked to me since Christmas after he said, "you have how much, and you come to Christmas empty handed?" I donate to charities, but only the lowest amount, like $15 to help inner city children afford stuff like pencils and erasers for school. I show up empty-handed to about all events.

When this guy says it's hard to stop, he is not kidding. My g/f and I both work in consulting/management and earn, in our late 20s, over 200k in the south Dayton/North Cincy area, ~ 550k lifestyle in Manhattan.

So my uncle stopped talking to me, my mom/dad both know I'm an extreme cheap ass, and people at work know I pack the 4 for $5 Progressive soups, and an apple every day. It's like a $1.90 lunch. I scavenge managers specials at grocery stores, getting there on Sundays or after big games to pick up the over supply. At 28, I have everything under a student subscription - digitally - FROM NTY, WSJ, and even have tried to get the economist through a corporate subscription. so, yes, everyone will remember you are a cheap ass and you have shit tons of money and don't share.

My father in his late 60s and he put some of this money in some bullshit front-loaded REIT that only returned 6.5%, so I went on about him just moving it into simple S&P ETFs, this is like 3 years ago. Few weeks ago, I was explaining the returns he missed; he looked at me and said, "I'm almost 70; I don't really give a fuck about money anymore."

The first step towards correcting it is recognizing it. Most CFs honestly don't even recognize it (often because it's so ingrained into them as a part of their culture).

I had a roommate several years ago who was single and made probably $90-100,000/year (had plenty of money). He's from a culture that is known to be stingy. He was a VERY nice guy but when we moved out (amicably, on good terms) and went our separate ways he stiffed me on $500 of back utilities. He wouldn't take my phone calls or respond to my emails. That's the kind of thing that you don't forget about people. But I'd bet you this guy doesn't even realize he's cheap.

Jan 5, 2015

sure he's not just a dick? former roommate of mine would repeatedly round the bills so that he got an extra $5 or so each month. I could give a fuck less about $5, but the principle of it boiled my blood.

if it was $500, I wouldn't forget either. hell, mine's 1% of yours, and I haven't forgotten.

by the way Va tech, sounds like a Cosmo Kramer moment (John Grossbard)

Jan 5, 2015
Virginia Tech 4ever:
Stickler:

I am a pretty big CF.

It doesn't pay - my uncle hasn't talked to me since Christmas after he said, "you have how much, and you come to Christmas empty handed?" I donate to charities, but only the lowest amount, like $15 to help inner city children afford stuff like pencils and erasers for school. I show up empty-handed to about all events.

When this guy says it's hard to stop, he is not kidding. My g/f and I both work in consulting/management and earn, in our late 20s, over 200k in the south Dayton/North Cincy area, ~ 550k lifestyle in Manhattan.

So my uncle stopped talking to me, my mom/dad both know I'm an extreme cheap ass, and people at work know I pack the 4 for $5 Progressive soups, and an apple every day. It's like a $1.90 lunch. I scavenge managers specials at grocery stores, getting there on Sundays or after big games to pick up the over supply. At 28, I have everything under a student subscription - digitally - FROM NTY, WSJ, and even have tried to get the economist through a corporate subscription. so, yes, everyone will remember you are a cheap ass and you have shit tons of money and don't share.

My father in his late 60s and he put some of this money in some bullshit front-loaded REIT that only returned 6.5%, so I went on about him just moving it into simple S&P ETFs, this is like 3 years ago. Few weeks ago, I was explaining the returns he missed; he looked at me and said, "I'm almost 70; I don't really give a fuck about money anymore."

The first step towards correcting it is recognizing it. Most CFs honestly don't even recognize it (often because it's so ingrained into them as a part of their culture).

I had a roommate several years ago who was single and made probably $90-100,000/year (had plenty of money). He's from a culture that is known to be stingy. He was a VERY nice guy but when we moved out (amicably, on good terms) and went our separate ways he stiffed me on $500 of back utilities. He wouldn't take my phone calls or respond to my emails. That's the kind of thing that you don't forget about people. But I'd bet you this guy doesn't even realize he's cheap.

Best $500 you ever spent to get rid of a loser like that.

Jan 5, 2015

I'm cheap on myself, generous on those around me. Spent my HS days waiting tables - gives you a fresh perspective.

It's all about appreciating versus depreciating assets. I don't spend money on depreciating assets - phones, cars, clothes. I do, however, spend more (or save to spend) on appreciating assets - house, education. You can throw friends and family into that, too - pay it back.

Jan 5, 2015

And I bring a lunch to work 4/5 days a week. PB&J (or Oatmeal). Haters gonna hate.

Jan 5, 2015
GoldenEagle2009:

I'm cheap on myself, generous on those around me. Spent my HS days waiting tables - gives you a fresh perspective.

It's all about appreciating versus depreciating assets. I don't spend money on depreciating assets - phones, cars, clothes. I do, however, spend more (or save to spend) on appreciating assets - house, education. You can throw friends and family into that, too - pay it back.

Agreed, I carried golf bags from 12-18. I learned a lot of inappropriate jokes, made a decent amount of cash for a kid in the Midwest, and learned that their is pretty much a random correlation between generosity and absolute level of wealth. I found that the guys with random small businesses who had done well were quite generous, a lot of doctors/lawyers were really stingy/arrogant. I think just about everybody could benefit from working in a service type job at some point in their life - it gives a perspective across class lines. The difference between getting $25 vs. $60 for schlepping a golf bag 5 hours when you are 13 is huge. I always tip well now, even if service isn't great I figure somebody is probably having a shitty day, their boss is an asshole, etc.

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Jan 6, 2015

I found the correlation between tippers and their occupants strange also. I work at my dad's detailing shop right now(currently a student) and i found that people with the average cars and jobs tip much more than those driving in the BMW's, Mercedes and such. They're also much nicer than the people with more money. Tip's are a big part of my income as a working college student, it made me realize how important tips are to people who deserve them and how much it actually helps one's daily life.

VPA

Jan 5, 2015

If you're at a busy bar or restaurant, giving the bartender/waitress a crisp $20/$50 when you first sit down and telling them not to forget about you usually leads to good service.

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Jan 5, 2015

Most of the CF's I've met in my life have been wealthy people. I can't wrap my head around it. How the fuck do you have an 8 figure net worth and wake up at 5AM to cut coupons? Doesn't that take the fun out of being rich?

Jan 5, 2015

I don't tip at places like Subway -- my rational is that what else do these workers get paid for otherwise? All they do is make a sandwhich -- hell if Subway would let me I'd just say -- give me the meat.cheese.and shit and let me do it!

BUT I am VERY generous when it comes to real service (restaurants, hookers with big tatas) etc.

You know

LA Bull

Jan 5, 2015

who tips at subway?!?

WSO's COO (Chief Operating Orangutan) | My Linkedin

Jan 5, 2015

I tip at Subway. Not every time, but when I have free $1 bills or something I will.

Jan 7, 2015

I love canned beans but never understood how people can eat it straight. So much nicer warm and with a piece of bread or crackers.

great post tho

Jan 7, 2015

There's a big difference between being a CF and being frugal, or at least wise, and not spending money for the sake of spending money. Being "that guy" who tips like a tightwad, wants to break out the calculator and argue for pennies when you're splitting a bill or never picking up a tab when you get older and don't tend to split bills is a CF (that's based on the person being able to afford it). Not leasing a $150k luxury car because it'll max your monthly expenses to the point of living paycheck to paycheck is common sense. I had a friend (really the boyfriend->husband of a friend) who when we were in college would actually bring a six pack to house parties where we'd charge $5 to drink (not fraternity parties, just at people's apartments or houses) so that he wouldn't pay one cent more than he actually drank. After college he'd want to break down the bill to the penny when everyone else was going to say $X/number of people. He was a cheap fuck and no one keeps in touch with him. I have another friend who represents the latter. He's been an MD at a decent MM IB for at least 10 years. He lives comfortably but well within his means, tips a good amount, etc. but he drives a 5 Series that's a few years old while he could most likely easily drive a Bentley. CF vs. someone who's simply wise with his money.

As for this tipping issue: I tend to think tipping for the most part improves service, and I've lived in the US and UK and extensively traveled all over so I've seen it all multiple times. France is an aberration in the Western world where a non-tipping culture still has good and efficient service, just not nice. I think service in the UK is generally crappy until you hit the really high end. Go to East Asia and you'll see service, especially at the higher end, that is absolutely amazing and that's without a tipping culture, but that's the overall service culture there.

But...it doesn't matter. When you go to a country, you abide by their customs. If a Euro comes to the US, they need to know that tipping is part of the cost of a sit down meal. The cost of service isn't included in the price. The poor sap waiting tables gets paid something like $2.75/hour because he's a tipped employee. Maybe restaurants should pay a living wage, but they wouldn't be competitive because they'd have to increase their prices by 20% and when Americans look at a menu, they instinctively know that the sum of the items they order will be the net price exclusive of tip and tax. When an American goes abroad, they need to know and follow the customs in that country or they're seen as the ugly American.

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Jan 9, 2015

true ..sb'ed

Jan 7, 2015

There are two separate issues here being addressed. It's ok to be cheap and decide not to dine out everyday. To me, that's just being frugal. However, if you knowingly enter into a situation of receiving some type of service that requires tipping, you should follow the correct form and tip appropriately. If you don't want to leave a tip, it is probably a service you can do yourself. Don't like to tip your bartender? Stay at home and serve yourself. Same thing with dining out. I tip well for two reasons: One - I used to be a server/waiter and depended on tips (and for anyone that gets bitchy and demands that I call them a server, not a waitress, you suck at life cause it isn't a big deal). Two - I used to be a server/waiter and I'm more than happy to watch someone bring me my food and drinks and know that I'll never have to do that shit again.

Jan 7, 2015

This is a great post. The bottom line is: PUT OUT!!! You can't ask something of other people that you wouldn't do, and besides....it's just awesome to be the good guy. In today's strange culture, anyone with any decency gets written off as the 'nice guy' aka putz and jaded, cynical jerks try to glorify being a bad guy. I'm not ignoring boundaries and being taken advantage of: sometimes you have to lay the ugly down on people, some folks are assholes. Far more often though, the reality is that if you are good to other people and confident that you're doing right by them, then you have every right to expect other people to do so for you.

* Tip well
* Hold doors for people
* Satisfy your lover
* Apologize when you are wrong
* Work late/more if necessary, and do it with a good attitude
* Don't cock block your buddies unless you're going for the girl yourself
* Be a man and change the toilet paper when there's one damn square left

This is part of being an adult, and yes I judge people harshly (and sometimes retaliate) when they pull the ladder up behind them or leave other people hanging for no good reason.

Live by the golden rule. Besides, it's scientifically proven that you are happier when you do something for other people :)

Jan 7, 2015

I had a buddy who abused Walmart's return policy to the point where he would show up to the store every 3 months to return an iPad for a new one so he didn't have to actually purchase one.. Same guy who would also buy the most expensive tent before a weekend of camping, throw it back in the bag and return it on Monday

Jan 7, 2015
cheesy:

I had a buddy who abused Walmart's return policy to the point where he would show up to the store every 3 months to return an iPad for a new one so he didn't have to actually purchase one.. Same guy who would also buy the most expensive tent before a weekend of camping, throw it back in the bag and return it on Monday

Respectfully, it's Walmart....they have so much bad karma from how they treat their employees that they kind of have this coming. I'd never do it, it's too scuzzy for my tastes, but a LOT of people do. And it fits with their ethos: they don't care about the big picture, just money NOW, so it figures that they'll get screwed over at some point.

Jan 7, 2015
Jan 12, 2015

Here was a high-end restaurant that banned tipping in San Diego. http://qz.com/113597/after-i-banned-tipping-at-my-...

You can read through the owner's blog posts that's linked inside the article.

There's also a professor at Cornell who has a lot of research published on various tipping experiments. Here's his study on tips being used as an incentive for providing quality service. http://scholarship.sha.cornell.edu/cgi/viewcontent...

I'm too drunk to taste this chicken -Late great Col. Sanders

Jan 7, 2015

I like tipping. Gets me a hard on every time I leave a $5 buck

Jan 9, 2015

Self-professed CF here, and don't give a damn. Then again, I'm kind of allowed, seeing as how my NW is something in the negative 30k range, right?

I am adamantly against the principle of tipping, but do it anyways because I've been waitress, ice cream shop girl, server, and a plethora of other food service jobs; I know how shitty a day can quickly get when people areleaving like, $1 tips on $20 meals. That said, I usually tip in the 10-15% range. One because I'm too lazy to calculate anything else, two because that's what I'm monetarily comfortable tipping.

There was a GREAT article a while back that had a ton of data on tipping and why the system screws over employees. I can't find it anymore, though, so here's a few others that explain my sentiment quite well:
http://www.thrillist.com/eat/nation/why-you-should...
http://kitchenette.jezebel.com/the-gratuitous-inju...
http://rationallyspeaking.blogspot.com/2012/03/rat...
http://www.epi.org/publication/waiting-for-change-...

Currently: future psychiatrist (med school =P)
Previously: investor relations (top consulting firm), M&A consulting (Big 4), M&A banking (MM)

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Jan 12, 2015

Was it this experiment? Owner of a high-end restaurant in San Diego?

http://qz.com/113597/after-i-banned-tipping-at-my-...

I'm too drunk to taste this chicken -Late great Col. Sanders

Jan 12, 2015
Winning Since 1776:

Was it this experiment? Owner of a high-end restaurant in San Diego?

http://qz.com/113597/after-i-banned-tipping-at-my-...

Nope, not that one, but still a good read.

Currently: future psychiatrist (med school =P)
Previously: investor relations (top consulting firm), M&A consulting (Big 4), M&A banking (MM)

Jan 12, 2015
chicandtoughness:

That said, I usually tip in the 10-15% range. One because I'm too lazy to calculate anything else, two because that's what I'm monetarily comfortable tipping.

Something tells me that #1 is less than accurate and #2 is spot on. I think you could probably calculate 20% if you can calculate 10 or 15%. I mean, I went to UC Boulder and could do that in a nanosecond.

Jan 12, 2015
DickFuld:
chicandtoughness:

That said, I usually tip in the 10-15% range. One because I'm too lazy to calculate anything else, two because that's what I'm monetarily comfortable tipping.

Something tells me that #1 is less than accurate and #2 is spot on. I think you could probably calculate 20% if you can calculate 10 or 15%. I mean, I went to UC Boulder and could do that in a nanosecond.

20% is way too damn high, but I'm too lazy to calculate, say, 18% or 12% (both of which people seem to like). 10% is easiest :D

Currently: future psychiatrist (med school =P)
Previously: investor relations (top consulting firm), M&A consulting (Big 4), M&A banking (MM)

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Jan 9, 2015

This is obvious to a lot of people, but I think Facebook taught me a tip hack.

Want to leave 20%? Move the decimal place to the left one spot and multiply by 2. No more excuses for being too lazy to calculate the tip. :)

Bill: $34.10
10%: $3.41
20%: double the 10% to $6.82

Jan 9, 2015
Virginia Tech 4ever:

This is obvious to a lot of people, but I think Facebook taught me a tip hack.

Want to leave 20%? Move the decimal place to the left one spot and multiply by 2. No more excuses for being too lazy to calculate the tip. :)

Bill: $34.10

10%: $3.41

20%: double the 10% to $6.82

no offense but this is obvious to a lot of people too.. also, how did facebook teach you that?

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Jan 9, 2015
MBA_Junkie:
Virginia Tech 4ever:

This is obvious to a lot of people, but I think Facebook taught me a tip hack.

Want to leave 20%? Move the decimal place to the left one spot and multiply by 2. No more excuses for being too lazy to calculate the tip. :)

Bill: $34.10

10%: $3.41

20%: double the 10% to $6.82

no offense but this is obvious to a lot of people too.. also, how did facebook teach you that?

Wow. Wow. Can you read? I literally said that this is obvious to a lot of people.

Facebook has "life hacks" posts all the time. They are seemingly obvious things that people don't recognize.

Jan 10, 2015

yeah it's not [insert something difficult], if someone can't figure out a 15, 20, 25% tip in their head then he/she shouldn't be working in finance

WSO's COO (Chief Operating Orangutan) | My Linkedin

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Jan 10, 2015

It's not about figuring it out. It's just a shortcut to figuring it out. There are shortcuts to tying shoes but learning a shortcut doesn't mean you were too stupid to figure out how to tie your shoes. It means you wanted to take the path of least resistance.

Jan 12, 2015

CF crew checking in. Keeping all my money in my pocket since 2001.

You know you've been working too hard when you stop dreaming about bottles of champagne and hordes of naked women, and start dreaming about conditional formatting and circular references.

Jan 13, 2015

So there is a problem with bringing your fucking lunch?

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Jan 13, 2015

So there is a problem with bringing your fucking lunch?

Jan 14, 2015

interesting post

Jan 16, 2015

Just back from Japan, where tipping is considering rude in almost everywhere (hotel, cab, restaurant, spa etc). I'd say I enjoy that much more. People in service industry there treat working as pride.

Also, what's the current tipping trend in NYC? here is mine:

Restaurant: 15% after tax for both lunch dinner. 18% for high end place
Cab: $1 under $10, $2 under $20, $3 for higher (excluding airport trip)
Massage: $10 for cheap Chinese one ($30-$40 per hour), 20% for others
Average bar: $1 per drink
High-end bar/club: $2/$3 per drink

Feb 8, 2015

I have no problem tipping people in most service roles, but it drives me nuts when I'm asked to tip at coffee shops.

Feb 8, 2015

Interesting discussion.

Unfortunately I haven't seen much of the world yet, but in Bulgaria the tipping culture is so-so. Personally I always try to leave a 10% tip, considering the fact that I'm still a student and don't have the ability to work even part-time as it is. I have the feeling that acting extremely generous in this case while I'm essentially not giving money that I've earned by myself would be somewhat retarded.

Regarding the culture in the US, I know quite a few people who've worked there in the summer and have been relying heavily on tips. Taking what I've heard and what I just read in the thread, I would feel bad if I leave a tip less than 15% for 'normal' quality of service; for good service I'd definitely hit the 30%.

In the end of the day, the extra few % added to your bill, provided you don't hand them over with a grumpy face, will surely make someone's day better! And personally I feel better as well afterwards.

Feb 8, 2015

Im a CF only because I have about $14 in my checking account.

Feb 9, 2015

I don't tip because I can't afford to. I'm not in a high paid job or anything, every time I go to a restaurant, and see that a burger will cost me PS10+ I think to myself, "damn I could McDonalds and buy two meals with fries and drinks included", yes I might be a CF but then again I'm not in a high paid job. They day will hopefully come when I'll be able to tip but today is not that day. I remember last time my family and I went to TGI fridays to celebrate my dads birthday the bill was unexpectedely high PS100+, I was expecting something around 70-80, I mean PS14 burger fuck me right?, so we didn't have much money left after the bill came and could only gather PS1.50, we put it in there with the rest of the money and the waiter took it, counted it, and returned the tray with the PS1.50. he might have thought "oh these people have money since they can spend PS100+ on food I'm not taking this, I'll return it just in case they thought they put extra money in there and leave me more tip money", he was looking at me, I looked at him took the coins and left. It's not my obligation to give him extra money to do his job, he is certainly not getting PS2.75 and hour like I read above waiters in America do but "society" nowadays just take was interest them. They are trying to implement the tipping culture but they are not willing to take a pay cut to PS2.75/hour.

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Feb 12, 2015
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Dec 21, 2015
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"It is better to have a friendship based on business, than a business based on friendship." - Rockefeller.

"Live fast, die hard. Leave a good looking body." - Navy SEAL

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Dec 21, 2015