At some point in your life you may have heard the phrase, “nice guys finish last.”
While this may or may not be true (depending on whom you talk to), I’m here to tell you with certainty that there are many cases in which it pays to be nice.
Or more specifically, being nice can save you money.
Being Nice in Action
Take, for instance, my most recent trip to New York City over the weekend.
My friends and I were at a local establishment (fancy word for bar, classic, right?) watching the March Madness basketball games. While sitting at the bar, the group of people next to us were being extremely loud, obnoxious and rude to the bartenders.
Throughout, my friends and I kept to ourselves and enjoyed watching and chatting about the games while being polite and interacting with the bartenders as they came by.
After one of the basketball games ended, the rude group left the bar. A short while later, the bartenders came back over to us and thanked us for being so nice and polite throughout the games compared to the other group.
They were so appreciative that they gave us all a free beer!
We were shocked. In our minds we weren’t doing anything special, just acting normally and being sociable.
It turns out, that wasn’t all. When we received our group tab we also saw that the bill was 25% off the total! (Between you and me, our tab was fairly large so that was no small sum!)
We didn’t sacrifice anything or even go out of our way to deserve this. Simply by being nice, we all were all able to save money!
More Examples of Being Nice
You may be thinking that’s a rare example to replicate. Personally, I think bartenders will give out free drinks for being nice more often than you might think, but I get your point.
Luckily there’s been several other instances where I know that being a good person has led to money being saved.
One of the odd jobs I worked in college was as a valet attendant. The condo building I worked for did not require tips to be paid out as we were paid by the hour.
However, many times through being polite and offering to help out the residents, I was given tips!
While not specifically saving money, this certainly helped me make more of it!
There’s also been numerous times in stores where I’ve noticed the cashier missed one of my items. While I could have just not told them about it and gotten it free, I’ve always pointed it out (who needs that on their conscience!?).
A couple times they’ve actually given it to me for free anyways!
Angela at Tread Lightly, Retire Early also has been able to save money for minor repairs at her local auto shop, simply by being nice and making a connection with the workers at the shop.
Traveling? My dad travels a lot for work and many times he has told me of instances where he’s been given discounts or upgraded to a better service at hotels, airlines and rental car companies simply for being very polite and sociable with customer service or attendants.
Lastly, let’s not forget to mention that if you itemize your taxes, you can actually save money on your taxes by being a good person and giving more money to charities!
Why Being a good person is valued
Let’s face it. In our culture today, being a good person is simply not very high in demand.
Turn on the TV and you’ll see countless reality TV shows focused around obnoxious, self-centered people. The sports world has also seen a spike in the number of arrests and run in’s with the law.
This is what children are growing up watching and many times this have a negative influence on them. After all, children want to be more like their idols.
I think that as more people become like this, the nicer it becomes when you interact with a good person.
Customer service workers are sick of getting yelled at by people every day, so when they run into someone who’s nice to them it probably feels pretty good.
I know in my experience, when I meet a nice person, I’m much more likely to want to help that person out and do something nice in return for them. If that something nice just happens to help them save money, then so be it!
I have a sneaky suspicion that many people also feel this way.
The world truly is a better place with more good people in it, and they should be recognized!
So, if you didn’t already have incentive enough to be a good person, add the potential of saving money to that list of reasons!
Have you ever saved money by being a good person or being nice to someone? I’d love to hear about it!
13 thoughts to “Save Money by Being Nice”
I worked in customer service and retail for 13 years. If you were nice to me, I’d go out of my way to be helpful because people who treated me and my coworkers well were so few and far between. I may have “accidentally” forgotten to scan something or given someone my employee discount if they were consistently nice to me. I’ve built up great relationships with bartenders and waiters in my area solely because I know how that job sucks and can commiserate with them. Getting free things is a great perk of that relationship!
I always joke that my Presidential campaign will have a requirement that every person in the country serve at least one year in a retail/customer service position (with dispensations for mental or physical disability, obviously), because we’d all be a hell of a lot nicer to each other if everyone had that experience.
That’s awesome! It really shouldn’t have to be that way, but unfortunately that’s the reality that we live in today.
I love that requirement though! I’ve only worked a short time dealing with customers (cashier at a liquor store for about 5 months) but it was more than enough to realize how pleasant it was when someone was actually nice to you. I’d vote for you with that on the ticket!! 😉
Great post and so true! Just being a decent person unfortunately seems like an increasingly rare thing in today’s society. I would never expect to be rewarded for normal, decent behavior but it’s great to read stories about those who are. After all, being a decent person isn’t about going after rewards and incentives. That’s just gravy if you happen to receive any!
Thank you! And exactly, I think that’s important to note as well. You should never “expect” to be rewarded for being a good person and I’m sure that won’t happen for everyone. Just thought I’d share something I’ve seen, heard and experienced a few times!
KAT, that is a great idea! haha. I’ve done it as well and it’s an experience everyone should do at least once in their life. You see everything from the great people of the world to the truly horrible and entitled. It is eye opening.
I’m not sure being nice has ever helped me before (and I think it’s a risky proposition to bet that being nice will ever lead to monetary gains). I do think that if you’re terrible for terrible’s sake, it’s unlikely to result in anything good (but I’ve seen it happen).
I agree with that, perhaps the title could be a little misinterpreted (came up with that at midnight last night! 😂) but mainly wanted to point out an unintended beneficial side effect that could happen to you solely from being a good person.
Most people don’t think about it that way (good people don’t expect to be rewarded simply for being nice) but I’ve seen it happen a lot and thought I’d share!
First off, didn’t you just post about saving money by not going to bars as much? You fell off the wagon…
A log time ago I found a wallet with money in it. I looked the person up and got hold of them and returned it. They gave me the money.
Hahaha I knew I was gonna get called out on that! Poor timing on my part with these posts surrounding a planned trip where I knew that’s what we’d be doing! 😂
Another great example though! That’s an awesome story, not a lot of people would do that.
Hey, thanks for the shout out! Love my auto shop, and they love me back 🙂 It makes for a much more pleasant experience regardless of the money savings as well when you’re generally happy to be around the people you’re interacting with (oh hey, my extrovert is showing again).
Of course! And I totally agree, the potential for money savings really takes a back seat to just how much better life is when everyone treats each other well and are nice to each other.
As a sorta bartender, “don’t be a jerk” is an excellent rule to follow! That’s an awesome surprise that hopefully made your trip a bit cheaper haha.
It’s pretty sad that we live in a society where people being nice is unexpected and worthy of a reward. One day hopefully we’ll get to a point where that isn’t the case, but in the meantime, it never hurts to be decent person since it makes life better for everyone!
Agreed on the don’t be a jerk! It’s a simple rule that really everyone should be following but unfortunately don’t..
I guess all we can do right now is act like how we’d want everyone else to act and spread the message! 🙂