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!