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Old 03-20-2006, 07:36 AM
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Smile Know Your Cheapskate Etiquette

Everyday Cheapskate" is Mary Hunt`s daily newspaper column, syndicated to approximately 550 newspapers around the country.

Know Your Cheapskate Etiquette



Face it. Living below your means and staying out of debt requires a good bit of creativity from time to time. You have to get pretty clever to stretch a buck.

But just how far can you go before you cross the line between good etiquette and outright rudeness? When in doubt, always ask yourself these two questions: "Is my choice to be cheap in this instance going to harm or insult another person?" and "If I proceed, will I leave behind a fragrance or an odor?"

My best advice is to be cheap with yourself, not with others. When splitting the cost, always round up. Never freeload in the name of frugality. If you cannot afford to pay your way, don't go. And when in doubt, err on the side of generosity.

Q: On what portion of the restaurant bill do I calculate a tip?
A: Pay the tip on the total for food and beverages before tax and before deducting any coupons or gift certificates. It is customary to pay 15 percent for good service.

Q: I am invited to a bridal shower I cannot attend. Must I send a gift?
A: No. Respond with your regrets. However, if you are invited to the wedding and cannot attend, in that case you should send a gift.

Q: My former fiance broke our engagement. What happens to the ring?
A: The ring belongs to the person who paid for it regardless of who broke off the engagement. And both parties should return any gifts received from the other during the relationship.

Q: The pastor of our church will perform our wedding ceremony. Do we have to pay him since we are members of the church and weddings are part of his job?
A: Weddings and funerals are typically outside the scope of a minister's regular duties. Yes, you must pay the officiate a minimum of $100, more if travel is involved. A gift in lieu of cash would not be appropriate.

Q: What is the etiquette to follow when having a makeover at a cosmetic counter in a department store? There is no charge for this service, but am I expected to leave a tip?
A: You owe nothing if you buy products or take less than 15 minutes of the salesperson's time. Otherwise, leave $15 minimum.

Q: When we eat out in a group, how can we ask to pay just our portion of the bill, not have it "split evenly," without seeming too cheap?
A: Ask the server for a separate check before you order. If this is not possible, position yourself to accept the bill from the server. Check to see if the gratuity has been added to the bill. (This is becoming more common when there is a group of, say, eight or more.) Then accurately calculate what you owe, including tax and a fair tip on your portion. Place your money on the check and pass it along.
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Old 03-20-2006, 07:44 AM
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Very classy

Good advice especially about the two questions section - I like that she says to error on the side of generosity and good manners!


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Old 03-20-2006, 09:33 AM
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It's always good to use your manners..
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Old 03-20-2006, 10:28 AM
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Default There is a downside when eating out

I had a friend that I would meet once a month at a restaurant so we could catch up on what was going on in each other's lives. She almost always brought along her daughter.

If we were at a place that didn't offer separate checks, she would say let's just split it down the middle and call us even. Stupid me, I let her get away with it a couple times. She obviously took that as the norm because when
the check would come she'd grab it and figure her HALF, put down the money
and that was that.

I started insisting on separate checks wherever we went out to try to put an end to getting ripped off.

Eventually, I always said let's just go to the MacDonald's near your house so you won't have to drive so far. That way I made sure I only paid for my order because all 3 of us stood in line to order.
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Old 03-20-2006, 10:47 AM
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Eh, yeah, whenever it's possible I order seperate.

The thing I hate the most is I have this one friend who whenever I offer to buy us dinner she orders like three times as much as she would order if she were paying for herself. I have a child to buy for too, so it's never cheap.
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Old 03-20-2006, 06:20 PM
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Thanks. Helpful and informative
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