A new survey says Brits are meaner with their money than ever, tipping less in restaurants and lying to street collectors. But are we really Scrooges or are we just being prudent in tough times?
Welcome to Britain – a mean and unpleasant land, according to a new survey from the Reader’s Digest. The poll reveals that tough times are leading Britons to be tighter with their cash.
Six out of ten respondents in the poll of 1,400 people think that Britons are meaner than ever, with a third scoring their levels of generosity as five or less out of ten.
Some of the money-saving examples are enough to make Ebenezeer Scrooge wince. A shocking 60% saying they have lied to street collectors about having no change.
One person admitted to buying four different brands of toilet paper and counting how many sheets each one had in order to work out which was most economical. Another said that her in-laws charged her to stay the night with them.
The ‘tightest’ group in the survey was the under-30s. Fewer than four in ten of this group donate to charity once a month and more than one in ten admit to never leaving a tip in restaurants.
Are we really mean with money?
But, one person’s frugal is another person’s mean. On the Which? website, we have hundreds of tips on how to save money, but none of them stretch to taking the batteries out of your alarm clock each morning and replacing them at night to make them last longer (another example from the survey).
Have the credit crunch, the recession and austerity measures really bitten so deeply that money-saving is no longer good enough? Are we now a nation of penny-pinchers who reuse tea bags and turn biro tubes into drinking straws for our children? Or is this survey wide of the mark?
Have your say below – any money-saving tips gratefully received – the best ones will be posted in an article on Which.co.uk.