Beware of Men Counting Pennies

This is my third and last installment (so far) of the horror dating stories that either my friends or I have encountered. Let’s talk about men I call Penny Pinchers.

Situation 1

Years ago I was asked out by a guy in my class. He asked if I would like to go out and have dinner with him. I thought it sounded nice, so I agreed. He told me that we will “go dutch.” Dutch for me back then meant someone from Holland. I was clueless what he meant. Was he talking about the name of the restaurant? I looked at him not knowing what to say. He explained to me that in America “going dutch” means splitting the bill. I did not like it because I was not accustomed to it. In my culture if a man asks you out, there is no question who pays for a date. Nevertheless, I agreed. It turned out to be a huge mistake that cost me at least a couple of my paychecks.

I was a full-time foreign student paying my way through the school with scholarships and credit cards. I was working only part-time because foreign students were not allowed to work full-time for the first few years in the US. The guy who asked me out was living with his parents, working full time and taking one class at a time.

We went to a fancy restaurant and our bill was pretty hefty. Of course at the end of the dinner he expected me to pay my half. When I saw the amount of my half of the bill, I wished I would have known that in advance. I would have chosen a different place. He at least should have asked me if the restaurant he chose for us was affordable for me. I paid my half of the bill, and after that night I was “too busy” to go out with this guy again.

Dating takes effort. It also takes money. I am not saying that men have to spend a fortune, or “going dutch” is not an option. But they have to put some effort (emotional and finaicial) into dating. It should not be all about convenience.Don’t you think that there is a huge difference between being cheap and wanting to share financial responsibility?

Situation 2

My friend was dating her rich neighbor for a while. He had a luxurious Porsche, a nice big house and took long and expensive vacations. Alone. He never asked her to “go dutch” but he never took her to any fine place either. He liked to cook dinners at home, rent DVDs, and shop in TJMaxx.

One day my friend got the flu and asked him to get Theraflu for her from the store. He gladly ran to a store, got the Theraflu, and gave my friend a receipt asking her to pay him back at her earliest convenience. My friend was shocked. She told me that he constantly asked her to pick up his clothes from the dry cleaner. She paid his dry cleaning bills and never asked him to repay her back. After the Theraflu incident, I told her that maybe she needed to tell him to start picking up his clothes from the dry cleaners himself.

It is much harder to have a good time with a cheap man. I am not talking about frugal and responsible man who knows and understands the value of money. I am talking about a man who doesn’t pick up tabs, who chooses the cheapest eats in town and refuses to go out to movies because The Red Box costs only $1.

Is a man who won’t part with his pennies one you should avoid? Or is he the one to learn money management skills from? Decide for yourself.

Edit: This article was included in Carnival of Personal Finance #284.  Make sure to visit it and read some great articles!

21 thoughts on “Beware of Men Counting Pennies

  1. iamtheworkingpoor

    Did he think the drycleaning was free?

    Good for you for not being available for any other dates. You could have gone in further debt if that turned into a relationship.

    Reply
  2. Lindy Mint

    I dated a guy in college who barely had two pennies to rub together. He would come up with “cheaper” things for us to do like going out to coffee, or one time he made me dinner at his house (we sat on the floor because he didn’t have furniture). But he never asked me to pay or even expected it. These guys could learn a lesson or two from him.

    Reply
      1. Invest It Wisely

        This is what I used to do when I was in college and paying for my own rent etc… I would cook dinners at my house and rent movies. I’ve never been a big fan of eating out at restaurants, as not only is it expensive, but I find the atmosphere much more relaxed when eating at home.

        Maybe that’s cause I can be somewhat of an anxious guy though, haha. I do enjoy eating out at nice restaurants once in a while for special occasions, but when it comes to say Valentine’s day or something like that, the best experiences have been doing things like going to a bed and breakfast, or just cooking a couple lobsters in the kitchen and taking out a few candles! IMO 90% of what advertising says you “should” do is BS — just go with your heart and with the flow, and don’t do anything that you feel you “should” do.

        Reply
  3. retirebyforty

    Heh heh! Those guys are pretty cheap. I’m a cheapo myself, but I never “go dutch” with a date. A friend yeah definitely go dutch, but not a date.

    Reply
  4. Sandy @yesiamcheap

    Having never “dated” since I met my BF in high school, my friends tell me these stories about cheap men all the time. The last one was my friend who is unemployed being asked out by someone who knew that she was out of work. When the bill came they both stared at it and he made no move to pay. In the end to finish the awkwardness my friend paid which was 25% of her unemployment check. After speaking to me she realized that she should have said something then and there. So, she called him and told him that he should not ask someone out if he was not paying. Suffice to say, no second date for him.

    Reply
      1. Invest It Wisely

        Women, it’s ok to walk out on a guy when he does this to you. I think us guys know that while the guys chase, the women CHOOSE. It’s funny to look back on it today, but one day my girlfriend was really mad at me and we went to eat together on a date that we both should have paid equally (since it was her idea), but cause she was mad at me she actually walked out and left me with the whole bill, and also the embarrassment of being at the table by myself.

        I don’t even remember what it was about anymore; I think it’s cause I took too long in the bathroom or something like that and she was having her time of the month. Again, it’s pretty funny to look back on it today.

        Reply
  5. Everyday Tips

    What jerks! I am so mad on yours and your friend’s behalf! I met my husband when I was 20, so I don’t have a ton of dating experience. With idiots like that out there, I am so glad.

    Your heart must have just dropped when you saw that bill from the fancy restaurant. I probably would have started crying…

    Reply
    1. Aloysa

      I wanted to scream actually when I saw that bill. I hated the guy at that moment. I still don’t get it – how could he do it to me?

      Reply
  6. Robert @ The College Investor

    If I asked someone out on a date, I would expect to pay. Especially if I wanted to take her someplace that was within my means, but maybe for everyone else!

    Reply
    1. Aloysa

      You would think so! You are asking out for a date, please pay. Or don’t take a girl out to a place you cannot afford.

      Reply
  7. Kay Lynn @ Bucksome Boomer

    Those sound like nightmares. I can’t believe your friend would pay for her date’s dry cleaning more than once. Sounds like she was allowing herself to be taken.

    Reply
  8. Invest It Wisely

    Hi Aloysa,

    I don’t think you lost much by not continuing to date the first guy! Stay at home, work full time, and still didn’t pay? In my view, if the guy solicited the date he should pay, and he was just being really cheap. If it had been you that had solicited the date then maybe it could have been half half or you could have paid, but when you say “I’d like to invite you to dinner” to someone you know only casually, then usually you are the one that will treat the other person, especially when it’s a guy asking a girl on a date.

    The second guy, I don’t know. Given that he was rich and that she was doing him favors, I think he should have let it slide, but I don’t know why “She paid his dry cleaning bills and never asked him to repay her back.” I don’t agree with that either. I think they simply had different world views here. I personally think that unless people are practically married they should keep their finances mostly seperate, which does not mean being cheap of course, it simply means that you don’t get into a situation of different expectations until you know the other side is committed, which is what this woman did.

    Reply
  9. Suba @ Wealth Informatics

    My husband was my first “date” and last. I think I am very lucky to have never gone through this. Good Lord! Financial compatibility is very important in a relationship, there is not point in pretending. He/she will eventually know anyways…. if we are going to take the relationship seriously. If I am not serious, I don’t care what he thinks about me.

    Reply
  10. First Gen American

    I dated a guy like this. He never had money. He was not so much cheap, but bad with money. It stunk that when we’d go somewhere, he’d have no gas in his car, so if we wanted to drive somewhere, I’d have to give him gas money. I went from having money in the bank to being just as broke as he was. I’m glad he didn’t end up being “the one” because my life wouldn’t be like it is today.

    Reply

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