Scots are paying the price to be polite

One in 10 Scots have admitted spending money just to appear polite.

We rack up a bill of over £200 each year on items or activities, just to be polite, according to new research.

The study from leading savings site investigated where people spend money just to avoid awkwardness, confrontation or appearing impolite, to establish the true ‘cost of being British’.

The findings show that Scots admit to spending an additional £19.05 each month, hitting a yearly total of £228.60, while the UK average sits at £23.27 – amounting to a national total of £7.1 billion per year on average.

Activities such as getting a round of drinks in or splitting the bill, despite having a cheaper meal than others, are ranked among the most common examples of Scots forking out extra cash just to be polite.

Glasgow is the most polite city when it comes to money matters with people ending up spending £261.08 per year on the typically British behaviour.

Top things that Scots do just to be polite:

1, Buy an unplanned extra round of drinks, 52%; 2, Stick around at an event for an extra drink; 47%; 3, Split the bill in a restaurant, despite having a significantly cheaper meal than others, 45%; 4, Not asking for money back which is owed, 39%; 5, Donate money to charity or sponsored a friend or family member during a challenge, 38%.

The research also finds that 41% of Scots feel unable to say “no” to the extra spend in certain social situations.

People from Glasgow are the most likely to maintain the typically British behaviour of spending to avoid coming across as impolite. Glaswegians drop almost three times the amount of cash as people in Aberdeen, who are the least likely to spend extra out of politeness.

Scottish cities that spend the most on ‘being polite’:

1, Glasgow, £261.08; 2, Edinburgh, £249.04; 3, Aberdeen, £93.60.

Respondents also say they feel their friends often avoid paying their fair share in social situations, with tactics including leaving social events before it is their turn to buy a round of drinks (29%) or wanting to split the bill even though their proportion is consistently more than anyone else (25%).

However, just 5% of Scots have ever fallen out over money-related issues, with the majority choosing to bite their tongue and just pay the extra.

However, there is a limit to our generosity when it comes to covering for a friend’s spending. The average Scot will happily forget about money owed to them until the debt reaches £10 – it’s at this point they consider asking for their money back.

Anita Naik, lifestyle editor at said: ‘Brits have a reputation for being especially polite and non-confrontational but, as the research shows, this quite literally comes at a cost. Buying an extra drink when out with friends might seem insignificant on its own, but each of these small costs can really add up – I’m sure most of us can think of many things we’d rather spend £228 on!

‘It’s clear us Brits place value on appearing polite and maintaining harmony with our friends and family. So, if you know you’re unlikely to break from this British tradition, it’s worth considering other ways to recoup some of that additional spend by using things like discount codes where possible, for example. That extra £10 at the pub will be less painful on your wallet if you can make savings elsewhere!’