亞裔人真的很小氣?Are Asians really cheap?

We all know the stereotypes about Asians – small men with a ‘toothpick’, nerds, eat weird things… and cheap-asses. Some people say stereotypes have to have some roots in real life but is that really true? Where is the line between good money management and being Scrooge McDuck20101215

Looking on my own Western-Eastern experience I  would rather say Asian people care so much about their face, especially in front of a girlfriend, that they would rather pay the whole bill than take out a calculator and divide it between them. You don’t see white people in a restaurant fighting over a bill, throwing their credit cards or giving back the cash and putting their own.
Of course there are exceptions like one of my husband’s ex roommates – he always asked Sing for a ride, including the time he moved out but never even said ‘Oh man, maybe you need money for gas?’. When Sing was at school he sneaked into his room and ate his snacks. The day he moved out he took toilet paper and a light bulb with himself from their landlord. And whenever my husband told him he doesn’t like it he used the same sentence ‘Your parents can send you more’. Good to know my parents in law can transform into ATM for his roommate.

Good money management is a part pf what makes Asian rich – I don’t say buying half a bun will make you next Li Ka-shing (if you don’t know who he is check out my last post about Hong Kong memes – he’s one of them) but why buy 2 potatoes in Jusco for 8 HKD when you can get them for half of the price why would you buy it there? If you can save up a tax or parking fee why would you do that? When white people do that it’s totally acceptable, people are smart by doing it but when Asians do that… sorry, they’re cheap-asses. I don’t talk about situations when there’s 13C in the house and landlord doesn’t turn on the heating because it saves 60 USD, but how to save up by just simply thinking. My husband is master in avoiding parking fees, tickets, bank fees and he’s really proud of that. If there was a degree he probably would have a PhD at the age of 18.

I keep writing about everyday ‘cheapness’ but now I finally get to the’meat of the dumpling – being cheap on a date. And here is the funny part – we did a research on 3 big Chinese and Hong Kong forums and the only complaints about cheap Asian men were because their MALE FRIEND did not pay for all 5 of GIRLS during karaoke. Friend to a friend, we couldn’t find a single example about a guy being cheap to his girlfriend.

If I have to compare, only by my own very small experience, I would say in my case Asian men are much more generous than white guys. My previous relationship wasn’t the best that ever happened to me, we never really go out, if so we sit on the bus stop and I was the one who always go see him because paying for 5PLN for a bus to see me was way too much, but when his friend called he would even find 10PLN so they could drink a beer. Then I have my husband – I asked him for a doughnut before Fat Thursday instead he bought me twelve. But that actually came from his cheapness ‘If I get one it’s 1.50 USD but for 12 I pay only 10USD’. Generosity coming out of cheapness. Only Sing can do it.
But that is only my private opinion based on my not so exciting love life, especially my dad is 100% Polish and he’s not cheap at all – he prefers to spend more for a better quality and he’s a generous man in general towards people he loves. To be fair when I googled ‘paying on the first date savoir vivre’ the first result was about Polish people with ‘First of all, you do have to behave no worse than Polish men do. Polish men are gentlemen’. I guess I was unlucky one. fd8ddfbcc86f45c3a8886bfc2674c7cd

But it makes me feel much better I wasn’t the only one. As I said I couldn’t find anything about cheap Asian guys – and by cheap I mean far more worse than splitting the bill on the first date so I just gathered the most funny and shocking stories from one of the most popular Polish forums. My fellow girls shared their stories in a topic called ‘The cheapest guy‘ (click here – for native Polish speakers).
Sit back, grab a drink and thank God/Buddha/your guts that you didn’t need to deal with guys like those or show it to your girlfriend if she ever complains about you! 😉

  • We decided to go for 3 days to Gdansk. Why bother with renting a room for two people when you can rent out for one? You can just throw me on a ground and sleep on your own in bed. At the same trip we went to a quite fancy restaurant and he pulled out a huge juice from Biedronka (one of the cheapest chain stores in Poland) and drinks it out of the bottle – my face was priceless.
  • My ex did shopping like this: we went to a shop, he made the shopping cart full and said ‘Sweetie, I’ll pay’ and after that he just disappeared and I was left there alone and angry. ‘Thank God’ I was always able to find him after paying when he ‘somehow’ found his way to the exit. It didn’t happen all the time, just few times. He worked and I was just a student. About his cheapness I could write really a lot.
  • My friend told me that she went out with her friends to eat pancakes. She ordered the one with sauce (they were more expensive) and her friend seeing it said that since they give so much of the sauce he will take some from her instead of paying extra. He took out a spoon from  a sugar-bowl and just poured sauce from her dish.
  • After a break up with my boyfriend – he cheated on me – I asked him him to give me back all the money he borrowed from me. It was around 5000PLN (~1640USD), I even told me he can pay me little by little, because it’s a big money he might not have right now. In return he told me that he counted all the time I ate dinner at his place – he lived with parents and they were the one to spend those money – and according to him it’s me who owes him the money. We’ve been together for 3 years.3275805778960356176
  • I was with my ex for 4 years, we lived together almost from the very beginning. We had our own toilet papers and he protected his as it was his own eye. When we drive his car he counted gas & parking fees so I can give him back the money. He used to walk 2km to the shop and to come back because he could save 1PLN. He even complained to my mom SHE bought me a new purse. Once I took a tea spoon of mustard from ‘his’ shelf in the fridge – he told me next time we go shopping I need to buy him a new one. Why go on holidays? It’s expensive! You need to take me to the doctor? Complain for next week how expensive it was. He wasn’t from poor family, his parents were fantastic. We gave each others a ride, give each other tiny gifts with no occasion, we had great time together. I don’t know what was wrong with him.
  • A guy is his 40’s, classy and a lot of money. He is a regular client in a shop I work. One day he came and bought a lot of things saying it’s for a girl he likes as a birthday gift. I suggested I can pack it for him. He said OK so I started to take off the price tags  and he said ‘NOOOOO! Please keep the price tags, so she can see it. She needs to buy me something in return and she needs to know how much I spent for her!’
  • My friend had a similar situation with counting for staying overnight when she stayed at his boyfriend’s place. He was closer to 30 than 20, but still lived with them. She came to see him from another city. During one morning his mother gave her the bill: used water – X, used electricity – Y, slices of bread – Z etc. Later she was coming there with her own groceries. I admire her, because in my case they wouldn’t see me again.
  • Our first date. He asked me to stay at his place – I suspect it was from his cheapness. I got hungry so I suggested we can order a pizza. He said he has tomatoes at home and I can eat one, his mom taught him not to spend unnecessary money. I said we can slip the bill and still he rejected. In the end I ordered and paid for myself but of course he ate it as well. He also said that he ate less so it’s normal that I paid. It was our last date.
  • Not my guy, just a friend. We’re in the club, it’s late, there’s no one sitting at the table and I hear him saying ‘Oh! Someone left so many beers and they are almost full’ and started to look as happy as a child in a candy shop. He took them and wanted to put it on our table, I told him ‘Eww, get real. I won’t drink beer after someone I don’t even know’ and then a security guy sitting next to the bar yelled at him ‘Hey, leave those beers’. I was so ashamed I thought I’ll die there. In the end he went to buy his own beer.
  • It was 3,4 years ago. My first date ever with a guy I knew for about half a year as a friend. He wanted to meet up, but I said I had no money at that time to even order a pizza. He calmed me down and said he will pay. I felt uncomfortable, I said I’m sorry and that I’ll give him the money back as soon as I get money. He ordered quite expensive one plus coke for yourself. We ate… more like he ate really fast like he was scared I’ll eat more than him. One slice was gone in two bites. He took another piece even if he still didn’t chew the previous one. In total I ate 2 slices, he ate 6. He stood up and said he’s going to pay… and he didn’t come back. I wait 15 minutes, I thought he went to use a restroom, but he wasn’t there so I wanted to go out but the lady stopped me that the bill is not paid.  I had to call my mom to bring me the money. The next day I got a text message ‘Sorry that I was gone but I had no money’.

There’s 94 pages of that kind of stories, it came to the point where people were writing not only about boyfriends or partners, but family, friends, mothers – in the end it’s all in people’s character and how they were raised rather than in ethnic background.

Have you even been on met a real cheap-ass? Or maybe been on a date with one? How do you feel about stereotype of ‘cheap Asian’? Share your experience and funny stories! 🙂

34 thoughts on “亞裔人真的很小氣?Are Asians really cheap?

  1. I’m not sure I would call them cheap. But, they definitely know how to save their money. In one year in Taiwan, I am blown away by the people I have met that have quit their job and went traveling for months. The thing that sets them apart is when they return to Taiwan their parents welcome them in their homes with open arms. In the states, our parents would laugh at us if we tried that.


  2. All those stories all from Poland? Because ironically, there are many east asian women who ONLY date WHITE men precisely because they think asian men are too cheap, poor, selfish etc etc.


  3. Wow, that is some pretty cheap behavior, and they are Polish? As for Asians, I find them to be great friends, great hosts, thoughtful people, givers of lovely gifts and warm. They will hunt bargains at stores, but who doesn’t? I have been out with people who never paid their fair share of the bill, and I found myself always subsidizing them. That was annoying, because they lived at home, and I was paying for my own apartment, so I was way more broke. But I was raised to pay my share, not impose on people. And they weren’t Asian.


  4. I can’t say i have noticed that guy’s are cheap here in Shanghai, but there are other things going around about them. Anyway, one thing that i found often funny, it comes more from a bit older generation after 35 i guess or more. It’s more about what they prioritize when it comes to money. They may spend money on a nice new car or something along the lines of that, yet everything else around them is in terrible condition. I remember thinking that in USA a car for a person is really important, now i’m kind of thinking that in China, once you get your car it’s something more valuable to you, until you make a baby for your parents hehe. From what i have gathered, it’s not so much that guys here might try to save every penny for selfish reasons, but more for future, like buying their own place to live, so it’s kind of aimed towards future family. Then again it’s more about mature and smart people, the silly ones still spend money on “face”? ehhh…


  5. I’m lucky that people around me aren’t cheap-ass like that! But I do recall someone from my high school, I borrowed $4.3 from her for a box of chocolate milk, later returned $4 to her, and on some random days she was surprised me by asking for “$0.3” back. lol


  6. speaking about stereotypes, one common thing said by asian women against asian men is that they do not treat women well. This is also cited by white men as good reason for them being with asian women when there are arguments. Yet they just released a study on domestic violence in Europe:


    The countries where women reported the highest number of incidences of physical and sexual violence were

    Denmark (52%), Finland (47%) and Sweden (46%), states that are often commended for gender equality.
    The UK and France reported the 5th highest number with 44%
    The lowest incidences of violence were reported in Poland with 19%. (yay!…? – 19% is still a huge percentage)

    World news
    European Union

    Report reveals ‘extensive’ violence against women in EU
    One in three women report physical or sexual abuse since age of 15, with largest number of victims in Denmark

    Tweet this

    Jane Martinson
    The Guardian, Wednesday 5 March 2014
    Jump to comments (…)

    woman cowering corner
    ‘Violence against women is a human rights abuse that the EU cannot afford to overlook.’ Photograph: Getty Images/DK Stock

    Violence against women is “an extensive human rights abuse” across Europe with one in three women reporting some form of physical or sexual abuse since the age of 15 and 8% suffering abuse in the last 12 months, according to the largest survey of its kind on the issue, published on Wednesday.

    The survey, based on interviews with 42,000 women across 28 EU member states, found extensive abuse across the continent, which typically goes unreported and undetected by the authorities.

    Morten Kjaerum, director of FRA, the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights, which was responsible for the survey, said: “Violence against women, and specifically gender-based violence that disproportionately affects women, is an extensive human rights abuse that the EU cannot afford to overlook.”

    The FRA study provides ample evidence of the size of the problem, as well as suggestions on how to fix it. In a foreword to the report, Kjaerum calls for all member states to sign and ratify the Council of Europe Istanbul convention, which demands more protection for women, as well as action from private and public organisations. “Action to combat violence against women needs to come from different quarters – employers, health professionals and internet service providers.”

    The report ranks countries in order depending on the responses to the survey. In three countries often praised for their gender equality, for example, high numbers of women report suffering violence since the age of 15: in Denmark 52%, Finland 47%, and Sweden 46% of women say they have suffered physical or sexual violence.

    The UK reports the joint fifth highest incidence of physical and sexual violence (44%), whereas women in Poland report the lowest – 19%. However, campaigners to end violence against women advised caution in reporting country-wide differences, given different levels of awareness of what constitutes abuse.

    Calling for a concerted international effort to combat such high levels of violence, Kjaerum writes: “With the publication of the survey and the necessary follow-up measures by politicians, women who have been victims of violence can be encouraged to speak up. This is crucial in those countries, and among certain groups, where it is not yet widespread to openly talk about personal experiences of violence, where reporting of incidents to the authorities is low, and where violence against women is not addressed as a mainstream policy issue.”

    Among the findings, to be unveiled in Brussels on Wednesday, are:

    • One in 10 women have experienced some form of sexual violence since the age of 15, while one in 20 has been raped.

    • One in 10 women have been stalked by a previous partner.

    • Most violence is carried out by a current or former partner, with 22% of women in relationships reporting partner abuse.

    • About one third (31%) who report being raped by a partner have been repeatedly raped, which the report defines as six or more times.

    • Violence against women is one of the least reported crimes. Only 14% of women reported their most serious incident of partner violence to the police, while a similar percentage (13%) reported their most serious incident of non-partner violence.

    • Just over one in 10 women experienced some form of sexual violence by an adult before they were 15.

    So there you have it. Your white knight in shining armour.


  7. Hahaha, some of the stories are so embarrasing… how can there be people like that??
    Regarding Asian men, I can say I have never met a cheap one. In fact they usually want to pay for everything, even if we go shopping and I buy things for myself! I had to teach my current bf that he doesn’t need to pay for my clothes and that the groceries and bills will be split between the two (well, not split, more like I pay today, you’ll pay tomorrow). Actually I think he spends too much money and would need to learn to save more hahahaha.


  8. Wow that really is interesting. Well, the part of germany I come from is famous for its cheap-ss people. They calculate everything here. And bills are always split, whereas in turkey it is always that someone pays for everyone. The next time, another one has to pay, or the one is paying the food will get a free ride or s.th like that.


  9. Men from Scotland (i have Scottish blood) are said to be tight fisted as well. I like to call it good money management, lol. Though, i don’t know how anyone can call me cheap if they knew how much i have spent on camera equipment 😉


  10. Such experiences you have!
    I have – well, use to have – a friend who always “had to use the restroom” by the end of the meal. He never showed up until he was sure that the bill was paid. He did not even have the courtesy to ask how much he had to pay for his portion.
    Once, we ate at a resto whose owner actually knew me. She told me that this guy was peeking from a corner near the restroom to see if we had settled the bill. That was the last time he had ever been invited into our group.


      1. Yes, that’s how my friend Miss.E described him!

        “oh la la, he spied on you guys from that corner behind the big pot of palm. I thought he was suspecting any of you having an affair or something.

        When Miss.F paid the bill, he danced a bit and said in a low voice to himself: yay, another free meal!”

        Now I think it is funny, but back then it was really heart-breaking for me.
        I was no fool. I did have my own suspicion, but Miss.E’s confirmed it all for me.


  11. omg that forum has some really crazy stories xD’
    my hubby is kind of saving money type of person, but it’s rather about daily stuff like groceries etc. he doesn’t have problem to pay for sth for me or buy sth just for pleasure. I’m also a person who loves discounts and looking for good deals, but who doesn’t do that? 😉


  12. HAHA! Thank you for the stories from the Polish forums. They’re really funny. When I was in high school I used to deliver Chinese food in Southern California. So I know first hand the kinds of people who tip big or small. Here is the order from best tippers to worst tippers:

    1) Gay white men
    2) Young white men
    3) Young asian men
    4) White women
    5) Asian women
    6) Old people of all races

    Because I delivered for a Chinese restaurant, I didn’t have a lot of asian customers. But generally older people of all races tend to be bad tippers.


  13. I don’t think Asian men are cheap, everytime we would go out for dinner Chenchen and he’s friends would be arguing about who should pay the bill, of course it has to do with “lose face or not lose face” but I think that if you compare Norwegian guys to Asian guys the Norwegians are waaaaay cheaper, I remember that I would always have to pay for my ex bf in Norway, even if it was just a bottle of coke or sprite, I would have to pay, but he had a lot of money to go out partying… >.< ChenChen and Sing are so similar! haha the doughnut thing, whenever we go to the supermarket he always pay attention to those special offers.. 😛


  14. HAHA. you just reminded me of my dad… typical Chinese parents never turn on the heater at home except when we have visitors, to save money on electricity. my parents would just tell us to wear more layers if we’re cold or suffer it.

    btw— i sent you an email recently, bout doing a collaboration. not sure if you got it. (feel free to delete this line after reading or approving this comment)


  15. Depends on the person, if you feel like to share with some one, then you will, but when you don’t feel like it, then you won’t.


  16. Funny Polish horror stories! I have no idea why women would put up with such men.

    Asia doesn’t seem that cheap to me, the face thing indeed has shown me a lot of examples of having to pay the big bill in front of anyone. I do think that in private, responsible people are more careful and bargaining. Like negotiating rent in a new apartment, haggling in a market, stuff like that. The face aspect requires an audience but if you’re just with family you can let out your inner cheapskate.

    Well, successful people are often considered cheap but maybe that’s how they got to be successful with money in the first place…

    No particular self-deprecating stories but just this observation. As a jew, I’m the one supposed to be cheap. I try not to conform to stereotypes, for example I am very poor and uneducated for a jew! But then, that involves me having to be careful with money from time to time. In dating I have to impress, but then when she sees the real me after a while I have been considered cheap from time to time. Sorry I’m not a rich expat but a lowly starving artist oh well 😦


  17. I must agree, Europeans (me included) pale to some (not all) Asians when it comes to spending money or being generous etc.
    My wife’s cousin who lives in Japan broke up with one of her boyfriends because he did not pay quick enough after eating out for her 5 friends…she said it would be too embarassing to have such a cheap boyfriend in front of her friends. I guess I would be forever lonely there 🙂


  18. A lot of sensible, enriching comments here. Can I just say that any post with a Scrooge McDuck screenshot is perfect.


  19. Well, I have to say that it’s more family background, not Asian stuff. Um…..you see I can’t help but save some money if coming from a family of 6 children, very poor, father restaurant cook all his, mother a housewife… I think I broke the pattern by having 4 bikes (but no car. Not interested. I don’t drive.) and doing some travelling. Tell your hubby, he would save even more money biking 80% of the time around town. 🙂 Actually dedicated cyclists of any colour/culture, will tell you that….save money for other pleasures and become healthier!

    My parents were enormously self-sacrificing…as you can appreciate of poor, rural immigrants to Canada.


  20. I’m dying laughing. This makes me so happy.

    I don’t know why everyone assumes Asian men are cheap. My husband (Japanese) isn’t at all. I wish I knew where this stereotype came from!
    On of my friends linked me to this post after my last comic. I’m so glad you wrote this~


  21. Saving is very important in Chinese people’s opinion, but a lot of young people don’t save now in China. They would spend a month pay check to get a new arrival bag or a nice pair of shoes. But what I want to say is cheap is not only an Asian thing, and it not bad either.


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