Money Moral Dilemma: Should you save a stranger money?

Former_MSE_Natasha Former MSE Posts: 672 Forumite
Here's this week's hypothetical situation for you to cogitate on:
Should you save a stranger money?
Whilst on a train, you over-hear a man in front of you discussing his love life on his mobile phone and, being a curious individual, you can't help listening to the salacious gossip and him baring his soul. Then the subject moves on and he mentions he really needs to get a credit card as he wants to do up his house using the funds. Sadly he's just going to apply for his bank's standard plastic, which is at a terrible rate. You know he can do much better and get a, for example, 12 months at 0% deal (see Best Purchases card). Would you risk him thinking you an eavesdropper?
Click reply to have your say
Previous MMDs:


  • MothballsWallet
    MothballsWallet Forumite Posts: 15,848
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    I usually refer people to MSE, but only once I get to know them.

    To be honest, I don't know how I'd respond if I was in a personal conversation and someone butted in and tried to tell me how to save money.

    If I heard the man talking, I probably wouldn't get involved, to be honest - he might react favourably, but equally, he might get really hacked off that I'd been listening in and feel that I'm an interfering old bar steward (the "old" bit would be accurate).
  • teeb
    teeb Forumite Posts: 392 Forumite
    Odd response from me - If it was a commuter train, or a short journey, then no, I wouldn't.

    If he looked unfriendly at all, then no, I wouldn't. He's the kind who's having a loud conversation about private matters in the middle of a train coach, so I'm immediately a bit wary.

    However, if (later on), once he's off the phone, and if an opportunity presented itself - some kind of catalyst for conversation happened - such as meeting him at the train buffet, in the toilet queue, if a baby started screaming, anything - then I'd initiate conversation. If that went well and I didn't get "effoff" signals, then yes, I'd suggest he get a better deal by looking on MSE.
  • Pound
    Pound Forumite Posts: 2,784
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Combo Breaker
    I think it would be very hard to do that without sounding like I'm some kind of salesman. I'd expect a "not interested!" reply.

    Personally, I don't tell many people about my money saving as I seem to be wasting my time. I've even told friends about I'll be paying a couple of quid per month for gym membership by doing it through Pruhealth then the same week they've signed up for the £45/month contract direct with the gym.
  • Thunderbird_2
    Thunderbird_2 Forumite Posts: 613
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker
    I would!! I have done it before! I do it by starting talking about weather and then randomly I would say it by apologising for hearing the financial bit and suggest the current best card and I will mention and repeat it several times and mention Martin Lewis and his program and appearances on tv. I would ask him to visit the website and work his finances through the icons on the top of the homepage and they very likely to save 20-25% of their normal spending and I will tell him if I get one pence back from each pound I spend, then this will make payrise 1% more than what it should be!! I will say it is not about cutting back, it is about getting the same product, but cheaper. I will mention the forum as well. I will market the website by saying it is, not like other websites, unbiased whatsoever. I would suggest, if they seem they don't have time to check the whole thing out, to subscribe to the weekly email ( another way to get them hooked!!)

    I know I am sad ( and a devotee of the new moneysaving religion! )

    Be nice, life is too short to be anything else.
  • Smiley_Mum
    Smiley_Mum Forumite Posts: 3,836
    I've been Money Tipped!
    Yes, I would. I hate seeing people getting ripped off for things. I tell my parents numerous ways of cutting their bills and it falls on deaf ears. They listen to what I have to say but just say, such and such bill isn't that much and we're not that heavy on this or that. Their money. :confused:

    I often tell people about MSE. More often than not the information I provide them is much appreciated. I have had the odd person who looks at me like I've got two heads whilst they proceed to purchase some product or other which is going to be exorbitant in cost compared to some other store I've seen it in for a fraction of the price. I noticed when I first joined MSE when I mentioned the site to people, a lot of them hadn't heard of Martin Lewis and Money Saving Expert etc, but now, a lot more people have said they've watched his programme or said, oh that's the guy who talks really fast on GMTV about finance and stuff. Had a few people who sing your praises Martin when I mention the site, oh, he's great isn't he, saved a fortune etc. Sometimes it's hard when the person I mention the site to doesn't have internet access but I tell them to go to the library and they should get access there. I tell them about the books as well. I think I mentioned the site to a dozen people yesterday, and do so most days. If they think I'm nuts, well so be it. Just trying to help them out, if they have money to burn well that's up to them. :confused: There was a lady going round Tesco yesterday with an armful of clothes and she looked quite well to do but I mentioned that I had a money off voucher that I wouldn't be using and said she could have it, she was over the moon and I mentioned the site as well and she took a note of it etc, said she'd check it out. She did look a bit taken aback I'd offered her the money off voucher, it was due to expire that day and I wasn't going to be using it, but she looked like she would have been able to use it with the bundle of clothes she had in her arms.
    “Ordinary riches can be stolen, real riches cannot. In your soul are infinitely precious things that cannot be taken from you.” - Oscar Wilde
  • CAE
    CAE Forumite Posts: 644 Forumite
    Have recommended MSE to friends, family and colleagues, but don't think Iwould mention it in the circumstances as described.

    In fact, anyone using a mobile phone in those circumstances deserves evryrhing they get, as they must be a bit of a 'unmentionable rude word in open forum' in the first place, and make me very annoyed. :mad:
  • jago25_98
    jago25_98 Forumite Posts: 623 Forumite
    "Sorry, couldn't help hearing sounds like you have a problem there?"

    I start with that.

    Life's too short to follow stupid social rules. They'll never see you again. Flash 'em your willy nothing will happen.
    Order of events: Banks lose our money -> get bailed out -> were inflating GBP to cover it -> now taxing us -> next will grab your funds direct -> things get really desperate to balance the books. What should have happened?: banks go bust and we lost our money much quicker
  • geri1965_2
    geri1965_2 Forumite Posts: 8,736 Forumite
    No, I wouldn't. I'm quite reserved and it would take quite a lot for me to but into someone else's private conversation.

    In fact I probably would have put my MP3 player on to drown out his inane conversation before the end, I hate people who discuss their lives on public transport.
  • hilstep2000
    hilstep2000 Forumite Posts: 3,089 Forumite
    I did it too! I heard two women behind me on a bus talking about the fact that one had split from her husband, and was worried about money. I turned round and told her to use Martins website, and the benefits check up! She was really grateful, and before we got off, I wrote the websites down for her!
    I Believe in saving money!!!:T
    A Bargain is only a bargain if you need it!

  • Cornishpixie_2
    Cornishpixie_2 Forumite Posts: 756 Forumite
    No I would be a bit worried he wouldn't thank me for interfering. After all he hasn't actually asked for my advise.
    Grocery challenge june £300/ £211-50.
    Grocery challenge july £300/£134-85.
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