Be Polite — It Pays

“Say thank you.”

That phrase is one of the first things many parents teach their child to say. Have you ever thought about why that is?

Of course, saying thank you is the polite thing to do whenever someone gives you something, says something nice about you, or helps you in some way. It’s common courtesy.

But saying thank you goes beyond just common courtesy. If you do it right, it can be a real expression of gratitude.

And as a side benefit, it can improve your finances.

Politeness pays, because people are more likely to treat you well if you treat them well to begin with.

For example, if you have a problem with a product or service, be friendly and polite when explaining the problem. Generally speaking, people want to work with you to resolve your problem, and they’ll be more likely to go out of their way to do so if you’re nice and polite.

Politely asking if there are any discounts available or if a fee can be waived often works well too. (Especially when compared to being demanding or rude.) I’m of the mind that it never hurts to ask, as long as you ask nicely.

And it often helps.


  • When you say thank you be sure to mean it :)

    It does pay to be polite and nice to people because they feel respected and appreciated. Just like you said, it is like shooting two birds with one stone :)


  • There’s been a few instances where I got discounts simply by being polite to the customer service person I was talking to on the phone. Often times people are dealing with annoying and obnoxious customers all day so when they get a polite customer they in turn make an extra effort to help them out.

    • Matt, I’ve had that happen too. I’ve also been the person on the other end of the line, and it definitely is nice to deal with a friendly and polite customer.

  • Something about flies and honey comes to mind. :)

  • It reallly does help to say, “thank you” with a smile. Just the other day I recieved gratitude for it. I think because the associate felt recognized for doing her job.

    People, especially the stuck up So. Cal residents, just don’t show gratitude anymore. It is nice to recieve it and can take a situation level – as in receiving great service at the store. ;)

    • Money Funk, that brings up a good point. It’s nice to actually recognize people for doing their job, especially if they do it well. Thanking them in person is one way of doing that, but it’s fun too to sometimes write notes to their supervisors, etc.

  • A thank you once saved my life. Those two words are very precious :)