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Old 21.01.2009, 13:35
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Are the Swiss tight?

The longer I live here the more I realise in my opinion that this is the reason for Switzerland being a financial haven (to save on taxes) & the fact that they consider moving to a particular canton because of the tax rates, why people rent more (they don't like paying interest rates on mortgages), why a lot of them shop in Denner & Aldi (though they are less likely to be unemployed or paid less than a 'foreigner'), why they hang on to their old cars/hi-fi/furniture. etc....

Charitable events & charity in general seem a bit thin on the ground too & in my opinion a similar yearly event (like comic-relief) would be about as popular as, well....someone stealing your wood.

I'm sure many people will disagree with me & tell that old story that Switzerland was once a very poor country but it has not been for the last 2 or 3 generations so this will not persuade me otherwise.

I myself have lived in 5 other countries so I don't think this way on a whim & because of my experience also with landlords/lady's for example; never wanting to replace old fridges/cookers/wiring etc (rather the faulty parts) I comment with sincerity.
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Old 21.01.2009, 13:50
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Re: Are the Swiss tight?

Perhaps the mentality here is just different. Not yet a totally throw away society. As for charity you'll be surprised at how much the Swiss donate albeit quietly and discretely.
You need a lot of money here for a deposit on a house/flat most high earners I know own their own, for others getting that amount of money together is nigh on impossible unless they sacrifice things like a car or holidays. Plus there is no stigma in renting a property.
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Old 21.01.2009, 13:52
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Re: Are the Swiss tight?

I shop at Denner and Aldi, so as one of the 'tight' ones- I guess I must say that I don't find the Swiss particularly cheap. In fact, I find a lot of them to be fairly preoccupied with their 'status symbols'- no matter how trivial those symbols may be.

A classic example in my experience is generic medications versus the branded counterpart. They're the same med, do the same thing, and often cost remarkably less. And yet- the Swiss that I know always go for the branded equivalent.
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Old 21.01.2009, 13:53
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Re: Are the Swiss tight?

Britain would be a lot like Switzerland if you removed credit from the equation. The only reason we could afford new furniture, kitchens, cars and holidays was because of a 10 year long credit binge. As for being tight fisted, I think they just respect money here and understand that in the absense of property, their only other asset are their savings.
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Old 21.01.2009, 13:56
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Re: Are the Swiss tight?

Try being married to a banker, no he isn`t that bad honest
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Old 21.01.2009, 14:01
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Re: Are the Swiss tight?

WHY,would we have to chuck out something old(ish) that is still in perfect order just to ge a new fashionable item? Only because its fashionable mind, not coz the old one is broken or needs to be replaced for a reason.

( my two cents, this way of thinking has also a lot to answer for the crisis of people in the UK,lets go shopping, just for shoppings sake without needing anything at all and lets put it on the 10th credit card...........)

As for charitable events,yep we do have them too, and in my opinion the reason that there are not many public fundraisers is that we have a really good insurance system that covers almost everything as well as several organsiations who are organised privately who cover the rest. And,yep its stating a prejudice, but the average swiss in not making a song and dance if he donates money somewhere ( à la CIN)

As for the landlord thingy,these old cookers/carpets etc have a lifespan and as long as they work properly no landlord is obliged by law to replace it on coz a new model looks better etc. What we have to replace is when something is broken or not fit for use or downright dirty as in carpets or repaint walls.
I guess only if you were a landlord yourself you would change your opnion, so i don't elaborate on that.............




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The longer I live here the more I realise in my opinion that this is the reason for Switzerland being a financial haven (to save on taxes) & the fact that they consider moving to a particular canton because of the tax rates, why people rent more (they don't like paying interest rates on mortgages), why a lot of them shop in Denner & Aldi (though they are less likely to be unemployed or paid less than a 'foreigner'), why they hang on to their old cars/hi-fi/furniture. etc....

Charitable events & charity in general seem a bit thin on the ground too & in my opinion a similar yearly event (like comic-relief) would be about as popular as, well....someone stealing your wood.

I'm sure many people will disagree with me & tell that old story that Switzerland was once a very poor country but it has not been for the last 2 or 3 generations so this will not persuade me otherwise.

I myself have lived in 5 other countries so I don't think this way on a whim & because of my experience also with landlords/lady's for example; never wanting to replace old fridges/cookers/wiring etc (rather the faulty parts) I comment with sincerity.
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Old 21.01.2009, 14:02
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Re: Are the Swiss tight?

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As for charity you'll be surprised at how much the Swiss donate albeit quietly and discretely.
Working in media this is something I still can't get a grip on...whenever I have been asked to set up events & mentioned that it was good for publicity all I got was a frown, I will attempt to see if I can find out a bit more about these quiet, discreet donations & will hope, as you say, to be surprised as the way I was seeing it was that Charity begins (& ends) at home

Do people here lend each other money when they are short? I'm not in the habit of doing it myself but in my limited Swiss circles it certainly seems to be uncommon.

Last edited by transition; 21.01.2009 at 14:19.
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Old 21.01.2009, 14:12
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Re: Are the Swiss tight?

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Britain would be a lot like Switzerland if you removed credit from the equation. The only reason we could afford new furniture, kitchens, cars and holidays was because of a 10 year long credit binge. As for being tight fisted, I think they just respect money here and understand that in the absense of property, their only other asset are their savings.
Actually you are absolutely right, I see your point with this completely.
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Old 21.01.2009, 14:16
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Re: Are the Swiss tight?

http://www.swissnews.ch/backissues/2..._Charities.pdf

This might be of interest.

700 million is no small sum.
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Old 21.01.2009, 14:18
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Re: Are the Swiss tight?

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I will attempt to see if I can find out a bit more about these quiet, discreet donations & will hope, as you say, to be surprised as the way I was seeing it was that Charity begins (& ends) at home
You probably won't find out much.

I know of Swiss people that donate to charity monthly by direct debit straight out of their bank account.

I find this attitude bit more sincere than:

"Sponser me loads to go on this amazing holiday (hrrmp, I mean Really Tough Challenge) and whatever's left after the cost of that, will go to the charity ****** (I need to raise 3000 quid to be able to go and at least 50 of that will go to the charity *****, I promise".
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Old 21.01.2009, 14:19
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Re: Are the Swiss tight?

The Swiss in general know the value of a Franc. It doesn't grown on trees. They've had to build a land-locked, alpine country low in natural resources into a wealthy society by being most careful with their money and invest in the most important things such as infrastructure and considered investment and low taxes to encourage private initiative.
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Old 21.01.2009, 14:26
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Re: Are the Swiss tight?

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As for charity you'll be surprised at how much the Swiss donate albeit quietly and discretely.
oldhand is correct. I have a friend who works for fundraising for a Swiss NGO.
I asked her once why the Swiss don't have charity functions/balls like we do in Asia.(normally patronised by local celebs, top businesses etc)
She told me the swiss aren't used to hosting such public charity functions like that .
They prefer the discreet way of donating silently...
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Old 21.01.2009, 14:34
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Re: Are the Swiss tight?

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oldhand is correct. I have a friend who works for fundraising for a Swiss NGO.
I asked her once why the Swiss don't have charity functions/balls like we do in Asia.(normally patronised by local celebs, top businesses etc)
She told me the swiss aren't used to hosting such public charity functions like that .
They prefer the discreet way of donating silently...
...and discreetly always having their name published on the "sponsored by" pages.
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Old 21.01.2009, 14:39
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Re: Are the Swiss tight?

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The Swiss in general know the value of a Franc. It doesn't grown on trees. They've had to build a land-locked, alpine country low in natural resources into a wealthy society by being most careful with their money and invest in the most important things such as infrastructure and considered investment and low taxes to encourage private initiative.
That and the little spat between 1939-1945 didn't damage the coffers...
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Old 21.01.2009, 14:48
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Re: Are the Swiss tight?

To the OP: I don't know if you watch the evening news on Swiss TV regularly, but you might have come across an association called "Glückskette". Every time there's an earthquake, flood or some other major catastrophe they ask for donations and this is mentioned in the news programme including the postal giro account number. After the tsunami in Indonesia they raised 227 million Francs, 205,5 million of which have been spent in aid projects. The rest is going towards long-term aid.
Here's their website in English, if you're interested:

https://www.glueckskette.ch/Fundrais....5.0.html?&L=3

Nicola
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Old 21.01.2009, 14:53
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Re: Are the Swiss tight?

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As for the landlord thingy,these old cookers/carpets etc have a lifespan and as long as they work properly no landlord is obliged by law to replace it on coz a new model looks better etc. What we have to replace is when something is broken or not fit for use or downright dirty as in carpets or repaint walls.
I guess only if you were a landlord yourself you would change your opnion, so i don't elaborate on that.............
Actually I have been a landlord (renting my house in the UK) and although you make some good points specifically, my fridge in my apartment is falling apart & she still insists on trying to replace parts for the knackered old thing, then there's the cooker....made 1950's stylee & no hood thingy over it hence the oily stink everytime I cook...& then there's the...no I'll stop now
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Old 21.01.2009, 15:04
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Re: Are the Swiss tight?

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Actually I have been a landlord (renting my house in the UK) and although you make some good points specifically, my fridge in my apartment is falling apart & she still insists on trying to replace parts for the knackered old thing, then there's the cooker....made 1950's stylee & no hood thingy over it hence the oily stink everytime I cook...& then there's the...no I'll stop now
Fridges and cookers seem to be built in here and cost a lot more than in the UK. Delivery, installation and disposal costs are also higher here. You can't simply go down to Currys and buy a new cooker to be installed and the old one taken away for a few hundred francs.

You saw the cooker when you rented your place (unless you have rented it from the 1950's) so you shouldn't complain. The state of the kitchen and bathrooms is generally reflected in the price too. I have heard of people changing things out of their own pocket here
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Old 21.01.2009, 15:19
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Re: Are the Swiss tight?

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The state of the kitchen and bathrooms is generally reflected in the price too.
My first flat in Switzerland cost me 666CHF (perhaps that should have been a warning) a month, for four large rooms on the side of the Zurichsee.

For that I got a kitchen that may have been exhibited at the Festival of Britain, wall-to-wall carpets that contained an ecosystem all of their own, and a gas powered shower (boiler over the bath - it was like showering next to a steam locomotive).

Rather than replace all this, however, the agency which owned the flat decided to demolish it, and its neighbours, instead.

The world has lost a living museum.

(Living, of course, referring to the carpets...)
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Old 21.01.2009, 15:25
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Re: Are the Swiss tight?

Switzerland has a reputation for being a rich country. Chances are it wouldn't be a rich country if everyone spent all their money stupidly, or worse, borrowed money and spent someone else's money stupidly and paid the interest on it for ever more.

The reason most people don't purchase property here isn't the price, but the fact that there isn't a house buying mentality and renting is perfectly normal.

As for charity, as it's tax deductible I think almost everyone gives money.

If you want to be rich, don't waste your money. If you want a new fridge every 5 years, then don't expect to be rich.
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Old 21.01.2009, 15:27
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Re: Are the Swiss tight?

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You saw the cooker when you rented your place (unless you have rented it from the 1950's) so you shouldn't complain. The state of the kitchen and bathrooms is generally reflected in the price too. I have heard of people changing things out of their own pocket here
I did see the cooker when I rented & I also asked if it could be replaced, I also said that I didn't need a super duper one, just basic & with the hood thingy (2 years & 5 reminder emails later) still no replacement.....I didn't complain about the bathroom as she said she would have it retiled when we went on holiday (though it wasn't), maybe it's me as I have had to complain when I rented before too.

If I want something done expect long delays or move...as I am going to do in the summer..
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