Frugal or Cheap – What Are You?

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frugal or cheap

Frugal or Cheap – What Are You?

Have you had people call you cheap because you use coupons or won’t buy something because it’s not on sale and/or you don’t have a coupon? Many may argue that frugal and cheap are one in the same, but I beg to differ. For me being frugal is a lifestyle. A way of living that is integrated into every aspect of your life. To be frugal is to make wise decisions with your money whether it be a purchase of a pack of gum or buying a new vehicle. I became frugal out of necessity and have maintained the lifestyle by choice. Frugal people avoid waste and are economical. When I think of a cheap person, I think of greedy, selfish and ungrateful.

Living well off of less money is being frugal, taking shortcuts or taking advantage of people to get by is being cheap.

A cheap person is the type that will get a $50 restaurant gift certificate as a present and leave a $5 tip when they redeem it and probably find something to complain about. A frugal person will thoroughly enjoy their free meal then leave the waitress a $15 tip because they were already getting their meal for free so why not be generous to the waitress who we all know busts her tail all night waiting on others.

Cheap people want everything for free. Frugal people try to save money wherever they can so they can spend it on other things they really want.

Cheap people only care about the final cost of something. Frugal people look at the value of an item and not just the final price.

Cheap people are ashamed of their behavior and try to hide it. Frugal people love to tell you all about the great deals they got and how much money they were able to save and offer to show you how to do the same.

Frugal is the person who asks their neighbors for their coupon inserts after they are done with the paper. Cheap is the person who gets up early and steals their neighbor’s paper for the inserts. 

A cheap person will ask for extra dinner rolls at the restaurant to stick in their leftovers box. A frugal person will splurge on dessert but split it with their spouse instead of ordering two.

A cheap person is greedy and inconsiderate. They will have 100 toothpastes in their basement and balk when asked for some donation items for the charity you are involved in. They will give up one of the 100 toothpastes and feel they are being overly generous and pat themselves on the back. A frugal person is generous and always wants to give something because they have plenty and got it for free so they send you with at least 5 of everything they have excess of.

A cheap person will attend a benefit breakfast at work and when they ask how much it costs and are told it is simply “by donation”, they leave nothing because they aren’t required to and no one else is looking. A frugal person will gladly pull a $20 out of their wallet to cover his and the cheap person’s breakfast because he knows his wife will save 3x’s that at the grocery store this week………. Yes, this is a personal experience one. My husband was absolutely disgusted by this individual and ashamed to even admit he is friends with him.

I am frugal in most aspects of my life. It is basically second nature for me. My goal is to save money so that I can spend that money on things my husband and I want and enjoy. I strive to save at least 50% at the grocery store without compromising our diet, don’t have cable, have gone to only a cell phone, always shop clearance racks first even when I am treating myself to something and hardly ever splurge on stuff like a pedicure. 

I also am a huge believer in stockpiling and not only stockpile for myself and my husband but also for my family and friends. I try to give others as much as I possibly can because I am grateful for what I have and my ability to get it for free or pennies on the dollar. I don’t believe in hoarding stuff though. If I have 20 toothpastes it is because I got it for free and will be taking the extra to the food pantry/shelter. I also believe in value over price and will gladly pay $80 for a pair of jeans that will last for years instead of buying the cheapest one I can find at Walmart that will fall apart after a few washings or that don’t fit well and I rarely wear. 

Now ask yourselves, are you cheap or are you frugal?

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