Keep Your Cash

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Have You Crossed The Frugal Line into Cheapness

For the past few weeks I have been trying to save like a madman. I am getting married on March 31, 2007 and need all the money I can get. Well, I am eating in at work four days a week. Last Wednesday I brought in a hamburger patty and chopped it up to make two Burritos. One of my friends at work was very critical of me and told me not to be too cheap. He said that I was not frugal but cheap. He said that my salary was a sign that I was not poor and that I should not be skimping on a good meal. In my opinion I was making the most of the 8-pack of patties I had bought and thought that I was being "creative". His comments made me think of other things I have been doing lately that made me think I was not being frugal anymore but just cheap. Have you crossed the line without even knowing?


  • Here's a working definition of frugal and cheap (stingy) that I like: In an article from, Mary Hunt provides a great definition of frugal and stingy. "Frugality is the activity required for me to live below my means," said Hunt, whose latest book is Live Your Life for Half the Price. "Stinginess is the activity of requiring others to participate in my frugality."

    Based on this definition, I disagree with your colleague and would call your actions frugal.

    Best wishes for your upcoming wedding.

    By Anonymous Super Saver, at 8:51 AM  

  • In my opinion we eat so many meals in our lifetime that we cannot afford to have every single one be sumptuous. I think you are doing a wonderful thing by choosing to save your money so that you have it for your wedding, instead of buying expensive food that is only marginally tastier than a frugal meal. Besides, has your coworker ever heard that it is rude to comment on what other people are eating?

    By Blogger Kira, at 9:35 AM  

  • Thanks for your comments. I really should not let other people's comments bother me. I am the one with the money in the bank.

    By Blogger MIDAS, at 2:20 PM  

  • My fiancee ran into this at her last job. I really like that definition from I personally get a kick out of living below my means at times. I think it's kind of like going to the gym, knowing that I'm doing something good for myself.

    By Blogger Lazy Man and Money, at 4:21 PM  

  • When you're depriving yourself, not others, you're frugal. When you deprive others as well, then you're cheap. But whether or not you were being cheap (I don't think you were) unless your food was stinking up the office, it's none of your co-worker's business what you eat for lunch or how much you spend. He/she has no idea what the state of your finances are, regardless of whether or not he/she knows what your salary is.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:25 AM  

  • I'm proud of you, bub. You're being smart with your dough, saving up cash like that. Don't let some yahoo tell you that you're being cheap. Anybody that's gonna pick on you for watching your spending and being frugal is either broke, stupid or both. Keep saving, and good luck on tying the knot. Here's looking at you, kid.

    By Blogger DEBTective, at 1:50 PM  

  • I find a LOT of people are made uneasy when they see other people making choices that they, themselves, don't live by. If they're insecure, seeing someone else do something differently than the way they do makes them doubt themselves. They tend to lash out as an act of self-protection.

    Frugal: When you eat out, you drink water.
    Cheap: When you eat out, you provide a lousy tip for good service.

    Frugal: You change your own oil and take the old oil in for recycling.
    Cheap: You skip the oil change to "save money".

    Frugal: You carefully care for you shoes so that they last many years.
    Cheap: You show up at your sister's wedding in your only pair of shoes (an old pair of dirty sneakers).

    Frugal: You give to charities that have low overhead to make sure your gift goes as far as possible.
    Cheap: You give utter junk to the Thrift Shop so that you can get a receipt that inflates the value of the junk so you can dodge taxes.

    Frugal vs. Cheap is a matter of ethics and smart decisions. When you are cutting corners ethically or financially or in regards to health you are being cheap. Otherwise you're just being frugal.

    By Anonymous Kevin Gunn, at 10:57 AM  

  • Keep it up and ignore others! Here's a good online calculator to show how much your saving - just think over 4 years of eating out you at $6.50 a pop you spend almost $4,000!!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:56 PM  

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