Cheap vs Frugal: Which One Are You?
Last updated 10/14/2021 byJulie Bawden-Davis
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You might be a cheapskate if you:
- Seek free first and last. If you can’t get things for free, you tend to not get anything at all.
- Only focus on the cost of goods and services—value is not a criteria you consider.
- Take energy efficiency to an absurd level. For instance, you turn the thermostat so low in winter that no one will visit, and your hands are so cold that you require gloves.
- Avoid spending money, even on necessary items.
- Never pay full price.
- Go out to dinner with friends and family and habitually “forget” your wallet.
- Never splurge, even if you have extra money.
- Feel that everything is overpriced.
- Lie about your age or your child’s age to get a free meal.
- Rarely, if ever, donate to charitable causes.
- Fail to tip, or give an insulting one.
- Save just to save and hoard money with no plans to spend a cent.
You’re most likely frugal if you:
- Clip coupons and use them when it makes economic sense to do so.
- Look for quality first and then seek out the best value for that quality.
- Occasionally pay full price for high-quality and exclusivity.
- Splurge every once in a while on yourself or others when you’ve got the cash to do so.
- Save for big purchases.
- Avoid putting things on credit.
- Pay your share when you go out to eat with friends and family.
- Tip well, according to services rendered. And if you’ve used a coupon for the meal, you tip according to the actual full price, not the price after savings.
- Give a modest amount of your discretionary income to worthy causes after ensuring that the chosen organizations are responsible with money.
- Don’t feel that everything is overpriced.
- Get a thrill when you save thanks to foresight and planning on your part.
- Save for a higher purpose, such as to buy an expensive item, for emergencies and retirement.
Opting for Frugality
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Julie Bawden-Davis is a widely published journalist specializing in personal finance and small business. She has written 10 books and more than 2,500 articles for a wide variety of national and international publications, including Parade.com, where she has a weekly column. In addition to contributing to SuperMoney, her work has appeared in publications such as American Express OPEN Forum, The Hartford and Forbes.
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