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Frugal vs. Cheap

Written By: admin on March 30, 2009 No Comment

When it comes to money an inevitable question arises – where is the border between being frugal and plain cheapness? Frugality is regarded as a positive feature and people regarded as frugal know how to use money to their advantage and can use money wisely. Cheapness is unpleasant to both the cheap people and to people that surround them. Being cheap always involves taking advantage of other people and it leads to hurting feelings of other people since there is no reciprocity in financial matters.

These are examples how to recognize and distinguish between frugality and cheapness:

Frugal:
If the restaurant in which you dine has a buffet, you eat so that you are full and satisfied. Your night out with friends ends so that you pay for your fair share, including tip. For your child you buy a special menu for children.
Cheap:
If the restaurant has a buffet, you eat so much that you are sick of too much food and then fill your pockets with some extra food for later to carry home. You order a children’s menu for yourself in order to pay as little as possible. When the bill arrives you try to make a run for the toilet so that you can avoid paying at all. If out of luck you pay for your share and wait for your friends to contribute for a tip.

Frugal:
Work colleagues invite you to come along and share a lunch with them, but you are not in a position to spend money on eating out. You respectfully decline the invitation and tell them that you will be more than happy to come with them some other time.
Cheap:
You accept the invitation and act as if though it is normal that your colleagues treat you with lunch. You can be sure that there will be no other invitations for you in the future.

Frugal:
Very often your colleague brings bonbons to office and shares them with you.
Cheap:
One day you bring bonbons but you keep them in your desk and don’t share them with anybody.

Cheap people are not very popular and often make other people feel bad. Cheap is ugly, while frugal is beautiful. Cheap people use other people’s kindness, while frugal people live within their means.

Try to find and recognize examples of cheapness and frugality in your own life and always make sure you are frugal with money, but don’t be cheap!

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