• Frugal v.s. Cheap

    Quick anecdote: I was inspired to write this post because I remember a couple years back my friend's friend called me cheap. I'm sure most of my actual friends would describe me as frugal so it wasn't a big deal but I remember this particular case because a group of us were at a wedding. Somehow we got on the topic of spending money (I don't remember the specific conversation) and the guy called me cheap and laughed.

    Now, the guy had on a very nice suit, it looked fly and pretty expensive, so I suppose he would think I was cheap. Later on that night I found out he decide to buy that new suit and/or some clothes instead of getting the brakes fixed on his car... I suppose that makes us both cheap lol. I guess that's what he was willing to Sacrifice for style. I tell this story so you won't get discouraged when you get called cheap or frugal and so that you'll be mindful of who you take advice from; their life may show you more than their words.

    In many cases cheap and frugal seem to be synonyms often used interchangeably to describe someone as stingy, a "penny- pincher",tightwad, tightfisted, chintzy (my mom's favorite lol), miserly etc. As we already know those names are typically negative and not meant to be compliments, in fact they may be used to persuade us to make irrational financial decisions. I'm sure you've been there before when someone says to you, "Why don't you buy it? You work, you have the money, don't be so cheap/frugal!" Depending on the context along with your actual financial situation those words could be the best or worst advice you received that day hahaha.
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    I decided to conduct some extensive state-of-the-art research on this topic and Googled both words (what could be more accurate than Google in the Information Age lol?). The word cheap had about six different definitions or better yet six different ways we use the word. Each of us could probably relate to these when we say cheap, we could mean:

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    1) Low in price; worth more than its cost; "I got this new shirt for cheap"
    2) Charging low prices; "This is a cheap store"
    3) Inexpensive because of inferior quality; "I bought some cheaply made clothes"
    4) Miserly, stingy; "My dad is too cheap to buy me some new shoes"
    5) Of little worth because achieved in a discreditable way requiring little effort, "That's a cheap win"
    6) Deserving of contempt; "That was a cheap trick"

    In comparison frugal only had two definitions according to Google which were:

    1) Sparing or economical with regard to money or food; "They live pretty frugal"
    2) Simple and plain and costing little; "That is a frugal meal
    Image result for Warren buffet frugal quotes
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    Let's not get the two words confused, cheap has a multitude of different meanings including frugal depending on its context but frugal means economically thrifty. To be clear, an opposite of frugal is wasteful, that means you can still have nice high quality items and be frugal. A frugal mindset would say, "I like this high quality piece of furniture but not for that price!" If they really like the furniture they may haggle or price check to get it at the best price possible because they want to get the most out of every dollar they spend. If you like higher quality items here are some ways to get them at a deal:
    • Have a set price you are willing to spend and DO NOT exceed it
    • Make a list of what you plan on buying BEFORE you begin to buy
    • Bring the amount of cash you are willing to spend with you to the store
    • Remove ALL "1- click ordering" apps/features to better think through an online purchase
    • Ask for a discount at checkout (the worst they can say is no)
    • Don't be afraid to walk away, remember the video "Who's In Control..."

    If you need financial coaching or help with a budget and would like a consultation email us at:

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