The Difference Between Frugal and Cheap: Which Are YOU?!

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Are you frugal or cheap? There’s a difference!

Here’s a great article from Canada’s Yahoo Finance page, called “Call Me Frugal, Not Cheap” that I found via Twitter. It’s about the difference between being frugal and cheap. People who are frugal get a bad rap because we are viewed as cheap! But here’s my motto–I believe I picked it up from “The Frugal Millionaires”

Frugal is smart. Cheap is dumb.

Here’s an excerpt of the article, written by Gail Johnson, but click on the link here or above to read the whole piece:

Frugals focus on finding the best value for their money,” she (Natalie P. McNealsays. “We love good-quality goods that make sense for our lifestyle. We take the long-term view of money. We don’t spend; we invest. Cheapies are concerned with the lowest price, which is often a short-term philosophy.”

Take that used Honda Accord she bought in 2005. She had a history report done on it and carefully checked for internal damage. It was just two years old when she bought it, and she’s since paid it off.

“If I were cheap, I could have bought a lower-cost or quality car that may have had a spotty maintenance record or shorter-life span,” she explains.

However, many frugal people tend to be cheap at times…myself included ;–)

~Marilyn, TFF


8 thoughts on “The Difference Between Frugal and Cheap: Which Are YOU?!

  1. I absolutely LOVE this post
    Most every time I have gone the cheap route instead of frugal I have regretted it, as in the no name potato chips that were only a $1.00 Yuk yuk, yuk (even the birds wouldn’t eat them )
    We won’t even go into the cheap and I mean really cheap toilet paper, The less said about this purchase the better

    1. Yes, true. Plus, it seems like too many times cheap = made in China! So it doesn’t pay to be cheap ;–) ~Marilyn, TFF

  2. To me, being cheap is being ungenerous. No, you don’t have to give everyone every last dime or even money. But I guess. . .frugal is suggesting a potluck instead of going out to eat. Cheap is either only bringing enough for yourself to the potluck. Frugal is suggesting that you don’t exchange gifts during a holiday like Christmas, or giving/regifting something that has never been used and is anonymous/in good condition (a nice picture frame with a pretty picture in it, something homemade, etc.). Cheap is going along with it but obviously reusing something kind of crappy thing you got as a promotion, like a coffee mug with a logo on it you got as a “gift” from a sales rep.

    1. Pamela, you are elegantly frugal :–)
      Your take on things is very highly respected by this frugal fairfielder !
      ~Marilyn, TFF

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