A Quora user wanted to know what people thought about the differences between being frugal and cheap and how to identify people who are either. Several people chipped into this conversation. Here are the best responses and illustrations.
Frugal People Want To Get Their Money’s Worth
Charles Tango points out that cheap people never spend, and when they do, they buy the cheapest stuff, “Cheap people do not spend, unless they absolutely have to, then they purchase the lowest price item. Frugal people will spend money, sometimes lots of money, but they are adamant about getting their money’s worth from their purchases.”
The Frugal Tip the Standard Accepted Rate
Klossner notes that cheap people look for ways to avoid tipping, “I’ll go with Geoff Grant’s “How they tip.” A frugal person might tip the old-school minimum (15% often … in the US). A cheap person, on the other hand, will start looking for any fault they can find in the dinner or service to cut even more.”
Saving Is Frugal; Inconveniencing Others Is Cheap
“A colleague of mine who used to attend our annual convention, which is held in a major city every year, would always stay in the most inexpensive motels that were often miles away from the convention center hotel in order to save money, “ Patty Hearst illustrated, “However, at the end of the day, this man would ask for rides back to his motel rather than take a cab or other transportation, even though it meant that someone would have to go to the trouble and expense of taking his or her car out of the hotel or convention center garage, tipping the valet who brought the car around, and using up gas to drive this colleague the several miles back to his motel.”
Frugal People Look at the Value, While Cheap People Squeeze Every Nickel
Tom Magney illustrates this difference by using his two friends, “My frugal buddy drives a 20-year-old well-maintained SUV, has no credit card debt, and will have his house paid off in 3 years. But he chose a more expensive house because it was in a great school district and spared no expense on supplementary education for his two daughters,” he notes, “Cheapskates, like another guy I know (let’s call him Bob), try to squeeze every nickel, even if it hurts others. He used to invite folks to come up to Tahoe during ski season on a particular weekend at a particular house each year. The informal arrangement was that since he’d reserved the house, he didn’t contribute food, didn’t help clean up, and always slept in the best master bed.”
Cheap People Are Dishonorable With Money
“Calling someone “cheap” usually means they are frugal with respect to you—e.g., they won’t pay for your drinks or give you a raise.
But “cheap” should mean either a person who is dishonorable with money—not paying for things she should, or using tricks to get others to pay. A cheap person saves money at the expense of other people, or often his own long-term interest,” says Aaron Brown
Difference Between Frugal, Cheap, and Cheapskate
Dave demystified being frugal, cheap, or being a cheapskate, “FRUGAL: someone that gets their money’s worth out of everything. CHEAP: someone that doesn’t spend their money on hardly anything. They prefer to not go out, horde, and tend to die with a lot of cash. But they are not users. CHEAPSKATE: someone that sticks others with the bill, won’t tip, and uses other people for their fun. They like to be the bigshot but never put up the money.”
There Is a Slight Difference Between a Cheap Person and a Big Spender
According to Glen, cheap people and big spenders are similar, although there is a slight difference, “A cheap person tends to be price driven and by his current requirements. There really is not much difference between them and the big spender, only that the cheap person ALWAYS goes the cheap route. They will always brag about how cheap something they have was, even if it actually has a higher ownership cost, will have to be replaced relatively quickly, and/or looks like a knock-off. He is upset even when he pays a fair price. A frugal person actually considers the value and cost of ownership and looks at his purchases with quality in mind. He is not price driven just to keep up with the Joneses but rather only spends money when he wants to. He rarely is truly upset by paying a fair price.”
A Cheap Person Is Mean With Their Money
“A frugal person is never mean with their money, whereas a cheap person is. A frugal person won’t think twice about buying all the kids an ice cream, with all the trimmings; the money doesn’t rule them, they enjoy being careful,” noted Mark Singleton, “A cheap person begrudges every penny. Everything is calculated to avoid spending.”
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This article was produced and syndicated by A Dime Saved.