Pinching Pennies or Penny-Pinching? 10 Signs You Might Be a Cheapskate!

I am all for frugal living, but being cheap is not the way to live. Being frugal without being cheap is a balance that is hard to strike. So how do you know if you are a cheapskate or just frugal?

Here are some of the ways you can know that you are perilously close to crossing the line between frugal and cheap. While I love frugal living and practice all the frugal living tips, if you start to do any of these behaviors, then it is time to reflect on your behavior and change your habits. Remember, there are some things that no money can buy- relationships and dignity are just some of them.

10 Signs You Might Be a Cheapskate

1. You Avoid the Bill

None of us want to pay any extra money, but avoiding the bill, especially when you are out with friends and family, is a clear sign that you are becoming a cheapskate. When you head out with others, be prepared to spend money- otherwise- just stay home.

2. You Use Your Friend’s Stuff Instead of Buying Your Own

Sharing is a great character trait, and it can be very smart to crowdsource memberships, tools, and appliances with friends and family to save money. Still, if you are using your friend’s stuff to avoid buying your own items, then you are becoming a cheapskate. If the arrangement isn’t 50/50 then it’s time to go get your own stuff.

3. Your Frugality Affects Others Negatively

you can be frugal with your own time and money, but the minute it starts affecting your family, friends, kids, or anyone else- then it is time to reassess.

4. Your Friends or Family Are Embarrassed by Your Habits

are your friends embarrassed by some of your frugal behaviors? Do they hate going out in public with you because of something you might do? That is a huge red flag that you are now officially a cheapskate and not just a prudent and thrifty shopper.

5. When It Crosses the Line to Theft

I love free stuff! Free books, free baby stuff, you name it- I like it! But, if the way you are getting deals and freebies is bordering on theft or deceit, then it is no longer thrifty, frugal, or smart- it is officially cheapskate territory.

6. When You Don’t Share

Sharing is caring! Sharing with other people is a great way to take care of others and forge lasting relationships. Don’t just think of yourself. When you go to a party or you hang out with friends, make sure that you are bringing enough to share or doing your part. That doesn’t mean every time you have to bring something, but if you do bring something, bring enough for everyone- and do so often.

7. When You Don’t Tip

The debate against tipping culture aside, when in America, service workers work for their tips which means that you have to tip them appropriately. Your desire to save money shouldn’t come at the expense of someone else’s livelihood. Tip generously even when you want to save money.

8. Taking More Than Your Share

Taking home leftovers is a great way to save money, but are you taking more than your share? When there is a party or a gift being handed out, are you taking more than your allotted piece?

9. Complaining When It’s Not Warranted

Complaining to save money when it is not justified or harassing staff to give you discounts to save you money is not frugal- it is just cheap. Complaining to a manager about perfectly good food or service just to get a comped meal, a handout, or a coupon is not a frugal hack: it’s cheapskate behavior.

10. When It Affects Your Quality of Life

Life is meant to be lived. Save money but don’t forget to live your best life also. When saving money affects your quality of life, then it is time to reassess. Money should be saved, of course, but it is also supposed to be saved.

Do you recognize yourself in any of these behaviors? Are you frugal or a cheapskate?

This article was produced and syndicated by A Dime Saved.

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Hi! I am a millennial mom with a passion for personal finance. I have always been “into” personal finance but got inspired to start my blog after a period of extended unemployment. That experience really changed the way I viewed my relationship with money and the importance of accessible personal finance education.