Frugal and cheap: the 2 most common words people use to describe me and my lifestyle. The problem is they are two different descriptive words. Yes, there is a distinction here and yes, I prefer one over the other.
You see, one I feel is a negative attribute and I don’t see how saving my money should be associated with anything negative.
Being cheap means you rarely part with your money even in situations when it is expected. For example, a cheap person doesn’t agree with tipping servers and bartenders a minimum 20%. A cheap person would find a reason to keep more of their money instead of giving the server a much deserved reward for excellent service.
Being frugal means you have a set plan for your money and choose the best way to spend your money. A frugal person may decide not to go out to eat so they can save that money for a better experience in the near future.
I don’t consider myself cheap because I don’t find myself looking for the cheapest options. Instead, I decide whether or not the expense is actually necessary. If the expense is necessary, then how much is the standard cost?
When it comes to my family vacations, I make sure we have the best experiences money can buy because I feel paying for experiences is always more rewarding than paying for objects.
My family will remember the trips we took together more than the latest iPad or designer shoes. Enjoying life is all about sharing experiences with one another.
If you find yourself going down the path of cheap instead of frugal, you need to stop and gather yourself. Saving money shouldn’t be a negative.
Show those around you that saving money is a positive experience. Show them the rewards that come along with frugal living and they will soon ask you for your secrets. If you live a cheap life, no one will be interested in following your lifestyle because no one likes a cheap person.
Stay focused on your goals and reward yourself along the way!