So are you frugal or just cheap?


I consider myself a mixture of both lol…but does it really matter if you waste the “$avings” elsewhere? My latest blog post addresses just that.


@PoF just had this post republished on his partners website and I agree with a lot of what he is saying.

At a certain point some things become worth the money. I like to look at it in regards to how much is my time worth. For now I mow my lawn because I don’t make $40 and hour, but once I make more than that it would become more advantageous for me to pay someone that rate to mow my lawn. Etc.

With things that don’t relate to time I typically go for the less expensive purchase. I plan on driving my 2010 Carola that has a 133K miles for hopefully another 7 years.


I would vote for extreamly frugal. I shop for the best quality at the lowest price. There have been times when I tried to be cheap. When I went the cheap route, I learned the lesson of “but quality, or buy it twice”.


Totally awesome! My Concorde has a little over 229K which I record on Twitter and my blog. Not sure how much farther it will go but we’ll see! Agree with everything you posted. Thanks so much for sharing!


Great point!


I actually used to be really cheap in the past. I would look at the price and not consider anything else when purchasing anything. I thought I was doing the right thing though, I was unemployed for a long time and had bills and debt and needed to eat as well :smiley:
I like to think I’ve learned how to be frugal now. I do still look at the price most of the time, but also consider quality and “neediness”, and these 2 now count a great deal towards ‘to buy or not to buy’.


Frugal, not cheap. For Frugal, I would say ‘Careful’. I don’t waste money. I will pick up any offer on food that I will use, particularly ‘special offers’ / cut-price. I am a sucker for special offers in general…

However, last week I bought a new office chair. The old one was no longer comfortable and the ‘lifting mechanism’ had died, meaning that I often found myself slipping slowly downwards!
So, I bought a new chair. It was neither the bottom nor the top of the range. It was the one I found most comfortable. Price was about third on the list. Comfort, followed by size (we have a small study), then price.


Adriana I’m basically the SAME way. I was laid off for almost two years and during that time became quite cheap. It was also a time in my life that made me realize something had to give. An eye opening experience to say the least. Now I’m still practicing all the frugal habits I learned during that rough time in my life and literally $aving boat loads of money. I’m not where I need to be and may never get there since I waited so long to get started. (I’m 52)…but I’m much better off than I was. Thanks for posting :slight_smile:


I’ve been called both and I don’t mind either way. I think I used to be more cheap than I am today. For instance, out of college I was real cheap and lived in a little bit of a rougher neighborhood for a couple years to save money…it worked but I wouldn’t do it again…

Now I’d say I’m frugal with an ever watchful eye of where I’m spending my money. Selectively I will let lifestyle inflation creep in. I battle with my internal frugalness quite a bit as I’ve written before…and as you can see from my writing my philosophy continues to evolve.

I am a frugal for a reason…

But it just serves as a means to an end…

And I’m starting to embrace lifestyle inflation…


Funny, I was going to write a blog post about this after a friend accused me of being too cheap in an insulting manner! To me, the difference between cheap and frugal is connotation. When I think of people being cheap I think of people who undertip servers, people who will save money at the expense of others, people whose enjoyment of life is stunted. To me, being frugal means the judicious use of my time and money.

Having money in the bank because I am frugal has allowed me to lend/give money to people I love who are going through hard times. I think if I was cheap I would just hoard it but because I think of my frugality as a way to be able to live my life my way, my way also means helping others.

When my friend told me I was being too cheap I pointed out to her that my being cheap enabled me to host these fun tea parties - of which she was currently attending - because it brought me joy to spend on my friends & have us all together. A cheap person I don’t see as someone who shares but instead as someone who hoards.


All are great points Tucker! I define cheap as "choosing low prices over quality"
but maybe each person has their own definition of “cheap”. A frugal person doesn’t always sacrifice quality but a cheap person does. I definitely fall into both categories from time to time! Thanks for taking time to post!


I like to view myself frugal, but I am sure many view me as cheap.
But thenagain, I will also add, I never ask anyone to lend me money. If I have to borrow money, then I need to look at what I need to do in order not to get into that situation. Be responsible to the best of your ability: sort out what is important, know the difference between need and want, be a DIY as much as possible, and if buying anything, ask yourself will this contribute to my health. Poor health is expensive.


Heard somewhere once the following (don’t remember the source):

Frugal = if your cut your own spending
Cheap = if you cut your spending on others in need

Always want to mow my own lawn just on the principal of it :):sunglasses:


I would say I am extremely frugal. Living on student loans I have to be I have the hardest time justifying anything. However, I have been cheap before and it has bitten me in the butt. I bought a cheap mattress and I could not get a good nights sleep on the dang thing. They wouldn’t take it back…so I had to buy two mattresses and learned not to be cheap on somethings.


We are the same, when choosing something to buy I choose the best quality and I even research it online like reviews or something like that.


i am willing to spend more on a product that is of superior quality or has features that warrant the extra cost. The biggest selling point for me is durability. Product reviews by verified buyers are useful.


I would call myself “selectivey-cheap”. Some things are just not that different and I’ll always go for the cheapest (candles anyone), and others I’ll be a bit more relaxed but still lean cheaper.

After I became FI I loosened up the reigns a bit, but not much. Of course, I WILL spend on my hobbies and they are many, so in those areas I lean to the frugal side, but sometimes spend more.