Are you cheap or frugal? We’ve all got that one friend. That one friend that refuses to spend money unnecessarily. For my friends, that friend is me. 😐
“Wanna go out?” they say. Meh, I’d rather stay home and drink my wine that is $8 per bottle as opposed to $8 per glass. But I digress.
Not that I refuse to spend money at all, I will spend good money on an item if that means that I won’t have to buy it ever again – or at least for a very long time. The difference between being cheap and being frugal.
Are You Cheap or Are You Frugal?
Let me tell you a little story about cheap or frugal:
I struck out on my own at the tender age of 17 – yes, 17! By that age I had already graduated high school and spent my time abroad in Germany. I was home for two whole weeks before I moved out on my own. I went to the dollar store and bought kitchen utensils. I was legit adulting you guys! 😀
I spent about $8 total for spatulas, a pizza cutter, a ladle, a slotted spoon and hot pad etc. Then, about 6 months later the handle fell off the spatula and the slotted spoon, and the pizza cutter was rusted all the way across. I lived alone and I was too busy racking up credit card debt to invest in good kitchen utensils.
Had I just gone and paid $8 each for some higher quality utensils, I wouldn’t have had to replace them every six months for the next 4 years, and I would still have them today. But a cheap person doesn’t do that. A frugal person does.
I wasn’t being frugal. I was being cheap.
The bottom line: everything (including kitchen utensils) should be treated as an investment.
Now that I’m really adulting, I look for quality over cost. Whether we are talking kitchen utensils or automobiles.
Another little story: my first car cost $400. He wanted $600 for it but we talked him down. LOL!! It was a tiny little 1987 Chevy Sprint and it also guzzled a quart of oil every week, smoked like a chimney, it would die if you didn’t keep your foot on the gas – and it was a stick shift – the heater didn’t work and the windshield wipers didn’t work.
I had gotten t-boned on the driver’s side so my door didn’t open, and I had stapled plastic sheets to the inside of my door frame to keep the rain and snow out. The epitome of classy you guys. It was a sight you’d not soon forget, that’s for sure.
I spent more money fixing that dang car and the oil it chugged than it was worth. Meanwhile, had I bought a car costing even just a couple thousand dollars with a small car payment, I would have saved money in the long run, for not dumping all of my money into a car that never was worth it to begin with.
Frugal folks know that the cheapest price isn’t always the best bargain. What is your best example of cheap or frugal?