We all have a budget for our lives and the things we want to spend money on. This is called living within your means, or frugality. But there are two ways of looking at this practice: cheap vs. frugal lifestyle. The difference between these terms can be confusing.
You may not know the difference between being cheap and frugal, but that doesn’t mean you have to spend a ton of money on everything! There are plenty of simple ways that you can live more simply without spending much money at all. You may just have to put in some time and effort to find the activities that work for you!
The biggest difference between frugal vs cheap is the amount of value each places on spending. Cheap people tend to just look at the price tag and choose the smallest. Frugal people consider the value, decide if it’s a quality purchase and whether they will have it for a lifetime.
So be frugal without being cheap by sticking to what’s really important, spending money wisely, and not worrying about little things. The best way to start is by setting small goals like making your lunches this week or maybe cutting out coffee during the week! Working your way up to bigger things like cooking more at home or recycling instead of throwing your bills and receipts away.
What Does It Mean To Be Frugal Vs Cheap?
What makes someone cheap and what makes someone frugal? It’s the different focus of each lifestyle. A cheap person is primarily concerned about paying as little as possible while a frugal individual makes purchasing decisions based on overall value.
Some people will tell you that frugality is the key to happiness while others believe being cheap makes for a better life.
What side are you on?
Anyone that knows me will tell you I’m a frugal person. I’m all about the good deals. But I also want the best deal for quality.
The first thing one notices when they hear “cheap” is an image of someone who does not spend money or has no regard for their financial situation. However, there seem to be many more negative connotations than good ones with this word and it can easily become used as an insult.
On the other hand, most definitions contain multiple meanings. Definitions that include words like low-priced goods usually because they’re inferior in some way. This leads them towards appearing cheaper but also implies lower quality (even though sometimes higher-priced items may actually have less value).
Frugal generally refers to spending only what’s necessary without wasting money on anything extra, but some people think frugality is a better word because it isn’t associated with deprecation.
· Cheap – Immoral, unethical; looking for the best deal only for oneself without considering others
· Frugal – Wise use of resources, avoiding waste; looking at the big picture in regards to quality and price. This is most likely the dictionary definition.
There’s really no difference between cheap living vs frugal lifestyle because both are trying to save money on a daily basis. The main difference between these two lifestyles is the mindset of the individual living them.
Characteristics Of Cheap Living
A cheap lifestyle will often times lack sustainability because if you don’t have the highest-quality purchase available today, you’ll end up needing to replace it much sooner than necessary due to building quality or design flaws.
A cheap person will try to get what they need as cheaply as possible with the lowest priced item, even if it means that they’re not getting the highest-quality item available.
A cheap person is someone who does not want to spend money, regardless of the amount. They are unwilling to pay for good customer service and will take any shortcut they can find in order to save a few cents here or there in the short term.
Cheap people do their best at avoiding high-priced things by looking for cheaper alternatives that are often just as unreliable, not thinking long term and not looking at the bigger picture.
Don’t be a cheapskate!
Why Being Cheap Is Bad?
Some people are frugal and some people are cheap. Frugality is being prudent with your finances, but there’s a thin line between it and being too stingy so you’ll want to be careful not to go overboard in either direction if you happen to fall on the wrong side of that spectrum.
If saving money is one goal like most other things we do then why would anyone spend more than they need? Being overly cheap can actually end up costing us even more. The thing about saving as much money as possible ( and means spending less) could lead to costing you more money.
Furniture is a great example. Last night, I was looking for a bed online. I found this really pretty black metal bed for $165. We don’t need a mattress but we do need a bed. We’ve been sleeping on this old metal mattress frame with fabricated wood slats (on those plastic risers) for 2 years because I wasn’t sure what I wanted.
My husband warned me about the metal bed for $165 because it’s cheap and it may come apart, squeak every time you roll over, or worse, break after 6 months.
Is it worth it to get a bed at that price and hope for the best, or find a good quality bed for twice as much money yet have it forever?
Characteristics Of Frugal Lifestyle
Those who live frugally try to get the best value for every dollar they spend while also spending as little as possible on things that aren’t a necessity or won’t last long in their life (e.g. fast food, clothing that’s trendy, or will lose their value quickly). They believe that buying well-made items means they won’t have to replace them as often and it will save money in the long run.
Frugality is about finding the high quality items for the best value. It’s more important to focus on getting as much value and quality out of something over time rather than just making sure that you’re getting the cheapest price.
Frugality isn’t about being cheap, it’s about making sure that you’re making smart purchases in order to save as much money over time as possible.
Frugal people are aware of what their spending habits are and how they can improve them by making better choices with their money.
The definition being: economical in use or expenditure prudently saving or sparing not wasteful.
Can Being Frugal Make You Rich?
Frugal people are constantly looking for ways to save money. They do this by researching the best deals, using coupons and rebates, and staying away from spendy habits like eating out at restaurants or going on expensive vacations.
Frugality means thinking before spending any additional amount of cash in order to avoid overspending with little consequence – which can lead to financial difficulty later down the line if not addressed early enough!
Frugal living is the key to financial success in your own personal finance business. The difference between frugal and stingy, however, can be hard to distinguish sometimes. There are many benefits of practicing this lifestyle including saving money for retirement or other investments as well as helping you build your credit score which will ultimately mean cheaper loans in the future. As with any rule, there are exceptions though so it’s important not blindly follow every penny-pinching suggestion like giving up lattes on Tuesdays!
In his recent book The Millionaire Next Door, Thomas J. Stanley offers great insight on what makes millionaires different from the average American and how to find these rich people in your own town.
According to his research, the biggest factor that sets millionaires apart from everyone else is their frugal living. In fact, Mr. Stanley discovered that being frugal actually accounts for 70% of why certain people have a net worth of more than $1 million while others don’t.
Frugality isn’t about just finding great sales prices at the store or getting the cheapest price for items, but it’s about finding ways to get more out of your purchases.
Tips For Living Frugally
While I’m sure that you’re not a millionaire yet, there are still many things that you can do in order to adopt a frugal lifestyle and save some money in the process to decide if you’re frugal vs cheap.
1) Reduce Your Spending
There are many ways that you can save money on things like your home, food, and utilities. The first step to living a more frugal lifestyle is to figure out where all of your money is going in the first place so that you can decide what areas you need to reduce spending.
2) Make Your Own Food At Home Instead Of Eating Out And Getting Take Out
Eating out and getting takeout can be quite expensive when you consider the price of a meal vs. what you’d pay if you cooked it yourself. If you make your own food at home then there won’t be any added expenses or tips for wait staff, so that saves money right off of the bat.
3) Perform Your Own Auto Repairs
If you don’t feel comfortable doing maintenance work yourself then at least find a repairman that doesn’t charge an arm and a leg for every little thing. There are also things that you can do in your home like changing your car’s oil or replacing simple parts on your vehicle so that you’re not wasting money.
4) Get Rid of Your Credit Card
If you’re carrying a balance on your credit card then you’re just throwing away money. Find ways to live without having to pay interest or use other types of financing in order to get the things that you want right now. This way, you can save up for what you really need and avoid getting stuck in a deep, dark hole of debt.
5) Cut Out The Extras
If you feel like your spending is out of control then it might make sense to cut back on things that are deemed unnecessary, such as smoking or going out with friends every weekend. While I’m not trying to discourage you from having fun and living life to the fullest, there are some things that can be done on a much smaller scale without causing any harm to you.
6) Always Look For Sales
If you want to save money on shopping then it makes sense to keep your eyes open for sales while they’re actually happening. You can often find great discounts on items that are going out of season and you can even find the occasional clearance rack in order to save even more money on everything that you buy.
7) Consider Alternative Services For Your Utilities
If you’re paying a fortune for your monthly utility bills then it might be time to consider other options such as solar or wind power, water heating systems, and other green energy alternatives. In some cases, you can even get rebates in order to make the transition that much easier.
8) Eliminate Unnecessary Expenses
It might be time to do some soul searching and figure out what’s really a necessity and what isn’t. There are many things that we spend money on which is not a must-have item and they may not even bring us pleasure. If you’re able to live without certain items then it’s wise to do so and reduce your spending in the process.
9) Don’t Buy Brand Name Items
If you can settle for a product that doesn’t have a brand name attached to it then you’ll likely find that it will be much cheaper than buying the real deal. This is particularly true when it comes to clothing, so be willing to purchase a knockoff in order to save money.
10) Use Cash Instead Of Credit
If you’re having trouble sticking to a budget then try using cash instead of a credit card for everything that you do. It will make the act of spending money more real in your mind and you won’t be able to spend any more than what’s actually in your pocket.
How To Be Frugal Without Being Cheap
Frugality is a tricky balance; it’s not always easy to know when you’re being frugal without also coming off as cheap. Fortunately, there are many ways that people can be more resourceful and live their life purposefully while still saving money! And frugal vs cheap could be irrelevant.
Focusing on the value of an item rather than its cost will help ensure that your spending doesn’t go overboard in any one area.
Be intentional with how much good stuff you purchase so they don’t just pile up at home or work for weeks before getting used because then those things have become too expensive to use!
Prioritize what really matters- like paying rent or buying groceries – instead of wasting time debating over frivolous purchases.
People who choose to live a frugal lifestyle are usually comfortable financially and can afford the occasional luxury item. However, they focus on getting value for their money instead of just spending as little as possible. This is because it makes more sense in the long run when you’re not always focused on spending less than your income every month.
It may sound counter-intuitive, but there are many great advantages to living frugally. If you’re currently living paycheck-to-paycheck and looking for ways to decrease your monthly expenses, then you might want to try incorporating some of these frugality tips into your daily routine. Over the long run, it will likely save you tons of cash that can be used for other purposes!
Once you’ve found a way to save money, you may be tempted to keep saving more and more. So many people take part in frugal living because they want to invest the extra cash for retirement or maybe buy a house one day. However, if we let our desire to save get out of control it can lead us down a slippery slope into being cheap instead of frugal.
When you become overly frugal, it can lead to other bad financial habits like hoarding or not spending at all because you’re always trying to save your pennies. While saving money is a great habit to have, it’s important not to let it rule our lives and consume our every thought! If you notice yourself becoming too cheap, then it might be time to reevaluate your priorities and set some boundaries.
Final Thoughts On Frugal vs Cheap
When we think of frugal, it is often associated with being cheap. But there are plenty of ways to be frugal without being cheap and the difference between the two can make a big impact on your financial decisions and situation.
Cheap living vs frugal lifestyle: What is the difference? It’s simple, being cheap means that you are trying to hoard as much money as possible in every aspect of your life.
On the other hand, being frugal is about reducing financial stress by saving money but it’s also about spending time with family and friends, doing things that make you happy, and enjoying life! Being frugal vs cheap is a lifestyle choice and it’s up to you which way you decide to take.
The key is knowing how each word means different things and using that knowledge to help you save more money. If this sounds like something you want guidance for or if you’re just looking for fun tips on saving time and money then check out more articles on frugal living.
We have everything from eating out less to shopping smarter in order to live a life where our bank account doesn’t feel depleted every month. With these helpful hints at your disposal, living an enjoyable life while still staying financially responsible will become easier than ever before!