Every single one of us would like to be rich with the freedom to enjoy any kind of luxury available in this life. Unfortunately, the reality of capitalism and the modern world is that not everyone has the same luck. Someone will be born into a rich family, while most people will not. Some will be lucky enough to reach success and others will not, no matter how hard they try. That is why a lot of people are cheap or frugal.
Both of these words are used for the same meaning. A lot of people od not understand that they are two different terms. It is not fair to label people as cheap when they are frugal and vice versa. To help you understand the biggest differences between being frugal and cheap, I decided to write this guide for 2023.
After reading through this article, I hope that you will get a good understanding of what both of these truly mean and you will use them in the right situations.
A frugal person tries to save money while obtaining the best value
A major difference between being frugal and cheap is that the person with the former characteristic will try to find the best value per dollar.
Have you ever been shopping for a phone, tablet, laptop, or a computer? If you have, you probably spent several hours or maybe even days to find the best product for you. Usually, the best product in the tech market is the one that is most expensive.
However, not everyone is ready to fork out several thousands of dollars for a small device such as a smartphone. That is why it is so important to do some research beforehand. Aim to buy a phone that will come with a reasonable price tag and with specifications that can be comparable to the latest and greatest.
For example, the iPhone SE which was released in 2023 comes at a price of $400 while the flagship phone of Apple is over $1200. The inexpensive variant comes with the same processor that you can find in the flagship. So, why should you pay so much money to get the same performance? If this is your way of thinking for most products, you can think of yourself as frugal.
In my opinion, most people should think this way. They would save money and reduce their carbon footprint on the planet. If you plan on becoming frugal and if you want to learn how to start budgeting your money a lot better, maybe you should look for guidance on websites such as thewealthyalchemist.com which can give you guidance on this matter.
Cheap people save money at all costs
In the previous paragraph, I talked about how everyone should treat their wallet and the products which they purchase. People who are cheap are the complete opposite.
That type of person aims to save money at all costs. Of course, I can understand when people are in a bad financial situation. In those times, it is essential to try and cut down on all costs.
However, most of the time, people that are stingy are not actually in a bad financial situation that forces their hands. I believe that most of them are not even sure why they cheap out on every single product they purchase or the services that they hire.
The problem with being stingy is that it can hurt everyone around you and even you. Instead of buying products that are of good value, you will end up with items that are of low quality. You cannot expect to obtain quality if you are not willing to pay the money for it.
Personally, I have seen quite a few stingy people who have ended up in a situation that came back to bite them. Here is a great example. A friend was renovating his own apartment, but he decided to purchase the cheapest materials ever. Naturally, after the renovation, there weren’t any obvious problems, but after a few months or years, issues started showing up. Cracked wall paint, leaking faucets, broken bathroom tiles, and so on.
That is why it is so important to look for the best value instead of going for the most inexpensive item you could find.
Cheap people are usually selfish
Let’s be real. Being cheap can never be a good characteristic and no one sees it as such. The fact is that those around a stingy person always end up being hurt. Of course, I’m not talking about any kind of physical pain.
A stingy person will find use every situation to save some cash, no matter how much it hurts their friends or family members financially and emotionally. It is the type of man or woman that will ask you to buy them a beer and they will never do the same to you. It is someone who will ask you to lend them some cash and never return it.
Sometimes, it can be difficult to spot people with this characteristic, but once they get more comfortable being around you, there are some signs you can notice.
Keep in mind, sometimes, it might be best to mention to your friends who are stingy or cheap to try and change. Because, usually, they do not even realize they are doing anything wrong.
A frugal person loves to spend on friends and family
Just because someone is frugal, does not mean they are not willing to buy something nice for their friends, family members, or their partner. In fact, they probably will be glad to give out such gifts. With those that are cheap, it is the complete opposite. They will probably never think of purchasing a gift for anyone even for special occasions such as birthdays, weddings, etc.
That is why it is unfair to use the same term for two different types of people.
As you can see, these are some huge differences between frugal and cheap and I hope that now you will start to properly use these terms.