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  • Frugal vs cheap

    A lot is a matter of perspective and depends on the person involved. There is also the hassle factor. But does anyone have any situations where you are on the boarder of frugal vs cheap?

    My example that made me think about it was my wife saving the 7 year old candle when it will be 3 more years before it is needed.

    It is a shame to throw it out because you can barely tell it was used. But 3 years!?!

  • #2
    I think you have to take into account the environmental impact as well. There are lots of things many of us do not to save money but to avoid waste. And that has to be balanced with avoiding clutter and such. So several things to consider.

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    • #3
      I wash and save my plastic bags but always buy good stuff that matters to me (coffee maker, burr grinder, knives, electronics...). BUT, I’m at the stage of my life where I don’t mind paying for what gives me pleasure. fwiw, helping causes that matter to me also provides great pleasure.
      Our passion is protecting clients and others from predatory and ignorant advisors. Fox & Co CPAs, Fox & Co Wealth Mgmt. 270-247-6087

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      • #4
        I consider myself frugal. My wife considers me cheap.

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        • #5
          I think one of the considerations is the extent to which frugality affects others. For example, we rarely purchase cocktails or dessert while out to dinner, which is frugal and only impacts us. Not leaving a tip to save money is cheap.

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          • #6
            In the same vein as PainShrink above, I consider someone who is frugal as more wisely managing their money, for a better purpose, whether it's savings, investments, down payment, or some other worthy cause that will bear fruit in the future.

            Cheap has a negative connotation and denotes more of a miserly person, who doesn't want to spend money, even if they are well-off, have enough savings, etc.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by wideopenspaces View Post
              I think you have to take into account the environmental impact as well. There are lots of things many of us do not to save money but to avoid waste. And that has to be balanced with avoiding clutter and such. So several things to consider.
              I agree with this and cannot understate the second part. Will you be able to find the candle in three years when you need it again? Multiply that question to the 100s of other things you choose not to discard because you will surely use them someday...

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              • #8
                Originally posted by xraygoggles View Post
                In the same vein as PainShrink above, I consider someone who is frugal as more wisely managing their money, for a better purpose, whether it's savings, investments, down payment, or some other worthy cause that will bear fruit in the future.

                Cheap has a negative connotation and denotes more of a miserly person, who doesn't want to spend money, even if they are well-off, have enough savings, etc.
                Hotel:
                Friday $549
                Saturday $549
                Sunday $429
                Monday $399
                Tuesday $359
                Wednesday $359
                Thursday $359
                Airlines:
                Same thing ...... One way ticket for $79 to $238

                Is it cheap or frugal with a flexible schedule? I can't help being cheap.
                Why pay $549 for a room and $238 for a one leg ticket if it is simply a matter of looking up prices.
                Yes it is a pain to do it. Takes all of 5 minutes. Decided the surge pricing on Fri and Sat wasn't worth it. We cancelled the weekend getaway due to weather, and took a pass on Sunday and Monday.
                I look at it as saving money on a rainy day to spend on a sun shiny day.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by VagabondMD View Post

                  I agree with this and cannot understate the second part. Will you be able to find the candle in three years when you need it again? Multiply that question to the 100s of other things you choose not to discard because you will surely use them someday...
                  When I save something for a ambiguous purpose in the future I completely agree with you it was probably worth not storing that item. However when my wife save something she is quite organized and I believe she will know exactly where it is in 3 years.

                  I cannot tell you how much money we have saved handing down clothing because it was kept organizing bins by gender and age. It is cute watching the second and third child where the same outfits. The ones that do not get destroyed of course.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Tim View Post

                    Hotel:
                    Friday $549
                    Saturday $549
                    Sunday $429
                    Monday $399
                    Tuesday $359
                    Wednesday $359
                    Thursday $359
                    Airlines:
                    Same thing ...... One way ticket for $79 to $238

                    Is it cheap or frugal with a flexible schedule? I can't help being cheap.
                    Why pay $549 for a room and $238 for a one leg ticket if it is simply a matter of looking up prices.
                    Yes it is a pain to do it. Takes all of 5 minutes. Decided the surge pricing on Fri and Sat wasn't worth it. We cancelled the weekend getaway due to weather, and took a pass on Sunday and Monday.
                    I look at it as saving money on a rainy day to spend on a sun shiny day.
                    That's just regular flight browsing. Neither.

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                    • #11
                      I can't bring myself to use services like uber eats or door dash. I'm ordering for one but would feel obligated to still give a good tip since the delivery work is not proportional to the amount of food delivered. So, the cost of the delivery would be a large percentage of the cost of the meal. Even though it still not a large amount of money, it bothers me. The time savings is probably worth the cost but I won't do it.

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                      • #12
                        In my mind, frugal people are not miserly and cheap people are not generous. I strive to be the former. My frugality in the past allows me to be even more generous in the future courtesy of discipline and compound interest.

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                        • #13

                          Cheap and frugal? I'm both. You are who you are. Lean in to it.
                          Click image for larger version  Name:	leaning-tower-of-pisa-world-best-heritage-696x391.jpg?w=760.jpg Views:	0 Size:	49.2 KB ID:	275282

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by burritos View Post
                            Cheap and frugal? I'm both. You are who you are. Lean in to it.
                            Click image for larger version Name:	leaning-tower-of-pisa-world-best-heritage-696x391.jpg?w=760.jpg Views:	0 Size:	49.2 KB ID:	275282
                            Is this going to fall someday?
                            Erstwhile Dance Theatre of Dayton performer cum bellhop. Carried (many) bags for a lovely and gracious 59 yo Cyd Charisse. (RIP) Hosted epic company parties after Friday night rehearsals.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Tim View Post

                              Hotel:
                              Friday $549
                              Saturday $549
                              Sunday $429
                              Monday $399
                              Tuesday $359
                              Wednesday $359
                              Thursday $359
                              Airlines:
                              Same thing ...... One way ticket for $79 to $238

                              Is it cheap or frugal with a flexible schedule? I can't help being cheap.
                              Why pay $549 for a room and $238 for a one leg ticket if it is simply a matter of looking up prices.
                              Yes it is a pain to do it. Takes all of 5 minutes. Decided the surge pricing on Fri and Sat wasn't worth it. We cancelled the weekend getaway due to weather, and took a pass on Sunday and Monday.
                              I look at it as saving money on a rainy day to spend on a sun shiny day.
                              A lot of people have to take those more expensive items because they do not have flexibility (kids/school or job or something else)

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