I will be the very first person to admit being frugal, boarding cheap. I have three boys. Three boys that can go through a $100 in fruit, milk, cereal, hot dogs, cheese, and juice. They are growing boys, but, I myself am on a fixed income, therefore, I have little money to spend on frivolous things I want. I am one cheap mother in the sense that I try to spend as little money as possible, because there just isn't much to go around as it is. There really is a huge difference in being cheap and being frugal though, most don't understand that and are actually cheap, like a large portion of the wealthy. One of the biggest differences in being cheap over being frugal, is that cheap people will often go to any lengths necessary to pay as little as possible, or nothing at all. Being cheap, in the long run, can actually hurt you more than it will help. Here are a few examples of whether you're watching out for your money, or just being a tightwad.
1. You're cheap if you go to an all-you-can-eat restaurant and share plates with the family instead of letting everyone have their own. Your frugal if you go to a restaurant only on nights that kids eat free.
2. Your cheap, and probably a d-bag if you go to the food bank to pick up a box of food for your family instead of spending $20 to get you through until payday. You're frugal if you go to the dollar store to pick up some staples for your family until payday. Most dollar stores have an impressive food selection, and guess what guys?! It comes from the same stores you regularly shop at, it was simply their excess.
3. You're cheap if you buy all the expired food from the grocery store, risking yours and your family's health. You're frugal if you clip coupons and only buy what's on sale to save some money. Seriously guys, it's pretty douchey to risk everyone's health for some cheap grub.
4. You're cheap (and committing a felony, I might add) if you enroll in a welfare program to get free daycare and have no intentions of getting a job or going to school. You're frugal if you participate in daycare exchanges and/ or work from home to help cut daycare costs. Daycare is a crippler y'all! If you can work around your partner's schedule, or only during school hours, you're gonna save yourself a lot of money, stress, and grief.
5. You're cheap if you sneak into the movie theater. You're frugal if you go to the theater on Tightwad Tuesdays where they give a discount to see whatever's in the theater. There are also a lot of smaller theaters that will play movies right before they hit DVD. It's a great way to have your choice of seat and a quiet theater!
6. You're cheap if you steal your neighbors cable. I mean, seriously guys, come on now. Are you really willing to do jail time over Game of Thrones? We already know there's a lot of incest in the damn show! You're frugal if you set yourself up with Netflix and Hulu. Don't worry, I'll have a whole thing soon on the wonderfulness of Hulu.
7. You're cheap if you try, and epicly fail, to make something yourself after undercutting the handmade artist that quoted you a price that was likely way lower than what you would pay any other designer for an item. You're frugal if you work with a designer within a set budget To get something you're pleased with. Seriously, in the long run this is always your best bet because you're not wasting money twice.
8. You're Cheap if you don't change diapers often because you want to make them last as long as possible. I get it mamas. I do. Diapers are EXPENSIVE. But is risking your baby's health over more diaper changes worth that? You're frugal if you write to manufactures and receive coupons, buy the cheaper diapers, or hit offer up for those that other's can't wear anymore. You're really frugal if you can handle the whole cloth diapering thing. I can't stand the smell, and I'm not that kind of crunchy mama
If you find yourself saying 'yes, that's me' to most of the first over the later, you, my friend, are cheap. This is not necessarily a good or bad thing. However, you may want to consider taking a look at why spending less or nothing more important to you. It is often off-putting to others when you are being an ass in an attempt to get what you want for as little as possible. I really hope these examples are helpful in spotting the difference.
After asking Mr. Handsome Face (my super wonderful boyfriend whom you will no-doubt hear about often) and a group chat with his gamer friends, it was determined that the only one that knew the difference was their female friend. Is this something lost on guys? Or are we just all being assholes to get what we want for nothing? What's your favorite cheap vs. frugal example?