I recently had an experience that left me determined not to be cheap, with myself or anyone else. And it got me thinking about the difference between being frugal and being just plain cheap. Sometimes there's a fine line...
I would consider myself mostly frugal, thrifty, and resourceful, and I consider those to be positive qualities in others. However, what is decidedly NOT a nice quality is cheapness. I want to be generous in life, with myself, my time, and my money. Living on a budget is no reason to be stingy with others.
Here are a few examples of being frugal versus being cheap:
1. A frugal person doesn't go out to dinner when they can't afford it, and pays their fair share when they do. A cheap person doesn't leave enough money to cover their portion of the bill, thereby causing the rest of the group to pay for them.
2. A frugal person borrows DVDs from the library. A cheap person makes illegal copies of the DVDs for their own personal library.
3. A frugal person has a grocery budget and cooks healthy meals from scratch. A cheap person eats Top Ramen every night even though they can afford much better food.
4. A frugal person doesn't spend every penny they earn, and leaves an inheritance. A cheap person eats cat food for dinner and lives in squalor while they have a million dollars in the bank.
Those are just a few examples, you get the idea.
It's possible to be cheap with others, and with ourselves. Not taking care of our own health and well-being could be considered being cheap with oneself.
I want to be both frugal and generous, and I don't think they're mutually exclusive.
What are some other examples of when frugal goes too far and enters the land of the cheap? Please share your thoughts in the Comments section.