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Are You Frugal? Or Are You Just Cheap?

Are you frugal? Or are you just cheap?

There are multiple ways to save money, some ways work better than others. While a bulk box of 30¢ noodles and tuna pouches may satisfy the cravings of one person in order to save money, it may make another dread eating at all. One thing that I have learned about budgeting and putting money aside is to learn how to be financially smart. A part of making smart decisions is to know the difference between cheap and frugal; In simpler terms, knowing when you are getting a good deal for your money, versus throwing money away. Being frugal requires a little more thinking, but ultimately saves you more in the end. Imagine you’re at the grocery store and you approach the chip aisle. Your eyes will divert you to buy the off-brand bag because it sits at roughly $2.50, compared to the bag of Lay’s at $3.50. Buying the cheaper bag is the act of being cheap. Looking at the ounces in each bag in a ratio to the price and choosing the better deal is being frugal. In this case, the off-brand bag gives you 7 ounces of chips leaving you at spending 36¢ per ounce. Buying the 10.5 ounce bag of Lay’s will give you a better deal at 33¢ per ounce plus a better tasting chip! Being frugal doesn’t stop at the grocery store; it can also be small investments. Spending a little more money on better clothing will keep you from running back and forth when cheap clothes rip or distress easily. Buying cheap will, more times than not, get you cheap.

“Frugality is getting more for less. Cheap is getting less for less.” – J.P. Lynn

Budgeting is important, but budgeting smarter is more important. Investing in a grocery store membership will give you access to bulk products, and buying in bulk hands you the opportunity to pay less per ounce of product while stocking you up at the same time! Another instance of buying cheap is being persuaded or pressured into paying for something you do not actually need. I am guilty of seeing shoes on sale for $10.00, or a Bluetooth speaker in the clearance section…. And then never wearing the shoes, and never needing the speaker. Don’t fall into purchase pressure! Knowing what you are spending and the value of the purchase is the smartest way to keep a healthy budget. Mindless purchases can empty your pockets for such a waste, but knowledge is key! Money is a part of life, but managing money will help relieve the stress of having to live cheaply. Keep your spending happy!


This post was written by FTWCCU employee, Brittney Goolsby.