Most people do not realize this, but there is a big difference between being frugal and being cheap. They may not say it out loud, but almost everybody hates a cheap person. They are considered stingy with their money and rather, inconsiderate, to say the least. Unfortunately, frugal people, who happen to be a much better breed of person, get lumped in with the cheap folk. This is a gross misrepresentation and misconception. Here are several reasons Why Frugal and Cheap Are Two Totally Different Things.
The dictionary definition of both terms:
Frugal: Not wasteful; economical in use; prudent; use sparingly
Cheap: Miserly; stingy
Frugal people know the value of money and do their best to get the most out of what the have. These are the people who will be sure to find out if there are any savings, coupons of deals to be made before they buy anything. They know what they want are willing to sacrifice a part of their luxury/comfort to get it. Cheap people on the other hand, want the good things in life but would rather have someone else pay for it. The best way to explain this is to use an example.
Example: Wedding in Hawaii
If you held your wedding in Hawaii and invited both your frugal and cheap friend, this will be the distinct difference between the two.
Frugal friend: Your frugal friend will come. But he/she will not book a first class ticket. They will fly coach, or use their frequent flier miles to minimize on the flight charges. They will also stay at a reasonably priced hotel and get you a practical present. That being said, they will make the most of their time in Hawaii since they are already here anyway.
Cheap friend: Your cheap friend will probably think of all the expenses involved and then ask if you are flying people in. If you are not, they most likely will not come. And even if they do come, they will not bring a present and will complain the whole time about how expensive everything is, all the while living large and sticking everyone else with the bill or contributing the bare minimum.
Another major difference is that a frugal person looks at the long term value of things. They would rather spend $200 on a pair of shoes that will last them two years, while a cheap person would rather buy a $40 pair of shoe that will last them 6 months.
As you can see, there is a huge difference between frugal and cheap. Frugal is practical, while cheap is just……well, cheap!