Cheap Frugal

My wife thinks I’m cheap, but the reality is that I’m just being frugal.

My clothes are all frayed.  My wife thinks I’m being cheap by not buying new clothes.  However, I work out of my home, so my coworkers never see my worn out clothes.  I’m being frugal.

I live in Phoenix, and even in the summer I roll down the windows on my car and turn off the air conditioner.  My wife thinks I’m being cheap, but I think I’m being frugal.

She wants to get a dishwasher, but I say that if she wants clean dishes, she can wash them.  She says I’m being cheap.  I counter that I’m being frugal.

We wanted to go to Las Vegas for a vacation.  I said fine, but we’re riding the bus.  She thought I was going cheap.  I think I’m being frugal.

It hurts when she says I’m cheap.  It’s really kind of derogatory to say someone is cheap.  But just because it’s derogatory doesn’t mean it’s wrong.  I suppose there’s a slight chance she is right.

Being cheap means not spending money when you should spend it, or getting something inferior just because the price is less.  Being frugal means making wise decisions with your money.

In today’s economy, it can be tough to make ends meet.  Even though they say inflation isn’t that high, it takes more money to get the same stuff every time we go to the grocery store.  That extra money hurts the cheap part of my wallet.  But my wife makes wise shopping decisions, economizing where she can, but only if it means getting the same quality in a cheaper box, or using coupons to cut down on our grocery bill.

If it were up to me, I’d let the kids live on peanut butter, white bread and milk, because once upon a time, when I was a young man with more hair and fewer dependents, I heard that combination gave you all the essential nutrients you need.

Shakespeare said a rose by any other name would smell just as sweet, but when it comes to the difference between cheap and frugal, beauty is bought by judgment of the eye and the real meaning is, too.  Frugal and cheap may be two sides of the same (pinched) coin, but which one you are depends on how other see you.

Cheap is bad.  Frugal is good.  Maybe that’s why I instinctively let my wife do all the shopping.  When she comes home, we have plenty to eat and it’s all good.  When I do the shopping, the shelves are stocked with stuff no one can stomach.