The Difference between being Frugal and being Cheap

There are different methods that people use to save money. Some save where they can and some just don’t seem to spend money on anything. One method is called being frugal while the other method is being cheap. While you can’t fault anyone for being cheap from time to time, it is usually better to be frugal as opposed to cheap.

Some things you have to spend money on to get the best quality product. You don’t want to always save money for the sake of saving money. If you are going to buy a house, you can’t buy a house that is infested with mice simply because it is cheaper. You have to consider the residual costs of having to deal with problems that can arise because you didn’t pay for any quality.

On the other hand, knowing that you can save money on a house that might have been on the market longer can be a real value. If a house that was 500,000 dollars goes down to 250,000 dollars, it might be more of a house as opposed to the average house on the market for 250,000 dollars. In essence, you have gotten double the house for the same price. This is a good deal and is the smart way to save money.

Someone who is frugal might simply use their car until it breaks down because getting another 25,000 miles after it is all paid for is common sense. Someone who is cheap will simply keep the car because buying a new car will cost money, but will not spring for a new car even if it might be unsafe, or is not willing to put the money in to maintain the car. This is cheap, and it can be dangerous.

An employer who can keep equipment running and producing industry standard materials is being frugal. The guy who uses the same computer that he used in 1989 is simply cheap. There is nothing of value by using a computer that was made in 1989 and you might not even be able to do anything on it other than use it as a paper weight. 

The difference between frugal and cheap is that the frugal person is simply using a product because it can still do the job, or because simply waiting another year to buy will save money in the long run. Someone who is cheap just won’t spend money because they don’t want to and think that spending money on something is never worth it.