I want to clear something up. Being cheap is much different than being frugal, and I take offense when I’m called cheap. Frugal implies absence of luxury and simplicity of lifestyle whereas being cheap implies always looking to pay for something below it’s value. I see myself as the type of person that cuts out certain luxuries in my life so I can enjoy other luxuries in my life. It’s true that my priorities might be different than some people, for instance: I will be very frugal with groceries, but I will spend a lot on eating out and going out with friends. It’s true that my frugality contradicts my expenditures, but it all balances out in the end.
If I feel like I’ve paid for a service that I feel wasn’t worth what I paid, I will sometimes do something about it. For example, I was at the movie theatre last week, and the air conditioning was broken, so I was literally sweating for an hour and a half while watching the movie. It cost around $13 for the ticket, so I would expect to watch the movie in relative comfort. So I mentioned it to the manager and received free passes for next time. I don’t think this action makes me cheap.
When it comes down to it, I spend a lot of money on certain things, like eating out, going out at night, weekend trips, hockey, my Jeep/motorcycle, etc. But I watch my money closely in other areas that aren’t as important to me, such as buying junk food, buying only the necessities at the grocery store, going to a community centre to work out, etc. I typically prioritize my expenditures and depending on the importance of the expenditure to me, I will be frugal about it.
My conclusion is that if I was cheap, I wouldn’t do most of the things I do every day, and I’d probably have a lot more money saved up. Spending money sparingly in some areas allows me to do the things I love to do that cost more money. Perhaps as I grow older, these priorities will change. Now that I’ve written this article, I anticipate that all of my friends that read this article are going to start calling me cheap just to get under my skin. Good work Jim 😉
I couldn’t agree more, Jim. Anyone who thinks you’re cheap needs to look no further than the handy lists of things you completed and things you plan on doing on the lefthand side of your blog. Further, I think you’ve posted enough pictures of the many trips you’ve been on in the last few months to demonstrate that you have more than a good sense of where you’d like to generously spend your hard-earned buck.