Save money, but don’t be cheap

scroogeWe all want to save money, but none of us want to be seen as being cheap. The good news is being frugal and “money-aware” does not make you cheap. Just so you know the difference, here is some decidedly cheap behaviour:

Going for low quality

The frugally-minded will make a purchase decision based on getting more for less. The cheap person will make a purchasing decision based on paying less. Period.

If you are choosing a product of a lower quality, simply because it is cheaper, it may actually end up costing you more in the long run, because you may have to buy more or replace broken items.

Cheap people go for price. Frugal people go for value.

Pushing expiration dates

I’m fanatical about expiration dates (to the point where even when my kids were little, they knew to check the date on everything before they threw it in the cart).

Some people like to roll the dice and eat expired (or very close to) expired food. This is not frugal, nor is it good for your health to save money for the sake of a small discount.

Skipping the tip

In our society, it is customary to tip 15 per cent to reward good service. It’s not mandatory by any means, but it is expected. If you receive bad service, you are not required to tip. If you receive good service, and decide not to tip to save some money- well, that is indeed cheap.

Big picture thinking

Being cheap means not spending money. Being frugal means employing strategies to reduce your spending in order to help you achieve a specific goal. It is about connecting day-to-day activities to maximize savings.

Being frugal also means that you prioritize spending, creating a budget and sticking to it. Being cheap means that you go out of your way not to spend money at all.