Cheap vs. Frugal

This dilemma will inevitably come up for any personal finance blogger or person trying to get out of debt.

I will try to define the terms Cheap and Frugal using the diagram below:

Cheap Vs. Frugal

Frugal is “socially acceptable” whilst Cheap is not

Scenario #1: Going to Work

Frugal: Walking or riding the bicycle; carpool and splitting cost
Cheap: Hopping on the bus without paying; carpool without paying back
Generous: Offering to giving co-workers a ride
Wasteful: Commuting to work on a gas guzzler

Scenario #2: Shopping for groceries

Frugal: Using a coupon at the grocery or supermarket
Cheap: Using a fake coupon at the grocery store; Reprinting a legal coupon 20 times;

Scenario #3: You are invited to celebrate someone’s birthday party at an expensive restaurant

Frugal: Have dinner at home and go out to socialize and order just a drink or appetizer.
Cheap: Go out and order a drink or appetizer and ask to nibble on everyone else’s plate.
Generous: Order a large shareable plate for everyone
Wasteful: Order a dinner for yourself and only eat a third of it, throwing the rest away.

Scenario #4: Going to the movies

Frugal: Suggest to go on Tuesday for half price tickets or use coupons
Cheap: Sneak into the movies and grab a used popcorn bag and ask for a free refill
Generous: Buying the popcorn for your entire group to share
Wasteful: Buying the popcorn for yourself only but only eating a third of it

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