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Frugal is as Frugal Does?

Written by Nickel - 10 Comments

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The other day, I asked about the difference between “frugal” and “cheap”. There were a number of great answers, but one in particular stood out to me…

According to Kyle of Amateur Asset Allocator:

“My definition is simple: if I do it, it’s frugal. If somebody else does it, it’s cheap.”

Hmmm… I’m not so sure that Kyle is kidding. 😉

On a slightly more serious note, Dylan had this to say:

“Being frugal is about maximizing value. Being cheap is about the lowest price.”

I couldn’t have said it better myself.

Published on April 30th, 2008 - 10 Comments
Filed under: Frugality

About the author: is the founder and editor-in-chief of this site. He's a thirty-something family man who has been writing about personal finance since 2005, and guess what? He's on Twitter!

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Comments (scroll down to add your own):

  1. Couldn’t of said it better myself!!

    Comment by Anonymous — Apr 30th 2008 @ 11:36 am
  2. I used to spend in excess, but now I am trying to be frugal. Taken out of context some actions of mine could be considered cheap, but in the overall context of my life its frugal. Some things are just not as important to me.

    Comment by Anonymous — Apr 30th 2008 @ 11:38 am
  3. Frugal is having a few friends over and buying store brand colas for them. Cheap is using really small glasses over-filled with ice.

    Not that this has ever happened to me or anything….

    Comment by Anonymous — Apr 30th 2008 @ 1:22 pm
  4. haha…i’m w/ Kyle on that one.

    Comment by Anonymous — Apr 30th 2008 @ 1:41 pm
  5. When it comes to frugality, I want to strike a good balance between enjoying life and building wealth, so once in a while I will spend on things that truly make me happy. However, in doing so I would maximize value. For instance I have a passion for cars but I won’t buy a brand new BMW. I’d rather buy a good, reliable used one that’s nearing the bottom of the depreciation curve. Frugality is about value, not price or deprivation.

    Comment by Anonymous — Apr 30th 2008 @ 2:04 pm
  6. For some reason this reminds me of that episode of friends where Ross says “taking the salt shaker is stealing, the SALT on the other hand…”

    Comment by Anonymous — Apr 30th 2008 @ 4:40 pm
  7. I stand by my statement but Dylan’s definition is probably more practical.

    Comment by Anonymous — Apr 30th 2008 @ 4:47 pm
  8. I never though of it Kyle’s way, I love it! haha

    Comment by Anonymous — Apr 30th 2008 @ 5:11 pm
  9. Thanks, Nickel. Kyle’s definition and my definition can overlap at times too.

    Comment by Anonymous — May 1st 2008 @ 10:21 am
  10. Being frugal is optimizing your use of money to be as efficient as possible. Being cheap is using immediate cost as your only determining factor.

    Comment by Anonymous — May 26th 2008 @ 7:48 pm

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