I am sick and tired of the whole frugal vs. cheap argument that rages on. The argument went from being a valuable discussion to a time waster a long time ago.
According to the frugalites, they’re different from cheap people. Cheap people, for the uninformed, are people who will do unethical things to save money. They pirate music. They steal napkins and condiments from restaurants. They don’t tip their waiter. Those bastards.
Frugal people, on the other hand, don’t hurt anyone with their actions. It’s okay if they don’t want to spring for the text messaging bundle on their phone, because that decision only affects themselves. They reuse the extra napkins and condiments the restaurant gave them. They tip their waiter (after asking for a separate bill) exactly 10%. Don’t you people see the difference? Man I hate cheap people. Frugal people, on the other hand, are awesome!
Here’s the deal frugalites: both you and cheap people are so far removed from everyone else in society that we (read: normal people) label you both as freaks. I mean, seriously, who asks for an separate bill while eating with friends? Who balks at an extra 5 stinking dollars a month to keep in touch with the rest of the world who likes to text? Are napkins such a cumbersome cost that you have to recycle the ones McDonalds gives you? You’re weird.
And believe me, I know cheap. I remember my parents forcing me to go collect bottles and cans, and then not giving me any of the money. I remember going to yard sales every single Saturday morning for about 6 years, sorting through other people’s crap to save a couple of bucks on whatever. My Dad still wears some old uniform shirts I had from a job 5 years ago. And you should see the car he drives!
Before you all feel sorry for me, all the bottle money was put in my college savings account. It’s not like my parents kept it or anything. It’s just, as an 8 year old, it’s frustrating to work a whole day and not have any money to blow on crap.
I think a part of frugality is giving a giant middle finger to the consumption and spending habits of our society. It’s almost different for the sake of being different. And you know what? That’s fine. Do whatever you want frugalists. You can’t have it both ways though. You can’t be weird and not be viewed as a freak. It comes with the territory.
As long as frugal people continue to do things that aren’t normal, we’ll continue to label them as freaks. And hopefully, frugal people finally figure this out and stop splitting hairs over the difference between themselves and cheap people. You’re both weird, get over yourselves.