Living frugally and saving money when you can are skills that should be applauded, but when you cross the line from frugal to “cheapskate” or even worse to “miser” – it’s probably time to reconsider your financial strategies. Now, don’t get me wrong, being a Cheapskate with a capital “C” can be a good thing but you know what they say about too much of a good thing…
7 Signs That You’re Turning Frugal into a Dirty Word (and Becoming a Miser)…
1. You Look For Ways to Skip Out on the Tip or Part of the Bill
If every time you go out to eat you look for poor quality meals or service in order to find ways to get a discount or justify the lack of a tip – you’re not being frugal, you’re just being a miser. You don’t have to accept poor service, but if you make it a habit to find something wrong with your meal hoping to get a discount, or skimp on the tip because the waiter was a little slow to bring your refill – you’re going too far. (You might like this post: A Dilemma – Out with a Group and They Want to Split the Bill Equally)
2. You Never “Buy a Round” or Give to Others
If you go out with friends and enjoy it when they buy a round for everyone but you never do the same, you’re a miser. Not everyone can afford to buy a round for a group of people, but if you accept a free drink or meal from a friend repeatedly and never repay the favor by at least buying that person a drink or meal – not only are you a miser, but you’re not a very good friend! Remember life is about give and take, you can’t always take. You might be surprised how good it feels to be the “giver” once in a while.
3. You Skip Required Maintenance for Your Car or Home
Sure, you might save a few bucks by skipping the oil changes or not getting new brakes when they start squeaking, but the lack of maintenance is going to cost you a whole lot more in the long run. Not only that, but skipping home and car maintenance can result in safety issues and puts you and everyone around you at risk for injuries or health problems.
4. You Only Ever Think About Money
It’s clearly important to think about your financial situation and to be proactive with saving for retirement – but if you can’t seem to think about anything other than money, you’re probably starting to go off cheapskate charts. You shouldn’t cause yourself anxiety over buying a pack of gum at the gas station once in a while, especially if you have been responsible with your money and aren’t carrying loads of debt.
5. You Cause a Scene in the Checkout Line Just About Every Time You Buy Something
Does something take over you when it’s time to pay for your purchases that causes you to bully the cashier over coupons or discounts you think you are entitled to? You should be persistent if you have a coupon that should be accepted at the store, but if it causes you to become disrespectful and downright rude to try and get your savings – you’re a miser.
6. You Control Your Family or Partner By Withholding Money
If you are in charge of the family finances and routinely deny your family members access to money, you are a cheapskate with some serious control issues. If you’ve ever said “No, you can’t have money” for something your spouse wanted because your spouse upset you earlier with a non-financial issue – you may even be crossing the line to emotional abuse.
7. You Criticize Other People for How They Spend Money
It’s not really your business how other people use their money, but if you find yourself criticizing people for spending too much money or telling them they waste their money – you’re a miser. Criticize people long enough and you’ll stop getting invitations to spend time with the people you criticize!
I am not a cheapskate. I’m a bit of a splurger actually. because of this I’ve had several friends criticize the way I spend my money – everyone seems to think I am rich because I buy too many clothes and shoes, although I always buy bargains from Ebay and the such… it’s really tiresome, sometimes.
Mrs. D, I would suggest telling people when they criticize you that it’s not their business. Explaining yourself will only make them think it’s okay to continue. By shutting down that particular conversation when it gets judge-y, people will learn not to treat you that way. A lot of people think they always know best, even when they don’t know people’s circumstances.
Honestly, this has to be the best guide for cheapskates and I haven’t found another way to tell my closest friend she is one. Thank you!
So glad I came across your blog! It’s pretty awesome. I am working on getting out of debt, which is actually how I found your blog. In a Google search about getting out of debt!
I love this post! It made me chuckle to myself because these are all of the things I don’t want to be when it comes to saving money. On this journey I’ve realized that it’s not always about the financial cost, but the social cost of things as well. This post reminds me of that.
I have a couple of suggested behaviors that may indicate someone is a cheapskate: Being a hoarder (never being able to part with anything, even trash). Related to #5 above – Feeling actual anxiety about paying for anything (i.e., can’t let go of the cash). And lastly, related to #1 above – Being a thief and cheat, e.g., stealing toilet paper out of public restrooms to save money, taking something that doesn’t belong to you with the rationalization “Well, he must not really care about [the item] or else he wouldn’t have just left it laying there.