Is Being Cheap the Key to Living Your Dream Life?

be cheap to live your dream life

There are a few memorable TV shows that come to mind when thinking of the word cheap skate. Think of Seinfeld’s George Costanza who always tried to get everyone else to pay for his lunch at the diner and famously ordered the cheap-o wedding invitations with the toxic envelope glue. Even junior audiences have Mr. Krabs who wouldn’t let a penny hit the floor without rushing to the scene.

While we may laugh about these funny TV personalities or mock their cheapness, there is some financial logic behind their extreme frugal personalities, and it makes me wonder, “Is being cheap the key to living your dream life?” And, if it’s not THE KEY permanently, is being a cheap skate at least temporarily the key?

I think so.

How Being Cheap Is The Key To Living Your Dream Life…

Those who save and sacrifice now are more likely to come out ahead in the future with the proper financial planning. The money you stash away now in your bank account and investments will benefit in the future when you no longer wish to work so hard just to make ends meet. The money you need will be there when you need it.

As we age, we become more cognizant of what we want in our lives. When we are young, we may only see what we think we want when it is right in front of us but as we grow older, we begin to figure out what it is we really want in order to achieve a dream life. If giving up an excessive brand-name wardrobe now would afford us that amazing house surrounded by mountains without financial worries or debt, doesn’t it make sense to make those sacrifices?

There are some that can live a simple life and there are some that clutter their lives up with wants. The person that has simple needs and the knowledge that saving is more important than spending will be able to fulfill their dreams while still remaining financial solid. The person that spends recklessly throughout their daily life will likely struggle with debts and when things come along they really want in life, they will probably never be able to afford them.

How many times have you heard someone you know say ‘keep dreaming’ when they see awesome cars, elegant homes, or dream vacations? They too could have all they wanted if they learned to live a more financially responsible, albeit cheap daily life.

Sacrificing a bunch of junk in hindsight isn’t so terrible when it leads you to your dream life. It will no doubt take time to reach your goals and may subject you to some peer pressure along the way, but at the end, your dream life will be its own reward.


What are your thoughts? Is being cheap the key to living your dream life or is their another key?


15 thoughts on “Is Being Cheap the Key to Living Your Dream Life?

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  1. The Norwegian Girl

    I honestly don`t like the expression being cheap, it alludes to something negative, something I do not wish to be part of. But good financial planning is something I do support! I just received a surprising $175, and my primary thought was “how great, this will go directly to my savings account!” But I don`t want to miss out on life by being cheap and refuse to buy one drink when out with friends etc.

  2. cherrypiejay

    I think too bad what anyone else thinks, it’s your life. So it’s your business. My future-Mr and I are currently paying off a small chunk of credit card debt, and in doing so hardly ever going out to do anything, and every spare cent we have is going on the debt. Next year we want to save for a house and plan on living in a small flat with 1/4 of our stuff to save for a deposit – if we weren’t doing that we’d just rent a regular sized house and not worry – but you have to make sacrifices in life to earn the things you want. If other people don’t understand that, it’s their problem.

  3. Colleen

    Frugal seems better to me. :) As nice as it would be to have that new sweater or cute shoes, financial security seems a lot nicer.

  4. Trudi

    I think getting value for your money is more appropriate then being cheap, plan your food shopping, save for the future and things you want in the short term, eg a nice quality coat that will last for years and wear it over cheap fashion items or go thrift shopping.

  5. Brittany

    I would say I learned a lot of my financial habits from my grandparents – they live full happy lives, but on little money – they have the money, but spend as if they don’t. My grandma and I like to say we’re “moneywise” rather than frugal or cheap, which tend to have more negative connotations

    1. cherrypiejay

      Moneywise – I love it! Stealing this term. No more will I be known as frugal or cheap. I’ve always felt like frugal is just a polite way of saying cheap anyway … :)

  6. Beth

    I have to say that for me, financial peace of mind trumps everything else. Knowing that I can afford to pay for something that pops up (like a medical expense) is so much better than worrying about that but having the little things I want. It wasn’t until my husband showed me how I could save every year to retire with 1-2 million dollars that I started to understand how my little purchases were hurting that possibility. That doesn’t mean, however, that I don’t have occasional splurges. :)

  7. Cassie

    This is a mindset that I am very much trying to adopt in 2013. I’ve spent almost three years living rent-free at my mom’s house and am about to embark on a BIG adventure—which will be very exciting, and very scary seeing some of that hard-earned money I’ves saved during this time disappear. But if I maintain the mentality that I need to pinch wherever possible, it won’t all disappear. Keeping the long-term goals in mind will help me stay on track when I’m feeling the need to indulge on ultimately worthless “stuff.”

  8. Amy

    Growing up, I really hated how “cheap” my parents were. I envied my friends whose parents bought them brand new books for school reading assignments (my parents took us to the library) or who had all new things (my mom still loves garage sales to this day – even buys Christmas presents from them) or who cranked up the air conditioning during the summer (not us). However, as an adult now, I can truly appreciate my parents’ approach to money. They have good savings for retirement, live comfortably and don’t worry in the same way about money as my friends’ parents who have had to borrow money from their kids for emergencies, down payments, etc. I guess I see frugality as a mindset – best to be in a place where you don’t feel deprived and see the payoff of having financial stability.

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  11. CollegeMom

    This post is spot on. I won’t say we are living a dream life. We aren’t wealthy. We’ve never made an income that would lead to what most consider wealth even with discipline. We are, however, comfortable and able to pay for two college tuitions(and all that goes with college) without going into personal debt. Our oldest will graduate with a very small amount of low interest student loan debt. Our youngest should not incur any because of a merit scholarship. Even without the scholarship, she would probably not incur debt.

    So, sacrificing luxury and most wants may not have been fun, but is now paying off for us and for our children.

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