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Old 04-12-2017, 08:55 AM   #21
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Cheap people seem to let others pick up the bill and we generous people notice that even if we pretend not to. To me that's where frugal becomes cheap and I don't like it.
+1

We're 'frugal', we rarely frequent restaurants, (except at the behest of friends), but if we do go we don't 'stiff' people, and certainly not the wait staff.
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Old 04-12-2017, 09:04 AM   #22
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We are frugal, but I don't think that we are cheap. Instead of going to a fancy steak house and burning $150-200 on a dinner for the two of us, I prefer to cook a nice meal for my family with lamb, or filet. And I still have money left over for fancy booze.
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Old 04-12-2017, 09:13 AM   #23
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We are frugal, but I don't think that we are cheap. Instead of going to a fancy steak house and burning $150-200 on a dinner for the two of us, I prefer to cook a nice meal for my family with lamb, or filet. And I still have money left over for fancy booze.
Yum, that sounds great!

On Wednesday nights, a bar down the street offers an 8 oz grilled steak, mashed potatoes and gravy, and corn or green beans, plus a soft drink, for $10. With tax and tip, it comes to $13. So, being sorta kinda frugal, we prefer that to a fancy steak house. Plus, no need to dress up to go there.

F takes advantage of that deal almost every Wednesday night. The steak is a cheaper cut, but it is still delicious and tender. Once in a while I go with him although the meal is high enough in calories for a lumberjack.
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Old 04-12-2017, 09:49 AM   #24
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Frugal is great until it starts to inconvenience others...then it becomes a problem.
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...some people take it to such an extreme that it can be sort of annoying. For example, if you agree to go out to dinner with others pay your share or pick up the next bill...
OK, I see the point. I think you're confusing "frugal" with "cheap.

As was pointed out above, one definition of frugal is "not wasteful." That's how I've always heard it used. And almost always in a positive way.

There are other words like cheap, miserly or cheapskate which you can use if you want to a negative connotation. There's always stingy if those aren't negative enough.

As for the selected quotes containing the word, I suspect the authors were using it as a literary tool. Notice they chose to follow the word with phrases which painted a more negative picture than the word alone would have engendered.

I like to think that, no matter how much money I had, I'd always be frugal with it. I'd be willing to put that to the test, if anyone wants to fund it...
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Old 04-12-2017, 09:52 AM   #25
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Few (except maybe my mother in law) would argue against LBYM. However, some people take it to such an extreme that it can be sort of annoying. For example, if you agree to go out to dinner with others pay your share or pick up the next bill. Or what about picking up the first bill not even knowing if there will be a second!? Cheap people seem to let others pick up the bill and we generous people notice that even if we pretend not to. To me that's where frugal becomes cheap and I don't like it.
This has burnt me up more than once. I come from a fairly generous lot, and over the years, in addition to my own personal experiences, I have observed that both my Uncle and Father have attracted "mooches".

In my father's case he would hold very large labor day and memorial day parties with 50-80 people showing up (most empty handed). He did this for years, and eventually he noticed a pattern. 1)The same people showed up empty handed. 2)The reciprocity of others seemed completely out of wack. Finally he stopped when he hit his late 60's, though he had long found invitations "forgotten" to be sent to him. The travesty is that for over 30 years he was generous to a fault with this large (constantly changing) social group, and in the end, when he was most in need, they abandoned him and he now sits alone without so much as an occasional phone call.

In my own experience I participate in a "sports league" that puts significantly more cost and time burden on me than the others who "enjoy" the fun time with me. Every year during the off season I wait for the reciprocal invitations to roll in, and every off season passes without a single invitation.

Meanwhile I gear up and just , thinking about my out sized contribution to the team.
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Old 04-12-2017, 10:04 AM   #26
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To me, frugal is being mindful. Still w*king. Brown bag my lunches, bring a thermos of coffee. Driving a 13 year old car. I don't feel deprived of anything and I will be FIRE in less than 5 years at 57.
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Old 04-12-2017, 10:11 AM   #27
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I'm not frugal anymore but I used to be.

I'm not living beyond my means either.
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Old 04-12-2017, 11:00 AM   #28
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OK, I see the point. I think you're confusing "frugal" with "cheap.

As was pointed out above, one definition of frugal is "not wasteful." That's how I've always heard it used. And almost always in a positive way.

There are other words like cheap, miserly or cheapskate which you can use if you want to a negative connotation. There's always stingy if those aren't negative enough.
I was raised by Scots and while my mother and gran were always frugal they were sure to warn against being cheap. "Don't be a man whose arms are shorter than his pockets are deep."
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Old 04-12-2017, 11:08 AM   #29
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I too grew up poor as a church mouse in not the best circumstances. My mom and the we four kids lived day to day, always waiting for that next shoe to drop. Will we have money for the oil bill? Franks and beans again? You never said it because you felt lucky to have a full belly. Mostly there was stress - My Mother (and I) worried about everything and it took its toll.

There is a saying that smart that people make things happen in their lives foolish people have things happen to them. I was determined to live differently all that and frugality and education were vehicles to get me there. A wonderful thing happened I met someone who felt similarly. I was the plumber, gardener, carpenter, investor and she was the painter, coupon clipper extraordinaire. We Saved First and always bought within our means. That meant a house we could afford, sensible cars and modest vacations. A funny thing happened as the 'pile' grew - new tires for the jalopy, the dentist and all those things life throws at you were no big deal. Living debt free changes everything.. ask yourself where would you rather be - debt free or have a huge mortgage and credit card debt up to your eyeballs come the next credit crisis.

Stress about the small things becomes non existent. They became more annoyances then anything else. Dave Ramsey has a phrase live like no one else so you can live like no one else. Living thoughtfully frugally and ultimately debt free can change not only your lives but your children lives as well. My daughter will graduate a top 100 university in a few short weeks with zero debt. I work with a crew of younger colleagues most of whom have student debt. Two that I know of started with $120,000 of student loans. One particularly gifted gal said Ray its killing me.

Yes the Mrs baked the whole wheat bread and I ate those brown bagged ham sandwiches and we were and are frugal. Me I'd rather struggle with choosing to retire when I want then having to work until these old knees give it up.

Frugal a bad word omg no... In America if you carry a credit card balance it is likely to be $15,000. I estimate the interest on that debt to be $2,500 a year alone. The number of poor soles living paycheck to paycheck is astounding.

Seems to me we that frugality is a beautiful word and concept kinda like discipline... I believe every high school senior should require a personal finance course. First lesson: debt free.
Amen, Brother!

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Old 04-12-2017, 04:31 PM   #30
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Franks and beans, macaroni and cheese, tuna in various forms are among my favourite and most cherished meals. Meatloaf less so, but they always take me back to the simple and wonderful times of my childhood. Yes my parents always watched their money but we kids never really seemed to suffer for it.
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Old 04-12-2017, 05:37 PM   #31
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People often say that they are eating "rice and beans" because they are poor. I could live on a good dish of red beans and rice, and in fact I make it often! YUM! Poor man's fare is just fine for me.
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Old 04-12-2017, 05:55 PM   #32
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Frugal here. Or should I sale value conscious. Not cheap. Allowed us to retire at 58 and travel.

I have never understood people who rack up debt and year after year spend more than they make. My SIL is a great example. I cannot count the number of times I have heard her say I can't afford it but I am going buy this or that. New car, expensive vacation, you name it. Yet they are nearing retirement, have no savings, no private pension. But they do have a large mortgage. Our brains must be wired a different way.
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Old 04-12-2017, 09:00 PM   #33
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About 30 years ago when at one of my first corporate meetings I remember meeting a very successful woman that expressed her views about money. I was in the very fortunate position of entering a company that made many people an extraordinary income very quickly. She stated that over the years, she has observed that when people received money quickly, they become more of what they already were. If they were frugal before they had money, they remained so. If they were spendthrifts, they also remained so. I have observed the same behavior. 30 years later, I have witnessed those that have lived comfortably, saved and invested and those that lived lavishly essentially funding a lifestyle. It baffles me to see the amount of truly talented and successful people living paycheck to paycheck. It appears that frugality is hardwired into an individualís life either through circumstance or upbringing. The ops post struck a nerve with me although my situation was completely different. I was brought up in an upper middle class environment and watched as my father died broke. I vowed that I would never let that happen to me or my family. We were able to retire at 56 without a concern about maintaining our modest but comfortable lifestyle.
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Old 04-12-2017, 09:10 PM   #34
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I was able to "shift gears"

It wasn't easy, I had to work at it. And I still "cheap out"

Ate $30 sushi for lunch. Heating up 4 buck frozen shepheard's pie for supper.

Frugal builds the dough, but after you only have a limited time to blow it. And I'm still stacking so I have to blow faster -
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Old 04-12-2017, 10:37 PM   #35
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I like numbers and spreadsheets and find it a game to live well but for less money than most other people would spend for the same lifestyle.
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Old 04-13-2017, 09:32 AM   #36
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People often say that they are eating "rice and beans" because they are poor. I could live on a good dish of red beans and rice, and in fact I make it often! YUM! Poor man's fare is just fine for me.
Same here. Lived in southern Louisiana (Houma) long enough to develop a great appreciation for Cajun food, red beans and rice w/sausage being a primary staple. There's so many good dishes that start with beans and rice, I eat my chili that way too.
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Old 04-13-2017, 01:18 PM   #37
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The nice thing about FI, is you can still be frugal without having to sweat it. Abundance and generosity can be your guide.
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Old 04-13-2017, 01:57 PM   #38
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I like numbers and spreadsheets and find it a game to live well but for less money than most other people would spend for the same lifestyle.
+1

I've seen similar sentiments on this board a lot. Certainly we have all known any number of people who simply enjoy the process of bargain-hunting; they scour yard sales and thrift shops for minor treasures and genuinely have fun doing so.

An analogous population features people who derive more pleasure from watching their portfolio grow than they would from anything it could fund.

I say, "If NOT spending is what makes them happy, great!" Props to them for doing what they enjoy. I always root for increased happiness in the world.
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Old 04-14-2017, 06:26 PM   #39
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In my own experience I participate in a "sports league" that puts significantly more cost and time burden on me than the others who "enjoy" the fun time with me. Every year during the off season I wait for the reciprocal invitations to roll in, and every off season passes without a single invitation.

Meanwhile I gear up and just , thinking about my out sized contribution to the team.
I ran a couple rec sports teams for several years until I got tired of doing all the work. Cheap isn't only about money, it's also about pulling your weight and contributing time and effort....from helping with the rec league that's there for you year after year to helping with a DIY project.

I remember building a deck at my aunt's house with help from 1 of her 2 sons and my brother. The son that didn't help spent the day in the house doing nothing while the son that did help was more than willing to return the favour by helping me with a project of my own later that summer. A few years later the lazy son was now in his own house and needed a new roof and since I'm the "roofer" in the family, he looked to me for some help. I refused so he had to hire a roofing crew. Being cheap with his labour that one day a few years earlier cost him $3000.
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Old 04-14-2017, 07:50 PM   #40
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I'm not frugal anymore but I used to be.

I'm not living beyond my means either.
+1 (or more)
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