Frugal vs Cheapskate – Know the Difference!

Budgeting, Budgeting Tips

Not sure how to determine frugal vs cheapskate? Believe it or not, there is a difference! A BIG difference, in fact. If you hate being called a cheapskate, too, we'll show you everything you need to know to make sure your frugality isn't borderline cheapskate!

When it comes to frugality, we've perfected the art of saving a buck. However, being frugal does not make us cheap! We like to think of it this way… Cheap people focus on every penny that is spent, and frugal people focus on the value of the money they spend.

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It's not about spending as little as possible, being frugal is about getting the most bang for your buck! If you're still not sure how to tell the difference between frugal vs cheap, keep reading and we'll walk you through it.


Hands pulling money out of a wallet from Fun Cheap or Free.

Learning to be frugal with our resources is at the heart of our mission. We strive to simply be wise with our money, whether spending or saving it, and stretch that hard-earned cash as much as possible. On the flip side, being cheap can quickly turn into stingy, tight-fisted, and even escalate to dishonesty or selfishness. Being cheap is often a response based on the fear of running out, or the fear of having nothing. 

If that hits you a little too hard, don't worry, friend. We'll help you overcome that fear and channel that cheap attitude into a fearlessly frugal one with some simple tips! 


Learn to recognize when to save a buck and when to just roll with it. For example, if a friend invites you to a nice restaurant for dinner, you know ahead of time what to prepare for and to make sure you have the money to spend there. If you don't, it's okay to suggest another place. 

It's also totally okay to flex your frugality muscles and save some cash by getting water, sharing a meal, or skipping appetizers. However, if you choose to go, don't make a fuss over the menu prices or make the night's focus on how much money you're having to spend. Remember, you accepted the dinner invite and had ample time to prepare. 


Like we mentioned above, get the details of an event or outing before you go so you can prepare. This may include lining out childcare, packing snacks to save on concessions, or grabbing coupons to take with you. Knowledge is key before you go so you don't find yourself skimping and turning into a cheapskate as the day goes on!


Jordan holding party supplies from Fun Cheap or Free.

If you love to go out and party with your friends, but can't keep up financially, take charge and throw the party yourself. Instead of going out for dinner, host a dessert party at your house and make it a game night! Ask everyone to bring a dessert so there's a variety and nobody is footing the whole bill! Don't miss our awesome tips for throwing a bangin' party for cheap!


Unfortunately, sometimes you just have to learn to let things go. If your main goal on a night out with your friends is to save a buck and pinch every penny, you may end up inadvertently hurting someone's feelings or, frankly, getting on their nerves. If your friend is dying for some Chinese food, but you have a coupon to Chili's… Let it go and spend the extra few bucks on Chinese food for your friend's sake! 

If you go out with someone who eats more than their fair share or doesn't throw in extra to cover their extra costs of specialty drinks or appetizers, take a deep breath and let it go. Value friendships over dollars every time, but make a mental note not to go out with that friend again! 

Always keep the big picture in mind. Financial goals, friendships, family… Keep the importance of all of these in mind, but don't get caught up in the petty details. 


We can't do it all, all the time. But hey, that's life and that's okay! If accepting an invitation to a movie or lunch with a friend isn't in the budget, just say no. Remember, you're choosing to give up something good for something great. Don't worry about excuses or coming up with reasons you can't participate, simply be honest and upfront. 

If you find yourself upset and feeling some serious FOMO, just remember, we all have different lives, including financial lives. What another family can easily afford, you may have to decline. What you can afford, another family may have to decline. Don't compare yourself to others and instead focus on what you and your family can and should do! Trust us, it will pay off in the long run, friend!


What goes around comes around…be generous. We're firm believers that where much is given, much is required. There are so many on this earth who are in worse circumstances that we are. When at all possible, be generous. Give a generous tithe. If you don't have excess money to spare, give your time and talents. Show love to others. Volunteer. Pay someone well for their labors. Give good gifts to your friends and family. Don't skimp on things to save a buck. Trust us…it all comes back around eventually.

How do you determine frugal vs cheapskate? Have you ever been called a cheapskate? Tell us about it in the comments below!

Want more frugal tips and tricks?

Happy saving frugal queens!

1 Comment

  1. Kami

    I just came across your blog and it is absolutely phenomenal! I can so identify with your niche and feel like I am reading some of my own personal history. I can totally relate to your posts. I look forward to reading more!



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