Is Frugal a Bad Word?

frugal livingI remember the first time I heard somebody use the word “frugal.” I didn’t know exactly what it meant, but by the way it was used I was certain it was a derogatory term and that frugal living was a bad thing.

Eventually I figured out what frugal living meant, but for many years I still felt if somebody was labeled as being frugal, it was a negative connotation. Basically, my thoughts were if someone said, “He is frugal,” you could easily replace “frugal” with “cheap.”

This interpretation of the word is incorrect. Being frugal and being cheap are not in the same category. Let’s look at the literal definitions according to thefreedictionairy.com:

Frugal: Practicing or marked by economy, as in the expenditure of money or the use of material resources. See Synonym: sparing.

Cheap: Stingy; miserly.

Frugality is the act of being resourceful and mindful about your spending, where being cheap is clearly an undesirable personality.

I realized several years later when I started to make personal finance an interest of mine that frugal living is actually a desirable characteristic.

  • It means you have the sense not to waste money and be an over-consumer.
  • It means you have a grasp on your finances and know how much you can spend with the income you have to work with.
  • It means you have the discipline and the smarts to proactively manage your money, create budgets and stick to them.

As a result, this means it is very likely you have the ability to create wealth.

Don’t let others who get frugal living and cheap mixed up bother you, but rather take it as an opportunity to educate them and recommend that they spend some time digging through the great resources at beingfrugal.net. Chances are if someone is using the term with a negative tone, they are not someone who should be criticizing how other people manage their money.

Millionaire Money Habit: If you want to become a part of the ultra wealthy and reach your financial goals, it is necessary to spend your money in the most efficient way. That is, by practicing frugal living. -RT
photo by timparkinson

3 Responses to Is Frugal a Bad Word?

  1. Momma says:

    Beingfrugal.net is one of my favorite reads as well. We’re definitely working to make sure our skills in frugality are growing. Thanks for the timely post.

  2. I think in the current economy, being frugal has become somewhat fashionable.

    I totally agree, frugal and cheap are two very different behaviors. I’m frugal so I don’t have to be cheap.

    Lisa

  3. Dr, Artfredo C. Abella says:

    If you are frugal that means you are using God’s resources in the most efficient and useful ways, hence by being frugal He will reward you with more bountiful means of resources and that includes money too.

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