1. economical in use or expenditure; prudently saving or sparing; not wasteful: What your office needs is a frugal manager who can save you money without resorting to painful cutbacks. Synonyms: thrifty, chary, provident, careful,prudent, penny-wise, scrimping; miserly, Scotch, penny-pinching. Antonyms: wasteful, extravagant, spendthrift,prodigal, profligate.
8. stingy; miserly: He’s too cheap to buy his own brother a cup of coffee.
It’s no secret that the U.S. is going through what’s known as a ‘bad economy’. These days, most of us are watching our nickles and dimes and, if not, we should be. Even before the economic crunch, some have referred to me as ‘cheap’. Now, I can’t say this title isn’t a tad bit deserved. I don’t like spending money.
There, I said it.
I guess if it weren’t so hard to come by, I wouldn’t be as…sparing…with it as I am. It’s also due to my upbringing.
Now, I love my parents and they always provided for us as best they could. I realize that, growing up, we weren’t the richest family on the block and we never had the ‘newest’ or the ‘best’ of things, in some cases, but we never went without the important things in life nor had a ‘bad’ Christmas time. I guess it’s that upbringing that helped shape me into the cheapska…..er, I mean frugal person I am today. Anytime I wanted something frivolous, my parents would say…
“You don’t need that.”
And, usually, I didn’t need it. I mean, come on, who really needs an Atari 2600? No one! But, to a twelve-year-old, it’s a different story. I did, eventually, get my Atari….about a year later….but I digress. I guess because both of my parents grew up middle class-poor, it’s what they had heard in their formative years.
When I ventured out on my own, almost anytime I went to make a purchase I would always ask myself…
“Do you need this?” (and my parents say I never listened to them…..)
I remember not buying a DVD player (back when they were still, kind of, expensive) because, well, I didn’t really have that many movies and didn’t watch very many of them anyway.
I remember not buying a Playstation video game console because, well, I didn’t really play that many new games since the NES became pretty much defunct. .Being a gamer, though, I finally did buy one……about a year later…
When the Playstation 2 came out, I had to rationalize buying one due to the fact that it had a DVD player built-in and I could watch some DVDs (which more shows/movies began being released on) if I weren’t playing games. I, finally, did buy one…about a year later….
I remember not buying a computer for the longest time…mainly because I figured this ‘internet’ thing was just a fad and would never last. It was only when I saw that Red Lobster restaurants had a website that it finally clicked in my mind and, yes, the ‘Net’ was here to stay (This is an absolute true story, I kid you not). About a year later…..well, you know the story.
Anyway, being married and having another person in on the money spending decisions has been a little…therapeutic…I guess I’d have to say. Now, when I want to buy something, I have not only myself to ask the ‘magic question’ to, but my wife, as well.
“Do WE need it?”
I guess some of my wife’s influence is rubbing off on me because, if the answer is ‘no’, we only have to wait six months until we buy it….