Save. Spend. Splurge.

You are not a better person if you are cheap

I am shocked at the number of people online who can WELL AFFORD to spend money, cheaping out on services and even tips to other minimum wage workers, with the idea that they are being “Frugal”.



Frugal is when you decide to eat out once a month and tip well for good service, because you can afford it.

Cheap is eating out twice a month and NOT tipping well for good service because you do not want to, or worse, going to a meal with gift cards and then not tipping at all because the bill said $0.00 (RIDICULOUS.)

There are no prizes being won for being cheap.

You are not more virtuous if you do not spend ANY money.


Newsflash: NO ONE CARES. Literally NO ONE.

You are not a better person if you have the most money and the highest net worth.

I think many people are getting confused because they think spending on a meal and tipping generously when they can afford it, is a frivolity to them, because they pretend to be poor (guess what? stop pretending to be poor!!!).

Or even not in tipping, even just not doing what you want to do or refusing to let your child have something they want because you can afford it but you want to pass on some money trauma to them to teach them a lesson. I am shaking my head at all of this. Doing something nice for your child does not make them spoiled.

(Just the same way I received advice not to carry, cuddle or kiss my baby too much to make him not want me as much as a parent and so he would be independent AS A BABY, I find all of this beyond ridiculous. HE IS A BABY. Why would I NOT want him to feel secure and attached to me in his most formative years? One day he will be independent and today is not the day as he is not ready.)

In the same vein – NOT buying your child something even though you can afford it, is NOT going to make them be a good person with great money habits. Guess what is? Actually teaching them money habits by role modelling and showing them the choices you make between buying or saving, depending on what it does for you and your finances. Teaching them how to budget, what income and expenses mean, how to calculate percentages, how to invest your money, all of this makes them great with money because they are COMFORTABLE talking about it, and dealing with it.

Just making them not have any money, does not constitute a money lesson. You may even make them just feel so insecure with it, that it does not exist to them and they will forever be traumatized and unable to spend a penny in fear of losing it all. Or worse, feel frustrated and just go into debt and stay in debt because that is their lot in life for not being able to live on nothing.

So no. You are not a better person and you cannot make people be better people by being cheap. No one learns anything, and everyone is angry.

That’s it. That is the rant.


  • LAL

    My in-laws have recently proven how cheap they are. Sadly cheap not frugal. They are so cheap it’s embarrassing.

    My FIL has been in the hospital in Canada for 3 weeks. They sold their house the day he went in unexpectedly into the ER and then admitted. Obviously they are pretty well off to have sold a house. My MIL slept in the car like a homeless person because she didn’t want to pay for a cab to a hotel and didn’t want to pay for a hotel either that night.

    Then she managed to find my FIL’s friend to take her in and she has been staying there for 3+ weeks!!! My FIL had surgery and will need recovery time of 12 weeks. They did not get a hotel room yet or anything. I am pretty sure they are planning on taking advantage of their friend and mooching/leeching off of them.

    I mean it’s shameful for people at their ages 72 and 73, comfortable with canadian old folks retirement, RRSP, and pensions, AND no healthcare expenses (unlike the US), to behave like this. But whatever.

    Yeah go ahead and rant. I’m embarrassed all the time by them. I mean there is no way to call what they are other than cheap.

  • raluca

    I’m not entirely sure that not buying your child something he wants is “inflicting money trauma” or “being cheap”. It might well be just modeling your values. What do I mean by that? Children, on average, are masters of over-consumption. They are easily manipulated into wanting stuff through marketing and they don’t necessarily have the internal compass telling them that new shiny toy they want right now is going to be forgotten tomorrow. Nor do they have the wisdom to understand that too much food will not be good for them or that those new shiny sneakers are something that will break in 2 weeks. As a parent, your child depends on you to set healthy boundaries and you might decide that your child does not need a new branded t-shirt because really, if we all of us don’t reduce our consumption, the planet is toast. Just because your child wants it and you can afford it does not mean you must buy it. Sometimes it’s a matter of being aware of the ecological impact of your child purchases or even trying to instill in him the concept of “enough”.

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