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Do Not Be Afraid To Be Frugal

Living frugally is a learned habit, and it doesn’t come easily for teens and twentysomethings. How can you instill a more frugal lifestyle in your kids?

It was a joy to read Tribune Media’s Steve Rosen article titled: “Frugal Living is Not the Same as Living Cheap!” The distinction is #Sammyriffic. The two words, frugal and cheap, are easily confused, especially by the average person. But, this confusion normally does not exist among money experts and people who are financially literate. As a result of reading a truckload of articles and books on personal finance, I have discovered most agree, being frugal is a prudent and proven choice with respect to wise money management.

The language we use to describe our money behavior and attitudes often reflects our own knowledge and thinking. So, if you get into a discussion on the topic, take a mental note on how you describe frugal behavior. Do you praise it or down grade it? Do you use terms like careful, thrifty, and prudent? Or, do you use terms like tight, miserly, chintzy and cheap?

Author Thomas Corley performed a five-year study of self-made millionaires and found 67% of the wealthy people he spoke with consider themselves to be frugal. So, the bottom line is do not be afraid to be frugal or a fan of frugality! Champion it whenever and wherever you can. Cement it in your money mindset and the money mindset of others. And most importantly, practice it.

“The way to wealth is as plain as the way to market. It depends chiefly on two words, industry and frugality: that is, waste neither time nor money, but make the best use of both. Without industry and frugality nothing will do, and with them everything.”

–Benjamin Franklin, Founding Father, United States

I was pleased to discover Rosen’s column contained some excellent examples on being frugal from the following Sammy Rabbit champions:

  • Krista Cavalieri, #CFP, Columbus, Ohio
  • Lionel Shipman, Radio Show Host, Tampa Bay, Florida
  • Patrina Kelly Dixon, Financial Educator, It’s My Money, Hartford, Connecticut

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More on Frugality

Savvy consumers compare, contrast, and ask questions. Here are a few additional insights and comparisons to consider on the differences between being frugal and cheap.

  1. Frugal people will go beyond price in evaluating goods and services. They consider things like quality, maintenance, replacement costs, etc., in making their purchase decisions and spending choices. Cheap people tend to focus solely on price and believe everything cost too much. People who are cheap probably wouldn't pay a premium price for a good or service regardless of the value. A frugal person sometimes spends more in the short in order to spend less in the long run.
  2. Being frugal is about being able to get what you want and need when you want and need it. Frugal people like to increase their assets and improve their net worth versus just spend as little as possible.
Sammy's Big Dream

Checkout Sammy’s Big Dream!

1 storybook. 16 conversations and lessons on great money habits!

“In order to save more, I chose not to buy some of my favorite things, like ice cream, candy, and
baseball caps. Keep saving! I told myself…”

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More Frugal Quotes

“People don’t realize how easy they have it these days. Most kids have never known what it’s like to go without anything. They want something, they get it. If there isn’t enough money, they charge it. We never wanted anything because we never realized we could have anything. Whenever missed what we never had. Things were much simpler back then, and we were stronger for it. We worked together to keep the house in order, to put food on the table. We kept things going.”

“Being frugal doesn’t mean slashing your spending or depriving yourself of things that you enjoy. It means knowing the value of a dollar and making every effort to spend it wisely.”


With each blog, we are making an effort to build a dictionary of financial language. We welcome your suggestions on words to include and descriptions to use.

– Economical with regard to money

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About the Author

Sam X Renick

Sam X Renick is the driving force behind Sammy Rabbit. Sam and Sammy are dedicated to empowering kids’ dreams and improving children’s financial literacy through the development of great habits and strategic life skills. Sam has read and sung off key with over a quarter million children around the world, encouraging them to get in the habits of saving money and reading!
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