Is it Frugal or Cheap?

Another blogger recently wrote about this subject and I thought it fitting since we just spent a week travelling to visit family out of state, and there was mention of how "You're from the cheap side of the family". I prefer to believe that my lifestyle and money management behaviors are frugal, rather than cheap. Sure we live in an older home, but everything works as designed and besides it'll be paid for in three years, less time than a car loan. We travel more than anyone else in our families, and have more toys like motorcycles, a boat, swimming pool, tractor, trailers, power tools, hot tub, nice bicycles, and cars than most. All of these things are paid for too. To me, Frugal is getting the most for your money, Cheap is being frugal at the expense of others.  Using this definition, we are not cheap.
 
Recently on our trip up North, we asked our families if they could host a party for everyone to get together in one place rather than us making individual plans to see everyone. We sent envelopes of coupons and a check to cover BBQ expenses, and even paid for more stuff when we found out several more people would be attending. We left a thank you cards with more cash to cover the incidental expenses and hassle of having us stay and drink their coffee, break their furniture and mess up the place. We did not want the hosts to feel like we were cheap, and expected them to cover the costs of our visit. When we visit family, we rent our own car rather than borrowing one from someone, which we could - but that's cheap in my opinion. We wouldn't dream of staying at someones house and not offering or insisting on compensating them for the trouble. We also appreciate our neighbor watching our pet and home while we were away and give a generous gift card to let her know. To not do this is cheap.
 
We know people who stay at others houses and just because they are family, its okay to not offer up any thank you gift or cash. We also know people who travel and expect to be picked up at the airport by their friends or family, chauffered around town and delivered back - just because they are too cheap to rent a car.
It's cheap to eat at someone's house without providing for a part of the meal. Its cheap to drink all your hosts beverages without chipping in, or bringing your own.
It's cheap to eat at a restaurant and leave too small of a tip because you don't have change, even though the service was fine. It's cheap to bring your own lunch to work and use someone else's salad dressing or mayo, or worse yet to store your condiments or beverages in their small fridge so that they don't have room for all their stuff. Its cheap to go to a potluck lunch empty handed and yet eat all you want. Its cheap to split the bill at a restaurant when you ordered drinks and your friend ordered tap water to go with the meals. Get it? If saving your money doesn't cost anyone else their money - its frugal, not cheap.

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