Are You Frugal or Cheap?

Are you frugal or cheap? There’s a difference between the two. If this post sparked your interest, it’s possible you fancy yourself frugal, but deep down there’s a feeling in the pit of your stomach that you just might be plain cheap.

I have a frugal friend who constantly refers to herself as cheap, and I kinda wish she would stop. I take offense that she describes her frugal lifestyle as a cheap one. Frankly, if she considers herself cheap, then what on earth does she think of me, because I am slightly more (ahem) frugal than she is?

So, are you frugal or cheap? Take this official quiz to see where you fall.

 Are You Frugal or Cheap?

1. You’re invited to a wedding for a close friend and are having trouble budgeting for it

  1. You accept the invitation and give a modest gift within your means.
  2. You decline the invitation. It might be a close friend, but money is your close friend too.
  3. You go. You give nothing, because well, your presence is your gift.


2. Your grocery shopping philosophy

  1. You prefer to shop what’s on sale and with coupons but are willing to pay full price for an item if it is a need.
  2. You go without basic food or household necessities for an extended amount of time because you don’t have a coupon, or they’re not on sale.
  3. You don’t buy anything unless you have a coupon. And that is why you don’t buy milk…EVER. But you have some sweet coupons for calcium supplements.


3. When it comes to entertainment

  1. You’re always on a mission to find free and low-cost forms of entertainment.
  2. You love game night! Every Friday and every Saturday for the rest of your life.
  3. You see the latest movies all the time…with that one friend who’s always up for paying.


4. When it comes to eating out

  1. You enjoy eating out…when you have the money for it.
  2. You bring your Burger King coupons to McDonald’s to see if they will price match.
  3. Eating out? No way! You could make that $15 entrée for $3.37.


5. Your approach to shopping

  1. You shop for clothes, household items, etc., when needed and when you have the money.
  2. Shopping is a necessary evil. You’re not opposed to extending the life of your clothes, shoes, appliances, etc., way past their prime while you search for a deal.
  3. Your clothes may be dated, and your sneakers may have holes in them, but hey, they still do the job…and will continue to do so until they disintegrate.
Perhaps the thrill of a deal has taken you over the edge.

Time to tally your score.

Every “a” = 0 points

Every “b” = 1 point

Every “c” = 2 points

0-2 Points
Congrats, you are frugal! It is your mission to spend your money wisely. You live within your means. Sometimes that means saying no to opportunities to spend when you don’t have the money, but you are more than willing to spend it when you do. You find low-cost or free alternatives to spending a lot of money. Continue to live your frugal ways!

3-6 Points
You are frugal. And…you are cheap. Let’s call you “chugal.” You do a great job with keeping your spending in check, but at times, you let your frugal ways drift over to the land of cheap. In an attempt to be smart with your money, you sometimes prioritize saving it over your own time and relationships. Keep yourself from crossing completely over to the dark side by reminding yourself that life is meant to be enjoyed.

7-10 Points
You are cheap. (Sorry if that is blunt.) Your goal is to spend the least amount of money as possible, at any cost. You are willing to sacrifice your time, reputation, enjoyment of life, even your relationships all in the name of saving a few bucks. How did you get here? Perhaps the thrill of a deal has taken you over the edge. All hope is not lost. Ask yourself if saving money really is more important than your well-being and the well-being of those around you.

Let’s agree that in our frugality we will prioritize the things that matter in life.
Okay, so maybe this quiz isn’t so official. Hopefully, you had fun with it and didn’t take it too seriously. To be honest with you, my own score fell in the “chugal” range. That is what I expected but am definitely not proud of it. I think I wrote this post in part to keep myself in check. Let’s agree that in our frugality we will prioritize the things that matter in life. And let’s be careful not to drift over to the other side because after all, there is a thin, dotted, “cut here” line between frugal and cheap.

So, how did you score? Are you frugal, cheap, or somewhere in between? Let me know in the comments below.


Note to Reader: This was a frugal or cheap quiz. If all of the statements above seem utterly foreign or crazy to you, this quiz is not for you. You need the “Spender or Spendthrift” quiz. Stay tuned for that one.

Are You Frugal or Cheap?


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