Financially responsible vs frugal

Since I can remember, I have always been extra picky about what I buy.  At one point when I was visiting my family in Canada, I went to a local convenient store with my Uncle and purchased a pack of gum.  As I opened my wallet to pay the cashier my Uncle said, “you are letting the cob webs out”.  He was referring to the fact I rarely open my wallet.  I am frugal in my spending because I take responsibility for my financial situation.  I would be the last person not pay a bill because I spent too much money on other things.  I take pride in paying off debt and growing my funds.  With this being said, there is a difference between financial responsibility and being simply cheap.

Someone who goes about saving money in unnecessary ways may be deemed simply cheap.  If you do not purchase things you or you family need, then I would say that is cheap.  If you are purchasing products of less quality, which do not meet your requirements, then you may be cheap.  It is okay to be frugal, but it should not be at the cost of living your life the way you want to.

Someone who monitors their spend and does purchase necessary items should be considered financially responsible.  This person is frugal because they are aware of their financial situation and what they actually need.  I would not say you are cheap because you are conscious of your bills and need to save to pay them.  There are products like alcohol, tobacco, and jewelry that I do not see as necessities.  Luxury cars and fancy vacations are also not necessities.  If you have the money, then it is fine!  If you do not have the money, then it is not fine!  I do not think there is anything complicated about that.

I would never let someone else’s judgment on me sway my decisions on what to buy and what not to buy.  I purchase the clothes and food based on what I can afford.  I would not purchase something I cannot afford to impress others.  Too many people do this and end up in a poor financial situation.  At that point, they are not impressing anyone.

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