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“The Cheap, Part I: Is ‘Cheap’ the New ‘Bitch’?”

2009 September 21
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Changing my consumerist lifestyle into a more budget conscious one has been the biggest obstacle for me since I embarked on this journey to be debt free.  So much of who we are is tied up in the clothes we wear, the car we drive, and the neighborhood we live in.  So, how do I reconcile my need to cut down on my expenses without being perceived as being cheap?

A Penny Pincher

A Penny Pincher

First off, I hate the word cheap. I don’t know why, but the core of my being just cringes at the word.  Since I seem to have some infatuation with the thesaurus, I thought that maybe looking up the word “cheap” would help me figure out why, and boy it sure did!

Here’s what the thesaurus said for cheap as related to saving money: mean, miserly, penny-pinching, stingy, thrifty, tight, tight-wad.

No wonder!  Who wants to be associated with any of those words!

I don’t want to turn into one of the coupon-cutting people who spend an entire Sunday morning clipping out coupons and then shuffle from one grocery store to the next to save 20 cents on a gallon of milk and 30 cents on a loaf of bread. That’s just not me.  But I do want to be more prudent (my new word for cheap).  I have to make this journey fit in with my current lifestyle in order to persevere and reach my goal.

Cutting Coupons

Cutting Coupons

Unfortunately, the things I enjoy the most are also things that are easy to overdo - eat out, buy clothes, and travel.  I’m willing to limit but not omit these things. Next week I’ll share with you the ways that I’ve found to indulge in my passions but save money at the same time.

COMMENT: What do you think when you hear the word “cheap”?  Do you think I’m crazy for feeling the way I do?

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4 Responses leave one →
  1. September 21, 2009

    That is seriously the story of my life lately! Trying to limit but not to the point that I have no life left. It really begs the question: What really makes up happy? Needless to say, I feel your pain! And I very much look forward to reading more about your successes!

  2. November 11, 2009

    I’m right there with you, too, Rachel. I just watched this great interview with a guy (Ramit Sethi) whose approach to money I really respect. In this interview, he talks about “Cheap vs. Frugal.” Like…. do you make other people uncomfortable with your penny-pinching? (sometimes guilty) Then you’re cheap.

    • Rachel Naugle permalink
      November 11, 2009

      Amy, I love Ramit Sethi! He offers such great advice that really fits in well with my lifestyle. That clip was so relevant, too. I’m glad he’s found a way for me to justify my $200 pair of jeans (well, I don’t spend THAT much)! Thanks for the comment!

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  1. The Cheap, Part II: How to Live Chic Without Breaking the Bank | Republic of Austin

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