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Frugal, Thrifty or Cheapskate?

There's saving money, but there's cost effectiveness as well

If you try searching the internet for the meaning of a cheapskate, you don't really come up with many answers.

The nearest two words best describing this are MISER and TIGHTWAD. ie. A person who is unwilling to spend money.

I got called a cheapskate the other day. I gathered a few almost finished bars of soap and melted them together. Was that being a cheapskate, miserly, thrifty or just making something which was manufactured for a specific purpose last it's 'full life' I felt the latter, but obviously I would! Why throw away five small pieces which together make up one whole new one!

There are some things I am certainly a 'cheapskate' on. I don't like spending money, even if I have sufficient, to buy something which I could make do through DIY myself. Take for example the shelving Unit picture on the right. My son wanted a stack shelving system to put all his Games Consoles and DVD Player on etc. Now, why spend £40 on a Shelf Unit from a DIY Store when you can make a stronger more custom built one yourself using all the bits of wood you've had stored up in your garage for 5 years.

Usually these are all the off-cuts from previous projects which you put there simply because they may come in handy one day. In my case, this was a day in question! In fact, most of the wood came out of a Skip and the timber frames were being thrown out at work. All it cost me was about 50 screws and 90 minutes work. It serves a purpose and although maybe not looking like it was brought, it's the ideal for the job in hand. Pallets are an amazing addition to wood supplies for general DIY; Garden Furniture (see again on right), building shelters, raised flowerbeds, compost bins, even shelving systems for the garage or shed.

cheapskate milk bottle
Things can get out of hand!
There's enough of them scattered around the Business Parks in the UK and beyond to build quite a few Noah's Arks as well! So, is that being a miser? I don't think so.

A Miser is usually someone who can afford what he wants, when he wants it, but never does. These are usually the types who enjoy a sunny evening sitting in their garden reading their Bank Statements! In the case of my son's shelving, it seemed a pointless thing to spend money. Add to that, the fact that within two days you won't be able to see it anyway through the thrown down DVD's, Games and other 'teenage things'. The secret is cost effectiveness.

I brought a brand new PC this year. I didn't go for the cheapest, I went for a mid-range price with the specifications I require. I could have brought a cheap one, but wouldn't have got the efficiency I have now. So I have a brand spanking new PC system with nice monitor seated comfortably on top of an old tatty desk which was being thrown away with a shelving system on top sawn out of old Kitchen Units. Why not! I know someone who's earning probably five times the amount I do, but he rations food everyday. He buys for instance a 4 litre container of milk, then from that fills a 1 litre container and is not allowed to drink more than that in a day, thus he budgets his milk intake for one week. This extends to loaves of Bread where 6 slices are put separately for one day. He's on that money, I'm not and don't do the same as him. Which of us is the cheapskate!!!

So if you are on a lower income, frugality is essential. Being thrifty is good. Looking around for the best buys with cost effectiveness in mind is an art form (usually built in better with the fairer gender!).

To others you may appear to be a cheapskate, but you're an artist of your craft; you move as the moment takes you and by doing this, you'll achieve more satisfaction and basically run a better home.

              

shelving made from skip wood
Ikea or I can !
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Is converting a Garden Shed into an outdoor Office cheapskaing?
Don't think so, does the job for a grand less!!..

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Cheapskating can also lead to buying products from sources where being ethically friendly is not high on the list. Please ensure you read the ingredients.