For as long as I can remember, I’ve been called cheap by those who know me. Being a huge believer in research, I will admit that it does take me a little longer than most to make a decision. Whether it’s choosing a vacation destination or how to decorate my living space, I just can’t get enough of research! It’s not that I don’t want to spend any money ever (let’s be realistic here), but I am so confident in my ability to not pay full price for (almost) anything, that it pains me to think of the alternative. But that does not make me cheap. Rather, it makes me thrifty!
Cheap, to me, implies not giving two hoots about the quality of a product or service, as long as it’s the least expensive option. I feel that thrifty, on the other hand, implies being economically smart and frugal. In the grand scheme of things, I believe that there are two financial lifestyle extremes: cheap and generous. Thrifty falls somewhere in the middle (albeit closer to the cheap side). I consider myself thrifty because I don’t just buy the least expensive product or service that I see. I weigh my options, compare their value and hunt down the best prices available for what I’m looking for.
For instance, when I am planning a vacation, I visit different travel sites, both direct and third-party. I scour the web for anything of interest to my wants and needs at the time. If I know where my husband and I want to go, then I engage in more specific research. If we decide that we don’t really care where we go, then I will conduct a more general search of web travel deals. I create spreadsheets and I make pros/cons lists to ensure that I have analyzed every aspect of the decision that’s just waiting to be made (and I’m dying to make!).
When it comes to home décor, and everyday household items, I tend to lean more toward the DIY side of things, if it’s within reason of course. My logic behind this is that a) I like to make stuff and feel the pride associated with the finished product, b) recycling old things into new wonders ROCKS!, and c) I thoroughly enjoy saving money. In fact, I’m pretty much obsessed.
Whether it’s travel, shopping, décor, cooking or just plain living, I approach all of the financial challenges that I face with my main objective in mind: to get quality products and services at a steal, while gaining knowledge that can be utilized in the future. Does this make me cheap? I guess it depends on who is judging. Regardless, I’m going to continue on my current path, gaining savings sensibility while always – ALWAYS – remaining thrifty and fabulous!
Keep an eye out for upcoming posts on the specifics of my money-saving strategies and how you can save too!