by Matt B

There is a gaping difference between being frugal and being cheap. I myself, am CHEAP. I am trying to change this, but it is not easy. First, let me explain the differences.

Being frugal means doing everything within your means to not spend money on things. Those things that fill up your house, but aren’t worth anything and just take up space. Those things that you will probably end up giving to charity or selling for far less than you paid for them. If you truly practice frugality, you will not deny yourself the things that are necessary. Proper health care, food, clothing…these are things that you can not skimp on. Closely monitoring how much you spend on these items, and searching for the most valuable deal is true frugality.

Then there is me. Cheap as hell. Am I proud of this? No, but I do defend myself in many instances. I often deny myself things I need. I know better, but if it saves a buck then I will bend over backward to not spend. When my truck needs maintenance, I often neglect it. Many times, this will cause greater harm in the long run and can end up costing you a lot more than the initial problem would have cost to fix. In severe instances, it can even cost your vehicle. This is not the only thing in my life that I do not properly keep up with. I haven’t seen a doctor in years. I know I should at least get a physical to see what kind of overall health I’m in. My defense to this is that I am still young and don’t have anything to worry about, but nobody knows this for sure. Anything could happen at any time. Young or old, nobody is immune to illness. When it comes to your bodily and mental health, the same effect could come from negligence. If you ignore problems or symptoms, they may worsen. The last thing you want is poor health.

Preventative maintenance and life’s essentials are nothing to let yourself ignore. They are absolutely necessary to help you succeed mentally, physically, and financially. One of my resolutions this year was to become more frugal. Unfortunately, for me this will mean spending more. There is a laundry list of things that I have been putting off that will cost money (a few mentioned above). Since many of my goals are way ahead of schedule, this “stop being cheap, continue being frugal” mentality needs to be established ASAP. I’ll let you know where I stand on this in future posts.

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