Tightwad or Frugal

by Bill on December 14, 2011

So I was brainstorming on what to write about when a neighbor gave me an idea without knowing it. Don’t you love when people do that? Anyhow, he has the attitude that if you have money you should just spend it since you can’t take it with you. Now I do understand that somewhat, but he called me a tightwad for trying to save up any money.

This brought me to thinking – what’s the difference between tightwad and frugal? Can you be too much of a penny pincher? How would you know?

I started writing down topics and this got me to brainstorming on an entire series. So far the first three ideas to make the list are as follows:

How Tightwads Waste more Then They Save

Is it Being Frugal or Being a Tightwad?

Do You Spend Too Much Trying to Save Money?

If anyone has more ideas to add let me know and I’ll write up something about it. Or, you can write a guest post on the subject.

But anyway, to start things off with, let’s explore the difference in meaning and definition. According to Merium Webster (the dictionary) here’s the definition of each:

Frugalcharacterized by or reflecting economy in the expenditure of resources; syn.sparing; ant. Wasteful

Tightwada close or miserly person (and for those who never heard of “miserly”)
Miserlyone who lives miserably to hoard his wealth

So in other words, a frugal person economizes their expenses to maximize the use. A tightwad doesn’t care about economy, just that they have to avoid spending money. Now there is a way to transcend from frugal into tightwad. There is also a way to think you are being frugal while in reality you are on the verge of miserly.

So what’s the difference between a tightwad and being frugal? Can you be too much of a penny pincher? And how do you know if you crossed the line? Those are some of the questions I’ll be writing about during the coming weeks. Hopefully, the answers all land on Tuesdays.

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