Are You Cheap or Fruclassy?

Last week, Ruth wrote about Frugality’s bad image and how to re-image it in your mind. People unfamiliar with the frugal life think of being frugal as dull, weird, depriving and cheap. But those of us who “get it” know differently. We know that there is a HUGE difference between “frugal” and “cheap”. ย These four comparisons will put to bed any argument about whether you are frugal (we like to call it “Fruclassy”) or whether you are cheap. Share them with the doubting Thomas’ in your life, my frugal friends! By the way, not judging here, just stating the facts. Fruclassity is a judgment-free zone. ๐Ÿ™‚

“Cheap” Hordes Money, “Fruclassy” Simply Spends Wisely

Cheap people save for the purpose of hoarding money. All of their cheapskate actions show it. They dumpster dive for groceries for guests, pee in bottles and shower infrequently. Whatever they need to do to make their stockpile of money bigger is okay with them.

Fruclassy people, however, refuse to spend because they know they can make a wiser use of their money. ย They’d rather cook a meal at home than eat out, because they know that’ll leave them more money for their dream of eating at a fine restaurant in Paris. Or they’d rather forego cable TV and save up to take a trip to see a World Series game in person.

Whereas cheap people save money for the purpose of having more money, Fruclassy people save money for the purpose of having something better based on their own personal goals.

“Cheap” is Based in Fear, “Fruclassy” is Based in Action

Cheap people often live a life based on fear. They justify their non-spending with “what-if” scenarios that may or may not ever come to pass and are short-term thinking savers. What if there’s an economic meltdown? What if I get laid off? What if there’s a zombie apocalypse?

Fruclassy people live with an action-based mindset. They have specific goals and think positive and long-term. They acknowledge the possibility of “what if” scenarios without letting those possibilities dominate their thoughts. They dream of debt freedom, early retirement and financial peace and take action-based steps for managing money, whereas cheapskates simply prefer to shove their money in an account (or a mattress) and deny the reason for its purposes.

“Cheap” Hails Money as a God, “Fruclassy” is About Being Dominant Over Your Money

Whereas cheap people put money and saving it above most everything, Fruclassy people take control over their money and treat it as the tool that it is. They dominate their money and spend it or save it according to their goals, whereas cheapskates allow their money to dominate them.

“Cheap” is About Taking, “Fruclassy” is About Giving

Cheap people rarely think about giving. Their hoarding mentality is based on making sure there is more than enough for themselves, and they have little regard for others. Think about the parable of the rich fool in Luke 12 who had more than enough crops to sustain himself for a lifetime, yet instead of sharing the excess with others, he built himself bigger barns to hoard all of it.

Fruclassy people, on the other hand, see the value in giving of their time and their money. They have goals for using their money to make a difference in the world and to help others. They see their money as a tool to make the world a better place.

So, the next time your friends harass you for not piddling away your money, show them this post and stand tall, you Fruclassy person you!

Are you cheap or Fruclassy?

25 comments on “Are You Cheap or Fruclassy?

  1. Love it! I’m definitely in the fruclassy camp! My favorite point is the last one, “โ€œCheapโ€ is About Taking, โ€œFruclassyโ€ is About Giving” – giving adds to our happiness and purpose in life, cheap only depletes it.

  2. Love the various distinctions between “cheap” and “fruclassy.” It can definitely be a fine line.

    I like to think of being cheap as a form of legalism. It sounds good in theory but when trying to practice it, you ambitions quickly unravel.

    I will say that I do have the tendency to be cheap when it comes to accumulating wealth. Thnakfully I have a wife to keep my balanced. While I have never jumped into a dumpster, I will pick up items left to the side and check the clearance aisles before paying retail price. Or we just wait until a bargain is found on eBay or Craigslist.

    1. I don’t see that as cheap – I see that as frugal (Fruclassy). No sense in paying full price when you don’t have to. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. My favourite point is the one about fruclassy being in control of money while cheap is being controlled by money. It really can be difficult to find that line between frugal and cheap, but this measure really helps to identify it. Fruclassy is the way to go!

  4. “They dumpster dive for groceries for guests, pee in bottles and shower infrequently”. This totally reminds me of this television show, not sure if it still on or not, but it was about extreme cheapskates and what they do to save money. One lady only vacuumed the floor at 3am because that was the cheapest time for her electricity rates. Another lady served her guests tuna fish sandwiches but they were made out of CAT FOOD tuna, because she said it was cheaper!!! I mean, wow…

    1. Yes! I’ve watched that!! OH MY GOSH – cat food tuna?? That is disgusting! One lady in particular I remember dumpster diving for dinner and dessert when her son and his family were coming over for dinner. The son was NOT happy. The ultimate in parent embarrassment.

  5. Hey Laurie, you alluded to this but I think there’s a definite “Cheap is short-term, Fruclassy makes long-term decisions” component as well. Fruclassy thinks not just about today but also how today’s spending might impact tomorrow’s needs, so Fruclassy buys timeless clothes, spends on maintenance and improvements, and looks at value rather than merely cost.

  6. HA! It seems to me that “peeing in bottles” would actually end up costing more if you were a cheap woman. Extra loads of laundry would be one result of attempting that maneuver. That image is going to make me smile all day long!

    Great detailed descriptions of two different mindsets. Appreciate the thought and wisdom that went into creating this post.

  7. I can see times in my life where I was cheap – and yet it’s now, when I’m halfway through paying off more debt than I’ve ever had and living off less than I thought I could, I feel the least cheap!

    Count me solidly in the fruclassy camp ๐Ÿ™‚

    P.S. what a fantastic word that is!

  8. I love this! Especially the part about Fruclassy being dominant over your money. That’s what it comes down to. Complete and utter control of your decisions. We don’t let anyone dictate what we do with our money, we choose what we do with our money.

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