by Adam Zack — May 31, 2017
My grandparents were raised during the depression, and thus raised my parents while money was always tight. My grandma would drive 15 extra miles to save 10 cents on a head of lettuce. I’m not even kidding one bit. As kids we were taught to spend wisely. Do your research, compare prices, be aware of what you are spending, and don’t go into debt until you buy a house. Pay off your credit cards every month and if you can’t, then don’t buy it. Our dad is a smart spender – always wanting to get the best deal but so generous when it comes to helping others. He likes his fancy neckties, but always gets the best deal on the hotel room. So us kids have paid attention, and taught our kids the same. In fact my brother is so adept at thrifty spending he was the only kid I ever knew who actually came out of college with more money than he went in with. True story. We were taught to be frugal, but not cheap. Cheap is the guy who goes to a party with two 24 ounce beers and drinks a dozen of the ones someone else brought – and leaves with one of the two he did bring. Cheap is the customer who buys the rack of lamb and brings back the bones for a refund– for the 8th time. Cheap is the guy who doesn’t tip because, well “It’s the principle! I’m already paying too much for this food!” Cheap is about spending and giving as little as possible. Thrifty is saving so you have money to spend when you need it. It can be a fine line sometimes – just ask my daughters. Frugal is getting what you pay for and cheap is getting the least expensive version of everything you buy. I was reminded of this a few weeks ago when I ran out of razors. Why are razors so expensive? Geeze, no wonder I hate to shave. So Linda talks me into these pretty expensive Gillette razors and I don’t feel like arguing or going somewhere else. First time I used one it was OMG! So this is what a non-Target brand razor feels like! So smooth! So pain free! I was so happy to get what I paid for and will never buy a cheap-o razor again. Websites and marketing materials are the same way. You get what you pay for. That website that was “Almost free from my wholesaler” looks it. The that ad that’s super cheap “because it’s part of the ad group.” Yep, the same. When expenses are scrutinized and the scalpel comes out think long and hard about going the cheap route because just like a close shave looks super sharp and handsome, lousy second rate shave, well, just looks cheap.
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