Frugal - Is It A Bad Word?

stretch dollarMy vision in starting this blog was to share with others how proven business management techniques referred to as “lean” can be applied to one’s personal life. After all I had use these techniques in my own life with success.

The concepts of lean have at times been summarized as “doing more with less”.

As this blog had developed and I have finally taken the time to search the web to see what other bloggers are talking about I have found many are focused on the concepts of frugality.

I’d never really thought much about “frugality” before. In fact, in my mind frugality was a synonym to cheap. Before you chastise my ignorant mind, my wife has already done that for you! 

In searching old posts through the past year of unemployment and economic challenges it appears that for a period of time the term frugal became the new fad. It also appears that like many fads it is dying as fast as it grew.

Why? Is Frugal a bad word?

Webster’s Dictionary  defines frugal as:

FRU”GAL, a. [L. frugalis. See Fruit.]

Economical in the use or appropriation of money, goods or provisions of any kind; saving unnecessary expense, either of money or of anything else which is to be used or consumed; sparing; not profuse, prodigal or lavish. We ought to be frugal not only in the expenditure of money and of goods, but in the employment of time. It is followed by of, before the thing saved; as frugal of time. It is not synonymous with parsimonious, nor with thrifty, as now used.

In our current culture with information overload I wonder if people have learned to associate the term frugal with the word cheap? I only ask this question because frankly that is how I thought of the word frugal until I read this definition!

Reading this definition the word frugal is far from cheap. My ignorance? Yes! But how many other people in our world would also gain a new perspective on the term frugal of they saw it defined in this perspective?

Frugal is not cheap! Frugal is not a bad word! By the definition provided I don’t see how anyone can see the term frugal as anything other than just damn smart!

Do you know the difference between frugal and cheap? Here is a great little test to see if you are one or the other. Check out Frugal or Cheap.

2 comments to Frugal – Is It A Bad Word?

  • Glad you are now enlightened! About the frugality = cheap thing, one of the reason perhaps is that a lot of people just stay frugal and do not grow their money aggressively. My thought is, frugality is just one of the many ingredients to become financially successful. If a person’s objective is to become wealthy and successful financially, he/she can be frugal (not cheap!) too and at the same time be aware of growing his/her money…

  • I’ve glanced at a lot of of your current posts and I had been wondering if you were interesting in swapping blog links? I am continually searching to trade links with websites about comparable topics! I look forward to hearing back from you in the near future.