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Frugal Vs. Miser: What’s Your Social Status?


A miser is someone who is hesitant to spend money often times the extent that they ignore basic living expenses and needs. Studies have stated that people develop these tendencies in early childhood, possibly due to their upbringing or family history. There is a huge difference between being a miser and being frugal.

Being frugal means being aware of your finances and budget, and the unwillingness to go live outside of one’s economic needs. Someone who is frugal will clip coupons, watch for sales, and buy only the necessary items, so as not to go off of the budget. Misers will not spend money, give money, or make definite plans with money. They will short change themselves and others in order to keep most, if not all of the money that they have earned or accumulated.

When it comes to living on a budget, we don’t have to necessarily become misers. In fact, we just need to limit our spending, and making the decision to not live outside of the budget that we have previously set for ourselves and our family. We want to live with the basics and more, but more does not necessarily include all the fancy extras.

Misers will not use credit, and people who are frugal will use it sparingly, not wanting to accumulate any serious debt in the long run. Being frugal also means comparing prices, even comparing them down to the unit prices. It also means going out of your way to find the right deals, even if it means waiting for the item, a rain check for example. A miser would choose not to buy something for the mere reason of not wanting to spend the money. Frugal people enjoy their life within means, and a miser enjoys life off the grid with a pocketful of cash.

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When it comes to frugality, a little money can and will go a long way. There will be money left over for the frugal family, as with the family of misers. The main difference being that there is no “rainy day fund” for a miser. They have the means, they just refuse the ways. Frugal people will take the money that they saved, and in an act of pure human abandonment, purchase an item that is NOT a necessity, or take a trip that is NOT planned. The miser does not have spontaneous qualities. No, they prefer to sit on their nest egg year after year, while the value of the American dollar depreciates more rapidly than they can save.

It’s a good idea to be smart with your money, but it is a bad idea to let your money control you. Often Misers don’t see it that way, thinking it is them that have the control. Anytime there is fear involved, in any situation, the control is NOT there and their fear supersedes or gives an impression of control. It’s not, and the only way to describe it would be saying that true misers are slaves to their money. Maybe that’s why the word “miser” is so close to the word “misery.”

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