Am I Living stingy? What does it mean to live stingily? First of all, a stingy person is considered a miser. They are always reluctant to spend money on anything even essentials. The most famous stingy character was Ebenezer Scrooge in Charles Dicken’s ‘A Christmas Carol’. I watch this yearly and know that I am not a stingy person. Let’s review living stingy, frugal, thrifty, and cheap.
more Frugal Than Thrifty
I think of myself more as frugal. I tend to be very careful about money and how I use things that I have purchased. Hence, I am less thrifty as I don’t tend to make anything or shop in consignment or thrift shops. Nothing wrong with them but I simply don’t have the patience to shop looking for treasures. Even though I know many can be found. I am just not that type of shopper nor am I crafty.
Let’s Define the other Types of Shoppers
A thrifty person wastes nothing. They use up everything they buy. Thrifty people look for a bargain first. They will refurbish or repurpose everything. They will spend the absolute minimum needed for something.
A frugal person uses as little of anything as possible. However, they shop with value and quality in mind. They purchase with a long-term view rather than short-term use of the item. They will spend more on quality knowing its lifetime value.
A cheap person focuses on paying the least for anything regardless of quality differences. They see no value in spending more if they can spend less. They have a mindset that if it gets the job done, they are not concerned with quality. Over the long run, they always pay more. Either by repurchasing the same item, repairing any damage from the item, or having to eventually pay a higher price to get the job done right.
They are living happily ever after in their cheapness. There is satisfaction in saving money and not caring about all the bells and whistles. Not caring to keep up with the Jones and just living a simple life. They just need the basics and nothing else. It gets the job done is their mantra. Is there no blending of the four based on something other than how you view a purchase?
Here is how one purchase Affects Living Stingy, Frugal, Thrifty, or Cheap
I believe are people living amongst all four types of spenders. It depends on the type of purchase, event, or person. You can even be considered lavish in some of the things you buy. I am not a big car person. I probably will not purchase a BMW, Jaguar, or a Mercedes. My preference is not to spend that type of money to get from point A to point B. Others like to arrive in full luxury.
I tend to be more frugal and purchase the car with all the luxury items I wanted at less than the cost of a Mercedes. A thrifty person would have bought a used car with or without a car note. A cheap person would have purchased the cheapest used car with cash. If it runs, and it was at the right price they are good. A stingy person would just work with what they have or hitch a ride.
However, we can move in and out of each of these purchasing types based on what we are currently buying. Be it a small purchase or a large purchase most times we will treat each purchase on how we value it in our life. There is always a priority for the things we purchase in our lives depending on where we are at in our financial life. Therefore, it is possible to move in and out of living stingy, living frugal, living thrifty, or living cheap. For example…
I was frugal but living stingy when…
- I was working my way out of debt
- Paying for my sons to go to college
- Saving for a down payment for a home
- Having a fully-funded emergency fund
- Paying off the mortgage
These five life events required a great deal of our income. They were all worth it. We are completely debt-free working on paying off the mortgage. Both sons attended college debt-free. We were able to purchase our 3rd home and last home – the retirement home. Hence, living stingy afforded us this luxury.
Budgeting and Living Stingy
Your budget should always prioritize getting out of debt. After you take care of your necessities. Necessities are housing, food, utilities, and transportation. Once these are covered begin eliminating non-essential spending such as subscriptions, dining out, impulsive spending, vacation, entertainment. The goal is to spend way less than you make. To eliminate debt, you must stop excessive spending you have become accustomed to living. As I told my husband we have lived now it is time to pay. Hence, if you want to get out of debt you need to change your spending habits and behavior. Here are some helpful tips for living stingy:
- Cut all extra expenses besides the basic four needs
- Stop dining out. Bag lunch. Eat leftovers. Travel with snacks from home.
- Find free entertainment, i.e., libraries, parks, museums, church events
- Practice No-Spend days, weekends, weeks, or months
- Borrow any needed items from friends and family and then return them
- Cancel all subscriptions
- Cancel cable or call to eliminate any extra unnecessary services on the bill
- Shop with coupons and discount codes
- Stop loaning money to friends and family who don’t payback
- Give only those who are needy
- Give Tithes and offerings because you cannot out-give God
- Say no to events that require you to spend money or bring something
- Sell anything and everything you do not need
- Negotiate with your lender
- Get a 2nd job, gig, side-hustle, etc.
- Get a roommate or move back home with your parents
- Remind yourself every day this is temporary.
The Living Stingy Budget to pay off debt
The above measures can be used to help you live a stingy Budget lifestyle. Once the budget has been shaved down to just the necessities then you can tackle your debt. To begin to pay off your debt, you will also need to know how much you owe and how long it will take you to pay it off with the money you have leftover after you pay for housing, food, utilities, and transportation. The Snowball Method is a useful tool in tackling your debt.
Here’s how the debt snowball works:
- List your debts from smallest to largest regardless of interest rate.
- Make minimum payments on all your debts except the smallest.
- Pay as much as possible on your smallest debt.
- Repeat until each debt is paid in full.
Here is a handy Debt Snowball Calculator from Nerdwallet, if you need more than pen and paper to get started.
This payment method can be used to pay off credit card debt, personal loan debt, and a car loan. Paying only the minimum payment will almost guarantee that you will be in debt for most of your life with certain types of debt i.e., credit cards, student loans. According to a survey of 61,000 respondents conducted by One Wisconsin Institute, the average time to pay off student loan debt is 21.1 years. However, if you decide that you want to be out of debt in 4 years or less then you will need to aggressively attack your debt. Every extra penny you have should go towards paying above and beyond the minimum payment.
After All the Credit Card and loan debt is Gone
Here is how you address mortgage debt so that you can truly be debt-free. For the mortgage increase the monthly payment until you are making one extra payment per month or enroll in a bi-saver program that allows you to pay your mortgage every two weeks. This allows for one extra payment per year.
Refinance to a lower interest rate with a reduced payment schedule i.e., 30 years to 15 years. Do not take a cash payout when you refinance because you are increasing the loan balance by that amount. The equity in your home is not free money. It is a loan. Therefore, you will have to pay it back as well. Living stingy is about eliminating debt not creating more debt.
People Living Stingy Pay Themselves First
Pay yourself first always, no matter what. While working my way out of debt I continued to save for my Emergency Fund, Sinking Funds, and most importantly my 401k plan. I only suspended my 401k for a few months to pay off my gas credit card because I saw no need to keep it. I wanted it gone fast. Besides, it was not a significant balance.
I am by nature a saver. Therefore, I am always saving. It was a no-brainer for me to want to have an emergency fund for the unexpected. A fully-funded emergency fund was my goal. It may require you to be stingy for a bit longer. Three months to six months is standard. I have heard of some people banking for up to 12 months. This depends on your situation. However, once this is done you can move to a more frugal lifestyle while saving up your sinking funds. This is my current lifestyle, therefore, saving up in advance for costly things or expected things is “So Me”. Remember sinking funds are your friends. Use them to save for Christmas, vacation, other events throughout the year.
Basic investing for most people starts with their company’s 40lk plan. Hopefully, you are fortunate to have one, especially with or without a matching investment %. Here is where compounding interest is your super friend because over time helps you to accumulate wealth. To learn more about accumulating wealth read How to Build Wealth from Nothing By Investing?. Start investing here as soon as you can regardless of your debt situation. The return on this investment will always far out way the interest you pay on your debt. To learn more about how interest works for and against you read Financial Literacy For Beginners – 5 Basic Components.
Others may call you Stingy
Don’t let the stigma of this word affect you if you are working towards a goal to be debt-free. Being tempted to live it up a little can get you so off track it could be hard to recover. Be mindful that living stingy today will reap immeasurable peace in the future. The benefits of seeing most of your check available to save or purchase outright the things you want is breathtaking. All unexpected and expected events will be covered by an emergency fund or sinking fund. Your retirement will be solid as a rock. Finally, once you are debt-free you will never be a Slave to the Lender as God intended us to be.
“The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender.”Proverbs 22:7
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Let’s Budget, Spend, and Live!