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'Is being a cheapskate an insult or a compliment?' blog discussion

This is the discussion to link on the back of Martin's blog. Please read the blog first, as this discussion follows it.

Please click 'post reply' to discuss below.


  • pinkfunkyflares
    pinkfunkyflares Posts: 114 Forumite
    edited 26 May 2011 at 3:37PM
    Isn't a cheapskate one who can afford to pay their way but refuses to at the detriment of others? If one is unable to pay one's way but does ones best to stay finacially stable that would be regarded as a worthy pursuit. Therefore perhaps it is time to create a new word for our new debt conscious times that reflects the new pursuit towards a finacially stable future, individually or collectively.
  • mintedmatty
    mintedmatty Posts: 291 Forumite
    Being from yorkshire there is a saying that Yorkshire has the most millionaires per square mile outside London. This is tongue-in-cheek because we are all tight with our money, now I'm sure its a 'myth' and probably false statement anyway but it does say a lot about the kind of people. Growing up my dad has been made redundant and worried about money but accroding to mum he couldve retired years ago but doesnt as he's a worrier and wants to make sure he leaves something behind for my brother and myself? My parents enjoy a very very comfortable lifestyle but still watch the pennies, its in the breed of person you are? When i was little I remember my dad used to take me to the local shop on a saturday morning for a marsbar (think they were 19p back then) and week in week out he would exclaim 'HOW MUCH?' and make a joke of it being so expensive? You can clearly tell people who make this kind of joke though there is an underlying current within them that they seriously think this when spending money, just maybe not the chocolate bar! At the same time my dad is the same person who has sneaked off to the toilet when we have been out for a family meal, Aunties, Uncles etc and when it has come to asking for the bill he has already sneakily paid it!

    Now, do I call him a cheapskate? In some aspects yes, but In most cases its a compliment and in many cases he certainly isnt, it depends on the person. I have a mate who would always want to buy the round in the cheapest bar and one time came back with a 4 pint pitcher between five of us! 'Ofcourse its cheaper mate, theres less beer'!!!!! Priceless!

    As the poster put above, maybe we should come under 'savvy'
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  • Mamzie
    Mamzie Posts: 2,540 Forumite
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    I always describe myself as a money-stretcher. Most people would find it hard to deliberately set fire or rip up a £20, yet when they don't look for the best deals or be careful with their money, then they may as well do that as well.

    I have to admit, I think of a cheapskate more as someone who may not care about the quality just to save a few pennies, rather than someone who is money savvy, iyswim.
    My light may be on, but that doesn't always mean I am looking at the PC - I am far more likely to be cuddling or feeding Tianna atm, so please don't think I am ignoring you if I don't reply quickly :)

    Our Precious Baby Tianna has now joined our Family, she is much loved and very welcome, xxx
  • Cheapchick_2
    Cheapchick_2 Posts: 1,090 Forumite
    I've been Money Tipped!
    I also think of a cheapskate as someone who would buy poor quality to save some pennies. We joke about my partner being "tight" as he jokingly says I should wear a few more layers rather than put the heating on. I chose my user name on here as a girl who likes a bargain! I like to get things cheap rather than buying "cheap" things ifkwim. I've been saving money using this site (which I dont really save - I just spend it on more clothes etc for my kids!). I agree with pinkfunkyflares term of cheapskates too - reminding myself of some nights out I've had where some others in the group have jumped out of the taxi leaving me to pay, always using some excuse like they'll pay for the taxi home which they never do. Or buying themselves doubles with the kitty money while getting singles for the others! Those are REAL cheapskates and should be labelled as such.:rotfl:
  • minerva_windsong
    minerva_windsong Posts: 3,808 Forumite
    Cheapskate or tightwad, to me, is the equivalent of saying 'miser' (outside of it being said in a jokey context) - hanging onto the money because even though (hypothetical) you can afford to spend it, you resent spending the money so you won't spend it and will go to extreme lengths to spend as little as possible. 'Thrifty' or 'cash savvy' seems like a much better description for MSEers in my view.
    "A mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge." - Tyrion Lannister
    Married my best friend 1st November 2014
    Loose = the opposite of tight (eg "These trousers feel a little loose")
    Lose = the opposite of find/gain (eg "I'm going to lose weight this year")
  • Errata
    Errata Posts: 38,230 Forumite
    First Post Combo Breaker
    People aren't standing in line in their thousands to marry cheapskates, so you can take it that the word is a derogatory term and not a compliment.
    .................:)....I'm smiling because I have no idea what's going on ...:)
  • Swans1912
    Swans1912 Posts: 1,658 Forumite
    Isn't a cheapskate one who can afford to pay their way but refuses to at the detriment of others?

    I think this is what most of us define a cheapskate but...

    When I turn up at the check-out with my range of basic products I bet you they would have a look of confusion on their faces if they seen what car I get into! I bet they would label me as a cheapskate in a negative way!!

    I know one particular couple I would label as cheapskates (in a negative way) because of how they make out that they shop at M&S but spend their time at Aldi. Not that there is anything wrong with Aldi as I shop there alone with Lidil when I'm not buying Sainsburys basic products.
  • Percy1983
    Percy1983 Posts: 5,244 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    I do take pride in some of the names I get called at work, I am the one who brings a pack lunch everyday and doesn't have an iphone (there shock when I told them my current phone cost me 1p).

    As it is a few of the wiser ones no I am saving for a house and actually encourage my behaviour.

    The other point touched on above is once I have my house even if I can afford the top brands it will be asda smart price for me, as I pointed to somebody I work with if they dropped the brands at home and stopped buying there dinner everyday in town they could afford a foreign holiday every year (or in most cases clear some of there credit cards).

    The best bit is at some point each one has asked me where to get something cheap or how to save money, I have been referred to as one of Martin Lewis's prophets!
    Have my first business premises (+4th business) 01/11/2017
    Quit day job to run 3 businesses 08/02/2017
    Started third business 25/06/2016
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  • satori
    satori Posts: 38 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    I got called a cheapskate at work, back in 2008. This was by a 50-year old guy, who had been working for the company for over 20 years, and had been told he was being made redundant (the company laid off 25% of the staff that year). I am a foreigner and I had only been working there for a couple of weeks. Anyway, when this guy was told he was being made redundant, he went to see my manager and asked him to sack me and to give my job to him. Even though my job is mostly data entry/photocopies, his job was 'business trips' abroad (visits to bars & strip tease joints + the occasional prostitute), and his salary was 3 times mine. My manager was tempted to give him my job, but eventually turned down the offer (the guy is bone-idle and wouldn't have done half as much work as I), and the guy went to me and told me that the only reason I wasn't being made redundant like Britsh people was because they could pay me less than a British person, that I was stupid to work so much for so little money, and that I was a cheapskate.
    Anyway, thanks to networking, this guy managed to stay on, and once the redundancy waves were over, he started... harassing me sexually! He obviously thought that I didn't have a good memory, and that I would be bowled over at the prospect of getting laid with a 50-year old, overweight (with a beer belly), married Manager. I ignored him or turned around and walked away when he crossed my path, and after 1 year, he eventually stopped harassing me, although he has now been busy poisoning people's minds against me, for over a year, making sexual jokes about me, remarks about my bum etc. Business trips are back in, and he now regularly travels to Paris to get drunk and see prostitutes... I am looking for another job!
    Unlike my colleagues, I never buy any food (or drinks) at work; I always bring home made sandwiches, and my own teabags. Besides saving money, I don't have to worry (too much) about my weight!
    Unlike my colleagues again, I don't shop at Asda or Primark every weekend: I buy new suits/blouses/cashmere jumpers/hand sewn shoes when I can afford them, and these last me for years. For example, I have 3 smart blouses which I've been wearing for nearly 25 years (not every day, a couple of days each year!), suits which I've been wearing for up to 10 years (I currently have over a dozen of them, which I rotate), cashmere jumpers and shoes which I've been wearing for up to 5 years (the shoes are resoled every 2 years or so, and since I have several pairs, I never wear the same pair two days in a row, my shoesmith advised me that shoes last longer if you let the leather 'rest', and use a shoe-tree). I haven't bought any new office clothes since 2007 (because money is very tight), but if I do get a better paid job, once I've put 3 months' salary aside, I'll fork out on a couple of new suits/blouses/shoes (without getting into debt). Then, when money will be tight again, at least I will have smart clothes to wear at work/for job interviews!
  • camaj
    camaj Posts: 505 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    Are we asking whether cheapskate is meant as an insult? Clearly it is but it shouldn't be. When you call someone a cheapskate you're basically telling them they should be ashamed for their ingenuity and resourcefulness. Maybe it's jealousy?
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