What Do You Do When Your Friends Call You Cheap?

I’m either rich or cheap depending on the day and who you ask.

I’m cheap when I choose to grab my food from the grocery store instead of buying something expensive from the restaurant for an average lunch.

I’m rich when one my friends find out that I’m going on my third trip of the year (something that I love to do).

To extend this logic further…

You’re cheap because you read a personal finance blog. Who needs to worry about money all of the time?

What I’m getting to is this idea that saving money or being serious about personal finance makes you cheap. Anyone that follows a rough budget, reads about personal finance, has created sub-accounts, or looks for new ways to make money is viewed as being cheap often. I’m here to help you deal with this. I’m here to help out my brothers and sisters in the personal finance world.

What do you do when your friends call you cheap?

Figure out if it’s a joke.

There’s nothing wrong with joking around, especially with your friends. If someone likes to pull jokes and isn’t mean-spirited about it, then there’s no point to get offended about it. The simple solution for a friend that likes to pull jokes is to get them back with one as well.

Understand insecurities in others.

When you were young your parents told you to ignore bullies. Well, I’ve been known to be a bully at times and this certainly works. If someone is insistent on calling you cheap, you simply ignore them.

When someone tells me that they don’t want to have a drink I usually pull a joke. I know that drinking is bad and that I shouldn’t be doing it. This also holds true with other insecurities. We all have problems with our spending in one way or another. When we see someone making wise moves with their money, we get jealous and start to feel insecure about ourselves. This is pretty common.

The reason a friend is calling you cheap is likely because they wish they had their spending under control the way that you do.

Laugh when you’re on top of the world.

“If you’re absent during my struggle, don’t expect to be present during my success.” — Will Smith

When you’re on top of the world it’s easy to laugh and smile often.

When you decide to buy your own groceries, cut back on certain expenses, or be proactive with increasing your income, people might judge you for taking your finances too seriously. Instead of letting them get to you, I suggest that you stick to your values. At the end of the day when you reach your goals and have what you want out of life, you can smile.

Find friends with similar values.

I’m not telling you to ditch your friends. What I’m suggesting is that you try two surround yourself with friends that have similar interests and values. Money matters can cause serious problems to any friendship. If your friends are big spenders, while you prefer to save your money, this could cause some issues downs the line. I just find it important to associate with people who will bring you up and help you improve yourself. I learned the hard way that trying to keep up with friends that don’t care about personal finance just isn’t a wise move for me.

That’s how I deal with people calling me cheap. It’s not the end of the world if a buddy cracks jokes about you being tight with your money. It just doesn’t make sense to associate with those that won’t respect your values.

Edwin C

Edwin is a marketer, social media influencer and head writer here at Money In The 20's. He manages a large network of high quality finance blogs and social media accounts. You can connect with him via email here.

2 thoughts on “What Do You Do When Your Friends Call You Cheap?

  • July 20, 2012 at 8:42 am

    I view the word cheap as a badge of courage! If anyone calls me cheap, I laugh it off. My (real) friends know I am frugal and even follow what I do. My close friends have traveled with my wife and I and receive the benefit of my frugal planning.

  • July 25, 2012 at 8:34 pm

    Ah, I get called cheap all the time. It’s usually by people who are wallowing in credit card debt, though, so I try to take it with a grain of salt. I am most certainly not rich, but at least I pay my bills every month. I prefer the term “frugal.” Why pay for mediocre food at a restaurant when I can make my own awesome food for less than half the cost? It is all about value.


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