Yes, I pinch pennies.
It happens every once in a while. Being of a frugal nature, I look at things in the way that will avoid spending unnecessary money.
Sometimes, that means someone will call me cheap.
I hate it when that happens.
Honestly, it's gotten better since the economic downturn. Being frugal has become something to aspire to, rather than something to be ashamed of. People can talk openly about their extreme couponing and the way they stretch their meal plans over a week, and it's now considered interesting conversation instead of proof of being both boring and a cheapskate.
But still, from time to time, my frugal worldview will prompt someone else to decry "cheap!"
I'm a little sensitive to this non-insult. I know that in general, nothing is meant by it. People who do not understand why and how I live the way I do have to find an easy method of comprehending my lifestyle. I know that I pay close attention to small amounts of money that other people simply don't worry about, which may make it seem as though I'm particularly parsimonious. (I'm not. I just like to pay attention). I also know that just because I make decisions that are different from others' doesn't mean either method is better than the other. I know all this, but it can be hard to feel it.
I really admire the individuals who embrace the cheapskate image. They have a "Nobody bodders me!" kind of attitude that I wish I could emulate.
But, personally, I don't want to be thought of that of as cheap. Careful with money, yes. Frugal even, sure.
But cheap to me seems like the opposite of generous, which I truly hope is not the case in my life. Part of the reason why I am so frugal is so I can have money available to spend on things that are important to me--and that includes family and friends, the ability to stay home with my son, his future education, wonderful experiences, and charities I care about.
Ultimately, I know it truly doesn't matter what other people think of me. (And no matter how often I might hear my name and the word cheap in the same breath, you won't see me changing my money habits. I wouldn't know how to, for one thing).
But I do wish I knew better how to let this particular epithet roll off my back.
Has anyone ever called you cheap? How do you deal with it?