The real meaning of ‘cheap’

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Hello again! Today I want to discuss the ugly word ‘cheap’.

Are you afraid of being called or come across as being ‘cheap’? I know I used to be. Since a very young age, I’ve liked to price compare everything I wanted to buy and would always feel proud if I scored a bargain. Somehow this attitude has changed as I grew older and my circle of network broadened. I noticed not many people are like me, so I started to feel ashamed of being price conscious, and would deliberately act in a way as if price and money didn’t matter.

Only when I started to feel frustrated and stressed about money in all sorts of situations in life like trying to pay off my student debt, saving for a new car, paying for wedding, buying a house, etc, my financial sense came back to me, and I realised I need to get smarter at managing my personal finance.

I started looking for ways to earn extra income, cut back on a lot of unnecessary spending, actively price compared most of the things I bought, and more often I would be willing to wait for things to go on sale and negotiate prices with the seller. Yes, these behaviours made life a little bit less extravagant, and might even seem ‘cheap’ to some people. But I now see them as being financially disciplined, and I could see myself being much better off in the long run with more savings to be able to afford the bigger and more important things I want in life.

So to reinforce my view, being financially disciplined does not mean being ‘cheap’. Being ‘cheap’ is when money is ALWAYS the dominant factor that drives your decisions, to the extent that it negatively impacts your overall lifestyle, materially, socially, and emotionally. There are times when it’s good to pay more. The key is to be conscious of what your priorities are and what you’re paying for with your money.

Don’t be ‘cheap’, but be financially smart!

Shan

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