Cheap vs Frugal


Has anyone ever called you cheap?  Do you know anyone who is penny-wise but pound foolish? What does it actually mean to be frugal?  From a potential social faux pas to a major  financial decision- LET’S TALK ABOUT IT!  While frugality may be in vogue, being cheap is never in style.  Each week, we’ll post a scenario and let the forum decide- is the story frugal.. or just cheap? What do you think?!


Was It Trick or Cheap?

So, last week I went on a first date with this guy.  He had asked me out for drinks after work, but when we met up, he immediately wanted to go to dinner.  We ended up at this little French Bistro in Soho.  The conversation was good.  We laughed.  Things were going fine until…

The waitress brought the check to the table, and we both reached for our wallets.  I didn’t want to seem presumptuous, but he did ask me to dinner…. He immediately put his credit card down, but instead of saying “don’t worry, I got this”, he said instead- “excuse me, I have to go to the restroom”.  And with that he got up from the table without closing the leather bill case.

There was his exposed credit card, and I was left to figure out what he expected me to do…  I have to say, I panicked a little. Should I split the bill with him?  Why did he leave the table without communicating his intentions?  Was he testing me? Am I being cheap?  So, I threw my card down too and handed it all to the waitress to split.

When he returned to the table and the two receipts came back, he said “ why did you do that?”  I said, well I didn’t know what to do”… He said nothing!  I felt totally confused.

So, what do you think?  Am I crazy to be confused, or was this guy  just a cheap date?

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5 Responses to “Cheap vs Frugal”

  1. FinanceDad says:

    I think you’re crazy and he was trying to pay.

  2. BrauerBoys says:

    The guy is CHEAP! If he was trying to pay he should have been more clear. A gentleman would have said “I need to run to the restroom, but please put it on my card.”

  3. brandi says:

    I admit that maybe I took it the wrong way, but what was I supposed to do? The whole passive aggressive was lame, and it came off as confusing and cheap. It’s hard when your just getting to know someone to make assumptions. The bottom line is, he only went half way and did not make his intentions clear. I’ll just say it-
    weak, cheap, lame…

  4. Sassy Sundry says:

    It sounds like he might have had an awkward process, but asking might have helped. Unless he had a little problem in the loo, he probably wasn’t gone that long. I might have tried smiling and asking something like this, “Hey, I wasn’t sure what to do here. I have money, but I didn’t know how you wanted to handle the bill when you got up. Should we just split it?” I’d have reached for my purse as I said it.

    The politics of paying are weird enough, and everyone knows it. It’s OK to say something if you are confused. It’s better that you paid your half though, than to expect him to pay for you just because he has boy parts.

    That’s my two cents. If it was a good date, I hope you’ll see him again and have a good laugh over the whole thing.

  5. rick savitt says:

    From a Guys perspective, if I had intentions of paying the bill in full, which I should have to begin with, I would have taken my card, extended it out of the bill coverlet, then closed the cover, moving it over to my side of the table. Now that’s a clear message, without saying a word.

Any Thoughts?