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What is the Difference Between Frugal and Thrifty?

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There is a big difference between frugal and thrifty people. Frugal people live a more austere lifestyle to save money. According to McKinsey, 55% of Americans say they are still looking for methods to be frugal, including paying closer attention to prices, utilizing coupons more frequently, comparison shopping for the cheapest prices, and purchasing more things in bulk.

Thrifty people, on the other hand, are smart with their money and know how to get the most value for their dollar. Thrifty people are also willing to spend money when it is worth it, but they aren’t afraid to save money when they can.

Thrifty Woman happy to save money.

Does frugal mean thrifty?

When it comes to the words “frugal” and “thrifty,” many people think they mean the same thing. But there is a difference. Frugal means being careful with your money and not spending unnecessarily. Thrifty means being smart about spending your money and getting the most value for your dollar.

Being frugal is important for everyone, no matter how much money they have. Even if you don’t have much money, you can still save by being frugal. Thrifty people may be more likely to save money by buying in bulk or finding discounts on items they need.

Some people might think being thrifty means not having fun or enjoying life. But that’s not true!

What does a thrifty person mean?

Being thrifty is being frugal with your money. It means not spending more than you need to and finding ways to save money. For example, thrifty people often find ways to get good deals on the things they buy and don’t waste money on things they don’t need. They also like to invest their money in things that will help them save in the long run, like a good savings account or a retirement fund.

What is the difference between stingy and thrifty?

At its core, the difference between stingy and thrifty is that stingy people are tight with their money and hoard it for themselves, while thrifty people use their money to benefit not just themselves but others. Stingy people are often seen as selfish, while thrifty people are praised for their prudence. 

There is a fine line between being frugal and stingy, but the main difference is that frugal people enjoy saving money, while stingy people enjoy having more money than everyone else. Thrifty people may be frugal, but they’re not necessarily stingy. 

Being stingy has a negative connotation, while being thrifty is considered a positive attribute.

Does frugal mean cheap?

When most people think of the word “frugal,” they automatically think of the words “cheap” and “tight.” While being frugal may mean being careful with your money, it doesn’t have to equate to spending as little money as possible. In fact, there are many ways to be frugal without being cheap.

Being frugal is about being resourceful and making the most of what you have. It’s about getting the most value for your money and finding ways to save. Frugality can include cooking at home, shopping around for deals, and cutting back on expenses.

It’s important to note that there is a difference between being frugal and cheap. Being cheap often involves sacrificing quality or value to save money.

Are you frugal, cheap, thrifty, or stingy?

Someone who seeks to save money can be described as being frugal, inexpensive, thrifty, or stingy, each with a twist.


A frugal individual is someone who values their time as well as the cost and quality of an item. It’s a game of balancing. A frugal person makes deliberate purchases.

You can tell you’re frugal if you:

  • For the product, you wish to purchase, research several possibilities.
  • You make an item as affordable and high-quality as possible while staying within your budget.
  • You manage to save money without compromising your way of life.


A cheap person is always looking to buy the lowest-cost item. The item needs to be the least expensive option; it doesn’t matter how well it will function, how long it will endure, etc.

You know you’re cheap if you:

  • You only care about the price and don’t care about the product’s quality.
  • Like to boast about your frugal spending
  • Always choose the bargain-priced item.
  • Occasionally purchase something because they are on sale, the best deal ever, really affordable, etc.
  • The fact that an object is widely utilized does not justify upgrading it.
  • Dislike spending money
  • As long as you get the bargain, it doesn’t matter how long it takes. You give up a lot of your time to save money.


A person who is thrifty is more active with their savings. To save money, they will create and repurpose items. They either don’t value their time as highly as a thrifty person, or they genuinely love spending time making or fixing things to save money.

You can tell you’re thrifty if:

  • Despite being frugal, you also:
  • Do not mind spending your Saturday making side tables, reupholstering couches, and fixing your clothes.
  • Make your own outfits for Halloween.
  • Find lightly used products from thrift shops, then restore them to make them new.


Someone who isn’t kind with their money is considered stingy Ever go out to eat with someone who wants to divide the bill to the penny? The worst scenario is when someone offers to give you a ride but then suggests splitting the expense of gas.

You’ll know you’re stingy if you:

  • Don’t give to charities.
  • Always request to share the cost of an item
  • Refuse to spend or share money.