"You are considering the price tag on an expensive pair of boots.
To the economist, your decision to buy the boots should be purely rational. You should think: Do I have the money to afford these boots? If so, is the pleasure they will give me equal to or greater than the cost? —"
For 300 years, we’ve been preaching thrift as a virtue. But what if it’s something that’s inherited rather than learned?
Lauren Weber’s father is, to put it bluntly, cheap. When she was growing up in the cold winters of Connecticut, he refused to turn the thermostat above 50 degrees. He washed all the dishes by hand, in cold water, even though the family owned a dishwasher. He even used hand motions to signal a turn while driving so his turn-signal bulbs would last longer.
As a kid, Lauren bristled at her dad’s frugality (and when she wanted an extravagance, like Guess jeans, she went to Mom). She feared that her family was secretly on the verge of bankruptcy. They weren’t—her father was, in fact, a professional economist, teaching at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. He didn’t lack for money. A lifestyle of extreme thrift simply felt right to him.
Then, when Lauren grew up, a funny thing happened: She realized that she’s now cheap, too. And she noticed something else. Her older sister, like her and her father, is very mindful of money. Her older brother is not. Although Lauren carefully compares the prices of dried beans ($1.49 for twelve servings) and canned beans (79 cents for four servings), her brother thinks nothing of eating out all the time. He doesn’t live beyond his means, but he definitely hasn’t adopted the same tightwad attitude that Lauren did.
This scenario might sound familiar to you: One sibling winds up a saver while another is a spender, despite having been raised in the same household. That this happens is not that unusual. What’s interesting is why.
Guys, frugleness vs. cheapness crosses my mind every single week. So I was sooo happy 2 read this!;)