Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

Be thrifty but not covetous – George Herbert

Money is a funny thing; it makes rational people do crazy things.  We can easily get locked into a scarcity mindset if we are not careful about holding onto our priorities.  When we believe that once our money slips out of our hands that it will be hard to replace it, we can become highly protective of it and in extreme cases do everything within our power to hang on to it at the expense of higher values.

The problem is not having a healthy understanding of what money is and what its purpose is.  Money is not just for accumulating; it should not be seen as a security net, although many people see it this way. Money is for adding value to ourselves and others. It is for building and not destroying or tearing apart.

Saving money is not inherently bad and we should, of course, be prudent about “saving up” for days when we will need money later on to help ourselves and others. But hoarding money or being stingy about spending it is a whole different matter.

What Is the Difference Between Being Frugal and Being Cheap?

The difference between these two ways of handling money is a difference in values. It is how we think about money. A frugal person tends to focus on value; it generally has a positive implication. Being frugal involves careful management of money and wise decision making. Frugal people have clear values and objectives. They will spend money on things of lasting value such as experiences and people around them rather than on material things.

Frugality is about choosing an intentional lifestyle of balance without overburdening others around us. It is about being conscientious and responsible, making responsible choices and being responsible for the choices we make. Frugal people forgo short term gain in order to reap longterm benefits.

Being cheap or stingy is largely fear-based. In this mindset, money is seen only for what we can buy with it. the fear is that if we spend our money we will lose out and maybe not have enough leftover. A person who is tight with money goes overboard to not spend money on anything over the bare minimum of necessities. Please understand, there is no blaming here. We have all gone over to this side of the fence at times – it’s easy to do as we count our pennies. But let,s be honest, when we are tight with money, it not only affects us but also those around us. I am sure that you can think of examples of how being tight with money has caused misery.

Being tight or cheap shows a lack of generosity both materially and in spirit and sometimes results in depriving others of what we can easily afford. Price rather than value is the bottom line. There is a fear of spending anything at all even if it will bring benefits.

So the essential difference between frugality and stinginess is where we place our values.

Money is only a tool. It will take you wherever you wish, but it will not replace you as the driver.” – Ayn Rand

What Are The Benefits of Being Generous?

Generosity Is A Healthy Habit

Habits are what we do automatically having trained ourselves to do so over time. Bad habits, like weeds, grow up without too much effort and stinginess is a bad habit leading to nothing but misery. By contrast, Generosity is a habit that can bless us and others many times over. Generosity is a decision we make to not let money control us and to focus outward rather than inward n ourselves. And it is a habit. It is something we decide to do over and over until it becomes second nature.

Generosity opens our minds and our hearts to see new ways and opportunities to bless others. We give and the more we give, the more we receive in terms of knowing that we have not been me-focused. The more we are generous or practice generosity, the more we become sensitive to the needs around us, need that maybe we can meet. Having a generous spirit and giving what we have, also gives us positive physiological and mental benefits – peace, less stress, and other benefits.

“There’s nothing wrong with hard work, as long as it doesn’t get in the way of life’s more important areas: health, relationships, passion.” – The Minimalists

Generosity Adds Value to Your Life and the Lives of Others

Money is more than money. – sometimes it is the experiences, the time with loved ones, an investment in health, an investment in ourselves (building skills) and in others. Sometimes money is a lifetime of rich experiences with lasting value. When we consider only what an experience will cost, and not what is can bring to us and others, we are focusing on the wrong end of the stick The goal is to reap value. The goal is to benefit from the investment. If we just make our decisions based on the cost, we will lose out on many experiences.

Generosity blesses others. It helps others in times of need. It lets them know you care and are thinking of them.  Generosity gives out and pays back 10-fold (as the Bible says). It is always a win-win for everyone.

Generosity Has Professional Benefits

Companies and the business world, in general, make it a practice to be generous, both within their organizations and outside with the public and other business relations. Many businesses involve themselves in charitable endeavors as an outreach to the community and to give back to others. Generosity s good business practice. No company worth it’s salt will consider skimping just to save money.

In the same way, being generous as an employer, or coworker can be very beneficial. Just as being generous and giving back to the community and being generous with clients builds trust and relationships, colleagues can be generous with one another and build bonds of trust. Having a generous spirit towards others will build us up in the eyes of others. Coworkers will naturally graduate to us and look to us for inspiration. Being generous can have very positive professional benefits short and longterm.

Stinginess Can Backfire, But Generosity Always Wins

You can never win trying to save a few dollars and forgoing value. Holding back your money for fear that you will lose it is the very opposite mindset of investment. Money is made for investing, not for putting in a sock and burying it in the ground. If you recall the story of the 10 talents in the Bible, the one who had not invested but hid the money in the ground was the one who received the chastisement.

If we think of the cost as the bottom line and not a long-term investment, we will lose. We will lose all the benefits we could have gained, we will lose even more than we actually spent because we will have to make up for stingy buying decisions over the investing in value. We will lose out in the blessings of others we could have helped if we had looked outward instead of into our pockets.

While we may think we are being wise with our money by not spending it, we are losing out because money is not meant to be spent; it is meant for investing. Stinginess will always backfire, but generosity is a win-win.

Did you enjoy this post? Please leave a comment below.

Click and share

Diana Lynne’s passions are family, travel, self-improvement, and the pursuit of a debt-free life. She loves hanging out with family, friends and being with her dog Skye. Diana is a Quebec City girl. who loves living life.  You can connect with her through