Are you Frugal or Cheap? Find Out With This Test

frugal or cheapFrugal and cheap.  Those are two words that people interchange in daily conversations.  Speaking from a general sense, frugal is more respectable than being cheap.  When I think of a cheap person I think about someone who takes towels home from hotels. On the other hand, I envision a frugal person buying name brand clothes at discounted retailers.

But what does the Dictionary say about these two types of people?

Frugal-  economical  in  use  or  expenditure;  prudently  saving  or sparing;  not  wasteful

Cheap-  embarrassingly stingy

I’ll be honest folks, I’ve been called both.  And let me tell you, it’s never fun to be considered the “cheap guy.”  Thankfully I’ve changed from my cheap ways and I’m much more value focused and not just on the price.

So, how would you know if you are frugal or cheap?  Moolanomy came out with a frugal vs. cheap test a while back which inspired this post.  Take out a sheet of paper and a pencil and answer these 12 short questions:


1- When you fill up for gas, what do you do?

1. I go to the most expensive gas station.  Must be better quality right?

2. I shoot for the name  brands  but look around for the best prices

3. I fill up at the cheapest gas station regardless of brand

4. Why fill up, I can run on fumes for another two days


2- What car do you drive?

1. Why buy when you can lease?

2. I’m always on the lookout for next year’s model

3. Used is the only way to go, I never buy brand new

4. I take the bus, it’s better for the environment


3- When Christmas rolls around, what do you do for gifts?

1. I want to impress everyone so you get the latest tech toys recommended by MSN

2. I buy reasonably priced gifts from their lists

3. I buy gift cards for everyone

4. I don’t buy anyone anything and hope no one notices


4- When you want to update your wardrobe, what do you do?

1. Time to hit good ole’ Nordstroms

2. I buy off-brands and maybe one brand name item

3. I space out the purchasing over a couple months and shop at Ross and TJ MAXX

4. I never shop for new clothes.  That’s what Goodwill is for


5- When you grocery shop, what do you do?

1. I head to Whole Foods and buy whatever I want.  Grass fed beef anyone?

2. I go to one grocery store and bring my coupon book

3. In one trip, I go to multiple discounted grocery stores

4. I take food from work for my meals


6- While walking you see a quarter on the ground.  What’s your next move?

1. You snicker and keep on walking

2. I pick it up and then toss it because it’s dirty

3. I pick it up and put it in my wallet for later

4. I pick it up and start looking for other coins on the ground


7- What do you use for showers?

1. I have designer shampoo and conditioner

2. I buy high quality products but always look for the sale

3. I buy whatever is on sale

4. Who needs product?  I use water and a bar of soap


8- Where do you invest your money?

1. Uhhh what does the word “invest” mean…

2. I invest in the latest hot stock or mutual fund

3. I invest through a wide range of mutual funds and ETFs

4. I can’t afford to eat because I invest so much


9- What do you usually do with your tax refund?

1. I hot the closest casino and lose it all

2.  Get the latest and greatest TV of course!

3. I invest it

4. I let is sit in cash gaining zero interest


10- What do you usually tip at restaurants?

1. 20% plus, waitresses rely on the tips for income!

2. I tip based on performance

3. Average service gets no more than 15%

4. I don’t tip, that’s just ridiculous


11- When it’s time to change your oil, what do you do?

1. Take my car to the nearest dealer

2. I get my oil changed at an independent mechanic shop

3. I change my own oil with the cheapest oil out there

4. I skip oil changes and hope my car keeps running


12- A friend asks you to borrow some money.  What’s your response?

1. I whip out your wallet and ask your friend how much he/she needs

2. I ask what the money is for and then agree on a payment plan

3. I write down how much I’m lending and make my friend sign a contract

4. I tell my friend to hit the road


Drum-roll please!  How did you score?

The point system is simple.  All you gotta do is give yourself 1 point for a #1 answer, 2 points for a #2 answer, 3 points for a #3 answer and 4 points for a #4 answer.

And here’s a breakdown of your score:

48= You’re cheap and you should be ashamed of yourself!

36-47= Congrats, you’re frugal and should give yourself a pat on the back 🙂

24-35= You’ve got some work to do.  Time to get back to the basics

12-23= Boy oh boy, you’re not doing too hot.  You should shred your credit cards and follow a budget again


What did I score?

I scored a 38.  What does this mean?  I guess this makes me frugal!  I probably didn’t need a quiz to tell me that but I always need some affirmation.

Take some time and take this test.  When you’re done please comment below and share if you;re frugal or just plain cheap!