ARE YOU AFRAID OF BEING CALLED "CHEAP"?

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9.0 ARE YOU AFRAID OF BEING CALLED "CHEAP"? - CONSUMER CULTURE ARTICLES, FROM SAVVY-DISCOUNTS.com

I was talking on the phone the other day. I was in the middle of explaining how a person could buy bread, milk, meat and cheese for as much as 90% off when these were bought close to their expiration date. The person on the other end interrupted me,"Gee, aren't you afraid of being called 'cheap'?"

Cheap. What a terrible word. In my word processor these are the synonyms that are listed: ragged, chintzy, seedy; trashy, base, common, sleazy; miserly, close, greedy, mean, parsimonious, penny-pinching, stingy, tight, tightfisted, ungenerous, ungiving; inexpensive, economical, low, low-cost, moderate, reasonable.

No wonder even people dedicated to saving money tremble at the thought of being called "cheap." Everyone likes a bargain but no one wants to be called cheap. I have to wonder how much money each of us spends to keep up appearances. In my interview for this issue with Robert Bugai, a credit counselor, he made the comment, "Many people buy things they don't need, with money they don't have, to impress people they don't know or even like!"

Some studies have found that people are more terrified of embarrassment than death. He pointed out, for example, that many people try to match expensive gifts at Christmas to avoid embarrassment even though they cannot afford to.

Today there is a booming economy and being cheap is even more out of favor. Everywhere I see new cars, new clothes, new houses. Some young people expect to get plastic surgery to "correct" minor flaws and pay their dentists for expensive teeth whitening. Yet there are many danger signs in the economy. Credit card debt is now about one trillion dollars (that's "t") in this country and bankruptcies are at an all time high. What will happen when the economy eventually turns down?


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During a good economy people have the money to save and invest. It is also a wonderful time to buy used items because so many are buying new ones and discarding the old. For example, used cars and clothes, many of which look brand new, are now very cheap. There I said it.


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