Cheap vs Frugal

I’ve had some great work completed on my car by a mate and I tell you what, I very nearly crossed a line with myself. I offered him a reasonable, but low amount of money for the effort and time he put in. He was happy but on reflection I realised I’d been a tight arse for no good reason, so when I saw him and paid, I gave him extra. Both of us were happier and I felt like my integrity had been maintained and I’d done the right thing.

This is a particular bugbear of mine and I hate when it happens to me. It’s not often I get to dodge hypocrisy but I managed to right here. In every instance my time and effort have been undervalued by someone I curse them as a cheap bastard and make a note to avoid doing anything for them in the future.

This notion of cheapness versus frugality has been explored by others, and my take on it is simple. Getting a mate to help with a job instead of paying a professional is frugal. Not giving him what he’s earned is cheap (and nasty). This is not right and even though I do talk a lot in this blog about not spending money and the like, I do not condone the practice of ripping people off for their work. A) it’s not right b) it’s a good way to end friendships c) it’s not cool. I think you’re picking up what I’m putting down.

Setting the right price for your work is something to talk about in another post, but in this instance I’m just bemoaning the cheapness of people when you go out of your way to help out (and I’m delighted I managed to avoid doing this). Do the right thing and look after people – it makes the world a little bit better every time.

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