Cheap-o's Rejoice. It's Genetic!

day in the life: lunch money
Image by emdot via Flickr

Maybe being cheap is genetic?

So suggests writer Adam Sternbergh in the current issue of New York magazine. It’s a theory, since some people spend money so fast and so insanely — and with so little remorse — it makes the rest of us feel a little ill. I’ve been accused many times of being tight/frugal/cheap, but sometimes it’s in the eye of the beholder. To my mom, who lives on a fixed income and who saves money like no one I know, I’m like a crazy person. A trip to Paris?  Travel is indeed one place I will blow my scrimped-up bucks. Yet she has a cleaning lady once a week and I can’t imaging paying someone else to do what I can do so quickly and easily for free. She found it obscene I spent $100 for a pair of consignment shop suede loafers — except they’re Ferragamos, which, new, would have cost five times that price. And I’ll be wearing them for years to come.

So if I’ve inherited my mom’s cheap gene, maybe it’s recessive?

I’m usually the saver and my sweetie is the spender; typical of most couples, we’re different in this respect which makes for interesting moments. We wear cashmere and drink decent wine, yet sit on a 20+ year-old loveseat, (slipcovered when I had a salary to pay for it) and I’m typing this on a “table” we built of fiberboard covered with a piece of mattress ticking found, yes, at the Paris flea market.

Where do you cheap out? When and where do you (still?) splurge? Who taught you to pinch — or blow — your pennies?

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