In today’s budget-conscious era, frugality is in. But for singles, how does penny-pitching play on the dating scene?
As reported in The New York Times, ING Direct recently asked 1,000 people (presumably single people) what words would come to mind if they were fixed up for a date with someone described as frugal? The most frequent response, chosen by 49 percent, was “smart.” However, more than 25 percent of respondents chose “stingy,” 15 percent selected “boring,” and hardly anyone (less than 4 percent) picked “sexy.” Clearly, some people see frugality as a virtue while others see it as a vice.
A deeper cut at the data revealed some noteworthy gender-based differences. More men than women (56 percent vs. 42 percent) associated “frugal” with “smart,” while more women than men associated the term with “stingy” (33 percent vs. 20 percent).
Personally, I’ve never liked the term frugal. I prefer “money-smart.” A money-smart person is one who is proactive in managing each expense category, while realizing that the least expensive choice is not always the best deal. And it’s never money-smart to be a stingy tipper.
By the way, if you’re engaged or newly married and live in the Chicago area (or if you know someone who fits that definition), here’s a great opportunity to make your marriage money-smart.
What about you? What differences do you see between being frugal and being money-smart?