Skip to Content

15 Signs You’ve Mastered the Art of Being Cheap

In a world where saving money has become a valuable skill, some individuals have elevated penny-pinching to an art form. Whether finding ingenious ways to stretch a dollar or outsmarting retail prices, mastering the art of being cheap requires a unique blend of creativity, resourcefulness, and determination.

If you see anyone doing the below, know that they are a cheapskate:

Not Picking Up Your Bill

Group of four friends of multinational men and women communicate, smile and laugh at a table in a cafe or restaurant.

Image Credits: Deposit Photos

If you avoid picking up your bill when it’s your turn, it can be seen as being a cheapskate because it implies that you’re unwilling to contribute your fair share.

For example, if you’re dining out with friends and everyone takes turns paying for the bill, consistently avoiding your turn and letting others foot the bill can be perceived as selfish and inconsiderate. It is not frugal, it is cheapskate behavior.

Expecting Too Much

Friends Talking Discuss Organize

Image Credits: Deposit Photos

While being frugal can be an intelligent financial decision, it can backfire when it inconveniences or harms others. 

In the scenario where a friend suggests going to a bar, and you agree only if they cover your bill, it may create resentment or discomfort. While the intention might be to save money, it can come across as taking advantage of the other person’s generosity. A more considerate approach would suggest gathering at someone’s house to share drinks and watch a movie. This way, everyone can contribute equally, and the focus remains on spending quality time together rather than on individual expenses.

Unhygienic Compromises

Image Credits: Deposit Photos

Making unhygienic compromises as a frugal means finding cheaper options while keeping things clean and safe. But as a cheapskate, it means putting savings ahead of cleanliness, like reusing things that should be thrown away or not buying personal care items.

Being frugal is about finding smart ways to save money without risking health while being a cheapskate can mean taking chances with hygiene to save a buck

Recognizing The True Cost Of Cutting Costs

couple fight over cleanliness

Image Credits: Deposit Photos

Cheapskates often go to extremes to cut costs, but there’s a hidden price to their penny-pinching ways. For instance, they might skimp on essential items like food or healthcare, risking their well-being to save money.

They might also avoid social activities or skip out on treating others, damaging relationships. While saving money is important, it shouldn’t come at the expense of one’s health, happiness, or relationships.

When Cost-Cutting Measures Become Embarrassing Or Unethical

Image Credits: Deposit Photos

Cheapskates may resort to unethical tactics to save money. For example, they might engage in coupon fraud by using expired or counterfeit coupons to obtain discounts, or they may shoplift items to avoid paying for them.

Conversely, frugal individuals prioritize integrity and honesty in their money-saving efforts. They seek legitimate discounts, sales, or second-hand options to stretch their budget without resorting to deceit or illegal behavior.

Being Too Stingy

woman cheating on boyfriend angry couple.

Image Credits: Deposit Photos

Cheapskates are often characterized by their stinginess and unwillingness to spend money even when it’s warranted. They may insist on splitting bills down to the cent, refuse to tip service workers adequately, refusing to switch off the aircon even when they’re sweating or consistently opt for the cheapest options regardless of quality.

Always Insists on Splitting Bills Evenly

Young friends having barbecue party, outdoors

Image Credits: Deposit Photos

 A cheapskate may always insist on splitting bills evenly, even if they ordered less or consumed fewer items, unwilling to pay their fair share. For example, if a group of friends goes out to dinner, and one person orders an expensive steak while another orders a salad, the cheapskate insists on splitting the bill evenly, forcing others to subsidize their meal.

Regularly Asks for Discounts or Freebies

Image Credits: Deposit Photos

They frequently ask for discounts or freebies, exploiting promotions or deals to save money whenever possible. For instance, a cheapskate may visit a store and request a discount on an item that is already marked down, or they may ask for complimentary upgrades or additional items at restaurants or hotels.

Haggles Excessively

Image Credits: Deposit Photos

They haggle excessively over prices, even in situations where it’s not appropriate or necessary, to secure the lowest possible price. For example, a cheapskate may spend an excessive amount of time negotiating with a seller over a small purchase at a garage sale or flea market, frustrating the seller and other customers.

Refuses to Replace or Repair Broken Items

Image Credits: Deposit Photos

They refuse to replace or repair broken items, preferring to make do with malfunctioning or damaged possessions rather than incur the expense of replacement or repair. For example, a cheapskate may continue using a broken smartphone with a cracked screen instead of investing in a new device or repairing it.

Constantly Borrows but Rarely Lends

Friendly Neighbors Relationship Good

Image Credits: Deposit Photos

They frequently borrow items or money from others but are reluctant to lend their own possessions or money in return. For instance, a cheapskate may regularly borrow tools, kitchen appliances, or other items from neighbors or friends but rarely offers to lend their own possessions in return.

Seeks Out Free Samples or Trials

Shopping Bulk Buy

Image Credits: Deposit Photos

They actively seek out free samples or trial offers for products or services, often exploiting these offerings without any intention of making a purchase. For example, a cheapskate may visit multiple stores to collect free samples of cosmetics, skincare products, or food items without ever purchasing the full-sized products.

Parks Far Away to Avoid Paid Parking

Car Door Talking Phone Mobile

Image Credits: Deposit Photos

They park far away from their destination to avoid paid parking fees, inconveniencing themselves to save a small amount of money. For instance, a cheapskate may park several blocks away from a venue or event location to avoid paying for parking in a nearby lot or garage.

Frequently Returns Items After Use

Online Shopping Rewards Credit Card

Image Credits: Deposit Photos

They frequently purchase items with the intention of using them once and then returning them for a refund, exploiting return policies for their own benefit

Hoards Freebies or Promotional Items


Image Credits: Deposit Photos.

 They collect an excessive amount of freebies or promotional items, such as pens, notepads, or samples, with no intention of using them, solely because they’re free.