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Cheap, Yes, But Not at the Expense of Others

Living below your means requires a good bit of creativity from time to time. You have to get pretty clever to stretch a buck. But just how far can you go in matters of etiquette before you cross the line?

Closeup portrait of the worst kind of cheapskate who is generous with himself, cheap with others

Ask yourself this: Is my choice to be cheap going to harm or insult another person?
A good rule of thumb is to be cheap with yourself, generous with others.

Here are a few common cheapskate etiquette guidelines to follow:

When splitting the cost of something, always round up. Never freeload in the name of frugality. If you cannot afford to pay your way, don’t go. When in doubt, always err on the side of generosity.

When eating out in a group, how can I ask to pay my portion of the bill and not have it “split evenly” without seeming cheap? Ask the server for a separate check before you order or position yourself to accept the bill from the server. Fully calculate what you owe including tax and a fair tip, rounding up. Place your money on the check and pass it along.

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