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Credit Education Week Canada offers news about “Cheap vs Frugal.”

by:
Laurie Campbell

Well, here we are again in the midst of Credit Education Week Canada (CEWC), a great annual event devoted to spreading the good word about financial literacy among Canadians of all backgrounds and ages.

This year we’re exploring the theme of “Cheap vs Frugal” through lots of goings on in Toronto and across the country. Among the activities is an interesting contest sponsored by my agency Credit Canada and Capital One Canada. We launched a Twitter challenge to gather Canadians' most extreme cheap or frugal spending stories. We heard from folks who reaped benefits by being frugal, or who otherwise learned the hard way that being “cheap” can come at an unwelcome price.

"My ex put a car I bought in his name so I could save taxes. He left with the car."

Here is what some Canadians shared about penny pinching that netted nothing but grief.

"We didn't do our homework when we picked our roofer. One year later they were no more. So much for a warranty."

"Being cheap has caused us to replace our kitchen chairs multiple times! It's embarrassing when a chair breaks when you sit on it or worse when a guest sits down!"

"My ex put a car I bought in his name so I could save taxes. He left with the car."

Going for cheap can cost you more than you bargained for – an important point from any financial literacy rulebook.

So it goes that going for cheap can cost you more than you bargained for – an important point to remember from any financial literacy rulebook. As I told the press when results of the CEWC Twitter contest were first announced, there is a big difference between being cheap and being frugal and that difference can help Canadians make more positive financial and budgeting decisions.

Meanwhile, here is what some frugal Canadians had to say about their simple savings approaches:

"I quit buying coffee every day & started making my own which allowed me to put almost $1000 in a TFSA!"

"Audit your contracts/bills (i.e. cell, water) once a year and shop around."

“Avoid eating out and buying specialty coffees during the workday.”

“Buy generic store brands over brand names at a fraction of the price.”

“Take advantage of coupons with deals and discount codes when possible.”

“Consider using mobile shopping apps to price match or find deals that will save you money.”

“Remember that sometimes it's worth paying a little extra money for quality items when buying outerwear, clothing and footwear that may last longer and cost less in the long run.”

Value is equal in importance to price. Such thinking is what we hope people will take to heart.

These words are great to hear as Credit Education Week Canada cooks along. They come not from cheapskates, but from financially literate souls who know that value is equal in importance to price, and that spending in moderation makes for good monthly budgeting and personal peace of mind. Such thinking is what we hope people will take to heart as conversations roll out during and long after CEWC.

More words along this line can be found in the full news story here, which expands on our Twitter contest findings. Meanwhile, information concerning events, activities, and special guests at CEWC 2015 can be found at www.cewc.ca

Topics: CEWC

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