This is the grand daddy of posts that has spawned so many other discussions regarding frugalism vs. capitalism and some people have been recently trying to straddle the fence by calling themselves “frugal capitalist” which is complete bull, in my opinion, but that’s a post for another day. Originally posted in December 2006.

A frugalist will spend his time searching the web, newspaper, and speaking with his friends to find that next great bargain basement deal. Upon finding the lowest price for a product or service he’ll triumphantly cheer as he reaches for his wallet to fork over cash to pay for that item.

A capitalist will spend his time searching the web, newspaper, and speaking with his friends to find that next great money making opportunity. Upon finding the highest return on an investment, he’ll triumphantly cheer as he reaches for his investment portfolio and adds that extra capital that he’s just earned to his books.

A frugalist will live his life loathing people who pay (gasp) full retail price for a product or service. He’ll buy second hand, dinged or refurbished items to save a few bucks.

A capitalist will live his life enjoying the fruits of his labor. He won’t concern himself too much with the cost of an item because he knows he earned the income to enjoy it.

A frugalist will congratulate himself at his ability to pull one over on a corporation by taking advantage of rebates, discounts, sales and other tricks so that a retailer doesn’t achieve full profitability on their sale – a win-lose proposition.

A capitalist will improve the economy by helping create new jobs, corporate expansions, product development and a slew of other activities because of his investment capital. He’ll also improve the economy because he uses his returns to invest further or uses his excess capital to buy products and services -a win-win proposition.

A frugalist will deride you for not following his ways.

A capitalist will try to teach you how to achieve superior returns but will not ridicule you, he’ll simply sigh, shrug his shoulders and move on to teach others willing to learn.

A frugalist will never buy a new car and will advise you to do the same but doesn’t quite understand that used cars have to come from somewhere.

A capitalist may or may not buy a new car but he carefully considers his options because he knows that buying new cars helps keep people employed and keeps the economy growing.

A frugalist will condition himself his whole life not to spend a penny.

A capitalist will condition himself his whole life to earn an extra penny.

A frugalist will squander the most valuable commodity (time) doing all of the frugalist things above.

A capitalist will invest the most valuable commodity (time) doing all of the capitalist things above.