Listen to this article
Practising frugality can bring you teeteringly close to being cheap, writes FT Money reader Suchitra Shenoy. Fortunately, there are ways to avoid becoming stingy and still have some friends left.
One approach is to be frugal when you are on your own, but to relax and be ungrudging in what you spend with friends. Another is to propose options that are just as enjoyable, but have not been considered. For example: a hike and a picnic instead of a meal at an expensive restaurant, or sharing a holiday home and cooking together instead of booking separate hotel rooms and eating meals out.
Many spiritual practices encourage us to concentrate on building up certain traits while letting go of others. Frugality and cheapness are a bit like that. Develop the traits that deepen thrift, discard the ones that make you a cheapskate.
Suchitra Shenoy is an investor and a writer. You will find her avoiding cheapness in Hyderabad, India.