Frugal is the new sexy

June 25, 2018

Does your new date lavish you with love, but keep an eye on the budget? He or she may be a keeper. A study of 2,000 Americans conducted by Slickdeals has found that 92% of Americans think “frugal is sexy” and is a highly attractive quality in a potential partner. But somebody who is cheap? Not so much.

The respondents noted that there is a fine line between being cheap and being frugal—and discovering where it is can be tricky. For instance, tipping the minimum on a restaurant bill can often be considered stingy—however, 40% of the survey respondents characterized it as frugal, while 23% called it cheap.

Surprisingly enough, one former dating faux-pas—using a coupon on the first date—is perfectly acceptable to 79% of those who were contacted for the survey. In fact, if you want to impress your date, don’t resort to frivolous overspending, because it’s a total date-destroyer for as many as 66% of Americans studied.

The survey, posted on SWNS Digital on June 22, found that 30 is the average age people really start taking their finances seriously and more responsibly, with 38 being the age at which you reach “peak frugality.”

Conversely, 27 was deemed the age at which people were the most financially reckless. A full 60% of respondents said they had dated someone who was profligate with money, which drove them to seek a life partner who had his or her priorities more in order.

However, if you are smart with money, bringing it up might be a dating no-no: About 25% of respondents said that bragging about money is a huge first date turn-off.

As part of the study, Slickdeals asked respondents to categorize whether the following behaviors were frugal or just cheap. The following were among those things that fell into the cheap category

  • Not leaving a tip (regardless of service):  regarded as cheap by 75% of respondents;
  • Reusing tea bags or coffee filters: 60%;
  • Calculating your part of a group bill to the cent: 52%;
  • Diluting soap bottles with water: 49%;
  • Re-gifting: 44%;
  • Always tipping 15%, even if the service is outstanding: 41%;
  • Eating food a few days past its date of expiration: 35%; and
  • Declining to be a part of rounds at the bar: 35%.

Among those behaviors that respondents identified as frugal are:

  • Keeping outdated or worn out electronics that barely work: 39%;
  • Buying no-name electronics: 51%;
  • Only having alcohol at home: 51%;
  • Watching movies at home instead of in the theater: 61%;
  • Regularly tracking the home thermostat: 62%;
  • Shopping at second-hand clothing stores: 63% and
  • Buying off-brand food products: 65%.

“The increased propensity toward frugality brings to light the importance of value for today’s shoppers,” Slickdeals CEO Josh Meyers said. “Making smart purchase decisions and looking for deals or coupons is becoming mainstream. It’s what savvy consumers do because they are financially wise.”

Research contact: usnews@swns.com

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