The media is full of clichés about frugal people, and many of them are hurtful and inaccurate. These clichés can reinforce negative stereotypes about frugal people, such as the idea that they are cheap, stingy, and materialistic.

A user asked the forum, What media cliche hurts your frugal heart the most? Here is the common response. 


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“I think the TV shows about home decor and rents have really messed up a lot of people’s finances. The notion is that you have to gut and reno the whole house before you move in rather than just saving up and slowly tackling one project at a time.

People have no emergency fund or college savings for their kids, but they have marble countertops.”


A chef with food on the plate
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“I don’t like the message that in order to hang out with friends, you need fancy food, expensive plates, alcohol, and overabundance.

Some of my favorite times with friends have been pot-luck casual times.”


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“My pet peeve is always seeing main characters living beyond their means of what their job/industry allows.

They have expensive cars, nice neighborhoods, big TV, and yet if you look up their profession, it barely makes 40k. Hollywood is completely detached from reality on how most people live.”


Fashion Model Girl Portrait with Long Blowing Hair
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“The whole fashion industry promotes “in” and “out” styles, that you constantly have to change for every season. So many articles of clothing are worn just a few times, then thrown away or dumped at a Goodwill.

I love looking at the creativity and talent of certain designers (Vivienne Westwood, Alexander McQueen), but not the whole People magazine “cardigans are out, blazers are in!! Mentality.”


Healty lunch ordering. Work from home concept.
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“Throwing food out just because they got a better offer. I know that’s not a huge expense, but it is still an expense! Just stick it back in the fridge for later.

Same with that thing where they show a cop buying food to-go, then the cop gets a call on the radio, and the meal they LITERALLY JUST BOUGHT goes straight into the nearest trash can. Seriously? You’ll get there just as fast with the bagged meal sitting next to you. It might be cold by the time you get around to eating it, but there’s no reason to throw it out.”


Tired of everyday household mother sitting on floor with hands on face. Kid playing in messy room. Scaterred toys and disorder. Happy parenting
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“Trashing your room when you are upset. Even punching drywall costs a small but substantial amount of money and effort to fix. And in the media, we see people throwing their iPhone pro max at their 85-inch Sony TV.”


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“TikTok ppl who film themselves cleaning something (toilet, sink) with 87 types of cleaners, creams, powders, foams. Goddamn, you only need one, and also, you just wasted $50 worth of cleaning supplies! Maddening!”


wedding lavish
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“This might be unpopular, but modern-day weddings. Tons of people in my country are in debt, live paycheck to paycheck, and can’t afford a down payment on a house. Blows my mind it’s “normal” to spend 30k on one day.”


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“Randomly buying people animals as gifts or apologies (ex: puppies, birds.) Not only is an animal a HUGE responsibility day to day, but caring for them requires a huge financial commitment for the rest of the animal’s life. Food, bedding, healthcare — animals are living things, not accessories!”


Women at the wheel the car
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“The myth that if you have kids, you need a huge brand new SUV or minivan because a car older than 3 years old is “unsafe” and a regular sedan is “too small”. My parents managed 3 kids with a Corolla for a long time.”


Proposal Failure. Confused young woman in doubt looking at engagement ring, man giving open box, uninterested shocked lady saying no. Negative Reaction to Proposing. Disappointment Concept.
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“Calling a diamond ring a “stocking stuffer” at Christmas. Dang! That’s the whole gift and then some. And the car(s) for Christmas with the huge bow(s).”


Shocked young businesswoman sitting at her workplace at the office, looking at computer
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“In movies or tv shows, the person in a senior management role always lives in a fancy house perfectly filled with nice furniture and decoration. The reality is many executives also live in mediocre-looking spaces.”


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“People who have to make an urgent and unexpected flight and just walk up to a counter to drop $1200 on a seat in coach, AND it doesn’t happen to already be a full plane.”


Pretty chef woman holding a plate in hand with turkey meat ham with lettuce, asparagus, carrot, strawberry and lemon on a white background
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“We all know how hard it is out here, and groceries are killing most families. So whenever I watch tv, I can’t help but notice all the abandoned meals, full plates of food thrown in the trash, and families making a huge breakfast only for a sip of coffee and a piece of bacon to be eaten before everyone leaves it. Stupid, but it drives me crazy.”


Woman kissing shoe. Women loves shoes concept. Multiracial girl and pink high heels shoes on pink background. Beautiful young happy mixed race Asian Chinese and Caucasian female model.
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“A person (mostly a student ) getting bullied for not wearing designer labels or shoes. I personally was picked on in high school on the bus for wearing “drug store shoes” that I got from a thrift store.”


soccer or football college
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“That you’ll only get the “real” college experience if you live on campus. I lived on campus, and yes, I had amazing experiences I couldn’t have had if I’d lived with my parents 30 minutes away. But even with accounting for the cost of gas with commuting, I still spent about 25% more on college than I would have if I’d just knuckled down and lived at home.”


a girl in diamonds
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“That the best gift for your wife is jewelry, no matter what the occasion might be. Like diamonds are the ultimate gift no matter what. Unless she’s going to wear it every day, there are so many other thoughtful things you can gift that won’t sit in a jewelry box 90+ percent of the time.”

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The article was originally published on Mrs Daaku Studio.

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