|The Duggars in China|
Recently, I took advantage of a free pair of movie tickets to see “The Lone Ranger,” a movie I really have no desire to see. But the tickets were free! And they were limited, so without giving it much thought, I nabbed them. I needed them; they were free.
|The Roloffs in Hawaii|
But morally, this was kind of a crappy thing for me to do. Because maybe a hard-working mom saw the ‘Free Lone Ranger Ticket!’ link. And maybe she got excited because her daughter wanted to see it — but oops! Someone who doesn’t even appreciate the movie already got the last one because, “*shrug* It’s free.”
Part of being frugal, at least the moral part of it, is not taking more than what you need — not just because you can’t afford it, but because you want to leave more for everyone else. In this way, I think there is morality in thrift. What I did wasn’t frugal. It was cheap.
To me, the ongoing cheap vs. frugal debate proves that there’s morality in frugality. When does your frugality negatively affect others? Just because it’s a practical, sound financial decision for your budget doesn’t mean it’s a good decision overall. There are ethical questions to consider, which makes it seem like there is indeed morality in personal finance.
Money-related issues go beyond a cost-benefit analysis. We have to ask ourselves, is this hurting anyone?
Thanks for your common "cents", Kristin.