Being cheap is to buy single-ply toilet paper just because it’s cheaper than double ply.
Being smart with money, on the other hand, is to buy double ply toilet paper on sale — even though it’s more expensive than single ply.
I’m not saying that all cheap people buy single ply — I’m sure plenty of them buy double ply.
What I am saying is that being cheap is a knee-jerk reaction. “That’s too expensive” is an automatic response that’s usually baked in from an early age.
On the other hand, being smart with your money is a skill that’s developed.
Not a knee-jerk reaction.
It’s knowing how much you can spend, and being smart enough to say “no” when you can’t afford it and “yes” when you can.
(And saying “yes” is as crucial as saying “no.”)
People who are smart with money don’t buy cheap junkie dollar store cutlery that’ll shread your rib eye steak to pieces and make it taste like tin.
Instead, they save up and find a good deal on a Wusthof set that’ll perfectly cut their steak into mouth-watering pieces.
So the goal when you’re budgeting isn’t to become a knee jerking cheapo — that’s not going to work (unless you were born like that.)
Instead, become smart with money. Know what you can afford and become confident enough to say “yes, I can buy that.”