Cheap: Spending Habit

I have been wondering about what makes people cheap. I am referring to their spending or rather not spending habit. I am not talking about trying to save money, but more to the extreme. Let’s say that you have a friend who hardly puts out his share when you guys hang out. We all have a friend or two like that I am sure.

Is cheap something people are born with or they growing into it? Some say they are born with it. No matter how rich they are, if they were born cheap, they will be cheap for life. I know people who make six figures, yet they nickel and dime even their own relatives.

I argue that cheap is something you adapt to, especially if you come from a hardship background. When I was growing up, I witnessed what my mother had gone through to make money, and that makes me think twice about spending money. She worked in a sweatshop making 50 cents a pop, and often time, she had to skip lunch to compete with her coworkers. That image creeps up on my every time I make a purchase I am not sure if I should get it or not.

So I admit that I do think hard when throwing out money, but not to the point of extreme. As long as you don’t take advantage of me, I don’t take advantage of you. If we go out and you cover me this time, I’ll cover you the next. I don’t know if I am cheap or not, but I know that I am not a big spender. And that brings me to the next point.

Do people know that they are cheap? It doesn’t take much to see if people are cheap or not, but do they know that they are cheap? Or they just simply don’t care as long as they don’t have to touch their pocket. Is there any psychological study that explains the characteristic of cheap?