Recently, while discussing financial literacy with a friend, I was asked the question, “Is there a difference between being E.I. and being stingy?” The answer to this interesting question is yes, there is most definitely a difference in being E.I. and being stingy. What are these differences you may ask? To understand the difference between being E.I. and being stingy, you must first understand the two definitions. By definition, E.I. is the practice of making wise financial decisions to improve one’s financial condition. On the other hand, by definition, stingy is unwillingness to give or spend; ungenerous. These are two different definitions that refer to two different financial mentalities. Let’s analyze these two different financial mentalities further.
A person is E.I. if he / she exhibit the following characteristics:
- Seeks to find opportunities to save money via sales, clearances, discounts, etc.
- Strives to improve financial fitness by sacrificing wants to save money
- Genuinely concerned about the financial well-being of others
- Sharing – Is willing to share the philosophy of E.I. with others
On the other hand, a person is stingy if her/she exhibits the following characteristics:
- Seeks to find opportunities to save money via sales, clearances, discounts, manipulation, back stabbing, deceit, etc.
- Strives to improve financial fitness at the cost of using others to save money (i.e. refusing to pay for anything).
- Not genuinely concerned about the financial well-being of others
- Not willing to share good financial tips with others due to selfishness
Now that the differences of being E.I. and stingy are understood, the question is why be stingy? Being stingy is not morally sound neither is it necessary. Stingy is a mentality that I could never advocate; it is directly proportional to greed. I encourage you to be E.I. and not stingy. Being E.I. can help you attain your financial goals without running over someone or stabbing them in the back. Our country was built of hard work, sacrifice, and commitment which are essentially the embodiment of being Economically Intelligent.