The idiom refers to an attitude that is very careful and mean with small amount of money but very extravagant or wasteful with large sums.
You will think that one, who is careful and mean with small amount of money, is acting so because of his or her obsession in hoarding his or her money. So it will not make sense for him or her to waste on large sums.
Yet it is a common fact because many are predictably irrational as I have shown in previous articles.
Here are some examples :
- Driving to a fairly remote petrol station to top up the gas because it is the cheapest. Perhaps saving one or two dollars on the petrol but consuming 2 liters of petrol driving to and fro the station which cost 4 to 5 dollars.
- Always worry about spending money on petrol and yet own and hardly drive an expensive high capacity car which will depreciate to little in 10 years and will guzzle a lot of more petrol than a lower capacity car for the same mileage.
- Buying a lot of stuff in bulk with near expiry date. Trying to save 20% of the purchases but end up throwing away the excess when expired.
- Holidays are usually not planned earlier so as to enjoy very good discounted airfare prices. The savings are so substantial that it can mean enjoying a bit more on better class hotels and eating in better restaurants.
Sometimes it hurt relationship as such a “penny wise pound foolish” person may sting on paying for drinks with friends or relatives in a local coffee shop, but has no qualm in paying high monthly mortgage interest running in the thousands of dollars.
Believers are not to live such a miserable existence as miserly persons. Otherwise the miserliness reveals the condition and preoccupation of their heart in worshipping money rather than God.
I have seen many believers shooing away the poor elderly or invalids selling tissue paper in the train stations or local coffee shops but have no problem in paying for exorbitant car parking charges for the sake of a little convenience. They may be unwittingly shooing away a brother or sister in Christ. One day, when the Lord separate the sheep and the goats during the judgment of the sheep and goats, will we be flashed such scene of shooing away the least of the brothers ? Matt 25:31-46.
Is it not wise to save on the pounds so that we can give the pennies to the poor, instead of being foolish to save the pennies and waste the pounds away ?
I have this joy of saving the pounds and giving to the least of the brothers and the poor and needy as well. Is not the kingdom of God about peace and joy in the Holy Spirit ? Rom 14:17.