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G.K. Chesterton once wrote that frugality is more romantic than extravagance. It is. The penny-pinched man looking for a gift for his beloved, he must think and be creative. And when he spends on his beloved, he feels it, like the old woman felt her two mites go into the offering plate.

Not so the rich man. The huge dollar tag on the gift is often enough by itself to bestow at least an affectation of affection. And if the gift doesn't suit, he can buy another present.

Nevertheless, there is something romantic about frugality with a splash of extravagance, just as solid food is made better by a dash of spice. This mixing of frugality and a small dose extravagance–always a small dose; too much can spoil the romance of frugality, just as too much spice can ruin food–is the most poetic of all. The poor man who spends an entire day's wages on a well-thought gift for his wife makes a highly romantic and poetic gesture. It's frugal in a way, yet also extravagant.