Cheap is a battle cry I hear and read far too often in car culture.
It's like some sort of holy ideal to achieve.
It shouldn't be. Cheap is akin to shitty. Poor quality is just poor quality, regardless of how you try to frame it.
It's used as an anti-term that's supposed to rally people to the idea of, and lend value to, producing garbage. In reality, the only reason it holds value is that people are upset by the fact that some people can afford to build nice cars (or are better at building them), and they can't.
This issue goes much deeper than the common, shallow thought that some people are fortunate, and some aren't. A concept which is just bunk. In reality – barring real life situations that excessively stymie their efforts (which do exist) – if they learned how to make money, they would have it and the feelings of animosity towards those that do, simply wouldn't be there. The same thing holds true for acquiring the education to be better at car crafting. Where the deeper issue lies, is within the ego, and feelings of inadequacy which directly relate to their sense of self-worth – which ultimately creates the feelings of animosity and attraction to the concept of of an ideal that stands in direct opposition to the ideal they wish they could achieve and feel/think they can't.
But, I digress.
Back to the issue at hand: creating garbage and trying to take pride in producing it.
That attitude – and the attitudes and issues that underly it – only serve to hold people back in life. It's like trying to pin a dried up piece of shit to your shirt and call it a badge of honor – it's not, it's a dried turd...on your chest.
The appropriate (that would be right or congruent, aligned to the result, not to a cultural norm, or ideal) way to approach the car hobby is to recognize there is overspending, and underspending, and that the ideal is to be efficient; meaning, first, create a target and then, second, go after it as inexpensively as possible – while meeting the criteria that have been set.
The more nuanced (read: detailed) the target, the more measurable it will be, and the better the outcome can potentially be, as a result. Simply stated, carefully defined quality variables should be a part of any overall target to allow for a greater opportunity of success.
In essence, recognizing that overspending is a waste, is intelligent; thinking that producing garbage is better than producing a high quality result, isn't.