Is there such a thing as being too thrifty and frugal?
Unfortunately for those of us who like to be as frugal as we can be every day, there is such a thing. And we aren’t talking about making sure we have money saved up for our golden years, but rather the fact that there are some penny savers out there that take things a bit too seriously. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to save some cash, but when it becomes an obsessive habit you need to try to put a stop to it.
After all, there are some coin-saving strategies that don’t end up saving you that much in the long run and are just headache-inducing later on. Believe us, spending a bit more will not ruin your savings account. This is why we have gathered some of the most common and excessive frugal habits that you should watch out for before they take over your life!
Let us know if you’ve practiced any of these or if there are other habits you think are way more useful for saving money!
#1 You believe self-haircuts are the only way to go
This one is very dependent on how long or short you keep your hair. Because you can easily just give yourself a haircut if you need a buzzcut. You just need the razor and can get a new haircut in a matter of minutes. However, if you have longer hair and potentially a more complicated hairdo, insisting on cutting your own hair just in the spirit of being frugal isn’t good.
Not only will you not come across as frugal but rather as a cheap cop-out, but you will not even be saving as much money as you’d hope to. We get haircuts every few months, and you can definitely end up spending the money on one.
#2 Clothes rotate in and out of fashion, but hoarding clothes isn’t good, nor frugal
Ending up holding onto all your possessions to use them for as long as you can is not a frugal choice, but rather it crosses into potential hoarding tendencies. When it comes to clothes, it’s great not to give in to fast fashion and buy a ton of clothes that will get ruined until the next season. However, keeping all the clothes from decades ago that could potentially not even fit you anymore is just bad.
Not only will you look a bit out of place if they’re very outdated, but chances are some of them need a stitch or two here and there if you’ve worn them a lot. It’s better to have clothes and wear them with intention: this means getting rid of everything that we cannot wear anymore for whichever reason, or donating them, and getting new ones when we need them.
#3 Putting off wash day until you cannot anymore
Waiting longer to do laundry is a great way to cut down on the water bill or to save some change if you go to the laundromat. But this generally means doing it once a week or twice a month, depending on how big your household is.
Waiting till the last possible day so you end up with almost no clean skivvies is taking it a bit too far and not really a frugal choice (some would say it is based on laziness even if it isn’t). You can just make up a washing schedule and stick to it without having this happen. Not washing as frequently is not the only way to save on the water bill, so don’t make it your first priority.
#4 Excessive frugality: Reusing bags one too many times
This one, no matter how you look at it, becomes excessive at some point and cannot even be called frugal anymore. It’s great to reuse those free grocery plastic bags, as sometimes people just throw all of them away. It’s always good to make use of the plastic products around us as much as possible before we end up throwing them away, but when they start looking worse for wear and start having holes in them, it’s high time you throw them in the trash.
There’s only so long before something will fall through a hole. You can commit to bringing your own bags with you to the store instead, so you won’t be getting that many extra bags.
#5 DIY cleaning has its limits
We all know that some old household cleaning tricks work best and won’t do the same damage as some of the chemical cleaners on the market. However, it stops being a good idea when you’re excessively using the DIY method and ignoring the wonders of newer technologies.
In some cases, it’s better to pay for the cleaning solutions than to rely on the DIY variety, which will take way more elbow grease to work. Moreover, it’s very frugal of you to reuse old sheets and shirts as cleaning rags, as long as you don’t end up stealing someone’s favorite house clothes to clean just because you deemed them useful.
Make use of the DIY cleaning methods as much as you like, as long as it doesn’t become inconvenient to everyone else living with you.
#6 Not using the AC is not the money saver you thought it was
As much as we want to say that it’s part of saving some money and being frugal, not using the AC at all, despite having it, is not really as economical as it may seem. With all the heat waves that have been hitting certain parts of the country and other sudden climate changes, keeping livable temperatures in your house is a must.
You can get heatstroke, and not having the AC on at all during the hottest days of the year in order to rely on a fan is a bad idea. Not only are you not using an appliance you already paid for, but you’re putting yourself and others in your household at risk due to the hot temperatures.
Use the thermostat smartly and don’t have the AC on full blast all the time; you can alternate between having it on and off. It’s a much better solution.
#7 Coupon mania
Surely, as a frugal master, you already know your way around using coupons very well. You’re probably a pro at finding them too, whether you got them from the Sunday paper, at the checkout with your receipt, or through a coupon app. And this is great, after all. We don’t want to miss out on a good deal.
However, as you know, there are limits to how many items or how many coupons you can use, and that’s where the problem arises. If that happens and you’re making sure you can get around the rules in order to stock up on it, you’re indeed way too thrifty and frugal and you should reign it in a little bit.
There’s nothing wrong with making sure you have a spare product around the house in case you end up needing it fast. Yet, stocking up on multiples of the same thing and going around coupon rules by going to different store locations on different days is too much, and you’re going overboard. There are plenty of ways to save at grocery stores, just not like this.
#8 Washing disposable silverware
Let’s be honest, while some may say using cheap disposable utensils instead of the usual silverware is not as frugal, it definitely saves time from the washing when you have a lot of guests over for a barbeque. Not to mention, since you’re outside, you can never know if someone will get lost in the garden, so it’s better to err on the side of caution.
There’s nothing wrong with that, especially since you won’t be holding BBQs every weekend of the summer, and there are some great wood or recycled plastic options on the market nowadays for the more eco-conscious among us. The problem arises if you make a habit of washing the disposable cutlery: not only does it defeat the purpose of using them in the first place, but it will also make you look silly in front of friends and family.
It’s a silly habit that makes you cross the frugal line into ridiculous territory, so if you were thinking about doing this, let it go. Disposable cutlery isn’t that expensive to begin with.
You can actually save money in a more efficient way with these seven methods we talked about here!