6 Ways Frugality Can Backfire On You

Being frugal is a good trait to have. But you know how things belong in a spectrum and focusing on either extremes isn’t a good idea? This also applies to frugality. If the other end of the spectrum is extravagance, frugality is equally destructive at the opposite end.

But you might think that’s absurd. “You’re literally saving money by being frugal! How’s that going to affect me negatively?” Well, curious reader, here are some ways extreme frugality can sometimes cost you more than just money.

Choosing Cheap Over Quality

frugality - being cheap over quality

How many times have you chosen to buy something cheap over something of quality? Whether it’s on groceries, clothes, gadgets, or appliances, quality is often overlooked in favor of a low price tag. And since these items are cheap, they break after only a few days.

And then you buy a cheap replacement, and then it breaks again, and the cycle continues. Wouldn’t that hurt your wallet more? Why not buy a quality product once and never worry about buying a replacement anytime soon? Now that’s a better money-saving move.

Read more: 25 Online Grocery Stores with Delivery Services

Relying Too Much on Coupons

frugality - coupons

Ever used a coupon before? Usually, fast food chains offer coupons to attract more customers. And sure, these coupons can save you money. But if you’re choosing to eat where coupons are being distributed, then that’s not the right way to save money.

How much more can you save if you cook your own meal instead of eating out? And even if you don’t have the time to prepare your food, there are plenty of cheaper food items out there, no coupons needed. Coupons aren’t magic money savers—use them responsibly.

Read more: 8 Hacks to Save Money on Food for Families and Employees

Traveling Cheap vs. Comfortable

frugality - early morning flights

Another expense where frugality can make matters worse is traveling. When you’re deliberately choosing cheaper flights or long trips to save money, then you’re doing yourself a disservice.

For instance, cheap flights are usually scheduled inconveniently early. Do you really want to arrive at your destination with all the fatigue in the world? Why not get a more comfortable schedule or wait for a seat sale so you can have your cake and eat it too?

Another instance is when you choose to travel via provincial bus when you can just drive comfortably to your destination. You might think that driving is more expensive, but you’re sacrificing comfort and a little bit of exploration just to save a couple of bucks.

Read more: The Perks of Using Credit Cards for Travel

Selling Your Car

frugality - selling your car

Speaking of driving, you’re probably thinking of selling your car to save more money. After all, there’s public transportation, right? Then comes an unprecedented crisis—a pandemic, for example. All forms of public transportation are operating on a limited capacity[1]. So much for saving money.

Sometimes, choosing frugality over convenience can come back and bite us in the rear. Unless you’re really in a tight financial situation, never hinder your ability to go anywhere you want. It’s not like you’re going to save more money anyway, seeing how expensive ride-hailing services are.

Ignoring Car Insurance

frugality - driving recklessly

And while we’re on the topic of cars, here’s an expense most people avoid: car insurance. Frugality dictates that unnecessary expenses are to be avoided. And sadly, most people see insurance as unnecessary. They only see it’s worth when an accident happens.

Purchasing a safety net in times of emergencies is something frugality can’t fix. Spare no expense when it comes to your prized possessions. And insurance isn’t limited to cars either. If you haven’t bought life insurance yet, now’s the perfect time to do so.

Overspending on Online Sales

frugality - online shopping

“But it’s on sale!” you exclaim as you add another item to your online shopping cart. Only when your credit card bill arrives will you realize how online sales—and sales in general—only encourages you to shell out more money instead of saving money.

Sure, discounts can save you a few bucks here and there, but no amount of promo deals can save you from the harmful effects of overspending. A better way to go about it is to set a spending limit for sale events. Shopping is fun, as long as you’re not draining your wallet.

Read more: 4 Clever Marketing Tactics to Avoid the Next Time You Shop

Final Thoughts

Just like there are bad ways to spend money, there are also bad ways to save money. These examples are only but a broad look at how frugality can sometimes backfire. You probably have more examples just from your past experiences alone.

There are things in life worth spending money for, and there are others not worth a single cent. It’s your job to distinguish which is which as you continue building a better financial future for yourself. Spend every peso wisely and with purpose.

This article first appeared on The Manila Times.

frugality - generic cta