When it comes to our wallets, we all mean well. But no matter where you are in your saving journey there are always some habits you can pick up and remove from your routine to be as smart as you can with your cash.
The simple truth is you don’t have to bend over backwards all the time to live a frugal life. Some of your good intentioned frugality habits could be hurting your finances overall.
It’s time to take stock of your frugality habits and throw away what isn’t working. Here are some frugal tips you may be using that might hurt you more than they help you.
10 Ways Frugality Could be Hurting Your Budget
Don’t waste your time and money with these frugality fails.
Buying Cheap Items Without Research
Have you ever bought a cheap product only to have to replace it a few months later? These small repurchases can stack up fast.
With countless products and dupes at our fingertips, we’re always looking for a deal. But sometimes a bargain really is too good to be true. When it comes to essentials that you’ll use every day, the cheapest option may not be the best option.
Frugality doesn’t always mean you need to buy things at dirt cheap prices. Sometimes frugality is about making smart purchases that cost a little more cash so you can love the item for years to come.
Wasting Meal Prep
No matter where you are in your financial freedom journey, you’ve heard about how much meal prepping can help you save. It’s true- frugality usually starts at the grocery store, but meal prep is not for everyone.
We’re going to save you some stress. If eating Tupperware food that you made five days ago doesn’t sound appealing, then don’t do it.
Meal prep will only save money if you actually eat it. Instead, make smaller batches and save on the ingredients or find cheap meals you can make fresh every day in a pinch.
Signing up for Rewards Credit Cards
Sure, 25% off may sound great at the register, but we would advise you to steer clear from store credit cards. There’s a chance you will forget you signed up in the first place which could seriously impact your credit score.
Bulk Buying Without Bulk Consumption
Bulk shopping offers tons of benefits, but only to families who will go through the products. Even though bulk items could help you save in the long run, the up-front cost is pretty high. It’s best to leave bulk shopping behind unless you have bulk needs.
Juggling too Many Subscription Services
Cutting cable is a huge deal in the frugal living community but cutting that cost could potentially come with the burden of managing several subscription fees. Streaming subscription services add up fast, and they can easily supersede your cable budget.
Consider your content needs and entertainment habits before you cut cable out. If it will be cheaper in the long run, do it. But if cable gives you everything you need, don’t feel pressured to cut the cord.
Forgetting Your Free Trials
Free isn’t always free. Be extra careful whenever you enter your information to claim a free trial. Losing track of your free trials could result in a plethora of bills automatically charged to your credit card every month.
Driving Around in Search for Cheaper Gas Prices
Don’t kill your tank by driving aimlessly. Find the cheapest gas in your area with the Gas Buddy App, you can thank us later.
Overspending on Groceries and Meal Ingredients
Cooking at home instead of ordering takeout is one of the best ways to save your budget, but you have to do it right. Groceries are expensive, especially now. If you really want to be frugal, you have to keep your grocery budget at bay.
That doesn’t mean that you have to sacrifice your tastebuds, there are tons of inexpensive and delicious recipes out there, you just have to find them. Start by setting a grocery budget. And sticking to it.
Impulse Buying Sale Items
All sales are not created equal. If you find yourself reaching for an item you haven’t really been wanting just because it’s on sale, that’s a sign it may not be the smartest purchase.
Frugality isn’t about how cheap you can consume; it’s about reducing your consumption.
Letting DIY Projects Kill Your Budget
Skipping the DIY could save you hours of labor and thousands of dollars. Doing it yourself isn’t always the cheapest or best option. Not to mention the fact that your project could fail, resulting in even more money down the drain.
Don’t be afraid to hire a contractor, buy the furniture, or let someone else do it.
Your frugal lifestyle can always be tweaked and perfected. Sometimes less effort can give you better results and more cash in your pocket.
Learn from the mistakes of frugal saver’s past and keep these bad habits out of your routine.