Living a frugal lifestyle is a choice that many families are making these days – my family included and maybe you are too. 😀
In today's post, I'm not going to share with you the same old tips and tricks you see everywhere on the net – I'm going to share with you some sneaky ways that you might just be sabotaging your own “frugalness”!
7 Ways You're Not Being as Frugal as You Think
1. Buying low cost low quality personal items only to end up buying a replacement soon after.
Maybe there's a “great” deal on shoes or sneakers and it's just so darn irresistible that you simply can't refuse throwing them into your shopping cart. You're super excited since they look great on, you need a new pair and the price is just “WOW!”. Once you've worn those lovely shoes for a couple weeks or so, you notice they're literally falling apart and off your feet… it's so bad that you end up having to buy a replacement – returning or exchanging the shoes isn't an option – they were marked “final sale”. ugggghhhh 🙁
I'm certain many of us have fallen into this trap – myself included. When making a purchase, it's much wiser to choose something that's high enough quality that it will last for a while. Try to stay away from super discounted items that are you can tell are made of low quality materials (many are made in China). When you notice a company selling products at such a low cost that you begin to wonder how they make any profit at all, that's a sign you should avoid it. Just imagine how cheap the materials are to make them!
2. Buying cheap furniture or appliances.
This one is from personal experience.
My husband and I needed a new couch and didn't want to spend too much money because at the time we were expecting the arrival of our son and had to reserve a big chunk of our money for baby supplies, etc. We decided that an inexpensive sofa would suit us just fine until we were able to buy something else. We chose (what we thought was) a lovely puffy sofa that had lots of padding and was oh so comfy – it was like sitting on a cloud… for the first 2 months… then…
NOPE – bad idea! That lovely cloud of a cheap sofa turned into a nightmare for any butt that sat on it. Trying to relax on this thing became very much like sitting in the bucket of a wheelbarrow – not fun. It became almost unusable after 6 months.
The safer choice would have been to buy a higher quality sofa, at a higher cost – then we wouldn't have had to replace it so soon, which cost us even more money! Please save yourself the trouble and learn from our mistake!
3. Buying something just because it's on sale or deeply discounted
When you see something that's deeply discounted, what do you do?
Do you automatically drop it (or even a bunch of things) into your cart just because it seems like an amazing deal? I know it's super hard to resist, but buying items just because they're on sale is going to lead you to overspending (not to mention mounds of clutter at home).
Before buying discounted items, make sure you ask yourself if it's something you actually need or will use. If this wasn't discounted, would it be on your shopping list? If not, you're not saving any money when you buy it.
4. Are you always looking for “good deals” on discount coupon sites like Groupon and LivingSocial?
Isn't it so hard to resist all those amazing gadgets, discounted beauty treatments, etc that they offer on sites like Groupon?
I've purchased quite a few deals from sites like these over the years and have been very happy for the most part – BUT – did you know that sometimes depending on the service/deal you get, you may have to listen to a sales pitch or be pressured to spend more money than you intended with package upgrades, memberships and upsells? There have been at least a couple of occasions when and ended up spending more on a deal than I intended through upsells, etc. Deal sites are great but if you plan on making a purchase, be prepared for the possibility of hearing a sales pitch!
Deal sites are a great way for businesses to get their foot in the door and then sell you something more! Be careful! Also see # 3 in this list – don't buy something ONLY because it's discounted.
5. Purchasing 1 of an item because you don't want to spend “extra” for the multi-pack
Rather than purchasing a single item of a product you use regularly, it's much less expensive to buy a multi-pack.
For example, rather than buying just one bar of soap look for a pack that has 6 or more bars. You'll get more bars of soap and spend less per unit – single items always cost more. I'm going to assume that you're probably going to buy more soap in the future – then get the multi-pack!
The same goes for other items like toothbrushes, toilet paper, and heaps of other stuff!
6. Doing DIY Repairs rather then hiring an expert.
There's nothing wrong with doing some DIY repairs at home… that is, if you know what you're doing.
Before jumping into a big DIY repair project it's important to make sure you have a plan AND you know what you're doing. If you're not sure how to best go about completing a repair, it may be best to hire an expert. I know of many people who have gone the DIY route to save money and end up spending much much more than they planned.
Sometimes DIY repairs can be more complicated than you think!
7. You're cutting things out of your life that your family enjoys – just to save some money…
While it's extremely important to be smart with our financial choices to provide for our families, it's equally important to make sure that we're not cutting out all the things the family loves.
I'm not talking about spending a fortune on ice cream or take-out every day just because the family loves it – I'm talking about the little “extra” things we have in our life that make us and our families happy. You know, things like bowling, sports games, etc.
For my husband and I, we like to go out to concerts a couple times a year so we can have some “us” time – that's important when you're a busy parent! For my son, it's signing him up for a weekly gymnastics class for toddlers his age – he loves it and it really enriches his life.
Maybe you have something similar in your life? Something that brings you closer as a family or provides some stress relief and bonding?
Being frugal is not about sucking all the joy out of living by not spending a single penny – it's about making wise choices with those pennies. Before cutting costs and removing these kinds of enriching activities from your family's life, make sure you really take some time to weigh just how valuable it really is – how does it enrich your family's life?
Money is not the only thing that has value.
I hope you found this post helpful!
Can you think of any others to add to this list?
I'd love to hear from you so please feel free to leave a comment in the comment section below! 🙂