Spending too much money is an obvious problem. But, believe it or not, being overly frugal can also be problematic, in ways you may not have ever considered. Read below to see how you can avoid letting attempts at frugality overtake your life.
Why couponing may not be worth it
A few years ago, reality TV shows were filled with coupon queens who could perform feats such as buying 10 bottles of bleach for $1. They were praised for their ability to save money, and some consumers were inspired to emulate them.
But this kind of bulk shopping isn’t always going to work, especially when it comes to items that expire. Bleach is one of those items – after six to nine months or so, it loses its effectiveness, according to chemistry, biology and physics instructor Anne Helmenstine, Ph.D.
Plus, most coupons are only for household and toiletry items and prepared foods. It’s rarer to find coupons for fresh produce and meat. Coupons for six packs of chocolate pudding aren’t going to be good for your diet, even if they’re almost free.
This doesn’t mean you should never use coupons. Services such as Groupon, for example, can make couponing easier, and you can receive a variety of savings opportunities. The point here is that you shouldn’t let the process take over your life and end up being more of a time-waster than it is a boon to your wallet.
Buying cheap may cost you more money
It’s always tempting to buy the cheaper item if you’re trying to save money. Why spend $100 on a pair of boots when there’s a $40 pair?
Sometimes, however, it’s better to buy the former. A pair of $100 boots that will last you for three years will cost you $33.33 a year. If a more cheaply made $40 pair will only get you through one season, then you’re actually going to spend more money in the long run.
Some brands actually offer a lifetime guarantee. Even if you spend more money upfront, you’ll have the benefit of getting a replacement in case something goes wrong.
You don’t have to bust your piggy bank to buy quality items. Consignment stores often carry designer brands for more than half off, and certain websites also sell reliable brands at heavy discounts. Better product for a lower price? Can’t beat that.