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Are you the kind of person who loves a good bargain?
Being smart with your money is a great way to ensure your finances are in shape, but it’s possible to take frugality too far.
Look at these 15 frugality fails when cheapness doesn’t go as planned!
Whether they were penny pinchers who gave in to temptation or agents trying to save on professional costs, people have splurged and negated all the money saved from frugality, and many regretted their decisions afterward.
Understand the following fails to make sure that you don’t end up making these mistakes yourself.
#1. Designer Brands on the Cheap
Sometimes, being cheap means getting a designer label—just at a discounted price.
Though it seems like a great idea to save money and still enjoy luxury, this plan can backfire if you’re not careful.
The problem lies in quality control; knockoff products may be cheaper, but they don’t come with the same assurance of quality that the real deal does.
Even if you manage to spot a genuine item, paying too little for it could mean that it’s been used or tampered with.
So if you decide to go designer shopping on the cheap, make sure to check reviews and only buy from reliable sources.
The money saved won’t be worth the purchase if the item turns out to be a dud. And if you’re unsure, it might be better just to avoid it altogether.
#2. Going All-In On A New Hobby
Picking up a new hobby can be exciting, especially if it feels like something that you’re good at.
But throwing caution to the wind and splurging on all the supplies for your newfound passion could leave you in bad shape financially.
It’s important to take things slow when getting into a new hobby.
Decide how far you want to take it and start small with the basics. Invest in quality supplies that will last, but don’t overspend on something you may not use often.
Buying the cheapest car might sound like the best idea when money is tight.
But while the initial cost is low, the longer-term costs can quickly make it more costly than if you spent a little more money upfront for a car that wouldn’t have issues for years.
It can be easy to skip out on insurance, whether health or auto, but you risk destroying your financial life should something happen.
With the high cost of medical procedures and vehicle repair, a small accident could put you in debt for $10,000 or more.
While insurance won’t cover the entire amount, it will make it more manageable.
#5. Viva Brand Paper Towels
This is hyper-specific, but if you know, you know.
Someone said that one of their biggest splurges is Viva paper towels.
Viva paper towels are much better than some of the other brands.
This is because they’re more of a towel than paper, soaking up spills easily without tearing.
They’re also quite solid, which means that if you’re tackling a small mess, you can easily let them dry out and then use them again, so you’re not going through many paper towels at a time.
It might seem silly, but these purchases can mean everything to certain people.
Books are great, but they’re also quite expensive.
It’s easy to walk into your nearest bookstore and spend $100 or more snatching up all the books you want.
For avid readers who want to enjoy their favorite form of media, spending less in other places and more on books (be it new, used, or even digital) is well worth the cost.
Massages aren’t just things you get when you wish to pamper yourself.
Massages can also be healing in nature, helping to alleviate stress and tension and target areas where some experience chronic pain.
As such, having a massage budget or even finding someone who offers massages that a PPO will cover is something that some people must do.
Traveling can get pricey, but it’s a non-negotiable expense for many.
Plenty of people want to be able to go out and experience the world around them. It’s perfectly reasonable to have travel as a top priority regardless of your income.
Thrifting is the epitome of getting a deal, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not what people like to spend their money on.
Many people talk about how they love to thrift and how they save their money specifically for that, even if their purchases aren’t that expensive and they may only spend on a few $5 items.
It shows that important expenses can be costly or relatively frugal.
#10. Good Tea and Coffee
Plenty of very cheap tea and coffee brands are out there, including products designed to be cheap and easy to use, like instant coffee packs.
In a pinch, they can do the job.
But if you’re someone who enjoys tea or coffee, you know that the final product is generally closer to water than it is closer to your favorite beverage.
True tea and coffee enthusiasts make room in their budget to splurge on their favorite brands or the tools and appliances needed to make a good cup.
#11. Better Pet Food
Having a pet can be a rewarding experience, providing you with a companion who never leaves your side and is always grateful to see you.
With all this in mind, we want our furry friends to live as long as possible and to be comfortable and healthy throughout their lives.
Several have made the point that spending more money on better pet food is one of the biggest essentials in their budget.
While some people might not be as picky about what they put into their bodies, they know that they have to feed their pets high-quality, nutritious food or risk their pets not getting the essential nutrients they need as they grow older.
#12. Gardening Tools
Gardening is a hobby that requires a great deal of patience and all the right tools to pull off successfully.
Of course, building this collection does require you to invest a good bit of your money into everything you need to develop a green thumb.
Gardening enthusiasts know this, so they plan for the future and direct more of their funds toward everything they need or their garden.
#13. Fresh Produce and Other High-Quality Food Items
For many, eating on a budget often means consuming cheaper, processed foods.
Not only does this impact your health negatively, but it will also likely impact your wallet in the future when you start dealing with the health problems accompanying these types of foods.
One expense that people aren’t willing to budge on is buying fresh produce and other high-quality food items like cheese and meat.
Not everyone can afford it, but it’s a worthy investment for many.
#14. Long Hot Showers
Many items on this list are expenses related to buying physical products, but some people just want to spend more money on the things they enjoy at home.
This is why enjoying a long hot shower can be found here.
Water bills can be expensive, but some people are more than willing to accommodate them if they can relax under the hot water after the end of a long day or an extremely strenuous fitness session.
You don’t have to look far to find a good shoe deal.
Plenty of retailers carry shoes that can be as low as $20 for a pair.
However, you also don’t have to shop often for shoes to know that extremely cheap shoes will provide barely any support and will wear out quickly.
This is why people are willing to spend considerably more on shoes if they have extra room in their budgets.
A good quality pair of shoes will offer the support you need to feel comfortable throughout the day, will be made from materials that won’t be worn down as easily (some can last for years if you treat them right), and will continue to look good long after you’ve purchased them.
All that matters if you spend a lot of time on your feet!
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This thread inspired this article.
I have over 15 years experience in the financial services industry and 20 years investing in the stock market. I have both my undergrad and graduate degrees in Finance, and am FINRA Series 65 licensed and have a Certificate in Financial Planning.
Visit my About Me page to learn more about me and why I am your trusted personal finance expert.