The following is guest post by Connor Gray. He is known by his friends and family as Mr Frugal. He loves saving money, and helping others do the same, and writes for a variety of lifestyle and personal finance sites sharing his tips and tricks.
Being frugal is a great way to live. You will find that there are many ways you can save money while still enjoying yourself, providing you with a sense of satisfaction and a realization that you can make big savings when you want to.
However, there are a number of mistakes that you can end up making when you want to be more frugal, and here are six to avoid.
Mistake 1: Buying Inferior Products
When you start living a frugal lifestyle, you will want to spend less when you go to the shops. But while it makes perfect sense to spend less on cheaper products that are not particularly important, such as a cheaper brand of cereal, there are some times when you really should be spending more.
You’ve probably heard the phrase: “Pay peanuts, get monkeys.” Keep this in mind when you make an important purchase.
When you buy a new dishwasher or vacuum cleaner, this is something that you want to last. Quality products last longer. They cost more, but in the long term you save money because you spend less on fixing and replacing them, so know when to spend more to save more.
Mistake 2: Not Getting the Most from Your Existing Possessions
Look after what you have and get the very most out of your existing possessions. Sometimes there are simple ways to protect what you own. They involve spending more at the outset, but they can save you more in the long run.
For example, take the car seat protectors from Shear Comfort. Buying them involves a cost, but you can protect your car seats and keep them in good condition. Then when you come to selling your car, this could help you to get a better price for it.
Sometimes you really do have to spend money to save money, and the trick is knowing where to spend your money.
Mistake 3: Buying Too Much Just Because It’s Cheap
Don’t make the mistake of assuming that just because things are cheap, you can buy more of them.
You may see a great deal on food at the supermarket, and it’s so cheap that you end up buying it because it’s cheap rather than because you need it.
But you’ll either eat something you don’t need, or end up throwing it away. So always ask yourself whether you really need something before you buy it.
Mistake 4: Creating More Problems through DIY
DIY can be a great way to save some money. Doing things yourself rather than hiring someone to do the job for you is very sensible. But there are times when it makes more financial sense to pay for professional services.
Know your abilities because DIY mistakes can be very costly. If you don’t have the skills, don’t attempt to fix everything yourself. You could end up causing more damage, and then you’ll have to pay for a professional as well as paying extra to fix the damage.
Mistake 5: Spending Just Because You Have a Coupon
Coupons can be very attractive, but many people make mistakes when it comes to using them. There is often a need to use the coupon even if you don’t really need the product on offer. You may think that it is an offer too good to refuse, but remember that you will usually be spending money. Again, ask yourself whether you really need the product in the first place.
Mistake 6: Forgetting to Enjoy Yourself
The most common mistake of all is being so frugal that you forget to enjoy yourself. Being frugal is great, and it can be very satisfying. But that does not mean you should stop enjoying life. Treat yourself and your family, know when to spend slightly more on a special event or day out, and don’t miss out on all the fun things in life that involve spending a bit more money.
Save Money and Be Happy
These are all some of the most common mistakes that you can make when attempting to live a more frugal existence. Avoid these and you will spend less and get more enjoyment from your new frugal lifestyle.
Abigail @ipickuppennies says
Even after all these years, I still sometimes make the mistake of buying a cheaper item that will break faster. I’m slowly getting better about that.
Never heard the “Pay peanuts, get monkeys” saying. It made me laugh.
Lazy Man says
Yeah, that was a new one for me too. I thought you’d get elephants.
Hahaha the DIY suggestion cracks me up! I have most definitely tried to do things myself that have cost me more to fix. You have to know your limitations – and this is coming from a gal that has flipped houses. I also believe that purchasing quality items saves money in the long. I have 200 dollar sweaters that have lasted a decade. Worth the money if you ask me.
Derek @ MoneyAhoy.com says
I’ve made several mistakes with #4 – just ask my wife! Seriously though, there comes a point when you have to evaluate the free time you have, your skills, and if you’ll really have enough energy to pull off some of these DIY things yourself.