Being frugal is not hard, but many people make mistakes in their frugal journey in life. Saving money, making smart decisions, choosing used over new, choosing quality over cheap, and being conscious where your money goes is time-consuming and somewhat exhausting.
However, most people believe they are being frugal without even realizing that they aren't being frugal at all. We all like to think we are frugal until we make these mistakes:
1. Grocery shopping without a meal plan or a list.
2. Letting food go to waste in the refrigerator.
3. Eating lunch out instead of eating up the leftovers.
4. Buying brand new clothes when used will do.
5. Refusing to use coupon codes when shopping.
6. Buying store bought cookies and cakes instead of making them yourself.
7. Buying cleaners you can easily make yourself.
8. Holding on to things that no longer have any use to you.
9. Not taking care of your things.
10. Throwing away broken items instead of fixing them.
11. Buying new clothes instead of mending clothes
12. Buying a new car every year or so instead of driving your perfectly good 10 year old car.
13. Paying for insurance without shopping around.
14. Buying coffee instead of making your own and filling a thermos.
15. Paying someone to mow when you are physically able to do so yourself.
16. Paying the mechanic to change your windshield wipers.
17. Buying new when used will do.
18. Not taking care of your vehicle with regular oil changes and tire checks.
19. Ignoring free samples
20. Paying for something that you can get for free.
21. Shopping because you are bored
22. Buying materials instead of repurposing what you have.
23. Buying a item you will only need once for a project instead of borrowing or renting the item.
24. Paying for services you don't use.
25. Subscribing to monthly overpriced boxes or subscription services.
26. Not taking advantage of employee benefits like clothing allowance and tuition assistance.
27. Using credit cards and not paying them off every month.
28. Buying name brand OTC medicine and almost anything else when generic will do just fine.
29. Keeping unwanted or ill-fitting items instead of returning them for a refund.
30. Going out to the bars and eating out every weekend instead of enjoying a beer and a good meal at home.
31. Throwing an item away when a component breaks instead just buying the component and making the item usable again.
32. Leaving the furnace or air conditioner run when you have windows and doors open.
33. Driving around town wasting time and gas for one errand instead of running all your errands in one day and with a plan.
34. Buying an expensive pair of glasses when reading glasses from the store will do.
35. Paying daily to go to the gym, YMCA, or the pool instead of buying a season/year pass.
36. Buying a season/year pass for the gym, YMCA, or the pool and not using it enough to make it pay.
37. Buying brand new egg cartons for selling eggs when friends and family have a ton of used ones to give you.
38. Buying plants for the garden instead of trying to start your own seeds.
39. Being a "short order" cook at mealtime and making everyone their own meal instead of making one meal to serve everyone.
40. Creating a higher garbage bill by throwing recyclables in the trash.
41. Using single use coffee cups and water bottles instead of carrying a thermos or water bottle with you to refill.
42. Ignoring bills and letting the interest rack up instead of making payments and staying in touch with the creditor.
43. Continuing bad habits when you cannot afford to do.
44. Failing to plan ahead for emergencies by not having a savings account or things with you to care of the emergency.
45. Borrowing money instead of saving money for vehicles, campers, and recreational vehicles.
46. Having every light in the house on instead of just in the rooms you are using.
47. Forgetting to use gift cards and discount cards.
48. Blowing your budget just to impress your friends and family.
49. Going into debt during the holidays just to give your kids everything they wanted.
50. Using credit cards instead of cash to pay for vacations and gifts.
Recognize yourself in any of these?
I am not perfect either. I have written most of these knowing that I have committed these frugality sins. However, I have lived and learned and you can too.
A mistake is a mistake. It shouldn't rule your life and you should be able to forget about it. Next time, you do a little better at being frugal and being conscious about how to spend your money. You don't forget about what is free and you don't forget to take advantage of that online discount. Being frugal takes practice!
What frugal mistakes have you made?
Thanks for reading,