4 “frugal” habits that can cost you dearly

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Being thrifty is a good thing in most cases. After all, you don’t want to spend money unnecessarily as it could put you at risk of ending up in credit card debt. Or it could make it harder to reach financial goals, like building your savings.

But some habits that may seem frugal at first glance can actually end up costing you money in the long run. Here are four examples.

1. Use coupons for purchases you don’t need

Coupons and sales seem like an opportunity to save, but that’s only true if you get a discount on things you would have bought anyway.

No matter how good the offer is, it shouldn’t make you want to buy something you haven’t already planned to buy. Otherwise, you’re just spending money on an impulse article because some marketing gimmick worked to convince you it was a thrifty buy.

Instead of letting coupons or sales dictate what items you buy, decide what to buy up front, then look for discounts on those particular items.

2. Plant a garden

Growing your own food might seem cheaper than buying it from the grocery store, but it can actually cost a lot of money to start a garden by the time you buy seeds or plants, soil, and produce. weed and pest control. And unless you’re a skilled gardener, your harvest may not be enough to justify the upfront costs of growing your garden.

Before you decide to plant a garden, do the math to make sure your investment will pay off. Or look for free or cheap plants, which people sometimes donate if they are in overabundance.

3. Drive long distances to save pennies

Sometimes some stores or gas stations may have a slightly lower price on gasoline or other items. But if you travel long distances to buy these items – or spend a lot of time going to multiple stores for rock-bottom prices – you could end up spending more on gas and wear and tear on your vehicle than the savings. you realize.

Instead of wasting time and money driving, find a store that tends to have good prices on most of the things you buy and stick with it.

4. Always buy the cheapest item

Ultimately, choose the cheapest item every time isn’t always the best way to save money. Instead, if you buy something that you use frequently, it may be worth paying a little more up front for a higher quality item that will be more durable.

Shoes are a good example. Buying a pair of inexpensive shoes might require you to replace them quickly because they don’t hold up. If you opted instead to upgrade to a more robust pair that lasts for years, you would save more in the long run, even if you initially paid a higher price.

At the end of the day, always look at the big picture and make sure that a decision that appears to cut costs on the surface will save you money over time. This is the best way for your frugal habits to pay off – and it might help you keep some more of your hard-earned money in your home. Bank account.

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