You Really Can Be Too Frugal

I pride myself in how frugal I am. Seriously; my frugality and ability to live on a minimum budget is something I’ve learned to excel at. Part of it comes from the fact that I’m the eternal college student; I am currently working on my second Master’s degree and, hopefully, well on my way to what will be my ultimate career. But part of it was just watching the financial disaster that my mom lived in; she was over $30,000 in debt when she passed away just over 2 years ago. I didn’t want to be in that situation myself (even though, with college loans, I am), so I’ve become obsessed with living simply. Thankfully, I’m happy this way, and it’s not a huge burden to be the penny pincher that I am.

But, sometimes living simply can backfire on us. Being “too frugal” can result in some unhealthy patterns and practices, and we’re going to look at a few questions we should ask ourselves in order to see whether or not we’re trying to be “too frugal.”

Are you really saving by spending more? Think about this friends. Are we really saving when we “have” to spend $25 on Amazon in order to get free shipping? Are you really saving when you’re buying 2 items in order to get one free? Now, if you were planning to spend that much anyway, then sure, it’s savings. If you’ve got a huge family and it’s stuff that you need, awesome. But if you are starting to stockpile everything under the sun because of sales, that may not end up as well as you want it to. Which leads us to the second question…

Are you running out of space in your house? This is where horror stories like the ones on Hoarders come from. If you’ve got a lot of space or an extra freezer in your home, it’s not a horrible thing. But if you are starting to struggle with space in your pantry or you’re having to jump over stuff in order to get between your kitchen and your living room, you may have a bit of an issue. Don’t overstock yourself because of “good sales.” Shop responsibly and stock up, but within reason, my friend.

Are you breaking things that you’re trying to fix? The Do-it-yourself trend is huge. I do all of my own electronics repair, but only because I know what in the world I’m doing. I would never try to fix my own plumbing or repair the lawn mower. But, people are doing their own home repairs more and more; the issue is, some of those people are making the issue worse. If you have absolutely no idea what you’re doing, it may just be cheaper to hire someone or call a buddy that does know.

Has trying to be frugal ever affected you negatively? Has it become an obsession that may be backfiring on those of us trying to be frugal? Or are the “horror stories” just a fad? I’m really curious to see what you’re thinking! Share some thoughts in the comments, have a great week, and we’ll see you back here next Tuesday.

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