Especially during these times of extreme inflation, we’re all looking to save a few bucks anywhere we can. Whether that means clipping coupons, waiting to make purchases until what we need goes on sale or simply opting to buy less brand-name products, we can all find a few places to cut back. But there is a difference between being frugal and making purchases or decisions that won’t actually help you out in the long run. A great deal can be exciting to find, but only if the product will last just as long or longer than the same thing at full price!
Reddit users have been sharing some situations where it is not worth it to be cheap, so we’ve gathered some of their most spot-on answers down below. From purchasing items that keep you and your loved ones safe to splurging on well-made products that will prevent you from having health problems in the future, be sure to upvote the replies mentioning things you agree never to skimp on. Feel free to let us know in the comments what else you refuse to be too frugal about, and then if you’re interested in reading another Bored Panda article noting even more “false frugalities” that aren’t worth it in the long run, you can find that right here.
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Shoes. Good shoes are important.
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Your kids. You had them now f*****g support them you cheap prick.
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Anything where being frugal could impact negatively on your health. I’d rather throw the smelly chicken away than eat it and get sick.
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Typically, being frugal is a great thing. We live in a world where large corporations and the media are often pressuring us to believe that we need to buy more, more, more and that we’re out of touch if we don’t have the latest and greatest technology. I am all for shopping second hand, buying that produce that’s marked down because it has to be eaten within the next few days and taking public transit instead of driving yourself to be a bit easier on your wallet and the environment. But as with everything else in life, it is possible to go too far when being frugal.
If you’re putting yourself or others at risk, perhaps by eating food out of the garbage or by refusing to get that mysterious sound your car is making checked out, you might have fallen a little too far down the rabbit hole of frugality. Sometimes, it is worth it to just purchase something nice up front, such as a pair of leather shoes or a high quality chef’s knife, to ensure that it will last for years to come. Being frugal is not always about spending as little as possible. You also have to make wise decisions about where it is worth it to spend money, and you shouldn’t be making yourself (and everyone else around you) miserable by choosing to shower only once a week.
Nothing worse than having a tooth f*****g *shatter* because the cheap dentist you went to years ago did the silver fillings (this was mid-2000’s, what the hell?) completely improperly. One of them had a small space under it that just let infection go to town regardless of brushing. Had to get a root canal there. Then having to go and get all the fillings he did redone… Cost way more and was way more painful in the long run.
Go to a well-rated dentist, regardless of cost.
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Anything that separates you from the ground. IE) Tires, bed, shoes etc
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For me, food. And I don’t mean going out to eat. I do cook myself, but when I buy meat or fish I usually go to a store I trust and spend a few extra bucks on it.
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When people are passionate about something, they often feel the desire to go as hard as they possibly can in regards to that passion. We see this when people watch a documentary and decide to go vegan cold turkey (cold tofurkey?) overnight or when individuals decide they must live a zero-waste lifestyle and attempt to immediately stop consuming. Typically, making drastic lifestyle changes such as these overnight will lead to burn out. Often, the person is unprepared for what they’re getting themself into and they put way too much pressure on themselves to be a perfect *insert whatever label they desire*.
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When they inevitably cannot keep up with the new rules they have placed on themself, the person will likely abandon the venture altogether. The same thing can happen with frugality. A person may choose to start showering once a week, eating food out of dumpsters, refusing to turn on the lights in their home, and spending hours clipping coupons each week. But this will drastically lower their quality of life, and eventually, they will return to their old habits. When it would have been much more frugal, in the long run, to adopt reasonable habits and choose attainable goals that will allow them to keep up their pace of saving money.
Tattoos. I’d rather overpay for a perfect tattoo than have a bad one for the rest of my life
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Anything going into your body – oral medication, contact lens etc.
Recently read an article about a guy that wore cheap contact lens he bought from a gas station for a year and is now blind in one eye.
If it’s going into your body (or in your eye!) spend the extra $$ for your health
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Car maintenance. Small things like oil changes and getting your tires rotated and aligned saves wear and tear and fuel costs. Plus, it’s nice to know that couple-few thousand pound hunk of metal you’re piloting at 75 MPH down the road is taken care of.
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I have to admit, there are some things on this list that I myself am guilty of, such as washing sandwich bags and reusing them. But that has never hurt my quality of life. What would negatively impact me would be buying the cheapest winter coat possible and suffering through the snow and freezing temperatures just to save a little money. Or worse, buying a “cheap” coat and then hating it so much that I end up spending much more in the long run when I have to invest in another coat. It is important to know where it is worth it to spend and where it’s worth it to save. Some things, such as a winter coat, are worth investing in to ensure they last. Putting off going to the doctor or dentist to avoid paying a bill is also not likely to be worth it. If you wait until you’re forced to go to the emergency room when your health problems inevitably escalate, you will likely be suffering physically and financially a lot more than you would have had you made a routine appointment months prior.
Pillows. I bought a good pillow and I’ve never slept better.
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If you’re replacing your home’s roof, roofing shingles come in all quality grades for duration (10-year, 20-year, 30-year, lifetime, etc.)
Since most of the cost is in the labor, prep and clean-up, it pays to buy the better quality, long-lasting shingles so you don’t have to do the job again. Plus, it’s a selling point when you put the house on the market to have a superior, long-lasting roof.
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The majority of people who coupon [end up spending more]. You’re buying items that you probably didn’t need, won’t use, only because they’re cheaper with a coupon.
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According to Tim Jordan, the man behind Atypical Finance, “There should be no deprivation when it comes to being frugal.” He explains that the true meaning of being frugal is about being intentional with your money. Frugal people don’t throw their money away on impulsive purchases that they will later regret or waste it on things they don’t need. But it does not mean that you should make yourself miserable pinching pennies and denying yourself and loved ones an occasional evening out, a car that has a working heater or showers that take longer than 2 minutes. “Determining what you value is the very essence of being frugal,” Tim writes on his blog. “You have to know yourself and what you do and do not like. It is the conscious decision to not spend money on certain things (what you don’t value) so you can spend money on other things (what you do value).”
Toilet paper. Cheap TP just feels like sandpaper.
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My wife likes to buy things on sale and tout how much money she saved.
“I got this purse for 50% off! I saved $50!”
“No, you spent $50.”
She also likes to shop at Marshall’s, TJ Maxx, Burlington Coat Factory; basically anywhere the price tag says “compare to $xx.xx” on it.
So this rug costs $89. It says “compare to $139!” on the price tag. OK, yes, $89 is less than $139. Problem is, I have no idea where that $139 number came from.
A bed. Investing in good bedding will make you less susceptible to getting back pains
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If you haven’t already learned from your own experiences or from the responses you’ve read on this list, there are plenty of ways being too frugal can come back to bite you. Financial expert Jim Garnet, also known as “Ask Mr. G” spoke to NBC News about the dangers of being too stingy, and one of the first things he warns people not to do is ignore insurance. It may seem costly up front, but it will certainly be worth it when a rainy day comes around. “One accident, one major illness, one fire, or one death can literally send us to the bankruptcy court if we are not insured adequately,” Garnet notes. It’s always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to insurance.
Frugal doesn’t mean cheap. Getting a $300 pair of shoes that lasts you >5 years is frugal. Getting $50 ones that will fall apart after a few months not so much. Ditto with getting good roof shingles, etc.
That being said don’t be frugal on vacation or when you’re having a blast. That’s not to say blow all your money in a night, but don’t miss out on the time of your life because there might be a bargain around the corner.
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Winter boots and coats. Don’t go too expensive but you really don’t want something falling apart in the middle of winter
One thing that can take up the bulk of many of our budgets is food. But it’s another thing that we should be wary of becoming too cheap about. Cathi Brese Doebler, author of Ditch The Joneses, Discover Your Family, told NBC News, “If you spend less money on food, but the food is unhealthy, you can impact your health over time. This can lead to long-term health problems and more visits to the doctor,” says Brese Doebler. “Many healthy foods can also be affordable foods.” A lot of being frugal comes down to thinking about the future as well, not simply opting for the cheapest choice at that moment. It’s much easier to keep your body healthy than to try to fix or eliminate issues later down the line.
I knew a guy who bought lottery tickets because if he ever won, “it’d be the smartest investment he could’ve ever made”.
How can you be right and so stupid at the same time?
People that drive across town to save a couple cents off a gallon of milk [don’t actually save money]
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We hope this list is inspiring you to be a bit more frugal if you can, but not too frugal. Don’t let your desire to save money negatively impact your life or your health, and know when it’s worth it to splurge to save yourself time, energy and even money in the future. Keep upvoting the responses mentioning things you’re willing to spend money on as well, and feel free to share any other “false frugalities” you refuse to get on board with in the comments. Then if you’d like to check out Bored Panda’s last article on this same topic, you can find that right here.
I always buy really expensive underwear and make up for it by buying really cheap bags of socks. And before you get all excited, I’m a dude and we’re talking boxer briefs. Good underwear is one of those things that can make a difference in how comfortable you are all day long.
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Contractors to fix something in your home.
Just because someone comes in a few thousand under everyone else quotes you with doesn’t mean their work is equally as good
Car seat. You don’t have to get an expensive one, but if you buy it second hand, you don’t know if it was ever in an accident.
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It doesn’t pay to cheap out on cooking knives. It’s amazing how much more you enjoy cooking when cutting ingredients isn’t an infuriating process. You can get by with cheaper pots and pans but buying at least one decent chef knife makes a huge difference.
I should say knives are less of a thing to be really cheap about than frugal. You can get some great knives for $25-50. I’m not getting snobby about needing a $500 Japanese steel knife hand forged in a volcano, you just need to find ones that work for you. And pans are more important to the quality of your food but I find many of my friends and family don’t consider a knife as important as the cookware. As others have pointed out a [bad] knife can still be made sharp but I still think it’s well worth spending a little money for a knife that will last and make cooking less frustrating.
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Clothes. I’m not saying spend more than you can afford, but I think it’s worth it to spend a little more up front on the things you wear a lot (for me, it’s khaki pants and button down shirts), and have basics that last, rather than getting the cheaper stuff and have it c**p out quickly. You wind up spending more in the long run when you buy cheap clothes.
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When you start sharing toothbrushes, it doesn’t even save money, they just wear out twice as fast!
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Musical instruments. Especially if you are a beginner! Good quality helps you play better.
Granted, you don’t have to go spend a couple thousand dollars (though you can, and you’ll notice the difference), but don’t go buy one off the rack at Macy’s. Spend the $600-700 to get a perfectly tailored suit. You will feel so GD confident walking around in that thing, it is absolutely ridiculous.
And beyond that, I tend to spend the money necessary to get a high quality item, if 2 cheaper alternatives are more expensive than one quality one. The idea here being that, if I’m going to have to replace this item because I bought cheap, I’m better off buying one I won’t have to replace.
Things like: clothes racks, umbrellas, kitchen utensils/pans/knives, tools for the house, electronics.
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Computer power supplies.
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