When Being Frugal Goes Too Far

Frugal shoppingWhen frugality goes too far, be prepared to suffer the consequences.

Many Americans are now embracing frugal living. In fact, frugality has become the “new normal.” According to the reports of the Bureau of Labor Statistics from 2007 to 2011, the average American has concentrated more on the necessities and other essentials like healthcare and fuel costs and have scaled back on luxury and other unnecessary items. The reports also showed that consumer spending has slowed by 3%.

In addition, the results of the TIME/Money American’s Financial Values Survey showed that the recession resulted in a significant increase in the number of people who use coupons, shop in dollar and discount stores, and haggle over prices. Moreover, more people are now eating at home more often.

When Frugality Goes Extreme

There is nothing wrong with being frugal. In fact, given the current state of the economy, people should consider implementing some money-saving strategies if they want to stretch their money’s worth. However, there are times when frugality goes too far. When this happens, you may find yourself on the losing side of the bargain.

Understand that you are not always getting a great bargain whenever you pick an item on sale. There is a big chance that you are actually throwing money down the drain. Extreme frugality may also cut into your joys and make you feel miserable. To avoid making mistakes that you will eventually regret later on, be aware of the most common blunders made by bargain shoppers. Here are some of them:

  • Buying excessive amounts of a particular item when it goes on sale. Stockpiling too many canned goods may lead to spoilage, especially if you don’t keep tab on all of them. In the same manner, hoarding items just because you can get a good deal on them is also a bad idea, especially if you are buying something that you don’t need or will not use.
  • Not buying essential items when you can’t find them on sale. You should not go without the things you need just because they are not currently on sale. This will only make your life uncomfortable.
  • Giving in to the “fear of missing out” (FOMO) fever. This usually happens during the holiday season. Most shoppers believe that there is an extremely limited supply of hot holiday gifts so they are forced to buy these items when they come on sale. Don’t fall into this trap. With a few exceptions, retailers have ample supplies of the top selling items so these items will still be in stock during the holidays.
  • Being too engrossed in deals, discounts and bargain hunting. In your effort to save money, you may actually end up spending more. This is especially true when you are using coupons or are forced to spend more just to get the promised discount.