7 Ways Being Frugal Can Be Expensive

So here at City Girl Savings, we believe in spending your money in the most intentional and efficient way possible to live your best life. We believe that in order to reach our financial goals, there may have to be some temporary sacrifices needed to be made to get to your desired goals.

However, sometimes there are situations that occur that being frugal may be more detrimental than beneficial, because life happens. Here are seven ways when being frugal can actually be expensive.

#1 Buying Lesser Quality Clothes and Shoes

Yes, we all love a great deal on clothes, shoes, and accessories. However, we cannot deny that the quality is just as important as the style of the article of clothing. Think about it, how many times have we decided to go for cheaper articles of clothing, while we may be able to get more in quantity, the quality isn’t always there.

There can be a difference between spending $100 on 20 pieces of clothing/shoes vs $100 on one or two pieces. Usually, the less expensive items do not usually last as long as the more expensive clothes. How many times have you had to throw out a pair of “cheap” shoes after a few wears? How many times have you had to sew jeans or snip loose thread from a lesser quality blouse?

Sometimes it is ok to spend a little more on better quality clothes and shoes. Plus, good quality shoes are super vital for the health of your feet too! Your feet literally carry your weight of the day, be sure to treat them as such.

#2 Making Unrealistic Cuts to Your Budget

Listen, in 2022 we know that inflation is through the roof right now, but there are just some things that we just have to make room for in our budgets, regardless of how we may feel at the time. For instance, yes gas is very high right now, but at the end of the day, you need gas so that your car can run and take you from point A to point B.

The same can be said about groceries, which is also getting affected by inflation. However, it will be unrealistic to cut your grocery budget in half just to save money. Inflation doesn’t last forever, so manage what you can manage at the moment.

Maybe you can cut corners in other areas, but basic needs should never be questioned.

#3 Car Maintenance

Similar to the above point about gas, car maintenance is also a vital thing that should not get pushed to the side or neglected. I can remember being a teen, with my very first car. My father bought it for me, but since I have a part-time job, I had to be responsible for the car insurance, gas, and basic maintenance like oil changes.

Well, there was a time where I just did not want to spend the necessary money on getting my oil change…and I continued to drive my car way over the recommended mileage, I wanted to spend my money on fun things. Low and behold, one day I was driving somewhere and my car started to act up as I was driving!

When I finally took the car in, I had done so much damage to my engine that the oil was burnt…leading to a whole slew of other issues. This was all because I did not want to spend money on an oil change, and resulted in my father to pay hundreds of unnecessary money on bigger issues.

Never skip those routine car maintenance duties! It will cost you more if you continue to neglect them.

#4 Furniture

Ok, so this may be debatable, like a lot of things on this list, but I am going to stick to my opinions about this one. Now, while I loved my college apartment furniture that came from a mega huge Swedish furniture warehouse/store, I was also equally excited to get rid of it.

Now – follow me here. Sometimes “cost” doesn’t always need to mean monetary, sometimes it means time and energy too. While most of the furniture from the super famous Swedish is priced at a reasonable price, you WILL spend an entire day putting things together and trying to decipher the manual haha!

Also – from a monetary perspective, I have had cheap furniture that have cracked or broken months after purchasing, and I should have known better and spent better. Especially if you are going to live at your residence for a good while, you want furniture that is going to represent you, your style, and your hard earned cash!

#5 Skipping Out on Insurance and Doctors’ Appointments

Ok, this is another one that can be debated and can get pretty dicey. Unfortunately, the United States is not a country that provides universal healthcare, and if you do not work for a company that provides some sort of health insurance package, the costs of health insurance just may not be attainable for some. Trust me, I understand. As someone who has had to experience a period of time being unemployed and uninsured, I was pretty shocked to see the out-of-pocket costs for healthcare, it is ridiculous.

However, I am more scared of what could happen, as we just do not know. An accident, a fall, a medical emergency could happen, then what? This is a problem that a lot of Americans have unfortunately, which is why it is so important to have some sort of emergency savings to prevent a huge medical expense burden.

Also, if you do have health insurance and you are still skipping your routine doctor and dentist check-ups, you may be doing yourself a huge disservice in the long-run, as you may be avoiding small issues that may turn into bigger, more expensive issues down the line. So keep your physicals, teeth cleanings, and all medical check-ups up to date!

#6 DIY Projects Gone Wrong

I love a good DIY project, especially if I know I can save money…HOWEVER, you what else I also love and own? My own strengths and weaknesses! If my toilet is clogged that not even a plunger can fix, I will not take apart the toilet – I am going to call a professional, a plumber. Now this doesn’t even have to go as far as something as a broken toilet or appliance.

I remember trying my best to save money and try to install my own hair extensions…well, that was a disaster, as I cut my own hair, tangled my own hair, and eventually broke down and called my hairstylist to get the tangled weave out of my hair. Needless to say, that particular hair appointment cost me more money because it took her more time to correct my mistakes…Let the professionals be the experts in their areas of expertise, it may save you some money!

#7 Inexpensive Food

OK, back to talking about food, but this time I want to talk about the quality of food. Now, we have heard that it’s actually healthier to shop around the perimeters of grocery stores, because that’s usually where the healthier foods are, such as fruits, vegetables, produce, etc, whereas the middle aisles are reserved for more processed and “junk” foods. This is also where the cheapest groceries are as well.

“You Are What You Eat” isn’t just a slogan, but it’s the absolute truth. There is a reason why fast food is so cheap – you’re paying for the convenience, not for quality. There are a lot of unhealthy chemicals and added preservatives in fast food, which keeps the costs really low.

Yes, your grocery budget will be a bit more, but your body and overall health will thank you for it, as you are nourishing your body with healthy and whole food!

Related: 6 Things You Should Never Go Cheap On

What are some ways you have learned that being frugal isn’t always the right way? Did you have to learn the hard way at times? Let us know in the comments below!

-Lena
The CGS Team

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