This post is by Bernie Carr,
Being a frugal person, I am always on the lookout for ways to save a buck or two. But I recently realized there are certain habits that frugal people may do that end up costing money in the long run.
Here are some habits that are basically good, but if not kept in check could end up as an expense.
Stocking up on items and never using them
I had a couple of bottles of hand lotion in my stockpile that were five years old. They expired a while back and I forgot to rotate them. When opened one, I could tell the liquid had separated. I shook up the bottle and mixed it back up but the liquid was runny and not very moisturizing. The worse part was the smell as it had a musty odor that did not dissipate after applying it to your hands.
We always hear “stock up on items while they’re on sale.” I have seen shoppers buying 2o boxes of Captain Crunch cereal, 15 packs or Townhouse crackers as they whip out coupons or discount app in the checkout line. That’s great if you manage to eat or donate these hot buys before they go stale, otherwise it’s a waste of money.
Waiting for the right moment to use something
One of my relatives had several good sets of china, plush towels and comfortable sheets but always kept them in storage for “someday.” But for daily use she always used the old stuff – frayed towels, worn sheets. After she passed away her heirs cleaned out the closets. Many items still had price tags attached. I felt sad she never got to use “the good stuff.”
Putting off auto maintenance
Regular maintenance is easy to put off, especially if there no sign that it is necessary. A lot of people put off oil changes and tire rotations. And some cars will run fine for a while. Until it doesn’t.
Driving with screeching brakes that are getting thin or ignoring the check engine light can end up costing a lot of money in repairs if the problem gets too big.
Putting off medical and dental visits
I know this young lady who put off repairing a cavity for a couple of years. Soon the cavity started getting larger and more painful, but she just kept repairing it with an over the counter dental kit. Those are good to have for emergencies but they are not meant to replace getting fillings or crowns. After a while the toothache got so bad she did go to the dentist but by that time, the tooth required a complicated root canal.
Living a prepared life means taking care of issues before they become a problem, and that includes your health. Don’t put off wellness visits. Being sick is bad enough but being sick in a disaster would be the worst.
Eating old food
I hate to waste leftovers myself but there is a point you should not eat them, especially if it was not stored properly, or if you’ve forgotten how long it’s been in the fridge. Organisms in old food can cause sickness or even death.
When in doubt, throw it out!
I was only going to name five habits but I had a couple more that came to mind so here they are:
- Using an old worn-out sponge for washing dishes. You can get sick from germs accumulating in old dish sponges. Sponges are three for a dollar at the Dollar Store, so throw out that germy sponges and replace them.
- Using a frayed phone charger with exposed wires. I see this in many homes – phone chargers that are way past their prime and have exposed wires. This can be a fire hazard, so replace any charging cables that have exposed wiring.
The final word
Most frugal habits are great, but some habits, if unchecked, can cost you a lot of money. I’ve been guilty of a few of these myself. What thrifty habits have costed you money? Please share in the comments.
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