Dangers of Being Too Frugal

being frugal, frugality, frugal living

There are tons of people out there who think being frugal is the key to success. This article aims to challenge that notion. Being frugal is smart but only up to a point. There’s a certain tipping point where being frugal just becomes being stupid. Feel free to comment below if you disagree with anything I’m about to write. Let’s get started.

The problem with being extremely frugal is you will never do anything great with your life. If you spend all day making everything from scratch, you’ll never have time to explore the world and share your skills (by the way, learning how to make homemade deodorant is not a skill).

Frugality can also take away precious time you could be earning tons of money. Think of it this way… you’re a professional. Let’s say you make $200/day. Your home air conditioner breaks. You know it’s the compressor. You feel compelled to fix it yourself. You take day off work to order the parts, read how to do it, and finally install the compressor. Hopefully you did it right. Hopefully it’s the only thing broken. Hopefully your original diagnosis was actually correct! Then, just for fun, you ask a HVAC repair person how much a job like that would cost. You’re feeling pretty good about tackling the project yourself. The repair person says she would do the whole thing for $110. Now you feel silly, right? You actually lost $90 by deciding to save money and do it yourself. But you lost the opportunity to make $200!

Being too frugal can also be detrimental to your health. I actually knew one girl who her dad, who made $100k/year mind you, was too cheap to pay for dental insurance. This meant he had his dentist friend pull out a tooth after hours. A numbing shot would have cost money so the guy forewent that. That’s crazy. The amount of stress and agony isn’t good for a person.

Another example is when a person decides they won’t waste any food. Eventually they get sick because they decided to eat those chicken breasts that had been in the refrigerator for two weeks. Now that is definitely frugality gone too far.

Another danger to being too frugal is when you harm relationships via your frugality. Sometimes… you should spend money doing fun things. After all, no one wants to be friends with someone who just sits at home with the lights off. Letting frugality harm relationships is not what you want to be thinking on your death bed. Perhaps instead of being completely frugal, just be frugal on yourself. Sure, you don’t need to watch movies alone but dang it if you shouldn’t invite a few buddies to go out and see the new James Bond movie. It would be a bonding experience.

I’m so opinionated on this topic because I’ve been there. I’ve been too frugal. I’ve probably done everything in this article to some degree. And I have to say… don’t do it. No amount of money savings is worth harming relationships, harming your health, or losing opportunities to make tons of money. Frugality – to a certain degree – is needed to build wealth. However, it’s not to be taken too far. Once you have developed good savings habits – at least 10% of your income saved, lay off frugality a bit. If you’re still a personal finance nerd like myself, focus on money-making ventures. It is FAR more fun than counting pennies – trust me.

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