5 Ways Being Frugal Can Backfire

It doesn’t always pay to be thrifty. Find out when penny-pinching can actually end up costing you money.

On the surface, it may seem that frugality is the best way to live your life if you’re looking to save yourself some green.

But penny-pinching doesn’t always play out how you intended, and it can actually end up hurting you financially and otherwise, according to U.S. News & World Report.

Here are five times when you may want to rethink your penny-pinching ways:

  • Used baby products: Although it may seem appealing to save yourself some cash by purchasing a used baby’s crib, car seat or highchair on the cheap, it’s probably not a good, nor safe, idea. “The highchair you found at a garage sale or thrift store may look sturdy, but for all you know, it was recalled three years ago because the screws sometimes come loose,” U.S. News said. You may want to splurge on a new crib and car seat for your little one and look to save money on other baby items, like gently used baby clothes or bedding.
  • Lowest premium health insurance: Sure, it’s better to have a low premium health insurance than to be uninsured, but there’s a potential cost to that cheap coverage. “If you end up paying more for doctor’s visits, or even worse, skipping visits because you don’t like the in-network health care providers, then that cheap policy will cost you,” U.S. News said. Check out “10 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Buying Health Insurance.”
  • Not saving — or not saving enough — for the golden years: Everyone knows it’s important to save for retirement. Although you may be tempted to skimp on retirement savings in your early working years, you could be cheating yourself out of thousands of dollars each year, especially if your employer is willing to match your retirement contributions. Click here to see if you’re saving enough money for retirement.
  • Buying cheap shoes: If you’re a penny-pincher who hates to spend big bucks on shoes, consider this: Cheap shoes have the potential to cause foot problems, like blisters and calluses. They also tend to fall apart faster, U.S. News said. You’d probably be better off spending a little more to get a decent pair of shoes the first time around.
  • Leasing a car: Although leasing a vehicle initially may seem like a money-saving option compared with purchasing a car, U.S. News noted that when the lease is up, that’s it. You don’t own the car, so you have nothing to show for all your car payments. Check out “Does It Ever Make Sense to Lease a Car.”

Has being frugal ever backfired on you? Share your experiences below or on our Facebook page.

Stacy Johnson

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