Saving money has become an ever more popular topic of conversation in recent years, whether you’re trying to stay afloat, or save for the bigger picture the phrase “I’m trying to save” has become commonplace. But in attempting to be frugal are we actually hampering our saving goals, and in some situations, is our behaviour dangerous?
This picture was provided from [RAWRZ!] at Flickr
Shopping for quality rather than quantity
A jaunt in the bargain basement shops we’ve grown to love of late has its advantages, especially if you enjoy keeping up with fashion, but there’s a time and a place for cheap stores, and sometimes it really does pay in the long run to invest in quality for that little bit more. Buying cheap often means buying more.
If you see a BOGOF offer, sale sticker or reduced label and rush to throw it in the trolley, just ask yourself, would you buy all that food or two pairs of jeans normally? Isn’t it more likely that the food will pass it’s sell by date before you get the chance to eat it, meaning you’ll have spent that little bit extra on gone off grub. And will you wear those pair of jeans you bought for half price? Even if you do, you’ve gone and bought an extra pair of jeans that you didn’t budget for.
Avoiding insurance payments
From standard life insurance, to health, car, travel and home, there seems to be a lot of precautions to pay for, but for good reason. Avoid car insurance and you could face anything from a fine to a spell behind bars. Home insurance could lose you everything you’ve worked hard at saving for and health/travel insurance simply isn’t worth avoiding, no one wants to pay out thousands for medical treatment at home or abroad when the annual costs for taking out a simple policy are so low.
If you’re saving for something long term, say a house or travel, socialising may be one of the things you think you could do without to save on costs, and in the short term there’s surely no harm in missing a few lunch dates or drinks in the evening. But there are ways to be social and not spend money, or spend less in order to avoid missing out on time with your friends and loved ones, after all, what’s the use in a house or holiday if there’s no one left to share it with you?
Skipping health checks
This is a popular one; especially it would seem with students who often cite dentist checkups as an expense to be dispensed with. But with the average cost of a root canal coming in at between $800 and $1500, is it worth missing a check up every 6 months?
Opting out of pension plans
This is another serious one; avoid paying money into a pension at your peril, most companies or even private pensions set up a manageable monthly amount via direct debit. It’s simple, budget for a pension or you’ll regret it in the long run.
Being frugal can have its advantages, but it’s all relative. Consider deals thoroughly before being succumb to unnecessary extra purchases, don’t miss health checks or opt out of pension/insurance payments, and be creative with your social life, if Dickens taught us anything, it’s that Scrooge and Mrs Havisham were pretty miserable folk.