As a person who runs her household's finances with a very strict budget, I have been called cheap, a penny-pincher, and frugal many times. I make it my personal mission to bargain shop for pretty much anything my family needs. Paying full price for something we need or want pains me because every dollar I save on one purchase will go a long way toward helping us afford something else. However, there are times when being frugal can backfire on me if I am not careful. Here are three ways my frugal ways can cause me to overspend.
I love getting a discount on the items I purchase, so using coupons makes sense for me. I use all sorts of coupons at many different types of stores. However, it isn't always easy. It's hard to make sure the coupon you are using is really getting you the best deal possible. Buying things I don't need because I can get a great deal is my number one issue with couponing. If I don't watch what I'm doing, I could waste more of my family's money than I save.
There are a lot of stores in my area that host a discount isle, and the moment I walk into one of them, I head straight for the discounts. These items are usually discontinued, refunded, or slightly damaged, so the store lowers the price. I have found some great deals shopping in these isles, but I've lost money as well. Most of the items sold with such deep discounts are sold as is, which means the stores do not offer returns. Not long ago I found a portable radio marked down from $20 to just $5. Someone returned it to the store with the box open. I knew it was a risk, but I bought it anyway. In the end, I wasted the $5 I spent because the radio didn't work, and I had to buy another radio.
One of the biggest schemes that I fall victim to is the buy 10 for 10 deals some of the local grocery stores offer. Let me be clear that there are times when this is a fantastic deal; however, it can get you into trouble. Buying 10 jars of spaghetti for $10 sounds appealing, but with my tight budget if I fall for this scheme, I could be in real trouble.
I now know that not all discounts, coupons, or sales are good for my budget, and that being frugal can cause me to overspend. I still struggle to find a balance, but I'm learning more with every mistake I make.
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