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9 Frugal Habits That Negatively Affect Your Quality of Life

SelectStock / Getty Images/Vetta/iStockphoto
SelectStock / Getty Images/Vetta/iStockphoto

Saving money is usually a good thing, but not every frugal habit adds quality to your life. In fact, some frugal habits can actually be more hassle than they’re worth.

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Some of these habits won’t save you much money or require you to limit yourself in ways that might not always make you happy. Others — like extreme couponing — take too long to justify what savings they do bring.

Here are some frugal habits that can negatively impact your quality of life.

DNY59 / Getty Images
DNY59 / Getty Images


“There is such a thing as saving too much money. I know it is hard to believe but at some point in life, you need to look at the ‘return on hassle’ of penny-pinching,” said Jay Zigmont, PhD, CFP, and founder of Childfree Wealth. “When you are barely making enough money for rent and ramen, you need to cut costs everywhere. On the other hand, when you have enough money to retire comfortably, it is time to retrain your brain.”

It’s not just people who live paycheck to paycheck who do this. Many people — even high-earners — penny-pinch to try to save a few bucks.

“Many millionaires fall into what I call the ‘blueberry problem,'” Zigmont said. “They are buying the frozen blueberries because they are a dollar cheaper than the fresh blueberries. My answer is always just to buy the good blueberries!”

Find Out: 8 Healthy Grocery Items Frugal People Always Buy
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cjmacer /
cjmacer /

Extreme Couponing

Using coupons when you shop or planning your shopping lists around what’s currently on sale can save you money. But if you’re spending hours every weekend trying to gather as many coupons as possible, ask yourself whether it’s worth the return on time investment. If it’s cutting into the time you could be spending with loved ones or pursuing other interests, it probably isn’t.

Learn More: 7 Household Products To Always Buy in Bulk at Costco

Cebas / Getty Images/iStockphoto
Cebas / Getty Images/iStockphoto

Buying Things Because They’re On Sale

If you’re trying to save money, you should generally buy things because you truly want or need them, not just because they’re on sale.

“Many people buy things they don’t need or even want just because they’re on sale. They probably think that it will serve a purpose eventually or that they’re getting a good deal,” said Sherman Standberry, licensed CPA and managing partner at My CPA Coach. “However, this habit can lead to unnecessary clutter and waste of money. Just because something is on sale doesn’t mean you should buy it.”

Be mindful about what you’re buying and how it improves your quality of life, not just the supposed savings you’re getting. Otherwise, you could end up spending money when you should have saved it instead.

brazzo / Getty Images/iStockphoto
brazzo / Getty Images/iStockphoto

Trying To Avoid Healthcare Expenses

It’s no secret that healthcare is extraordinarily expensive in the United States. But if you’re trying to save money by skipping it altogether, it could end up costing you in the long run.

“Many people avoid going to the doctor or dentist for routine check-ups because they don’t want to spend the money,” Standberry said.

This could lead to complications or more expensive treatments later.

“Some insurance plans cover preventive care, so it may not even cost as much as you think,” Standberry said. “Prioritizing your health should always be a top priority, even if it means spending a little extra money.”

monkeybusinessimages / Getty Images
monkeybusinessimages / Getty Images

Skipping Personal Development

If you avoid investing in yourself to save money, you could be hurting your long-term prospects and overall quality of life.

“While saving money by avoiding investments in personal growth opportunities, such as education, skills development or recreational activities, may seem prudent in the short term, it can limit long-term fulfillment and career advancement prospects,” said Kevin T. Taylor, a seasoned financial advisor and managing partner at InSight.

The thing is, you don’t necessarily have to spend money to invest in yourself. Take advantage of free resources like online courses, podcasts, webinars and local community groups to improve your skills and education — and potentially your career prospects.

Explore More: I’m a Frugal Shopper: 7 Things I Never Waste Money On

gorodenkoff / Getty Images
gorodenkoff / Getty Images

Sacrificing Quality for a Low Price Tag

It’s fine to check and compare prices for things you want or need. But if you only ever choose the cheapest option without considering quality, you could end up spending more — without improving your quality of life at all.

“Going for the cheapest option every time can backfire. Often, lower-priced items aren’t made to last, leading to more frequent replacements. This creates a false sense of savings because, in the long run, you’re likely to spend more,” said True Tamplin, a certified educator in personal finance and founder of Finance Strategists.

Capuski / Getty Images
Capuski / Getty Images

Neglecting Your Own Self-Care

You don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars on self-care every month, but nor should you neglect it entirely. Even if you’re trying to save money, you can — and should — still prioritize your physical and mental health. Otherwise, you might experience things like burnout or excessive stress.

David Reyes, founder and chief investment officer at Reyes Financial Architecture, suggested looking for affordable alternatives. This could be at-home meditation, exercise, spending quality time with your family or pursuing new hobbies.

Rostislav_Sedlacek / Getty Images/iStockphoto
Rostislav_Sedlacek / Getty Images/iStockphoto

Always Eating Instant or Heavily Processed Foods

These types of meals tend to be quick, easy and cost-effective. But they’re not exactly the healthiest option out there. Oftentimes, they don’t have much in the way of essential nutrients, which could lead to future health problems.

“Instead of relying on these foods if you’re trying to save money, try buying fresh produce and cooking meals at home,” Standberry said. “Fruits and vegetables can help fill you up and give you important vitamins and minerals without breaking the bank. You can also try meal prepping on weekends to have healthy options ready for the week ahead.”

Check Out: 6 Things Minimalists Never Buy — and You Shouldn’t Either

g-stockstudio / Getty Images/iStockphoto
g-stockstudio / Getty Images/iStockphoto

Skipping Social Events or Activities

It might seem like you have to spend money every time you go out with friends or family, but this isn’t necessarily the case. So, if you’re skipping social events just to cut costs, see if there’s another way to save money while still hanging out with the people you care about.

“Prioritize social bonds by finding inexpensive ways to socialize, such as potluck dinners, outdoor activities like picnics or hikes, or participation in free community events,” Reyes said.

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This article originally appeared on 9 Frugal Habits That Negatively Affect Your Quality of Life