Growing up, our parents consistently advised us on how to be frugal. That advice may have included which things to buy, how to make your money go further, or even how to maintain your items for longevity. However, some of this advice may no longer save you money, no matter how well-meaning. According to an online forum, these pieces of frugal advice are outdated and should be discarded.
1. Resisting Taking Out Credit Cards
“Don’t use credit cards; use cash for everything.” As one user pointed out, this is an effective way not to build a credit score, which you may need in the future. In addition, if used responsibly, credit cards can easily be paid off monthly when you spend money within your budget’s constraints.
2. Investing in DIY Home Projects
Although you may have a garage or workshop full of equipment, many DIY solutions won’t save you money because you need more tools or supplies than you have on hand. The tools and supplies can quickly add up, making the project more costly and time-consuming than just buying the item you wanted.
3. Saving Money by Going to the Grocery Store Instead of Delivery Services
Some people think that avoiding delivery services will save them money. Although there may be a surcharge for some delivery services, such as grocery shopping, the fee is often worth it. Most people find that they make fewer impulse charges, saving them money in the long run.
4. Doing Your Dishes by Hand
If you were lucky enough to grow up with a dishwasher, your parents might have told you that it’s wasteful to use it. I know my parents used our dishwasher to store things, and we never used it unless we had guests. It turns out that in most cases, doing dishes by hand uses more water and wastes more time, too!
5. Avoiding Paying for Moving Boxes
Although paying for moving boxes may seem annoying, buying a few sturdy ones is a much more efficient use of your time. When you must search for used boxes for free, they may not be sturdy, they may have to be broken down and put together again, and it will take longer to collect them from various places. They also won’t stack as neatly.
6. Buying the Cheapest Option To Be Frugal
Sometimes, the cheapest option is not the best solution and won’t save you in the long run. In fact, the more affordable option may not be sustainable and may break down faster. That just means you’ll need to replace your belongings more often, costing you more money.
7. Taking Advantage of Black Friday and Holiday Sales
There’s a common misconception that you’re getting a great deal during big sales. In most cases, these businesses are planning on marking down items anyway and making people think they’re saving big. Instead, do your research if you’re planning on buying a big-ticket item.
8. Buying in Bulk for a Small Family
Costco can be a great way to save money, especially if you have a large family. However, if your kids have moved out or you’re living on your own, buying in bulk can be wasteful in several ways. Consider how much space you have for storage and what items you’ll be able to use before they go bad.
9. Driving Further for Savings on Gas
Certain gas stations offer small savings if you use their discount card or buy gas on a specific day. The cost savings are a no-brainer if you live close to or drive by these gas stations. Unfortunately, if you must go out of your way just to save a few cents, you’re likely not saving much.
10. Holding Onto Items for as Long as Possible
The old saying “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” exists for a reason. However, this rule doesn’t apply to all situations. For example, an old refrigerator may be working, but it’s also using more energy than a newer, energy-efficient model would. Sometimes upgrading or replacing is worth the money.
11. Always Cooking at Home
Before the hike in grocery prices, only eating out on special occasions made sense. Depending on the size of your family, cooking may still be a cost-effective option. Still, eating out these days (assuming you’re not going to a fancy steak restaurant each time) costs about the same as cooking a meal at home sometimes.
12. Saving Money but Wasting Time
You may be able to get certain things done on your own rather than paying someone else to do it. But you should also consider how much time you’ll spend doing the activity and what you could use that time for instead.
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