Budgeting | Personal Finance | Article

Are You Doing Frugal The Right Way?

by Cherry Wong | 12 Jun 2024 | 3 mins read

Frugal living has become the norm because everyone is tightening their wallets to deal with the rising cost of things. However, some people take being frugal too far, which could cost them more in the long run.

Here are some frugal mistakes people make when they only focus on the price rather than what they get in return for that price.

Forgoing meals

Do not skip meals or eat only cheap, processed and unbalanced meals because your body needs balanced meals and nutrition to stay healthy.


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Skipping medication and supplements

Although prescribed medication and supplements can be expensive, your health may deteriorate if you skip taking them. This could cost you more in the long run in the form of expensive medical bills.

Opting for basic health coverage

Basic health insurance plans may be cheaper but might not provide comprehensive coverage to cover all your needs. When shopping for your health insurance plan, don’t just focus on the monthly premium charges. You should not compromise on your coverage to save a few dollars a month as you might end up with big hospital bills when something goes wrong.

Trying to save on maintenance and repairs

Maintaining a car and a house is expensive. To reduce your bill, you might be thinking about using cheaper materials and services. However, this may result in poorer quality items and shoddy workmanship that may not stand the test of time.

For example, using inferior quality engine oil can damage your car’s engine, leading to costly repairs. Similarly, getting an unskilled worker to fix your plumbing issues instead of a plumber could lead to leaks that could ruin your ceiling. You may then need to spend more to replace the pipes and to repair the ruined ceiling boards.

Purchasing unapproved appliances

Cheap, unapproved electrical appliances can be dangerous. Many home fires have been started by faulty electrical appliances. Only buy approved electrical appliances from registered stores and sellers.

Buying something just because it is on promotion

When shopping, it is easy to get caught up with promotions and deals on products that are not part of your shopping list. Beware of deals such as: “Add X to get 5% off” or “Buy one more for a discount voucher”. There is no harm in stopping by the promotional rack to check them out but be mindful before putting them into your cart.

Buying things in bulk

Buying in bulk is a good money-saving strategy. However, if you buy perishable goods in bulk, whatever you cannot finish will end up in the bin and you will waste more money than you save.

Travelling a distance for a deal

It is not uncommon for someone to go out of their way to buy an item that is a few dollars cheaper. But don’t forget to add the cost of fuel and parking to the price of the discounted product. With rising fuel prices, you might be paying more than what you were supposed to have saved.

Be frugal, but do it wisely

With the rising cost of living, it can be very tempting to cut corners. However, remember not to make these mistakes as they may end up costing you more.