Being frugal is a good thing, but sometimes it goes too far. On the website Poverty Living, an author cites instances in which people take frugality to the extreme. These are the types of things you may see on the TLC show Extreme Cheapskates. Here are a few examples from the site and the TLC show:
- Using reusable cloth instead of toilet paper
- Eating expired or half-eaten foods to avoid high grocery bills
- Reusing dirty undergarments to avoid washing them
- Having several family members take turns bathing in the same bath water to save on water bills
- Haggling every store clerk and vendor you come into contact with
- Washing dishes in a child’s kiddie pool, using the same water the children played in to save water
These actions cross the boundary line between frugal and counterintuitive. Considering the unsanitary nature of many of these activities, you may catch a viral or bacterial illness, with resulting medical costs much higher than the few dollars you may save.
Being economical is generally productive when it’s not taken to the extreme. There are, however, some purchases we make where being too frugal may cause problems later on. These are items that shelling out a little extra cash now will save you aggravation, time or money in the future. We’ve created a list of generic items you should shy away from.