There’s nothing wrong with cutting corners to save some change, especially in today’s economy. But there’s such a thing as being too careful with your cash. People took to the internet to share signs that you’re too frugal.
Note: Some quotes in this piece have been lightly edited for grammar.
1: Crossing the Line
One commenter says hacks like rinsing and reusing aluminum foil, plastic bags, and more are great, but they have an expiration date. “Saving every single plastic food container you’ve ever had in a large cabinet drawer, now so full you can’t even open it? 80% of them don’t even have a matching lid? Too frugal!”
2: Leeching Off Others
One commenter says being frugal crosses the line when you start taking advantage of people. “Expecting them to drive you places without contributing to gas expenses plus extra for wear and tear, or going to their place for a party for free food without bringing something of equal value, or reciprocating.”
3: Take It Easy
One commenter says to be careful with how much time and stress you put into thinking about money. “If you’re spending too long or getting really worked up overspending, say, a quarter of your hourly take-home pay, you probably need to reexamine your attitude to frugality.”
4: Staying In
One person thinks you’re too frugal when you start avoiding social events, going out with friends, and going on dates to save. “Don’t lose friends just to save a few bucks. And I sure won’t stop dating just to cheap out.”
5: Fiscal Freeze
You know you’re pinching pennies a little too hard when your daily life starts to become uncomfortable, one commenter says. “For example, shivering at home because you’re too frugal to set the thermostat at a comfortable temp.”
6: Scared of Spending
One commenter says there’s no such thing as being too frugal, but you can take things too far and become cheap. “Being frugal is about finding some kind of sustainable equilibrium that makes you happy,” they said. “It’s not about sacrificing your quality of life for fear of spending money.”
7: Love Yourself
Don’t value your time and energy? You may be too frugal, according to this commenter. “Everything has a cost, but if you value your time at $0/hr, you’ll look at being a retiree regretting that he/she didn’t live life.”
8: Live Your Life
“Life is meant to be lived,” one commenter says. If your thoughts about money limit your life, you’re probably too frugal. “Just find things within your budget that you can do. Don’t try to avoid doing anything fun for fear of spending money.”
9: Too Extreme
One person referenced an episode of the popular TLC show Extreme Cheapskates to define what crosses the line. “Some people will go as far as using an indoor clothesline to hang up, dry, and reuse teabags, straws, and even dental floss. That is being too frugal to the point of questionable hygiene and mental health.”
10: Health Is Wealth
You know you’re being too frugal when your health is suffering, mental or physical, according to one commenter.
11: Becoming a Puppet
According to one commenter, you know you’re being too frugal when trying to save and scrimp starts to dominate your life and control you. “An example would be when you go to four different grocery stores to save what amounts to a few bucks,” they said. “The time you spent driving all over town has a value, too.”
12: Let It Go
When frugality isn’t a necessity and is starting to make you unhappy, it may be time to change your ways, one commenter says. “If you have managed a long period of frugality, chances are your idea of ‘splashing out’ will still be relatively restrained.”
13: Reality Check
One formally frugal commenter goes as far as to say extreme frugality could be a disease. “Live comfortably, enjoy life, and treat yourself once in a while. Being frugal can put stress into your life.”
14: Healthy Habits
A former coupon clipper realized they spent an hour or so to gather the savings, better spent prepping a healthy meal plan. “If I’m planning inexpensive, nutrient-dense meals in the first place, a coupon isn’t going to make much of a difference in the long run.”
15: Free Food
One commenter says their friend’s mother would check and see what others left uneaten on their tables and take it home. “She said she saw no reason why it should go to waste,” they said. That’s too frugal of a move in their eyes.
16: Sharing Isn’t Caring
One commenter draws the line with people who use a shared bathroom cloth. “I know I’ve seen someone mention it here before. That’s just too frugal!”
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