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Money, Save It

10 thrifty living tips to avoid | Those frugal living tips you need to stay away from if you want to live well

A sum on a blackboard written out in chalk that reads: ‘1+1 =3’. The image is being used in an article about thrifty living tips that people should avoid.

The internet is awash with thrifty living tips that all promise to save you money, but should you listen to every one? I don’t think so. Here are 10 thrifty living tips that you should avoid.  

Thrifty living tips to avoid - not a hack - Claire St

1) There’s only one path to living a frugal life 

One thing I’ve learnt is, there’s more than one way to do something. Just because somebody claims to have found the magic answer to thrifty living, doesn’t mean that their strategy will work for you. Listen to it, try it if you want, but don’t automatically believe you’ve just found the answer to all of your problems. What works for one, doesn’t necessarily work for another and that’s okay. Check out my roundup of ways to save money on a tight budget if you’re looking for some new ideas to try. 

2) I can implement all frugal living tips

If you try and embrace 25 thrifty living tips at once, then how many of them will you realistically stick to? Don’t overwhelm yourself. Make little changes and you will see results.

3) A deal will always save you money 

Just because something is on offer, doesn’t mean you should buy it. With this in mind, I try to avoid the end-of-aisle offers in the supermarket, because I often find that I end up buying things that I wouldn’t usually, just because they’re ‘on offer’.

4) I’ve got to buy the cheapest if I want to lead a frugal lifestyle

Sometimes the cheapest option isn’t the best one. For example, purchasing an old car might not be the most cost-effective solution! Assess quality and go for the item you can afford.

5) Second-hand items rock if you’re trying to live and save

You can pick up some cracking things second-hand items on sites such as Preloved. But there are also things for sale that have seen better days. So with that in mind, be picky and make sure you try to only buy things that are in good condition.

6) You can reuse everything 

Of course it’s important to determine if you can use something in a different way, before committing to a purchase. For example, instead of throwing our baby box away, I found an alternative use. However, sometimes you can pour too much time and energy into an item that just needs replacing. You’ve got to know when to admit defeat.

7) Buying in the sale saves you money

Sometimes sale racks can be dangerous places. They can entice you to buy things you wouldn’t usually, just because they’re cheap. So make sure you ask yourself: do I need it? Can I afford it?

8) Always stockpile if you’re trying to save money

Yes, it might be on offer, but do you really need 18 bottles of shampoo? By excessively stockpiling you’re tying your money up in items that you might not need for a couple of months. So be mindful when throwing things into your trolley.

9) Skip car and house maintenance

There are places where you should spend money. Maintenance is one of them. If you don’t fix a small problem with your car, or in your home, then you may find that it escalates and costs you more in the long run. 

10) Prioritise frugality over everything else

If you go too extreme then you will become miserable. Yes, being wise with your money is important, but so is your well being. If meeting a friend for a Starbucks makes you happy, then allow yourself that treat. You could set up a sinking fund to allow you to enjoy the things you love whilst living a thrifty life. 

The picture shows a ball of screwed up paper. Over the picture the text reads: ’10 mistakes to avoid when you’re trying to lead a thrifty life’

Frugal living – should you avoid anything else?

If you’re on a frugality journey, then I hope you found this article useful. A frugal lifestyle isn’t about following every tip on the internet and I think that some of them are seriously best avoided. You don’t have to change everything either. You can choose to live frugally, but only make small changes here and there. Little changes really do add up and little savings equate to big savings.

But these tips aren’t the only tips that I avoid when I’m trying to save time and money. Things like no risk matched betting just didn’t work for me. What hacks do you find a waste of time? I’d love for you to tell me in the comments below.