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Being Frugal In All The Wrong Places
By Melissa Bailey on Nov 24 2013, 5:27 PM
This time of year the Internet lights up with searches on how to save money. If you were feeling overwhelmed by your spending come October, by November you are starting to panic as the list of holiday gifts and parties continue to mount. In the midst of the spending frenzy that is about to occur in the coming weeks, I thought it would be a good idea to talk about the pitfalls of frugality. While being frugal is a good idea this holiday season, if we're not careful we can become frugal in all the wrong places!

1. Hitting Too Many Deals
When the Sunday paper comes I rip into it like a hungry bear! I throw to the side any black and white pages and reach for those nice, colorful ads that let me know all the ways to save money. Most times during the year they are not that tempting but come Christmas season there seems to be something in every single ad! If I'm not careful I can shop at 10 stores to save a mere $20 dollars on my overall bill.

Hitting too many deals can slowly take a hit on your gas budget! Sometimes its better to spend a few dollars more at one store rather than drive across town to hit them all. (This is a good reminder as Black Friday looms before us)

2. Buying Unnecessary Items
I imagine a good portion of our readers on Frugal 5 take advantage of coupons. My hope is that most of you use coupons for items that you need and stop when your stockpile reaches a reasonable amount. If you don't need an item, even if it's free or really cheap, it's not a good deal!

Instead of purchasing items that you don't need, save the extra cash to splurge on higher end items that might last longer.

3. Buying The Wrong Items
Buying the wrong items happens when you purchase an item that you are not excited about, but succumb to the deal. I have to admit that buying the wrong items for a great deal has always been a temptation for me. I can try on a pair of jeans, hate the way they look, but then see the $5 price tag and all of the sudden fall in love. I am also tempted to buy clothes for my kids that don't really fit but convince myself they will grow into them.

Frugality should not come at the sacrifice your happiness! Purchase items that look good, fit, and will help you feel good about you and your family.

4. Not Buying At All
Cheap people are very frustrating. They are the kind of people who go to the amusement park all day with their families but refuse to buy bottled water while their kids are passing out from heat exhaustion! They walk into a coffee shop and order a simple beverage and then overly consume the condiments to create a fancy drink at half the cost. Frugality does not mean self-denial and it is not loving money so much that you want to hoard it all at the expense of your happiness.

Instead of hoarding your money, spend it wisely on things that matter. If a fun day at the amusement park means eating $8 hotdogs and drinking $5 bottled water, relax your wallet and let yourself spend! The memory is better than the minuscule savings.
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