There are just some things in life that I’m not meant to buy. I’ve slowly come to this conclusion over the years as I’ve watched people buy things I’m not at all jealous of. It’s not because I can’t afford them or that I don’t have room for them at home. It’s simply because I’m too frugal.
So I’ve come up with a list of some things I’m too frugal for. This list isn’t exhaustive; rather, it’s just a few common things people buy that I avoid.
My wife mentioned a few months ago that she’d like to have an electric toothbrush. The ones we’re currently using are from the dollar store - 2 for $1. So I’ve been monitoring deal websites for any mention of these and I even checked to see if Costco had any last week. They had a 2-pack for $80, which I guess is a pretty good price for these things.
Then I started thinking. I’ve gotten along just fine and cavity-free to this point using 50 cent toothbrushes, so why would I pay $40 for a toothbrush? Not to mention the replacement heads you’d have to buy. I’ll probably end up getting my wife one. As for me, I’ll stick with my cheapo toothbrush.
Going to the movies
At $10 a pop, these outings aren’t cheap. When I was a kid I remember tickets cost about $4. I guess you could make the argument that you’re paying for the experience of the big screen and surround sound, but you also have to deal with people messing with their phones and grossly inflated concession prices.
The only time I go to the movies is when a family member or close friend wants to go. Even then I’ll suggest alternatives, but sometimes there’s no way to get out of it.
What a waste of money. The only reason to dry clean a piece of clothing is if the tag specifically says to. If not, throw it in the wash with everything else and iron it on the other side.
I try not to buy anything that needs to be dry cleaned. That helps me avoid shelling out $4 to clean a pair of pants.
I really enjoy reading the newspaper everyday. I mean, really enjoy it. I love knowing what’s going on in my area and the world. I love reading about business and sports. I even like the smell of the pages.
But when it comes to actually subscribing to the paper, my wallet doesn’t leave my pocket. My employer gets the paper delivered each day and I’ll often read that during my lunch break. I’ll also read at the library on one of my frequent visits.
Besides, there are so many websites that offer breaking news and more in-depth articles for free. Why should I pay for something I can essentially get for free?
Anything at McDonald’s that’s not on the dollar menu
This might be the ultimate example of my frugality. When I go to McDonald’s, I only order items from the dollar menu. I’ve found that it’s generally a better value than what you get from the regular menu (i.e. you get more food for the money.) A filling meal under $5 is right up my alley.
I debated putting this one on here, but I think it should be mentioned. From the reading I’ve done, most financial advisers look our for their own best interest first. Many earn a commission on the products they sell you, so it’s easy to see why they may recommend a product that makes no sense for your situation if it earns them a nice bonus.
If you’re looking for advice about where and how to invest your money, sit down with a fee-only financial planner. These advisers only collect an upfront fee for their advice, so there’s no conflict of interest. Visit napfa.org to find a fee-only planner near you.
What are some things you’re too frugal for?