Being frugal is a great way to save money for larger purchases, such as a house or a car. However, some things can compromise your health if you choose the cheaper option, which should be avoided at all costs.
Here are ten things to avoid when being frugal and keeping your health in mind.
1. Skipping the Doctor(s)
Not having health insurance can deter people from regularly seeing the doctor and dentist. However, this can undoubtedly harm your health. One user agrees that it might not be feasible for everyone but also says it should be a priority.
They go on to recommend that should you not be able to see all of your doctors every year, it would be wise to rotate. “At least that way, you’re not going ten years without a dental exam or routine blood work,” they add.
Someone else offers up important alternatives, advising that you can search for FQHCs in your area, which stands for federally qualified health centers. They are required to have a sliding scale program that typically covers basic labs.
2. Buying a Cheap Mattress
As one commenter puts it, “healthy sleep is so important.” I agree. Mattresses are meant to last several years, and if you have a cheap one that does not support your body correctly, you can pay for it with lots of health issues.
For example, someone explains they slept too long on a cheap mattress, and their sleep and back suffered. At the same time, another confesses they slept on an air mattress for a year in college because they were too cheap to buy an actual mattress and have had mild-moderate back problems ever since.
3. Eating Expired Foods
While some “best buy” dates can be looked past, ensuring that something you are ingesting has not gone bad is still necessary. A response explains that many types of mold can cause long-term health problems if consumed regularly because they produce harmful compounds even if they are cooked.
They go on to say that for some types of foods, mold can have already completely infested the food by the time you see the fuzz. Therefore, sometimes it is wiser to throw it away instead of risking getting sick or eating it anyway.
4. Doing Electrical Work Yourself
It might seem like a good idea to save money by working around the house yourself, and it often can be. However, when it comes to electrical work, avoid it at all costs if you are not a certified electrician.
One user warns the impact of a failure can be catastrophic: electrocution and electrical fires are no joke. Another adds these skills take years to hone, and safety is a vast, mandatory part of that training.
5. Ear Piercing With Piercing Gun
Many professional piercers will advise against piercing your ears with a piercing gun. That isn’t so that they can earn your money instead. Some serious health hazards are associated with this piercing, and it can lead to nasty infections.
One user details the research they did for a paper and states you should always “go to a professional.” They are about the same price as the jewelry at a place like Claire’s.
Another offers a great solution, suggesting you call your doctor or nurse because they may want to help you to avoid getting an infection, and they are skilled at using needles. A final response agrees, saying piercing and tattoos are one thing they have zero compulsion to be frugal on.
6. Buying Cheap Shoes
One of the most popular responses is that buying cheap shoes can affect your health much more than anticipated. Think about how many hours a day you spend in them, and it might start to make sense.
For example, someone explains that they used to work at an amusement park and put off purchasing a new pair of shoes longer than they should have. Then, they confess they had a raging case of tendinitis in both feet, which directly affected their quality of life for years.
Another claims their apartment floor is solid concrete, and they must wear shoes with good support or endure a lot of pain. A final response details that quality shoes last longer and your feet are too important to damage with poor quality shoes. “Sometimes frugality is about the long game,” they state.
7. Choosing Not To Get a Pet
While this response is likely controversial, many users agree that pets are vital to one’s health. Yes, they can be expensive, especially when you add vet bills and food costs. However, pets can add to someone’s quality of life, delivering many health benefits.
One user comments that pets have such a positive effect on your mental/emotional health that they could be considered a good investment, especially for the elderly or those suffering from loneliness. Another responder dives into the other side, stating they are wonderful companions.
Still, breaking down costs and what you can reasonably spend on them is essential. For example, putting down a family member is never fun because their emergency surgery costs too much.
8. DIY Tree Removal
Removing a tree yourself might seem like easy work, especially if you are comfortable with a chainsaw, but many things can go wrong. One commenter explains that they used to do tree service as a teenager, and it’s a challenging job, especially if trying to do it solo. Another confesses a beloved teacher in my hometown died after cutting tree limbs.
Services like this can be costly. However, that is to cover the cost of risk, including insurance that these crews must maintain. A third response suggests getting a few quotes, as it is essential to let the professionals handle this one.
9. DIY Home Repairs
Along the same lines, paying a professional for certain home repairs is better. For example, it might seem like you can add or remove a wall or install cabinets easily, but this is a great way to injure yourself if you don’t know what you are doing or slip up.
Someone who used to be in the construction trade explains that architects ensure the house is structurally sound and can also help calculate cost savings during the build process, making it a win-win.
Another explains that when their garage door broke, they thought it would be an easy DIY project until they saw a video that said it was dangerous and you could die. In response to that comment, someone explains they did that recently and messed up their shoulder for about a week.
10. Buying a Cheap Car
An exciting response explains that buying a cheap car can be a health hazard because something you are in that often should be reliable and safe. “Modern cars are VERY safe,” says one user before they suggest purchasing a newer model over a cheap pre-owned one. Another piece of advice is not to skimp on anything that separates you from the floor.
This thread inspired this post.
This post originally appeared on A Dime Saved.