Can someone be described as being too frugal? A Reddit user posted this question on the platform, eliciting many exciting responses. The OP was curious to know if he was too frugal after he visited Target and found a dress selling at $34.99.
She thought the price tag was too expensive since she could get the same at a Thrift shop for about $6.99.
Other members of the Reddit community commented on this post, and here are some of the best responses;
Frugality Is What Is Most Meaningful to You
“Frugality is what is most meaningful to you and your money. Cheap cute dresses from Target make me look like a crazy old lady, now that I’m an old lady. I have to forgo frugal when it comes to looking nice, or else I don’t really look nice,” explains one user
Your Money Should Meet Your Goals
One user urges the OP to use money to meet their goals, “You should be using your money to meet your goals. Ultimately, those goals mean spending the money. It’s up to you to decide your goals and allocate your savings and spending accordingly. Frugality to me means not overpaying for what will meet your goal.”
When It Affects Others, You Are Cheap
When your lifestyle starts to affect others negatively, you are neither cheap nor frugal; as one user explains from experience, “My father was cheap. He would not take me to the library because of gas; it was four miles away. When I was growing up, I always wanted to be able to go to a library, and I never could. He would never tip more than one dollar, even when the restaurant bill got to be $80 or $90. When my mother was dying of CHF (heart failure), all she wanted was a new reclining chair to put her feet up, and he would not even buy a used one. I always think of these examples for the difference between cheap and frugal. When it is affecting others, you are being cheap.”
It Depends on the Circumstance
Weigh the circumstance and decide if it is worth spending money, “It depends on the thing and the circumstance. I would have no issues at all buying a 35.00 dress, provided it was excellent quality, a classic style, and I would wear it for years. I haven’t seen new clothes that meet those criteria for a long time. So I buy used or make my own.”
When You Are Frugal for the Sake of Being Frugal
Have a goal when being frugal, “The first thing that comes to mind is if being frugal for the sake of being frugal causes time-wasting or stress where it would otherwise not exist.”
When Frugality Ruins Your Relationships
Being too frugal can hurt relationships, “I grew up lower middle class and struggled for many decades. I learned to be very frugal; however, I think it hurt my marriage. I probably should have used some money to have more fun with my husband. Life is short, and there has to be a balance.”
Money Should Provide Happiness
Money is just a tool we use to gain happiness, “Remember that money is a tool to achieve happiness in life. The best way to do that is to spend on things according to the value they give you (or your friends, family, etc.).”
When Your Frugality Becomes a Burden to Those Around You
A user offers an illustration of this, “Have a super old car that is always breaking down, but new parts are less than a car payment? Are you spending time fixing it that could be spent helping your kids with their homework? Are you driving your kids around in a 20-year-old car that has horrendous crash test ratings compared to a modern car? Is the money you saved worth risking their lives in the unlikely but possible event of a severe car wreck?”
When You Do Not Take Everything in Moderation
“As my grandmother always said, “Everything in moderation, including moderation.” Anything can be taken too far, in absolutely any direction,” said one user
If It Makes You Become a Jerk
Frugality should not turn you into a jerk or cause you anxiety, “Yes. If being “frugal” is either making you a jerk (taking advantage of friends and family, not tipping, etc.) or causing you a lot of anxiety/making you not live your life because it takes so much time (you won’t go to a friend’s house to visit because you don’t want to pay the gas money, you drop every hobby you love to save money), you’ve gone too far.”
When It Becomes Outright Dangerous
A user shared a story from her experience: “My mom loves to tell a story about how my grandpa would always reuse Ziploc bags. In some cases, it was warranted, sure. But once, he washed out bags that had raw chicken in them and gave the family absolutely terrible food poisoning. I guess that’s not so much frugal as cheap, but it made me think of that story haha.”
When the Thought of Spending Money Drains Your Energy
If you feel drained whenever you are spending money, then you may be too frugal, “Of course! It’s important to remember that money isn’t bad and “things” aren’t inherently bad. It’s about balance and not trying to be fulfilled through consumption. But if thinking about not spending money starts to take up too much energy and precludes your using the extra time and money for building well-being and a great life, you’re not winning anything.”
If It Makes You Stop Enjoying Life
What is the purpose then if you won’t enjoy your life? “Yeah, there’s no point in being so frugal that you stop enjoying being alive. If you’re not happy, what’s the point?”
If You Feel Fearful Whenever Spending Money
Just like addictions, it can cause anxiety and fear, “Yes, I think some people take it to the extreme. Just like a lot of addictions, it can become a manifestation of fears and false storytelling to one’s self.”
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This article was produced and syndicated by A Dime Saved.