10 of the Worst Pieces of Frugal Advice People Were Given

Not all frugal advice is created equal!

Frugal living is great, and there are so many great frugal living tips and advice for you to follow, but what about frugal advice that doesn’t help you at all?

Someone recently asked, “What is the worst advice you have received regarding frugality?” and the answers do not disappoint! Here are some of the best responses.

Answers have been lightly edited for clarity and length. 

1. Rent Furniture

“My parents recommended Rent-A-Center for my furniture because the payments would “be cheaper,” they used those places for all of their furniture back in the 90s because they never had any money saved to outright buy anything,” one person wrote.

2. Don’t Work Overtime

“You make less working overtime if it “puts you into the next tax bracket,” one person said.

Another commented, “It’s amazing how many grown-***, tax-paying people don’t understand how tax brackets work.”

For more information on how tax brackets ACTUALLY work: What Tax Bracket Am I In?

3. Don’t Throw It Out

“Don’t get rid of anything you might use one day! Now my parent’s house is filled to the brim with shot they don’t use. Quite often, one of my parents has needed a particular item they knew they had but were unable to find the item so they bought a new one. [Meanwhile] they have two of the exact same item lost somewhere in their house,” someone wrote.

To be frugal, you can sell the things you don’t need and get cash for your clutter!

4. Buy a New Car

“My friends are always telling me to buy a new car because mine is old. They drive new luxury cars and they’re always having to take them in for service while I just have to do basic maintenance. They don’t understand why I would keep driving an old car when I could afford to buy a new one,” someone said.

5. Don’t Buy Secondhand Stuff

“Second-hand stuff is for poor people. There is so much clean, barely used stuff available at thrift stores and second-hand shops at a fraction of the price of new,” someone wrote.

Buying stuff from the thrift store is a great way to save money and save the environment.

Related: Why You Should Never Pay Full Price Again: The Top 11 Things To Buy Secondhand 

6. Have Kids for the Tax Deductions

“My neighbor said my wife and I should have kids for the tax deductions,” someone wrote.

Another shared their experience, “Last year I probably broke even on my baby with that fat tax deduction going around. This year we have a toddler that can’t be juggled between two work-from-home parents and child care is CRAZY. We’ll probably end up with a second one before long, and may not be able to buy a house until both are in public school.”

7. Be Cheap

“Buy the cheapest thing,” one person wrote. another expounded, “A higher price doesn’t guarantee higher quality but a lower price guarantees lower quality.”

Related: Living Stingy: A Guide to Saving Money

8. Don’t Use Credit Cards

“Don’t use credit cards” if used correctly (paying down the entire balance before interest accrues), you can get reward points. FREE MONEY,” one person said.

Another shared, “This year alone my cc points have paid for two vacations (minus food and fun money). Airplane tickets, hotel, and rental car all paid for by points. When you have a big project or buy, utilizing cards with points or cards with no interest for x months is a game changer…as long as you can pay off without accruing interest.”

9. Buy a New Car

“A coworker’s husband assured his wife (coworker) that buying a brand new car is “the best investment one can make,” one person wrote.

An investment in what, exactly?

Related: The Real Cost of Owning and Driving a Smart Car 

10. Eat Out

“That it’s cheaper to eat out than cook at home. I’ve heard that several times in my life and that narrative has been increasing now with inflation. I’m convinced whenever someone tells me that they don’t know anything about frozen/canned veg, bagged dry goods, in season produce and shopping exclusively sales,” someone said.

Someone else added, “Even buying fresh produce it’s way cheaper to cook than eat out. I can feed a family of three three times on what it costs to order out once.”


What did you think of this terrible frugal advice? I hope you enjoyed this Reddit list of the worst frugal advice. Do you agree with any of them? Also, here are some ridiculous stories of people toeing the line between being frugal or cheap.

Read More From A Dime Saved:

Hi! I am a millennial mom with a passion for personal finance. I have always been “into” personal finance but got inspired to start my blog after a period of extended unemployment. That experience really changed the way I viewed my relationship with money and the importance of accessible personal finance education.