Penny Wise, Pound Stupid – When NOT to be Frugal

With my short history here at Unfinished Man, I’ve made it a point to be as frugal as possible, and to help you all be as frugal as possible. What can I say, other than I don’t want to just give my money away. However, this particular bent of mine can also be a small curse, and even cost more in the long run.

How many times has that “Check Engine” light switched on as you were driving down the road? Sure, at first you had a little worry in the back of your mind, but you had to get to work. No time to simply pull of into a service station. Let’s not forget you also need to get groceries after work, you’ll probably do it in the morning! Then suddenly it’s 3 weeks later and you’re wondering if your auto-insurance covers towing. Basic maintenance, whether it’s for you car, computer, or home is something people look over too often. What could have been a quick and simple tune-up has now ballooned into a few hundred dollar repair, with no one to blame but yourself.

This holiday season a blast from the past has come back to haunt me: The Layaway. When I was a kid my mother made extensive use of the service to do last minute Christmas shopping, or buy things we didn’t really need. The problem with this is that it’s not designed to keep you from debt, but to get you spending money you don’t have. If you can’t afford that new TV by simply saving for the purchase, you likely can’t afford it if you stretch it out over 6 payments. Tack on interest and late fees and this is just an all around bad move.

Speaking of wasted money, projects around the home can be a real drain on not only your finances but your time. Just recently I made a short post about setting up a DIY theater room on the cheap, and it’s certainly something you can do. However, if you have ten other projects in your garage waiting to be completed, or an all around lack of DIY knowledge it might be best to hand it over to a professional. The simple act of running some HDMI cables through a wall is a little more involved than just punching a hole, and can lead to some wasteful mistakes.

low quality hdmi cable

Remember guys, being frugal is a habit not a necessity. Don’t be afraid to spend money where it is needed, or you could end up burning a sizable hole in you wallet.

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Scott

Philosopher, writer, bad-pun maker and enjoyer of novelty. I enjoy bikes, video games, and beer all at the same time. When it comes to reading, I can and do.

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