4. Ignoring your car maintenance needs.
If you ignore a sore throat, you at least have a shot at it disappearing a few days later. That principle doesn’t hold true for cars. If your brakes need attention, they aren’t going to need less attention if you wait it out. The longer you put off car maintenance for, the higher the mechanic bill can potentially climb.
5. Constantly visiting sites like Groupon and Living Social for deals.
Again, if you’re buying things you wouldn’t ordinarily buy, that’s when it stops becoming frugal, even if it is a great deal. Two on-sale massages in one month may still be two more massages than you would have otherwise paid for. These are handy sites, but one solution might be to only visit them when you’re already looking for a specific service, rather than frequenting them in your spare time.
6. Setting a too-strict budget.
This is the financial version of overly ambitious dieting. If you cut out too many foods that your body is used to eating on a daily basis, you might stick to that plan for five days, and then binge on day six. Similarly, if you go from eating out four times a week to cutting restaurants completely out of your budget, you might not be pleased with the results. Instead of going cold turkey, eliminating things from your budget incrementally will help reduce the chance of binge-spending.
7. Refusing to use your credit card.
If credit cards have gotten you into trouble before, then paying off your debt and restricting your swiping may be the right choice. In fact, after an expensive month, I put my card aside in July and went on an all-cash diet. However, by not letting yourself ever use a credit card, you’re missing out on rewards and a way to build your credit. One solution to this is to only set recurring payments on your credit card. This year, Credit Sesame surveyed 1,000 millennials and found that 60% “do not have a credit card by choice.” Many avoid credit cards because they don’t trust them. While going credit card-less ensures you remain credit card debt-free, it also means you won’t build credit that lenders might want to see, and you’ll miss out on rewards.