Saving money here and there helps you stretch your budget so you can buy more of your favorite things. After all, nobody enjoys shelling out more than they should for things like groceries, household items and bills. But if frugal spending habits are causing friends and family to call you a cheapskate, or you’re obsessed with saving money to the point it interferes with your livelihood, it might be time to reevaluate your priorities.
Love saving money but fear your habit is compromising your health and friendships? Here are 8 signs you’re taking frugal living way too far.
1. You Avoid Going Out So You Don’t Have to Pay
If you decline invitations to places like restaurants, movie theaters and bars because you don’t want to spend money, understand that you might be missing out on valuable quality time with friends and family. Instead of viewing these activities as a waste of money, think about how you’re paying for fun experiences you’ll always cherish.
2. You Ask To Have Gift Boxes Returned
Have you ever given a gift, then asked to have the box, bag and/or wrapping paper returned? Remember that a gift’s packaging is part of the presentation, and that the person may want to save it for their own personal reasons. Learn to let your gift wrapping go, especially if it’s likely you’ll receive gifts in return.
3. You Never Use the Heater or Air Conditioner
While heating and air conditioning units can contribute to higher utility bills, you shouldn’t have to suffer all winter or summer long just for the sake of saving money. Instead of boycotting the use of your heater or A/C completely, try limiting use to off-peak hours to save on utility costs.
4. You’re Always Against Splitting the Bill Equally
If you frequently eat out with friends and split the bill according to what each person ordered, don’t be surprised if your friends stop inviting you out. It’s acceptable to split the bill this way when your friends order steak and lobster or several alcohol beverages, but not when everyone’s order is about the same price. Going forward, try being more flexible and split the bill equally to make it easier and more comfortable everyone.
5. You Stock Up On Condiment Packets
If your kitchen drawers are loaded with random packets of sugar, ketchup and other condiments, you might be taking the concept of freebies way too far. Plus, it’s highly unlikely you’ll ever use all the condiment packets unless the apocalypse happens. Stop taking these extra packets and stick to using fresh condiments instead, which usually taste better anyway.
6. You Take Leftover Wedding Decorations
Just because the bride and groom are focused on their special day and each other doesn’t mean it’s okay for you to take wedding decorations you think won’t be missed. Keep in mind that someone from the wedding party paid for the decorations, and that the bride and groom may have special plans for the decorations that don’t involve you taking them home.
7. You Load Up On Public Toilet Paper
Every time you steal a roll of toilet paper, that’s one less roll that will be available to someone who has to use the restroom later on. Plus, toilet paper is a necessity and relatively inexpensive. Stop hoarding toilet paper from public restrooms; after all, karma could leave you in need of toilet paper when there’s none available.
8. You Tip Poorly Or Not At All
Tipping less than 15 percent or not at all when service is good or great is often considered rude and unacceptable. Make a conscious effort to tip everyone in service, including bartenders, delivery people, pet groomers and hair stylists. If you struggle with tipping, put yourself in the other person’s shoes and ask yourself how much extra you deserve for the job you did. Then, tip accordingly.
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