When being too good at saving is bad

When being too good at saving is bad

I know it sounds dramatic, but my obsession with saving nearly got me physically hurt last week. I’d never thought there was such a thing as being too good at saving or that saving too much could be a bad thing.

“Everything in moderation”, my Gran used to say, and I think that’s true with saving money.

Quite recently, something happened that made me realise I’m prioritising saving above something much more important. It’s really stupid. I could honestly kick myself.

So it’s a really dull story, and I’m glad about that. Because if this story had a different ending, it wouldn’t be very good at all.

How being a real cheapskate could have physically hurt

It’s about a saucepan. Please don’t stop reading yet, I promise it’s short and sweet…

It’s about a saucepan than we’ve had a long time. It’s fair to say our saucepan had seen better days. The base was seeping water a little, so if it hadn’t dried out completely after washing, it would gently hiss on the hob. The handles were plastic, and had started to flake a little underneath. Although it had seen better days, I figured it still had lots more life in it.

Just because stuff has seen better days, doesn’t mean it’s ready to get chucked out though, right? Well, in this case, it was wrong.

Last week when I was cooking dinner, I picked it from the pan stand and the saucepan clattered to the floor, leaving me holding only the handle. Where it had appeared flaky on the outside, it had well and truly crumbled on the inside. Had it held on a little longer, it could have been a pan of boiling water that had clattered to the floor. Another day, and I could have had one of my nieces in the kitchen with me. The thought of what could have been turns my stomach.

And just like that I realised how bloody stupid I’d been. If anything had happened to my husband or to any of my family because I was acting all frugal whilst actually being cheap and not buying a pan, I don’t know how I could forgive myself.

Later, I looked at our other saucepan, the £12 one we got from Ikea 7 years ago. It’s served us pretty well, but the plastic is showing signs of degradation. I was close to keeping it for a bit longer, before reminding myself what had just happened.

It’s just money. Sometimes you have to spend it when you’d rather not

And so, I have bought myself two new pans. Two pans that I should probably have bought a long time ago. Two that will hopefully last a long time- I did my research- but if they need to replaced, I’ll replace them as needed. Once I’ve had chance to thoroughly test them, I’ll let you know what I went for (if they’re any good)!

Whether you’re brilliant at saving or if you’re trying to get your financial act together, don’t forget the things that are important in life. Hint: The answer isn’t money.

I’d love to know if you’ve had any moments where your intended frugality has been cheapness or you’ve realised your money isn’t being put to work on things that are actually important. Surely I can’t be the only person to have been so silly with money?

5 thoughts on “When being too good at saving is bad

  1. Good to hear that no one was hurt with that pan incident! Whilst I don’t have a frugality/safety story to tell, I have to say that when I first embraced frugality some years back, I went down the route of cutting down on my groceries, ie switching from premium brands to store brands etc. I noticed no difference in quality/taste in some but certainly not all. I eventually switched back to some of my previous more expensive brands because I didn’t want my meal times to be miserable! I also tried switching to cheaper toilet paper – that got switched back very very quickly, I’m not that desperate to save money, haha!

    1. It’s worth trying cheaper options, even if you switch back. We tried cheap shampoo- absolutely useless for our hair. But hey, we tried it!

      I must admit, we don’t compromise on meat and use our local butcher as often as possible. Sometimes it costs us less than supermarket prices anyway!

  2. Yep – I learned the hard way that saving a few bucks making my own eye-makeup remover really wasn’t worth it (unless I do it every week) because the eye infection I was on the verge of getting would cost far more than the product you can buy in a drugstore that lasts for months.

  3. Really, really glad that it wasn\’t any worse than that near miss. And it\’s shown up a really good point – there\’s a time when being smart tips into being silly, and wisdom comes from learning to tell the difference xx

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