Jul 12

11 Things I WON’T Do to Save Money

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Things I Won't Do To Save Money

Things I Won’t Do To Save Money

A froogalist has priorities.  Saving money on some stuff enables me to focus on spending on the things that really matter to me the most; namely, my daughter, my family and friends, and my hobbies and interests.  I don’t do without like a miserly Scrooge shivering in the dark of winter eating a cold can of beans with my fingers.  A froogalist has purpose – focusing my energy and limited resources towards the things that bring me the most enjoyment.  With that being said, there are a few things that I simply will not try to save money with.  In effect, these are my priorities.

I present my ideas in no particular order here, so please don’t think that I value one before the other simply by how they are placed.

11 Things I WON’T Do to Save Money

1 – Drive Without Car Insurance

I actually find it incredible that I even need to mention this, but apparently about 5% of drivers do not have insurance.  How stupid!

Accidents are called “accidents” because they are unintended.  Get into an unanticipated accident and you could cause serious property damage, or even death.  Many court claims for things like death or dismemberment or disability can run into the hundreds of thousands of even millions of dollars.  Driving without insurance is a sure way to get yourself in trouble with the law and to screw up your future.  This is definitely NOT a way to save money.

2 – Buy Certain Things Used

I will never buy certain used stuff for my daughter; namely a car seat, a crib, or a bicycle helmet (to name a few).  Used stuff can save you some money (i.e. in the case of clothes), but I would never risk an unknown recall or unreported crash.  The economics just don’t make sense here, when my daughter’s safety is in jeopardy.

3 – Put Off Important Car Repairs

So you went to your trusted, long-term garage and they tell you that you need new brakes.  OKAY, fix them!  I’m not going to drive around with faulty brakes.  Neither should you.  You are putting yourself and your family in danger here, and there are no savings to be found by postponing the important.

4 – Skimp On Tipping

As a froogalist, I tip a standard 20%.  The only thing that would make me leave less would be egregious service.  Even in most of these cases, I would leave at least 10%.  Servers make their money through tips.  They make far less than the ‘minimum’ wage than most of us would expect.  Some are good (20%), some are bad (10-15%), and some are horrible (10%).  I have never not left a tip in my entire out-of-home dining history.  I welcome your opinions.

5 – Own a Home Without Home Insurance

Great, you save $70 per month, but what happens if you have a fire or the postal delivery person slips and falls on your stairs, or your contractor has a wall fall on them?  Without insurance, you are in deep trouble.  The cost of any legal settlements in all of these cases could be lifelong and devastating.   In the case of a fire, you’re also in world of unbelievable trouble.  Thankfully, mortgages in Canada require that you have homeowner’s insurance.  Even if you are not required, get the insurance anyways.  It will help you sleep better at night.

6 – Buy Stuff Cheap Just Because It’s Cheap

Cheap stuff is normally cheap because it is crap.   In most, but not all, cases this is true.  The old adage, “You get what you pay for”, is almost always true.

7 – Skimp on Spending on My Daughter, My Family, My Friends, and Myself

Isn’t this what saving money is all about?  Spending money on the things that you really care about is what it’s all about.  I save on other stuff so that I can spend on these things.  My daughter, my family, my friends, and myself are all of what make my saving in other areas worthwhile.  I enjoy spending my savings on the things that I love.

8 – Buy Low Quality Pet Food

A bit controversial here, I am sure.  I pay a very high price for my cat food.  The truth is, however, that I feel that the money I spend now is preventative.  What cat in nature, eats corn?  Probably none.  They eat meat.  The closer I can keep the diet that I feed Murphy to what he would in in nature (meat) the better.  I buy only high meat foods for Murphy that have no corn or grains included.  So far, so good, for my 12 year old kitty.

9 – Never Buy or Own Books

Why on earth should I not own my favourite and/or most useful books?  Misers don’t like to own anything.  Froogalists recognize the value in owning a small library of prized and useful gems.  My rule is basically this; if I have not enjoyed or used a book for one year, I generally get rid of it.  There are a small number of books that I use (and reuse) on a regular and consistent basis.  I enjoy them.  I will always have a spot for them on my bookshelf.

10 – Use Duct Tape to Fix Stuff (other than to seal ducts)

I see a lot of people using duct tape to fix an incredible amount of problems.  The truth is though that duct tape is meant to seal ductwork.  It is not meant to fix any other problem.  Get a licenced contractor whenever you feel the need to get out that roll of duct tape.

11 – Not Go to the Dentist or the Doctor

In Canada, we pay for our healthcare through taxes.  It is universal, in that everyone can choose their doctor and go to them whenever they need to free of direct charge.  Dentists are not covered universally, but many employer health plans cover these costs (as, I am guessing, is also true in the USA).  Covered or not, it makes absolutely no sense to take chances with your health.  If you are sick, go.  If you need a cleaning, go.  These are basic life costs and some decisions must be made in order to pay for them.  You are not ‘saving’ by ignoring that growth on your arm or pretending that that persistent cough doesn’t exist.  The long-term costs of many health problems can be reduced substantially with early care and detection.


There are some things worth spending money on.  There are many things not worth spending money on.  Froogalism is an idea where you save on the things that are less important so that you have more (money and energy) left for the things that are important to YOU.  If you try, you may find that many of these ideas help you to save money and do a lot more with less (while enjoying the things that are important to you in the meantime).

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What things will YOU not do to save money?  Please leave a comment below.

Author: Jason Milburn Google

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Frugal dad – focusing my money and energy towards happiness and the things that matter most since around 1985.

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  1. James Molet (SavvyJames)

    Agree with all of them, particularly #7. As you note, what is the point of saving if you cannot enjoy and share with those that are close. It is what I describe as finding the right balance between saving and spending. Too much of either and not enough of the other is no good. Great points.

  2. Jason

    Thanks for commenting, James. I rather like #7 myself, too. That’s the whole point, isn’t it? Getting more with less so that you have more left for the important stuff. That’s what this blog is all about.

    Can you think of anything I missed on the list? I’d be happy to make it a Top 12 list.

    Cheers, Jason (froogalist)

  3. Laura

    Great list! It made me think of every day items I won’t skimp on: Prescription meds -they don’t work right if you skip doses. Contact solution – after the cheap stuff caused an allergic reaction. Toilet paper – you’ll understand as you get older 🙂
    Your post is a great piece to share!

  4. Jason

    Hello Laura,

    Your additions to the list are excellent! Thank you for sharing your comment. There are many instances where cheap does not equal good value.

    The difficulty for me as a consumer is that it sometimes takes a bit of experimenting to find which things I can pay less for (like store brand white vinegar versus brand name white vinegar) and which I simply cannot pay less for (like the things we are both talking about). Froogalism.com is a forum for people to share some of the things that we have learned.

    Thanks again for sharing. I hope to hear form you again sometime soon.

    Cheers, Jason (froogalist)

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