Cutting down on unnecessary costs is something virtually everyone can and should do. More meals at home. Less impulse purchases. There are many easy and executable things we can all do to live more frugally. But some penny-pinching methods can come with costly consequences.
We’ve compiled a list of five common mistakes people make when looking to save money. Remember, a penny saved now could come with a higher price tag later!
Buying things on “sale.” There’s something exciting about finding a good deal. Deep discounts, coupons, buy one get one offers–it gives you a bit of an adrenaline rush to know you bought something at a really good price. But many times we are so excited by the sale, that we don’t take time to think about if it’s something we really want or need. Think twice–it doesn’t matter how cheap that fondue pot was if it just sits in your pantry!
Delaying household repairs. The leaky faucet or faulty electrical outlet that you’ve been ignoring? It’s not going to fix itself. By not addressing inexpensive repairs in a timely manner, you could be borrowing costly (and potentially dangerous) trouble down the road. If you aren’t handy enough to fix them yourself, hiring a handyman can be very affordable. Stay on top of the small stuff to avoid a much more expensive problem.
Missing scheduled car maintenance.The same holds true for small problems with your vehicle. Many of us will ignore a check engine light or the weird sound the brakes are making. Unchecked, these problems will only get more expensive. It’s also important to change out filters, belts, oil and other liquids according to the manufacturer’s recommendation. Postponing affordable maintenance can decrease engine life and efficiency–protect your investment!
Skipping health checkups. No one really likes to go to the doctor. But preventative checkups can not only save your health, they can save your money, too. A filling costs much less than a root canal! Early diagnosis is key. And much like something being amiss with your home or your car, that chronically sore knee isn’t likely to get better on its own. Make annual checkups for you and your family a priority–the payoff isn’t just in your budget.
Skimping on major household purchases. We often hear folks complain that things don’t last the way they used to. But that could be because we are settling for lesser quality on big purchases to save some money short term. Furniture, mattresses and major appliances need to be made well, or they simply won’t stand up to daily wear and tear. Of course you should look for sales and do competitive research for the best deal possible. But remember, you get what you pay for–and you might be paying for it again a lot sooner than you’d like!
The bottom line? Everyone wants to save money where they can, but there are times when pinching pennies can backfire in costly ways. Cut corners where you can, but don’t neglect or skimp on the important details.