Everyone loves to reduce their expenses, cut corners and get great deals. But unfortunately, sometimes frugality can actually wind up costing you MORE money, rather than less. Yes, that’s right — sometimes trying to save money is the worse option, not the better one.
Let’s take a look at 5 times when saving money might actually do more harm than good.
#1: You’re Skipping Prevention
Are you skipping routine doctor’s appointments, home repairs or vehicle maintenance because you don’t want to pay for the cost of regular maintenance and prevention? In this case, pinching pennies can end up costing you dearly down the road. The old adage that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is absolutely true. Fix that leak in your roof, no matter how small it might be. Replace the filters in your heating system. Get your teeth professionally cleaned by a dentist at least once a year.
Treat your home, automobile and your health well — even if that means spending more money in the short-term — so that you can avoid expensive and uncomfortable consequences down the road.
#2: You’re Wasting Time
Clipping coupons might be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of saving money — but if you’re devoting 4 hours of your Saturday to sitting at the kitchen table with a pair of scissors, you’re potentially missing out on valuable time that you could otherwise spend working a second job, building a side business or learning to invest. All of those options will allow you to earn much more money than clipping coupons ever could.
#3: You Buy More When Items are On Sale
Are you lured by the siren song of a sale? If you find yourself buying items because they’re cheap — rather than because you actually need them — then you might be spending more money, rather than less, by rummaging through the discount bin (or doing the online equivalent, which is scouring sites like eBay or Groupon.)
The moral of the story? Buy items because you need them, not because they’re a good deal. Don’t ever snag a pair of shoes just because they’re “such a good deal” if you’ll ultimately never wear them.
#4: You Buy Items That Fall Apart Quickly
While the low sticker price of a sweater or pair of shoes might be tempting, that low sticker price won’t help you save any money if you’ve purchased an item that will fall apart after a few wears. If you buy cheap things that fall apart quickly — thus needing replacement — you might spend more money over the long-haul than you would if you simply bought a regular-priced item in the first place. In addition, you’ll end up wasting much more of your time by constantly needing to replace items — and remember, time is money.
#5: You’re Eating Poorly
It might be tempting to live on nothing but bread, rice and pasta — after all, those are the cheapest food items sold in the market. But if you’re not eating a balanced diet, you’ll suffer inevitable health consequences — and these will cost you much more money, time and energy down the road. Spend extra on buying fruits, vegetables and lean, healthy proteins, even though these are more expensive than living on nothing but potatoes. Your future self will thank you.
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