You can save a lot of money by making an effort to be frugal, and you can use that extra money to do many things. Whatever the reason, being frugal can be great in most instances. I stress ‘most’ because sometimes spending a little bit more will mean you get a far superior product. Sometimes buying the cheapest thing you can find will cost you more in the long run and here are five examples.
Photo by Christopher Cessums via Flickr
“The cobbler always wears the worst shoes.”
There are a few variations on this proverb but we’ll stick with the one most relevant one. It seems that people that are good at working on cars will end up driving the worst cars. Buying a junker and fixing it up might sound like a cheap way to have a set of wheels but you’ll end up spending a lot more on parts, not to mention the hours of labor that you sink into your automobile.
If you’re fixing up a car that you love then it’s likely worth the cost, but otherwise you should spend a bit more and get something that wont break down every week.
A Toyota or a Honda might cost you a little more (depending on what you drive right now) but they are worth the price of admission. Over the long haul you will end up saving a lot of money on repairs and gas — not to mention your resale value, which will stay very high if you take care of your car.
Just because a car is cheaper in the car lot doesn’t mean it will be cheaper over a five or ten year period. You should also look at cars that are one or two years old because you can save 40-50% or more off the price of a new vehicle.
Free Wifi Internet access is available almost anywhere these days. What aren’t free are the $4.95 coffees, the $3.40 muffins, and the $1.99 bottles of water that you grab on the way out the door. Making a trip to these free Wifi locations can also cost you money, but the big killer is still food and drinks.
Unless you’re very strict and only use free internet at the library you’re better off getting it in your home. Some people will get lucky and have neighbors that provide them with free Wifi access.
Spending a bit of money on a television is almost always worth it. You can get good deals on TVs but you never hear about anyone getting an amazing deal. That’s because, for the most part, the prices on televisions won’t change from store to store. It’s almost like buying gasoline.
Most electronics stores have cheaper model TVs but they’re not going to last forever.
The only way you might be able to find a killer deal is Craigslist but make sure you test it thoroughly before you buy it. And ask for a receipt so you know the TV isn’t stolen.
You can find good deals on great quality mattresses but you will still need to put down some big bucks.
A mattress will last you 10 or 15 years and when you think about the fact that you’re in it 1/3 of your day it might make sense to purchase a nice one. If you buy a cheap futon then you’ll need to get another one in a few years or suffer through bad sleeps.
A big comfy mattress will be good for your health, relationship, and most importantly…your wallet.
If you only use your computer for checking email then you might be fine with a cheaper model, otherwise it’s time to stop the penny pinching.
Having a good desktop computer or laptop will save you so much time and energy. It will also save your sanity.
If you’ve gone through four computers in the last 5 years it might be time to make the switch to a better, faster, and (unfortunately) more expensive machine.
These are the five things that I feel you shouldn’t cheap out on. There are still deals to be had but remember that you’ll be living with these things for many years and you’ll use most of them everyday. You’ll save by spending a bit more.
Contributor’s articles are written by members of the personal finance community. Each article was reviewed Moolanomy’s editorial team before its publication.