When thinking about ways to save money, being frugal is probably the first idea that comes to mind. But did you know that going for the cheaper generic brand on certain items can end up costing you more in the long run? It’s true. We often think we’re doing ourselves a huge favor by taking the cheaper route on our grocery list, but all we’re really doing is setting ourselves up to spend more money than we would have in the first place. Let’s take a look at six examples of these frugal, yet costly, mistakes many of us are making.
Things we use on a daily basis can go really fast and we find ourselves back at the store purchasing these must-have items on a weekly basis. Items like toilet paper, paper towels, tissues, plastic bags, garbage bags, cleaners, toothpaste, floss, shampoo, etc. The list goes on and on. You might think that buying the bargain brand versions of these items would be an easy way to save money, but you’d be wrong. More often than not, the cheaper versions of bags and cleaners just don’t hold up as well as the more expensive name brand. The cheaper brands are generally of poorer quality and quantity, especially when it comes to paper products. Sometimes less is more, but in this situation less is simply less.
Never increase your deductible to try and save on your insurance premiums. You may think you’re saving yourself money now, but in the long run, you’ll end up spending a lot more when it inevitably comes time to pay a doctor’s bill. By going with a decreased deductible and spending more money on your insurance premiums, you’ll be relieved to find you’ll have much less out-of-pocket expense after your next appointment. Medical bills are the number one reason people have to declare bankruptcy in this country, so if you are fortunate enough to have insurance, choose the plan that offers you and your family the most coverage, regardless of the cost.
Spending money on an occasional getaway is important. We all need a break from work and the daily grind every once in a while. But going for the cheaper hotels and less expensive destinations can actually be more costly than relaxing. There’s no point on taking a vacation if you’re planning to stay in a cheap, dirty, uncomfortable hotel room. You’ll soon find yourself spending even more money avoiding the nasty room you’re stuck in than if you had just put out the cash for a nicer room in the first place. If you had opted to stay at a nice, cozy and comfortable hotel, you could actually enjoy yourself instead of spending time and money trying to avoid your roach motel.
Always routinely maintain your vehicle, no matter what. You may think you’re throwing money away by paying someone to look at your car when there’s nothing obviously wrong with it, but you’ll be saving yourself a ton of money down the road. Maintaining your vehicle is smart and will prevent anything really bad from leaving you stranded and possibly out thousands of dollars.
Avoiding routine car checkups might save you some money in the short-term, but when something goes catastrophically wrong with your car, all those savings are out the window. Always take your car for regular maintenance. You’ll spend some money now, but in the end, you’ll be saving yourself a small fortune.
Couponing has become an increasingly popular way to save money over the years, but did you that couponing can lead you to purchasing things you don’t need in the first place? It’s true. Most people who get into couponing quickly find themselves picking up things because it’s a “good deal.” When you find yourself getting “good deal” items, you’re just spending money you didn’t need to spend in the first place. In this way, coupons give us the illusion of saving money, but the opposite may be true. They say you have to spend money to make money, but not when it comes to using coupons. Stick to your shopping list, and if you have a coupon, use it. Otherwise, you may end up wasting money.
So, there you are, 5 ways that being frugal could end up costing you more. Now, before you reach out for that title loan, do an audit of your spending habits to see how you wound up needing an emergency cash loan in the first place. Then, make the necessary changes to avoid the same situation again. You get what you pay for and if you’re going to spend the money, don’t sell yourself short on a “bargain” that ends up costing you more.