Many people tend to focus too much on upfront costs, and not enough on the long term costs sometimes. Cheaping out right now could actually end up costing you quite a bit. Sure, you want to save money and look for the best value for your dollar. But if you are too cheap, you could end up paying more in the long run. Here are 4 ways being too cheap could cost you big:
1. Postponing Maintenance
Many people postpone the maintenance on different items, or pay for cheap half-measures to “get by.” It’s important to understand, though, that this can be a costly mistake. If you fail to properly maintain your car, it will be prone to bigger and bigger — and more expensive — problems down the road. The same is true of maintaining your home, major appliances and other items. Spend a little more up front to properly care for your things, and they will last longer and cost you less in the long run.
2. Purchasing Poor Quality Items
I have a pair of $75 hiking shoes, bought on sale, that have lasted me 10 years and numerous camping trips. These higher quality shoes have been better for me than the $30 shoes I used to buy — every couple of years. If I had to buy these shoes every other year, after 10 years (and five shoe purchases) it would have cost $150. Cheaping out would have cost me twice as much in the long run. Consider the quality of the items you buy. In some cases, paying a little more for something higher quality can mean savings in the long term, since you won’t have to always be replacing items that break or wear out sooner.
3. Neglecting Health Care
My brother-in-law put off having his tooth looked at, because he didn’t want to pay for the visit to the dentist. By the time the pain became unbearable, a $500 problem had ballooned into a $1,500 problem that required a “procedure.” Putting off visits to the doctor, and taking proper care of yourself, can lead to bigger problems later. The same is true of food. Highly processed, pre-made meals can be very inexpensive, and fast food is a great value for the number of calories you get. But if you spend a little more money and time on better ingredients, you can avoid a lot of the costly health problems that come with a high sodium, high sugar diet.
4. Less Insurance than You Need
Carefully evaluate your needs. You need some insurance to protect your assets and, while you want a good deal on the premium, you shouldn’t cheap out completely. Make sure that you have insurance to adequately cover your auto, home, and health. You should also get enough life insurance to help your family in case something happens to your income stream. Don’t skimp on coverage just because you can get it for less. Carefully review your needs, and then get a policy that provides you the protection you require. If you get a cheap policy, you might be unpleasantly surprised when it comes time to file a claim.