Trying to save money is always a smart move. However, there are actually quite a few ways that people typically try to cut costs that, in the long run, just end up costing you. Here are some of the most misleading so-called "money-saving" tactics that are actually more expensive when it's all said and done.
1. Buying Things Just Because They're on Sale
Sales are great, and if you know how to work the deals, they can really help. Many people buy things on sale because it's a great deal, even if it's not something they'd normally buy or more than they need, though. Stocking up on shelf-stable items that you frequently use like canned or frozen goods is fine. However, buying twice as much fresh food because it's on sale doesn't save you any money if you throw it out.
2. Skipping Doctor's Appointments
This is a big one. Many people skip yearly checkups, well visits, and health screenings to avoid spending. The problem is, those visits often catch things early that can then be treated faster, easier, and at a fraction of the cost than if you wait until you have serious symptoms. So not only is it often much more expensive to wait until there's a problem, but you're putting your life at risk and, in many cases, reducing your odds of recovery.
3. High-Interest Rewards Cards
Many people get roped into using a rewards card rather than a regular credit card because it seems like they're getting more from it. Many rewards cards have higher interest rates though, so in the long run, it's much more likely that you'll end up behind on the deal.
4. Buying Low-Quality Items for Cheap
People frequently buy the cheapest possible version of an item to save money. It seems smart, but the price isn't the only thing that's cheap. The quality is too. Then they end up having to replace it much sooner than if they'd gotten a more expensive but much more durable, long-lasting version. Of course, you don't have to buy crazy expensive luxury brands, but there's a lot of room between $10 "value brand" shoes that will last a month, if that, and Jimmy Choo. It's about finding the right balance.
5. Buying a House to Save on Rent
People often think of rent as wasting money when they could pay down a mortgage for a house they'll eventually own. This may have been the case once, but not anymore. After you factor in all the associated expenses like closing costs, property taxes, maintenance, and repairs, it's more than it seems. Plus, in the current market and due to changes in tax laws, it's usually cheaper to rent these days.
Trying to spend less is very responsible, especially for those in debt. It's important to be mindful of your spending and save wherever you can. Just make sure that any money-saving methods you use are actually saving you money. Not simply appearing to cost less until one day, the other bargain bin shoe drops, revealing the true cost.