Being Cheap Doesn’t Always Save You Money

By Kathryn Katz

It’s great to save money, be frugal and occasionally cut corners to keep your financial status in a healthy state. But sometimes being cheap can cost you, especially when you’re sacrificing or ignoring important components in your life that require attention, regardless of the price.

Here is a list of things that can erode your savings if you decide to neglect them.

Health Insurance: This has become an incendiary matter in the United States, especially since our government officials have been arguing about it. All opinions aside, you should have health insurance. Yes it’s expensive but if you become terribly ill or require some sort of medical treatment it’s possible that you could lose everything. Even if you are healthy now one accident can be life changing and financially devastating – health insurance is there to protect you, without it you are on your own.

Car and home maintenance: Turning up the radio so you don’t hear the noise emanating from your car engine is not going to fix it. It could be a simple problem, but if ignored it could quickly grow to a major overhaul. To prevent such problems make certain to keep up with the maintenance schedule: get the oil changed, flush the anti-freeze and follow the guidelines given to you in the car’s maintenance booklet.

It’s the same with your home; change the filters in the furnace, keep the yard clean, trim tree branches so they don’t fall on the house and damage the roof. If you notice a leak or a window cracked get it fixed. All of these things could lead to further damage and more money spent.

Food: The price of food has become outrageous but that doesn’t mean you should be eating cheap fast-food a few times a week. It’s simply not healthy and could lead to illness. That doesn’t mean you can’t occasionally cut corners, but don’t forget the fresh fruit and vegetables in your diet. And if you do eat out try the healthier selections. Also, you can save money by purchasing non-brand items like whole grain cereals and bread.

Coupon clipping: This has become contagious, whole websites are devoted to helping you save but it could get out of control. For instance, buying items just because you have a coupon or because they are on sale is a waste. Only use the coupons for purchases that are on your food list.

Taxes: Many people fancy themselves as experts on taxes and enjoy doing their own returns. But if you become confused or are not sure about something spend the extra few bucks and get help from a professional. Even the smallest error could cost you in penalties and fees when the IRS finds it.

Everyone wants to save money, especially since the cost of food, gas and other living expenses have risen so dramatically. The key is to be smart; save what you can, avoid excessive spending on unnecessary items and don’t forget the essential operating expenses that will keep you financially fit in the future. They may cost you some money now, but they could cost you so much more if ignored.