Did you know that sometimes trying to find ways to learn how to save money can actually cause you to waste money?
Yes, it's true!
If you're not careful, what you think is saving you money may actually be costing you more money now or later down the road.
And, I'm guilty of doing this as well.
Don't worry, though, because everyone has done it. However, by learning from our mistakes and about the other ways that you may be wasting money by trying to save money, you can help yourself in the long run.
I used to always buy low-quality items, such as cheap, trendy clothing. I always thought that I would be saving money due to it – after all, that shirt was only $15!
However, I've gone through many $15 shirts, other cheap clothing, cheap cookware, cheap mattresses, and so on to now realize that cheap items are usually just that – cheap.
Instead, by spending a little more money upfront for quality, long lasting things, I am usually saving more money in the long run.
Items that you may want to purchase based on better quality rather than a cheaper price may include items such as:
Maintenance is usually something that is required, not something that you can just choose to do if you want to. However, that's how many people treat the routine maintenance of things, such as maintaining their car and home.
While you may see it as saving money on things, like skipping an oil change, in the long run you could possibly be costing yourself money.
For example, you could actually be significantly damaging something if you stop doing maintenance on it. Then, you may have to pay for repair or even replacement costs that are much higher than what it would have cost to just maintain the item in the first place. Plus, you are most likely making whatever the item is work harder by not maintaining it.
While I'm all for trying to learn things and DIY-ing, sometimes things are better left to the experts, especially if you are confused, not sure of what you are doing, and could possibly have large consequences. This is especially true when it comes to trying to complete complicated taxes, doing something legal-related that you know nothing about instead of consulting a lawyer, and so on.
This can cost you money if you end up making an error, and even more so if you end up needing a professional to fix your problem.
If you're going to DIY something, make sure that you know what you're doing, especially with your house. If you're not sure and you could potentially face expensive consequences, then you may just want to think about outsourcing the task.
Just because an item is on sale doesn't mean that it's a good deal. However, many people fall for this marketing tactic all the time. Some businesses even claim that things are on sale when they aren't, just to fool you into thinking that you're getting a steal!
Buy one get one free deals, 10 for $10, 50% off, and more may be making you spend more money, and they may not even be a deal. And even coupons might be making you broke.
Before you spend money, you should make sure that you actually want the item you are about to purchase. If you are never going to use the item or if you wouldn't have been interested in the item before you found it on sale, then there's a chance that you may be wasting money by buying it.
This one is similar to the previous. Buying items in bulk may sometimes seem like you are getting a good value, but in some cases you may not be. If you buy too much in bulk and don't use everything that you buy, then some of it may spoil and need to be thrown away.
Plus, some people tend to go through things quicker than they should because they know they have a huge stash of the same product in their home. For example, some people may not need to go through toothpaste or shampoo very quickly, but if you buy it in bulk then you may use twice the amount of the product because you know that you have plenty of it.
If that happens, then you've wasted money in the long run!
Instead, you should only purchase items in bulk if you actually know that you are going to use the product, and you should still be wise about how much of it that you use so you aren't wasting it.
Some people like to justify purchasing unhealthy food because it's cheaper than its healthy counterpart. However, that's not always true! Many times healthy food can be found for a similar or an even cheaper price if you hunt for good deals and know when and where to shop.
Plus, those unhealthy items may have other negative effects, such as impacting the way you feel, the way you look, and even add medical bills to your life later on.
What do you think? What have you done in the past to save money but has actually cost you more money in the long run?
This is a guest post from Michelle Schroeder-Gardner. She is the founder and writer at Making Sense of Cents. On her blog, she helps readers learn about the ways to make extra income, save money, and reach their dream life. Michelle and her husband sold their house in 2015 and currently travel full-time in an RV with their two dogs.