Wednesday, March 4, 2015

When Saving Money Isn't Really Saving Money

I try to live a frugal life, much out of necessity.  I am known to have all second-hand furniture and clothes, to shop at budget stores, and to make things from scratch.  But, I am far from perfect.  I spend too much time in the Tim Horton's drive thru (coincides with my last post about loving pastry....), find my dollar store purchases can add up, and make too many middle of the week grocery store runs.  But I have learned a few things over the years, mostly from mistakes.  And sometimes saving isn't actually saving in the long run.  Here are some of the things I've learned.

1.  Just because the sign says "SALE" doesn't mean you should buy it.  Just because cat food is on for a ridiculously low price, it doesn't mean you should buy it...if you don't have a cat! Only buy things you need or in some cases want.

2.  Signing up and using a credit card that offers points or discounts only saves you money if you pay it off right way.   If you are the type who struggles to pay things on time, or easily racks up money on a credit card, don't sign up for a card that offers you points so you save elsewhere.  In the long run you will end up paying more in interest.  Trust me, I know.

3.  Don't sign up online for a free or discounted deal if it will automatically bill you for a product or services the following month.  I recently signed up for a free deal online that only required me to pay shipping.  Problem was, I didn't realize I was signing up for a monthly subscription of a product.  You can guess what happened next.  I ended up paying the following month for a product that I didn't need before I realized what was happening and could cancel it.  If the site asks you for your credit card information, either be sure to cancel before you get billed for more of the product, or don't do it in the first place.  I am still upset that I didn't know better about this one.

4.  Don't buy old cars that will break down in no time.  Okay, this one might be up for debate.  But I truly believe that sometimes paying the lowest price isn't always the best option.  If you buy an old vehicle to save money, but then end up putting more money into it that you ever wanted to because it's practically being held together by dirt and rust, then when all is said and done you will have put in more or just as much money as you would have if you had just bought something a little newer.  This could probably be said for appliances and electronics too.  If you are adamant about buying an older model, just be sure to do your research.  Take it from someone who knows, it is absolutely discouraging to buy a car at what you thought was a steal, only to have it break down completely less than a year later.

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Peace & Love. :)

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