Frugal Friday: Counting the Cost
OK, so it’s Monday not Friday. Life got a little hectic at the end of last week. Instead of skipping a week, I decided to go ahead and post this today.
Photo Credit: Therapy Stew
I want to pause in the middle of this series to address something I should have addressed when I first kicked off Frugal Friday. Sometimes when we think about being frugal we think that it’s all about choosing the less expensive option. But that’s not always the case. We need to learn to count the cost.
Sure it’s great to get food less expensively by pairing coupons with great sales. Or, saving 50% on a cute new dress that you’ve had your eye on for awhile.
But what about items that we intend to use for an extended period of time? Items such as small kitchen appliances, cars, furniture, and electronics are all examples of things that we tend to keep for awhile.
Take toasters for example. Say you need a new toaster but you are trying to save money. So, you purchase the least expensive one you can find. Then within just a few months of use that toaster wears out or breaks. In this case you would have been better off researching features and dependability of toasters to find one that would last a long time. Just because something is cheap does not mean it’s a good deal. In fact, you could end up spending more by buying the less expensive item and having to replace it over and over.
Another time we need to count the cost is with our time. How much are you really saving if you have to drive from store to store searching for the best deals? Or, is it really worth it to spend 20 hours a week clipping coupons to save a little money?
You have to decide for yourself how much time you are willing to invest to save money. Sometimes it’s not worth it to spend a lot of time trying to get a deal. If it means spending less quality time with your family, you may want to rethink your strategy.
So, when you set your strategy for budgeting and spending, remember to always count the cost.
Question: Have you discovered that just because something is cheap does not mean it’s a good deal? If so, leave a comment below and share your experience.