Usually on Talking Cents, when we talk about budgeting and saving money to avoid consumer debt, we advise you to live frugally, buy inexpensive items, and discourage you from buying unnecessarily expensive things. However, the most frugal option is not necessarily the cheapest option. Sometimes the cheapest option is prone to breaking, not working properly, or it could be downright unsafe. Buying cheap could cost you more money than you think. Here are five examples of what not to buy cheaply:
What Not to Buy Cheap
While buying the cheapest pots and pans you can find may seem like you’re saving money, many cheap cookware sets will not withstand high heat and the wear-and-tear of cooking. After a couple of months, you may have to buy new pots and pans again. Buying quality cookware in the first place would actually save you money in the long run, considering it will last for years as opposed to just a few months.
Cheap paint is often very thin. Many people who buy the cheapest brands of paint find that they have to buy at least two cans of paint for one wall. Rather than having to paint several layers of thin paint over one wall, you can save a lot of time and effort by purchasing higher quality paint!
Low-quality tires can be a safety hazard. They also have a shorter lifespan than higher quality ones, meaning you’ll have to replace them more frequently. You’re better off purchasing decent quality tires that you know are safe and will last a long time.
If you use a laptop on a daily basis for school or work, it’s probably not a good idea to cheap out on it. If you use it often, you need a laptop that is reliable, fast, and has all the capabilities necessary for whatever job or classes you use it for. Buying a cheap laptop that’s prone to technical issues is setting yourself up for failure.
5. Large Home Appliances
When it comes to appliances like refrigerators and washing machines, chances are you want it to last for years. Buying the cheapest option you can find for these appliances might not be the best idea. It could be more prone to breaking or not lasting as long, and then you will probably end up buying a more expensive model anyway.
Of course, this doesn’t mean you should opt for the most expensive option either. Somewhere between the cheapest and most expensive items is a quality item that is still reasonably priced! Quality doesn’t mean you have to spend more than you’ve budgeted for. Being frugal doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice quality for unsafe or unreliable products. If you know what not to buy cheap, you’re actually doing your budget a favor!
For more information on budgeting and getting out of debt, call 800-769-3571.