Today, we have a guest post on the blog from Kayla, who blogs over at ShoeaholicNoMore! She’s an awesome finance writer, and is steadily chipping her way out of debt.
There’s actually a big difference between being cheap and being frugal. For one, frugal people know that buying the cheapest version of everything isn’t the best idea because it can end up costing you more in the long run.
That said, buying the most expensive version of something isn’t frugal either. The frugal person knows when to buy cheap and when to pay more for quality. They also shop around and use other methods to make sure they are getting a quality product for a good price.
If you are afraid you are being too cheap instead of frugal, here are 4 things you definitely shouldn’t be a cheap skate about.
Personally, I’d rather pay a bit more for electronics like vacuum cleaners, kitchen appliances, TVs, etc. rather than buying a cheap on and having to replace it every year or two. Part of that could be that I’m picky and I don’t like change, so it takes me a good while to decide which vacuum cleaner to buy to replace my old one. But on the plus side, you are definitely saving money in the long-run by buying better quality electronics and not having to replace them as often.
I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty picky about cars too. It’s not every day that I buy a new (to me) car, so when I do I want it to be exactly what I need and want.
A car is something that you want to be safe and reliable, and it also needs to be able to accomplish all the regular tasks that you do. For instance, I need a vehicle large enough to haul hay bales in one in a while to help on my parents’ farm, so a small car didn’t make sense for me.
Going too cheap on a car means you’ll likely end up spending a lot more money at the mechanic’s shop and a lot more time being frustrated and car-less while it’s being repaired than if you had spent a bit more for a better car.
Furniture, Especially a Mattress
Much like a car, furniture isn’t something you’ll be buying every day, so you want it to last a long time.
This is especially true of your mattress. After all, you do spend about 1/3 of your day laying in your bed, so you want it to be one that is comfortable and long lasting. A good mattress can last you 10 years or more and still be quite comfortable. A cheap mattress will wear out much quicker and will be uncomfortable for far longer.
A lot of people neglect to think about the fact that they couldn’t go anywhere if it weren’t for their feet. This is why you should spend more money on your socks and shoes. Higher quality shoes will be more comfortable and will last a lot longer than a cheap pair of shoes that wear out, or you deem to uncomfortable to keep even if they aren’t worn out. This is especially true if you stand on your feet all day for your job.
It’s ok to want to save money, but sometimes it’s better to save money in the long-run. Frugal people save money by investing in more expensive, higher quality, products up front that will last them longer and be more useful over time instead of just buying the cheapest items they can find.
Kayla is a mid-20s single girl living in the Midwest, USA. She is focused on paying off her consumer and student loans, while simplifying her life and closet. You can join her on her journey at ShoeaholicNoMore or follow her on Twitter.