Many people adhere to the rule that if something is broke you should try to fix it, it’s a money saving strategy that dates back to the good old days of darned stockings, but should some money saving tactics be left to the good old times? When saving starts to waste money maybe it’s time to rethink tactics.
Time Wasted on Freebies
Freebies are a great marketing gimmick; they lure people in, especially those intent of saving at every possible opportunity. But freebies are seldom free. Whether it be the time taken to find the freebie on the internet, printing the coupon which will cost you in ink, time away from work or other activities to collect the freebie, or even gas to get to the location of the freebie, it’s not always worth making the effort. Unless the freebie happens to be on the street as you walk passed, handed to you straight away with no hint of “maybe you should just come in and look at our other items” guilt trip, then don’t think it’ll be saving you any money.
Saving Money Equaling Poor Performance Products
It’s fairly obvious that buying a cheaper product will often mean less time and cost has gone into producing said product, and as a result, it may not be as reliable or long lasting as one purchased for a slightly higher price. That said it is sometimes easy to be taken in by clever branding and pressured into buying something because of the pretty packaging. Take stock, get advice from others buying the product, but don’t always go for the lowest priced item as you may be disappointed or even have to pay out more to replace it when it stops working after a short period.
Frugality Versus a Good Time
If living a frugal lifestyle means hardly ever eating out or taking a trip away, when it comes to that special occasion, make it worthwhile and eat out or book somewhere which costs a bit more. If the result of wanting to save money is in an unpleasant meal or dirty hotel room then the chances are enjoyment won’t be high on the list for this one off experience, it’s about knowing which instances to stop the penny pinching.
Times When Savings Are Useful
There are of course times when being a savings expert can help make life a little easier. Fitting in errands whist on the way home may not take up much time that could be spent earning money or enjoying family time, equally the extra time taken to make a large batch of one meal so some of it can be frozen for nights when time is short, may save a lot of money on time-reducing takeaways or ready meals.
Sometimes the rule of if broken fix it has its place, it may be cost effective to sew up a ripped skirt to save money on buying a new one, but not necessarily on socks which can be bought for less than the cost of the time taken to repair them. Equally when it comes to enjoyment and offers, it might be best to spend a little more on one offs to reap the saving returns in the long run.
Author | Geoff is a personal finance expert – specialising in the online payday loans market, for businesses likes Wonga in the UK.