It is without question, I am cheap. I seek great deals. I bargain shop. I buy upcycled and recycled without question. I blame my father lol. BUT. And there is a but…I’ve learned a great, great lesson in a little thing called investing.
Now I’m not talking stocks and bonds. These are far too rich for my blood; or in the most recent days perhaps the smarter choice, but the DOW is neither here nor there. I’m talking about when you get to an age when you realize that there is a reason some things have been discounted. One must learn to choose wisely among their options and this is the precise lesson I’m talking about.
For example, there is a reason why $0.50 hand soap is $0.50…it does.not.work. Now there are some brands that are the exception. For example, I will take the Kroger brand of ANYTHING over they name brand. Even their pasta sauce is superb, and that’s direct from the Sicilian herself. Another prime example of buying for cost rather than investing, furniture. We have purchased 2 dressers in the past year from a local name brand retailer, and no it’s not the obvious choice you are thinking of, but it is in the same extended family (here’s a hint: big red balls) and you know what, both dressers have busted at least once since purchase within the first 6 months. #ishouldveinvested
Second, when purchasing a car, the dealer will (of course) try to upsell you on just about anything. Typically and historically I would always advise: stand your ground and shut down at the end of a sale. However, I have learned a very humble lesson in a little thing called “Gap Insurance.” If you don’t know, click the link and now you know. Get it. Without question, it’s worth it. I humbly admit, I was too cheap for the additional $12-$15 increase in my monthly payment and the only thing that saved us from paying for the next 4 years on a completely totaled vehicle was the knowledge of an expert insurance agent who really had my best interest in mind. Thanks, Matt!
These are humbling experiences for me because I purchased them with the bottom line in mind. What I’ve learned is that SOMETIMES longevity pays off. SOMETIMES the best way to save money is in the long haul. It does no one any good, nor their budget, to spend $80 today on something you’d assume will last at least 2-4 years, if not longer. Only to have it bust within six months. Then, you not only have to find something more durable i.e. expensive, but you are the damn $80! I don’t know about you but I can’t part with that kind of money. And It certainly makes me bitter to know that I had to learn this lesson the very,very hard way. However, I will take the opportunity to point out that it is an art to identify a savings and an investment. They are absolutely not one in the same. It may take more legwork but ultimately pausing, giving true consideration and making a thoughtful purchase, whether it is a cup of coffee, a new pair, or package, of socks, or a new car, I’ve learned, can be the best way to make the frugal choice.