Sometimes spending more can save you money in the long run.
Generally speaking, I consider myself to be a fairly frugal person. I am on a pretty tight budget and aim to save money whenever I can.
But in the past, my efforts to spend less and save more have come back to bite me. Here are three purchases I went cheap on and regretted a lot later.
1. My first car
I paid around $ 2,500 for my first car, and at the time it seemed like a good deal. The car didn’t have a ton of mileage and it appeared to be in fair condition (except for the sunroof which leaked every time it rained). I drove this car all over town and took it on several trips during the first six months I owned it. But then disaster struck.
One day, I was driving on a local freeway and the person in front of me stopped dead. I applied the brake but could not completely stop my car in time, and I ended up hitting it at very low speed. His car was doing perfectly fine – not even a scratch – as my car imploded. The hood twitched inward, both airbags inflated despite the very low impact collision and the fact that no one was sitting in the passenger seat. And at some point I’m pretty sure the engine started to smoke. Needless to say, that was the end of the car, meaning I spent $ 2,500 on a vehicle that barely lasted more than six months.
Looking back, buying a cheap car was not a good idea, as it is clear that it was not made well initially or that it had already suffered damage that caused it to collapse during from a minor accident. I ended up having to dip into my savings for a down payment on a new car, which was a disappointment considering I had only recently lost $ 2,500 on my destroyed vehicle.
2. My budget laptop
As someone who earns their income from writing homework, you’d think I’d give myself some leeway to buy a decent laptop. But a few years ago I needed a new computer and found one for sale at my local big box store. The deal sounded too good to be true – $ 400 for a working machine that would meet my work-related needs – so I decided to go for it.
Fast forward about six months, and I was already having trouble with this laptop. All in all, it barely lasted a year, and even though I didn’t spend a ton of money on it, I felt like a fool that I wasted $ 400 when I could have instead invested that money in a better computer with a long lifespan. In fact, my next laptop cost me three times as much, but so far it has lasted me three years and more.
3. My unbranded sneakers
Back when I was training for my first marathon, I was wearing sneakers like crazy, and at around $ 90 a pop, it was starting to become an expensive habit. At one point I decided to buy a cheaper pair of sneakers and see how well they stood. After a week of use, I started to have pain in my arch and ankle – something I hadn’t experienced with my previous running shoes.
I decided to buy another pair of my favorite sneakers, and sure enough it did the trick. Turns out there’s a reason some running shoes cost $ 90 and others $ 35. But at 30 miles of running a week, I wasn’t willing to have my body pay the price to save some money.
To this day, there are still some things that I refuse to spend a lot of money on. I wear leggings every day, for example, and while many friends of mine pay $ 30 or more per pair, my $ 9 leggings do just fine. I won’t spend much on my children’s clothes either. Between them ripping, staining, and overtaking their stuff, I’d rather go cheap so that when I have to throw out a T-shirt three months later, I don’t get bored.
But there are expenses Is pay to invest, as I have clearly learned. And the next time I need a vehicle, a computer, or a new pair of sneakers, I won’t hesitate to spend a little more money.