There are a lot of articles out there about saving money and finding frugal ways to continue enjoying life as we know it, but in some cases being frugal can end up costing you more than you bargained for. This is because buying the cheapest item every time you need to purchase something does not always mean you’re getting the best value. Price and value are very different things. The price is the cost of something, whereas the value is what you get in return for the money. This is linked to both the usability and the quality of the item in question, as well as how long it lasts. If you save £60 by buying the most basic toaster you can buy, then that’s great, but if it lasts just a couple of months before breaking, and you’re forced to buy another, then the value may not be seen as very good at all.
With this in mind, it’s important to think about when it’s best to spend a little more, and when you should continue to be frugal. For instance, a more expensive boiler replacement could cost a lot of money, but it could also last longer than a cheaper one, need fewer repairs, be much cheaper to run and improve the overall efficiency of your home. Taking away the stress of having to pay for a boiler repair in the middle of winter could make this worth the extra cost alone.
As mentioned above when talking about the toaster, it can be worth spending a little more on electrical items to ensure that you don’t need to replace them too often. Of course, this completely depends on the type of electrical good you’re buying, so it’s important to do some research before parting with your pounds. The Which? website is a good place to start if you want to read independent product reviews. There are some cheaper makes which are just as good as the expensive brands, and can also be interesting to see that some of the more expensive gimmicks simply aren’t worth the cash. When in doubt, however, try to avoid going for the very cheapest version of anything, especially if it’s made by a manufacturer who doesn’t specialise in electrical products.
The quality of clothing can vary hugely throughout the high street, and while the cheaper shops often stock the more poorly made items, some of the more expensive stores can also fall down on quality. Ask friends and family about which shops they use and which items of clothing have lasted them the longest. Buying second hand clothing can mean you get quality for less – check out the charity shops in the nicer areas of your town or city and you may find some cut-price designer clothes.
Taking out insurance on your vehicle is a legal requirement, but other types of insurance are not mandatory. This doesn’t mean that you should skip taking out other types of insurance though – sometimes saving money in this area is not always the best idea. Take travel insurance for instance; it may save you a bit of money which you can then take on holiday with you, but if you find yourself stranded, delayed or injured/unwell while abroad then you could end up paying a ridiculous amount for your troubles.
If you rent your home, then you won’t need to provide buildings insurance, as your landlord should do this for you. You may need contents insurance if you have any particularly valuable items, such as laptops or games consoles, but if you have little furniture of your own and you could afford to replace what you own, then this may not be necessary. Insurance is all about perceived risk, so if you would be put into severe financial difficulty by not having it, then it’s always important to spend in this circumstance.
Bettering yourself and learning is always a good thing, and any money you can spend on gaining new skills and upping your earning potential can be beneficial. It’s important to consider all factors before enrolling on any kind of course which is going to cost you money, whether that’s for tuition fees or course materials.