Over-Sacrificing for Savings: What Not to Do

Trying to cut back on your spending? It’s a noble goal and usually one of the first step in improving your finances. But what about those times when spending a little extra is actually in your best interest?

Wisebread recently pointed out several times when skimping on spending goes too far. Many of these involve your health and well being. For example driving a car that is unsafe to avoid mechanic bills, skipping doctor’s or dentist appointments to avoid copays, or purchasing an extremely low level of health coverage just so your premium bill is less are all terrible ways to save money. In fact in all of these cases, you’re not only putting your physical well bring at risk but could also be setting yourself up for financial disaster. Additionally pay attention to what you’re eating; maintaining an unhealthy diet or forcing yourself to consume spoiled foods just isn’t worth it.

Another bad way to save a few dollars is to engage in activities that compromise your morals or go against the laws of the land. This includes downloading music, movies, or software illegally. It’s natural that you’ll need a little escape that such entertainment can provide but it’s better to splurge than to steal.

The next group of bad savings techniques fall under comfort. Have you ever forgone air conditioning or heating in an effort to keep your electric bill down? Adjusting a few degrees can be a great idea but enduring triple digit temperatures or living in a home that’s literally freezing goes too far.

Also in this category is clothing. If you or your kids have outgrown your current clothes or shoes it’s usually worth investing in some new ones. You’ll also want to be sure to wash them — once again, those utility or laundromat savings aren’t worth it.

Lastly don’t bite off more than you can chew when it comes to DIY projects. Buying a home that needs renovation can often save you a ton of cash but only if you know what you’re doing. Sometimes hiring a professional contractor is in your best interest before you or your loved ones get hurt or cause more damage.

There are plenty of good ways to save money and curb your spending. Unfortunately there are also some really bad ways to do so. Remember: it’s never worth sacrificing your health, safety, comfort, or morals to save a few dollars. 


Jonathan Dyer

I'm a small town guy living in Los Angeles looking to make solid financial decisions. I write for a number of finance websites, including HuffingtonPost and Business2Community. I founded DyerNews.com in 2015 to focus on personal finance and the emerging FinTech markets.

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