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Cheapskate behavior that costs you in the long run

There are many ways to save money, but some cost you more than you think.

By Jul 18, 2014 11:04AM
This post comes from Emily Lugg at partner site on MSN MoneyWho doesn't want to save a few bucks? Indeed, there are some tried and true ways to cut costs -- couponing, watching for sales, shopping the discount aisle, and so on. Then there are money-saving strategies that actually may be illusory. Perhaps it's time to rethink your cheapskate ways to ensure that you're truly cutting into your bottom line.

Do you ...

Pennies © CorbisDrive extra miles to save money on gas? Yes, the gas station near your best friend's house may be three cents or even 30 cents a gallon cheaper, but it's on the other side of town. By the time you drive there, fill up, and drive home, your cheapskate ways have burned extra time (which counts for something, too) and also any savings you may have racked up.

Use coupons to buy items you won't use? Just because you found a good deal on deodorant, if it's the kind that gives you a rash, it's not a deal at all. Maybe you think you'll give it away, or maybe you hope your skin will magically stop reacting to it. Either way, this isn't money well spent. Donating the item to the local shelter or handing it off to your poor college-student daughter is certainly generous, but doing this over and over totally undermines your cheapskate intentions.
Cash in on all those dining specials? All-you-can-eat sounds like the deal of all deals. Or maybe your favorite restaurant offers an appealing buy-one-get-one half-price meal. The problem? If you dine out regularly just because you can grab a "cheap meal," put down the fork and do the math. Restaurant meals are costly regardless of the specials, deals, half-price menus, or buffet options. And there are health costs that cheapskates should consider, as well. Be sure you're budgeting properly -- both dollars and calories.

Avoid yearly healthcare checkups? Nobody chomps at the bit to get to the doctor, dentist, or any healthcare professional for so-called well visits. But don't let money deter you; it's your health, after all. Many insurance companies cover preventative care to avoid more costly claims down the road -- an incentive any cheapskate should understand. Check your benefit plan before deciding to skip your next appointment.

Get what you pay for? A committed cheapskate will be tempted to buy the least expensive set of tires, the cheapest hair dryer, or the too-good-to-be-true lawn mower. At the time, you think you're getting a deal, but if you wind up replacing the product before its expected lifespan runs out, you'll spend more in the long run. An investment in a better model (read product reviews before you shop) may be hard to swallow at the time of purchase, but a slightly higher price tag should pay off over time.
Stock up on items that you end up wasting? Maybe your favorite salad dressing or granola bars are on clearance, so you decide to take advantage of the low price and stock up. But these items may be on clearance because the expiration date is close at hand. If they wind up sitting in your pantry as the expiration date comes and goes, you've lost money because you bought something you didn't use. And what true cheapskate can swallow that?

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Jul 18, 2014 2:48PM
There is a big difference between being a cheapskate and being thrifty . In fact , watching how you spend your money is usually smart . The wisdom is knowing the difference between the two . jmo

Jul 18, 2014 12:15PM
It's called "Being penny wise, and pound foolish".
Jul 18, 2014 4:05PM
I do use coupons on things I cant or wont use, and donate them to a local woman's shelter. Just because it gives ME a rash doesn't mean it hurts everyone else, and paying pennies for deodorant that can help someone get back on their feet is worth it every time. Ditto for cereals.
Jul 18, 2014 4:04PM
Jul 18, 2014 5:16PM

I simply fail to realize why MSN continues to publish articles like this one from Emily Lugg. Two posters hit the nail on the head. Big difference between being a cheapskate and being frugal with how you spend your money. One, why would any sane person buy something they do not need or would be harmful to them?

Personally, I love the buy one get one free coupons. Use them all the time. Here's the deal, if a five pound bag of potatoes is buy one get one and I am going to buy potatoes anyhow, why not get one free? Five pounds last me a long time, so I know needy families in my neighborhood, why not give them some potatoes to help feed the family before my extra pounds go rotten?

Let me put it another way. I am a 70 year old male with nobody to feed but myself. I know a local lady with a full time business that has a little corner in her shop which is basically a last resort food shelf/Salvation Army type thingy. Anything goes there. Deodorants, no problem. I buy one that I will use and give the second one to her. Perishable veggies and such like lettuce are not an option. Potatoes and onions and other things that do not rot within days is another scenario.

I guess it is called take care of your own folks. There are a lot of people in this country that are really hurting through no fault of their own in spite of the propaganda the government puts out. I will continue to do what I can to help my neighbors. When you really think about it, it basically costs me nothing except some time.

Gunny out.

Jul 18, 2014 6:22PM
I  will sometimes drive a little farther to get a good gas price when I have a few errands around the same area . Makes the drive worthwhile. I scan the ads for things I need on sale and clip the coupon. Write it down on a recycled envelope ( I only keep a few on hand) and throw the coupons in the ad. I don't buy something unless it's on sale except when it is absolutely necessary. Haven't seen double coupon deals in over thirty years. Use mostly fresh fruits and vegetables and keep processed food to a minimum.  My children are out of the house now which makes things easier to be "frugal" 
Jul 18, 2014 6:53PM
I disagree with expirations dates on most items, unless it's eggs/dairy. I have had soups, canned goods, salad dressings that aren't milk based and flour/cake mixes/rice and beans STILL be good months if not a few years later. Just look for any rust and if the can doesn't pop up to check the seal. I have had even yogurt last a few months past the Expiry date. Use your nose/eyes. So much food gets wasted just because of a date! :) It usually means, it is BEST quality by the date on it, and may lose it's optimum taste after that date. And it's lawyers.
Jul 18, 2014 6:31PM
There is a HUGE difference between being cheap and looking for VALUE.  We stock up on sale items that we actually plan to use and which will keep for a long time — e.g. frozen vegetables, paper goods, even yogurt IF the expiration date is far enough away). Otherwise, there is no use.
Jul 18, 2014 5:42PM
Wonder if anyone has done a cost study about what it cost to make the same kind of food at home.  I am talking about the amount of electricity/gas or both it cost to make the meal and wash the dishes.  Don't get me wrong, I cook at home 99% of the time.
Jul 18, 2014 7:32PM
"but a slightly higher price tag should pay off over time" not necessarily, sometimes the generic brands are just as good, but don't have the designer labels, this was even said one time on yahoo news.
Jul 18, 2014 4:51PM
Couponing is probably the biggest scam.  People stock up on tons of items that they have no use for just because they're cheap.
Jul 18, 2014 5:12PM
If you spend ten minutes saving a dollar you're working for less than minimum wage.
Jul 18, 2014 8:02PM
Buying the "bargain" brands aren't such a bargain as well.  A can of generic vegetables may have lower-grade product than the national brand, or even the midpriced store brand.  Soaps, detergents, and shampoos may be more watered down than the full-priced brands, meaning you'd either use more, or the detergents won't clean or remove stains as well.  Gasoline from off-brand or no-brand stations may not have the same level of detergents as name-brand fuels, may contain additional ethanol, or have impurities that can possibly cause poor performance or engine damage.  And lower-priced cigarettes (or "little cigars"...called that in order to evade taxes-mainly cigarettes wrapped in brown paper) wold have lower-grade tobaccos. or, from what I heard, tobacco that was swept off the floor at the cigarette factories.  Cheap wines (typically the type of wines you'd find at inner city corner stores) are actually low-grade wines "fortified" with grain alcohol, fruit juices, or artificial flavors.  And that $30 Rolex watch you saw at the flea market is definitely counterfeit.  I agree...penny wise, pound foolish.
Jul 18, 2014 9:00PM
Sure glad MSN can tell me how to live. Usually they promote fudge packing.
Jul 18, 2014 6:20PM
This behavior can also ruin your marriage. You will force to pay alimony for your ex and your children.
Jul 18, 2014 9:40PM
There is a big Difference being Cheap & Being a Jew! You think this is being racist WRONG!
Jul 18, 2014 2:40PM
It also gets you a ugly as wife ! 
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