Not all budget solutions are created equal. Here are the ones that cost more than you think:
1. Buying cheap household furniture or appliances.
It’s difficult to convince yourself to buy home necessities at full-price, especially because there are an abundance of holidays that large retailers celebrate by offering wild savings on stoves, refrigerators and mattresses. However, buying a big-ticket item for a low price might mean getting rid of it a lot sooner. My first couch was from a discount store in L.A., and while I loved it dearly, we got the comfort level we paid for, which was regrettably uncomfortable. It was about $200. I recently bought a quality, used couch from a previous tenant in my building (for the same amount), and am fairly certain it will last longer than the discount furniture. Sometimes buying used but good-quality appliances and furniture is better than opting for a lower-quality piece.
2. Buying something just because it’s on super sale.
If you’re someone who responds to flash sale emails, and only goes into stores when they have a 50% off sign out front, then your frugal-adjacent logic may still be costing you. If you wouldn’t have bought anything had you not seen the flash sale message pop up in the right-hand corner of your screen, then buying the sale item isn’t saving you money. Buying something you don’t need at a reduced price is still buying something you don’t need.
3. Cutting down your insurance plan.
Those who are insuring themselves under the age of 30 can opt for catastrophic plans, which demand a low monthly payment, but a much higher deductible. U.S. News breaks down the differences between a bronze plan and a catastrophic plan, and while bronze covers 60% of estimated health care costs, a catastrophic plan covers, “three primary care visits and specified preventive services before the deductible. [It] only covers additional services after the plan deductible – $6,600 for an individual plan or $13,200 for a family plan – has been met.” Unfortunately, if something happens, you end up paying a lot more than had you been paying more every month.