Times When You Shouldn't Cut Financial Corners

March 11, 2013

Photo by slightly everything, via Flickr

When it comes to money, many of us are constantly looking for ways to save. But while buying store brands and cutting back on cable channels might make sense, there are times when shaving money off an item or service just doesn’t bode well for the end goal.

Here are just a few of those instances.

Shoes

It’s no secret that we aren’t quite as kind to our feet as we should be. In fact, women’s visits to a physician due to a foot-related complaint went up 75% between 2005 and 2009 alone. So when it comes to footwear, shell out extra money to ensure that your shoes are comfortable and long lasting. Not only will this keep you from buying new pairs every couple of months, but it will decrease the likelihood of you experiencing the health consequences of bad footwear – everything from spinal issues to headaches.

Energy Improvements

When it comes to purchasing something like lightbulbs, it might seem like a much better deal to go with incandescent bulbs when fluorescent bulbs can be four times as expensive, but that’s not actually the case. Florescent lamps use approximately 75% less energy and last 10 times longer, helping you save a significant amount on your electric bill every year.

The same goes for energy efficient appliances – they might cost more upfront, but they cost less to run.

Professional Advice

With tax season upon us  it might be tempting to tackle the task yourself so you don’t have to shell out extra to consult a professional.  But according to Dave Ramsey, the average tax refund for a self-filer is $1,824 while the average refund with a tax professional is $2,615. In addition, a tax professional can ensure that your taxes are done properly, curbing your chances of getting audited in the future.

If your tax scenario is simple and straightforward then yes, do them yourself. But be wary if your taxes require more than just plugging in a few numbers.

Home Improvement

While there are some projects that are great for DIYers (like the thousands you can find on Pinterest), there are definitely home improvement projects that you should never cut corners on – i.e. roofing, foundation work, or electrical work. These are all things that could greatly affect the overall value of your home and take a certain level of expertise to fix.

Mattresses

You use your mattress every day for a consistent 4-8 hours depending on your sleeping habits. What else do you use for that often and for that long? That’s precisely why you should never scrimp on a mattress purchase. Yes, you can stick to a budget, but don’t just opt for the cheapest one you find – you could regret it every night for the next ten years of your life. Seriously.

Side note:
If you're ever tempted to make a false claim or go against your better judgement in order to save a buck or two, let this story point you in another direction -- Trying to Cut Corners Can Be a Costly Exercise