When "Saving" Isn't Saving

When "Saving" Isn't Saving

Have you ever bought the "cheap" version of something you needed, only to find out a day, month, or even year later that if you'd just paid the premium for the high-quality version it would have saved you money in the end? While we all know that paying attention to costs is important, saving now can easily lead to paying more in the future. Here are a couple of examples from my own experience:

The Dogs Have It

I’m a Great Dane person. Over the course of my life, I have had twenty-one Great Danes. I'm not a pet hoarder or anything, Great Danes have just always been a part of my life.

Like many of us, I've been going through a difficult time these days. And while those big, loveable dogs have always been a comfort to me during times like these, I'm currently finding myself without any Great Danes in my life. Three of them leaving me prematurely was one of the many tumultuous changes, so my husband and I decided to go get a new puppy.

In order to save money we tried several tactics to try to get a Great Dane at a reasonable cost, but to no avail. We finally decided to adopt a little Belgian Malinois named Kimber. And while I love Kimber... she's not a Great Dane. That change of breed is one change too many, and I realize how much I need the comfort and familiarity of a Great Dane in my life.

Jessica and Princess, One of Her Great DanesMe and Princess, One of My Great Danes
As a result, I'm currently looking for a Great Dane to be Kimber's buddy. So this means not only will I be paying for the cost of adopting the Great Dane, but also the cost of adopting Kimber and the price of feeding them both.

One thing is certain--I have learned my lesson.  If I know saving on one will end up making me spend more on the other, I’ll skip the savings.

Car Chase

My sister and I bought our cars at the exact same time, and at the time, I ended up paying more for mine -- I bought what I really loved.  Nine years later, I still have the same car, and I haven’t had to make payments for four years now. 

My sister, on the other hand, who tried to save a buck by getting something she didn't like at a lower cost, has now “saved a buck” on three more cars.  While her car is newer than mine now, I still love my car and she’s the one making payments and dealing with higher insurance rates.

The moral of both of these stories: Don’t settle for less if you can’t live with the sacrifice.

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This post is part of the Carnival of Money Stories. Head over there to read more great finance stories.

retirebyforty's picture

retirebyforty wrote:

Fri, 11/05/2010 - 16:10 Comment #: 1

Great advice! It takes experience to figure out when "saving" isn't saving.
I just purchased a DSLR and I love it. The pictures are so much better than my old point and shoot camera. I'm really happy with it and will keep it for a long long time.

Jessica Schmeidler's picture

Jessica Schmeidler wrote:

Sat, 11/06/2010 - 01:06 Comment #: 2

Experience is such a wonderful thing! Hindsight is 20/20, and the regret will get you every time.

Happy shooting! (Pictures, that is...)

Credit Cards Canada's picture

Credit Cards Canada wrote:

Sun, 11/07/2010 - 11:49 Comment #: 3

The other time that saving isn't saving is when you buy something on impulse because it's on "special". For instance, if every day of the year you buy something for $20 because you "save" $10 on the regular $30 price, you will have spent $700 of after-tax income for a total saving of -$700 (requiring you to earn an extra $1000 or thereabouts to make up for these lost "savings").

MoneyCone's picture

MoneyCone wrote:

Sun, 11/07/2010 - 12:31 Comment #: 4

Haha! Your post reminded me of something I bought thinking I found a great bargain!

I love swiffer dusters, but cringe at the cost of refills. The other day, I found a store brand version of the refills for far less than Swiffer refills. Grabbed it feeling awesome about this find.

Went home and tried it out. Have to tell you, using a paper towel would've picked up more dirt than these refills! Utter garbage as the Brits would say! And to the garbage it went!

On my next trip to the groceries, meekly picked up ... well you can guess!

Jessica Schmeidler's picture

Jessica Schmeidler wrote:

Sun, 11/07/2010 - 21:03 Comment #: 5

@Credit Cards Canada,
I have a very set rule when it comes to "specials." If I wouldn't pay full price for an item, I won't buy it if it's on sale. If it's worth the full price, and goes on sale, then I take the money I saved and literally put it into savings. Otherwise "saving" on that "special" still equates to just money spent.

LOL! I did the same thing, actually! It made me love my swiffer dusters all the more. Although, I have found that dryer sheets are absolutely AMAZING little dusters after they've come out of the dryer. You don't even need to spray them with End Dust. After I finish drying the clothes, I just take the used dryer sheets (that are static free) and dust around the TV, displays (aka: "dust collectors"), and other must-dust-daily places. Works like a charm and saves me some hard-earned mulah. :)

CARNIVAL OF MONEY STORIES 2, Perfectionism Edition | Barbara's picture

CARNIVAL OF MONEY STORIES 2, Perfectionism Edition | Barbara wrote:

Mon, 11/15/2010 - 00:09 Comment #: 6

[...] presents When “Saving” Isn’t Saving | MomVesting posted at [...]

MoneyCone's picture

MoneyCone wrote:

Thu, 11/18/2010 - 12:05 Comment #: 7

I need to try the dryer sheet trick! Thanks for the tip Jessica!

Jessica Schmeidler's picture

Jessica Schmeidler wrote:

Thu, 11/18/2010 - 15:37 Comment #: 8

I hope you like them. :)

Frugal Tips's picture

Frugal Tips wrote:

Tue, 12/07/2010 - 02:58 Comment #: 9

This is so true! You need to buy quality products and spend money on the things that you want or you will always miss them. Save money on the things that do not mean as much to you (and those things are different for everybody).

Jessica Schmeidler's picture

Jessica Schmeidler wrote:

Tue, 12/07/2010 - 04:40 Comment #: 10

Exactly! :) Thanks for commenting!