When being cheap doesn’t pay off.

I’m usually the first one to admit that I can be cheap and for the most part, it doesn’t really bother me. There are times though, being cheap hasn’t paid off or wasn’t a good idea. One example in particular comes to mind; back in my university days, my roommate and I decided we would walk home from a party at a friend’s house instead of paying for a cab. Nevermind it was a 5 km walk at 2 AM down Bank Street in Ottawa.

It was a long, dark walk. For the most part, once we got out of the downtown area, it was a pretty quiet walk. We had just crossed over the canal, when someone stumbled out of a dark entranceway onto the sidewalk and started walking towards us. As we came closer, we could see the person was a man, wearing a skirt over a pair of tight-tight-tight jeans, no shirt, and a ball gag around his neck (at first I thought it was a clown nose, being a simple farm girl). When he saw us he started to shout he had ‘been very bad’ and ‘needed spanked. Hard’. My roommate and I hurried across the street, keeping an eye on the strange fellow to make sure he kept going the opposite direction of us. We laughed off our extremely creepy experience and took heart in the fact we were nearly home. I cannot express our surprise (and horror) when we saw the same man walking towards us again. I still cannot figure out how he got ahead of us. This time, we ran. We ran the rest the rest of the way home.

Safely home, my roommate and I swore we would never cheap out on a cab again.  Looking bad, cheaping out on probably a $20 cab ride was really dumb. My roommate and I put ourselves at risk just to save a little bit of cash that we both easily coud have afforded. It was just plain stupid.

Having said that, I’m all for saving where possible, but I believe there are some places and times where it’s best to spend a bit extra. Here’s a few examples:

  • Vehicles and repairs. I’m all for buying a quality used car. The key word there being ‘quality’. If you cheap out on a car, you’re likely going to end up spending more on frequent and costly repairs than if you’ve shelled out a little more.

Who-hoo! It’s cheap. We’ll try to forget Ford Pinto’s tend to catch fire when rear-ended.

  • Mattresses. Most people spend 7 hrs a day on their mattress – that’s a fair bit of time. That $200 mattress is going to feel like a concrete slab before too long.

They saved by buying a mattress filled with corn cobs.

  • Anything for your safety – fire alarms, smoke/CO detectors, child car seats, etc. Don’t buy the dollarstore fire alarms. Just don’t.

Please stop having children if you’re this cheap.

  • Tattoos. ‘Nough said.

Ronald McDonald playing football?

What would you never cheap out on? Got any cheaping-out and it didn’t work out   tales?

Have a good ‘un

Country Girl

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Categories: Spending | Tags: | 23 Comments

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23 thoughts on “When being cheap doesn’t pay off.

  1. I definitely agree with this list. We recently went too cheap with our plumbing, and it went horribly.

  2. Kitchen utensils! I’m not saying you need to go Paderno all the way, but a dollar store carrot peeler is going to behave like it’s only worth a dollar. I at least look for something PC brand or better. Also, pet food. High quality pet food results in fewer health problems and less, ahem, waste. You can feed less and still get a great result.

    • Oh yeah, those dollar store kitchen utensils can be pretty sketchy. The metal ones tend to rust, which is just what I want in my food, a little extra iron oxide.

  3. LOL. That’s a horrid tattoo.

    Agree on both the car and the mattress. The boy & I bought a $2500 mattress on sale for half off on boxing day (we’d waited for a full year for that sale), and it was an AWESOME investment.

  4. I agree with all on the list…though I would have never thought about putting tattoos on there, but you made your point well! I would also include repairs and recommended health check-ups.

  5. Lol, you’re right on all counts! I’d throw shoes on the list too, because poor foot support can do a number your back and feet, and the damage can be hard to undo.

    • You’re absolutely right. I used to volunteer in a nursing home doing pedicures, so I can picture the horror that bad shoes can inflict on a person. O.o

  6. SWR

    Pet supplies. Some of what’s in that cheap food is really scary..

    Also, goggles and athletic shoes.

  7. I can’t believe I forgot pet food (my vet tech sister would be so ashamed!). I’ve never bought goggles, but I can see (har de har har) why you’d want a quality pair.

  8. I agree with all these. I’d also include sushi on my own list. No grocery store sushi for me thanks.

    It’s funny that dollar store utensils were mentioned in the comments. I really don’t like my dollar store vegetable peeler. Knowing it’s going to rust makes me like it even less.

  9. Sunscreen – In general, I don’t like the greasiness of sunscreen so I am willing to spend the money to try and find one that works otherwise I just won’t wear it.

  10. Those are some classic pics. I’m with Jeremy above…cheap sushi will land you in the bathroom for an evening….not pretty.

  11. OMG so glad you are okay. Can’t tell you how many times this has happened to me when I’m with a bunch of other gals after a night out. It’s so creepy.

    I would also say.. OFFICE CHAIRS. I sit in them all day..at night too. I want to invest in a good one. Same goes for foundation. The drugstore ones are $10 now and they break me out. I have really sensitive acne-prone skin so I can’t cheap out. Great post!!!!

  12. I have heard that the two things to never scrimp too much on is your shoes and your mattress, because if you are not in one you are in the other.

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