Nowadays money is tight for everyone. Between the stagnation of wages over the last twenty years, rampant student debt, and unemployment, none of us have money to spare and often have to resort to things like an auto title loan. And to Americans’ credit, we’ve responded by trying to save money anywhere we can.
But unfortunately, sometimes in our zeal to save money, we end up costing ourselves more in the long-term. But that would never happen to you, right? Not so fast! It can be hard to know when you’ve fallen into this trap, but here are 3 ways it can happen.
Sales are thought of as the of saving money; after all, they’re a dip in an item’s normal cost. Two for one? That means you’re getting one for free! And while it’s true that sales can save you money, never forget that brands and stores will never offer one where they lose out.
The main way they make sure that never happens? While you would save money by buying something you’d normally buy when it’s on sale, often what actually happens is that you’ll buy something you don’t normally buy because it’s on sale. You may feel like you’re outsmarting the store, but they use sales to draw your eye, knowing you’ll most likely end up buying something else not on sale in the same aisle.
A lot of the time when we’re trying to save money the biggest way we do it is by simply scaling back how much we’re buying. And while it’s admirable to cut where we can, it can leave you midweek without any food in the house. And when that happens you’re more likely to go and eat fast food then go to the store.
While a quick burger from the dollar menu can seem cheap, those dollars can add up quickly. Because of the overhead of running a restaurant food from there will always cost more than a comparable meal made from scratch. It’s also worth pointing out that fast food is so unhealthy that every time you eat it, you’re making likely to develop heart disease or obesity later in life which will cost you thousands in health costs.
Because of economies of scale, stores are often able to offer goods cheaper if you buy more at once. For example, buying one egg will always be more expensive than buying twelve in a carton. And while some goods like eggs can’t be store for long periods of time, others can last indefinitely and are always in need: salt, toilet paper, or soap, to name a few. Those are the kinds of things that are worth buying in bulk, as in the long term it’ll be more expensive to buy them a week at a time.