Dangers of Frugality

20090705-K10D-8538_2000pxSometimes in our quest to save money we make… well… bad decisions. We try to save money by doing repairs ourselves or we contract inexperienced workers to do work around our home for us. These decisions may seem smart when you see a full wallet after your repair or other service is done, but they inevitably turn out bad. Once you have made one of these mistakes, you have generally learned your lesson—but not before you spend a good deal of money to fix it.

There are some things that you should never take a chance on in order to get it for free. Here are a few suggestions.

Home Repairs

Your home is one of the most important investments you have. When your plumbing goes bad, your roof gets a leak, or your heat goes out, you don’t want to trust just any old repairman from Craigslist. You need to find a qualified and licensed professional to take care of your home. It is worth any added expense to have the peace of mind that a sound home brings.

Automobile repairs

If you need new tires, a tune up, brake repairs or any other work done on your automobile, you need to see a real mechanic and not a discount mechanic. Not only does your vehicle need the proper care to run a long life but it can also impair your safety if you dive around in a car that isn’t properly repaired. Find a certified, qualified, licensed mechanic or use your dealer so that you can avoid needing a whole new car.

Cosmetic Surgery

Okay, seriously? You are going to let someone do surgery on you who offers a “discount” and “coupons”? This is your actual body we are talking about here. Instead, check with The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) to find a qualified surgeon. Do not cut corners when asking someone to alter your appearance.

Hair Dye

If you want to give yourself some layers or cut your own bangs to save some money, you may mess it up but it will usually grow out pretty quickly. But if you dye your own hair, not only will it take a ridiculously long time to grow out, it could also result in chemical burns and permanent damage to your hair follicles. Instead, try to find a salon that has deals and go every eight weeks instead of every six. Also, your dye job will last longer if you use shampoo and conditioner designed to maintain your color.

Prescribed Medication

I know medications are cheaper in Canada than in the United States, and I know that you can get some herbal supplements that will supposedly help fight certain diseases and disorders. But that doesn’t mean that you should. You should get your medication from a local pharmacy. If your doctor prescribes a medication that you are going to have trouble affording, find out of there is a generic alternative or if your doctor can give you some samples.

Photo credit: coneslayer

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Author Info

This post was written by Yolander Prinzel. Yolander is a financial writer as well as a series 7, 66 and 2-15 licensed representative. During her decade of financial industry experience she has been an insurance agency director of marketing and director of operations, a life insurance underwriter, and a trading service specialist for Raymond James Financial Services. She was a featured speaker at the 2006 Hartford National Sales Conference and the 2006 Brookstreet Securities Annual Conference. Check out her portfolio at YolanderPrinzel.com

7 Responses to “Dangers of Frugality”

  1. Edward - Entry Level Dilemma |  Jan 22, 2010 at 6:35 pm

    “qualified and licensed professional”…
    “certified, qualified, licensed mechanic”…

    Licensing and certification do not necessarily mean quality work, and there are many qualified mechanics and handymen who never bothered to go through the expense or time of licensing or certifications.

    A tune-up is a simple job for anyone familiar with an engine, and replacing break pads isn’t that much harder. Tires replacement and balancing are the only routine maintenance I don’t perform myself, because beading a tire is very labor intensive and balancing requires special machinery.

    My brother’s car broke down on the side of the highway in the middle of a cross-country trip. The problem was simple to repair, but not on the side of I-80 so it was towed to a garage approved by AAA. that tried to tell him that he needed a new timing belt. Even after he talked them out of trying to that expensive and unnecessary repair, they still managed to replace a working part so they could charge more, because, hey, what’s someone who lives 1500 miles away really going to do about it?

    The moral is, if you can’t do it yourself, have someone you trust do it. If there is no one you trust to do the job, find out who is trusted by someone who’s opinion you trust. Just because ASM, ASPS, or some other group who has never met the person says they are reliable, doesn’t mean they are.

  2. Andy |  Jan 23, 2010 at 4:26 pm

    Sun – I read your blog for *your* articles – Sun’s Financial Diary – not for third-party posts like this. I hope you’ll stop posting these cookie-cutter articles which I can see (and ignore) anywhere. I’d rather see fewer on your blog, as long as they’re the usually-interesting ones written by you. Thanks.

    • Sun |  Jan 24, 2010 at 11:47 pm

      Andy: I am trying to bring different views and coverage of different topics to the site. While I am still trying to write as much as I can myself (I am glad you like the stuff I wrote :) ), I feeling articles from other contributors are good supplements and I certainly hope you will enjoy them as well.

  3. Daddy Paul |  Jan 23, 2010 at 9:43 pm

    The bottom line in all of this is don’t get into things you cannot handle they will cost you more in the long run. I would not dream of letting someone else touch my brakes or change my oil. More than that I let a good mechanic do. Same with the house. I won’t do anything to my furnace but change valves or ignitors. I won’t sit around for days waiting for some clown to come fix my furnace if I can fix it with one easy to change part.

  4. David |  Jan 24, 2010 at 9:32 am

    “I know medications are cheaper in Canada than in the United States… But that doesn’t mean that you should. You should get your medication from a local pharmacy.”

    Huh? Why? Why should you be feeding the profit of the American drug industry? The prices aren’t cheaper in Canada because they have 8 year olds making your medicine…they are cheaper because the supply part of supply and demand hasn’t been artificially shut off.

  5. Yolander Prinzel |  Jan 26, 2010 at 5:36 pm

    Daddy Paul and Edward–YES! If you can do it yourself or if you happen to know someone who knows someone, those are great tips. Personally, I can’t do anything handy and I’ve been burned on friend referrals before, but that doesn’t mean everyone has :)

    David–I think this is more a control issue. If you could buy medications from Canada online and be certain you are getting the right ones and some that aren’t expired, then I guess that would make sense. Although your local pharmacy could make an error, it is a bit safer than a website that purports to sell the same meds for less. Again, it’s not the idea of cheaper meds that I object to, just some of the safety issues.

  6. Ace of Wealth |  Jan 27, 2010 at 2:57 am

    I think ultimately the most important is doing your research first. As Edward alluded to certifications doesn’t mean that they’ll do a good job. Before trying anything yourself or forking a wad of cash to someone else to do it for you, you should figure out all of your options. Knowledge is power.