13 Times You'll Really Regret Being Cheap

13 Times You’ll Regret Being Cheap


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13 Times You’ll Regret Being Cheap

When Not to Be Cheap

All of us like to save money, but when does being cheap cost you in the long run? Things you use and rely on every day probably aren’t the place to shop for bargains, and purchases that save money but irritate or waste time — especially during a vacation that's meant to be relaxing — aren’t worth buying at any price. The following are some things best to consider necessary splurges. Even if choosing the lowest price saves you money now, it won’t be worth it in the long run. 

Related: The Definitive List of Things You Never Need to Buy

Car Rental Rewards

Car Rental

These days, when rental cars are harder to find and more expensive, it may be tempting to try to save a few bucks by renting from a company that's a few miles away from the airport. But what about the cost of transportation to get to the car rental company? Especially if you aren’t familiar with the area, it might be a safer bet to spend a little more for convenience. Also, take into consideration your driving needs before selecting a ride: While it sounds great to get a budget car rental, you may wind up scared for your life driving on the freeway surrounded by semis in a toy-size car.

Related: Tips and Tricks to Save You Money on Car Rentals



Sometimes a layover is unavoidable, but don’t skimp on time just for a cheaper price tag. It’s rarely worth the stress of a 40-minute layover if your first flight is late and you miss your connection. It also isn’t worth the stress of running from one gate to your connection with no time to spare and still possibly missing that connecting flight.

Related: Long Layover? Unique Attractions Near Major Airports

Red-Eye/Early Morning Flights

Red-Eye/Early Morning Flights

While it sounds like a good idea at the time of booking, an early-morning flight or a red-eye flight isn’t a great idea just to save $50. You’re probably not thinking about the time it takes to get to the airport, how you will get to the airport (forget asking a friend for a free ride at an ungodly hour), and the fact that you’ll be tired the whole first day of your trip. Instead, save yourself the hassle and book a flight at an hour when you know you can make it, have free transportation, and won’t ruin your first day at your destination. 

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Art Wager/istockphoto


Whether you’re renting or buying, moving is a commitment and not worth a cheaper price tag to move somewhere you don’t love. While you should stay within your budget, if you love an area don’t try to skimp on price and purchase a home a mile away. You will most certainly feel the distance every day and have regrets. Likewise, don’t skimp and rent in an area you dislike just to save on rent. You’ll never feel comfortable even in your own home.

Related: Top Reasons Not to Buy a House

Mattress Problems


Some smaller pieces of furniture, such as accent tables, don’t have to be expensive, but when it comes to furniture you will use daily, you don’t want to be cheap. The sofa is the most used piece of furniture in the home and a good one will last years, while a cheaper version will likely be so uncomfortable you’ll be itching to replace it a few months down the road. Ditto on a mattress: It will affect your life, work, and health if you can’t get a good night’s sleep.

Kitchen Gadgets

Kitchen Gadgets

Higher-quality items in the kitchen have a longer life span. A cheap blender won’t last long before breaking, but investing in a quality product means you aren’t replacing it every year. A high-quality kitchen knife will outlive cheap kitchen knives by 10 years, and a cheap set of pots and pans will need replacing years earlier than a high-end, albeit pricier, set.

Related: 50 Kitchen Gadgets That Are a Waste of Money

Baby and Kid Supplies

Baby and Kid Supplies

There are definitely kids’ items you can skimp on. Your child will wear through or outgrow clothes quickly, ditto with toys, so skimping in these categories isn’t a bad idea. But when it comes to your baby’s crib, car seat, and bike helmet, put quality before price. Anything that is protecting your child should be a high priority and a budgeted splurge. You’ll rest better knowing your child is in a safe crib. A higher-quality car seat and helmet will provide more padding and comfort to your baby, and if there is an accident you don’t want to take your chances with a cheaper alternative. 

Home Repairs

Home Repairs

Owning a home is expensive, but skimping on home repairs is never a good idea. If you need a new roof, pick a quality roofing material installed by a reputable company. You don’t want to skimp on supplies or services, including an HVAC system, plumbing, or foundation repair. When it comes to hiring a contractor to do the work, don’t pay less for one that isn’t bonded and insured. If something happens while this person is on the job at your home, you’re financially responsible and could face expensive legal action. 

Employee-Sponsored Retirement Plans


Not making the full contributions to an IRA or 401(k) means more income in your pocket monthly, but you’re leaving money on the table and not prepping for your future. Skimping adds up over time, too. You want to be sure you’re covered when the time comes, so start planning now and don’t skip or skimp out here. 

Get Regular Checkups

Health Insurance

When it comes to your health, it’s never a good place to pinch pennies.You don’t want to skip regular physicals, dental appointments, eye exams, and other checkups, especially when your health insurance will help with the costs or cover them completely. The cost of medical care is steep (and unpaid medical bills are a leading cause of personal bankruptcy). It’s just not worth banking on the fact that you haven’t gotten sick often to gamble on a cheap insurance policy.

Related: Reduce Your Health Care Costs With These Expert Tips for Seniors

Grass Seed

Grass Seed

When it comes to home ownership, lawn care is something you can do yourself. Not paying for a pricey lawn care service can be a wise decision if you have the time and interest, and you can learn on your own what you need to do to keep your lawn looking its best. Still, don’t cut corners on grass seed. Cheaper varieties often contain filler — another word for weeds. Unless you’re going for a dandelion garden, stick with higher-priced grass seed. 

Running shoes


If you’re on your feet a lot or doing any kind of walking or running, you need a good pair of shoes. Skimping on quality shoes can only hurt you, and not just in your wallet. Cheaper shoes will wear faster, meaning you will shell out more money for replacements, and you open yourself up to injury working out in lower-quality footwear that often lacks the arch support and cushioning that will protect the delicate bones and muscles in your feet.

Related: We Asked Nurses About Their Favorite Walking Shoes



If you’ve ever painted a room, you know it’s hard, time-consuming work. So why would you want to paint more than two coats or have to paint again in a year? Paint can be pricey, but don’t choose cheap paint. You want mid- to high-end paint. which means higher prices but better wear and coverage. 

Related: 13 Steps to Painting a Room Like a Pro