What is it Costing You to Save a Little Extra Money?

by Miranda Marquit · 1 comment

I recently went on a spring break trip with my son. As part of the trip, we stayed in a Las Vegas theme hotel on the Strip. We got a low, low special price on the room, and at check-in I decided not to upgrade. While I’m not normally the most frugal person out there, I decided that I didn’t want to spend the extra money to get a better room.

After seeing the room, I kind of wish I had. The light switch covers and outlet covers were loose. The ethernet cord was broken so that, even though I could plug it in and connect to the Internet, it kept falling out of my computer. There were holes in the walls.

My son didn’t notice any of this, of course. He was happy to be staying in a theme hotel in Vegas. But for me, my attempt at penny pinching yielded inadequate results. It reminded me of all the reasons that I don’t usually mind spending extra money. Sometimes, trying to save a little extra costs you in other ways:

  • Experience: My Las Vegas adventure reminded me that I enjoy experiences — a lot. Part of travel, for me, is the good experience of a comfortable room. Sometimes, when you work to save extra money, you miss out on some experiences that you value.
  • Time: For me, this is an even bigger consideration than experience. I place a high value on my time (which is why these travel coupons are so useful since they are easy to use). If I can save time by paying a little extra for something, I’ll do it. Getting the absolute cheapest price for something is not as important for me if I have to spend a lot of time to do it. This is especially true of free promotions. I’m not going to stand in line for three hours for a free item that it would only cost me $5 to buy otherwise. I have other things to do with my time.
  • Convenience: Another consideration is convenience. Sometimes, if you want improved convenience, you need to pay for it. I’d rather fly for business reasons at 10 a.m., after I’ve dropped my son off at school, than try to catch a red-eye. The convenience of buying movie tickets online, and avoiding the line at theater, is worth the extra $1.50 per ticket to me.
  • Quality: Sometimes, you really do get what you pay for. If you pay bottom-dollar for something, there’s a chance that you will get bottom-quality as well. Sometimes, that lower quality can cost you more over time in replacement parts and frustration than it would have cost to just pay a little bit extra to purchase an item of higher quality in the first place.

Sometimes, it makes sense to pinch pennies and save as much as you can. However, there are times when saving the extra money costs you in a number of other ways. Carefully consider all the costs involved before making your spending decisions. Sometimes, the non-money costs outweigh your savings.

What do you think? Is it sometimes worth it to pay more?

Bonus Tip:

Did you know that you can save money with Netflix? Even if you don't plan on using the service, you should at least sign up for the Netflix free trial here to get some free movies for a month.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Lifeisdynamic April 17, 2013 at 5:41 pm

Could not agree more. In addition, saving for something beforehand to buy the item with better quality is truly frugality in that you are likely to buy an item which will last longer.

Wholeheartedly agree with spending a little more online for items such as tickets (provided the fee for service is not exorbitant) is the best way to go in terms of saving time and frayed tempers.

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