Have you made a money-saving choice that you regret?

A customer pushes his shopping cart through a Costco store in San Francisco, Calif. Costco hopes getting a mortgage through the big box retailer will bring more customers into the store for the things they’ll need to furnish those homes. Justin Sullivan / Getty Images
TLC’s reality show ,”Extreme Cheapskates,” showcases people who go to, well, extremes to save money. There’s the woman who refuses to spend money doing laundry, so she uses a free sample of detergent and her time in the shower to give her clothes a cleaning of sorts. And then, there’s the couple who, as self-described cheapskates, decided to bestow a crib found in a dumpster unto their unborn daughter,” writes Candace Manriquez at Marketplace.

There is quite a difference between cheap and frugal, according to Daryl Paranada, a reporter for MyBankTracker.com, the differences are pretty clear.

“Frugality means you’re conscious about how you use and spend your hard-earned money,” Paranada says. “Being cheap means you want to spend the least amount of money possible, no matter what. And that’s not always the best approach to spending money. There are times when being cheap just isn’t smart.”

Many people try to save money when making home improvements by doing it themselves, but Paranada says that when undertaking home improvement projects, going the cheap route is not the way to go.

“Before you take out the hammers and you start a DIY project for your house, you should ask yourself three questions,” he says. “First, do I know what I’m doing? Could I hurt myself or my house? And finally, is it worth my time?”

Today’s Question: Have you made a money-saving choice that you regret?

  • PaulJ

    I should’ve bought a bigger car; mine keeps on getting stuck on the gravel roads in the winter. So now I have to buy something bigger and pay more for gas.

  • Joe

    Not with the bailout culture!

  • whitedoggie44

    Yes, several years ago before my daughter went off to law school in another city, I made the mistake of buying her a new Saturn vs. a Toyota. Car was a disaster from the first month. Saved a few hundred dollars but by the time she began working, the car had so many issues she decided to trade it in (with 11,000 miles) for what else, a Toyota. Should have let GM go BK

  • Greg O.

    Jesse Ventura, TPaw and George Bush…

  • Jim G

    Dad had the great idea to save money by building his lake home with the unpaid labor of his two sons. Son #1, a teacher by training, did fine while setting the trusses and plywood sheeting on the roof. Break time came. Son #2, a union carpenter, took a well earned beer break with three fellow carpenters hired for the roof raising. Dad admired the swift completion of the newly risen roof. As the carpenters enjoyed their beer, Son #1 was tasked to continued working. The job: tacking the first row of tar-paper down. As the newbie moved positions, he clumsily slipped on the unstable tar-paper and announced his predicament with the words, “I’m coming down.” He arrived promptly in the middle of the beer party with a thud. Dad ended up paying union carpenter wages to replace the lost labor of Son #1 for the remainder of the project. Luckily, Son #1 only suffered a broken arm. Though missing softball, the biking season, he did have health insurance, but need never thought he’d have to fall off the roof to use it.

    • Ralphy

      You are a very good story teller. Thanks for sharing.

  • James

    We as a nation have made a choice that we will certainly regret. Essentially everythng we buy at Mennard’s, Home Deport, Target, WalMart, Costco, Northern Tool and a host of other stores is incredibly cheap, incredibly unreliable, often dangerous and, of course, made in China. As a result, the US manufacturing sector has been decimated, our pets and children are being poisoned and our landfills are filling up with crap that didn’t used to be disposable.

  • Pearly

    ..

    • Keith

      Unfortunately, some (my experience) CFLs do not live up to their advertised lifetime. I’m wondering if it has more to do with my using them in applications where they are frequently turned on for short durations as opposed to where they might be left lit for long periods of time.

      • Jamie

        Mine too. I’m hoping the LED bulbs turn out to be a whole lot better. Right now, they’re ridiculously expensive. My sister, the liberal leftie, owns an art gallery and even she is upset about not being able to buy incandescent light bulbs because the CFLs don’t give customers the true colors in what she’s selling.

        • Pearly

          You can just about forget about using them outdoors in a Minnesota winter also

          • Keith

            On the contrary, I have a CFL (just a standard 100W equivalent – not any sort of specially-rated outdoor bulb) – that lights my driveway all night (dusk to dawn security light). It generally lasts well over a year.

          • Pearly

            Leaving lights no all night seems wasteful just to keep a bulb warm enough to be useful

    • Joe

      Bachmann’s Last Stand