Here are a few times when penny-pinching isn't the wisest move.

1. Not having enough insurance

Frustrated man sitting on the ground leaning back on his wrecked car
Creativa Images/Shutterstock
Cheaping out on insurance can really cost you in the long run.

It can be an easy choice to buy inexpensive insurance that doesn't offer much, or to even go completely naked on coverage just to save some money every month.

But when you do that, you risk putting yourself and your loved ones at risk. If you forgo life insurance, what if something happens to you? What would your family do?

What if you got sick and had only the skimpiest health insurance on the market? Are you prepared to pay those bills out of pocket?

The reality is that bad and unexpected things happen. People get sick, accidents occur — and if you're not prepared for that stuff, you're going to end up paying much, much more over the long haul.

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2. Skipping preventive care

Doctor checking a patient's blood pressure
Getting a blood pressure check at the doctor's office

Are you someone who skips your car's regular oil changes or that 50,000-mile inspection? What about your annual physical or your twice-yearly dental checkup?

While none of these things are fun or exciting, they're part of being a responsible adult and taking care of yourself and your property.

When you skip routine preventive care and maintenance, you risk your health and your savings.

Not changing the oil in your car or not catching that cavity early on allows these problems to develop and grow. The cost of dealing with them ends up growing too, often to hundreds if not thousands more than the initial cost would have been.

3. Choosing cheap appliances

Woman chooses a blender in the store
Sergey Ryzhov/Shutterstock
Spending a little more money up front can oftentimes be a great idea when it comes to appliances

There are different grades of refrigerators, ranges, coffee makers and other appliances, and some are rated more highly than others for a reason.

They may be more energy efficient — which will save you money on your energy bill — or maybe they really do a better job in less time.

Whatever the reason, it's worth doing the research to find appliances you'll be happy with, even if they cost you a little more upfront. Often, cheaper appliances end up breaking early on or do not come with impressive or useful warranties.

An appliance is an investment and should be thought of that way. It's fine to look for sale prices, but remember that higher-quality appliances last longer and often end up saving you money — maybe by turning off automatically and not burning down your house.

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4. Buying something solely because it's on sale

Sale sign in store window
Just because something is on sale does not necessarily mean that you should buy it

Just because something is on sale doesn't necessarily mean it's a smart buy. Purchasing something you don't need because you think you're getting a bargain is still spending money on something you don't actually need.

Lots of people buy unnecessary gadgets, clothing and other products on sale or with coupons, hoping they'll find uses for the things. Don't get sucked into this pattern.

Use your money for things you really want and need.

5. Skimping on pets

Dog getting a physical at the vet
Syda Productions/Shutterstock
Once you take your pet home, it's up to you to pay for proper care. This includes feeding them good food and paying for medical bills, training, and proper grooming.

Taking on a pet is a huge responsibility and one that can become very costly very fast.

You have the choice to adopt an animal for less money or to spend more to bring home a pet from a reputable breeder. Don't be afraid to spend on a well-bred animal or to donate to the shelter that kept your new pet healthy while she waited for you to walk in the door.

Once you take your pet home, it's up to you to pay for proper care for your animal — so you'll avoid high vet bills. You must provide good food, health care, training and proper grooming. Knowing when to spend your money is imperative.

If your dog needs a specific kind of food that will keep him healthy and it costs upwards of $100 a bag, then you gotta go there. If your cat needs to be dewormed, it's your responsibility. Bunny needs eye drops? You know the drill.

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About the Author

Katie Winterburn

Katie Winterburn

Freelance Contributor

Katie was formerly a freelance contributor to MoneyWise.

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