Does Penny-Pinching Pay off?

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Sometimes in our quest to save a dollar, we go a bit overboard. It's a false economy to always go for the lowest cost especially if it ends up costing more in the end. Here are some examples:

Groceries: If your family won't eat it, store brands or food bought in bulk aren't bargains.

Installment plans: Renting to own a roomful of furniture or television for a small amount per week sounds like a great deal, until you do the math. Figure out what you're actually paying. It could be double the price of a similar item on sale.

Pets: Assuming your pet appears to be in good health, an annual exam by a veterinarian might not be necessary but the shots are. Rabies, distemper and leukemia vaccines are necessary. To save the cost of a vet visit, make calls around your area to locate free or low-cost shot clinics, perhaps at your local humane society or nonprofit animal-welfare groups.

Insurance: Opting for a much higher deductible could be costly in the long run. Unless you have the full amount of the deductible safely put away in savings, you could take a hard hit if something happens and you need that coverage.

Do-it-yourself: Unless you're especially skilled in home or auto repairs, leave it to the experts. It could cost you more in the long run if others have to fix what you've done.

Paying only the minimum on credit cards: Making only a minimum monthly payment affects your credit score, drags out the process of paying off the card, and raises the amount you'll spend on interest.

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