When you’re trying to save money wherever you can, you’re probably tempted to buy cheaper, lower-quality items. Instead of investing an extra fifty dollars in a more-reliable, better-built DVD player, you might pocket that money and, instead, buy a thirty-dollar piece of junk. You just saved fifty bucks, which is good, right?

Wrong.

You can’t afford to save money that way. When you cut costs by purchasing poorly-made junk, you’re actually costing yourself more money over time. That thirty-dollar DVD player will, more likely than not, break well before the more-expensive, better-built model would have died.

money wallpaper

When this happens, you go back to buy another player. This time, do you buy the better-made brand, or replace the old piece of junk with another one? Either way, you’re paying twice for the DVD player when, instead, you should have been able to use the same one for several years.

You might think, “The better player costs eighty dollars. The cheap one is only thirty. Even if I have to buy two pieces of junk, I’m spending only sixty dollars. I’m still twenty dollars ahead.”

If the first cheap player broke after just a few months, then why wouldn’t the second one do the same thing? And the third, fourth, et cetera, until you’ve spent hundreds of dollars on cheap electronics.

Sometimes, you can repair the broken item. However, the low-end electronics on store shelves are not always worth fixing. You could end up paying more for repairs than the item is worth. And if one part broke after only a few months, what’s stopping another component from breaking?

Also, consider your time and stress levels, as well as the fact that cheap junk fills up landfills faster than well-made products. You’ll keep a high-quality DVD player a lot longer than you’ll hang onto the broken one – and so will most of your neighbors. The poorly-made garbage will go into, well, the garbage, while the decent items remain in homes, being used.

Ideally, you should read product reviews, check out the manufacturer’s reputation, and seriously consider your purchases before you make them. This ensures that you will find high-quality products that, despite being a bit more expensive at the checkout, save you money over time.

Sometimes, you can still save money.

Certain items make wonderful used or refurbished purchases. You can buy a used, but guaranteed, washer or dryer, for example. A reworked PC with a warranty can be a wonderful buy.

Another money saver: shopping sales or closeouts. Manufacturers will usually slash prices when a new version of the same item is coming. That’s how you can get a brand-new DVD player for less the week before that company’s new model makes its debut. You still get the warranty, and the seller’s guarantee; you just don’t pay full retail price.

Ultimately, buying cheap goods to save a few dollars here and there will cost you more over time. If you refuse to sacrifice quality, and put your shopping skills to work before you buy, you can come home with well-made items that don’t blow your budget.