How do you determine you are going to make a purchase? Do you simply look at the price? Maybe you compare the price to other stores or patiently wait until an item goes on sale. No matter what great of a deal you find or what kind of bargain you are getting, there is one more thing to consider. You need to factor in what that purchase will cost in the future.
Many things you buy don’t just end there. There are a lot of things that continue to cost money long after they have been purchased. It wouldn’t be too much of a surprise if you really didn’t consider these costs while making your decision. But if you want to save money or manage your money properly, you need to fully think about how much each item will cost you in the long run.
Purchases That Cost You More Than You Think
- A pool.
In the heat of the summer months, a pool can be fantastic. It keeps us cool and is a lot of fun, regardless for kids or adults. But it is not over once you purchase the pool and install it. A large pool will cost you every year to open and close it. You need to constantly be putting certain chemicals in the pool to make it safe to swim inside. Some of these may include algaecide, chlorine, a pH balancer and other things. You will also need to replace the filter every so often depending on the type of pool you have. A pool cover, a safety fence to lock out young children, and other optional items, like pool toys and floats all can add to the cost. If something goes wrong with the pool, you may need to hire a pool professional to come out to help you fix the problem.
This one may be small, but it always gets me. A few months ago, I found a great deal on a sweater for a minimal cost. The problem is that it is dry clean only. So every single time I wear the sweater, I need to pay more money to have it cleaned. While it may not be much, it adds up and realistically, that sweater cost a lot more than what I initially paid. Dry cleaning costs can add up fast. The same is true if you have to have something altered or tailored to your size. Check the tags for clothes, coats, blankets, and anything else before your purchase. Just take a second to consider if you don’t mind paying for dry cleaning. The same is true for any leather or suede shoes, jackets, purses, or other clothing that would have to be specially cleaned by a leather cleaner.
- A dog and other pets.
I love dogs. They are fantastic companions. They can bring you joy, entertainment, and even protection. But just because you leave the pet shop does not mean your dog is done costing you. Besides dogs, cats, birds, fish, and any other type of pets are going to cost you a lot of money. They need food, medicine, toys, and other objects like a water bowl, leash, brush, and much more. When I bought my dog, I was shocked at how much vet fees cost me. Every year, I needed to take him to have specific shots that I needed to provide for him legally. These shots would depend on where you live. Pets get sick just like we do and require a doctor visit, medications, and surgeries if you don’t have pet insurance. Another way a pet can cost you is if you are renting or owning a home or condo in an association. If you are renting an apartment or home, you may be charged a fee for having a pet live with you. Some town homes and condos that are in an association will also charge you a fee. You may also have to pay for a permit depending on the area you live.
- A car.
This one is pretty obvious, but a car is extremely costly after it is purchased. When you calculate the total cost of a new car you’ll need to factor in paying for car insurance, license plate registrations, and possibly a sticker or registration for the city or town you live in. Depending on how much you drive and where you live, the cost of filing up your tank with gas will need to be factored into your weekly budget. You will need oil changes, tune ups, and other types of maintenance regularly. Depending on where you live and where you are headed, you may have to pay for parking if you’re headed out with your car. For many people, the purchase of a car is unavoidable. However, if it is possible to get by without one (or use just one shared car in a two person household), doing so can save you thousands of dollars every year plus the cost of the car payment every month. A lot of times in a bigger city, there are multiple options for public transportation, so try that option. If you can walk or bike to work, school, the store, and other places do that instead. If you do need to purchase a car, keep car costs low by taking care of your car to avoid costly problems down the road. Drive safely and carefully to avoid any issues and to avoid accidents that would also cause your car insurance payments to be higher. Limiting the amount of time you drive will of course reduce how much you are spending on gas and the normal wear and tear your car will face.
Do the Research
Anytime you make a purchase, always consider what the other costs will be, regardless of the amount. Take this into consideration before your purchase. If you’re not sure what the cost would be, do some research ahead of time. A little research and asking around for people who have already purchased the same item, can really help you make the best decision for you and for your money.
What are some other examples of items you purchase that end up costing a lot more down the road? Have you ever regretting buying something that you bought after you started realizing what the cost would be down the road?